Thursday, October 22, 2009

The October 22 Boxes at Lincoln: Apples to Zucchinis!

It's a beautiful sight, when you first open the CSA box--fresh leafy greens cover the whole top layer. But then below that, so much more goodness.... this week, we have:
lettuce (two kinds)
baby onions
baby carrots
green beans
and a jar of strawberry jam!
Can't picture it? Glad to help:

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Make a CSA Pizza!

Most vegetables are great on a pizza. This one used the whole bunch of spinach from last week's box, plus one pepper, and two tomatoes from our garden. The crust is homemade, because today was a good day for baking, but it would have been good on any base.

Did you know?

[Photo above: seafood soup made with white radishes, radish greens, and onions from last week's Lincoln box.]

There's a Flickr group for "photographs of local and/or CSA (community supported agriculture) produce, farms, recipes, events, and people." I posted some of my recent photos of the Lincoln box and a bowl of soup I made with the contents. If you also take photos of the things you make, come join me there. It's interesting to see what other CSA folks are doing all over the country.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Oct 15 Box

What might be in your Tanaka Farms box on Oct 15?

~ Japanese Turnips ~ Baby Carrots ~ Broccoli ~ Spinach
~ Red Leaf Lettuce ~ Cucumbers ~ Radishes ~ Russett Potatos
~ Romaine Lettuce ~ Cilantro ~ Oranges* ~ Apples*
~ Squash ~ Blue Lake Beans

* grown by other area organic farmers

Farmer Tanaka has posted some sad news on his blog.

I know that the produce that everyone has been receiving lately has not been up to par and I would like to apologize for that. Some of our crops are being harvested a little early because of an infestation of beetles that we are having a hard time controlling without conventional chemicals. Harvesting a crop early is not usually a problem, but with the heat that we were having, they wilted very quickly while in the box waiting to be picked up by you at school.  Believe me, I know how bad a wilted head of lettuce can look or a limp bunch of carrots. Very unappealling.

Also, I know that the boxes can sometimes look empty. We do try and make the retail value come out to at least $25 and most of the time it is more than that. But there will be times when items are small and do not take up a lot of room to make the box look empty or maybe we are actually short on value. If you have a garden or have had any experience growing vegetables, you can appreciate how difficult it can be to have a plant produce the amount of produce you want when you want it! Just as two children of the same age mature at different times, so do crops.

Please remember that this CSA program is not only about receiving produce from a local farm to consume but it is also a learning experience for our children. Explaining the production cycle and the different seasons and how it affects what we eat.

I appreciate your patience and understanding. I hope that you will all continue to support your school and Tanaka Farms as we work through this period. I guarantee that your boxes will be better!

Farmer Tanaka
This is an important lesson for kids.

I once watched a swarm of locusts eat my entire garden in Boulder, Colorado in a single afternoon. I missed my homegrown tomatoes, but I still had the supermarket. Just imagine the calamity of an insect infestation if we didn't have cash and had to live on only what we could grow and gather.

Diakon Soup

The cooler weather brings yearning for hot soup. In case you haven't used your white radishes yet, you can try substituting the radishes for daikon (white turnip) in this recipe from "Homestyle Cooking of Taiwan", a compilation of recipes my mother gave me.
  • 1-2 pounds of daikon (or any white turnip/radish)
  • half pound of pork ribs, chopped into 1" or one rib section pieces
  • salt and pepper
  1. Fill a large pot with water and bring it to a boil. Add pork ribs and boil for half a minute. Then drain and rinse the pork. This minimizes the scum that can seep out of the bones.
  2. Put the pork ribs back into the pot with 5 cups of water. Bring it back to a boil, reduce to low heat, and let it simmer for 20 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, peel the daikon and cut it up into 1" chunks. Add daikon to the soup and let simmer for 5 minutes until pork and daikon are tender.
  4. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Add rice noodles to make a filling one-pot meal. Add cauliflower, black mushrooms, lily buds, "tree ear" black fungus, kelp or tofu.

Be sure to reconstitute the dried black mushrooms, lily buds or black fungus in warm water for 5 minutes. Then rinse and drain before adding them to the soup. Dried kelp can be put directly in the soup.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Radish and Cilantro Relish

This recipe was submitted by one of the Lincoln CSA subscribers, Traci Vujicich. This sounds like a delicious way to use a lot of radishes!
Radish and Cilantro Relish

2 cups radishes, thinly Sliced
3 tbsps. orange juice
2 tbsps. fresh cilantro, fine snipped
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup onion, chopped, 1 medium
2 tbsps. lime juice
2 tbsps. vegetable oil
1/8 tsp. pepper, freshly ground
Dash red pepper flakes

Mix all ingredients in glass or plastic bowl. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour.
Makes 3 cups of relish.

The October 8 Boxes at Lincoln

Lincoln families ordered 39 boxes of produce for our first week of CSA boxes from Tanaka Farms. That's a lot of boxes!What was in each box? I got ten pieces of fruit (5 apples and 5 oranges):
PLUS three heads of greens (two lettuce, one spinach, I think), two cucumbers, five or six peppers, a bunch of small onions, a bunch of white radishes, and a bunch of baby carrots:I don't think we'll be ordering pizza tonight. ;)

If the white radishes have you stumped, here are some hints: Use them like you would water chestnuts, and slice them into a stir-fry. They're also good chopped up in egg salad or tuna salad sandwiches. Finely-chopped radishes can be added to dips and baked-potato toppings, too. Start chopping!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

First Lincoln boxes start tomorrow!

There are dozens of Lincoln families signed up for the fresh produce boxes from Tanaka Farms--yeah! Whether you're picking up your goodies outside the cafeteria after school, or at the CDC later, don't forget to bring your own sturdy bags or boxes (you can't take the Tanaka box home with you, they reuse those). If you're on foot, maybe consider bringing a shopping cart or the kids' red wagon to bring the produce home without wrecking your shoulders and wrists. You don't want to drop a bag and lose or bruise the contents.

Monday, October 5, 2009

What might be in the Oct 8 box?

From Tanaka Farms' CSA blog:
  • Baby Maui Onions
  • Baby Carrots
  • Romaine Lettuce
  • Green Leaf Lettuce
  • Mild Mesclun Mix
  • Cucumbers
  • Radishes
  • Zucchini
  • Japanese Eggplant
  • Baby Basil
  • Cilantro
  • Beans (green or yellow)
  • Honey Yellow (Melon)
  • Honey Orange (Melon)
  • Apples*
*These fruits are grown by other local CA farmers.