Monday, December 8, 2008


Red Springs Family Farm
Season Survey 2008
And Pre-registration 2009

Let us know….

What were your three favorite vegetables this year? (more than 3 is ok, too)

What were your three least favorite vegetables? (again, more than 3 is ok)

Anything we didn’t give that you would like to have seen?

How about the quantities – were you able to use the whole basket in the course of a week?
Please comment:

Any general comments on your experience of this season?

We’d like to offer pre-registration this year – with greater commitment for the season to come.
You are under no pressure to pre-pay, or even pre-register at this point, but it sure helps us out to know if and how much you're interested in next year's veggies! We hope to increase our "community" size just one more notch - and you who have been with us this season get first dibs. The early-bird offer of a discounted pre-registration rate only applies to those who already have experience with us.

If you can commit and pay for 20 weeks in advance by Feb. 1, you get a 10% discount.
Small shares will remain $20 per week ($400 for the season - $360 if paid early).
Larger shares will be $30 per week ($600 for the season - $540 for early birds).

____ YES – I will commit to picking up my veggies (or arranging for someone else to pick up) for the first twenty weeks of the 2009 growing season. I will send a check by Feb. 1, 2009.

____ NO – I cannot pre-pay at this time, but please keep me on the list for next season.

____ None of the above.

If you are pre-registering for 2009 now, or would like to be considered “in” for next season, please fill in your contact information below.


Address ………………………………………………………………………………………………


Best contact phone for reaching you at 5:55 pm…………………………………………………


Newsletter #26 - aloha!

Red Springs Family Farm
December 4, 2008, Week #26

This week:
Chinese Cabbage Lettuce Kale mix
Daikon Radish Parsley Mizuna or Cilantro
Butternut Sweet Potatoes Potatoes

The season has come into its natural decline. Short gray wet days have stunted the plant growth. The garden is too wet to walk in. We gardeners are tired and ready to turn our attention elsewhere. This will be our last regularly scheduled delivery. Should January turn mild – we may offer more greens now and then – but mostly it is time for us to study seed catalogs, tend to the fences, and dream of spring.

If you have not remembered to return your surveys to us today, please do us the favor of mailing them in! Your feedback means so much to us. You could even just drop us an email with the questions answered and it would make us very happy.

Since we’ve asked you to review the season for us, we will also tell you our thoughts on the growing time of 2008. Over-all, we have been thrilled with the progress of this season. We felt better focused and streamlined in our field work. There were some early season disappointments (radishes and spinach failed to thrive), and a little lag while we really got ontop of the scaled up production that needed to happen. Spring weather was low and slow, but it served the summer veggies wonderfully. We weren’t convinced that the Sugar Buns corn was anything exciting until we tasted it, and though it was a treat, we probably won’t grow it again. Same goes for a few of the eggplant and tomato varieties. We learned a few things about how to conduct our variety trials, so hopefully we won’t be short of tomatoes or eggplant next year. We still haven’t found the perfect zucchini for our gardens, but we’ve got a good lead from some neighbors. Same goes for spinach. We would love to have a beautiful big productive spinach bed, but it just hasn’t happened yet. Conditions, and results, are improving, but there’s still room to be better. Broccoli was successful this year. It was a labor intensive and time consuming project, and the end result of so many lovely heads of broccoli gave us great satisfaction. We hope it was as much a delicacy for you as it was for us. The fall garden has been delightful. Even though we missed the beautiful window of cool wet weather to plant out in August, the greens have superseded our expectations. Last plantings of green onions got smothered beneath the remay, and the timing of the snow peas still didn’t work quite right, but next year’s garlic planting is abundant and healthy looking already.

Organizationally, we felt like we made good progress as well. The blog has proven to be a good tool, as has the excel spreadsheet, and the pay by the month system took a little bit of the guess-work out of the program. We would like to take it further next year and really be liberated to just GROW for you. Less last minute emails means more beautiful food.

As for your basket this week, we have a few comments. First, the kale – three kinds of greens are in here – the dark, rough textured “Nero Di Toscano” Italian kale, the wowee purple “Red Russian” kale with frilly leaves that get more purple as the season gets colder, and the huge, deeply lobed leaves of a “Rapa” cabbage. This one did not become what we thought it would, but we’re happy with its texture and flavor and think you will find it enjoyable as well. These three are not evenly distributed in your packages, but hopefully you can identify each. You can separate these out or blend them all together for a healthy steamed green extravaganza. The Nero is particularly fine in soups. Russian may be well suited for an omelet, and Rapa is a nice meaty side to mashed potatoes.

Isn’t the Chinese Cabbage awesome? Some of the tips of the tops have been frozen abit, but after you cut them off, you can just wrap this cabbage tightly in a plastic bag and it will keep for a long time in the fridge! We’ve heard accounts from a friend’s farm of the inner head of a Cabbage like this keeping in the fridge for 9 months! We’ll be back with more veggies in less than nine months, but it is hopeful to know that such good keeping quality is a possibility!

If you want to make quick use of your cabbage, you might consider making Kim chi. Kim chi is Korean sauerkraut, made simply by brining cabbage and daikon with ginger root and as much onion, garlic, and hot pepper as you like (we use very little hot pepper, so that Lulah will eat it too). If lacto-fermentation is not your style, then you might also try using cabbage leaves in your salads. Thinly sliced, then lightly ‘massaged’, these cabbages blend well with lettuce and parsley and dress fine with balsamic and feta cheese. The crisp ribs are even a good replacement for cucumbers!

Here are some suggestions:
Basic Kim chi – adapted from Wild Fermentation and Nourishing Traditions
1. Prepare vegetables. Shred the head of Chinese Cabbage. Grate or finely slice the daikon. Chop or finely slice an onion. Mince a few cloves of garlic. Grate a cup of carrot if you want it. Also grate at least one tablespoon of ginger root (we use more). Powdered or flaked hot peppers can be added at your preference – a little bit goes a long way in this context. Mix all these together in a large bowl.
2. Pound the vegetables. Sprinkle at least a tablespoon of salt (we prefer sea salt or Real salt) over the mixed veggies. You can use your hands and squeeze the veggies, or a meat hammer, but one way or another, just work the veggies over until they have released some water. Taste them to see how salty they are. Adjust to your flavor preference.
3. Pack the kim chi into a crock or a jar and weigh it down so that the veggie water covers them completely. Cover the container so that bugs stay out and leave it in the dark at room temperature for at least three days before transferring to refrigeration. Enjoy at will!

We’ve had some questions about how to use Choi and Chinese Cabbage. Here’s a yummy suggestion that will give you the basic idea of how to stir fry just about anything:
Stir Fries with Mushroom and Cashews from The Real Dirt on Vegetables
¼ cup coarsely chopped unsalted cashews 8 oz. Dry rice noodles
6 Tbsp. peanut oil, divided 1 med. Choi or Chinese cabbage, sliced
8 dried or fresh shiitake mushrooms diagonally into ¼ - ½ inch strips
(if dried rehydrate in hot water 20 min 3 scallions, sliced
Strain and slice, reserved liquid) ¼ water (soaking water from mushrooms)
2 Tbsp. rice vinegar (or lemon juice) 2 Tbsp. soy sauce or tamari
1 tsp. toasted sesame oil sugar (optional) and cilantro for garnish

1. Preheat oven to 350. Toast cashews in a heavy skillet until they begin to brown. Cool off heat.
2. Cook the rice noodles according to directions on the package.
3. Meanwhile, heat a wok or deep skillet over high heat for 2 minutes. Add 3 Tbsp. peanut oil and let it heat for 30 seconds. Add sliced cabbage stems and stir fry for 2 minutes.
4. Add mushrooms, scallions, and cabbage leaves. Add water. Cook, stirring constantly, until most of the liquid has evaporated – 8-10 minutes.
5. In a small bowl, whisk the remaining 3 Tbsp. peanut oil, rice vinegar, soy sauce, and toasted sesame oil. Add a little sugar to taste if desired. Pour over the veggies in the wok and toss until well combined.
6. Drain the noodles and add them to the wok along with the sauce. Toss to thoroughly combine. Serve warm or chill for 1-2 hours. Garnish with the cashews and cilantro just before serving.

I’m out of room! Look for another great butternut recipe on the blog.
Thank you all for being a part of this season.

All the best,
Paul, Coree, and Lulah Entwistle

“…the most fundamental requirement for a healthy physical body is food to supply what the body needs and, it goes without saying, food that does no harm.” – Sally Fallon

here's the other butternut recipe!

Puree in Blender:
Large butternut squash, roasted or microwaved,
then remove seeds and scoop out the flesh

1/2 c. chopped onions, sauteed in tablespoon butter in large pot
3 c. broth of choice
1/2 c. evaporated milk

Return to pot, warm and season to taste with: salt cinnamon nutmeg


Thursday, November 20, 2008

Newsletter week 25 - Happy Thanksgiving

Red Springs Family Farm
November 20, 2008, Week #25

This week:
Broccoli Lettuce Pumpkins
Cornmeal Parsley Mizuna
Arugula Komatsuma or Tat soi
Celery Potatoes Garlic

“I built me a flame late one night. When day is done, God will my flame never die.” When Paul tip-toed downstairs at 4:30 on Wednesday morning to fetch me a cough drop (Thank you!) it was 16 degrees out-doors down in the hollow. Our Norwegian woodstove (where the quote above is written in cast iron) keeps us cozy in here, and for that we’re so grateful.

Wonder of wonders, the lettuce survived the freeze. The Broccoli showed no signs of damage, and so we’ve got this beautiful food for you! Next week is Thanksgiving, and so there will be no food delivery – Happy Thanksgiving! The following week – December 4 – as long as sub-zero temperatures do not destroy every 7 pound Chinese cabbage standing in the field, we will return. Watch your email for updates.

This baggy of two cups of cornmeal is from our own field corn – an heirloom rainbow variety. The stalks shoot up over 10 feet tall and many ears set 6 feet high. It’s a beautiful corn, and we enjoy the fresh corny-ness in cornbread, polenta, and anywhere cornmeal is called for. Keep it in the fridge so the oils don’t go rancid. A couple of good recipes are included below.

Our favorite cornbread:
2 cups freshly ground cornmeal 1 tsp salt
1 tsp. baking soda 1 goodly dollop of honey or sorghum
2 eggs, beaten 2 cups buttermilk, soured milk, or diluted yogurt
2 Tbsp. Oil, butter, or lard

Preheat the oven at 425. We like to use an 8 or 10 cast iron skillet – and if you do too, then put it in the oven to heat now, with the butter or lard in it. Don’t do this if you’re not using cast iron! Just grease your 8-9 inch pan and melt the butter. Mix the cornmeal, salt, and soda in a bowl. In a four cup measuring cup, or smaller bowl, beat the eggs, add the buttermilk, and then thoroughly mix in the honey or sorghum. Add the wet to the dry, mixing quickly and thoroughly. The batter should be plenty wet. Pour most of the hot oil into the batter, then quickly pour the batter into the sizzling skillet and put it in the oven for about 30 minutes. This is a very corny cornbread – if you need to soften it a little – just add a ¼ or ½ cup wheat flour.

Or try Polenta, from The American Heritage Cookbook:

1 cup cornmeal 3 Tbsp. butter
1 tsp salt Paprika
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Bring 3 cups water to a rolling boil. Combine cornmeal with 1 cup cold water and salt. Stir into boiling water and cool, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes. Pour into a loaf pan and refrigerate until firm. Shortly before serving, cut the Polenta into slices and ½ inch thick and place in a shallow baking dish. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, dot with butter, and shake paprika over all. Broil about 4 inches from tip of preheated broiling unit until brown – 4-5 min.
Just a note on the celery – for those of you who might not have encountered it earlier in the season – this is not celery for stuffing with peanut butter or cream cheese. It’s weathered a long season now, and been hit severely by the last couple nights’ freezing weather. However, it packs a celery flavored punch that will enliven tomato soups and make dressings and stuffings sing.

Now for the sweetness, a very traditional Thanksgiving recipe (and commentary) also from the excellent American Heritage Cookbook:

Pumpkin pie,” according to The House Mother, “if rightly made, is a thing of beauty and a joy – while it lasts… Pies that cut a little less firm than a pine board, and those that run round your plate are alike to be avoided. Two inches deep is better than the thin plasters one sometimes sees, that look for all the world like pumpkin flap-jacks. The expressive phrase ‘too thin’ must have come from these lean parodies on pumpkin pie. With the pastry light, tender, and not too rich, and a generous filling of smooth spices sweetness – a little ‘trembly’ as to consistency, and delicately brown on top – a perfect pumpkin pie, eaten before the life has gone out of it, is one of the real additions made by American cookery to the good things of the world. For the first pumpkin pie of the season, flanked by a liberal cut of creamy cheese, we prefer to sit down, as the French gourmand said about his turkey: ‘with just the two of us; myself and the turkey!’”

Pastry for a 1-crust pie ½ tsp ginger
2 cups cooked pumpkin ½ tsp salt
2/3 cup brown sugar, ¾ cup milk
Firmly packed 2 eggs, well beaten
2 tsp. cinnamon 1 cup heavy cream
¼ cup brandy

Prepare pastry, line a 9-inch pie pan, and refrigerate while you make the filling. Combine pumpkin, sugar, spices, and salt in a mixing bowl. Then beat in milk, eggs, cream, and brandy with a rotary beater or an electric mixer. Pour into unbaked pastry shell and bake in a preheated 325 degree oven for 1 hour or until a knife inserted in center comes out dry. Cool. Serve plain, or with Cheddar cheese or whipped cream mixed with ginger (use 1 cup heavy cream and 2 Tbsp chopped crystallized ginger).

We’re certainly grateful for bounty of the season past, and for all we’ve learned this year as we’ve expanded production and gotten to know you all. Thank you for your support, your good eating, and your general kindness to our family. We hope to meet you again and again in the winter and spring to come. We wish you very happy and healthy holidays.

Peace be with you.

The Entwistles

“…the ratio between consumed substance and achieved effect in a bird that migrates from the Arctic to the Antarctic is of a scale that men cannot achieve technically. The comparison between bird flight and an airplane demonstrates this clearly. The more we understand and follow this “wisdom” in nature, this outspread “spirit,” the more rationally and therefore economically we can organize the farms of tomorrow. The profit motivation, applied to nature, has led to vast depletion of soil and dangerous exploitation of animal and plant material. If we follow the spirit in nature, we put into our service both the rationale and the economy of nature. This, ultimately, is the basis of the life of humanity.” - Trauger Groh, The Farms of Tomorrow

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Newsletter # 24

Red Springs Family Farm
November 13, 2008, Week #24

This week:
Lettuce Spinach Collard Greens
Parsley Mizuna Radishes
Arugula Butternut & Acorn Squash
Variable herbs – sage, lemon balm, mint
Surprise! Green Peppers

Your produce has been washed by the morning fog. We’re glad it’s not pouring this morning, and have enjoyed slogging through the big wet leaves to see what lies beneath the row covering. The collards were breathtaking. I took some pictures and will put them on the web for you.

Fetching some potatoes at our neighbors cave, I stumbled across these perfectly preserved green peppers. What a treat! There’s also spinach in with your lettuce this week, which we hope you will enjoy. We’ve not found the right place and time to really make spinach thrive here yet, but the results are improving. This is just enough to enjoy, and we’ll be trying to keep it through until Spring for a fresh crop of extra tender dark green leaves.

Thanks for your feedback of the last few weeks. We appreciate knowing what works and doesn’t for you, and it seems like the word is in that chicory is not the winning the popularity contest. That’s very good to know. Maybe next year we’ll try fennel instead?

I’ve got some winning recipes this week….

Something new: New South Falafel (from Passionate Vegetarian by Crescent Dragonwagon)

½ cup cooked brown or white rice (cooked until very soft, preferably short grain)
1 cup cooked fresh greens (spinach or collard will do), well drained and finely chopped
¼ onion, finely diced 1 (15 or 16 oz) can black-eyed peas, well drained
1 Tbsp. cornstarch 2 cloves garlic
Leaves from 3-4 mint stems 1 large egg
½ tsp. salt ¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp. minced fresh sage leaves cayenne to taste
2 Tbsp. minced Italian Parsley ½ to ¾ cup crisp breadcrumbs – cornbread works great

1. Place the rice, onion, and half of the black-eyed peas in a medium bowl. Using a potato masher, mash well, but not to a paste; the peas should still have some texture. Stir in the chopped spinach.
2. Place the other half of the black eyed peas in a food processor. Add the cornstarch, garlic, mint, egg, salt, pepper, sage, and cayenne. Process until smooth, pausing several times to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the parsley and breadcrumbs and pulse/chop a few times.
3. Combine this mixture with the mashed black-eyed pea mixture in the bowl. Taste and season to your liking, amping up any of the spices, salt, or pepper. Refrigerate the mixture for 30 minutes, or as long as overnight, so it can firm up.
4. Preheat the oven to 350. Remove the mix from the fridge and shape into flattened discs, 25-30 small ones or 12-16 larger ones. Place them on an oiled baking sheet, and bake for 25 minutes. Flip over and bake for 5 more minutes, or until brown.
5. Serve on split biscuits, drizzled with peanut sauce. Eat as soon as assembled and enjoyjoyjoy!

New South Peanut Sauce: Combine all ingredients in a food processor and buzz until smooth.
¼ cup natural style peanut butter ½ cup cold water
1-2 oz. silken tofu juice of 1-2 lemons
2 cloves garlic salt, pepper, and cayenne to taste

And something traditional: Collard Greens (from The Frugal Gourmet Cooks American)

BIG bunch of collard greens salt and pepper to taste
2 cups chicken soup stock dash of Tobasco
2 Tbsp. bacon drippings

Wash the greens very well. Shake dry and coarsely chop. Place them in a kettle and pour the chicken broth on top. Bring to a full boil, then lower the heat and keep the pot at a heavy simmer until the greens are tender and to your liking. Add the seasonings and bacon fat. It is traditional to cook collards for a longer period of time.

Here’s a repeat recipe from last year that is so delicious.

Butternut Squash Gnocchi with Sage and Hazelnuts This recipe usually requires at least 2 cups of flour; so don’t panic if you need to add more to make the texture right. 1 1/2 lb butternut squash 1 eggSalt and Pepper 1/2 tsp grated nutmeg1 1/2cups flour or more 8 T butter24 sage leaves 1/2 cup toasted hazelnutsThree-quarters cup grated Parmesan cheese Half, remove the seeds from and bake the squash until very tender at 400 F. Puree the pulp and let sit in a strainer for 30 minutes. Add the egg, salt, pepper, nutmeg, and enough flour to form a dough that holds together. Knead until no longer sticky, adding flour as needed. Roll the dough into two ropes, about 1 inch in diameter. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Slice off half-inches of the dough. Press the pieces with a fork in a curving motion to make depressions. Drop the gnocchi into the water. Cook 8-10 at a time until they float, drain in a slotted spoon, and slip into a buttered dish. Heat the butter in a pan, add sage leaves and hazelnuts until lightly browned. Toss with the gnocchi. Top with Parmesan and serve.

We hope next week to offer you pumpkins, broccoli, and maybe even cornmeal for your Thanksgiving celebration. Thanks for taking part in our harvest.

Peace be with you.
Paul, Coree, and Lulah

“Now we let the microscope and the stock market, not the cosmos and ideals, dictate our actions: we want to save time, money, effort and discomfort; and we sow seeds of disharmony, illness and ultimately death. Can we embrace once more with reverence and awareness, those processes that appear to be outmoded or old-fashioned but which are, in their very nature, the keys to the wisdom and miraculous quality of our natural world?” – Günther Hauk, Toward Saving the Honeybee

Thursday, November 6, 2008

newsletter week#23 - storage tips

Red Springs Family Farm
November 6, 2008, Week #23

This week:
Lettuce Kale Winter Squash
Sweet little Pac Choi Beet Greens
Parsley Mizuna Radishes & Sorrel
Garlic Thyme Rosemary & Oregano
White Potatoes and Sweet Potatoes

What a beautiful time in the garden. The hollow is bathed in the rusty gold color of the oak leaves as they twinkle and blow down the hills. We have so much food – it’s really outrageous. If you or anyone you know would enjoy extra greens - let us know! We would love to sell nice sized bags of kale, on its own, for $5. Same goes for Asian stir fry greens. Extras of winter squash, especially butternuts, and sweet potatoes are available for $1 per pound ($25/half bushel, $45/full bushel). White Potatoes also at $15/half bushel and $30/bushel (60 cents/lb). This is a great deal on organic food. If you want to put up food for mid-winter use, now is the time.

The gardens are astounding. I really thought that we would be sending two kinds of kale today, but after picking the Red Russian Kale, it was clear that more would not be needed. We’ll have either Dinosaur (Nero di Toscano) Kale or Collards next week, along with more sweet potatoes and spinach, too.

The length of the day is in steady decline. It seems like the stars are out by 3 in the afternoon down in the hollow. Shadows get long early. It’s such a nice time to be getting other things done! I’ll not bore you with the entire to-do list, but we’ve been busy bees working on projects that have been neglected since April. Paul painted the exterior of the house addition this week, so the two halves of our home match now. We also hope to lay the floor on the deck extension, making the new front door functional, soon. AND, Lulah’s new birthday swing set should go up this weekend – now THAT’S some exciting news.

Some of you will have some cute little mini pumpkin looking squash this week. They were a wild card in our garden. For a couple years now we’ve saved seed from a special Japanese squash called Black Futsu. This year, something happened to that seed, and these little buttery nuggets are the result. Oh well. We do love biodiversity.

I’ve been enjoying the squashes so much. We sometimes bake them on a cool morning that doesn’t need a fire in the woodstove, just to warm the house, then use them however seems fit. They are a wonderful nutty, creamy addition to oatmeal or morning porridge. They also make a nice fit blended with pesto and pasta. They make soups creamy, and sweeten the acidic edge of tomato soups in a pleasant and gentle way.

If you are not keeping up with eating the squashes and potatoes – here’s some storage tips:

Winter Squash
Store winter squash in a cool, dry, dark place with good ventilation. Porches and garages work well as long as they don’t freeze. They should keep for several months depending on the variety. We’ve had butternut squashes keep well into the next summer. Acorns go more quickly than butternuts and pumpkins. You can also incorporate winter squash in to a beautiful table arrangement. They won’t keep quite as long at room temperature, but if they’re already on your table, you might be inspired to eat them more quickly. Once squash has been cut, you can wrap the pieces in plastic and store them in the refrigerator for five to seven days.

Sweet Potatoes
Keep unwashed sweet potatoes in a cool (not cold), dark place, such as a loosely closed paper bag in a cupboard or cool basement, and use them within a few months. Do not store sweet potatoes in the refrigerator; cold temperatures can darken the potatoes and will adversely affect their taste. While we have kept sweet potatoes in good form until the following summer, the peak flavor and texture is definitely in the winter months.

Keep unwashed potatoes in a cool, dark, dry place – such as a loosely closed paper bag in a cupboard. They will keep for weeks at room temperature, longer if you can provide their ideal temperature of 40-50 degrees. Beware: If your refrigerator is set at the normal refrigerator temperature, somewhere in the 30s, the low temperature will convert the starch to sugars. Moisture causes potatoes to spoil, light turns them green, and proximity to onions causes them to sprout. You can trim off sprouted eyes and small green spots and still have a find potato experience.

Kale and White Bean Soup with sun-dried tomatoes and saffron, serves 4-6
Adapted by Angelic Organics from the Moosewood Restaurant Kitchen Garden

3 Tbsp. Olive Oil 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
½ tsp ground fennel seeds 1 ½ cups chopped onion
1 medium potato, diced 1 small carrot, chopped
1 small parsnip, chopped 1 ½ cups chopped fresh or canned tomatoes
6 cups veg or chicken stock 2 bay leaves
6-7 lg kale leaves, chopped 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh oregano
¾ cup cooked or canned (rinsed and drained) white beans
½ cup chopped oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes (drained)
Pinches of saffron, salt, and freshly ground black pepper

1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and fennel seed; cook, stirring constantly for 1 minute. Add the onion and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Add the parsnip and cook, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes more.
2. Add the fresh or canned tomatoes. Pour in the stock. Stir in the bay leaves and oregano. Bring the mixture to a boil, then immediately reduce the heat so that it continues at a simmer.
3. Add the kale, beans, and sun-dried tomatoes. Simmer until the vegetables are just tender, 15-20 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat; add the saffron.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Enjoy the season’s fluctuations – eat well – be well.

All our best regards,

The Entwistles

“…marketing is not community, and merchandising is not CSA. CSA is about a direct relation to the Earth and the people who work the Earth on your behalf. To the extent that this is understood and embraced, CSA will continue to thrive, whether as a parallel polis, or as a widely understood and appreciated part of the world economy.” – Steve McFadden, Farms of Tomorrow

Thursday, October 30, 2008

photos from the fall

Here's some family snaps and views and garden pictures that some of you might enjoy...

Entwistle family....

water and sky in canada

before the freeze

autumn garden
more to come....

extra recipes

Here's a view from the lake in Canada, and some recipes...

I’ll admit, I have not tried this recipe, but it intrigues me:

Green Tomato Pie
6 to 8 medium green tomatoes
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon butter
pastry to 9-inch 2-crust pie

Wash the green tomatoes well; peel and slice. In a saucepan, combine tomatoes with lemon juice, peel, salt, and cinnamon. Cook tomato mixture over low heat, stirring frequently. Combine sugar and cornstarch; stir into tomato mixture. Cook mixture until clear, stirring constantly. Add butter, remove from heat, and let stand until slightly cooled. Line a 9-inch pie plate with pastry; pour in tomato mixture. Cover with top pastry, seal edges, crimp, and cut several small slits in crust to allow steam to escape. Bake at 435° for 35 to 45 minutes, or until nicely browned. Serve warm or cooled.

4 medium kohlrabi (2 1/4 lb with greens or 1 3/4 lbwithout)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 1/2 lb butternut squash
Special equipment: a 17- by 12- by 1-inch shallowheavy baking pan
Put oven rack just below middle position and putbaking pan on rack, then preheat oven to 450°F. (If roasting vegetables along with turkey, preheat pan for15 minutes while turkey roasts, then roast vegetablesunderneath turkey.) Trim and peel kohlrabi, then cut into 3/4-inch pieces. Toss kohlrabi with 1 tablespoon oil, 1 teaspoon thyme,1/4 teaspoon salt, and 3/4 teaspoon pepper in a bowl. Transfer kohlrabi to preheated pan in oven and roast 15 minutes. Meanwhile, peel butternut squash, then quarter lengthwise, seed, and cut into 3/4-inch pieces. Toss squash with remaining 1 tablespoon oil, 1 teaspoonthyme, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 3/4 teaspoon pepper in same bowl. Stir kohlrabi, turning it, then push it to one side of pan. Add squash to opposite side of pan and roast, stirringand turning squash over halfway through roasting, until vegetables are tender and lightly browned, about 30 minutes total (after squash is added). Toss vegetables to combine and transfer to a dish.

(sounds great, thanks Angela)

Steamed Chicory (from The Real Dirt on Vegetables by John Peterson) serves 4

3 Tbsp. raisins 1 lb. Chicories ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic 3 Tbsp. pine nuts Salt and freshly ground pepper

1. Put the raisins in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Set aside to plump, then drain.
2. Put the chicory in a steamer basket, set over 1 ½ inches boiling water, and cover. Steam until just wilted, 2 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a colander to drain.
3. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the garlic and pine nuts and cook until the pine nuts begin to brown (maybe three minutes).
4. Give the greens a few chops on a cutting board, then add them to the skillet and stir until the greens are well coated with the oil. Remove from heat and stir in raisins. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Newsletter week #22

Red Springs Family Farm
October 30, 2008, Week #22

This week:
Lettuce Tomatoes HOT Peppers
Swiss Chard Rapini Pink Mustard
Arugula Parsley Mizuna
Radishes Chicory Sweet and White Potatoes

BRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR! This is the second morning we’ve woken to a twenty-five degree freeze! We can’t even harvest until the sun hits the veggies and thaws them, so I’m penning the newsletter before I know what’s out there. This week was the great cover-up. We spent a day in the sunshine and high winds rolling out hundreds of feet of white poly-spun row covering to protect tender plants. We brought in ALL the winter squashes, garlic, tomatoes, peppers and sorted them into baskets that now line the edges of our living space.

Three years ago, within a couple weeks of Lulah’s birth, BEFORE we built a sizeable addition onto our home, we covered the entire downstairs floor with one layer of peanuts to cure, and the entire upstairs floor with curing sweet potatoes. Fortunately, they all got picked up before Lulah’s early arrival in November, but I always remember waddling over peanuts and sweet potatoes around this time of year.

We were so happy to see so many tomatoes ripen this week! Some of these tomatoes are not free from blemish. We’ve tried to only give those blemished ones if they are perfectly ripe. Hopefully we’ve succeeded. And this really is the end of the tomatoes. That includes these green tomatoes. We love them dipped in egg, then dredged in seasoned cornmeal and lightly fried to tender crisp. Fried green tomatoes are a heavy dish, tho, so we only eat them once a year. If you’d like to do something else creative, green tomatoes pickle well, either water bathed in vinegar with dill seeds and garlic, just like cucumber pickles, or brined in a crock, covered in salt water (again, add garlic and dill seed). Drop me a line if you need more information on these methods, or come to the Wild Fermentation event this weekend (see below).

If anyone is looking for something to do on Saturday, we’ve got an event for you. Sandor Katz, author of Wild Fermentation will be doing a kim chi demonstration in our neighborhood. Long Hungry Creek Farm will be hosting Sandor, and a few other foodie friends, to make a day of it while the Chinese Cabbages are in full display. Bring a potluck offering for lunch (dinner will be covered). A $20 offering is appreciated, children are free, and anyone who wants to brave the chilly weather can camp (rustic). There are B&Bs a couple miles away in Red Boiling Springs, if you want to make a weekend event out of it. Chopping and chatting will begin around 10 a.m. and continue through dinner. A few more details and directions to the farm are available at We’ll be there, and would happily break away to give you a little farm tour of our place if you would like.

Hot Pepper lovers, come and get them! Dry them, freeze them, put them in vinegar and make them last. Love these hot peppers! The yellow ones are a Peruvian variety called Lemon Drop. Cayenne’s and Jalapenos are recognizable, and the little tiny red ones are the Entwistle special J. Watch out, they are a serious hot pepper.

If you go looking for recipes, this sugar loaf chicory (Pan di Zucchero) can be used like a witloof chicory. I have not had the opportunity to cook one yet, but rumor has it that it will cook up surprisingly sweet. Outer leaves will be more bitter. To cut the bitterness, you can boil the chicory until just tender and dress them with lemon juice or vinegar. Good partners for chicories include hard boiled eggs, Asiago cheese, garlic, cilantro, basil, parsley, red pepper, thyme, balsamic or any vinegar of your choice, olives, nuts, or pastas. I will re-post an early season chicory recipe on the blog for you.

Chard with Parmesan (from Alice Water’s Simple Food)
Pull the leaves from the ribs of one of more bunches of chard. Discard the ribs (or save for making stock or another dish), wash the leaves, and cook until tender in abundant salted boiling water, 4 minutes or so. Drain the leaves, cool, squeeze outmost of their excess water, and chop coarse. For every bunch of chard, melt 3 tablespoons butter in a heavy pan over medium heat. Add the chopped chard and salt to taste. Heat through and for each bunch of chard stir in a generous handful of freshly grated parmesan cheese. Remove from heat and serve.

Easy Greens with Peanuts (from The Real Dirt on Vegetables)

½ pound chard greens, kale, or mixed greens, stems removed (save for stock or other recipes)
½ cup peanuts (toasted if desired)
3 Tblsp olive oil or butter salt and freshly ground pepper

1. Place the greens in a steamer basket set over 1 ½ inches boiling water, cover, and steam until just tender, 5-10 minutes for chard, or 15-20 minutes for kale, depending on the leaves’ thickness.
2. Transfer the greens to a colander and run cold water over them to stop them from cooking. Gently squeeze out the excess water from the greens and chop coarsely.
3. Place the peanuts in a plastic zip-top bag and crush them with a rolling pin or heavy skillet.
4. Heat the olive oil or butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the greens, sauté, stirring constantly, until thoroughly coated and glossy, about 2 minutes.
5. Remove skillet from heat; sprinkle the peanuts over the greens. Season with salt and pepper.

Just a note about sweet potatoes. What a wonderful crop they are! In discussion with Dessa last week, I learned that the sweetness of sweet potatoes is best developed at lower heat. That’s why folks wrap them in foil. If you don’t like foil (like me) a covered oven dish should serve a similar purpose. Also, you can put the sweets into a cold oven and let them warm as the oven heats. This way, the potatoes can take their time getting up to temperature and develop their sweetness to the fullest along the way. I like my sweets without foil so that the skins can puff up and the inner flesh gets to caramelize. There’s really nothing like sweet potatoes! Enjoy!

This time next week, we will know who are next president will be. It’s been such an intense time in this country. It gives us solace in our family to return again and again to the simplest things – another day of sunrise and weather, good company with one another, good work, and good food from the earth, right here. We wish you simple pleasures as well, and thank you for taking part in our harvest.

Your gardeners,

Paul, Coree, and Lulah Entwistle

Overheard: You can drink all the bancha tea you want, be a vegan, say all the right stuff about diet and multinational corporations and recycling and old growth forest, but if you lie to your friends, you damage the earth terribly, much worse than you would if you owned some IBM stock and had a malt every now and then.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Newsletter week#21

More photos coming soon!

Red Springs Family Farm
October 23, 2008, Week #21

This week:
Lettuce Kohlrabi Baby Bok Choi
Tomatoes Peppers Garlic
Arugula Parsley Green Onion
Radishes Green Onions Mizuna
Sorrel Butternuts A Few Snow Peas
A sprig of Sage

The trip to Canada was great. Lulah traveled well (and we learned a lot about traveling with a toddler), and it was great to see family and friends. The leaves were in full color, a truly magnificent display. In our dream planning of the trip, we thought we might visit farms up there to see how things grow up north, but it turned out that visiting with the folks we knew and keeping Lulah well slept was enough to do.

It’s great to go away, then come home. An inch of rain fell and the gardens are in full swing – it’s really beautiful out here. Cover crops have sprouted and the cabbages are heading up. We picked the last of the ripe and green tomatoes and cleared them from the garden. This should really be the last of the sweet peppers, as well, though there will be another flush of hot peppers for those of you who love the heat. The crops to come are largely GREEN!

Those of you who were with us for the Spring will recognize the kohlrabi and mizuna. Mizuna is the feather leaves with white spines – a mildly peppery crisp green in the herb bag – nice in salads, and fine stir fried as well. Kohlrabi bulbs are Autumn’s cucumbers. Unfortunately, they’re not as prolific, but crisp and cool and versatile. Peel the green outer flesh off, then slice julienne, or grate the white bulb onto salad. Or do something like this:

Simple Sauteed Kohlrabi
2 medium kohlrabi bulbs, grated 1 tsp salt
¼ cup butter or light oil 1 medium onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed 2 Tbsp chopped fresh thyme, chives, or sage

1. Mix the kohlrabi and salt in a colander and let stand for 30 minutes to drain.
2. Melt the butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute more.
3. Stir in the kohlrabi. Reduce ht heat to low, cover and cook for 10 minutes.
4. Increase the heat to medium, uncover the skillet, and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the fresh herbs. Let stand for a couple minutes to let the flavors develop.

That one came from Farmer John’s Real Dirt on Vegetables, as did this piece of information on the history of choi:

Choi has been grown in China since the fifth century, and from there is was introduced throughout Asia. Obscure in Europe, choi later became a more commonly used vegetable when seeds arrived in the late eighteenth century. Chinese immigrants who moved to Australia during the Gold Rush brought oriental vegetables with them. When the rush for gold lost its luster, Chinese would-be gold miners became market gardeners growing choi and other leafy greens. Today choi can be found growing on all continents except Antarctica.

These Baby Bok Choi are just so pretty! They would be great just chopped, steamed, and topped with toasted sesame oil, butter, salt, or vinaigrette. The leaves from your radishes this week would also accompany them well in a stir fry. The snow peas would be nice in there as well, if you can resist eating them raw!

The sage is included this week to accompany the butternut squashes – they are good partners.

There are so many interesting things to be done with butternut squashes. And yet, they need very little treatment to be enjoyed. They are naturally sweet, and easy to bake and enjoy with butter and nothing else. They can be curried, made sweet, or savory. I think they make better pumpkin pie than most pumpkins these days – your Thanksgiving guests will never know the difference. However, since we still have time before Thanksgiving – you might try this WOW pizza recipe from Alice Waters’ Chez Panisse Vegetables:

Butternut Squash Pizza
1 butternut squash ¼ cup grated mozzarella cheese
Olive oil ¼ cup grated gruyere cheese
Salt and pepper 12 springs of parsley
2 cloves of garlic 20 sage leaves
½ lemon pizza dough for one pizza

Preheat an oven to 400.
Slice off the top of the squash ½ inch under the stem, and slice just enough of the bottom to remove the flower stem; be careful not to cut into the seed cavity. Split the squash in half crosswise just above the bulge. Stand each half end up and carefully cut away all the skin. Cut each portion in half lengthwise and scoop out the seed and fiber from the lower half. Cut the quarters into ¼ inch slices. The upper portions will yield half moon slices, and the lower sections elongated C shapes.
Brush the slices with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and arrange them in one layer on a baking sheet. Roast for 30-60 minutes, checking from time to time (roasting time varies according to moisture content and density of the squash). It is done when lightly browned and tender to touch.
Meanwhile, peel and chop fine the garlic and add to about ¼ cup olive oil. When the squash slices are done, remove from the oven. If you’ve got one, put a pizza stone in the oven and boost the heat to 450 to 500. (Do not put a regular pizza sheet in a hot oven!)
Roll out a circle of pizza dough, brush with the olive oil and garlic, and sprinkle evenly with the mozzarella and Gruyere. Arrange the slices of cooked squash over the cheese. Bake the pizza for about 10 minutes, until the crust is browned and the cheese melted.
While the pizza is baking, chop the parsley leaves. Fry the sage leaves briefly in hot olive oil, then drain them on an absorbent towel. When the pizza is done, garnish with sage leaves, chopped parsley, and a squeeze of lemon.
This is a very rich pizza, and is best served in small portions, as an appetizer.

For next week, sweet potatoes, and green tomato pie!

Thanks for sharing our harvest.

Your gardeners,
Paul, Coree, and Lulah

“Gardening is civil and social, but it wants the vigor and freedom of the forest and the outlaw.”

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Newsletter Week #20

Red Springs Family Farm
October 9, 2008, Week #20
Wow - 20 weeks!

This week:
Lettuce Fun-Jen, Chinese Cabbage
Tomatoes Peppers Garlic
Basil Arugula Parsley
Radishes Green Onions
Winter Squash Shell Beans, Myrtle cowpeas

(photo credit to Cella! Beautiful!)

Thank you all for accompanying us on this journey through the main growing season! We think it’s been a great year, and hope you feel the same. We’re very excited to be taking a break this next week – NO VEGGIES for OCTOBER 16 – returning to schedule for October 23. We are looking forward to bringing you a nice selection of Fall greens and goodies upon our return.

Two very beautiful inches of rain has fallen on the gardens and the depths of our gratitude is nearly unspeakable. There is no comparing the benefit of rain to the benefit of irrigation. Overnight, the garden seems to have come back to full vitality. Greens look as if they have doubled in size. Paul spent the first couple hours of sprinkling weather running from field to field throwing cover crops on all open ground. Next year’s garlic is safely planted and mulched. We are blessed beyond measure.

It is a strange feeling for us to be leaving home, going on “vacation”. We are well habituated to our little place in the hollow, and rather in love with our chickens, turkeys, and kitty friend Wowee. Nonetheless, we will be glad to see new places and visit family and old friends up north. If Lulah allows us much daytime travel, the promise of the Autumn colors is enticing.

We have picked the tomatoes and peppers pretty hard. Coming into the middle of October, there is a chance that when we return there will be no more tomatoes or peppers. Of course, there’s also a chance that there will still be LOTS of tomatoes and peppers, and we really hope that’s the case. We’d love to send you true green tomatoes for frying and pickling. Some of the tomatoes you get today will be green, but should redden if left on a sunny windowsill. Should the frost come, we will endure and enjoy with kohlrabi and baby bok choys to come.

Speaking of cabbages, these Fun-Jens are also called Lettuce Leaf Cabbage for their light green and frilly foliage. They’re taste is so mild that they work well in salads, if salad is your favorite thing. If you prefer stir fried foods, these are suitable for wok cooking, as well. If I were you, I would cook onions, ginger root, and sweet red peppers first, then throw in the garlic and thinly sliced cabbage last, cooking just until the leaves are well wilted. Dress with tamari and toasted sesame oil. Yummmy!

The shell beans are from seed that we’ve been saving for several years now. We like these beans a bunch. They’re called Myrtles, after the lady up in Kentucky who saved them for many years before us. We don’t know Myrtle, but appreciate her taste. We’re sending these beans before they dry out. We grow cowpeas and black beans for our own use, and have a rather labor intensive system of shelling and cleaning them for storage. You’re welcome to come out to the farm and work on the beans with us sometime if you’re interested. As it is, we’re sending these in the shell, so you can appreciate their beauty and freshness in your own hands. Some of these beans will be slightly further along than others – they turn a nice tan brown as they dry. They are delicious either way, and being fresh from the shell, you will find that they don’t take long to cook up. Recipe tips to follow.

Here’s what Alice Waters has to say about this week’s specials…

From Chez Panisse Vegetables:

Oven Roasted Squash with Garlic and Parsley
Choose as favorite winter squash – any one will do – and peel and seed it. Cut into 1-inch chunks and toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread the chunks evenly on a baking sheet and roast at 375 for 40 minutes, until tender throughout and lightly browned, stirring occasionally with a spatula to prevent burning.
Peel and chop very fine a few cloves of garlic and sauté in olive oil for just a minute, being careful not to brown. Toss the squash with the garlic and a handful of chopped parsley, taste and adjust the seasoning, and serve.

From The Art of Simple Food:

Shell Beans
I cook shell beans in different ways: sometimes plain, with rosemary, garlic, and olive oil; sometimes in soup, alone or with other vegetables, pureed or not; other times in gratins, under crunchy breadcrumbs. Beans can be cooked in advance, and they keep well for a day or two, refrigerated in their cooking liquid, to be reheated and served plain or incorporated into any number of dishes. What’s more, beans are extremely nutritious and affordable compared to other sources of protein; and, perhaps best of all, little kids love them.
Today it’s easy to find many different fresh and dried beans in farmers’ markets and good grocery stores. Spring is the season for fresh fava beans. In late summer, from August through September, I look for the many varieties of fresh ripe shell beans that may be fleetingly available. They are a real treasure of the late summer and early fall. Unlike their dried counterparts, fresh shell beans do not need to be soaked and they cook quite quickly.
All over the world, beans are traditionally cooked in earthenware pots (and for some reason they seem to taste better when they are), but any heavy non-reactive pot will do. Try to choose a wide pot so the layer of beans isn’t too deep; otherwise the beans are hard to stir and the ones on the bottom of the pot get crushed. Be sure to use enough water that stirring them is easy; the water level should always be an inch or so above the level of the beans. IF the water is too low, the beans will be crowded and will tend to fall apart when stirred. Worst of all they might start to stick and burn on the bottom of the pot.
When cooking fresh shell beans there is no need to soak them. Just pop them out of their shells and put them in a pot. Cover with water by no more than about 1 ½ inches: the beans will not absorb much water. Add the salt at the beginning and begin testing for doneness after about 10 minutes. Depending on the variety, the beans may take as long as an hour to cook, but usually they are done is much less time.
Beans can be flavored at the end of their cooking and served right away; or once cooked, they can be cooled, flavored or not, refrigerated (or frozen) in their liquid, and used later.

We hope you all have a wonderful two weeks ahead!

Your Gardeners,
Paul, Coree and Lulah

“…farming is not just a business like any other profit-making business, but a pre-condition of all human life on earth, and a precondition of all economic activity. As such, farming is everyone’s responsibility, and has likewise to be accessible for everyone.” – Trauger Groh & Steven McFadden, Farms of Tomorrow Revisited

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Newsletter, week #19

Red Springs Family Farm
October 2, 2008, Week #19

This week:
Lettuce Collards Radish Greens
Tomatoes Peppers Eggplant
Basil Arugula Parsley
Celery Potatoes Winter Squash

Please allow us to re-iterate:
There will be no veggies on October 16. Veggies will resume October 23.

It was 35 degrees down in the hollow this morning! Good preparation for a trip north. We will set off in another 8 days – passing towns and hills of autumn trees – into Canada. Not much in the way of sweet potatoes up there! We’ve been digging ours tho, and they sure are pretty. Sweet potatoes, like winter squashes, need to cure in order to develop their sugary sweetness, so we’re not giving you any until we get back from vacation. They will be worth the wait.

Some of you didn’t get to sample the pineapple tomatoes last week. We’ll try to make sure that these tasty late treats get circulated completely.

The collards sure are big and beautiful. These are classic southern food, if you don’t mind cooking them to pieces with ham! Really, there are other options, too. Wash, slice, and steam them until wilted, then serve with butter, nutritional yeast, and vinegar. Yumm. One friend of ours even massages her cooking greens – bruising them in her fists until they are soft enough to eat in salads. Add some celery seed, olive oil, salt, and garlic…

We have come to the season of greens!

If it were not for drip irrigation technology, I’m not sure any of these greens would have made it this far. As it is, for the price of a little daily inconvenience (I am woman! Hear me grumble!) we have greens growing in the field after a month without rain. There will be more kale, kohlrabi, Chinese cabbages, and maybe even broccoli, to come.

If we were in Florida, I’m sure we would coax another flush of peppers and eggplants from the rows, as well, but most likely the latest round of blooms will succumb to a frost before fruiting. We will soon be harvesting what’s left, and letting the rest go. Speaking of frost – it might be wise for you to finish putting up your pesto next week. Place extra basil orders soon. October is un-predictable.

There’s a wonderful event happening in our neighborhood this weekend. Long Hungry Creek Farm’s Thirteenth Annual Harvest Festival and Biodynamic Celebration will be going on all weekend long. We’ve been helping to organize – and gladly offer you a customer discount if you’d like to come out for a weekend in Red Boiling Springs. Look for details at There are talks and workshops all day Saturday, excellent food from the farm, and interesting folks speaking about bees, food, Permaculture and Biodynamic agriculture. We’re offering a farm tour Sunday afternoon, as an alternate to the extended tour of Long Hungry Creek Farm. Let us know if you’d like to come!

On that same note, please remember that you’re welcome to come out for a visit anytime. We’d love to host a CSA-community potluck sometime, but understand that it’s a far drive and not always convenient for families. If we threw a party, would you come? We welcome any other ideas, as well. If anyone wants to volunteer to host a farm harvest party, it would be fun to get together in town, too.

In your herb bag this week, you will find some red stemmed radish greens. These are thinnings from the rose-heart radish patch, and will allow the radishes left behind to plump up. Slice the greens and stir fry them, with olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper. They are good eaten’.

You could also incorporate them into this versatile and forgiving dish:

Mixed Greens, Mideast Style (from Live Earth Farm CSA in Watsonville, CA)

½ lb mixed cooking greens, rinsed and drained 2 Tbsp. paprika
2 Tbsp. olive oil 2 tsp. ground cumin
1 large onion, chopped cayenne pepper to taste
8-10 garlic cloves, or to taste, finely chopped 2 cups canned tomatoes, with juice
¼ cup chopped fresh (or dry) parsley ¼ cup chopped fresh (or dry) cilantro
Salt to taste

Coarsely chop the greens. Heat the oil in a large heavy pot with a tight-fitting lid over medium heat. Saute the onion and garlic for about 5 minutes, until they are soft. Stir in the parsley, cilantro, paprika, cumin and cayenne; cook for one minute. Stir in the greens. They will shrink as they wilt, so you can add them by the handful if they do not fit in the pot all at once.
Turn the heat to high; stir in the tomatoes with theyjuice. Cover and bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium, and let simmer, covered, stirring often to prevent sticking. After about 20 minutes, add salt to taste.
If the greens are tender, reduce the heat to low, and simmer uncovered, stirring frequently, until very little liquid remains. Do not leave this dish unattended; it can scorch easily.
Serve over rice, or wherever suits you best. This dish also freezes well.

For a variation on the theme of Baba Ghanoush – try Abu Ghanoush ---- mix eggplant pulp, just chopped roughly, with fine slices of sweet pepper, a few thinly sliced tomatoes, and a small onion. Mix lemon or lime juice with olive oil, minced garlic, ground cumin, fresh chopped parsley, and salt to taste. Combine with eggplant mixture and stuff into a pita, or over rice.

This cold snap is serving as a reminder that winter will indeed come. Though it was 90 degrees only a few days ago, we scrambled around this chilly morning, lighting a fire, finding socks and extra shirts, and trying to convince Lulah that more clothes were a good idea. The greens are standing strong in the field; sweet potatoes glowing in their skins, begging to be kept warm. The sun travels further to the south each day, and the nights grow longer. Stay well as the season moves. Eat greens and breathe gently in the cool dry air.

Thank you all for your support – see you next week!

Your gardeners,
Paul, Coree, and Lulah Entwistle

“It needs a more refined perception to recognize throughout this stupendous wealth of varying shapes and forms the principle of stability. Yet this principle dominates. It dominates by means of an ever-recurring cycle, a cycle which, repeating itself silently and ceaselessly, ensures the continuation of living matter. This cycle is constituted of the successive and repeated processes of birth, growth, maturity, death, and decay.” – Sir Albert Howard in The Soil and Health, 1947

Monday, September 29, 2008

Newsletter week#18

Red Springs Family Farm
September 25, 2008, Week #18

This week:
Lettuce Kale Apples
Tomatoes Peppers – all shapes and sizes
Basil Arugula Parsley
Sorrel Garlic Nasturtiums

Leaves are twinkling and falling in the sun outside the window, layering the road and slowing the creek water over the rocks.

Good news has come from some of our share-holders – the Kincaid’s second child, daughter Quinn Rose Kincaid arrived Wednesday September 17 at 12:52 a.m. And, Randy and Jenny’s new little girl, Harper Moon, was born September 23. Two babies! We’re so happy for all of them and send special welcomes to little Quinn and Harper!

Eat these flowers tonight. Nasturtium do not keep well. They are a beautiful and peppery garnish to salads or whatevers. Just a seasonal treat.

Who can tell the difference between the Autumn tomatoes and the summer ones? The late tomatoes are the giants in the bunch – some of them striking pineapple variety – yellow with red streaks emanating from the blossom end. We wish there were more, but their placement has created a lesson in companion planting. I’d always heard not to put nightshades too close to corn, as they could share pests, but this is the first year I’ve found corn ear worms in the hearts of ripe tomatoes. Oh well. Our small farm has these limitations. There’s still enough tomatoes to be enjoyed, and sometimes, the worm leaves enough of the pineapple tomatoes to still make it worth eating. We hope you will enjoy these precious late garden jewels.

Time to remember greens. So good!!!

Here’s some information from our friends up at Angelic Organics:

Kale comes in blue-green, reddish green, and red varieties and may have flat or curly leaves. All varieties of kale have jagged-edged leaves and thick stems. Kale has a mild cabbage flavor and aroma when cooked. A longer cooking time I usually best, as it tends to bring out the natural sweetness of these greens. Kale is such a hearty vegetable that a little longer cooking shouldn’t result in a mushy texture. Complementary flavors for kale are caraway, dill, thyme, marjoram, tarragon, nutmeg, allspice, and coriander.

Just prior to use, swish leaves in a large basil of lukewarm water. After any grit has settled to the bottom, lift the leaves out carefully. If the sink is full of dirt or your leaf sampled tastes gritty, the greens probably need to be rinsed again.

How you prepare green for cooking can make or break a dish. It’s fine to leave the stems on small greens, but many green, kale included, have thick stems that cook more slowly than the leaves. To remove them, fold each leaf in half and slice out the stem. De-stem several leaves, then stack them up and slice them diagonally into 1-inch-wide ribbons. If you want to use the stems in your dish, slice them ¼ inch thick and begin cooking them before you add the greens.

Here are a couple of good uses for your kale….

Kale and Walnut Pesto (a contemporary spin on the classic dish)
This makes 1 cup.
¼ cup chopped walnuts 1 Tbsp. + ½ tsp. salt, divided
½ lb kale, coarsely chopped 2 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup extra virgin olive oil ½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
Freshly grated black pepper to taste

1. Toast the walnuts in a dry pan until they start to brown and become fragrant (careful, they burn quickly). Transfer immediately to a dish to cool.

2. Bring two quarter of water to a boil. Add 1 Tbsp. salt, then add the kale. Cook until tender, no more than 10 minutes. Drain

3. Put the garlic, walnuts, and kale in a blender or food processor; pulse until well-combined. With the processor still running, poor in the olive oil in a steady, smooth, pencil-thin stream.

4. When everything is thoroughly combined, transfer to a bowl and stir in the parmesan, remaining salt, and pepper. Serve hot.

Sautéed Tuscan Kale with Garlicky White Beans from Mediterranean Grains and Greens
Serves 2-3 as a side dish (I would immediately double this recipe)
12 small to medium leaves of kale 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, + more for garnish
1 clove garlic, peeled and sliced thick ½ cup cooking liquor from the beans
1 ½ cups cooked white beans 3 cloves garlic cooked in beans
Salt Freshly ground black pepper

1. Remove the center rib from each leaf and if the leaves are long, tear each into 4-5 inch lengths. Wash and pat dry. In a 10-inch skillet, heat olive oil, gradually add the leaves, and cook, stirring, until they wilt and sizzle in the hot oil, 2 minutes. Reduce the heat. Add the sliced garlic, cover and cook the leaves until tender, about 10 minutes. Add the bean broth by the tablespoon as needed, to keep the leaves from drying out.

2. Push the leaves to one side of the skillet; add the beans, salt, pepper, cooked garlic halves, and enough bean liquor to keep the dish juicy; cover; and simmer for 5 minutes. Serve warm with a drizzle of olive oil and freshly ground black pepper.

Obviously, this recipe assumes that you cook your beans from the dry state. If you don’t I recommend that you try it. They are so good. Soak 1 cup (or more) overnight, drain, then cook with bunches of raw garlic, and a spice bag that may contain: sprigs of thyme, slices of carrot, celery, parsley, bay leaf, peppercorns, etc. Bring the mixture to boil, then reduce to simmer and let it go for several hours until the beans are completely tender. Salt towards the end of the cooking. Keep the bean liquor and garlic; discard the spice bag.

We hope you enjoy the greens, and everything else as well!

Have a great weekend and we’ll see you next week.

Your gardeners,
The Entwistles

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Newsletter week#17

Red Springs Family Farm
September 18, 2008, Week #17

This week:
Lettuce Kale Tomatoes Eggplants
Peppers – all shapes and sizes Patty Pan Squash
Tomatillos Carrots & Beets Arugula
Parsley Basil Celery Red Onion
Potatoes Apples

By next Thursday, Autumn will have officially arrived. Wow.
If you ever find that we have neglected to give you something in your basket, please let us know. We’ll be happy to correct our error – either by leaving the veggies at the store for you to pick up the next day, or by bringing you a replacement the following week.

Our friends at Bugtussle Farm and Long Hungry Creek Farm helped fill out the baskets this week. We’re happy to live where there are several small organic farms with friendly folks to share and support each other. Wouldn’t it be great if there were even more?

You’ve got a BIG handful of parsley this week. It needed picking. Medicinally, parsley is not recommended for pregnant and nursing mamas. Don’t hesitate to feed it to chickens if you can’t eat it now. For those of you looking for something to do with this super-green, try this:
Tabouli (adapted from From the Tables of Lebanon)

½ cup bulgur, washed and drained ¾ cup fresh lemon juice
Combine ½ cup boiling water with the bulgur in a small bowl; cover and let sit for 15 minutes. Squeeze water out. Pour lemon juice over the bulgur and let stand at room temp for 5 minutes.

BIG bunch of parsley, cleaned, washed, and finely chopped (food processor helps!)
4 medium tomatoes, finely chopped 1 bunch of scallions, chopped
1 cup finely chopped mint (I’ve used ¼ c. dried) 1 small red onion
¾ cup extra virgin olive oil 1 Tbsp. salt 1 tsp. allspice
Mix all vegetables and add to the bulgur. Add the olive oil, salt, and allspice, and mix thoroughly with the vegetables. Serve in lettuce leaves or with pita bread and other such yummies.

Arugula has arrived! If you don’t know it by sight, it’s the dark, round-lobed green in the salad bag. The flavor is unmistakable – pungent, spicy, clean – there’s really not much like it! If the flavor is abit too sharp for you raw, then chop it up and throwing it on top of a pizza, just for the last five minutes in the oven. It also melts well into lasagna layers.

Try sautéing the tomatillos and patty pan squashes together. Chop a fresh tomato and sprinkle basil over the top. Remember to caramelize the onion before adding the tomatillos and squash.

The little tiny herb in your bag is thyme. It’s great in beans and stews, and would be tasty and aromatic roasted with the carrots, beets, and potatoes.

Oh yes, potatoes. They won’t be coming every week, but now and then, for sure. Small baskets have 3 lbs, larger 6 lbs. One pound of potatoes yields 2 cups mashed potatoes or French fries, or nearly 3 cups sliced or diced. If you want to stock up and store some for the winter, we will be making them available for bulk sale a little later. There are still apples for sale, too, 50 cents per pound, for storing or making applesauce. It’s a great year for apples!

Baked Eggplant “Lasagna” (from Angelic Organics Kitchen)

Olive Oil for greasing pans and coating eggplant and peppers
1 large eggplant, in ½ inch slices salt
1 bell pepper, in ¼ inch rings 1 cup ricotta cheese
3 large egg whites, lightly beaten ¾ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp. finely chopped basil 2 Tbsp. finely chopped parsley
Pinch cayenne pepper 1 cup tomato sauce, divided
4 ounces mozzarella cheese, grated 1/3 cup pitted, finely sliced black olives

1. Preheat oven to 400. grease 8-9 inch square baking dish.
2. Arrange eggplant slices on the a baking sheet, season with salt, and brush tops with olive oil. Bake until eggplant is soft and golden (20 min). Transfer to a plate and set aside.
3. Reduce oven temp to 350.
4. Toss the peppers with a few dashes of olive oil in a medium bowl. Spread on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes.
5. In a large bowl, mix ricotta cheese, egg white, ½ cup parmesan, basil parsley, cayenne, (add some chopped arugula here!) and a generous dash of salt until well combined.
6. Arrange half the eggplant slices in the baking dish. Spread the ricotta mixture evenly over the slices. Pour half the tomato sauce evenly on top. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Arrange the pepper and olives on top of the mozzarella. Top with the remaining tomato sauce. Add the remaining eggplant slices and sprinkle with the remaining parmesan cheese. Bake until all layers are heated through and the cheese is melted (45 minutes).

We don’t cook like this much at home, but this recipe sure sounds great to me:

Earth Apple Torte (from Vegetarian Times)
1 large baking potato, or 1 cup mashed 1 ½ cups sugar or substitute
1 ½ cups finely ground pecans 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. ground cloves 4 large eggs
1/3 cup seedless raspberry preserves ½ cup fresh raspberries (opt)

1. Preheat oven to 375F. Butter and flour 8 ½ inch springform, or 9 inch round cake pan.
2. Peel baked potato while still hot, and put into food processor. Add 1 cup sugar, pecans, cinnamon, and cloves, and process 30 seconds, until uniform in color. Scrape into a bowl.
3. Separate 3 eggs, reserving whites. Add three yolks and remaining whole egg to potato mixture and beat until smooth.
4. Place whites in a separate bowl. Beat until soft peaks form. Gradually add remaining ½ cup sugar, beating until glossy peaks form, about 4 minutes. Do not overbeat.
5. Using spatula, fold 1/3 of egg whites into potato mixture until lightened. Fold in remaining whites until non white streaks remain. Pour batter into prepared pan, and place on baking sheet.
6. Bake 55-60 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack. Spread raspberry preserves on top. Garnish with fresh raspberries and mint, if desired.

Thank you all for sharing the harvest this week.

Hope to see you next week again!
Your gardeners, Paul, Coree, and Lulah Entwistle

“The sun is still high in the sky, giving warmth and glee.
Fruit and flowers all colorful, glow with good cheer.
So come and dance with me, for Autumn’s here.” – Elsa Beskow’s Autumn Song

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Week #16 Newsletter

Red Springs Family Farm
September 11, 2008, Week #16

This week:
The last Melons, Cucumbers, and Summer Squashes
Tomatoes Lettuce Greens (Yokatta Na/Senposai)
Peppers Yellow Wax Beans Carrots
Sorrel Cilantro Parsley Basil
Green Onions Eggplant Garlic Apples
dried Sage Hot Peppers, if you like

No one will ever forget where they were the morning of September 11, 2001. I’m sure we’ve all taken our moment of silence to honor that memory today.

There is so much to learn about being contented, and trusting in what we have. This week Coree has been fretting about having enough for the delivery. And here it is, the most diverse delivery of the season so far! Some items may be dwindling in abundance, but maybe it’s a relief to you to only have one cucumber to eat this week. Each week, we seem to be able to harvest just the right amount of everything. We thank you for your part in making this work.

REQUEST: Next week, September 18, Paul will not be able to come to Cookeville. If anyone has time and inclination at about 3:45 to help Coree unload the veggie-mobile, we would be so grateful for the help!

If you haven’t yet, please take a moment this week to nibble on the white patty-pan squash raw. It has a distinct, delicious nutty flavor, unlike any summer squash we’ve grown before. This may be the last of the summer squashes and cucumbers for the season. Farewell until Spring 2009!

You’ll need to start remembering how to cook GREENS again. The varieties available this week are Yokatta Na, with dark shiny oval leaves and flattened, sometimes purple stems, and Senposai, with the round bright green leaves and round green stems. Both are Asian-influenced cross-bred greens that we’ve found particularly delightful. Steam, stir-fry, or cut fine into salad for maximum enjoyment.

Broiled Eggplant with Crunchy Parmesan Crust
I hear that this is made even better by the addition of a nicely spiced tomato sauce.
Angelic Organics Kitchen (adapted from Recipes from a Kitchen Garden).

oil for greasing the baking sheet
eggplant, cut into 1/4-inch slices
freshly grated Parmesan cheese (about 1/2 cup)

1. Preheat the broiler. Lightly oil a baking sheet.

2. Spread mayonnaise sparingly on both sides of each eggplant slice, then dip the slices in the grated Parmesan cheese, thoroughly coating both sides.

3. Arrange the slices in a single layer on the oiled baking sheet and place under the broiler until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Flip the slices and broil until golden brown and crunchy on top and the eggplant is soft, about 3 minutes more.

Spiced Carrot Salad
In this exotic recipe from Morocco, carrots are blanched until they are barely tender, then marinated in a lemony-sweet spiced dressing. Slivered dried prunes and/or chopped black olives (both common Moroccan ingredients) or a handful of currants make great additions to this recipe. Serves 4 to 6

2 cups diagonally sliced or julienned carrots 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice 2 cloves garlic minced (about 1 teaspoon)
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon paprika 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon sugar 1/3 cup olive oil
lemon slices

1. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Add the carrots; boil until barely tender and still brightly colored, 1 to 2 minutes.

2. Drain the carrots and immediately run cold water over them to stop the cooking. Drain well.

3. Transfer the carrots to a large salad bowl. Add the parsley, cilantro, and mint; toss to combine.

4. Mix the lemon juice, garlic, cumin, cinnamon, paprika, and cayenne in a small bowl. Stir in the sugar. Slowly pour in the olive oil in a thin stream, whisking constantly, until the dressing is thick and no longer separates.

5. Pour the dressing over the carrots and toss. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

6. Let the salad come to room temperature before serving. Top each serving with a lemon slice.

A separate recipe posting is going up on the blog ( this week for Baked (not fried!) Jalapeño Poppers. We’re about to have an incredible over-abundance of hot peppers (any shape, size, and intensity you would like). If you are a fan of HOT food, please please please – take all you want.

We’re wondering lately why so many peppers in the store are green. Any pepper will change from green to red, yellow, orange, or purple, when ripe, yet very few peppers are available in the peak of their ripeness – including Jalapeños, which are so strikingly RED and juicy. It’s hard to wait for them, but surely these good things are worth waiting for!

Speaking of peppers, we’re grateful to our neighbors at Long Hungry Creek Farm for tossing in a few extras this week.

Next week, look for more greens, and potatoes.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Your gardeners,
Paul, Coree, and Lulah Entwistle

“Our reliance is in the love of liberty which God has planted in our bosoms. Our defense is in the preservation of the spirit which prizes liberty as the heritage of all men, in all lands, everywhere.” – Abraham Lincoln, from the September 11, 1858 speech at Edwardsville, IL

Baked Jalapeno Popper Recipe

Jalapeno Poppers
12 fresh jalapeno peppers,
halved lengthwise, stems, seeds and membranes removed
6 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups grated Monterey Jack or mozzarella cheese
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne, or less, to taste
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons milk
8 teaspoons Essence, recipe follows
1 cup panko crumbs, or fine dry breadcrumbs
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a baking sheet and set aside.
In a bowl, cream together the cream cheese, Monterey Jack cheese, cumin, and cayenne.
In a small bowl, beat together the eggs, milk, and 2 teaspoons of the Essence. In a shallow dish, combine the panko crumbs and remaining 4 teaspoons of Essence. In a third dish, combine the flour and remaining 2 teaspoons of Essence. Spread 1 tablespoon of the cheese mixture into the middle of each jalapeno half. One at a time, dredge in the flour, dip into the egg mixture, then dredge in the panko crumbs, pressing to coat. If necessary, repeat the process. Place the coated peppers, cut side up, on the prepared baking sheet and bake until the filling is runny and the crust is golden, about 30 minutes.
Remove from the oven and serve immediately with cold beer.

*Essence (Emeril's Creole Seasoning): 2 1/2 tablespoons paprika 2 tablespoons salt 2 tablespoons garlic powder 1 tablespoon black pepper 1 tablespoon onion powder 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper 1 tablespoon dried leaf oregano 1 tablespoon dried thyme
Combine all ingredients thoroughly and store in an airtight jar or container.
Yield: about 2/3 cup

Recipe from "New New Orleans Cooking", by Emeril Lagasse and Jessie Tirsch.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Newsletter for week #15

Red Springs Family Farm
September 4, 2008, Week #15

This week:
Cantaloupe or Watermelon
Cucumbers Summer Squashes Tomatoes Lettuce
Peppers Beans (wax or roma) Carrots Sorrel
Cilantro Parsley Basil Green Onions Tulsi

It seems so much longer than a week ago that we made the last delivery. This time, the weather hasn’t changed, but the garden sure has! Those of you who pick up regularly will notice the decline in tomato sizes – the main season tomatoes are wearing thin. Squashes took a dive this week as well. Summer is coming to a close, and Autumn will be arriving soon.

There may be a break in our tomato-share, but we do hope to be able to give you some more before the frosts come. We have a second planting growing strong with large green fruits in abundance. Hang in there – more tasty tomatoes are on the way!

Some of you may actually be glad to see the decline of the summer squash. In some ways we wish we had another planting started, but mostly, we view summer squashes as a seasonal delight that can make way for different delicacies as we continue our annual journey around the sun.

Besides the joy of seeing the multitude of seedling bursting from their trays move to be multitudes of seedlings bedded into moist rows of soil, we also celebrate our Entwistle anniversary and Paul’s birthday this week. Being laborers, many important things happen to us around the time of Labor Day!

Special request – a couple weeks in advance – on Thursday, September 18th, Paul will not be able to accompany our weekly delivery! We’d love someone with a strong-enough back to volunteer to arrive 15-20 minutes early (3:40 pm) to help Coree unload the coolers from the roof of the car. Just drop us a line if this is a possibility for you. We’d be grateful for your help.

Tulsi, or Holy Basil, is a very close relative to sweet basil. This variety is a new tea herb. It’s got the long flowering seed heads, and to me is smells like a cool wind on a hot day. Just throw a sprig of this herb into boiling hot water and cover it to steep for a few minutes. Stir in a dab of honey. In India, basil is regarded as a holy plant to be kept in every household. It is said to open the heart and mind, strengthening faith, compassion and clarity. Medicinally it is recommended for sinus congestion, colds and coughs, headaches, arthritis, fevers, and abdominal distention. We hope you will use it to ease the physical stress of the season’s change.

Seeking basil-ish information in our library, I ran across this recipe, which seems rather irresistible!

Basil Cheesecake (from The Real Dirt on Vegetables by John Peterson) serves 10-12

1 ½ cups crushed vanilla wafers or graham crackers 6 Tbsp. melted butter, divided
¾ cup + 1 Tbsp sugar, divided 2 lb. Cream cheese, softened
Pinch salt 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 egg yolks, room temp, lightly beaten 1 cup finely sliced basil
1 cup sour cream 2 Tbsp. cornstarch
2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice 1 ½ tsp. vanilla
Fresh basil leaves for garnish

1. Preheat oven to 325.
2. Mix crumbs with 5 Tbsp. melted butter and 1 Tbsp. sugar in a small bowl.
3. Grease a 9-inch springform pan with remaining butter. Press the crumb mixture into the bottom of the pan and press with the bottom of a glass to forma solid, tight crust.
4. Bake until light brown (10 minutes). Remove the pan from the oven and raise temp to 450.
5. Put the cream cheese in a food processor in half pound batches; process at low speed to break it up (electric mixer in a large bowl works well, too). When all the cream cheese has been processed, add a pinch of salt and process for a few seconds more. Add the eggs and egg yolks, basil, sour cream, remaining ¾ cup sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, and vanilla; process on low speed just until thoroughly combined.
6. Pour the batter into the prepared crust. Bake the cheesecake until it is set and slightly puffed around the edges, but still slightly moist and jiggly in a 3-inch circle at the center (30-40 min.). The cake will continue to cook and set after you remove it from the oven. Remove the pan from the oven and place it on a rack to cool for 30 minutes.
7. Carefully run a knife around the outside of the partially cooled cake to loosen it from the sides of the pan. Leave the cake in a pan, on the rack, to cool completely, about 1 hour. Cover with plastic wrap and transfer to fridge for at least 4 hours, or overnight.
8. At least 1 hour before serving, remove the cake from the refrigerator. While it is still cold, carefully and gently remove the sides of the springform pan. With a sharp knife dipped in hot water and dried, or with a long strange of waxed dental floss, divide the cake into 10-12 wedges. Garnish with a fresh basil leaf.

A few of us have had conversations about crock pickles, and so finally I’m sending these instructions – Mason Jar Crock Pickles – adapted from Sandor Katz’s Wild Fermentation.

1 Prepare a wide mouthed Mason Jar and a Pint jar – clean, inside and out.
2 Rinse cucumbers. If they are not processed the same day as received, soak them in very cold water for a couple hours to refresh them. Slice the cukes to your preferred thickness.
3 Dissolve 2 Tbsp. salt (I use sea salt) in 4 cups of water (you won’t need this much, but...)
4 Place a couple grape leaves, a couple cloves of garlic, and a teaspoon or two of fresh or dried dill leaves or seeds. Dried peppercorns, hot peppers, and sliced onion can also be added.
5 Place cucumbers in the jar.
6 Pour brine over the cukes. Fill the pint jar with water and then place it in the wide mouth jar so that it pushes the cucumbers beneath the brine. Add more brine if necessary.
7 Cover the jar with a dish towel or cheesecloth to keep out dust and flies. Store in a cool place.
8 Taste the pickles in a few days – within a week they should be tasty brined pickles. A white filmy substance may form in the brine exposed to air – just skim it off – everything submerged in the salt water should be safely fermented. When the pickles are done to your taste you can just cap the jar and keep it in the fridge for as long as you like.

This is a tasty and very healthy way to keep enjoying your cukes when you’re tired of cucumber salads (and when cucumber season ends!).

Next week, look for eggplants and cooking greens again! It’s been awhile, hasn’t it?

We wish you a wonderful weekend, the Entwistles

“The work of adaptation must go on because the world changes; our places change and we change; we change our places and our places change us. The science of adaptation, then, is unending. Anybody who undertakes to adapt agriculture to a place – … to fit the farming to the farm – will never run out of problems or want for intellectual stimulation.”
– Wendell Berry in his essay Agriculture from the Roots Up.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Tomatillo recipes

Here's one salsa recipe from Tom - we got to try a batch and it was fabulous!

This is a free form type of recipe which varies according to the time of year and availability of ingredients

I make this in a cuisinart in one batch. If you have to use more than one bowl to a batch, put some of the liquid in each batch and always pulse the final product so that it remains chunky.

3 Fresh tomatoes cut into wedges
2-3 Tomatillos
1/3 Sweet onion
1 oz hot sauce (Texas Pete)
2 oz rice wine vinegar
1/2 bunch of cilantro with some stems removed
Blend this group then add
1 can of roasted chili's (or sub fresh peppers that have been roasted)
1 small jar of canned tomatoes
Blend again and finalize to taste.

Hope this is specific enough for's how I do it, not just what goes in that is important.

AND another, loved by Cella, found on-line at epicurious:

1 pound fresh tomatillos, husked, rinsed, and quartered
1 fresh serrano chile, seeded and chopped
1/2 large white onion, cut into 4 wedges
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

Coarsely purée tomatillos, chile, onion, garlic, water, and 1 teaspoon salt in a blender. Transfer to a large heavy skillet and simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and cool to room temperature, then stir in cilantro, lime juice, and salt to taste.


August 28, 2008, Week #14

I'm a little late getting this newsletter out. Time is flying....

Red Springs Family Farm
August 28, 2008, Week #14

This week:
Cantaloupe or Watermelon
Cucumbers Summer Squashes Tomatoes Lettuce
Peppers Green Beans Eggplant Tomatillo
Cilantro Parsley Basil Lemon Balm

What a perfect rain! Three days of grey weather couldn’t have suited us better at the end of August! We had a reason to look back at last year’s seasonal records this week, and it made us remember last year’s drought, and how very difficult that was. This year has been so fruitful – so very very GOOD. You’ve all been a part of helping make it that way, too, so thanks for keeping us going.

The news from the garden is that the worst of the lettuce season is over. From now on the lettuce should improve – shorter days are helping hold the heads better, and cooler nights are better for germination. As much as we love summer, it is somewhat a relief to feel Autumn approaching. The garden has been producing cantaloupes and watermelons at just the perfect speed. After the fall transplanting is done, we will be hauling winter squashes out of the field and sending them home to you! We will also most likely increase the diversity of cooking herbs (sage, thyme, oregano…) to help spice up the change of season.

A few of you have been asking about the future of the season – how long does this go on? We’ve been trying to figure this out as well. Our plan as of NOW is to make this main season last 20 weeks. That will take us to October 9. We will then take a trip to visit Paul’s family in Canada for a week or so. After that, we’ll come back, hopefully for one more month, bringing you loads of greens, squashes, and sweet potatoes up to Thanksgiving. Doesn’t that sound like fun?

Lemon Balm is included in your bag this week as a tea herb. It is unmistakably lemony, and best enjoyed fresh. Medicinally, it is a cooling and relaxing herb suitable for small children and their mothers’ too. In earlier times, this sweet Melissa tea was drunk to make the mind and heart merry, to revive the heart, to help people who sleep too much, and to drive out cares and melancholy.

Try out Teritar (from Recipes from America’s Small Farms)
½ cup walnuts ¼ cup olive oil 1 garlic clove
1 tsp. vinegar 2 medium cucumbers ½ tsp kosher salt

Combine walnuts and garlic in a food processor to a paste. Cute the cucumbers into large chunks; add to the walnut mixture and pulse until coarsely chopped. Add the oil vinegar, and salt; pulse until mixed but still somewhat chunky. Serve chilled or at cool room temperature.

Or Squash Pizza (same source)
3-4 summer squashes – varieties of shapes and colors, quartered lengthwise ¼ cup olive oil
1 spanish onion, diced thyme ¼ cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1 diced tomato (at least!) 1 cup grated Cheddar cheese salt and pepper

Pre-heat oven to 400. Oil a baking dish. Spread squash, cut side up, in the dish. Drizzle with oil and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle on tomatoes, onion, thyme, and basil, then top with cheese. Bake, uncovered, for about 20 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and squash soft.

Out of space and time for this week! Enjoy….
Your gardeners, Paul, Coree, and Lulah Entwistle