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Sunday, July 6, 2014

July 8th and 11th: Summer Rains

The Growing is Good

(this cute dog showing off his hoop house tomatoes--
they are looking awesome!!)
Thankfully, we missed the brunt of the intense storms, but we were still left with 4 inches of rain and high winds.  For the most part everything faired well--a few broken leaves and wet roots standing in water, but in the sun today, all seems to be standing tall and happy ... Including the weeds ... I will not say "no" to any weed volunteers out there this year!
It's funny how some crops do great one year, and not so great the next.  MANY factors go into growing certain crops and sometimes I think I do it all just right, but alas they just don't do what I want them to.  One crop in particular that has been hard for me to grow this spring/early summer has been radishes.  Ha!  I know it's supposedly the easiest thing to grow, but for some reason those perfect red globes are not coming this year.  The greens, however, look fabulous!  So this is a test, a true stretch for all of my CSA members...let's eat radish greens! 


Welcome Fr. Paul Dumais! When he is not busy pulling wood-fired pizza from his oven in Frenchville, ME or bringing wood-fired pizza to the steps of Lewiston churches he might be found weeding at Little Ridge Farm.  But most of the time he can be found at Central Maine Medical Center or Bates College where he serves as a Catholic priest.  Introduced to Little Ridge Farm CSA by current members he is currently a work-share member and is baking bread on the second Friday of the month.
The first monthly bake featured Rustic French Batard and a Naturally Leavened Boule.  When asked why he makes so much bread he responds:  bread makes people happy.  Ever since time spent raising wheat and other open pollinated organically produced seed on a Kansas farm he has been enamored by good bread which is a real food and satisfying complement to any meal during each season.  in recent years he has been honing his skills at the annual Kneading Conference in Skowhegan, ME.  Consider joining him and other bread enthusiasts this Summer July 24-25 for the conference and/or the Maine Grain Alliance Bread Fair on July 26.  FMI see  

Description:  This Classic French Bread formula was developed by Micahael Jubinsky of Stone Turtle Baking School in Lyman and can be scaled and shaped in a variety of ways.  Recently you may have enjoyed it as a large Rustic French Bread Batard at the weekly Little Ridge Farm CSA Friday pickup.  This yeasted bread is developed from an overnight poolish that combines a small amount of whole wheat flour with King Arthur Sir Galahad flour and some instant dissolving dry yeast (SAF) and water to improve the flavor and texture.  This loaf has a thin crust and airy crumb that is chewy and sponge-like which makes it versatile for daily use.   
Ingredients:  King Arthur Sir Galahad flour, water, kosher salt, yeast 

Description:  This natural levain boule is baked with a starter cultural obtained from James MacQuire at last year's Kneading Conference in Skowhegan.  The levain concentrates ambient yeast that is routinely refreshed then used to build a dough that does not require adding any commercial yeast yet produces a lofty attractive loaf with good color and texture.  The crisp crust complements a light chewy crumb with irregular holes.  The slow process required in patiently allowing the natural levain to raise the dough over a long time at moderate temperatures produces a pleasant aroma and satisfying taste.  Sesame seeds added to the surfaces allows them to roast during the baking adding a hint of nutty flavor.   Smear butter or your favorite spread on a slice for lunch or supper or toast it to perfection in the morning.  Though it contains no preservatives it keep well for a week on the counter in a plastic bag.
Ingredients:  King Arthur Sir Galahad flour, whole wheat flour, water, kosher salt and levain which is comprised of King Arthur flour, water and the wonders of ambient naturally occurring yeast  
It's a Bumper Crop!!!
PYO are berries are half price for shareholders this week (son;t you widh you were one?!)  They may bring a guest (maybe you have LRF friends?), but they pay $2.75/lb
Come while the picking is LOADED!!!
This week's Bounty: lettuce, white kohl rabi, Chinese cabbage, asain greens, hakurei with greens, radish greens, beet greens, scallions, garlic scapes, dill, oregano and basil snippets
The Farmer's Table was full this week!
--African style stir fry with harissa spice, asparagus, beet greens and Asian greens
--asparagus and spinach quiche (made by Keena!--see recipe/adaptations below)
--beet green and sausage torta (made by Keena!--see recipe/adaptations below) Zach says, "a real man will love this torta"
--smoked beef ribs with an arugula, romaine and strawberry salad
--lots and lots and lots of strawberries!!!!!!!!
--pesto and soup recipes on the site look yummy!
Swiss Chard or Beet Green Torta
(my adaptations--I only did a bottom crust--I used beet greens instead of chard--I used the scallion tops instead of chives--I used a garlic scape--I used yogurt and more parm instead of ricotta)

1# swiss chard
3 Tbs Olive Oil
1 c chopped onions/chives
2 tsp chopped garlic
salt and pepper
1# sauasage (optional)
5 eggs
1 1/4 c ricotta cheese
1/2 parmasean cheese
2 10" pie shell

cook onions in oil until wilted, stir in garlic
add chopped chard and cook over high heat, stirring constantly
season with salt and pepper then set aside to cool

Add sausage to chard
Beat 4 of the eggs, combine with the cheeses and add to the chard mixture
Pour into pie shell
Cover with 2nd pie shell, cut slits for steam and glaze the top with the last beaten egg
Bake in a preheated 425 degree oven for 40 minutes

Asparagus, Spinach, & Feta Quiche

Yield: Serves 8-10
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 65 minutes
A simple savory quiche made with asparagus, spinach, green onions, feta, and mozzarella cheese. This vegetarian spring quiche is great for brunch or dinner.


1/2 tablespoon olive oil
8 asparagus spears, ends removed and cut into 1-inch pieces
4 cups fresh baby spinach
5 large eggs
1 cup milk
3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Salt and pepper, to taste
4 green onions, chopped
1 9-inch pie crust


1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a 9-inch pie plate with pie dough and stick in freezer while you prepare the other quiche ingredients.
2. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the asparagus spears, and spinach. Cook until asparagus spears are slightly tender and spinach is wilted. Transfer spinach to a colander. Press firmly with the back of a spoon to squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs and milk. Stir in the feta and mozzarella cheese. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
4. Remove pie crust from the freezer. Place asparagus pieces, spinach, and green onions on the bottom of the crust. Pour the egg and cheese mixture over the vegetables and into the crust.
5. Bake the quiche for 45 minutes or until quiche is set and slightly golden brown. Let quiche stand for 15 minutes before serving.



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