No Market this Saturday....but....

12:00 PM Adrian 0 Comments

...our week-by-week CSA continues! Now, who would have dreamed of a "wet" Christmas? Still no snow, and the chillingly cold temperatures we usually expect by the end of December...but with the rain pouring down and continuously warm temperatures, we will expect new growth. Which means-- more veggies still! Winter CSA continues.

Contact Derek to get in on next week's share:
echocsa@gmail.com or call (319)325-3910.


What to expect:

Potatoes
Squash
Onions
Garlic
Leeks
Daikon Radishes
Spinach
Braising Mix (Kale, tokyo lettuce, pac choi, chard, etc.)
Head Lettuce
Cilantro
Salad Mix
Asian Greens

Again, no market this week. The next market will be January 7th. So you will not find your box there. If you participate in CSA, your share will be delivered to you!

We hope you all had a nice, happy, relaxing vacation or holiday with family or friends. We sure did! See you next week!

0 comments:

Happy Holidays!

2:34 PM Adrian 1 Comments

Happy first day of Winter! Holidays are coming up soon! Whatever you end up celebrating-- Christmas, Hanukkah, Solstice, etc.-- we hope it's filled with happiness, warmth, and of course, great food.

Our official Fall CSA ended last week. Big "Thank you's!" out to all of you who participated in Fall CSA! We are continuing a week-by-week basis CSA through the winter. What with all the exceptionally warm weather, we've still got lots of veggies! If you would like to sign up for a week's worth share, contact us: echocsa@gmail.com or call (319)325-3910.

What we might have for you:

  • Salad mix
  • Braising mix
  • Vitamin greens
  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Daikon radishes
  • Squash
  • Potatoes
  • Maybe more: just ask

A reminder to you all that our 2012 season CSA signup will be coming soon....look out! It usually happens in January, but we will let you know!

Grant Wood Farmers Market still continues, come on out and visit our booth for some tasty veggies. Get them while you still can!


Besides our usual protection and weekly harvests of our plants, we've had a few other projects and happenings hereabouts. I just finished my first herbal salve for treating arthritis inflammation, and an herbal cough syrup for colds and flu. Perimeters and plans have been set up to build a few new permanent structures here, and more work is being done on our haybale barn/farm home. A film crew might be coming in sometime soon to film us doing a few things, such as setting up our "cats" or moveable greenhouses. I believe it will be featured on an Iowa City public television station in a weekly show about sustainability. This winter might harbor a time for our resident mushroom-farmer Will to possibly grow some Japanese gourmet mushroom varieties.

Winter is also an excellent time for birds, especially on our property, for some reason. I think there must be something just a tad bit magical about our land, because it seems that a lot of awesome birds take "refuge" out here....and surprisingly rare ones. Our resident birdsman Randall has identified a local "merlin," a little bird of prey that looks much like a peregrine falcon, except with a red chest and hardly larger than a dove. Apparently these birds are incredibly rare. Along with a merlin, there have been rough-legged hawks, several bald eagles and the occasional golden eagle! Several weeks ago I saw two trumpeter swans fly over our house. There are also several pileated woodpeckers that have moved into our woods, quite uncommon as well. Randall also says to look out at suspect white spots out in the country and fields-- take a second look. They might be migrant snowy owls from far north! If you are ever interested in bird watching, our place is a hot spot. We also have lots of common flying critters, like chickadees, cardinals, meadowlarks, bluejays, finches and nighthawks.

See you next week, and once again, happy holidays!

***

Please tell us if you can't identify something on the market table, don't know what to do with a particular item, have a food allergy we should know about, or if you have other questions or comments. We love to hear from you!

echocsa@gmail.com
(319)325-3910

1 comments:

Winter? Guess not....

12:58 PM Adrian 0 Comments

It's December and it still has yet to dump snow all over us! Will we have a white Christmas? Hanukkah? Let alone a white Solstice? I guess we'll see. Good news for the veggies in the greenhouses and for our buyers, though! Our plants have been enjoying 50-70 degree weather in the cats on these uncharacteristically warm days. We've been farming in flop-flops and t-shirts! Okay, maybe that's a bit of a stretch.

Last week of Fall CSA! Pick up your shares at the Grant Wood Farmer's Market, in the Grant Wood Elementary School gymnasium. However, fresh, tasty produce will be available there at the Farmer's Market for everyone to buy!

What to expect:
  • Lettuce
  • Vitamin Greens
  • Braising Mix
  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Daikon Radishes
  • Squash
  • Potatoes
A reminder to you all that our 2012 season CSA signup will be coming soon....look out! We will also be putting together a survey for all of you, so we can receive some of your feedback to help us out in Summer 2012!


Recipes:

Butternut and Apple Harvest Soup

(www.allrecipes.com)


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 large leeks (white and pale green parts only), chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 large potato, peeled and cubed
  • 2 cups cubed butternut squash
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, and sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • 1 quart chicken stock (optional)
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine (optional)
  • 1/2 cup light cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives
1. Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat. Stir in leeks and onions, and cook until the onion softens and turns translucent, about 5 minutes. Add potato, squash, carrots, apple, and chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the vegetables are soft, about 20 minutes.

2. Carefully puree the soup in batches in a blender, or use a stick blender to puree the soup right in the pot. Once the soup has been pureed, return it to the pot and stir in wine and cream. Season with nutmeg, salt, and pepper; simmer gently for 5 minutes. Ladle into bowls and garnish with chopped chives.

Furofuki Daikon Recipe

(from www.saveur.com)

Perhaps a bit more on the exotic side and calling for ingredients whose names I don't understand, but it still sounds quite tasty! Other root vegetables like parsnips, rutabaga, turnips or kohlrabi can be used to substitute the daikon radish.

  • 2" square piece konbu (dried sea kelp)
  • Pinch salt
  • 9" piece daikon, peeled, trimmed, and cut crosswise into eight 1"-thick rounds
  • O cup white miso
  • 3 tbsp. sake
  • 2 tbsp. mirin (sweet rice wine)
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 3 tbsp. dashi
  • 1" piece ginger, peeled and grated
1. Cut out a circle of parchment paper just large enough to fit inside a wide medium pot, then cut a 1/2" vent hole in center and set paper aside. Put sea kelp, 8 cups water, and salt into the wide medium pot and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Add daikon and return to a simmer. Lay parchment paper circle on surface of liquid in pot, reduce heat to medium-low, and gently simmer until daikon is soft when pierced with the tip of a small sharp knife, 50–60 minutes.

2. Put miso into a medium pan set over another medium pan of simmering water over medium heat and cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until paste loosens, about 1 minute. Gradually add sake, then rice wine, stirring until smooth. Add sugar and egg yolk and cook, stirring constantly, until sauce is thick and creamy, 1–2 minutes. Stir in dashi and ginger.

3. Using a slotted spoon, transfer daikon, one of the cut sides up, to 8 small bowls and discard cooking liquid. Spoon some of the miso sauce on top of each piece of daikon, spreading it out with the back of the spoon to cover top of daikon completely.

Enjoy, and we'll see you at the Farmer's Market!

***

Please tell us if you can't identify something on the market table, don't know what to do with a particular item, have a food allergy we should know about, or if you have other questions or comments. We love to hear from you!

echocsa@gmail.com
(319)325-3910

0 comments:

Winter Is Here

7:27 PM Adrian 2 Comments

Hey y'all...it's getting cold, cold, cold...finally!

As you probably know, snow is here to stay this time, clinging to the ground and to the top of our greenhouses and cats, which may actually come in handy adding a little extra insulation. Yep, our vegetables are still alive and kickin'. No worries. In the past week, we have covered all and even double covered a few of our rows inside the cats and greenhouses with plastic and Reemay, giving them even more protection. If you don't know what Reemay is, it's a white, perforated, soft and cloth-like material that can be used to cover and protect plants from frost while still allowing them to breathe. Inside our greenhouses and cats, it looks like you're walking through a white, puffy tunnel!

We here at Echollective would like to send a big warm THANK YOU to our Summer CSA members for giving us such a successful season! We couldn't have done it without you, and we hope that everything has been tasty and nutritious. To those of you who are still sticking with us through Fall, and into winter...an even bigger thank you for your loyalty! To all of you, we hope to be growing for you again in spring!

Speaking of which, a reminder to you all that our 2012 season CSA signup will be coming soon....look out! We will also be putting together a survey for all of you, so we can receive some of your feedback to help us out in Summer 2012!

As for Fall CSA, unfortunately, there will be no CSA shares this week...farmer Derek is off to Colorado by train for a mini vacation. Expect him back in a week and a half. However, there's a chance that a little vegetable stand might just randomly pop up at a little festival called What A Load Of Craft...and there's a chance it may have something to do with us....oh, these are just whispers on the wind!

As it gets colder, the challenge of keeping our vegetables warm, happy, and alive will get harder. We're all bracing ourselves for tomorrow night, when it will get the coldest it has yet. All of us pull on a few layers nowadays before heading out, and most of us are wearing coveralls almost all the time. We heat big pots of water to put in with the vegetable wash water, so our hands stay nimble. Although we'll be starting our spring seeds real soon, the ground will be too frozen and temperatures too discouraging for little babies to want to sprout and flourish, even in the greenhouses. All we can do is struggle to keep the ones we're now tending alive as long as possible 'til spring. We're close to done with covering all our planted garlic with mulch. Hurry, before the ground and garlic freezes!

It's more than obvious with the ringing of shots from our woods that deer season has begun. A couple guys are out here on our property for hunting visits, trying to take down a buck on our much-frequented game trails. Local veggies are a boon, but so is local meat! A few of us here talk about making our own little hunting party. Venison for the winter would be wonderful, the thought of it makes all of us lick our chops. In the meantime, we've been slurping on our home-made stew with delicious chunks of goose-meat, from live local geese gifted to us from our neighbors at Hue Hill Farm. We thank the geese, who had long, happy lives, for feeding us. We also thank you, farmer Jean Donohue, for taking care of them and providing us with several scrumptious meals! Oh, and of course, thank yous to Will and Randall, my fellow employees, for doing the hard, challenging work that comes with meeting face-to-face with the living animals you decide to eat-- it is truly a deep, intimate experience, and requires much respect to do it properly.

Sorry, no venison or geese in our CSA shares! Yet.....? Stay warm and see you next week!

2 comments:

1st December CSA Newsletter!

5:25 PM Adrian 1 Comments

Hey folks! It's been a few weeks. Our original website writer is on a lengthy sick-leave, but I've jumped in to help out with newsletters (my name's Adrian; I am a resident/worker here at Echollective! Nice to meet you all). Let's hope she gets better!

The weather's been getting steadily colder and the frosts have begun, but we've been able to hold our own using greenhouses and our made-on-the-farm contraptions we call "caterpillars," or "cats" for short. These house our big brassicas (kale, tat soi, bok choy, arugula, etc.), spinach and lettuces, as well as some little babies on the way. All this talk about cats can get confusing...kitties! Where? "Hey...we're not that kind of farm." We piece-meal these cats together from scraps and materials we've salvaged, found, and sometimes bought (at prices much less than a full-blown greenhouse). They work just like greenhouses or cold frames. We've spent many days getting the cats in place, and moving them once they're empty to house new vegetables. Without them, we wouldn't be able to keep growing our produce as far into the cold weather as we now do. It's quite a scramble to get them together so we can provide food in winter, and as the weather gets colder, who knows how far we can go! At least it hasn't snowed yet. The only thing we don't have under cover right now are our daikon radishes...pretty darn hardy! We've pulled out some enormous ones.

Speaking of ACTUAL cats, our barn cat Macy gave birth to a litter! Sadly, most of them did not make it, but we've got one little roly-poly fat fuzzball Survivor who has been getting stuck in shelves and knocking over entire piles of boxes already. Still cute as all get-out, but steadily getting to that annoying teenage cat phase where she will attack anything and everyone.

We had a little Thanksgiving at the farm, a splendid affair, a lot of it using Echollective produce of course. Our feast consisted of apple-vegetable stuffed roasted pork tenderloin, roasted vegetables, home-made cornbread, salad (with our beautiful Cherokee lettuce) and home-made cheesecake for dessert. We hope your Thanksgiving was just as decadent! Happy Thanksgiving, a bit late!

In spite of winter's quick approach, Fall CSA continues! Just a few weeks left, folks.



FALL CSA MEMBERS: come on and pick up your member shares out at the Iowa City Grant Wood Farmer's Market! Farmer Derek will be there with your selections.


SUMMER CSA MEMBERS (WHO ARE NOT FALL MEMBERS): if you're still jonesin' for veggies, come by the Grant Wood Farmer's Market! Last chance to get some tasty, local organic produce before winter hits hard!




On the table this week:


  • Lettuce
  • Vitamin Greens
  • Braising Mix
  • Sweet Peppers (still!)
  • Hot Peppers (still!)
  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Daikon Radishes
  • Squash
  • Potatoes


Recipes

Japanese-Style Sour Pickles

(from www.cooks.com)

  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 1/6 carrots
  • 7 oz. water
  • 1 1/3 tsp. soy sauce
  • 5 oz. daikon radish
  • 2 2/3 tbsp. vinegar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • Sliced ginger (optional)

Combine vinegar, water, salt, sugar and soy sauce. Add sliced ginger and stir slowly until sugar is dissolved. Cut cucumber, daikon and carrot into strips. Put vegetables in a jar and pour the mixture over them.

If you would like to do the live-fermentation version of this, simply omit sugar, vinegar, and soy sauce from the recipe. Mix 2 tbsp salt with 1 qt. of water, then submerge the veggies in this mixture. Place something like a lid or jar on top of them to keep them submerged, and let sit for a couple weeks. Make sure to put veggies and mixture in an opaque container, and make sure it is not airtight! Check sporadically to make sure there is no mold growing on top. After two weeks, taste and test.


Garlic and Herb Sauteed Bell Pepper Strips (appetizer)

(from americanfood.about.com)

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 large red bell peppers, seeded, cut into half-inch strips
  • 2 large yellow bell peppers, cut into half-inch strips
  • 2 cloves finely minced garlic
  • salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp chopped basil
  • 1 tbsp chopped Italian parsley
  • toasted Italian bread to garnish, optional
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over high heat. Add the pepper strips, and sauté for 4-5 minutes, or until the peppers begin to soften. Turn down the heat to low, and add the garlic, salt and pepper. Saute for 2 minutes more. Turn off the heat and add the vinegar and herbs. Toss to combine. Transfer to a bowl and allow to cool to room temperature. Toss again, adjust seasoning and serve with toasted bread if desired.


***

Please tell us if you can't identify something on the market table, don't know what to do with a particular item, have a food allergy we should know about, or if you have other questions or comments. We love to hear from you!

echocsa@gmail.com
(319)325-3910

1 comments:

CSA continues!

8:06 PM Mandy 0 Comments

Yes folks, we do have a fall/winter CSA share available. $120 for a couple-size share ($20/week for 6 weeks) or $180 for a family-size share ($30/week for 6 weeks). Deliveries started last week and will continue this week at the Iowa City Farmers Market. As many of you know, this year the farmers market will continue running through the fall and winter months but in a different location. The new location is Grant Wood Elementary, and the market will run there every other Saturday, beginning Nov. 5th, from 2-4pm. So after this week, the other 4 CSA deliveries will happen at Grant Wood every other weekend. Please let us know by email if you are interested. Farmer Derek will prorate the share cost to you if you are joining late.

***
Please tell us if you can't identify something on the market table, don't know what to do with a particular item, have a food allergy we should know about, or if you have other questions or comments. We love to hear from you!

echocsa@gmail.com
(319)325-3910

0 comments:

CSA Week 19 - October 5 and 8

2:00 PM Mandy 0 Comments

Fall greens are really starting to come in now. Bok choy and spinach and lettuce, oh my! On the other hand, weather is not so good for peppers. They felt some frost last week, and many plants did not survive.

On the table this week:
  • Salad mix
  • Tomatoes
  • Sweet peppers
  • Hot peppers
  • Potatoes
  • Onions
  • Leeks
  • Winter squash
  • Garlic
  • Basil
  • Parsley

Recipes
(shared from an excellent website/newsletter, Joyful Belly-- http://www.joyfulbelly.com)

Butternut Squash Soup with Fennel, Ginger and Garlic
  • 1/2 C onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and diced fine
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 4 C water
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 inch cube of fresh ginger, peeled and diced
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 4 C butternut squash, peeled and chopped into 2-inch cubes
  • juice of 1/2 lime
Saute the onions on medium, and when beginning to brown add ginger and garlic and continue to saute for about 5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Turn heat down and simmer soup until squash is tender, about 20 minutes.

Collard Greens with Potato, Lemon and Turmeric
  • 1 potato (medium-large size), chopped in small cubes
  • 1/8 tsp turmeric (dry powdered)
  • 1 C water
  • 1/16 tsp sea salt
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • juice of 1/4 lemon
  • 1 tsp sunflower oil
  • 2 lbs collard greens (or kale), chopped finely into long, skinny strips
Place all ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil. Lower heat, cover and simmer until potatoes are soft and greens are tender and easy to chew. Makes two servings. I recommend doubling the recipe-- these are some tasty greens!

Lemon, Parsley and Sunflower Seed Salad Dressing
  • 1/2 C water
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp tarragon
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 tsp dill
  • 1/3-1/2 C sunflower seeds
  • 1 tsp tamari or shoyu
  • 1/4 C fresh, chopped parsley
  • 1 tsp brown rice syrup (or, local honey works)
Puree all ingredients in a blender (for a smoother consistency), or whip in a food processor (for chunkier consistency). Toss your Echo salad greens in it!

***
Please tell us if you can't identify something on the market table, don't know what to do with a particular item, have a food allergy we should know about, or if you have other questions or comments. We love to hear from you!

echocsa@gmail.com
(319)325-3910

0 comments:

CSA Newsletter, Week 18 - September 28 and October 1

11:15 AM Mandy 0 Comments

Rain and no frost equals happy farm. Fall cleanup continues. Garlic planting time is nearly here. Salad mix makes its reappearance this week-- yum! Just two weeks left of CSA veggies, information on Fall shares on its way.

Garlic party details:
A work party is slated for October 1-2 and 8-9. All are welcome to join the party as we sit, chat, and break hundreds (dare say thousands?) of carefully cured, whole garlic bulbs into single cloves for planting. Bring warm clothes. If you have work trade you need to finish, garlic planting is the time to get square on that.

On the table this week:
  • Tomatoes
  • Sweet peppers
  • Hot peppers
  • Winter squash
  • Salad mix
  • Onion
  • Leek
  • Garlic
  • Potatoes

***
Please tell us if you can't identify something on the market table, don't know what to do with a particular item, have a food allergy we should know about, or if you have other questions or comments. We love to hear from you!

echocsa@gmail.com
(319)325-3910

0 comments:

CSA Newsletter, Week 16 - September 14 and 17

1:43 PM Mandy 0 Comments

Hurry up, cover those plants! Days are shorter now and nights cooler, and the farm may even feel frost tonight. It's time for picking things up and putting away, putting up and picking away. Rye and vetch cover/green manure crops are going in, and protective coverings are being installed to extend the growing season for baby greens. Basil greenhouses are being transformed to house spinach.

Fall is a busy time for Echo, with garlic planting starting in just a few weeks. A work party is slated for October 1-2 and 8-9. All are welcome to join the party as we sit, chat, and break hundreds (dare say thousands?) of carefully cured, whole garlic bulbs into single cloves for planting. Bring warm clothes. If you have work trade you need to finish, garlic planting is the time to get square on that.

Culinary ride rolls this weekend! Support local food and farm-to-school in our area, while enjoying a bike tour of farms. Food and refreshments will be provided by our gracious hosts. See culinaryride.com for info and to register for the ride. Echollective Farm is stop #4 on the "55-mile beet it up" route, ETA 1-3pm.

On the table this week:
  • Braising mix
  • Leeks
  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Potatoes
  • Tomatoes
  • Sweet peppers
  • Hot pepper
  • More to be decided...
***
Please tell us if you can't identify something on the market table, don't know what to do with a particular item, have a food allergy we should know about, or if you have other questions or comments. We love to hear from you!

echocsa@gmail.com
(319)325-3910

0 comments:

CSA Newsletter, Week 15 - September 7 and 10

2:05 PM Mandy 0 Comments

On the table this week:
  • Sweet peppers
  • Hot peppers
  • Tomatoes
  • Braising mix
  • Leeks
  • Potatoes
  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • Basil


***
Please tell us if you can't identify something on the market table, don't know what to do with a particular item, have a food allergy we should know about, or if you have other questions or comments. We love to hear from you!

echocsa@gmail.com
(319)325-3910

0 comments:

CSA Newsletter, Week 14 - August 31 and September 3

9:19 AM Mandy 0 Comments

Yesterday's rain made nice planting weather. We should have some delicious baby greens this Fall! Infrastructure improvements are in the works at the farm now, and plans focus on a new irrigation system and buildings for housing equipment and starting plants.

On the table this week:
  • Tomatoes
  • Peppers
  • Cucumber
  • Potatoes
  • Leek
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Kale
  • Basil
  • Parsley

***
Please tell us if you can't identify something on the market table, don't know what to do with a particular item, have a food allergy we should know about, or if you have other questions or comments. We love to hear from you!

echocsa@gmail.com
(319)325-3910

0 comments:

CSA Newsletter, Week 13 - August 24 and 27

12:41 PM Mandy 0 Comments

This week the farm got rain-- 2 inches, hooray! Struggles with our tomatoes continue, so we are not likely to have many for CSA for a while. The hot spell earlier this month suppressed flower production so much that fruit production is way down. Farmer Derek found a neighbor with some organic sweet corn, so look forward to that this week. The farmer warned of ear worms, so watch out and wash well before eating! Seed garlic sales are starting now, as fall approaches.

Excitement is bubbling over the culinary ride to local farms on September 18th. The ride will stop at Echo land for a tour and delicious buffet, so don't miss out! Join the ride in support of community health and the farm-to-school effort in our area. Get info about the ride online here: http://culinaryride.com/. Also, a facebook page has been created for Culinary Ride-- add it to your "likes" and spread the word to your friends! If you are interested in serving the riders out at the farm as they pass through, let Derek know. He is currently looking for a few good volunteers for the event.

On the table this week:
  • Leeks
  • Potatoes
  • Sweet corn
  • Pepper
  • Hot pepper
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Basil
  • Zucchini
  • Kale
Recipes
Jerk Marinade
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 c chopped scallion (optional)
  • 1 Echo leek, chopped (optional) -- use the white to palest green parts
  • 1 clove Echo garlic (optional)
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp sugar (or honey or agave syrup)
  • 1 tsp ground allspice (Jamaican pimento)
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 hot pepper, finely ground (for medium-hot)
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 3 T shoyu
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 T apple cider vinegar
Chop the veggies together in a food processor fitted with an S-blade, then add in other ingredients to mix. Choose just one of the optional ingredients for each batch. This recipe makes an excellent medium-spicy marinade for tofu, tempeh, or meats. For a spicier version, use 2 hot peppers. For a saucier jerk treatment, use the marinade before cooking and then brush on barbecue sauce near end of cooking. Yeah mon, yes!

Jerk Rub
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 c chopped scallion (optional)
  • 1 Echo leek, chopped (optional) -- use the white to palest green parts
  • 1 clove Echo garlic (optional)
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp ground allspice (Jamaican pimento)
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 hot pepper, finely ground (for medium-hot)
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
Chop the veggies together in a food processor fitted with an S-blade, then add in other ingredients to mix. Choose just one of the optional ingredients for each batch. This recipe makes a paste for rubbing whatever you are jerking-- tofu, tempeh, meats, fish and so on. Using the rub and letting it set for 15-30 minutes before cooking is the authentic jerk flavoring method. Both recipes here will make a substantial batch of jerk, and leftovers can be stored sealed in the refrigerator for up to a month.

--recipes adapted from Jerk: Barbecue from Jamaica by Helen Willinsky

***
Please tell us if you can't identify something on the market table, don't know what to do with a particular item, have a food allergy we should know about, or if you have other questions or comments. We love to hear from you!

echocsa@gmail.com
(319)325-3910

0 comments:

CSA Newsletter, Week 12- August 17 and 20

1:29 PM Mandy 0 Comments

A bit short on news this week... Red onion harvesting is nearly done now, and potato harvest continues. Cover crops are being planted. Our intern Emily has her last day this week. We wish her well. Join us in welcoming Will and Adrian if you meet them at market!

On the table this week:
  • Leek
  • Potatoes
  • Red onion
  • Garlic
  • Basil
  • Tomatoes
  • Kale
  • Hot pepper
  • Beet
  • Carrot
  • Zucchini

***
Please tell us if you can't identify something on the market table, don't know what to do with a particular item, have a food allergy we should know about, or if you have other questions or comments. We love to hear from you!

echocsa@gmail.com
(319)325-3910

0 comments:

CSA Newsletter, Week 11 - August 10, 13

2:05 PM Mandy 0 Comments

So very happy about nice weather! At the farm, the garlic has all been picked and fall lettuce seeds have been planted. We're also planting cover crops. And plans continue for the culinary bike rides (culinaryride.com). Here's a dilemma our farmers ponder often this time of year: most people love butterflies, but few people like the holes that caterpillars make in vegetables. No butterflies without caterpillars, so how do we find a happy medium-- eat veggies with some holes, or reduce particular caterpillar populations? Your input is appreciated!

On the table this week:
  • Hot pepper
  • Tomato
  • Zucchini
  • Cucumber
  • Potatoes
  • Onion
  • Leek
  • Garlic
  • Kale
Recipes

Tomato and Leek Quiche on a Sliced Potato Crust
  • 4 or 5 potatoes, unpeeled and sliced very thin
  • 3-4 eggs (3 large or 4 small-medium)
  • 1/3 cup milk or cream
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • a pinch of sea salt
  • 2 leeks, rinsed well and chopped
  • 2 handfuls cherry tomatoes, halved or about 1 cup diced heirloom tomato
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 tsp fennel seed (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • your favorite cheese, grated (enough to cover top of quiche lightly)
Preheat oven to 375 F. Cover the bottom of an oiled pie pan with the potato slices, making sure to overlap them and placing some slices along the side (in the same fashion as a crust would cover the vertical side of the pan). Drizzle the potatoes with oil, bake for 20 minutes, and then set aside.

Melt the butter in a skillet, add the fennel seed, and let come to a simmer for 2-3 minutes. Fennel seeds can be removed at this point or left in the saute-- I like to leave them in. Add the leeks, tomatoes, and garlic and saute on medium-low heat, about 5 minutes. Spread on the potato crust. Whip the eggs, cream, and pepper, and pour over the sauteed vegetables. Cover lightly with cheese. Bake on 400 F for 20 minutes, until eggs are firm. Very gently press top of quiche with the back of a fork to find out if the eggs are firm. Remove quiche from oven and let sit for about 10 minutes before serving.

Fresh Cucumber and Tomato Salad with Basil-Garlic Yogurt Sauce
  • 3 cucumbers
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 large or 2 small tomatoes
  • 1 avocado
  • 1/2 cup of firm tofu, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 2/3 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/2 tablespoon honey
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tablespoon olive or flax oil
  • a bunch of fresh basil (about 1/2 cup chopped)
Peel and chop cukes into thin pieces and toss in a bowl with the 1/4 tsp salt. Refrigerate for about ten minutes. While you wait, make the sauce in a blender or food processor. First process garlic, then add yogurt, honey, oil, and basil. Chop the tomato into small pieces, cube the tofu, and peel and slice the avocado into small wedges. Add tomato, tofu, and avocado to the bowl with the cukes. Gently stir in the sauce, and serve. The salad can be refrigerated for up to an hour before serving.

***
Please tell us if you can't identify something on the market table, don't know what to do with a particular item, have a food allergy we should know about, or if you have other questions or comments. We love to hear from you!

echocsa@gmail.com
(319)325-3910

0 comments:

CSA Newsletter, Week 10 - August 3 and 6

1:08 PM Mandy 0 Comments

Halfway through the CSA season, we are wondering how long the extreme heat can persist! Greenhouse zukes, tomatotoes, and peppers are not liking this weather, but some have held their own valiantly. Storage onion and potato harvest is beginning now, as is the main potato harvest. Garlic harvest is nearly 75% finished, and we are racing to get the rest in. People from all around North America are clamoring for Echo seed garlic (seed-garlic.com).

Bike enthusiasts and others interested in local food and adventure should keep their ears perked about the "culinary" bike rides Derek is currently planning to various farm destinations in our area. Echo will be hosting a stop at the farm on September 18th. More details to come, through this newsletter and culinaryride.com.

**We have plenty of basil to spare on the farm, so if you want a special huge bunch for pesto, just email echocsa@gmail.com. Offer good for the next couple of weeks.**

On the table this week:

  • Kale
  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • Zucchini
  • Basil
  • Tomato
  • Beets
  • Carrots
  • Eggplant
  • Cucumber
  • Potatoes

***

Please tell us if you can't identify something on the market table, don't know what to do with a particular item, have a food allergy we should know about, or if you have other questions or comments. We love to hear from you!

echocsa@gmail.com
(319)325-3910

0 comments:

CSA Newsletter, Week 9 - July 27 and 30

11:17 AM Mandy 0 Comments

Here we are at the forefront of climate change! The farm experienced the hottest day in 16 years this week, and then buckets of rain fell-- tumultuous conditions for the plants. We're really hoping the drying onions survive an untimely four storms. The extreme heat has stifled the flowering of many of the tomatoes, peppers, and zukes; however, our succession plantings should allow us to fill in gaps. Now it's nearly time to begin planting fall lettuces and brassicas.

** High summer is also a time when many people leave town for trips and vacations. In the past two weeks Farmer Derek has been flooded by requests from CSA members to switch their pick-up days. Though he can usually accommodate requests, at this time of year they tend to come all at once, bringing chaos into normally hectic but manageable weekly and daily picking schedules. Our farmers would greatly appreciate you keeping your scheduled pick-up day if at all possible. If you have to miss a pick-up day, have a friend pick up for you. Or, trade off pick-up days with another CSA member. **

On the table this week:
  • Leeks
  • Candy onions
  • Basil. If you have too much basil for your weekly cooking needs, you can freeze cubes to have on-hand for making sauces, post-season. Chop fresh basil and then process with just enough olive oil to make a paste-like consistency. Freeze in ice-cube trays, then transfer to freezer bags for storage.
  • Zucchini. If you are tired of zukes in savory entrees and side dishes, try the sweet recipe below.
  • Cucumber. Make a delicious cold salad with seeded and chopped cukes, fresh sweet corn, chopped tomatoes, and finely chopped candy onion. Nice tossed with a dry mustard-cider vinaigrette and feta crumbles, cheese curds, or paneer.
  • Garlic
  • Cabbage. Yummy stir-fried with carrot in fennel seed-infused oil, and topped with fresh chopped tomato.
  • Kale
  • Tomatoes
  • Eggplant. Plus basil, delicious in a green curry. Soup recipe offered below. Ratatouille recipe also below, though probably not enough eggplant this week to fill out the whole recipe.
  • Carrots
Recipes

Creamy, Spicy Eggplant Soup
  • 1 lb eggplant
  • 2 cups water or veggie broth
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 1 tsp salt, pepper
  • 1 cup dry sherry
  • 3 T sour cream
  • 2 T tahini (or soy sauce)
  • 1/2 - 1 tsp cayenne pepper (depending on your preference)
  • fresh parsley for garnish, chopped
Slice eggplant in half lengthwise and bake at 350F for 30-40 minutes face down on an oiled tray. Cool and scoop out flesh. Saute garlic and onions in some oil with salt and pepper, until onions are soft. Puree with food processor or immersion blender the eggplant pulp, water/broth, onion and garlic. Pour puree into a heavy saucepan. Add sherry, cover and heat gently. When soup has become hot, whisk in tahini (or soy sauce), sour cream and cayenne, until smooth. Cover and keep warm, serve garnished with parsley. Each serving could also be topped with yogurt, chopped tomatoes, or peppers.

Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp cinnamon (depending on your preference)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil (coconut oil makes these divinely moist)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 and 1/2 cups zucchini, grated (the more zuke, the moister the cupcake)
  • 6 oz. semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350F. Set up a 12-cup muffin/cupcake pan(s) with paper liners.

Whisk together flour, cocoa, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a small bowl. Beat together sugar, oil, egg and vanilla in a large bowl until well blended, about 2 minutes for an electric mixer. Using a large spoon, mix in flour mixture until just incorporated. Stir in zucchini, then chocolate chips.

Divide evenly between lined muffin cups. Fill cups almost to the top, because these cupcakes don’t rise much. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until tops spring back when lightly pressed. Cool and enjoy! Makes 12 cupcakes.

Ratatouille

  • 2 lbs. eggplant, cut into cubes
  • 1 3/4 tsp plus 3/4 tsp salt, divided
  • 2 1/2 lbs. tomatoes, diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup loosely packed, chopped fresh basil
  • 3/4 cup loosely packed, chopped parsley
  • 1 1/2 lbs. onions, thinly sliced
  • 3 bell peppers, cored, seeded, and chopped
  • 2 lbs. zucchini, cut lengthwise and then into ½-inch slices
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine

Place a single layer of paper towels on 2 large plates. Place the cubed eggplant onto the plates and sprinkle with 1 and 3/4 tsp salt. Allow the eggplant to sit for 20 minutes.

In a large saucepan, cook the tomatoes, garlic, black pepper, basil, and parsley, uncovered, over medium heat. In a large skillet, sauté the onions and bell peppers in a small amount of olive oil over medium-high heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are very lightly browned. Remove the skillet from the heat and transfer the browned vegetables to the tomato mixture. Pat the eggplant dry with a fresh paper towel and add it, along with the zucchini to the tomato mixture. Cover the pot and stew over low-medium heat for 45 minutes, until the vegetables are tender. Add the white wine and 3/4 tsp salt, and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Serve over a bed of quinoa.

--recipes adapted from those published by Golden Earthworm Organic Farm in Long Island, Hilltop Farms in Willow Springs, NC, and http://straightouttachocolate.wordpress.com.

***

Please tell us if you can't identify something on the market table, don't know what to do with a particular item, have a food allergy we should know about, or if you have other questions or comments. We love to hear from you!
echocsa@gmail.com
(319)325-3910

0 comments:

CSA Newsletter, Week 8 - July 20 and 23

11:26 AM Mandy 0 Comments

Onion harvest is beginning, and garlic harvest continues, despite the intense summer heat. Farmers are watering the summer crops like crazy, all hours of the night, and finding time for siesta during the hottest parts of the day.

Garlic picking.

** Call for volunteers and work trade for farm and market runnings: we need people to help us haul in onions, garlic, and potatoes. This will be ongoing, through this month and next. We also need folks to lend a hand on the CSA table setup down at the market, Wednesdays at 4:30pm and Saturdays at 7:00am. Email echocsa@gmail.com if you are available. **

On the table this week:
  • Garlic
  • Candy onion
  • Basil
  • Tomato
  • Zucchini: great in a veggie lasagna, along with garlic, tomatoes, basil, and onion. See below recipe.
  • Beet
  • Kale
  • Broccoli: try it stir fried with garlic butter and toasted cashews.
  • Turnip
  • Cabbage: try it in the miso soup recipe offered below.
More picking.

Recipes


Miso with Steamed Greens and Cabbage
  • 3-4 cups water
  • 1 lemon, quartered
  • 1 1/2 tsp fresh ginger root, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1/4-1/2 cup miso
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 cup chopped cabbage
  • 1/2 bunch chopped kale and beet greens
Put water, lemon, ginger, and miso in a saucepan and bring to a simmer, stirring to dissolve the miso. Add vegetables and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Remove lemon pieces and strain out any lemon seeds prior to serving.

Veggie Lasagna
  • 2 1/2 cups tomato sauce
  • 1 lb. ricotta cheese (or tofu)
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 1/2 lbs. summer squash
  • olive oil
  • 8 oz. no-boil lasagna noodle
  • 1 cup finely chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 lb fresh mozzarella cheese, grated or crumbled
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese
  • other ingredients from your box, such as onions or garlic (diced and sauteed just a bit, or added in raw), kale, and/or basil
Preheat oven to 350F. Oil a 9" X 12" baking pan. Make the tomato sauce. Prep the ricotta or tofu-- if wet, strain, or if dense, mash a bit-- and add salt and pepper to taste. Cut zukes in half lengthwise, then on the diagonal in thin slices. Heat oil in a skillet and add zukes to cook on medium-high heat, turning frequently until tender, about 5 minutes.

Spread 1/2 cup tomato sauce in the baking pan, then add 3 noodles on top of it. Cover with 1/3 of the ricotta or tofu, then 1/3 of the nuts, and 1/3 of the zukes, then salt and pepper. Then spread on 1/2 cup tomato sauce, 1/3 of the mozzarella, and a little shake of parmesan. Cover this with a layer of noodles, then repeat process twice more. Top final layer with remaining sauce and parmesan.

Tent the dish with foil, and bake until bubbling hot, about 40 minutes. Let rest for several minutes before serving.

(Credit to Full Belly Farm for these yummy recipes.)

Littlest garlic partier.

***

Farmer Derek received a letter from the The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition requesting public comment on a proposed rule which could affect the ways farmers receive credit and financing for their farms. Eat locally, comment thoughtfully...

Ask the FCA to adopt this new rule and bring badly needed capital to small and mid-sized farmers and ranchers producing for the local and regional market-- http://salsa.wiredforchange.com/o/5735/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=4284.

[The Farm Credit Administration (FCA) is asking the public to comment on a proposed rule that, if adopted, would direct Farm Credit System lending associations to be more responsive to the credit needs of small and mid-sized farmers and ranchers producing for local and regional food markets. The Farm Credit Administration is the federally chartered agency that oversees the nationwide network of locally-controlled and borrower-owned cooperative lending associations that make up the Farm Credit System (FCS). FCS supplies nearly 40% of all U.S. farm financing and has the capacity to provide millions of dollars in capital and technical assistance to local food producers, and to leverage other sources of capital for the task of rebuilding our local and regional food system infrastructure.]

***
Please tell us if you can't identify something on the market table, don't know what to do with a particular item, have a food allergy we should know about, or if you have other questions or comments. We love to hear from you!
echocsa@gmail.com
(319)325-3910

0 comments:

CSA Newsletter, Week 7 - July 13 and 16

8:34 AM Mandy 0 Comments

Not much news this week, beyond garlic garlic garlic. Thanks to the folks who came out this weekend and braved the 90+ temps and blazing sunny skies, the harvest was begun in earnest. More news next week, and hopefully some tomatoes by then, along with photos from the garlic party.

On the table this week:
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Potatoes
  • Kale
  • Scapes
  • Zucchini
  • Basil
  • Leeks
  • Candy onions
Recipes

Basil Walnut Vinaigrette (adapted from a Mariquita Farm recipe)
  • 1 tsp chopped garlic, or garlic scapes
  • about 20 basil leaves
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 4 tablespoons white wine or apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
Whirl the above ingredients together. Then toss with a couple of handfuls of chopped walnuts and one chopped candy onion.

Sweet Onion Tart (from Alice Waters' The Art of Simple Food)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons cold butter cut in cubes
  • 1/4 cup ice-cold water
  • 2 lbs thinly sliced candy onions (or other sweet onions)
  • few sprigs of thyme

Use a pastry blender or a plastic scraper to cut the butter into the flour and salt, until a few large clumps remain. Pour in 3/4 of the water, and stir it in with a fork. Using scraper, continue lifting and folding the dough over onto itself until it holds together, about a minute. Add more water, a few drops at a time, if needed. Wrap in plastic, and refrigerate it for an hour.

In the meantime, cook onions in a large skillet with four tablespoons of butter or olive oil (or both) and a few sprigs of thyme. Cook at least thirty minutes, until they are very soft and juicy, keeping in mind that they will still cook nearly an hour in the oven. Season well with salt. When they are cooked, cool onions for at least ten minutes in a bowl.

Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Roll out dough on a floured surface to a fourteen-inch circle. If the dough is hard when it comes out of the fridge, let it sit on the counter for twenty minutes to soften up. Pinch together any cracks that form while rolling. Place the circle on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and let it firm up in the refrigerator.

Spread the onions on the dough, leaving a small border all around and removing the thyme sprigs as you go. Fold the border over the onions, brush it with egg wash if desired, and cook for about 50 minutes, until the bottom of the crust is well browned. Let it cool completely on a rack. This tart tastes twice as good at room temperature, so try to be patient.

Potato and Leek Soup (adapted from a Golden Earthworm Farm recipe)
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 large leeks (white and pale green parts only), halved lengthwise andthinly sliced (about 4 1/2 cups)
  • 4 medium potatoes (about 18 ounces total), peeled, diced
  • 4 1/2 cups (or more) vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives, or garlic scapes

Melt butter in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add leeks, and stir to coat with butter. Cover saucepan, and cook until leeks are tender, stirring often, about 10 minutes. Add potatoes. Cover and cook until potatoes begin to soften but do not brown, stirring often, about 10 minutes. Add 4 1/2 cups broth. Bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until vegetables are very tender, about 30 minutes. Puree soup in batches in processor until smooth. Return to saucepan. Thin with additional broth if soup is too thick. Season with salt and pepper. Serve garnished with chives or scapes.

***
Please tell us if you can't identify something on the market table, don't know what to do with a particular item, have a food allergy we should know about, or if you have other questions or comments. We love to hear from you!
echocsa@gmail.com
(319)325-3910

0 comments:

CSA Newsletter, Week 6 - July 6 and 9

10:56 AM Mandy 1 Comments

Hot, dry days at the farm! A little rain before the weekend would make the farmers happy and the weekend's garlic pulling somewhat easier. This week we are stoked to have a meager, yet yummy carrot offering. And in solidarity with the majority of cool climate people of the world, we offer potatoes. We have some tasty turnips, too, from our friend Pete Flynn at Dirty Face Creek farm. (From time to time we throw in a product from friends' farms to give the veggie share more variety.)

* * *
Garlic harvest fest this weekend!

July 8-10, at Echollective Farm (879 Echo Ave., Mechanicsville, Iowa)
An all-day, multi-day work party.

Pick, clean, and trim garlic for as long as you please.
All are welcome, the more the merrier. Bring potluck vittles, gloves, hat, sunscreen, music makers. Wear workin' shoes.
Camping overnight, with notice. RSVP echocsa@gmail.com.

* * *

On the table this week:
  • Basil: pesto time! Nothing is better for wraps, sammies, and pasta. Ever tried pesto fried rice?
  • Broccoli
  • Onion: look at these beauties-- yum yum!
  • Scapes: throw a couple of scapes into your pesto (blanching them first makes them more digestible and more easily pulverized)-- process the scapes before adding the basil, parsley, oil, and salt and pepper.
  • Lettuce: perhaps the last week for it-- dress it generously, the taste may not be as good compared to earlier weeks.
  • Parsley: don't forget to put parsley in your pesto-- 1:3 is a good ratio of parsley to basil.
  • Kale: steam, dice, and add it to pasta salads before dressing. White bean and kale soup recipe offered below.
  • Zucchini: raw, grated coarsely, and dressed with a simple balsalmic vinaigrette, zukes make a nice addition to salads, sandwiches, and wraps. Grated zukes can be a tasty, slightly sweet filling for quesadillas.
  • Potatoes: find below a recipe for potatoes with olive, feta, and mint.
  • Beets: raw, grated or roasted, beets are delicious in salad. See recipe below for roasted beet and orange salad. You could even toss the finished product of this recipe with some crisp fresh lettuce!
  • Carrots
  • Turnips: nice in bean soups or stews. Can be added to salads raw, grated, and dressed-- pairs nicely with dill.
  • Purslane
Storage tips:
  • Cut the greens off beets and turnips, and refrigerate to preserve. Otherwise, greens will rob moisture from the root, and your root veggies will shrivel quickly.
  • Don't refrigerate scapes; rather, preserve in a dark place, inside an untied plastic bag. Use the same method of storing for basil.
Recipes

Roasted Beet Salad with Oranges and Beet Greens

1 bunch of beets with beet greens attached
2 medium oranges
1 small onion, cut through root end into thin wedges
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon grated orange peel

Preheat oven to 400°F. Trim greens from beets. Cut off and discard stems. Coarsely chop leaves and reserve. Wrap each beet in foil. Place beets directly on oven rack and roast until tender when pierced with fork, about 1 hour 30 minutes. Cool. Peel beets, then cut each into 8 wedges. Place beets in medium bowl. Cook beet greens in large saucepan of boiling water just until tender, about 2 minutes. Drain. Cool. Squeeze greens to remove excess moisture. Add greens to bowl with beets. Cut peel and white pith from oranges. Working over another bowl and using small sharp knife, cut between membranes to release segments. Add orange segments and onion to bowl with beet mixture. Whisk vinegar, oil, garlic, and orange peel in small bowl to blend; add to beet mixture and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour. Serve.

Tuscan White Bean and Kale Soup

2 (15 oz) cans Cannellini beans
2 T olive oil
1 bay leaf
1 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 carrots, diced
8 c vegetable stock
1 bunch kale, de-ribbed and cut into 1-inch ribbons
1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes, drained
salt and pepper
parmesan (optional)

Heat olive oil in a large, heavy pot and add onion, garlic, carrots and bay leaf. Reduce heat to medium, cook until onions are translucent. Add stock. Bring stock to boil, reduce heat to simmer and beans, kale, and tomatoes. Simmer 20 minutes. Add salt and pepper and Parmesan, if desired.

Potatoes with Olives, Feta, and Mint

1 3/4 pounds small potatoes, cut into quarters
1 bunch fresh mint, chopped
8 ounces feta-cheese, crumbled
3/4 cup brine-cured black olives (such as Kalamata), pitted, chopped
1/4 cup extra-virgin oil

Place potatoes and 3 tablespoons mint in large pot of salted water. Bring water to boil, reduce heat and simmer potatoes until tender, about 12 minutes. Drain potatoes; transfer to large bowl. Set aside 2 tablespoons each of mint, cheese and olives; add remainder to warm potatoes. Mix in oil. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish potatoes with reserved mint, cheese and olives. Serve warm.

--credit to Golden Earthworm Organic Farm in Long Island, NY for this week's recipes


***
Please tell us if you can't identify something on the market table, don't know what to do with a particular item, have a food allergy we should know about, or if you have other questions or comments. We love to hear from you!
echocsa@gmail.com
(319)325-3910

1 comments:

CSA Newsletter, Week 5 - June 29 and July 2

10:14 AM Mandy 0 Comments

Wishing for the summer sun now... we are hungry for the ripening of fruit and the fattening of garlic bulbs! Peas are done, and potatoes are starting to bloom--the first ones may make it to market next week. And over just a few rows, the Practical Farmers of Iowa are initiating the post harvest phase of their study on weed control in asparagus.

* * *
Garlic harvest fest next weekend!

July 8-10, at Echollective Farm (879 Echo Ave., Mechanicsville, Iowa)
An all-day, multi-day work party.

Pick, clean, and trim garlic for as long as you please.
All are welcome, the more the merrier. Bring some potluck vittles, gloves, hat, sunscreen, music makers. Wear your workin' shoes. Camping overnight is fine, with notice. Please RSVP echocsa@gmail.com.

* * *

Volunteers, please? We need some more happy helpers at market for July. Let us know if you are available for an hour or two on a Wednesday (4:40pm-'til) or Saturday (7:00am-'til) to help set up and staff the CSA table.

On the table:
  • Beets: these are fabulous grated raw in salads, wraps, and even pasta dishes. Toss hot pasta with a bit of coconut oil plus grated raw beet and fresh chopped basil.
  • Cabbage
  • Basil: not quite enough yet for a big batch of pesto, but it is refreshingly sweet and flavorful. Chop for garnish on a variety of dishes.
  • Garlic scapes
  • Onion
  • Parsley: throw a handful of fresh, chopped parsley into whatever vegetable dish you make near the end of cooking it. It adds a refreshing zing.
  • Lettuce
  • Broccoli: you can make your own braising mix with a few leaves of broccoli, a few of beet, and double that amount of kale leaves. Chop the mix very fine and steam, and you have the filling for a mixed green quesadilla.
  • Zucchini
  • Peas
  • Other items, to be determined on picking day

Foraging tip of the week:

Yum-- it is berry season in Iowa! Service berries are deliciously sweet this year, so scout out bushes on your walks and outings. Service berry is a tall bush popular in landscape plantings. Also, check along roadsides, alleys, and creek banks for mulberries and gooseberries. I have even found a few nice early raspberries already, but I'm not telling where!


***
Please tell us if you can't identify something on the market table, don't know what to do with a particular item, have a food allergy we should know about, or if you have other questions or comments. We love to hear from you!
echocsa@gmail.com
(319)325-3910

0 comments:

CSA Newsletter, Week 4 - June 22 and 25

9:41 AM Mandy 0 Comments

Firefly summertime evenings on Echo Ave. There are onions bulbing and a more varied assortment of zukes fruiting. A new walk-in is going in. This week's crazy weather challenge: the covering on one of the hoops took flight during some incredibly windy storms. The hoop is fixed up, but plants inside got bogged down a little. Wet weather is also complicating some of our succession plantings. Our working group from Americorps was just getting comfortable and digging in when they had to leave for Joplin, Missouri.

Thanks to volunteers helping with CSA veggies at market! You are a big help. We have many more days in July and beyond when we will need folks to stock and staff the table. Even if you only have an hour or so to lend a hand, we need ya on set-up (7:00ish on Saturdays or 4:30ish on Wednesdays). Find a sign-up list down at the market table on the CSA clipboard.

Garlic harvest festival is right around the corner-- July 8-10. It's an all-day, multi-day work party at Echollective Farm (879 Echo Ave., Mechanicsville, Iowa). Pick, clean, and trim garlic for as long as you please. All are welcome, the more the merrier. Bring some potluck vittles, gloves, hat, sunscreen, music makers. Wear your workin' shoes. Camping overnight is fine, with notice.
Please RSVP echocsa@gmail.com.


On the table this week
:
  • Garlic scapes
  • Lettuce
  • Zucchini
  • Broccoli
  • Kale
  • Peas
  • Parsley
  • Other items, yet to be determined
***
Please tell us if you can't identify something on the market table, don't know what to do with a particular item, have a food allergy we should know about, or if you have other questions or comments. We love to hear from you!
echocsa@gmail.com
(319)325-3910

0 comments:

Farm Photos

12:23 PM Mandy 1 Comments

I posted some new photos from the farm! Follow the "Photos" link below the header to view them.

1 comments:

CSA Newsletter, Week 3 - June 15 and 18

12:22 PM Mandy 0 Comments

Steady rain on the farm this week has bolstered lots of vegetative growth and somewhat easier weeding! Freshly weeded and mulched potatoes are looking beautiful. Hat tip to our very wise farmers for companion planting the taters with catnip, to keep flea bettles off their leaves. Focus turns now to summer crops and repelling insects-- interplanting eggplant and peppers with alliums, planting lots of zucchini to ensure plenty of healthy flowers and, later, fruit. Tomatoes are brimming with flowers. Sweet cicely seeds have come ripe and sweet. Oriole nests abound. In the woods, folks are spotting big patches of deer mushrooms... Summer solstice approaches.

potatoes, mulched and hilled up

Big thanks to CSA folks for the help on the farm and at market. Farmer/foodslinger Derek says, "Free coffee and burrito at Local Burrito for volunteers!" If you're interested in volunteering for markets, find the sign-up sheet on the CSA clipboard down at market, and mark a slot.

See those scapes on the market table? The beginning of garlic harvest is just a few weeks away! Stay tuned for info on the Garlic Fest. And feel free to get involved in the planning. I am busily brainstorming designs for a garlic stalk/leaf labyrinth. If anyone has ideas, please shoot 'em our way (echocsa@gmail.com).

On the table:
  • Garlic scape. The seed pod of the garlic plant, which curls as it grows tall and then slowly uncurls. They are most succulent when still curled, with an asparagus-like texture and a mild garlic flavor. Harvesting the scape helps the plant to concentrate growth energy in the bulb. Scapes can be diced and added to salad dressings, soups, sauces, marinades, stir-fries, scrambled eggs. They can be sauteed in oil or butter to accompany potatoes... Scapes store well for weeks in the fridge, but used fresh is always best! To preserve them for longer, scapes can be pickled. Check out this lovely recipe: http://www.washingtonsgreengrocer.com/blog/pickled-garlic-scapes-flowers-coriander-lavender-and-black-pepper.htm.
  • Head lettuce. What to do with so much lettuce? Throw a handful of leaves into a mixed berry or berry-banana smoothie. Lettuces can be full of vitamins A, K, C and folate and manganese as well. Try the lettuce soup recipe below.
  • Asparagus
  • Bok choy, the last of it for a while.
  • Mint
  • Oregano. Add whole oregano leaves and diced scapes to chickpea or other bean salads.
  • Turnip
  • Dandelion
  • Broccoli. The leaves are great sauteed or steamed along with dandelion, beet, and/or kale leaves. (All cook in about the same time.)
  • Kale
  • Peas-- sweet, crisp, and yummy! Try a garlic scape and pea stir-fry.
  • Beets
  • Salad mix. Toss some finely chopped dandelion leaves, peas, mint, and grated beet with your salad mix, and dress with a scape-balsalmic vinaigrette.
***

Recipes

Lettuce Soup
  • 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced or finely diced (or 4-5 scapes)
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 head of lettuce, washed and cut into thin slices or several handfuls green lettuce
  • 5 cups of water (0r broth)
  • 1/4 cup of coarsely chopped fresh basil (or the same amount of oregano or of beet, broccolini, and dandelion leaves, chopped)
  • 1/2 to 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar or lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot, heat oil over medium high heat until hot. Add onions and sprinkle with a little salt, reduce heat to medium and saute until onions become translucent. Then add the garlic cloves and saute for a minute or two.

Add the water and potatoes and some salt and pepper. If you have thick, tougher lettuce leaves, add now as well. If you have thinner, tender lettuce, simmer for ten minutes, then add. At this point, simmer for about another 7 minutes, then add the quarter-cup of chosen fresh herbs (or greens). Simmer until everything is soft and add vinegar or lemon juice. Then blend in a blender! Salt and pepper to taste and serve.

zukes flowering and fruiting

***
Please tell us if you can't identify something on the market table, don't know what to do with a particular item, have a food allergy we should know about, or if you have other questions or comments. We love to hear from you!
echocsa@gmail.com
(319)325-3910

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CSA Newsletter, Week 2 - June 8, 11

8:47 PM Mandy 0 Comments

Mad heat! Summer zukes and tomatoes are flourishing, while the Spring choy, lettuce, and other greens bolt and flower. New brassicas are coming up now, and broccolini is likely just around the corner. Garlic scapes are nearly ready for market, and garlic harvest is just a month away.

**A massive hail storm Tuesday night destroyed Echo's greens! Many crops, like the garlic, broccoli, and kale, will make it through or bounce back. Other crops may have been damaged so that they do not produce well. Take care to eat the veggies we deliver to you this week soon, as some of them may have some bruising and therefore will not store well. The farmers are doing all they can to continue delivering food to market.**

Want to lend a hand in the field or just drive out to tour the farm? Saturday afternoons are great for that, or really any day except Friday. Call (319)325-3910 or email echocsa@gmail.com, to make plans. The address is 879 Echo Ave., Mechanicsville.

On the table this week:
  • Bok choy
  • Radish: a bit past their prime, our pretty red radishes are starting to taste spicy.
  • Nettle: the hairs on the underside of the leaves are the part of the plant that can still sting sensitive folks a little even after harvest, so take care when handling. See more info on nettle and cooking ideas in last week's letter. If you don't feel adventurous enough to cook nettle, it makes a great compost starter or compost tea.
  • Bunch spinach: spanikopita is this week's idea for assorted dark leafies greens like spinach and nettle (see below recipe).
  • Arugula
  • Garlic
  • Broccoli
  • Red head lettuce
  • Asparagus: may be the last of the asparagus this year
  • Spearmint: make a simple syrup (see below recipe) and mix into fruit juices, lemonades, iced teas, smoothies, or cocktails.
  • Purslane: most people weed it, so why not eat it? Purslane is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids (more than some fish oil supplements and more readily available to the body), vitamins E, A, and C, and many necessary minerals. The mucilaginous leaves are lemony and crisp. Chop or add whole leaves to salads. Added to the sauce near the end of cooking, it gives a slightly sour flavor to curry dishes. South Indian recipes often include it. Could be added to potato salad or cucumber-tomato salad.
  • Plus more....will be determined by weather patterns
***

Recipes
...Enjoy!
Spearmint Simple Syrup
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
Bring sugar and water to a boil in a saucepan. Add mint leaves. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer and cook until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Transfer syrup to a small metal bowl and let sit until cool, about 10 minutes. Use warm, let cool to room temperature, or store covered and chilled.

Mixed Greens Spanikopita (adapted from an awesome recipe blogged by Organique Gal)
  • 3-4 quarts (total) chopped dark leafy greens (fresh young nettles, spinach, arugula, purslane)
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • basil, oregano, marjoram and thyme to taste (2-3 tsp of each should work)
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 c provolone, grated
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 package frozen phyllo, thawed
  • 1 cup feta, crumbled

Thaw phyllo. Preheat oven to 350F. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9×13 baking pan.

Filling: Prep nettles by rinsing in a colander and trimming stems off. Use gloves if you are sensitive to nettle stings. Saute onion and garlic in olive oil. Add nettles, press them down, and cover to cook for 3-4 minutes, until nettles are just shrinking down. Add other greens, cover to cook 3 more minutes. Add herb seasonings. Pour this saute into a large bowl. Add ricotta cheese, provolone, and 2 eggs, and mix well.

Roll thawed phyllo out, and place phyllo under a damp dish towel on the stack to keep the phyllo moist. This is important, and you must work quickly with it as it can get dry and brittle and is hard to work with if exposed to the air too long. Place a layer of phyllo on the bottom of the pan and brush lightly with butter. Place another layer and do the same. Repeat this process until you have used half the phyllo. Pour filling over the phyllo, and sprinkle crumbled feta on top. Repeat layering phyllo until you have used the rest in the package. Cut spanikopita in diagonal pieces before baking.

Bake in oven for an hour. Top will be golden brown. Serve with a fresh wild herb salad, french bread and a hearty red wine.

***

Please tell us if you can't identify something on the market table, don't know what to do with a particular item, have a food allergy we should know about, or if you have other questions or comments. We love to hear from you!

echocsa@gmail.com
(319)325-3910

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2011 CSA Newsletter Week 1 - June 1, 4

8:08 AM Mandy 0 Comments

Tomatoes are flowering in the field, and the first week of CSA deliveries is heeeeerrre! Members can come down to the Iowa City Farmers Market weekly on Wednesdays and Saturdays and pick up veggies at the Echollective stall. Deliveries run for 20 weeks. This means you'll have veggies through the second week of October, barring unforeseen weather events. Some pointers on picking up:
  • Bring shopping bags or a box with you, as we will have a "buffet style" table set up for CSA where you will pick your own veggies. We will have empty boxes ($1 deposit on those this year) available if you forget your bags.
  • Do come on the day you set as your pick-up day when you signed up.
  • Remember to bring the balance of your subscription cost this week when you pick up. If you need to find out what you owe, you can use the Small Farm Central site to do that (http://echollectivefarm.smallfarmcentral.com/members/statusemail). Or, call Derek (319-325-3910) or Mandy (319-400-0987) to find out. Remember that work trade is an option for payment-- see below for details.
  • If for some reason you cannot pick up, please let us know in advance.
**Check it out: CSA members get $1 off super-yummy breakfast burritos at Local Burrito (at the market on Saturdays)!**

Veggies this week include:
  • Bok choy: A stir fry standard, also yummy grilled. Makes scrumptious pesto (see recipe below).
  • Radish: Nice sliced thin on salad, or drizzled with butter.
  • Nettle: A wildcrafted item full of vitamins and minerals (calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, potassium, vit Bs and vit A), it packs a sting while it grows and retains some of that sting until it is either cooked or dried. Should be prepared like other dark leafies, steamed, sauteed, or simmered. Works nicely in curries, soups, and sauces. Mix it with your braising greens. A nutritive, cooling tea can be made by infusing nettles with mint and/or lemon balm.
  • Bunch spinach
  • Arugula: Delicious raw in green salads or added to pesto.
  • Green garlic: Dice finely and whisk into a simple balsamic vinaigrette and dress your salad greens!
  • Head lettuce
  • Asparagus: Grill, stir fry, or steam.
  • Mint
  • Cilantro: Chop and add raw to bean salads or relishes. You can make very tasty pestos with cilantro (see below recipe).
  • Turnips: A great addition to soups.
Storing radishes: Remove the greens (since they draw out moisture otherwise), and refrigerate in an open plastic bag in the crisper drawer. Try to use within 1-2 days.

Cooking with green garlic: These are new garlic plants that have sent up their shoots but have not yet formed bulbs. They have the characteristic aroma of garlic, but they have a milder taste than mature garlic cloves. You can use the white and pale green parts of the plant (most if not all of what has been provided). Try it sauteed in scrambled eggs or with asparagus. It is also delicious grilled. Incorporate some finely diced pieces into mashed potatoes. Add it to the broth for a delicate spring vegetable soup (pea soup with green garlic is also nice). Green garlic should keep refrigerated about as long as green onions, though if your plants have young bulbs forming on them, those bulbs may keep a bit longer.

Using asparagus: Try to use your asparagus very soon, as it loses sugar and moisture after harvest and goes limp. (Cold storage won't delay this process.) Use it before the butts of the asparagus spears begin to look dry, shriveled, or cracked.

Some pesto recipes... I find myself making spreads and pestos out of a variety of Echo veggies when I need to clear out space in my fridge for fresh veg. Toss pesto with hot pasta, or spread on wraps, crackers, or chips. Pesto can be nice with eggs and waffles.

Cilantro Miso Pesto
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped cilantro (3 ounces)
  • 2 to 4 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews, sunflower seeds, or hulled hemp seeds (or a combo of these)
  • 2 tablespoons sweet white miso, mellow white miso or sweet barley miso
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (optional)
Chop garlic and cilantro in a food processor until minced. Add other ingredients and process until well blended.

Bok Choy Pesto
  • 2 cups bok choy, cleaned & chopped
  • 1/2 cups raw cashews
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 inch piece of ginger, minced
  • 1/4 c parmesan cheese, grated (or sunflower seeds + couple tablespoons of nutritional yeast, for vegan option)
  • 1/3 c olive oil
  • small splash of toasted sesame oil
  • pinch of salt & pepper
Pulse bok choy, cashews, garlic, and ginger in a food processor until ingredients are chopped and combined. Drizzle in olive oil while food processor runs, making the pesto. Add salt, pepper, and sesame oil and pulse a few more times. Done!

Spinach and cilantro.

* * *
& in the spirit of CSA...

Here's a hopeful call for more members to volunteer for distribution/delivery at market! This is an easy way to meet and help out your fellow CSA members, while deepening your commitment to the local food network. If you have older kids bring 'em along and introduce them to the world of food and marketing. If you are interested in setting up and running the CSA pick-up table, email echocsa@gmail.com.

We need help on the farm, too. Things are really bustling in the field, so folks interested should call and come on out!! Volunteer or work off the remaining balance on your share, and learn more about how we grow your food. Set something up with Derek by phone or email. We try to get people out to the farm for 4-hour sessions on busy days but will work with your schedule too. For work trade, half the cost of a couple-size share can be traded for 6-7 4-hour blocks of work. This week we've been extra busy getting fresh salad greens to school kids in the ICCSD-- part of our farm-to-school efforts-- and we need big help with weeding!

* * *

Jes and Randall's Wild Foods Walk & Potluck was held May 15th. After a stormy morning, the sun came out and blessed this springtime Sunday stroll 'round the farm! We identified many plants-- cleavers, nettles, sweet cicely, fiddleheads, and more-- talked about their nutritive and medicinal qualities, and discussed how they could be prepared in the kitchen. We went through the woods, too, to find solomon seal and some others. Potluck goodness included a chickpea dandelion salad, chai with burdock and dandelion root, and candied violets. Thanks to all who came.

**We'd love more input on and involvement with future events out at the farm -- potlucks, field days, and Garlic Fest are upcoming.**

Here are some photos from the blissful walk...


Some of the group who gathered. Caroline is collecting some plants for her hat.

Liliona, having a happy good time on the walk.

Selah with her wind-mohawk, and Mandy.

***
Please tell us if you can't identify something on the market table, don't know what to do with a particular item, have a food allergy we should know about, or if you have other questions or comments. We love to hear from you!
echocsa@gmail.com
(319)325-3910

0 comments:

8:20 PM Laura Zeigler 0 Comments


Dandelion+Love=Food
There are so many tasty ways to prepare dandelions. Really who knew that such delicious dishes could come from my LAWN :) The dandelions in the photos are form Echolective and were scrumptious!
Here are a few ideas for how to eat dandies:

The unopened buds are delicious tossed in a little melted butter or coconut oil. Because they can get pretty soggy in a frying pan, I think it's better to toss them in the oil and salt them and then roast them on 400 in the oven.

I made a delicious carrot, dandelion root, ginger curry. Here is my recipe:
3 large carrots
1 cup dandelion roots
2 TBS ginger root
1/2 large onion
1/2 tsp marjoram
2-3 TBS butter or coconut oil
1/2 tsp garam masala/ curry powder

Dice carrots, onion, dandelions and ginger. Melt the oil. Cook the onions first, when soft ad the ginger, marjoram and garam masala. Immediately add the carrots and dandy roots. Add water if needed to keep from burning. Saute until tender.

Dandelion greens are great in salad and cooked. I quite enjoyed them in quiche and an omelet.

Finally here is a link for a good dandelion flower burger! Yum! http://fat-of-the-land.blogspot.com/2008/04/dandy-burger.html

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Edible Wild Plants Walk/Dinner

2:45 PM Jes 0 Comments

I was able to sit down with Randall last weekend to collaborate and organize our ideas we've been formulating this Spring in hosting some workshops at the Farm! We both were getting giddy with our enthusiasm even after we downed the Scullcap/Lemon balm tea. To start things rolling, a basic wild foods (mostly plants) walk and dinner was in order. Randall, who has studied at ISU in Ecology and an extensive self-study, with I, who had studied from a non-Western, non-scientific, Indigenous perspective of health and plants and the earth will give a guided walk with plant identification, giving you full spectrum knowledge of the medicinal, edible, and utilitarian uses. We'll have a follow-up, covering plant and harvest Ethics, handouts, and a Wild Foods Dinner! Yep, we'll cook up and fix up some wild dishes and drinks for you to sample. ( helps for retaining all the info we dish out from the walk). If you're keen on it, bring your own wild dish/drink to share, and if you don't fill up, stay for the Potluck! This will be Sunday, May 15th at 1:00-3pm. $15 suggested donation for the class(Trades welcome, too!). Bring your friends and kids and kids' friends.

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