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SRJC Shone Farm CSA Newsletter             

                                                     July 20, 2016

Collard greens - Shone




  • Lettuce
  • Collards
  • Carrots
  • Red Skin Potatoes
  • Corn
  • Garlic
  • Cane Berries
  • Strawberries
  • Sonora Wheat Berries
  • Zinnias

Eating Seasonally

Hi there!  This is Lynn Ellerbrock.  I've been the sales and distribution assistant here for over 4 years.  I've found, created, and made a lot of the recipes you receive each week, along with the help of the entire sales staff.

As I was cooking this weekend, I realized how my cooking has changed over the years, due to working here at the farm as well as at a farmer's market (for an amazing bakery) on the weekends.  My transition into seasonal eating is right in line with how CSA members can best utilize their boxes. 

I modify recipes like a champion!  "Fresh" tomatoes in a winter recipe - no thanks.  Zucchini in a winter sautee or soup - skip it!  Now do I snub my nose at dinner a friend has made for me that features a totally out of season item?  No.  But do I pick tomatoes out of a winter salad at a restaurant?  Yes - they are soooo gross - tart, acidic water balloons with red skin.  And I cringe at recipes with items from 2 completely separate seasons, such as asparagus and tomatoes.  Seriously when will spring asparagus and summer tomatoes EVER be ripe at the same time?

I think bananas are the last fruit or veggie I've bought from a grocery store because fresh local food tastes better; it was picked at the peak of ripeness.  In addition, it hasn't travelled across the country (or countries) to get to me.  Plus, I really like being able to picture the people who grew the food I'm eating (especially with all the food recalls and E. coli break out stories in the news.)

There's also something special about waiting for an item to come into season.  Absence makes the heart grow fonder...  For example, that first taste of fresh asparagus sauteed with butter, or the joy of finally putting a crisp cucumber on my salad.  And the first taste of sweet tart raspberries - yum!  I'm on tippy toes waiting for the first REAL slicing tomatoes!

To sum up the main shift in my mindset of cooking and eating, I used to be like most "modern Americans."  I would think of a recipe I was hungry for, look at the ingredients, go buy the items I needed, and make a tasty meal.

What do I do now?  Well, I reverse the order of things.  I look in my fridge and see what I have, then I think about what I can make out of those items.  It's a culinary challenge I enjoy solving!  I see now that I rarely use recipes, but instead I throw items that were grown together in a skillet, pot, or bowl, and voila!  Dinner is made!

For example, this weekend I made a foil packet dinner on the grill with summer squash, leeks, mushrooms, hamburger, and Romano beans.  I also made broccoli and oyster mushroom "tacos" with leeks.  (Yes, I have a bunch of leeks sitting around from who knows when!)  For breakfast, I add strawberries to my oatmeal.  For a snack, I eat yogurt with fresh fruit and granola.  For work, I make a salad with lettuce and whatever else I have around - cucumbers, fennel, chives, beets, carrots, etc.

It's been a slow transition for me, but now I pretty much only eat seasonally.  It tastes great, and there aren't any fussy recipes to follow (or deviate from).  I hope you also can enjoy the taste and freshness of each's week's CSA box!

Tips & Tidbits
Crazy about Carrots

Unique twisting carrots
We can all have troubles with spelling and grammar at times, myself included (thank goodness for spell check). So here are some interesting tips on how to not get your "carrots" spelling and grammar twisted.

Carrots- are those crunchy orange vegetables Bugs Bunny is so fond of.

Carats- are what precious stones like diamonds are weighed in.

Karat- The same word as "carats", though in this usage it is sometimes used to express the proportion of pure gold in an alloy, (hence the abbreviation "20K gold").

Caret- is a proofreader's mark showing where something needs to be inserted, shaped like a tiny pitched roof and are extensively used in computer programming.
Just remember, if you can't eat it, it's not a carrot.

First Corn of the Summer!

So you only get a few ears this week, but this is the first corn of 2016!  There will certainly be more to come, so get your grill fired up or pot of water boiling.  Our corn is so fresh and sweet, it's also great raw, cut straight from the cob. 
Storage & preparation:
Store unhusked corn in a bag in the fridge, or in the crisper drawer.  Try to eat it within a few days - 1 week; when the husk dries out, the quality of the corn will drastically decline.  And, please note that corn ear worm is a common pest hanging out at the tip of the ear.  While they are not the cutest critters, if you find some in your corn, you can simply cut off the affected area.  The rest of the corn is perfectly fine to eat.

And, what is red (or orange), round, and goes perfectly with corn?  TOMATOES!!!  We picked our first few baskets of cherry tomatoes this week, so you can expect some in your box over the next few weeks.

Fabulous Flowers

Flowers have been known to be a universal instrument for a variety of occasions in cultures worldwide. Thus, it has been considered a symbol of sharing and positive feeling. Research shows that flowers have a positive impact on emotional health.

A behavioral study was conducted by Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey headed by Jeannette Haviland-Jones, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology Research Findings. It was a 10-month study of participants' behavioral and emotional responses to receiving flowers.

All study participants expressed "true" or "excited" smiles upon receiving flowers, demonstrating extraordinary delight and gratitude. This reaction was universal, occurring in all age groups.

The participants reported feeling less depressed, anxious and agitated after receiving flowers, and demonstrated a higher sense of enjoyment and life satisfaction.   The presence of flowers also led to increased contact with family and friends.

Next time you're not feeling too up-beat, maybe give a pause to take in the beauty and tranquility of a floral arrangement.

Sonora Wheat Berries

We're excited to give you wheat berries in this week's box, during the exact same week we are harvesting this year's wheat!   Wheat berries are a versatile whole grain, full of vitamins and fiber, with a sweet, nutty taste, and a delightful chewy texture.

Sonora Wheat is one of the oldest surviving varieties of wheat in North America. It was widely planted in California in the early 1800's and provided the West Coast residents with their flour during the Civil War. Sonora Wheat is among the most naturally disease resistant varieties in the world, as well as being extremely drought tolerant. It is capable of producing an excellent crop with no irrigation and little fertility even when compared to modern wheat strains.

Contrary to popular belief, wheat berries do not require an overnight soak before cooking. In fact, they can be cooked dry exactly like rice. It is a good idea to rinse them in a strainer first to remove any hulls.  (Note that there may be an occasional purple vetch seed along with the wheat even though they have been cleaned). 

Bring liquid to a boil. Once boiling add wheat berries. Two cups of liquid to one cup of wheat berries. Turn it down to a simmer and cover. Cook for about fifty minutes (liquid should be absorbed). Cooked wheat berries are soft but also chewy.

 You can substitute wheat berries for rice in many recipes. Also good for salads and soups. Known to be hardy and filling. 
(you can find more step by step directions in our recipe corner as well).


Berry Good  Porridge 
(Serves 3)

1 1/2 cups milk (whole or 2%)
1 Tbsp honey
1 1/2 cups cooked wheat berries (see below)
pinch of salt
generous pinch of cinnamon
1 cup fresh berries 

1.  Stir milk and honey together in small saucepan and bring to a boil.
2.  Stir in wheat berries, salt, and cinnamon.
3. Return to a boil, reduce heat slightly, and let simmer for 30 min, stirring occasionally.
4. Discard the skin that forms at the top and add berries.
5. Continue to simmer until the mixture gets really thick (about 10 min).
To cook wheat berries 
1. C ombine 2/3 cup wheat berries and 1 1/3 cups water in pot
2.  Bring to a b oil. 
3.  Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until wheat berries are tender (about an hour). 
*You can store them in the refrigerator for a few days, or the freezer for a few months.

Quick and cheesy stir fry

2 carrots, shredded
1 bunch of collards, stems removed, leaves very thinly sliced
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 pound feta cheese, crumbled
1 cup rice or wheat berries

Cook wheat berries just like brown rice - 1 cup berries to 2 cups broth - boil - then cover and simmer about 50 minutes, or until tender yet chewy.

Put carrots, collards, onions, 1/4 cup water, salt and pepper into a large, deep skillet and toss well. Cover and cook over medium heat, tossing once or twice, until greens are wilted and tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Toss with feta cheese and spoon over wheat berries.  

Collards, Carrots and French Green Lentils

1 bunch collards
4-5 carrots
3/4 cup dried French green lentils
1 onion
2 cloves garlic
olive oil
sea salt
lemon juice or white wine vinegar
1/4 c chopped parsley (optional)

For best results, soak the dried lentils overnight.  Drain them right before cooking.  Rinse the lentils, and place them in a pot with new, fresh water covering them by about 3 inches.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cover.  Cook 15 - 30 minutes, just until tender, drain off cooking water, and rinse.  Then set aside.

While the lentils are cooking, chop your onion and mince your garlic. Slice your carrots.  Chop off the collard stems.  Then stack them on top of each other in a pile. Cut into one inch squares, removing any sections that have thick pieces of stem.

When your lentils are almost soft, heat a pan on medium heat.  Add olive oil. When the oil swirls easily in the pan, add the onion and garlic, and cook for about 5 minutes.  Add carrots and stir.   Cook about 5 minutes more.  If the carrots are still very crisp, add 1 - 2 Tbsp water and cover the pan for a few minutes more.  When the carrots are tender crisp, add collards. Sprinkle with sea salt and continue to cook, stirring occasionally.

Shortly after the collards turn bright green from cooking (about 3 minutes), clear a space in the center of the pan and add the lentils.  Mix with the other vegetables, and add a squeeze of lemon juice or a dash of vinegar, if you like.   Top with chopped Italian parsley, basil or thyme.
Cook until lentils are warm. Adjust salt and serve.   This dish is wonderful as a main course, by itself or served over a bed of lettuce or wheat berries.

Click the link for this recipe featured in Good Housekeeping.  Red skin potatoes are perfect for potato salads, and this recipe  seems like an interesting twist to regular old potato salad.  I think roasting the potatoes would be even better than boiling them.

Eat Corn Like An Ohioan
Coming from the land of corn, wheat, and soy beans, this is how I recommend eating corn - Lynn Ellerbrock

To boil corn on the cob, simply bring a pot of water to a boil.  meanwhile husk the corn, remove any stray corn ear worms :) and as much silk as you can.  Then dunk the corn in the water.  Corn cooks super quick (especially tender, fresh corn like this).  It will be done in 2 - 3 minutes!  Depending on the size of your pot, you may have to rotate the corn to be sure it's cooked on all sides.

As soon as it's cooked, pile the ears on a plate and set it in the middle of the table.  Now everyone dig in, grab your ear of corn, roll it around on the stick of butter (so now your butter has this nice corn indent in it).  Sprinkle liberally with salt on ALL sides, and dig in!  P.S.  Corn holders are for wusses!  Let that steaming hot corn burn your fingers - it's part of the experience!


Eat Good. Do Good.