2012 CSA Harvest Share Week #2, June 13th


 

The start of the season is a great time to remind ourselves of what it is exactly that we are doing when we choose to be a CSA member.  By choosing locally grown food we impact our own lives as well as the lives of others.  We support economic recovery right here in our own community and we enrich the community spirit that we all crave and we give our farmers a great many reasons to stay on their farms!

The USDA gives this explantion of CSAs:

two blue water cans on a clothesline over flowers“Since our existence is primarily dependent on farming, we cannot entrust this essential activity solely to the farming population–just 2% of Americans. As farming becomes more and more remote from the life of the average person, it becomes less and less able to provide us with clean, healthy, lifegiving food or a clean, healthy, lifegiving environment. A small minority of farmers, laden with debt and overburdened with responsibility, cannot possibly meet the needs of all the people. More and more people are coming to recognize this, and they are becoming ready to share agricultural responsibilities with the active farmers.” (1)

Community Supported Agriculture consists of a community of individuals who pledge support to a farm operation so that the farmland becomes, either legally or spiritually, the community’s farm, with the growers and consumers providing mutual support and sharing the risks and benefits of food production. Typically, members or “share-holders” of the farm or garden pledge in advance to cover the anticipated costs of the farm operation and farmer’s salary. In return, they receive shares in the farm’s bounty throughout the growing season, as well as satisfaction gained from reconnecting to the land and participating directly in food production. Members also share in the risks of farming, including poor harvests due to unfavorable weather or pests. By direct sales to community members, who have provided the farmer with working capital in advance, growers receive better prices for their crops, gain some financial security, and are relieved of much of the burden of marketing.

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Each week we will link to customer satisfaction surveys.  With these surveys we hope to gather information regarding the quality of the items in your box.  These surveys aren’t designed to gauge preferences from our members.  Any feedback that you have regarding preferences can be emailed to Karlin at csa@pennscorner.com.Once you have gotten your share and had a chance to look it over please consider taking this very short survey!  If you are on the Asparagus route please click here.  Zucchini members can click here.

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THIS WEEK’S HARVEST

Asparagus Share

~ 1/2# Swiss chard, Nu Way Farm

~ 1/2# spinach, Nu Way Farm

~ garlic scapes, Crighton’s Farm

~ chevre cheese, River View Dairy

~ Firehead lettuce, Blue Goose Farm, CNG

~ 2 garlic bulbs, Becarri’s Farm

~ fresh herb, Goose Creek Gardens, CNG

~ 1# crimini mushrooms, Wild Purveyors

~ pint strawberries, Sunny Meadow Farm

Zucchini Share

~ 1/2# Swiss chard, Nu Way Farm

~ 1/2# spinach, Nu Way Farm

~ garlic scapes, Clubhouse Gardens

~ chevre cheese, River View Dairy

~ Firehead lettuce, Blue Goose Farm, CNG

~ 2 garlic bulbs, Becarri’s Farm

~ fresh herb, Pucker Brush Farm, CNG

~ 1# crimini mushrooms, Wild Purveyors

OG- Certified Organic                                                                   CNG- Certified Naturally Grown

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This recipe is a great way to use up all those greens (3 bags!).  It is delicious and elegant.

Swiss Chard Soufflé

1/2 ounce dried porcini mushrooms (1/2 cup) (you can omit this if you don’t have them on hand)
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups whole milk
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 cup freshly grated young pecorino cheese, such as Pecorino Toscano Fresco (1 1/2 ounces)
3 large egg yolks
1 1/2 pounds Swiss chard, stems and inner ribs discarded (sup spinach or other greens if you like)
4 large egg whites
  1. In a small bowl, cover the porcini mushrooms with hot water and let stand until they are softened, about 20 minutes. Lift the porcini from the water, squeeze dry and coarsely chop.
  2. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°. In a medium saucepan, melt 3 tablespoons of the butter over moderate heat. Stir in the flour until blended. Gradually whisk in the milk until smooth. Bring the béchamel to a boil over moderately high heat, whisking constantly until slightly thickened. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, whisking often, until no floury taste remains and the béchamel is very thick, about 20 minutes. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Transfer the béchamel to a large bowl and, while it is still hot, whisk in the pecorino and egg yolks.
  3. In a large skillet, cook the Swiss chard over moderately high heat in batches, one handful at a time, until the leaves are wilted, about 2 minutes per batch. Transfer the chard to a colander to cool, then squeeze dry. Coarsely chop the chard.
  4. In the same large skillet, melt the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter. Add the Swiss chard and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until it’s heated through and coated with butter, about 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Stir the chopped chard into the béchamel along with the porcini mushrooms, 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper.
  5. Butter an 8-cup ceramic soufflé dish. In a large stainless steel bowl, beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until firm peaks form. Fold one-third of the beaten whites into the chard mixture, then fold in the remaining whites. Scrape the batter into the prepared dish and run your thumb around the inside of the rim to help the soufflé rise evenly. Bake until the soufflé rises and is golden brown on top and slightly soft in the center, about 1 hour and 5 minutes. Serve right away.
The soufflé batter can be prepared through Step 4 and refrigerated overnight. Bring the batter to room temperature before proceeding.
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This original recipe is for a combination of wild mushrooms but surely it will work with any type or combination of types.

Mushrooms on Toast

ghee, olive oil or butter
2 shallots, thinly sliced
11 ounces / 300 grams mixed mushrooms, (try including shiitake, reishi, or maitake) wiped clean
3 cloves of garlic – 2 minced, 1 sliced in half
¼ cup walnuts
a few sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves picked
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 or 2 good pinches dried crushed chilis
1 lemon
2 slices of toasted whole-grain sourdough bread
balsamic vinegar (optional)

Directions:
1. Prepare the mushrooms: if fresh, simply wipe them off with a damp paper towel (do not wash them with water, as they will only absorb the liquid and get mushy when cooked). If dried, soak the mushrooms in lukewarm water for about an hour, until soft. Slice the lager mushrooms, leave the small ones whole.
2. In a large frying pan, heat ghee, butter or oil, then add sliced shallots. Sprinkle with sea salt and let cook on medium heat until the shallots begin to wilt and lose structure.
3. Add the mushrooms, making sure that they are not crowded in the pan (this ensures that the moisture that comes out of them can evaporate easily, and they will not boil in their own juices), toss a couple times to coat them in oil. Cook for a couple minutes, then add the walnuts, garlic, thyme, crushed chilis, some salt and pepper, and shake pan and leave to fry gently for 3 – 4 minutes.
5. When the mushrooms have browned nicely, add a knob of ghee or butter and a squeeze of lemon juice, and toss again.
6. Toast your bread until golden. Remove from toaster, and rub one side of each slice with the cut-side of a half clove of garlic.
7. Place toasts on a large plate and pile the mushrooms on top, sprinkle with extra thyme leaves, and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar, if desired.
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A note about the garlic.

The garlic that you will find in your box this week is fresh.  When you generally buy garlic it has been dried or cured which prolongs its shelf life by months. This weeks garlic has just been pulled out of the ground. You will find that it is super sticky and has a robust flavor.  Considering infusing some olive oil with one of the bulbs.  It will be great for any use!

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