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

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