PRODUCER SPOTLIGHT: Arkansas Valley Organic Growers // Pueblo, CO
Arkansas Valley Organic Growers is a farmer owned and operated cooperative. We are a group of local growers that work together to bring you the best, freshest produce and farm products every week. We only offer you what is at the peak of freshness and ripeness each week, bringing you a bounty of freshly harvested products as well as value added products from our region. We work with organic growers in the Arkansas Valley and throughout our region to guarantee all produce is grown to the highest standards, without the use of pesticides or other chemicals that aren’t Organic Materials Review Institute approved. This gives you confidence in the natural purity – and goodness! – of all our products.
WEEK 6 // UPDATES + WHAT'S IN THE BOX?
I hope you are all having a good summer with some outings, family time, and hopefully great cooking and super-healthy, bioregional eating! Back in Mosca headquarters it has been an interesting season, to say the least! We are super appreciative to have you on board and look forward to some new and exciting crops coming out of the fields. -- Nick C.
- Ring a Ding Farms triple-washed organic baby greens were hit with hail and are in their second week of recovery. We hope they are back next week!
- Peach season is upon us and we are including 5 lbs in this week’s box, and will include about this much, perhaps a touch less, in the upcoming weeks. If you want more peaches you can order cases out of the market.
- Here’s a snapshot of this week’s box (items may change, be added, or deleted based off market and/or field conditions):
Gil Mota has been working on ranches and raising cattle since he was 13. For the past 20 years he has been raising grass fed beef in the San Luis Valley. Gil Mota believes in efficient ways to manage cattle on both ranch land pastures and high mountain pastures. He uses electric fencing and knows how to communicate with cattle to get them to go where he needs them. Gil believes in smart management and the conservation of grass and soil resources. The ground beef that was supplied in the CSA Beef Share was raised on high mountain pastures above Villa Grove and on pastures between Crestone and Moffat.
ABOUT THE GMO-FREE EGGS IN THE CSA EGG SHARE:
The Amish are a devout people with an identity, a purpose, and a great knack for farming. Ab Yoder and his family raise free range layer hens at scale and with quality in mind. They are fed a GMO-free ration including alfalfa, which gives the eggs the super dark yolk. We have had people far and wide notice the quality of these eggs and they are a Valley Roots top seller going all the way to Santa Fe and Denver markets. We are lucky to have such a producer in our community!
For Colorado storage crops here’s some guideline for best quality preservation:
Potatoes: Storage temp: 45-50 F Humidity 95-99% Keep in dark
Storage 2-12 months (the White Mountain Russets were harvested last September)
Radishes: Storage Temp: 32 F. Humidity 90-95% Topped storage 3-4 weeks, Black Radish 2-4 months
Turnips: Storage Temp 32 F. Humidity 90-95% Storage 4-5 months
Peach and Wheatberry Salad (from CLEAN, by Terry Walters – thanks to Donna Mabry)
This salad is a snap to prepare and makes a great side dish or main dish for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Wheatberries can be hard to digest, so make sure to take the time to soak them first. For a change, substitute your favorite vinaigrette for the sesame oil and lime juice. To make this salad gluten-free, use wild rice instead of wheatberries. (newsletter note -- I'll bet Valley quinoa would be excellent!)
1 1/2 C wheatberries
4-5 scallions, chopped
1 C chopped peaches (can substitute apples in the fall!)
1/2 C currants
1/4 C toasted sunflower seeds
juice of 1 lime
3 Tbsp toasted sesame oil (newsletter note - that's a lot. Tone it down with some Sunflower oil from Lamar, CO!)
Rinse wheatberries, soak in bowl with enough water to cover for at least 1 hour, then drain. In large pot, bring 3 1/4 C water to boil. Add wheatberries and pinch of salt, reduce heat, cover, and simmer until all water is absorbed. Set aside to cool, then fluff with fork.
In large bowl, combine cooked wheatberries with scallions, peaches, currants and toasted sunflower seeds. Toss with lime juice, toasted sesame oil and pinch of salt. Serve at room temperature or chilled.
Preserving Peaches (adapted from Wara Cookbook by Yasuhiro and Kari Funakoshi – thanks to Megumi Sugihara)
Most of the peach preserving techniques ask for lemon juice and sugar. This method below, however, uses only salt. Salt? You may ask. The fact is that salt not only prevents discoloring but brings out the natural sweetness of the peaches more. When the peaches are preserved this way, it seems to keep the flavor and the aroma better over time. #2 peaches are perfect for this though nothing is wrong with preserving #1 peaches if you can stop eating them all fresh.
The peach preserved this way can be frozen or canned/jarred. One word about canning. Don’t get intimidated! Yes it takes time but it is not difficult and all worth it! Just follow the instructions that come with your canning pot or what you find online (for example http://extension.colostate.edu/topic-areas/nutrition-food-safety-health/canning-fruits-9-347/) step by step. For the peaches preserved this way, no need to add syrup. Simply used the “juice” that comes out of the peaches in the process of cooking. Remember we are at high altitude… usually the instruction tells you how much longer you’ll have to boil. And then, enjoy the peaches all year long!
Use preserved peaches for making sherbet (blend with syrup and freeze), peach torte (replace cherries with peaches in the Cherry Torte recipe from week 3), peach pancake/waffle, jam, and or salad (for example, toss with boiled green beans and almost slices). Sky is the limit!
1) peel peaches and dice or wedge in1/8
2) sprinkle the bottom of ceramic coated or stainless pot lightly, place the peaches, and sprinkle with salt on top
3) cook on low to medium heat till the peaches are cooked (but not losing the shape) and the juice is out
4) let it cool