Thursday, July 28, 2011

Just Food visit this Saturday!

Just Food staff member Paula Lukats will be joining us at our distribution this Saturday, July 30th 10:30-12:00 to meet (and thank!) members, talk more about Just Food and answer questions about the new Just Food CSA Network. Be sure to take a minute to say hi and grab a button when you pick up your share. And find out more at

Just Food is a non profit that works with communities to make fresh, locally grown food accessible throughout NYC. One way they do that is by helping start and support CSA sites like ours. Over the years, Just Food has helped over 100 NYC neighborhoods connect with 29 vegetable growers to create an extensive network of CSA throughout the city. They work to support city groups in starting and maintaining CSA sites as well as with farmers who want to grow for CSA.

This year, Just Food is formalizing their relationship with all the people who have benefited from CSA by creating a CSA Network that each one of us contributes to — $5 of your share fee goes to Just Food to help them build new CSAs, support additional farms and existing sites, and make NYC a better place to eat and live.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Purslane tips

Thanks Deb!

Purslane is best raw. Snip into bite sized pieces and toss it with vinaigrette and let it marinate up to a half hour. Nice with garlic or thinly sliced onion added. Also, add to tossed salads. You could do same thing you would do with sliced cukes, too - a sour cream cold salad, or quick pickles. It's a rare plant source of Omega 3 fatty acids - great for heart and circulatory system. I just eat it raw in the garden - have thought about trying to pickle it with a bread & butter pickle brine to preserve it, but haven't gotten that ambitious. It's ubiquitous!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Wheat Berry Salad with Zucchini and Mozzarella
Thanks Erin!

1⁄4 cup pine nuts
3 or 4 medium zucchini (about 1 1⁄2 pounds), halved lengthwise
1⁄4 cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and black pepper
2 cups cooked wheat berries
1 teaspoon minced garlic, or to taste
1⁄2 cup fresh dill, or 1 teaspoon dried
3 tablespoons sherry or white wine vinegar
1 cup cubed mozzarella, optional

1. Toast the pine nuts in a small, dry skillet over medium heat, shaking the pan occasionally, until lightly browned. Remove from the pan.

2. Turn on the broiler; the heat should be medium-high and the rack about 4 inches from the fire. Brush the zucchini with the 1 tablespoon oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and broil, turning as needed, until lightly charred on both sides and beginning to soften, 5 minutes or more. When they’re cool enough to handle, cut the zucchini into chunks or slices.

3. Toss together the zucchini, wheat berries, garlic, and about half of the dill in a large salad bowl. Add the vinegar and 1⁄4 cup oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and toss again. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. (The salad can be made ahead to this point and refrigerated for up to a day.) To serve, toss the mozzarella into the salad, along with the remaining dill.

Share items for July 20 & 23

We did pick our first few tomatoes (about 10 of them) this past weekend – so hopefully we’ll be able to get them into the share soon. The dry weather does help hold off the blight fungus but we’ll see what happens as the rest of summer unfolds…

Share items for July 20, 23:
1 bu Carrots
Zucchini (green, yellow)
1 bu Swiss Chard
Cucumbers, white and/or green
1 head lettuce

Possible additional items TBA

Fruit share:
1 lb sugar plums
1 pt organic blueberries
1 box blackberries

Flower share:
sparkler flower (cleome)
agyranthemum, etc.

Egg share: ½ dozen pastured eggs

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Photos From Sat 7/9 pickup

Thanks Meagan!

Flower Care tips from Eve

Flower Share Care

We want your cut flowers to last after you get them, and so do you. Realistically they
are likely to last 3-6 days, due to the types of flowers we grow, and often some flowers
in a mixed bouquet will die before others. If you pick the dying ones out, you can enjoy
the longer-lived varieties for a few more days.

Here are some simple things you can do to help flowers last longer:

This may seem self-evident, but try not to let them be out of water for too long. If
you're not going straight home after your CSA pickup, bring some paper towel and a
plastic baggie and wet down the stem ends before you put the bouquet in your bag. Try
not to leave flowers anywhere hot, like in your car. Once they have wilted, some types
of flowers will perk up when put back into water, but some will not.

Trim the stems (anywhere from 1 cm to as much as you want) once you get home, with
a knife (not a scissors). This opens the stem water vessels that have hardened from
exposure to the air (xylem - remember from biology class?) so that the flower can drink
again. They say to "cut under water", but logistically I've never figured out how to do
this. If you can, great.

You can add a tablespoon of sugar, bleach, or commercial floral preservative to your
vase water if you want. I usually don't at home, myself, but if you do they will last

Every couple of days, dump the vase water out and recut the stems an inch or so. This
will slow the decay process and keep the flowers drinking

Hormones (ethylene) from ripening fruit or tomatoes will make your flowers ripen (die)
faster. So don't put them next to the banana bowl. Also, if you can keep them out of
direct sunlight that will help.

That's about it. Some flowers just intrinsically last longer than others, some wilt more
easily, etc., which is not your fault. Unfortunately some of the prettiest flowers have the
shortest vase life... but we use many that hold up well, and we hope that your bouquet
will last 4-6 days on average.

If you learn tricks that seem to help, or have feedback on which flowers did well/not
well, please feel free to share them here - it will help us for future seasons!

Fruit Care Tips from Eve


The fruit in your share is picked no more than one or two days before we bring it to you.
Because it is picked ripe, it does not have a long shelf life. Therefore, instead of
engineering the fruit to suit your schedule (i.e. picking fruit hard and unripe, cooling it,
growing varieties that stay hard for a long time but have no taste, etc.) you will
sometimes have to mold your eating schedule to the fruit.

Ripe berries, heirloom tomatoes, ripe peaches, etc. will begin to soften and then mold
after a few days... that's just what happens. If you can't eat them by then, cut them up
and put them in the freezer, which will give you a source of delicious smoothies for the
reat of the year. You can also bake fruit muffins and pies using frozen fruit.

Some of the fruit and tomatoes you get may be soft. This does not mean they are
rotten. This means they are ripe or sometimes perhaps have spots that are slightly over-
ripe. Again, this makes them good candiates for cooking rather than eating raw. Even
moldy spots can often just be cut out of fruit and the rest of it used in cooked dishes.

Make a sauce, chop them up and put them in pancakes or an omelet, make jam or
cobbler or anything else tasty that occurs to you. Remember, our ancestors invented all
these dishes in the first place as a way of using up their over-ripe fruit! Follow their
good example of creativity and you will be rewarded.

Some of the fruits you get will NOT yet be ripe, because they can't be handled at all
when they are ripe and soft. Peaches are picked and delivered to you hard. Some
tomatoes may need another couple of days to reach their peak. DON'T TRY TO EAT
HARD FRUIT until it is RIPE!

To ripen, just let the fruit sit on a counter OUT OF THE FRIDGE for a couple of days to
let the sugars develop. Some people it in a brown paper bag, which keeps the plant
hormones (ethylene) inside and aids ripening. You can put unripe fruit near some
ripening bananas etc. to speed ripening. Don't put it near anything you don't want to
over-ripen, like cut flowers, tomatoes, or fruit that is already ripe.

Good luck, and yum

Share items for July 13, 16

Vegetable Share:
1 head Chinese cabbage/napa cabbage (Wed); Kohlrabi (Sat)
2 lb mixed zucchini (green, yellow)
4 sprigs Basil
1 large onion
1 head Broccoli
1 head lettuce
2 lb cucumbers (approx 4, but weigh them if poss)

Fruit share:
3 pints organic blueberries and 1 box organic blackberries

Flower share:
sunflowers, zinnias, snapdragons, bachelor buttons, and more!

Egg share:
½ dozen pastured eggs

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Radish, Watermelon and Bulgar Wheat Salad Recipe

Radish, Watermelon and Bulgar Wheat Salad Recipe
Thanks to Marcus Samuelsson and Aine Carlin

1 cup bulgar wheat
7-8 radishes
3 spring onion/scallions
1 small stick of celery
¼ cup pumpkin seeds
1 cup chopped and deseeded watermelon
zest of 1 lemon or lime
juice of 1 lemon or lime
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp cider vinegar
salt and pepper

Place the bulgar wheat in a bowl and cover with 1 cup of freshly boiled water. Cover the bowl with a plate or some clingfilm and allow to stand for at least ten minutes or until all the water has been absorbed. Fluff with a fork. Allow to cool uncovered
Finely slice the radishes and spring onions. Cut the celery into tiny pieces. Set aside.
De-seed the melon and cut into small pieces.
Zest and juice the lemon.
Heat a dry frying pan/skillet and lightly toast the pumpkin seeds until crunchy and paler in colour. Move frequently to avoid burning them. Transfer to a small bowl and leave to cool completely.
When the bulgar wheat has cooled sufficiently, add all the ingredients including the lemon/lime juice. Season generously, pour over the oil and the vinegar.
Toss in the toasted pumpkin seeds. Taste and season further if necessary. Serve.

Easy grilled zucchini

Easy grilled zucchini
Thanks Deb!

It's that time of year again: zucchini takes over the world.
If you have a grill pan or are cooking out, this is easy and super tasty:

Heat up a grill pan over medium-high heat.
Quarter zucchini the long way.
Rub with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Grill cut side down for 4-5 minutes, until there are nice grill marks.
Flip to the other cut side and do the same.
Flip to the skin side, sprinkle with oregano and/or basil, and cook until tender (if needed).

Serve as is, or toss with pesto and pasta.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Kohlrabi Puree

Kohlrabi Puree

4 kohlrabi bulbs
1-2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced

1 handful parsley
a few T. cream

salt and pepper to taste

1. Peel the kohlrabi, and cut the bulbs into ~1" chunks.
2. Boil some salted water, and add the kohlrabi. Reduce the heat and simmer until tender, about 15 minutes.
3. Heat the olive oil in a skillet. Add the onion and sauté over medium-low heat until somewhat caramelized, about 10 minutes. Lower the heat, add the garlic and cook another 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

4. Drain the kohlrabi. Put kohlrabi, onions, and everything else in the bowl of a food processor. Purée until smooth.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Brooklyn Commune Dinner

Share items for July 6 & 9

Share items for July 6,9:

Veg Share:
mixed zucchini (green, yellow)
1 bunch beets
1 head Endive (frizzy, like a lettuce, not the little spears you see in the supermarket)
1 head lettuce
1 bu kale
Bok choi or tat soi

Fruit share: organic blueberries and raspberries

Flower share: sunflowers, zinnias, snapdragons, bachelor buttons, and more!

Egg share: ½ dozen pastured eggs