Fern Creek CSA–Week 10

newsletter with photoLast week we hosted a Reunion Potluck (the 1st annual!) for current and prior interns and apprentices. We ate German Potato Salad (Kelly), Fruit Salad with Mint and Lime (Jamie), Kale & Watermelon Salad and Double Chocolate Cookies (Ed & Liz), Deviled Eggs and Blistered Beans and Fennel (Jon and Lisby), Bread from Newberg Bakery (Hannah), and Thai Cabbage Salad and Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream (Mark & Lisa). The food reminded us how we’ve all learned to eat differently and better after spending time in Fern Creek’s dirt. We had interns and apprentices talk about ways their time here changed their relationship with food and/or farming, and we were asked how having them work with us has changed us. Good conversation, good food, good remembering all around.

1st Annual Apprentice Reunion Potluck

1st Annual Apprentice Reunion Potluck

We’re enriched by this community that extends back six seasons.

The harvest list is long this week, and will continue to be into August as Fern Creek becomes most generous in its gifting of good food. Pristine apples, which are an early sweet/tart green apple, are ready. Mark and I have already made a couple batches of applesauce using the windfalls. Eggplants and peppers are kicking into gear, and Tromboncinci squash and more tomatoes. You’ll have selections in the Market between produce, so please read the signs for directions even as you chat it up with others in the Market with you.

Lisby, Jon, and Kelly (an intern from last year) managed Thursday’s harvest, Market set-up, and pick-up last week and managed it well. They finished in plenty of time and we imagine they enjoyed the autonomy and challenge of doing it without us. Blue Lake beans were ready for the first time this week, joining other colorful and varied beans we have in the Market. A text from Lisby that day went like this:

Lisby: Do Blue Lake beans get blue or are they just a decent sized green bean?
Lisa: Just green. Thanks for checking.
Lisby: People need to be more considerate when naming beans.

This text didn’t make us worry at all.

Meanwhile, we enjoyed three lovely days at Depoe Bay. We watched for whales and walls of impending water and didn’t see either one. We walked a forest path every day, and one along the wall of rock overlooking the ocean that runs through Depoe Bay. We played lots of Bridge, and had wonderful conversation and good food shared in the company of my brother Dan, and sister-in-law, JoLynn, good friends the both of them. We’re heading home this afternoon, and that feels right and good, too.


Anticipated in the Market

Black Beauty Eggplant

Black Beauty Eggplant

Varieties of Head Lettuces (Muir Crisp, Romaine)
Kale (Dinosaur, Red Russian & Meadowlark)
Tromboncino Squash
Zucchini Squash
Yellow Summer Squash
Fortex and Rattlesnake Beans
Kentucky Wonder Wax and Blue Lake Pole Beans
Braising Greens
Walla Walla Onions
Nante Carrots
Armarillo & Baby Cake Cherry Tomatoes
Rose de Berne, Copia, & Brandywine Tomatoes
Marketmore Cucumbers
Black Beauty Eggplant
Fingerling Potatoes
Pristine Apples
Red Express and Green Cabbage
Chives, Thyme, & Garlic


Reminder: No Newberg Bakery Bread this Week as our bakers are on Vacation! Full share folks will get two loaves next week, and 1/2 share folks will all get a loaf next week.

What kind of music does Farmer Jon NOT like? Contemporary Christian. He is actually a lead singer in a heavy metal band, and also a contemporary Christian.


New from the Field

Tromboncino Squash

Tromboncino Summer Squash

Tromboncino Summer Squash

This Italian heirloom is my favorite summer squash. It’s striated with light green and white, and curves into whimsical shapes, which makes it very impractical to transport, which is why you don’t find it in grocery stores. The Tromboncino’s texture is super smooth and buttery and it’s skin tender. My favorite way to eat it is sliced into rounds and cooked in a bit of butter, usually at a high heat to allow the sides to brown.


Eggplant is a berry. A Very Big Berry. One I used to avoid it.  I had tried it once (it probably showed up in our CSA bag) and didn’t much care for the rubbery texture. But since we started growing it for our CSA families I’ve learn how to cook it.  Eggplant is much loved in Italy and rather misunderstood in the United States, partly because good eggplant dishes require a bit of prep. Slice, score and salt your eggplant and then let the slices drain for 30 minutes.  Pat dry and proceed with your recipe. You can halve eggplant lengthwise and after the salt prep, brush it with oil, set the cut side on a sprig of oregano, bake, cool and eat. Or salute them, or take more time with them and make Eggplant Parmigiana, a signature eggplant dish. Enjoy experimenting.


Recipe of the Weekpizza1

Pizza with summer roasted vegetables is one of our favorite ways to eat both pizza and roasted vegetables. Besides the one below, here’s one that uses a pesto tomato sauce that I posted last year. Experiment with sauces and summer squash, tomatoes, kale, and eggplant on your roasted vegetable pizzas.

Pizza with Broccoli, Roasted Onions and Olives
Adapted from Chez Panisse Vegetables

Makes one 12-inch pizza

1 medium yellow onion
Salt and pepper
Olive oil
2 sprig thyme (optional)
1 bunch broccoli
1 clove garlic
1 pinch hot pepper flakes

Pizza dough for one recipes (super-simple recipe here and an almost as simple recipe here)
1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese
16 niçoise olives, pitted
1 lemon

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Dice the onion and toss it in a small ovenproof sauté pan with a pinch of salt and enough olive oil to coat lightly, and the leaves of the thyme. Put the pan in the oven to roast, stirring occasionally, until the onion is cooked and golden, about 30 minutes.

While the onion is roasting, wash and drain the broccoli, remove the heavy stems, and roughly chop the leaves and sprouts into coarse chiffonade. There should be enough to make about 2 cups. Peel and finely chop the garlic. Heat a large sauté pan and coat it with olive oil. Add the broccoli, season with salt, pepper, and the hot pepper flakes, and fry over high heat until the broccoli is tender. Add the garlic and fry, tossing, for a few seconds.

When the onions are done, take them out of the oven and turn the heat up to 450° to 500°F. Put a pizza stone in the oven. Roll out of shape a 12- to 14-inch disk of pizza dough and slide it onto a floured pizza peel or the back of a baking sheet. Lightly brush the dough with olive oil, leave a 1/2-inch boarder dry. Evenly sprinkle the cheese on the oiled surface,spread the onions over, and top with the broccoli and the olives. Drizzle about 1 tablespoon olive oil over the pizza. Slide the pizza onto the preheated stone in the oven and bake from 5 to 10 minutes, until the crust is brown and crisp. Remove the pizza from the oven, sprinkle a few drops of lemon juice on it, slice and serve.

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