Watermelon Mint Salad

We returned home and were greeted with a CSA box that declared a much hotter climate. We had three melons, tomatoes, corn, hot peppers, and more. How do you make watermelon a little more interesting? Here’s another summer recipe for you that isn’t really a recipe. Just good summer produce and very little prep.

Watermelon Mint Salad

watermelon
a splash of balsamic vinegar
a handful of mint leaves

Open, seed, and cube your watermelon. Place as much as you’d like to eat in a mixing bowl. Add a few splashes of balsamic vinegar. Chop mint leaves, sprinkle, and toss. Let sit for about an hour.

CSA Bounty: Summer!

We are overwhelmed by the bounty that is our new weekly CSA. Just look what came in our box this week from Fair Ridge Farms. (The eggs and potatoes were excellent extras.) We have so many green things! Strawberries! Green beans! Peas! Suddenly the dark days of winter are a thing of the past.

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Fair Ridge Farms drops off at our friends’ shop in Newport, KY, on Tuesdays. If you are in the area and have never made it into Seventh Street Gifts, put it on your immediate summer to-do list! They stock handmade soaps, local products, art, and a little bit of magic.

What will we do with all this veg? Well, we plan to feed salad to everyone we know. R. has been mixing up some wonderful dressing concoctions – perhaps a forthcoming article. And this one, of course, is always a favorite of mine. When I can find the time, the toddler and I will be turning out some dumplings for the freezer with that beautiful Chinese cabbage. Otherwise, we’re just gobbling down fresh snacks and feeling luxuriously wealthy!

Happy summer to you!

News Around Town

With the sun in our eyes yesterday, it’s easy to imagine that the new growing season is now upon us. We’ve got a month to go until the market’s opening and there’s suddenly a lot of action on the farms. CSA’s are starting to take shape, new interns are arriving and, when you look out over the farmland, you can make out the beginning’s of this spring’s vegetables. Yum. Winter is almost over.

  • Persephone Farm, one of BI’s favorite market providers has just launched a new website. You can learn about their farm and philosophy, get connected with their robust csa, and even find recipes.

    Rebecca, of Persephone Farm, gives CSA subscribers a lesson in biodiversity.

    Persephone always has an abundance of different things. We love them for their variety and the pride they take in providing the community with a beautiful, diverse selection. A little known fact about Persephone is that they offer full packages for wedding flowers. Rebecca is a trained floral designer and also offers buckets of loose flowers for sale (not just for weddings!) Their flowers show as much diversity and pizazz as do their vegetables. Can’t wait for the market opening? Persephone also provides veggies to The Four Swallows, Pegasus, the cafe at Bainbridge Gardens, Blackbird Bakery, and our favorite restaurant, Agate Pass Cafe.

  • It’s time to start thinking about finding a pea patch, if you’re the gardening type but don’t have room at home. Check out Sound Food‘s community garden map for ideas (and also for more local food news.)
  • Butler Greens CSA farm store is now open again. You can find them on Tuesdays after 2pm at their new location, 10152 Valley Rd., near the Bay, Hay and Feed.

+1 for Crop Diversity

This year the Puget Sound area had a sustained period of unusual winter weather, including snowfallwinter csas of over a foot in areas that normally barely see an inch.  This weather clearly had an impact on farms in the region and the repercussions on over-wintered crops may be felt well into the spring.  However, for farms growing a wide variety of crops and different variants of those crops, the impact promises to be smaller.

As an example, our CSA reported the various greens they were growing in a greenhouse (pea shoots, arugula, chard, etc.) didn’t make it.  Many of the crops they were over-wintering look worse for the wear – even some of their storage items took poorly to unseasonably cold temperatures.  Fortunately they grow a wide variety of vegetables so not everything was impacted – beets, leeks, fingerling potatoes and some cabbages all survived.  We even get our last delivery from the winter CSA program earlier this week!

Imagine the impact of that weather on a farm that was growing a monoculture.

Winter CSA!

We’re rich! We were lucky enough to join a winter CSA this year and, since we’ve been stranded without a farmer’s market for a few weeks, I was really happy to pick up my first box today. We got:dsc_0708

-2 pounds of broccoli
– a big cauliflower
– arugula
– 1 bulb garlic
– 5 pounds of Carola potatoes
– half of a pink banana squash

I’m envisioning broccoli quiche, calzones, and some squash ravioli. But?? What can I do with the cauliflower??? Suggestions, please! Do you have a reliable and fantastically delicious idea for cauliflower? Thanks. :)

Soup from the Box

CSA box this week: potatoes, leeks, kale, 2 ears of corn, garlic, ever-present squash
What to make? I put it all together (ok, not the kale and the squash) and made a soup. (Thanks, M. for the suggestion!)

Potato Corn Chowder
This soup was so good! Very simple and straightforward flavors, but it made me very happy. Quick! Make it while corn is still around. I don’t think that frozen corn would quite taste as delicious.

1 skinny leek, chopped finely
half an onion
2 cloves garlic
3 1/2 cups chicken stock
2 cups milk
6 small potatoes, unpeeled, small cubes
4 small ears of corn
salt, pepper, butter, olive oil

Chop the leek and the onion very small. Mince the garlic.
Put about a tablespoon each of olive oil and butter in the bottom of your soup pot over low to medium heat. When the butter begins to foam, add the leek, onions, and garlic. Toss some kosher salt and black pepper in. Stirring every once in awhile, cook this on low for awhile (about 15 minutes.) Do not brown.
Add in your stock. Simmer with a lid on low for about 15 minutes.

Add milk. Stir. Add potatoes. (I used half reds and half yellows.) Stir. Taste and adjust for salt. Simmer for about 15 more minutes. Add the corn about ten minutes before you want to eat.

This soup rewarms very well for lunch the next day, but I’m not so sure about the results if you would freeze it.