Green Earth Institute Newsletter


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Green Earth Institute Newsletter

  1. 1. CSA Newsletter June 28, 2011 Harvest Week 2Notes from the Farm This Week’s Harvest Crop View Two years ago the crew Note: Following is the list of vegeta- With some of the wore sweaters through bles we are expecting to harvest this crops being grown much of June and by the week, but due to the rotation system along the road to end of the summer I established to equalize box contents the barn youll be rejoiced in the thought as much as possible, not all of them able to note their that "Illinois doesnt have will be in both Tuesday and Friday progress through- mosquitoes." Last season pickups. Be sure to thoroughly wash out the season. Ifwe were in shorts in April and when I all of your vegetables. you were a spring share member youllwent to the local pharmacy for insect have noticed that last week we wererepellent for the crew, I found that it Alliums Root Crops finally able to stake the tomatoes andwas sold out. This season is a combina- Garlic scapes Hakurei turnips begin the first line of twine that holdstion of the previous two; a cold, wet Scallions Radishes the plants upright. With all the rain thisspring followed by a series of unpre- season its been constantly soft grounddictable weeks that have mixed heat Brassicas Salad Greens around the tomatoes, and I was hesitantwaves with downpours, forcing us to Napa/Chinese Lettuce to use the tractor to deposit stakeswear slickers and slap our foreheads cabbage along the rows. But with a burst of sunhoping to get the “skeeters”. last week, we decided it was now or Cooking Greens never. Some of the tomatoes were be-Theres certainly been no lack of press Kale ginning to flop and were too tall to driveabout climate change, but in the con- Swiss chard over them with the tractor. Instead, wetext of farming, little has been said drove along the sides of the tomatoabout the unique advantage of organic, field, lugged stakes and rebar from thesmall-scale farms in this new climate. Fruiting Crops edge to the middle, and pounded theWhile some claim that genetically Peas (shelling or posts in that very day. And it was then,modified (GMO) crops will be better sugar snap) as we were driving the posts into thesuited to climate changes, I think the soil, that we were thankful for the softvery opposite is true. Small-scale farm- Herbs ground.ers growing a variety of vegetables, Thyme Martin Lemosrelying on their own ingenuity, are bestprepared to deal with the vagaries ofweather. GMOs work by assuming cer-tain conditions; organic farmers pro-ceed from the actual conditions. People Power Coming Next WeekWith this season and the vagaries ofweather, I think adaptation is more Thanks to the several volunteers who About as reliable as a weather forecast!beneficial than estimation. helped with farm and other Green Earth work this past week: Fruiting CropsSo far our plants are doing as they Alliums Peasshould, albeit slowly and tentatively. Garlic scapes Tracy Hemmingway with Melissa Summer squashInconsistency is a pest to vegetables Scallions and Rachel, Paul Leddy, Kyliebut I think many of our crops are es- Root Crops Neal, Adrianne O’Neal, Karan Brassicastablished enough to endure whatever Beets Schmitz, Julie Verson, and Tracy Chinese cabbageweather comes our way. Hopefully Radishes Zweig.well share that resilience and all reapthe rewards. Cooking Greens Salad Greens If you would like to help, contact Asian greens: Martin Lemos Head lettuce Steve Tiwald at 664-5681 or tatsoi Farm Manager Spinach Green Earth Institute 10 S 404 Knoch Knolls Road, Naperville, IL 60565, Phone 630-664-5681 CSA Newsletter - June 28, 2011
  2. 2. What’s Features Of The Week: Kale, Napa Cabbage, Cooking... Peas & Swiss Chard Kale is a member of the cabbage family, with a cabbage-like flavor Cooking the CSA Way plus an earthy sharpness. There are many varieties of kale, but all share the distinctive flavor and texture. Kale is as versatile as cab-Part of the fun of a CSA is that we bage or spinach. Although usually cooked, it can also be enjoyedeat whatever is in season; what we get raw. Discard tough stems and then steam, boil or sauté the leaves,depends on what is ripe and plentiful or add them to soups, stews, casseroles, pasta, rice or sauces. Oron that day. Martin is very good at add it to a banana smoothie!accurately predicting what he will beharvesting each week, but nature al- Napa cabbage, which looks very much like romaine lettuce, is oneways has the final word. Meanwhile, of the most popular of the Chinese cabbages. It is crisper, juicier,we prepare a newsletter for you each sweeter and more tender than common cabbage, and has a delicate,week based on these predictions. mild flavor. Napa is favored for stir-fried vegetable dishes, and theOur intent is to help you get the most leaves become silky soft, yet hold their form, when braised. It isout of the vegetables available that also excellent used in soups and stews, baked, braised, or stuffed.week, but occasionally, we end up with Try it raw in salads or use the large tender leaves as wraps.a mismatch between the newsletterand the actual harvest. So be prepared Peas are in the legume family. Fresh garden peas are grown both infor a few inaccuracies now and then. varieties with inedible pods, as well as those, such as the sugar snapAlso, quantities actually harvested and pea, eaten pod and all. Regardless of the variety, peas are bestdistributed may end up being less than enjoyed when first picked, while they are still sweet and crunchy.what we’d hoped, which can foil the Though sugar snap peas have an edible pod, they do have strings.usefulness of a particular recipe. Whether or not they are removed is a personal choice, but do re-Those new to the CSA may also be move the calyx, or cap, at one end. To remove the strings, simplyfaced with new challenges in the snap off the stem tip toward the flat side and pull downward. Thesekitchen, dealing with vegetables you peas are wonderful raw as a snack or in salads, but they can also bemay have never seen before. You’ll sautéed, added to stir-fries, steamed or roasted.find that meal planning may need to For the first time, we are offering peas with an inedible pod. Thesebecome much more creative. I call it peas must be shelled before use (see page 3 for how to shell peas).“cooking the CSA way.” Here are a Shelled peas can be boiled or steamed, pureed, and used in soups,few tips for dealing with the unpredict- salads, savory dishes and casseroles. They are especially deliciousable nature of the CSA harvest: served with fresh mint.• Ask other folks at pick-up how Though related to beets, Swiss chard does not develop an enlarged they use their vegetables. You’ll root. It’s grown for its large crisp leaves and fleshy leaf stalks, get some of the best tips that way. which may be white, yellow or red. It has a mild delicate flavor, like a combination of beets and spinach, and the stalks are excellent• Combine what you have in ways as well. Use Swiss chard raw in salads or quickly sauté or steam. you might otherwise not consider, This is a very versatile vegetable and can be used as a substitute for like sautéed Hakurei and radishes spinach in most recipes. or raw spinach with grated beets.• When quantities are small use the veggie as a snack food, add it to soup or a stir-fry, use it to flavor a Pasta with Peas, Lemon & Mint dip or sandwich spread, or simply chop and toss it into a salad. 1/3 cup finely chopped shallot Add lemon juice and wine or vermouth 1 tablespoon unsalted butter and boil liquid until reduced to about 2• And finally, if you are really 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice tablespoons. Stir in broth and boil liquid stumped, you can always call us 1/4 cup dry white wine or vermouth until reduced to 3/4 cup. Add cream for more ideas or advice. 3/4 cup low-salt chicken broth and boil liquid until reduce to 3/4 cup.Most of all, don’t get discouraged. 1/4 cup heavy cream Stir in peas, zest and Parmesan; cookBe willing to adapt; to try new things. 1/2 cup cooked fresh peas sauce until peas are heated through.And don’t be surprised if it results in 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest While sauce is cooking, in a kettle ofan extraordinary culinary experience. 3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan salted boiling water cook pasta until alIt’s all part of the CSA adventure! 1/2 pound bow-tie pasta dente and drain well. Toss pasta with 1/4 cup julienne strips fresh mint leaves sauce and mint. Serve immediately. Carole Koch Serves 2. Editor In a saucepan cook shallot in butter over moderate heat, stirring, until softened. From 2 Green Earth Institute 10 S 404 Knoch Knolls Road, Naperville, IL 60565, Phone 630-664-5681 CSA Newsletter - June 28, 2011
  3. 3. How to Shell Peas Sarnapur Easy Chicken Vegetable (Chard & Yogurt Soup) Soup with Kale & Thyme• Snap off both ends of the pea pod by grasping the pod with thumb and forefinger, leaving the tip exposed. 1/2 cup chopped toasted walnuts 2 teaspoons oil Snap off end using the thumb and 1 1/4 cup water 1/2 cup chopped onion forefinger of the free hand. 1/4 cup rice 1/2 cup chopped carrot 2 cups chopped Swiss chard leaves, 1 teaspoon thyme• Remove the string in the middle of packed 2 cloves garlic, minced (or garlic scapes) the pod by grasping at the top and 1 1/2 tablespoon flour 2 cups chicken broth or water pulling downward. 3 cups yogurt 3/4 cup diced tomatoes 3 cups cilantro leaves, chopped 1 cup cooked chicken, skinned, cubed• Pry open the pod at the seam using 1 cup mint leaves, chopped 1/2 cup cooked rice (brown or white) your thumbs and then rake out the salt to taste 1 cup chopped kale, stem removed peas with your fingers. Easy-peasy! In large pan, add walnuts to water, Heat oil in a medium sauce pan. Add bring to boil and simmer until slightly onion and carrot. Sauté until vegetables tender, about 5 minutes. Add rice, are tender, 5 to 8 minutes. Add thyme cover and simmer until done, about 15 and garlic. Sauté for one more minute. minutes. In medium pan, cook chard in Add chicken broth or water, tomatoes, “I eat my peas with honey; 2 cups water until tender, 2 to 3 min- cooked rice, chicken and kale. Simmer I’ve done it all my life. utes. Drain well. for 5 to 10 minutes. It makes the peas In small bowl, stir flour into yogurt Serves 3. taste funny, until smooth. Stir into rice, bring slowly to boil, stirring constantly, and From But it keeps them cook, continuing to stir, until thick- on the knife.” ened, about 1 minute. Add yogurt and cooked chard to rice. Stir in cilantro Anonymous and mint. Season to taste with salt. Garlic Scape Ideas Cook 3 minutes. Serve hot or cold. Serves 4. Garlic scapes are usually a strangeNapa Cabbage Slaw with vegetable for new CSA members, but those of us who look forward to themSugar Snap Peas & every spring have some favorite ways toScallions use them. Here are a few you might want to try:1 lime, juiced • Add chopped scapes to any stir-fry.3 tablespoons rice vinegar2 tablespoons Asian chili oil • Slice on the diagonal and sprinkle From tablespoon mayonnaise raw or sautéed over any pasta.1 tablespoon soy sauce3 cups finely shredded napa cabbage • Chop or slice and sauté in olive oil1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced Quick Tip along with wild mushrooms and a1 orange bell pepper, thinly sliced bit of fresh thyme. Serve warm as1/2 cup thinly sliced sugar snap peas a side dish; serve over whole wheat3 scallions, thinly sliced Use Swiss chard stems pasta, soba noodles or rice; or usesalt and freshly ground black pepper for an easy gratin. as a filling for an omelet. Boil stems until tender, about 30Whisk together lime juice, vinegar, chilioil, mayonnaise and soy sauce in a large minutes. Drain. Place in a gratin • Add chopped scapes to guacamolebowl. Add the cabbage, peppers, sugar dish & add seasonings to taste, or any kind of fresh salsas.snap peas and scallions and toss to com- such as garlic scapes or herbs.bine. Season with salt and pepper, to • Make a dip or sandwich spread bytaste. Refrigerate for at least 30 min- Top with a béchamel sauce adding chopped raw scapes to sof-utes to allow flavors to meld. or shredded cheese. tened cream cheese. Place under the broiler untilServes 4 to 6. • Add chopped scapes to pasta golden brown. sauces, soups and stews for anotherAdapted from “Bobby Flay’s Napa layer of flavor.Cabbage Slaw,” Adapted from SJ Mercury News, 2/19/97. Green Earth Institute 10 S 404 Knoch Knolls Road, Naperville, IL 60565, Phone 630-664-5681 CSA Newsletter - June 28, 2011 Page 3
  4. 4. Turnip Risotto Greens Tacos Kids’ Corner 3 slices bacon This is a great breakfast recipe, but it 1 small onion, chopped is good at any time of day. Note that 2 medium turnips (about 1/2 pound), amounts given are approximate; adjust Wilted Lettuce & Scallion Salad peeled, cut into 1/4-inch dice to suit your taste and availability of Thanks to Benedictine University 3 1/2 cups chicken broth ingredients. Dietetic Intern Katy Olinski for 3/4 cup Arborio rice sharing this recipe. freshly grated Parmesan, as garnish 3/4 pounds washed greens (kale, Salads don’t always have to be cold. chard, radish greens, etc.), sliced If your kids don’t like salad, the warm In a 3-quart heavy saucepan cook ba- into 1-inch pieces bacon dressing in this recipe may just con over moderate heat until crisp 2 teaspoons cooking oil change their minds! and golden; transfer with a slotted 2 stalks green garlic, garlic scapes or spoon to paper towels to drain. Re- scallions, chopped5 slices bacon serve 1 tablespoon fat in pan. pinch red pepper flakes or cayenne2 tablespoons red wine vinegar 2 tablespoons cream cheese1 tablespoon lemon juice In a saucepan, bring broth to a sim- 4 to 6 small corn tortillas or 2 to 31 teaspoon white sugar mer and keep at a bare simmer. Heat larger flour ones1/2 teaspoon black pepper reserved fat over moderately high1 head leaf lettuce, rinsed, dried and heat until hot but not smoking and Heat the oil and add the garlic; cook torn into bite-size pieces sauté onion, stirring, until just begin- garlic for about 30 seconds. Add greens6 scallions with tops, thinly sliced ning to soften. Stir in turnips and rice and cook until bright green and wilted, and sauté, stirring constantly, 1 min- and then add red pepper (and salt andPlace bacon in a large deep skillet. ute. Stir in 1 cup simmering broth black pepper if you like). RemoveCook over medium high heat until and cook, stirring constantly and from heat and stir in cream cheese.evenly browned. Remove from skillet, keeping at a strong simmer, until ab- Heat tortillas, divide filling amongcrumble and set aside. To the hot ba- sorbed. Continue simmering and add- them and serve.con drippings, add the vinegar, lemon ing broth, about 1/2 cup at a time,juice, sugar and pepper. Stir over me- stirring constantly and letting each Serves 2 to 3.dium heat until hot. In a large bowl, addition be absorbed before addingcombine the lettuce and scallions. Add next, until rice is tender and creamy-the warm dressing and toss evenly to looking but still al dente, about 18coat. Sprinkle with bacon and serve. minutes total.Serves 6. Crumble bacon. To serve, sprinkle From bacon over risotto and garnish with grated Parmesan. Serves 2.From From The mission of the Green EarthKale & Corn Skillet Cakes Institute is to promote nutritional health and ecological sustainability.Kids and adults alike will enjoy these lightly beat eggs, melted butter or oil, Using our organic farm as alittle rounds, similar to the johnnycakes and milk to combine. Pour wet ingre- demonstration and learningthat sustained early pioneers. dients into dry and mix briefly. Heat center, we grow healthful butter or oil in large frying pan. Add vegetables in an earth-friendly1 cup flour onion, if using, and sauté until golden. way and educate about nature,1 cup fine yellow cornmeal Add sautéed onion to batter, mix nutrition, and caring for the earth.1 teaspoon salt, or to taste again, then drop about 1/4-cup batter2 cups fresh or thawed frozen corn For CSA information, contact: per cake into the hot skillet, adding2 cups finely chopped, packed kale more oil or butter as needed to keep2 large eggs cakes from sticking. Cook until cakes Volume 9, Issue 22 tablespoons melted butter or olive oil begin to bubble, about 3 minutes, then Editor: Carole Koch2 cups milk flip and cook until the other side is Assistant Editor: Paul Leddy1 cup diced onion (optional) golden, 1 or 2 minute. Serve warm. Contributing Editor: Julie Moreschibutter or oil for frying Serves 4 to 6. (630) 961-1066In a large bowl, mix flour, cornmeal,salt, corn and kale. In a medium bowl, From 4 Green Earth Institute 10 S 404 Knoch Knolls Road, Naperville, IL 60565, Phone 630-664-5681 CSA Newsletter - June 28, 2011