2012 Newsletters

OCT CSA WEEK 4-Last Week!

We have arrived at our last week of the October CSA. For many who are new this October it may have seemed like a short-lived experience, but we hope you got a little taste of some new vegetables and the potential for joining a longer spring CSA. For others who continued from the Spring/Summer CSA perhaps you are secretly sighing with relief….no longer will you have to wonder how to creatively cook a new dish with leafy greens each week… but I bet you will miss it!

the box you might miss

Though it had only been a short four weeks, you must know that months of preparation go into providing four weeks of a bountiful fall harvest. For example, carrots take 55-70 days to reach maturity from seed to carrot. We planted carrots all the way back in the second week of August! All in preparation to eat now. And those radishes you have been finding in your boxes were planted the last week of August. Plants never fail to fascinate me. With all the consistent rain we have had a truly bountiful fall. Thank you again for you support through this educational program. This fall CSA extension has allowed us to really focus on fall crops for production purposes and continue to solidify the concept of Community Supported Agriculture as a marketing option.

In preparation for the fundraiser we have been asking the farmers what the farm means to them. As the answers are getting translated, the importance of the farm as a growing and gathering space continues to be evident. Thanks to all who have helped promote by selling tickets and telling friends and family! We hope to see you there.

If you are planning on coming,besides the Karen folk music and dancing, delicious fresh traditional food, we also just found out we will be raffling off a 6-course, wine-paired dinner for two at Latern! Voted by Gourmet magazine as one the best 50 restaurants in America, this is sure not to be missed! Raffle Tickets are $5.00.

sneak peek at one of the photos that will be on display at the fundraiser. by Vanessa Pachett

Ginger! A new final treat in your box ! Below are some tips about using and preserving ginger. This ginger is a little more mild than the ginger you might find at the store, its also know as baby ginger. I invite you to take a little bite raw and savor the delicate pungent flavor and texture.It has been slowly growing along in bags since mid-March, with some rough patches along the way.  There are many ways you can enjoy the plant. Use it the same way you would use mature ginger. Make a tea with the milder leaves and stalk. You can enjoy all parts of it, with the root, stalk and leaf all imparting different levels of gingery goodness.This year we sourced our ginger from East Branch Ginger. To learn more about how to use your ginger check out the 9 simple ways to use baby ginger

Leeks! Another new final addition. Leeks can be interchanged with the onion, but I find the flavor to be more delicate and sweet. Great in soups and a great way to use all of those potatoes you have been storing for winter ;) Here is a recipe for potato leek soup and other ways to use leeks

Leek facts, nutrition, and cooking ideas

Julia Childs Potato Leek soup

recipes featuring Leeks

Also just a some quick radish ideas in case they are piling up !

Latern Restaurant Quick Pickles featured in Garden and Gun

Martha Stewarts Radish recipes

Farmer Tri Sa’s radish salad!

Box Contents

Lemongrass

Daikon (looks like a white carrot)

Water melon radish (pink inside, surrounded by a little green)

Peppers

Cilantro

Collards/Kale/Swiss Chard

Broccoli

Salad Turnips ( also known as haukeri, Small white globes, great on salads)

Salad Mix

Carrots

Cabbage (some boxes)

Leeks

Ginger

Enjoy!

OCT CSA WEEK 3

Hello!

Your boxes have continued to grow with fall bounty.  We have been diligently watching the weather to predict when the first frost might occur. Many farmers are growing plants that have zero frost tolerance, such as the roselle you tried last week. Following an old NC mountain farmer tradition, we cut open persimmon seeds this morning to predict the intensity of winter, depending on the shape found inside. Looks like its going to be a cold one! We have to be prepared from all angles.

You will notice some new veggies in your box this week. Some boxes may contain daikon radish, which looks like a white carrot, a recipe for a delicious daikon radish salad can be found on our blog here Some folks may also receive watermelon radish, true to its name when sliced open is a beautiful bright pink with a ring of green around it much like the inside of a watermelon! Yum!

Fundraiser !

You may have also noticed a flyer to our Fall Fundraiser on Oct 28 and an envelope filled with five tickets all clipped to your boxes. We are hoping, if you have a moment, you can help us sell tickets to the event.  If you sell tickets please deposit your envelope with the money from sold tickets and any unsold tickets in the newspaper covered box in the refrigerator under the shed where you pick up your box (you can also find these same directions in your envelope). You also have the option to buy tickets online and many members have already been doing so! Thank you! Thank you!

This is really a great opportunity to check out and support this project and to learn more about the Karen community that has been growing your food. The event is at the farm. There will be traditional Karen food (mostly grown on the farm), beer and wine!, a Karen youth dance troupe, traditional Karen music, a presentation about Burma, farm tours, youth PhotoVoice project, and photo essay expo. We really hope we see you there!

Pepperfest success!

Pepperfest was a true success.  Among 30 chefs, brewers, and food artisans, we estimate we served over 400 individuals a delicious spicy Karen fish dish over rice. Many attendees came back for seconds and word on the pepper-street was our dish was the favorite and definitely the spiciest!

Box Contents (box contents may vary from box to box)

Lemongrass

Daikon (looks like a white carrot)

Water melon radish (pink inside, surrounded by a little green)

Peppers

Cilantro

Collards/Kale/Swiss Chard

Potatoes or Sweet Potatoes

Broccoli

Turnips ( Small white globes, great on salads)

Salad Mix

Beans

Carrots

Oct CSA Week 2

Hello! We hope you have enjoyed your first week of vegetables and have made room for another box of bountiful produce! Everyone has been very busy on the farm lately. Besides the CSA, preparations for the Pittsboro Pepper Festival on Sunday and planning the fall fundraiser, we have also been conducting annual interviews with the farmers.

These in-depth interviews are conducted with each farmer and help steer the future of the project. Besides working together to figure out how to the make the farm better next year, we also hear interesting stories from the farmers that relate to their farming experience. One farmer was speaking about when he first came to the United States, everyone misunderstood him and thought he was Korean (sounds a lot like Karen). In order to prove he is not Korean, he would carry around a Karen dictionary to prove that Karen people existed and they had a separate language. He says now he feels he no longer has to carry around a dictionary because many people in the community know who the Karen people are and this makes him happy. He said he hope he can continue to share Karen culture and food with the community.

Remember if you are looking for something fun to do this weekend, please join us at the Pittsboro Pepperfest and help support sustainable agriculture, community and renewable energy in the Piedmont! We will be featuring spicy “Karen Looking at the Sky Pepper” fish paste alongside 30 amazing chefs and brewers. Buy your tickets ahead of time for a discounted price of $30.00  here: Tickets

AND…WE NEED YOUR HELP! Please, Please, Please help promote our Fall Fundraiser. Please come! Please buy your tickets ahead of time so we know you are coming. You can buy your tickets on the main page of the blog here: Tickets

Keep your eye out for tickets clipped to your box in the coming week. You will find promotional flyers, directions and an envelope of tickets you can voluntarily sell to your friends and family. We truly appreciate your support as we strive to grow this project to its fullest potential!

Below you will find more information about the vegetables in your box.  Please let me know if you have questions!

Roselle

Roselle is a very popular Asian herb in the hibiscus family that grows wonderfully in N.C.  This is one of the many plants that are Karen farmers have introduced me to that I am really beginning to love.  Even if you aren’t interested in it’s culinary properties, it has beautiful foliage and hibiscus flowers that would look nice in the flower garden.  Farmer Tri Sa gave me a simple recipe to make a refreshing soup using Roselle.  I also would like to note that the only two ingredients in this recipe that are not in your box are olive oil, salt and garlic! You might have to play around a little on the proportions as Tri Sa never uses measuring cups or spoons when she cooks.  You can’t go too wrong with making a soup like this, just keep adding ingredients and tasting until you get it to your liking.

Ingredients:

Roselle

Lemongrass

Lemon Basil

Garlic

Potato

Salt

Olive Oil

Directions:

Heat olive oil on medium heat in a frying pan and add a handful of chopped roselle and stir until the roselle softens.  Meanwhile, boil about 4 cups of salted water and add cubed or sliced potatoes.  Cut lemongrass and garlic into small pieces and add to the water with the potatoes.  Once the potatoes are soft take the soup off of heat and add the Roselle and chopped lemon basil. Add additional salt if necessary.

Check out the picture as well as additional info about Roselle in this link:  http://mygreenspace.nparks.gov.sg/discover-the-many-uses-of-the-roselle-plant/<http://mygreenspace.nparks.gov.sg/discover-the-many-uses-of-the-roselle-plant/>

Greens distinguished

KALE:

One of the healthiest greens you can get, Kale is a part of the Brassica family, which includes Cabbage, Broccoli, and Brussel Sprouts. With a high concentration of anti-oxidant vitamins A, C and K. Kale can help lower blood cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease.

Add it soups, stews, stir-frys, salads, egg dishes, casseroles, or on top of pizzas. Steam kale for five minutes to make it more tender or eat it raw. You can also substitute it for spinach or collard greens in recipes.

Fast and easy ways to prepare kale:

-Make a simple salad with a bunch of thinly sliced kale, red pepper, onion, raisins, and your favorite salad dressing.

- Braise chopped kale and apples, garnish with chopped walnuts, and add a splash of balsamic vinegar.

- Toss whole-grain pasta with chopped kale, pine nuts, feta cheese, and a little olive oil.

- Cover and cook a pound of chopped kale with a few garlic cloves and 2 tablespoons olive oil for 5 minutes; season with salt, pepper, and a tablespoon of red wine vinegar.

-Make kale chips by slicing kale into bite-size pieces, toss with a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt, and bake for 10-15 minutes at 350 in oven

CHARD:

A leafy green vegetable popular in Mediterranean cooking. It is a member of the Chenopod family along with beets and spinach, although it is selected for its leaf production rather than the root. It is full of calcium and potassium and vitamins K, C, and A,  as well as full of minerals, fiber and protein.  Use the whole leaf including the colorful stems. It can be used in place of /along with spinach in any recipe.

Fast and easy ways to prepare Chard

- Toss penne pasta with olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and cooked Swiss chard.

- Add zest to omelets and frittatas by adding some boiled Swiss chard.

- Use chard in place of or in addition to spinach when preparing vegetarian lasagna

Chard is a tender green and benefits from a brief cooking period. Wilted greens are simply sautéed in oil, covered and cooked without adding any cooking liquid. Tender greens such as beet greens and spinach can also be prepared in this manner.

Wilted Chard and Garlic

1 bunch of swiss chard

2 TB olive oil

2 garlic cloves

salt, pepper, lemon juice to taste

-Remove the stems and chop into one-inch pieces. Set aside.

-Stack the leaves and roll them into a scroll. Using a sharp knife cut across each scroll until all the greens are prepared.

-Mince the garlic and set aside.

- Heat a skillet or heavy Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add olive oil and chopped stems. Sauté 5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté an additional 15 seconds.

-Add the wet chard one hand full at a time. Stir after each addition. After all the greens have been added, immediately cover with a tight-fitting lid. Allow the greens to cook or wilt about 5 minutes. They should be wilted and still bright green in color.

Remove the lid and continue cooking over high heat until all the liquid has evaporated, about 2 to 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately with a squeeze of lemon juice, if desired. Serves 4.

BOK CHOY

It is rich in vitamin C and contains significant amounts of nitrogen compounds known as indoles, as well as fiber–both of which appear to lower the risk of various forms of cancer. Bok choy is also a good source of folate (folic acid). And with its deep green leaves, bok choy has more beta-carotene than other cabbages, and it also supplies considerably more calcium.

Cooking and Preparation: Chinese Cabbage can be steamed or stir-fried, or even eaten raw in a salad. I like my dressing to be a little sweet to offset the slightly bitter flavor bok choy sometimes has. Great greens addition to any stir fry.

Bok Choy Salad with Nuts

Ingredients:

1 large head of bok Choy

1/2 cup toasted nuts

1 tbsp of green garlic

1/8 cup of green garlic

1/2 cup of raisins, cranberries, etc

Dressing:

2 tbsp rice vinegar

4 tbsp vegetable oil

4 tbsp grapefruit or orange juice

1 tbsp honey or sugar

dash of soy sauce

pepper to taste

Coarsely chop nuts. Toast nuts in dry pan over medium heat. Thinly slice green garlic. Slice Bok Choy into 1 inch thick pieces. Combine in bowl with cranberries. Pour in dressing. Toss with warm nuts

Oct CSA Week 1

Hello! Happy October! Thank you so much for participating in the October CSA.  Some folks are returning members, while others are new but I can assure you we have a month packed full of delicious veggies and herbs. Some you may be familiar with and some may be new, so keep up with the newsletters for important information and recipe ideas.

packing for CSA photo by Ivan Weiss

The farmers began the morning in the rain but  got right to work, disregarding the intermittent torrential downpours. The knowledge and skills gained from the spring/summer CSA was immediately evident as they checked the harvest list and discussed amongst themselves what was ready for harvest and not ready. Harvesting techniques, quantity, quality, packing and the confusing idea of the CSA as a whole, all of this was new knowledge in the spring. Now it seems like routine.

Below are some beautiful photos taken recently at the farm by Ivan Weiss that really capture the daily going ons. Please know you are always welcome to take a walk around the farm when you pickup your box, let the farmers know you are a CSA member, shut the gates behind you. :)

Maw Roeh

Pot Hsu and Paw Moo

Tri Sa

Upcoming Events

PITTSBORO PEPPER FESTIVAL : Transplanting Traditions will be vending at the festival alongside 30 restaurants, chefs, farmers and brewers. The theme of all the dishes is….peppers, to celebrate the beautiful diversity of hot and sweet peppers grown in the Piedmont. The farmers decided to make a traditional fish paste atop rice featuring Karen Looking at the Sky Peppers, one of the most popular peppers on the farm and spicy!

When: Sunday Oct 14

Where: Briar Chapel

ticket information

TRANSPLANTING TRADITIONS FALL FUNDRAISER

Spread the word!!!!!!

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Box Contents

Eggplant

Bok Choi

Kale

Basil (thai, lemon, Genovese)

Lemongrass

Arugula/lettuce mix

Flat beans/purple bean

Sweet potato or Potato

Sweet Peppers

Lemongrass

Cooking with Lemongrass

Benefits of Lemongrass Tea

Bok Choi

It is rich in vitamin C and contains significant amounts of nitrogen compounds known as indoles, as well as fiber–both of which appear to lower the risk of various forms of cancer. Bok choy is also a good source of folate (folic acid). And with its deep green leaves, bok choy has more beta-carotene than other cabbages, and it also supplies considerably more calcium.

Cooking and Preparation: Chinese Cabbage can be steamed or stir-fried, or even eaten raw in a salad. I like my dressing to be a little sweet to offset the slightly bitter flavor bok choy sometimes has. Great greens addition to any stir fry.

Bok Choy Salad with Nuts

Ingredients:

1 large head of bok Choy

1/2 cup toasted nuts

1 tbsp of green garlic

1/8 cup of green garlic

1/2 cup of raisins, cranberries, etc

Dressing:

2 tbsp rice vinegar

4 tbsp vegetable oil

4 tbsp grapefruit or orange juice

1 tbsp honey or sugar

dash of soy sauce

pepper to taste

Coarsely chop nuts. Toast nuts in dry pan over medium heat. Thinly slice green garlic. Slice Bok Choy into 1 inch thick pieces. Combine in bowl with cranberries. Pour in dressing. Toss with warm nuts

Week 20

Week 20! Its hard to believe we have reached the last week of our spring/ summer CSA! This was the first season of marketing for Transplanting Traditions farmers, a chance to put what was learned abstractly in winter growers school into action. Successive plantings, planning, new pests, new strange weather patterns, record keeping, harvesting and packing techniques…so much more. The CSA program has been integral to building the confidence and marketing skills of Transplanting Traditions Farmers.

Thank you for your support, we hope you will spread the word about the project and stay in contact with us. Besides the October CSA we are planning on having more events and workshops in the coming year, looking for ways to diversify funding and support. The federal grant that currently funds this program runs out in Sept 2013 and it is clear this program can not end! Please stay in touch with us so you can be in the know about future events and opportunities. Visit our blog! Stop by the farm! Tell your friends about your CSA experience! Come to the potluck! Pass on information about events to others!

It is clear from farmer feedback that Transplanting Traditions is more than a farm; it is a source of food security for Karen families, a community gathering space, a place to carry on cultural food and plant traditions that would otherwise be lost and a safe educational space to provide the opportunity for some to move towards the difficult dream of becoming a farmer.  Everyday I spend at the farm I never cease to be amazed at the dedication and stewardship to the land. There is such an incredible wealth of skills and plant knowledge that is being cultivated and passed down. OK, I could go on and on but I will leave it at this. Thank you again for your support!

If you are continuing with us for Oct, you should have recieved an email last week. Thank you to all who have already sent in checks! We will send you a reminder email before the CSA begins.

If you think you might be able to attend the potluck, please let me know about how many people you might be bringing. We are trying to get a general idea of how many supplies we need.

potluck in spring

Ginger

Perhaps you noticed the pungent smelling root, stalk and green in your box this week. Perhaps you recognized this as ginger! Yes this is baby ginger, the whole plant! It has been slowly growing along in bags since mid-March, with some rough patches along the way.  There are many ways you can enjoy the plant. Use it the same way you would use mature ginger. Make a tea with the milder leaves and stalk. You can enjoy all parts of it, with the root, stalk and leaf all imparting different levels of gingery goodness.

This year we sourced our ginger from East Branch Ginger. To learn more about how to use your ginger check out the 9 simple ways to use baby ginger

harvesting the ginger

Sweet potatoes

Another beginning of fall treat. If you don’t plan on using your sweet potatoes right away, no worries, they store great, but store them in a warm place, like on top of your refrigerator. They have been curing for one-two weeks in the greenhouse. Curing allows the starches to turn into sugars, sweetening the sweet potato. The longer they store in a warm place, the sweeter they become. Don’t store them inside your refrigerator!

Some sweet potato recipes

100 ways to cook a sweet potato

one of my favorites, ..oven baked sweet potato fries you can mix in regular potatoes too

sweet potatoes growing

Lettuce

We hope you enjoy the treat of lettuce this week. You may have noticed the absence of lettuce in your box throughout the summer. This is because lettuce likes growing in cooler weather. The shade house and the cooler weather we have been having has allowed lettuce to thrive.

Box Contents

Sweet potatoes

ginger

lettuce

eggplant

peppers

okra

tomatoes

sweet potato greens

basil

lemongrass

Week 19

The lull between seasons has officially ended and now it feels like we are back in full swing preparing for the fall. We have been working on a new field in order to collectively plant garlic and strawberries which won’t be ready for harvest until spring. Garlic and strawberries are favorites among the families (who doesn’t love garlic and strawberries?!). We are working on tilling in the cover crop of oats this week which will decompose over the next two weeks and then hopefully be ready to plant. This week the farmers also seeded another variety of radish, 2nd planting of spinach and salad mix. The shade hoop house plants are growing at a rapid rate partially due to the perfect weather we have been having. Here are some snapshots from the farm yesterday, a cloudy day turned steamy hot. We are looking forward to having everyone out on the farm in person  in a couple of weeks for our CSA potluck. Details below!

shade hoop house growth progress

Fall crops of broccoli, kale, chard on the right while summer crops of roselle and gourds continue growing with vigor with cow pea cover crop decomposing in between!

Paw Moo with a funny shaped ash gourd

Ae Htee Kaw with taro be be peeled, diced, boiled in one change of water and put into a soup

tiny red eggplant…I don’t think they will get much bigger than this

Events

CSA Member/Farmer Potluck
to celebrate the end of the summer CSA and beginning of Oct CSA. Bring a dish to share and your family to converge with Transplanting Traditions Farmers and fellow CSA members

Sunday Sept 16 4pm

at the Farm

Pittsboro Pepper Festival

Get your Pittsboro Pepper Festival Tickets ! Tell your friends! celebrate the Piedmont’s ability to grow such an amazing variety of beautiful and delicious peppers. Drink and eat your way through 30 restaurants, brewers and farmers, including Transplanting Traditions Farmers. They will most likely be cooking up something spicy, featuring the array of Asian chilies they love to grow and eat.

Box Contents

Winter Squash

Beans

Tomatoes (some still left)

Peppers

Lemongrass

Basil

Eggplant (Oh we have so so much right now!)

Ridge Gourd

The Ridge Gourd should be peeled and cooked in any way you might cook squash.

whoa hot chilies!

Week 18

Here we are at week 18!  We’ve rounded the corner and can now see the finish line.  It’s crazy to believe that there are only 2 more weeks left in our summer CSA.  This year has been so instrumental to the confidence of our farmers. Many were nervous and uncertain at the beginning of the season as to whether they would be able to provide 20 weeks of quality vegetables.  In the beginning they would always ask me “Do our CSA members like their vegetables?  Is the quality good enough?”  To me, everyone has done an outstanding job and I think most importantly the farmers are realizing this as well.  Half of the battle with doing something new is just knowing you can do it.  Especially when you are new to a country and culture that can at times seem so confusing and so different from what you are used to.  We still have a lot of challenges to face in order to get our farmers on their own independently run farms but this year has made it seem all the more possible.  But enough of me waxing poetic…….the year isn’t over yet!

We will be hosting another potluck to celebrate the end of the summer CSA.  So mark your calendars for Sunday September 16th at 4:00.  More details to come.

In my haste yesterday, I forgot to take a picture of our shade hoop house.  It looks beautiful right now with all our seeds coming up and the soft baby green of our healthy lovely transplants.  There is the ongoing argument that organic farming can’t feed the world which is too complicated for me to form an opinion on.  But, I do look at our 12 foot by 72 foot shade hoop house (which is not a big space) and see that it is full of what is going to feed our 26 CSA members for the month of October.   That’s pretty impressive!

I’m not sure if we’ve gone into the details of why we are planting in a hoophouse under shade cloth………..?  We’re basically using a shade house to manipulate the temperature inside the shade house were we are growing our cool season crops.  We

Fall Transplants

Fall Transplants

want our cool season crops to be ready for the October CSA and had to plant them mid-August so that they will be mature enough to harvest in October.  However, it is way to hot in August for cool season crops (broccoli, spinach, cauliflower, snap peas, cilantro, bok choy) and the heat stresses them so much they usually either don’t grow much or will set seed very early and stop growing all together.  So the shade house allows us to get these cool season crops growing in August in order to be harvested for October.  In the Spring we will take off the shade cloth and cover it with greenhouse plastic.  This will allow us to plant warm season crops early in the Spring so we can have them ready for harvest earlier.  Farmers call this manipulation of seasons and temperature “season extension” and season extension allows a farmer to increase profit by being able to grow more product.  Each vegetable has it’s own preference for temperature, day length, fertilizer, soil PH, etc.  It’s an amazing amount of information that a diverse cropped sustainable farmer keeps in his or her head!   Okay, enough nerdy agricultural discourse and on to box contents.

Potatoes or Winter Squash

Beans

Tomatoes (some still left)

Peppers

Lemongrass

Basil

Eggplant (Oh we have so so much right now!)

Ridge Gourd

The Ridge Gourd should be peeled and cooked in any way you might cook squash.

Thanks!

Week 17

It has been so perfectly rainy the past few days…at least from the plants perspective. This is also good news for you because you are some plant eaters! I am watching another storm roll in right now and hoping it will lightly bless the carrots we planted today with a soft steady rain.

Carrboro Yoga Company -Yoga class

Please spread the word, this Sat Aug 25 2-3:30pm our friend Alix will be teaching a class at the Carrboro Yoga Company. All the money will go towards Transplanting Traditions! If you have always wanted to try a yoga class or get back into yoga now is the chance!

For more information

Carrboro Yoga Company Schedule

Seasonal Happenings

Today was a big fall crop planting day. We planted cabbage, kale, broccoli, cauliflower, leeks, swiss chard, spinach, 3 types of lettuce, pac choi and collard greens! The shade house is now completely planted!

transplants! ready to go in the ground

You may have noticed that potatoes have reappeared in your box this week. This is not because we harvested a new crop of potatoes.  Potatoes store well if kept in cool and dark conditions. We harvested the potatoes mid summer and since they stored well we were able to give you a break and reintroduce them.

cutting potatoes for planting wayyyy back in the spring

weighing potatoes not babies

Karen Wrist Tying Ceremony

Last week I told you a little about the Karen Wrist Tying Ceremony. Kelly wrote about our experience on main page of the blog and added photos to the facebook page. Check it out

Facebook

karen wrist tying in carrboro

Pepperfest!

Mark your calendars for the 5th annual Pittsboro Pepper Festival! Transplanting Traditions farmers will be cooking a pepper dish to sample alongside over 30 local chefs, brewers, farmers and local food artisans.

for more information and tickets

Pittsboro Pepperfest

Sweet Potato Greens

You will find sweet potato greens in your box this week. A re-post of information from Week 14

Sweet Potato Greens Nutrition

Recipes

Sauteed Sweet Potato Greens

Curried Okra with Sweet Potato Leaves

Box Contents

Potatoes

Sweet Potato Greens

Eggplant

tomatoes

sungolds

basil

longbeans

okra

flat beans

sweet peppers

have a great week!

WEEK 16

I am posting this later than usual because yesterday we stayed late to finish building the hoop house and finally it is complete!  Shade cloth is attached and sugar snap peas, spinach and cilantro were planted by the farmers. The shade cloth will hopefully allow us to get an early start on cool weather loving plants. The idea of planting under shade cloth is new to the farmers but this has provided an opportunity to talk about seasons and planting crops in succession in order to have a continuous harvest. Next week we will plant broccoli, lettuce, cauliflower and pac choi under the shade cloth and chard and collards in the field.

Before we prepared the beds for planting Kelly explained soil ph

preparing beds for planting

yay! shade cloth attached and it is significantly cooler under there. Now we will see what it does for the crops.

If you have signed up to extend your CSA we have you recorded and you can look for further instructions in the coming weeks. We are close to filling all the spots but still have a few more spaces.

Karen Martyrs’ Day

This past weekend many farmers celebrated 62nd Karen Martyrs’ Day at Carrboro High School, the celebration included impassioned speeches by leaders in Karen communities across North Carolina, including our translator Mr.Pwee. “Karen Martyrs’ Day marked the death of the Karen National Union’s  KNU first leader, Saw Ba Oo Gyi, who was killed by the Burma Army in 1950. Since its inception Martyrs Day has also remembered all the other Karen men and women who gave their lives for the Karen cause. The KNU has been fighting against the Burmese military regime for 62 years, the world’s longest running civil war.”

High School students singing at celebration in Carrboro this past weekend

For more information

Karen National Union marks 62nd Martyrs’ Day

Karen Wrist Tying Ceremony

This coming weekend Kelly and I both will be attending the Karen Wrist Tying Ceremony. This ancient ceremony is celebrated by Karen people of all religions where the tying of a white thread around wrists symbolizes the unity of Karen people. Song, dance, traditional dress and food are major components of the ceremony. All are welcome to attend this Sat. Aug 18 9am-2pm at Carrboro High School, beginning with the ceremony, followed by food. You can attend any part of the event.

For more information

Karen Culture Wrist Tying Ceremony

Eggplant

Recently you have been receiving a lot of eggplant. We hope you are enjoying this late summer crop. If you are running out of ideas of what to do with it you can scroll down and refer to week 13 recipes or try one of these super simple baba ghanouj recipes, an eggplant spread, and one of my favorite ways to use large quantities of eggplant and wow my friends.

Baba Ghanoush

Baba Ghanouj

Freezing Basil

Also upon suggestion of one of our CSA members we wanted to remind you about the joys and ease of freezing pesto. It only takes a moment and can provide many beautiful greened and summery feeling meals in the darkness of winter. To make it easy now you can simply grind up the basil, salt and olive oil in a food processor and place in small bags or ice cube trays and freeze. When you are ready to use it you can defrost the basil/olive oil cubes and then add whatever ingredients (garlic, lemon juice, nuts etc.) you want to make a delicious pesto. For more pesto tips I re-posted a link from an earlier newsletter

pesto freezing tips

Lemongrass

You have also been receiving lemongrass each week. Hopefully it has been incorporated into dishes you already make but if you are wondering what else to do….

Cooking with Lemongrass

Benefits of Lemongrass Tea

This tea can be made hot and then refrigerated for a refreshing summer tea.

make sure you take time to rest and laugh this week!

WEEK 15

We welcomed the rainy day, allowing us to linger a bit longer in the field and look upward without blinding ourselves as we secured the cross beams onto the hoop house.

lingering…inspecting ridged gourds in flower

hoop house beam bending

preparing the space for the hoop house

The farmers have been tilling in their cover crops in preparation for fall. We began planting our fall crops of amethyst and Italian flat beans, carrots and beets. For the next many weeks we will be planting seeds and transplants both in the field and under our new hoop house. We have had a bit of a break as things wind down for the summer but the farm is about to get very busy again. Also winding down….tomatoes. We hope you have enjoyed the plethora of tomatoes, goodbye for now, see you next summer!

bean planting time

hand tilling in cowpea cover crop with the best hoes ever, leaving soil full of healthy organic matter!

goodbye tomatoes

We still have a few spaces left in the fall CSA, so spread the word to your friends and family!

We were wondering how you liked the sweet potato greens. Please let me know, so we can continue to include them in your box. New to the box this week acorn squash and sweet peppers. The sweet peppers are great fresh or Kelly suggested splitting them in half and filling them with a feta, goat cheese or cheese of your choosing and broiling them in the toaster oven. Absolutely delicious, impressive looking and easy.

I have included some acorn squash recipes below.They are great split rubbed with a little butter and roasted in the oven at 350 for about an hour, I like to add a little maple syrup. If you don’t feel like turning on your oven this week, no worries, acorn squash is a storage crop and will last for months. But, if you do eat them this week you are sure to get a little taste of fall!

Classic Baked Acorn Squash

10 ways to eat an Acorn Squash

Cornbread stuffed acorn squash

Box Contents

Acorn Squash

Eggplant

tomatoes

basil

longbeans

okra

flat beans

sweet peppers

melon (some)

Tri Sa’s gourd jungle

Have a great week!

WEEK 14

Happy last day of July! Its hard to believe it’s already August. We are amazed at how quickly time passes on the farm. Being in constant contact with growing plants, weather patterns, planning harvests and predicting days to maturity really actualizes time. We hope the CSA share has provided a similar experience for you as you have watched vegetables come and go from your box each week!

We had a busy day at the farm breaking ground for our new hoop house! The hoop house will aid in season extension for both warm and cool weather crops. In the colder months it will be covered in plastic and retain heat, therefore extending our growing season. In the hotter months it will be covered with a shade cloth, providing partial shade and cooler temperatures for crops that can’t take high heat. Photos to come!

We are sad to see our UNC APPLES intern Erin go. This is her last week with us and without her on the farm leading awesome activities with the kids and helping with daily farm tasks this summer would not have run smoothly. Thank you Erin!

Erin and the kids

The farmers are excited about the extension of our CSA into Fall and we have had a great response from you all and greater community members There are still a few spaces left if you are interested.

This week you will find two new additions to the box.

Sweet Potato Greens

Water Gourd

Sweet Potato Greens are a personal favorite and I could potentially write pages about the health benefits, flavor and versatility. But I will keep it short with a few facts and recipes and you can explore more if you are enchanted as I am.

Sweet potato greens and tubers are popular among our farmers and one of the worlds most cultivated crops. Sweet potato greens are loaded with Vitamin A, Vitamin K and folic acid. For more nutritional facts….

Sweet Potato Greens Nutrition

Recipes

Sauteed Sweet Potato Greens

Curried Okra with Sweet Potato Leaves

Water Gourd or White gourd is a sweet and tender gourd that can be used like a squash, think white gourd casserole or fried white gourd. It is another popular vegetable among the families and we have enjoyed it in delicious soups and breaded and fried. Below is a recipe from Tri Sa, it was translated and transcribed among a crazy Friday on the farm so you may have to improvise and use your judgement. When she made it it was simple and delicious!

White Gourd Curry

White gourd

Chicken (opt) – 1/2 lb cut into small pieces

2 tsp oil

1/2 Onion

3 cloves garlic

Lemongrass -one stalk

Basil- 10 leaves

salt

water- 12 oz

1. Heat oil in pan add onion and garlic

2. When browned add chopped chicken and salt until brown

3. Add ground up lemon grass

4. Add chopped white gourd and sautee for few minutes

5. Add water and and simmer for 2 minutes

2. Add basil, turn down heat and ready to serve

HAVE A GOOD WEEK!

Week 13

Hello! Hope you were in a safe place to enjoy this afternoon’s spectacular storm if it passed through your area. The newsletter is getting out later because we lost power and internet connection in Carrboro during the storm. You may have noticed your boxes a bit heavier these past few weeks with the combination of heavy summer crops like melons and tomatoes weighing it down. Speaking of melons….we at Transplanting Traditions offer a melon back guarantee! Watermelons are extremely difficult to tell if ripe while on the vine and once harvested they won’t ripen anymore. Please let us know if your watermelon was not ripe.

I know I sent out an email earlier in the week, but if you still might be interested in the opportunity to extend your CSA share for 4 weeks in the fall, let us know. No pressure to extend, we just need to begin planning amounts for fall planting (which will begin in 3 weeks!) You can expect a beautiful diversity of fall crops such as…beets, carrots, radishes, turnips, spinach, kale, broccoli, swiss chard, pac choi, lettuce, salad mix, sugar snap peas (possibly). The fall offering will be very similar to the first few weeks of the CSA in the spring.

Recipes! When you visit our blog to read the newsletter, notice the beginnings of our recipe library under the CSA drop down, with Asian and American recipes listed alphabetically. It is a work in progress and we will continue to add recipes. So if you are ever at a loss for what to make with your bounty, look no further.

weighing tomatoes not babies

In other news… this Friday our middle and high school students involved in the Photo Voices project will be exhibiting their work to their families and community. Photo Voices is an exploration of photography and life from the eyes of refugee and immigrant youth.

Thanks to our friend Brooke over at Vittles Films, we are in the process of making a short film to get the word out about this amazing project. We will let you know when its finished!

How to cook eggplant to tender silky perfection

When preparing to cook eggplant it a good idea to salt and drain. from the above website…..”Salting, also known as purging, accomplishes two goals: it pulls out juices that carry bitter flavors, and it collapses the air pockets in the eggplant’s sponge-like flesh, thus preventing it from absorbing too much oil and getting greasy.

To salt eggplant, peel it and then slice, cube, or quarter it, depending on the recipe. Sprinkle the pieces generously with salt and let them sit in a colander for an hour (you’ll usually see a lot of liquid beading on the surface). Rinse the eggplant in plenty of water to remove the salt, firmly squeeze a few pieces at a time in the palm of your hand to draw out almost all the moisture, and then pat the eggplant dry with paper towels. Thorough drying is important; squeezing out excess moisture will give you a less greasy result.”

Pesto Eggplant with Rice

Use that pesto you froze the last few weeks!
Martha Stewart’s Eggplant recipe Collection

with photos that make you want to eat eggplant at every meal!

Box Contents

Cantaloupe

Eggplant

Tomatoes

Basil

Roselle

Lemongrass

Luffa

Peppers; jalapeno (hot!), banana (sweet), bell (sweet)

Okra

Flat beans

Long beans

Cucumbers

Potatoes

Week 12

Here we are at week 12 of the CSA.  Mid- July and all of our heat loving vegetables are ripening in a snaps time.  I sure hope y’all aren’t getting tired of tomatoes because we planted 4 successive plantings.  This means you’ll be enjoying many different varieties probably all the way until week 20.  Out at the farm the tomatoes are towering over our heads and just covered with the huge red beauties you’ve been seeing in your boxes.  The sun golds are particularly unruly with their viney hands grabbing at our hair as we walk down the rows–no respect for anyone’s personal space!

This time of year, when the days are long and hot and tomatoes are growing like crazy, we end up a little overwhelmed by their zestiness (aka amount).  Fortunately, tomatoes are an easy thing to put away for winter eating.  I’ve taught both canning and freezing workshops to our farmers in the past.  This Friday we’ll do an on farm demo of tomato freezing as a reminder.  Tomatoes freeze wonderfully and it’s always a treasure to open the freezer in January and make hot tomato soup from the past summers bounty.  If you’ve never frozen tomatoes here’s a good link on how to do it.  http://www.food-skills-for-self-sufficiency.com/blanching-tomatoes.html

I recommend blanching whole tomatoes in order to remove the skins (which get very tough once cooked or frozen) and then coring and freezing the tomatoes whole.  Almost all grocery stores sell heavy duty freezer bags that do a good job of preventing freezer burn.  Some folks love to roast tomatoes on a cookie tray in the oven which can cause carmelization of the sugars in the tomato (remember it’s actually a fruit!) and is a more flavorful method of storing.  They can be peeled and frozen after roasting the same way as if you had flash boiled and blanched them.  Frozen tomatoes should keep for 6 to 8 months but I’ve definitely kept them for longer than that without any problem.

I enjoy eating tomatoes immensely and love to be reminded of the added benefit of how good they are for me.  They are high in vitamins A, C and K as well as in cancer fighting anti-oxidants such as lycopenes.  In this case, you CAN have your cake and eat it too.

CSA box contents for the week:

Oh and our squash have finally kicked the bucket (some of you may be sighing in relief). Also, you can personally let me know if you have decided that the Roselle, lemongrass and Luffa are not for you and we will stop adding them to your box.  I also got a great email from CSA member Christine who said she has made a stir fry with the luffa and then also a casserole of sorts.  With the casserole she layered eggplant, ground meat, pine nuts and fresh tomatoes and said it was awesome.  I love to hear about all the creative ways our CSA members are cooking their new vegetables!  Okay box contents for real!

Cantaloupe

Eggplant

Tomatoes

Basil

Roselle

Lemongrass

Luffa

Peppers; jalapeno (hot!), banana (sweet), bell (sweet)

Okra

Flat beans

Long beans

Cucumbers

Potatoes

Last years Watermelons

We’ve got watermelons that are almost ripe and they are huge! You might end up with a 20 to 30 lb watermelon in your CSA box next week.  We’ve got two varieties.  Jubilee and Crimson Sweet.  Jubilee are particularly huge and last year Yoe Moo grew a 50 pounder.  We won’t send you home with anything that big, but there’s nothing like a big watermelon to give you an excuse to have a summer party.  Just giving you a heads up on what’s coming up in case you want to start planning your parties ; )

I’ve included a recipe for salsa this week as you have tomatoes, peppers and basil in your boxes.  I know Nicole has done pesto recipes in the past but here’s a great way of freezing it that I have done in the past.  It’s kind of genius!  http://www.instructables.com/id/Pesto-Freezing-Method/

Oh and thanks to everyone who filled out the CSA survey.  We’ll send out another one at the end of the year to get your opinion on the second half of your CSA.  If you haven’t done the survey we’d love to hear from you.

thanks!

Salsa

Salsa usually tastes better after the flavors have had a couple of hours to develop.  The acidity of the lime and tomatoes will actually chemically “cook” the peppers, onions and garlic and will take some of the bite of them.  Salt is also frees the proteins in the tomatoes which allows a lot of the flavors to be released so unless you are on a restricted sodium diet don’t forget your salt it really enhances the flavors of salsa! Oh and no need to weigh your tomatoes–3 lbs is what you got in your CSA box this week.

  • 3 pounds ripe tomatoes, halved, seeded, chopped
  • 3/4 cup (packed) chopped fresh basil
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 garlic cloves, pressed
  • 1/2 of an onion finely chopped
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 to 1 whole jalapeno (depending on whether you like spice or not)
  • 1 banana pepper
  • 1 bell pepper
  • Pinch of sugar
  • Salt to taste
1 Comment

One thought on “2012 Newsletters

  1. We love getting our box every week – everything is so fresh and beautiful – thank you!!

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