Thursday, September 17, 2009

Newsletter #16

Red Springs Family Farm

September 10, 2009, Week #16

Oops - forgot to post this last week!

Vegetable medley:

Lettuce Green Beans Garlic

Summer squash Sweet Peppers Cucumbers

Potatoes Eggplant Okra/Hot peppers

Herb bag: Basil Cilantro Arugula Green Onions Parsley

Well, we got our anniversary wish – while we were in town doing veggie delivery, an inch and a half of rain fell on the gardens. By the looks of things, it fell pretty fast, but we won’t complain. Another inch fell Sunday night. It feels good out here.

We are officially in the September slump. We are sad to not be bringing in ANY tomatoes, but glad to see the eggplants are trickling their production out just a little bit further. Fall greens are up and growing, but not quite appropriate to harvest. Most summer crops are waning, particularly dramatically this year with excess insect infestations and blight from the wet cool spring and summer. Nevertheless, the lettuce has turned beautiful again, and there’s always something thriving.

Ah – an update on last week’s pear recipe – rose petal wine comes from southern France. Bordeaux will work to cook with the pears, just let the sugar and spices take over.

The herb bag is diverse this week. We finally succeeded with a stand of cilantro. We love cilantro, but it has proved elusive this season. One crop dried up, another got pounded by rain. This one has finally made enough beautiful shiny leaves to enjoy. Arugula is beginning. This is just the first little pick. We’ll look forward to sending these pungent tangy soft leaves to you for the rest of the season. The basil has completely outgrown us. Trim down the flowers – their taste is bitter to us. If you haven’t made pesto yet, please consider it.

This marinade can be used to marinate tofu and meats, as a sauce for noodles or rice, and as a dressing for a green salad.

5 tbsp. vegetable oil 1/3 cup packed fresh cilantro with stems
1/4 cup fresh lime juice 1/4 cup tamari soy sauce
1 inch fresh ginger in ¼ in. slices 6 lg. cloves garlic
1 1/2 tbsp. ground cumin 1 small jalapeno or other chile (optional)

Combine and blend all ingredients together in a food processor or blender until the chile, garlic, ginger and cilantro are finely chopped.


1 lb. Linguine 1/2 cup olive oil
4 oz. arugula, trimmed 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted 1-2 cloves fresh garlic, or to taste

Additional freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Cook linguine in large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, heat oil in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add arugula and stir until just wilted, about 30 seconds. Remove from heat.

Drain pasta and return to pot. Add arugula and toss well. Add 1 cup Parmesan and salt and pepper to taste; toss well. Transfer to bowl. Sprinkle with pine nuts. Serve immediately, passing additional Parmesan separately. Serves 6.

Entwistle’s favorite one-pot-wonder meal

An onion or two, sliced, and maybe a clove or two of garlic

Family-sized portion of white potatoes, chopped to comfortable fork-sized chunks

As many green beans as you want to eat in a sitting, washed and snapped

A summer squash or two, sliced or cut into chunks

And maybe a sweet pepper, sliced

Olive oil and/or butter salt and pepper

Heat olive oil and butter in a large skillet with a good lid. Saute the onions until they are translucent and sweet. Add the potatoes and green beans, all at once, with a little water so that they steam instead of fry. Sprinkle on some salt, stir the beans, potatoes, and onions together, turn down the heat and cover the pan. Check the pan frequently to make sure the potatoes aren’t sticking and see how things are coming along. When the potatoes are almost done, add the peppers and summer squash. Add garlic, any other herbs you’d like (parsley is nice here), and a sprinkle of pepper, now as well. Cover the pan again and cook just a few more minutes. Turn off the heat, keep the lid on a couple minutes longer. Serve with a little more butter or oil. A sprinkle of freshly grated Parmesan cheese can be excellent on this dish as well.

This week we enjoyed the company of some of our farmer companions and their interns for a farm tour. We have agreed to share this sort of time once a month – rotating to one another’s farms, giving us insight into each other’s operations, and giving interns (which we don’t have yet) a chance to see other ways that farms work. You might imagine, it’s a little nerve wracking to prepare for the company of our peers, but the event was very pleasant. We walked the gardens, chatting about what went right and what went wrong, then sat in the yard for a demonstration of our seed saving projects. The kids played like the wild little critters they are, and we had a great pot luck dinner at the end of the day. Before this program was implemented, it was rare for us to see our farmer friends during the growing season. Farmers’ socials are too rare. We’re grateful for the company of friends.

A few of you have been inquiring as to the duration of our season. We committed in the Spring to make 20 continuous deliveries. This is our 16th. Our final delivery of the main season will be October 8. We will go to Canada for a break and a visit with Paul’s family, and come back for a few more weeks of greens, squash, and sweet potatoes until around Thanksgiving. If you love kale, collards, Chinese cabbages, butternut squashes, and the like, you’ll want to stick around. If you’re really just here for tomatoes and cucumbers, then we’ll understand if your interest wanes.

Next week, we anticipate sending, more green beans, swiss chard, more acorn squashes, and hopefully the last few eggplant as well.

Keep in touch and enjoy your piece of the harvest.

Paul, Coree, and Lulah Entwistle

“The kinds of plants best suited to domestication are those that thrive in an open and disturbed habitat, like a farm; that grow rapidly and splendidly; and that make seeds in abundance. These also are traits of weeds. So crops and weeds are shadows of one another, and it is an irony of farming that the farmer must work so hard at this shadow play.

It is not just eh vegetable beds that need cultivating. The farmer must also cultivate himself, for he too has his weedy tendencies. He has to be vigilant at chopping out those coarse and hairy thoughts that threaten to overwhelm more tender notions, and at uprooting bitter and prickly attitudes that make him unfit for the table. Like weeding the beds, this is a task that will never be finished.” ~Mike Madison, from Blithe Tomato

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