Tuesday, June 25, 2013

CSA Week #3

2 bunches greens
1 head lettuce
1 head napa cabbage
1 bunch salad turnips
purple kohlrabi
1 bunch scallions

The double whammy of summer solstice and the super moon have been no joke at Black Kettle Farm.  The field is getting packed, the veggies are cranking and the harvests are getting beefier by the week.  It is all incredibly miraculous and wonderful, but truth be told, those turnips don’t just walk themselves into your shares, there is a ton of hard-work and lots of great souls that make it all happen.  
Here we go community, meet the 2013 Kettle crew!!!

Abi Griffith: Assistant Manager, Gemini
Abi, a former Portland dweller and massage therapist, brings her dedication to farming, positivity and rock solid work ethic to the Kettle fields this season.  She dunks, washes, organizes, fluffs and packs all the harvested veggies not to mention, our girl is a whiz on the tractor and an expert field rock extractor.
Farm Fashion: Faded black hat with a double lavender brim  

Carmen Allen: Apprentice, Sagittarius
Carmen, hailing from the potato fields of Presque Isle, brings major enthusiasm for all things farming this season.  A pro chard harvester and irrigation master, Carmen’s huge laugh and skills with the hula hoe are much appreciated.
Farm Fashion:  Weird, but very sensible, purple trench coat

Carly Mercer: WWOOF Volunteer, Cancer
Carly, ditching life in D.C. is gracing us with her presence for 3 weeks this season. She fits right in with the Kettle crew and weeds onions like a zen master, harvests kohlrabi like a champ and mulches with best of them.  No better time then June to have an extra pair of hands on the farm, we’d be hurting without her.
Farm Fashion: Radical red knee socks

Shannon Gilpatrick: Special Operations Manager, Leo
It’s year four in the Kettle fields for Shannon.  From seeding just about everything in the greenhouse, to trouble shooting the weed whacker, to explaining the best practice for filling restaurant orders and packing for market, Shannon is a wealth of knowledge about all things BKF.  Her attention to detail and calm during the crazy keep the Kettle cruising right along.
Farm Fashion: Big Baby Belly!...due in August!...and hot pink short shorts.

Laura Neale: Kettle General Manager/Cat Lady, Aquarius
L.Neale, holding it down for season five with Black Kettle Farm, living in awe and gratitude for all the amazing, beautiful and humbling experiences, epic meals, ridiculous moments, really good friends and truly hilarious episodes that have been generated through the farm.  A lover of reggae music, strong cup of yerba mate and kale at every meal.
Farm Fashion: Custom sleeved sweatshirts/real dirty trucker hat, tilted ever so.

Work Share Crew : Kim, Su, Molly and Alex, weeders, transplanters, rock stars.

Napa Cabbage is the best!!!!  When looking up recipes for Napa salads and slaws, I realized they are all the same, except for the dressing.  
Follow this custom Kettle style recipe for your salad and them dress it up as you see fit.  Enjoy!
Chop Napa Cabbage
Cut the butt end off and shred purple kohlrabi
Remove leaves from salad turnips and slice into thin discs
Finely dice scallions, use the white parts and the greens.
Layer napa, kohlrabi, and turnips in a big salad bowl, toss scallions on top and choose a dressing from below!  Yum, summer supper is served!
Napa Slaw
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, torn if large
In a small bowl, combine sugar, vinegar, sesame oil, and soy sauce. Stir until sugar dissolves, then pour over cabbage mixture. Toss until slaw is coated and top with mint leaves.
Napa Cabbage Salad with Peanuts and Ginger
2 tablespoons rice-wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 piece fresh ginger (1 inch long), peeled and grated
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
coarse salt and ground pepper
1/4 cup chopped roasted peanuts
In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, mustard, ginger, and oils until dressing is smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
Shredded Napa Cabbage Salad with Golden Raisins, and Dijon Dressing
1/4 cup white-wine vinegar
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard, preferably whole grain
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup golden raisins
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
Whisk together vinegar, mustard, and sugar. Toss together cabbage, turnips,scallions etc, add golden raisins.  Drizzle dressing over salad. Season with salt and pepper.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

CSA Newsletter Week #2

Week 2

June 18 and 19

salad mix
2 bunches greens
1 head lettuce
1 bunch easter egg radish
purple kohlrabi
1 bunch herbs

The days are stretching out, the sunsets are gorgeous and pause worthy and the veggies are really and truly starting to flow at Black Kettle Farm.  All systems are GO, solstice and the (super!!!) full moon are touching down by the end of the week.  We feel it, the pigs feel it, the chard feels it!!!!!!!! This is why we live in Maine!!!  It’s time to go swimming as much as possible and eat as much fresh food we can get our hands on, we gotta recharge the batteries and store up all this goodness....bring on summer!!
Even with all the rain that has hit the farm in the last week, the Kettle crew has still been hustling, bustling and making things happen.  Not only did we accomplish a great (by which I mean fabulous and awesome) first week of CSA pick-ups, getting the harvest routine down, meeting new members and hugging old friends from season’s past, but we have also been doing tons of planting, weeding and navigating mud puddles.

For the first time ever, the farm is making a big, huge, Kettle style stab at growing sweet potatoes!  Last friday, after a foggy, groggy harvest for market, the sun broke, the rain gear was shed and our sweet potatoes showed up at the barn in a big ol’ box from Tennessee.  Under a a crisp, text book Maine sky, we got those babies in the ground and wished them well on their delicious journey.  May the sun shine upon them and may the field mice find something else to munch, here’s to keeping it way interesting and bringing a delicious slice of the deep south to your local harvest this season.  Fingers and toes crossed for a bumper haul!

Because we do so enjoy keeping it interesting in these parts, Mongolia met Maine last week and a yurt was raised on the farm in the back meadow.  The yurt, surrounded by wild flowers and tucked behind the main veggie field,  is a new and gorgeous community space, for staff, friends and visitors to eat, hang, meditate, soak in the tranquility of the farm, watch the fireflies or space out and listen to the rain.  The sky is the limit for it’s uses, as the positivity and beauty radiate out of this structure.  The raising day was smooth, fun and rewarding, and  the Kettle crew is extremely thankful for all those that contributed.

And, while all this action is going on, the cukes are flowering, the beans are up and at ‘em, the tomatoes are fruiting, and the fall broccoli is about to go in the ground.  High fives all the way around, summer is here!  
Much love and happy solstice!

Kripalu House Dressing
Enjoy it over your salads or steamed vegetables. This dressing will keep for two weeks in your refrigerator.  Makes approximately 2 cups.
1 cup sunflower oil or grape seed oil
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
¼ cup tamari (natural soy sauce)
½ cup lemon juice
⅓ cup sesame tahini
2 cloves garlic
½ tablespoon dry mustard powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ tablespoon chili powder

pinch cayenne
½ cup water
Combine all ingredients and blend using a standard blender or immersion blender.

Swiss Chard with Ginger and Cumin

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 jalapeños, minced
1 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
3 pounds Swiss chard—rinsed, stems cut into 1/2-inch pieces, leaves cut into 1-inch ribbons
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

In a large, deep skillet, heat the oil. Add the cumin and cook over moderately high heat until slightly darkened, 10 seconds. Add the jalapeños and ginger and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 1 minute. Stir in the chard leaves and stems with the water that clings to the leaves and a pinch of salt. Cover and cook over low heat, stirring, until the chard is tender, 12 minutes. Uncover and cook over high heat until most of the liquid has evaporated, 2 minutes. Add the lemon juice, season the chard with salt and serve.

Kohlrabi and Radish Salad

3 cup grated, raw kohlrabi
1 c. sliced, red radishes
1/3 c. olive or vegetable oil
1 T. lemon juice
2 T. vinegar
2 tsp. sugar
¼ tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
Combine kohlrabi and radishes.  Whisk together remaining ingredients.  Pour over salad mix, toss and serve.  

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

CSA Newsletter #1

June 11 and 12
Today's Harvest:
2 bunches greens : kale, chard, collards or spicy mustard
2 bunches asian greens : bok choi, joi choi or tat soi
2 heads lettuce
green garlic
A plant of your own!

The kick-off share of the Black Kettle Farm CSA 2013 season is brought to you by the color GREEN!  It is an absolute sensory overload in these parts with millions, upon billions, of  shades of green beaming out from all the young, fresh and super happy plants here at the farm.  The dark green tat soi, the soft green lettuce, the bright green mustard, the deep green collards. Even with the gray skies and the gloomy weather, the Kettle field is awash with vibrant colors, with the rainbow chard, the purpley kale, and the frilly red lettuce.   The plants are loving this rain, tapping the nutrients of the soil and gearing up for a long, abundant and flavorful season.   

With that in mind, WELCOME dear friends to a full season of veggies and a huge celebration of Maine's unique and glorious bounty!  In it's fourth year, the Black Kettle CSA has it's largest membership yet, reaching over 100 families, with fresh produce about to find its way onto hundreds of tables and into countless meals over the next 19 weeks.  Even though the greenhouse was first fired up in March, even though the Kettle crew has been at it toiling, and sometimes boiling, in the field since April, and even though we have been going to market and eating the first veggies for weeks, the real start of the season is NOW, the first harvest and connection with the Kettle community.  

Each season the farm sinks deeper into it's own rhythm, with both a solid foundation and a constantly evolving and hopefully, improving set of systems, practices and basis of knowledge.  How will the season shake out?  What will be the humbling lessons that crush big, grand plans and what will be the winging it moments that result in beautiful new
ways of doing things?  What will be delicious, awesome and HUGE this season?  And what will crash and burn, never to be spoken of again?  We have already experienced some major weather extremes, from frosty nights, to sweltering days to monsoon-like scenarios.  But, of course, we have also had tons of gorgeous, crisp, clear days filled with blue skies, high clouds, and gusts of clean air.  Epic days that just make the veggies want to grow and grow and get even more and more GREEN.

Now, as we start the CSA, and begin to write the tale of the growing season, we can get closer to answering the exciting question of " how is it all going to happen?".  From where the Kettle stands on this soggy afternoon in June, the farm is feeling blessed and invigorated for the season.  We've got tons of plants in the ground, the weeds kind of/sort of at bay, a hardworking, dedicated crew, and a fabulous, diverse and ever enthusiastic community of veggie lovers to feed!  Not much better then that!  Come unpredictable weather, fierce bugs, and undoubtable farm drama/episodes of ridiculously broken equipment, Black Kettle Farm is present an accounted for and ready to represent!  Here's to a great season!

******use green garlic just like a leek, store it in your fridge and throw it in veggie stir fry or your favorite homemade salad dressing

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic
3 large handfuls lacinato kale, torn into shreds
1 to 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Preparing to bake. Preheat the oven to 350°. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Combine the salt, smoked paprika, and garlic in a small bowl.
Wash the kale. Rinse the kale leaves, then put them in a salad spinner and spin until the green becomes a blur. Round and round, spinning and spinning — let the kale dry. After it comes out, dry it even more with paper towels. Those leaves should be bone dry.
Oiling the kale. Put the kale leaves in a large bowl. Drizzle over 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Massage the oil into the leaves. You might need more. You might have larger hands than I do. Use your judgment.
Bake the chips. Arrange the kale chips onto the sheet try and slide it into the oven. Bake until the leaves are crisp to the touch but still a dark green. (When they turn brown, they turn bitter.) Check at the 12-minute mark, to be sure.
Remove them from the oven. Sprinkle with the garlic smoked paprika salt.
Sautéed Greens 
Bon Appetit
  • 1 pound Swiss chard or other greens, such as kale, asian greens, collards or mustard
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 minced garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • Fresh lemon juice
  • Rinse greens. Drain and cut leaves and stems into 1/4"-1/2" strips and pieces.
  • In a large skillet, heat extra-virgin olive oil over medium heat. Add stems, garlic cloves, and onion and sauté until onion softens. Add the leaves and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5 minutes. Finish with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.

This is such an easy and versatile recipe, you can use any green and make tons of simple and tasty additions!  
Add cooked beans such as chick peas or ground pork for added protein.  Serve on top of pasta or quinoa, or add ginger, red peppers flakes, any kind of vinegar and a dash of tamari!  Yummy!

Monday, June 3, 2013

CSA starts next week!

That's right Black Kettle CSA Members, 
the first day of veggie pick-up in upon us!

Tuesday, June 11th:

On the farm in Lyman, 4:30-6:30
1391 S.Waterboro Road, right on the border of Waterboro and Lyman.
The farm is a white house with an attached red barn, please park to the left and come on into the barn.

Delivery to River Bead Wellness Center, 4:30-6:30
1009 Portland Road, Arundel.
The produce will be boxed and on the porch to the right.  Meet crew member Shannon Gilpatrick and touch base about how the delivery will work for the rest of the season.

Wednesday, June 12th:

Delivery to Portland, 4:00-6:30
Fort Allen Park, on the Eastern Prom.
Look for a big white van, parked all the way to the left as you are looking at the water.

All members, please bring a tote bag and a huge hankering for some fresh veggies!

Sun + rain = delicious local Kettle chow...........see you soon!