Thursday, September 27, 2012

week 19

Lettuce            Butternut Squash       Swiss Chard Tomatoes         
 Peppers                       Eggplants       
Potatoes          Garlic              Beets and Hot Peppers
Herb bag:          Green & Purple Basil                 Cutting Celery        
Chives             Nasturtium     & more…

“It is not enough to be industrious; so are the ants.  What are you industrious about?” ~ Thoreau

Pardon us if this newsletter is sparse.  It’s a busy time here.  The Biodynamic Conference happening this weekend occupies a lot of Coree’s mental space, plus there’s all the fall crops to hoe through, the storage crops to harvest, the last round of salsa to can, and dinner to make, never mind the laundry!

The cold snap snapped us into gear.  It was 35 degrees down here and some of our neighbors had frost on their hay bales.  That’s chilly!  The basil and peppers were untouched, thankfully, but we were motivated to get moving on the larger harvesting projects.  These beets are part of the big garden clean up.  They’re not so pretty, but still grate very nicely onto salads.

We’ve been combing the fields… Indian field corn, peanuts, winter squash, cowpeas, AND the sweet potatoes are beautiful and BIG.  We’re very pleased with how they’re coming up.  They are curing in the greenhouse and we’ll send out a round next week, when they’ve had a chance to sweeten up.  Until then, we hope you’ll make do with these beautiful butternuts. 

Butternut Squash Spice Cake (Thanks Michelle!)
1 small butternut squash                   ½ tsp baking soda
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour      ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp allspice                                       ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tsp ground cinnamon                     1 ½ cups packed brown sugar
1 tsp freshly ground nutmeg             2 large eggs
1 tsp baking powder                          1 tsp vanilla
¾ tsp salt                                            optional powdered sugar or whipped cream

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cut squash in half lengthwise and remove seeds.  Place the squash halves, cut side up, on a baking pan, then cover with foil and bake until tender when pierced with a fork, 20-30 minutes.  Uncover and let sit until cool enough to handle, then use a spoon to scoop out the cooked squash from the peel.  Mash with a fork. Measure out 1 cup of squash and set aside any remaining for future use.
2) Turn oven down to 325.  Butter an 8x8 baking pan and set aside.
3) In a bowl, combine flour, allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder, salt, baking soda and pepper.
4) Cream together butter and brown sugar in a large bowl until smooth and a bit fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time, beating for 30 seconds after each addition.  Mix in vanilla.
5)  Add half of the flour mixture to the butter mixture and stir to combine.  Stir in the cup of mashed squash.  Add remaining flour mixture and stir just enough to combine.  Pour batter into prepared baking pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 50-60 minutes.  Serve plain or with a dusting of powdered sugar or dollop of whipped cream.
One of our goals this year was to re-establish our Indian Field Corn, and that project has been a success.  The corn is beautiful.  Once it is fully dried and we find a reasonable way to get a quantity of it ground to cornmeal, we will share it with you.  Freshly ground corn meal is a great experience.  We really love this variety of field corn.  Each ear is distinct in its coloration; harvesting is like a treasure hunt, peeling back the shucks and peeking inside at what variety of sunset colors, or deep blues, or pinky mauve, or whatever it is, might show on the kernels.

The season has flown.  Next week is the last of our Main-Season-Twenty-Week-Deliveries!  We’re contemplating our State of the Farm statement, and reflecting on the twists and turns of this season’s growing and harvest.  We will take a short break after next week, and then resume deliveries of salad and cooking greens, garlic and storage crops, for as long as the season allows.  A few of you have told us whether you’re “on board” or not.  Please make your intentions clear so we can create a working plan for the late season. 

A “comfort food” casserole to enjoy the peppers.  Notes on the recipe, indicate that you could replace one cup of peppers with one cup of cooked sausage with good results.
Pepper and Cheese Casserole (adapted from the Moosewood Cookbook)
Butter for greasing the baking dish               1 ½ cups uncooked bulgur
1 ½ cups boiling water                                  2 Tbsp butter
1 ½ cups chopped onion                               4 cups minced sweet peppers (green or otherwise)
1 ½ cups sliced mushrooms, any kind          1 ½ Tbsp tamari
1 ½ Tbsp dry sherry                                       1 tsp crushed dried marjoram
½ tsp salt                                                        fresh ground black pepper
1 ½ cups cottage cheese                                 ¾ cup crumbled feta cheese
4 eggs, beaten, lightly salted                          paprika

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Coat a 2 qt casserole dish with butter.
2) Put the bulgur into a sauté pan and pour the boiling water over it.  Cover and let stand 15 min.
3) Melt butter in a medium skillet.  Add onions; sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes.  Add the peppers and mushrooms; continue to cook until peppers are just becoming tender and the mushrooms have released their water, 5-7 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in tamari, sherry, marjoram, salt and pepper to taste; mix well.
4) In a small bowl, combine cottage cheese and feta cheese.
5) Spread the bulgur in the prepared baking dish.  Cover it with vegetables and then the mixed cheeses.  Pour the beaten eggs over everything; let the eggs seep through the ingredients by tapping the casserole dish on the counter a few times.  Sprinkle with paprika.  Bake, uncovered, for 45 minutes.  Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

next week: arugula, sweet potatoes, green tomatoes, more peppers, maybe some TN pumpkins!

Thank you for your good eating habits.  We hope that the food from our gardens has enriched your body and mind toward the greater health of your whole life, and mutual betterment of those around you.

Be well and we’ll see you next week!
Paul, Coree, Lulah and Levon

“A cabin, a garden, a warm fire,
enrich more than any wealth created by the economy...
…Get your living by what you love, and your life can never be bankrupt.” ~ J.M. White

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