Tuesday, August 27, 2013

CSA Newsletter #12

Week 12
August 27 and 28

2 bunches greens
1 bunch carrots
green beans
sweet peppers
hot peppers

Hold up!  I can’t go any further without shouting it loud and proud.....Black Kettle Farm passed inspection, we are officially certified organic!  With all the excitement of babies being born, vehicles passing inspection, and the pending annual party at the farm, this fun fact keeps falling through the cracks of the ol’ newsletter.  So now you know!  Always an organic farm in it’s core, it took the Kettle 5 years to get to this official status, due to not having a permanent home and then having to wait for the obligatory three years to certify land that was once conventionally farmed.  It feels like a great milestone and a feather in our collective farm cap to wave the OG flag.  Yahoo!

That is the big news, but honestly, every day there is something amazing and astonishing going on at the farm.  Just yesterday we broke the season record and harvested almost 200 pints of cherry tomatoes in one session!  The weed whacker is finally working again, the cats are on mice killing rampages and the new rounds of greens for the fall are flourishing even in this intense heat.  Victories and huge events happen all the time in the very site specific world of the Kettle.  Right this very second, the storage onions and shallots are finally being pulled from the field and transported to the greenhouse to dry out and cure, to strengthen their storage capacity and develop their delicious flavor.  These beauties have been a real chore this season, but as the first crop we planted this season, they hold a special place in our Kettle heart.  Remember that rainy stretch in July???  Well, we are just getting on top of the weeds generated from that soggy time.  The onions were major victims of that bountiful weed season and it took many rounds of intense hand weeding, with help from eager and able bodied volunteers, to sort of keep the weeds at bay.  This huge chunk of the field is vacant and the greenhouse is now packed with oniony goodness, calling for a flavorful fall.

In other gossip generating farm news directly from the pig pen, after the highly scientific, and no doubt extremely accurate, belly measuring tape method of weight guestimation, Girl seems to be way head of the pack with the heftiest girth, with Paco in second and Mr.Wendall and Cecily third and fourth.  No surprise here, Girl is certainly not wasting away and has mastered the art of knocking over the food dish and laying in the chow to get the most of her meal.  The pigs don’t seem to mind the heat and still find time in their busy schedules of eating split tomatoes and taking belly flops into their mud pit, to run around in circles, blurt out a noise which is a definite cross between a bark and an oink and generally act real freaky.

Having just a little sprinkle of rain the other evening felt like major news in these parts.  This deep heat of the last month has been utterly thrilling for the beans, sweet peppers and tomatoes, great for tans, tough on the delicate lettuce.
Even with all this excitement of certification, onion harvest and pig antics, we still give thanks every single day for the simple fact that this August has been a truly miraculous one here on the farm.  From the food that has been flowing out of the ground, to the great markets, to the cohesion of the crew, to the clear nights and the blue, blue skies.  We’ve been saying it for a month now, but it is news that never, ever gets old........
August is Awesome, Abundant, Awe inspiring and AH-MAY-ZING!

Kale and Walnut Pesto

1/4 cup chopped walnuts
2 garlic cloves
1/2 lb kale, without stems
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated

Toast walnuts over high heat until fragrant. Set aside.
Bring 2 cups water to boil. Add kale and 1T salt. Cook about 15 minutes, or until tender.
Drain kale. Add to food processor with garlic and walnuts.
While processing, slowly add olive oil until smoothly pureed.
Add Parmesan.
Serve with pasta, rice, bean, on toast or over potatoes.

Pasta Salad with Cherry Tomatoes and Green Olivada
1 garlic clove, peeled
2 cups coarsely chopped pitted green olives (from about 6 ounces unpitted whole olives), divided
3 tablespoons capers, drained
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon anchovy paste
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound gemelli, fusilli, or rotelle pasta
2 pints cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes, halved
1 8-ounce package small (cherry-size) fresh mozzarella balls in water
2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
With machine running, add garlic clove to processor through feed tube and process until finely chopped; turn off machine. Add 1 cup chopped olives, capers, red wine vinegar, anchovy paste, mustard, and crushed red pepper. Using 6 on/off turns, process to chop coarsely. With machine running, gradually add 1/2 cup olive oil, forming coarse puree. Transfer to bowl; stir in remaining 1 cup olives. Season olivada to taste with salt and pepper. DO AHEAD: Olivada can be made 3 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate.
Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain well. Transfer drained pasta to large bowl. Drizzle remaining 1 tablespoon oil over pasta; toss to coat. Cool, stirring occasionally.
Add olivada, halved tomatoes, mozzarella, and oregano to pasta; toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

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