Walnut Run Farm

Walnut Run Farm

certified organic CSA in Williamsport, PA

Archive for June 2013

CSA June 25

On the farm this week we picked the first cherry tomato and the first cucumber. We hope to be able to include both of these items in the shares soon.  Also, the first Colorado Potato Beetles have been spotted. Not great, but their timing is pretty much right on. We have been spending a lot of time irrigating and are trying to do rain dances on the side.

In your shares this week you will find:

  • Red Butterhead Lettuce
  • Salad Mix
  • Cabbage or Piracicaba
  • Artichoke
  •  Zucchini
  • Peas—Shell and Snap or Snow
  • Beet Greens
  • Escarole
  • Herb Mix

We are including recipes for coleslaw, chimichurri sauce and escarole.  The escarole resembles lettuce but it is not a lettuce head. It’s the smaller, frilly green head in your share this week.  It can be eaten in a salad but I prefer it pan seared with a little olive oil and soy sauce.

The cabbage we are including is a summer cabbage called Tendersweet.  This is the variety that made me love cabbage.  Tender, sweet and luxurious—if you have never given cabbage a chance before try it now.  Great in stir fry or coleslaw.

If we included Piracicaba instead of cabbage,  there will be more cabbage in the next few weeks.  The Piracicaba is great in stir fry, tossed with noodles or seared quickly.

We are including at least two different kinds of peas. Shell peas are hard and needed to be shelled for the peas inside.  Snap peas are slightly curved and are crisp.  Do not shell these-eat them raw, in salads or cooked quickly in stir fry.  Snow peas are the big flat peas.  Do no shell these either.  Treat them the same as snap peas.

I still have not gotten around to making beet green spanakopita but I still think it would be an amazing dish and highly encourage it.

The artichokes are an annual variety that we are able to grow in Pennsylvania!   We are including instructions for cooking them.  They are smaller but also less tough than California artichokes.

The herb mix we are including can be separated out and used individually, but we recommend pureeing it in a blender or Cuisinart, adding lime juice, the garlic scapes,  a little salt and pepper, little bit of olive oil and some water to make it into sauce.    It is like chimichurri sauce and you can put it on everything— meat, fish, salad, veggies—and it makes it better!  The herbs in the packet are a mix of thyme, mint, oregano, cilantro, basil,  and dill.

We have been eating grilled snow peas with fennel and zucchini, lots of salads and lots of stir fry.

Double Cabbage Slaw(from Whole Living)


1/2 small purple cabbage, shredded(or just use Tendersweet cabbage)

1/2 small green cabbage, shredded

1 teaspoon sugar

1/2 cup plain nonfat yogurt

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/4 cup poppy seeds

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


Combine the cabbages in a large bowl.In a small bowl, whisk together the sugar, yogurt, and lemon juice. Spoon over the cabbage and toss to combine thoroughly. Sprinkle the poppy seeds into the bowl.Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Instructions for Artichokes-

“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 easily 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 to add some flavor.

After steaming, I like to cut them in half and grill them.   An easier way to enjoy them in to peel off the outer petals/leaves, dip them in lemon butter and scrap the flesh off with your teeth.  Eat all of the outer petals this way until you reach the heart.  This will be tender and you can eat the entire piece. 


Wilted Escarole with Walnuts and Bleu Cheese(from Martha Stewart)




1 large head escarole


4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil


Coarse salt and ground pepper


1/4 cup chopped toasted walnuts


1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese


Fresh lemon juice





Cut escarole into 1 1/2-inch wedges, leaving base intact. In a large skillet, heat 2 teaspoons olive oil over medium; add a few wedges and cook, turning, until escarole is wilted and light brown on all sides, 3 minutes total. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to a platter. Repeat twice with more oil and remaining escarole. Top with walnuts and blue cheese; drizzle with lemon juice, if desired.


Looking to next week we hope to include:

Carrots, beets

Cucumbers, more peas, more zucchini, fennel, lettuce, chives,  more artichokes…..

CSA News June 18

June 18, 2013

This week on the farm we sorted sheep and are preparing to send some to the butcher.  We are also focusing on cultivation and weed control in the hot, dry time between rain storms.  We have started picking peas and the first artichokes are making an appearance.

This week the shares will have zucchini or potatoes or piracicaba.  We will rotate through each of these as they become available. If you don’t have it this week you will have it soon.   Check out this link to an article about piracicaba written by our friend Barbara Damrosch.  Really interesting information about this unique crop!

In your share this week you will find:

  • Lettuce heads
  • Arugula
  • Garlic Scapes
  • Shell Peas  or Snow Peas
  • Potatoes or Zucchini or Piracicaba
  • Mint
  • Thyme


I am always relieved to have garlic scapes again.  It means that we made it through winter and will have garlic again soon.   They are great chopped up and used just like garlic, although they are slightly less pungent.  Also, you can make garlic scape pesto with them.  We are including a recipe.

Shell peas( these are fat and need to be shelled—the peas are inside) and snow peas(skinny- eat the whole thing) both are very easy to eat raw.  It actually takes me awhile to get around to cooking them because it is hard to get them back to the kitchen.  They are both excellent sautéed very quickly in butter or olive oil with a little salt, some herbs and garlic scapes. Also, incredible tossed in at the end after cooking Piracicaba or Zucchini.

Mint is wonderful in lemonade or limeade or teas.  It also makes great mojitos if that’s your thing.  Use it as a garnish or toss it in with peas.

Thyme is an excellent addition to vinaigrette.  We add it to pasta dishes, pizza, and sautéed vegetables.


Meals we have been making

Chicken(from Badger’s Millside Farm!) and Vegetable Stir Fry

Steak (from Misty Mountain Farm) and Salad with Oven Crisp Potatoes

Salmon (from Wild for Salmon) with Arugula and Lettuce Salad and sautéed peas, Piracicaba and zucchini

Meals on my wish list—

(I just need the time to cook them!)

Pea and Potato Samosas

Pizza topped with fresh arugula

Green Chicken Korma

Fresh Pasta with Garlic Scapes, Peas and Wilted Arugula


Garlic Scape Pesto with Spaghetti

From Epicurious  | May 2012

by Ian Knauer

For the pesto

10 large garlic scapes

1/3 cup unsalted pistachios

1/3 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Kosher salt and black pepper

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil


1 pound spaghetti



Make the pesto: Puree the garlic scapes, pistachios, Parmesan, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a food processor until very finely chopped. With the motor running, slowly pour the oil through the opening. Season the pesto with salt and pepper to taste. (The pesto keeps in the fridge, covered, for 1 week or frozen for a month.)

In a large pot of heavily salted boiling water, cook the spaghetti until al dente. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta-cooking water, then drain the pasta. Whisk together 2/3 cup of the pesto and the reserved pasta water and toss with the pasta. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve right away.





arugula pesto, ricotta and smoked mozzarella pizza

from Giada de Laurentiis website


Cornmeal for dusting

½ cup ricotta cheese

2 cloves garlic, crushed(sub garlic scapes)

1 teaspoon kosher salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 cups (8 ounces) shredded smoked mozzarella cheese

1 packed cup (1 ounce) arugula

Flour for dusting

1 (1-pound) ball pizza dough or premade pizza crust

Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling

2 plum tomatoes sliced into ¼-inch thick slices


Place an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F. Sprinkle a heavy baking sheet (without sides) with cornmeal. Set aside.


In a food processor, blend the ricotta, garlic, salt, and pepper until smooth. Add the smoked mozzarella and arugula. Pulse until just combined but still chunky.


On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough into a 14-inch diameter circle, 1/4 to 1/8 inch thick. Transfer the dough to the prepared baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil.Spread the ricotta mixture on top leaving a 1-inch border. Arrange the tomato slices on top. Drizzle with olive oil.


Bake for 15 to 16 minutes until the crust is golden. Cut into wedges and serve.


Looking to next we week, we plan to include  Tendersweet Cabbage, lettuce, zucchini, peas, chard or kale, oregano, possibly hyssop.  And in the near future—artichokes, beets, and more fennel.



Last week we spent some time sorting our lambs and tomorrow a few of them will head to the butcher. This means we will have lamb for sale at the farmers market starting June 29th. First come, first served, and the first round of lamb we get typically sells out fast so be sure to get there early (not too early though) if you want some.

CSA News 6-11-13

June 11, 2013

As the season draws closer to Solstice the changes in the fields becomes more visible every day. Plant growth increases substantially as the day lengthens. Today we harvested in the rain and due to the wet conditions we were unable to include mint and pea shoots in the shares.  They just don’t hold up as well when they’re harvested wet.  Instead we harvested some dill and Pac Choi, which we hope you will enjoy.

In your share this week you will find:


  • Salad Mix
  • Pac Choi
  • Chard
  • Parsley
  • Dill
  • Potatoes
  • Spring Onion
  • Piracicaba
  • Fennel
  • Zucchini


The zucchini is from our greenhouse—again no heat—and it is great sliced and sautéed until soft( but not mushy) with olive oil, salt, pepper and parsley or dill.  Later in the season we will include more recipes for zucchini, but at this early point,  it is hard to think of eating it any other way.

Piracicaba is very similar to broccoli; however, it continues to produce throughout the season.  It is great sautéed or grilled.

Fennel is a wonderful aromatic bulb that we enjoy grilled, caramelized, or roasted.  The tops can be chopped up and added to soup or salad.  Fennel has a slight licorice flavor, but it isn’t cloying and mellows nicely as you cook it.

We are including recipes for chard, fennel and potatoes.  One of our farmer’s market customers mentioned making wraps out of chard leaves (sort of like dolmas I suppose).  I haven’t tested it out, but it sounded like a really good idea and there are many recipes available online.  The spring onion, zucchini, fennel and parsley could be great diced up and wrapped in chard leaves.  I would cook the zucchini and fennel and leave the parsley and onion raw.

Rainbow Chard  And Polenta


1 cup polenta

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

4 slices (6 oz.) thick-cut bacon

2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 large shallots, chopped (substitute spring onion for shallots)

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 large bunches (1 1/2 lbs. total) rainbow chard, ribs cut into 1/4-in. pieces and leaves roughly chopped

1/4 to 1/2 tsp. red chili flakes

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese

2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar


1. Cook polenta with salt as package directs.

2. Heat oil in same pan over medium heat. Cook shallots, garlic, and chard ribs until softened, 4 minutes. Stir in chard leaves, chile flakes, and 1/3 cup water. Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook until wilted.

4. Stir butter and cheese into polenta and spoon into bowls. Toss chard with vinegar and spoon over polenta.

Optional—sprinkle with goat cheese, bacon, smoked cheddar.  Also, you can make polenta, chill it, then slice it and fry it.  My friend Diane makes an amazing meal this way with a little savory red sauce over the top, chard and goat cheese.

Our Favorite Fennel Recipe:

Grilled fennel with lemon oil

  • Head of fennel
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Lemon  olive oil (or ½ a lemons worth of juice and zest)
  • Fresh parsley
  • Sea salt

Cut off the stems of the fennel and slice the bulb in half lengthwise. Cut each half into even sized wedges, about a half inch thick.

For an outdoor grill, just brush the fennel with olive oil, sprinkle some sea salt on the wedges and grill until soft and tender, turning occasionally. You can also do this in a pan on the stove, simply heat a couple tablespoons of olive oil and sauté on medium heat for about ten minutes, turning the wedges occasionally.

The fennel should cook until its tender and slightly caramelized in places.  When it’s done cooking, drizzle with the lemon oil (or juice and zest), and toss on some fresh chopped parsley to finish.

Oven Fancy Potato Chips

This is a quick no-fry way to make delicious potato chips for a snack or to add to any meal.  Not really any healthier due to the oil but really good.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Scrub potatoes.  Slice thin-less than 1/8 of an inch.  Drizzle olive oil on baking sheet. Lay flat on baking sheets and drizzle with  a little more olive oil.  Add salt, pepper, herbs (sage again, is wonderful) as you desire.

Bake 15-25 minutes.   Check and flip with a spatula occasionally.  Bake to taste—if you like them crispier leave in longer.








Next  week we plan to include:

  • Kale
  • Lettuce Heads
  • Mint
  • Cilantro
  • Zucchini
  • Maybe some peas

And more…




Monsanto to organic growers: “Just trust us”

Organic Growers Lose Decision I can’t say I’m surprised. What I find most interesting about the decision is how a statement on Monsanto’s website is supposed to be legally binding, and we’re supposed to just be OK with that. If they made a legally binding statement, why does the court have any trouble legally binding… (read more)