Gettin' fresh … in Northern Nevada

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Great Basin Basket Share, Week Eight

What’s in the box?

The shift into summer has happened and the veggies are changing as more crops mature. I was happy to see more onions. The flavor in last week’s onions was strong but really tasty. This week’s treasure is tomatoes!

The full box included:
Green Garlic – Lattin Farms

Hakurei Turnips – Pick’n & Grin’n @ Lattin Farms

Red Cabbage – Pioneer Farms

Salanova Lettuce Mix – Dayton Valley Aquaponics

Chocolate Tomatoes – Dayton Valley Aquaponics

Beets with Greens – Pick’n & Grin’n @ Lattin Farms

Zucchini – First Fruits Sustainable Farms

Spring Onions – Pioneer Farms

Garlic Chives – Mewaldt’s Organics

Stone Ground Wheat Bread – The Bread Lady

We are home this weekend so I’ll get to try some new recipes and post those. We have finally gotten into the meat from a couple weeks ago and it is very good. No fancy recipes there, just putting them on the grill!

Also, I’m thinking about trying a red cabbage slaw tomorrow. Yum!


Great Basin Basket Share, Week Seven

What’s in the box this week?
Green Garlic – Lattin Farms

Hakurei Turnips – Pick’n & Grin’n @ Lattin Farms

Green or Red Cabbage – Pioneer Farms

Darkibor Kale – Pick’n & Grin’n @ Lattin Farms

Sunflower Shoots – Dayton Valley Aquaponics

Gourmet Lettuce – Pick’n & Grin’n @ Lattin Farms

Beets with Greens – Pick’n & Grin’n @ Lattin Farms

Celery – Pioneer Farms

Zucchini – First Fruits Sustainable Farms

Spinach – Pick’n & Grin’n @ Lattin Farms

Spring Onions – Pioneer Farms

Now that summer is in full effect, my family has been pretty busy so it’s a little hard to be creative with the weekly ingredients. Plus, it’s hot and I don’t feel like cooking fancy. We tried a couple of the meats last week and they were very good quality but the rest of everything has been big salads or a quick stir fry. We stopped the bread share because, while it was very good, we weren’t finishing it. Dog days hit us early, I suppose.

I was happy to see the onions this week. They are beautiful and smell wonderful!

We are heading out to go camping. See ya next week!


Great Basin Basket Share, Week Six

What’s in the box?
Green Garlic – Lattin Farms

Hakurei Turnips – Pick’n & Grin’n @ Lattin Farms

Broccoli – Pioneer Farms or Pick’n & Grin’n @ Lattin Farms

Green or Red Cabbage – Pioneer Farms

Darkibor Kale – Pick’n & Grin’n @ Lattin Farms

Sunflower Shoots – Dayton Valley Aquaponics

Gourmet Lettuce – Pick’n & Grin’n @ Lattin Farms

Beets with Greens – Pick’n & Grin’n @ Lattin Farms

Celery – Pioneer Farms

Siberian Kale – Pioneer Farms

Fennel – Pioneer Farms

Wheat Bread – The Bread Lady

Eggs – Lahontan Farms

Last week flew by so I didn’t post all my recipes. I used up some of the turnips and garlic but roasting them in the crock pot. My house smelled of garlic for days!

I also made a quick stir fry with chicken and kale. My son wasn’t crazy about it but it was pretty decent for the rest of us.

Who knows what I will come up with for this week …


Great Basin Basket Share, Week Five

What’s in the box?

Green Garlic – Lattin Farms
Hakurei Turnips – Pick’n & Grin’n @ Lattin Farms
Broccoli – Pioneer Farms
Green Cabbage or Napa Cabbage – Pioneer Farms
Darkibor Kale – Pick’n & Grin’n @ Lattin Farms
Sunflower Shoots – Dayton Valley Aquaponics
Gourmet Lettuce – Pick’n & Grin’n @ Lattin Farms
Jericho Romaine – Pick’n & Grin’n @ Lattin Farms
Assorted Herbs – Lattin Farms

I have my add on items … bread, teriyaki beef jerky and a salted caramel-pretzel crust brownie.   OH!  And, eggs from Lahontan Farms that are somehow not in the photo.   This is a new thing on the basket share for me.  The weekly add-on items change and you order them in advance.   Fun, local, yummy stuff!

This week includes the beef share.   It was a full cooler load from York’s Meats in Fallon.

The packages range in portion size but included top sirloin (x2), rib steaks, chuck steak, carne asada (x2), ground beef (x5), and chuck roast.

We are pretty excited to try some Nevada beef — especially after a few weeks of heavy greens.

 

 


Cabbage Roll Casserole

I couldn’t decide what to do with the enormous cabbage we received last week and it was starting to get wilted so I turned to Google. I did have a brief thought of making sauerkraut but I just didn’t have time, energy, or jars.

In the spirit of the 30 minute meal and using resources available, I made a quick cabbage roll casserole. Even quicker, considering I just did it in a skillet and went with it.

The basic recipe I used is here: https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/14690/cabbage-roll-casserole/

I’m the worst recipe follower so please know that I fully modified it along the way. I usually do. Can’t help it, I suppose.

This cabbage was a little curlier than a regular head and had a really peppery flavor. It sure is pretty, though. You know, for a cabbage.

The meal itself wasn’t all that gorgeous but it tasted good and was simple. Mid week success!

Anyone have creative suggestions for cabbage if I get another one next week?


Great Basin Basket Farm Share, Week Four

What’s in the box this week?

Green Garlic – Lattin Farms
Gourmet Lettuce Mix – Pick’n & Grin’n @ Lattin Farms
Assorted Radishes – Pick’n & Grin’n @ Lattin Farms
Baby Spinach – Pick’n & Grin’n @ Lattin Farms
Hakurei Turnips – Pick’n & Grin’n @ Lattin Farms
Jericho Romaine Lettuce – Pick’n & Grin’n @ Lattin Farms
Green Cabbage – Pioneer Farms
Kohlrabi – Pioneer Farms
Garlic Chives – Mewaldt’s Organic Farm
Sunflower Shoots – Dayton Valley Aquaponics

And, wheat bread from The Bread Lady and happy eggs from Lahontan Farms

Check out this beautiful cabbage! I haven’t decided what to do with it yet but it is amazing just to look at the patterns in the leaves.


Green Recipes Galore

I have been scrambling for different ways to eat greens and/or sneak greens into meals outside of the regular salad.  Don’t get me wrong — I love a good salad.  I get lots of compliments on the big pretty salads that I pack in my work lunchbox.   Those pretty little radishes this week were quite tasty.

However, I had no idea what to do with the kohlrabi greens.   But, I knew just based on the fact that the veggie box had a HUGE stalk of greens on the kohlrabi last week that those dazzling emerald leafs were meant to eaten.

Turns out you can do lots of things with greens!  Check this:  Recipes for Greens.  The possibilities are endless!

I chose to add the kohlrabi to a chicken teriyaki stir fry.   The hubby and the boy didn’t fully complain.   I also stuck in some turnips and green garlic on this one.   The turnips were a little mushy but not bad.

I chopped up a whole bag of kale into the spring greens mix and just disguised it as salad.   My husband didn’t mention noticing it so that’s a win.

Another bag of kale went into my version of the Olive Garden’s zuppa tuscano.  Yum.  My son actually loved this.   LOVED IT.   Can’t go wrong with Olive Garden soup and bread sticks.   Nom nom.

What new foods did you try this week?

 

 


Great Basin Basket Share, Week Three

What’s in the box this week?   All sorts of goodies!

Jericho Romaine Lettuce – Pick’n & Grin’n Farm @ Lattin Farms
Hakurei Turnips – Pick’n & Grin’n Farm @ Lattin Farms
Green Garlic – Lattin Farms
French Tarragon  – The Green Man
French Breakfast Radishes – Pioneer Farms
Kohlrabi – Pioneer Farms
Gourmet Lettuce Mix – Pick’n & Grin’n Farm @ Lattin Farms
Sunflower Shoots – Dayton Valley Aquaponics
Darkibor Kale – Pick’n & Grin’n @ Lattin Farms

Stone Ground Wheat Bread by The Bread Lady and fresh eggs from Lahontan Farms

Talk about a fun week of tasty things you don’t see everyday!   I love that there were more sunflower shoots — I can just eat them straight out of the box.   BUT, I was really looking forward to the kohlrabi this week.   Mmmmmm.   This is a truly unique thing.   I remember having it a few years ago during the last CSA round but I don’t see it at the store very often.  (And, who knows how far it traveled to get there??)

Aren’t the little French breakfast radishes pretty??

Now, on to this kohlrabi matter … last time, I just ate the root, sort of as shown below.  Trim it up and it’s like a radish-apple-green flavor.   You can cook them if you want but I literally just ate it straight up like nothing.   Yum-O-fresh-O.

I did notice that there were a TON of greens on the top and discovered (after quick Google) that you can eat those too.   Sooooo, I saved them for recipe experiment later.

Extra! Extra!   How about a better look at this luscious bread we have been getting every week?   It is wonderful.   Stone ground wheat by The Bread Lady.

And, in case I have not said it enough … these sunflower shoots are the bomb-diggity.


The Purple Green Smoothie

In an effort to try something different, and use up a bag of kale, we made smoothies.

Full disclosure, I’m not the biggest fan of green smoothies so … that’s the starting point for this adventure.

I used this recipe as it was suggested in the veggie box weekly email. http://www.homesteadmania.com/kale-blueberry-vanilla-smoothie/

I made enough for two large smoothies so it seemed like a lot of greens. I also tried to pull out any thicker stalks just to avoid any bitter flavors.

I also added banana for a thicker mix.

Fresh blueberries are not in season yet so I used frozen ones. Partially for cost and partially because I knew they would be nice for a cold drink. They quickly blended up and almost disguised the kale. Almost.

There’s no fooling a 9 year old boy. Plus, while it wasn’t terrible, it is no substitute for a real milkshake.

He tolerated it but I doubt he will be making any special requests to try that again.

All in all, it wasn’t that bad. Cold, refreshing, fairly guilt free. I can handle that. Next time, I might up the banana factor or add other fruits.

I definitely got my kale intake for the day so that’s good!


Great Basin Basket Farm Share, Week Two

Last week was a busy flurry for the first round of the veggie box. Gotta love spring greens! I didn’t post a photo of the grilled asparagus but, wowza, those were tasty mmm mmm good!

Sooooo … what’s in the box this week?

A lot of the same, as expected, but with some bonus goodies!
Salanova Lettuce – Pick’n & Grin’n Farm @ Lattin Farms

Hakurei Turnips – Pick’n & Grin’n Farm @ Lattin Farms

Green Garlic – Lattin Farms

Garlic Chives – Mewaldt Organics

Siberian Kale – Pioneer Farms

Spinach – Pick’n & Grin’n Farm @ Lattin Farms

Arugula – Pioneer Farms

Gourmet Lettuce Mix – Pick’n & Grin’n Farm @ Lattin Farms

Sunflower Shoots – Dayton Valley Aquaponics

Darkibor Kale – Pick’n & Grin’n @ Lattin Farms

Bread Lady stone ground wheat

Lahontan Farms eggs

I am super ready for those sunflower shoots! Yum! They are first on my list for tomorrow.

Check out these pretty eggs, though.

They are all different, natural colors and stamped with love. Someone is all crafty with their die cut freshness date rooster!

My son loved these eggs last week. He’s not normally a full plate of scrambled eggs kind of kid but he cleaned up on them last weekend. That makes me happy!

The taste of fresh food is so much better than anything else. So far, my family is loving the veggie box.

What’s your favorite fresh food that just isn’t the same any other way?


Wash Your Veggies

So, this seems obvious, but it is important to rinse and wash all of the produce that you are going to eat. No matter where it came from when you bought it.

When you have a CSA subscription, the first accessory you should get is a salad spinner.

What’s that? It is this:

This one handy, dandy (usually reasonably priced) item will save you so much time and energy. It will also help you keep those greens fresh longer!

How does it work? I had some fun with a slo-mo video from my phone to show you.

It is basically a colander that spins in a bigger container to fling the extra water off your lettuce after you rinse it thoroughly in the sink.

My son also thinks it’s great silliness to help with this job so don’t be afraid to recruit helpers!

I usually wrap greens in a paper towel and don’t fully close them up in plastic when I put them in the fridge to make them last a day or two more. This is important in the first few weeks of a CSA when there are a lot of greens. You don’t want then to go to waste in the first two days!

Especially when they are this pretty:

Have fun and eat your greens!


Great Basin Basket Farm Share, Week One

Woo hoo! It’s here! It’s here!

Can you tell how excited I am about this?

It has been a while but I have really been looking forward to getting some Nevada veggies in my system.

Here’s the box:

The way it works is that you go to a pick up spot and there’s actually a cardboard box … but … it helps a lot to bring your own crate so they can reuse the cardboard one.

What’s in the box?

This will vary every week based on what’s in season so, since it is spring, lots of greens this week.

Items:

Salanova Lettuce – Pick’n & Grin’n Farm in collaboration with Lattin Farms

Hakurei Turnips – Pick’n & Grin’n Farm in collaboration with Lattin Farms

Green Garlic – Lattin Farms

Spring Asparagus – Lattin Farms

Garlic Chives – Mewaldt Organics

Siberian Kale – Pioneer Farms

Spinach – Pick’n & Grin’n Farm in collaboration with Lattin Farms

Arugula – Pioneer Farms

Tango Lettuce – Pick’n & Grin’n Farm in collaboration with Lattin Farms

I also opted to get bread (stone ground whole wheat from The Bread Lady) and eggs (from the happy chickens at Lahontan Farms.)

Nom!

I’ll share more with some recipes and lots of photos later so stay tuned. Let me know of you have any questions. I’m all ears!


Oh, Hail, NO!

I haven’t posted in a while because my garden is sad.   Well, it wasn’t sad at first.   It was doing quite nicely actually.   Just growing … slowly.

Then, this happened …

destruction

and this

storm messyard hail

and this

hail pile

 

Ugh.

A freak summer hail storm pretty much destroyed it all.   The frustration is too much for words.

I managed to rescue one pepper plant and harvest the carrots.   That’s all.   I think we managed to get a single tomato–ONE.

DSC_0008      DSC_0003

So, what’s on the horizon for Fresh Veggies?   I’ll see you at the farmer’s market … or Whole Foods … or somewhere.   But, I don’t expect there to be much bloggin’ happening.   No worries–I’ll still be here but I think I’ll just be reading not posting.

Anyone care to share some garden success with me?   Lift my spirits?   Post some nice photos of what you’ve grown?  Please?


July Update

It has been a while since I updated on my mini garden.   You know how it goes … summer is busy.   And, well, plants just grow.   (hopefully)

Today seemed like a good day to share because we just ate some fresh green beans.   It wasn’t a big harvest but it was enough for a good side dish to a meal.   Not too shabby for three small plants, in my opinion.

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My favorite way to cook green bean is credited to The Pioneer Woman, click HERE to see how it’s done.

The peppers are still growing … albeit very slowly.   They are being attacked by black ants.   Peppermeister told me to use some baking soda to protect them.   It seems to be working for the time being.  (fingers crossed)

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How’s your garden growing?   Any good harvests yet?    I’m holding out for a homegrown tomato.   (Soon.   Mmmmm.)


Just Keep Growing …

I did some maintenance work in the garden boxes this morning.   My new mantra is “just keep growing … just keep growing …”

The basil finally decided to get its groove on:

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All of the transplants have been released from their mini greenhouse lids … and look at that happy, full row of kale!

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I’m proud of the pepper progress, albeit super slow.

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And, there’s even a baby tomato hiding in there!

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How’s your garden growing this week?


The Big Transplant

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The pepper plants have officially been transplanted to the garden beds and their own pots. I have kept them in the milk jugs longer than I originally thought to protect them but I think it is now time. The peppers are still small plants and address growing pretty slowly. I think that’s normal but transplanting them should give them more room to grow.

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I decided to keep the top half of the milk jug on the plants, not so much for cold protection but more for just the extreme of wind and sun on these fragile little transplants. Seems like a good idea, right?

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I had to thin out the carrots a little bit and discovered this beauty. My five year old happily gobbled it up and asked for more. Grow your garden success, right there! That’s what it’s all about!
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What’s your gardening success this week?


A Bad Week in the Garden

It has been a devastating week here at Fresh Veggies.    I’m feeling a little more than discouraged.

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The lettuce and tomato plants are covered in bugs, white flies, I believe.   The lettuce was ready to harvest and I was totally grossed out by the bugs so WE DID NOT EAT IT.   Bleck.   No amount of washing was going to take that visual away from me.   Gag.

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I promptly busted out the insecticidal soap and sprayed like a maniac.   As a matter of fact, I should probably go spray again to be sure.   Bleck.

Then, there’s the matter of the sunflowers.    Total loss.   I blame the chipmunks.   I blame the squirrels.   I blame the bunnies.   I blame them all.   And, I am sad.imageTo make matters worse, there is someone down the street from me who has no less than 100 sunflower plants happily growing in her front yard.   I am beyond jealous.

And, I will just have vicariously enjoy her sunflowers because mine are dead.

Ugh.

 


Progress Report

I’m happy to say that things just keep growing here in the desert.   My sprouts are officially plants and looking pretty good:

wpid-20140609_071902.jpg

I even got a little sassy and planted a row of sunflowers along my chain link fence in the back yard.   I would love to get a sunflower fence out of the deal but I will have to keep the critters from eating them.   This is a big challenge.  BIG.

Check out my solution:

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I covered my little sprouts with dried (and slightly crumbled) chile peppers.   And, I totally overplanted.   I figure if 10% make it, I have done my job.   I also put a little bit of bird netting over my row to slow down the vermin that will try to eat them.

Keep your fingers crossed.   This is a risky venture in my neck of the woods.

Do you have a problems with the critters eating the sprouts?   What are your tips to keeping them out of the garden?


The First Harvest

wpid-20140531_094625.jpg

The weather here is still all over the map but my mini-greenhouses are doing pretty well.   I had to cover everything recently for a flash flood-type of thunderstorm that, in reality, only lasted a few minutes, but would have devastated my tender little plants if they had been exposed.   The overnight temperatures haven’t been too bad.   However, it does flirt with the freezing mark on a regular basis despite hitting near 90 the other day.   I live in a crazy dry … and very wide ranging little climate zone.

So, every little success must be celebrated.   Today, we celebrated GREENS.   Mmmmmm.     There were just enough greens for me and the Fresh Hubs to each have a big, green salad for lunch today.   Lucky us.

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Mesclun, not to be confused with Mescaline … completely different fruit of the desert.

Blue kale.   Take that, Whole Foods!   Boom.

Blue kale. Take that, Whole Foods! Boom.

Green beans, almost ready to climb

Green beans, almost ready to climb

the peppers are still in their milkjug greenhouses, sensitive little boogers

the peppers are still in their milkjug greenhouses, sensitive little boogers

Grow, DAMN YOU, grow!

Grow, DAMN YOU, grow!

In all it's glory. and hard earned, GREENS.

In all it’s glory and hard earned, GREENS.


The Sprouts Keep Growing

It has been a couple of weeks so I thought I would check in and let everyone know how the sprouts are doing.    Current status:  pretty darn good.

The weather here is fairly unpredictable and, in between snow showers, it has hit the 90 degree mark.   ( Ya, I know.   Too weird.)

We made a bird netting system to keep the big pests out and take the tops of the mini greenhouses off when it gets hot.   It’s a pretty simple cover rig so we can switch it right back when the weather flip flops and we need the greenhouse lids again.imageI am happy to report that I have three kinds of lettuce, kale, carrots, green beans, cilantro and chives all doing their sprout-y business.

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I’m pretty proud of my pepper sprouts in the milk jug greenhouses.   They are coming along but I haven’t braved cutting the tops all the way off just yet.   Maybe, next month.   In the meantime, I take the top lids of the milk jugs off on the hot days for extra ventilation.    Otherwise, they get steamy little saunas all day.   I think they like it.   The nights are still pretty cool here so they are getting the full range.   (And, that’s why they are so hard to grow from seed here.   Wish me luck!)

imageSoooooo, tell me … how are your gardening adventures coming along this year?


Sprout Update

How about a sprout update?   Lettuce, spinach, kale, carrots and green beans have all poked through to the light.   The peppers are taking a little but longer but I think that’s normal so we’ll keep waiting on them.

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First Sprout

It’s just barely starting but the tiniest tips of green are poking out of the soil.

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Spinach, maybe?

It’s a big day here at the Fresh Veggies household.   Big days start with tiny, little green sprouts.


The Long, Dry Winter

Hello … is anyone still out there?

It has been a while since I’ve dusted off the keys and posted something on this site.   I’ve been busy.   Ha ha, haven’t we all?

And, because of that, things are under construction here at “Fresh Veggies.”   I will not be subscribing to a CSA this year.   I will be attempting to kill (uh, grow) my own veggies.

WHAT??!  WHY?   Don’t I still love Lattin Farms?   Yes, I love Lattin Farms.   And, mostly likely, I will still purchase their offerings this year.   But, I’m not doing the CSA.   Because of the current drought and water allocation for Lattin Farms, the growing season will be shorter and limited.   Sooooooo … I’m going to tough it out in the suburbs and figure out how to make things grow, too.

My husband also has a green thumb.   We are in this together.   And, he’s handy so he built me some mini-greenhouses to get started.

Here’s what I’ve got going on so far:

PVC fixin's to get the greenhouses together

PVC fixin’s to get the greenhouses together

Recycled old milk jugs for mini-hot houses

Recycled old milk jugs for mini-hot houses

Greenhouse bases with plastic lining

Greenhouse bases with plastic lining

Good garden soil

Good garden soil

Seeds planted, lids on ... grow babies grow!

Seeds planted, lids on … grow babies grow!

Personal saunas for future transplants

Personal saunas for future transplants

 

Are you wondering what I have planted in my little greenhouses?   Stay tuned … if they ever actually grow, I’ll report back.   If not, I’ll be shopping at Lattin Farms.   Either way, all good.

What are you planting this year?


Winter Break

This blog is currently on winter break while the fields are dormant for the season.   Please check out my other endeavors at www.gingerleaphotography.com until the spring thaw happens.

cilantro peppers basil

See you later,

Fresh Veggies in the Desert