April showers bring May flowers!
Every season comes with different challenges for farmers. It is always something, whether that something be weather too cold or hot, ground that is too wet or dry, pests, crazy winds, the list goes on. Despite all this, come spring farmers are itching to get out in their fields and try it again. They turn over more ground, build more greenhouses, plant more rows and buy more animals. At a recent meeting of a handful of some of the Penn’s Corner farmers and staff, I was reminded yet again of the diversity of all our different farmers, and the value they each bring to Penn’s Corner and to Western PA. Some come from farming families that have farmed for generations, and some have not. Some are Amish, and some are not. Some have additional jobs on the side and some do not. Some are farming on a large scale and some much smaller. Some are quite young, and others have been at it for much longer. The passion they all have for their farms and the food that comes from them is so apparent. When asked how the season and planting is going for most of our farmers so far, it looks like 2012 is off to a good start! Hopefully May will continue to bring sunny days as well as more showers. We can’t thank you enough for supporting such a great group of farmers, but hope the content of your boxes does the trick!
Some of your Penn’s Corner Farmers:
In order left to right, top to bottom: Chris and James Crighton of Crighton’s Farm, Nathan Holmes of Clarion River Organics, Lori Sollenberger of Hidden Hills Dairy, Bill Foulk of Clubhouse Gardens, Pam Bryan of Pucker Brush Farm, Scott Farabaugh of Blue Goose Farm, Kate Dagnal of Goose Creek Gardens, The beautiful fields of Clarion River Organics, Ken & Beth Marshall of Next Life Farm.
THIS WEEK’S HARVEST
OG- Certified Organic CNG- Certified Naturally Grown
Egg shares are now available!
If you would like to add an egg share to your 24 week Harvest Share CSA, now is the time! Supplies are limited so grab em while you can. We have 2 options: 1 dozen per week ($96.00) or 1/2 dozen ($48.00) per week. Email Karlin at firstname.lastname@example.org to add eggs to your share.
Also, if you are a Cabin Fever member and want to extend your share to include the Harvest Share please contact Karlin asap while shares last.
A note about Fresh Pasta:
The pasta included in your box this week is fresh pasta. While dried pasta is made without eggs and can be stored for up to two years under ideal conditions, fresh pasta must be kept cold and will keep for a few days under refrigeration, or a few months in a freezer. The best way to prepare fresh pasta is to take it right from your freezer or refrigerator and dump it into a pot of boiling water. It will only a take a few minutes to be ready, so check often and then drain!
No tomatoes but hello kale!
Clarion River suddenly had a couple thousand pounds of kale available. We figured that this time of year members would choose something fresh over something preserved so we replaced the tomato puree this week with kale.
1/2 white onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 lb kale leaves, washed, center ribs removed, loosely chopped
salt, pepper to taste
juice of half a lemon
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan (use high quality parmigiano reggiano as considering it’s one of only a few ingredients, it should taste great)
2 Italian sausages (optional)Heat some olive oil in a dutch oven, sautee onions, then toss in garlic. Squeeze meat out of sausage casings and allow to brown, breaking up meat into small rounds. Add kale (it will fill up an entire large pot but will drastically shrink). Drizzle with some olive oil and stir, letting the leaves wilt. Pour about 1/2 cup of water, cover and allow to cook down until it is cooked to your liking (5-15 minutes). Salt, pepper and add lemon juice. Toss in freshly grated parmesan. Boil pasta, throw in aldente spaghetti into the pot and toss with the kale, allowing to finish cooking (you may want to pour in a ladle of the pasta water). Garish with parmesan when serving and a sprinkle of salt and a drizzle of olive oil, if desired.
Just in case you’ve never made popcorn in anything other than a microwave!
- 3 Tbsp coconut, canola, peanut or grapeseed oil (high smoke point oil)
- 1 cup of high quality popcorn kernels
- 1 3-quart covered saucepan
- 2 Tbsp or more (to taste) of butter
- Salt to taste
1 Heat the oil in a 3-quart saucepan on medium high heat.
2 Put 3 or 4 popcorn kernels into the oil and cover the pan.
3 When the kernels pop, add the rest of the cup of popcorn kernels in an even layer. Cover, remove from heat and count 30 seconds. (Count out loud; it’s fun to do with kids.) This method first heats the oil to the right temperature, then waiting 30 seconds brings all of the other kernels to a near-popping temperature so that when they are put back on the heat, they all pop at about the same time.
4 Return the pan to the heat. The popcorn should begin popping soon, and all at once. Once the popping starts in earnest, gently shake the pan by moving it back and forth over the burner. Try to keep the lid slightly ajar to let the steam from the popcorn release (the popcorn will be drier and crisper). Once the popping slows to several seconds between pops, remove the pan from the heat, remove the lid, and dump the popcorn immediately into a wide bowl.
With this technique, nearly all of the kernels pop (I counted 4 unpopped kernels in my last batch), and nothing burns.
5 If you are adding butter, you can easily melt it by placing the butter in the now empty, but hot pan.
6 Salt to taste.
Other great toppings for popcorn are black cracked pepper, Spanish smoked paprika, nutritional yeast, cayenne powder, chili pepper, curry powder, cumin, grated Parmesan cheese.
Makes 2 quarts, a nice amount for two people, or for one hungry one. Feel free to double or triple!
Please join Penn’s Corner Farm Alliance and Small Farm Central at the Melwood Screening Room on Wednesday May 23rd!
CLICK HERE TO RSVP FOR THE EVENT. Seating is limited.
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup crème fraîche
2 Tbs. mayonnaise
2 Tbs. thinly sliced fresh chives
1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
Vegetable oil for the grill
4 large heads butter lettuce, halved lengthwise
In a medium bowl, whisk the buttermilk, crème fraîche, mayonnaise, chives, and lemon juice. Season to taste with salt. (The dressing may be made up to 1 day ahead and kept refrigerated.
Prepare a gas or charcoal grill fire for direct cooking over medium-high (500°F) heat. Lightly oil the grill grates.
Lightly season the lettuce with 1/4 tsp. salt. Grill cut side down until wilted, lightly charred, and the cores are crisp-tender, 2 to 3 minutes.
Transfer the grilled lettuce to a serving platter and drizzle with the dressing (you won’t need all the dressing; refrigerate leftovers for 2 to 3 days). Lightly sprinkle the lettuce with salt and serve.