Archive for June, 2013

Box #5: Food for Thought

food for thought

Animal Place News:  

Have you checked out Animal Place’s new campaign website?  Food for Thought encourages animal shelters to adopt an animal friendly menu policy at shelter-sponsored events.  Ask your local shelters to check out the website and take the survey.

What’s inside:  

Broccolini – the broccoli bolted, and then produced lovely little side shoots.  We’re calling it broccolini.  We wrapped it up with a few kohlrabi leaves for fun.  (Most of the kohlrabi leaves were damaged last month in a frost, so just a few!)

Varna Leeks – this variety can be eaten raw in salad, or substitute this for onions in any recipe.  Leeks need a little special washing, as gritty soil can be caught between layers.  Check out this post for tips on cleaning leeks.

Kohlrabi – what interesting way did you use this last week?  We grated ours over a salad.  Be sure to peel off the tough skin.

Ripbor Kale – ruffled leaves hold up well for making kale chips.  Or do raw, sautéed or even juiced.

Collard Greens – It’s sturdy, and can be used as a wrap.  Cut out any thick stems.

Green “Golden Acres” Cabbage – a tender heirloom variety.  Think salad, stir fry, cole slaw or kimchi!

Sugar Snap Peas – that’s it for the peas this summer.  We’re tearing them out and using the bed space for a new crop.

Chioggia and red beets – chioggia beets have beautiful candycane stripes inside.

Bunched Carrots

Fresh parsley – add it to salad, tabouli or any juice.  Very alkaline food!

Intern Rebecca Wolf

Intern Rebecca Wolf

Fresh basil – eat raw, cooked or make pesto!

What’s happening on the farm:

We’re looking for another farm intern for Sept – Oct, and possibly earlier.  Please pass on the word to any aspiring farmers and activists who would like to learn and contribute to our veganic farm.

Broccoli Leek Soup by Vegan Sonoma

  • 2-3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 leeks, including tender green portions,
    rinsed well and finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 lb broccoli, trimmed, florets and stalks
    cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • Salt and freshly ground white pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup Tofutti sour cream
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh chives

Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven or stockpot over medium heat. Add the leeks and saute until softened, 3 – 5 minutes. Add the broccoli and saute, stirring frequently, until slightly softened, about 2 – 3 minutes more.Add the stock and bring to a simmer. Cover partially and cook until the vegetables are tender when pierced with a sharp knife, 15 – 20 minutes. Remove from the heat.

In a blender or food processor, puree the soup in batches until smooth and return the soup to the pan. (Alternatively, process with a stick blender in the pan until smooth. Reheat the soup gently over medium heat. Season with salt and white pepper. Ladle the soup into warmed bowls and garnish with the sour cream and chives. Serve immediately.

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Box #4: Krazy Kohlrabi

Mark your calendars:  we’ll be celebrating the 24th birthday of Animal Place with a Pig-Out Birthday BBQ Bash on July 6th.

Till then, you have another CSA box to enjoy and inspire some creativity!  This week’s box features a new selection that you might not be familiar with:  kohlrabi.  The leaves are edible, but the real treat is the swollen stem.  It has a texture and taste similar to a broccoli stem, but milder and sweeter.  Kohlrabi can be eaten raw, pickled or cooked.

Kohlrabi plant.  The bulb-like stem and leaves are edible, and delicious!

Kohlrabi plant. The bulb-like stem and leaves are edible, and delicious!

What’s inside:  

Kohlrabi – a member of the brassica family, related to cabbage, broccoli, kale, collards and more.

Golden Globe Turnip – this variety tastes more like a rutabaga, and is really great mashed.  Use your favorite mashed potatoes recipe, substituting this beauties for the taters.

Collard Greens – finally, we can offer you this tasty summer green.  It’s sturdy, and can be used as a wrap.  Cut out any thick stems.

Dino Kale – gets its name from the  bumpy leaf surface resembling dinosaur skin!  Also known as lacinato kale.

Green “Golden Acres” Cabbage – a tender heirloom variety.  Think salad, stir fry, cole slaw or kimchi!

Golden Globe Turnip - great for mashing!

Golden Globe Turnip – great for mashing!

Sugar Snap Peas – A light, crunchy snack or salad topper.

Rainbow Chard – red, yellow, pink and white leaves add color to any dish, cooked or raw.

Watermelon Radishes – spicy, and beautifully magenta inside.  Raw, sautéed or roasted.  That’s it for awhile!

Carrots – can’t beat em!

Beets – juice them, grate them, slice them, roast them, boil them, pickle them.

Fresh basil – eat raw, cooked or make pesto!

What’s happening:

If you’ve visited our farm or follow the Animal Place blog, you may have met our amazing two interns, Andy and Rebecca.  Your CSA would not be possible without them!  They have gone from farm-curious to farm-saavy in just a few months.  Later this season, you can personally thank Andy for the pumpkins and watermelons – it was his idea and motivation to further expand our fields and plant these two crops.  Thanks, Andy!

andy trays

Kohlrabi and Shredded Carrot Salad 

by the Messy Vegetarian Cook .  Check out the link for more tips on this recipe.

  • 2 Kohlrabi
  • 2 Small carrots
  • 1/2 Large onion, diced
  • 1/2 tsp minced ginger
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1-2 cloves garlic
  • 3 tbsp vinegar (white wine or cider)
  • 2 tbsp good quality soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Cut the kohlrabi into matchstick sized pieces or shred with a grater, whichever works best for you. I used a mandoline to julienne.
  2. Do the same with the carrot and combine in a large bowl before adding the chopped onion.
  3. Use a pestle and mortar to combine the sesame oil with the garlic and ginger. When you’ve achieved a nice even paste, add the sugar and other liquid ingredients. This method is optional (you can simply crush, mince, and mix), but worthwhile in my opinion as it really mixes the flavours well.
  4. Add the liquid with the vegetables and stir until covered. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate until needed.

 

Box #3: Root Rendezvous!

Have you ever visited Animal Place?  Come on out for a guided tour of the sanctuary this Saturday, June 15.  Meet the resident animals and see your farmers in action!

Meet Summer this weekend!

Meet Summer this weekend!

Some bad news:  We really wanted to give you broccoli this spring.  The plants now have beautiful yellow flowers instead of the dark green crowns we all know and love.  Why?  The plant experiences stress, i.e. extreme heat, and rushes to flower, set seed and ultimately reproduce.  Survival of the species!  What would have been superfood for you is now superfood for the bees.  We fear that the cauliflower may go next.

The good news:  We wanted to give you some variety in spite of the losses, so we’ve included a special treat for you this week:  a guest crop of sweet potatoes from Weimar Farm (part of

Digging sweet potatoes at Weimar Farm

Digging sweet potatoes at Weimar Farm

Weimar Center of Health and Education), certified organic and veganically grown in Placer County.  Farmer Darren Greenfield says, “Growing veganically is for the ultimate good of our planet and every creature that occupies it.”

What’s inside:

Sweet Potatoes – from Weimar Farm (veganic)

Carrots – Bigger this week.  Slice them, juice them, grate them, roast them!

Tokyo Market Turnips – yes, here they are again.  Still great for salads, or try roasting them with the sweet potatoes, carrots, beets  and rosemary (see tip below).

Red Beets – just the roots.  Don’t worry about food going to waste, the pigs greatly enjoyed the beet greens.

Green “Golden Acres” Cabbage – a tender heirloom variety.  Think salad, stir fry, cole slaw or kimchi!

Green Leaf Lettuce – our red leaf variety has a habit of bolting just before harvest time.  I hope you like the green version!

Green Towers Lettuce – a full-bodied romaine.  Crisp!

Sugar Snap Peas – they made it through another heat wave, and we were able to give you 4x more than last week!  A light, crunchy snack or salad topper.

Rainbow Chard – red, yellow, pink and white leaves add color to any dish, cooked or raw

Watermelon Radishes – spicy, and beautifully magenta inside.  Raw, sautéed or roasted.

Fresh Rosemary

Tip:  Roasted Roots and Rosemary, they go well together!

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

Peel and dice the root vegetables…such as sweet potatoes, beets, carrots and turnips from this week’s box.  You can even try roasting the watermelon radishes.

Mix about 4 Tbsp of olive oil (or any cooking oil) with chopped rosemary, 2-3 cloves of minced garlic, salt and pepper (to taste).

Toss the veggies with the oil mixture and spread them out on a baking pan.

Roast for about 40 minutes or until the veggies are a bit crispy.

Roasted turnips, beets and rosemary by Farmer Steph, 2012 season

Roasted turnips, beets and rosemary by Farmer Steph, 2012 season

Box #2: Spring Veggies, While They Last

Thank you for the positive remarks about the first box!  You may notice that this week’s selection is very similar to the last.  Two reasons:  we want to offer you the spring produce before it succumbs to the 104 degrees forecasted for this weekend.  Enjoy it while it lasts!  Also, we’ve had some insect damage to two of my personal favorites, kale and collards, so we have excluded that from the box.  I hope to be able to include them soon.

Too many salads?  Well then, check out the recipe below for a GREEN smoothie!  Perfect for a hot summer day.

What’s inside:

“Nevada” Green Leaf Lettuce – this Batavian type lettuce has a crunch texture and a smooth taste

Watermelon Radish

Watermelon Radish

Little Gem Lettuce -a miniature green “gourmet” romaine

Sugar Snap Peas – a sweet snack or salad topping

Arugula – a spicy addition to any salad, stir fry or sandwich

Rainbow Chard – red, yellow, pink and white leaves add color to any dish, cooked or raw

Spinach – large succulent leaves

Baby Fennel – the sweet bulb and stems can be thinly sliced in a salad. Try out the fronds to garnish any meal!

Carrots – snack time!

Tokyo Market Turnips – love, love, love these raw in salads

Watermelon Radishes – spicy, and beautifully magenta inside.  Raw or sautéed.

Fresh Dill – try it in cooked rice or quinoa for a little something different.

Red and Gold Beets – the combination is especially eye-catching when grated

How we beat the heat, or at least try

We farmers are up at daybreak and generally take a “siesta” midday; we avoid the hottest part of the day, and return to the fields in early evening.  The plants have no such option.  We’ve strung up 30% shade cloth over the more sensitive greens, hoping to extend their lifespan and flavor with a little sun protection.   For the potatoes, we’ve laid down a heavy mulch of grass clippings to keep out the weeds and the sunlight, which causes green spots on tubers.  The heavy mulch will also reduce the soil temperature, thereby reducing the evaporation and our water usage.

Beginner’s Green Smoothie Banana Blueberry Spinach

from the Low Fat Vegan Chef

Ingredients:

3 ripe bananas (see my post on how to tell if your bananas are ripe enough)BlueberryBananaSmoothie
2 cups baby spinach, packed
2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
1/4-1/2 cup water (as desired)

Directions:

  1. Place ingredients into blender in the order above putting the bananas on the bottom. Add a little water if desired to help it liquify.
  2. Blend for 30-45 seconds if you have a Vitamix. (If you have a regular blender you may need to break up the banana pieces into smaller chunks and blend with a little more water or a little longer depending on how strong the motor is.)

I find that having frozen fruit gets the smoothie cool enough without the need to add ice. Unless you have a Vitamix adding ice to a smoothie can make it too gritty and not very smooth to drink.

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