Sunday, October 13, 2013

CSA Week #18

Week 18
Oct.8 and 9

2 stalks brussels sprouts
1 bunch greens
baby lettuce mix

CSA is a major leap of faith for all involved.  Maybe you heard about Black Kettle Farm from a friend, or did a quick internet search and chose to be a member because the pick-up time and location worked for your busy schedule, maybe saw a flyer on a a bulletin board, maybe you met me for a quick second at a CSA fair in the dead of winter, or maybe you just joined on a complete and total whim.  

Regardless, you joined, and to do so you gave me money.  I promised to grow you vegetables and our relationship of farmer and consumer was formed.  That was all well and good, way back before the abundant sun was shining and the veggies were flowing out of the earth.  Before you had even eaten any BKF kale, stuffed pints of cherry tomatoes in to your mouth, tried (and LOVED) kohlrabi for the first time, chowed a whole bunch of carrots on the car ride home from pick-up or realized that green beans are actually insanely delicious and not frumpy at all.  Before you ate anything, you trusted me and employed me to grow your veggies, and therefore I was in debt to you.  As a farmer, it is super scary, as well as super exciting to create this relationship, and because of this, I make fulfilling my obligation to you of the highest of priorities of the farm.

With that pretty much always on my mind, I am thrilled to say that at this point in the season, BKF has exceeded the $500 value of the CSA share that you paid for.  I track the weekly value of the shares with the same prices that I use at farmer’s market to insure that you get what you pay for and always shoot to supply members with 10% more in produce when all is said and done.  This additional $50.00 in veggies is a nod to you folks who trusted me, joined the BKF team and got on board for whatever twists and turns that the always whacky and unpredictable, Maine-tastic, fast and furious growing season serves up.  So that’t where we are, these last two shares are freebies, yummy gifts from the farm!

Let’s bring it on home and give credit where credit is due, CSA members are the best!  You provide the farm with income in the off-season and a consistent and stead fast market for the veggies that it grows.  Beyond that, you provide the farm with the ever necessary “C” in CSA - COMMUNITY!  We know and love you all and yes, we talk about you at farm lunch.  We grow certain things and plan diverse weekly shares with you in mind.  We take pride in our veggies at BKF because our relationship with you, our members, who trusted us and believed in us to grow their food, really, really matters.  Even though it’s kind of hip these days, farming can be really isolating, frustrating and mentally, physically and spiritually taxing.  Just because you see me smiling at pick-up, certainly doesn’t mean that I wasn’t feeling down in the dumps a few hours earlier, loathing bugs, or rain, wishing that I was more organized or just some kind of semi-normal, non-farming person in general.  But, hey, I gotta say, the interactions over weekly CSA shares, the exchanges and blending of members’ personalities at pick-up and the beautiful joy that you all express to me in regards to the produce always proves to turn the beet around and the business aspect and exchange of money aside, it makes me love and value the relationship of CSA  beyond compare.  

I am so happy to share the abundance of the farm and this beautiful, although not easy, graceful or super smooth, growing season.  And good for you!  You have eaten, chopped and shared over $500 worth of fresh, health enhancing, glow inducing, spring in the step provoking, super gorgeous veggies!  Who’s hip now? Yahoo!  

Brussels Sprouts & Kale Salad With Toasted Almonds & Parmesan
Serves 6-8

* 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
* 2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
* 1 Tbsp minced shallot
* 1 small clove garlic, finely grated
* Sea salt and pepper
* 1/2 cup olive oil
* 1 bunch kale, center stem discarded, leaves sliced thinly
* 12 oz. Brussels sprouts, trimmed and shredded
* 1/3 cup almonds with skins, toasted and coarsely chopped
* 1/ cup grated Pecorino, Parmesan or Romano cheese

1. Combine lemon juice, Dijon mustard, shallot, garlic, 1/2 tsp. salt, and a pinch of pepper in a small bowl. Stir to blend; set aside to let flavors meld. Mix the thinly sliced kale and shredded Brussels sprouts in a large bowl.

  1. Slowly whisk remaining olive oil in cup into lemon-juice mixture. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper. Add the dressing, cheese and almonds to the Brussels sprouts and kale mixture and toss to coat. Season lightly with salt and pepper and serve.

Broccoli Pesto
By Debra Kam.  HUGE BKF supporter at Portsmouth Farmer’s Market of author of food blog Diary of a Tomato
4 cloves garlic
6 cups broccoli, florets and peeled stems, chopped and blanched
2 cups fresh basil leaves
2/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup good olive oil
2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Place garlic cloves in a food processor and pulse until chopped. Add broccoli, basil, pine nuts, lemon juice, sea salt and olive oil, and pulse until finely chopped. Add cheese at end, and pulse to mix. Adjust seasoning.
- Pack into freezer containers, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Makes 6 half-pint jars.

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