Archive for September, 2011

Week 15; September 29, 2011

What’s in the box? (single share same as below, but no broccoli rabe)

butternut squash

acorn squash

carrots

broccoli rabe (very leafy bunch of greens with tiny broccoli-ish florets)

rainbow chard

german giant radishes

cauliflower

red onions

sweet potatoes

Notes on the box…

Do not store your squash, onions, or sweet potatoes in the fridge.  We didn’t grow a lot of sweet potatoes this season as we were giving them a try and didn’t want to invest too much into something that might not work.  We are happy with them, though and will be growing more next season.  So, this is all for sweet potatoes this season.  Enjoy them!

To make your radishes last longer, top them.  You can eat the greens!  We added sliced radishes and their greens to a stir fry and it was GREAT!   I think fall radishes are nice and mild.  This variety gets very large, but stays nice and tender and not too spicy.  Favorite radish snack: sliced baguette with butter or a soft cheese topped with thinly sliced radishes and a sprinkle of salt.  Simple and satisfying.

Something new we have not given before is Broccoli Rabe.  You can chop up and cook the whole bunch of greens, stems and all.  Broccoli Rabe is a nice mild green.  You can use it much like spinach and it goes well with Italian or Asian style dinners.

Rainbow chard is back!  remember that you can chop the stems and toss them in to cook with the onions and garlic then add the greens at the very end of cooking so they don’t turn to mush.  Store all your greens in the crisper of your fridge in a plastic bag.  If they sit for a while in your fridge and start to look wilty, give them a soak in a sink of cold water.  They will perk back up.

This round of cauliflower is the nicest of the season.  The days stayed cool and overcast which the cauliflower seemed to really like.  Unfortunately, this will probably be the last of it for the season.  Hope you enjoy it!

Recipes….

Still have those delicata squash?  Try cooking it this way.  You can also cube up your sweet potatoes and add them to the roasting pan.  Thanks for passing this on, Rebecca!

I think we will be having this broccoli rabe and swet potato pizza for lunch tomorrow.

Sorry for all the links this week, but this looks to be like THE BEST way to get kids that aren’t big veggie fans to eat some squash and cauliflower together.  Butternut squash and Cauliflower Macaroni and Cheese!

Just so you know, Cauliflower is amazing roasted.  Cut it into florets, toss with a little olive oil and parmesan or curry or just salt.  Put in a roasting pan with no cover, and roast in the oven at 425 till browned (about 20 min).  The flavor is so nice this way.  Of course, you can always steam it and cover it with cheese.

Broccoli Rabe with Raisins and Pine Nuts

Saute a clove or two of minced garlic, some red pepper flakes, and a small handful of raisins in some olive oil.  When fragrant, add a generous splash of white wine and allow to reduce for a minute.  Add a bunch of washed and chopped broccoli rabe and cover till wilted.  Remove from heat.  Season with salt.  Before serving, mix in a handful of toasted pine nuts or sunflower seeds.  Great as a side with italian sausage or fish.

On the Farm….

It’s clean up time.  It’s been rainy and cold.  The farm crew has spent many a muddy day pulling plastic mulch from the fields.  Everyone looks like a mud monster when this task is going on.  Thankfully, we don’t have too many beds left to clean up.  Other than clean up, this is the time of year that we love because it’s just Pickin’ and Packin’.  We harvest and pack the CSA boxes.  The weeds have mostly stopped growing and it’s too late in the year to do any more planting.  Good thing because the days are getting shorter.  Some pictures of the farm

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Week 14; September 22, 2011

What’s in the box?

full and single share got the same things, just smaller or less in the single shares

delicata squash (yellow with green stripes)

red onions

garlic

carrots

green tomatoes

cucumbers

broccoli OR cauliflower

green peppers

green beans

butternut squash (curvy light golden color)

Notes on the box….

This REALLY is going to be the last week for cukes, tomatoes, peppers, and green beans.  We scrounged all we could from the field for the final send off of the season.  See ya next year summer crops!

The green tomatoes can be kept on your counter or window sill to ripen up.  Believe it or not, almost all of the tomatoes you buy in the store have been picked green.  Or you can have an adventure with them and try cooking with them green.  They make great pickles, chutney, and of course, fried green tomatoes!

Remember to remove the tops from your carrots before storing them to ensure that they will stay crisp!  Store in the fridge.

Broccoli and cauliflower should be stored in the fridge as well. Cukes green beans, green peppers in the fridge.  Everything else can be stored in a cool dry place.  Don’t store onions, garlic, tomatoes, or winter squash in the fridge.

The Delicata Squash can be cut in half lengthwise, remove seeds, and roast in the oven .  They have a soft skin that can be eaten.

Butternut Squash can be peeled with a good vegetable peeler or knife then cubed and roasted or used in stirfry or a nice variation on hash or used for baking.  Most canned pumpkin that you can buy in the store is actually butternut squash.  There’s a lot of food in one of those things!  They are a very versatile and well loved squash.  All winter squash will hold for a LONG time.  Months.  So don’t feel pressure to get to it right away, but we will be giving lots of winter squash for the rest of the season, so you may experience a back-up.  They are festive and make for nice seasonal decoration, too.

Recipes…

Our member, Catherine passed these gems along to us (THANKS!)

Carrot Raisin Salad from Martha Stewart

Couscous Salad with Roasted Carrots, Cauliflower and Chickpeas also Martha Stewart

Baked Falafel with Creamy Cucumber Dipping Sauce

 

I think Delicata Squash would work great in this recipe from Smitten Kitchen.

 

Spaghetti with green tomato bacon sauce.

 

A whole lot of Butternut squash recipes from Martha Stewart.

On the farm…

We had a great time at the Harvest Party!  Thanks so much to all the folks and families that made it out.  We know it’s quite a drive, but we love meeting you and we love that you get to see where your food has been coming from!  We also LOVE getting to taste all the great food at the potluck and getting recipes from you!  Also a big thanks to Meg who is a member who came out to work with us on Tuesday.  Meg’s help let us finish up early on Monday!

The colors are starting to change, we are pulling the remains of summer crops out of the fields.  We’ve been working frantically to get the crops that can be damaged by cold temps out and stored away.  One of those crops that you will be seeing in the coming weeks is SWEET POTATOES!  In last season’s survey, we had several members request these.  We had tried growing them in the past at the farm that Josh used to manage, but had never had any luck getting a good crop.  This year, we decided to have a go at it again and planted a couple of beds.  We dug them this week and had a pretty decent harvest!  We will definitely be growing them again next season, and we will grow MORE so that we can give them to you more than once during the season.  Yay!

Check out these great pictures of our wonderful members!  Feel free to pass yours along.  We love getting them!

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Week 13; September 15, 2011

Harvest Party on September 17th at the farm!  Potluck!  Beginning at 3 PM.  Camping is welcome.  Hope you can make it out!

Directions to the farm:

The favorite and most beautiful drive option:  Take Hwy 36 East out of the Twin Cities through Stillwater.  Take the lift bridge across the St. Croix and follow Hwy 64 East for close to 70 miles.  At County Hwy SS, turn Left (north).  Stay on SS for 2 miles.  Turn Right on 83rd Street and follow for about 2 more miles.  At County Highway AA, turn Right.  Turnip Rock Farm will be about a half mile down the road on your left.  8628 County Highway AA, New Auburn, WI.

If you want to avoid Stillwater traffic, you can take I-94 East to Highway 25 North (Menomonie, WI exit) to 64 East and follow the rest of the directions above.  Either way the trip takes around 2 hours (more if traffic is backed up in Stillwater).  We hope to see you at the farm!  Please call or email if you have any questions.
What’s in the box?

Full and Single Share have the same things, just less of them in the Single Share box…

Pie Pumpkin(s)

green top carrots

broccoli

heirloom tomatoes

slicer tomatoes

green/red peppers

red onions

cucumbers

basil


Notes on the box….

Don’t store the Basil in your fridge!!  It will turn black!  Keep it in a glass of water like a bouquet on your counter and enjoy the smell in your kitchen.  Eat it up soon!  You can slice the leaves up (or leave the whole) and add them to a salad of cucumbers and tomatoes and red onion with a little vinegar and oil. Or you can mix it into pasta along with cut up tomatoes and some olive oil and parmesan cheese.  Always add basil as soon to serving the dish as you can to preserve the color.  We are sad to say this will be the first and last week for basil this year.  We couldn’t fit it into the previous boxes and now we are going to get a hard frost tonight.  It really doesn’t like cold weather.  Ugh.  Enjoy it while it’s here!

This could very likely be the last week for tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers as well.  We will see.  Not the best year for tomatoes.  Lots of black spot and splitting from the wet spring and early summer.  Hopefully the frost doesn’t get them tonight.  We have another planting that is not yet ripe, but looks great.  We will see.  We may have green tomatoes in the boxes next week…

Green top carrots the tops should be removed and then the carrots can be stored in a plastic bag.  they will last a very long time that way.  The leafy part of the green tops are edible.  Some folks like to use it as you would parsley.  If you don’t remove the tops from the carrots, they will stop being crisp and go all bendy.  You can remove the tops by snapping them off, or you can eat the carrot up to the top which is a fun thing to do.  Get the kids to do it and send us pictures!  Oh, you can also add the tops to make soup stock along with your broccoli stems (if you don’t eat them first) and the outside layer of your onions when you peel them.

Store the Pie Pumpkins out of your fridge.  They will keep for a long time if you can’t get to them right away.  But really, wouldn’t this weekend be a nice time to bake some pumpkin bread or to have roast pumpkin with butter?  I think so.  If you find yourself frustrated that your pumpkin is sitting on your counter uncooked every time you have an idea for baking, I recommend roasting your pumpkin any time that you are going to be baking something then storing it in your fridge so that it’s ready when you are to make it into soup, bread, bars, or a pumpkin smoothie!  It can also be halved, seeded, then peeled with a vegetable peeler or knife and cubed and cooked stovetop for stirfries or soups.

Recipes…

Roasted Pie Pumpkin (works for all winter squash)

To roast your pumpkin, cut it in half and scoop out the seeds.  Lightly oil a baking dish, put about 1/4 inch water into the dish (optional, if you don’t add water, your pumpkin will get kind of carmelized where the flesh is touching the pan), place your pumpkin halves cut side down in the dish and then into the oven at 350-425 until you can poke a fork easily into the pumpkin.  When cool enough you should be able to either peel off the skin or scoop the flesh out.  This roasting method is good for all squash, which you will be getting squash every week for the reminder of the season.  Lots of different varieties and all very tasty!

Roasted Broccoli  

While you are roasting that pumpkin, you can also try  roasted broccoli.  This works best with the oven at 425.  Wash and dry the broccoli, cut into florets and peel and cube the stalk.  Toss with a little bit of olive oil.  Put in a single layer on a baking sheet and put it in the oven until it’s lightly browning on the florets.  Take out of the oven and top with some lemon zest (optional), parmesan cheese, salt, a squeeze of lemon juice (optional), and some toasted nuts or seeds of your choice.

Vegetable Soup Stock

You can put just about any kind of veggies into the soup stock. It’s a great way to squeeze every last bit of nutrition from those your veggies. It is also a great way to use things in the fridge that may be less than fresh and also to use the parts of veggies that you don’t eat such as carrot tops, broccoli stalks, carrot peels, onion skins, squash peels, stems from greens, pepper cores, even corn cobs!  One member keeps told us that she keeps all her scraps in an empty ice cream tub in the fridge all week then makes stock when it’s convenient for her.  The flavor will vary depending on what you put into the stock. You can put in whole over ripe tomatoes, but your stock will taste very tomato-y, so keep that in mind. Put all the veggies and veggie scraps into a pot and cover your ingredients with water to about two inches over the veggies.  Add some whole pepper corns.  Bring to a boil and let simmer for about an hour. Cool and strain. You can add the stock back to the pot and continue to boil to reduce it and concentrate the flavor if you want.  You can freeze the cooled stock in ice cube trays to have the stock on hand to add to rice when you cook it or to use in place of those cartons of stock.  To make chicken or beef stock, you can add the bones after a meal to the veggies in the boiling stage.  

Pumpkin Smoothie Recipe (makes one serving)

Blend together adding more liquid as needed to get the right consistency:

1/2 cup  cooked pumpkin (roasted or steamed tender)
1/2 cup yogurt (plain, vanilla, or maple) OR milk, soymilk, coconut milk, or almond milk
handful of ice cubes or a frozen banana
1/4 cup apple juice or cider (optional)
2 tablespoons honey (or brown sugar, to taste)
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Dash ground nutmeg

It’s comfort food time and this recipe for Maccaroni and Cheese with Broccoli is sounding like dinner to me!

I have not tried this yet, but have heard that it’s good.  Braised Cucumbers

On the Farm…..

We did a whole lot of scrambling around after harvesting and packing to cover things and get squash in and try to save as much as we could from the impending frost.  It got down to 29 last night.  We will see how things fared when the sun comes out and things warm up today.  Keep your fingers crossed for minimal damage to our tender salad mix, peppers, and the rest!

And here are some pictures of this weeks harvest (Check out the difference in outfits between Wednesday and Tuesday!)

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Week 12; September 8, 2011

Harvest Party will be on September 17th at the farm!  Potluck!  Beginning at 3 PM.  Email us to let us know if you will make it out.  Thanks!

What’s in the box?

full share:

sunshine (yellow) watermelon

green beans

sweet corn

cucumbers

green bell pepper

red bell pepper

hot pepper (the small lime green colored pepper)

broccoli

onions

slicer tomatoes

heirloom tomatoes

single share:

green beans

sweet corn

either sugarbaby watermelon (red), sunshine watermelon (yellow), or cantaloupe

onions

cucumbers

red bell peppers

green bell pepper

hot pepper (the small lime green pepper)

broccoli

slicer tomatoes

Notes on the box….

We are really happy to be putting the sunshine variety of melon in the box.  They were grown in the greenhouse and are SUPER sweet.  They have earned the nickname sugarbomb melon.  They are so addictively sweet that Otto has begun to refuse all food except for this melon.  Larry has been seen on multiple occasions hiding by the dumpster eating melon like a squirrel.  Josh spilled water all over the lunch table and Rama in his frenzy to crack open a melon.  A melon was sliced and Rama helped herself to half of the melon before it could be cut into smaller pieces.  We hope that you are enjoying it as much as we are.  We ran out of small sunshine melons that would fit into the single share boxes, so some of the single shares may have gotten the red melon or cantaloupe.  If your cantaloupe has green skin, let it sit on your counter for a while to ripen up some more.  OR, you can do what Joe from Sen Yai Sen Lek is doing with some of our unripe melons.  He is using them as a local replacement for papaya in his Som Tum (green papaya salad).  We made it here at home and it was great!  We used regular green beans and our own hot peppers.  Here’s a recipe from the NY times.

Green beans might get big enough for us to have them in the boxes again next week, but everything is slowing down its growth with the cooler temps that are setting in. We recorded a 39 degree night out here 2 nights ago. Just 2 more weeks until the official start of fall.

This is the last week of sweet corn.  Enjoy it!

If you are having trouble getting through your bell peppers, chop them up and put them in a freezer bag and freeze them.  Then you can add to soups and things later.  Never let a pepper go bad!

Broccoli, again, may have a looper or two.  The broccoli that I cooked last week had only a couple that fell out when I soaked it.  Again, just soak it in some cold salted water before chopping.  Swish it around in the water after it’s soaked. Any stragglers will let go.  The loopers are BAD this season.  The worst ever.  There are some organic approved sprays that we can use, but often times they kill the benificial insects as well which disrupts the balance on the farm. Because of this, we avoid using even the organic approved sprays.  We have found an organic approved spray that is specific to the loopers, so we will be using that on the rest of our crops that they are attacking.  However, we cannot ever guarantee that your produce will be 100% bug free.  If you are particularly bug-phobic, let us know and we can leave out broccoli from your box.

If you find yourself overrun with tomatoes that are getting too ripe before you can eat them, try this trick that one of our long time CSA members passed on…  Score the tomatoes with an x shape on the bottom.  Remove the core by cutting in a cone shape around it.  Put the whole tomatos in a freezer bag.  Put them in the freezer.  When you want to use them in a soup or stew or sauce later in the season, simply pull the bag out, let them defrost.  The skin will peel off easily when you run the tomato under some hot tap water.

For everything else, see the notes from last week, please.

Recipes…..

Corn Pudding

6 tablespoons unsalted butter

5 or 6 ears of corn, husked

1/4 cup granulated sugar (optional)

1/2 cup heavy cream or  whole milk

1/4 cup flour

1 teaspoon salt

5 large eggs

1 minced hot pepper (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the butter in a baking dish ( or iron skillet works well) and slide into the oven so the butter melts while the oven is preheating.

Using a box grater, coarsely grate the kernels off four ears of corn. Use a sharp knife to cut the kernels from the remaining ears. Combine the corn kernels, sugar, cream or milk, flour and salt in a large mixing bowl. Lightly beat the five eggs and add to the mixture.

When the oven has preheated and the butter in the baking dish has melted, carefully tilt the melted butter from the baking dish into the corn mixture and combine with a few swift strokes. Then tilt the buttered corn mixture back into the baking dish.

Bake for 60 to 70 minutes, until a golden crust has formed and the interior has set.

 

A nice recipe that is for breakfast or dinner Grits with tomatoes and goat cheese!  Recipe calls for cherry tomatoes, but you can slice and roast any type of tomato.

 

Corn Relish can be made and kept in a jar in the fridge for a long time.  Really nice to have on hand to add color or use as an edible garnish.  If you want to use it all at once, make some quinoua (black or red makes it extra beautiful) and mix the relish in with the quinoua for a last minute side.   Adjust the amount of corn, peppers, tomatoes, and cucumbers to your liking.  Cut kernals of 6 ears of corn off the cob. Finely chop a few green and red bell peppers, some onion, unpeeled but seeded cucumber, and some ripe tomatoes.  Mix it all up.  Bring 2 cups of vinegar, 1/2 – 1/4 cup of sugar, 2 tablespoons of salt, 1 tsp of tumeric, and 1 tsp mustard seed to a boil.  Pour over the veggies and let them sit at least overnight before serving.  If you like less crunch and more tender relish, you can simmer the veggies in the vinegar mixture for about 15 min.  Store in a jar in your fridge.

On the farm….

Otto and Calliope doing quality control on the sunshine melon

This dinner bell used to be on Josh's great grandpa's farm. Now it's on our farm!

next week….

pie pumpkins

carrots

tomatoes

peppers

cucumbers

potatoes

pesto basil bunches

broccoli

onions

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Week 11; Sept 1, 2011

Harvest Party will be on September 17th at the farm!  Potluck!  Email us to let us know if you will make it out.  Thanks!

If you ordered canning tomatoes they can be found at your drop site labeled with your name.  Let us know if you have any questions.

What’s in the box?

Full Share

watermelon

cantaloupe

cukes

onions

garlic

bell peppers

broccoli

sweet corn

heirloom tomatoes

slicer tomatoes

Single Share

watermelon

sweet corn

onions

garlic

heirloom tomatoes

bell pepper

cucumber

green beans

Notes on the box…..

These onions are storage onions.  No longer the sweet onions of summer.  Store them in a cool, dry place, but not in the fridge.

Also, keep the garlic out of the fridge.  If you start to have a garlic pile up you can prep a lot at once by peeling and mincing it and then covering it in olive oil and storing it in a jar in your fridge.  Then  when you are cooking, just take a small spoonful out and into the pot.  Kind of like the stuff from the store, but much tastier!

Tomatoes should not go in the fridge.  The texture gets mealy.  It is often the nature of heirloom tomatoes to ripen unevenly, get blemishes, split, look funny, and not store or ship well.  BUT the flavor and beauty of them outweighs these minor flaws.  If you find yourself with a less ripe one, save it for later by keeping it on your counter on it’s shoulders (as seen in the pictures above) and eat the more ripe ones first!  We try to give people a mix of ripe to less ripe so that you can enjoy tomatoes all week.

Broccoli is going to have cabbage loopers (the little green caterpillars).  They are very bad this time of the season.  Give your broccoli a soak in cold, salted water  and swish it around a little to shake these guys out.  This should get rid of the ones that wouldn’t let go in our soaking.  An alternative idea from one of our members is to put them in a jar and watch them make cocoons and turn into moths!

The sweet corn is smaller this week, but still tasty.  If you have sweetcorn piling up, simply cut it off the cob, pack it in freezer bags, and freeze for soups or to add to cornbread later.  Some people blanch their corn before freezing, but we like it better frozen raw (and it’s less work).

Some of the melons may be soft near the stem end.  These are ready to eat!  Store them in your fridge.  You can also remove the seeds, cut them up, and put them in the fridge so they will be ready to eat when you are hungry.  Great snack or with breakfast!

Try your watermelon the way we ate it in Louisiana – cold, sliced, and sprinkled with salt.  Enjoy the last days of Summer by eating it outside and having  a seed spitting contest .

Recipes…..

Cucumber and Tomato Salsa – serve with tortilla chips, pork chops, tacos, or fish

  • 2 medium cucumbers – peeled, seeded, and chopped
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced (or you can use hot sauce to spice it up)
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh parsley (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh cilantro (sorry it’s not in the box!  we planted and weeded it, but it bolted in the heat.  it’s optional anyway)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried dill weed (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Fresh Corn Soup

Eggs Poached in Tomato Sauce (from the book Mad Hungry by Lucinda Scala Quinn)

Core several tomatoes and buzz in the blender until coarsely chopped.  Heat a small skillet over medium-high heat and add 1 Tbsp olive oil.  Add 2 minced cloves of garlic and a pinch of crushed red pepper and cook, stirring constantly, for about 30 seconds.  Add tomatoes and bring to a boil; season with salt and pepper.  Reduce heat and simmer for about 20 min.  Gently crack 6 eggs into the tomato mixture, cover, and let cook for 5 min.  Remove skillet from heat, uncover, and let stand 2 to 3 min.  Put each egg on a piece of toast, Spoon the sauce over the eggs, sprinkle with cheese, season with salt and pepper, and serve.

Melon and Heirloom Tomato Salad

There are lots of variations of this.  I like to keep it simple.  Seed and cut some watermelon into cubes.  Cube heirloom tomatoes.  Sprinkle with a little salt, some feta cheese, drizzle with balsamic vinegar and eat right away.  Some people add fresh basil, cucumbers, cantaloupe, olive oil…. you can’t really go wrong.

watermelon margarita

On the farm….

The picture below is of our greenhouse tomatoes.  So lovely!  We had a great packing day because we finished before 8:30 for the first time in several weeks!  Yay!  The days get really long with packing all the CSA boxes after we have harvested for over half the day.  We were happy to have the help of Adam and Annie (and baby Emery!) who worked with us our first season here at Turnip Rock.  Craig and Lauren mistook Otto’s big bald head for a melon and packed him into a CSA box!

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