Wednesday, August 22, 2012

BGF News 8/21/12

In this week’s box:
Beets: Chioggia & Golden
Greens Mix: Kale, Mustard & Kohlrabi
Hot Peppers: Wenk's Yellow Hots & Georgia Flame
Kohlrabi: Winner (green) & Kolibri (purple)
Sweet Onions: Ailsa Craig
Tomatoes, slicers
…plus whatever else we can find to add to the fun!

For those with the Egg option [full]: one dozen free-range eggs (assorted colors)
For those with the Herb option: basil: Genovese/Large Leaf , garlic chives, anise hyssop

Featured Recipe(s) (see below):  Sweet Onion Dip
Creamy Sweet Onion Balsamic Dressing 
Garlicky Greens
Precipitation in the past week: .5"

What’s up on the farm?

Well the adventures just keep coming. To start we have to say a very special thank you to our crew and to the Beebout parents for taking over last weeks CSA harvest and delivery. My parents mentioned how very nice everyone was as they picked up their boxes.  I can't imagine what I would have done, had our "team" not been there to help us out. The story that transpired was that Sean had come home from the hospital Monday evening following recovery from his 2nd surgery. He was weak, but seemed ok until he fell in the house on Tuesday morning while I was out working with the crew. When I returned to the house to check on him, I found him on the floor and in pain. Call the nurse, call the ambulance, head back to Des Moines Mercy. No new injuries found but Sean felt he was too weak to return home, so the next morning he was admitted to our local hospital (Knoxville) for rehab. Unfortunately he developed some additional post-surgery complications on Saturday and got to take another ambulance ride back to Mercy, where he is now, getting a heavy duty course of antibiotics.

So I have been away from the farm for much of the past week, but progress continues regardless.  Sean's mom and brother #3 have been visiting this week and helping out with of all sorts of projects big and small. The little bits of rain we've gotten over the past couple of weeks have encouraged the weeds to grow again, so weeding has been on the list this week. We've also got most of the remaining fall field crops sown and transplanted including: kohlrabi, broccoli raab, beets and broccoli. Many of the sowings done in the past 2 weeks are up and looking pretty good despite the dry conditions. The recent much cooler temperatures have been a great help in this, as with the comfort of the crew. The tomatoes, peppers, okra and eggplant however, are less than thrilled with the 50° nighttime lows, so while the plants still hold lots of fruit, the ripening has slowed dramatically. The challenges of 2012 continue, but we will just keep moving forward (slowly at times) until we work through it. Thank you for all your patience!

A little detail on your produce this week:
 Kohlrabi: This crop was mostly a failure, with just a small number of bulbs germinating and developing, but because it was in the farthest garden, we never got around to tilling it under, so when we happened to look at it this week, it appeared there was just enough to give everyone a taste. Our favorite way to eat it is just sliced, and stored in cold, lightly salted water. You can also grate it and serve with other salad greens. Store the bulb in another plastic bag in the fridge and use it within two weeks. Rinse kohlrabi under cold running water just before use. Unless the skin seems particularly tough, kohlrabi does not have to be peeled. Just trim off the remains of the stalks and root. Grate, slice, or chop kohlrabi as desired.

Sweet Onions: Store just like other onions, but they don't tend to keep quite as long, so use them in the next several weeks. How about a homemade pizza with tomatoes, sweet onions and finely shredded greens?

Is a weekly newsletter not enough for you and you want to read more about our daily adventures?  Follow us at our blog at and on Facebook at Blue Gate Farm.

That’s about it this week, if you have any questions or comments be sure to let us know. 

Best from the farm,
Jill & Sean (and Blue & Luci)

Sweet Onion Dip
Makes 2 cups

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 Vidalia onions (1 pound total), finely chopped
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 cup reduced-fat sour cream
2 ounces reduced-fat bar cream cheese, room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons white-wine vinegar
1/4 cup finely chopped chives
Potato chips, for serving

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium. Add onions; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool to room temperature.
In a medium bowl, combine onions, sour cream, cream cheese, vinegar, and chives; season with salt and pepper. Chill dip until slightly thickened, about 1 hour; or cover and refrigerate up to 2 days. Serve with chips.

Recipe Source:


Creamy Sweet Onion Balsamic Dressing

 6 2-Tbsp Servings

1 clove garlic, pressed
1/4 diced sweet onion
1/4 cup good quality balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup good quality extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp coarse ground mustard
2 Tbsp honey
1/8 tsp sea salt
1/8 tsp fresh ground pepper
Blend all ingredients in a small blender or magic bullet.

Recipe Source:

Garlicky Greens
(think of it more as a condiment to add to other dishes, than a side dish)

A big bundle of any cooking greens

Separate the leaves from the rigid stalks if you’re using greens like kale or chard. You can chop the stalks and add them to soups, braise them, or use them for making broth. If your leaves are quite large, you can chop them very roughly — just one or two passes of the knife.
Mince a good amount of garlic. I like about three or four big cloves for about two pounds of greens.
Find your biggest skillet and place it on medium-low heat. Add a tablespoon or two of some kind of fat. Olive oil, butter, rendered bacon fat — your choice. Bacon fat goes well with collards and butter makes spinach especially silky.
Toss about a clove’s worth of garlic in the skillet and let it bubble for a few minutes, until just starting to turn golden. Then add a few big handfuls of greens and a pinch of salt. You can really pile them on, as they’ll wilt quite a bit. I can usually get about a third of a 2-pound batch in the skillet at one time.
Stir and toss with tongs until just wilted. This will only take a minute or two for spinach, much longer for hardier leaves like kale. Remove the cooked greens to  container and let them cool while you repeat the process for the rest of your greens: more oil, more garlic, more greens.
Once the greens are cool, you can pack them up in an airtight container and store them in the fridge. They’ll stay good for about a week, but you’ll probably have used it up by then.
  • Eat them as-is, heated up, as a side dish for any protein.
  • Mix into any pasta dish.
  • Make a gratin: mix with béchamel sauce, top with cheese, and bake.
  • Add to stir-fries.
  • Add to soups and ramen.
  • Add to sandwiches and wraps.
  • Use them to top pizza or focaccia.
  • Make eggs florentine: stack a toasted English muffin, a big spoonful of whatever greens you’ve got, and a poached egg, and top with hollandaise.
  • If all else fails, a piece of toast with a good amount of greens, a slick of olive oil, and perhaps a piece of cheese makes a hearty lunch.
Recipe Source:
Post a Comment