Thursday, September 15, 2011

Week 19: Salsa Time

8th Street Greens
846 8th Ave S.
Okanogan,  WA  98840

These peppers at Yonder Farm stayed warm in the spring months under these hoops, which were covered by cloth. Now they are big and juicy because of their early advantage.
Hey there CSA folks!  I've included my address in the header again which makes it easier  for shareholders to get their 3rd payments in the mail! :)  Thanks to those who have paid, sorry I haven't yet deposited the checks.  We've been very busy harvesting, still weeding, packing boxes, looking for workers for the fall (darn that school thing!), swimming before the season is gone, and preserving food like mad!  Last year I didn't preserve much but this year we are into it again!  So far we've dried nectarines, strawberries and grapes.  We freeze most of our cull strawberries, about a gallon a week.  We sell about 3-5 gallons a week.  So, 1/3-1/5 of our picked crop is cull.  That's typical for organic farms.  Many organic farms plant more than necessary just to meet the pest's demand and still have some good food for the people's demand!  With our frozen strawberries I'm hoping to make jam this November once the busy time calms down.  We also make lots of smoothies and juice and popsicles.  I've frozen spinach, beets, peas, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, peaches and green beans.  Now, I'm trying to get salsa done.  

Chris happily hauls a box of peppers back to Yonder Farm's new Agriculture building.
We've not canned salsa for several years and last winter we missed it.  One thing i've been doing is making a big batch of salsa on the week-end, keeping a quart or so in the fridge, the family eats a quart or so right away:), and then freezing a quart or 2.  Frozen salsa works out all right.  This year i'm using tupperware type things instead of zip bags (for salsa). I share all of this with you in the spirit of inspiration!!! 

Fresh produce turns into....
(photo by Shannon Gilbert)
...delicious salsa! (Salsa and photo by Shannon Gilbert)
Yonder Farm currently has canner and paste tomatoes (#2s, no open wounds) by the box, 20-22 lbs, for 1.00/lb!  I will get it for you and drop it off with your CSA box for a $3.00 communication/hauling charge.  Just call!  I can also deliver onions, garlic, cilantro, basil, peppers, etc.

Photo by Shannon Gilbert
This week's box:  2 lbs. of Suncrest Peaches from Filaree Fruit.  The grade is a blend of #2s and small fancies.  He saved them for us from last week's picking, which he could have sold out of to other stores and CSAs on the west side.  There's a 1200 member CSA out of Olympia called Helsing Junction CSA.  They buy a lot of fruit through the Okanogan Producers Marketing Association.  There's no fruit in their standard produce box, fruit is only available as an option, which is typical.  But we live here in fruit country!   ½ lb. Sweet Peppers, ½ lb. Green beans and a Cippollini Onion from Yonder Farm.  I love the Cippollinis.  You can make braids with them to help them store all winter. And a small bunch of chard and ½ pint of cherry tomatoes from 8th Street Greens.  We'll get salad into the boxes again next week.  4 boxes left after this one!  The Fruit Share gets:  extra Suncrests, Jupiter donut peaches, Santa Rosa plums and some strawberries.  All repeats, but the last of peaches and plums.  Next week we'll probably get some Bartlett pears.

Sauteed Swiss Chard with Onions
Gourmet, November 2007
by Gina Marie Miraglia Eriquez
(You'll need to ½ this recipe cuz I gave you small bunches of chard.)

Italians are crazy for dark leafy greens of all kinds, and Swiss chard is a particular favorite in the fall.

Ingredients:  3 pound green Swiss chard (about 2 large bunches)  
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 medium onions, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

Preparation:  Cut stems and center ribs from chard, discarding any tough portions, then cut stems and ribs crosswise into 2-inch pieces. Stack chard leaves and roll up lengthwise into cylinders. Cut cylinders crosswise to make 1-inch-wide strips.
Heat oil and butter in a large heavy pot over medium heat until foam subsides, then cook onions and garlic with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, covered, stirring occasionally, until onions begin to soften, about 8 minutes. Add chard stems and ribs, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until stems are just tender, about 10 minutes. Add chard leaves in batches, stirring until wilted before adding next batch, and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until tender, 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a serving bowl.

· Chard can be washed, dried, and cut 2 days ahead and chilled in sealed bags lined with dampened paper towels.
· Chard can be cooked 4 hours ahead and reheated over low heat on stove or in a microwave oven.

Such beautiful produce makes a farmer's hands rough.

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