How To Store Fruits and Vegetables to Keep them From Rotting

Since it is still the beginning of the produce season for us in Northern Nevada, I thought I would share an interesting article I found on Pinterest a while back. I learned quite a bit from it, and I hope you do too. I printed it out to keep handy when I bring my produce home. Anything to extend the shelf life is wonderful news.

Hope you had a wonderful holiday with friends and family. From your friends here at Lattin Farms. And we will begin the summer CSA basket next week.

How To Store Fruits and Vegetables to Keep them From Rotting

I have been trying to eat healthier lately, and with that come a lot of veggies and fruits. The problem that I have noticed is that a lot of my produce will get soft, or rot a lot sooner than I anticipated. I can’t get fresh produce every day, so I needed to know how to store them correctly. There really is a certain way to store each veggie or fruit to make sure they last the longest. I am so sick of throwing away good fruit and veggies. Some of these tips were really surprising to me, so be sure to check them out!

Always remove any tight bands from your vegetables or at least loosen them to allow them to breathe.

Artichokes ‐ place in an airtight container sealed, with light moisture.
Asparagus ‐ place them loosely in a glass or bowl upright with water at room temperature. (Will keep for a week outside the fridge)
Avocados ‐ place in a paper bag at room temp. To speed up their ripening‐ place an apple in the bag with them.
Arugula ‐ arugula, like lettuce, should not stay wet! Dunk in cold water and spin or lie flat to dry. Place dry arugula in an open container, wrapped with a dry towel to absorb any extra moisture.
Basil ‐ is difficult to store well. Basil does not like the cold, or to be wet for that matter. The best method here is an airtight container/jar loosely packed with a small damp piece of paper inside‐left out on a cool counter.
Beans – shelling‐ open container in the fridge, eat ASAP. Some recommend freezing them if not going to eat right away
Beets ‐ cut the tops off to keep beets firm, (be sure to keep the greens!)by leaving any top on root vegetables draws moisture from the root, making them loose flavor and firmness. Beets should be washed and kept in and open container with a wet towel on top.
Beet greens ‐ place in an airtight container with a little moisture.
Broccoli ‐ place in an open container in the fridge or wrap in a damp towel before placing in the fridge.
Broccoli Rabe ‐ left in an open container in the crisper, but best used as soon as possible.
Brussels Sprouts ‐ If bought on the stalk leave them on that stalk. Put the stalk in the fridge or leave it on a cold place. If they’re bought loose store them in an open container with a damp towel on top.
Cabbage ‐ left out on a cool counter is fine up to a week, in the crisper otherwise. Peel off outer leaves if they start to wilt. Cabbage might begin to lose its moisture after a week, so, best used as soon as possible.
Carrots ‐ cut the tops off to keep them fresh longer. Place them in closed container with plenty of moisture, either wrapped in a damp towel or dunk them in cold water every couple of days if they’re stored that long.
Cauliflower  will last a while in a closed container in the fridge, but they say cauliflower has the best flavor the day it’s bought.
Celery ‐ does best when simply places in a cup or bowl of shallow water on the counter. If you want to keep it in the refrigerator, like I do, wrap it in tin foil. It will stay crisp for weeks.
Celery root/Celeriac ‐ wrap the root in a damp towel and place in the crisper.
Corn leave un-husked in an open container if you must, but corn really is best eaten sooner than later for maximum flavor.
Cucumber ‐ wrapped in a moist towel in the fridge. If you’re planning on eating them within a day or two after buying them they should be fine left out in a cool room.
Eggplant ‐ does fine left out in a cool room. Don’t wash it; eggplant doesn’t like any extra moisture around its leaves. For longer storage‐ place loose, in the crisper.
Fava beans  place in an air tight container.
Fennel ‐ if used within a couple of days after it’s bought, fennel can be left out on the counter, upright in a cup or bowl of water (like celery). If wanting to keep longer than a few days place in the fridge in a closed container with a little water.
Garlic ‐ store in a cool, dark, place.
Green garlic ‐ an airtight container in the fridge or left out for a day or two is fine, best before dried out.
Greens ‐ remove any bands, twist ties, etc. most greens must be kept in an air‐tight container with a damp cloth‐ to keep them from drying out. Kale, collards, and chard even do well in a cup of water on the counter or fridge.
Green beans ‐ they like humidity, but not wetness. A damp cloth draped over an open or loosely closed container.
Green Tomatoes ‐ store in a cool room away from the sun to keep them green and use quickly or they will begin to color.
Herbs – a closed container in the fridge to be kept up to a week. Any longer might encourage mold.
Lettuce ‐ keep damp in an airtight container in the fridge.
Leeks ‐ leave in an open container in the crisper wrapped in a damp cloth or in a shallow cup of water on the counter (just so the very bottom of the stem has water).
Okra ‐ doesn’t like humidity. So a dry towel in an airtight container. Doesn’t store that well, best eaten quickly after purchase
Onion ‐ store in a cool, dark and dry, place‐ good air circulation is best, so don’t stack them.

Mushrooms – Keep mushrooms in the refrigerator in its original wrapping. If you are using some of the mushrooms, try to open a corner of the plastic wrap and just take what you need. Then, cover with a paper towel and cover with more plastic wrap and place back into the refrigerator.
Parsnips ‐ an open container in the crisper, or, like a carrot, wrapped in a damp cloth in the fridge.
Peppers: Sweet/ Hot/ Bell – Store in a plastic bag before placing in crisper or refrigerator. Green peppers stay fresh longer than orange or red peppers. Will last 1 – 2 weeks in refrigerator or up to 10 months in the freezer. To freeze cut into slices and place on cookie sheet in the freezer until frozen, then place in air-tight container or freezer bag and return to freezer.

Potatoes ‐ (like garlic and onions) store in cool, dark and dry place, such as, a box in a dark corner of the pantry; a paper bag also works well.
Radicchio ‐ place in the fridge in an open container with a damp cloth on top.
Radishes ‐ remove the greens (store separately) so they don’t draw out excess moisture from the roots and place them in an open container in the fridge with a wet towel placed on top.
Rhubarb ‐ wrap in a damp towel and place in an open container in the refrigerator.
Rutabagas ‐ in an ideal situation a cool, dark, humid root cellar or a closed container in the crisper to keep their moisture in.
Snap peas ‐ refrigerate in an open container
Spinach ‐ store loose in an open container in the crisper, cool as soon as possible. Spinach loves to stay cold.
Spring onions  Remove any band or tie and place in the crisper.
Sprouts – Keep them cold. Under 40 degrees F’. Get them in the refrigerator as soon as possible and they should last 10 – 14 days.
Summer Squash ‐ does fine for a few days if left out on a cool counter, even after cut.
Sweet peppers  Only wash them right before you plan on eating them as wetness decreases storage time. Store in a cool room to use in a couple of days, place in the crisper if longer storage needed.
Sweet Potatoes  Store in a cool, dark, well‐ventilated place. Never refrigerate‐‐sweet potatoes don’t like the cold.
Tomatoes ‐ Never refrigerate. Depending on ripeness, tomatoes can stay for up to two weeks on the counter. To hasten ripeness place in a paper bag with an apple.
Turnips ‐ remove the greens (store separately) same as radishes and beets, store them in an open container with a moist cloth.
Winter squash ‐ store in a cool, dark, well ventilated place. Many growers say winter squashes get sweeter if they’re stored for a week or so before eaten.
Zucchini ‐ does fine for a few days if left out on a cool counter, even after cut. Wrap in a cloth and refrigerate for longer storage.

How to Store Fruit

Apples ‐ store on a cool counter or shelf for up to two weeks. For longer storage in a cardboard box in the fridge.
Bananas – Take your bananas apart when you get home from the store. If you leave them connected at the stem, they ripen faster. Keep them on the counter, or in a basket with holes or openings to allow air to circulate.
Citrus ‐ store in a cool place, with good airflow, never in an air‐tight container.
Apricots ‐ on a cool counter to room temperature or fridge if fully ripe.
Cherries ‐ store in an airtight container. Don’t wash cherries until ready to eat, any added moisture encourages mold.
Berries – Don’t forget, they’re fragile. When storing be careful not to stack too many high, a single layer if possible. A paper bag works well, only wash before you plan on eating them.
Dates ‐ dryer dates (like Deglet Noor) are fine stored out on the counter in a bowl or the paper bag they were bought in. Moist dates (like Medjool) need a bit of refrigeration if they’re going to be stored over a week, either in cloth or a paper bag‐as long as it’s porous to keeping the moisture away from the skin of the dates.
Figs ‐ Don’t like humidity, so, no closed containers. A paper bag works to absorb excess moisture, but a plate works best in the fridge up to a week un‐stacked.
Grapes – Make sure to select clusters that are free from molds if you plan to keep them in your fridge.  Another mistake people make when storing grapes is washing them before storing. While this may clean them and get rid of dirt on them, the water will have a negative effect on the skins of the grapes; making them mushier and promoting bacterial growth in the process.
Kiwi – Store at room temperature until ripe; then in fridge. Do not refrigerate longer than 1 – 2 weeks.

Mangoes – Store on the counter until ripe or 2 – 5 days, then move to refrigerator, then keep for 5 – 7 days. If you want to freeze wash peel and slice into pieces. Place pieces on a cookie sheet until frozen then you can transfer to plastic bag.
Melons ‐ uncut in a cool dry place, out of the sun up to a couple weeks. Cut melons should be in the fridge, an open container is fine.
Nectarines ‐ (similar to apricots) store in the fridge it is okay if it’s ripe, but best taken out a day or two before you plan on eating them so they soften to room temperature.
Peaches  (and most stone fruit) ‐ refrigerate only when fully ripe. More firm fruit will ripen on the counter.
Pears ‐ will keep for a few weeks on a cool counter, but fine in a paper bag. To hasten the ripening put an apple in with them.
Oranges – stay juicier when kept at room temperature. If possible place in a basket. The baskets are preferable to other containers because they permit the air to circulate freely around each piece of fruit.
Persimmon – Fuyu‐ (shorter/pumpkin shaped): store at room temperature.
Hachiya – (longer/pointed end): room temperature until completely mushy. The astringentness of them only subsides when they are completely ripe. To hasten the ripening process place in a paper bag with a few apples for a week, check now and then, but don’t stack‐they get very fragile when really ripe.
Pomegranates ‐ keep up to a month stored on a cool counter.
Strawberries ‐ Don’t like to be wet. Do best in a paper bag in the fridge for up to a week. Check the bag for moisture every other day

borrowed from (found on Pinterest, an interesting and fun little site if you have not been on it).


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Happy Summer!!!

Image courtesy of Google Images

Wouldn’t you just love to spend some time at the beach right now? So cool, so refreshing, so relaxing!  Ahh, but dreams are dreams, and right now I am typing away on my little keyboard, in my corner of the world, here in the produce stand, munching on red grapes.

Here is what my landscape looks like on a daily basis in the Lahontan Valley. We do have sand, and it can be smooth just like in the picture above. But we don’t have the water or cool sea breezes. It seems like we  have hot, dry, shove-you-over WIND here in the valley this year.  🙂

Here at Lattin Farms we are harvesting summer squash, shallots, green garlic, beets, turnips, braising mix, lettuce, kale, chard, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, carrots, and a few large tomatoes. The tomatoes are all just starting to get ripe enough to pick-hooray! The stand should be opening soon, and I will keep you updated here.  Please remember that we will always have produce on the kitchen porch for sale.

veggieface.jpg. 2008 National Geographic Video August 14, 2008

And if you are craving fresh, healthy, organic produce please remember that we have a stand at the Carson City, Reno and Sparks Farmer’s Markets throughout each week this summer.

Look for the Lattin Farms’ booth at the following Farmer’s Markets:

Fallon Farmer’s Collaborative Market
Tuesday 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. | Jun 5 – Aug 28
Slanted Porch, 310 S. Taylor Street, Fallon

Sparks Tuesday Morning Market                                                               United Methodist Church
Tuesday 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. | Jun 5 – Sep 28
1231 Pyramid Way, Sparks

Curry Street Farmer’s Market
Saturday 8:30am to 1:30pm | Jun 9 – Sep 22
3rd & Curry Street Parking Lot, Carson City

Village Reno Farmers’ Market

Saturdays 8:00 to 13:00 | Jun 2 – Oct 6
1119 California Street, Reno,                                                                                       Corner of California & Booth

We do hope you have a fun and safe Independence Day tomorrow. Enjoy your friends and family, and enjoy good food! Check out this link to Allrecipes for their July 4th selections. They all look yummy!


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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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Here you are looking out across the sweet corn towards the produce stand, Country Kitchen and hoop houses. Everything is looking so green now. We are getting small zucchini and cherry tomatoes now. Pretty soon we will have enough produce to open up the stand, but not quite yet. We send a lot of our fresh pickings to the markets and the CSA baskets.

The squash flowers are plentiful in the field right now. Had to give you a closeup view of our lovely plants. I took this pictures after 7am the morning light was beautiful. The birds were singing, there was only a small breeze. Excellent morning.

The field workers were busy, too. They have a lot to do with pulling weeds, checking the drip lines, they were planting and will soon be picking the produce for us. I thank them all the time for what they do, I sure couldn’t be out there all day in the heat. They would be dragging my body to the end of the row and picking me up later. Whew!

Here is one of our hoop houses with the tomato plants growing full and loaded with flowers. We will soon have tomatoes available in case boxes for your canning pleasure. I will be sure to keep you updated on the arrival dates.

After walking around the fields checking on the plants, I decided to stop by Critterville and check on the the chickens, turkeys and goats. The goats were way up in their tower, enjoying the sunshine and catching a cool breeze. They did want to know if I would feed them of course.

Well, I hope your weekend will include doing something fun in our fine Northern Nevada weather. And we hope to see you at one of the many Farmer’s Markets we have been participating in. Our schedule is as follows:

  • Farmer’s Collaborative Market in Fallon on Tuesdays
    5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
    Slanted Porch, 310 S. Taylor Street, Fallon, NV 89406
  • Sparks Tuesday Morning Market at the Methodist Church                         8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
    1231 Pyramid Way, Sparks, NV 89431
  • Whole Foods Sparks Farmers’ Market on Thursday evenings Thursday 15:00 to 20:00                                                                               Victorian Ave. Circle/Victorian Ave., Sparks 89431
  • Carson City 3rd & Curry Street Farmer’s Market on Saturdays   8:30am to 1:30pm                                                                                                    3rd & Curry Street Parking Lot, Carson City NV 89703
  • Village Reno Farmer’s Market in Reno on Saturdays                                      8:00 to 13:00                                                                                                                1119 California Street, Reno, NV 89501 Corner of California & Booth

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Spring CSA Basket Week 9 delivered

Down on the Farm Notes

Nighttime temperatures have been steadily increasing and the crops are responding nicely. Another nice surprise this week, we have a mixture of slicing and pickling cucumbers in your basket this week. First pick of the season is always very exciting!

What will you find in the basket this week?  Organic Gourmet Lettuce, Organic Braising Mix, Organic Carrots, Organic Green Garlic, Organic Swiss Chard, Organic Blood Beets, Organic Basil, Organic Zucchini on Thursday, Organic Cucumbers (a mix of slicing and pickling cucumbers), Cabbage from Pioneer Farms on Tuesday, Broccoli from Pioneer Farms on Thursday, Arugula from Pioneer Farms, and Hiratake Mushrooms from Sierra’s Edibles.

 Produce Tips

Green Cabbage should have a firm, dense head with smooth leaves. Its outer leaves vary from pale green to dark green and the inner leaves are white to pale green. It has a mild flavor and crisp texture. This is one of the most commonly found cabbages. A fast and easy way to remove leaves from cabbage is to cut around the core at the base of the cabbage. Remove the core and grasp each individual cabbage leaf at its base, rather than at the leaf’s outer edge. Gently lift the cabbage leaf from the cabbage. To shred the cabbage by hand, quarter and then core the cabbage. Separate the cabbage quarters into stacks so leaves will flatten when pressed lightly. Use a large knife to cut each stack of cabbage diagonally into thin shreds. To chop the cabbage, turn the pile of shredded cabbage widthwise, and then cut the cabbage shreds into a fine dice. For a crisper cabbage for salads, shred the cabbage and soak it in salted ice water for 15 minutes and then drain. 

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.

Mushrooms    There is no need to peel mushrooms. The only trimming they may need is the stem end, if it’s dry, or the tough stem portion of Shiitakes or the root of the Portabella. All other mushroom stems may be prepared along with the caps. Mushrooms can be sliced thick or thin, cut in quarters, coarsely or finely chopped using a sharp knife. For slicing or chopping large quantities, use a food processor with the slicing or wing blade attachment.  If a recipe calls for just caps, twist stems loose or separate them from the caps with the tip of a knife.

Sautéing:  For each eight ounces of mushrooms, melt one tablespoon butter or heat one tablespoon of oil in a large skillet. Add mushrooms. Cook and stir until golden and the released juices have evaporated, about five minutes. Don’t overcrowd the skillet or the mushrooms will steam rather than brown.

Microwaving:  Mushrooms cook extremely well in the microwave. Simply clean and cook as follows: Put eight ounces thickly sliced mushrooms in a microwaveable bowl (no oil or butter needed); cover and cook on HIGH (100% power) for two to three minutes stirring once.

Roasting: Place mushrooms in a shallow baking pan, toss with a little oil and roast in a 450 F oven, stirring occasionally until brown, about 20 minutes. Use about one tablespoon of oil for each eight ounces of mushrooms.

Grilling or Broiling: Lightly brush caps and stems with oil to keep them moist, and season with salt and pepper. Grill or broil 4 to 6 inches from heat source for 4 to 6 minutes on each side, brushing again once or twice.

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.


Country Kitchen Recipes


French Salad with Russian Dressing    

Yields: 6 servings

3 eggs

1 lb. leaf lettuce, torn

2 small cucumbers, sliced

2 large carrots, shredded

Russian Salad Dressing

1/2 cup French salad dressing

1/2 cup creamy salad dressing

1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce

Place eggs in a saucepan with enough cold water to cover. Bring to a boil and immediately remove from heat. Cover pan, and let eggs stand in hot water for 10 to 12 minutes. Drain, cool, and peel. Cut in half and remove yolks. Mash yolks with a fork. Slice whites into small pieces. In a large bowl, toss together the egg whites and lettuce. Arrange the cucumber slices on top of the salad in a ring along the inside edge of the bowl. Sprinkle salad with carrots inside the cucumber ring. Sprinkle all with egg yolks. In a separate bowl, mix the French salad dressing, creamy salad dressing, and hot pepper sauce. Serve with salad.


Chicken Broccoli Stuffed Bread 

Plan ahead to refrigerate the chicken broccoli mixture at least 4 hours or overnight to let the flavors meld.

Yield: 1 loaf

2 cups cooked chicken, roughly chopped

1 cup chopped broccoli

1 cup mayonnaise

1 cup Cheddar cheese

1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

1/4 teaspoon dried dill

1/8 teaspoon dry mustard

2 packages of canned crescent rolls, chilled

Combine chickenbroccolimayonnaiseCheddar cheese, red bell pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, thymedill, and dry mustard. Cover and refrigerate 4 hour or overnight to let flavors meld. Preheat oven to 350 F. Unroll 1 can of the crescent roll dough on a flat cookie sheet, without separating the perforations. Unroll the second can and overlap the first rectangle long side by 1/2 inch of the second rectangle. Use a rolling pin or press the seam flat with your fingers. You should have one large rectangle. Spoon the chicken mixture down the center of the rectangle on a diagonal line from one corner to the opposite corner up to 2 inches from the point of the corners. Fold those bare corners up over the filling, leaving the two opposite large sides open. Use a sharp knife to cut 1 inch strips on a diagonal outward from the filling to the edge of the dough on both sides, making sure you have an equal number of strips on each side. Begin on one end with the flap already folded over. Take one strip from each side, and pull them over the filling. Pinch the ends together. Continue until all strips are folded over. It should look braided. Spray the top with oil or brush with egg wash. Bake for 25 minutes, until golden. Let rest for 10 minutes before cutting to serve. 

Japanese Cucumber Salad

Yields:  4 servings

2 small/medium cucumbers

1/4 cup rice vinegar

1 teaspoon sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted (see Tip)

Peel cucumbers to leave alternating green stripes. Slice the cucumbers in half lengthwise; scrape the seeds out with a spoon. Cut into very thin slices. Place in a double layer of paper towel and squeeze gently to remove any excess moisture. Combine vinegar, sugar and salt in a medium bowl, stirring to dissolve. Add the cucumbers and sesame seeds; toss well to combine. Tip: To toast sesame seeds, heat a small dry skillet over low heat. Add sesame seeds, stir constantly until golden and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl, let cool.



Yields:  4 servings

1 tablespoon olive oil, divided

4 oz. angel hair pasta, broken into 2-inch lengths (2 cups)

½ medium onion, chopped

1 cup sliced mushrooms

2-oz. soy chorizo (1 sausage), halved and cut into ¼-inch-thick slices, optional

1 red bell pepper, cut into chunks ¼ cup chopped fresh basil

3 green garlic, minced

¼ teaspoon smoked paprika

4-oz. sodium-free tomato sauce

1 cup mushroom broth or low-sodium vegetable broth

4 oz. fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces

Heat ½ tablespoon oil in wok, paella pan, or large skillet over medium heat. Add pasta, and cook 3 to 4 minutes, or until lightly browned and opaque, stirring constantly. Transfer pasta to paper-towel-lined plate to drain. Add remaining ½ tablespoon oil to pan, and heat over medium heat. Add onion, and cook 3 to 4 minutes, or until soft. Stir in mushrooms, soy chorizo (if using), bell pepper, basil, garlic, and smoked paprika, and cook 5 to 7 minutes or until most liquid has evaporated. Stir in tomato sauce. Add pasta, broth, and 1/4 cup water, and season with salt and pepper, if desired. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add asparagus, and cover; simmer 3 minutes. Preheat oven to broil. If using wok or skillet, transfer pasta mixture to 10-inch cake pan. Place paella pan or cake pan under broiler, and broil 3 to 4 minutes, or just until pasta is crisp on top. (Watch carefully—it burns quickly.) 

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What is a fruit? What is a vegetable?

Last year during a morning of filling CSA boxes here at the farm, we had a discussion of what really is a fruit and what is a vegetable. We had varying opinions while placing them in the boxes. Sometimes we were right, sometimes we were wrong. As I read the information on wikianswers below, we are not alone!

Fruits & vegetables

One school of thought is that the fruit of a plant contains its seeds: apples, pears, peaches, oranges, bananas, mangoes, kiwis, cucumbers, and tomatoes are examples of fruits. Yes, cucumbers and tomatoes are fruits!…or so this line of thinking goes. Technically, a tomato is a berry, like a grape (most people don’t think of grapes as berries).
This school of thought further asserts that vegetables are generally everything else — the leaves, stalks, stems (including tubers), roots, etc.
However, indicates that essentially the terms “fruit” and “vegetable” are interchangeable. “Vegetable” is the fruit, stem, foliage, tuber, etc., that can be consumed as food. “Fruit” is merely the product of plant life that is useful to humans or animals.
Further, though, in everyday American life, the term “fruit” is used to refer to plant products that have a high sugar content or sugary taste. “Vegetable” on the other hand tends to be used in connection with plant products that are more savory, or are prepared and served with more savory dishes. For instance, most people consider tomatoes and corn as “vegetables”, and even though they generally have a “sweet” taste, they are typically prepared or paired with savory meal items. Although this is not a fool-proof distinction, it is how North American society’s language has evolved the meanings of the two words, and how we in actuality distinguish “vegetable” from “fruit”, even though in their most basic meanings they are actually interchangeable. Even though nuts and grains can be technically referred to as either “fruit” or “vegetable”, American society consistently places both of these in their own separate food categories, neither as fruit or vegetable. In short, it is technically correct to refer to any consumable plant product as either fruit or or vegetable, but you’ll get very strange looks if you refer to bread or spinach as “fruit”, or to a banana or orange as a “vegetable”. There are plenty of “experts” that will smugly proclaim that a peanut is “tuber” or legume, while most of us consider it a “nut”. Most folks think of avocado as a “vegetable” because we eat it almost invariably with savory dishes, but it grow on a tree, so other “experts” declare it a “fruit” — both are correct by the definition. So knock yourself out, call them what you may — in the end all can be referred to technically as fruits or vegetables, but there’s of course no shortage of opinions to the contrary.

fruits have seeds veggies don’t

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Spring Birds are Singing Lovely Songs

Down on the Farm Notes

Good morning. Went to bed listening to a little bird singing outside of my window, and it was after dark. Woke up early this morning and he or she was still singing without a care in the world. (The barn cats must have been frustrated.) Hard to be grumpy with a happy sound like that.

Week 8 of the CSA Basket includes:  Organic Swiss Chard, Organic Lettuce,  Organic Green Garlic, Organic Kale, Organic Green Onion, Organic Beets, Radishes – Pioneer Farms, Organic Carrots, Organic Herbs – mix of Oregano, Mint, Rosemary, Chives, Onions, Organic Snap Peas in Tuesday’s basket and Kohlbrabi in Thursday’s basket.


Produce Tips

Snap Peas    Here is an excellent website link, with pictures, on how to prepare fresh peas and pod peas, including recipes.–1141/all-about-peas.asp  
When cooking green peas, snow peas and sugar snap peas, drain the cooking liquid as soon as the peas are done so that they do not continue to cook.

  • Experiment by leaving green peas in pods and add to stir fry. Add a mint sprig to water when steaming or boiling for added flavor.
  • Add cold peas to lettuce salad to add fresh flavor to your salad.
  • 1 pound of green peas in the pods is equal to approximately 1 cup of shelled peas.
  • 1 pound of pea pods is equivalent to approximately 4 servings.
  • 1 pound of dried peas equals approximately 2 -1/4 cups dry and 5 cups cooked.

Fresh Herbs    Keep fresh herbs in the refrigerator. If they are dirty or sandy, rinse them gently just before using them. Wrapped in a paper towel and placed in a plastic bag, herbs stay fresh for several days. Those herbs that still have their roots can be kept longer, place them in fresh water at room temperature, like cut flowers. You can also wrap the roots in a damp cloth and store the herbs in a plastic bag in the warmest part of your refrigerator. You can freeze the herbs whole or chopped, without blanching; if you wash them, be sure to dry them thoroughly.

Spoiled Rotten – How to Store Fruits and Vegetables    Have you ever bought extra produce with the intention of using all of it before it spoils, only to end up tossing the little bit of it you found stuck in the back of the shelf? I found this page on the internet and thought the information was very helpful. If you ever question whether a vegetable or fruit should be stored in the fridge or on a counter, this article will help you.

 Grill Like a Pro! article    For a long time, barbecue was considered a meat eater’s domain. “At best, vegetarian grilling was an afterthought,” says Andrea Chesman, author of The New Vegetarian Grill: 250 Flame-Kissed Recipes for Fresh, Inspired Meals. “People threw a couple of veggies on a skewer and that was all you got as a vegetarian option.”

But barbecuing can add a whole new dimension to summer vegetables. A brush of olive oil brings fragrance and flavor to summer produce. And veggies don’t just cook on the grill, they caramelize—the high heat releases their natural sweetness. “Smoke gives a flavor that’s very compatible with vegetables as well,” Chesman adds. The following tips and recipes will prove beyond a doubt that, when it comes to grilling, veggies rule!


Country Kitchen Recipes


Make-Ahead Vegetarian Moroccan Stew

Prep Time:  30 minutes

Cook Time:  40 minutes

Yields: 4 servings

3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

3/4 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon ground turmeric

1/8 teaspoon curry powder

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

2 teaspoons butter

5/8 sweet onion, chopped

1-1/3 cups finely shredded kale

2-3/4 (14 ounce) cans organic vegetable broth

5/8 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained

2 teaspoons honey

2-3/4 large carrots, chopped

1-1/4 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced

2 large potatoes, peeled and diced

5/8 (15 ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained

1/3 cup chopped dried apricots

2/3 cup Snap peas

3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper, to taste

2 teaspoons cornstarch (optional)

2 teaspoons water (optional)

Combine cinnamon, cumin, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, turmeric, curry powder, and salt in a large bowl, reserve. Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat. Cook the onion in the butter until soft and just beginning to brown, 5 to 10 minutes. Stir in the shredded kale and reserved spice mixture. Cook for 2 minutes or until kale begins to wilt and spices are fragrant. Pour the vegetable broth into the pot. Stir in the tomatoes, honey, carrots, sweet potatoes, potatoes, garbanzo beans, dried apricots, and snap peas. Bring to boil; reduce heat to low. Simmer stew for 30 minutes or until the vegetables and lentils are cooked and tender. Season with black pepper to taste. If desired, combine optional cornstarch and water; stir into stew. Simmer until stew has thickened, about 5 minutes.

Make Ahead Tip:  If making ahead or freezing, prepare stew through Step 3. Simmer for 5 minutes over low heat; remove from heat and cool in the pot or in freezer-safe container. Transfer to the fridge (store for up to 3 days) or freezer. The vegetables store better if not fully-cooked prior to refrigeration or freezing. When ready to eat, (if frozen) thaw in refrigerator for 24 to 48 hours, then pour stew into a pot, bring just to a boil, and simmer until heated through.


Beets on the Grill

Prep Time:  10 minutes

Cook Time:  30 minutes

Yields:  2 servings

6 beets, scrubbed

tablespoons butter

salt and pepper to taste

Preheat an outdoor grill for high heat. Coat one side of a large piece of aluminum foil with cooking spray. Place beets and butter on foil; season with salt and pepper. Wrap foil over beets. Place packet on the grill grate. Cook 30 minutes, or until beets are very tender. Allow beets to cool about 5 minutes before serving. You don’t even need to peel to enjoy!


Grape and Feta Salad

Prep Time:  30 minutes

Yields:  6 servings

1 head iceberg – rinsed, dried and torn into bite sized pieces

1 bag/lb leaf lettuce – rinsed, dried and torn into bite-size pieces

2 carrots, sliced

8 ounces broccoli florets

4 radishes, chopped

3 roma (plum) tomatoes, diced

1 pound red seedless grapes

1 cup chopped almonds

1 5/8 cups crumbled feta cheese

1 cup Greek vinaigrette salad dressing (optional)

In a large serving bowl, toss together the iceberg lettuce, leaf lettuce, carrots, broccoli, radishes and tomatoes. Place the grapes on top. You may chill the salad until needed at this point if you wish. Just before serving, sprinkle in the almonds and feta cheese. Toss with the salad dressing to taste, if desired.

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Spring CSA bask…

Down on the Farm Notes

Well the weather sure has been up and down a lot lately. Our radio station here in Fallon just said this morning’s low was 32 degrees F. Wow, wasn’t it just three days ago that we hit a record high? Welcome to spring in Nevada! It is Week 7 of the Spring CSA, and we have included the following:  Organic Tango Lettuce, Organic Blood Beets, Organic Fennel, Organic Purple Top White Globe Turnips, Organic Green Shallots, Organic Green Garlic, Organic Chard, Organic Arugula, Organic Snap and Snow Pea Combination (Thursday only),Organic Braising mix, Organic Garlic Chives  from Mewaldt Organics, and Kohlrabi from Pioneer Farms (Tuesday only).

Stacks of CSA Spring boxes waiting to be loaded into the trailer for delivery.

Produce Tips

Snow Pea and Snap Pea combination. Both are part of the legume family of sugar peas and have edible pods. Snow pods are flat. Sugar snap pods are plump, with visible peas. Both types are great for fresh snacking. Low in calories and high in Vitamins A and C, peas are a great addition to a healthy diet. Use peas as soon as possible, within 4-5 days max. The storage of peas lessens some their sweetness and crisp texture.

A companion to green onions and green garlic, Green Shallots are a mild vegetable, harvested while the greens are still edible and before the bulbs mature. They can be used anywhere you would use green onion, or in place of green onion, for a mild shallot flavor. They love cold weather. Probably healthy for you and stuff, but who cares? They are cheap to grow, prolific and delicious. Spring sautés usually include green onions, green garlic and green shallots in equal proportion, for a complex, mellow, fresh tasting flavor base for asparagus with morels to serve on pasta, for example.

Kohlrabi (kol-ROB-ee) is a member of the turnip family. Sometimes it’s called ‘cabbage turnip’. Mostly I find kohlrabi with bulbs that are a pretty light green color but I’ve also seen purple kohlrabi on occasion. What looks like a bulb is actually just an enlarged portion of the stalk. Especially to eat raw, look for small ones, about three inches across. At the farmers market they’ll often still be attached to their greens which you cook like collards, low and slow. If you like broccoli stalks, you’ll like kohlrabi.

Arugula is best used fresh, but you can keep arugula for a few days in the refrigerator. Wash arugula, let it dry (use a colander or spinner). Place in a plastic bag and into the crisper drawer in the fridge. Sometime a paper towel in the bag helps to keep excess moisture to a minimum as well.

To store beets, trim the leaves 2 inches from the root as soon as you get them home. The leaves will sap the moisture from the beet root. Do not trim the tail. Store the leaves in a separate plastic bag and use within two days. The root bulbs should also be bagged and can be stored in the refrigerator crisper drawer 7 to 10 days.

Store unwashed turnips in a plastic bag for 1-2 weeks. To prolong the shelf life of turnips, you can put them in moist sand in a cool location.

Vegetable Tips from A Veggie Venture Blog:

If we’re bored with vegetables or simply want to experience vegetables in new ways, there are several techniques to turn the comfortable and familiar into the fresh and unexpected, terrific ways to turn vegetables upside down, inside out and sideways.

If we always ‘add flavor’ to a vegetable (onion, salt and pepper, for example), try it all by itself, just to remember what the vegetable itself tastes like unadorned and unmasked. Or if we always cook a vegetable by itself, pair it with another vegetable, broccoli with fennel or asparagus with mushrooms or. or. or. Or. Or.

CHANGE the SIZE Just changing size makes a difference in texture and thus taste.

If we always cook a vegetable whole or in big chunks, cut it small-small-small; the Benriner makes this especially easy, but for some vegetables, a garden-variety carrot peeler will work, so will nothing more than a sharp knife. Try cutting ‘ribbons’ or ‘noodles’ or grating or shredding. Or say, if we’ve only eaten cabbage in slaw, try cooking it in big wedges.

TRY IT RAW, TRY IT COOKED. If we always eat a vegetable cooked, instead, try it raw — or the reverse. Think cooked asparagus vs. raw asparagus; think raw radishes versus cooked radishes.

EXPLORE the WORLD (or just the FRIG) If we always season vegetables one way, switch to flavor profiles from other cuisines, Thai, Indian, Mexican, so many more. Or if that’s too much, experiment with simple flavors in the frig or pantry — think broccoli tippled with a bit of mayonnaise or a splash of lemon juice.
Country Kitchen Recipes

Pasta with Swiss Chard

Prep Time:  10 minutes

Cooking Time:  15 minutes

Yields:  2 servings

1/3 pound whole-wheat spaghetti

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 clove garlic, minced

1 bunch Swiss chard, chopped

1 teaspoon capers *

salt and pepper to taste

1 teaspoon lemon juice, or to taste

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, or to taste

Fill a large pot with lightly salted water and bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Once the water is boiling, stir in the spaghetti, and return to a boil. Cook the pasta uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the pasta has cooked through, but is still firm to the bite, about 8 minutes. Drain well in a colander set in the sink.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in the garlic, and cook for 1 minute to soften. Add the Swiss chard. Cook and stir until the stems of the chard are tender. You can use some of the hot pasta water to help steam the chard in the covered pan. Stir the hot spaghetti into the chard mixture along with the capers. Season to taste with salt and black pepper, and drizzle with lemon juice if desired. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese to serve. * What are Capers? The unripened flower buds of Capparis spinosa, a prickly, perennial plant which is native to the Mediterranean and some parts of Asia. Try making your own Poor Man’s Capers at home from nasturtium seeds.

Purée of Turnip Soup

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Yield:  1½ quarts (6 8-oz. servings) of soup.

1 lb turnips (about 4 medium turnips)

1 medium Russet potato

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 medium onion, peeled and roughly chopped

2 green garlic

½ cup dry white wine

1 quart vegetable broth or stock

Kosher salt, to taste

Ground white pepper, to taste

Cut turnips into (roughly) same-sized pieces, about ½ inch to 1 inch thick. Peel the potato and cut it into pieces about the same size as the turnips. In a heavy-bottomed soup pot, heat the butter over a low-to-medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and turnips and cook for 2-3 minutes or until the onion is slightly translucent, stirring more or less continuously. Add the wine and cook for another minute or two or until the wine seems to have reduced by about half. Add the stock and the potato. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Then lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes or until the turnips and potatoes are soft enough that they can easily be pierced with a knife. Don’t let them get mushy, though. Remove from heat and purée in a blender, working in batches if necessary. Tip: Use care when processing hot items in a blender as the hot steam can sometimes blow the blender lid off. Start on a slow speed with the lid slightly ajar to vent any steam, then seal the lid and increase the blending speed. Return puréed soup to pot and bring to a simmer again, adding more broth or stock to adjust the thickness if necessary. Season to taste with Kosher salt and white pepper. Garnish with a toasted crouton and serve right away.


Hands-on time: 10 minutes
Time to table: 45 minutes
Serves 4 (smallish servings since roasted vegetables shrink so much)

1 1/2 pounds fresh kohlrabi, ends trimmed, thick green skin sliced off with a knife, diced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon garlic (garlic is optional, to my taste)
Good vinegar

Set oven to 450F. Toss the diced kohlrabi with olive oil, garlic and salt in a bowl. (The kohlrabi can be tossed with oil and seasonings right on the pan but uses more oil.) Spread evenly on a rimmed baking sheet and put into oven (it needn’t be fully preheated) and roast for 30 – 35 minutes, stirring every five minutes after about 20 minutes. Sprinkle with a good vinegar (probably at the table so the kohlrabi doesn’t get squishy). RECIPE INSPIRATION Adapted from Vegetables Every Day by Jack Bishop

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June 7, 2012 · 11:36 am

Wow, the month of May is ending and June is now upon us!

Well Week 6 of the CSA baskets went out today, a total of 162 this week. Wow, and it is week six already. How time does fly. We have been planting summer vegetables, picking spring greens, washing down the buildings, sidewalks and parking lot. Fields are being irrigated and weeded. The weather is getting very warm once again, and I saw a pair of mallard ducks hanging around the ditch this morning. Plenty of busy work on the farm and Farmer Lattin and his crew are very tired at night.

If you drive past our fields right now, this is what you will see. Tiny hoop-like coverings on the field vegetables to keep them safely tucked into the warm soil. Their roots systems will expand and give them a great start so that we can have plenty of cucumbers, squash,

melons and peppers. And here is close up view of those same tunnels. You can see the plant inside of the tunnel.




This will be the maze in the not to distant future. Right now it has been worked up and is ready for the corn to be planted. Looks pretty bare right now. Remember how tall the corn can get? And there are some of our hoop houses in the distance. We have a total of fifteen hoop houses now. Wow, talk about being busy.

Down on the Farm Notes

We do hope your long weekend was terrific! Farmers rarely get many long weekends off. There is always something that has to be done on the farm. This week’s baskets contained the following produce, call the farm and see if we have any extra for sale.

Organic Lettuce, Organic Spinach, Organic Beets, Organic Fennel, Organic Braising Mix, Organic Chard, Organic Turnips, Organic Kale, Organic Green Onions, Organic Snap and Snow Pea Combination, and Arugula – from Pioneer Farms

Pioneer Farms

Scott Goodpasture of Pioneer Farms has been farming in the Fallon area since he was 18 years old. Over the years he has grown a variety of row crops.  In the past few years, Pioneer Farms has been steadily adding specialty crops to its list of endeavors, evolving right along with the interest in local food. In the past, Scott has been known for his incredible melons. But now he is making his mark with things such as gigantic beautiful heads of Romaine lettuce, cabbage, and broccoli, just to name a few items. This week Scott is sending arugula with your boxes. Check out the Pioneer Farms website for great pictures and information on the farm.

Produce Tips

Snow Pea and Snap Pea combination. Both are part of the legume family of sugar peas and have edible pods. Snow pods are flat. Sugar snap pods are plump, with visible peas. Both types are great for fresh snacking. Low in calories and high in Vitamins A and C, peas are a great addition to a healthy diet.

Fennel fronds are great in salads, and look very much like dill. Snip bits to toss into salads or add to your poaching liquid for fish. Use your fronds as a bed for baked fish, either on tin foil or in an open baking dish with a good douse of white wine. Add them to chicken and fish stocks and sometimes use a bit of frond as a garnish. Use the stems, along with some onion and carrot, to make a vegetable stock. Use the veggie stock for a risotto, and then mix the chopped fronds into the risotto at the last minute.

Beets are amazingly healthy. Rich in folate, fiber, vitamin C, magnesium and a whole host of other vital nutrients, beets need to be considered in your diet. Raw beets are easy to disguise in a beef and black bean burrito. Store unwashed beets in your fridge’s crisper. They’ll stay good for 2 or more weeks! If the beets “bleed” on you, use lemon juice to help remove the purple. If you must peel before cooking, a swivel vegetable peeler works better than a paring knife.

Kale   When you’re beginning to prepare the kale for cooking, cut out the center stalks in the middle. Just cut them out, and discard the pieces. Then it’s up to you if you want to sauté or boil your kale. For either method, it’s best to tear the kale into small pieces to make it easier to work with. Sauté kale in a frying pan over low heat, add in some olive oil and a few pieces of chopped garlic. As that is cooking, toss in the small bits of kale. Add in a few tablespoons of vegetable oil, which you can just eyeball. Next, it’s time for some spices. Try a pinch of crushed red pepper, salt and pepper. You can also add in a little spot of dry red wine. Combine the ingredients with a spatula, and cook until the kale is a bright green color. Another alternative is to boil the kale. Fill a pot with ½ cup of water and ½ cup of vinegar. Add in the kale, and bring the water to a boil. Then drain and remove from the heat. In a bowl, add in some of your favorite spices. The crushed red pepper, salt and pepper are great, but you can also experiment with a touch of soy sauce or some of your other favorite spices and toppings.

Country Kitchen Recipes

Turnip Puff

Recipe shared by Lahontan Valley native, Ms. Gloria Montero.

Serves: 6-8

3 cups hot mashed turnip

2 tablespoons butter

2 eggs, well beaten

3 tablespoons flour

3 tablespoons brown sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon peppers

1/2 cup cheese cracker crumbs

Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a shallow 1 quart casserole. Combine turnip and butter. Add eggs and beat. Add flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and pepper.

Mix until well blended. Turn into casserole. Top with crumbs. Bake 25 minutes or until top is lightly browned.

NOTE:  the turnip for this puff may be cooked the day before, mashed and stored in the refrigerator, then heated gently and used as directed.

 Roasted Beets

4 beets, scrubbed, peeled and quartered (they’ll bleed)
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place your cut up beets evenly on a baking pan; drizzle with olive oil, top with salt and pepper to taste. Roast till fork tender, about 20 to 30 minutes depending on the size.

Garlic Sautéed Spinach

1/2 pound baby spinach leaves

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon chopped garlic (about 3 cloves)

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter


Sea or kosher salt, optional

Rinse the spinach well in cold water and dry thoroughly. In a Dutch oven, heat the olive oil and sauté the garlic over medium heat for about 1 minute, but not until it’s browned. Add all the spinach, the salt, and pepper to the pot, toss it with the garlic and oil, cover the pot, and cook it for 2 minutes. Uncover the pot, turn the heat on high, and cook the spinach for another minute, stirring with a wooden spoon, until all the spinach is wilted. Using a slotted spoon, lift the spinach to a serving bowl and top with the butter, a squeeze of lemon, and a sprinkling of sea or kosher salt. Serve hot.

Shrimp and Snow Pea or Sugar Snap Pea Stir Fry Recipe

Serves:  2-3

1″ fresh Ginger, peeled & crushed or finely diced

2 cloves Garlic, crushed or finely diced

1 fresh Chile, sliced (chose the type based on your heat preference)

Sea Salt

Peanut Oil

1/2 lb. Large Shrimp, shelled & deveined

Large handful of your Sugar Snap and Snow Pea combination

2 tablespoons Soy Sauce

Juice from 1/2 Lime

1/2 teaspoon Honey

1 teaspoon Sesame Oil

1/2 lb Pasta

small bunch fresh Cilantro, torn or cut in 1-2″ sections.

Bring a large pot of water to boil for the pasta while you slice and dice the ginger, garlic, and chilies. When water comes to a boil, salt it well, and then toss in pasta. Stir after it comes back up to a boil.  Boil vigorously until it has your preferred bite.  Drain and rinse under cool water. Set aside. Heat a pan or wok over high heat (you can start this part while the pasta boils if you are good at multi-tasking.) Swirl in some peanut oil and add garlic, ginger, and chilies. Sauté for a minute or so, then add shrimp and cook for another couple of minutes or until shrimp is almost cooked through. Add sugar snaps, soy sauce, lime juice, honey, and sesame oil.  Sauté for a bit until everything is hot (@ 1 min.) then toss in pasta.  Toss over heat until pasta is well coated, then serve with the cilantro.

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Turkeys n chicken 5-22

Turkeys n chicken 5-22

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May 31, 2012 · 12:18 pm