Sunday, September 20, 2015

Fall CSA Sign-Ups Now Open - One Season to Another!

Greetings all!

Here's to hoping that these slightly less hot temps, interspersed with bouts of refreshing cold, are treating everyone well as Summer transitions into Fall.

Here at Echollective, production is still flowing!  Market stands and CSA boxes remain full.  Tomatoes are still coming out of our high-tunnels, plump and fresh, while we continue awaiting a new round of delicious, delectable greens for Fall - such as arugula, kale, and bok choy!

Winter squash is ripening slowly on the vine, and it's become the time to prepare our Garlic seed for yet another Garlic planting season.  Machines, deft hands, and quick eyes are quickly cleaning and comparing bulbs we've spent the last few months pulling and hoisting in from the field.

As the seasons come and go, so do our CSA's!  We want to thank everyone who has participated in our Summer CSA season, and extend an invite to anyone who doesn't want to see an end to our veggie goodness, to sign up for Fall.

Interested in Signing Up?  Contact us soon, space is limited and our Fall CSA begins next week!  Feel free to email or call, and find Farmer Derek's contact info on our "Contact Us" page above.

Pick ups will continue to be at the Downtown Iowa City's Farmer's Markets for a time, Saturdays and Wednesdays right at the Echollective Farms Market booth- up until Market season is over.  Then, pickups will most likely be moving to another location, once market ends.

Cost for the Fall CSA Season (8 weeks) is $170.  Our Fall CSA Seasons always end with a special, end-of-the-season Thanksgiving box...so keep that in mind!

We hope to be hearing from you soon.  Enjoy the last vestiges of Summer!

-Adrian at Echollective


Wednesday, July 8, 2015

From One Potter to Another

"Peter lost one of his shoes among the cabbages, the other among the potatoes."
 
~ Beatrix Potter
 







We have a good bunch of delicious for you this week... and oh, yes, I thought last week was my last blog but here I am again, quoting and blogging.  Kind of like a weed in the garden I sort of keep going.  I am back, amidst a move, to report to you all what you have coming this week at market pick up.  I have been spending my final days hard at work to trellis and weed tomatoes so they are easy to access by those who follow my footsteps. 

Cabbage has come on like crazy and did you know you can get fresh potatoes now? They are fresh and need to be refrigerated because they are not fall potatoes. So take them and cook them! They are not for storage.

Here is this week's garden gathering:

Potatoes
Kohl Rabi
Scapes
Kales
Bunched Rainbow Chard
Cabbage
Broccoli
Cucumbers

And for what to do with that Cabbage?

Summer Slaw
 
  • 1 large head savoy cabbage, shredded
  • 2 carrots, peeled and grated
  • 2 stalks celery, finely sliced
  • 4 scallions, finely sliced into rings
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons good-quality white wine vinegar
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • cup finely chopped pecans
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
 
  1. In a very large bowl, combine cabbage, carrots, celery and scallions. Toss to mix.
  2. In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise, buttermilk, honey and vinegar. Whisk until smooth. Pour over slaw, and toss until vegetables are well coated with dressing.
  3. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add pecans and cranberries, and toss again until evenly distributed. Cover, and refrigerate until serving.
 

Always a pleasure to connect with you all.

Jess

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The Land Has A Quality of Time Which Steadies Us.

"The land has a quality of time which steadies us.  When you come to a place, honor her rhythm and her voice."

~Fredric Lehrman








While we don't have any to offer yet, sungold tomatoes are really starting to pop and we are excited to get them coming to you soon! The winds of change are blowing at the farm and my time here has come to an end.  I will miss your smiling faces and beautiful spirits at market and will also miss chatting here with you on the blog.  But I am passing the torch and am sure the lineage of farm speak here will keep doing just fine. :)  So, onto the CSA news. This week's share is a super yummy one:

Potatoes
Kohl Rabi
Turnips
Scapes
Kale Bunches
Rainbow Chard Bunches
Romaine Lettuce
Zucchini
Something a little extra? :)

Now for what to do with that kale!

Massaged Kale with Outstanding Miso Sesame Dressing (high raw, vegan, gluten free)

Makes 1 1/4 cups

1/4 cup mellow white miso
3 tbsp agave nectar
1/4 cup tahini (raw is preferable, but roasted is fine, and less costly)
2 tbsp tamari
1 tsp grated, fresh ginger
1/2 cup water + more as needed
1) Blend all ingredients together on high. Add more water if the mixture is too thick.

1 bunch curly kale
1 large beefsteak tomato, chopped
1 large bell pepper (or 2 small), chopped
1) De-stem, chop, and wash kale well
2) Add about 1/3-1/2 cup of the miso dressing to the kale. Using your hands, “massage” dressing into salad well, till it’s a little wilted in texture.
3) Add tomatoes and peppers, and toss. Serve!

Compliments of Choosing Raw: http://www.choosingraw.com/outstanding-miso-sesame-dressing/

Thanks for another week of membership with us.  It has been an honor to serve you all.

Jess

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Officially Summer!

"What is one to say about June, the time of perfect young summer, the fulfillment of the promise of the earlier months, and with as yet no sign to remind one that its fresh young beauty will fade."
~ Gertrude Jekyll










We are well into the summer CSA but it is now officially summer, the heat and crazy storms are on! So many people got hit this week with really bad storming and while we got a good bit of rain, we also got really lucky to have avoided the damage as with our surrounding areas.  Our hearts go out to all were affected and we also give thanks for being narrowly missed. We do though look forward to some more dry weather so we can out into the fields with a tractor and get work done that is being put on hold.  The deer are certainly active and as much as they like to eat our chard and lettuce it makes us happy to see them simply munching on clover, as the one pictured here was doing next to the house!  

Now to what you are munching on this week:

Lettuce Heads
Summer Potatoes
Turnips
Garlic Scapes
Kale Bunches
Chard Bunches
A surprise or two :)

What to do with turnips?! They often perplex people and these early spring and summer ones we grow are great to eat raw but you can also boil them. With a quick boil, they are a delicious addition to any meal.  Dice, boil and drizzle with olive oil.  Add a little sea salt, cracked black pepper and/or a squeeze of lemon and they are divine!

We hope your transition into summer is going smoothly and appreciate each and every one of you who support local foods and our hard work to get them to you.

Your Echo Team



Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Rain Makes Rainbows

"The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain."
~ Dolly Parton






Rainbow Chard Freshly Picked


We have had our fair share of rain!  One storm in particular bruised up a good bit of our lettuce and bok choi fields and a lot of stuff is beginning to bolt with this heat wave we are having.  So it goes this time of year.  We do still have a lot growing and thriving.  We are doing our best to get it to you before the deer eat it!  They are particularly fond of the rainbow chard and lettuce heads.  Many a baby fawn have been spotted in the fields and we can hardly blame them.  We grow good food.
It is a crazy busy week as our right hand man, Will Lorentzen, is getting married and the farm owner, Derek Roller, will be out of town.  So thank you to all of you, in advance, as this week will be a one of maintenance more than one of all out work. Congrats, Will and Adrian!

Considering the damage from the storms, we should have a pretty great CSA offering this week. We have:

Asparagus
Bok Choi
Lettuce Heads
Shiitake Mushrooms
Bunched Rainbow Chard
Turnips
Scapes
Lambs Quarters
Bunched Kale

Here is a simple and delicious way to use rainbow chard!

Sautéed Rainbow Chard with Garlic and Lemon

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil 
3 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced (or you can use your scapes!)
4 pounds rainbow or ruby chard—thick stems discarded, inner ribs removed and cut into 2-inch lengths, leaves cut into 2-inch ribbons 
Salt and freshly ground pepper 
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  1. In a large pot, heat 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Stir in the garlic and cook over moderately high heat until lightly golden, about 1 minute. Add the chard leaves in large handfuls, allowing each batch to wilt slightly before adding more. Season the chard with salt and pepper and cook, stirring, until the leaves are softened and most of the liquid has evaporated, about 8 minutes. Transfer the chard to a bowl. Wipe out the pot. 
  2. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the pot. Add the chard ribs and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the wilted chard leaves and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a bowl, sprinkle with the lemon zest and serve right away. 

Compliments of:  http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/sauteed-rainbow-chard-with-garlic-and-lemonhttp://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/sauteed-rainbow-chard-with-garlic-and-lemon

Additionally, a side note about Lambs Quarters...

It is a local wild food, belonging to the same family as spinach and chard.  It is super nutritious and ours is pesticide free. :) It is a lovely cooked green.  Just treat it like you would spinach.  It makes really yummy pesto!

Have a super week folks and thanks again for joining us in keeping food local!

Your Echo Team

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Scape Time!

"There are many miracles in the world to be celebrated and, for me, garlic is the most deserving."
~ Leo Buscaglia













You have all asked us about them, eagerly and patiently awaited them and here is Gwen picking them, yes; garlic scapes are now on the menu.  Keep reading to find out what else she discovered! Not only are scapes fun because of their unique shape and as a conversation piece for dinner parties, they last for a long time in the refrigerator and taste amazing in just about anything.  I find them to be an amazing compliment to egg dishes. (see recipe below)

We are always finding all kinds of surprises on the farm as we work.  Today, Gwen found a little tree frog on a scape.  I guess they like them!  Tree frogs have good taste and so do our CSA Members. :)








This week's pickings:

Spinach
Asparagus
Bok Choi
Head Lettuce
Spring Turnip
Braise Mix
Scapes!
Sneaky Surprise

With this week's abundance, my recommendation is an egg dish.  Scapes and asparagus go so well with eggs for breakfast or dinner.


Garlic Scape Pesto Scrambled Eggs with Asparagus and Mushrooms

Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon garlic scape pesto
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 4 cremini mushrooms (sliced)
  • 4 asparagus spears (cleaned, trimmed and cut into 1 inch slices)
  • salt and pepper to taste
Directions
  1. Lightly beat the garlic scape pesto into the eggs.
  2. Heat the oil in a pan.
  3. Add the mushrooms and saute until tender, about 3-5 minutes.
  4. Add the asparagus and saute until tender, about 3 minutes.
  5. Add the eggs and stir until they are cooked, about 1-3 minutes.
  6. Season with salt and pepper.


 If you do not want to make the pesto, simply dice the scapes and add them.  They stand alone just fine! If the pesto sounds fun, here is a recipe to try.  It is super easy.  Also, you can easily add some of your spinach from this week too.

Garlic Scape Pesto

  • 1 cup garlic scapes (sliced 1/4 inch thick)
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts (toasted)
  • 1/4 cup parmigiano reggiano (grated)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • lemon juice to taste (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Place everything into a food processor and blend.
Compliments of:

http://www.closetcooking.com/2009/07/garlic-scape-pesto-scrambled-eggs-with.html 

We hope you are staying cool this week.  It has been a hot one!

Your Echo Team



Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Hello Deer.

“If you are doing the right thing for the earth, she's giving you great company.” 
~ Dr. Shiva Vandana













Look at who is popping up out of the ground with vigor and spirit? Candy onions!  While we tend to them, many varieties of lettuce, garlic, asparagus, kale, arugula, radishes, asian greens, bok choi, spinach, rapini, leeks, peppers, tomatoes, basil, rosemary, mint,  rainbow chard and many others, nature always throws a curve ball or several. One of our greenhouses was lovingly foraged by deer.  We will just assume they are grateful for our hard work. He, he... We are finding fawns tucked into our cover rye and vetch as we attempt to work peacefully with these beauties.  They really just got away with come mouths full of rainbow chard.  Deer must love rainbows as much as we do.  It is a good thing we planted a lot of it and in various areas.  That said, the chard that is left standing in greenhouse three and the stuff in our new CAT house looks and tastes pretty amazing! 

Earlier this spring, I was fortunate to go see Dr. Shiva Vandana speak at the Englert Theater.  What an amazing woman and presence she is.  She speaks to the importance of seed protection and how much women actually play a part in that if we band together with our sisters and our brothers to speak for this.  Not just speak for this but to actually do something that encourages communities having the right to growing their own food however they see fit, with the pressures of big agriculture constantly posing curve balls.  I was so very inspired by her and I hope you all have the chance to meet her or at least read some of her material.  Or watch videos on youtube.  Pure inspiration and motivation.

We, here at Echollective, are doing all we can to lead the charge here locally and our CSA members are every bit a part of it as we are with their intimate support and enjoyment of how it works from the ground up.  Our market shoppers and those who look for us local grocery stores and New Pioneer Co-op are also hugely important to this way of life being restored.  Thank you so much to all of you!

Now.  This week's CSA share!

Spinach
Asaparagus
Arugula
Radishes
Mint
Head Lettuce
Braise Mix (Cooking greens)
Asian Greens
Spring Turnips
(Surely something else)

Usually, simple is a good way to start with a vegetable that you are not familiar with.  Our Asian greens are either Vitamin Greens or Tokyo Bekana.  Either way, to gain familiarity with the flavor you can taste a bit of it raw, which is delicious, and also cook a really simple side dish with it to give your taste buds a friendly introduction. :)  Here is a simple recipe to get you started with them if you are not already integrating them into your meals.


1 bunch vitamin greens (washed, trimmed, and roughly chopped)
1/2 red onion (sliced)
1 tablespoon olive or grapeseed oil
salt and pepper

In a wide Dutch oven or  deep sauté pan, heat oil over medium heat.  Add onion and a pinch of salt.  Sauté, stirring frequently, until onions are translucent and just begin to caramelize, about 5 minutes.  Add vitamin greens and toss until the greens begin to wilt.  Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until greens reach desired tenderness, about 5 to 10 minutes.  Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper.

Thanks, Cucina Girl!

http://www.cucinagirl.com/2010/12/vitamin-greens.html

And thank you again, to all of you who support us in supporting you full circle.

Your Echo Team

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Feeling a bit like summer!

"Nature" is what we see--
The Hill--the Afternon
Squirrel--Eclipe--the Bumble bee--
Nay--Nature is Heaven--
Nature is what we hear--
The Bobolink--the Sea--
Thunder--the Cricket--
Nay--Mature is Harmony--
Nature is what we know--
Yet have no art to say--
So impotent Our Wisdom is
To her Simplicity.

by Emily Dickinson








The insects are many among us on our days farming now.  We are grateful for the winds, which keep the gnats at bay and cool our skin as things heat up. So far, our insect friends have not done too much damage to our crops and we grateful for that. The sing for us into the evening and for that, we are also grateful after a quiet winter and friendly spring.  Summer is almost upon us.

This week's CSA share is beautiful with lots of greens and even some shiitake mushrooms!  We know our members love those. The radishes are super yummy and have been flying off the market table as well.  Much more to come but for this week:

Variety of Greens 
Green Garlic
Leeks
Asparagus
Spring Mix
Bok Choi
Radishes 
Mint or Rosemary
Shiitake
Lettuce Head

Here is a fun recipe to try with your Leeks and Shiitake

Quinoa with Leeks and Shiitake Mushrooms

  • 2 cups fat-free, less-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked quinoa, rinsed
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 3 cups thinly sliced leek (about 2 large)
  • 4 cups thinly sliced shiitake mushroom caps (about 8 ounces)
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped red bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

Preparation

Combine broth, water, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a large saucepan; bring to a boil. Stir in quinoa. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Stir in 3 tablespoons parsley, 1 1/2 teaspoons oil, and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper. Remove from heat; keep warm.
Heat remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add leek; sauté 6 minutes or until wilted. Add mushroom caps, bell pepper, and wine; cook 2 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Stir in remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper. Place 1 cup quinoa in each of 4 shallow bowls; top each with 1 1/4 cups vegetable mixture and 2 tablespoons walnuts.

Compliments of:

http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/quinoa-with-leeks-shiitake-mushrooms

Thanks again for farming with us!!!
Echo Team

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Hello Frost!

“All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.” 

~ J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring




 

We are facing frost again this week and have our tomato plants tucked into the soil of our new hoop houses, hoping they stay strong.  Otherwise, most of our other plantings should be hardened off well by now and after last night's frost look like they may be better off for it.  Our asparagus is very well established by now, has weathered many a frost and the crown's are producing lots of really beautiful spears.  

We often hear from folks that they prefer the skinnier stalks and worry about the large ones being too woody.  We can attest that this is not the case with our asparagus, as we have both sizes and all in between.  No matter the size, they get woodier at the bottom of the grass stem.  It is not dependent on size.  Preference is preference but we would like to clear up this popular myth.  Size doesn't matter.

Now for our CSA members, here is what you will be receiving this week:

Spinach
Green Garlic
Asparagus
Arugula
Bok Choi
Radishes
Mint
Red Lettuce Head
Braise Mix (Cooking Greens)
Perhaps a surprise or two 

For your weekly recipe from the farm, you can try a salad using much from your market picks.

Roasted Asparagus, Avocado and Arugula Salad

  • 1 bunch (about 1 lb) asparagus (choose thicker, larger stalks if possible)
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts
  • 3 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 1/2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice, divided
  • 1 1/2 tsp finely chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tsp honey or agave nectar
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 4 cups arugula (about 5 oz.)
  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. After you clean your asparagus, make sure to pat it totally dry before proceeding. Slice the tough stalk ends from your asparagus (1-2 inches at the bottom of each stalk).
  • Place the asparagus on a baking sheet; I foil line my sheet for easier cleanup. Drizzle the stalks with 1 tbsp olive oil, then rub each stalk with your hands to evenly coat with oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper—freshly ground black pepper is best. Place prepared asparagus into the oven and let it roast for 12-15 minutes till the toughest parts of the stalks are tender and the leafy tips are starting to get crispy.
  • While the asparagus is cooking, place the pine nuts into a small skillet over medium heat and toast them for a few minutes till they turn golden brown and aromatic. Be careful, stir constantly, and keep a close eye once they start to brown—they can go from brown to burned very quickly. Once they’ve turned golden, pour them into a small bowl and reserve.
  • When the asparagus has finished cooking, remove from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature. Cut each stalk into 4-5 pieces each. Discard any overly tough ends that did not get tender during roasting.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together orange juice, 1 tbsp lemon juice, basil, honey and a pinch of salt. Vegans can sub agave for the honey in the dressing, or leave it out. As you whisk the mixture rapidly, very slowly drizzle in the remaining 2 tbsp olive oil till emulsified with the juice mixture. Reserve dressing.
  • Cut the avocado into small cubes. Sprinkle with the remaining ½ tbsp lemon juice to keep it from turning brown.
  • In a large salad bowl, combine the arugula, roasted asparagus, toasted pine nuts, avocado and dressing. Toss gently till the ingredients are well mixed and the arugula is evenly moistened by the dressing. Season the salad with additional salt to taste, if desired. Serve.
  • This salad is easily doubled for a crowd, and can be partially made ahead for easier serving. Roast the asparagus and toast the pine nuts in advance, and juice the citrus for the dressing, then store in airtight containers till ready to serve (refrigerate the asparagus and juices for up to 24 hours before serving). Just before serving, slice the avocado, whisk the dressing and toss the salad. It tastes best at room temperature, so if you’re making some elements ahead, be sure to take them out of the refrigerator and let them return to room temp before tossing the salad.
This recipe is compliments of:

http://toriavey.com/toris-kitchen/2013/03/roasted-asparagus-avocado-arugula-salad/

You can also mix in some of the red head lettuce with the arugula for something a bit more hearty on the leafs and could play with mint and radishes too.

We want to thank all of our CSA members and market shoppers for being such an important part of keeping local, consciously grown food sustainable.  You rock!

Much love,
Your Echo Team

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

To Market, To Market...

"I would like to see people more aware of where their food comes from. I would like to see small farmers empowered. I feed my daughter almost exclusively organic food."

~ Anthony Bourdain






Hello, folks!  We are swinging fully into market season and love seeing all your friendly faces at market.  May we say that you are beginning to look well fed by your local food already?  It simply brings a glow to the face. Summer CSA is underway and this week is a special one.  Not only do we have lots of vegetables for you, we are offering eggs from a close neighbor for an additional purchase.  They will be on a first come first served basis.

This week's haul will include:

Spinach
Green Garlic
Asparagus
Spring Mix
Bok Choi!
Radishes
Head Lettuce
Braise Mix (Cooking Greens)

Need some cooking inspiration?  Here is any idea from the farm.

Spinach and Bok Choi Braise

  • 3 Tbsp dark sesame oil
  • 1 Tbsp minced green garlic
  • Half pound fresh spinach, soaked in water to clean, drained, excess water squeezed out, large stems removed and discarded, leaves roughly chopped
  • Half pound bok choi, leafed
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce (I use Nama Shoyu... yum!)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds (toast yourself or purchase toasted ones)
1 If you haven't already toasted the sesame seeds, do that first. Heat a stick-free skillet on medium high. Add raw sesame seeds and use a spatula or wooden spoon to stir. The seeds may make a popping noise and jump up, almost like popcorn. They will toast very quickly, so stir constantly until they begin to brown and smell like they are toasted. Remove from pan into a separate bowl as soon as they are done.
2 Heat 2 tablespoons of the sesame oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the green garlic. As soon as the garlic begins to sizzle, add the spinach/choi and cook, stirring occasionally, until the spinach is completely wilted. Turn the heat to low.
3 Stir in the sugar and soy sauce. Remove from the heat. Add salt to taste. Serve hot, warm, room temperature, or cold, drizzled with the remaining sesame oil and sprinkled with sesame seeds.
I adapted this from an original recipe online, compliments of:

Happy cooking!
Echo Team











Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Asparagus, Green Garlic, Lettuce... Oh, my!


“Healing is impossible in loneliness; it is the opposite of loneliness. Conviviality is healing. To be healed we must come with all the other creatures to the feast of Creation.
(pg.99, "The Body and the Earth")” 

~ Wendell Berry, The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays








The time is finally here! Our CSA members receive their first week of abundance from Echollective Farm and we could not be happier to send the love off to your tables.  We have been dancing with the wild prairie weather and staving off hungry deer and rabbits.  So far, fortune has mostly been on our side.  The farm is doing well with lots of good stuff growing.  This last rain topped us off so we are a little concerned about the amounts of rain we may be getting throughout the week.  Otherwise, all is well and we are working hard to offer lots of fresh food to hungry locavores.

Farmers markets are ramping up really look forward to seeing everyone's smiling faces for another season.  

This weeks CSA pickings will include:

Green garlic
Asparagus
Spring mix
Arugula
Radishes
Head lettuce
Turnips
*always the element of surprise as well*

The asparagus is super fresh and goes really well with green garlic in soup, along with some fresh farmers eggs!

Asparagus Soup with Green Garlic and Eggs

1 pound asparagus
5 cups chicken stock, vegetable stock, or water
1 bulb spring garlic, separated into cloves if cloves have formed, peeled and thinly sliced
Salt and freshly ground pepper
4 large eggs
1/4 cup freshly grated pecorino or Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup pasta or rice, cooked, or 4 to 6 slices toasted Italian bread (optional)





1. Break off the woody ends of the asparagus stalks and combine them with the stock or water and the garlic in a soup pot and bring to a simmer. Simmer 15 minutes. Using a skimmer, tongs, or a slotted spoon, remove the asparagus stems and discard. Season the broth to taste with salt and pepper. Slice the asparagus into 1-inch pieces and add to the broth. Simmer 8 to 12 to minutes. It should be very tender and fragrant, but still bright green and not mushy.
2. Just before serving, beat the eggs, cheese, and parsley together in a bowl. Have the soup at a bare simmer. Making sure that the soup isn’t boiling, whisk a ladleful into the egg mixture. Stir well and whisk back into the soup. Whisk constantly over very low heat for 3 minutes, then ladle into bowls and serve, with a spoonful of pasta or rice, or a slice of toast in each bowl if desired.

Yield: Serves four.

Advance preparation: This soup must be served right away.

Compliments of:  http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/20/health/nutrition/20recipehealth.html?_r=0 

See you all at market!



Tuesday, February 17, 2015

You, As a Food Buyer...


“You, as a food buyer, have the distinct privilege of proactively participating in shaping the world your children will inherit.” 

~ Joel Salatin



It is that time of year again already, to start the shaping of a new farm season here at Echollective and CSA membership is a big part of that planning process.  With many of our past members chomping at the bit, we have begun to accept membership applications for 2015 and applying is really easy.  Applications received on time really helps us to plan our growing according to demand.  For those of you who may not know quite how CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) works, check out Local Harvests description.  It is very thorough:  http://www.localharvest.org/csa/

Otherwise, kick off 2015 with us, your local farmers, and be a part of Echollective!  If cost is an issue, we do also offer work trade for a portion of your membership and you get to dig in and get your hands dirty!  If you are wondering what might be on the menu each week, take a look through our archived blogs from May - September of 2014.  We weekly send this blog out as a newsletter to our members with farm news, weekly box contents, farmers market updates and recipes.

All in all, CSA with us is not only an opportunity to participate in the sustainability in being a part of locally grown food but also supports our efforts at stewarding 35 acres of forested land, along with the 14+ we farm vegetables, herbs, perennials and cover crops with.  Your participation helps us to conserve prairie grasslands and habitat, as humans who care and are committed to them.  By supporting us as your local farm of choice, you are supporting sustainability in agriculture in your own community.  Thank you!


“The ultimate goal of farming is not the growing of crops, but the cultivation and perfection of human beings.”  

~ Masanobu Fukuoka, The One-Straw Revolution



Wednesday, February 4, 2015

We Love Us a Greenhouse

"Who loves a garden, loves a greenhouse too."
- William Cowper






Hello, friends and family!  We wanted touch back in with you to offer thanks again for a beautiful and bountiful year with us.  Can you believe we are actually getting ready for another season?  Yep, we start early.  One of the reasons we can start early is because of our high tunnel houses.  Before we got dumped on with mounds of snow, we were able to get a lot accomplished on a new and bigger one which will give us more yield this coming year!  

I love working in the hot houses, especially in the beginning of our growing season when we get started in them while the weather outside is a bit frightful.  The quiet, warm environment smells of soil and baby plants which is a heavenly perfume to me.  I always feel really lucky and look forward to getting in and doing some groundwork soon.





An update on the coming summer CSA season: As our pricing has remained the same for several years, we have decided to adjust a couple's share from $375 to $395 and a family share from $600 to $630.  It is still a great deal and helps us out with increases in our farm budget.  Thank you!

We will most likely be doing weekly boxes for sale in the spring but not as a formal CSA membership and will keep you updated when we get closer, as to how that will pan out.  It will be a lot like our winter boxes which we are just now finished with for the year. 

With much anticipation for the new growing season, farming constantly teaches me one thing over and over:

Patience 

In the meantime, we look forward to the energy and communion of being your farmers for another year!

Warmly,
Jessica and Your Echo Team