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!

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