Summer CSA Week 4, 2022

We have fun, even when mulching tomatoes on a hot day.

Happy Fourth of July! I hope you enjoy some family time, great food, and protect your dogs from the scary firework noises.

On the farm we’re celebrating with our first harvest of carrots! The carrots in the share this week are coming with their tops ON because carrots greens are edible and TASTY. See below for a carrot top pesto recipe.


In your share this week:

Green Onions – Broccoli – Lettuce – Carrots with tops – Radishes


Carrot Top Pesto

Ingredients

1/3 cup pine nuts (try substituting cashews, walnuts or sunflower seeds)

2 small cloves garlic, peeled

4 cups lightly packed, well washed and dried carrot top greens (from 1 1-pound bunch of carrots)

1 cup lightly packed fresh basil leaves, plus more as needed (NOTE: If your bunch of carrots yields less than 4 cups of greens, add as much basil as you need to get a total of 5 cups of greens.)

1/3 cup (1 ounce) freshly grated Parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon water

1/2 teaspoon fine salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Preparation

  1. In a small, dry skillet over medium heat, toast the pine nuts, shaking the pan frequently, until fragrant and golden brown, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate and let cool slightly.
  2. In a food processor, process the pine nuts with garlic until minced. Add the carrot tops, basil, cheese, lemon juice, water, salt and pepper and process until finely minced. With the machine running, slowly pour the oil in a steady stream through the feed tube and process until well blended.

Radish Salad

1 serving

Ingredients

6 radishes

1/2 tablespoon salt, plus more to season

vinaigrette or orange juice

olive oil

pepper

red pepper flakes (optional)

mint or parsley (garnish)

Preparation

  1. Cut about radishes into matchsticks or sliced very thinly and placed in a bowl of cold water with a tablespoon of salt. Let the radishes soak for about 15 minutes, drain them, and rinse them well.
  2. Dress the radishes with a vinaigrette or orange juice and a bit of olive oil. Salt and pepper to taste. Add a pinch of hot pepper flakes if you like them and garnish with mint or parsley.


Last week we mulched the field tomatoes (pictured above). These tomatoes are paste type tomatoes for sauces and will go towards the canning tomato preserving share. Food Farm preserving shares are one-time boxes made specially for the canning crowd. Whether you want to stock up on freezer pesto, make all your family dilly beans for Christmas, or perfect your marinara recipe, the preserving shares are ideal for community members who want bulk orders of the freshest local produce. Canning tomatoes will be ready for pick-up between the beginning of August and the first frost, but you can (and should!) get your preserving share order in now at foodfarm.csaware.com .

We are fortunate at the Food Farm to have enough space and appropriate equipment to grow our own mulch. Other farms have to buy in straw. Janaki cuts fields of tall rye cover crop and then the crew tucks in the tomatoes using sleds and pitchforks. It’s like sledding, but all uphill and a lot more itchy! The mulch will suppress the weeds and keep in soil moisture so our tomatoes grow big and strong.

Golden hour on the farm.

For the farm crew,

Starr

Summer CSA Week 3, 2022

Ellis with turnips

Welcome to summer! June 21st was the Summer Solstice, the longest day and shortest night of the year. We received 15 hours 52 minutes on the farm!


In your share this week:

Green Top Beets – Lettuce – Green Onions – Pac Choi – Radishes – Spinach – Salad Turnips


A note on this week’s spinach: our previous batches of spinach have come from our greenhouses which means they have been protected from the elements. This week’s spinach is from the field, so you may find it a little dusty from splash back from the rain and wind. We don’t wash the spinach on farm, because we find it lasts longer if we don’t get it wet before we get it to you. When you’re ready to use your spinach give it a wash, and either wash and dry the bag or transfer it to a clean bag. See how to wash greens in the video we posted last week!


Beets with greens ready to go out in a CSA share!

The beet beat: did you now every part of the beet is edible? Beets tend to mature at varying rates, so you’ll probably find a range of sizes in your bunch this week. One thing they all have in common is delicious greens! Beet greens can be prepared any way you’d prepare kale. The most common way to prepare beet greens is in a sauté. Coat a pan with olive oil and cook your greens until they are wilted and tender (5 to 8 minutes). Add minced garlic, salt and pepper, or try experiencing with any of your favorite seasonings and aromatics.


You will find lots of salad turnips in your share this week! These turnips are best eaten fresh, but can be cooked (see a recipe below). These turnips are similar to radishes, but without the spiciness. You’ll find the turnips delightfully crunchy and juicy. Throw them in a big salad or eat them straight as a snack.

Here is a turnip poem written by a nine-year-old Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. It sounds like Longfellow only had access to old storage turnips. This poem might be a little more joyful if it was a fresh salad turnip they were eating, but we still love any literary ode to veggies.

Mr. Finney’s Turnip

By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Mr. Finney had a turnip,
And it grew, and it grew,
And it grew behind the barn,
And the turnip did no harm.

And it grew, and it grew,
Till it could grow no taller;
Then Mr. Finney took it up
And put it in the cellar.

There it lay, there it lay,
Till it began to rot ;
When his daughter Susie washed it
And put it in the pot.

Then she boiled it and boiled it,
As long as she was able;
Then his daughter Susie took it
And put it on the table.

Mr. Finney and his wife
Both sat down to sup;
And they ate, and they ate,
Until they ate the turnip up.

Lebanese Pink Pickled Turnips

Ingredients

1 pound turnips, peeled, quartered, and sliced 1/4 inch thick

1 small beet, peeled and quartered

1 clove garlic thinly sliced

1/2 cup vinegar

2 tablespoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon sugar

1 1/2 cups water

Preparation

  1. Put turnips, beet and garlic into a wide mouth heatproof 1 quart jar.
  2. In a small saucepan, bring vinegar, salt, sugar and water to a boil. When salt and sugar are completely dissolved, pour brine over vegetables to fill the jar. Leave to cool.
  3. When completely cool, cover jar and chill for 1 week.

Caramelized Hakurei Turnips

“Hakurei” turnips are another name for salad turnips, originally developed in Japan.

Ingredients

4 servings

2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for greasing the baking sheet

2 bunches hakurei turnips, greens removed, washed but not peeled

1 teaspoon kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Grease baking sheet lightly with olive oil.
  2. Slice the turnips about 1/4 inch thick. You can do this with the slicing disk of a food processor, an adjustable mandoline, or by hand with a knife.
  3. Combine turnips with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and salt in a large bowl. Toss and coat turnips.
  4. Pile turnips on prepared baking sheet, spreading them as close as possible to a single layer.
  5. Roast the turnips until they are crisp and golden around the edges, 15-20 minutes. Shuffle turnips and roast 5 minutes more. Remove from oven and top with freshly ground black pepper.

Basic Vinaigrette

Spring and early summer is the season of greens! It is easy to make your own salad dressing at home. I like to put all my vinaigrette ingredients in a jar, and shake to combine. That way any dressing I don’t use, I can leave in the fridge for a future salad! Add any seasonings and herbs you prefer for different flavors.

Ingredients

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon whole grain dijon mustard
1 ½ teaspoon maple syrup (or agave)
1 teaspoon fine grain kosher salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper

Preparation

  1. Combine!

Greenhouse after harvesting beets and scallions for Monday’s shares. Lots more tasty produce to come!

For the farm crew,

Starr

Summer CSA Week 2, 2022

Super star Food Farm member, Lynne, shows us how to unbox your veggie box and keep the produce fresh for your consumption!

Week 2 of the CSA! Our crew is back in the CSA rhythm and excited to bring you more delicious produce. Thanks to some super star volunteers we have an educational video for you about how to take care of the producing coming in your shares. Experienced CSA members and newbies alike will benefit from watching the video above!

Things are moving fast here at the farm, the hustle intensifies in hot weather as both crops and weeds develop quickly and need attention. On a related note: that’s why there are three heads of lettuce in your share this week!


In your share this week:

Broccoli – Head Lettuce – Oregano – Pac Choi – Potatoes – Radishes – Spinach


This share includes the last of the 2021 potatoes. This is very late to store potatoes, so please keep them in the refrigerator and use them quickly. If your potatoes sprout you can still break off the sprouts and use the potato as usual. You’ll have potatoes in your box again in August when our first crop of “new” potatoes is ready.


Greek Potatoes

Ingredients

6 servings

6 medium potatoes, cubed (3 pounds)

1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (~2 1/2 lemons)

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

11/2 tablespoon fresh oregano

2 garlic gloves, minced

3 cups hot water

chopped fresh parsley

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 475 degrees.
  2. Toss together potatoes, lemon juice, salt, pepper, oregano and garlic in a deep flat pan about 8 x 12 inches. Add water to the pan.
  3. Bake for 1 1/2 hours at 475. Stir every 20 minutes adding more if needed to prevent sticking. Be careful not to burn in the last 30 minutes of cooking. During the final 15 to 20 minutes, allow water to evaporate.
  4. Garnish with fresh parsley and serve.

You can also try recipes from past newsletters like:

Pac Choi and Shiitake Stir-fry

Quick, spicy pickled radishes


The Free Range Film Festival is THIS WEEK. This is your opportunity to come out to Wrenshall and watch independent films in a beautiful historic barn. Friday and Saturday at 7pm. There will also be music by Darin Bergsven and the Denfeld Honors Quartet and a food truck on site. We’d love to see you there!

909 County Road 4, Wrenshall MN

June 24 & 25, 7:00pm

While there is officially no charge for admission, the organizers do ask audience members for a $10 donation to help pay for barn maintenance.

For the farm crew,

Starr

Summer CSA Week 1, 2022

Planting broccoli

Welcome to the 2022 summer CSA season! Thank you for being part of our community. You enable us to do what we love! After a cool slow start up, it’s starting to look like summer. The dry weather of the last two weeks have been great for getting field work done and the farm is finally looking lush and green. The farm crew has been hard at work weeding and planting, and we’re excited to begin harvesting as well!


In your share this week:

Dill – Greens Mix – Head Lettuce – Potatoes – Rhubarb – Spinach


Potatoes in June? Yes! This is a first for us–we had such a good crop last fall that we were able to save some for the first two shares. This is very late in their storage life, however, so please keep them in the refrigerator or they will sprout quite quickly. Sprouts aren’t bad though, so just break them off and use the potato as usual.

A note on the greens mix: our greens mix includes a special blend of kale, mustard and other members of the brassica plant family. This year we have seen an increase in flea beetle activity, which leaves little holes in the leaves of these plants. This is totally harmless; in fact, in French markets people seek out greens with these holes because it demonstrates the produce was grown organically without harmful pesticides! This can however increase the product’s spiciness. The greens mix makes excellent fresh eating in salads, but if you find this batch too spicy for you, a quick cook will mellow out the flavor. Try adding the greens mix to soup or lightly sautéing the greens with olive oil, a dash of salt and any other preferred spices.

Lilacs overlooking the fields

I love the German variation on potato salad. With its olive oil and vinegar base, it is much lighter and brighter than the Midwestern mayonnaise based recipes. This brightness allows the herbs to really shine in this dish. When parsley comes into season, you can also try substituting the dill for bacon and parsley. Enjoy!

German Potato Salad with Dill (From Bon Appétit)

Ingredients

6 Servings

2 pounds small potatoes, halved and scrubbed

¼ cup olive oil

½ onion, chopped

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

¼ cup apple cider vinegar

4 scallions, sliced

2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped

1teaspoon caraway seeds, toasted

Preparation

Step 1: Cover potatoes with cold salted water, bring to a boil, and cook until tender; drain and transfer to a large bowl.

Step 2: Meanwhile, heat oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until soft, about 5 minutes.

Step 3: Remove from heat and mix in vinegar. Add to potatoes along with scallions, dill, and caraway seeds and toss, crushing potatoes slightly; season with salt and pepper.

You can also try recipes from past newsletters like:

Dilly Veggie Dip

Spinach and Quinoa Patties

Rhubarb Vanilla Compote


Finding Archived Recipes

You can now search previously posted Food Farm recipes using the “Tag Cloud” below. If you click an ingredient below it will take you to a list of the newsletters that include a recipe using that ingredient. Larger text means there are many recipes using that ingredient while smaller text means fewer recipes have been tagged so far.

Arugula Basil Beet Broccoli Brussels Sprouts Cabbage Carrot Carrot Leaf Carrrot Celery Chard Chives Cilantro Cucumber Delicata Squash Dill Dressing/Sauce Egg Garlic Garlic Scape Green Bean Green Onion Kale Leek Lettuce Mint Napa Cabbage Onion Pac Choi Parsley Parsnip Pepper Potato Radish Red Onion Rutabaga Scallion Shallot Spinach Thyme Tomato Turnip Winter Squash Yellow Onion Zucchini

We hope this will help you explore new and old recipes and take advantage of the produce in your share!

Chester, the Great Pyrenees and Food Farm guardian

For the farm crew,

Starr

Food Farm Veggie Guide

We hope you’re as excited about your CSA share as we are here at the Food Farm. Above is our newly updated “Vegetable Guide,” which outlines a majority of the crops our CSA members will be getting in their shares this season. This guide will help you know when to anticipate specific veggies, how to store each type of produce for optimal freshness and some ideas for cooking. Click the “Download” button to save the file as a pdf on your computer.

April Winter CSA

Happy Spring, food lovers!
The time has come for our final Winter Share of the season. Whether you’re new to us or a day-one member, we thank you for letting Food Farm feed your family this winter. Our root cellar is almost empty but our hearts are full. It is so rewarding to see the fruits of last year’s labor still providing nourishment at the dawn of a new season. I would also like to give a special shoutout to our wonderful soil and local honey bees for helping us make it all possible.

As I mentioned last month, this growing season is already in the works. Our onions and leeks are doing well. We have also started the first batches of tomatoes, peppers, and brassicas. As usual, there are some slight changes we’ve made to each of these crop plantings this year. We often experiment with new varieties in addition to other improvisations and adaptations and it is exciting to watch these changes unfold. The crew is eagerly waiting for the last of the snow to melt so we can get to work full time by the end of the month.

See you in the summertime!

Emily

In your shares this month:
Beets, Carrots, Garlic, Onions, Yellow and Red Potatoes, Shallots, Rutabagas

Your recipes this month would make great sides for Easter dinner!

Carrot Puree
1 lb carrots peeled and cut into coins
Add water to cover generously and bring to a boil. Cook until the carrots are completely tender
(25 or so minutes). Drain and mash carrots with following:
1/2 cup milk or cream
1-1/2 tablespoon butter
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cumin

Rutabaga and Potato Gratin
1-1/2 lbs rutabaga and potatoes (total), peeled and sliced thinly
1/2 clove of grated garlic
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
salt and pepper
1/2 tsp thyme
3/4 cup grated sharp cheddar or Gruyere cheese
1-1/2 cup milk
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Season sliced veggies with salt, pepper, and thyme. Arrange the
veggies in a gratin dish (or 9″x13” pan). Add milk. Bake for 45 minutes, pressing veggies down
into the milk one or two times during baking. After 45 minutes, add the cheese. Stir it into the
veggie mix and return to oven for 20-30 minutes (until veggies are completely soft and easily
pierced with a fork).

Cajun Rutabaga Chips
CHIPS
Rutabaga (peeled)
1.5 lbs
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
0.7 fl oz.
CAJUN SEASONING
Oregano 1 tsp
Thyme 1 tsp
Paprika 0.5 tsp
Cayenne Pepper 0.5 tsp
Garlic Powder 0.5 tsp
Black Pepper 1 pinch
Salt
STEP 1
Peel the rutabaga and then use a mandolin slicer or sharp knife to slice the swede into very thin
chips.
Ensure the chips are 1 to 2 mm thick, or they won’t crisp up as nicely.
STEP 2
Combine the Cajun seasoning ingredients in a small bowl. In another bowl, toss the rutabaga
chips with the olive oil.
Then, tip in the cajun spice mix and rub the chips thoroughly until they’re well coated
STEP 3
Now, arrange the seasoned chips flat on a baking tray lined with parchment paper.
You can keep them close to one another as they will shrink a lot while cooking. As they might
not fit all into one tray, we recommend baking them on multiple trays.
Bake the chips for 25 minutes at 250 °F in fan mode or at 285 °F in static mode.
Once they look smaller and curled up, flip them upside down and swap the trays top to bottom
and front to back.

These chips are best when consumed on the same day as they will lose some of their crispiness when stored longer.

March Winter CSA

Hello beloved farm members,

This is the time of the year when our farm seasons begin to overlap. We are still packing up the last of our veggies from this past growing season and sending them to our wholesale customers and your CSA shares. In addition, the crew also started planting onions and greens for this upcoming season. Onions are the first to be seeded into flats, and one of the first be transplanted into the fields each year. This year we planted over 40,000 onion seeds! Greens mix is relatively quick, but it’s always touch and go whether they’ll be ready in time for the April Winter Shares, so bring on the sun! It’s exciting every year to get the new season rolling while we’re still sending out produce from last year.

This growing season we will have some new faces here on the farm as well as some seasoned veterans. Personally, I am excited to meet new crew members and learn their life stories and what brought them to work at the Food Farm. Everyone’s story is different but our goals are all relatively the same: getting our hands dirty and growing good organic veggies for our community. I feel like I learn new things almost every day at the farm, so I am also looking forward to that this year too.

A few weeks ago we had the pleasure of being interviewed by Fox21 to let our community know how things are going for us at the farm. Check our the interview (and my cinematic debut) by clicking this link here: https://www.fox21online.com/2022/02/28/food-farm-ready-for-2022-farming-season/?fbclid=IwAR1iteB7ZoSbY1O-82BXkTwMGjuKBPEG1ULnkIjY1QuBdD9-I94tPLq4k5A

We hope you’ll have a chance to get outside and enjoy the warmer weather this week!

For the farm crew, Emily

In your shares this month you will find:

Red Cabbage, Rutabaga, Beets, Red Potatoes, Fingerling Potatoes, Onions, Parsnips, and Orange and Purple Carrots.

May be an image of 1 person and outdoors

Beet and Fennel Salad with Citrus 

  • 2 lbs beets
  • 3 oranges (assortment looks pretty:  navel, cara cara, mandarins, blood oranges)
  • Fennel (one bulb), very thinly sliced
  • 1 shallot, very thinly sliced (or red onion)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp vinegar (white wine or champagne best, white is OK)
  • 1/2-1 tsp sugar or honey
  • Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Trim and wash the beets and wrap them in foil.  Put them in the oven and roast for 45-60 minutes, until tender.  Let cool.
  • Slice the peels and pith off the citrus.  Thinly slice (1/4″ or less) or section the oranges over a bowl to catch the juices.  
  • Slice or dice the beets and layer them on a platter.  Place the thinly sliced fennel, orange sections, and shallots on top of the beets.  
  • Make the vinaigrette by combining the vinegar, olive oil, sugar, salt and pepper (to taste) in a bowl.  Whisk until emulsified and pour over the salad. 
  • This salad is also very good with the addition of sliced avocado, but the leftovers are less attractive.  🙂

Carrot-Parsnip Soup (New York Times)

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 1/2 cups chopped yellow onion
  • 3 cups coarsely chopped parsnip (about 1 lb)
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 1/2 cups coarsely chopped carrot (about 1 lb)
  • 2 cans (28oz total) vegetable broth
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp chives (garnish)
  • Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat.  Add the onion and cook 10 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally.  Add chopped parsnip, water, carrot and broth:  bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer 50 minutes or until vegetables are tender.  Remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes.  
  • Place 1/2 of parsnip mixture in a blender: process until smooth.  Pour pureed carrot mixture into a large bowl.  Repeat procedure with remaining veggies.  Stir in salt and pepper. 
  • Sprinkle chives on top of soup before serving.  

February Winter CSA

Greetings fellow food lovers,

It has been awfully chilly the last few weeks around the farm. Normally, we run around in circles and light veggie scraps on fire to stay warm every morning. We’ve also been curating a new dance routine to really turn up the heat in the packing shed. This helps us pack your veggies faster and also keeps our toes from freezing. Although I am just kidding, I often wonder during these cold midwinter stretches, “Why do I live somewhere that if I stayed outside too long, I would die?” On the other hand, the long winter can be a nice break from all of the summer work we do at the farm, and I love that we have real seasons in the Northland.

Speaking of the Northland, we had a great time seeing our community at Wild State Cider last week for our annual rutabaga giveaway. In case you missed it, this event had a unique twist this year: rutabaga curling! I can’t think of a better way to take advantage of this unique vegetable (aside from, you know, eating it). Plus, curlers can really sweep you off your feet. Our friends helped make a wonderful video with some highlights from the event which you can find on our Facebook page or by clicking this link: https://fb.watch/b8eTjlvrps/.

Make sure you sign up for your summer shares if you haven’t already! These spots tend to fill quickly. More of this information can be found right on our website. Let us know if you have any questions. Throughout these recent times of uncertainty in our food systems, the importance of local farms has really been brought to light. Community Supported Agriculture has given all of us stability and the ability to contribute to something bigger than ourselves. Our crew at the Food Farm continues to take this responsibility seriously and we appreciate our members and your support!

By the time I write the next newsletter, I expect we will have seen warmer days (by warmer days I mean anything above 20 degrees), and we’ll be starting up greenhouse work and seeding onions! Oh, and remember: organic vegetables make the perfect Valentine’s Day gifts.

Stay warm,

Emily

Your CSA farmers love you!

In your shares this month:

Beets – Carrots – Green Cabbage – Parsnips – Baby Red and Russett Potatoes – Onions – Garlic – Delicata Squash

Mulligan Stew (The Soup and Bread Cookbook, B. Ojakangas)

  • 2 lbs beef stew meat cut into 1″ cubes (or substitute beans for a vegetarian version)
  • 4 medium thin skinned potatoes, yellow or red, washed, unpeeled and quartered
  • 4 medium carrots, cut into 2″ pieces
  • 4 small onions, quartered
  • 1 (1/2 lb) rutabaga, peeled and cut into 1″ cubes
  • 3 sprigs parsley
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1/2 cup red wine or water

In a 4-qt soup pot, combine the meat and cold water to cover and bring to a boil.  Add the potatoes, carrots, onions, rutabaga, parsley, sugar, salt, and pepper.  Simmer, tightly covered, over low heat until the meat is tender, about 2 hours and 30 minutes.

In a cup, mix the flour and wine/water until smooth.  Stir into the stew and cook for 15 minutes, stirring frequently to thicken the stew. 

Kalldolmer (Danish cabbage rolls)(Danish Food Cookbook)

  • 3/4 lb ground beef
  • 1/4 lb ground pork
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup cooked rice or 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 small onion, grated
  • 1 tsp salt 
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 2 cans stewed tomatoes
  • 12 cabbage leaves (large)

Mix meats, rice/bread crumbs, onion, milk, egg, salt and pepper in a bowl.  Rinse a large cabbage head and remove about 12 large leaves.  Drop the leaves into boiling water for a few minutes to soften them.  Drain the leaves.  Place about 1/4 cup of meatball mix into the center of the leaf and wrap it like a package.  Brown in a frying pan and then place seam side down in a 9″x13″ baking pan.  Pour the tomatoes over them.  Bake 350F for about an hour.

January Winter CSA

Happy New Year, food lovers!

2022 will be the 29th season of community supported agriculture here at the farm. That is over 500 weeks of delivering summer shares to thousands of local community members. We have seen a great deal of veggies come and go over the years, and we are still just as excited to grow through another year. Personally, I am excited to experience another season of organic farming because there is so much to learn. My favorite part of the growing season happens to be the very beginning. Greenhouse work is so interesting and requires great attention to detail in order to ensure success throughout the whole season. I am also excited to hang around the critters at the Food Farm. Organic farming really seems to bring out the best in our garter snakes, birds, bugs, and Chester.

These are some critters I was able to snap pictures of this past season. A brave garter snake who made its way into the chicken coop and a lovely Luna moth hanging on a hose.

I realize it is January and dreaming of spring and summer seems unfair. Especially when we still have literally tons of food in the root cellar. Rutabagas and parsnips have made their debut in your winter shares this month. They’ve been patiently waiting in the root cellar since the end of the growing season (they’re the last few vegetables we harvest every year). One fun (and slightly embarrassing) fact about myself is before working at the Food Farm, I had never tried either of these vegetables. It seems that even as a farm worker, there may still be crops I have yet to try for the first time. Nonetheless, they’re amazing vegetables and one of our amazing CSA members has provided us with the perfect recipes for them.

Hopefully your holiday season was full of amazing food, crafted from either newly discovered recipes or the traditional ones that hold a special place in your celebrations. Appreciating and considering where your food is grown makes it more fun to be a home chef. I hope that you all love having the produce we grow in your homes as much as I do.

Until next time,

Emily

In your shares this month

Chioggia Beets, Carrots, Onions, Parsnips, Red and Yellow Potatoes, Rutabagas, Winter Sweet and Delicata Squash

Oven Baked Rutabaga Fries

  • 2 lbs rutabaga, cut into 1-inch wedges
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder (optional, but encouraged)
  • 1/4 tsp. paprika (opt.)
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cumin (opt.) 
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cayenne pepper (opt.)
  • Preheat oven to 450F.  Grease a large rimmed baking sheet and set aside. 
  • In a large bowl, toss the rutabagas with oil until thoroughly coated. 
  • In a small bowl, combine the salt and spices. 
  • Sprinkle the spices over the rutabagas and toss to coat. Spread the rutabagas over the prepared sheet in a single layer and bake for 30-35 minutes until browned and crispy. 

Quick-Pickled Rutabagas (*pickling fluid from New York Times)

  • 1/4-1/2 lbs rutabaga
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup rice-wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 5 tablespoons white sugar
  • 2 tsp salt (optional additions (to your taste): peppercorns, coriander seeds, chili pepper, star anise)
  • Bring water to a boil and pour into a bowl containing the vinegars, sugar, salt, and optional flavors.  Stir until the sugar is dissolved.
  • Scrub the rutabaga and slice thinly. 
  • Pour the vinegar mixture over the rutabaga and let them sit at room temp until the liquid is slightly cooled. 
  • Transfer to the refrigerator for at least one hour before eating.  Eat within the week! 

Parsnip Flan (Wall Street Journal)

  • 1/2 lb parsnips, peeled and finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1/2 cup half-and-half
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 8 ramekins (for baking the flan)
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bring a couple quarts of water to a boil.
  • Place parsnips in a medium saucepan and cover with 1/2″ water. Cover and bring to a boil. Cook parsnips until very tender, 5-6 minutes. Reserve 2 tbsp of cooking water, then drain parsnips. 
  • Heat 1/2 cup sugar and 2 tablespoons reserved cooking water in a 10″ skillet over high heat until the sugar liquifies. Continue cooking over high heat, swirling pan occasionally until sugar caramelizes to a dark amber. Immediately divide caramel among ramekins.
  • In a blender, puree parsnips with half and half, eggs, vanilla, salt and remaining 1/4 cup sugar until smooth. Pour mixture through a mesh sieve into a bowl and divide among ramekins.
  • Place ramekins in a roasting pan and carefully pour boiling water into the pan (avoid splashing!) until it reaches halfway up the ramekins.  Bake until the flans are set but slightly wobbly in the center (approx. 15-20 minutes). Transfer ramekins to frig and chill completely.  
  • To serve, run the tip of a knife around the interior edge of the ramekins and invert the flan with their caramel onto dessert plates.

December Winter CSA

One of the highlights of my life the last few months is food preservation. It looks me right in the face every time I step foot in our amazing root cellar at the farm. From seed to storage, there is nothing more satisfying than preserving the bounty of the season, especially when you can watch a crop throughout its entire lifetime. My shelves are full of some amazing local produce thanks both to my job at the farm and having friends in the farm community. I am still relatively new to food preserving. The volume needed for a highly self-sustaining lifestyle hasn’t been attainable quite yet, so it seems like less of a chore and more of an experiment. We all know there are much less time-strenuous ways of getting and keeping food but I’m enjoying honing the craft of putting up food for the winter.

When I’m sweating over a hot stove by myself I often thing about the times when people would participate in community canning parties. It seems like a big stretch to organize events like that today, but it seems like such a great thing and I love hearing stories about farm members getting together with friends and family to process food together! It’s so great to know exactly what you’re eating and where it comes from, and doing the work with others makes it an occasion rather than just a chore. Plus, the apple fruit roll-ups I made with local apples taste much better than Betty Crocker’s.

Preserve (ca. 1917-1919) by Carter Housh

After last week’s storm the fields are covered in snow, though it looks like we may lose it all this week. A good hard freeze gives our soil a nice reset each year and can kill invasive pests, so we’re hoping that we do get some extended winter weather soon, and we sure could use some moisture in the ground. Towards the end of this harvest season, we removed all of the plastic walls from one of the greenhouses to give the soil inside a much-needed snow treatment this winter. While the plastic stays up on most of the greenhouses every winter, we try to leave it off over winter when it needs to be replaced. This helps wash away mineral build ups from many seasons of irrigation, loosen the soil with a few good freeze-thaw cycles, and build up the subsoil water reserves. I have a feeling that one of the first tasks to happen on the farm this spring is reassembling the greenhouse. I hope we have some calm days this spring, because any breeze can get pretty exciting when you’re holding a 48×150 foot kite! If you see us hitchhiking back from Wisconsin in April you’ll know what happened.

From Food Farm to you, enjoy this holiday season!

Queue “It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas” by Bing Crosby

For the farm crew, Emily


In your shares this month:

Beets – Green Cabbage – Orange and Purple Carrots – Garlic – Onions – French Fingerling and Yellow Potatoes – Sunshine and Delicata Squash


Beet, Apple, and Walnut Salad – The Book of Salads by Sonia Uvezian

  • 2 large, cooked beets – peeled and chopped
  • 2 tart apples – peeled, cored, and chopped
  • 6 stalks celery
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp orange juice
  • 1 small clove of garlic – crushed (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Combine apples, beets, celery and walnuts in a bowl. 
  • Beat together the oil, vinegar, juice, salt, pepper, and garlic with a fork and whisk until well blended. 
  • Pour over salad.  Toss gently but thoroughly.  Taste and adjust the seasoning.

Creamy Garlic Dressing – Moosewood Cooks at Home

  • 3 garlic cloves – minced or pressed
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp chopped basil (or 1 tsp dried)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp grated Parmesan
  • pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • Put garlic, oil, vinegar, basil, salt, Parmesan, and pepper into a blender or processor and whirl for a couple of seconds. 
  • With the blender still running, slowly add the milk, whirling until the dressing is thick and smooth. Covered and refrigerated, this will keep a week.

Roasted [Sunshine] Squash Soup – Simply Recipes

  • 3-4 lbs. sunshine squash, seeded (about 1 large squash)
    • This squash is in your share this month!
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • Salt
  • 2 cups chopped or sliced onions
  • 2 ribs celery, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 2-inch piece of fresh ginger root, peeled and grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • Lime juice, for serving
  • Chopped fresh cilantro, for serving
  • Roast the squash: Preheat oven to 400°F. Use a heavy chef’s knife or cleaver (it helps if you have a rubber mallet as well) to cut the kabocha squash half into a few large pieces. (Kabocha squash is thick and meaty and can be a challenge to cut. Make sure the squash is stable on your cutting board before you start to cut it.) Scoop out the seeds (you can toast them like pumpkin seeds!) and stringy insides. Place the squash pieces on a foil or Silpat lined roasting pan.
  • Rub 1 tablespoon olive oil over all sides, and sprinkle with salt. Put the squash pieces skin side up on the pan. Roast for 45 minutes to an hour, until completely cooked through, soft, and caramelized at the edges. Remove from oven and let sit.
  • Sauté onions, celery, garlic, ginger, cumin, coriander: Heat the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil on medium-high heat in a large (4 to 6 quart) thick-bottomed pan. Add the onions and celery. Lower the heat to medium and cook until softened, 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Add the garlic, ginger, cumin, and coriander and cook 2 minutes more.
  • Add squash, stock, salt, pepper, then simmer: Once squash is cool enough to handle, remove and discard the skin. Place the roasted kabocha squash flesh into the pot with the onions and celery mixture. Add the stock, salt and pepper. Increase heat to high to bring the soup to a simmer, then lower the heat to low, partially cover and cook 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Purée the soup: Remove from heat. Use an immersion blender (or work in batches with a standing blender, only filling the blender bowl 1/3 of the way each time) to purée the soup.
  • Add more salt to taste. Sprinkle with lime juice and chopped cilantro to serve.