Our 13-acre farm in Indianola includes two cultivated acres, orchard, pastured poultry, open fields and habitat for birds and other wildlife. Biodiversity is key to our success. We provide our customers with a wide array of vegetables while maintaining a balanced ecosystem in our gardens.

Farmers Rebecca Slattery and Louisa Brown use careful crop rotations, homemade compost, beneficial insectaries and patient observation to avoid pesticides and chemical fertilizers. Though not certified organic, our practices are stricter than the national organic standards. Deep ecology and sustainability are our aims—“moreganic.” —Watch a video about the farm by Chris McElroy.

Persephone Farm Tomatoes

You can see why we’re thinking of gazpacho this week! My Spanish grandmother (okay okay she was German)(okay okay it’s me) makes gazpacho without a recipe, and it’s still the best way to do it. Finely chop up the peppers, tomatoes and cucumbers you haven’t already finished on the way home from the CSA pickup site; add a finely chopped small onion, a few tablespoons of olive oil and a couple cloves of minced garlic; and salt and pepper, lemon juice, and vinegar to taste—cumin, cilantro, or parsley if you’re fancy—and chill for an hour. Some people like to blend it up—or blend half the mix, leaving the other half in small chopped bits—before chilling, but some prefer to leave the vegetables finely chopped. Other interesting options: finely ground bread crumbs or toasted almonds, Worcestershire sauce, jalapenos, gin (kidding about the gin*)…There are almost as many variations of this recipe as there are tomatoes, so use what you’ve got and go with your gut! Perfect with a hearty bread for dinner on a hot summer’s day. — Apprentice Rachel

For those who prefer a little more direction, the New York Times recently (and timely) published a collection of recipes under the apt headline “30 Ways to Do Justice to Summer Tomatoes.”

*vodka would definitely work better

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Recipe by Melissa Clark, from the New York Times collection of recipes “30 Ways to Do Justice to Summer Tomatoes.”

INGREDIENTS

1 ¼ pounds very ripe tomatoes; a mix of varieties and colors is nice
2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
¾ teaspoon kosher sea salt, more to taste
6 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon olive oil, more as needed
1 tablespoon lemon juice
½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 cups leftover or rotisserie chicken, including some skin (about 1/2 chicken)
1 tablespoon capers, drained and patted dry
1 6-inch length of ciabatta or baguette (about 4 ounces), preferably stale, cut into 1-inch cubes
3 sprigs fresh thyme or 2 sprigs fresh oregano
Chopped fresh basil, for serving

PREPARATION

Cut tomatoes into bite-sized pieces and transfer to a large bowl. Using a large chef’s knife, mince 1 of the smashed garlic cloves. Add a pinch of salt and using the flat side of your knife, smash into a fine paste. Add garlic paste to the tomatoes along with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Toss to coat and set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine the lemon juice, mustard, 1/4 teaspoon salt and black pepper to taste. While whisking constantly, slowly drizzle in 3 tablespoons olive oil until the mixture is thickened. Remove the skin from the chicken, shred the meat and combine with the vinaigrette. Roughly chop the chicken skin and set aside.

In a 10-inch skillet over high heat, add 1 teaspoon olive oil. When oil is shimmering, add the chicken skin and capers. Cook while stirring occasionally until the skin is crisp and the capers are beginning to brown, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to drain any excess oil.

In the same pan over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons olive oil, bread cubes, the remaining smashed garlic clove, 1 sprig of fresh thyme or 1 sprig of fresh oregano and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook while stirring occasionally until toasted and golden, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool completely. When cool, discard the garlic and thyme and add bread cubes to the tomato mixture. Add the leaves of the remaining uncooked thyme or oregano, the shredded chicken and toss to combine. Transfer to a platter or individual plates and serve garnished with the capers, chicken skin, chopped basil, and freshly ground black pepper.

4 Servings

Recipe on cooking.nytimes.com

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Fresh broccoli

This week, along with the first tomatoes of the season, CSA subscribers got plenty of beautiful broccoli in their baskets. Here’s some delicious ways to enjoy the broccoli bounty. Happy Fourth!

GRILLED BROCCOLI

Ingredients
1 bunch broccoli, cut into 8 large spears 2 lemons, quartered 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling kosher salt and black pepper

Directions
Heat grill to medium. In a large bowl, toss the broccoli and lemons with the oil and season with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Grill, turning occasionally, until tender and lightly charred, 10 to 15 minutes.
Squeeze the lemons over the broccoli and drizzle with additional oil.

BROCCOLI AND BLEU CHEESE SALAD

Ingredients
1 bunch broccoli, cut into florets (6 cups) ¼ cup buttermilk 2 tablespoons sour cream 2 ounces blue cheese, crumbled 1 scallion, sliced ½ teaspoon red wine vinegar kosher salt and black pepper ½ cup toasted walnuts

Directions
Fill a large saucepan with 1 inch of water and fit with a steamer basket. Bring the water to a boil. Place the broccoli in the basket, cover, and steam until tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Rinse with cold water to cool.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together the buttermilk, sour cream, blue cheese, scallion, vinegar, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Drizzle the broccoli with the dressing and sprinkle with the walnuts.

PERFECT(LY EASY) BROCCOLI DIP

Ingredients

1 cup sour cream
1 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons minced onion
2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley
2 teaspoons chopped fresh dill
2 teaspoons seasoned salt

Gently stir all ingredients together and chill until ready to eat.

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The start of our CSA is fast approaching and we are all excited for June 3rd. On this evening from 5:30-7:30 we will host our annual CSA Orientation Gala.

CSA subscribers sampling treats on a sunny orientation gala

Subscribers enjoying the 2014 Orientation Gala, it was delicious!

All subscribers will collect their vegetables at the farm for the first pick up, and have the opportunity to tour the fields and see your produce and flowers growing.

Judith Weinstock's awesome handcrafted cheeseWe will create garden-inspired hors d’oeuvres and offer sign ups for delectable add-on shares such as orchard fruits and hand crafted cheeses. Sign up NOW and attend this great party!

We do offer pro-rated shares for those who sign up later in the season. But, really, the orientation Gala is not to be missed.

Sign up for our CSA online here. Questions? email Rebecca, ping us on Facebook or visit us this Saturday at the Bainbridge Island Farmer’s Market. We look forward sharing our bountiful season with you!

Farmer Rebecca speaking to farm subscribers

Rebecca starting the tour at the 2014 CSA Orientation Gala

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