Thursday, October 6, 2011

week 20

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...

Your gardeners,

Paul, Coree, Lulah, Levon, and Branden

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