Dismiss
LOCALLY GROWN, ORGANIC PRODUCE DELIVERED TO YOUR DOOR.

CRISPY BROCCOLI, CAPERS & GOLDEN RAISINS

05/01/13 — Farm

1 broccoli with capers

by Louis Singh | dishalicious.com

Crispy & roasted is a good way to enjoy broccoli.  Crispy roasted broccoli with a warm dressing of fried capers, garlic & golden raisins is even better.

Though the flavors evoke Mediterranean, this recipe has us thinking about science.  Thank the Maillard reaction for the deliciousness of this recipe.  This complex chemical reaction is responsible for the outrageous aromas and flavors that occur when meat, vegetables and even bread are browned at high heats.

The roasted broccoli, the fried capers, and the toasted golden raisins all have their flavors elevated thanks to this reaction.  Try this recipe with your JBG broccoli and watch science in action!  Plus, the results are delicious.

You’ll need:

2 cups broccoli florets 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for roasting 1 tablespoon capers, drained and dried 1 tablespoon golden raisins 1 clove garlic, sliced thin parsley, minced salt & pepper breadcrumbs (optional)

Here’s how:

-Preheat the oven to 425°.  Drizzle the broccoli with a little olive oil and season with salt & pepper.  Roast in the oven until browned and tender, about 10-15 min.

-Meanwhile, warm two tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high in a small skillet or pot until hot.  When oil is just beginning to give off wisps of smoke, add the capers.  BE CAREFUL, they will pop and splatter as they fry.  Use a pot lid or oil splatter screen to protect yourself from the hot oil.

As the capers fry, they’ll blister and pop open.  Once fried, remove the capers with a slotted spoon and set aside on a plate lined with a paper towel to drain.

-While the oil is still warm, add the raisins to the pot and sautee until puffed and golden.  Add the garlic & parsley and stir well, then remove the pot from heat.  (Careful not to burn the garlic!)

-Remove the broccoli from the oven and transfer to a dish.  Dress with the warm caper & raisin dressing and top with toasted breadcrumbs, if using.

And that’s it.  Now you have the technique, play with it.  Use cauliflower instead of broccoli.  Add some in some sautéed leeks, or top it with toasted nuts.  Take this technique and make your own recipes.  Get cooking!

Got cooking questions?  Get answers.  info@dishalicious.com

HARVESTING BROCCOLI & CAULIFLOWER

05/02/13 — Farm

Rows of broccoli ready for harvest.  Photo by Scott David Gordon Rows of broccoli ready for harvest. Photo by Scott David Gordon

We have a beautiful Spring crop of broccoli & several kinds of cauliflower!  Look for these in your CSA shares or come pick some up at the farmers market this weekend (for a full list of the markets we attend, please click here).  Check out these images of the harvest taken by our photographer, Scott David Gordon.

Vicente harvest broccoli.  Photo by Scott David Gordon Vicente harvest broccoli. Photo by Scott David Gordon

Close-up of Vicente harvesting broccoli.  Photo by Scott David Gordon Close-up of Vicente harvesting broccoli. Photo by Scott David Gordon

Filling up the harvesting bins.  Photo by Scott David Gordon Filling up the harvesting bins. Photo by Scott David Gordon

Porfirio harvests cauliflower.  Photo by Scott David Gordon Porfirio harvests cauliflower. Photo by Scott David Gordon

Cauliflower in the field.  Photo by Scott David Gordon Cauliflower in the field. Photo by Scott David Gordon

Bringing in the harvest.  Photo by Scott David Gordon Bringing in the harvest. Photo by Scott David Gordon

PFLUGERVILLE PFARMERS MARKET OPENS MAY 7TH

05/02/13 — Farm

Pick up some JBG broccoli at the Pflugerville Pfarmers Market on Tuesday!  Phot o by Scott David Gordon Pick up some JBG broccoli at the Pflugerville Pfarmers Market on Tuesday! Phot o by Scott David Gordon

The Pflugerville Pfarmers Market Opens Next Tuesday, May 7th! 

When: Tuesdays May 7th - October 29th

Time: 3pm to 7pm

Where: The Green Red Barn at Heritage Park, 901 Old Austin-Hutto Road, Pflugerville, 78660

Be one of the first 200 people at Opening Day on May 7 and get a pfree "Pfarmers Market" shopping bag with goodies inside! Helium balloons for the kids, too!

SFC LOCAL FOOD POTLUCK & GRADUATION AT BARR MANSION

05/02/13 — Farm

Local lettuce.  Photo by Scott David Gordon Local lettuce. Photo by Scott David Gordon

SFC Local Food Potluck & Graduation at Barr Mansion

In celebration of the completion of another season of Citizen Gardener and Austin Permaculture, the Sustainable Food Center (SFC) is proud to announce the Spring 2013 Local Food Potluck & Celebration at the lovely Barr Mansion (10463 Sprinkle Road) on Monday, May 6th from 6:30 -9:30 PM.

At the potluck, we will recognize the new crop (pun) of Citizen Gardener and Permaculture Design Course Graduates and honor many of your favorite Farmers, Ranchers, Gardeners, Chefs, Restaurants, and Market Folks.

The event is open to the public, all you need is a friendly smile and a friend, and a potluck dish - salad, side dish, veggie, meat & veggie, or dessert - made with all/some Local ingredients - from your own garden, a Farmers Market, Farm Stand, or retail market. Also, please bring a TX-Beverage of your choice for yourself and a little extra to share with an old/new friend.

We could use volunteers to set up at 5:30p-6:30p or help clean-up at 9:00p-10:00p. If you are available, please email Dick Pierce at dickpiercedesigns (AT) gmail (DOT) com

To thank the Barr Mansion for their hospitality, a $5 donation is suggested.

Pass this invitation around, invite friends, bring family - so we can make this the best Local Food Potluck yet.  For more information and to RSVP, please click here.

CAGING TOMATO PLANTS

05/03/13 — Farm

Lots of tomato cages!  Photo by Scott David Gordon Lots of tomato cages! Photo by Scott David Gordon

To prepare our tomato plants for the Spring/Summer growing season, we either stake or cage them, depending on whether the plant is a "determinant" or an "indeterminant" variety.  Indeterminant varieties grow much taller throughout the season than determinant ones; therefore, we use the tall stakes on the indeterminant varieties (like Heirloom, cherries, and San Marzano tomatoes) and the cages on the determinant varieties (mainly, our large beefsteak tomatoes).  The stakes require a lot more work because, once they are in the ground, we have to continue to tie the plants to the stakes as they grow.  We do this once a week throughout the season and use a tomato tying tool made from pvc pipe to help us get around each plant more easily.  It would be a lot easier if we could just use cages on all of our plants, but the reality is that this would be too costly due to the amount of material we would need to make the cages high enough for the indeterminate varieties.  For the determinant varieties, though, the cages do very well.  Our photographer, Scott David Gordon, captured the following images of these cages being made and then placed over the plants. (To see Scott's images of our staked tomato plants, just click on the OLDER POSTS link at the bottom of this page and scroll down to last week's From the Farmer's Perspective).

Greenhouse Manager Mike Reed rolls wire he just cut into a tomato cage. Greenhouse Manager Mike Reed rolls wire he just cut into a tomato cage.

Mike has some fun testing his balancing skills. Mike has some fun testing his balancing skills.

Putting the cages around the plant. Bonifacio places cages around the plants.

A tomato plant with cage. A tomato plant with cage.

Completed rows.  That's a lot of cages! Completed rows.

FROM THE FARMER'S PERSPECTIVE

05/03/13 — Farm

My dad, uncle, and grandmother (Mama Nell) visit the JBG booth at the farmers market. My dad, uncle, and grandmother (Mama Nell) visit the JBG booth at the farmers market.

Last week, I was lucky enough to get a visit from my dad, uncle, and grandmother, Mama Nell.  I say lucky because they almost didn't make it onto the plane!  What happened is my dad dropped Mama Nell off at the terminal after driving from Alabama to Atlanta.  Then, he went to park his car; however, he didn't quite make it to the parking lot as his car died on the way there.  To make matters worse, he had a really hard time getting anyone to help him because he had broken down in a kind of no man's land that wasn't technically airport property.  Finally, an airport facilities manager took sympathy on him - and on Mama Nell's plight since she was still waiting in the terminal - and offered to drive my dad to the terminal in his company vehicle.  Then, this manager said he would come back and deal with the broken down car.  Given his predicament, my dad decided to trust the manager and handed over his keys with the agreement that he would call as soon as he landed in Austin to find out what happened with the car.  Once at the terminal, my dad got Mama Nell a wheelchair and they raced to the gate, making it just in time!  Then, after touching down in Austin, he called the manager only to find that his car had been impounded!  Apparently, by the time the manager made it back to the car after dropping him off, security had located the car and impounded it.  The good news is that my family made it safety to Austin - the bad news is my dad had a real headache to deal with once he got back to Atlanta.

Blue skies over JBG.  Photo by Scott David Gordon Blue skies over JBG. Photo by Scott David Gordon

While they were here in Austin, my family really enjoyed themselves: we went to Zilker Park, Barton Springs, Lake Travis, Blacks BBQ, Chapala, Sandy's for ice cream, the Triangle, Downtown, & Barton Creek farmers markets, and, of course, to see JBG's River Road farm.  The last time they visited, it was 2006, and I was still at Holly Street growing in my backyard.  Seeing the farm as it is today, they couldn't believe it!  My dad was really impressed with the quality of the vegetables and the organization of the farm.  Hearing this from him made me really proud of what we've been able to accomplish at JBG.  As I said to him, I couldn't have done this without the dedication of our amazing crew and the support of this great community.  Mama Nell kept saying how much she wished my grandfather, who passed away two years ago, could see JBG as he would have been equally as proud.  He worked for the Farm Service Agency making loans to farmers in Alabama and had a farm of his own as well.  I couldn't help but think back to when I first graduated from Auburn University with a degree in engineering and was telling Mama Nell about an internship I had just applied for on an organic farm.  She said, "You're an engineer now.  It's OK to apply to work on some hippy farm, but make sure you apply for some real jobs as well."  I took her advice and ended up with a real government job at the Bureau of Reclamation and stayed there for ten years.  Now, I can finally say my real job is farming.  When I saw Mama Nell looking over the fields at JBG, I could tell she was proud.

CABBAGE PATCH

05/04/13 — Farm

Cabbage close-up.  Photo by Scott David Gordon

Cabbage close-up. Photo by Scott David Gordon
We've got lots of cabbage growing in the fields right now.  We planted about ten different varieties, including lots of trials of red cabbages and larger varieties of Savoy cabbages. Before, we've grown mini Savoy cabbages, but this is the first time for the larger varieties, and we've been really happy with the high-quality results.  We'll be harvesting cabbage now through the end of May; then, we will be storing much of this crop.  One of the great things about cabbage is that, unlike so much of what we grow, it lasts when stored properly.  To keep cabbage fresh once you get it home, refrigerate it in a hydrator drawer in a plastic bag and do not remove the outer leaves before storage.

A field of cabbage.  Photo by Scott David Gordon A field of cabbage. Photo by Scott David Gordon

Cabbage.  Photo by Scott David Gordon Cabbage. Photo by Scott David Gordon

Each cabbage plant is harvested just one time. Photo by Scott David Gordon Cabbage harvest: each plant gets harvested one time only. Photo by Scott David Gordon

THIS WEEK'S INSTAGRAM WINNER

05/05/13 — Farm

instagram

sarahlewluv!  Thanks for capturing this great shot of the JBG truck at the SFC Farmers Market at Sunset Valley!

Take your best shots of anything JBG-related – the JBG logo on a truck, the JBG vegetables in your CSA box or the meal you cooked with them, JBG at the Farmers Market or in the grocery store, etc. Then, label your pictures on Instagram with #jbgorganic or #johnsonsbackyardgarden. Each week, we will select winner to be featured in the newsletter. The winner will also receive his or her choice of a JBG hat, tote, or t-shirt. Get out your phones and start taking pictures! We can’t wait to see what you create.

AN EVERLASTING MEAL

05/06/13 — Farm

An Everlasting Meal can help you figure out what to do with all of the vegetables you get in our CSA or at the Farmers Market.  Photo by Scott David Gordon An Everlasting Meal can help you figure out what to do with all of the vegetables you get in our CSA or at the Farmers Market. Photo by Scott David Gordon

Review by Meredith Bethune

Cooking by the Book: An Everlasting Meal by Tamar Adler

Anyone who cooks regularly understands that the kitchen assumes a tide-like quality. Food is purchased for a particular recipe, and anything leftover is pulled into the next meal. This concept is the crux of Tamar Adler's book An Everlasting Meal: Cooking with Economy and Grace. This modern day tribute to M.F.K. Fisher’s How to Cook a Wolf is not a cookbook although her poetic prose is sprinkled liberally with a few simple recipes.

Adler’s lyrical writing makes cooking seem beautiful and graceful. Unfortunately, this tone also has a grating quality-- describing the eggplant the repeatedly ate in China one summer because it was the only word she could say perfectly in tonal Mandarin. She also forgets that most people today barely have enough time to make mayonnaise in the food processor, let alone whisk it together in a bowl by hand.

Yet most of Adler’s cooking advice is common sense yet inspiring, reminding us that regularly cooking something fresh and delicious is not actually that difficult. For instance, she instructs the reader to always make more rice than you need, because the leftovers can easily become another healthful meal. Some of her most useful advice, however, is for CSA subscribers and farmers’ market customers. She encourages them to prepare vegetables right away--- roasting beets and washing salad greens in advance, calling this “How to Stride Ahead” She describes her book as “not a cookbook or a memoir or a story about one person or one thing. It is about eating affordably, responsibly, and well, and because doing so relies on cooking, it is mostly about that.”

Check out this video of Tamar Adler demonstrating how to, "Stride Ahead", as she cleans, cuts, and roasts all of the vegetables she brought back from the farmers market: http://vimeo.com/30106710

CSA BOX WEEK OF MAY 6TH

05/06/13 — Scott

CSA Box Week of May 6th CSA Box Week of May 6th

Fennel,
Lettuce,
Radish,
Thyme,
Chard,
Spinach,
Beets,
Cabbage,
Onions,
Carrots,
Cauliflower or Broccoli

SPAGHETTI AGLIO E OLIO

05/08/13 — Farm

aglio e olio

Spaghetti Aglio e Olio

by Louis Singh | dishalicious.com

I have to admit that aglio e olio (garlic & oil) is my favorite pasta dish to make.  And I have to admit it’s my favorite because it’s so dang easy to make.

Warm smashed garlic & chili flake in olive oil, toss in your pasta with loads of fresh parsley and you’re done.  A simple peasant dish that explodes with flavor.

And versatility.  Add some julienned swiss chard or kale.  Toss in some roasted broccoli or cauliflower florets.  Wilted spinach, roasted carrots, breadcrumbs…aglio e olio is a delicious blank canvas.

It’s a great family-style dish, perfect for sharing.  But it’s so easy that I often fall back on it when cooking a quick meal for myself.  Try this out and let your CSA box be your guide.

For 4-6 servings you’ll need:

1 pound dry spaghetti

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

6-8 garlic cloves, smashed and minced

2 tablespoons parsley, minced

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

salt to taste

Here’s how:

-Bring a large pot (6-8 quart) of water to a rolling boil.  Season the water with about 3 tablespoons of salt.  Taste the water, it should like the sea.  Add the spaghetti and cook, stirring often, until al dente.

-Meanwhile, add the olive oil and garlic to a cold pan.  Warm it over medium heat until it gently sizzles.  You’re looking to soften the garlic and extract all that beautiful flavor without browning (a.k.a sweat the garlic).  Watch it carefully, because burnt garlic is no bueno.  Adjust your heat as needed.

-Once the garlic has begun to soften, about 5-6 minutes, add the chili flakes.  Add less for less heat, more for more.

-When the pasta is al dente, transfer it right from the pot into the pan with the garlic oil.  The water clinging to the pasta is key and will help coat the spaghetti with the oil to make a sauce.  Add the parsley and toss well.

And that’s it.  While the pasta is still hot, you’ve got more options.  This is where you can fold in thin-sliced greens, toss in some spinach to wilt, or even julienned zucchini.  Grate some Parmigiano or Pecorino over the top, or crumble in feta.  (Though die-hard purists would scoff at the addition of cheese, as this is a proud peasant dish that needs no such luxuries.  But hey, who’s watching?)

Now take this technique and make your own recipes.  Get cooking!

Got cooking questions?  We’ve got answers.  info@dishalicious.com

ANNOUNCEMENTS & EVENTS

05/09/13 — Farm

Just-harvested carrots.  Pick some up at our booth at the Funkytonk Farmers Market this Saturday.  Photo by Scott David Gordon Just-harvested carrots. Pick some up at our booth at the Funkytonk Farmers Market this Saturday. Photo by Scott David Gordon

There's a new farmers market opening this Saturday: Funkytonk Farmers Market!

When: Every Saturday, beginning this Saturday, May 11

Time: 9am to 1pm

Where: 1012 W. Anderson Lane, Austin, TX 78757

Come visit the JBG booth at the Funkytonk Farmers Market this Saturday - we'd love to see you!

Jason holds his new son, Derrick William Hamelwright. Jason holds his new son, Derrick William Hamelwright.

We would like to congratulation JBG employee, Jason Hamelwright, and his wife, Candice, on the birth of their son, Derrick William Hamelwright.  Weighing 6 lb. 10 oz,  Derrick was born on May 8th. Welcome to the world, Derrick!

IMAGES FROM THE FIELD

05/09/13 — Farm

Tomaotes are coming!  Photo by Scott David Gordon Tomaotes are coming! Photo by Scott David Gordon

Our photographer, Scott David Gordon, visits the JBG fields weekly to photograph what's growing.  Thank you, Scott, for creating this visual link to the farm, week after week.  Here are some of the beautiful pictures he captured this past Monday.

Rows of thriving tomato plants.  Photo by Scott David Gordon Rows of thriving tomato plants. Photo by Scott David Gordon

Photo by Scott David Gordon Porfirio harvests beets.  Photo by Scott David Gordon

Beet harvest.  Photo by Scott David Gordon Beet harvest. Photo by Scott David Gordon

Photo by Scott David Gordon We're doing a trial crop of nopales. Photo by Scott David Gordon

Harvesting Photo by Scott David Gordon Harvesting Onions.  Photo by Scott David Gordon

Onion harvest closeup.  Photo by Scott David Gordon Onion harvest closeup. Photo by Scott David Gordon

Cheddar cauliflower.  Photo by Scott David Gordon Cheddar cauliflower. Photo by Scott David Gordon

We're excited about all the tomatoes to come!  Photo by Scott David Gordon We're excited about all the tomatoes to come! Photo by Scott David Gordon

FROM THE FARMER'S PERSPECTIVE

05/10/13 — Farm

JBG Fields.  Photo by Scott David Gordon JBG Fields. Photo by Scott David Gordon

One my favorite things about being a farmer is learning the science behind growing vegetables; I really love examining what makes plants thrive.  When I first started farming, I focused on adding all of the nutrients into the soil through compost prior to planting.  This worked well, but now we have experimented with something a little different that is working even better.  That's another thing I love about farming - being able to design and implement creative solutions.  Instead of just adding all of the nutrients to the soil before anything is planted, we now use a system of fertigation that lets us inject nutrients into the irrigation water to feed the plants' roots directly.  This season, we did some test plots and noticed a tremendous difference between those fields where we added organic fertilizer to the drip irrigation system as compared to those in which we only utilized compost prior to planting.  Those that received the fertilizer through the drip tape did much better.  Also, the process of fertigation is more efficient, and we ultimately use less fertilizer inputs and can apply small amounts each week.  Plus, we can change what we add to match the plants' requirements as they grow.  For example, early in the season, the plants require more nitrogen for growth, while latter in the season, most typically utilize more potassium as they start to fruit.   Being the farmer geek that I am, I have a spreadsheet to help calculate fertgation recipes based on the various crops, their stage of growth, and the area to be irrigated.  The nice thing about this spreadsheet is that it automatically generates a recipe so we know what quanties to mix into our mobile fertigation unit.  Beth, my wife, likes to feed our kids green smoothies from our veggies - I like to think of our fertigation setup as a way to feed our plants "organic smoothies"!, too  Steve Diver, our horticultural consultant, has really helped us develop this more efficient and effective system of fertilization - thank you, Steve!  Due to our collaboration with him, our plants are looking better than ever.  Be sure to read Steve's detailed description below of how we use fertigation at JBG.

photo(26) Noe prepares to feed the plants "organic smoothies" through the drip irrigation system.

Fertigation

By Steve Diver

JBG uses an integrated approach to provide soil fertility and pest control and to promote crop quality. Soil fertility is achieved through pre-plant and sidedress fertilization, plus fertigation and foliar fertization.  Fertigation is the practice of injecting soluble nutrients and bio-stimulants, such as liquid fish and humic acid, through the drip irrigation system. Farmers like fertigation because it delivers nutrients and biological stimulants next to plants roots. Fertigation can also be timed to deliver plant foods at critical stages of crop growth, such as fruit set, when nutrient demand is highest. This year, Brenton and I have ramped up the fertigation program. New injection equipment has been added to the farm, and we also developed a spreadsheet to manage the fertigation schedule and keep track of all the inputs, depending on the crop and what it needs.  As Brenton pointed out, we are seeing really good results from fertigation as the crops look strong and healthy.

Checking out the fields with Steve Diver.  Photo by Scott David Gordon Checking out the fields with Steve Diver. Photo by Scott David Gordon

FIELDS IN BLOOM

05/11/13 — Farm

Photo by Scott David Gordon Photo by Scott David Gordon

This week, Scott David Gordon got some great shots of what's blooming in our fields.  In addition to being beautiful, flowers help us attract beneficial insects.  We hope you enjoy these colorful photos!

Photo by Scott David Gordon Photo by Scott David Gordon

 

Photo by Scott David Gordon Photo by Scott David Gordon

Photo by Scott David Gordon Photo by Scott David Gordon

 

Photo by Scott David Gordon Photo by Scott David Gordon

Photo by Scott David Gordon Photo by Scott David Gordon

THIS WEEK'S INSTAGRAM WINNER

05/12/13 — Farm

insta

sophiatx!  Thanks for sharing this beautiful picture of your tomatoes!

Take your best shots of anything JBG-related – the JBG logo on a truck, the JBG vegetables in your CSA box or the meal you cooked with them, JBG at the Farmers Market or in the grocery store, etc. Then, label your pictures on Instagram with #jbgorganic or #johnsonsbackyardgarden. Each week, we will select winner to be featured in the newsletter. The winner will also receive his or her choice of a JBG hat, tote, or t-shirt. Get out your phones and start taking pictures! We can’t wait to see what you create.

PASTA FOR ALL SEASONS

05/13/13 — Farm

Try using beets & beet greens in your pasta!  Photo by Scott David Gordon Try using beets & beet greens in your pasta! Photo by Scott David Gordon

By Meredith Bethune

Pasta is always reliable for a quick weeknight dinner, but its nutritional value increases enormously when combined with plenty of fresh vegetables. A healthful dinner can be ready in the time needed to boil water and cook the noodles. Satisfying and seasonal pasta and veggie dishes can be made all year round-- greens combine perfectly with noodles in the winter, while tomatoes, pepper, and eggplant are natural companions in the summer.

You don’t need much pasta to make such a dish. The noodles act as a carrier for the vegetables, so about two to three ounces per person is suitable. You can use this chart to properly estimate the dry pasta amounts. Now bring a pot of heavily salted water to a boil. Add the pasta, and set a kitchen timer about a minute or two less than the directions on the box indicate. The noodles will later be added to the pasta and cooked briefly, but you’ll want them to remain al dente for appealing textural contrast. There are few things worse than gluey pasta.

While the pasta is cooking, warm some butter and olive oil in a pan, and then add some chopped onion and plenty of minced garlic. Red pepper flakes are also a nice addition at this stage, or perhaps a bit of dried marjoram or sage. Cook the onions for about five minutes, and then add the veggies. Harder vegetables like broccoli, asparagus, or peppers should be blanched or roasted in advance, while greens can be wilted right in the pan. A generous dollop of creme fraiche complements greens, root vegetables, and fresh peas, and makes the dish feel a bit more luxurious. The bright flavor of summer veggies hardly need it, however, as a tomato sauce base is more complementary. If you’d like, add a bit of shredded chicken, crisped pancetta, browned sausage, or cooked chickpeas for some more protein.

Don’t get stuck on spaghetti-- the pasta possibilities are endless. You can experiment with orecchiette, bowties, and fusilli, as well as Japanese soba, Thai rice sticks, and American egg noodles.  Decent whole wheat and gluten-free pastas are also more widely available these days. You can also make your own pasta from scratch. Of course it won’t be quick, but it’s a fun activity, and you can incorporate fresh vegetables like spinach, carrot, or beets into the dough.

Farfalle with Golden Beets, Beet Greens, and Pine Nuts from Epicurious

Fresh Carrot Pasta Dough from Martha Stewart

Bun Chay (Vietnamese Vegetarian Noodle Salad) from the Kitchn

CSA BOX WEEK OF MAY 13TH

05/13/13 — Scott

CSA Box Week of May 13th CSA Box Week of May 13th

Fennel,
Lettuce,
Basil,
Kohlrabi,
Chard,
Spinach,
Purple Top Turnips,
Cabbage,
Onions,
Carrots,
Cauliflower or Broccoli

COOKING BY THE BOOK: JERUSALEM

05/15/13 — Farm

Use the chard in your CSA share to create Chard Fritters from the Jerusalem cookbook. Photo by Scott David Gordon Use the chard in your CSA share to create Chard Fritters from the Jerusalem cookbook. Photo by Scott David Gordon

Review by Meredith Bethune

The cover of Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi depicts yellow egg yolks and fiery tomatoes served over a bed of ground lamb in a cast iron skillet. The vibrant colors and rustic presentation artfully represent this book that just won the International Association of Culinary Professionals Cookbook of the Year Award. Their vegetable-centric and exotic recipes are suitable for all seasons, and they’ll definitely inspireany farmers’ market shopper to cook.

Ottolenghi  grew up in the Jewish quarter of Jerusalem, and Tamimi was born in the Arab eastern section. They met as adults in London, and now Tamimi is partner and head chef at Ottolenghi’s popular restaurants. Jerusalem is well-known for its religious divisions, but the authors show that residents are actually united by their love of certain dishes.  Although they might quibble over the size of the vegetables (should they be finely diced or in rustic chunks?), everyone eats fattoush-- a refreshing summer salad of cucumbers, mint, and tomatoes. An entire section of the book is dedicated to hummus, the city’s most beloved dish. Several mouth-watering photos depict the familiar chickpea dip dusted with red sumac and cradling pools of golden olive oil and piles of pines nuts.

The captivating photography in Jerusalem reaches beyond food. Fascinating images of modern urban life appear next to unexpected recipes like Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Fresh Figs and Roasted Butternut Squash and Red Onion with Tahini and Za'atar .

Combined with the authors’ captivating writing style, these photos communicate a sense of lushness and longing. Jerusalem might inspire in you a yearning for the city that you never knew you had.

Recipes from Jerusalem from around the web:

Fattoush

Roasted Sweet Potatoes & Fresh Figs

Swiss Chard Fritters

TURMERIC CHICKEN WITH SPINACH

05/16/13 — Farm

1 turmeric chicken

by Louis Singh | dishalicious.com

“This is like medicine,” my Vietnamese mother says as she places this dish in front of me.  When feeling ill, she always turns to food, and she swears by the healing powers of turmeric.

And she’s right.  A quick search on turmeric reveals tons of information about its anti-inflammatory power, its ability to relieve Rheumatoid arthritis, its cancer-fighting abilities and on and on and on.

Turns out this little rhizome is a healthy powerhouse.  But it does come with a few side effects…

2 turmeric fingers

IT WILL STAIN THE CRAP OUT OF YOUR FINGERS!

In fact, it’s often used as a dye for clothing and for naturally coloring food.  Just be sure to wash your hands after handling it if you don’t want yellow digits all day.

The only other side effect is deliciousness.  So you’ll just have to deal with that one.  Try out this spin on a classic Vietnamese dish (Gà xào lăn) adding JBG’s organic spinach.

For about 4 people, you’ll need:

3 turmeric chicken ingredients

½ red, yellow or white onion, sliced

3 scallions, cut into pieces

4-6 cloves of garlic

¼ cup lemongrass, minced

2 pounds chicken, cut into 1-2” pieces

1 bunch spinach, washed

3 tablespoons turmeric

2 bay leaves

salt & pepper to taste

Here’s how:

-Warm a skillet over medium high heat with about 2 tablespoons of your favorite oil.  Add the onion, scallions, garlic and lemongrass.  Season with a pinch of salt & pepper and sauté until fragrant and beginning to turn golden brown.  About 3-5 minutes.

-Add in the chicken and season again with a little salt & pepper.  Saute with the aromatics until almost cooked through, about 5-7 minutes.

-Add in the turmeric and bay leaf, stir well to coat.

-Add the spinach and stir well to combine.  Simmer it all together until the chicken is done and the spinach is wilted, another 5 minutes or so.

And that’s it.  Traditionally it’s served with steamed rice, but you could have it with quinoa or couscous.  Add in fresh cherry tomatoes as pictured above, try swiss chard instead of spinach, or add some fresh chilies for a kick.  Use this technique and what’s in your fridge to make your own recipes.  Get cooking!

Send us your cooking questions and get answers.  info@dishalicious.com

IMAGES FROM THE FIELD

05/16/13 — Farm

Tomatoes!  We're getting closer to the first harvest.  Photo by Scott David Gordon Tomatoes! We're getting closer to the first harvest. Photo by Scott David Gordon

Tomato plants grow tall.  Photo by Scott David Gordon Tomato plants grow tall. Photo by Scott David Gordon

A bee finds a farm flower.  Photo by Scott David Gordon A bee finds a farm flower. Photo by Scott David Gordon

Basil.  Photo by Scott David Gordon Basil. Photo by Scott David Gordon

Just-harvested onions.  Photo by Scott David Gordon Just-harvested onions. Photo by Scott David Gordon

Cabbage.  Photo by Scott David Gordon Cabbage. Photo by Scott David Gordon

Cabbage close-up.  Photo by Scott David Gordon Cabbage close-up. Photo by Scott David Gordon

Cabbage.  Photo by Scott David Gordon Cabbage. Photo by Scott David Gordon

FROM THE FARMER'S PERSPECTIVE

05/16/13 — Farm

JBG tranplants always grow from non-GMO seeds.  Photo by Scott David Gordon JBG Tranplants. Photo by Scott David Gordon

The Safe Seed Pledge

You may have read in the news this week about the Supreme Court case that pitted a soybean farmer against Monsanto.  The farmer lost the case, adding another win and further legal protections for GMO crops.  This made me concerned again about the increase in use of GMO seeds.  I also started thinking about the need for clear labeling on products containing GMO ingredients.  Having this kind of labeling is the only way that consumers can make an informed choice about the food they eat and vote with their dollars.

Back in 1999, High Mowing Organic Seeds, along with nine other seed companies, took a stand against GMO (genetically modified organism) seeds by creating the following Safe Seed Pledge:

"Agriculture and seeds provide the basis upon which our lives depend. We must protect this foundation as a safe and genetically stable source for future generations. For the benefit of all farmers, gardeners and consumers who want an alternative, we pledge that we do not knowingly buy or sell genetically engineered seeds or plants. The mechanical transfer of genetic material outside of natural reproductive methods and between genera, families or kingdoms poses great biological risks, as well as economic, political and cultural threats. We feel that genetically engineered varieties have been insufficiently tested prior to public release. More research and testing is necessary to further assess the potential risks of genetically engineered seeds. Further, we wish to support agricultural progress that leads to healthier soils, genetically diverse agricultural ecosystems and ultimately healthy people and communities."

The National Organic Program rules and regulations prohibit all certified organic growers from using GMO seeds.  However, this is not the primary reason I don't use them.  I personally believe we shouldn't be using GMO's, and so I am taking the added step of signing the Safe Seed Pledge.  I applaud High Mowing Seeds founder, Tom Stearns, for having the foresight to create such a pledge back in 2001.  GMO's were introduced back in the 1990's, and their presence has since grown substantially.  Now, the vast majority of US processed foods contain GMOs; however, unlike in Europe, food containing GMOs doesn't have to be labeled in the US.  As a diversified vegetable grower, there are lots of things that worry me about the dramatic increase in the use of GMOs, including what I've listed here:

-Many GMO's are engineered to be herbicide resistant (to the weed killer, Roundup, mainly).  The reason behind this is, if you make the plant super-resistant to herbicide, you can use a lot more of these chemicals to get rid of weeds and still not kill the crop.  This means that more and more harmful chemicals are being put into the soil and damaging the environment.  Eventually, the over-use of herbicides could make weeds less resistant, creating a bigger problem in the long run.  Also, GMO crops such as field corn, potatoes, sweet corn, and soybeans have been genetically engineered to produce the Bt protein.  Bt on its own is an organically-approved way of controlling worms that affect many crops.  What's worrying to me is that genetically engineering plants to produce this protein themselves may cause worms to develop an increased resistance to it.  This would then render Bt no longer effective for organic and conventional growers alike.

-Use of GMO's creates less plant diversity since seed companies only sell a very limited assortment of GMO variety types.  As a farmer, I can't stress how much I love to grow so  many different varieties of vegetables.  For me, it is exciting that all of this variety exists within each type of crop, and, every year,  I look forward to trialing something new at JBG.  GMO's threaten to diminish this variety by replacing all of the varieties within a type of plant and with far fewer GMO versions.  The thought of this as a farmer makes me both angry and fearful - angry because I do not want to lose the diversity I love and fearful because I know that relying on one variety can lead to catastrophic crop failures.  One of the reason we plant so many different varieties of vegetables is to protect against this kind damage.

-As a father, I worry about the health effects of GMOs since these haven't been adequately researched.  At a minimum, I feel strongly that, as in Europe, all food that contains GMOs needs to be labeled.

I tend to be a pretty positive, solution-oriented person, and I think that this is what makes me suitable for farming.  If there is a problem, I try to solve it.  The issue of GMOs, though, feels huge and certainly beyond my individual control.  One thing that I think we all can do is to put pressure on the FDA to require food containing GMOs to be labeled.  Then, we would at least have the power to make informed choices about the food we purchase.  Finally, as a farmer, I want you to know that JBG does not and will not use GMO seed.  To do so would both violate the National certified organic rules we follow as well as go against my personal beliefs.

The problem of GMO vegetables hits close to home.  For example, GMO vegetables such as sweet corn, summer squash and zucchini, potatoes, soybeans, and radicchio are already in area supermarkets and usually aren't labeled.   You can rest assured, though, that the vegetables you get in your JBG CSA box or from our booth at the farmers market are all GMO-free.

SWEET POTATO TRANSPLANTING

05/18/13 — Farm

 Scott Davi A sweet potato transplant, or slip,  goes into the ground.  Photo by Scott David Gordon

This past week, we transplanted sweet potatoes, and our photographer, Scott David Gordon, was there to capture the process.

Christian drives the tractor as Carlos & Veronica work on the transplanter to get the sweet potato slips into the ground. Christian drives the tractor as Carlos & Veronica plant the sweet potato slips.

First, as Christian pulls the transplanter, its disks create furrows in the ground for the sweet potato slips. As it moves, the transplanter, disks create furrows in the ground for the sweet potato slips.

Then, Carlos & Veronica put individual slips on the transplanter's rotating wheel which then places the plant in the ground. Then, Carlos & Veronica put individual slips on the transplanter's rotating wheel which then places the plant in the ground.

The wheel of the machine turns & places individual plants into the furrows. The wheel of the machine turns & drops individual slips into the furrows.

A view from above. A view from above that shows the bins filled with sweet potato slips waiting to go into the ground.

The beginnings of a row of sweet potato plants. The beginnings of a row of sweet potato plants.
OLDER POSTS