Tuesday, June 16, 2020

BGF NEWS - JUNE 16, 2020 - VOL. XLV, NO. 3

In this week’s box:

Baby Turnips: Hakurei
Garlic Scapes (the curly green things)
Golden Oyster Mushrooms
Kale: mixed bunch 
Summer Squash id
Lemon Balm
Tapestry Salad Mix

and perhaps one of the following: (please see **NOTE  after "A Little Detail...)     
Broccoli: Gypsy
Snap or Snow Peas
Summer Squash: Slik Pik (light yellow)
Zucchini: 8 Ball (round, green) or Golden Glory (long, yellow)

For those with the Egg option [Full & Half shares]: one dozen free-range eggs
For those with the Herb option: Herb share will begin in a couple of weeks as herbs mature

Featured Recipes:  
Sauteed Japanese Turnips with Greens
Kale with Zucchini
Oyster Mushroom Stirfry
Grilled Zucchini "Burgers" **see recipe below

What’s up on the farm?

Precipitation in the past week: 4.0"

 We finally got our wish last week with the rain, and though four inches in 24 hours seemed like a lot at the time, it is already dusty in the fields and we are running some of the irrigation again. That rain made a huge difference for the crops though and everything has put on a serious growth spurt. For some of the early crops, that isn't a great thing. The choi we were hoping to harvest for a couple more weeks, suddenly went into overdrive and tried to go to flower. We harvested enough for today's delivery, but that is the end of the early choi. Some of the head lettuce is also wanting to do the same. Luckily we have multiple successions of lettuce planted so we should be fine there. It also means the weeds got another kick-start so we are cultivating from one end of the gardens to the other as fast as we can.  Some of our earlier transplanted crops were primed for the rain and put on a flush of blooms and fruit right afterwards. We are thrilled to start harvesting broccoli and summer squashes this week. There isn't enough for everyone yet, but it is just the beginning and we anticipate much more to come. I love the start of squash/zucchini season as it adds some nice heft to the boxes and really opens up menu options as they are SO flexible.  
My favorite thing to do with the 8 Ball zucchini is to make them into burgers for the grill. I've included the recipe at the end of the newsletter if you want to try it out.

The early broccoli is always a little on the small side, that is part of what helps it to be early. SO don't be surprised by small-ish heads. It is still tasty and would be perfect added to a nice stir-fry.

The turnips seem really slow this spring, but they have finally put on enough growth to include them in today's delivery. 
If you haven't enjoyed turnips in the past, we hope you will at least give these a try before giving them away to the neighbors. These aren't your grandma's turnips, which tended to be big and strong-flavored. These are Japanese salad turnips, developed to be enjoyed raw, though they work perfectly in cooked dishes as well. We like them straight out of the field, eaten like an apple. 

The peas too, are delicious straight out of the field. In fact, though I love them in stir-fry, they rarely make it into the kitchen. I'm not the only one who loves them. The dogs think they are a special treat and will line up for them, waiting for those that are either too mature or have too much damage to be "people food".

It's tough to be a dog on a vegetable farm!

A little detail on your produce this week:

Broccoli: Wrap broccoli loosely in a plastic bag and keep it in the vegetable bin of your refrigerator for up to a week. Immediately before cooking, soak broccoli, head down, in cold, salted water (1 teaspoon salt to a 8 cups of water) for 5 minutes. Any [organic] critters will float to the top where you can rescue them or allow them to suffer a salty death. (Note: If you soak broccoli in salt water before storing, it will become too rubbery and
wilted to enjoy.) Slice the juicy, edible stems and use them wherever florets are called for. Peel particularly thick skin before using.

Garlic Scapes: One of our favorite crops of the year. These curly green "springs" are the emerging flower stalk from a hardneck garlic plant. We remove them to redirect more of the plant's energy into the bulb, but it also provides us with a delightful fresh garlic treat. These keep very well in a plastic bag in your produce drawer and can be used in any recipe calling for garlic. They make a great pesto and can be minced and added to room-temperature butter, which is then stored in log shape, in the freezer for a last minute dollop of goodness for vegetables, breads or meat.

Lemon Balm: A lemon-flavored member of the mint family. Store upright in a glass of water, loosely covered in the refrigerator.

Oyster Mushrooms: To maximize the shelf life of raw mushrooms, refrigerate them in a paper bag; do not wrap in plastic or store in airtight container, as this will speed spoilage.  Properly stored, raw whole mushrooms will usually keep well for 4 to 7 days in the fridge. To use, trim off the stems as they are tough and either discard them or save to make a vegetable stock.


are best kept in a plastic bag or glass container in your refrigerator. Use within a week.

Strawberries keep best in your refrigerator in a vented container. Use within 3-4 days.

Summer Squash/Zucchini: Refrigerate unwashed zucchini and summer squash for up to a week and a half in a perforated plastic bag or in a sealed plastic container lined with a kitchen towel. These do not need to be peeled to use, just slice them up and go!

Turnips: keep best if separated from their greens.  Greens are stored in a plastic bag and can be cooked like mustard or collard greens (you can add them in with your Braising Greens Mix).  Trimmed roots can go into a lidded container or zip-close bag. These aren't your grandma's turnips. These are a sweet, Japanese salad variety that is particularly tasty for fresh eating. They will still work great in cooked dishes, but we love to eat them raw, often right out of hand, like an apple. One of the farm crew's favorite mid-field snacks.

A few other details: All of your GREENS will keep best if stored in a plastic bag, with the top folded over and placed in the produce drawer of your refrigerator.  

** NOTE: You will notice over the course of the season that some box contents listed above say "Perhaps one of the following..."  These are items that we can’t harvest in sufficient quantities for the whole CSA to receive at one time.  We do track who gets what and we will do our best to ensure that everyone eventually receives each item.  On some items this may take several weeks, so please be patient.

Is a weekly newsletter not enough for you and you want to read more about our daily adventures or see pictures of the farm?  Follow us on Facebook at Blue Gate Farm and/or share your recipes, experiences and questions with other BGF members at Blue Gate Farm Community.

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 Luci, Indigo & Sky)

Indigo, Luci & Sky
Grilled Zucchini “Burgers”
(2 servings)

Eight Ball or other zucchini, sliced in slices 1/2 to 5/8 inch thick.
1/2 cup your favorite Italian salad dressing
1 tsp. finely minced garlic
1 -2 tsp. Italian seasoning (optional)
4-6 fresh basil leaves
2-4 slices provolone cheese
Crusty bread or large rolls

Cut zucchini into slices, making sure the slices are the same thickness. Combine salad dressing with garlic and herbs, if using. Put zucchini slices into ziploc bag, pour in marinade and let zucchini marinate 4 hours or longer, can be as long as all day.

To cook zucchini, preheat grill to medium-high.

Place zucchini on grill. After about 4 minute, check for grill marks, and rotate zucchini a quarter turn. Cook 3-4 more minutes on first side.
Turn zucchini to second side, place 1-2 basil leaves on top side and cover with provolone. Cook about 4 minutes more, or until zucchini is starting to soften quite a bit, with the outside slightly charred and browned. Season with salt and fresh ground black pepper and serve hot on bread or rolls.

This recipe is also tasty with eggplant.

Recipe Source: BGF, adapted from http://kalynskitchen.blogspot.com

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