2018 CSA Week 9

We hope you all had a wonderful 4th of July!

This year we are trying something new with our crop planning for CSA. In years past we have done the same number of beds of cabbage family crops every three weeks for three successions of crops. This year we decided to do one larger planting of kohl crops in the spring and two smaller successions in late spring and then (exciting and new!) an extra large planting for late fall.

We’ve changed this up a bit this year in hopes of filling the CSA box with more SUMMER goodies for the brief time that we have seasonal summer veggies in Montana. Last week we were happy to put both romanesco and broccoli in your box, and this week we are excited about two heading kohl (cabbage family) crops--red cabbage and cauliflower. After this week you won’t be seeing two heading kohl crops in one week’s box again until fall this year. Never fear though, cabbage lovers! Despite the fact that it just warmed up this week, fall boxes with cabbages and winter squash will be right around the corner. The days are already getting just a little bit shorter. As with all seasonal eating...enjoy it while it’s here! Relish the cauliflower and cabbage this week as we anticipate the zucchini and cucumbers coming soon.

Speaking of cauliflower...wow...aren’t these some beautiful cauliflowers this week? We check on them every week and the last two weeks have thought...I think they can take another week to head up and then...they got a little bigger than expected. This is a ‘self blanching’ variety of cauliflower. The large leaves grow up around the head and keep the cauliflower white. However, these got so big they pushed the leaves back and got a touch of sun scald, which is why they are slightly yellow. This is purely cosmetic, and if you’ve never had farm-fresh cauliflower you are really in for a treat; it has a wonderful, almost sweet, flavor.

All our summer crops are coming on beautifully. Thanks to The Good Bee Co., who keep hives of honeybees at our farm, the pollination and fruit set on our tomatoes, cucumbers, and zucchini have got the plants loaded with veggies.


We have a big push of transplanting coming this week to keep our beets and lettuces coming on strong in the coming months, a big push of seeding in trays for fall crops, and seeding in the field for fall carrots and the beautiful fall ‘watermelon’ radish.

Also, because we are eternal optimists, we hope to get caught up on weeding this week.


CSA week 9: (Partial shares in ½ - ¾ amounts)

Red Beets--Since it looks like some summer heat has finally arrived in Montana, these can be steamed, sliced and added to salads throughout the week--especially if there’s some gorgonzola and toasted pecans involved!
Cauliflower--Separate into florets, drizzle with avocado oil, sprinkle with salt and roast this baby, or enjoy it as a puree.
Red Cabbage--This lovely guy will produce A LOT when shredded--enough for this week’s recipe AND a delicious slaw to accompany pulled-pork sandwiches. (I’m drooling right now.)
Red Butter Lettuce-Oh, the salads you can enjoy this week--phenomenal!
Lettuce Mix
Thai Basil--This beautiful bunch of green looks a little different from its cousin, sweet basil, and it has a slight licorice flavor and a spicier bite. It stands up to the heat of a stir-fry better than its cousin too.
Sugar Snap Peas--These are excellent eaten immediately or, if you have the willpower, added to a saute or stir-fry.
Green Onions--If you chop these up as soon as you get home from CSA pickup, you will be so thankful all week that you can grab out a handful or two to add to whatever you’re cooking. (Brownies excluded)
Collard Greens--Chop/rip into little pieces and saute these in the same pan where you just cooked some bacon, or treat like any of the other delicious greens we’ve enjoyed this CSA season.

Wishing you a wonderful week,
Jay, Mandy, and the LVF Crew

Recipe of the Week: Spicy Thai Basil and Cabbage Stir-fry (serves 4)
(Adapted from www.eattrainandlove.com)

Ingredients:

1/2 cup soy sauce or tamari
1 tablespoon honey or agave
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
A couple of dashes of fish sauce
4 tablespoons of avocado oil or olive oil
1 serrano or jalapeƱo chili pepper, ribs and seeds removed (unless you like it extra spicy)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound of boneless, skinless chicken
4 cups shredded red cabbage (or other veggies you have, like bok choi, broccoli, peppers…)
½ cup sliced snap peas
Green onions, chopped, for garnish


Whisk the soy sauce, honey or agave, sesame oil, rice vinegar and fish sauce together. Continue whisking while you add in 2 tablespoons of the oil, until well combined. Set the sauce aside.

Chop all the veggies, cut the chicken into 1-inch cubes and mince the garlic. Chop your hot pepper by removing all the seeds from the inside, and then chopping into small pieces.

Heat a large skillet with the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. Add in the chicken and cook for 2-3 minutes per side. When both sides are browned and the chicken is barely cooked through, add in half the soy sauce mixture. Cook for about 3 minutes, letting the sauce bubble up, and turning the chicken so all sides are coated in the sauce. After 3 minutes, remove the chicken from the pan.

Add the snap peas to the same skillet with the cooked sauce. Cook for about 2 minutes, then add in the garlic and serrano chile. Stir to combine and cook for another 3 minutes, until the vegetables soften.

Add in the red cabbage, along with the basil and the remaining soy sauce mixture. Cook everything for another 2-3 minutes. Then add the chicken back into the skillet. Cook for another minutes or so, and stir so everything is well combined.

Serve with rice and a sprinkle of freshly chopped basil and green onions.

Check out Mandy and special guest Dena Geiger cooking with all of this week's share: