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Week 3: Strawberries

Today was pick-your-own strawberry day at the farm. The strawberry field was beautiful—perfect rows of bright green leaves dotted with red, juicy strawberries. A few Mom’s with kids in tow were in the fields picking their share. More strawberries went into their tummies than in the basket. What a special treat and a special memory.

Sweet strawberries—only 3 hours old.There really wasn’t a recipe that would do these berries justice. So, we cut them up and ate them au naturel for dessert tonight. Sweet and juicy and just perfect.

I don’t want to forget the other loot. There are beautiful greens so we will eat lots of salads this week. And, baby bok choy, carrots, and broccoli. I used the last three tonight for dinner—Tilapia and Shrimp in Parchment. Pretty simple: layer the veggies, fish, and a few orange slices. Top with teriyaki (got a gluten free version made by San-J), close the whole thing, and put it on a foil lined grill. Turn the grill to medium low heat, close the lid and cook for about 15-20 minutes. Simple and really good.

Thursday, June 4 - I worked late Thursday and my guys had already made themselves burgers for dinner. I wanted to use the cooking greens from the Garden so made myself this quick Penne with Wilted Garden Greens. Cook the GF pasta until al dente. Saute a few crushed cloves of garlic in oil. Add the washed greens (I mixed a few different types—spinach, broccoli raab leaves, and some kale) and saute until just wilted. Pour in some chicken broth to make a little bit of a sauce. Add sundried tomatoes and kalamata olives, keeping everything at a simmer. Add the pasta, more broth if needed, and simmer another minute or so. Top with feta and grated cheese.


Week 2: Rhubarb

Well, it’s Monday night and this is the first chance I’ve had to write about last week’s veggies. We got the requisite salad greens, kale, and root vegetables. Some special things were the baby bok choy and rhubarb.

 My plan is to top the bok choy with fresh fish and homemade teriyaki sauce, wrap it in parchment, and bake. So easy and so good. That just may be tomorrow night’s dinner.

Tonight we had the rhubarb. Here’s a news flash—I’ve never cooked or eaten rhubarb before. (I can hardly believe it myself.) It’s delicious and so easy. I made a Rhubarb Peach Compote to accompany Grilled Herbed Pork Tenderloin. We had Roasted Potatoes and Vegetables using the sweet and white potatoes from the garden and a few other veggies I had in the refrigerator. It was a great meal. I’ll be sure to post it soon.

It’s my turn to make the pick-up tomorrow (I partner with three other women in town) and I’m looking forward to it. Genesis Farms is not far from where I grew up. Being at the farm will feel like going back in time to days that were simpler. Growing a garden (or in this case an entire farm) is hard work but there’s something so rewarding about it. Can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings.

For the Rhubarb Peach Compote—Cut the rhubarb into small pieces and simmered them with some sugar and water until soft. I added one diced peach and simmered a few more minutes.

Roasted Potatoes and Vegetables are simple—Cut the potatoes and vegetables into similar sized pieces. Lay out on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and bake in a 350 degree preheated oven for about 20 minutes or until cooked to your liking. Turn once during the roasting time.


Week 1: Potatoes

Tonight we Roasted Potatoes from the Garden with a little olive oil, fresh rosemary, salt, pepper, and grated cheese. So warm and crunchy!

There are still a lot of greens in the fridge that remain unidentified. My sister suggested I saute them in a little garlic and oil. Sounds good to me. But, I’m still going to try to find out what they are—there should be some resource on the internet. Another day.


Community Supported Garden at Genesis Farms

New Jersey is the Garden State. That’s not what you would think if you’re just visiting – landing at Newark Airport or Penn Station.

The NJ where I grew up is very different from the urban sprawl of NYC. There’s farmland, lakes, rural roads. As I drive back to my family home I pass sheep and dairy farms, a vineyard, fields of corn and a roadside stand that sells vegetables on the honor system.

My sister and her boyfriend have a menagerie of goats, chickens, ducks and dogs. They drink fresh goat milk, make their own cheese, and have the most beautiful and delicious fresh eggs you can ever imagine. And, they are members of the Community Supported Garden at Genesis Farms.

Genesis Farms, located in Blairstown, NJ, was started in the late 1980s. It’s several hundred acres of farm and orchards managed by a small group of gardeners. It is totally supported by the shareholder community.

This year I became a shareholder at the CSG and today received my first bounty. It consisted of fresh greens for salads, herbs, root vegetables, and some greens that are unidentifiable to me! (Will have to start Googling to find out what they are.) Is there such a thing as radish greens?

Herbs (rosemary, oregano, sage, & thyme), greens, and radishes.So, tonight I made my first CSA Salad with fresh young greens and radishes from the Garden and a few veggies I already had in the fridge. It was terrific! Tomorrow night it’s a roasted vegetable extravaganza using the potatoes, carrots, and fresh herbs. Yum.

This should be an interesting culinary summer.

PS - CSA is Community Supported Agriculture. CSG is the Community Supported Garden, which is how the folks at Genesis Farms refer to their shareholder supported gardens. It seems most folks identify with CSA hence the name of this section of my blog is CSA Chronicle.

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