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

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