Walnut Run Farm

Walnut Run Farm

certified organic CSA in Williamsport, PA

Archive for June 2012

CSA June 26

Dear CSA Member,

On the farm this week we will be harvesting the first rounds of cherry tomatoes. We have been finding a few ripe heirloom tomatoes on the vine as well, so you should be seeing some of  those in your share soon.

In this week’s share you will find:

  • Artichokes
  • Zucchini
  • Lettuce Heads
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Basil
  • Shell peas and Snap peas
  • Cilantro

We had a lot of questions about how to deal with artichokes at the farmers market this past weekend, so I’m including some basic tips on how to prepare them and a second sheet that provides more details.

First rinse the artichoke in cold water, then cut off about ¾ inches of the top of the artichoke. Next trim the stem and remove any small leaves at the bottom. The little thorns – if present- can be trimmed from the petals with kitchen scissors if you like, but they will soften with the steaming so it is not completely necessary.

Steam the artichokes until they are tender, anywhere from 20-45 minutes, depending on their size. You can tell it is done when the outer leaves are easliy pulled off.  You can also add a slice of lemon or a garlic clove  or a bay leaf to the steaming water if you want too add some flavor.

After steaming, I like to cut them in half and grill them the same way as in the grilled fennel recipe from week 2.

We are also including a large amount of basil in the share this week.  Below is a recipe for pesto.  Pesto can be made with basil or a combination of any of the herbs we include.  Cilantro pesto is incredible.  Liz at the Herdic House is making arugula pesto this week with our arugula.

Pesto is incredibly versatile once it is made.  Eat it on pasta, bread, meat or vegetables.  Have it with crackers and cheese.  Or water it down a little bit and it is an excellent salad dressing.

Basic Pesto

2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed(or sub parsley, cilantro, arugula ect.)

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan-Reggiano or Romano cheese(optional)

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/3 cup pine nuts or walnuts(optional)

3 medium sized garlic cloves, minced

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Combine ingredients in a food processor or blender.  Pulse until they are ground into a paste.

Williamsport Grower’s Market

Last week was a very busy week for all of us.  On Friday the Peter Herdic House in Williamsport showcased our lamb and produce for the night and treated us to an incredible meal.  And on Saturday we set up a booth at the Williamsport Market for the first time.  It seemed like there was a lot of community support and it is so much fun to be back here!  Thank you to everyone who has given us so much enthusiasm in the last few months.  We will be attending the market every Saturday for the rest of the season and look forward to seeing you there.

Lamb Available

We now have lamb available for sale.  All grass fed spring lamb.  Excellent quality.  We are already sold out of ground(will have more available soon), but have chops and leg of lamb available.  Please contact us if you are interested.

CSA June 19, 2012

Dear CSA Member,

On the farm this week, we are uncovering the winter squash, melons, cucumbers and zucchini and then fertilizing and cultivating. Pretty exciting! Also, we are pruning tomatoes, trellising peas, and making it through the heat wave this week. You will find the first of our artichokes in your share and also the first zucchini.

In this week’s share:

Chard- check our blog for tips on chard and kale

Kale-same as chard

Arugula- excellent in sandwiches, salads, on top of pizza out of the oven

Lettuce Heads- salad, sandwiches

Cilantro-see recipe

Basil- pesto, tossed into salad, pasta, pizza

Artichoke- steamed, roasted, marinated

Spring Onions- fresh, grilled, or chopped into salads

Zucchini- lightly sautéed or grilled

I have included a recipe for our dear friend Bessie’s Amazing Cilantro Salad Dressing

If you are a cilantro fan, this dressing can be used on almost anything—salad, meat, pasta, rice—and will make everything just a little more incredible!

1 bunch cilantro

2 cloves garlic

1 small onion

2 tbs lemon juice

½ -3/4 cup olive oil

Combine cilantro, onion, garlic, and lemon juice in blender or Cuisinart- add olive oil slowly at the end. Or chop by hand and add olive oil and lemon juice.

We will be at the Williamsport Grower’s Market every Saturday for the rest of the season. We have lamb available if you are interested and also large amounts of kale and arugula if you would like more. Please e-mail us and let us know.

Pac Choi, Kale, and Chard

I wanted to write a few notes on some of the greens that we included in this week’s share. This time of year there is always an overwhelming amount of greens before the “real” vegetables kick in.  Often it is difficult to know how to approach some many leafy greens.   In all honesty, it takes practice and focus, but given some time all of us will be able to consume at least two heads of lettuce or half a pound of kale at a single seating.  And you will feel great!  Greens are so good for you in so many ways and by using some of tips below and researching the recipes farther to take them to your liking, you will suddenly realize that the greens in your share have disappeared and you will be waiting for the next batch.

Pac Choi–  I love to cook these by getting a pan hot and searing them whole for a minute or two.  The second way I love to eat pac choi is by grating it, adding rice vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, maybe some sesame seeds. Let it set for 30 minutes and enjoy.   Also, stir fry.  We eat at least one to two stir fry veggie meals a week.  Using kale, pac choi , chard, snap peas, shell peas, and then pea shoots right at the end as garnish– your share will make about two stir fry meals for two people.

Kale– There many ways to use kale and so many variations on each recipe. Please research these ideas farther and find the best recipe for you.

Massaged kale salad is wonderful– the basic idea is to cut kale into small pieces or shred, add lemon juice, massage and work in, add salt, olive oil to taste.  Then add mangoes, or pine nuts, garlic, onions, pumpkins seeds, goat cheese, sunflower seeds– really anything you desire.

Kale chips are a great snack–  simply remove the ribs from the kale and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces. Lay on a baking sheet and toss with the olive oil and salt. Bake until crisp  at 275 degrees, turn once or twice and bake about 20 minutes. Serve as finger food.  You can make these more complicated with nuts and a blender, but they are great the simple way as well.

The kale recipe we included with the share can also be done many different ways and cook down for a long time.

Chard-  One of my favorite chard meals is polenta or fried grit cakes with a smoky tomato sauce, goat cheese, and a side of rainbow chard braised with some balsamic vinegar.

Also, we encourage greens for breakfast.  Kale and chard both are great steamed or braised and served like collard greens with biscuits and gravy.

Enjoy!