Friday, August 29, 2014

Green Beans 101

Green Beans are the unripe fruit of various cultivars of the common bean (Phaseolus Vulgaris) and are almost universal in their distribution. In Mexico the Green Bean is called Ejotes and in France, Haricot Vert. Green beans are picked before the seeds mature and the shell becomes hard. Green beans are found in two major categories, bush beans and pole beans. There are over 130 known varieties of beans. More detail about different varieties can be read here. Bean colors include green, purple, yellow and speckled red and the growing season is July, August and September. Beans have been part of our diet for so long that they have worked their way into common expressions like "full of beans" and "spill the beans." Click here to learn about Green Beans and here for more fun facts about Green Beans.

To Store

Store fresh Green Beans in the refrigerator (unwashed!) in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Damp green beans can mold quickly. It is easy to freeze Green Beans. Click here for freezing instructions.

To Nourish
The Green Beans rich green color signifies large amounts of Cartenoids. The Green Beans anti-oxidant capacity is proven to be an anti-inflammatory with diabetes prevention benefits. Green beans are high in Vitamin K, C & B2 as well as Manganese, Fiber and Folate. Click here to learn more about the health benefits of Green Beans.


To Prepare

From the refrigerator, thoroughly wash green beans. In preparation for cooking, cut off the tips of the beans. Green beans can be cooked whole or cut into strips. Cut straight across or at an angle. For a French cut, cut the bean lengthwise into two inch pieces. Green beans can be prepared with almost all cooking methods imaginable, from boiling and steaming, to sautéing, baking and roasting. If you are wondering what to do with an over abundance of Green Beans, try pickling!

To Try 

Green Bean Fries 
Fusilli with Green Beans, Pancetta and Parmigiano 
Thai Chicken Curry
Vietnamese Beef with Green Bean Stir Fry 

To Use

The Williams-Sonoma Vegetable of The Day Cookbook calendar-style cookbook brings together 365 seasonal recipes, one for every day of the year. Each of the 12 chapters opens with a colorful monthly calendar that provides an at-a-glance view of the dishes included. From January to December, you’ll find recipes that suit every occasion, from a weekday family supper or a summer backyard barbecue to a celebratory dinner, and that fit every schedule, from quick sautés to slow braises. ($34.95, Williams-Sonoma)

This Week's Shares -- Friday, August 29, 2014

Vegetable
Tomatoes and heirloom tomatoes, peppers, blue gold potatoes, scallions, beans and more beans, cucumbers, summer squash, Red Orach, radishes or carrots, kale, choice of cherry tomatoes or Goldenberries, garlic, melons or watermelons and choice of an herb.

Fruit
Ginger Gold Apples
Bartlett Pear

Eggs

Poultry 
Full Share Members

Pasta

Cider


Reminder:  The Farm & Fork Society is a 100% volunteer organization.  Each member is required to do one 2-hour shift for the season on Fridays June 13 - November 21 at our downtown Millburn pick-up location. If you have not scheduled your shift or have had to cancel, please contact Nino at volunteersffs@gmail.com.  A special thank you to those who have help us with filling in last minute!   

Monday, August 25, 2014

Letter from John Krueger

Hi Folks, 
This week marks the midpoint of the season. It’s hard to belief we are half way through; I guess time flies when you’re working hard!  I am very pleased with what we have been able to provide the members thus far and from the feedback I have received, you all are fairly happy as well. We got off to a late start and I have been behind on my planting schedule almost the entire season. I have been worried that we will reach a point when the shares are not so bountiful. That day may come but it won’t be this week! We are almost out of carrots and I was only recently able to plant more. The 2nd planting of cukes and zukes is starting to wane and I the third planting is just coming up. With the dry weather we have had this past month it has been challenging to get seeds to germinate, have transplants survive or even prepare more ground for planting. We received 1.4 inches of rain last week, still not enough, but we take what we can get!
The tomatoes are still coming in heavy especially the heirlooms. Beans are also abundant and you will likely get one and a half to 2 lbs. this week. Beans are easy to freeze- 1 minute in boiling water to blanch them, then cold water to stop the cooking process; toss them into zip lock bags and into the freezer. Voila! –beans for the late fall or winter months. We will probably be in rotation with the summer squash for the next few weeks. Eggplant is starting to produce better now. The kale is starting to come back-benefitting from the rain and the cool weather. We also have an unusual “green” for you this week; it is called Red Orach and is a warm weather spinach substitute. The stems are somewhat woody; use only the leaves and thinner stems. We have some radishes now which need to be harvested, but not enough for all groups. Some groups will receive carrots this week and radishes next week and vice versa. We are out of lettuce for now and probably will be for several weeks. We have some Thai basil which seems to have resistance to the powdery mildew plague that wiped out all the rest of our basil plantings. It will be included as a choice with parsley and a few other herbs this week.
As previously noted beans are coming in heavy and we are having a hard time getting any other work done because my workers are spending so much time picking them. I am working on a fall event schedule with some volunteer days as well as farm visit opportunities. For now I am asking for bean picking volunteers for this Sunday 8/31 at 10 am.  I will also extend an invitation to those who would like to visit the farm but have not had a chance, to come out this Sunday. I will give a tour at 1pm. Bring a picnic lunch and something to grill if you wish. Nearby Kittatinny Valley State Park offers beautiful hiking and biking trails if you would like to expand your visit to the country. This is short notice so please RSVP to me @ kruegerjohn@earthlink.net, so I will know if anyone will be coming.
The share for this week will be: tomatoes and heirloom tomatoes, peppers, blue gold potatoes, scallions, beans and more beans, cucumbers, summer squash, Red Orach, radishes or carrots, kale, choice of cherry tomatoes or Goldenberries, garlic, melons or watermelons and choice of an herb.

Enjoy!       
Farmer John