Week of July 4th

Just a friendly reminder, we are taking a week-long pause for the July 4th holiday.  Friday the 30th and July 4th we will not be distributing boxes.  Last year and the years prior, we had very low attendance for the two pick up dates surrounding this holiday, so this year, we have opted to skip so people don’t miss out on our beautiful produce.  Happy holiday!!

Box #4

This week we have more conventional produce to offer.  Most items are probably self-explanatory except perhaps the cherries.  The cherries in the box are sour cherries.  While some people think they are yummy out of the box, general consensus seems to point towards cooking them.  The most common use of these cherries is in pies and jellies.  Since you have only a pint, you might find it hard to make a pie.  Try pitting them and adding some water and sugar to make a cherry syrup to pour over vanilla ice cream or pancakes with homemade whipped cream.  I have also used them in braised pork shoulder.  Brown meat, add beer, wine or water to reach halfway up meat in a dutch oven, add onions and salt and pepper and pitted sour cherries, put in 350 oven for 3 hours or so depending on size of meat chunk.  Yummy.  You could do an abbreviated version of this recipe with chops, stove top…add fresh herbs at the end.  Serve with a simple salad.

In this week’s box:

Beets

Chard

Kale

Sour Cherries

Lettuce heads

Lettuce mix

Herb Bouquets (tarragon, sage, dill, lavender)

Basil

Enjoy!!

Box # 3

My garden is a pretty amazing place.  It is set six blocks away from my house and tucked down a side street that dead-ends into the open lot that was once a school.  There are many wild things there, rabbits, pheasants, deer, chickweed, wild peas, dogs, my daughters.  Sometimes it is hard to make order from irregular forms that abound, a burned house across the street with scattered, half-erected beams, the grasses growing for miles, sometimes an errant rose bush or daffodils.  On Saturday, I planted scarlet salvia, a perennial that attracts hummingbirds.  My kids like it there because we picnic under the walnut tree and have a swing with a 50-foot trajectory.  Luckily, the beets that are in the box this Tuesday are not mine, the rabbits have been repeatedly eating all of their leaves and they are as small as pennies, despite having put them in the ground in April.  The savory is from Singing Tree Garden, where it grows well, almost wild, taking over half a bed with its pokey dark green leaves.  Each one of our gardens grows certain plants well, according to the preferences of the farmer, the soil and the weather.  Enjoy each of the fruits our gardens offer.

This week:

Mulberries–Fields of Plenty, Occupy Yourself, Food Field

Swiss Chard (Friday Only)–Fields of Plenty

Salad Mix–Food Field

Broccoli Greens or Kale or Radicchio (Tuesday only)–Food Field

Cherries–Food Field

Lettuce Heads–Iroquois

Tarragon–Occupy Yourself

Savory–Singing Tree

Hot Sauce–Food Field

Radishes – Fisheye Farms

 

 

Box #2

This week we have lovely things for you to eat.  The weather has been tolerable, a little dry, but after last season which was drier than normal, most of us farmers sorted out our water problems.  In some ways it is easier to farm when it is dry and the farmer can control the amount, and distribution of water on his/her crops.  Whatever the situation, we have coalesced to produce a box of scrumptious eats.
Strawberries–From Buffalo St. Farm and Food Field
Cherries (if you didn’t get strawberries, you got cherries)–From Food Field
Head Lettuce–From Fields of Plenty
Carrots–From Food Field and Fields of Plenty
Beet Greens–From Fields of Plenty
Garlic Scapes–From Food Field
Radicchio–From Food Field
Pearl Garlic–From Occupy Yourself
Oregano–From Singing Tree Garden
Dill–From Singing Tree Garden
On Tuesday, a member asked what to do with dill.  I absolutely love it paired with fish.  Try butter, pearl garlic, sautéed at a low heat, add pepper, dill and lemon juice and zest.  Add the fish and continue cooking over a medium heat with cover for 10 minutes (more or less) depending on thickness of fish. Voila!
For a salad accompaniment, take outer leaves off the radicchio, an set aside for a different use.  Cut into fine ribbons the soft heart of the radicchio, cut the lettuce head into similar ribbons.  Chop oregano fine, garlic scape minced, slice thin or grate carrot.  Add olive oil, a couple of drips of toasted sesame oil, more lemon juice or apple cider vinegar, soy sauce and pepper.  Toss and serve.  (Remember, when making dressing, the oil should be in a 2/3 to 1/3 ratio to acid/liquid ingredients.)
My girls and I have been making chocolate avocado pudding and serving it with fresh strawberries.  Mmmmm!!

Box #1 2017

Hello and welcome to the 2017 season of City Commons CSA!  This year marks our fifth season in business and we can’t wait to share our fruits, vegetables, herbs and flowers with you.  We have been extremely busy over the last several weeks, prepping beds, planting seeds and transplants and hoping for rain and bees to make our gardens grow.  Now we reap the first harvest of the year.  Spring is green.  Our gardens and your boxes prove it.

This week you’ll have plenty to create salads with:  Arugula, head lettuce, green garlic, garlic scapes, thyme, strawberries, lemon balm, radishes, salad mix, and pac choi.

Try lemon balm infused wine.

Here is a simple and delicious salad dressing recipe:

Mix 2 tablespoons tahini with 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar (or lemon or lime juice).  Add 2 tablespoons of soy sauce and 1/3 cup of olive oil or raw sesame oil.  Add minced green garlic (or scapes) and black pepper to taste.  Whisk, whip or otherwise stir until emulsion occurs, pour onto salad and serve.

Salad ingredient suggestions:

Salad mix, handful arugula, thyme, lemon balm, strawberries, scapes, radishes and toasted hazelnuts.  Tahini dressing from above recipe.  YUMMY!

Storage Share 2016

The storage share is amazing this year.  One bushel box so chock full of vegetables, we couldn’t even close the flaps.

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Contents:

4 squash (pie pumpkin, butternut, acorn, red kuri, and/or spagetti squash)

Rutabaga

Turnips

Celery Root

Storage Radishes

Parsnips

Sweet Potato

Leeks

Sage

Mixed Herb Bouquet

Canned Tomatoes

Sauerkraut

Garlic

Beets

Many of these items will store for 3-4 months. If you intend to store any of the items that have green tops, remove the tops to the peal for best storage results.  Hang your herbs upside-down and store squash and sweet potatoes in a cool dark and dry place.  Happy eating.

Season Finale

Thank you City Commons members for making this a great season.  We have ended the year with a bang.  Thanks to the weather (warm and wet late summer/early fall) and our growers, we have a wonderful box to share with you this week.

photo-on-10-26-16-at-1-19-pm

This week,

Tomatoes from Food Field

Spinach from Dulce Diamante

Rutabaga from Fields of Plenty

Turnips from Fields of Plenty

Red and Green Peppers from Food Field and Iroquois

Beets from Fields of Plenty

Carrots from Food Field

Sweet Potatoes from Food Field

Celery from Occupy Yourself and Food Field

Kale from Occupy Yourself and Food Field

Celery Root from Fields of Plenty

Parsley from Occupy Yourself

When ever I see rutabaga, I am harkened back to my days on a small farm in Quebec.  The owner of the farm was a Moroccan food enthusiast who loved the yellow turnips for their sweetness and their ability to fill the tummy on a cold day.  We used to make a cous cous dish that featured rutabaga, squash and potatoes.  I have not tried to recreate this recipe since returning but I have found a recipe that approximates the one we made.  Chicken can be substituted with garbanzos and you can add other root vegetables to the stew as you like.  The spices are the important part–and the cous cous.

Chicken and Rutabaga Tagine 

We hope you have enjoyed your season with City Commons.  If you have any comments or suggestions please email us at citycommonscsa@gmail.com

We would be happy to try to incorporate any ideas into planning for future seasons.  Cheers!

Eggplant Gratin with Greens and Tomatoes

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Pushing through the last of the eggplant at our house tonight my partner assembled this lovely eggplant gratin. Depending on what’s on hand you could use a different cheese. Also, we added a couple cayenne peppers to the egg mixture because we like it spicy, but you might decide that doesn’t work for you.

Ingredients

  • 4 slices of bread
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • a “crap ton” of eggplant (this is the chef’s measurement, the farmer would say about 2 pounds)
  • medium sized onion
  • 3 large tomatoes
  • a generous handful of arugula (other greens would do just fine, if they are a tougher cooking green maybe wilt first)
  • 1/4 pound cheese or a little less (we used feta, anything you have on hand or none at all would be fine)
  • other herbs or spices that suit your fancy- we used garlic, cumin, paprika, and cayenne pepper

Put the slices of bread at the bottom of your casserole dish.

Slice the eggplant, salt, and set aside for a minute for some of the bitterness and moisture to sweat out.

Rinse eggplant and saute in a frying pan with onion until just cooked

Pre-heat oven to 350

Put eggs, milk, cheese, and spices in a food processor and blend

Layer onions and eggplant on top of the bread. Put the greens on top of that. Pour egg and milk mixture over top and finally top with slices of tomato.

Bake covered for about 40 minutes, uncover and then bake for another 15 minutes (cook times may vary depending on the type of dish you use).

Let rest for a few minutes and then serve. Watch all your guests go “Yummm”

Second to Last Week

Its week 19, the second to last week in the 2016 CSA season.  If you have a half-share and were assigned to pick up on odd weeks today is your last week.  It seems strange that the season is coming to a close and its still almost 80 degrees outside, but such is a warming world.  Maybe soon, we will be able to grow all year long…Today’s box is super spectacular.

celeriac

Celeriac from Fields of Plenty

collards

Collards from Fields of Plenty

turnips

Hakuri Turnips from Iroquois Ave

eggplant

Eggplant from Iroquois Ave and Fields of Plenty

sweetpotato

Sweet Potatoes from Food Field

tomatoes

Tomatoes from Iroquois Ave and Food Field

cilantro

Cilantro from Dulce Diamante

tarragon

Tarragon from Occupy Yourself

Scallions

Scallions from Iroquois Ave and Occupy Yourself

Photo on 7-12-16 at 4.24 PM

Braising Mix from Occupy Yourself

Celeraic is a vegetable that is a little bit weird and maybe intimidating for the first time cooking with it.  It is to be peeled first and the inside is soft and delicate.  You can use the peelings in soup stock, you can use the tops for the same thing or use as you would regular celery.  I really like celeriac in in soup and stir fry.  It is also good roasted with other veggies, tossed in olive oil and salt and pepper in the oven on high heat so it gets brown and crispy.  You can grate it with your hakuri turnips, mix with mayo and mustard, tarragon, good vinegar (sweet wine would be good), salt and pepper and mix–remoulade!  It is delicious.

Try a turkey and sweet potato shepherd’s pie

Eat your veggies and enjoy!