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Veggie Adventuring for Your Generous Veggie Heart


Welcome to the Season, Vegetable Allies!

Summer is finally upon us - school is out, the sun is out, yards are in need of mowing, gardens in need of weeding - all the fun summer activities are here to draw us out into the sunshine, soaking up Vitamin D and reminding us that it is time for the freshest of delicious local produce! We've spent our winter thinking lots about the produce that's to come, dreaming veggie dreams, plotting veggie schemes, and we can't wait to share it with you.

It's another weird season already with rapidly fluctuating temperatures taking their toll on foundling sprouts and delicate baby leaves, but the plans we've made will help ensure that we've got something nice for you each week. The atmospheric challenges have this first early summer share light on dense vegetabley matter but still heavy on deliciousness. Our family shares will be rounded out with some delightful value-added products this week: homemade apple butter from the Yoders and fresh baked batard loaves courtesy Blackbird Baking in Lakewood.

It's also finally time to play with vegetables you're not entirely fond of or familiar with. But don't worry! It will all be okay because if you don't like a vegetable, you're probably eating it wrong. My 11 year-old son, Bastian, told me yesterday that his friend doesn't like vegetables. I asked if he does. He said, "No, except salad."
Anna Kiss: But you do like vegetables! What about green beans?
Bastian: Yes I like those.
Anna Kiss: What about broccoli?
Bastian: I like it with butter.
Anna Kiss: You like asparagus when it's roasted over a fire in Utah.
Bastian: Yeah!
Anna Kiss: And purple potatoes!
Bastian: No!
Anna Kiss: But you ATE them all! And you like squash soup.
Bastian: It's okay. I don't like Swiss chard.
Anna Kiss: But you do like kale.
Bastian: It's okay.
Anna Kiss: Brussels sprouts!
Bastian: I like the way Dad makes them.
Anna Kiss: Beets?
Bastian: I like them okay.

So if Bastian can eat purple potatoes and beets and brussels sprouts and devour asparagus (over a fire, in Utah), then anyone can find a way to eat all the yummy things coming your way. Now is the time for garlic scape pesto! It is the time for beet cake! Time for strawberry sauce over French toast made with batard, or bread spread thick with apple butter and strawberries eaten whole, red and ripe and juicy! And just in case you've forgotten, I have all those recipes for you right here.

Garlic Scape Pesto

What's a garlic scape? It's the stem of the garlic flower, which sprouts straight up from the middle of the garlic plant and must be cut off before the flower blooms to make sure the plant puts its energy into making a nice big healthy bulb. It can be chopped and used just like garlic in stir-fry or blanched then sautéed like a green bean.

Makes about 1 cup

10 garlic scapes, finely chopped
1/3 to 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan (to taste and texture)
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
About 1/2 cup olive oil
Sea salt

Throw scapes, 1/3 of the cheese, nuts, and half the olive oil in a food processor (or blender). Blend all ingredients, then add the remainder of the oil. If you like the texture, stop, or add more oil to thin. Season with salt to taste.

If you're not going to use the pesto immediately, press a piece of plastic against the surface to keep it from oxidizing. The pesto can be stored in the refrigerator for a couple of days or packed airtight and frozen for a couple of months.

Strawberry Sauce for French Toast
Recipe courtesy Tori Avey

2 cups strawberries, chopped
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp cornstarch

Put chopped strawberries and sugar into a small saucepan. Add 1/3 cup water to cover, stir to blend. Heat mixture over medium high heat until it boils. Stir, then reduce heat to medium. Mix cornstarch with 2 tbsp of water until a thick liquid forms. Pour the liquid into the pan, stirring continuously, and continue to stir until well blended. Cook the strawberry mixture over medium for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently, until it becomes thick and syrupy. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.

Chocolate Beet Cake 3-4 medium beets
butter and flour for preparing the pan
4 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 c. mild-flavored vegetable oil
3 eggs
1¾ c. sugar
1 T. vanilla extract
1½ c. all purpose flour
½ c. whole wheat pastry flour
2 t. baking soda
¼ t. salt
powdered sugar for dusting

1)  Scrub the beets with a vegetable brush and trim roots.  Trim stems and save greens for some other use. Bring a pot of water to a boil and add the beets.  Boil for 20-30 minutes, or until the beets are tender and the skins slip off easily.  Let the beets cool a little, the slip the skins off under cold water and then purée the beets in a blender or food processor.  You should have about 2 cups of beet purée.

2) Preheat your oven to 375°F.  Butter and flour a Bundt pan and set it aside.

3) Fill a medium saucepan about halfway with water and bring the water to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and set a heat-proof bowl over the simmering water.  Place the chocolate and ¼ c. of the oil in the bowl and heat, stirring frequently, just until the chocolate melts.

4) Combine the eggs and sugar in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer until fluffy.  Slowly beat in the remaining oil, the chocolate mixture, beets, and vanilla.

5) In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, baking soda, and salt.  Gently stir the flour mixture into the egg and chocolate mixture until just combined.

6) Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean, about 45 minutes.  Remove the pan from the oven and cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes.  Carefully remove the cake from the pan and allow to cool completely before sprinkling with powdered sugar to serve.

Enjoy the shares this week! Invite your friends and neighbors to join us in the coming weeks! We never run out of shares and online ordering makes it super simple!

Peace and veggies,

Anna Kiss Mauser-Martinez
City Fresh
In the shares...

Green Onion
Garlic Scapes
Swiss Chard
Zucchini or peas
Green Onion
Garlic Scapes
Swiss Chard
Zucchini or peas
Bok Choy
Apple Butter
Fresh Bread
Principles of a New Agrarian
June 13, 2016
The cicadas sound like an invading armada of UFOs just beyond the tree line.  They’re even louder than the frogs here, and that’s saying something! There’s a certain kind of music in their song, and an opportunity in their abundance.
The principles we employ here at the George Jones Farm come to us from the philosophy of Permaculture, a fancy word for the learnings and actions that come from careful observation and replication of the fertile edge between agriculture and environmental science, tinted by the lens of common sense.
How will our civilization grow enough food for 10 billion people by 2050 without wholesale environmental destruction? How will our organization grow enough food for the 800 or so families in City Fresh without localized environmental degradation? How will we turn enough of a profit to keep operations going while sharing the abundance of nature’s gifts at prices even those who struggle to make ends meet can afford? How do we do this while providing an educational opportunity to people across the region?  We will have to work harder, and smarter, and keep to our principles.
Over the next twelve weeks, I will be writing a weekly installment on the principles of Permaculture and how we utilize them at the George Jones Farm and City Fresh.  You can read the rest of this week’s installment HERE, and don’t forget to consider sending your youngin's to our DISCOVERY CAMP, where Permaculture takes center stage in the living poetry of our picturesque farm on the swamp’s edge. Read More...
City Fresh: Saving the World One Veggie at A Time
We recently launched an IndieGoGo Campaign to help support our low-income share program. We are asking help in covering 10% of the food costs of our charitable endeavors to solve the food desert crisis that plagues the Greater Cleveland area. Join the cause and support our efforts here!