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This week - FAVAS! My favaorite!
Baby lettuces shining in the morning sun

Oxbow Wild Sprouts Day Camps

“I’m KING OF THE PLUMS!” 

“I’m the MUD MONSTER!”
 
“I’m the APPLE ORCHARD FAIRY!”
 
“I’m a FARM NINJA!”

...Just some of the characters I met in the orchard yesterday. No, the farm interns have not lost their senses (yet)…it’s the Wild Sprouts! They have invaded the farm! 
A happy camper eating a plum
These Wild Sprout campers are a welcome infestation, bringing their vivid imaginations onto our verdant Kid’s Farm. They troll around the farm from field to orchard, from orchard to wetland, from wetland to Living Playground, these little herds of colorful campers grazing on farm food. They are led by amazing camp instructors who will have them one moment singing softly to a tomato, the next running and howling like coyotes. Their faces are painted by plums and fresh peas and blueberries and chickweed and mud. The Wild Sprouts are like a fresh breeze on this farm. Best kind of fertilizer for this soil! Even the overworked farm crew smiles as they go by. 

You would think that a gaggle of boisterous campers would send the wildlife running for cover on this farm, but quite to the contrary—in the past 2 camp sessions, the campers have ogled coyote pups, garter snakes lazing in the sun—one atop our pea trellis!--, fuzzy orange and white caterpillars, tiny tree frogs, a new batch of swallows who like to hoola-hoop around anyone walking in a certain field, lots of slugs, and our resident Great Blue Heron, of course. And bugs! And berries (and bees)! And butterflies…you name it, short of bears; EVERYONE had come out to study this new farm crew!

Oxbow is in its 2nd year partnering with the Wilderness Awareness School to offer summer camps on the farm.  WAS brings its 30 years of outdoor educational expertise to the camp; Oxbow offers its beautiful backdrop, organic growing know-how, and tasty farm vittles. And WOOOO-WEEEE, what a POPULAR offering it has been: all 4 weeks of camp are chock FULL this summer…but if you have a 4-12 year old you think would enjoy a camp like this, please remember us next April when registration begins!
A couple of parents comment:
“As usual, we are beyond impressed with Sam's experience. He is having a great time. I was wishing there was an adult wild sprout experience! They did not have this when I was a kid...”
“I had some misgivings about the distance of the farm and coordinating getting Charlotte to the event (I am a working mom), but Charlotte was so happy yesterday and excited by her day, it has made it all worthwhile. It feels like a really wonderful program.”


Check more camp photo's here!

Organically,
Luke, Adam, Sarah, Megan, Yolanda, Tino, Valentin, Julio Cesar, Mariana, Mike, Alice, Bjorn, Siobhan, Amy, Nate, Linda, Dana, Deb, Jules, Shira, Pearl & Sweet-Cheeked Emuna!

The Skinny on your Veg

Fava Beans
Oxbow's favasThese are the bomb! Seriously, I know I say that a lot about our veggies and I mean it… But, there is something truly special about favas. They are tender, creamy, fruity, sweet, and just a little tart - they taste more like a tropical fruit than a vegetable. Favas, also called broad beans, are one of the oldest cultivated plants in the world and are a staple in Asia, North Africa, the Middle East, Europe, & South America. These bright green gems arrive in a large leathery pod that's all cozy & fuzzy inside. They are high in fiber, iron and protein and low in fat. The downside is they do take a little effort... but trust me it's worth it. Start by shelling the beans, this is easy and another great project for the wee ones. Then blanch the beans in salted boiling water for 1-2 minutes, drain and rinse with cold water (or transfer to a bowl of ice water) to stop the cooking. Now you need to remove the outer skin, which for the most part has split during blanching, if not use your thumbnail or a small knife to nick a hole in the skin and just pop the beans out. Now your beans are ready to eat! Sprinkle them with some salt & pepper for a tasty snack. Or sauté them briefly in butter or olive oil with a clove or 2 of garlic to warm them, season with salt, pepper and, if you like, a little fresh chopped herbs (mint, parsley… whatever you have on hand). 

Collards
Oxbow CollardsAnother member for the infamous brassica family, therefore related to the cabbage and in fact are easily confused for cabbage in the field (ok, by me at least). Like their cousins they are very nutritious, high in fiber and beta carotene and some calcium and vitamin C, although the vitamin C all but disappears when cooked. The tender leaves can be eaten raw in salads or slaws but they are best known for their Southern preparation - cooked for hours with bacon or smoked ham hocks. But, you do not have to cook them that long - a 10 or 20 minute braise or sauté will do just fine (if not better). The bitter flavor of cooked collards is enhanced when served with vinegar, particularly flavored vinegar such as chili vinegar or the vinegar from pickled peppers. Store collards in a loosely closed plastic bag in your crisper.


This Week's Recipes

GRILLED FAVA BEANS
from the Officina's grill
I first had these at the Feast on the Farm last year at Oxbow. Chef Matthew Dillon, of Sitka & Spruce and the Corson Building, roasted our favas over an open fire. They were lightly smokey and delicious and he brilliantly passed off the work of peeling fava’s to the diners. I have been grilling my favas ever since.
  • Fresh fava beans, in their pods
  • Olive oil
  • Sea salt
Drizzle the favas with olive oil, use your hands to rub oil on each pod. Put the oiled favas directly on the grill over medium heat. Grill, turning occasionally, until they are blistering and charred in spots, 5-10 minutes. To check if they are done, split the pod open and pop out a bean and remove the skin. The beans should be tender, butter & creamy.


FAVA PUREE
Courtesy of Alice Waters from "In the Green Kitchen: Techniques to Learn by Heart"
Fresh fava beans have an extraordinary flavor like no other bean. The early beans of spring are small and tender, and a delicacy in soups, salads, and pastas. Larger, more mature and starchy favas are better suited to longer cooking and make a brilliant green puree to spread on croutons. Fava beans require a little extra effort to shell and peel before cooking, but they are well worth it. First they must be stripped from the large green spongy pods, and then each bean needs to be peeled to remove the skin. Alice Waters
  • 2 to 3 pounds of fava beans in the pod
  • About 1/2 C olive oil
  • 1/2 C water
  • Salt
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled & chopped
  • 1 to 2 tsp chopped rosemary
  • Fresh-ground black pepper
Shell the beans, and heat a pot of water to boiling. Blanch the beans briefly (for 30 seconds or so) to loosen the skins; drain and cool in ice water, to preserve their bright green color. Peel the beans; use your thumbnail to tear the skin at one end, then squeeze to pop out the bean.
Heat about 1/4 cup of the olive oil in a heavy-bottomed saucepan and add the beans, the water, and a generous pinch of salt. Cook the beans gently, stirring occasionally, for 10 to 15 minutes, until very soft. Add more water if needed to keep them moist and loose. Mash the beans to a paste with a wooden spoon or potato masher. Make a well in the center of the pan and pour in another few tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the garlic and rosemary to the oil and cook gently; when the garlic tarts to sizzle and releases its fragrance, stir the mixture into the beans. Season with a few grinds of pepper. Taste and add more salt, olive oil, or water as needed.


BRAISED COLLARDS w/ BACON
From the Officina’s Kitchen
Normally I’m not one to cook my vegetables for long periods of time. But collards really do get silky when slow-cooked for a long time. This is a great side for grilled meats or chicken.
  • 1 bunch collards
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 3 slices bacon
  • 1/2 tsp Spanish paprika
  • 1 C dry white wine
  • 1/2 C good quality stock
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • Fresh ground pepper
Cut the stems from the collard leaves and cut or tear the leaves into thirds. Cut the onion in half lengthwise and thinly slice. Cut the bacon slices into 1/4” strips or lardons.

Cook the bacon in a heavy-bottom skillet over medium heat until lightly crispy. Remove the bacon and drain on paper towels. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat and sauté the onions and garlic over medium heat until translucent, about 5 minutes, season with paprika and salt and pepper to taste. Deglaze the pan with wine and let cook for a minute or 2, add the stock – I used homemade pork stock but a good quality chicken stock will do just fine.

Add the bacon and the collards to the pan w/ the onions and toss until the collards are coated and just starting to wilt.
Transfer the collard, onion, bacon mixture to a casserole dish and cover with a foil or lid. Cook in a 325 degree oven for 2 hours. This can be made in advance and reheated before serving… it will only get tastier.


COLD PINK BORSCHT
By Christine Muhlke from The New York Times ~ July 14, 2010
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 1 T salt
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 2 T red-wine vinegar, or to taste
  • 1 T sugar
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne, or to taste
  • 3 cloves
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 large shallots, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1 1/2 lb beets
  • 1 C whole-milk yogurt
  • Chopped fresh dill or chives (optional).
Peel and slice the beets and put them in a large saucepan. Cover with 8 cups water and add the garlic, shallots, bay leaf, coriander, cloves, cayenne, sugar, vinegar, oil and salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes, or until the beets are tender. Check the seasoning of the broth. It should be distinctly sweet, sour, peppery and flavorful. Correct the seasoning, adding salt and cayenne if necessary, and freshly ground pepper. Cool slightly.
 
Remove the bay leaf. Purée the soup well in a blender, then strain into a large bowl. Chill in the refrigerator or over ice until cold.
 
Just before serving, whisk in the yogurt. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding a splash of vinegar if necessary. Thin with a little water to achieve the correct thickness — like a thin milkshake. To serve, pour into small water glasses. Garnish with freshly ground pepper and, if desired, fresh dill or chives.


LIME CHILI CAESAR DRESSING
From the Officina’s kitchen
This recipe happened when I had a HUGE head of romaine from the farm and was REALLY craving a Caesar salad… but I didn’t have any lemons, only limes. This is a tasty lesson in using what you have and winging it! This dressing is particularly amazing on grilled romaine!
  • 1 egg Yolk
  • 1 T minced anchovies or anchovy paste
  • 3 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 4 T lime juice, about 2 limes
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • Heavy pinch of sea salt
  • 6 T extra-virgin olive oil
Put all ingredients in a blender or food processor, except lime juice and process for 15 seconds. Slowly add lime juice, add more oil if needed. Pour over freshly harvested Jericho romaine, roughly torn or grilled romaine halves. Top toasted pumpkin seeds and fresh croutons.

Yum!

Week #8:


Box Highlights:

  • Fava Beans
  • Collards

Recipes:

  • Grilled Fava Beans
  • Fava Puree
  • Braised Collards w/ Bacon
  • Cold Pink Borscht
  • Lime Chili Caesar

This Week's Harvest:

Family Share

week #8 family share
  • 1 bu Oxbow Carrots
  • 2 Lbs Fava Beans
  • 1 bu Collards
  • 1 bu Dino Kale
  • 1 Jericho Romaine
  • 1 Red Summer Crisp Lettuce
  • 1 bu fresh Tropea Onions
  • 1 bu fresh Walla Walla Onions
  • 1 bu fresh Dill
  • 4 Pristine tart baking Apples

Small Share

Week #8 small share
  • 1 bu Oxbow Carrots
  • 1 Lb Fava Beans
  • 1 bu Chioggia Beets
  • 1 head Cabbage *farmer's choice
  • 1 bu Collards
  • 1 Jericho Romaine
  • 1 bu fresh Walla Walla Onions
  • 2 Pristine tart baking Apples

Fruit Share

  • 1 lb Nectarines
  • 2 lb Peaches
  • 6 Perfection Aprcots
  • 8 Rival Apricots

Add-Ons:

  • The jam this week is Italian Plum
  • This week's sauerkraut is Spicy Garlic Chi

Box Notes from your Farmers:
 

*Farmers Choice Cabbage means that the cabbage in your box will either be Early Jersey Wakefiled, Savoy or Red. It will depend on how many fresh heads we can harvest on each harvest day. We will only send the freshest available and thankfully each type is absolutely delicious in its way.

It is that time of year when the zucchini starts taking over the farm... so even though we don't have zuccini in your box this week some might sneak there way in. Enjoy.

A note on last week's fruit share: Unfortunately it was a challenging season for cherries and the rainier season was cut shorter than we expected. So for our Thursday & Friday members your rainier cherries were replaced w/ a pint of Strawberries & 2 Vista Bella Apples... yum!

**Please note that we do our best to have consistency in our boxes throughout the week. But, with over 300 members this is not always possible, So if the contents of your box don't exactly match this list, rest assured that we have substituted something equally scrumptious! You can also check out your box contents in your accounts on-line, we try and keep this up-to-date.

CSA Member Etiquette:

  • A little reminder of some of the CSA rules to help keep everyone happy. 
  • Please only take the box labeled with your name. This is especially important with all the add-ons we are adding in.
  • If you've have an egg share, please take the carton from the cooler that is labeled with your name. If you haven't ordered the egg share - don't take any eggs from the cooler!
  • If you are having a friend pick up your box (which is great), please make sure they know the above rules.
  • Please carefully breakdown your box and return it to your pickup location each week. Because they are heavily waxed they aren't recyclable so we try and use them as many times as possible before they go to the landfill.
  • If you would like to move your box to a different pickup location, please make sure to make the change 1 week before the pickup you want to make sure it's captured correctly.
  • Also if you want to change pickup day's, make sure you are staying in the same week. The system will not deliver 2 boxes in the same week. So, if you usually pickup on Sunday you can change to the following Friday NOT previous.  

The Oxbow Box Project:


This CSA season we have asked local chefs, cooks & food bloggers to experience the Oxbow Box for one week. They will cook with it, photograph/video it, feed their families or dinner guests and then report back to us about what great things they did with our vegetables!

Click here to see the latest entry.

CSA Pick-up Locations:

Sunday
Ballard Farmers Mkt, 10am-3pm
Plymouth Church, 10am-1pm
West Seattle - Proletariat Pizza, 4-8:30pm

Tuesday
Carnation Farmers Mkt, 3-7pm
Alpine Integrated Health, 1-5pm
Temple De Hirsch-Sinai, 3-6pm
Mercer Is. SJCC, 2-9:30pm
Meg's in Wallingford, 3-7pm
The Greatful Bread, 5-7pm
Cafe Flora, 3-8pm
Bristlecone, 4-6pm
UW Burke Museum, 3-6pm

Thursday
The Grange Cafe, 5-9pm
Marigold & Mint, 3-7pm
Anny's in Montlake, 2-8pm
North Seattle CC, 4-7pm
Queen Anne - Kavana, 3-7pm
Temple De Hirsch-Sinai, 3-6pm
UW Hillel, 3-7pm

Friday
Madrona Farmers Mkt, 3-7pm
Cupcake Royale Blve, 2-8pm
Monica's in Columbia City, 3-8pm
Bellevue Hopelink, 3-7pm

This week @ Market:

Farmer Adam & and huge pile of carrots
Farmer Adam & our glorious carrots

You can pick up Oxbow's finest at the following markets around town:

You can also find our fabulous veggies at our friends' fabulous organic flower shop Marigold and Mint in the Melrose Market on Capitol Hill (on Melrose ave between Pike & Pine)!



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Here's how you break down your family share box. (The small share box is now much simplier!).

How to break down a box illustration
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