Sunday, September 16, 2012

BGF News 9/11/12

In this week’s box:
Basil: Genovese or Italian Large Leaf
Beans: Mix (Carson & Empress)
Beets: Chioggia &/or Golden
Leeks: Carentan &/or King Richard
Tomatoes, slicers
            and perhaps ONE of the following:
Eggplant: Orient Express (long, thin, purple), Broccoli: Packman, Okra: Bowling Red, Patty Pan Squash, Mini Bell Pepper Mix or Cherry Tomato mix

For those with the Cheese option: Basil Feta and [NEW] Caprine Curds (cheese curds)
For those with the Egg option [full and half]: one dozen free-range eggs (assorted colors)
For those with the Herb option: Basil- Red Rubin, Curly Cress, Parsley

Featured Recipe(s) (see below):  Pasta with Arugula and Goat Cheese Sauce
Leek and Goat Cheese Pie
Cream of Chicken & Leeks on Buttered Toast

Precipitation in the past week: trace

What’s up on the farm?

One week into September and already things are looking up (except for the rain, which is still missing). The new crops continue to progress nicely, and more retiring crops have been removed from the field. The only crop we continue to struggle with is the salad beds, which are stubbornly not germinating. We think it is a combination of heat, dry soil and ever-drying winds, not to mention the massive flock of goldfinches that have developed a taste for lettuce seed. We have added mini irrigation sprinklers to the beds to try and aid in keeping the soil surface damp, and if a few finches get wet in the process, so be it.  The crew has been working hard at keeping the weeds in check and keeping ahead of the onslaught of tomato hornworms which are attempting to strip the entire tomato plot to twigs.  The chickens are the only ones who are a fan of this scenario.

The cool news of the week is that after receiving a phone call about a swarm of bees in an area tree, Jill's dad traveled over with appropriate equipment (diesel truck, skid loader, chain saw, ratchet straps and protective bee suit) and brought back a large section of a Mulberry tree complete with a colony of honey bees. So BGF now has its very own Honey Tree, which resides at the northwest corner of the pasture fence.

The biggest news of the week, however, is that Sean finally came home over the weekend and is doing very well, even walking about the farm with the aid of a cane. The big goal now is to keep him cruising along that path.  Thanks to everyone who has shared prayers, good thoughts and wishes for his recovery, I think we are finally seeing the progress we have been hoping for.

Honey Share: we did our 2nd honey extraction last night so Honey Share members can look forward to a delivery next week. Please send us an email or tell us at tonight's delivery if you would like liquid or comb honey for your next installment.

Recycling: We know that many of our CSA members are very ecologically-minded and since we try to recycle and re-use whatever we can here at the farm, we thought we would send out a request. Many of you already return your clean egg cartons to us to be re-used so we'd like to offer a new opportunity. We are in need of glass Starbucks Frappacino bottles, specifically the small-size (9.5 oz) botles AND lids. We sterilize them and reuse for honey packaging. Now, we are not asking you to go out and purchase them, but if anyone is ALREADY drinking them, we would be happy to take bottles and lids off your hands. You can bring them along to the CSA pickup or drop them at our booth at the market, whichever is easier.

Farm Crawl: We still have slots available for individuals/families who are interested in being part of Team BGF for Farm Crawl. You can sign up for as little as 2 hours (or more if you'd like) and we will provide food, fun and some kind of BGF "swag".  Just a reminder that Farm Crawl is Sunday, Oct 7th from 11am-5pm.

A little detail on your produce this week:
Arugula: Store in a plastic bag in the produce drawer. A great pesto, pizza, salad and pasta ingredient.

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)

Pasta with Arugula and Goat Cheese Sauce
4 servings

a bunch of fresh arugula
4 springs fresh parsley
1 8 ounce container low-fat yogurt or sour cream
1/3 cup goat cheese, crumbled
S and P to taste
1 pound fusilli noodles
Grated parmesan cheese, as garnish
1. Before preparing sauce, fill a large casserole with water, and bring the water to a boil.
2 Wash and clean well the arugula and parsley. Dry thoroughly. Trim and chop both the arugula and the parsley.
3. Place the arugula and the parsley in a food processor. Add the yogurt or sour cream, goat cheese, salt, and pepper. Blend the ingredients thoroughly. Keep the sauce at room temperature until ready to use.
4. Add a pinch of salt to the boiling water, and cook the fusilli noodles following the instructions on the package. When the noodles are cooked, drain them, and place them in four serving dishes. Pour the sauce evenly over the top of each serving and add some cheese to each dish. Serve immediately.

Recipe Source: A Complete Menu Cookbook for All Occasions

Leek and Goat Cheese Pie
Adapted from a recipe in “Home Made“, by Yvette Van Boven

2 medium-sized leeks, thoroughly washed
1/2 cup white wine
Pat of butter
Salt and pepper
1 package (2 sheets) puff pastry
1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese
1 egg white, lightly beaten

Thaw puff pastry on the counter whilst you prepare the leeks.
Remove the leek’s dark green stalks and layer of outer leaves. Halve them lengthwise and cut each into three pieces. Simmer leeks in wine and butter seasoned with salt and pepper, about twenty minutes. Remove from liquid and pat dry.
Fold each piece of puff pastry in half, layer one atop the other, and roll the dough into a rectangle. Use the back of a knife to score the pastry like a picture frame, making a one-inch border. Nestle leeks into the dough. Sprinke with goat cheese and brush the edges with egg white. Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for approximately twenty-five minutes.

Recipe Source:

Cream of Chicken & Leeks on Buttered Toast

1 1/4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, halved lengthwise (you want them pretty thin)
salt and pepper
1 carrot, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 rib celery, coarsely chopped
1 small onion, peeled and halved, root end left intact
1 lemon, sliced
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
a few sprigs fresh parsley
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2-3 medium sized leeks, halved lengthwise, sliced into 1/2-inch half moons, and thoroughly rinsed
1 tablespoon flour
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
4 sliced good quality bread, toasted, lightly buttered, and halved into triangles
Season the chicken with salt and pepper and place in a deep skillet. Add the carrot, celery, onion, lemon, bay leaf, thyme and parsley. Add in just enough water to cover the chicken. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a low boil and poach chicken until cooked through, about 15 minutes. Remove the chicken and shred or chop. Strain the stock and reserve.
Meanwhile, in another skillet, heat the butter and extra virgin olive oil. Add the leeks and cook until softened, about 7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and then sprinkle in the flour. Cook for 1 minute. Add in 1 1/2 cups of the reserved chicken stock. Stir in the cream, then cook until the sauce until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Add more stock if the sauce gets too thick. Stir in the mustard and then add the chicken.
Place the toast on a plate, and top with the chicken and leeks.
Recipe Source:

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