Happy Week 5 of CSA! The summer is flying by… I can’t believe August is right around the corner. Like last week, conditions were hot and stormy in Lewiston, and the combination of severe thunderstorms and intense heat makes for difficult growing conditions.
It’s generally accepted that temperatures of 90 degrees and higher is detrimental to plants, causing delayed growth and wilting. Keeping the plants hydrated is extremely important in order to keep them healthy, and the farmers take advantage of generator-powered irrigation systems.
Knowing that so many people love and appreciate their CSA bags keeps morale up at the farm when temperatures are hot in the field. Thank you all for supporting New Roots during these tough summer months! From time to time, people ask how different farming conditions are in Maine versus Somalia… and it’s very different!
The farmers sometimes comment on the differences in growing season, as in Somalia there are two main growing seasons. The first is Gu, from April to May, and Deyr from October to November. On the other hand, growing seasons in Maine are year-round with the help of greenhouses and high tunnels in the freezing winter months.
This week, share pictures of meals made with New Roots produce with our Instagram, @newrootscooperativefarm, for a chance to be featured. For inspiration, follow this link for a refreshing Somali summer salad that can be modified with additional vegetables of your choosing.
The New Roots farmers grow several different types of amaranth for their leaves, but their favorite is the green amaranth or African amaranth. There are also red and red-veined varieties. Amaranth leaves are growing in popularity in the United States, and some of the fancier restaurants have caught on to the trend (move over, kale!).
Amaranth leaves are high in tocotrienols (a form of Vitamin E), and vitamins C, A, B6, and K. They also are a good source of potassium, magnesium, iron, calcium, and dietary fiber.
One of the New Roots Farmers and Member-owners, Seynab Ali, recommends sauteeing the amaranth with tomatoes, onions, garlic and a ground meat, bean, or tempeh of your choice. Add it in just as you would add in kale- towards the end of the cooking time, but with enough time to cook the slightly bitter taste out (the leaves are sweet and tender once cooked). You can serve over rice or quinoa for a complete meal. If looking for another idea, try this idea, adopted from “A Veggie Venture”:
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
1/2 pound amaranth greens, washed, rinsed and sliced into ribbons
4 small (or 1 large) green onions or scallions, white and green parts, chopped
salt & pepper to taste
In a large skillet, heat the broth over medium high. Add the garlic, white onion parts, and ginger and cook for a minute. Add the greens, in batches if needed. Cook until soft, stirring often. At the end, add the green onion or scallion tops. Season to taste and serve.
Yield: 4 Total Time: 10 minutes
1 large cucumber
2 medium carrots, peeled
2 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp cider vinegar
1 tsp water
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp sesame seeds
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 scallion or 1/4 fresh onions, chopped (optional)
Use a julienne peeler or grater to shred the cucumber and carrots into long strips. Toss the vegetables in a medium bowl, along with both vinegars, water, sugar, and sesame oil. Toss to coat evenly. Garnish with sesame seeds, scallion, or onion, and cilantro. Chill until ready to serve. Best served cold. Enjoy.
Adapted recipe and photos by For the Love of Cooking.net
3 medium-sized beets, without stems/greens
1 bunch of basil
Chevre or feta cheese
⅓ cup balsamic vinegar
¼ cup of extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp honey
To roast beets: Preheat oven to 350F. Wash beets and wrap each in foil, careful to cover any holes. Place on cookie sheet and roast for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until beets feel soft to touch. Once cool enough to handle, unwrap and peel by rubbing off the skin. It should come right off. If you don’t want pink hands, wear gloves before you peel them. You can also dice the beets before roasting to cut down on cooking time. If you do this, peel with a knife or grater ahead of time (or leave the skin on- it’s perfectly fine to eat!)
Cut beets into 1-inch cubes. Set aside while you make the dressing.
To make the dressing: In a bowl whisk together balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and honey until well mixed. Add salt and pepper to taste. The dressing should be a little on the tart side.
Pour dressing over diced beets and stir to coat. For better flavor, allow beets to soak the dressing for at least 1 hour. Usually, I just place it in a plastic lidded container in the fridge and shake it whenever I open the fridge.
Right before serving: Spoon beets into serving bowl or dish. Crumble chevre or feta cheese on top. Chiffonade or tear fresh basil and sprinkle on top.
Recipe from https://www.imnotthenanny.com/2013/11/easy-beet-salad-basil-goat-cheese.html
Have a great week!