Thursday, September 16, 2010

week #17

Red Springs Family Farm
September 16, 2010 week 17

Lettuce Tomatoes Eggplant
Sweet Dumpling squash Potatoes
Roma Beans Garlic Sweet Peppers
Basil & Chives Hot peppers and Okra, if you like

It’s been a very busy but quite pleasant week on the homestead. Last weekend’s rain was just about the most agreeable one we’ve had all year. When it poured, it was brief and not so severe a pounding as we’ve experienced before. It was just enough rain to give everything a boost. The one piece of excitement that accompanied the nice rain came with the brief electrical storm on Saturday. We had just gotten off the phone, and unplugged the modem, when lightning struck near enough to the house to literally shock our telephone, sending a burst of light and smoke through the phone and throwing the receiver off the hook and across the room. We had heard stories about that happening, but never actually seen it! So, it was a quiet weekend, knowing the phone would not, could not, ring, until the phone company sent a repair guy Monday morning.

The last cheese order of the season is DUE. Since it is the last one we anticipate making for awhile, we’re cracking it open. You can order whatever cheese you want this month. To view the full selection, go to Kenny’s website: To list briefly, there are Cheddars, Bleus, Monterey Jack, Colby, Goudas, Havarti, Gruyure (Norwood), Tomme, Brie, Asiago, and Swiss, with variations on several of those themes. The prices we offer tend to be comparable to the web store prices, sometimes a little better. Most can be had for $10/lb or less, with some exceptions. Inquire as needed. We need your orders no later than next Thursday, for October 7 delivery.

It’s also time to start thinking about storage crops. There are three more deliveries (after today) remaining in our main season. We hope to be back, after taking a break for our New Arrival, with at least some greens and the like, but it would be best to order your storage crops sooner rather than later. We can offer an assortment of winter squashes (butternuts and acorns primarily, with limited Tennessee pumpkins available), white potatoes, and sweet potatoes. Everything is $1 per lb. This means about $25 per half bushel, and $50 per bushel basket full. To see exactly how big those quantities are, ask at pick up.

The winter squash coming your way today are Sweet Dumplings, and they are ready to eat now. They are slightly blemished specimens picked up at Long Hungry Creek Farm (just downstream from us) so they won’t keep as well as most. Our tomato supply was also augmented from Long Hungry today. We’re grateful to be in a neighborhood where we can share abundances like this.

One of the tricks to eating locally and seasonally is to continually regard the gluts of the season as good fortune, even when we are overwhelmed by their quantity (sweet peppers and okra this year). Seasonal eating also keeps us aware of what a real treat foods like sweet corn and watermelons are. They are not the same when they come from California or Florida in April or November. This year, though not every year, green beans have been a rare delight. Enjoy!

Here’s a couple of nice simple ways to prepare winter squashes:

Oven Roasted Squash with garlic and parsley

Choose a favorite winter squash – butternut, acorn, whatever it may be – and peel and seed it. Cut into 1-inch chunks and toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread the chunks evenly on baking sheet and roast at 375 degrees 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.

Winter Squash Puree
2 lbs winter squash of choice 6 sage leaves
Salt and pepper ¼ lb unsalted butter
4 cloves garlic ¾ cup milk
Preheat oven to 400. Cut the squashes in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds, season the flesh with salt and pepper, and fill the cavities with the garlic cloves, peeled, and the sage leaves. Place the squashes skin side down, in a shallow ovenproof dish, and add just enough water to barely cover the bottom, to prevent burning. Bake for abut 45 minutes, or until completely tender. Allow to cool. Remove and discard the garlic and sage.
In a small saucepan, melt the butter in the milk over a low flame. Scoop the squash flesh out of the skin and put through a food mill or a ricer. Whisk in the milk and butter to give a soft texture to the puree. Taste and adjust seasoning.

Sweet potatoes came out of the ground yesterday. It’s a beautiful crop this year and we’ll cure them briefly (give them a little chance to sweeten up) before sending them out to you.

In the next few weeks, you can expect to see more beautiful lettuce, as well as cooking greens, more squashes, including lovely butternuts and Tennessee pumpkins. Also look for fresh cowpeas, sweet potatoes, and more green onions.

The Entwistles are heading out for a last minute family vacation this weekend. It is no small deal to leave the chickens and turkeys and farm cat behind, and it marks a definite turn of season in that we cannot leave until all the Fall transplanting is done. We’ll still be scrambling to finish it all up tomorrow, but with luck, we’ll make it toward the mountains by Saturday afternoon. Wish us luck! We’ll be back to harvest cowpeas and see you next week.

Eat well and be well.

Your gardeners,

Paul and Coree

PS – Hidden Springs Orchard will be bringing us pints of little kiwis ($3 each). These are a GREAT seasonal fruit and we hope you’ll take full advantage of the opportunity to enjoy them.

"So here are the questions you could ask... Does this food build or destroy topsoil? Does it use only ambient sun and rainfall, or does it require fossil soil, fossil fuel, fossil water, and drained wetlands, damaged rivers? Could you walk to where it grows, or does it come to you on a path slick with petroleum?" - The Vegetarian Myth: Food, Justice and Sustainability by Lierre Keith

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