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Sungold Tomato Times!

Posted 7/28/2016 12:17pm by Amber Stenson.

Greetings Members,

Wednesday is the best day on the farm. Now that we have hit a good stride in our weekly activities I think I can say that with good authority. I'll tell you why.

On Wednesday the pack shed is full of people washing produce, unpacking harvest totes, packing wholesale boxes and just hanging out. The kids on the farm zip around on bikes and the staff runs around checking in produce and teaching farmers how many carrots go in one bunch. It is a zoo, but if I step back and take a breathe I see the hive working in harmony.

Sebra Farms cleaning garlic

Wednesday is the best day on the farm because it is a weekly reminder of how messy but also how beautiful building a local food system can be. Yesterday Argelia of Sebra Farm showed me her onions. They look like tiny little moons they are so white and glowing. The basil continues to fill the pack shed with a sweet heavy aroma and this week we have beets for everybody!!! 

On Thursdays, after we pack boxes and after Lorenzo heads out to deliver them, Molly and I walk the whole farm. We talk with farmers, we check our crop plans and we decided what is going to be in the CSA box the following week. By the following Wednesday, I have forgotten what we had planned and instead of seeing the tops of carrots in the fields the orange bunches surprise me along with all the other food filling up in the cooler. Wednesday is the best day on the farm. 

Please remember to bring your own bag to collect your vegetables, unpack your box, stack the boxes and cross your name off the list. Thanks!


Farmer of the Week:The honorable DG!

Dil has been impressed by what modern farm equipment can do and how easy it is to use. “People here have so much,” he observes, much more than they realize. He’d like people to understand safety issues, such as the need to know how to use equipment right. He’d also like people to understand the health benefits of organically grown food. Finally, he’d like people in government and the voters to be aware of the importance of improving the farming industry, especially through training and support of small businesses.

Continue reading Dil's story....



Whats in the Box?

Basil, Cucumber, Fresh Garlic, Onions, Tomatillos and Sungold Tomatoes all from Sebra Farms!

Cucumber, Roselle and Zucchini from Karen Family Farm

Zucchini from Bhutanese Farm

Green Beans and Cucumber from The Early Birds

Lacinato Kale from Mhonpaj's Garden

Beets and Zucchini from 1st Karen Farm


In the Kitchen

For those of you who didn't get a box last week we are super excited about introducing our first specialty crop of the season. Thanks to a grant from the USDA we are helping farmers grow traditional food crops more efficiently and generating buzz around new foods in our community. This week we are proud to offer Roselle, a relative of the Hibiscus family and a staple in Burmese cooking. Our Karen farmers use these greens in soups primarily. The sour, almost lemon like flavor, pairs nicely with almost any kind of seafood. 

Sour soup recipe (Chin hin) adapted from Best Oodles

Serves 4


  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 lb shell-on shrimp, divined*
  • 1 water spinach (aka Ong Choy) or yam leaves, 2” chopped and washed*
  • 1 bunch roselle leaves (Chin maung yath), washed
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 3 quart water

*Update Notes:-1 water spinach (aka Ong Choy) or yam leaves = A bunch of water spinach (aka Ong Choy) or yam leaves approx.


  1. Pinch roselle leaves and discard stems.
  2. In hot stock pot place oil, onion and garlic to sauté until they caramelize, add chili powder, turmeric powder and stir for a minute.
  3. Add shrimp and stir for a minute and then add water, water spinach, roselle leaves and stir the leaves until they have wilted. You could also add a teaspoon of fresh minced ginger.
  4. Stir in fish sauce and water. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes when you see the soup boil.  Serve with rice.

Its Tomatillo Time!

Perhaps another new vegetable for some folks, tomatillos, a member of the nightshade family (think eggplant, potato, tomato, pepper) and native to Mexico make a delicious summer salsa. You can either roast, boil or prepare them raw and I love adding avocado into any salsa recipe for a creamy delicious snack.

Here is a recipe from the New York Times cooking blog.


  • 1 pound tomatillos, husked
  • 1 to 2 serrano chiles (to taste), stems removed
  • 1 medium garlic clove, unpeeled
  • 1 slice white onion
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro, with stems
  • 1 medium avocado
  •  Salt to taste


  1. Heat a heavy cast-iron skillet or griddle over medium-high heat. Place tomatillos in pan and toast until charred on 1 side, about 10 minutes for a medium or large tomatillo. The color in the middle should be fading from pale green to olive. Turn tomatillos over and continue to grill until charred on the other side, about 10 minutes, but not for so long that they burst. Transfer to a bowl and allow to cool.
  2. Place chile(s), garlic clove and onion slice in skillet and toast, turning often, until chile is lightly charred and garlic is charred in spots and softened. The onion should be lightly colored on both sides but not charred black (that will make it bitter). Remove from heat. Peel the garlic and transfer, with the onion and chiles, to a blender. Add tomatillos and any liquid that may have accumulated in the bowl.
  3. Add remaining ingredients to blender and blend until smooth. Taste, adjust seasoning, and serve.

If you are running low on Zucchini recipes, try making this hash and invite your friends over for brunch! Nothing like Zucchini to bring people together!

Happy eating.


Lebo Moore

Food Hub Manager

Minnesota Food Association/Big River Farms

651-433-3676 ext.21