Archive for September, 2012

Week 17; September 27, 2012

What’s in the box?

FULL SHARE

Butternut Squash

Liberty Apples

Brussel Sprouts on the Stalk

Red and Green Peppers

Heirloom Tomatoes

Curly Kale

Leeks

Garlic

Onions

Bagged Spinach

Broccoli

Potatoes

SINGLE SHARE

Butternut Squash

Bagged Spinach

Brussel Sprouts on the Stalk

Curly Kale

Garlic

Onions

Heirloom Tomatoes

Leeks

Liberty Apples

Potatoes

Notes on the box…

The Brussel Sprouts are still on the stalk.  They store better this way and it’s a nice activity to pull the sprouts off of the stalk before you cook them.  If you don’t have room in the fridge for the stalks, you can go ahead and pop the sprouts off and keep them in a plastic bag in the fridge.  They normally would have had more cold weather before we harvest them.  The hot weather in September hasn’t helped the flavor become the sweet sprouts that taste much better than the sprouts found in  the store, but they are still pretty good, just not as tasty as they are with a full month of cool temps.  There will be another stalk of sprouts in the box next week.  Please see the recipe below for our favorite way to cook Brussel Sprouts.

Winter Squash for this week is Butternut Squash.  It’s a favorite for many people with a nice sweet flavor.  It’s easy to peel (you can use a vegetable peeler).  It’s great to cut into cubes and put in a curry or stir fry, or you can boil it and make it into a squash soup or sauce (see recipe below) or you can steam it.  You can also roast it.  It will keep for a few months at room temperature.

Leeks have a flavor that is similar to onions.  The part of the leek that is most commonly eaten is the stalk from the white base up to just below where the dark green leaves start.  The leaves and upper stalk can be added to other commonly discarded vegetables trimmings to make vegetable stock.

We are really missing the carrots, beets, and salad mix that we were planning on having in the boxes at this point in the season.  To make it up to you, we went to pick Apples from White Pine Orchard in River Falls Wisconsin.  It’s a lovely little organically managed orchard with lots of different varieties of apples including some older varieties including the ones we put in the box, Liberty.  Liberty apples are crisp and tart and recommended for baking or for sauce, but we really love them for fresh eating.  They store well and Keith (the orchardist) says he finds that the flavor improves with storage.  Keith told us that this season was not the best for apples.  He lost a lot of blossoms because of the early, warm spring and then the strong frost in April caused the trees to drop those blossoms which means less apples.  He also said that the crops are about three weeks ahead of normal and harvest is almost over.  He said he had an okay amount of rain, but that he did get some hail damage, pest damage, and sunscald on the apples.  We thought that you all would enjoy these apples from his orchard.  We have about 30 pear trees planted here on the farm, but we have not had any fruit on them yet.  We hope that in a few seasons we will be able to put our own pears in the CSA boxes.

Recipes…

At the harvest party we served pizzas with winter squash sauce.  We topped the pizzas with onions, sausage, peppers, and cheese.  We also make the same pizza topped with kale and cranberries and that was delicious, too.  We had several requests for our pizza crust recipe and the squash sauce, so here ya go…

Squash Sauce Pizza with Kale and Cranberries!

Pizza Crust (for two medium pizzas)

Mix together 3 cups of flour (either all-purpose, or 1 cup of wheat and 2 cups of bread flour), 2 tsp. salt, 1 Tbsp. or 1 envelope of yeast, 1 tsp. sugar.  After the dry ingredients are mixes, add 1 1/4 cups of hot water (from the tap).  Mix the water into the dry ingredients.  If it seems too dry and won’t come together, add a little more water.  Put a little flour on the counter and knead the dough until it comes together.  Knead it a little more (maybe 30 times) then put it in a bowl covered with a wet dish towel and leave it in a warm place to rise for at least 2 hours.  When you are ready to make your pizza, take the dough out of the bowl, knead it a few times on a lightly floured surface, and split it in half.  Roll out the dough with a rolling-pin an enough flour that nothing sticks to the counter or the rolling-pin.  You can also try tossing the dough if you are feeling brave.  When you have a pretty thin mostly circular shape, put it on your pizza pan and “decorate” your pizza with sauce and toppings of your choice.  Bake at 425 for 20 minutes or until the toppings and the edges of the crust are lightly browned.  We really like to make a winter squash sauce.

Winter Squash Pizza Sauce

Roast a pumpkin, acorn squash, or butternut squash (you could steam the butternut squash if you prefer).  When flesh of squash is very tender, allow it to cool a little, the scoop it out and into your food processor.  Add a couple of glugs of olive oil, a few peeled and roughly chopped cloves of garlic, and a pinch of salt.  Run the food processor until everything is smooth.  You can add a little bit of water if it seems too thick, but you want the consistency to be such that a spoonful will drop into a solid dolip, not be soupy.  Spread the sauce on your unbaked crust.  Top with sliced onions, sliced red peppers, cooked sausage (optional), chopped and steamed kale (optional), and shredded cheese (we like greuyere and romano or parmesan)  and bake at 425 for 20-30 min or till crust and cheese are lightly browned.

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Those of you at the Harvest Party will also remember Rob and Susan’s yummy dish…

French Lentils with Sausage & Kale Makes: 6+ servings

1 Tb Olive Oil
1 pound pork sausage, cut into 2” pieces
4 oz bacon or side pork, diced
1 onion, chopped
4 carrots, chopped

1 celery stalk, with leaves, chopped
4 large garlic cloves, minced
1 pound dry lentils, preferably French green lentils
Handful of chopped thyme, oregano & basil leaves
1 bunch kale or chard, stemmed, washed & blanched
Pour boiling water over the lentils to cover & let sit, they will double in volume.
Fry the diced bacon or side pork until nearly crisp, then add sausage. Cook until sausage
is browned.Transfer to a plate & drain off excess fat (leave 2-3 Tb in the pan).
Sauté all the vegetables until tender, then add the chopped herbs & cook another 2
minutes or so. Drain lentils and rinse.
Add 2 quarts of water and lentils to the pot & bring to a boil. Simmer 10 minutes.
Add kale and simmer another 10 mins until the kale is tender & lentils are cooked.

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We had a nice lunch today of Onions, Apples, and Sausage over Brown Rice (wild rice would have been great), roasted Brussel Sprouts, and Spinach Salad with Toasted Pecans and Honey Mustard Dressing.   Here’s how we cooked it up…

Onions, Apples, and Sausage

Slice a couple of onions (red or yellow).  Core and slice a few apples (leave the skin on).  Place a skillet over medium-high heat with about 2 tablespoons of olive oil and a half inch of water. Prick the sausages (for however many people you are feeding) and place them into the pan. Cover and bring the liquids to a bubble then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer the sausages in the water until cooked through, 8-9 minutes. Remove the lid, let the water cook away and crisp and caramelize the skins of the sausages, 4-5 minutes more.  Take the sausages out of the pan and put the sliced onions and apples in the pan.  Season with salt and pepper and cook them till tender (about 5 min) then add a Tbsp. of brown sugar (optional), a cup of liquid (beer, apple cider, broth, or water), and some mustard.  Stir and bring to a simmer.  Add the sausage back in and cook till the liquids have thickened up.  Serve with rice or bread.

Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Spinach and Toasted Pecan Salad with Honey Mustard Dressing

Roughly cut up the spinach.  Toast pecan pieces (or other nuts or sunflower seeds).  Toss the spinach with the dressing and sprinkle the nuts on just before serving.

  • 1/3 cup dijon or stone ground mustard
  • 3 Tbsp honey
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1-2 tsp lemon juice
  • pinch of salt
  • fresh ground pepper

Put it all in a mason jar, stir lightly with a fork, and then put the lid on and shake until smooth.

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Rob and Susan said that they didn’t really know what to do with the pie pumpkins until they discovered this recipe.  They said they use it with other squash (like acorn) as well.

Pumpkin Stuffed with Everything Good

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for your greens…Winter Pasta from 101 cookbooks

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yum yum yum yum yum Braised Leeks!

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Warm Butternut and Chickpea Salad from Smitten Kitchen

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On the Farm…

Folks, this is the second to last box of the season!  If you’d like to keep the veggies coming for another 6 weeks, we still have some Winter Shares left.  Update your account to add a Winter Share.  The program won’t let you add the Winter Share on Thursday, so you can come back tomorrow to sign up.  Or you can email us at turniprock@gmail.com and we can update it for you.

We would also like to invite our members to sign up for  the 2013 season!  Already?  YES!  You can choose to pay in 5 installments and make your first payment now.  Your next payment won’t be due until February 1, 2013.  Signing up now will help us with getting some money together for the seed order, which we make in December.  It’s a big expense for us and having folks put in their order now ensures that we will be able to pay for the varieties that we want and not have to wait to complete our order until people sign up in April or May.  If you sign up before January 1, 2013 you will pay the 2012 price.  You can also make sure that you will get the egg share option!  We will be going over the books from the season to see how the numbers shook out, but we anticipate that we will need to increase the cost of a share in 2013 to keep up with rising seed, labor, and other costs.   You can sign up for the 2013 season today!

Next week we will post our member survey so that we can gather your input to help us plan the 2013 season.

Kale is Otto approved!

This way to the apples!

Keith showing us the difference between surface and interior damage to the apples.

Lauren loves apples!

Cassandra loves apples!

Derek loves apples!

Otto really wants to get up on the ladder to help.

Craig picking on the ladder.

Josh and Rama working together

Craig and Lauren working together

Apples are Otto approved!

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Week 16; September 20, 2012

What’s in the box?

FULL SHARE

bagged spinach

heirloom tomatoes

red and green bell peppers

red or orange sweet peppers

garlic

sweet potatoes

red onions

broccoli

sage

rainbow chard

mini Long Island Cheese Pumpkin

Black Futsu Winter Squash

SINGLE SHARE

bagged spinach

green and red bell peppers

red sweet peppers

garlic

onions

heirloom tomatoes

mini Long Island Cheese Pumpkin

BlackFutsu Winter Squash

Rainbow Chard

Sage

Broccoli (we ran out during packing, so a couple of drop sites got no broccoli, but more tomatoes and winter squash)

Notes on the box…

Winter Squash, onions, garlic, and sweet potatoes should be stored at room temperature and will keep for a minimum of 1 month, but likely longer.  Also keep your tomatoes out of the fridge.  The chard and broccoli will keep longer in a plastic bag (or wrapped in a damp towel in your fridge if you are avoiding plastic)  and should last for about a week.  Greens tend to get a little limp as they wait in the fridge, but will perk back up if you soak them in a sink with cold water for a few minutes.

The pumpkins and black futsu squash are both heirloom varieties.  The Long Island Cheese Pumpkin can be roasted and used in pies, or it can be seeded, peeled, and cubed to be used like butternut squash.  It is really pretty, so you can keep it around to look at for a while if you can resist eating it right away.  The Black Futsu (the bumpy one) is one that we grew a trial of last season.  We really liked it, so we grew enough for all members to get some this season.  Wash the outside of it well, then cut it in half and seed it, then cut along the ribs so that you have several half moons of squash.  Toss with olive oil and salt (you can add spices of your choice such as Indian spices or Chili, but the taste of the squash is amazing even without seasoning) and roast in a 400 degree oven for about a half hour, stirring half way during cooking.  You can eat the skin of this squash and the Long Island Cheese Pumpkin when they are roasted this way.  It has a nice nutty and sweet flavor.  You can let it cool and serve it on top of a raw spinach, diced red pepper,and onion salad with vinaigrette.

Black Futsu cut along ridges for roasting.           

Long Island Cheese Pumpkin and Black Futsu after roasting.

The spinach is tender and sweet and we suggest you eat it as you would salad greens.

The Rainbow Chard is looking particularly lovely!  All the greens are really bouncing back since the weather is cooled down and we’ve gotten some rain.  Yay!  Remember that the beautiful stems are edible.  I add them to any recipe for chard by chopping them and adding them in the beginning of the recipe (like at the same time as the onions) so that they get a chance to cook a bit.  They take longer to cook and the leaves cook down in a flash, so just plan the cook time so that the stems will get tender and the leaves won’t be over-done.

Last season we grew sweet potatoes, it was a decent yield, we had good feedback on them, and so this season we said, hey lets grow triple the amount, we liked growing them, yields were decent and people like em. Well… we tripled them and got enough for one delivery to the full shares. Half of them died in a cold snap in the spring, and then being as dry as it was out here we didn’t see much size development.  Win some, lose some. We will keep at it and grow them again next season!

We had our first frost Mon. (light, 31 degrees) but that brings the peppers to an end.  The greens will sweeten up. Broccoli the same, but it will be slower to develop. Heirloom tomatoes are in the greenhouse, so they will keep puttering along even in the cold, but you can tell they are wanting to quit and the texture will be a little mealy, as if they had been stored in a refrigerator.

With just two weeks left we will be diving into the leeks, brussel sprouts, more spinach, and hopefully carrots. Because of our multiple attempts at planting because of poor germination in the heat, they got in the ground quite late and are barely half the size of a finger so it will be a race to the finish. They are covered with row cover, hopefully that will help them along!

Recipes…

 Spinach Salad.  This sounds like a nice hearty onion,bacon and egg addition to your spinach. with a nice bacon dressing recipe.

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Mushroom and Spinach (or Chard) Stuffed Peppers  from Farmer John’s Cookbook (I usually adapt the recipes for the blog to reflect what is in the CSA box, but this is just as printed in the cookbook.  Feel free to improvise, add, and substitute as you wish!  I’m sure you are getting to be great at “cooking off the cuff” at this point in the season!)

 4 Quarts Water                                                4 Bell Peppers, any color, tops sliced off,

1 TBSP salt, plus more to taste                             seeds removed (reserve and chop the

¼ cup butter, divided                                            flesh around the stems)

1 onion, minced, (about 1 cup), divided       1 ½ cups uncooked rice

½ lb. mushrooms, chopped                               1 cup finely diced celery

¼ cup finely diced carrots                                 ¼ cup fresh or frozen corn

1 handful spinach or chard, chopped          1 tsp fresh minced ginger (optional)

2 cloves garlic, minced                                      dash cayenne pepper

1 Tomato, peeled, seeded, diced                ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided

fresh ground black pepper                                    plus more to taste

Preheat oven to 350.  Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil in a large soup pot; add the peppers and 1 TBSP of salt.  Cook the peppers until almost soft, 3-4 minutes.  Remove the peppers from the water and set in a colander to drain (reserve the cooking water in the pot).  Transfer the peppers to a rack, cut sides up and let cool.

Heat 2 TBSP of butter in a medium skillet over medium heat.  Add half the onions, sauté until translucent and soft, about 5 minutes.  Add the rice and continue cooking, stirring frequently, until the rice begins to turn golden, about 10 minutes.  Add 3 cups of the peppers cooking water and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until the liquid is completely absorbed, 12 to 15 minutes.

Melt the remaining butter in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the chopped pepper tops, the remaining onions, mushrooms, celery, corn, spinach or chard, ginger if using, garlic, and cayenne; sauté until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.  Add salt to taste.

Combine the rice and sautéed vegetables in a large bowl, stir in the tomato and half the Parmesan cheese.  Season with pepper to taste.  Fill each pepper case with the filling and arrange them in a 9-inch square baking dish.  Garnish with the remaining cheese; add more if desired.  Spread any extra filling around the peppers.  Bake until heated through, about 20 minutes.

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Sweet Potatoes mash with pecans

  • 2 lbs of peeled sweet potatoes;
  • ½ cup soft butter or olive oil
  • 2 green onions, chopped;
  • 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon;
  • ¼ cup toasted pecans;
  1. In a large pot, bring water to a boil and cook potatoes until soft enough to mash.
  2. Strain the potatoes and return them to pot. Add the butter and mash until all butter is melted and potatoes are smooth.
  3. Add onions and cinnamon and mix thoroughly to ensure the cinnamon is dispersed evenly.
  4. In a small skillet over medium heat, toast pecans. Once finished, add to the potatoes.

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Sweet Potato, Broccoli, and Tomato Stew from Farmer John’s CookBook

2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 large onion, sliced
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1- 28 oz. jar stewed tomatoes (or 3 to 4 cups cut up fresh ones)
2 cups cooked or canned garbanzo beans, drained
1 ½ cups chicken or vegetable stock or water
3 medium sweet potatoes (about 1 pound, cubed)
1 medium head broccoli, cut into large chunks (about 2 cups)
Freshly ground pepper
Salt

Heat the oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion; cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, garbanzo beans, stock, and sweet potatoes. Simmer, partially covered, for 15 minutes. Add the broccoli, cover, and simmer until the sweet potatoes and broccoli are tender, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

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Sauteed Swiss Chard Stem with Cream and Pasta  

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Chard and Sweet Potato Gratin 

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Swiss Chard soup . It’s an italian soup that calls for anchovy filet and rosemary.. but maybe chicken stock and some sage would be a good sub.

On the Farm…..

The harvest party was a great time!  It’s always a real pleasure to meet our members and see people that we might only see once per year at the party.  It’s amazing to see kids that have been members for several years and how much they grow from year to year.  We love sharing food with our members and we love it when our farm crew tries to embarrass us by eating Doritoes at the harvest party!  Thanks so much for coming out!  Hope to see you all again next season or before then!

So about those Doritoes…. We are Organic farmers, but we aren’t purists. We have indulged in fun things like “junk food Friday” and “two-for-one burgers at the local bar on Mondays” over the seasons.  We daily try to reach “peak-caffine” with our coffee intake and have been urged by the farm crew to “keep the sweets train rolling!”  But we also eat a ton of vegetables!  It’s all about balance, right?  So you guys will be happy to know that in celebration of the cold wet weather, we kept our Turnip Rock tradition.  It goes like this…  It’s a cold, wet, windy, miserable day.  Everyone suits up and goes to work in the miserable weather with sniffling noses and VERY cold fingers.  Everyone is happy when the 10 hour day is over.  The next morning, the same thing happens. But at lunch we get to make a special announcement…  “Mandatory field trip to Action City”  Everyone finishes lunch, gets changed, and piles into the car for a trip to Eau Claire where we play video games, drive go-carts, and play Lazer-Tag.  Our crew works so hard in every type of weather with great positive attitudes.  It’s really nice to be relaxed, care-free (and warm and dry) for an afternoon!

Lauren, our (guitar) hero!

Josh and Craig shooting alien robots.

Craig is a proto-human and can shoot alien robots with two hands.

Derek, usually seen racing the farm Gator.

Otto experiences sensory overload.

***Not Pictured – Cassandra getting down on the Dance Dance Revolution and Rama alternating Street Fighter, Motorcycle Racing, and toddler chasing.

Back to work!

A whole lotta love, your momma will be proud of this one!

Derek washing chard

spinach

hoophouse tomatoes still kickin after the frost

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Week 15; September 13, 2012

What’s in the box?

Full Share

Broccoli!

oregano

lacinato (dinosaur) kale

yellow onions

acorn squash

heirloom tomato

garlic

red bell and red sweet peppers

(not pictured) eggplant OR green beans

Single Share

same as above, but lesser amounts and no eggplant or green beans

Notes on the box…

There’s a whole heck of a lot of broccoli in this weeks box.  This box is a good example of what I was referring to when talking about how everything came ready at once with the warm weather.  Three different plantings of broccoli are ready to harvest all at once.  There were several hundred pounds that we couldn’t fit into the CSA boxes.  It will be going to the foodshelf.  It’s kind of a bummer to have a week that is so broccoli heavy.  We are missing the beets, carrots, salad mix, and spinach that we seeded in July that didn’t germinate because of the excessive heat.  We are happy that at least the boxes are full, but the variety of produce isn’t what we would prefer.  Anyway, hope you enjoy all this broccoli and the red peppers!

The best way to store the broccoli is in a plastic bag in the crisper.  You can eat the stalk!  Simply peel the outer layer of skin and chop the stalk and cook it with the rest of the broccoli.  If it’s more broccoli than you can eat in a week, chop it, steam or blanche it, allow it to cool, and then put in freezer bags in your freezer.  Red peppers can be seeded, diced, and frozen for use in winter soups and stir fry!  Or you can roast them and then freeze them.  Either way… don’t compost it, preserve it!  It only takes a few minutes!

Store your Acorn Squash on the counter or anyplace out of your fridge.  It will last for several months.  Our favorite way to cook the squash is to cut it in half, scoop out the seeds, and place face down in a baking pan with a little water and oil in the bottom of the pan.  Roast in a 400 degree oven until you can poke a fork into the squash through the skin.  At this point, you can flip it over and put some butter and brown sugar into the squash and broil until the sugar gets dark and bubbly.  Or you can just add butter and maple syrup or honey and serve right away.  I love it with some fresh thyme or oregano, butter, and honey.

If you got eggplant in your box, you should try to use it right away unless you have someplace to store it at around 50 degrees.  The fridge is too cold and the counter is too warm.  It also become bitter with age, so the best thing to do it cook it up right away! It was just harvested, so you don’t have to worry about salting it to expel any bitterness.  However, I have soaked eggplant slices in milk for a few hours before cooking and the texture becomes very silky, almost like custard.  If you aren’t a fan of the firm texture, a nice milk bath really does wonders!

Heirloom tomatoes are really winding down!  The field tomatoes, as explained in a previous blog post, are finished producing.  Such a bummer.  Too many degree days (a measurement of heat units that fruits and vegetables need to ripen) too soon!  We usually have tomatoes up until frost, but not this year.  The last few seasons we’ve had a succession of tomatoes with no ripe fruit at the frost.  That was a big waste of time and money, so this season we cut out that succession.  Now we are kicking ourselves for it!  All we can do now is hope that the heavy quantity of tomatoes in the previous boxes would have satisfied your tomato cravings for the season, and add that succession of tomatoes back to the planting schedule in case we have more seasons like this one.

Recipes

Roasting weather is back!  Now, have you tried roasted broccoli yet??  It’s so very good.  If you think you don’t like broccoli, try this!

Steamed Broccoli with Miso PeanutButter Sauce

Some really great vegetarian and vegan recipes at the post-punk kitchen!  Including this recipe for Seitan with Broccoli and Pantry BBQ Sauce.

Broccoli Beef Stir Fry that you could easily substitute chicken, seitan, or tempeh for the beef.

I’d add a nice handful of fresh oregano leaves to this Kale and Roasted Red Pepper Frittata recipe.

This is where I saw the trick about soaking the eggplant in milk.  This recipe for Eggplant, Thyme, and Honey was a hit with the crew!

Broccoli and Red Pepper Melts from Martha Stewart.  Recipe calls for portabella mushrooms, but it’s tasty even if you have no mushrooms.

Roasted Red Pepper and Walnut Pesto

  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 c. walnuts
  • 8 roasted red bell peppers
  • fresh herbs (oregano, basil, parsley, or ???) optional
  • ½ c. olive oil
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
Instructions
Pulse the garlic in a food processor until finely chopped. Add the walnuts and pulse a few more times to break up any large pieces.  Add the roasted red peppers and herbs and process, streaming in the oil as you go, until all the ingredients are well combined and as coarse or as smooth as you want them. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve immediately with toasts, crudities, or spread on sandwiches or toss with pasta. Store in a covered airtight container in the fridge, or freeze. NOTE: I think that if you didn’t want to go through the trouble of roasting and peeling the red peppers, you could probably slice them, roast them with some olive oil till tender, slightly carmelized, and fragrant and then put them right into the food processor.  You may have little flecks of the skin, but I don’t think it would matter much.

On the farm…

HARVEST PARTY THIS SATURDAY!!!  Starting at 2 PM and going till sundown, though you are welcome to stay longer for a bonfire and camping, if you like!  It’s a potluck, so bring a dish to pass, and we will have the pizza oven fired up as well.  So if you couldn’t make it to the pizza party, here’s another chance to eat some great wood-fired pizza!  The Stillwater lift bridge is closed, so take I-94 across the St. Croix if you are coming from the Twin Cities.

We would also like to mention that we will have meat chickens that you can pick up at the harvest party.  I will post them for ordering on the web store early next week for delivery to your home on Friday, September 21.  I’ll send an email when they are ready to order.

We had a fun time on Wednesday when our new friends from the show “Around the Farm Table” came out to Turnip Rock to shoot an episode.  We met Inga Witscher through with her dad, Rick.  Rick and Rama have been working on their apprentice hours for cheese making together.  They share a love of small herds of Jersey cows on pasture and raw milk cheese made by hand in small batches.  Rick,  Inga, and her husband Joe have recently started producing “Around the Farm Table” which is a cooking show that focuses on local and sustainable agriculture.  They are really fun to be around and we really admire them as farmers.  It was a great time and we can’t wait to see the Turnip Rock episode when it comes out!  We will let you know when it’s ready to see.  In the mean time, enjoy these pictures we took of the making of the Turnip Rock episode of “Around the Farm Table.”  I forgot to photograph my plate, but it was beautiful and the lunch was so tasty!  Thanks for cooking for us, Inga!

Inga getting ready to cook a red pepper and chard frittata!

Look at the kale in the bouquet! Lauren loving broccoli!

Derek and another lovely edible bouquet

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Week 14; September 6, 2012

What’s in the box?

Full Share

broccoli!

red onions

thyme

sweet red peppers and red bell peppers

heirloom tomatoes

roma tomatoes

garlic

sweet orange pepper

potatoes

pie pumpkin

curly kale

(single shares got all the same items as the full, but in smaller/less quantity)

Notes on the box….

We are happy to have some broccoli again!  It’s coming on very strong because of the continuing hot weather.  We are really hoping the weather will cool down some so that it doesn’t all come ready at once and leave us with very little in the weeks to come (as the tomatoes have done, getting ripe all at once).  This broccoli is very tasty.  Otto has been begging for it!  He sees it on the counter or table or in the field and he points at it and says “bah-ee, bah-ee, bah-ee!” until we give him some.  He ate an entire head (stem and all!) the other day while running around.  Let us know if your kids enjoy it, too!

The greens are back as well.  This week it’s curly kale.  Usually by this time of year the greens are starting to pull out of the summer slump, but this season not so much.  The curly kale is much more resilient than the collards and even the lacinato kale.  Hopefully the other varieties will start looking better as the weather cools.  (The weather is going to cool, isn’t it?!?!)  Store kale in the fridge in  a  plastic bag best in your crisper.  For a quick tutorial on how to de-stem kale, see the link in the kale recipe below.

Winter squash for the week is pie pumpkins.  These are great ones for roasting, then scooping the flesh out and using for pumpkin pie, pumpkin breads, pumpkin soup, or even as a sauce on pizza.  You can also cut them in half and seed them, peel the outside skin with a good vegetable peeler, and dice the pumpkin into chunks to cook in stir fry or curries.  Or you can season them roast them when they are cubed.  These pumpkins will keep for at least a month and usually more.  There’s a good possibility that they may make it to Halloween if you wanted to eat them after keeping them for fall decoration.  Store pie pumpkins out of your fridge along with your potatoes, garlic, onions, and tomatoes.

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….

Massaged Kale shared by the Boatmans.  Thanks!  They said that even a veggie hater in their family loved this and asked for seconds!

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Lemon Olive Oil Cookies with Thyme are one of my personal favorites.  If you are eating all your veggies, you deserve a sweet treat!

  • 2 cups unbleached flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup Olive oil
  • 4 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • several sprigs of thyme with leaves removed from stems
  • Juice of 1 ½ lemons
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Sugar, for rolling

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Whisk flour, sugar, salt, thyme leaves, and baking soda together in medium-sized bowl. In another small bowl, stir together the olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, and vanilla.
  3. Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, then mix lightly until it resembles wet sand (I like to use my hand, when the dough is squeezed it should form a solid clump). Using your hands, roll dough into balls about the size of a walnut.
  4. Roll in a  little sugar and roll the cookie balls gently in your hands to distribute it. Put the cookies about 2 inches apart on cookie sheets and bake for about 12-15 minutes

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Kale and Potato Soup from Alice Waters Chez Panisse Vegetables

Remove the stems from a bunch of  kale.  WAsh the leaves, and cut them into a chiffonade.  Peel about 2 pounds of potatoes (or just wash them) and chop them up into small pieces.  Bring 1.5  quarts of water to a boil with 1 tsp salt.  Add the chopped potatoes and return to a boil.  Cook for 2 minutes, covered.  Add the kale and cook 2 minutes more.  Taste for seasoning.  If desired, serve with sliced garlic sausage and a splash of olive oil.

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from our wonderful member, Kelly Lynn and her little boy Maxwell, it’s a Kale Smoothie!  

“We are continuing our quest to entice our son to eat more veggies, especially of the green variety.  This morning I (Kelly Lynn) had the bright idea to try kale in a smoothie.  And it worked!  (of course 🙂  All you need to do to make it at home is add 1 cup chopped kale to 1 cup apple juice, a few chunks frozen banana, 1/2 cup yogurt and peeled apple.  Voila!  It’s a “new taste treat” that even the pickiest of eaters can enjoy.  My hubby enjoyed his smoothie too, so grown ups and kid got their super green veggies this morning.  Ye-ah!  A gold star for this mom!”

 

And in case you didn’t try these recipes earlier in the season or from last season….

Broccoli Parmesan Fritters from Smitten Kitchen

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Broccoli Slaw

Wash a couple heads of broccoli and either finely chop (stems and all) by hand or run them through your food processor with the cutting blade attachment.  Place them in a bowl.  Add several finely chopped radishes and/or turnips, a few chopped green onions, and a couple of chopped garlic scapes.  Mix about 1/3 cup mayo with a few tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, 3 Tbsp. (or less) sugar, some salt and pepper.  Pour dressing over veggies, mix well, and allow to sit for at least 10 min before serving.  You can also add silvered almonds, toasted sunflower seeds, and raisins or dried cranberries if you like.

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Kale Chips

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Sesame Kale Salad

Chop a bunch of kale.  Steam or saute for a couple of minutes till just wilted.  Allow kale to cool.  Mix in a serving bowl with 1 T soy sauce or tamari, 1 T sesame oil, some finely chopped garlic scapes, 1 tsp. honey, a splash of apple cider vinegar or rice vinegar.  Garnish with toasted sesame seeds.

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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

On the farm….

Don’t forget to RSVP if you plan on coming to the PIZZA HARVEST PARTY on September 15th here on the farm!

Hail no!

We got some really large hail on Tuesday night.  Thankfully there was not a lot of it and all the crops still look good.  Phew.  Hail is never fun for farmers and can potentially do lots of damage.  We were very fortunate and we hope it wasn’t too bad for any other farmers that may have been hit.

We will be going away to Iowa for a wedding that Josh is a groomsman for, so if you have any questions or concerns, we may not get back to you about them until next Monday.  It’s always a little bit nerve-racking to leave the farm, but Derek and Cassandra will be here making sure no cows escape and everyone is fed and watered.  they will also pick broccoli that will be ready for next weeks delivery!  Thanks, guys!

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