From the Farmer
My yoga instructor always has an inspirational quote at the end of class. My favorite is “If you are willing to be a beginner, the whole world opens up to you.”
This week some of you might be feeling like beginners, and I suspect that there is at least one item in the distribution that you have never seen before, let alone prepared.
Most people have never been taught to eat with the seasons. We get phone calls at the farm all the time from people who are looking to pick strawberries in August or wondering when the tangerines will be ripe…..did I mention we farm in New England? Many notable authors in the last few years have opened our eyes to who’s producing our food and where is it coming from and frankly, many of you were taken by surprise.
Instead ignoring the facts, you took charge and one by one, you as consumers, changed the way we now look at food. Many of you sought out your local farms, farmers’ markets and CSA opportunities, to get a close up look of “the farmer”. You got a glimpse into their philosophy on growing and their plans for the future. You learned their names, you saw them working side by side with their children and spouses. They shared recipes with you, and you put a face to your food. These are the origins of your migration from the monotony of the grocery store into the world of seasonal eating – all because you were willing to be a beginner. Most importantly you ignited another generation of young people who are choosing farming as a career.
To those of you who joined our CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program, you quickly learned that there was more to the concept than picking up a box of vegetables every week. The experience is far more that having really fresh, usually picked that day, vegetables that are good for you. As time went on, many of your vegetable-adverse children began love affairs with raw green beans, baby bok choy, spinach, kale and cherry tomatoes that they harvested themselves. You even added a few new vegetables to your repertoire. Some of them are your new favorites, something you look forward to seeing because you know they are only available for a week or two out of each season.
Many of you have experienced the solitude and satisfaction of picking your own greens or cherry tomatoes. While doing so, you developed an appreciation for your food and for the farmers who make it all possible. That connection doesn’t stop in the field but continues into your kitchen. You see, it’s not just a cherry tomato anymore. It’s a cherry tomato that you have been waiting for all year. It’s a cherry tomato that is worthy of your favorite recipe. A cherry tomato that will bring conversation to your dinner table and truly connect you and your family to what it means to eat seasonally.
Yes, the offering in the CSA share changes every other week in the summer and not so often in the winter. A veteran CSA member can measure time based on what’s in the share in any given week.
With seasonal eating, cooking becomes fun again and you’ll share recipes with other localvores. Chances are you’ll move away from foods that we are all trying to avoid because you have a bounty in your refrigerator. And yes, many shareholders have improved their health during the course of a single CSA season. As one shareholder signed up for the upcoming season, she sent me a note thanking me for helping her loss 80 lbs over the last season.
So for those of you who are just starting this journey, a journey that is challenging in the beginning just like anything new and worth doing, give it a go. I encourage you to be patient with yourself while learning to eat seasonally, it doesn’t happen overnight. But someday, if all goes well, you look in your refrigerator or in your pantry and be proud of the fact that you are no longer a beginner but a pro.
Thanks for your continued support. It means everything to my family and other farm families around the world. Without the CSA and shareholders like you who have put so much faith in us, the farm won’t be what it is today
Enjoy the bounty and have some fun with it,
Early Bird Discount
Thank you to everyone who signed up for their shares early this year. If you signed up before April 1st (we have a check off sheet with your names), we have a 10% off gift card at the register for you. Just stop by and ask the cashier. And thank you again for supporting Tangerini’s Farm!
At the Farm Stand
There will be a number of fresh and local items available at the farm stand this week, including dips and salsa made in our own Kitchen. Stop by after pick-up and check out additional items to take home for the week.
From our Kitchen:
Inspired by our seasonal offerings, we will have Parsley, Cilantro and Carrot Hummus, Garlic Scape Pesto, Garlic Scape and White Bean Pesto, and our Farmhouse Salsa.
From the Tuscan Market:
Homemade cheese, mushroom and lobster ravioli, truffle and marscarpone gnocchi, and butternut cappellacci.
From Brambly Farm in Norfolk:
Fresh, local eggs
From Narragansett Creamery (RI)/ Smith Cheeses (MA):
Cheeses and Cheese Spreads
From High Ridge Meadow Farm (VT):
Chestnut Farm (Hardwick, MA):
Meats including beef, pork and turkey
From Ever So Humble Pie (MA):
Pies and Cookies
There are a number of events coming up at the farm this summer that we’d like to remind you of. Please check your calendars and come by for the following:
June 21st, 4:00 PM (Father’s Day)
Phat Daddies Concert
June 26th, after dark
Fireworks at the Farm
July 2nd, 3:00 PM
Pasta Demo with Ed from the Tuscan Market,
July 2nd, CSA Pick-up Time
Chestnut Farms at Tangerini’s
July 8th, 7:00 PM
Pesto Making Class
Wednesday, July 15th, 7:00 PM
Pickling and Canning Class
This week’s harvest includes items like bok choy, green leaf lettuce, red boston bib lettuce, green boston bib lettuce, kohlrabi, garlic scapes, potatoes and scallions. Check out some of the recipes (with their links) below!
Five Ingredient Smoke Salmon and Potato Salad
2 pounds potatoes, sliced into 1/2-inch coins
3/4 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon juice from 1 lemon
3 ounces smoked salmon, finely chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh herbs such as parsley, chives, tarragon, or scallions
Freshly ground black pepper
In a large pot, cover potatoes with water by 1 inch and season heavily with salt. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce to a simmer, and cook until potatoes are easily pierced with a wooden skewer or the tip of a paring knife, about 15 minutes. Drain and let cool slightly.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine sour cream lemon juice, chopped salmon, and herbs. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
When potatoes have cooled slightly but are still warm, add to bowl and toss to combine and coat with dressing. Serve. Salad can be kept in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Serve cold or allow to come to room temperature.
Creamy Lettuce and Garlic Scape Soup
3 tablespoons butter
4 garlic scapes, chopped
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup dry white wine, sherry or vermouth
1 quart low-sodium vegetable broth
3 heads soft lettuce such as Boston, rinsed of any grit and chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Freshly ground nutmeg
1/2 cup half-and-half
Heat butter in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add garlic scapes and cook, stirring, about 4 minutes. Add flour and cook, stirring, until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Add wine and cook, stirring, about 3 minutes. Add broth, lettuce, and salt and pepper to taste. Cover pot and bring liquid to a boil, then drop to a simmer and cook until lettuce is tender, about 5 minutes.
Remove soup from heat, add a dash of nutmeg and the half-and-half, and use a hand blender to blend until smooth. Alternatively, blend soup in a blender in two batches. Serve immediately, with a touch of extra cream in each bowl, if desired; alternatively; chill soup before serving.
Braised Baby Bok Choy with Garlic, Ginger and Soy
4 medium or 6 small bok choy
4 tablespoons neutral oil, such as grapeseed or canola
2 teaspoons grated ginger, grated on a microplane grater
2 medium garlic cloves, grated on a microplane grater (about 2 teaspoons)
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup dark soy sauce
1/4 cup loosely packed dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds
1 tablespoon minced chives
Hot cooked rice, for serving (optional)
Soak bok choy in a large bowl of cold water, swishing to loosen any grit. Drain, cut in half lengthwise, and dry carefully with paper towels. Heat oil in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan or Dutch oven over high heat until shimmering. Add halved bok choy, cut side down, working in batches if necessary to avoid crowding pan, and sear until deeply browned, about 6 minutes. Remove to a large plate or sheet pan.
Lower heat to medium and add ginger and garlic, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add water and vinegar and bring to a simmer, stirring and scraping bottom of pan with a wooden spatula or spoon to loosen any browned bits. After 1 minute, add soy sauce and brown sugar. Add bok choy back to pan and cook, uncovered, until bok choy leaves are wilted and stems are crisp-tender, 6-8 minutes. Remove bok choy to serving platter.
Continue to cook liquid in pan over medium heat until it reduces to a glaze of desired consistency, 6 to 8 minutes. Spoon glaze over bok choy and garnish with sesame seeds and chives. Serve with hot cooked rice, if desired.