From the Land 8/29

welcome back to PCCSA!

We’re happy to be back! This week begins the 2012-13 CSA distribution, as well as the re-opening of the CSA Store. Please help spread the word across campus that the CSA Store is open to students, staff, faculty, and the general public for individual item purchases of seasonal local produce, eggs, honey, jam, handmade pasta, and even bread. We are also still accepting new members to the CSA Share program, which will occasionally include some of the items listed above, so please tell your friends!

Every week we send out a newsletter, full of information about the CSA, the shares, nutrition, how to use the CSA items, upcoming events related to food, and – of course – recipes! Here’s how you can help:

  • Let us know if there’s a specific produce item you would like more information on. We send out the list via email and Facebook (Prescott Farmers Market and CSA Facebook page) each Monday so please let us know by Tuesday if there’s something you’re unfamiliar with. You can email us (pccsa@prescott.edu) or post to the Facebook wall.
  • Please share any upcoming food or agriculture related events that you’d like to announce or invite folks to
  • Do you have a knack for writing? Like to review movies or books, write up events, or explore a food issue through writing? Have a recipe or cooking tip you’d like to share? We’d love to publish you! We focus on food and agriculture related topics. Send ideas, questions and written pieces to pccsa@prescott.edu.
  • Please make sure to read the newsletter each week! We’ll make all announcements through the newsletter, so it’s your best way of staying up to date. Please don’t hesitate to call or email if you have any questions.

food for thought
full share: carrots, garlic, mixed summer squash, tomatoes, eggplant, okra, bell peppers, and cucumbers

partial share: carrots, garlic, summer squash, and tomatoes

upcoming and ongoing

Prescott Farmers Market
every Saturday morning (7.30am-noon) through October 27
Yavapai College parking lots D&E – 1100 E. Sheldon St.
great place to supplement your CSA shares with other local products

Prescott Valley Farmers Market
Friday evenings (4-7pm) through September 28
Tim’s Toyota parking lot – corner of Glassford Hill and Florentine

Chino Valley Farmers Market
Thursday afternoons (3-6pm) through October 18
BonnFire Grill Restaurant – 1667 S. Highway 89

veg of the week

garlic: Allium sativum

Closely related to the onion, shallot, leek and chive, garlic’s pungent flavor has been popular with humans for over 7000 years. It was first cultivated in Asia, but its use as both food and medicine has spread across the globe and is commonly used in cuisine of every nationality. China remains the number one producer (77% of the world’s production), but there are small growers that produce garlic around the country, including several farmers in our area. This week our garlic comes from Rabbit Run Farm in Skull Valley.

uses: The bulb is the most commonly used part of the garlic plant. Most often, the plant is dried, the green stalk is stripped off, and the cloves of the bulb are used individually. Bake whole cloves into bread, chop fine and add to dressings and sauces, infuse oil with raw whole garlic cloves, or chop and add to…well, I think just about everything! The spicy pungent flavor mellows when cooked to a sweet addition to any savory dish.

nutrition: Garlic has been found to have antimicrobial, antibacterial, and antifungal properties. Studies show it can help prevent heart disease, many forms of cancer, and improve cardiovascular health. It has been traditionally used to fight the common cold and as an expectorant. For medicinal use, chop a clove and swallow with water.

to store: Keep garlic dry and relatively warm. It is sometimes sold as braids that can be hung, or store the bulbs in a basket in the kitchen. Dry garlic will usually last a month or more. Peeled garlic can be stored in oil or vinegar, but should be kept in the refrigerator and eaten within a week.

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Rabbit Run Farm

Meet Matt Hyde and Sarah Wertz, (relatively) beginning farmers on 2 acres in Skull Valley, AZ. After a couple years apprenticing at another area farm, they are now in their third year of growing on their own, raising vegetables, herbs, flowers, laying hens, and occasional meat birds. From their website:

Our farming philosophy is to practice ecologically responsible growing methods that will result in the tastiest, most nutritious, superior quality vegetables; to build a community based on sharing and enjoying real food; and to learn and share small-scale agricultural skills.

Matt and Sarah have found their niche producing beautiful and delicious produce without pesticides or synthetic fertilizers. Compost, crop rotation, cover crops and fallow seasons all contribute to the health of their soil, which is evident in the health of their produce.

Matt and Sarah are also the Farm Managers of Prescott College’s agroecology farm at Jenner Farm in Skull Valley. They provide hands-on experience for Agroecology students who study soil, growing techniques, and crops during a summer-long intensive. Not only are they amazing farmers and great examples of the resurgence of young people to sustainable agriculture, they have an amazing way of creating community around food and agriculture.

As we all know, the farmer population is aging, but the movement of young farmers to the land is steadily increasing. These young enthusiasts, many of them college educated, have found their passions in food, organic farming practices, small-scale production, permaculture, and rural or urban living, and the ways that this lifestyle intersects with education, music, natural building, food policy, and social justice. The websites thegreenhorns.net and youngfarmers.org provide networking and job opportunities, peer-to-peer learning, events, actions and support for young and beginning farmers and farm enthusiasts, with the understanding that our agricultural future depends on more young farmers that receive support for their ideas, training, and necessary policy change that will ensure their success.

Rabbit Run Farm attends farmers markets in Prescott and Flagstaff, and is one of our main producers for the Prescott College CSA. You’ll notice that all of our produce this week is from them. If you haven’t met them, make sure you stop by their booth at the Prescott Farmers Market. Let them know you’re a PCCSA member, because they love knowing where their food goes as much as you love knowing where it comes from!

Check out their blog at http://rabbitrunfarm.blogspot.com/

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beef, okra, potato and carrot soup
adapted from cookthink
serves 2-4

*can also be made vegetarian, of course!

  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 2 ribs celery, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium carrot, thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound beef stew meat (chuck or round roast), cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 3/4 pound okra, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 3 medium waxy potatoes, cubed
  • 1/2 pound cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 5 cups water
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped parsley
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

Prep the onion, celery and carrot. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the vegetables and season them with a generous sprinkling of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 8-10 minutes.

Meanwhile, prep the beef, okra, potatoes and tomatoes. Season the beef generously all over with salt and pepper. Add these to the pot and stir. Cook, stirring occasionally, 4-6 more minutes.

Add the water and bring the soup to a boil. Immediately reduce to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the beef and potatoes are tender, 20-30 minutes.

Stir in the minced garlic, parsley and lemon juice. Add more salt and pepper to taste.

eggplant, squash and tomato salad with roasted garlic vinaigrette
adapted from epicurious
serves 4

  • 3 large garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • Olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar or red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 large Japanese eggplants, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
  • 2 large yellow summer squash or zucchini, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
  • 2 tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • 10 fresh basil leaves, chopped

Preheat oven to 350°F. Place unpeeled garlic cloves in small baking dish. Drizzle garlic with olive oil and toss to coat. Roast garlic until very tender, about 25 minutes. Cool. Peel garlic and mince. Transfer to small bowl. Mix in balsamic vinegar. Gradually mix in 1/2 cup olive oil. Set dressing aside.

Preheat broiler. Arrange eggplant slices in single layer on broiler pan. Brush both sides with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Broil until beginning to brown, about 4 minutes per side. Arrange squash slices in single layer on broiler pan. Brush tops of squash with olive oil; season with salt and pepper. Broil until tops begin to brown, about 4 minutes.

Alternate eggplant and squash slices around edge of serving platter, overlapping slightly. Arrange tomato slices in center of platter. Sprinkle tomatoes with salt and pepper. Drizzle dressing over salad. (Salad can be prepared 2 hours ahead. Cover and let stand at room temperature.) Sprinkle salad with chopped fresh basil and serve.

bell pepper, tomato, cucumber and grilled bread salad
adapted from my recipes
serves 6

*add grilled chicken to turn this into a main dish

  • 4 slices day-old country-style bread
  • 4 cups coarsely chopped tomatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • 1 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 3/4 cup chopped yellow bell pepper
  • 3/4 cup chopped orange bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup torn fresh basil leaves
  • 1 English cucumber, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Prepare grill to medium-high heat.

Place bread slices on grill rack; grill 1 minute on each side or until golden brown with grill marks. Remove from grill; tear bread into 1-inch pieces.

Combine tomatoes, onion, bell peppers, basil, and cucumber in a large bowl. Add bread; toss gently.

Combine vinegar, black pepper, salt, and garlic in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Gradually add oil, stirring constantly with a whisk. Drizzle dressing over salad; toss gently to coat. Cover and chill 20 minutes before serving.

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