From the Land 4.24

announcements

The spring season is coming to a close. Please make sure you are up to date on your CSA share payments. If you have questions about your account you can email us at pccsa@prescott.edu or call us at (928) 350-1401. You can also ask us when you pick up your share on Wednesday.

Note from Crooked Sky Farms:
To all Crooked Sky Farm CSA members. Many of you  who have been with us in years past know that this is our planting season. Share lists at this time will be a bit repetitive so we really do appreciate all your support while we are getting ready for all your summer treats. Here is a preview of all the wonderful treasures you have to look forward to coming soon:

Coming soon…
 
End of April-summer squash
 
Beginning of May-various cucumbers
 
End of May-purslane and basil
 
Beginning of June-tomatoes 
 
Mid June-eggplant, okra and peppers
 
End of June or early July-various melons, corn
 
September-Pomegranates
 
We are also happy to announce that we have listened to all your requests and have planted 1500 fruit trees! Just a few examples include the following: 
Cherries
Pears
Peaches
Plums
Apricots
Nectarines
Apples
Pomegranates
 
Thank you again for supporting your local farmer and helping to keep Arizona healthy,  happy and thriving.
 
Warm Regards,
The Crooked Sky family

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food for thought

full share: kale, eggs, salad mix, grilling onions, choice of swiss chard/beet greens or Siamese Dragon stir fry mix, cabbage, red potatoes, and grapefruit!

partial share: Kale, eggs, salad mix and grilling onions!

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veg of the week

grapefruit: Citrus Paradisi 

Grapefruit is a subtropical fruit first cultivated as a hybrid in Barbados in the 18th century. The tree usually grows to about 20 feet tall. The fruit’s pulp comes in white, pink or red. Usually the redder the pulp the sweeter it is. The top producers of grapefruit are the US, China, South Africa and Mexico.

Uses: Grapefruit is wonderful in a variety of dishes but is not limited to its edibility. To scent your home, simmer a cup of grapefruit with half a cup of water on the stove. To scent your laundry mix grapefruit and water and spray after washing and before you hang it out to dry. Placing grapefruit rinds around your garden will help deter cats and other animals. For a skin exfoliant in the shower, mix two tablespoons sugar and one tablespoon grapeseed or olive oil in a cup of grapefruit juice. The sugar will scrub your skin and the grapefruit juice will tighten it. For a simple healthy snack, cut a grapefruit in half and slice the pulp in each half, making it easier to get at with a spoon. Drizzle honey on each half, eat. In Costa Rica, grapefruit is cooked to reduce its sour taste and sometimes eaten with dulce de leche.

Nutrition: Grapefruit is a good source of vitamin C and pectin fiber. Studies show that grapefruit can help lower cholesterol and burn fat. Grapefruit seed extract, GSE, is sold in natural foods stores and taken for its antimicrobial properties.

To store: Grapefruit can keep in the pantry for about a week or in the fridge for two to three weeks. Grapefruit can keep for up to a year in the freezer. To freeze, remove seeds and rind, then place in a mixture of 3 cups sugar to 4 cups water boiled.

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Svalbard Global Seed Vault
By Alex Deck

Its comforting to know that seeds from all over the world are being stored in a secure seed vault in Norway. The Svalbard Seed Vault is located on Svalbard, 810 miles from the North Pole. Construction was funded entirely by the government of Norway and began in June 2006. The first seeds began arriving in 2008. 

Seeds are stored 390 feet into a sandstone mountain called Spitsbergen. The entrance to the vault is 430 feet above sea level. Spitsbergen was chosen for its lack of tectonic activity, making it a secure place in case of a natural disaster. Local coal fuels refrigeration units that keep the temperature at 0 °F. The bank is so well insulated that even if the refrigerators failed it would be several weeks before the temperature rose to 27 °F, the temperature of the surrounding bedrock permafrost.

The facility has the capability to hold up to 4.5 million different kinds of seeds with 500 seeds each. In July 2012 the number of seeds in the vault numbered around 750,000. 

 

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Broiled Grapefruit
From MarthaStewart.com

  • 1 pink or red grapefruit, halved
  • 1 T light-brown sugar
  • 1/4 t ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 C plain low-fat yogurt
Heat broiler with rack set 4 inches from heat. With a paring knife, loosen grapefruit segments from membranes and pith.
Sprinkle grapefruit with sugar and cinnamon. Broil on a baking sheet until tops are slightly browned, 4 to 5 minutes.
Top with yogurt, and garnish with more cinnamon.
Shaved Fennel with Grapefruit
From TheFoodNetwork.com 

  • 1 fennel bulb
  • 1 grapefruit
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt
  • 1/4 C slivered cerignola or other big green olives
  • 1/4 C freshly squeezed pink grapefruit juice
  • 1/4 C fennel fronds, chopped

Using a mandoline, slice the fennel into thin shavings.

Cut the bottom and top off of the grapefruit. Using a knife, cut the peel off of the sides, following the curve of the grapefruit and being careful only to cut away the peel and bitter pith. Hold the fruit in 1 hand over a bowl and cut the flesh of the grapefruit away from the membrane to release a wedge. Repeat until all segments are released.

In a large saute pan over medium heat coat with extra-virgin olive oil and add the fennel. Season with salt and saute for 1 to 2 minutes or until the fennel is warm and coated with the oil. Remove from heat. Toss in the grapefruit segments, olive slivers and juice and sprinkle with the fennel fronds. Serve immediately.

Grapefruit and Mixed Green Salad with Pistacio Crusted Goat Cheese Rounds
From spoonforkbacon

pistachio crusted goat cheese rounds:

  • 4 oz goat cheese, sliced into 1 ounce portions and partially frozen
  • 1/2 C all purpose flour
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 C crushed pistachios
  • vegetable oil for frying

salad:

  • 8 cups mixed greens, loosely packed
  • 2 grapefruits, cut into supremes
  • 1/3 C pistachios, roughly chopped
  • 2 oz jicama, julienne
  • 1 recipe, champagne vinaigrette

Preheat oil to 375°F.

For goat cheese rounds: Dredge partially frozen discs into the flour and shake off excess. Next, dip discs into lightly beaten egg and finish in crushed pistachios until fully coated. Freeze rounds until fully frozen, about 30 minutes. Fry each round for 3 to 4 minutes or until golden brown. Drain onto paper towels. Season with salt and pepper and set aside until ready to use.

For salad: Place mixed greens, grapefruit, nuts, and jicama into a large mixing bowl and toss together with vinaigrette. Lightly season with salt and pepper. Divide the salad among four plates and top each with a pistachio crusted goat cheese round. Serve.

From the Land 2.6

food for thought

full share: grapefruit, salad mix, grilling onions, swiss chard, beets, fennel, kohlrabi, and sweet potatoes!

partial share: grapefruit, salad mix, grilling onions, and swiss chard!

veg of the week

grapefruit: Citrus paradisi

Grapefruit is a subtripical fruit, meaning that it grows in regions just above and below the tropics. Fortunately for us, Phoenix has a subtropical climate! Grapefruits are the hybrid of the pomelo and sweet orange, first bred in Barbados in the 18th century and referred to as “the forbidden fruit”. They have a characteristic sour and  bitter flavor that can be decreased by cooking the fruit or by adding sugar.

Uses: Depending on your tolerance for the bitter flavor, grapefruits can be eaten plain, just like an orange, or topped with sugar and eaten with a spoon, or cut onto a salad to combine with other flavors. In Costa Rica, grapefruit is commonly heated (reducing the bitterness), stuffed with dulce de leche and eaten as a dessert called toronja rellena (stuffed grapefruit).

Nutrition: Grapefruit is a good source of vitamin C (immune system booster) and lycopene (promotes prostate health). Studies have shown it can help lower cholesterol, and the fruit’s low glycemic index helps the body’s metabolism burn fat. The seeds are shown to have antioxidant properties, and grapefruit seed extract to have antimicrobial properties against fungi.

To store: Like other citrus, grapefruit can be stored at room temperature (up to a week), but shelf life will be extended up to 2-3 weeks with refrigeration (bring to room temp before eating to increase juiciness and sweetness). In you have excess, it can also be frozen: peel, divide into sections and discard membranes and seeds, mix together and heat 2 3/4 C sugar and 4 C water, cool the syrup and pour over grapefruit, store in freezer bags or airtight containers where the fruit will stay good for 10-12 months.

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fermentation

Needless to say, I am a huge fan of fermented and cultured foods! And while I love experimenting with different strains of cultured dairy (yogurt, kefir, curds and whey…yum!), it’s the lacto-fermentation process on vegetables that really excites me. Humans have been preserving foods with this method for thousands of years. Lactobacilli are present on the surfaces of all plants, especially vegetables that grow close to the ground, and produce Lactic acid, a natural preservative. When promoted properly, the lactic acid not only preserves the food but also promotes healthy flora in the intestine, making lacto-fermented foods even more healthy than in their natural raw state! Lacto-fermented vegetables are full of enzymes that aid digestion, increase nutritional content, and have antibiotic and anti-carcinogenic properties.

Cabbage (sauerkraut), beets, turnips, cucumbers, green tomatoes, lettuces and herbs, corn, watermelon rind, and even fruit (chutney) can all be lacto-fermented – or mix them all together with garlic and chile paste to make kimchi! A simple recipe is here.

Why bother making your own? Lacto-fermentation is best done in relatively small quantities, and the advent of industrial food processing introduced a different process for pickling and fermenting: vinegar. This preservation technique does not produce the same health benefits, and only accomplishes long-term preservation.

There are many different approaches to even the most simple vegetable fermentation: different people prefer a saltwater brine, or whey, or even vegetable fermentation culture. Some people like to make a large crock of sauerkraut to last all winter; others prefer a quart at a time in an ongoing process. All emphasize the importance of keeping the fermenting vegetables away from oxygen, but accomplish this in various ways: through tightly sealed lids, or using fingers to push the vegetable under the liquid, or keeping it under liquid with a weighted plate or a bag of saltwater brine, or just removing the top layer of the sauerkraut (when mold grows) before eating it. A new fermenters tool called a Pickle Pro (made by hand in Chino Valley) is put onto the lid, and allows the oxygen to be pushed out with the gas produced by the fermenting vegetables.

Next week we’ll begin an experiment on different fermentation techniques using the Pickle Pro. Keep an eye out for the jars at CSA, and we’ll keep you posted on the progress of jars using just saltwater brine, whey, or culture. And when they’re done you’ll be able to sample them! Stay tuned…

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rainbow swiss chard with grapefruit vinaigrette
adapted from chef-k
serves 8

for vinaigrette:

  • 1 grapefruit
  • 1 ½ t grapefruit zest (from same grapefruit)
  • 2 T white wine vinegar
  • 2 small sections shallots, finely diced
  • 2 T olive oil

Zest the grapefruit, using micro plane or fine grater. Cut grapefruit in half and squeeze juice into a bowl. Add grapefruit zest to juice, then add vinegar to juice mixture. Heat olive oil in a small pan on medium heat. Add diced shallots and sauté 3 minutes. Add sautéed shallots to grapefruit juice.

Set aside until ready to use.

for chard:

  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 bunch Swiss chard
  • 1 batch Grapefruit vinaigrette

Wash and drain Swiss chard. Cut leaves into ribbons, and place in a pot with a lid and ¼ cup of water. Bring water to boil and steam for 3-4 minutes.

Drain and place chard in a serving bowl. Pour vinaigrette over and serve immediately.
beet, citrus, fennel and pickled ginger onion salad
adapted from eat relate love blog
serves
  • 1/2 C honey balsamic vinegar
  • 2 T sugar
  • 1 T brown sugar
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
  • 1 beet
  • 1 grapefruit, segmented
  • 1 orange, segmented
  • drizzle of olive oil

Combine honey balsamic vinegar and sugar in an airtight jar and add onions. Refrigerate overnight.

Toss fennel, olive oil, brown sugar and salt and spread in even layer on cookie sheet. Roast at 375 degrees for 20 minutes.
Boil beet until tender, peel and slice thinly.
Plate. Layer in order: beets, oranges/grapefruits, fennel and pickled onion.
sweet potatoes and winter greens
adapted from garden of eating
serves 4
  • 2 large sweet potatoes
  • 2 bunches of chard or collard greens
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • juice of one half lemon
  • 1 T honey or maple syrup
  • 1/2 t cinnamon
  • 1/4 t ground cloves
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • pinch or red pepper flakes
  • 2 T olive, peanut or grapeseed oil

Peel the sweet potatoes and cut into bite-sized chunks (make them as uniform in size as you can.)

Heat one T of oil in the pan over medium heat and add the sweet potatoes. Cook, stirring occasionally, until just brown on all sides and soft (about 12-15 minutes). If the potatoes are still hard at the end of this time, you can add a few T of water or broth, put a cover on the pan and steam for 2-3 minutes and they should soften right up.

While the sweet potatoes are cooking, wash the greens (but do not dry them.) Remove the ribs and cut the leaves into ribbons. Mince or press the garlic and set aside. Once the potatoes are fully cooked, add the cinnamon, gloves, salt and pepper and then set aside.

Heat the remaining oil in the pan and saute the garlic and the chili flakes for 2-3 minutes, stirring often, until fragrant. Add the greens to the pan (in batches if needed) and stir often until they’ve cooked down significantly and are tender. Season the greens with salt and pepper to taste. Combine the potatoes, honey or maple syrup, and lemon juice with the greens, stir and serve.

From the Land 1.30

food for thought

full share: Red Russian kale, dried black beans, red potatoes, onions, braising mix, arugula, navel oranges, and collard greens!

partial share: Red Russian kale, dried black beans, red potatoes, and onions

veg of the week

braising mix

There is no scientific name for braising mix because it is a mix of many different greens, usually brassicas. Our braising mix contains kale, lettuce, beet and turnip greens, collards, chard, bok choy, and probably a couple other varieties! Greens such as these can be grown and harvested young (for salad mixes) or mature (for cooking greens), but braising mixes are right in between. The greens are harvested at mid-maturity, so they are much milder in taste than the same varieties when full grown, but have more flavor than when harvested as baby greens and eaten raw. They are an unusual taste explosion of peppery, sweet, earthy, bitter and nutty. And as you know, when they are purchased through a CSA or farmers market, the greens are incredibly fresh, crisp, and have superior nutritional quality!

Uses: Braising mixes are usually cooked. Named after the cooking technique of searing in hot oil and then simmering in liquid, braising greens can in fact be steamed, sauteed, stir-fried, or mixed into soups or stews. Braising greens are the perfect addition to salads, stir-fries, pizza, pasta, eggs, or casseroles. From Tufts University:

  • Toss a couple handfuls of braising mix (baby chard, kale, spinach, mustard, arugula, or other greens) into a stir fry.
  • Be sure to balance the slight bitterness of baby chard, dandelion or mustard leaves with contrasting or sweet flavors such as persimmon, apple, pear, baby beets, citrus, vinaigrette spiked with honey or a syrupy balsamic vinegar.
  • You can also toss some chopped greens into soup or a frittata, or serve them sauteed with pancetta, pine nuts, and golden raisins and heaped atop crusty toasted or grilled bread rubbed with garlic.

Nutrition: Because braising mix contains many different varieties of greens, each harvest may be nutritionally different. But because it contains many types of brassicas, braising greens are always rich in vitamins A and C, calcium, iron, folacin and beta carotene, while low in calories.

To store: You guessed it – keep the bag closed and in the crisper drawer of your fridge. Enjoy for at least a week!

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quinoa and braising mix pie
adapted from well commons
serves 4 as main dish, 8 as side dish
  • 1/4 C olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 lb greens
  • 1 C cooked quinoa
  • 1 t ground nutmeg
  • 2 t coarsely ground black pepper
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 C milk (or dairy-free alternative)
  • 1 pie crust, uncooked

Heat oil in skillet and sauté onion until translucent. Stir in rinsed braising mix and cook until mix is reduced to at least half its original size, but leaves still maintain their shape. Stir in cooked quinoa and heat through. Stir in nutmeg and pepper. Spread mix into prepared pie crust. In separate bowl, whisk eggs and milk together. Pour egg mixture over greens and quinoa. Bake at 350 degrees for thirty minutes, until eggs are set and crust is golden brown. Serve warm as a main dish or a side dish.

sweet potatoes, apples and braising greens
adapted from epicurious
serves 10
  • 4 medium sweet potatoes, cut lengthwise into quarters, then cut crosswise into 1/8-inch slices
  • 5 T unsalted butter, plus 3 T melted
  • 1 T fine sea salt
  • 2 t freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 medium baking apples, such as Sierra Beauty or Granny Smith, cored and cut into quarters
  • 6 C loosely packed braising greens, stems removed and torn into 2-inch strips
  • 1/4 C loosely packed fresh parsley leaves, coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 400°F.

On a baking sheet, toss potato slices with 3 tablespoons melted butter, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Bake until cooked through and slightly caramelized, about 20 minutes. Keep warm.

In heavy medium skillet over moderate heat, melt 3 tablespoons butter. Add apples and sauté until tender and golden brown, about 15 minutes. Keep warm.

In heavy large pot over moderate heat, combine remaining 2 tablespoons butter and 3 tablespoons water. Add greens and sauté, stirring occasionally, until wilted, about 5 minutes. Lower heat to moderately low and add sweet potatoes and apples. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until warmed through, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in parsley, remaining 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper. Serve hot.

hot wilted greens
serves 4
  • slice thick smoky bacon
  • 1/2 T olive oil
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1 medium sweet red onion
  • 3 T chicken stock
  • 2 T balsamic vinegar
  • 1 bag braising mix
  • 1/4 C toasted pecans

In a large, deep skillet or wok over medium heat, cook bacon until crispy. Remove and drain on paper towels. Crumble and reserve. Add olive oil to bacon drippings in skillet, heat and add garlic and onions.

Sauté for 3-4 minutes, until onions and garlic are softened. Add greens and mix. Stir-fry for 2-3 minutes, until leaves are coated.

Stir in stock and vinegar. Cover and cook several minutes more, until leaves are wilted and cooked tender-crisp.

Top with bacon and chopped pecans. Serve hot.