Rustic Zucchini Crust Pizza

4 C coarsely grated unpeeled Zucchini
Kosher salt
Olive oil
Cornmeal for sprinkling (I used semolina flour)
1 egg
½ C flour (use gluten free flour to make it gluten free)
2 C grated mozzarella cheese
4 scallions, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons dried oregano (or fresh from your CSA garden! – you’ll need a little more if you use fresh)
2 or 3 tomatoes, thinly sliced
½ C fresh basil leaves, cut into strips

Place the grated squash in a colander, salt generously, and set it aside for 30 minutes. Squeeze out the excess moisture with your hands.
Preheat the oven to 425 F> Lightly coat two 11×17 cookie sheets with olive oil and sprinkle with cornmeal.
Beat the eggs in a large bowl. Add the zucchini and flour. The mixture should have the consistency of cooked oatmeal; if it’s too sticky, add a little more flour.
Spread half the mixture on one prepared cookie sheet and half on the other. Bake for 15-20 minutes until puffed and slightly brown; remove from the oven and reduce the temperature to 350 F.
Combine the mozzarella, olives, and scallions and sprinkle the mixture over each pizza, leaving a ½ margin along the edge. Sprinkle with oregano and arrange the tomato slices on top. Scatter fresh basil on top and drizzle with a little olive oil.
Return to the oven and bake for 15 minutes or until the cheese is melted. Serve hot or at room temperature.

NOTES:  I live it Colorado and it’s DRY here.  I didn’t salt the zucchini very much I just let it sit in a colander for a while and it was plenty dry.  This recipe calls for 4 eggs but I changed it to 1.  And then I add as much flour as I need to in order to get the right consistency.  My crust isn’t “puffed”.  Once it’s baked I put whatever toppings I want on it.  One time the crust seemed more cooked on bottom than on top so I turned it over.

When I have extra zucchini I’ve cooked the crusts and then frozen the extra ones to use later when I don’t have 8 spare thigh-sized zucchinis.

I also throw extra fresh herbs into the crust if I have them.

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2012 Shares Available

Shares are quickly selling out.  Some gardens are planted.  Seedlings are started.  Food is on the way! Email info@farmyardcsa.com to reserve your share now.

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Welcome, Christine!

Our distribution season is off to a good start in no small part due to Christine Shaw, our summer helper.  Of course the shares are a bit small to begin, but they will be bigger as we add kohlrabi, carrots, eggplant, peppers, zucchini, and, of course, tomatoes as well as the other veggies that you love!

We are so pleased to introduce Christine.  She calls Georgia home and comes to us through the WWOOF program.  She is a Theatre major at Yale in New Haven, Connecticut and has proved to be a tireless worker who seems to be sustained by almond butter.  She is enjoying her work (or maybe her acting training is paying off : ) and is learning amazing things as she plants, weeds, and harvests.   You will probably see her pulling weeds in the gardens, harvesting your weekly veggies and, of course, at distribution on Mondays.  Please help us welcome her to Colorado!

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Work Day #2

Thanks to all who showed up to help yesterday despite the cool temps and cloudy skies.  We didn’t get to plant tomoatoes and peppers as planned but we stll made a huge amount of progress.

From Movies
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How, What, Why?

One short week ago we had our seed starting party. A lot has changed in that week. Seeds into nice little plants. Winter into spring (or so it seems). Many people asked how I decide what to plant in pots, what in seed blocks, what in the ground. So here is how, what, why… a bit about the method to my madness, I mean, gardening. I know the title is out of order but I’m going to start with whatHow seems to need some background and I’m not even sure I can answer Why.  : )

What do we do.  We grow food in urban yards.  We start seeds indoors (and some out of doors) early in the spring.  We nurture them until it is safe to put them outside.  Sometimes we’re wrong on the timing; sometimes we’re not.  But how do we decide?  We start with a basic assumption that there are “cool weather” crops and “warm weather” crops.  Cool weather crops are the those that are likely to make it through a late spring snow (as long as it doesn’t sit on them for days.) and cool night temperatures.  Warm weather crops are those that are unlikely to survive night time temperatures below 50 and definitely can’t tolerate a freeze.  Most cool weather crops (peas, lettuce, cabbage, broccoli, beets, carrots, etc.) can be planted directly in the ground and still make it to harvest before winter.  So many of those are put on “seed tape“, planted directly in the ground and are not started indoors.  While some seeds can withstand short durations of cold temperatures, their grown is inhibited outside wo we prefer to start them indoors, to give them a head start before they face the outdoor weather.  With many of these seeds, we make newspaper pots, fill them with soil and keep them indoors under lights until they have reached a more sturdy size and the weather outside is more welcoming.   We do this with chard, broccoli and kale.

Warm weather crops (tomatoes, peppers, eggplant) are not only unable to withstand the cool temperatures but also need a little more time than our Colorado summers have to reach their peak of production.  Therefore, we plant them indoors and keep them indoors until all reasonable danger of frost has passed.

How do we approach this daunting task?  Given the guidelines laid out above, we then look at the locations and the calendar.  For our spring plantings everything is driven off of the “last frost date”.  Forty-seven (47) years of weather data tells us that in the Denver metro area, there is an 80% chance that it will not frost past May 12.  This is why you will frequently hear that you plant warm weather crops on Mother’s Day.  If you’re a risk taker, there’s a 50% chance it won’t frost past May 2.  For planting fall crops, plantings are driven off of the “first frost date” or the earliest it is likely to frost killing our warm weather crops and slowing the growth of our cool weather crops.  Armed with this information, I prepare a Gant chart laying out the number of days a particular crop takes to mature, when the last frost date is and how far in advance of the last frost I can plant it either outside or in.  The Gant chart not only tells us when to plant but it helps estimate when crops will reach maturity.

In addition to the Gant chart telling us when to plant I also have a complex spreadsheet laying out estimated yields (based on previous years actuals) per plant.  Using the yields and quanitity desired, the spreadsheet calculates how many of each crop we should plant and how much space this will require.  Then using data from past years experience and current soil tests we plan what to plant in each garden.

All this and we haven’t even planted anything outside yet!

Which leads me to why.  Obviously I don’t do it because it makes fiscal sense – I’ve spent all this time without even selling a share.  Or because it’s easy.  I do it because I’m driven to eat good food.  And the only thing better than eating good food is sharing good food. 

-join me.

    Debbie

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Winter. Or is it?

Isn’t winter the time when farmers relax, drink tea and read books? Probably more accurately put it’s the time when farmers get second jobs to pay the bills so they can farm in the summer. And a few things inbetween. A few days about I was doubting if there was going to be a winter in Colorado but the last couple of days of sub-zero temps have me convinced. But still, winter is time to prepare for growing. As such we’ve been busy. Busy planning our gardens for summer 2011. All of the gardens are planned and the seeds have been ordered. In a few weeks, we’ll be hosting a seed-starting party to kick things off.

Additionally we’ve be accepted for “Certified Naturally Grown” status. Six years ago a few farmers created an alternative certification program tailored for directmarket farmers who use natural methods. Today 600 farms nationwide participate. We farm using natural methods because we care about the health of our families, workers, and customers, and we want to be good stewards of the portion of this earth that is temporarily under our care.

The National Organic Program standards serve as the basis of our own. However, Certified Naturally Grown is a private non-profit organization not affiliated with the USDA or any government agency. Certified Naturally Grown uses a streamlined application process, on-site inspections, and (unlike the Organic program) makes use of un-announced pesticide residue testing to help ensure consumer confidence.

Certified Naturally Grown is part of an international grassroots movement involving tens of thousands of small farmers around the world who have formed imilar “participatory guarantee systems”. We are supported by the International Federation of Organic Agricultural Movements (IFOAM) and the United Nations
(FAO) is helping start a sister program for farmers in India.

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Putting the C in CSA

There’s a reason C is the first letter in CSA.  Community is what makes it work.  Community is why I sacrifice other activities to spend my spring, summer and part of fall, growing, harvesting and distributing food.  It’s the people who support me in growing local food.  The volunteers who just want to learn where food comes from and the people who come back time after time even after their “obligation” to help is fulfilled.  It’s the member who brings me back from the edge by mentioning how much they love what I’m doing without knowing I’ve had a hard day.

Yes, there’s the unparalleled taste of a vine-ripened tomato and the swiss chard that keeps giving all season long.  There’s the deep satisfaction of creating a tasty meal out of food I just picked up off the ground in my back yard.  And there’s the joy of sharing a new food with someone who thought they didn’t like beets. . . or kale.

The food is wonderful but it’s the people.  Thank you to my community for a wonderful, rewarding season.

  -Debbie

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Project Underway!

There is something about a messy, weed-laden yard that I just can’t say no to.   Thanks to Sunny, Brad, Michelle, Kevin, Julia, Scott, Heather, Emma and Steve for their hard work in getting this new yard started for the 2011 season!  It’s amazing what a few extra hands can accomplish in a short amount of time.  You guys are the best!

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First Annual Garden Cruiser Bike Tour!

 

Come see how and where your food is grown!  

On September 11, 2010 Farm Yard CSA will lead the first annual cruiser bike tour of our gardens.  We’ll stop a couple of times along the way to see gardens and taste food that is growing there.  At the end of the ride, we’ll enjoy a dinner featuring Farm Yard and local food.  

This is an easy ride through the neighborhoods. Starting at 445 S Pearl (our Denver pickup location), the distance from the first garden to the last is approximately 4.6 miles and is through Wash Park and Krisana Park (see map). 

You don’t have to ride a cruiser bike… you can ride whatever bike you have.  Don’t want to bike?  Ask me about volunteering at one of the stops along the route and join us at the end!

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July Work Day

Thank you so much to all the volunteers who came out in the heat today to help weed and harvest.  It makes so much difference to have your help and it reiterates the main reason I do this – building community.

Here are some pics of the day.

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