Archive for August, 2012

Week 13; August 30, 2012

Full Share

Sweet Corn

Kabocha Winter Squash

Potatoes

Sage

Garlic

Red Onions

Peppers – orange, red sweet, red bells

Heirloom Tomatoes

Slicer tomatoes

Green Beans

AND EITHER melon, eggplant, OR red cabbage (not pictured)

Single Share

Sweet Corn

Sage

Tomatoes (heirloom and slicers)

peppers – sweet red, orange, and red bell

garlic

red onions

green beans

potatoes

Kabocha Winter Squash OR melon

Recipes…

Roasted Potatoes with Fried Sage and Brown Butter

Vegetarian Chili with Cornbread Muffins

This is a FANTASTIC lesson on roasting red peppers.  If you aren’t eating all of your peppers right away, you can follow these directions for roasting and then freeze them for later use.

Nice and simple.  Pickled Red Onions

Roasted Tomatoes for the Freezer (Lauren made these last weekend and the smell was AMAZING!  Thinking about eating them in January makes the coming of Winter not seem so bad!)  

Preheat oven to 275.  Line two pans (with edges) with parchment paper.  Cut up as many tomatoes as you want to roast by coring them and cutting them in halves or quarters depending on their size.  Lay tomatoes on the tray, cut side up.  Scatter about a head of garlic (cloves separated and peeled) over the tomatoes, then scatter with fresh herbs (oregano, thyme, or basil are good).  Sprinkle salt and pepper over the tomatoes and drizzle with some olive oil.  Roast for 5 hours.  Remove and let cool.  Pour the contents of the tray, including olive oil and juices, into freezer bags.  If you want to use them as a sauce in the Winter, sautee an onion and add the bag of thawed tomatoes on top of it and cover and simmer over medium low heat for about 20 min.  No canning!

Notes on the box and on the farm combined this week!

Most everything should be familiar from the weeks past, except for the Winter Squash.  It will actually taste better with a couple of weeks storage outside of your fridge.  We don’t usually give Winter Squash right after cutting it, but this variety was ready quite early this season and was getting damaged by critters in the field.  We decided to get it to you right away.  This is a new variety for us to try, and we are on the fence about growing it next season.  We will have Winter Squash each week as the season goes on.  It will store for months and is especially nice to cook in the cooler weather of Fall. Be very careful cutting your squash open!  Cut it in half, scoop out the seeds, place in a pan in the the oven cut side down with a little water and oil in the pan, roast at 400 until a fork easliy pushes in through the skin of the squash.  Serve with butter and brown sugar.

This is the last of the Sweet Corn and melons for the season.  The amount of tomatoes in the box will drop off dramatically at this point.  We planted several varieties at different times so that we would have a nice amount each week until the first frost, but all of our determinant tomatoes (that’s the regular slicers) came ripe all at once.  We had to really load you down the past several weeks, and a lot of tomatoes didn’t ever make it into the boxes because of space issues and other items that are usually ready a little later in the season coming ripe at the same time as EVERYTHING else!  This has made us finally reach conclusive answers to the age-old question, “What Super Hero Power would you have if you could have any Super Hero Power?”  Rama’s  answer is “I would choose the power to pause plant metabolism so that we could make crops wait until we are ready to put them in the CSA boxes.”  Josh’s answer is “I would have the ability to make seeds germinate at any temperature.”  Unfortunately, people ask that question but never give you the power that you ask for.  So that means the next few weeks are going to not look as great as we would like for the CSA boxes.  We planted salad mix, spinach, beets, and carrots which didn’t germinate because of the heat.  We replanted when we had some cooler weather,  and while those crops have germinated, they are nowhere near ready to go into the boxes.  It’s rough for us to walk the fields with a feeling of dread for the next few weeks as we anticipate what we will put into the boxes, but we will do our very best to fill the boxes until the fall crops are ready now that the summer crops are about done.

Sigh.  ANYWAY…  we will be having a PIZZA HARVEST PARTY on September 15 here on the farm!  The jack-o-lanterns are orange, so it’s time!  We are combining our harvest party with a pizza party, so you can enjoy both at once!  You can bring a dish to past and take part in some Pizza from our wood fired pizza oven.  We are super excited to POSSIBLY be having our friend Nona of the band Dark Dark Dark here to sing with her project, The Anonymous Choir  !  We will let you know if that is for sure soon… We WILL have a bonfire, farm tours, food, and farmy fun!  We will start at 3 PM.  You are welcome to camp on the farm if you like!  Please RSVP if you can make it to the party!  We’d love to see you!

We’ve had the BEST YEAR for onions EVER!  Not sure what we did right, but we’ve got some real beauties, and LOTS of them!  Here’s some pictures of us cleaning the onions that had been drying in the greenhouse.

finishing up cleaning and bagging up the yellow onions

Derek celebrates

on to more red onions!

this is gonna take a while!

One of our favorite stories…. about garlic and onions!

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Week 12; August 23, 2012

What’s in the box?

Full Share

Sweet corn

potatoes

hot peppers mix (in the plastic bag)

red peppers

heirloom tomatoes

garlic

onions

slicer tomatoes

rainbow chard

carrots

parsley

Single Share

same as above, but in less quantity

Notes on the box….

This planting of Sweet Corn didn’t get much water, so it didn’t fill out as well as previous plantings and there’s less in the box than we had planned for.  This variety tastes more “corny” than sweet.  Hope you enjoy it!

Please store your potatoes, garlic, and onions in a cool dark place, but not the fridge.

See previous weeks for pepper and tomato storage tips.

Rainbow Chard and parsley will store best in a plastic bag in your fridge.  Soak in a sink of cold water  if they need perking up before you prepare them.  You can eat the colorful stems of the chard.  Slice them up and begin cooking them in at the same point you do onions in a recipe.  They take longer to cook than the leaves.  The leaves cook very quickly.  Use Chard as you would spinach in cooked recipes.

Recipes

Mexican Rice 

Homemade Refried Black Beans

Craig’s Fresh Roasted Chile Sauce 
Hot peppers (2 hot wax peppers, 2 or three jalapeno peppers, and a pablono if you have one) and  4 medium red bell or several sweet red roasting peppers.  Place whole peppers in a single layer in a baking pan and roast in the broiler until charred.  Remove from oven, flip, and roast until other side is charred.  Remove from broiler and let the peppers cool.  When you can handle them remove the seeds and stems (wear gloves for the hot peppers or rub your hands with oil before handling to avoid HOT HANDS).  While the peppers are cooling put 2 onions, peeled and coarsely chopped, along with 5 peeled garlic cloves in the broiler and allow to lightly char.
Add the above along with 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock,  1-2 tsp. salt, 1 or 2 large cored and seeded tomatoes and  put it all in the food processor and buzz it till smooth.
Heat 2 Tbsp oil in a saucepan and whisk in 1 Tbsp flour. Cook on high till flour browns a bit, but do not let it burn.
Slowly whisk in chile sauce, 1 Tbsp. cumin and 1 cup or less broth.  Reduce heat and simmer on low for 5- 10 minutes until the thickness you want.  It also thickens as it sits in the fridge.  This sauce is great on enchiladas, with the rice and beans above, on nachos…  I think it would be good on an old shoe.  It’s just so good.
Corn Farrotto Recipe from Bon appetite
Spicy Chard with Ginger

On the Farm…

The pizza party was a blast!  We think people were able to eat a good amount of pizza and had their smiles said they had a good time.  We really enjoyed getting to meet members that have been with us for several years that we hadn’t met.  We also loved talking to folks that had been out to the farm in the past.  We had a group of people that biked all the way to the farm from the twin cities!  We had a great turn-out.  The pizza oven stayed nice and hot and Derek and the crew did such great prep work that the pizzas just kept coming out and getting gobbled up in a nice steady stream.  The pizza buffet seemed to be a nice way to let people eat, explore the farm, and visit with each other.

We LOVED sharing our cheese with people and getting some great feedback!  That was very exciting and the cheese was well received.  Some really great comments that were very encouraging!

Thankfully the rain held out till most everyone had eaten some pizza and it stopped after about an hour and we were able to get the bonfire going.  We really appreciate everyone that came out to enjoy the pizzas with us!  We will let you know when the next pizza party will be!

an impossible load of branches for the bonfire

dough!

Lauren and the basil

Derek the amazing Pizza Chef!

Pizza party!

Craig and the oven and the storm clouds rolling in

Cheese tasting

the sand pile was a hit!

relaxing post-pizza

bonfire!

Next week….

tomatoes

green beans

peppers

corn?

onions

garlic

greens

winter squash?

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Week 11; August 16, 2012

What’s in the box?

Full Share

Melon (watermelon or cantaloupe)

celery

tomatoes (slicers and heirlooms)

sweet red peppers

bell peppers

oregano

red cabbage

onions

carrots

Single Share

celery

red cabbage

onions

oregano

sweet red peppers

tomatoes (heirloom and slicers)

carrots

garlic

Notes on the box:

Looks like that’s going to be it for melons this year.  There’s a handful more out there waiting to get ripe, but not enough for everyone.  They may make it into some members boxes next week, but for most everyone this is the last hurrah.  Sigh.  Melon time is one of our favorite times and it saddens me to see it end.  It was delicious while it lasted!

The celery in your box is worlds apart from your typical grocery store celery.  It is more fibrous and less tender, but it has FLAVOR!  And the flavor is soooo…. CELERY!   Store your celery in a plastic bag in your crisper.  While it’s probably not tender enough for crunching whole stalks dipped in dressing or peanut butter, it’s so fantastic chopped and added to potato, tuna, or egg salad.  It’s also part of the “trinity” of Cajun cooking – celery, bell pepper, and onion sautéed together are a common base for most every Cajun soup or stew like gumbo.  It’s also an excellent addition to stir fry.  The leaves can be used as you would parsley.  It should keep for about 2 weeks.

Some of the carrots have been cut during harvest by our underbar cutter.  It hits a rock, rides up, and cuts the bottom of the carrot off.  It’s unavoidable with the rocks, but the carrots will keep just fine in the plastic bag.

The onions and garlic can be stored in a cool, dry place out of your fridge.  The onions are a storage variety and so will taste stronger than the sweet onions you have been getting in previous boxes.  We think these onions taste so good!

Recipes:

Josh’s best stir fry every time: We’ve been really into eating the most beautiful stir fries of red cabbage, carrots, onions, green, and red peppers.  Here’s how Farmer Josh cooks it up.

Heat some lard and sesame, peanut, or other oil (not toasted sesame oil).  Seer cut up meat in the oil.  Add sliced onions and cook on high until oil heats up again.  Add longer cooking vegetables such as carrots, green beans, celery, and cabbage.  Stir around.  Add your “secret ingredients.”  Josh uses soy sauce or tamari, fish sauce, hoison sauce, sriracha, minced garlic or ginger, rice vinegar (and sometimes a little sugar when he is craving Chinese Takeout but is stuck making his own Takeout on the farm from fresh organic ingredients). Josh puts on a cover at this point and steams till things are about half way cooked.  Then add quick cooking vegetables like sliced bell or red peppers, basil, or greens.  Cook till everything is tender but still crisp.  Serve with rice.  By the way, we just read the directions on the package of rice.  It says to RINSE the rice before cooking it.  We finally tried rinsing it and the rice comes out perfect!  So there ya go.  All these years of not rinsing the rice and wondering why it was mushy.  Now we figured it out, follow the directions!

Too many tomatoes? Homemade Bloody Mary Mix is yuummmmmy even without the booze (but it’s also good with)!

This link has some great info about cabbage to make you feel extra good about eating it.  It’s also a recipe for a mayo-free Red Cabbage and Apple Slaw

I cut the sugar in this Tomato Chutney Recipe in half and it’s really tasty.  If you don’t want to can it, I think it would freeze well, too.

On the farm…

Now that the boxes are packed we will be getting prepared for the pizza party!  We have had many people RSVP and we are really looking forward to a good turnout.  We will be making pizzas all day and will be serving the pizza buffet style so you can try different  pizzas and eat as little or as much as you like.  We don’t have a set price for the pizza and are asking that you contribute what you can and would like to help us cover costs.  Bring a chair or blanket for picnic.  BYOB.  It’s casual!  Sorry, no dogs!

For folks that will be camping…  We will have limited backyard camping, but there’s quite a bit of space to set up a tent other places on the farm as well.  If you would rather camp in the woods, Loon Lake is not far from the farm or Barron County Park in Chetek is near us as well.

If you can’t make it out to this pizza party, we will be having our harvest party in September and maybe another pizza party!

Six piglets were born today while we were packing your CSA boxes. CUTE!

Storage onions being put in the greenhouse to cure.

Lots of nice looking onions!

Otto inspecting the onions.

I guess that onion passed the taste test, too!

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Week 10; August 9, 2012

What’s in the box?

Full Share

tomatoes!

sweet corn!

bell peppers

thyme

sweet onion

melon (cantaloupe or watermelon)

green beans

heirloom tomatoes

cherry tomatoes

Single Shares

same contents as full shares, but in smaller quantities (sorry for the picture of just an open box.  an impatient toddler was pulling on my arm)

Notes on the box:

Tomatoes should be stored with the stem end down so they are standing on their “shoulders”.  We don’t recommend storing tomatoes in your fridge unless they have any damage or if you are planning on cooking with them.  Tomatoes that you plan on eating fresh should be stored out of the fridge so that they don’t get mealy.  If you find yourself being overrun with tomatoes, you can cut out the stem end and put them whole into a freezer bag and into the freezer.  When you want to use them for a soup, sauce, or stew in the winter the skins will peel off as they heat up.

Cherry Tomatoes can also be frozen whole.  When you want to have a sweet taste of summer this winter, pull the frozen cherry tomatoes out, put them in a baking dish with a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar and roast them in a 425 degree oven until they smell wonderful and start to brown.  Serve them with some pasta or over baked chicken.

Peppers and Sweet Corn should be stored in your fridge.  The sooner you eat your sweet corn, the better it will taste.  If you are getting overrun with sweetcorn, you can cut it off the cob, blanche it (or don’t ) and freeze it in a freezer bag for later use as a casserole, in soup, or heated up with lots of butter.

The majority of the cantaloupe that we sent out is ripe.  If it doesn’t quite smell like super sweet melon or if it has the faintest green tinge, it would benefit from a few days on your counter to finish ripening.  cantaloupe is another goodie that tastes WAY better local and in season than the stuff that’s shipped in from far away.  Those guys are picked WAY early and while cantaloupe will ripen off the vine, it won’t produce more sugar as it does when it ripens on the plant.  One member said the melon last week made her knees buckle!  Great description of the joy of a great cantaloupe!  Ripe melon is best stored in the fridge, but will taste sweeter if it’s allowed to reach room temp before eating.  Watermelon that we sent out can be stored in the fridge or out of the fridge if you plan on eating it soon.  This will very likely be the last week of melons!  Sigh.  They were good while they lasted!

Thyme can be used in soups or with roasts by giving it a rinse and leaving it in a tied together bundle and added to whatever you are cooking.  When you are ready to serve, simply take out the bundle of what’s left of the thyme.  You can also pull the little leaves off the tough stem by holding the thyme by the upper end of the stem and sliding your fingers down toward the thicker end.

Recipes:

Roasted Green Bean Salad with Nuts and Parmesan

Snap the stems off the green beans.  Heat oven to 425.  Toss beans with 1 Tbsp. olive oil.  Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet; roast about 20 min stirring half way through cooking time.  Meanwhile, mash 2 cloves of garlic with 1 tsp salt; add 2 Tbsp. wine vinegar and whisk in 3 Tbsp. olive oil.  When beans are done roasting, reduce oven to 350 degrees.  Toss beans and dressing; season with pepper.  Spread 1/4 cup nuts (pine nuts are super yummy, but sunflower seeds (without shells!) are a great economical option).  Roast the nuts or seeds, shaking the pan occasionally, until they are lightly browned.  Sprinkle toasted nuts or seeds and 1/4 cup shredded parmesan over the beans.  Serve warm or at room temp.

Slow Roasted Tomatoes This recipe suggests using cherry or Roma tomatoes, but you can also use any small-sized tomatoes halved or quartered.

Favorite Breakfast!   Buttered toast, topped with tomato slices, topped with a fried egg.  Melon on the side.

Green beans work fine instead of Romano Beans.  Baked eggs with Romano Beans, Parmesan, and Roasted Tomato  

Corn Cob Stock  !!!!  Wow!  We haven’t tried this one yet, but I LOVE stock and I LOVE getting everything I can out of the veggies!  Here’s the recipe for a soup using the stock and the corn.

Have you tried any Mexican Corn Salad yet?  It’s one of our favorite ways to eat corn, even without the cilantro.

Tomato Stuffed with Corn Salad from Martha Stewart.  If you don’t have time to grill the corn, you can cut it off the cob and pan roast it till charred in a very lightly oiled (or bacon greased)  skillet.

On the farm:

We are really looking forward to the Pizza Party on the farm on the 18th.  We did a test run in the oven this past weekend and it was delicious!  Here are some photos

Firing the oven. It’s HOT in there!

Derek the oven builder puts the First Pizza in the oven!

cookin’

Finished! YUM!!!

Sundown on pizzatown.

Back to work!

Tomato harvest. That’s a lot of tomatoes, folks.

Thyme thyme thyme is on my side, yes it is!

Otto eating a snack of raw sweet corn while we pack CSA boxes this week.

Next week….

tomatoes (yes, more!)

purple cabbage

potatoes

carrots

peppers (hot, bell, and sweet)

celery

greens (likely kale)?

we will have a week-long break from sweet corn.

 

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Week 9; August 2, 2012

What’s in the box?

Full Share

sweet corn

new potatoes

bell peppers

green beans

slicer tomatoes

heirloom tomatoes

cherry tomatoes

sweet onions

zucchini

cucumbers

melon (watermelon or cantaloupe)

bunch of mint

single share

sweet corn

watermelon or cantaloupe

green beans

new potatoes

cucumber

bell peppers

cherry tomatoes

heirloom tomatoes

slicer tomatoes

sweet onion

mint

Notes on the box….

Please see the last few weeks blog posts for storage tips on tomatoes, cukes, and summer squash/zukes.

WAtermelon and cantaloupe should be stored in the fridge, but cantaloupe tastes sweeter if you let it come to room temp before eating.

Bell peppers can be stored in your crisper for about 2 weeks.  No need to put them in a plastic bag.

Sweet onions are not cured, so they store best n your fridge.

New potatoes can be stored at room temperature, but because they have not been cured, they won’t last as long as regular potatoes — several days instead of several weeks. When refrigerated, the starch will begin to convert to sugar, so if they’re chilled for very long they’ll taste sweet.

Keep your mint with the stems in a glass with a little water at the bottom in your fridge.   

Recipes…..

Smitten Kitchen’s Bacon Corn Hash

Smitten Kitchen’s zucchini Rice Gratin with tomatoes

Thanks for the link, Emily!  Corn Fritter Salad Stack

Another stack!  Tomato Salad Stack with corn and bacon

Watermelon or cantaloupe Sweet Tea and Watermelon Mint Lemonaid (recipes call for seedless watermelon, but we don’t grow seedless because they are VERY vulnerable to disease, makes it hard to grow Organic, and the seed is SUPER expensive.  You can put the watermelon through a food mill or scoop the seedy part out with a spoon.)

Sorry for all the links, packing went quite late plus family visiting equals not much time for finding recipes, but if you have any to share, please add them to the comments or pass them along to us.

On the farm…

If you want canning tomatoes or sweet corn for the freezer, next week looks like we will have more available in the web store.  We always try to fit as much produce as we have and as we can into your boxes when we pack.  We plant quite a lot extra to cover for pests, bad weather, or anything else that nature may throw our way.  When we have more than we can safely pack into your boxes (we can’t cram so many tomatoes in that they get smashed or bruised) we offer them to our members who would like some for canning or freezing.  If you have any questions about the canning tomaotes or freezer corn, please ask!

In your box we put in a flier about the Pizza party we will be having on August 18.  Here is the info again:

at Turnip Rock Farm 8628 County Highway AA, New Auburn WI (about a 2 hour drive from the Twin Cities)

All are welcome to join us in celebrating some new additions to Turnip Rock this season.  We will be combining our fresh vegetables, pastured meats, and introducing Turnip Rock Farmstead Cheeses into delicious pizzas.  These will be baked in our new wood fired Earth Oven.  So come out and enjoy and evening of fun and food on the farm.

We will be serving pizzas from 2 pm till sundown for a suggested donation.  There will be farm tours happening throughout the day, a great way to get to know your farm and farmers.

please RSVP to turniprock@gmail.com (so we may properly plan our food quantities. But don’t be discouraged if you decide to drive out last minute, we’d love to see you!)

Also, the fun doesn’t have to stop when the sun goes down.  Join us for an evening bonfire and camp out.  Please include with RSVP if you would like to camp.  Space is limited on the farm, but there are many great places to camp in the area.

lovely sweet onions!

picked a peck of pretty peppers!

 

picking corn first thing in the morn…

just picked sweet corn eaten in the field. one of the perks of being a farmer!

packing time!

grandma and pawpaw are visiting… let the good times roll!

Derek and Otto putting the finishing touches on the Pizza oven!

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