Our farmstand is opening this weekend!
Much like the spring weather being a bit behind, so is the opening of the Farm Stand here in Craftsbury Village. But, it is official, we are opening this coming Saturday the 31st for the season. The stand will be open 8-8, 7 days a week throughout the summer until October. We have a full display of all of Pete's veggie and meat offerings along with lots of other local products - grains, cheeses, yogurt, milk, eggs, honey, and more. This weekend we will have all of the bunching items you have seen in your CSA shares thus far plus celery, herbs, cucumbers, and for some early customers our first flush of tomatoes and baby zucchinis!
We will also be adding a really exciting selection of new value added foods - prepared salads, soups, dressings, baked goods, and more. All using Pete's Greens produce and other local farm products.
For many of our regular Farm Stand customers there will be a couple new faces running the stand this summer. Meg is our new manager and Emilie will be helping her out to keep things fresh and tasty. Please stop in and say hello. We also love feed back so let us know what you think of the store!
Emilie is a member of our wash-house crew. She helps harvest, wash, and pack your veggies. She's also going to start helping out at the farmstand this weekend. She's been here since February, 2014.
What's your background? I have been involved in farming for 13 years. For 12 years I owned my own 5 acre farm. We did everything there that Pete's Greens does but on a much smaller scale. I have a degree in Farm Management from a college in Quebec.
Why do you like farming? I like that it puts many things together - you can be outside, market things, be creative and innovative. I also like that it's a fresh start every year and you can try new things.
Why do you work at Pete's Greens? It's been my dream to work here for a long time. My dad knew Pete for a very long time so I always had it in the back of my head to work here. I was supposed to do an internship a few years ago but it didn't work out. When I shut down my farm 2 years ago I decided to work towards getting a job here. I like that it offers year round employment (not many farms do that). I also love VT and would like to live here for many more years.
What do you do in your spare time? I like to be outside hiking and in the woods.
What's your favorite vegetable? I love lettuce, carrots, and avocado.
Storage and Use Tips
This week's shares are filled with gorgeous greens! Your bag may be a little wetter than usual because of the fresh bunches so unpack your veggies quickly, especially your onions, to avoid any excessive wetness.
The spinach is beautiful this week. These are nice big leaves that are great for cooking. Add them to a stir fry at the end and steam until tender, or throw into an omelette.
Half share members will get chard. It's a delicious nutritious green, high in Vitamins A, K, and C. Chard works great as a spinach substitute but needs to be cooked down a bit longer. It also works well in soups and stews, or sauteed as a side.
This week's potatoes are small nicolas. These are slightly waxy potatoes with a smooth yellow exterior and white and creamy within. Nicolas are excellent for boiling, roasting and using in salads. Store in a cool dry place away from onions.
Eat more Kale! This kale has a smooth leaf and is sweet. It's full of nutrients, tasty and an easy addition to so many dishes. Keep kale loosely wrapped in a plastic bag in your crisper drawer. Strip the leaves from the stems and wash them well before chopping and cooking. Saute with a little lemon juice, olive oil, and salt, throw it into any soup, or blend it into a (very healthy) smoothie. This is very tender spring kale and would also make a delightful salad. My new favorite salad is a kale Caesar, made exactly as you'd expect - just with the kale (see recipe below).
Pac choi has a mild flavor. The leaves taste similar to Swiss chard and the stems (called ribs) are deliciously crispy and can be substituted for celery in recipes. We grow both purple and green varieties. Your bag may have one or the other, or both. Pac Choi is mild enough to be chopped up for a salad, particularly if you give it a quick wilt in a hot pan. It's also great in stir-fries. Store pac choi loosely wrapped in a plastic bag in your crisper drawer.
Panisse lettuce is as beautiful as it is tasty. This very tender buttery lettuce is perfect for sandwiches and salads.
Panisse in the greenhouse pictured at left.
European cucumbers are here for the half share! In an ideal world they like to be kept at about 50 degrees or they may go soft in a couple days. I keep mine bagged and toss them in the crisper drawer and they keep a few days longer than that.
We have a hodgepodge mix of frozen veggies for everyone this week. Large share members take 2 bags and half share members take 1. Enjoy this mix of frozen veggies!
** Large share members take 2 frozen bags. Half share members take 1. **
There are only 2 more deliveries after this week's share!
June 18th through October 11th
Sign up for a veggie only or Localvore share, send in your checks by May 31st, and you can get a FREE PETE'S GREENS T-SHIRT! (If you've already signed up and paid you can also get in on this deal).
Vermont grown goodness and the localvore staples you love.
The summer share is filled with the best bounty that Vermont offers in the summer time. We'll start off in June with early greenhouse crops such as zucchini, herbs, radishes, Asian greens, and lots of other early season favorites.
By July we'll be into the prime growing season. Tomatoes, peas, broccoli, eggplant, carrots, cucumbers, and lots more will be in season. August and September bring a huge variety of veggies: cabbages, beans, tomatoes, corn, summer squash, and lots of greens to name just a few.
We are working on some changes to our delivery schedule which might change your pick-up day. See proposed schedule below and please keep this in mind when considering our summer share.
There are a few new towns we would love to deliver to and need suggestions on businesses or residences to be site hosts. Please let us know if you have any ideas for sites in the proposed new sites below.
Changes to Your Delivery?
If you will be away some upcoming week, and need to make changes to your share delivery, let us know at least 1 week before the change. You can have your share donated to the Food Pantry, or you can skip your share delivery and you will retain a credit on your account toward the purchase of your next share.
Red Hen is making us a great new bread this week - see what Randy (the owner) has to say about it:
This week we're making what we'll call PEI levain. It is a bread we made especially for the share this week. It is made entirely with a stoneground and sifted flour that is milled by Meunerie Milanaise from wheat grown on Prince Edward Island. A portion of the bran is sifted out of this flour, but much of it remains and all of the nutrient-rich germ is present. So this bread is a little lighter than a 100% whole wheat bread but nearly as nutritious. It is naturally leavened for good flavor, texture, and keeping qualities.
We have a mix of frozen blueberries OR raspberries this week. PLEASE TAKE ONLY ONE BAG OF EITHER RASPBERRIES OR BLUEBERRIES.
The wild organic Maine blueberries are from Merrill's Blueberry Farm in Ellsworth, Maine. These are delicious, sweet small berries, perfect for all uses - pies, muffins, smoothies or just eating by the handful. They will come to you frozen. If they have thawed when you pick them up, put them back into the freezer. They'll freeze solid again and you can still use them. Todd Merrill and his family have been in the blueberry business since 1925. They provide a great service to the Maine blueberry community by providing a place to clean, sort, freeze and store berries. They are growers, but they themselves don't grow organically. The organic berries come from local organic Maine growers including our friend Ben Perrin at Burke Hill Farm in Cherryfield, ME. Wild blueberries are loaded with antioxidants and are ranked among the fruits and vegetable with the most antioxidants.
The raspberries are from North Derby Farm in VT. Greg and Sharon Smith grow around 5 acres of raspberries, blueberries and blackberries on their farm in Newport. They grow using ultra organic methods, but choose not to certify their farm because of the expense of doing so. These raspberries are frozen so you can enjoy them right away or throw back in your freezer to use at a later date. They are great added to baked goods like the muffin recipe below, smoothies, or in yogurt.
We made the Pete's Kitchen tomatillo salsa last summer and froze it. It was made using our freshly harvested tomatillos, onions, roasted jalapenos, plus cider vinegar, lime juice, garlic, cilantro and salt. It has good flavor and some nice zip. This salsa is wonderful with chips or as a sauce for meats, steamed veggies, or beans. It will come to you frozen so you can thaw it out and enjoy right away (it's good for one week) or stick back in the freezer for up to a year.
Potato Kale Soup
This soup is even better the next day, or made early and heated again just before serving.
1 bunch kale
4 TB oil
salt & pepper
1 medium onion diced
3 cloves garlic minced
1/2 lb. spicy sausage, crumbled or chopped - optional
red pepper flakes to taste
4 medium potatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 quart milk
Wash kale and strip leaves from stems. Chop the kale leaves nice and small. Heat one tablespoon of the oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add one clove of the minced garlic, and saute for one minute. Add kale with a pinch of salt and saute until bright green. Remove kale to another bowl.
Heat the rest of the oil in the same pot, add onions and remaining garlic with (optional sausage), salt, pepper and red pepper flakes to taste. Saute until fragrant and browning, about 5-10 minutes. Add potatoes and saute briefly together. Add water to just cover potatoes. Bring to a boil and simmer until the potatoes are falling apart tender. Remove from the heat and mash the potatoes with the back of a spoon to make a thick base. Add kale and enough milk to make a creamy soup; taste for salt and pepper. Bring to a very gentle simmer and cook about 15 minutes longer.
KALE CAESAR SALAD
This is a great kale salad recipe that comes from a blog I frequent, Diary of a Localvore.
for the salad:
1 bunch kale
1/4 cup whole wheat Panko or bread crumbs
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
for the dressing:
1 head garlic
juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon capers
2 anchovy filets, plus extra for serving
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
First make the dressing. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Take the outer layers of skin off the garlic and chop off the top 1/4 inch of the head so you can see the individual cloves inside. Place the garlic in the center of a sheet of foil, drizzle with olive oil, and wrap tightly. Roast for 30 minutes, until the cloves are soft. Remove the foil and set aside to cool.
Meanwhile, toast the Panko crumbs. Spread them on a baking sheet, drizzle them with the olive oil, and toast until golden brown—about 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.
When you can tough the garlic, squeeze the cloves into a food processor. Puree along with 1/3 cup olive oil and the lemon juice, capers, two anchovies, and the mustard and salt. The dressing should be thick.
Now put together the salad. Cut the kale into thin ribbons, removing any thick parts of the stalks. Put the kale in a bowl and toss with 1/2 cup of the dressing, the Parmesan cheese, and the Panko crumbs. Serve at once. If you like anchovies, I recommend layering a few on top.
Pac Choi Stir-Fry
Two or three minutes and this side dish is on the table! The rice is the only thing that will take some time, so leave it out if you're in a rush. Feel free to add cooked chicken or beef to it to bulk up.
1 bunch Pac Choi
1 inch of fresh ginger root
4 garlic cloves
1 red chili pepper - medium heat
1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
80ml oyster sauce
1 tablespoon of soy sauce
2 spring onions
Plus boiled rice to serve (optional)
Get your pan of salted water on to boil for the rice that you will serve with this. That's the only thing that will take any time. Meanwhile you can prepare the ingredients.
Cut the very end (stalk part) off of each Pak choi. Wash and pat dry. Now slice each one into four lengthwise, cutting through the stalk. Try to keep the size of the stalk part even so they all cook at the same rate.
Peel the garlic and slice thinly.
Peel the ginger and then slice into really thin matchsticks and make each one about half and inch long.
Wash and thinly slice (on the diagonal) the chili pepper - leaving the seeds in. Wash and slice on the diagonal the spring onion and put them to one side. When your rice is done, drain and plate up as the actual stir fry wont take long at all.
Heat up your wok and add about 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil.
Add the ginger, garlic and chili and stir for a minute, Add the Pak choi and keep stirring. Pour in the soy sauce and oyster sauce. Make sure everything is nicely coated adding more oyster and soy sauce if you wish.
Serve immediately, pouring over all that lovely sauce and top with the spring onions.
Smoky Potato salad with Sherry Vinaigrette
This recipe is courtesy of Martha Stewart. According to her the sherry vinegar is absolutely necessary even if you don't think you need another bottle of vinegar. Made exclusively in the celebrated sherry region of Spain, vinagre fo Jerez is aged for at least 6 months (and often more than a decade), taking on a rich color and complex, balanced taste faintly reminiscent of caramel. It's less sweet than balsamic and more nuanced than many other vinegars. Just a splash adds depth- and Spanish flavor - to vinaigrettes and more.
1 pound small potatoes, halved or quartered if large
2 tsp sherry vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp sweet smoked paprika
freshly ground pepper
scallions or chives
Boil potatoes in salted water until fork-tender, 10-12 minutes. Drain and immediately toss with the remaining ingredients. Let cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle with sliced scallions or chives.
With all these gorgeous salad greens I thought it would be nice to include a number of different dressings this week. The following recipes are from the Smitten Kitchen cookbook. Check out her blog here.
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp whole-grain mustard
1 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tsp white wine vinegar
1 small shallot, minced
1/2 cup well-shaken buttermilk
1/2 cup mayo
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 small garlic clove, minced
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
3 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 tspb white wine vinegar
1 tbsp smooth Dijon mustard
1 1/2 tsp honey
salt and pepper
5 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp harissa, or to taste
1 tsp honey
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
Pinch of ground cumin
For all variations whisk all ingredients together until smooth. Adjust seasoning to taste.
Blueberry or Raspberry Pudding Cake
If you are looking for a quick and easy dessert that can be made up ahead of time, I highly recommend this berry pudding cake. It is delicious served hot or at room temperature. If you do prepare the pudding ahead of time and want to serve it hot, simply reheat it up in the oven for about 20 minutes before serving. The recipe has acombination of blueberries and raspberries, but any combination of berries can be used.
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 cup unbleached white flour
1 to 1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup milk or plain yogurt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 cup boiling water
Preheat an oven to 350° and butter or grease an 8-inch baking pan.
Toss the blueberries and raspberries with the cinnamon and lemon juice in a mixing bowl and pour into the prepared baking pan.
In another mixing bowl, combine the flour, half of the sugar and baking powder. Stir in the milk and butter. Spoon the batter over the berries.
Combine the remaining sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl and sprinkle over the batter. Slowly pour the boiling water over the entire dish.
Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until the pudding has risen and the top is golden brown. Serve hot or warm.