Thursday, November 3, 2011

week 24

Lettuce Green Beans Garlic
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, 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.

Basic Kimchi

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

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!