Thursday, November 3, 2011
Sweet and White Potatoes Butternut
White Russian Kale Radishes Napa Cabbage herb bag: Parsley Arugula Chives
We’re grateful that this Thursday’s rain held off long enough to get most of the veggies out of the field. Hopefully it will let up enough to pack the van without getting too soggy. Your Napa cabbages will be rain washed today.
So – this is the last official delivery of the Fall Extended Season. We will NOT be here next week. We will miss you. Thank you all so much for sharing this part of the year. It’s been a wonderful Fall and we appreciate sharing it with you. We’re hoping to take some pictures of the garden and post them on the blog or FB. There’s still an amazing amount of food out there.
However, we’re taking a little break. Some friends are arriving to watch the chickens and turkeys and we’ll head north (a little counter-intuitive perhaps) to visit family in Canada. When we return (pre-Thanksgiving), we’ll drop a line and offer more greens, turnips, salad fixings. We hope you will partake. The broccoli is shaping up nicely, probably just in time for Thanksgiving, and the Red Ball Turnips are just beautiful.
I wouldn’t have believed it if I didn’t see it, but Kale Chips are real. Mostly, we love our kale steamed with butter and maybe a touch of balsamic vinegar or nutritional yeast flakes, but for those of you who have trouble with kale, this is worth a try. Lulah wants to eat kale for breakfast now (no small feat). Here's a rough recipe, pulled from the internet, for you to get started with.
1- Preheat oven to about 300*
2- Use about a salad spinner’s worth of kale. Tear the leaves off the thick stems into bite size pieces, or just cut out the mid-ribs and leave the halves whole.
3- Place leaves in a large bowl. Drizzle with about 2 tsp of olive oil.
4- Sprinkle with salt, pepper, Parmesan, Asiago or your seasonings of choice. Toss kale with oil and seasonings until the leaves are well coated.
5- Spread in a single layer (very important that they not do much overlap) on baking sheets. Bake for about 20-25 minutes, until kale is very crispy when moved in pan.
These ‘chips’ probably won’t last long, but if you want to, you can store them a couple days in a zip lock bag. This crispy kale can be crumpled up and used on soups or grains as a green garnish too! Our thin flat leafed kale doesn’t work as well as the Lacinato and White Russian for this treatment. It’s important not to use too much oil. Experiment – enjoy!
We’ve had a couple requests for Kimchi information. I’ve posted a link to Sandor Katz’s website, www.wildfermentation.com on our blog. He has some basic fermentation info on there, as well as a lengthy list of on-line fermentation information resources. I’m paraphrasing his book Wild Fermentation for this Kimchi recipe.
1 lb Chinese cabbage (napa or bok choy) 1 daikon radish or a few red radishes
1 or 2 carrots 1 or 2 onions/leeks/scallions
3 to 4 cloves garlic (or more!) 3 to 4 hot red chilies (or more, or none, as you like)
3 Tablespoons fresh grated gingerroot (or more!) sea salt
1) Mix a brine of about 4 cups water and 4 Tbsp salt. Stir well to thoroughly dissolve salt.
2) Coarsely chop cabbage, slice radish and carrots, and let the vegetables soak in the brine, covered by a plate or other weight to keep them submerged until soft, a few hours or overnight. Add other vegetables (snow peas, seaweeds) if you like.
3) Prepare spices: Grate ginger; chop the garlic an onion; remove seeds from the chilies and chop or crush, or throw them in whole. Kimchi can absorb a lot of spice. Mix spices into a paste.
4) Drain brine off vegetables, reserve it. Taste veggies for saltiness. You want them to taste decidedly salty, but not unpleasantly so. If too salt, rinse them.
5) Mix the vegetables with the spice paste. Mix everything together thoroughly and stuff it into a clean quart size jar. Pack it tightly into the jar, pressing down until brine rises. If necessary, add a little of the reserved brine to submerge the vegetables. Weight the vegetables down with a smaller jar or a zip lock bag filled with water or brine. Cover the jar to keep out dust and flies.
6) Ferment in a warm place (kitchen counter usually works fine). After about a week, when ti tastes ripe, move it to the refrigerator. Traditionally, kimchi is slowly fermented more slowly with more salt and kept in a crock in a cellar or hole in the ground.
Almost any kind of leafy green can be treated with way with interesting and delicious results. Paul eats kimchi with his breakfast porridge. It is full of natural lactic acid, vitamin C, and pro-biotics. It’s good for you, and yummy too. Kimchi pairs well with rice, eggs, beans. Enjoy.
We’ve not said enough about the sweet potatoes this year. It was such a good year for them. We hope you’re enjoying them as much as we are. If you have not been a sweet potato fan in the past – give it another try. These are much more flavorful than your average store boughten sweets. We’re always amazed when we eat conventional potatoes, what a different flavor these home grown foods impart. We just bake them, unwrapped in a medium oven until they are completely soft throughout. Peel off the skin (or eat them!), add butter or olive oil, salt and pepper if you like. Good food can be so simple.
A couple notes about storage crops – if your butternuts and potatoes are piling up – you can keep them a long time if you’re careful. Sweet potatoes and butternuts like to be kept warm and dry. A shelf in a room temperature closet works well. Sweet potatoes will sprout if kept in sunlight or moisture for too long. White potatoes, on the other hand, need to be kept cool (not cold) and dark. Dark is key to their keeping qualities. We store these crops for our own use all winter (we just pitched out a few straggling butternuts from two years ago). You can too.
Be well and we hope to see you soon!
With Love, Paul, Coree, Lulah and Levon
“Tell me what you eat, I’ll tell you who you are.” – Anthelme Brillat-Savarin
This is a link to Sandor Katz's page about simple vegetable ferments. Sandor has got it down. If you want to explore the possibilities of fermentation, check out his book - Wild Fermentation. His other work - The Revolution Will Not Be Microwaved, is also a great read with some excellent recipes. Sandor will be doing a workshop at Long Hungry Creek Farm, just upstream from us, this Saturday, November 5. Find details and directions at www.barefootfarmer.com.
I'll also give directions in the newsletter, but wanted to share the link. It's a nice read - just a little long for our format.
See you all soon!
Thursday, October 27, 2011
Sweet and White Potatoes Butternut
Pac Choy Green Tomato Fun Jen Cabbage
herb bag: Cutting Celery Arugula Chives
We are not by any means complaining about the weather – just commenting on how interesting it is that we've had three weeks of rain on Thursdays now! Hasn't it been amazingly beautiful weather?
We've enjoyed a busy week, making the most of our last few days with Branden. We've hauled in a couple dump truck loads of manure to compost, and laid more of the garden into cover crops for winter. There were a few more cowpeas kicking around that Lulah helped bring in. We also enjoyed a farm visit at Hill and Hollow Farm up in Kentucky. Always a pleasure to see like-minded friends succeeding and thriving in their craft. It's been a good time.
There are still SOOOOO many vegetables in the garden. Next week is the last week of our Fall Share. We're having a family get-away for a week or so after that, but will definitely be willing and able to bring more greens into town at the end of November and into December (broccoli!). If you are enjoying these greens, rest assured that we'll be back with more.
Chickweed is a weed, and chicks do love it. We love it too. It's the stemmy succulent little green in your herb bag. It's taste is green and not remarkably spicy. It's a nice crunchy green and very good for you. Our herbalist friend swore by it for warding off flu in flu season. Throw it in your salad or put it on sandwiches.
Fun Jen is like a Chinese Cabbage crossed with a ruffley lettuce. Technically, it is in the same family as Bok Choy. It is easy to use as a salad green, and needs only a couple minutes of cooking to enjoy hot. Fun Jen also works well as kim chi. Wrap it tight in a grocery bag and it will keep well in your fridge. Napa Cabbages come next week. It's Kimchi time!
Let's load you up with recipes this week. One came from Martha Stewart (amazing cache of recipes on that website), and more from Sapelo Farm in Georgia (also a great selection of farm fresh recipes on their website).
Arugula and Goat Cheese Mashed Potatoes
5 large potatoes, peeled, quartered 1/4 cup butter
1 1/4 cups whole milk 5 ounces soft fresh goat cheese, crumbled
1/2 lb arugula, stems removed, cleaned
Cook potatoes in large pot of boiling salted water until tender, about 30 minutes.
Drain. Return potatoes to stove. Add butter; mash potatoes to desired texture.
In a skillet, bring milk to a simmer. Remove from heat. Add goat cheese.
Add milk mixture to potatoes and stir well. Stir in arugula and salt and pepper to taste.
Chinese Cabbage Stir Fry
4 ounces medium flat rice noodles 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 head Chinese cabbage (about 1 1/2 pounds), shredded (8 cups)
8 ounces ground pork 3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp finely grated peeled ginger 4 scallions, white and green parts separated, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce 2 teaspoons Asian chili sauce, such as Sriracha
1 to 2 tablespoons soy sauce 1/4 cup chopped fresh, cilantro
2 limes, halved Cilantro sprigs and lime wedges, for garnish
Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add noodles; stir, and remove pot from heat. Let stand until tender, about 8 minutes. Drain, and rinse with cold water.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a wok or Dutch oven over high heat. Add half the cabbage. Sear, pressing with a wooden spoon, until slightly wilted and golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Set aside. Repeat with remaining cabbage.
Reduce heat to medium-high. Add remaining tablespoon oil, the pork, garlic, ginger, and white parts of scallions. Cook, stirring constantly, until pork browns, about 1 minute. Stir in fish and chili sauces. Toss in rice noodles and seared cabbage. Add soy sauce to taste. Remove from heat, and add green parts of scallions and the cilantro. Squeeze limes over noodles. Garnish with cilantro, and serve with lime wedges. Serve immediately.
Sesame Soy Dressing
1/4 cup mayo 1 T Sesame Oil
1 T Soy Sauce 2 tsp Rice Wine Vinegar or any other White Vinegar
1 tsp minced garlic
Mix all ingredients well and serve over Fun Jen, another Bok Choy, or lettuce.
If the sesame oil is very fragrant you could possibly skip the mayo, and add a dash of sweetener. A garnish of cashews or almonds would set this off nice, too.
And this just sounds SO good: Winter Squash Mac and Cheese
1 pound macaroni Salt
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, 1 turn of the pan 2 tablespoons butter
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour 2 cups chicken (or veggie) stock
1 medium butternut squash, roasted and then peeled and pureed
1 cup cream or half-and-half 2 cups (8 ounces) grated sharp Cheddar
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Cook pasta according to package directions.
In the meantime, heat a medium heavy bottomed pot over medium heat. Add the extra-virgin olive oil and butter. Cook the onion in butter and oil 1 to 2 minutes, then add flour and cook 1 to 2 more minutes.
Whisk in stock, then combine with butternut squash until warmed through and smooth.
Stir in cream or half-and-half and bring sauce to a simmer.
Stir in cheeses and season the completed sauce with salt, nutmeg and pepper. Taste to adjust seasonings. Drain cooked pasta well and combine with sauce. Serve.
Enjoy your food! With warm regards ~ Paul, Coree, Lulah and Levon
“Do unto those downstream as you would have those upstream do unto you.” - Wendell Berry
Thursday, October 20, 2011
Sweet and White Potatoes Garlic Green Beans
Big Bok Choy Tomato Red Turnips Butternut
herb bag: Basil Parsley Arugula Nasturtium Chives
Branden sez ~ This is a good basket if you like FOOD.
Speaking of Branden - this is Branden's last week with us. He'll be leaving next Thursday to begin his hike down the Appalatian Trail toward his home in Georgia. We wish him all goodness in his future travels and thank him from the bottom of our hearts for his dedication and hard work this summer. Branden has logged countless hours in the gardens this year, played tirelessly with Lulah and Levon, and kept things going and growing during the weeks of our spinal emergencies. Think of Branden with gratitude.
The frost is coming. The wind has picked up and the clouds are moving out. It will be cold tonight. We spent yesterday scurrying to harvest everything that wouldn't make it. Eight bushels of beautiful green peppers came down the hill. We picked a lot of beans, but covered the row with a couple layers of remay with the hopes of pulling them through for one more picking. Tomatoes and basil we're letting go. All the greens will be OK, in fact, we look forward to the sweetness of Fall brassicas after a frost.
We did pull all the Nasturtiums, and you've got a nice handfull of leaves in your herb bag. Spanish conquistadors brought Nasturtiums back from South America in the 1500s. They spread across the Old World, and were no doubt brought back to the NewWorld too. We've not given you enough leaves to make this recipe, but you could use basil, arugula, AND nasturtiums to make a very intensely flavored green spread.
Into a food processor or blender, put the following ingredients:
4 cups packed nasturtium leaves 3 to 5 cloves of garlic 1 and 1/2 cups olive oil
2 drops Tabasco sauce 1 cup walnuts Process the mixture until smooth.
Green Peppers – store them in a paper bag in your crisper, and chop up and freeze what you can't use right away. No blanching necessary! Here's a fun way to use some peppers...
Bell Pepper Egg-in-a-Hole
2 teaspoons olive oil 1 bell pepper (any color), cut into 1/2-inch-thick rings
Large eggs Coarse salt and ground pepper
2 teaspoons grated Parmesan 4 slices multigrain bread, toasted
8 cups mixed salad greens
In a large cast-iron or nonstick skillet, heat 1 teaspoon oil over medium-high. Add bell pepper, then crack 1 egg into the middle of each pepper ring. Season with salt and pepper and cook until egg whites are mostly set but yolks are still runny, 2 to 3 minutes. Gently flip and cook 1 minute more for over easy. Sprinkle with Parmesan and place each egg on a slice of toast. Toss salad greens with 1 teaspoon oil and season with salt and pepper; serve alongside eggs.
Aren't the turnips and bok choy grand? We're so glad to be able to share them.
One of our favorite ways to enjoy turnips is brined. Here's how:
Dissolve 2 to 3 Tablespoons salt (preferably sea salt) in a quart of filtered water.
Trim and wash the turnip bulbs. Slice them to your preferred thickness. We generally cut the bulbs in half lengthwise before slicing them into half moons. Fill a mason jar (quart or pint) with the sliced turnips and pour the brine over them. Cover loosely and leave on a shady counter for a few days to ferment. If you use a screw top lid on the jar, be sure to 'burp' it at least once a day to release the gases that build up. Notice the beautiful deep reddish color the turnips turn. After a few days, store the jar in the fridge and enjoy. We like to eat these with hummus, tabbouli, and other middle eastern dishes. They will last almost indefinitely in a cool dark place. We're still enjoying the turnips we put up to ferment last Fall!
Kale and Bok Choy Slaw with Spicy Sesame Ginger Dressing
(from Raw Food Revolution – a good complement to any Asian inspired meal)
Spicy Sesame Ginger Dressing
¼ cup tahini 1 Tbsp water 1 Tbsp light miso
1 Tbsp lemon juice 1 Tbsp agave or honey 2 tsp grated fresh ginger
1 tsp onion powder ¼ tsp powdered mustard ¼ tsp salt
1 crushed clove garlic pinch of cayenne
Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until well blended.
2 cups kale leaves, firmly packed, cut into thin ribbons
1 ¾ cups thinly sliced bok choy, packed 1 tomato, finely diced
1 apple, finely diced ½ cup mung bean or lentil sprouts
1 ½ Tbsp finely diced red onion
Place kale in a large bowl and massage it well for a few minutes to soften. The kale should take ona cooked appearance and reduce dramatically in volume. Add the remaining salad ingredients to the kale. Then add the dressing and toss well. Kale and Bok Choy Slaw is best served within 3 hours, but it can also be stored in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. The slaw will release some liquid when stored but it will still taste good.
The abundance of this week's basket serves as a reminder of what this whole garden-share thing is about. Your commitment, to pick up baskets of whatever size and selection we have, serves us all. We believe that the current large scale commodified agriculture system is a blip on the screen of history, and we hope that we can be part of the way through into a healthier future.
We hope you'll all stay warm and enjoy this shift in the weather.
See you next week!
Paul, Coree, Lulah, and Levon
“Tools were made, and born were hands,
Every farmer understands.”
Thursday, October 13, 2011
Levon managed to delete my original newsletter, so this is round two - not quite as inspired and a little more hurried! Nonetheless - this weeks' harvest:
Lettuce Pac Choy Green Peppers
Zucchini Sweet and White Potatoes Garlic
Green Beans choice of NZ Spinach or Yokatta Na
herb bag: Basil Cutting Celery Arugula Nasturtium
Fall weather – cool and damp – rainy this morning (we're glad it doesn't rain too often on Thursday mornings!) - so nice for cooking, baking, roasting, making big pots of soup, kicking leaves, planting garlic. Beautiful Fall.
We're watching the long range forecast carefully these days. It's time to start selling basil plants. If you haven't put up pesto in your freezer, here's your chance. We have regular green Genovese plants, and Purple Ruffles, too. The Ruffles make an INCREDIBLE pesto, tho the plants are not as large an robust. They are $3/plant. Let us know of your interest.
In other news – the chocolate will be with us next week. You can place an order in advance or just take your chances at the market. One pound of chocolate comes in pint jars – they are $15 each. Nearly a .4 lb comes in a little plastic deli tub for $6.
Just a reminder – if there's too much food for you – freeze some for later. Greens beans get blanched for 4 minutes, then cooled and bagged. Greens need only short blanch – 1 to 2 minutes, before freezing.
The nasturtiums are the round leaves in your herb bag. They don't look like anything else – very different. They're pungent and complement a complex salad.
We've been roasting our potatoes and sweet potatoes lately. It's so good and easy. Here's how – cut up your potatoes and sweet potatoes into fairly regular sized cubes – whatever size suits you. Toss them in a large bowl with olive oil, salt and pepper, and whatever herbs and spices you like. Use just enough olive oil to coat the potatoes, but not so much that it drips off them soggy. Pour them into a baking pan, not too thick, and roast in a fairly hot oven – 450-475 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes, until they're golden brown and soft to poke with a fork. Turn them a couple times while baking so one side doesn't over-brown.
Soup weather is here! Love it...
Yokatta Na works great in a soup, so simple. Slice the leaves into thin threads and put them in the bottom of the soup bowl. Pour piping hot soup over the greens and just let them cook in the bowl. It works nice with miso or other light broths, and makes a nice surprise for the soup-eater in a heartier stew.
The New Zealand Spinach will melt well with a sweet potato soup. I found this one on-line and adapted it to our purposes:
Lentil Soup with Sweet Potatoes and Spinach
1 tablespoon olive oil 1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced 1 celery stalk, diced
2 small sweet potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch cubes 1 1/2 cups brown lentils
1 quart vegetable broth 2 cups water
2 cans (15 ounce) diced tomatoes 2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon dried thyme 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
Salt and pepper, to taste 2 cups chopped fresh spinach (NZ works)
1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and garlic. Saute until onion is tender and garlic is light brown in color. Add celery, and sweet potatoes. Cook until vegetables soften, about 5-7 minutes.
2. Stir in the lentils, vegetable broth, and water. Add the diced tomatoes, bay leaves, thyme, and rosemary. Season with salt and pepper and stir. Cook on medium-low heat for about 35-40 minutes or until lentils are cooked.
3. Add the fresh spinach and stir. If necessary, season with salt and pepper. Remove bay leaves and serve warm.
Creamy Choy Soup
1 Tbsp light frying oil ½ cup chopped scallions, divided
3 cloves minced garlic 2 tsp chopped fresh ginger
1 lb choy (any kind) 1 large potato, diced
3 cups vegetable stock or water ¾ tsp salt
¼ tsp fresh ground black pepper hot pepper flakes
1 tsp toasted sesame oil 2 Tbsp sour cream
1) Heat the oil in a medium pot over medium high heat. Set aside a couple tablespoons of scallions fo a garnish. Add the remaining scallions, garlic, and ginger to the pot. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
2) Add the choy and potato. Pour in the stock or water and add the salt, pepper, and hot pepper flakes to taste. Increase the heat and bring to boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer until the potato is tender, about 20 minutes. Remove the pot from heat. Stir in the toasted sesame oil.
3) Transfer the soup to a food processor or blender and puree. Ladle soup int individual bowls.
4) Garnish each bowl with a dollop of sour cream and some chopped scallion.
Enjoy right away.
Thank you for sharing this beautiful seasonal harvest with us. We hope you enjoy your meals.
Best regards from our home to yours!
“Whether we and our politicians know it or not, Nature is party to all our deals and decisions, and she has more votes, a longer memory, and a sterner sense of justice than we do.”
― Wendell Berry
Thursday, October 6, 2011
Kale Tennessee Pumpkins Green Peppers Sweet Potatoes Siciliano Garlic
Lettuce Tat Soi Potatoes
herb bag: Basil Sorrel Parsley Chives
Zinnias Hot Peppers
Contrary to our usual advise about your weekly harvest – DO NOT EAT THESE SWEET POTATOES TONIGHT!
Sweet potatoes need to cure. Place them in a warm dry darkish place and let them sit with themselves for a week or so, then enjoy them. They will be very enjoyable by then. This variety of sweet potato has been grown in this part of Tennessee for over one hundred years. We have found it to be far superior in flavor to grocery store sweets. It helps that they grow well here too. For those of you who are not joining us for the Fall Extension, we hope the sweet potatoes will be a tasty reminder of your time with us.
This kale is also a local original. Our friends saved the seed from some crossed up some brassicas twenty-something years ago and over time this kale green has become the child of that experiment. It does not have the same thick leaves associated with many kales so it cooks more quickly. We like to massage it into our lettuce salads, too. Bruising it makes it more receptive to dressings. After the first good frost, all kales become sweeter. We think these are pretty good even before the frost.
The Asian green this week is tat soi. Isn't it beautiful? It can be used like spinach. Both the tat soi and kale pair well with beans in a soup (think of white beans and tomatoes with oregano and kale in a hearty stock – look up Heidi Swanson's Supernatural Cooking for details on that.)
Here's a recipe to help with the greens this week:
Garden Blend Soup (from Raw Food Revolution) yields 2 ½ cups, 1-2 servings
¾ cup water ¼ cup fresh squeezed orange juice, or chopped ½ an orange
3-4 cups chopped packed kale leaves ½ an apple or ½ small cucumber, peeled chopped
¼ cup fresh cilantro or basil leaves 1 ½ Tbsp light miso
1 ½ tsp fresh squeezed lemon juice ½ clove garlic
¼ red jalapeno chile or pinch cayenne ½ green onion (optional)
¼ cup sunflower seeds, soaked 1 hr, rinsed and drained OR ½ ripe avocado, chopped
¼ cup mung bean sprouts or seasoned pumpkin seeds as garnish
1) Combine all ingredients except sunflower seeds and garnish in blender or food processor and process until smooth.
2) Add sunflower seeds and process until smooth.
3) Garnish each serving with sprouts or seeds and serve immediately.
(You can use a variety of vegetables in this soup, and use hot water for a warming soup on a cool day. A hearty serving of this soup provides 17 grams of protein, abundant Vits A, B (except B12), C, and E, as well as ¼ the required calcium, iron, selenium, and zinc for the day.)
Other fun goodies in your basket today include the Tennessee Pumpkins. They're not as large as they have been in years past. This hasn't been the best squash year for anyone, even our best winter squash growing friends over at Long Hungry Creek Farm. Nonetheless, the pumpkins are a treat. They are very good eating, and make nice decorations and carving pumpkins if you want to hang onto them that long.
We're not jiving, but we are chiving! (Sorry – I can't help myself sometimes.) The chive patch sits still all summer, looking pretty awful, then suddenly comes back into beautiful production when the weather snaps cold. They lay down still for the winter then bunch up again real nice in early spring, before we start deliveries.
Here's a recipe to help with the up coming flu season – it's seriously garlicky – but Lulah will still eat it, with a little red sauce to temper it.
The One, the Only, the Greatest Garlic Spaghetti (from Passional Vegetarian
8 oz spaghetti or fettucine 1 raw large egg, preferably free range
7-8 cloves garlic, peeled 3-4 Tbsp butter softened
¼ -1/3 fresh grated parmesan 1 tsp dried basil (or more fresh!)
salt and fresh ground pepper crushed red pepper and/or bacon bits to garnish
1) Bring a large pot of water to vigorous boil. Drop in the pasta.
2) As the pasta cooks, warm a serving bowl.
3) Combine the egg, garlic, butter, parmesan, basil, a little salt, and a lot of pepper in a food processor. Buzz, pausing to scrape down the sides, until a thick paste is formed.
4) When the pasta is done, drain it but do not rinse. Quickly transfer to the warmed bowl and dollop it ith the garlic paste. Toss like wild adding a little more pepper and maybe a dash or two more salt.
5) Sit down and eat ASAP, passing the red pepper, veggie bacom and if you like additional parmesan and a peppermill.
I know we say this every year, but what a year! Each season has it's own flavor. We weathered more personal physical challenges than anticipated this year (not that anyone ever anticipates having a bad back!) and the usual ups and downs of so hot and too wet, so hot and too dry. We missed the corn, but sure enjoyed the tomatoes. We're grateful that a few of you came in mid-season to help eat those up.
At the season's close, there are landmarks – the garlic bed is ready to plant, sweet potatoes are harvested, cover crops are sown, Levon is taking baby steps, and Lulah has lost her first tooth. Thank you for sharing the ride through the gardening year.
Whether or not you are sticking with us into November, if you need an extra bag of lettuce or kale, some squash, potatoes, or garlic, please drop us a line – we'll be glad to work with you. Also, the homemade chocolate will be coming in a couple weeks. Let us know if you want some. Prices are: $15/lb (glass pint jar) or $6 for a .4 lb tub. The only ingredients are cocoa beans (fair trade from a small women's cooperative in Nicaragua), organic coconut oil, and organic agave nectar. It doesn't get much better than that.
We're grateful to our family and friends for supporting us and our growing ventures, and grateful to you for allowing us to be...
Paul, Coree, Lulah, Levon, and Branden
Thursday, September 29, 2011
Kale and Turnip greens Butternut Green Peppers Potatoes Chesnok Red Garlic
Lettuce Summer Squash Eggplant Tomatoes
herb bag: Basil Sorrel Cutting Celery Arugula
Green Onions Zinnias Hot Peppers
It's a sad sweetness to look out at the garden at the nineteenth week of the “main season”. What a lot of changes we've seen. Happily, the gardens look wonderful. There's a sea of greens, loving the coolness of the night air, and being lifted by the clear sunshine of the days. Zinnias are bigger and brighter than ever. The okra is still standing, but slowed down so much it's barely there. The squashes are slow too, but still lovely. Interesting to note that the peppers are all green now. Maybe they will get red again, we really don't know. Eggplants are making a comeback, and if the days stay warm enough, they will bear more fruit. The best looking stand of green beans we've seen all year are setting small beans now, and a couple of plantings of cilantro that we thought had completely failed are now sprouting in great abundance. The seed knows when it needs to grow. We don't always know, so we just have to keep planting!
Our Fall tomatoes are growing a little more slowly than we'd like, making us be patient. Pineapple and Hawaiian Pineapple are their names. They don't grow so well in the main season. They are prone to cracking, and rains exacerbate that tendency. So, slow and spare as they are, they keep us going, and grateful. Tomatoes are, after all, a seasonal fruit.
Next week is the end of our Main Season. For most of you, it is the last week in your payment plan. However, deliveries are not over. As noted above, there's still quite a lot of food in the garden, and we would love to share it with you. Our official “season extension” will be four weeks long, from October 13 to November 3. Your commitment of $80 for a regular share of that season would be greatly appreciated. After Novemer 3, we'll take a family vacation, regroup, see how the weather is holding and perhaps make a few holiday greens deliveries.
Fall baskets are very different from summer baskets. Greens and storage crops are the primary themes. Potatoes, sweet potatoes, garlic, and winter squashes will all store for several months without refrigeration. Greens cook down easily, and if you can't eat your way through what we give you for the week, they are easy to freeze for later. A bag of dark greens to pop into a pot of later winter soup can do wonders for Vitamin G(reen) deficiency. Lettuces parsley and arugula will also continue.
Not sure about kale? Have you tried it chocolate covered? Just kidding, but if you're interested in chocolate, we've got the chocolate for you. A friend of ours buys cocoa beans from a small women's cooperative in Nicaragua, roasts them, and processes them with organic evaporated cane juice and coconut oil to make amazing chocolate. She sells it by the pound (in pint jars). The price would likely be somewhere in the ballpark of $15/lb, but if there's enough interest,
we would probably make smaller quantities available to suit your budget. If you're going to eat chocolate, this is the kind to eat. It's also great for baking, and gifting.
Now, for some versatile greens recipes... Kale and Walnut Pesto AND
Mediterranean Summer Greens Sauce
Both of these can use a variety of greens to make. For the pesto, use a smaller amount of greens (½ lb or so). The sauce calls for 2 lbs. In your basket, there's probably something in between those two amounts. These are farm friendly, adaptable recipes.
First – wash and coarsely chop the greens. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add greens and simmer until tender. That means 3-4 minutes for tender greens (spinach, yokatta na, chard) and up to 10 minutes for older, thicker greens (collards and mid-winter kale). Drain the greens well, and let them cool. Squeeze out excess moisture with your hands.
¼ cup chopped toasted walnuts ½ tsp salt 2 cloves garlic minced
½ cup olive oil ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
½ lb kale (directions above) freshly ground black pepper
1) Put the garlic, walnuts, and kale in a blender or food processor; pulse until well combined. With the blender or processor running, pour int eh olive oil in a steady, smooth, pencil-thin stream.
2) When the ingredients are thoroughly combined, transfer to a bowl. Stir in the Parmesan, salt, and pepper. Serve hot (works well on roasted potatoes).
For Green Sauce:
1 ½ Tbsp chopped soaked raisings (opt) 2 lb greens (directions above)
2-4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil 2 cloves garlic, peeled, mashed
4-6 anchovy fillets, drained, mashed 2 tsp rinsed, drained capers
10 fresh black olives, pitted, cut in half 1/8 tsp hot pepper flakes
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1) Heat 2 Tbsp oil in a saute pan. Add garlic and cook, turning often, until lightly browned and fragrant, 3-5 minutes. Remove garlic and discard (or leave it if you really love garlic!).
2) Add the cooked and drained greens to the pan with the garlic infused oil and cook for 1 minute stirring constantly. Add anchovies to taste; add capers. Stir to combine and continue to cook for 30 seconds. Remove the pan form heat. Set the mixture asid eto cool for ten minutes. Transfer the greens mixture from the skillet to a food processor (do not use a blender for this).
3) Drain raisings and squeeze out excess moisture. Add the raisins, olives, and hot pepper flakes to the processor. Pulse just until mixture is finely chopped and combined but not pureed (You can also chop the ingredients using a large chef's knife without the risk of overprocessing).
4) Stir in the Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately or at room temperature. This saue is best if used the day its made.
Serve on rounds of sliced tomato, toss with potatoes, stuff it in ravioli, mushroom caps, or slather it on a roast. Hmmmm.
Enjoy your meals... Paul, Coree, Lulah, Levon and Branden
“The delicious tastes and aromas (we) seek cannot be mass-produced or manufactured. They come only from nature – and authentic work. They stem from a joint effort between farmers and our living materials – often more artful effort than applied science. “
~ from Wisdom of th Last Farmer by David Mas Masumoto
Thursday, September 1, 2011
Tomatoes Sweet Peppers Potatoes Summer Squash Garlic Leeks
Watermelon Green Beans Okra
Cucumber or Tomatillos
herb bag: Basil Arugula Parsley
September. The light through the trees falls at a different angle. Dry dry dry. Squirrels and Raccoons. New baby chicks. Summer Squash. Watermelon. I'll not go into the details – just sticking with recipes today! That's the basic form of life out here. The arugula is tender, so nice right now. Enjoy in salad, on pizza, in lasanga, maybe even as a garnish with the Vichissoise. Hmmmm.
This recipe works with whatever proportion of potatoes and okra you have on hand. Leave the okra whole in the skillet. This is wonderful served with a simple dal and chutney, plain yogurt or raita. A couple of wedges of fresh tomato and cucumber would add nice color and juice too. as well.
Bhindi Aloo (from Curries Without Worries)
1 lb fresh okra 1 lb potatoes cut like homefries
¾ c. oil 1 Tbsp ground coriander seeds
1 Tbsp. Ground cumin seeds ½ Tbsp ground turmeric
1 Tbsp. Garam Masala salt to taste
Wash and drain vegetables thoroughly. The okra, in particular, should be washed and drained well in advance so that it is completely dry when ready to be cooked. When the okra is competely dry, cut off and discard the stem ends. Heat the oil in a heavy wok or deep skillet for a couple of minutes. Add the vegetables. Stir fry for about five minutes. Add all the other ingredients and stir well. Lower heat to medium, cover, and cook until potatoes are okra are done; i.e. tender.
Potato Leek Soup, a.k.a. Vichissoise (from Nourishing Traditions)
3 leeks, peeled, cleaned chopped 2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp olive oil 4 potatoes, peeled and chopped
6 cups stock several sprigs thyme, tied together
1 cup piima creame or crème fraiche sea salt and pepper
chives, green onion, or arugula for garnish
Saute leeks until soft in butter and olive oil. Add potatoes and stock, bring to a boil and skim. Add thyme and simmer until all vegetales are soft. Let cool. Remove thyme. Puree soup with a handheld blender (or a potatoe masher :)). Chill well. Process in food processor in batches with piima cream until frothy. Season to taste. Serve in chilled soup bowls and garnish.
Indian Stuffed Peppers (from a blog called Mahanandi)
Potato Stuffing: Good quality potatoes - 3 or 6, Pressure-cook or boil them in water, until tender. Remove the skins, mash them to smooth paste. In a pan, heat a teaspoon of oil, toast ¼ tsp each - mustard seeds, cumin and curry leaves. Saute finely chopped pieces of one onion, 4 green chillies and a fistful of fresh peas. Add the mashed potato. Stir in salt, turmeric and one teaspoon of clove-cinnamon-cumin-coriander seed powder (garam masala). Mix them all well. Cook covered on medium-low heat for about 10 to 15 minutes - That’s our potato stuffing.
Bell peppers (Capsicums):
Pick 6 small sized, fresh and firm peppers - any color (green, red, yellow or orange) combination is fine. This curry is all about appearance and size matters. Small sized capsicums are perfect for this curry. (The Carmen or long bull's horn pepper work good for this).
Cut the tops off. Remove the seeds and membranes inside and make a hollow. Fill them up with potato curry to the top.
In a big iron skillet, heat about 1 tablespoon of peanut oil. Place the stuffed bell peppers neatly in a circle and cook them covered on medium heat for about 15 to 20 minutes. Turn them to sides in-between so that they could get brown evenly on all sides. (You could also cook these stuffed bell peppers in oven - baking at 375 F until they are soft and tender to touch.)
Toast quarter cup each - peanuts and sesame seeds to golden color. Take them in a grinder, add 2 cloves and 2 one-inch pieces of cinnamon, half teaspoon each - chilli powder and salt and a tablespoon of tamarind juice and powdered jaggery (natural brown sugar). Grind them to smooth paste.
Heat a teaspoon of peanut oil in a big pan. Add the peanut-sesame sauce and about a half cup to one cup of water. Mix well. Simmer on medium heat for about 10 minutes. Have a taste and adjust salt, sweet and sour levels to your liking.
Add the stuffed capsicums to the thickened sauce. Cook for another 10 minutes on medium heat, covered. Serve with rice or with chapatis.
Doesn't that sound great??
Have a wonderful weekend – enjoy the harvest.
Paul, Coree, Lulah, Levon, and Branden
“In a world of globalization we haven't worried about what's happening just down the road. Through the years and decades, we've gotten f uther and further from that train of thought. We don't even know where the station is anymore. We've accepted years of formless meats. Years of perfect fruits and vegetables. Years without a blemish. Years of accepting food without a history. Food without a story.”
~ Mark Sturges
Thursday, August 25, 2011
Tomatoes Cucumber Sweet Peppers Potatoes Summer Squash Garlic
Watermelon Greens Zinnias Okra if you like
herb bag: Basil Sorrel
Late August, the walnut leaves start to spin off in gusts of wind. We're grateful for the cool nights to offset the hot days. We're still longing for a longer rain. Until then, the drip tape keeps drip drip dripping. At least the evenings are enjoyably cool now. We even dared to heat up the house with a homemade pizza, topped with lots of plum tomatoes and sweet red peppers under layers of basil, garlic, and fresh mozzarella. What a treat.
The fall gardens are the main work at hand now, and it feels like spring all over again. Paul and Branden are planting and transplanting hundreds and thousands of seeds and seedlings into freshly worked ground. It's a hopeful time. The seedlings are lovely and it feels good to be moving into a new season.
Next week is the #15. We will be three quarters through the main season. Time flies. If you're on a quarterly payment plan, please be ready to renew next week or the week after. Thank you for your support.
We only irrigate the lower gardens. Down here, the creek is handy enough to pull water with gravity and a small pump. In the upper gardens there's no water near enough to be efficiently brought to the field, so we have to rely on soil fertility, mulch, and the blessings of Mother Nature to see us through. Thus, the watermelons are smaller this year. These are Crimson Sweets. The next variety to harvest are an heirloom that we're trialing this year, named Ali Baba. The next sweet corn is begging for a good rain, and the sweet peppers are obviously perfectly contented.
Here's more summer greens. Some of you will be receiving the same greens we sent a couple weeks ago, (best sauteed with sesame or olive oil, salt and pepper and garlic) and a few of you will be trying out New Zealand Spinach, otherwise known as Tetragonia, or Warrigal. This plant is not related to spinach, but has similar qualities. It is more tolerant of heat and less of cold than spinach. It also has a lot of oxalic acid, which makes it feel weird and prickly on the tongue when eaten raw. Some folks don't seem to mind it much, but we prefer it cooked. Legend has it that Captain Cook and his crew relied heavily on Tetragonia while making long trips in the south Pacific.
To cook Warrigal greens, pull the leaves from the stems, swish them in water to wash, then submerge them in a pot of salted boiling water. Let them boil for 2 minutes for pasta or salad dishes and no more than 4 minutes for side dishes. Drain, rinse with cold water, and drain again. You can store the cooked greens for a day or two in the fridge before using them. The leaves have considerably more body and less of a melting texture than spinach.
Here's a recipe:
Aussie Alfredo with Warrigal Greens (off the web)
12 ounces tagliatelle or fettucine 1 pint heavy cream
1/2 c chicken stock or canned broth 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg, or to taste
2 c cooked shredded/diced chicken meat Salt and fresh ground pepper
2 c cooked warrigal greens (or spinach or chard leaves), coarsely chopped
1/2 c chopped toasted hazelnuts
Halved red and yellow cherry tomatoes tossed in balsamic vinegar and olive oil.
Grated parmesan cheese.
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to the package directions until al dente. Drain.
2. While the pasta cooks, heat the cream in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until reduced by half, stirring often.
3. Stir in the chicken stock, nutmeg, chicken, and greens. Heat until ingredients are warmed through. Mix in the pasta. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add more broth if the mixture seems too thick.
4. Pour the pasta into a serving bowl and sprinkle with the hazelnuts. If desired, serve with the tomato salad sprinkled on top of the pasta to balance the richness of the sauce.
Buttery Patty Pan with Basil (adapted from the Food Renegade website)
your summer squash, sliced into ¼ inch slices ¼ to ½ cup melted butter
bunch of fresh basil, leaves finely sliced sea salt
Arrange the slices of squash around the bottom of a small casserole dish. Drizzle melted butter over them, and scatter some chopped basil on top. Lightly salt. Add layers of squash, basil, butter, and salt until your squash is all gone. Cover and bake in a 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes (until the squash is tender). (Coree contends that this could be done in a Dutch oven or deep skillet over low heat on the stove top, as well, perhaps with just a splash of water in the bottom to help keep it from sticking – we would also throw in a little diced or crushed garlic.)
We're hoping for another flush of eggplant and some more green beans soon. Send us recipes that you're enjoying this season (we will share them in the newsletter), or post them on the blog or facebook page.
Enjoy your food. Enjoy your life.
Thanks for being a part of our farm!
Paul, Coree, Lulah, Levon, and Branden
“The grand essentials to happiness in this lfe are something to do, something to love, and something to hope for.” ~ Joseph Addison
Thursday, August 18, 2011
August 18, 2011 week 13
Tomatoes Cucumbers Sweet Peppers Corn Cantaloupe Summer Squash Garlic
Beets White Potatoes Green Onion
Herb Bag: Basils Parsley Sorrel
It's been an exciting week out here. We've been participating in a farm group called CRAFT (referring to the craft of farming), and last Monday was our turn to host a farm tour. Our farm friends and their interns turned out in what seemed astounding numbers to us. They came from as far away as Louisville, and enjoyed a garden tour and then demonstration and discussion about a few of the more unique things we do. Paul showed the crowd our grafted tomatoes, solar battery charger, and how to save tomato seeds. A brave few went exploring in the cold creek, and we all enjoyed a lovely pot luck dinner, topped off with home-milked, hand cranked ice cream from our friends at Hill and Hollow Farm. Branden got some quality time with other interns (i.e. young folks); Coree got to chat it up with the farm wives; Paul enjoyed some serious farmer-guy time, and Lulah played with rough and rowdy farm kids until the day was done. It was a good exhausting day.
The cold snap has been great. Though it's still way too dry, the cooler temperatures protect the plants (and the gardeners) from completely frying in the field. The more temperature-sensitive plants have bloomed again and stand ready to set more fruit (tomatoes, eggplants). The watermelons had been taking the heat pretty hard, which is unusual for them. They seems to be making more fruits again now too. We hope to have Crimson Sweets in the van next week. The cool weather has slowed production on some of the mid summer crops like okra and squash, but we're confident that they will catch up soon.
The corn has seen some tough predation. We put an electric fence around the field from the time it tassled, but the raccoons and squirrels have broken through a few times. There is a conspicuous lack of nuts on the ground in the woods this year, and so the hungry animal population is exerting great pressure on a lot of crops. We're feeling fortunate to have been spared as much as we have. Corn ear worms are the organic certifiers of our corn crop. If they disturb you too greatly, we recommend taking a heavy knife and just chopping off the silk end of the corn before you shuck it. We also recommend that whatever happens, you cook this corn TONIGHT. Corn is best as fresh as possible, and we work hard to keep it fresh for you. Make the most of it and enjoy. Hopefully, there will be another flush of it in a few more weeks.
How about these peppers? This is a lot more than a peck of perfect peppers, and this is a good time to freeze some sweet peppers for the winter months. Chop them to whatever size and shape you enjoy cooking with, pop them into baggies and on into the freezer. They're a real treat for homemade pizzas, pastas, and stir frys when this season of plenty has passed. Keep in mind as well – a ripe red sweet pepper has THREE TIMES as much Vitamin C as an orange, and loads of beta carotene as well. As much as these plants love the sunshine, its no wonder!
Sweet Pepper and Lentil Soup
inspired by a recipe in Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Cookbook
2 Tablespoons olive oil 1 onion, or 2 leeks, chopped
3-5 cloves of garlic, chopped 1 teaspoon freshly purchased paprika or smoked paprika
1-3 sweet peppers, depending on their size, seeded and finely chopped
1 cup brown or black lentils, rinsed 5 cups broth or water
1 tsp salt P to taste 1-2 Tablespoons champagne or sherry or rice vinegar
Cook the onion in 1 Tablespoon oil over medium heat in a skillet until the onion/leeks begin to soften. Stir in paprika and allow it to cook for about a minute more.
Add the chopped sweet pepper and cook for another 2-3 minutes, until everything begins to soften. Scrape all this into a slow cooker. Add the lentils and broth (or water) and stir to combine. Cover and cook on low until the lentils are completely soft, 7-9 hours.
Season the soup with S & P (more salt if you used water, less if you used purchased broth), and last Tablespoon olive oil. Stir in 1 Tablespoon of one of the vinegars, adding more if needed. Serve hot.
Fettuccini with Sweet Peppers & Pinenuts
1 lb package uncooked fettuccini pasta 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 large cloves garlic, coarsely chopped 3 large sweet peppers, cored, seeded and julienned
1/2 cup pine nuts 1/2 cup fresh parsley or basil leaves, chopped
1/2 cup Kalamata olives, pitted, halved 1/4 cup capers, drained
1 tablespoon coarse salt or coarse sea salt black pepper to taste
Cook pasta according to package directions: drain and return to pan to keep warm. In a large, heavy skillet heat the olive oil. Add garlic and bell peppers (yellow, red & orange), and cook for 10 minutes, stirring continuously. Add pine nuts and cook approximately 4 minutes or until they turn golden brown. Gradually stir in basil or parsley. Add olives and capers and heat. Add salt and pepper to taste.
In a serving bowl, toss the sauce mixture with prepared pasta.
Pickled Beets (tangy and sweet refrigerator pickles)
4 cups cooked sliced or diced beets 5 cups water 1 tsp. salt
marinade: ½ cup lemon juice 1 cup vinegar ¼ cup honey
½ Tbs. Dill ¼ tsp mustard powder
Soak and chill the cooked beets in water and salt for several hours, then drain off the water. Prepare the marinade, mix with beets, and store overnight in the refrigerator. Serve next day.
Sweet Steamed Beets
4 cups raw beets 2 Tbsp melted butter
2 Tbsp lemon juice 1 Tbsp coriander powder
Slice or cube beets. Steam until tender (+/- 20 minutes), drain. Melt butter. Put beets in a serving dish and drizzle with butter and lemon juice. Sprinkle with coriander. Toss to coat evenly, and serve.
We hope you enjoy the harvest.
Paul, Coree, Lulah, Levon, and Branden
“Then only is our life a whole when work and contemplation
dwell in us side by side, and we are perfectly in both of them at once.” - Ruysbroeck