Here are some things growing in the nursery greenhouse. Spring is here!
We made it! This is the last week of the season and just in time as Saturday morning on my way to the farmers market the thermometer read 34 degrees. Yikes that was cold! We lost most of the solanaceous crops that day, the field tomatoes, basil for sure, lots of the flowers, summer squash… It’s been a good long season; the frost came almost three weeks past our average first frost date. The plants and farmers are getting tired.
Thank you, thank you everyone! It was a great season. Thanks for picking your boxes up every week, thanks for bringing back the boxes (still time for that, even when the seasons over we sometimes find boxes appear out of nowhere on our door stop months after CSA is done) Thanks for trying new veggies you had never seen before ( Wow, we love Kale now! was a comment from a new CSAer this summer), thanks for all you support, thanks for putting up with yet another year of a bumper crop of sweet and hot peppers, thanks for wishing for but not getting again a CSA potluck on the farm (We are so lame but we promise to try again next year, really…),Thanks for supporting local agriculture and this crazy idea of making a living on a small family farm. We are so thankful for your support.
In your boxes this week:
1. Winter Squash: A mix of a few different kinds. I cook them all the same way. Cut squash in half, scoop out the seeds. Bake in a pan with and inch or so of water with the cut side down at 350 degrees for about 45 min until the flesh is soft. Mix with butter and salt. I am freezing some already cooked squash. I haven’t tried it yet but it looks good in the ziplock bag, retained it color nicely.
2. Popcorn: We just picked it today so it must dry for at least a few months. Leave it out in the open air to dry. Remove the kernels from the ears and pop. Try popping a few kernels in December and see if it pops. If it’s too wet, it just won’t pop at all. It is a gourmet variety of popcorn that is hull-less and delicious.
3. Garlic: So good! It will last about 4 months.
4. Sweet peppers:Too many? Of course there are too many: freeze, freeze freeze. Or roast them with potatoes, garlic, onions, cubed winter squash any veggies you have hanging around. It uses up a lot of veggies. Mix in a bowl, drizzle with olive oil, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Spread on cookie sheet. Bake 375 degrees for about 20 min until veggies are fork tender.
5. Hot peppers: pablanos, Serrano and garden salsa.
6. Celery:Strong and aromantic. Be sure to use the leaves too. Put in an air tight bag to last longer.
7. Eggplant: The very last of the season. A beautiful mix.
8. Cabbage: Delicious and crisp. Coleslaw anyone?
9. Tomatoes: Lots of heirlooms of all shapes, colors and sizes.
10. Dried hot peppers: Hot off the dehydrated. These are great for stir fry, in pasta on top of pizzas. Store in glass jar. They keep indefinitely. You recieved some of last years crop eariler in the season.
11. Kale: It gets better with the cooler weather.
“The ground is locked up, the farmer’s exertions must relent, and now for him is the time to indulge in thinking and speculating upon what is passed and what is likely to come.”
J.M. Gourgas, New England Farmer January 25, 1828
I’ll be sending everyone a 2009 brochure in Feburary. Thanks again everyone, it was an honor growing food for you.
Always, Pooh, Richard, Cody and Taylor
Yes, we are staying on the same schedule for the labor day weekend. We will be at the Okemos drop off site and here at the farm just like every other week. Hope to see everyone….the boxes look great this week!
In your box this week:
Winter Squash:A variety called Carnival. Very beautiful.
Sweet Peppers: A mix of green, colored, and Carmen sweets.
Pablanos:slightly hot, very good.
Hot Peppers:serranos and garden salsa, both medium hot.
Potatoes:a mix of red and white. Perfect for a Labor day dinner.
Heirlooms:A variety of color, texture, size, and flavor.
Garlic: Great on anything.
Broccoli: Finally we have Broccoli again!
Eggplant: So beautiful and great on the grill
Zuchini: A mix of yellow and green.
Lettuce: The return of our growers choice mix.
This week on the farm…..We have an amazing crew on the farm this year and I’ve been meaning to introduce them to you all for quite a while. All our work would not be possible without them. For the past three years we have had two young women work with us: Regina and Jaycee. They are good friends and some of the hardest working people I have ever had the pleasure of working with. Quite honestly they work me into the ground every day ( young people these days). They are poised, elegant and beautiful and we are most grateful for their efforts. Also working with us is Brian who goes to Owosso High School and super worker share workers Todd and Angela. It’s really quite a blast here most days….well, most days.
Also I want to mention super CSAers Tom and Linda Dufelmeier who own the fabulous store Mackerel Sky in downtown East Lansing. It’s a very cool store full of amazingly beautiful things,” a gallery of art and articles for everyday life.” Which reminds me of another super CSAer Mary Jane Helder who happens to have an exhibit at Mackerel Sky of her “jewel-like landscapes and garden portraits in felt.” The exhibit runs through September 22. Check it out.
Thanks to John Lowman at the Wrought Iron Grill a new restaurant in Owosso that features Owosso Organics produce. We have had lots of comments from CSAers and other folks who have seen our name on the menu. They have a website: wroughtirongrill.com to check out their menu and daily specials. Thanks Chambre!
In your boxes this week:
1. Tomatoes: delicious red slicers and for full share a tiny smattering of the very first heirlooms.
2.Green Peppers: just a few this week. Remember you can freeze them easy/easy.
3.Onions: Yellow this week. These are real good keepers.
4.Garlic: Really yummy…
5.Lettuce:Finally it’s arrival back. This is a summer crisp variety. Some green some red.
6.Zucchini: Not too much. We will try not to overload you.
7.Herbs: Fresh basil, Thyme and Oregano. Use with pleasure!
8.Eggplant: We have about 7 different kinds. Most are harvested as baby. A great way to prepare them is to roast them. A little olive oil, some fresh herbs. Cut Eggplant in half, grill or roast in 400 oven until tender, about 15 minutes.
9.Broccoli: For full shares….More to come next week.
10.Beans: They keep on coming. A 1# bag for everyone.
11.Kale. Eat your kale….It’s really good for you.
12. Hot peppers: Serrano, jalapeno and anaheim.
I think that’s it though I may have forgotten something. I’m sorry no recipe this week, it’s almost pick-up time. I may post a recipe mid-week. If anyone wants to share a recipe you can e-mail it to me or post it at the web-site. I hope,hope,hope to learn how to do pictures on the web-site soon.
Enjoy your veggies. Remember to keep bringing those boxes back. Only 8 weeks to go in the season. Thanks!
Always, Pooh, Richard, Cody and Taylor
CSA NEWSLETTER WEEK #9
This week on the farm:
This week has been named CSA member appreciation week. To thank you all for supporting our local organic farm,you should all find a lisianthus bouquet in your boxes. We have had a great season so far, and expect it to get even better.
We are in need of rain, as always. But there is a chance of rain tomorrow in the day. Keep your fingers crossed…
On a more personal note, i finally splurged and bought myself my first digital camera. It is a Sony A350, and I will be using it to make my infamous Garden Greeting Cards. Also to post pictures on the website as soon as I learn how.
In your boxes this week:
1. Tomatoes: Our buffalo tomatoes are just coming on in the tomato hoop house. Some will be riper than others, so you have some for now and some for in a few days. We just started to harvest our heirloom tomatoes, so that’s something to look forward to in a couple of weeks when we have enough to give out.
2. Green Peppers: Very delicious. Also purple peppers, which taste about the same as the green ones.
3. Onions: 2 bunches for full shares and 1 for half. A wonderful companion for all your cooking needs.
4. Beans: We are absolutely swimming in beans right now. This week you are getting green beans, but we also have yellow and purple beans.
5. Garlic:Can be stored up to 9 months, or ready for you to enjoy today!
6. Peas:These sweet sugar snap peas can be eaten whole, and are perfect for crisp summer salads.
7. Zucchini: Our yellow and green zucchini are just coming on. In a couple weeks we will give you a recipe for them.In the meantime, bear in mind they will be here for quite a few weeks.
8. Basil:This aromatic herb can be used in a variety of ways, including the recipe below.
9. Hot Peppers:CAUTION!!! these medium to hot peppers are delicious for those that like it hot. This week we are giving out Garden Salsas.
10. Chard:Can be used in place of spinach in recipes and is packed with vitamins and minerals.
Roasted Tomato Basil Pesto
This variation on pesto is so delightful, it’s a surprise it’s not more common. The tomato flavor so superbly highlights the rich basil. This pesto is great on pizza, pasta, and an omelet.
1 large fresh tomato
2-3 cloves garlic, peeled, halved
3 tablespoons pine nuts
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 cup fresh whole basil leaves
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons butter, softened
freshly ground black pepper
1. Combine the tomatoes, garlic, pine nuts, and oil in a blender and process until just combined. Add a handful of basil and process again briefly, continue adding the basil in small amounts until all is combined.
2. Stir in the Parmesan cheese and butter and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Hope you enjoy, and thanks again for supporting our farm!
Richard, Pooh, Cody and Taylor
My brother was visiting from Colorado last week and he was hip deep in farm work: spinning lettuce, weeding, harvesting. It was a great week. We ate at the Wrought Iron Grill one night and watched the sunset and the fire flies come out almost every night. It was sad to see him go.
We had a good rain on Monday (or was it Tuesday?). Finally got the peas trellised and some more lettuce planted, lots more cultivation, another planting of summer squash. The Organic inspector came on Thursday, spent the rest of the day and Friday getting ready for the market. Days are starting to blend together as the crops accelerate towards maturing. Pretty soon we will be so busy harvesting that there won’t be time to pull many weeds. Hopefully our diligence at early cultivation will hold us into the harvest season.
Green leafy things still dominate your box as we slowly move into the main season crops. All the local farmers are complaining that the season has been slow, perhaps all the cool weather we’ve been having.
In your boxes this week:
Growers Mix: Another week of lovely baby greens and Swiss chard.
Kale:This first bunches of the season. We try not to do kale too often. We know that there are both kale lovers out there and kale haters. Please, try it if you never have. See the last few weeks newsletters for recipe ideas. Use in replacement of braising mix.
Onion bunches:White and red. They aren’t good keepers so enjoy there sweet flavor now.
Green Peppers: The first of the season. These are the first of the peppers we planted in the greenhouse. Enjoy….there are lots more to come!
Basil: The ultimate taste of summer. Also fresh oregano( and rosemary for full shares.) If you don’t use the herbs you can dry them by hanging the bundle upside down.
Heads of lettuce:Some buttercrunch mostly a romaine/ leaf lettuce variety called Nevada. Beautiful, crisp and sweet as only can come out of the greenhouse.
Green Tomatoes: See recipe below. If you’ve never tried fried green tomatoes you should. I’ve given out FGT recipes in past years. This one is different and seemed so simple and elegant.
FRIED GREEN TOMATOES WITH CRISPY CORNMEAL CRUST
This is a wonderful recipe for those of you who have never tried green tomatoes before. They are very good, but different from red ripe tomatoes. If you have never tried green tomatoes before, you are missing out on a seasonal treat!
Serves 4 to 6 people
1/2 cup milk, or 1 egg beaten with 1/4 cup water
1/2 cup cornmeal or flour, or a combination
1 1/4 teaspoons salt plus more to taste
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper plus more to taste
mild-flavored vegetable oil
4 large firm green tomatoes, cored, cut into 1/4-inch slices
1. Line a plate with paper towels.
2. Put the milk or the egg-water mixture in a shallow bowl; set aside. Put the cornmeal or flour in another small, shallow bowl and stir in the salt and pepper.
3.Fill a large skillet 1/4-inch deep with oil. Heat over high heat until the oil just begins to smoke, about 3 minutes.
4. Dip each tomato slice into the liquid, then into the cornmeal or flour. Carefully place the tomato slices in the oil and cook until golden and soft (but not mushy), 3 to 4 minutes on each side (working in batches as necessary). Adjust the heat as necessary to prevent burning.
5. Transfer the fried tomatoes to the paper towel lined plate to dry. Season with more salt to taste. Serve immediately.
That’s it for this week. Thanks everyone for your support of our farm and local produce. Remember to keep bringing your boxes back. Always, Pooh, Richard, Cody and Taylor.
Here we are, almost the end of June. We got some really good rains this week, no hail thankfully. The crops are coming along well; in just a few weeks things should really break loose and the boxes should have more variety. We are still in the green leafy stage of the CSA, along with a few interesting additions.
In your box this week:
Growers Mix:Another interesting mix, this week with Romaine, Green leaf, red leaf, baby Swiss chard and a touch of beet greens. Getting tires of salads? See dressing recipe below.
Garlic Scapes: A larger portion for everyone to play with. Remember, use them as you would a scallion, use the entire thing. It has a lovely garlic flavor. See recipe from week #2.
Braising Mix: This has been really popular at the market. If you haven’t tried them yet a strongly suggest you do. See recipe below.
Carrots: Again a modest portion. Carrots and clay soil…..what a bad combination.
Peas: Most likely for just full shares, they are snow peas. We planted peas three times and only got one planting to produce. One planting was too early and they rotted on the ground, one got entirely too weedy and this is what remains of the third. We have another planting of snap peas we will harvest in a few weeks. The vines are supposed to reach 6 feet tall!
Popcorn:No we didn’t grow this but it is a precursor for things to come. It is organic popcorn that we think is just delicious. So get out that old big pan and cook yourselves up a big batch of old fashion popcorn with lots of real butter and salt. Also try sprinkling chili powder and/or garlic powder on top.
SWEET MAPLE AND BALSAMIC VINEGAR DRESSING
Try this over your growers mix or over any steamed vegetables. In the summer use fresh basil.
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 T maple syrup
2T balsamic vinegar
2T fresh basil or 2t dried basil
1T fresh squeezed lemon juice
1t dry mustard (This is optional)
1 clove garlic minced, more to taste
fresh ground pepper
1. Combine the oil, maple syrup, balsamic vinegar, basil,lemon juice,dry mustard, and garlic in a large jar. With lid tightly screwed on shake vigorously until well blended. Store in the fridge for up to two weeks.
BRAISING GREENS WITH RAISINS AND PINE NUTS
This classic Mediterranean preparation of greens is really good. It goes well with just about any entree, makes a great bed for grilled meat, good stuffed in portabella mushrooms,an outstanding topping for pizza and even in the inside of a grilled cheese sandwich.
1/4c extra virgin olive oil
1/2c thinly sliced onions
1 clove garlic minced
one bag braising greens
1/4c pine nuts
1T fresh squeezed lemon
salt and pepper
1.Heat 3T of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium to high heat. Add onions cooking until golden, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and cook one more minute.
2. Add greens and cook until wilted. Stir in raisins, pine nuts, lemon juice. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add more olive oil before serving if you want.
That’s it. Have a good week everyone. Remember to bring your boxes back each week. Thanks……….Pooh, Richard, Cody and Taylor.
Monday June 16, 2008
Here we are! We made it through week one with only a modicum of mistakes. Most everyone remembered to pick-up and those that didn’t came quickly with a phone prompt. Thanks everyone and sorry about forgetting you Mrs.Paez. How could we forget you! If I didn’t remind you, please bring back your empty boxes with you each week. They do unfold easily for easy transport.
We hope everyone ate all the copious amounts of green leafy things last week. This week there are still quite a bit of greens but perhaps slightly less. In your box this week:
Romaine Lettuce: Caesar Salad anyone. Also green leaf lettuce for full shares.
Growers Mix: This week a blend of baby lettuce and baby Swiss chard and a few baby beet greens. We always wash and spin the lettuce mix but suggest you wash it before eating.
Braising Mix: Similar to what you received last week. This is a cooking mix. You can use it as you would in a recipe that calls for cooked spinach. See Week #1 newsletter for cooking suggestions.
Carrots: They came through for us this week. Admittedly a rather small bunch. We have heavy clay soil and carrots really don’t like our soil. These are from the greenhouse. Enjoy them. We don’t grow very many carrots.
Garlic Scapes: The flower stalk from the garlic plant. We snap off the scape to encourage the bulb to form. Garlic is a fall plant; we planted it on a warm fall day last October. The scapes can be used just like a scallion, use the entire thing. They have a lovely mild garlic flavor. See recipes below. The scapes are just starting so look for more to come in your box next week. Their season is very short. Six to eight weeks after the scapes are harvested the garlic is ready to be pulled.
GARLIC SCAPE BISCUITS
2 large eggs
1/2 cup canola oil
2 minced garlic scapes
1 onion minced
3 cups unbleached flour
1/2 cup poppy seeds
2 T water
2t baking powder
1 1/2t salt
Preheat oven 400. Lightly coat 2 baking sheets with oil or butter
Beat eggs in large bowl. Stir in oil and minced garlic scape, water and onion. Sift flour, add poppy seeds, baking powder, salt and sugar. Mix wet with dry until just moistened. Don’t over-beat.
Drop mixture by the tablespoon onto prepared baking sheets. Bake until golden brown, 10-15 minutes. Great with soup or salad. Try adding your favorite herb to the batter for variety.
That’s it for week two. Peas will hopefully be coming soon. Broccoli is not too far behind…
Thanks again, Pooh, Richard, Cody and Taylor
CSA#1 Monday June 9, 2008
It’s finally here! Our first CSA of the 2008 season. In your boxes this week are lots of green leafy things. It has been, until the last three days, a very dry season, so some products will be coming in later than planned, peas for instance. But the rains of this weekend should really get things going now…especially the weeds.
In your boxes this week. (I write this on Sunday PM. Things may change during the work day tomorrow Things listed may not appear in your box and things in your box may not be listed.)
Growers Choice Lettuce Mix. A mix of green and red leaf lettuce, baby Swiss chard and baby beet greens. We wash it and spin it but as always we suggest you wash your produce before eating.
Braising Mix. A blend of baby collards, baby kale and baby beet greens. This has been very popular at the farmers market this spring. A cooking suggestion: Saute onions and garlic in olive oil. Add braising mix and cook quickly until tender. The greens and baby so they will cook fast. If you have never had greens like this we really suggest you try them. They are very tasty.
Green and or red leaf lettuce. Full heads, great for sandwiches…
Dried Hot Peppers. these are from the 2007 season that we dried with our nice stainless steel dehydrated. Use them on pizzas,in pasta dishes, stir; fries anytime you want to add a little zip to a dish.
Honey. From our trusty hard working bees. We have five hive this year that our friends Doug and Mark maintain for us and we split the harvest with them.
Carrots. This is iffy…..Well have to see how mature the carrots are on the West end of this greenhouse when we go to harvest tomorrow.
That should be it. Remember (especially new members) that things start out slow. The product line is pretty limited this time of the year. It’s been a quirky spring with a hot,hot April….cool,unusually dry May and,oh did I mention the frost on May 27. Now that was fun. Please bring your boxes back each week so we can reuse them for distribution. I will have recipes in the coming weeks. Also my good friend Doug (not the honey Doug) who has been instrumental (pun intended) in teaching me how to do this web-site has offered his continued guidance in teaching me how to post pictures, so hopefully I have enough space left on my brains hard drive to relearn that and everyone can see pictures of the farm each week.
So as always…thanks for your support and enjoy Pooh, Richard, Cody and Taylor.
Owosso Organics is a family owned certified organic farm located in Owosso Michigan. Starting from a small postage stamp garden in 1978, we now farm over 8 acres of vegetables and cut flowers on our 80 acre farm, along with 7 greenhouses of over 11,000 square feet of space. We grow a large variety of speciality produce including herbs, gourmet greens, vegetables and over 30 different kinds of heirloom tomatoes.
We have been farming full time since 1997. Our vegetables and flowers can be purchased in a variety of ways. We have a stand at the Meridian Farmers market where we are under the pavilion on the northwest side. The market begins the first Saturday in May and runs until the last Saturday in October. Also, beginning the first Wednesday in July we are there for approximately 9 consecutive Wednesdays. Produce can also be purchased through our CSA. This year, 2008, will be our 6th year doing a CSA. We also sell to speciality heath food stores like The East Lansing Food Coop, The Better Health Store in Frandor and Foods For Living.