Search This Blog

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Sweet revenge!

This week our mulberry tree has really kicked it into high gear and everyone will enjoy freshly picked berries in their shares. I say 'sweet revenge' because most people are only familiar with mulberries after they've passed through a bird and onto their cars--but not this week, we're getting them before the birds! Mulberries are extremely soft fruits and aren't found in grocery stores simply because they can't make the trip without turning to mush. They are packed with vitamins and are a great source of Resveratrol. Enjoy them out of hand, in pies, shakes, fruit salads . . . One last note, no need to discard the stems, just pop them whole into your mouth.


It's almost garlic season in central Ohio but that doesn't mean we can't get a jump on the harvest. Garlic can be harvested early and used as you've always used it. Harvesting garlic early means it cannot be stored for long periods of time and has a more mild flavor than when harvested later in the season. The variety you'll be trying this week is Deerfield Purple whose scapes showed up in your shares earlier this spring.

Deerfield Purple Garlic

Beets have started coming in and this year the bugs have left the leaves alone--they look absolutely luxurious! Beets and Swiss Chard are actually the same vegetable (Beta vulgaris). Beets were selected for their swollen roots and Chard was selected for its bountiful leaf production. Beets don't produce many leaves but the ones they do produce can be used just like Swiss Chard.
To prevent your beets from bleeding too much into the cooking water, twist off the leaves rather than cutting them off with a knife.

Beets, Shiraz Tall Top

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Just in: Terravita Farms Yarn

We're very proud to announce that after 2 years of raising sheep we have the first batch of our very own yarn back from the woolen mill, Ohio Valley Natural Fibers. They did a wonderful job of turning our Jacob Sheep wool into a luxurious 3-ply blend of 95% Jacob Sheep/5% Rabbit Angora yarn. Stay-tuned for 100% Shetland Sheep yarn coming in September!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Swiss Chard

The Swiss Chard is growing very well of late but is looking a little lacy. Flea beetles chew tiny holes in the leaves when they are very tender and are just beginning to emerge from the plant. As the leaves grow, the tiny holes expand. We're working on eliminating this problem but flea beetles are very determined pests. This week's recipe is adapted from The Joy of Japanese Cooking by Kuwako Takahashi; she calls for Spinach but any leafy green can be used and we've used Swiss Chard with this preparation for years.

Marinated Swiss Chard . . . or Spinach
1. Wash chard well.
2. Boil plenty of water with salt. When it is at the full boil, add a handful of chard, stir and when the water is at full boil again, lift out the chard and plunge it into a bowl of cold water. Drain and rinse with cold water until the chard is completely cold.
3. Gently squeeze out the water from the chard, then cut into 1 1/2" lengths and transfer to a shallow plate. The stems and leaves may be mixed, or they may be separated and used in different dishes. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon soy sauce over the chard and let it stand a few minutes.
4. Squeeze out the water again and marinate in the sauce 10-30 minutes.
5. Pile into small individual bowls, top with bonito flakes or toasted sesame and serve.

Our variation is to forgo cutting the chard into strips and to marinate it in the soy sauce whole. After allowing it to marinate and squeezing out the excess moisture we roll the leaves into sushi like forms and slice as seen in the picture below. We hope you enjoy this simple yet tasty preparation for your Swiss Chard or Spinach.

Marinated Spinach from The Joy of Japanese Cooking

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Spring produce and recipes

Garlic scape - from various types of garlic

Garlic Scapes
Scapes are the flowering stems of the garlic plant. They have a fresh garlic flavor and can be used in a variety of ways. Scapes can be sliced and added to stir fries and even used in pestos. Use them with your spinach or peas for a light garlic flavor.

Herb - Sorrel

We love adding sorrel to our scrambled eggs. Anton grew up eating sorrel thanks to his French mother as it's widely eaten in France as a traditional spring green. Sorrel is sometimes called sour grass and we think you'll find it to have a refreshing flavor. We saute' the sorrel in melted butter and add it to the eggs. They are best when just set. You can add anything you want to them. Avocado, sorrel, or crab meat are our favorites.

Here's a recipe for Sorrel Omelet/Scrambled Eggs:

Sorrel omelet:

Start by slicing your sorrel into thin slivers, use the stems too, just discard the very ends.
Take out the frying pan you'll use for the omelet and melt 1teaspoon to 1tablespoon butter (to your taste) and add salt and pepper to your taste.
When the butter is melted, add the sorrel and stir it into the butter. It will wilt and turn an unpleasant green color--this is normal!
Once all the sorrel has changed color (about 10-20 seconds) put it aside into a bowl.
Mix up your favorite omelet recipe and add to the same frying pan the sorrel was cooked in.
After the egg mixture is in the pan, spread the sorrel evenly on top by dropping it in by spoonfuls over the cooking omelet.

Puree of Sorrel and Potatoes
from: The Norman Table by Claude Guermont

This is another one of our favorite ways to eat sorrel.

Serves 2-3
3 tablespoons butter
1 bunch sorrel coarsely chopped
1/4 cup sliced onions
2 cups
3/4 cups potatoes, washed peeled, and coarsely chopped
Salt and pepper

1. Melt the butter in a heavy saucepan (the same one you'll use to cook the soup). Add the chopped sorrel leaves and cook until they turn dark green.
2. Add the sliced onions and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring well.
3. Pour in the stock and bring to a boil. Add the chopped potatoes , cover, and simmer for approximately 30-40 minutes (until everything is tender).
4. Remove the soup from the heat and puree in a blender, food mill, or food processor.
5. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Snow pea - Golden Sweet

Yellow snow peas? Yes! We like to find unusual varieties and introduce them to our customers. We strongly feel that a trip to the farmers' market should turn up little treasures you cannot find in the grocery store. These peas are flavorful and tender . . . and are easy to grow. A true winner in our eyes. Eat them in a stir fry, lightly steam or even eat fresh in a salad.

Escarole - Eros

Lettuce - Forellenschluss

Lettuce - Emerald Oak

Lettuce - Red Sail

Enjoy this recipe for a French rice salad that can be eaten as an entire meal:

Vinegar (balsamic or red wine)
Olive oil
Fresh or canned tuna*
Black pepper

Rinse your lettuce and arrange leaves in individual bowls.
Prepare rice (2 cups rice, 2 cups water, simmer until water evaporates)
Boil eggs (1 egg per person)

When rice is cooked, spoon equal portions into each bowl over the lettuce. The hot rice will wilt the lettuce.
Generously sprinkle equal parts oil and vinegar over the rice and lettuce (about 2 tablespoons each of oil and vinegar).
Peel the hard boiled eggs and slice in halves or quarters and arrange around the perimeter of the bowl.
Place your tuna in the center of the bowl over the rice. (If you used fresh tuna, cook it to your liking).
Season with salt and pepper and serve.

*We like to use Fried Dace with Salted Black Beans available at C.A.M. (Columbus Asian Market) on Bethel road. Dace is a fish that is deep fried and canned in oil with salted black beans. It's delicious, not at all fishy but deeply satisfying.

Our favorite recipes come from our parents and also from sources such as If you subscribed to Gourmet (sadly no longer published), you'll find the recipes familiar as was the companion website.

For more ideas on how to use your vegetables, check out Vegetables from Amaranth to Zucchini by Elizabeth Schneider. It's a great source of information for everything vegetable and incredibly well researched with wonderful photography throughout.