Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving week

Red Springs Family Farm
November 24, 2010 week 26
Happy Thanksgiving!

Lettuce Broccoli Garlic
Sweet Potatoes Red Round Turnips and their greens
Herb bag: Arugula Mizuna Parsley Celery Cilantro

Time for gratitudes…
We’re grateful for such a beautiful, bountiful Autumn, so sweet after the extreme heat and toil of the summer.
For such lovely broccoli, a surprise after such difficult late summer conditions – heat and grasshoppers and numerous broccoli challenges in years past.
For the flavorful celery which sat in the ground since early Spring and is just now worthy of sharing.
For turnips that amaze us with their brilliant color and long full leaves.
For garlic, holding its place in the ground all winter, then holding its bulbs firm for the whole season.

For a quick and trouble free labor and the healthy, happy baby boy who joined our family this year.
For the helpful support of family and friends.
For the dedication of a small group of good eaters who make our work worth the while!
We wish you all a wonderful Thanks-giving.

The broccoli is still coming! We’ve sent extra, in lieu of kale this week, because we’re not sure how long it can possibly hold out. If the weather warms up abunch it could easily go to flower. If it freezes too hard, those heads of flower buds could get nipped. Enjoy.

The turnips and their greens are so beautiful, if you don’t want to eat them, you could just put them in a flower arrangement on your table. We know not everyone loves turnips – this recipe is said to help ease the way of the un-turniped (butter, salt and pepper seem to be key ingredients in every turnip recipe):

Au Gratin Turnips and Potatoes
(off the line)
4 c Sliced turnips & potatoes (any combination,) peeled and thinly sliced
1 md Onion peeled and finely sliced, 2 tb Melted butter
1/2 c Milk 1/8 ts Grated nutmeg
1/4 ts Ground white pepper 1/2 ts Salt
1/2 c Grated Swiss cheese
PREHEAT OVEN TO 375F. TOSS together turnips, potatoes, onion with melted butter and place in a 9-inch square or round baking dish. Cover tightly and place in preheated oven for 30 minutes. In a small pot on top of the stove combine milk, nutmeg, pepper and salt and bring to a boil. Immediately remove from heat. Remove turnip-potato mixture from the oven, remove cover and mix in half the cheese. Pour the milk over the potatoes and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Replace in oven, uncovered, another 20 to 25 minutes. If the gratin is golden brown, it's ready to serve. If not, preheat broiler. Place gratin under broiler about 3 minutes to brown top before serving.

Next week we’ll be back with more East meets West stir fry options. Spread the word to other veggie eaters you know… it’s going to have to get pretty darn cold to make the greens out here quit.

Have a beautiful, safe, fun holiday.
Paul, Coree, Lulah and Levon

Praise the bridge that carried you over. ~George Colman

Thursday, November 18, 2010

week #25

Red Springs Family Farm
November 18, 2010 week 25

Lettuce Broccoli Garlic Yokatta Na
Mustard Greens Misato Radishes Paydons Acorn
Herb bag: Arugula Mizuna Parsley Dill Chives

A pleasant rain, though we’ve missed the sun! Levon is one month old and smiling so nicely lately. Lulah is basking in her new five-year-old-ness. The broccoli just keeps looking more beautiful. What a sweet Autumn.

Those of you interested in a basket next week – we’ll come into town on Wednesday. We’ll bring more broccoli, sweet red turnips (and their greens), some more diverse cooking greens, and sweet potatoes. Let us know.

This week – mustards! They smell strong – and they are one of the more potent greens we grow. We’ve heard stories of old timers around here who like to eat them raw with some hot bacon drippings on top. Whew! Here at home we prefer to cook them lightly – softening the taste. They love to be eaten with garlicky olive oil or butter, and some vinegar.

The shiny dark greens are Yokatta Na. We’re appreciating this versatile vegetable this year. You can treat it like spinach, arugula, or bok choy, and it will be delicious. Thin slices add a nice color, texture, and flavor to a salad. Braise it quick and hot for an omelet or stir-fry. Asian flavors work well, but it’s also soft enough to be an agreeable quiche green (substitute for spinach). I suspect that Yokatta Na might even work in place of broccoli in this delicious dish:

Broccoli and Tofu with Peanut Sauce
1/4 cup unsalted cashews 3 tablespoons peanut oil, divided
1 large onion, chopped (about 1 cup) 1 red or yellow bell pepper, chopped
1–2 cloves garlic, minced (1/2–1 teaspoon) 1/2 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
1 pound herbed firm tofu, well drained, cubed 3 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce, divided,
1/2 cup peanut butter (preferably chunky) 1/2 cup vegetable or chicken stock or water
2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
4 cups chopped broccoli, including peeled stalks

1. Toast the cashews in a dry, heavy skillet (preferably cast iron) over high heat until they start to brown in spots and become fragrant. (Be careful not to overtoast them.) Let cool and then roughly chop.
2. Heat 2 tablespoons of the peanut oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion, bell pepper, garlic to taste, and pepper flakes; sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a bowl.
3. In the same pan, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon peanut oil over medium-high heat. Add the tofu and 1 tablespoon of the tamari; sauté until the tofu starts to brown in spots, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer the tofu to the bowl with the onion and bell pepper mixture.
4. In the same pan, mix the peanut butter, stock, rice vinegar, and remaining 2 tablespoons tamari. Heat over medium heat, stirring, until the mixture reaches a gravy-like texture and comes to a boil. Immediately turn off the heat and stir in the tofu mixture and sesame oil. Season to taste with more tamari.
5. Place the broccoli in a steamer basket set over 11/2 inches boiling water and cover. Steam for 5 minutes. Transfer the broccoli to the pan with the peanut butter mixture and mix well. If necessary, heat through before serving. Garnish with toasted cashews.

Have a beautiful weekend…
The Entwistles

If the only prayer you said in your whole life was,” thank you” that would suffice. ~Meister Eckhart

Thursday, November 11, 2010

week 24 newsletter

Red Springs Family Farm
November 11, 2010 week 24

Lettuce Broccoli Peppers Garlic
Baby Bok Choy Misato Rose Radishes Sweet Potatoes
Herb bag: Arugula Mizuna Parsley Dill

Amazing weather! It was 20 degrees first thing in the morning on those two or three really cold days. Now it’s warming up so nice during the day ~ t-shirt weather again, but still frosty cold each night. The garden has barely noticed the change. We have enough food to keep those of you interested going into December, or whenever the weather actually freezes the garden down.

Beautiful blueberry chutney, jams, and jellies are now available from Hidden Springs! Place orders through us and Brinna will deliver at Thursday pick ups. All variety of preserves are in ½ pints, chutney is $6/each, and jams (chunky) and jellies (not chunky) are $5 each.

Also remember Kenny’s Cheese as you do your Christmas shopping. Kenny’s offers some sweet gift packages – look at their website for details: We would also consider making another cheese order/delivery if you all express enough interest.

Check out the Misato Rose Radishes this week. They are beauties. Here’s the Fedco catalog description: “Fine tasting and good looking, with plenty of spiciness, a rich sweet vegetable undertones and no harsh sharpness.” Again – the greens are edible, and interestingly enough, not as prickly as a lot of radish greens. They would nicely complement your bok choys in a stir fry.

Sweet Potato, Broccoli, and Tomato Stew Serves 4
2 tablespoons olive oil 1 large onion, sliced
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced 1 28-ounce can stewed tomatoes
2 cups cooked/canned garbanzo beans, drained 1 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable stock or water
3 medium sweet potatoes (about 1 pound), cubed 1 medium head broccoli, cut into large chunks
Salt & freshly ground black pepper

1. Heat the oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion; cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 more minute.
2. Add the tomatoes, garbanzo beans, stock, and sweet potatoes. Simmer, partially covered, for 15 minutes. Add the broccoli, cover, and simmer until the sweet potatoes and broccoli are tender, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Next week, we anticipate MORE broccoli, more salad greens, some beautiful kale and mustards, cilantro, maybe celery, and another sweet selection from the storage crops. This really is the final pepper delivery – and we mean it this time! We’re on the fence about making a delivery sometime the week of Thanksgiving. If you have a preference, let us know. We’re so grateful to have this abundance now. Thank you for enjoying it with us.

Your gardeners, Paul, Coree, Lulah and Levon

(Farm Humor) An old farmer wins the lottery. A reporter interviews him about his new-found fortune, asking “Well, sir, what do you intend to do with your millions?” The farmer replies, “ I reckon I’ll just keep farming until it’s all gone!”

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Newsletters, extension weeks 22/23

Red Springs Family Farm
October 28, 2010 week 22

Lettuce Collards Sweet Peppers
Garlic Eggplant Baby Bok Choy
Arugula Mizuna Green Tomatoes
Radishes Parsley Sweet Potatoes

What beautiful sparkling Autumn days! The gardens look better than they have all year. We’re grateful to have made it through, and encourage you to enjoy what we consider the BEST time of the 2010 gardening year.

Levon Augustus arrived with a good loud yell. Our midwife called it a “precipitous” labor, which mostly means he came too fast for her to get here from Hendersonville to catch him. Paul has sharpened his skills as a baby catcher, once again. Levon seems to have approved of the situation and has proven to be a really good baby, sleeping plenty, eating well, and growing from 7 lb 10 oz to 8 lb 3 oz in one short week. Lulah loves to kiss his soft head and is growing skilled at holding his wobbly newborn-ness. She is a proud big sister.

Paul is still hard at work putting the gardens to bed for the season. It’s a relief to have crops in the ground that will just stay for awhile. Still to come this season: broccoli, rose heart radishes, red turnips, more kale kale kale, mustards, and beautiful Chinese cabbage. Looks like we’ll have a harder frost tonight and tomorrow. We can kiss the eggplant and green tomatoes good-bye. Paul and Wilson harvested the peppers in their entirety yesterday, and the harvest was abundant, so we’ll try to keep enough of them fresh to last another week or two. If you know any other people who love greens and aren’t getting enough, please send them our way.

We’ve finally succeeded in growing radishes! To store them, separate radishes from their greens. Store the radishes in a plastic bag in the fridge. Eat the greens within 1-2 days of their harvest. Radish greens are delicious to eat, but they don't 'hang out' for long.

Arugula and Goat Cheese Mashed Potatoes
3 pounds russet potatoes, peeled, quartered 1/4 cup butter
1 1/4 cups whole milk 5 ounces soft fresh goat cheese, crumbled
1 cup packed chopped arugula leaves
Cook potatoes in large pot of boiling salted water until tender, about 30 minutes. Drain. Return potatoes to pot. Stir over low heat until excess moisture evaporates. Add butter; mash potatoes until smooth. Bring milk to simmer in saucepan. Remove from heat. Add goat cheese; whisk until melted. Add milk mixture to potatoes; whisk until smooth. Stir in arugula. Season with salt and pepper.

Radish Salad

1 bunch fresh radishes 2-3 very sweet carrots 2 bunches arugula
salt and pepper to taste E.V. olive oil 2 Tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan
Trim the radishes and slice them thinly. Peel carrots and cut them on the diagonal into very thin slices. Snap off tough stems from the arugula. Gather the arugula into a bunch and cut it crosswise into strips. Arrange the arugula on a platter. Scatter the sliced radishes and carrots over the arugula. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle with enough olive oil to lightly moisten the vegetables. Sprinkle the Parmesan over the top. Serve with lemon wedges to squeeze over the salad.

Enjoy your veggies ~ best regards Paul, Coree, Lulah and Levon Entwistle

Red Springs Family Farm
November 4, 2010 week 23

Lettuce Broccoli Peppers
Garlic Giant Lettucey Chinese Cabbage
Arugula Mizuna Radishes
Chives Cilantro Butternut
Well, it looks like November is going to begin acting like late Autumn ought to act. We’re anticipating a real freeze this weekend and actually taking precautions to cover the less hardy of the hardy garden.

Enjoy your broccoli – it’s been a long time coming, but there are rewards for those who wait! We’re thrilled to see these beautiful heads emerge from the toil of the desperately long and hot summer. The outer leaves are good to eat as well.

And, this is the season of the Chinese Cabbages that take over the town. Fortunately, these beauties are multi-purpose. The leaves and thick white stems are GREAT mixed with lettuce and other fixings in salad. AND, they make a very nice stir-fry or stew green as well. Here’s a couple nice recipes:

Choi with Gingery Butter

2 medium choi (1/2 or less of your cabbage), sliced crosswise into 1-inch strips
6 tablespoons butter 2 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
1 tablespoon grated or finely chopped fresh ginger 1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh cilantro salt & freshly ground black pepper

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the choi; cook until the choi is tender but still crisp, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain the choi in a colander and immediately run under cold water. Drain well.
2. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the soy sauce, ginger, garlic, and choi; cook, stirring constantly, until the choi is well coated and heated through.
3. Remove the skillet from heat. Stir in the cilantro. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

Coleslaw with Cilantro and Chives
(we thought this might be a winner with Chinese cabbage substituted for a head of cabbage)
4 to 6 cups shredded cabbage 1/4 cup minced cilantro
1/4 cup chopped chives 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar 2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1. Toss the cabbage, cilantro, and chives in a large bowl or container; refrigerate, covered, for at least 1 hour or overnight.
2. When ready to serve, mix the oil, vinegar, sugar, and salt in a small bowl until well combined. Pour the dressing over the chilled cabbage mixture. Mix well just before serving.

Other important news:
Hidden Springs has more blueberry goodness for us. Blueberry Preserves and Jellies ($5/half pint) and Blueberry Chutney ($6/half pint). Let us know what you would like and Brinna will have it next week.

Thanks for your good veggie eating! We hope to see you soon. Paul, Coree, Lulah, and Levon

“To myself I am only a child playing on the beach, while vast oceans of truth lie undiscovered before me.” (I. Newton)