<![CDATA[Central Roots - Blog]]>Tue, 01 Mar 2016 10:40:49 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[CSA Week 18]]>Sun, 28 Sep 2014 21:58:43 GMThttp://www.centralroots.com/blog/csa-week-18
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Fennel and Ginger are here!  This will be the third year we've grown ginger in our hoop house and we're always thrilled when we finally dig them up.  As you can imagine, ginger prefers a warmer, tropical environment with a longer growing season.  Regardless, we tried it and love it.  Our ginger in this stage is actually referred to as 'pink ginger' or 'baby ginger.'  It doesn't have to be peeled, has zero stringy fibers and has a milder flavor than the store bought knobby looking ginger rhizomes.

This week members received two large bulbs of fennel, a bag of freshly dug ginger, three eggplants, a bag of sweet peppers, several delicious heirloom tomatoes, a bunch of cilantro, a bunch of parsley and a bunch of collards.  

Read More below to see our weekly email to members and some recipes...
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Central Roots CSA bag 9/26-27

Friend of Facebook

This week's share:

Fennel
Ginger

Tomatoes
Sweet Peppers
Eggplant
Collards

 Parsley
Oregano
 

Spotlight: Fennel

The days of baby fennel are passed and we are proudly harvesting adult sized bulbs for the CSA this week! Fennel is one of those things that most people pass up at the store.  It's a little intimidating, but downright delicious.  

Fennel is a very good source of vitamin C, potassium, manganese, dietary fiber, and folate. And it's a good source for niacin, magnesium, iron, calcium, phosphorous and copper....so eat up!

Fennel has a delicious anise flavor that pairs well with lots of different foods.  Apples and fennel are a great pairing, as are tomatoes, onion, beets, potatoes, fish, oranges and garlic... although maybe not all together.

If you like fish, we've been to several restaurants that serve salmon with braised fennel this time of year and the combination is out of this world.  See 'braised fennel' recipe below. 

Read More at  Nutritionaldata.self.com

Braised Fennel
recipe from epicurious.com
  • 2 fennel bulbs (sometimes called anise; 10 to 12 oz each) with fronds
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup water
  • preparation
 
Cut off and discard stalks from fennel bulbs, reserving fronds. Chop 1 tablespoon fronds and discard remainder. Cut bulbs lengthwise into 1/2-inch-thick slices, leaving core intact.
 
Heat oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then brown fennel slices well, turning over once, 3 to 4 minutes total.
 
Reduce heat to low. Sprinkle fennel with salt and pepper, then add broth and water. Cook, covered, until fennel is tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Sprinkle with fennel fronds. 
 
Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Fennel
see recipe here
 
Fennel and Blood Orange Salad
see recipe here
 
 
 

Bok Choy and Tofu Salad
with Carrot Ginger Dressing

Ingredients:
  • 1 block extra firm tofu (about 16 ounces, drained in the fridge on paper towels under a weight, such as a can of beans for several hours or overnight, then cut into matchsticks)
  • 1 carrot (large, peeled and roughly chopped)
  • 1 shallot (small, peeled and roughly chopped)
  • 2 inches fresh ginger (knob, peeled and roughly chopped, about 2 tablespoons) *double if using baby ginger
  • 2 tbsps white miso (paste)
  • 2 tbsps rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsps toasted sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 2 tbsps water
  • 5 baby bok choy (cleaned of all grit, cut in half lengthwise and shredded)
  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves (chopped fresh)
  • 1/4 cup salted peanuts (chopped)
  • ground black pepper
  • kosher salt
Directions:

Prepare the dressing: in the bowl of a food processor, combine carrot, shallot, and ginger, and pulse to combine. Add miso, rice vinegar, and sesame oil, and then leave machine running and drizzle in canola oil and water. Blend until smooth.

In a large bowl, combine bok choy and tofu, and then add dressing and fold gently to combine (you might have some leftover dressing). Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in cilantro and peanuts and serve immediately.

recipe from Serious Eats
 
 
 


Peppers- crisper, will keep about a week

Tomatoes- Countertop, do not refrigerate.  Placing stem side down prolongs shelf life.

Ginger- remove fronds, Crisper, will keep for a long while, may become rubbery.. rubbery is ok:)

Fennel- remove fronds for use or discard.  Store in crisper up to 2 weeks.

Eggplant- Countertop or refrigerator.  Stores up to a week.

Collards- crisper, will keep about a week


Herbs- store in a shallow glass of water in refrigerator. OR hang to dry.
 
 

Share Your Recipes

We'd love to hear what you've made!
Email us at centralrootsfarm@gmail.com
if you have recipe ideas you'd like us to share in future emails!

 

Ginger!


Yes, local ginger!! Last year we harvested a ton of baby ginger from our hoop houses, so we decided to try it again! As you can imagine, Ohio's growing window for ginger is less than optimal.  We only have three months to do what warmer climates to in 8.  So by planting them in hoop houses we are able to extend the summer a month or so to accommodate this crop! We are still only able to grow 'pink ginger' which as you will see is not the knobby thick fleshed rhizomes you're used to.  Pink ginger has a more delicate taste and spiciness in comparison.  


Here's a really great resource to explore
different ways to use Baby Ginger and Fresh Ginger
 

 

Quick Pickled Ginger

4 Tbsp. brown rice vinegar
2 Tbsp. water
2 tsp. liquid honey (or light agave)
2 tsp. sea salt

Whisk together. Set half aside to dress the quinoa.

2 oz fresh ginger root

1. slice the ginger thinly 
2. Sprinkle the ginger with salt, toss to coat, and let it sit for 30 minutes.
3. Using your hands, squeeze the whole lot of ginger out over a sink, rinse well with cold running water and squeeze out again until it is as dry as possible.
4. Soak the ginger in a glass jar with half of the tezu (it should be submerged; if not add a little more). Let marinate for 15 minutes. Serve.
Cover and store leftovers in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

recipe adapted from My New Roots



The Best Homemade Ginger Tea

1 Tbsp. fresh grated ginger
2 cups filtered water
1 Tbsp. raw honey or pure maple syrup
½ lemon, juiced

Optional

1 cinnamon stick
Camomile flowers
Echinacea tincture
Fresh mint leaves
Pinch of cayenne pepper

Peel the ginger root (pink ginger probably does't need peeling) with a peeler or with the back of a spoon.

Grate the ginger with a grater/zester. If you slice it, slice it thin and use more.

Infuse the ginger; if you add cinnamon, mint, camomile or cayenne, add it here.

If you are using a saucepan, bring the water to a boil, add ginger and turn off heat. Put the lid on it and let it steep for 10 minutes.

If you are using a teapot, add ginger in the teapot and pour boiling water in it. Let it steep for about 10 minutes.

If you are using a saucepan, strain the water to remove the ginger.

Add fresh lemon juice and natural sweetener if you like. Stir and enjoy!

If you want a cold tea, let your tea cool down, store it in the fridge and add ice cubes before serving.

Recipe fromMind Body Green


 


VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES AVAILABLE 
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Email us with any questions at

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VISIT US ONLINE

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Copyright © Central Roots LLC 2014

 
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<![CDATA[Making a 'Head in the Hole' or 'Photo Board']]>Mon, 22 Sep 2014 01:56:19 GMThttp://www.centralroots.com/blog/making-a-head-in-the-hole-or-photo-board
Our Annual Harvest Festival is coming up and brainstorming has begun for fun festivities for guests to participate in.  Apple Bobbing... check.  Live Music....check.  Awesome Pie Contest...check.  Pumpkin Painting...check.  When the idea of making a 'head in the hole' project came up I was intimidated by the amount of time it would take.  However, I volunteered to see the project through and boy was it crazy....and FUN!

We started by buying a couple pieces of thick plywood... not the chip board stuff.  

Here's what we got:
- 2 pieces of 4X8 in 21/32 thickness
- a gallon of White Behr Exterior Satin Enamel (see picture)
- assorted colors of Crafter's Acrylic Paint (the cheapest acrylic variety at Pat Catans)
- sponge brushes
- Clear Acrylic Sealer

items we had on hand: 
- paint brushes
- paint stir
- cup for water
- paper plates for mixing
- circular saw
- Sawzall (reciprocating saw)
- drill
- screws
-3 scrap 2x4s  and a scrap 2x8 (width of the two plywood boards)


I opted for the cheapest craft acrylic paint I could because I wasn't sure the quantity I would end up needing and I figured we could just spray a nice protective finish over the end product to make it weather friendly.

Step 1: Prime your boards

Find the smoothest side that you''ll paint on and begin priming with the grain of the wood. Allow to dry overnight...I was praying for rain and birds to stay away during this step.
Step 2: Layout your  design on the boards

Be sure to consider the knots in your plywood when laying out your design.  If you're trying to cut a circle or a line through one, the knot will likely fall out and create a weird hole in your design.  

Step 3: Set out your paints and start laying out big blocks of color.  I used a sponge brush for blocking in larger areas and watered down some acrylic paint to at least get a base for later shading.
Step 4: go crazy laying in your color and getting all artsy.  Allow to dry before handling and cutting.  We chose to cut holes after painting for ease of the project, it actually worked out better than I though, with little to no touchups.
Step 5: This is where Todd came in (other than procuring wood and paint).  He cut the top perimeter with a circular saw and the holes were cut with a Sawzall.  We then filed the holes down with a rasp so no one got splinters!  Todd and Matt then went to work fabricating a stand onsite.  The two boards were seamed together with a 2x4. and the stand consisted of 2x4s mitered and angled from the top of the plywood to the ground where they both connected to the heavy 2x 8 laying on the grass for stability.  Screws were drilled through the front of the project and I touched them up with some paint, but they were pretty unnoticeable.     

Truthfully we never got to spray the finished product with a sealer, but there are plans in the works for this step.  We placed a couple hay bales behind the photo board for short people like myself and DONE...
Step 6: Sit back with a ridiculous grin that people are actually using your project for photos after countless hours of wondering if it will all be worth it...
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<![CDATA[CSA Week 17]]>Sat, 20 Sep 2014 21:41:36 GMThttp://www.centralroots.com/blog/csa-week-17
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Fall is here... well almost!  We're getting our second season of beans harvested, basil is on it's way out and we're starting to send storage onions to members.

This week member's received a huge bag of heirloom Dragon Tongue beans, curling kale, a bag of basil, a bag of red onions, sweet peppers and delicious heirloom tomatoes!
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Read More below to see our weekly email to members along with recipes...
Central Roots CSA bag 9/19-20

Friend of Facebook

This week's share:

Sweet Peppers
Tomatoes
Dragon's Tongue Beans
 Onions
Basil
Blue Scotch Curling Kale

 

Spotlight: KALE

There has certainly been an increase in the popularity of Kale in the past few years. Some would argue that the vegetable has gotten too much attention from food enthusiasts and brassica worshipers, but as a vegetable Kale keeps making a good case for itself as a staple on American Plates. Kale is extremely good for you, grows twelve months a year if you have a High Tunnel Hoop House, and it can be eaten raw or cooked. These three reasons suggest that Kale will remain popular for the immediate future. 

When a produce item becomes more popular, chefs try to discover new ways to use that item. Sometimes this can cloud an items true nature. This is the reason we wanted to feature this vegetable; to remind everybody that kale can be one of the fastest and healthiest produce item to prepare. We beg you all to think of Kale as a healthy time saver. A beacon of green hope in your crisper that you can steam, saute, or mix in with grains with minimal labor. In that spirit we have listed some suggestions for preparing kale that wouldn't take a lot of time, would add a great touch to a meal, and would likely taste great:

Kale Prep Ideas
Idea 1:  Treat it like an accent. While Rice is Cooking, Remove Kale Stem, Cut Kale into 1/2 inch x 4 inch pieces and throw into a bowl, add salt and massage in vigorously / until the Kale is much more tender. When rice is done, add the massaged kale to the rice for a textured rice dish.

Idea 2:  Treat it as a stand alone side dish. Remove stem and cut the Kale up into whatever sizes you desire. Throw the cut pieces into a steamer and steam until tender, seasoning with whichever seasonings you desire. 

Idea 3: Braise the kale in light oil. Heat the frying pan to a low-medium setting, add oil, onions and garlic. Cut kale to your desired sizes. After letting the onions and garlic brown throw your kale into the mix and let cook until the leaves are completely cooked down. Season to your own desires. 


Share Your Recipes

We'd love to hear what you've made!
Email us at centralrootsfarm@gmail.com
if you have recipe ideas you'd like us to share in future emails!

 

Come Join us at the
4th Annual Harvest Festival 
at Ohio City Farm

September 20th 
noon-4pm 


We'll be there all day enjoying Live Music, Kid's Crafts, Family Activities and local vendors...and of course our 4th Annual PIE COMPETITION!

The festival is still accepting entries for the pie contest if you are a great baker or you know someone that is, applications are below. 

We hope to see you there!!
 
 
 

There is still time to enter a pie into our upcoming amateur pie competition! Several cash prizes available. Email us for an entry form!



Sweet Peppers- crisper, will keep about a week

Tomatoes/ground cherries- Countertop, do not refrigerate.

Dragon's Tongue Beans Crisper, will keep about a week

Onions - Store on countertop for weeks, store in cool dark place to store for months

Kale- Crisper, will keep about a week

 

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES AVAILABLE 
440-864-2211
Email us with any questions at

centralrootsfarm@gmail.com


VISIT US ONLINE

www.centralroots.com
Copyright © Central Roots LLC 2014

 
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<![CDATA[CSA Week 16 ]]>Sat, 13 Sep 2014 21:14:21 GMThttp://www.centralroots.com/blog/csa-week-16
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This week we are proud to announce our watermelons are ready for the pickin'! We've been saving seeds from our melons and replanting them for 3 years now, what's better than a delicious heirloom melon that you can basically have forever?! (certainly not a sad watery seedless grocery store melon!) 

Shares this week were full of sweet peppers, heirloom tomatoes, eggplant, a bunch of cilantro, turmeric, a giant watermelon and a pint of ground cherries.  

We LOVE growing watermelons...
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Read More below to see our weekly email to members along with recipes!...
Central Roots CSA bag 9/12-13

Friend of Facebook

This week's share:

Peppers
Tomatoes
Watermelon

Turmeric
 Ground Cherries
Eggplant
Cilantro


 

Spotlight: Ground Cherries

ok ok, I know that we've been going crazy about ground cherries, but we found a really great recipe that uses them in muffins!  We had a few leftover from market last week and decided to try it out.  

Without fail I am always short ingredients for recipes so I decided to try out some substitutions, I think they added a little something extra to the overall muffins so I noted them in parenthesis below... also I highly suggest bananas instead of eggs, it made this taste like a ground cherry banana bread!  We loved this recipes so much we made it in bread form later that same day!

______

  Ground Cherry Muffins

1 c. ground cherries, husked and rinsed
1 c. all purpose flour
1 c. whole wheat flour
½ t. salt
3 t. baking powder (I substituted this for 3/4 t baking soda + 1.5 t apple cider vinegar)
¼ c. real maple syrup 
3 T. canola oil ( I substituted this for olive oil)
2 eggs (I substituted this for 2 ripe bananas)
1 c. milk

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line a muffin tin with 12 baking cups. Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl.  Beat together the maple syrup, canola oil, eggs, and milk in a smaller bowl.  Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients into it.  Combine swiftly, stirring and folding rather than beating, just until the dry ingredients are moistened.  Stir in the ground cherries.  Divide the batter between the 12 baking cups and bake 20 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.  Let rest for 5 minutes, then remove from muffin tin.

recipe adapted from ProspectHeightsCSA.org
 
_____________________

Share your recipes 
We'd love to hear what you've made!
Email us at centralrootsfarm@gmail.com
if you have recipe ideas you'd like us to share in future emails!

 

Come Join us at the
4th Annual Harvest Festival 
at Ohio City Farm

September 20th 
noon-4pm 


We'll be there all day enjoying Live Music, Kid's Crafts, Family Activities and local vendors...and of course our 4th Annual PIE COMPETITION!

The festival is still accepting entries for the pie contest if you are a great baker or you know someone that is, applications are below. 

We hope to see you there!!
 
 
 


Turmeric

 
Turmeric is usually seen as a fine yellow powder in stores, but fresh turmeric root is a totally different experience.  It has a delicate flavor; fuller, subtly more complex and much more pleasant than the dried or powdered varieties.  Turmeric has recently been recognized for its health benefits including (but not limited to) its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antibacterial properties.  See more at this website.
To use the turmeric peel the skin first to get to the bright  orange interior. BE SURE TO WEAR GLOVES if you don't want yellow stained hands for a few days. After doing this, you can grate the turmeric for a salad or slice it thinly and mix in with your stir fry, Fresh Turmeric isn't as strong as aged, ground turmeric. Some Rhizomes may even have a slight sweetness to them

To use the turmeric later, simply rinse off, and store in a cool dry place. It can store up to 6 months if stored properly. You can prepare the turmeric in much the same ways as I outline above after it has stored. 
 


Turmeric- wrap in paper towel, place in ziploc and put in crisper.  up to 3 weeks.

Tomatoes/ground cherries- Countertop, do not refrigerate.

Watermelon- room temperature for up to 9 days OR refrigerate up to two weeks.

Peppers - crisper, will keep about a week.

Herbs - place in a shallow glass of water with a bag covering it.  Refrigerate. Or wrap in a damp paper towel and place in crisper.

Eggplant-Countertop for up to 5 days.  OR refrigerate up to 7.
 

 

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES AVAILABLE 
440-864-2211
Email us with any questions at

centralrootsfarm@gmail.com


VISIT US ONLINE

www.centralroots.com
Copyright © Central Roots LLC 2014

 
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]]>
<![CDATA[Ground Cherry Muffins!]]>Mon, 08 Sep 2014 18:50:29 GMThttp://www.centralroots.com/blog/ground-cherry-muffins
After market on Saturday we had a few too many ground cherries left over for me to resist finding a dessert recipe for them!  I remembered thinking they'd be great in a muffin, like a tart cherry so I set out looking for a recipe.  I found one that was super simple and looked relatively healthy too!  Of course as usual I didn't have half the ingredients that you'd need in any baking situation... this is so extremely frustrating.  Since this is often my problem I've learned that substitutions are my best friend, so I searched for some.  Long story short, I think the substitutions may have added to the overall quality of the muffins instead of detracting from them so I included my changes in the below recipe.  I also hate using eggs in baking because  if you're buying nice eggs it's sad to see them as a component ingredient so I always find a substitution for this anyway.

Cooked ground cherries are amazing... even if you don't make these, please bake them in someway just to see what I literally have a hard time describing as their taste.
Ground Cherry Muffins

1 c. ground cherries, husked and rinsed
1 c. all purpose flour
1 c. whole wheat flour
½ t. salt
3 t. baking powder (I substituted this for 3/4 t baking soda + 1.5 t apple cider vinegar)
¼ c. real maple syrup 
3 T. canola oil ( I substituted this for olive oil)
2 eggs (I substituted this for 2 ripe bananas)
1 c. milk

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line a muffin tin with 12 baking cups. Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl.  Beat together the maple syrup, canola oil, eggs, and milk in a smaller bowl.  Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients into it.  Combine swiftly, stirring and folding rather than beating, just until the dry ingredients are moistened.  Stir in the ground cherries.  Divide the batter between the 12 baking cups and bake 20 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.  Let rest for 5 minutes, then remove from muffin tin.

recipe adapted from ProspectHeightsCSA.org

We loved this recipe so much (and ate them so quickly) that I made them again, except I doubled the recipe and poured it into 2 buttered loaf pans.  These I cooked for 40-50 minutes or until a tooth pick came out clean. Can't wait to find some more ground cherries... this isn't a terribly unhealthy dessert with whole wheat flour and maple syrup instead of refined sugar......right? ;)  ....I'm in trouble.

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<![CDATA[CSA Week 15]]>Sun, 07 Sep 2014 18:15:09 GMThttp://www.centralroots.com/blog/csa-week-15
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We are happy to announce planting ground cherries this year was NOT a waste of time.  We've been gathering about 3-4 1/2 pints a week and giving them to members in a revolving shift until now.  We had a ton of them drop all at once and we're able to include them in the share officially! 

Ground cherries, if you're unfamiliar, are closely related to a tomatillo and tomato.  You remove their husks to reveal a smooth berry.  Their taste is extremely hard to pinpoint, but we think it's like a pineapple, mango, raspberry flavor.  But honestly each one tastes a little different.  We love eating them raw, but we've recently found an amazing muffin recipe we'll post in an upcoming blog.

This week members received 2 eggplant, ground cherries, heirloom tomatoes, a bag of sweet potato leaves, garlic, a big bag of sweet peppers, a huge bunch of parsley, and a bag of basil.

Also, another revolving shift of goodies that we've been sharing each week are 1/2 pints of fresh raspberries from our Thackeray site.  

'Read More' below for recipes and our weekly email to members...
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Central Roots CSA bag 9/5-6

Friend of Facebook

This week's share:

Eggplant
Ground Cherries
Tomatoes

Sweet Potato Leaves
Garlic
 Peppers
Parsley
Basil


 

Spotlight: Sweet Potato Leaves

Sweet Potato Leaves

Sweet Potato Leaves have a sweet and mild flavor when cooked and can be used in the place of spinach (fresh or cooked) in many different recipes.  They also make a nice addition to soups! The best way to store your leaves is in a glass of water on your counter as you would with fresh basil. They are a good source of Vitamin E, Niacin and Phosphorus, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Magnesium, Potassium and Manganese.
 
Read More at Self.com
 

Sesame Sweet Potato Leaves

Ingredients:
  • 1 bunch sweet-potato leaves
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tbs. sesame oil
  • 1 tsp. sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup grated carrot
  • 1/2 tsp. diced serranos (or red pepper flakes) optional

Remove stems from sweet-potato leaves. Peel off the skin with your fingers, then cut stems into 1-inch strands. In a large saucepan filled with boiling water, blanch the leaves for 10 seconds, then the stems for 45 seconds, and drain well. In a bowl, combine sesame oil, sesame seeds, minced garlic, grated carrots and peppers and mix well. Serve immediately or let rest up to three hours. 


recipe adapted from New York Magazine
 
 

Ground Cherries
You've tried them earlier in the year as a sampling, and as promised the plants are now going crazy with the warmer weather! The sweetest and ripest cherries will be the yellowest and paperiest of the bunch.  Allowing them to sit for a day or two should help push any underripe cherries over the edge.  We love eating these raw, but if you're adventurous  there are a ton of ground cherry recipes out there...who knew.

Follow the link below for the best way we can find someone explain these delicious tart treats. 

 


 


Eggplant - will keep on counter for up to a week. 

Tomatoes & Ground Cherry- Countertop, do not refrigerate.

Sweet Potato leaves - crisper, will keep up to a week.

Peppers - crisper, will keep about a week.

Herbs - place in a shallow glass of water with a bag covering it.  Refrigerate. Or wrap in a damp paper towel and place in crisper.

Garlic -cool, dark and dry place.


 

 
_____________________

Share your recipes 
We'd love to hear what you've made!
Email us at centralrootsfarm@gmail.com
if you have recipe ideas you'd like us to share in future emails!

 

 

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES AVAILABLE 
440-864-2211
Email us with any questions at

centralrootsfarm@gmail.com


VISIT US ONLINE

www.centralroots.com
Copyright © Central Roots LLC 2014

 
unsubscribe from this list | update subscription preferences 
]]>
<![CDATA[CSA Week 14]]>Sun, 31 Aug 2014 18:04:54 GMThttp://www.centralroots.com/blog/csa-week-14
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Finally the Peppers are ready! If there was every a crop that made me the most anxious it would be Bell peppers.  They sit on the plant in their green state for what feels like an eternity.  And the longer they wait on the plant, the more likely they are to spontaneously wilt and rot or get sun scorched or worse... eaten be the wildlife.  We were so tempted to pick them free, but once you get them that far, it's worth the risk to have beautiful sweet bell peppers instead of slightly bitter green ones.

This week members received a large bunch of Swiss chard, a bag of green beans, heirloom tomatoes, a quart of beautiful cipollini onions, two large bell peppers, a big bunch of thai basil and a quart of baking potatoes.

'Read More' to see recipes and our weekly email to members...

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Central Roots CSA bag 8/29-30

Friend of Facebook

This week's share:

Potatoes
String Beans
Heirloom Tomato

Red Cipollini Onions
 Sweet Bell Peppers
Swiss Chard
Thai Basil


 

Spotlight: Cipollini Onions

Cipollini, pronounced 'chip-oh-LEE-nee,' is a word that translates to little onion in Italian.  These beautiful onions are sweet and pungent and are great when caramelized, grilled or roasted to bring out their sweetness and depth of flavor.  

______

  Roasted Cipollini Onions in Thyme

from the kitchen of WhiteonRiceCouple
  • Cipollini Onions (pearl onions are an ok substitute), outer layer removed
  • Olive Oil, enough to liberally coat onions
  • fresh Thyme
  • Sea Salt
  • fresh cracked Black Pepper
Preheat oven to 400º Roast
  1. Toss onions and thyme with olive oil and place on a baking sheet or other oven safe dish. Sprinkle with sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste.
  2. Roast in oven for about 35 minutes, turning every 10 minutes to brown sides evenly. Remove when tender and golden.
 

Thai Basil

Thai basil is amazing.  It holds its flavor better [than Mediterranean basil] when cooked, has a more licorice-like flavor and is absolutely beautiful.  We like to use it in spicy stir-fries, and if you've never had Basil fried rice from a Thai restaurant you should not pickup your share this week and just go out and get some!.. Just kidding pick up your share, but it is seriously that good.

Thai Basil Chicken Stir-fry

recipe from Aboutfood.com

  • 3/4 to 1 lb. chicken breast or thigh, sliced into bite-size pieces or strips

  • 4-5 cloves garlic, chopped fine
  • 1-2 fresh red chilies, chopped fine, OR 1/2 to 3/4 tsp. dried crushed chili (chili flakes)
  • 3 Tbsp. white wine OR white cooking wine
  • 2 small bell peppers: red and yellow, sliced
  • 1 small green pepper OR 1/2 zucchini, chopped into bite-size pieces
  • 3 green onions, sliced
  • 1/2 compressed cup Thai basil, OR substitute sweet basil
  • 2-3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
STIR-FRY SAUCE:
  • 3 Tbsp. oyster sauce 
  • 2-3 Tbsp. Golden Mountain Sauce 
  • 1 Tbsp. fish sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. lime juice
  • 2 Tbsp. brown sugar

 

Combine the 'Stir-Fry Sauce' ingredients together in a cup, stirring to dissolve sugar. Spoon 2 Tbsp. of this sauce over prepared chicken and stir in. Set aside to marinate a few minutes while you prepare your other ingredients. Set remaining stir-fry sauce aside.

Heat a wok or large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add oil and swirl around, then add the garlic and chili. Stir-fry 1 minute to release the fragrance, then add the chicken plus a splash of white wine. Stir-fry until chicken turns opaque (3 minutes). Add a little more white wine as needed to keep pan moist.
 
Add the bell peppers and zucchini, plus 3/4 of the stir-fry sauce you made earlier. Stir-fry until vegetables have softened but still retain some of their crispness (about 2 minutes).
Reduce heat to medium-low and add the sliced green onions, plus remaining stir-fry sauce. Stir together (note that this is meant to be a saucy dish - this is where the flavor is).
 
Remove from heat and fold in the fresh basil (basil will wilt down into the hot sauce). Taste-test the dish and adjust the flavors to your liking. Taste-test Tip: note that this classic Thai dish is meant to be salty-spicy, with the zesty flavor of the basil coming through. It is definitely supposed to veer on the salty side, which is then balanced out when you eat it with plain steam rice. If you still find it too salty for your taste, add more lime juice. If not salty or flavorful enough, add more golden mountain sauce and/or fish sauce.
Serve with plenty of plain steamed jasmine rice and garnish with more fresh basil. 

 

Sweet Bell Peppers
We've been waiting f-o-r-e-v-e-r for these to turn their color into the bright hues of delicious sweet bells.  As you may know, it has been an unusual summer being pretty wet and down right cold at times.  None of which has benefitted our tomato and pepper plants to say the least.  However, we were excited to start picking these this week.  We like to eat them raw out of ease, but bell peppers are always amazing to have on hand for everything!

Spicy Chicken Salad
with Bell Peppers and Cilantro

recipe from Epicurious.com
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup fresh lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons chopped garlic
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 4 cups diced cooked chicken (about 1 pound)
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 3/4 cup chopped onion
  • 3/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon chopped seeded jalapeño chili
  • 4 cups chopped romaine lettuce (about 1/2 small head)
  • 2 large tomatoes, cut into wedges
Whisk first 5 ingredients in large bowl to blend. Mix in chicken, bell pepper, onion, cilantro and chili. Season chicken salad with salt and pepper. (Can be prepared 1 hour ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

Add lettuce to chicken salad; toss to combine. Mound salad in large bowl. Garnish with tomato wedges and serve.


 


Potatoes - cool, dark and dry place. 

Tomatoes- Countertop, do not refrigerate.

Beans - crisper, will keep up to a week.

Peppers - crisper, will keep about a week.

Herbs - place in a shallow glass of water with a bag covering it.  Refrigerate. Or wrap in a damp paper towel and place in crisper.

Onions -these onions will be shed of their paper skin and should be used within the week.  Can be refrigerated.

 Swiss Chard - crisper, will last up to a week.
 

 
_____________________

Share your recipes 
We'd love to hear what you've made!
Email us at centralrootsfarm@gmail.com
if you have recipe ideas you'd like us to share in future emails!

 

 

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<![CDATA[CSA Week 13]]>Sun, 24 Aug 2014 17:21:30 GMThttp://www.centralroots.com/blog/csa-week-13
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More delicious heirloom beans in this weeks share! We are also pleased that our eggplant have strangely been thriving in this weather along with the insect pressure.  

Members this week received a couple eggplant, about 1.25 lb of black cherry tomatoes (pictured here as larger heirloom tomatoes), a bunch of heirloom beans, a pint of sugar snap peas, several storage onions, a bunch of sage and a huge bag of curling kale! 

'Read More' to see recipes and our weekly email to members...
Central Roots CSA bag 8/22-23

Friend of Facebook

This week's share:

Eggplant
Sugar Snap Peas 
Cherry Tomatoes

Mixed Beans
Sage
Onions
 Kale


 

Spotlight: Delicious Black Cherry Tomatoes

You've been getting these pretty consistently this season and there's a reason why...  we absolutely LOVE them!  They're by far the best heirloom cherry tomatoes we've ever grown or even tasted and we grew about ten times as much this season as we did last year!

______

  Warm Cherry Tomato Surprise

from the kitchen of MotherEarthLiving.com
  • 1 1/2 pounds ripe cherry tomatoes
  • 1–2 mildly hot fresh green chilis (Anaheim, New Mexican, poblano, or wax type)
  • 1 large clove garlic, peeled and mashed with 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2–4 tablespoons olive oil, or enough to lightly coat tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheeseCrusty French or Italian bread, sliced and brushed on both sides with olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Italian parsley and whole sage leaves for garnish

Preheat oven to 300°F. Cut cherry tomatoes in half if large. Place in a large bowl and add sliced chilis. Combine olive oil, garlic, and sage in a small bowl; pour over tomatoes and add cheese. Toss gently to avoid breaking up tomatoes. Season with salt and black pepper to taste. Place tomato mixture in a large, shallow pan and warm in oven for 20 minutes until fragrant and hot through.

While tomatoes are baking, toast or grill bread on both sides until golden. Serve with warm tomatoes piled on toasted bread. Garnish with chopped parsley and sage leaves.

 

 
_____________________

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We'd love to hear what you've made!
Email us at centralrootsfarm@gmail.com
if you have recipe ideas you'd like us to share in future emails!

Smoky Eggplant Dip

I've alway thought that this was called baba ganoush.. but I was put in my place by this blog article.  This recipe seems time intensive, but there's really nothing better than smoky eggplant dip on toasted pitas... or dip your snap peas in it!

2 medium eggplants (about 1 pound each)
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 teaspoon coarse or kosher salt, or to taste
6 tablespoons tahini (sesame seed paste), well-stirred if a new container
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced or pressed
Juice of 1 lemon, plus more to taste, if desired
Pinch of cayenne or aleppo pepper
Pinch or two of ground cumin
2 tablespoons well-chopped flat-leaf parsley, divided
Toasted sesame seeds or za’atar for garnish

Heat oven to 375°F. Brush a baking sheet or roasting pan with 1 tablespoon olive oil, and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt. Prick eggplants a few times with a fork or tip of a knife. Over a gas flame, grill or under a broiler, evenly char the skin of your eggplants. Transfer to a cutting board, and when cool enough to handle, trim off stem and cut lengthwise. Place cut side down on prepared baking sheet and roast for 30 to 35 minutes, until very, very tender when pressed. Let cool to room temperature.

In a blender or food processor: Scrape eggplant flesh from skin and into the work bowl. Add tahini, lemon, cayenne, cumin and 1 tablespoon parsley. Blend in short bursts (pulses) until combined but still coarsely chopped. 

By hand: Scrape eggplant flesh from skin and onto a cutting board. Finely chop the eggplant, leaving some bits closer to pea-sized. In a bowl, whisk together tahini, garlic, lemon, cayenne, cumin and half the parsley. Add chopped eggplant and stir to combine.

Taste and adjust ingredients if needed. 

To serve: Spoon into a bowl and drizzle with remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Scatter with second tablespoon of parsley, and some toasted sesame seeds or za’atar, if desired. Serve with pita wedges.

this recipe is from SmittenKitchen

 

 


Eggplant- Countertop for up to 5 days.  Will usually get wrinkly by then, but it's still edible. -Or-  Refrigerate if using within the next 1-3 days.

Snap Peas - crisper 

Tomatoes- Countertop, do not refrigerate.

Beans - crisper, will keep up to a week.

Sage - place in a shallow glass of water with a bag covering it.  Refrigerate. Or wrap in a damp paper towel and place in crisper.

Onions -Cool, dry and dark place is best.

Kale - crisper, will last up to a week.






 

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES AVAILABLE 
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Email us with any questions at

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<![CDATA[CSA Week 12]]>Sun, 17 Aug 2014 17:16:03 GMThttp://www.centralroots.com/blog/csa-week-12
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There have been some unseasonably cooler days an nights recently so we've been worried about the needs of our summer crops like tomatoes, eggplant and peppers.  We are not a fan of the cold nights as they can easily hurt an entire crop of peppers that you've been waiting all year for! However, we did take a chance and plant an early fall crop of peas.  The cooler temperatures and wet weather helped these peas grow taller than than any that we've planted in the past.  We were able to include a large pint of these in this week's share!

Members received a a bunch of baby fennel, a large heirloom Brandywine tomato, a zucchini, a bag of Serrano peppers, a bunch of parsley, radishes, a pint of snap peas, and a large bunch of collards.

'Read More' below to see recipes and our weekly email to members...
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Central Roots CSA bag 8/15-16

Friend of Facebook

This week's share:

Baby Fennel
Radishes 
Collards

Summer Squash
Serrano Peppers
Snap Peas
 Parsley


 

Spotlight: Serrano Peppers

Serrano Peppers are a tad spicier than a jalapeño and are typically eaten in raw salsas and pico de gallo.  We actually really like making baked 'Serrano' poppers out of these when we have extras.  Their thick flesh and extra spiciness work well in our cream cheese stuffed poppers.  Wear gloves during preparation! 

______

  Easy and Delicious Baked Serrano Poppers

this recipe is adaptable for the amount you want to make so have fun with it!

peppers
cream cheese
panko bread crumbs
italian bread crumbs
olive oil
salt to taste

Preheat oven to 350. Halve your peppers and remove seeds.  Stuff your pepper halves with cream cheese.  If you really want to have fun, add herbs to your cheese filling!  Spread some oil on a foil lined baking sheet. Place peppers on the sheet and top the cheese with a sprinkling of italian bread crumbs and panko.  Place in oven for 5-8 minutes.  Check frequently to ensure your peppers are not burning too much.  A bit of blackening is still ok though.  When pepper is browned and shriveled a bit, remove from oven and add salt to taste.  Enjoy!

 
_____________________

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We'd love to hear what you've made!
Email us at centralrootsfarm@gmail.com
if you have recipe ideas you'd like us to share in future emails!

 

Easy Collard Greens

We've explored collards before, they're an amazingly healthy and affordable green that many shy away from at the store.  We LOVE collards.  If you find yourself stuck when it comes to this green, follow the recipe below to appreciate their sweet simplicity.

Easy Curried Collards

  • 1 bunch Collards, de-stemmed and cut into small ribbons 
  • 1 Tbs Curry Powder(we love Penzeys 'Sweet Curry Powder'!!)
  • 2 Tbs Coconut Oil (olive oil will work)
  • 1 small-medium Onion, chopped
  • 1-2 cloves garlic (based on preference)
  • Salt to taste
     
Heat a pan to medium heat and add oil.  Wait for oil to heat up and stir in curry powder.  Allow spice to brown for 1-2 minutes and stir in onion.  Allow onions to turn translucent, 4-5 minutes.  Add garlic and cook 1 minute.  Add collards, sprinkle or grind salt on top and cover pot.  Cook collards for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally to incorporate the flavors.  We like them to be tender but not too mushy! Serve warm.    

 


Collards- crisper, will keep for 4-5 days.

Snap Peas - crisper 

Peppers- crisper, will keep for up to a week.

Baby Fennel - remove fronds and refrigerate in crisper.

Parsley - place in a shallow glass of water with a bag covering it.  Refrigerate. Or wrap in a damp paper towel and place in crisper.

Radishes -remove tops, place in crisper.  Will keep up to a week.

Summer Squash - crisper, will last up to a week.






 

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES AVAILABLE 
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<![CDATA[CSA Week 11]]>Sun, 10 Aug 2014 17:08:14 GMThttp://www.centralroots.com/blog/csa-week-11
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Summer is in full swing and we are grateful our crops have been holding up through this strangely wet July.. although last year was also extremely rainy so maybe it isn't strange anymore.  This week we have a colorful share! Members received 2 beautiful eggplant, a mix of heirloom tomatoes, a bunch of carrots, a big bag of mixed beans, garlic, Swiss chard and a bunch of thyme.  We also were surprised to see our blackberry plants are doing exceptional this season.  So we've been placing a 1/2 pint of blackberries in peoples shares each week as we get them.    

I'm not even kidding when I say that these are the best blackberries I've ever had in my life.  Before this year I had a serious aversion to blackberries, in the stores they're straight up gross sour seedy nuggets that are really expensive... needless to say I was not a blackberry lover. When we picked these off the vine I instantly realized why they are so gross in the store.  We only picked ones that were easy to pull of the plant and they were the most delicious sweet juicy berries I've ever had. However, the sugar content in them at this point makes it impossible to store them for more than two days.  Needless to say I am now a blackberry snob and we will be planting more next spring.

'Read More' to see recipes and our weekly email to members...
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Central Roots CSA bag 8/8-9

Friend of Facebook

This week's share:

Eggplant
Swiss Chard
Carrots
Tomatoes
Thyme
Purple Beans 
 Garlic


 

Spotlight: Swiss Chard

Swiss Chard is a delicious green that packs a big punch of nutrients! Chard is high dietary fiber, Vitamins A, C, E, K, and B6, Riboflavin, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorous, Potassium, Copper and Manganese.  

 
It's mainly the leaves of the chard that are used in recipes after being deveined.  However, stems are often used in braising recipes as well.

Chard is a relatively versatile vegetable (but most are).  We've found delicious sounding smoothies, quiches, stews, and braised greens.  Below are a few that we're looking forward to trying.

Read More at Nutritionaldata.self.com

______

  Spicy Coconut Swiss Chard

  • 1 bunch (8 oz) red or green swiss chard
  • 2 tsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/8 tsp salt
 
'Rinse chard under cold running water and shake off the excess water. Trim the ends of the stems. Cut the stems into 1 inch cubes and leaves into 1 inch wide ribbons.

Preheat large non-stick skillet on medium high heat and add coconut oil. Let the oil melt. Add chopped stems and cook for 2 minutes, stirring once. Add leaves, stir and sauté for another 2 minutes. Sprinkle swiss chard with garlic powder, red pepper flakes and salt, stir and cook for another 2 minutes. Remove from heat immediately and serve hot as a side with fish or chicken, and whole grain like quinoa or brown rice.'
 
recipe from IFoodReal

______

 Summer Green Smoothie

  • 1 Peach
  • 1 cup Strawberries
  • 1 cup Pineapple
  • 1 cup Almond Milk
  • 2 leaves Swiss Chard
  • 2 cups Spinach
  • 1 tbs Chia Seeds
blend all ingredients together. 

recipe fromTia's Kitchen

______

 Eggplant Parmesan Lasagna with Swiss Chard

(follow link here) 


 
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We'd love to hear what you've made!
Email us at centralrootsfarm@gmail.com
if you have recipe ideas you'd like us to share in future emails!

 

Eggplant Time!

Come quick, come quick, the Eggplant are coming! This year we planted a lot of eggplant, and as a result we are beginning to see a lot of globular dark vegetables growing in the field. This means that your shares this week will have eggplant within...it also means that we were lucky enough to "test" the flavor and texture of the eggplant during dinner(s) this week.

Eggplant is often an intimidating vegetable to prepare; it is sometimes time consuming, and it is not like carrots or lettuce which can easily be eaten raw. Luckily, this week we received an anonymous recipe that we used twice. It wouldn't be considered a super "heathy" way to prepare the product, but have decided to include it in this email because 1) We are human and sometimes like to splurge, 2) This recipe only requires 2 ingredients other than the eggplant 3) This recipe is quick. Here is how you do it:

Fried/Grilled Eggplant

  1. Cut Eggplant into 3/8" medalions
  2. Lightly oil a frying pan/ grill pan with olive oil over medium heat.
  3. Press one side of the Eggplant Medallion into the oil on the warm pan, and season with sea salt.
  4. Let fry for 6 minutes, checking periodically 
  5. Flip the Eggplant Medallions, and let cook an additional 4-6 minutes checking periodically
  6. Eggplant will be done when the color is more translucent 
  7. Eat as a side dish, on a sandwich, or "a la carte" as a snack 
We decided to use Salt as our spice because we didn't want to overpower the taste of the Eggplant. That said, we think that other spices would be great with this recipe. We've also decided that these would be a good canvas to use as a roll of some sort (maybe to stuff swiss chard into!).

Enjoy!


  


 


Beans- crisper, will keep for up to 1 week.

Eggplant - room temperature, will keep for about a week. Softer texture from age is still a usable eggplant, brown or mushy is not.

Tomatoes- room temperature, do not refrigerate.

Swiss Chard - Crisper, will keep for several weeks. We like to cut out the center stalk and roll the leaves into a bag to save crisper space.

Garlic - Cool dry place

Thyme -Wrap in a damp paper towel and place in crisper.

Carrots - Tops all be removed for freshness (but included for juicing).
Best if kept in a bag in crisper.  Will keep up to 4 weeks.







 

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES AVAILABLE 
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