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    2017 Denison Farms Newsletters

June

week 1
week 2
week 3
week 4

July

week 5
week 6
week 7
week 8

August

week 9
week 10
week 11
week 12
week 13

September

week 14
week 15
week 16
week 17

October

week 18
week 19
week 20
week 21
week 22

November

week 23
week 24
week 25




Denison Farms Harvest Box 2017:  Week 7 (July 18)


In this box:
1 Lettuce, 1 bunch Carrots, 2# All Blue potatoes, Zucchini/pattypan squash, 1# Romano Beans, 1 red onion, 1 bunch Italian Kale, 1½# Sweet Girl tomatoes, 1 bskt. Strawberries—remember to put berries into the fridge ASAP

 (weights are approx.)Everything is Organic!

Membership payments due Aug 1st.
If you paid the first half of your membership fee when you signed up, your second payment is due August 1st.
Thanks!
 
Farm Party Sunday, September 3, from 3 – 6 pm
All Harvest Box members are invited for a farm tour, followed by a potluck dinner. I will send more details as the date draws nearer. We hope you can come!
 
On the farm this week
       Strawberries are back!! It’s been a strange weather year (aren’t they all?). We do grow a lot of strawberries, but this is the first week we’ve been able to offer them to our Harvest Box members. We had a heavy harvest of strawberries in May, then the plants needed a rest for the month of June. Now they’re back, and it’s Strawberry season again!
    Our Romano beans have been going strong for several weeks now. However, we are nearing the end of our Romano bean season, so we’re offering them to you one more time this week. These might be the last Romano beans for a while.
    And we had a few weeks with nary an onion to be had. Fortunately, things grow quickly this time of year, so we can offer a red onion this week. Just in time, because one of my favorite recipes for Romano beans needs a red onion. Try this recipe if you need an idea for using this week’s Romano beans:

   
Romano Beans and Red Onion with Mustard Seed Vinaigrette
       (slightly modified from Gourmet, August 2001)
Ingredients:
4 Tbs. olive oil, divided
2 Tbs. mustard seeds (any color)
½ large red onion, thinly sliced
1 pound green Romano beans, trimmed and snapped into bite-sized pieces.
1/3 cup red-wine vinegar (you can use any other mild-flavored vinegar if you don’t
have red wine vinegar on hand. I don’t recommend Balsamic vinegar—it’s a little too strongly-flavored)
Instructions:
1. Heat 1 Tbs. olive oil in a heavy skillet over moderate heat until hot but not smoking. Cook 2 Tbs. mustard seeds, stirring, until they pop and are 1 shade darker, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl.
2. Add 3 Tbs. olive oil to hot skillet, then sauté ½  sweet onion, until golden brown (8-10 minutes). Remove from heat, and combine onions with mustard seeds in large bowl. Add 1/3 cup red-wine vinegar to bowl with onions and mustard seeds.
3. Have ready a large bowl of ice and cold water. Cook 1 lb. Romano beans in a pot of boiling salted water until crisp-tender (about 5 minutes). Drain and plunge into ice water, then drain well.
4. Toss beans with onion & mustard seed vinaigrette. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cover and chill 12-24 hours. Serve at room temperature or chilled. Serves 8.

Purple Potatoes received a lot of attention a few weeks ago. All I want to add here is to tell you I’ve been baking these purple potatoes recently, and find they are a wonderful snack. My son has been taking them (already baked) on hiking trips as a nutritious snack.

Sweet Girl Tomatoes are great for salads, or for any dish that requires sliced or diced tomatoes. They have firm texture, which makes them easy to slice. Remember to store tomatoes on your kitchen counter. Refrigerator temperatures will cause them to taste bland.

Italian Kale goes by many names …. Lacinata Kale (referring to the botanical name), Black Kale (refers to the dark green color of the leaves), and Dinosaur Kale (Perhaps referring to the texture of the leaves and some theory about the texture of dinosaur skin??). Whatever the name, this variety of kale has become very popular in recent years. Many recipes specifically call for Italian Kale (or any of its other names). In my experience, ALL varieties of kale are interchangeable in recipes, but Italian Kale is easier to work with because it’s less likely to jump off your cutting board when you chop it. In fact, it’s easy to make neat ribbons by rolling the leaves, and slice finely on the diagonal. This is called chiffonade. There are some interesting youtube videos of making chiffonade, if you have the time…..
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Denison Farms Harvest Box 2017:  Week 6 (July 11)
In this box: 1 bunch Basil, 1 bunch Parsley, 1 bskt Cherry Tomatoes, Several summer squash, 1 head Garlic, 1 bu Radishes, 1# Romano Beans, 1 bskt. Black Currants, 1 bskt. Raspberries—remember to put berries into the fridge ASAP  (weights are approx.) Everything is Organic!

BASIL
    Check our recipe blog (get there from our home page at www.denisonfarms.com) for lots of recipes for basil—including Basic Pesto; Sautéed Zucchini, Basil, Cherry tomatoes, and Olives; and Pasta Salad with Basil.

Italian Parsley
    Need ideas for using your bunch of Italian Parsley? Parsley is an important ingredient in any number of dishes from the Mediterranean region that begin by softening  aromatics (garlic, parsley, carrots, and/or onions) in olive oil before adding tomatoes and other ingredients to the pot. Parsley also features in many versions of Tabbouleh, which is traditionally made with bulghur wheat. I avoid wheat, so I frequently substitute cooked brown rice or Quinoa for the bulghur. I think Tabbouleh is a very flexible dish, so don’t worry if you don’t have cucumbers and sweet onion this week. You can omit the mint if you don’t have a handy mint patch out your back door, and substitute Romano beans if you don’t have cucumbers. One of my current favorites is to use cooked garbanzo beans instead of the quinoa for a satisfying meal.
Quinoa Tabbouleh
1 cup quinoa, rinsed well
½ tsp. salt
2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
1 clove garlic, minced
freshly ground black pepper
½ cup olive oil
2 small cucumbers, cut into ¼ inch dice (or use steamed Romano beans instead!)
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
2/3 cup parsley
½ cup fresh mint
2 Tbs. finely chopped sweet onion
    Bring quinoa, ½ tsp. salt, and 1 ¼ cup water to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until quinoa is tender—about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
       Meanwhile, in the serving bowl, whisk lemon juice and garlic. Whisk in olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Add cucumber, tomatoes, and herbs. Toss and coat well. Add quinoa. Mix thoroughly and refrigerate.

BLACK CURRANTS may be an unfamiliar fruit to many of you. I had never eaten one until last year when we got a few from one of our friends. Then we planted some of our own. We are excited to have enough this year to offer them to you. Though relatively obscure in this country, black currants are quite popular in other parts of the world. 
       Black currants are an intensely flavored fruit, and they are quite tart. Generally they are cooked and sweetened, or made into juice (with sweetening added). You can make a nice fruit spread with today’s raspberries and black currants (recipe below). If you want to save your raspberries for another use, you can make fruit spread from just black currants, but you will probably want to add sweetening. If you prefer to make black currant juice, simmer your black currants with a little water, then press the juice through a sieve. Add some of the juice to water, lemonade, or smoothies, and sweeten to taste.
Black Currant – Raspberry fruit spread: Remove the stems from currants (you don’t need to take off the dried blossom), and place in a small saucepan with ¼ cup water. Bring to a boil, and turn down the heat to simmer. KEEP AN EYE ON THE POT (I have boiled over every batch that I have made so far). Simmer gently for about 10 minutes. Thicken as much as you wish by dissolving 2 Tbs cornstarch in ¼ cup water. While the cooked fruit is still simmering on the stove, add a little of the dissolved cornstarch at a time, stirring after each drizzle, until the desired consistency is reached. Taste, and add sugar as desired. Voila.

Black currants may be poised to be the next “superfood”. As with other dark purple fruits, they have high levels of antioxidants (anthocyanins) and Vitamin C. For more interesting Black currant facts and recipes, check out www.blackcurrantfoundation.co.uk
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Denison Farms Harvest Box 2017: Week 5 (July 4th)
In this box: 2# Heirloom Tomatoes, 1 bskt Cherry Tomatoes, 1 bu Cilantro, 1 bunch Kale, 1 bu Beets, 3 Zucchini, 1# Romano Beans, 2# All Blue potatoes, 1 bskt. Raspberries—remember to put berries into the fridge ASAP  (weights are approx.) Everything is Organic!

On the farm this week   
    We are grateful for somewhat cooler weather this week! This feels more like what we love about Oregon summers—cool evenings, warm days, lots of sun, and just enough breeze to encourage lots of outdoor activities.
    This week’s box can complement your outdoor activities. I’m thinking of potato salad and pasta salads…..


Heirloom tomatoes come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. I think most boxes today have “ Cherokee purple” tomatoes. I like to serve heirloom tomatoes sliced on a platter. I think a little salt and/or a drop of balsamic vinegar really brings out the special flavor of each heirloom variety. Your Cherokee purple tomatoes would also be great cut in chunks and gently mixed with pasta for a cold (or warm) pasta salad.

Purple Potatoes!
    Technically, these potatoes are a variety called all blue, but I like to call them purple potatoes because it sounds more fun—perhaps the alliteration makes them taste even better. Purple potatoes get their color from anthocyanins which are powerful antioxidants, credited with a lots of health benefits.  Famous superfoods blueberries, pomegranates, and Okinawa sweet potatoes are other rich sources of anthocyanin.  You don’t have to tell your kids (or grandkids) these potatoes are good for them though. Many kids like them because they are purple (and tasty.) Tom started growing this variety after our kids developed a taste for blue potato chips, and these have become our favorite potato for roasting or pan-frying because they get wonderfully crisp in the pan. 
       There are so many different varieties of potatoes in the world, and they differ widely in their flavor and texture. Potatoes are often classified by their texture when cooked, because that helps you predict how they will work in a recipe. A potato’s texture is placed somewhere along a spectrum from “waxy” to “starchy”. Waxy potatoes tend to have a moist texture when cooked. Red potatoes are the classic example of a waxy texture. Yukon gold and red gold potatoes also fall on the waxy end of the spectrum. Russet potatoes are the classic example of a starchy potato. They are excellent for roasting, frying, and mashing, but have a somewhat dry texture if just boiled. You can use just about any potato for potato salad, boiled potatoes, or roasted potatoes, as long as you understand that the starchy potatoes may require more moisture in a potato salad, and the waxy potatoes may not brown as nicely in a roasting pan.
       Today’s purple potatoes are fairly starchy. They would be tasty roasted, fried, mashed, or in potato salad. However (because they are a starchy potato), if you boil them for potato salad, the chunks may fall apart. Better to boil them whole, or steam them if you’re making potato salad, and watch that you don’t overcook them.
     
       Here’s how I pan-fry potatoes: cut potatoes into ½-inch dice. Pre-heat cast iron skillet over medium heat, then add a little olive oil, the diced potatoes, and a sprinkle of salt. COVER, lower heat to just below medium, and cook (covered) for 10 minutes. Uncover, stir, and cover again for 5 minutes. Uncover, stir again, then cover for 5 minutes. Repeat, checking every 5 minutes or so until the pieces are browned on the outside & tender inside.

Kale
    Here’s an interesting recipe for a Kale dip. It’s a lot like hummus, but the main ingredient is kale (rather than garbanzo beans). This Kale dip is nice spread on slices of tomato, or in a sandwich.
The original recipe from which I take my inspiration was Collard & Pecan Pesto Bon Apetit, Oct. 2013.
1. Slice 1 large bunch of kale into ribbons. Steam for 5 minutes. Drain. Cool to room temperature.
2. Blend cooled greens in a food processor with
* ¼ cup olive oil
* ¼ cup toasted nuts or nut butter (I use salted cashew butter, but you can also use hazelnuts, walnuts, pecans, or tahini)
* 1 Tbs. apple cider vinegar.
3. Blend until very smooth. Taste, and add salt, pepper, or more cider vinegar as desired. 

Cilantro: check our web site, Last Year’s Newsletters, week 5 if you need ideas for using cilantro.
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Denison Farms Harvest Box 2017: Week 4 (June 27)

In this box: 1 Lettuce, ½# Spinach, 1 head Garlic, 1 Sweet Onion, 2# Fava Beans, 1# Romano Beans, 1 bskt Cherry Tomatoes, 2 bskts. Raspberries—remember to put berries into the fridge ASAP (weights are approx.) Everything is Organic!

 

On the farm this week         

I noticed a strange scene Sunday morning on the farm…. Our farm crew had full rainsuits on, and they were filling large tubs with water in the bed of our dump truck. I’ve been part of the farm for 20 years, and this was a new sight for me. Later in the day, I noticed that a number of our green houses had become shade houses, and suddenly it made perfect sense…. Last weekend’s heat wave was causing some overheating in the green houses that protect our berries and tomatoes from rain and cold weather. Tom says the pickers were noticing sunburning in the raspberries. So the crew made a mud slurry in giant plastic tubs, and sprayed this mud on the hoop houses (with a garden hose and gasoline-powered pump), driving the dump truck around the farm to get near the crops that most need the shade. A very effective, low-tech solution to the heat wave. And another opportunity for me to be grateful that our farm crew is creative, cooperative, and dedicated to the quality of your produce.

FAVA BEANS

            This is the perfect time to remind you that we have a RECIPE BLOG—find a link to it on our web site home page. We just launched our recipe blog a few months ago, with a lot of help from long-time employee Rose Holdorf (Thanks, Rose!). There are several fava bean recipes on the blog, which saves newsletter space for some additional information about this great bean.

            Fava beans are grown all over the world, and can be eaten in their fresh, green stage (like the ones in your box today), or left on the plant to mature, and eaten as a dry bean. Most recipes for fresh favas tell you to remove the beans from their pods, cook the beans, and discard the pods. However, when the pods are fresh & green like the ones in your box today, you might enjoy using your favas like a green bean. We grow a variety that has a pleasant-tasting pod, and is completely edible except for the stringy bits that run down the seams on the sides of the pod. Here’s our favorite way to prepare whole pod favas:

Mediterranean Fava Bean Sauté 

Sauté some garlic and onion in a generous amount of olive oil until soft. Snap off the stem end of the fava pod, and pull off the strings along the sides of the pod. Then cut the pods (with beans inside) into 1-inch lengths, and add to the sautéed garlic. Stir-fry for 3 minutes, then add some fresh tomatoes, or a couple Tbs. of tomato paste thinned with ¼ cup water. (Optional: add a handful of fresh, chopped, parsley if you have any). Cover and simmer about 10 minutes, cooking until the tomatoes/tomato paste melts into a thick sauce on the beans. Add salt to taste.

 

GREEN ROMANO BEANS

            The long, flat beans in your box are a variety of Green Romano Beans that we just love to grow. Though they are extra-large, they are surprisingly tender, and we think they have a superior flavor to the more common, pencil-sized green beans. Since these beans are more tender than a common green bean, you need to be careful not to overcook them. We like to steam them for just 3-5 minutes, or until they turn bright green but retain just a little crunch.

These beans get sweeter and tastier as they grow larger, but will get leathery if they get too large.  Our pickers try to pick them as large as possible without being tough.  The best way to prepare these beans for cooking is to break off the stem, then snap the bean into 4 or 5 pieces.  If a bean won’t snap, it is probably over mature, and should be discarded.

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Denison Farms Harvest Box 2017: Week 3 (June 20)


In this box:
1 Lettuce, ½# Salad Mix, ½# Spinach, 2 cucumbers, 1 bunch Radish, 3 zucchini, 1 bskt Cherry Tomatoes, 1 bskt Raspberries  (weights are approx.)  Everything is Organic!


I assume you are familiar with the produce in your box today, so I can spend less newsletter space introducing new vegetables, and more space writing about other things.

Produce storagesome like cold, some like dry, some like room temperature!
In order to get the most out of your weekly box, it may be helpful to understand a few basic principles of produce storage.

Berries like it very cold:
Berries are notoriously perishable. One of the benefits of Organic Berries is that you are certain they haven’t been sprayed with fungicides. However, the down side of organic berries is that they have a tendency to develop mold if they are left at room temperature.
    On warm days like today, it’s important to get your berries into the fridge as soon as possible. Better yet, bring a cooler and ice with you when you pick up your box! If you are late to pick up your box, you should be especially quick to get your berries in the fridge or cooler, and eat them as soon as possible, checking for moldy bits as you prepare them. If you are going to rinse your berries, do it right before you plan to eat them, or they will become waterlogged.

Salad greens & lettuce like it cold:
Rinse, drain well, and store in a cold refrigerator. Gently dunk lettuce, salad mixes, or other greens in a large bowl of cold water to remove any debris. Then drain well before storing in the refrigerator in a plastic bag or sealed tub. I like to put a paper towel in the bottom of a plastic tub so the leaves on the bottom don’t sit in water. Salad mix should be eaten within a few days, whereas a head of lettuce will keep longer.

Cukes & Zucch’s prefer cool, not cold
: cucumbers and zucchini are happiest if not too cold. The ideal storage temperature for these items is about 50 degrees. Cukes and zucchs are OK in the refrigerator for a few days, but after a while, they will develop “pitting”. If you refrigerate, put them in the warmest part of the fridge. We tend to leave cukes & zucchs on our kitchen counter, so we don’t forget about them. Left on the counter, they will slowly lose moisture and become limp after several days, but they’re still fine to eat that way. Don’t close them up in a plastic bag on the counter, or they will develop mold.


Tomatoes need room temperatures:
Keep tomatoes on your kitchen counter until you eat them. Tomatoes should not be stored in the refrigerator.


Roots should be cold and moist. Your radishes will keep best if you cut the roots off the leaves first, then store the roots in a sealed plastic bag in the fridge.

Plastic clam reuse/recycling
There are many trade-offs in life. Ideally, we would like to pack everything in reusable or recyclable packaging. However, we also want your produce to arrive home in good condition. We use plastic “clamshell” packaging for cherry tomatoes and berries so they don’t spill and turn to sauce or jam en route to your house.
Reuse: If your clams are clean, we can reuse them, but please wash them before returning to us, as we are not set up to wash them here on the farm.
Recycle: For our Salem and Albany members, the plastic containers are recyclable in your curbside bin. Unfortunately, Republic Services in Corvallis does not accept clams at this time.

Holidays and Vacation dates: July 4th falls on a Tuesday this year, but your farmers won’t take the day off. It will be just like a regular Tuesday on the farm. We will pick/pack/and deliver Harvest Boxes as usual on July 4th. If you will be out of town that day, and would like a vacation credit for that box, please email me so we can create a vacation credit instead of packing a box that won’t get picked up. denisonfarms@peak.org arrives on the computer at my desk, so that’s the best address for any messages about your Harvest Box membership.


Farm Party Sunday, September 3
We have set the date for this year’s Farm Party on Sunday of Labor Day weekend, in the afternoon.
Our tradition is to have a farm tour in the mid-afternoon, followed by a potluck.
I will send more details as the date draws nearer.
We hope you can come!

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Denison Farms Harvest Box 2017: Week 2 (June 12)

In this box:
1 Lettuce, 2 cucumbers, 1 Fresh Garlic, 1 bskt Cherry Tomatoes, 2# Red Gold Potatoes, 1 bu. Baby Turnips*, 1 bu. Beets*, 1 bu Garlic tops, 1 basket Tayberries (Salem & Albany) or Blackberries (Corvallis).  (weights are approx.) Everything is Organic! *Turnips & Beets are from Groundwork Organic Farm in Junction City.

 

When Tom & I looked around the farm last Friday, trying to plan what would go in this week’s box, we weren’t confident that we could fill everyone’s box with what we have here on the farm. So we checked with our friend Gabe, at Groundwork Organic Farm to see what he had in abundance. When he said he had turnips and beets, we jumped on the chance to put them both in your box this week. We were harvesting beets from our farm in early May, but they are all gone now. And we just didn’t get any turnips planted this year because it has been an unusually wet winter and spring. So far, we’ve had 25 more inches of rain than in an average year! It’s been difficult to prepare ground for planting, and to stay ahead of the weeds when we do get things planted.

Fortunately for you, our tomatoes were planted on time, and our berries are grown in covered hoop-houses so they have been less affected by the rains. Enjoy the first Sungold cherry tomatoes of the season!

 

White turnips are also known as “salad” turnips, because they are sweet, juicy, and mild enough to eat raw, or slice into a salad. The turnip roots are quite nice tossed into a stir-fry, but I think they are so good just eaten raw that they never seem to make it into the sauté pan in my kitchen. Turnip greens can be cooked as you would spinach—what I mean by this is that turnip greens are relatively tender, and they cook quickly. Turnip greens have a mild flavor when they are cooked, but they can also be used in a salad. Raw, they have a slightly sharp flavor, which reveals their close relationship (in a botanical sense) to mustard greens. I happen to like mustard greens, but it’s not a flavor that every palate appreciates. If they are too strong for you as a raw vegetable, know that they are MUCH milder when cooked.

 

This week, your box should have a basket of either Tayberries or Blackberries. Blackberries may be easy to recognize, but tayberries may be less familiar. The Tayberry is a cross between a blackberry and raspberry. They are the color of red wine. I like to make a quick fruit sauce with blackberries or tayberries. Berries have a different flavor when cooked. All berries have some balance of sweetness and tartness. With blackberries, cooking seems to mellow the tartness and bring out the sweetness. With tayberries, I find cooking really brings out some flavor complexities that are not there in the fresh, uncooked fruit.

To make fruit sauce: quickly rinse fruit and place in a sauce pan. Add about ¼ cup of water, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for about 5 minutes. Then use a potato-masher to crush the fruit, and sweeten if you wish. Thicken, if needed, with a little cornstarch. Cool, then spread on pancakes, French toast, crackers, yogurt, cheesecake……

 

Garlic tops—Here’s a lovely vegetable that is truly a seasonal treat. It’s available only in early June, when garlic plants are maturing and sending these edible flower stalks (technically called “scapes”) up from the center of the developing garlic bulb. After we cut off the scapes, the plant continues to mature the garlic bulb, so we get two crops from one plant! Garlic tops are generally cooked, rather than being eaten raw. They can steamed, or cut into bite-sized pieces for a stir-fry. They have a very mild garlic flavor. You can eat the entire scape, but I prefer eat no further than one bite past the bud, as the tip of the stalk gets too fibrous for me. I also suggest “snapping” the bottom ends off to make sure they’re tender. Like asparagus, if the ends won’t snap, they may be too fibrous to eat.

            Recipe of the weekGarlic Tops with Hummus: Steam whole garlic tops for 5 minutes or until tender. Cool, then dip in hummus for a perfect taste and texture combination. I had to hold myself back from eating the last bite so that I could share some with Tom. Because I enjoy finger-food, I just hold the top, and dip the bottom into hummus for each bite, eating my way up the stem and finishing with the bite that includes the bud.

In your box today, you have both a bunch of garlic tops and a head of “fresh” garlic. Your bulb of fresh garlic is still moist. You can cook with it as you would “regular” garlic, but because it’s fresh, it won’t keep in good condition more than a week or so. Typically, garlic in the grocery store has been “cured” in a well-ventilated area until it is fully dry. Store your fresh garlic on the counter, in a well-ventilated area, and use it this week if you can.

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Denison Farms Harvest Box 2017, Week 1 (June 6)

In this box: 1 lettuce, 2 cucumbers, 1 sweet onion, 1# sugar snap peas from Springhill Farm, 3# yellow potatoes, 1 bunch parsley, 2 zucchini, 1 bunch Radish or Chard, 1 bunch Fava Greens (weights are approximate). Everything is Organic!

We are excited to be starting another Harvest Box season with you. If you’ve been part of our membership in the past, we are delighted to have you back. And I want to give a hearty welcome to our new members. Welcome to the farm!
First, some logistics, and then some suggestions about how to use this week’s produce:
•    Tub care—feel free to take the tub home with you. But please bring it back next week. It’s extra nice if you rinse it out after emptying it, so it’s clean. If you prefer, you can transfer your produce to your own bags or cooler and leave the box at your pick-up site.
•    If you forget to pick up your box some week, check your confirmation letter for late pick-up options at your site.
•    We haven’t yet planned a date for our Farm Party. I will post a notice in the newsletter as soon as we get that date on the calendar.
•    If you have any questions or concerns, email me at denisonfarms@peak.org. Our office is small—usually it’s just me & Tom sitting at our respective computers, surrounded by seed packets, papers, & file folders full of farm records. I like to joke that Tom is “the farmer”, and I am “the farm wife”. We have separate responsibilities; I am in charge of the office, and he’s in charge of the planting & harvesting. We’re a good team, and we’ve been doing it for a long time—this is our 20th season of offering Harvest Boxes. Again, we thank you all for your membership with us.

Here are some ideas for using today’s produce:

Sugar Snap Peas – from Springhill Farm. I don’t expect Sugar Snap Peas to need much introduction—except to confirm that these are the kind of peas that you eat pod & all. There is a bit of a “string” along the side that you can remove when you snap off the stem end. Then you can eat the peas & pod raw or cooked. Two of my favorite ways to eat Snap Peas are to serve raw peas to dip into hummus, or to steam them lightly. They don’t need anything more fancy than that.
    We planted sugar snap peas on our farm in early February, but the bulk of our peas ripened a few weeks ago, and there aren’t many left to pick. So, we are grateful that our friend Jamie at Springhill Farm (in North Albany) has a variety of peas that ripens a few weeks later, and we could get some from him. It takes a lot of peas to fill 300 boxes! Thanks, Jamie.

Parsley—I love making a sort of “Greek” salad, of parsley, cucumbers & sweet onion, dressed with olive oil and vinegar or lemon juice. To be a classic Greek salad, I should add olives and feta cheese, but I never seem to have them on hand. Instead, I add cooked garbanzo beans, and that is one of my standard summertime lunches.
Parsley is also nice in a potato salad….
Need more ideas, check out our NEW RECIPE BLOG. On our web site, choose “recipe blog” to find many of my favorite farm-based recipes. No longer will you need to search through back issues of the newsletter!

Fava Greens—Perhaps the least familiar item in the box today is the bunch of Fava Greens. We’ve grown fava beans for years, but didn’t know the leaves were edible until we saw an article in Sunset Magazine with recipes, and now we’re hooked. The Sunset Magazine article suggests they have a grassier flavor when raw, and a nuttier flavor when cooked. I think they taste faintly of peas, but the flavor is hard to describe. You just have to try them!
    As a salad, raw fava greens go well with a citrus dressing, like a lemon-poppyseed dressing.
As a cooked green, treat them like spinach. They are nice with onions and zucchini stuffed in an omelet.
Important note: we picked the fava greens in a bunch because they’re easier to handle & pack that way.
However, the stems, though sweet and pea-flavored, may be fibrous, except at the tip. If the stem snaps easily, it’s probably tender enough to eat. If not, I suggest picking the leaves off the stems before making a salad or cooking them.
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