This week on the farm we’ve planted early squash in our greenhouse, picked our first crop of English Peas and stored our frost protection cloth away (hopefully for the rest of the season). The abundance and diversity of the Spring season is right around the corner and this week’s CSA share bridges the coming month with delicious staple crops from late fall and winter.

In your share this week will be:

Broccoli: I recently found an awesome oven-roasted broccoli recipe from one of my favorite food writers, Alton Brown. Our sweet, tender florets are a perfect match. Follow the recipe here.

English Peas: These shelling peas are incredibly sweet and open up a number of culinary opportunities. Here’s a great, simple recipe for sauteed peas.

Cilantro: Among the world’s most widely used annual herbs, All parts of the Cilantro planet are edible, but the fresh leaves and the dried seeds are the most commonly used in cooking. Coriander is commonly used in Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, Indian, South Asian, Mexican, Latin American, Chinese, African and Southeast Asian cuisine. To store, keep in refrigerator with cut ends in a jar of water and leaves loosely covered with a plastic bag for several days

O’Henry Sweet Potatoes: Loaded with vitamin A, beta carotene, vitamins C, B6 and E, as well as potassium, O’ Henrys are incredibly sweet with a creamy texture.  They also make for an excellent “mashing” potato.

Bok Choi: This Chinese cabbage is best friends with finely minced garlic and freshly grated ginger or turmeric. Combine with a cooking oil of choice (sesame oil or ghee butter work great) over medium-high heat and cook until stalks and leaves are tender.

Carrots: These slender, sweet bunches carry a high natural sugar content and impeccable crispness. Packed with fiber, Vitamin A and beta carotene,  we hope you don’t get too thrown off trying to comprehend how something so sweet can be so healthy.

French Breakfast Radishes: Crisp with a mildly spicy flavor and stunning color display, these guys can be sauteed, pickled, steamed or sliced  raw into a salad. I personally prefer roasting my radishes:

Toss halved trimmed radishes on a baking sheet with olive oil, kosher salt, and freshly ground pepper. Roast at 425° until crisp-tender, about 10 minutes. Toss with fresh lemon juice, room-temperature butter, and chopped fresh herbs; season with sea salt.

Red Leaf Lettuce: Our Red Leaf is nutrient dense, flavorful, and adds vibrant color to any salad mix. Try one of our favorite farm house salad dressings:

Olive Oil – 1/2 cup
Lemon Juice – 1/4 cup
Tahini (sesame seed paste) – 2 tbsp
Soy sauce – 2 tbsp
1 clove of fresh garlic (finely minced if you don’t have a blender)
Chopped cilantro or sesame seeds are optional additions

If you have a blender, puree all the ingredients until smooth. You can add water to thin it out if it gets too thick. If you don’t have a blender, put everything in a tightly lidded quart jar and shake vigorously until well combined. Check seasoning and enjoy on your salad.

Arugula: Also known as rocket and rucola, Arugula leaves are tender with a bit of a tangy and peppery flavor. Try these nine recipes for arugula, or just enjoy as a simple base for any salad.

 

 

Sweet Potato Burgers

This recipe makes anywhere from 6-10 burgers depending on how you portion them out.

Ingredients:

2 lbs sweet potatoes

1 C dry lentils

1/2 onion

1.2 C chopped mushrooms

1 C Breadcrumbs

1. Place 2 lbs of perforated sweet potatoes in the oven and heat oven to 400, while bringing 3 cups of water to a boil on the stove.

2. When the water begins to boil add 1 cup of lentils, and lower to simmer until the water is absorbed, about 25-35 minutes.

3. When the lentils are done check your potatoes. If the skin has separated from the inside, remove them from the oven.

4. Remove the potato skins, and reserve the insides.

5. Add the lentils, onions, mushrooms, and garlic and mash the mixture together

6. Roll the mixture in some breadcrumbs, or panko and shape into patties.

7. Heat oil to cover a sautée pan and cook no more than 4 burgers at a time until they brown on both sides.

8. Place on your favorite vehicle (bun, lettuce, tortilla, etc.) and serve with toppings of your choice.

Kale

“Over the last 40 years kale has gone from the garnish that hippies eat, to renowned superfood. Why is that? Turns out that curly lettuce is packed with fiber and micronutrients essential to human health. Not only does kale pack so much vitamin K that you’d think kale is it’s namesake. In addition kale packs massive amounts of vitamins A, and C to boot. On a per calorie basis it’s hard to find another food that packs as much nutrition than kale, which means if you’re trying to lose or manage your weight, kale is a great choice to help reduce your caloric intake without sacrificing nutrients.”

Bok Choy

“Famously at home in stir fry dishes, Bok choy is at its most giving (nutritionally) after it has been cooked. When added to a meal Bok choy brings vitamins A, C and K to the table plus a bit of folate, and Pyridoxine (B6). While it grows Bok choy also does the work of pulling minerals from the ground just for you such as: iron, calcium, potassium, manganese and magnesium. So don’t be shy, grab a pan and release those nutrients!”

Spring Is Right Around the Corner.
Celebrate with Swine & Sons and
Frog Song Organics!

spring 2013 Share

Frog Song Organics CSA Share – SPRING SEASON

We are very excited to announce that we are partnering once again with our friends at Frog Song Organics and will be an official Pickup Site for their Spring CSA! Join us on Wednesday, 2/17 at 6:30pm for a three course dinner featuring fresh, seasonal produce straight from the farm. $50 (plus tax and gratuity) gets you dinner and a glass of celebratory bubbly (additional beer and wine will be available for purchase during the dinner). John and Amy, farmers and owners of Frog Song Organics, will be on hand to educate diners about their farm and the mutual benefits of CSA membership. Reservations must be made in advance – call Swine & Sons at 407-636-7601 to reserve.

 

http://swineandsons.com/seasonal-specials

Registration is open for Spring CSA shares!

The Main Spring schedule runs from March 1st through June 25th and applies to the majority of our markets, including: Winter Park Farmers’ Market, St. Augustine Farmers’ Market, Flagler Beach Farmers’ Market, Union Street Farmers’ Market, AvMed, YMCA, and Swine & Sons.

Two of our locations have more specific Spring schedules, the Gator CSA and the Monarch Learning Academy. The Spring Gator season has already began on January 14th and runs through April 21st. Registration is still available for this pickup location! The Monarch Learning Academy is located in Orlando and slots are reserved for staff only. This schedule begins March 2nd and runs through May 26th.

You can follow the registration portal here.

Eggs are available for Spring!

There are 28 egg share slots now available for the Spring season for members to add to their CSA shares. Any interested members should add the option soon as there is limited capacity.

Description: 1 DOZEN EGGS – Raised on organically managed pasture, these free-ranging hens eat certified organic, soy-free feed from Countryside Organics. They also have access to bugs and lots of fresh air & sunshine. We are supplementing our egg supply with eggs produced by Tracy Lee Farms in Hawthorne, FL. All eggs produced by Frog Song Organics or Tracy Lee are not labeled for human consumption according to USDA egg labeling laws. These eggs are transported in their natural unwashed and unrefrigerated state. For best shelf life, store in the refrigerator once you get them home. They are OK to store at room temp for 2 weeks. The hens move about freely and some eggs may be fertile due to the presence of our rooster. Each dozen eggs will have a variety of colors which may include blue, brown and white. The yolks are a rich yellow hue and they are delicious!

“I Love Local” Potluck

As part of the “I Love Local Food” week hosted by Forage Farm (Feb 7-14), we’re hosting a “Local Love” potluck on Saturday, February 13th here on the farm! The event takes place from 11am to 2 pm. Please bring a picnic blanket and a dish of your choosing to share. We’ll share brunch and then everyone is welcome to walk around the farm. Kids welcome! Thank you for not smoking & please leave pets at home. This event is FREE. We’ll provide coffee, please bring your own mug. Click here to visit the Facebook event.

CSA Dinner at Swine & Sons in Winter Park

We are very excited to announce that we are partnering again with Swine & Sons Provisions in Winter Park for a CSA Dinner! Join us on Wednesday, 2/17 at 6:30pm for a three course dinner featuring fresh, seasonal produce straight from the farm. $50 (plus tax and gratuity) gets you dinner and a glass of celebratory bubbly (additional beer and wine will be available for purchase during the dinner). John and Amy, farmers and owners of Frog Song Organics, will be on hand to educate diners about their farm and the mutual benefits of CSA membership. Reservations must be made in advance – call Swine & Sons at 407-636-7601 to reserve.

Follow the link here to Swine & Sons event web page!

(csa.jpg

(from left to right: red leaf lettuce, arugula, grapefruit, carrots, tokyo turnips, sweet potatoes, collard greens)

We have an excellent share this week, including:

Arugula: Its distinctive vibrant green color, lobed leaves and spicy leaves can grace pastas, quiches, salads, seafood dishes and much more. Harvesting arugula consistently ensures the younger, more tender and flavorful leaves are the only ones that make it into your share. Stores best wrapped tightly in plastic and kept in the crisper in your refrigerator.  I’ve been on an arugula-pizza kick lately: make a thin crust pizza with tomato sauce, slices of prosciutto, and a sprinkling of parmesan. Once it’s cooked, throw a handful of arugula in the middle. Can’t beat it.

Carrots: This incredibly sweet and tender variety, known as Mokum, will signal the end of supermarket-bought carrots for you.  You can always roast or steam these guys, but we have to recommend you at least take a bite raw. You may keep eating…

Tokyo Turnips: Mild and semi-sweet, these are easily enjoyed roasted or sauteed. One easy preparation: heat the oven to 400, peel (optional) and chop the turnips, oil a pan with olive oil, ensure turnips are oiled on both sides, season with sea salt, cracked pepper and if you like a touch of extra sweetness, drizzle a light layer of raw honey atop too. These should roast approximately 30 minutes, or until tender and lightly golden brown. The greens are also delicious and can be steamed or sauteed as a nutrient dense side item.

Red Leaf Lettuce: A tender and tasty base for any salad. Try one of our favorite farm house salad dressings:

Olive Oil – 1/2 cup
Lemon Juice – 1/4 cup
Tahini (sesame seed paste) – 2 tbsp
Soy sauce – 2 tbsp
1 clove of fresh garlic (finely minced if you don’t have a blender)
Chopped cilantro or sesame seeds are optional additions

If you have a blender or food processor, puree all the ingredients until smooth. You can add water to thin it out if it gets too thick. If you don’t have a blender, put everything in a tightly lidded quart jar and shake vigorously until well combined. Check seasoning and enjoy on your salad!

Sweet Potatoes: If any of you aren’t familiar with Food Lab, its an awesome website dedicated to breaking down the science/art of home cooking and is very thorough and informative. Here’s one post breaking down the best roasted sweet potatoes. We think these Red Rubies in the share this week are a top contender…

Grapefruit: This is a new CSA item this season! Tart, tangy, and sweet, these fruit were yielded from a tenderly cared for tree on-site. Grapefruit are incredibly loaded with Vitamin C, which provides a very necessary immune boost as we’ve been dealing with recent cold front and more volatile weather in the region. We’re in the midst of determining the exact varietal, please check the blog again for an update soon!

Note: Family share members will receive a lemon as a substitute for a second grapefruit.

Collard Greens: Traditionally slow simmered with salt pork or ham hock (which tenderizes and tempers the tough texture, coercing out a sweeter flavor), collard greens are best enjoyed next to a large heap of black eyed piece and a freshly baked piece of cornbread. If you are vegetarian, you can forego cooking with pork and slow cook the greens in vegetable stock instead. The New York Times Cooking blog posted this great collard pasta recipe a while back. Check it out here!

Here’s a nice hearty soup that makes use of the abundant greens and root vegetables available in the colder months.

Ingredients:

2 Russet Potatoes diced

3 Slender Carrots diced

1/2 yellow onion diced

2 celery stalks diced

4 Cloves Garlic minced

1 C Lentils

1 quart broth or stock

1 can coconut milk

Delicate herbs

Salt

Pepper

1. Sweat Mirepoix (onions,carrot, celery)in a 3+ qt pot on low heat until fragrant

2. Add potatoes and garlic and coat in oil

3. Add Broth and lentils and bring to a boil
4. Bring soup to low and simmer until tender (carrots, lentils)
5. Pour 2/3 of soup in blender and puree until smooth
6. Add pureed soup back to pot and stir in coconut milk
7 Garnish with delicate herbs, and serve.

– Robert Carter
Rob Soup

eva

(photo by Eva Verbeeck)

Age of the Farmer  is an excellent short film by filmmaker Spencer MacDonald in collaboration with photojournalist Eva Verbeeck documenting young farmers throughout North America as they contend with the threat of farming becoming a bygone profession. (The average age of the American farmer is between 57 and 65, depending on sources)

The film was Staff Picked on Vimeo, featured on The Atlantic’s Editors’ Picks and National Geographic’s Short Film Showcase.

Enjoy!

Winter Pesto

With so many great green things in these winter shares I couldn’t help but think of making a pesto. Winter greens produce a pleasing bright green color that looks great as a dip for carrots, or as a dressing for a favorite pasta dish.

Ingredients:

1 C chopped collards 

1 oz chopped fresh dill 

3 tokyo turnips with tops, chopped

1/2 C Walnuts

4 cloves Garlic

3 oz olive oil

1 tsp lemon juice

salt to taste

Combine ingredients in a food processor or blender until desired consistency is reached. Add more oil if needed.

Fennel

Fennel not only carries an incredible flavor, it’s also incredibly medicinal. On top of small amounts of Vitamins A,C, and E, calcium, magnesium and folate, fennel contains phytochemicals that may help fight aging, infection, and some degenerative neurological diseases. All that and a member of the umbellifer family. Don’t be afraid to mix fennel with parsley, dill, carrots, celery, or even your next mirepoix.

CSAWith an overnight low of 28 degrees here on the farm, several growing blocks are covered in frost cloth, particularly the sensitive lettuces/mizunas and newer transplants. Today we picked strawberries, turnips and carrots (thankful for their frost hardiness), washed tubs of lettuce, cleaned sweet potatoes and started prepping orders for tomorrow’s deliveries and the Union Street Farmers’ market in Gainesville. After an unseasonably warm December, the cold here now demands our attention and reminds us that work on the farm is always contingent upon nature; a fact that teaches adaptability and patience. We are very grateful to have the opportunity to bring quality produce grown with this awareness to the seasons in mind.

In your share this week will be:

Sweet Potatoes: If you have leftover sweet potatoes, try these sweet potato biscuits. This recipe was share with us by some original CSA members and farm volunteers from when Frog Song was first started in 2011.

Tokyo Turnips: Tokyos carry a crunchy, juicy bitter-sweet flavor when eaten raw and a buttery-sweet delicate flavor when roasted or steamed. You can also cook them in vegetable or miso soups, or throw them in a stir fry! Note: Any root vegetable like turnips or carrots will store better if you remove the leaves from the roots. Store both greens and turnip roots in a moist towel/cloth bag or a plastic bag in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator.

Fennel: Try it finely sliced and caramelized with onions and plenty of butter. Season with salt and pepper, a few diced olives, and spread atop bruschetta or some ravioli.

Mizuna: High in vitamin C, folate and iron, these “Japanese mustard” packs a mild peppery kick to any salad preparation. The spice here is a great counterbalance to any milder green or can help neutralize an arugula dominant dish. Another recommendation I heard recently was to chop mizuna roughly and toss it with boiled new potatoes, olive oil, salt and pepper.

Carrots: These slender, early bunches could really qualify as some sort of guilty pleasure with their high sugar content and impeccable crispness. Packed with fiber, Vitamin A and beta carotene,  we hope you don’t get too thrown off trying to comprehend how something so sweet can be so healthy.

Romaine Lettuce: Valued for its hardiness and its sturdy ribs and leaves, Romaine is perhaps the most heat-tolerant of the lettuces, which is why we have been able to get our members romaine through the late summer/early fall window the past month or so. Braised, included in soups or used in a Caesar, the tenderness of these leafy greens will keep you away from the supermarket.

Fava Shoots: The olive-green leaves have a consistency and texture like spinach. The tenderest of leaves may be tossed into a salad. Fava shoots can be processed in a variety of ways: made into a pesto, steamed, folded into an omelette, baked atop a pizza or used in a soup. We tried growing fava beans last fall, and found that we got a much better result harvesting the greens than waiting for the beans. Try these nutty and sweet greens on a sandwich, or in this Fava, Citrus and Feta salad. You can also cook these greens, they pair well with fish and citrus in this recipe for Salmon, Lemon Cream and Wilted Shoots.

Daikon Radish: These bulbs carry a crisp, semi-sweet, slightly spicy flavor and can be shaved into stir-frys, pickled, or fermented in a Kimchi batch. (We have a new Kimchi batch of our own with Daikon included for sale at our farmers’ markets). For more info and tips on using daikon, follow the link here.

Lemon: This citrus comes from a tree planted the first spring of the farm. Dedicated attention (winter frost protection and careful pruning) have given us a great yield and we want to share it with you! Lemon fruit is antibiotic, antioxidizing, cooling, and is very dense in vitamins C, B6, A, E, and in minerals like magnesium, potassium, and zinc. Enjoy fresh squeezes in your morning glass of water!

 

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