Youth Farm Newsletter: exploring Cori's cupboard

the Youth Farm Crew

On the farm. We had such a great week with so many hands sharing in the work at the Youth Farm. All week the farm was swarmed with Youth Homes teens working on CSA harvest, planting, and weeding.  The teens cooked up fantastic meals including a spinach and strawberry salad with our newly coming on strawberry crop! (which by the way we will be offering as a u-pick crop at the farm for our CSA customers for $3.00 a pound) Friday folks with the United Way Day came out to spend a day working at the farm helping us to complete numerous projects like weeding and planting, mulching and working on our pea and tomato trellising. I’d say with such a great week and so many people helping to make the Youth Farm what it is we are definitely out of the planting marathon and now we head into the weeding season. Thank you to all the fantastic Youth Farm volunteers and employees for all your work!

What’s growing and getting harvested this week on the farm: Expect to find lots of fantastic salad greens and tender greens like arugula, lettuce, kale, spinach, salad mix, Chinese cabbage, kohlrabi, mustard greens, scallions, mini broccolis, tatsoi, and radishes! A few newcomers should be expected soon, until then enjoy these lovely spring greens and if you are hankering for something sweet and juicy come pick some strawberries in our patch!

Youth farm worker

A recipe of sorts. Last night, as I was cooking supper, I realized that I have not ever featured any of the meals we cook at the farm.  Since our farm kitchen is pretty basic, what we cook is pretty basic.  Last night, as I was cooking for my family, I realized that’s also how I cook at home.  It’s what the teens love, it’s what my family loves. So instead of a traditional recipe, this week I offer a few staples from my summer cupboard.

  1. A few oil options (toasted sesame oil, olive oil, and a high heat cooking oil like coconut or safflower – which is made in Montana – are musts)
  2. A few spicy options like Sriracha sauce
  3. Some salty options, like good old fashion sea salt (but make sure it is sea salt or something without additives) and a soy sauce like flavor (wheat free tamari is a good gluten-free substitute)
  4. Some basic whole grains like jasmine rice, whole wheat pasta, quinoa, and long grain brown rice
  5. And the most important: super fresh veggies (in the winter, these are often frozen or stored in some other way. . . )

When making a meal, I tend to start with the grains — they typically take the longest. I like to let rice sit in the pot for an extra ten minutes with the lid on after it has finished cooking, allowing the rice to get nice and fluffy.

Then I take any of the greens available and chop ‘em up. Some people like their veggies cut small; I like my veggies real big and chunky — it is up to you (and how much of a hurry you are in — the smaller the chunk, the less time it takes). Then I heat a pan through, adding a bit of oil.  I add the veggies and a bit of salt and let them start cooking. I like my greens lightly cooked so that they retain their lovely flavor and beautiful neon color.

When all is cooked to perfection we scoop up some rice and top it with a few scoops of veggies. Last a nice drizzle of sesame oil, hot sauce, and a few drops of soy sauce. Such a simple, easy recipe that is my go-to after a long day at the farm.  And one that I heard one teen tell another, “this is my favorite meal of the day.“  Fresh vegetables added to a basic stir fry and rice bowl is a beautiful thing!