Sunday, August 2, 2015

CSA offerings: week 10

I'm aghast it's August! It seems like every day a new thing is ripening here at the farm. A few days ago I cut my little test plot of garbanzo beans and spread them on a tarp to finish drying. Today I tried my own mini-bean dance to pop them out of their shells, but bean dancing is a lot more work when you're alone, so I ended up just running them over repeatedly with the truck.

I love this small black variety called Black Kabouli, but I've never grown it on a larger scale than my garden. The problem with garbanzos is that they only have one or two beans per pod. But so far it looks like there are lots of pods! If you scroll to the bottom of the post, you can see some pictures from the garbanzo harvest. But first, here are some notes about this week's offerings:
  • Peppers! We have some green bells for those of you who don't like heat, and some anaheims and poblanos, for those of you who like a bit of warmth. For now, you'll need to choose one type or the other if you want peppers, but hopefully soon we'll have lots more!
  • Eggplant! Ready right now are a Japanese variety called Orient Express, which I love because it's early and productive, and a small globe style called Diamond. I haven't grown Diamond in years, and never in the Portland area, but I'm hoping it'll prove to be a good globe option for our climate. For now I'll be offering eggplant on a rotating basis to each pickup site, since there aren't enough to have for everyone every week. Hopefully as the summer progresses they'll kick into high gear!
  • Kale isn't new, but it is back! Just in time for a nice summer kale salad.
  • Basil isn't new either, but it never gets old. Here's something to know about basil, though: it hates refrigeration. The best place for a basil bunch is in a glass of water (like a bouquet of flowers!) on your counter. Unlike a bouquet of flowers, though, some websites also recommend covering it with a plastic bag, which doesn't look pretty but makes good sense to me. If you buy bulk basil and can't make pesto right away, leave it in the plastic bag and try to find the coolest place in your house to keep it. Around 50 degrees is about ideal, if you're lucky enough to have a place like that! And by the way, bulk basil is still available, so email me if you're interested! The cost is $12/lb.
  • Green coriander seed makes one more appearance on the list, so if you're still curious to try it, or you fell in love with it last week, it's time now to stock up! Delinda's Veggie Strata with Green Coriander Seeds (below) makes use of it. Do an internet search for "green coriander seed recipes," and you'll find some interesting stuff!
  • And finally, carrots. After 5 weeks harvesting from the first bed, we are on to a new variety. (Though some of you got it last week, too.) This one is an old open-pollinated carrot called Scarlet Nantes. I'd love to know if you notice a difference in flavor or texture, and if so, which variety do you prefer?

Veggie Strata with Green Coriander Seeds
(recipe from shareholder Delinda Free)

This simple dish is beautiful and fragrant with coriander. I brought this to a picky potluck because it was simple enough for almost any diet, paleo to vegan, yet the rainbow of vegetables is lovely to look at. Use a clear glass bowl to show off the layers.

3-4 spring onions, sliced
2 tablespoons oil
2-3 bunches of greens (mustard, chard, or kale, or a combo), chopped coarsely
2 cloves garlic, minced 
1 tablespoon oil
3 carrots, sliced
4 Chioggia beets, sliced
3 tablespoons chopped green coriander seeds
Salt and pepper to taste
Cilantro to garnish

Heat the oil on low in a cast iron pan. Add sliced onions and cook slowly until golden, adding salt to taste at the end. Make sure not to burn the onions so that they remain sweet and not bitter. When onions are caramelized, set aside on a plate.
In the same pan, sauté chopped greens, adding salt and pepper to taste. Add a spoonful of water, and place a lid on the pan to cook, until greens are vibrant-colored and still slightly crunchy. Place greens in bottom of large serving bowl. In same pan, add a little more oil if necessary. Add green coriander seeds, and stir for a minute until fragrant. Then add beets and carrots, salt and pepper, and stir. Add a couple of tablespoons of water, and place a lid on until vegetables are al dente. Be careful not to overcook or they will become mushy. When done, place the beet and carrot mixture in a pile on top of the bed of greens. Then top with the caramelized onions, and sprinkle with cilantro.
baby garbanzos back in April
Black Kabouli in late June. Check out those fuzzy pods and fetching purple flowers!
How I found them late last week. Practically overnight, the foliage had dried and fallen off.
garbanzo plants drying in the field
We had a few drops of rain today, so I brought the beans into the barn. This is right after I stripped the pods from their stems.
After running them over with the truck, most of the beans had popped out of their pods. This is how I left them at the end of today. Next step: winnowing!


  1. This is such an adorably written post. It makes me want to dance on beans with you! You have a beautiful way if writing that really communicates the joy of farming!

  2. Thanks Nancy! There will be an opportunity for a full-fledged bean dance later this season!