Thursday, September 29, 2011

week 19

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.

For Pesto:

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

week 15

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.)

Peanut-Sesame Sauce:

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.

Best regards,

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