Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Bok Choy!

Hello everyone!  I bet we're all really appreciating that ol' mama Nature has turned the thermostat down some.  Us farmers here at the Echollective are!  Nice cool breezes, partly cloudy skies, and intermittent rain have been wonderful for the crops we have in now, as well as relieving for ourselves.  Fall is soon to come.  And with it, yet another reminder to those interested: We have Fall CSA shares available and sign-up is now open!  Click the "CSA Sign-up" tab above to take part in our farm!  The sooner the better; we can have more time to plan how much to plant for our future members and we cannot guarantee a share for everyone who has participated with us in the past!

Seems like there are still a few spells of heat here and there yet to come, however.  It's a tad bit deceiving and many of us think we can make it through the day with less water!  Even though it gets 20 degrees cooler, with full sun it is still imperative to chug as much water as possible (and go through several cans of Gatorade powder in a week).  Don't be fooled, you outside workers out there.  Today, for instance, we've been dealing with hotter winds and highs in the 80s....and I am on liter number two of Gatorade!  Obey your thirst.

But fall can't be kept at bay forever.  The leaves are turning and we've already had one night reach down into the 40s!  Other signs of fall are becoming prominent.  Bald eagles, hawks, and various raptors are flocking together with their kind, soaring the thermals above our farm.  We see the vultures less and less as they leave for warmer places like Texas or Mexico.  The goldenrods are in full bloom, dusting the roadsides with those feathery yellow flowers.  So is the ragweed!  This may be of interest to some, but since goldenrod and ragweed bloom at the same time, a lot of folks who believe their allergies are due to goldenrod pollen should know that it is actually solely due to the ragweed; ragweed pollen being so prolific it is even found intermingled with that of goldenrod!

For those interested in herbal medicine: what can you do with goldenrod?  And what can you do with sneezy ragweed?  Ironically enough, ragweed can be a remedy for allergies themselves!  Small amounts will stimulate just enough antihistamine to help relieve sneezes and even clear your sinuses.  Goldenrod blossoms, when dried, can be used for bringing down fevers or for treating complaints of the kidneys or urinary system.

With some luck and providence our basil, eggplants and peppers will keep going a while longer.  Our beans finally kicked in, reaping us an amazing 75 pounds in two days.  The new squashes we've planted have given us more harvest than we know what to do with!  We're swimming in raven zucchinis, yellow zephyrs and magda squashes.  Thank goodness we planted cucumbers at the last minute!  We've had an excellent production of those.  Our Sungold tomatoes are beginning to wither, so their days are numbered!

 No worries, though.  Once our hot summer crops have waned away, we have a hefty army of plants ready for fall.  This passing week has seen a lot of time put into pouncing on any pesky weeds popping up amongst our fall crops, such as lettuces, green and red bok choy, radishes, young broccoli and turnips.  We're making sure we're a step or two ahead of them.  Once our plants are a certain size they do well enough on their own to out compete any nearby weeds.  We've been keeping them down with a few afternoons of diligent hoeing and hand-weeding.  Our fields look great!  There's nothing more pleasing than seeing the vibrant contrasting colors of rows upon rows of fall greens after a field has been cleared of thistle and sprouting ragweed.  Lines of green, purple and red, set against the newly-turned, fluffy chocolate soil.  Boy, this imagery is enough to make me hungry.

 CSA this week will boast the same great selection we had for you last week- with a new addition!   Bok choy!  Our heads have become immense from all the rain and we gotta get them out of the ground.  All you CSA members will be the first to receive our delicious fall bok choy.

Just you wait...we'll be seeing you at market!

On your plate this week:

  • Kale bunch
  • Green beans
  • Sungold cherry tomatoes
  • Sweet Peppers
  • Zucchini
  • Yellow Zephyr Summer Squash
  • Basil
  • Garlic
  • Salad Mix
  • Radishes
  • Potatoes
  • Bok Choy!

Recipes

Sauteed Bok Choy Recipe (www.chow.com)

INGREDIENTS
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger (from 1/2-inch piece)
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 1/2 pounds bok choy (about 2 medium bunches), cleaned, ends trimmed, and cut on the bias into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/4 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • Salt (optional)
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. In a large frying pan with a tightfitting lid, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant but not brown, about 30 seconds.
  2. Add the bok choy and, using tongs, fold it into the garlic-ginger mixture until coated, about 1 minute. Add the soy sauce and water, cover, and cook until steam accumulates, about 1 minute. Uncover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the greens are just wilted, the stalks are just fork tender but still crisp, and most of the water has evaporated, about 2 minutes.
  3. Turn off the heat, stir in the sesame oil, and season with salt if desired.


Roasted Peppers Stuffed with Cherry Tomatoes, Onion, and Basil (www.mariquita.com)

Preheat oven to 425F and lightly oil a large shallow baking pan.
 
Halve bell peppers lengthwise and discard seeds and ribs. Arrange peppers, cut sides up, in baking pan and lightly oil cut edges and stems. Halve tomatoes and chop onion and basil. Finely chop garlic and in a bowl toss with tomatoes, onion, basil, 2 tablespoons oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Divide mixture among peppers and roast in upper third of oven until peppers are tender, about 20 minutes. adapted from Gourmet
 
 
Radish Curry (giniann.wordpress.com)

Ingredients

  • A bunch of red radish – contains 6 to 8 radishes.
  • Onion- one small, sliced.
  • Garlic- 2 or 3 small cloves crushed
  • Green chilis – 8 small, crushed
  • Turmeric powder- a pinch.
  • Oil for saute
  • Mustard seeds – a pinch
  • Curry leaves- a sprig
  • Salt to taste
  • The leaves: Roll all the leaves together and slice into long shreds.

Method:
Clean the radishes and cut them as you would slice an apple. Clean the leaves, if you want to use
 them in the dish.

radish-curry2.jpg

In a pan, add some oil. When it is hot, add the mustard seeds.
When the mustard seeds splutter, add curry leaves and onions. Saute for 3-5 mins till edges of the onions turn slightly brown.
Add the crushed garlic and chilis, and turmeric powder. Saute for about a minute or even less.
Add the radishes, mix well and add salt. Cook covered for about 3-4 mins.
Once the radish seems soft, remove the lid and crank up the heat. Saute on high heat for a couple more minutes. The radishes will be soft yet crunchy.
After you remove the radishes onto a plate, in the same pan quickly saute the leaves for a few seconds and add it to the top of the radishes.

For best results, serve right off the stove. The dish takes less than 15mins. Make this right before your meal.

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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!

 
 

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