Last week the New York Times had a wonderful article titled “When Community Supported Agriculture Is Not What It Seems” by Julia Moskin. In the article she outlines how the success of the CSA concept has lead to the use of the name to sell other kinds of food box programs. It seems to me that to have many different options available to purchase good quality food is not a bad thing, but the term CSA has a special meaning to me.
CSA removes the middleman, the grocery store, the distributor from the equation bringing the customer and the farmer into a very direct relationship. Just how that is done varies from farm to farm. Transparency, mutual benefit, and mutual support are key ingredients to the relationship along with sharing in the risk of farming. While we do everything we can to ensure you as our members rarely have to feel the risk, we know that you are there if something uncontrollable happens (such as floods, hail, other natural events). Even with last year's August 2nd storm, we managed to keep the bins filled with produce for the rest of the season.
There are all kinds of ways to connect local farmers, other food producers, people who bring in food items we can’t grow (maple syrup, honey), to CSA members. The maple syrup that was in an early season bin was produced by my brother, who owns the farm I grew up on. The honey that also made an appearance was from the Hilbert family and they have provided us with beehives for pollination our fruit trees for 3 generations.
Here is the link to the NY Times article:
What to expect to find in your bin this week:
4 cups sour cherries, washed & pitted
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 stick butter
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spread cherries evenly in a 9-inch pie pan or baking dish. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons sugar. In a mixing bowl combine flour, sugar, and salt. Cut in butter until mixture is crumbly. Spread crumbs evenly over cherries. Sprinkle cinnamon over crumbs. Bake for 30 minutes.
Sour Cherry GaletteA simple, rustic sour cherry galette recipe that highlights the tart flavors of sour cherries beautifully.
Author: Brooklyn Supper
Makes: one 12-inch galette
For the crust
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sorghum flour (sub all-purpose flour, if that's easier)
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
8 tablespoons cold butter
4 - 5 tablespoons ice water
For the filling
3 heaping cups pitted sour cherries (about 4 1/2 cups un-pitted)
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
2 tablespoons finely ground instant tapioca (I use my coffee grinder for this)
grated zest of 1 lemon
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
egg white, lightly beaten
In a medium-sized bowl, use a fork to whisk the flours, sugar, and sea salt together. Grate in the butter, using fingertips to massage butter into the flour mixture. When mixture is well combined and crumbly, drizzle in just enough water for it to hold together. (If you're new to homemade dough, add enough water to handle the dough easily – it will be fine.)
Mound dough into a disc, wrap tightly with plastic, and chill for an hour or longer.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment.
To prepare the filling, fold the pitted cherries, sugar, tapioca, lemon zest, sea salt, and cinnamon together. Set aside while you roll out the dough.
Take the cut parchment from the prepared baking sheet and dust very lightly with flour. On the parchment, roll out the dough into a rough 14-inch circle. Place parchment with dough round on the baking sheet.
Working very quickly, mound the filling in the center of the dough, doing your best to leave excess juices behind. (Paper towels can be used to sop up any running juices, if needed.) Fold the dough up in 4-inch sections and lightly press together. Brush with egg white, sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar, and slide into the oven. Immediately turn heat down to 425 degrees F and bake for 10 minutes. Rotate galette, turn heat to 375 degrees F and bake until galette is a deep golden brown and juices are bubbling, 20 - 25 minutes longer.
Cool for two hours before serving. Scoops of vanilla ice cream are optional.
Ravioli & Vegetable SoupFrom: EatingWell Soups Special Issue April 2016
Fresh or frozen ravioli cook in minutes and turn this light vegetable soup into a main course. Look for whole-wheat or whole-grain ravioli in the refrigerated or frozen section of the supermarket. Tortellini can be used instead of ravioli as well. Recipe by Nancy Baggett for EatingWell.
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups frozen bell pepper and onion mix, thawed and diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper, or to taste (optional)
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes, preferably fire-roasted
1 15-ounce can vegetable broth or reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 cups hot water
1 teaspoon dried basil or marjoram
1 6- to 9-ounce package fresh or frozen cheese (or meat) ravioli, preferably whole-wheat
2 cups diced zucchini, (about 2 medium)
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Heat oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add pepper-onion mix, garlic and crushed red pepper (if using) and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add tomatoes, broth, water and basil (or marjoram); bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Add ravioli and cook for 3 minutes less than the package directions. Add zucchini; return to a boil. Cook until the zucchini is crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Season with pepper.