Down on the Farm Notes

I can’t believe this is the last week of the spring basket, it went by so fast! Please remember that there will NOT be a basket delivery the first week of July. We start up again July 10th & 12th. Also remember that you can sign up for a Summer Fruit basket supplied by Kelley Orchards, delivered to drop-off locations once a week for 10 weeks from their family farm in Idaho. If you have not signed up for summer CSA, please contact Ann Louhela at (775) 351-2551 or email your request to

What is in your basket this week? Organic Tango Lettuce or Lollo Red Lettuce, Organic Carrots, Organic Braising Mix, Organic Zucchini, Organic Cucumbers, Organic Swiss Chard, Organic Turnips, Organic Arugula, Organic Beets, Organic Green Garlic, Organic Kale (Thurs), Radishes – Pioneer Farms (Tues), Broccoli– Pioneer Farms (Tues)

Produce Tips

Zucchini    One medium zucchini yields about 2 cups sliced or 1-½ cups shredded zucchini. Store zucchini in a plastic bag in the refrigerator crisper for 4 to 5 days. Do not wash until ready to use. When grating zucchini, leave the stem on to give you a grip as you work. Zucchini is wonderful steamed, sautéed, grilled or stuffed and baked. You can also cut uncooked zucchini into strips and serve it as an appetizer, or dice and grate into a salad. Overcooked zucchini will end up as mush. To salvage it, make soup! One half cup cooked sliced zucchini has about 15 calories. It provides some beta carotene, B vitamins, folic acid, vitamin C and calcium, plus a healthy amount of potassium.

Personally, my favorite way to serve zucchini is to grill it right next to my meat. Wash your zucchini, slice off each end, and cut it lengthwise down the middle. Dribble olive oil over each cut side; sprinkle your favorite seasoning on each slice. I like my garlic mix seasoning, or season-all, or experiment with other herbs. Once the grill is hot, turn it down very low and place the zucchini skin side down to cook. Depending on the thickness of your squash and how soft or crunchy you would like it; cooking time can take 10 to 25 minutes. Flip the halves over to get your grill marks on across the top, about 5-10 minutes. Cut into serving sections and enjoy. Experiment with the cooking times to your taste.

Broccoli is best when quickly steamed or stir-fried. Overcooking enhances its strong flavor and aroma, dulls the color, and leaches out nutrients. It should be cooked a minimum amount of time until tender, but still crisp.  If you plan on using the stalks and florets in the same dish, begin cooking the stalks 1 to 2 minutes before adding the florets. The stalks take longer to cook. To cook broccoli florets, trim them to uniform size to promote even cooking. When steaming broccoli, remove the lid several times to release steam which helps the broccoli retain its bright green color. Do not wash broccoli until just before you prepare it. Lemon juice and mustard seeds can liven up cooked broccoli. If you only need the florets for a dish, do not toss the stems. Peel, blanch for two minutes, and freeze up to three months for use in soups and stews.

Cucumbers  From crisp Kirby’s to nearly seedless greenhouse cukes, there are plenty of alternatives to the thick-skinned types that typically dominate supermarket bins. While the cucumber isn’t known as a nutrition powerhouse, it does provide a small amount of fiber, minerals and vitamins—particularly vitamin C. But perhaps its most important nutritional contribution is refreshment: at 95 percent water content, a cup of cucumber slices is nearly as thirst-quenching as a glass of water. Just thinking about cukes makes us feel cooler.

Cucumber helps in soothing and softening your skin which can get you relaxed in no time.

To have a healthy glowing and smooth skin, use this recipe:

Blend 4 – 5 leaves of fresh mint. Peel and deseed the cucumber. Add mint leaves to the cucumber to make a puree. Beat egg white and keep it separate, then add this egg white to the cucumber mixture. Apply this evenly on your face for 20 minutes and then rinse it with water and pat it dry. As per

Beets are so sweet that they are used in the production of refined sugar. One cup of beets has about 75 calories. Raw beets are crunchy and can be eaten raw. Traditionally, beets have been most commonly pickled and widely used in borscht, a common European soup. Don’t peel beets prior to cooking. Small, young beets peel easily after being cooked. You may find that some of the skin begins to peel as the beets are cooked, in which case they will bleed. Handle beets carefully and wash them under cool water prior to cooking to help minimize bleeding. Beet juice can stain your skin, but it is generally not difficult to remove with lemon juice or vinegar. In order to maintain the antioxidant quality of beets cook them on low heat, slowly and gently. Lemon juice or another acidic ingredient, like vinegar, will enhance the color of beets, but salt dulls the color. It is fine to use salt when cooking with beets, just wait until the beets are cooked to add salt. Some people prefer to eat them with butter, others like to add vinegar and enjoy the tart taste. Boiled beets are also good when whisked together with sour cream. Raw beats can be served with a creamy dressing made of cream, horseradish and lemon juice. Beet juice and beet smoothies can’t be beat for nutritional value. Mix beat juice with berries, lemon juice, and any other vegetable or fruit juice of your choice. Beets can also be steamed. Use lemon juice to maintain color and a little olive oil for a soft, creamy texture. Salt or add herbs as desired for flavor. Beets make a crunchy and delicious addition to salads. Toss in a beet when you are roasting vegetable on the grill or in the oven.

Country Kitchen Recipes

Avocado and Ham Salad

1 cup shredded leaf lettuce

1/2 cup arugula

1/2 cup cooked mixed beans, drained

1/2 cup chopped cucumber

1/3 cup chopped sweet red pepper

3 radishes, sliced

1 tomato, sliced

1 small avocado, peeled, pitted, and chopped

1 slice ham, chopped

Toss lettuce, arugula, mixed beans, cucumber, sweet red pepper, radishes, tomato, avocado, and ham together in a large bowl. Serve cold.

Note – If you are using fresh beans, soak them overnight in water, then boil for at least 20 minutes. Leave to cool before adding them to the salad.


Barb’s Broccoli-Cauliflower Salad

12 slices bacon

1 head fresh broccoli, diced

1 head cauliflower, chopped

1/2 red onion, diced

3/4 cup sunflower seeds

1 cup creamy salad dressing

1 1/2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

1/4 cup white sugar

Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain, crumble and set aside. Combine the bacon, cauliflower, broccoli, onion and sunflower seeds or pecans. Whisk together the salad dressing, vinegar and sugar. Pour over salad and toss to coat. Refrigerate and allow to chill before serving.


Roasted Turnips & Radishes

½ lb turnips

½ lb radishes (optional)

1-1/2 tablespoons butter, melted

Salt to taste

3 fresh curry leaves, lightly bruised

½ teaspoon cumin seeds

¼ teaspoon mustard seeds

Pinch crushed red peppers

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Trim tops and bottoms of turnips and radishes, scrub well, removing any root hairs as you go. Cut into quarters. Pat dry with paper towels or woven cotton kitchen towels. Drizzle bottom of a baking pan that will fit your turnips and radishes in a single layer with the melted butter and put them in the pan. Toss to coat well with butter. Sprinkle with salt. Put into oven and roast for about 15 minutes, turning and stirring once or twice. When the turnips and radishes have started to brown on the edges but are still not quite fork tender (meaning that you can put a fork into the vegetable with a bit of resistance, but it will not easily slide off the fork), add the curry leaves, cumin and mustard seeds to the butter on the bottom of the pan. Return to the oven and continue roasting until the turnips and radishes are fully tender, meaning that they can be easily pierced by a fork and will slide easily off of the tines, about five minutes more. Remove from oven and toss well to coat with the spices and the now flavored butter. Taste for salt and sprinkle with peppers as a garnish.


Braised Mix BLT Salad

3 cups of braised mix lettuce

1/4 red onion, sliced

1 tomato, diced

1 t olive oil

4 slices bacon

8 button mushrooms

3 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

Salt and pepper to taste

In a large bowl toss in your lettuce mix, red onion, and tomato. Set aside. In a small saucepan heat the olive oil over medium high heat.  Add in your bacon and cook it until it’s nice and crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel and set aside. Once it’s cooled a bit, add to the top of your salad. Pour off all but 2 T of the bacon fat.  Set the pan back on the heat and add in your mushrooms. Season with S&P and let the mushrooms soften up. Once the mushrooms have softened knock the heat down a bit and deglaze the pan with your vinegar. Stir in some Dijon mustard, season with a bit more S&P, and simmer for 2-3 minutes. Pour the dressing over the top of your salad and toss to wilt your lettuce mixes. Look out!  This one’s a keeper. Think your kids don’t like salad? Try a salad with BACON! Everything is better with Bacon…

Below:  Hoop House  full of tomato plants, that are loaded with tomato flowers, and soon to be heavy with fresh tomatoes!!!!!


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