Monday, July 29, 2013

BGF News 7/23/2013

Volume XXI, Number 8

In this week’s box:
Basil: Genovese and/or Italian Large Leaf
Beans: mix (Carson (yellow) & Empress (green))
Cucumbers: Suyo Long (Asian-style, long & bumpy) or Diva (English-style, torpedo-shaped, smooth)
New Potatoes: Banana (tan fingerling), Desiree (red), German Butterball (tan) or Mountain Rose (Lt pink)
Shallots: (Ambition (tan) and/or Prisma (purple))
and possibly one of the following:                     
            Broccoli florets
            Eggplant: Orient Express (Asian-style, long, thin, dark purple)
            Summer Squash: Patty Pan(round, flattened), 8 Ball (round, green) or Yellow (bumpy, pear-shaped)
            Peas: Snow
For those with the Egg option [full]: one dozen free-range eggs (assorted colors)
For those with the Herb option: purple basil, parsley & bronze fennel

Featured Recipe(s) (see below):

Pasta with Pesto, Potatoes, and Green Beans 
Green Beans with Caramelized Shallots
 Shallot Vinaigrette

Precipitation in the past week: 0.35" 

What’s up on the farm?

This week was all about heat and water for both the crew and the crops. The rain on Sunday afternoon was much welcomed, but not nearly enough, so irrigating continues. The crew worked hard all week in the heat, weeding and clearing spent beds (lettuce, turnips, choi) to get them ready for their next crop. New crops of carrots and mixed greens have been sown in some of them, with fall turnips, beets, daikon next to go in the ground. The biggest task though was the garlic harvest, which came out over a period of several days last week. The ground was so hard from the lack of rain that every plant had to be removed from the ground with a digging fork. It was slow growing, but the crop looks great. Once out of the ground, the 3' tall, leafy stalks are bundled in groups of ten, tied with a string loop and hung in the barn to cure for about a month. Right now, the barn is the designated vampire-free zone as there are more than 3,000 garlic plants hanging in there, it is an impressive sight! Once dried, they will be taken down, trimmed, sorted for seed/culinary use and stored in mesh bags. It is
quite the process from planting back last October, though sending them out in boxes this summer & fall.  Not nearly as big a job as the garlic, we spent yesterday afternoon digging all of the Plot VI potatoes. This plot has the least impressive drainage of our garden areas and definitely suffered during the excessive moisture of the early summer. The potato crops in that plot were dying back and weren't going to improve so we took advantage of the little bit of soil moisture from Sunday's rain and dug the whole lot of them. It was a low yield for so much square footage, but just enough that everyone gets a nice little bag of new potatoes in their boxes this week. They are small, tender and quite tasty! Use them in the next couple of weeks though, as they haven't been cured, they won't store as well. Don't worry, the rest of the potato crops are doing well and you can look forward to larger baking potatoes down the road.

A little detail on your produce this week:
Potatoes: Keep unwashed potatoes in a cool, dark, dry place, such as a loosely closed paper bag in a cupboard. They will keep for weeks at room temperature, longer if you can provide their ideal temperature of 40 to 50 degrees. Beware: the low temperature of your refrigerator will convert the starch to sugars. However, new potatoes—which are young and thin-skinned—can be refrigerated if you don’t plan to eat them within a few days. Moisture causes potatoes to spoil, light turns them green, and proximity to onions causes them to sprout. (You can still use a potato that has sprouted, however; simply cut off the “eyes” before use.) Scrub potatoes well and cut off any sprouts or green skin. (Clean delicate new potatoes gently.) Peeling is a matter of preference. Cut potatoes according to your recipe. If baking a whole potato, be sure to prick the skin in at least two places to allow steam to escape.

Shallots: A "high-brow" member of the onion family, shallots have a smooth, rich onion-y flavor that is perfect with egg, vegetable and salad dressing recipes. Cured shallots are stored like a cured onion or garlic (at room temp) for many months. If your shallots have green tops, please hang and store at room temperature until the greens have dried, then trim and store like onions. Once you cut into a shallot bulb, store the remainder in a sealed container in the fridge.

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 at our blog at and on Facebook (just search Blue Gate Farm) and “Like” us.

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 Pesto, Potatoes, and Green Beans
Serves 4
2 waxy potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 tablespoon salt          
8 ounces cavatappi  (or other pasta)     
8 ounces green beans, trimmed and halved       
1/2 cup Pesto  

Peel and cut 2 waxy potatoes into 1-inch cubes; place in a large pot of water; bring to a boil.

Add 1 tablespoon salt and 8 ounces cavatappi or other short tubular pasta; return to a boil; cook 2 minutes.

Add 8 ounces trimmed and halved green beans. Return to a boil; cook until vegetables are tender and pasta is al dente, about 6 minutes.

Drain; toss with 1/2 cup Pesto; season with salt and pepper. Serve warm or at room temperature.
 Recipe Source: unknown

Green Beans with Caramelized Shallots

Serves 4.

3 tablespoons butter
2 lg or 5-6 sm shallots, peeled and thinly sliced into rings
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 pound green beans, trimmed

In a medium saucepan with a tight-fitting lid, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat; swirl to coat bottom of pan. Add shallots; cover. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Set aside.
Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling salted water, cook green beans until fork-tender, 4 to 6 minutes. Drain; return to pot. Toss with remaining tablespoon butter. Season with salt and pepper.
Transfer green beans to a serving dish; top with caramelized shallots.

Recipe Source: Martha Stewart Everyday Foods

Shallot Vinaigrette

1/4 cup finely chopped shallot
1 tablespoon
Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
1/3 cup olive oil (preferably French) or safflower oil

Recipe Source: unknown

BGF News 7/16/13

Volume XXI, Number 7

In this week’s box:
Beans: mix (Empress (green) & Carson (yellow))
Beets: Chioggia & Golden
Choi: last of the season
Sweet Onions: Ailsa Craig (fresh)
Sweet Pepper: Islander (purple)
and at least one of the following:
            Broccoli florets
            Cucumbers: Suyo Long (Asian-style, long & bumpy) or Diva (English-style, torpedo-shaped, smooth)
            Eggplant: Orient Express (long, purple) or Listada de Gandia (oblong, purple/white striped)
            Summer Squash: Patty Pan(dk green/yellow/ round, flattened) or Yellow (bumpy, pear-shaped)
            Peas: Snow

For those with the Cheese option: one plain chevre and one Cheese Maker's Choice
For those with the Egg option [full & half]: one dozen free-range eggs (assorted colors)
For those with the Herb option: Basil: Thai Magic, tarragon, lovage
For those with the Honey option:  choice of liquid or comb honey

 Featured Recipe(s) (see below): BGF Garlic Roasted Beans
Tangy Cucumbers and Sweet Onions

Precipitation in the past week: 0.12”

What’s up on the farm?

This past week has been largely about irrigation work and weed control. We unrolled what felt like miles of irrigation lines and tested them all. Its good hot weather work, since you spend about half of the time getting wet, it seems. That taken care of, we went after the weeds with a vengeance. Spent salad, carrot and head lettuce beds were cleared, tilled down and made ready for their next crops. We have started finding sporadic tomato hornworm damage, mostly in the tomatoes, though also in peppers and eggplant as they are all related. So the farm crew has started their hornworm vigil and check the plants daily. We found two Sphinx moths (adult hornworm aka hummingbird moth) in the high tunnels so we anticipate finding more of those ornery, tomato-munching creeps in the weeks to come. Speaking of tomatoes, they are doing quite well in the field and in the tunnels. We have started finding just a very few ripe fruits, cherry tomatoes mostly, this week and anticipate in a couple of weeks you will start seeing them in your boxes. We have a wonderful array of colors, sizes and flavors to look forward to. Next week we'll include a list of varieties and descriptions of the tomatoes, just to whet your appetites a bit. The ripe eggplants are just trickling in but there are lots of immature fruits growing on the plants and we should have lots of red, yellow and purple peppers coming in, but they do take some extra time to ripen so everyone is getting one Islander pepper just as a teaser of what is to come.

We had a wonderful day for the Ice Cream Social this past Sunday. The weather was perfect, the ice cream cold and tasty and the kids, ridiculously cute! We hope to get some photos posted on the BGF Facebook page later this week. If you have any pictures of the day that you'd like to contribute, please send them in! Thanks to everyone who made the trip out to share the farm for an afternoon.

Honey Share members are receiving their first of four deliveries today. We are trying a new jar style for the liquid honey as our previous bottles have been discontinued. The shape is very different, but the volume is the same. We'd love to hear feedback on the new jars and would be more than happy to take back your empties when you are finished with them.

A little detail on your produce this week:
Fresh onions: As you might note from their name, these are young, freshly pulled, uncured onions. They can be used as you would any onion, the difference is in the storage. Since they don't have a layer of dried skin to protect them, please store in a sealed bag or container in your refrigerator and plan to use within 2 weeks.

Sweet Peppers: Place whole, unwashed peppers in a plastic bag, seal, and refrigerate for a week or more.

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 at our blog at and on Facebook (just search Blue Gate Farm) and “Like” us.

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)

BGF Garlic Roasted Beans

1 lb Haricot Vertes (or other fresh beans), washed and dried
4 tbs olive oil, divided
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp sea salt
2 tbs seasoned rice vinegar
¼ c. sesame seeds, roasted
¼ c. shredded Parmesan cheese

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Toss beans with 1 tbs. olive oil. Spread in single layer on baking sheet and roast 15 minutes, stirring after 8 minutes. Stir garlic and salt together, add vinegar and remaining oil. When beans are roasted, toss with dressing and top with sesame seeds and Parmesan.  Season with additional salt and pepper if desired.

based on a recipe from Angela Tedesco, Turtle Farm

Tangy Cucumbers and Sweet Onions

1 large Suyo Long cucumber or 2 medium cucumbers, peeled
1 small to medium sweet onion
2/3 c. cider or seasoned rice vinegar
¼ c. water
2 – 4 tbs. sugar (to taste)
¼ - ½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
1 tbs chopped fresh fennel leaves (or dill), optional

Thinly slice cucumbers and onions. Separate onions into rings.
In a medium bowl with a tight fitting lid, combine remaining ingredients. Stir until sugar and salt are dissolved. Add cucumbers and onions to bowl and stir to coat. Seal lid and place in refrigerator for at least an hour before using. We eat this as a side dish, with the vegetables simply lifted out of the vinegar mixture when serving.  It can also be used as a condiment on sandwiches & burgers, as a salad topping or chopped into egg, chicken or ham salad.

Recipe Source: Blue Gate Farm

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Farm Crawl is Coming!

for more information see Farm Crawl

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

BGF News 7/9/2013

In this week’s box:
Basil: Genovese and/or Italian Large Leaf
Carrots: St Valery (orange), Rainbow (mix) and/or Purple Dragon (burgundy)
Green Garlic
Head Lettuce: Bronze Arrowhead, Crisp Mint or Concept
and at least one of the following:
            Beans: mix (Carson (yellow) & Empress (green))         
            Broccoli florets
            Cucumbers: Suyo Long (Asian-style, long & bumpy) or Diva (English-style, torpedo-shaped, smooth)
            Eggplant: Orient Express (Asian-style, long, thin, dark purple)
            Patty Pan Squash (dark green, yellow or light green round, flattened summer squash)
            Peas: Snow or Sugar Snap
For those with the Egg option [full]: one dozen free-range eggs (assorted colors)
For those with the Herb option: basil: lemon, sage & peppermint

Featured Recipe(s) (see below): BGF Easy Black Beans and Rice Recipe
Grilled Summer Squash “Burgers”
BGF Pesto
Precipitation in the past week: 0.15"

What’s up on the farm?

This has been another week of forward progress with some good hellos and goodbyes thrown in. Hello to the fresh bean crop! We started harvesting Carson (yellow) and Empress (green) beans this week. They make up our popular Green Bean Mix and will be going into a number of CSA boxes this week. This should be just the start of our bean crop and everyone can look forward to beans aplenty in the coming weeks. Greetings and welcome also to the Orient Express eggplant. These are producing not only in the high tunnel but also in the field and are looking primed for a bountiful season. The cucumbers are coming on with a mission and though a few went out last week, this is really the start of their run. A fond farewell to the salad mix this week. We spent some fine sweat-time clearing those beds yesterday and adding the remains to the compost pile. The spinach, senposai and mustard beds have gone the same way this week. A not-so-fond farewell to the multitudes of weeds that we have also "liberated" from the beans, potato, squash, cabbage and melon beds this week.
An early greeting to the crops-to-come as all of the fall transplants were seeded this past week. They germinated quickly and now we have to be sure to check on those infant crops multiple times a day to ensure they don't overheat or dry out in the heat. It is one of the challenges of vegetable farming, we are nearly always sowing, cultivating and harvesting at the same time. It is helpful to be able to multi-task, or as the crew calls it, "Oh look, a bunny!"

The bees are staying busy converting the multitude of blooms about into delicious honey.  The time has come to start harvesting some of the liquid gold.  Next week will be the first of four deliveries to those with the honey option.  We'll plan on sending liquid honey this first round (we'll have limited comb honey but happy to send it to those who let us know they want comb instead of liquid next week.)

We had a number of friends/CSA members visit the farm last week with another expected this week. We love it when folks are able to come out and enjoy what the farm has to offer. And on that note we hope everyone will be able to join us this weekend…

This Week: CSA member Ice Cream Social- Sunday, July 14th from 2 – 5pm at the farm. Come on out for an afternoon filled with fresh country air, homemade ice cream and farm-fresh desserts. We will be sending out an email tomorrow to gather RSVP’s for this event, but we wanted to give you time to get it on your calendar.

A little detail on your produce this week:
Basil: Basil is a special case, and should not be stored in the refrigerator, as it will turn black.  We like to keep ours in a vase of fresh water on the kitchen counter.  For some, a loose plastic bag on the counter works well for a couple of days; otherwise, put basil in a plastic bag inside a paper bag for insulation, and store in the warmest part of the refrigerator (usually the door).
Carrots: Remove greens and store carrots in a sealed bag or contained in your refrigerator. Carrots do not need to be peeled before use, but you will want to give them a quick scrub to remove any dirt we might have missed.
Green Garlic: this is a little different than the spring garlic from earlier in the season. Now the bulbs are formed and are pretty much full-sized. This is still "fresh" garlic, so should be stored in a plastic bag in your produce drawer. Use it like you would conventional garlic, using only the cloves inside, the rest will be tough.
Eggplant: Eggplant prefers to be kept at about 50° F, which is warmer than most refrigerators and cooler than most kitchen counters.  Wrap unwashed eggplant in a towel (not in plastic) to absorb any moisture and keep it in the vegetable bin of your refrigerator.  Used within a week, it should still be fresh and mild.
Many people like to peel, salt, and drain their eggplant to draw out any bitter flavor; however, bitterness develops only in eggplant that has been stored for a while, so with farm-fresh specimens this is generally not necessary.  Many recipes call for salting in order to make the vegetable less watery and more absorbent—much like draining tofu.  Salting is not an essential step, but it can greatly enhance the taste and texture of your dish and is well worth the extra effort.  The shape of an eggplant determines how it is best prepared.  Slice a straight, narrow eggplant into rounds for grilling or broiling, and cut a rounded, bulbous eggplant into cubes for stews and stir-fries

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 at our blog at and on Facebook (just search Blue Gate Farm) and “Like” us.

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)

BGF Easy Black Beans and Rice Recipe
Serves 6.

1 cup uncooked white rice
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
3 cloves minced garlic
2 16-ounce cans of black beans, rinsed and drained
2 Tbsp seasoned rice vinegar
A few dashes of Sriracha sauce or Tabasco or 1/4 teaspoon cayenne powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano or 1 heaping Tbsp chopped fresh oregano
1 handful of purslane, in bite size pieces (or other hearty greens like mustard and/or senposai)
Salt and pepper to taste
Optional Lime wedges for garnish

Cook rice according to package instructions. White rice usually takes 15 minutes to cook once the water is simmering, and 10 minutes to sit.

Heat oil in a large skillet on medium high. Sauté onions and bell peppers for 3-4 minutes, until just beginning to soften, then add garlic and sauté a minute more. Add the black beans, vinegar and Tabasco or cayenne. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 5 minutes.

Stir in rice and oregano. Add salt and pepper to taste.

To serve, place purslane on plate and top with beans & rice mixture

Recipe Source: adapted from a recipe at

Grilled Summer Squash “Burgers”
(2 servings)

Summer squash (or eggplant), cut into burger-sized 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

Blue Gate Farm Pesto

2 Tbs Sunflower seeds-toasted (can substitute pine nuts)
2 cloves Garlic (garlic lovers can add more)
2 c. Basil (any variety, a mix is particularly nice)
½ c. Sorrel (optional)
½ c. Olive oil
1 tsp Salt (if using pre-salted sunflower seeds, can reduce salt amount)
½ c. Parmesan cheese, fresh grated (not the stuff in the can)

Place sunflower seeds and garlic into food processor then pulse several times. Add basil and sorrel, drizzle with half of oil. Pulse several times.  Add remaining oil, Parmesan cheese and salt if desired.
Pesto should be stored for a week or less in the refrigerator in a sealed container.  If storing longer, freeze in snack-sized, zip-top bags (about 1 1/2 TBS per bag), pressed flat. Once frozen, they can be stored upright in a larger plastic bag. To use a little, just break off the amount needed and return the rest to the freezer.

note: once tomatoes are ripe, we like to add 1 medium sized tomato into the food processor as part of this recipe. It makes an out-of-this-world pesto and increases your yield!

BGF News 7/2/2013

In this week’s box:
Chard: Bright Lights
Romaine Lettuce: Crisp Mint (green, crinkly romaine) or Concept (green, wavy romaine)
Scallions: Evergreen
Tapestry Salad Mix
and possibly one of the following:
            Broccoli florets
            Cucumbers: Suyo Long (Asian-style, long & bumpy) or Diva (English-style, torpedo-shaped, smooth)
            Patty Pan Squash (dark green, yellow or light green round, flattened summer squash)
            Peas: Snow or Sugar Snap

For those with the Cheese option: Plain Chevre & Classic Feta
For those with the Egg option [full & half]: one dozen free-range eggs (assorted colors)
For those with the Herb option: genovese basil, par-cel, dill
For those with the Honey option: Deliveries will start in July

 Featured Recipe(s) (see below): Soba Noodle Salad with Snow Peas
Grilled Scallions with Sesame Oil
Grilled BBQ Romaine Lettuce

Precipitation in the past week: 0.2”

What’s up on the farm?

What a beautiful week we've had on the farm. The weather has been nearly perfect for the work we've needed to get done, not that we got it all finished, but we are making progress. A good deal of our focus was on the tomato field. Despite some rather wet conditions last week we were able to auger and set the big hedge posts for the ends of the tomato trellis. We tore up the sod between the plots "a bit" but all thirty 10'-15' posts were set without incident, other than the crew getting "a bit" muddy. Over the following days the first three levels of trellising strings were installed and just yesterday we got the plants pruned and all tucked in to their strings. All of the plants are blooming and many are already setting fruit, so the forecast for the tomato season ahead is good.  The crew was able to spend a day last week attending to Plot VI. This is our farthest "afield" field and the one that retains the most moisture. Great in a drier year, it has remained rather soggy this year which makes it a challenge to cultivate. What that translates to this year is much hand-weeding rather than hoeing or tilling, which go much faster. The crops out there are doing "ok" but not great. Unfortunately that is where the broccoli is, and why it is feeling/looking a little peaked. We started putting broccoli in boxes this week, and when you receive yours, you'll notice it doesn't look like grocery store heads. Because of the moisture stress, the heads are maturing and trying to flower when they are quite small, so we need to get them cut and off the plants or they will be no good at all. The flavor and texture should still be great, they just look different, so we hope you enjoy your "ready to use" florets.
The cucumbers and patty pan squashes are just starting to produce so we will continue to share those out as they come in. The basil is finally getting big enough to start harvesting, so herb share members will get their first "bouquets" this week and we anticipate the rest of the membership will start getting basil next week.

As we say hello to some of the mid-season crops, we are saying goodbye to some of our spring favorites, including the salad mix, as it is becoming too mature to use any longer. Don't worry though, if you are a salad lover, the mix will be back towards the end of the season and we will continue to deliver head lettuce for your salads as long as we have it.

Upcoming Event: CSA member Ice Cream Social- Sunday, July 14th from 2 – 5pm at the farm. Come on out for an afternoon filled with fresh country air, homemade ice cream and farm-fresh desserts. We will be sending out an email in the next week to gather RSVP’s for this event. We hope everyone can join us!

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.

Cucumber: Store unwashed cucumbers in a sealed plastic bag in the vegetable crisper bin for about a week. Keep cucumbers tucked far away from tomatoes, apples, and citrus—these give off ethylene gas that accelerates cucumber deterioration. You can do a lot of fancy things to the skin of a cucumber, and when it is young, fresh, and unwaxed, it really only needs to be thoroughly washed. However, if the skin seems tough or bitter you can remove it; if the seeds are bulky, slice the cucumber lengthwise and scoop them out.

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. Before using, rinse zucchini and summer squash under cool running water to remove any dirt or prickles; then slice off the stem and blossom ends. Slice the vegetable into rounds, quarters, or chunks according to the specifications of your recipe. Patty pan squash can be used in any zucchini recipe.

Herbs: Generally, except for basil, set unwashed bunches of fresh herbs (with stems) upright into small jars filled with 1 to 2 inches of water, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for up to two weeks. Rinse fresh herbs right before use. To release their scents and flavors, rub them between your hands before mincing or chopping. If you have no idea what to do with fresh herbs, there is one great default answer "compound butter." Finely mince leaves and knead them into a stick of room temperature butter. Roll the butter into a log in plastic wrap and store in the freezer. Then simply slice off the amount you need to add delicious, ready-to-use flavor to vegetables, bread or meats.

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 at our blog at and on Facebook (just search Blue Gate Farm) and “Like” us.

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)

Soba Noodle Salad with Snow Peas
Soba, the Japanese buckwheat noodles most often served in both hot and chilled broths, appear here in a salad. They are widely available, usually sold in boxes or plastic bags in the Asian section of the supermarket. I've kept the vegetable additions basic, but feel free to put in slivered radishes for more color or to substitute slivered green beans for the snow peas.

6 ounces snow peas cut into 1/4-inch diagonals (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 teaspoon coarse salt
12 ounces soba noodles
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
¹/³ cup unseasoned Japanese rice vinegar
1/4 cup mild-flavored extra-virgin olive oil or other vegetable oil
3 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
1 teaspoon grated peeled fresh ginger
1 garlic clove grated
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
4 scallions (white and green parts) cut into thin (¹/8-inch) diagonals (about 1/2 cup)
1 medium carrot finely shredded (about 1/2 cup)
1/2 cup thin matchsticks (¹/8 by 1 inch) crisp seedless cucumber
1 tablespoon sesame seeds

1. Bring a medium saucepan three-fourths full of water to a boil. Add the snow peas and salt and simmer until crisp-tender, about 1 minute. Remove the snow peas from the boiling water with a perforated spoon or skimmer and place in a bowl of ice water. Add the noodles to the boiling water and cook until tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain the noodles in a strainer. Rinse with cold water. Transfer the noodles to a bowl and toss with the sesame oil. Refrigerate until ready to mix with other ingredients.
2. To make the dressing: In a small bowl, whisk the rice vinegar, oil, tamari, ginger, garlic and salt until blended.
3. Drain the snow peas and pat dry. Add the snow peas, scallions, carrot, cucumber and half of the sesame seeds to the soba noodles. Add the dressing and toss with your hands to thoroughly blend. Top with the remaining sesame seeds.
Serve cold.
-Substitute diagonally sliced asparagus, 1-inch lengths of green beans or whole sugar snap peas (cooked until crisp-tender using the same technique as in this recipe) for the snow peas.
-Sesame seeds (an excellent source of protein) are the garnish of choice, but feel free to substitute peanuts, almonds or other nuts.
Recipe Source: Fresh & Fast Vegetarian by Marie Simmons, 2011

Grilled Scallions with Sesame Oil
Serves 2

8 scallions, greens trimmed to 5 inches, cut in half lengthwise
toasted sesame oil
freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the broiler or lightly oiled grill to medium-high heat. Arrange the scallions on a shallow baking sheet or aluminum foil.
Use a pastry brush to coat the scallions with a thin layer of sesame oil. Season with salt and pepper. Broil or grill until golden
brown on all sides, 3 to 5 minutes.

Recipe Source: “The Real Dirt on Farmer John Cookbook”

Grilled BBQ Romaine Lettuce

1/2 cup soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar         
1 tablespoon brown sugar (packed)
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
3 small heads romaine lettuce, halved lengthwise

In a blender or food processor mix soy sauce, sesame oil, vinegar, brown sugar, and ginger until thoroughly combined.

Brush lettuce with marinade. Place romaine lettuce cut-sides down, in center of cooking grate. Grill 5 to 7 minutes, turning and brushing with marinade halfway through grilling time.

Recipe Source: