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.  

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.

Summer CSA Week 18

That’s right farm sharers… It’s the final countdown (insert Europe guitarist). I think every one of us on the farm is shocked that the final CSA delivery is upon us. Not only because it’s still in the 70s during the day, but it also seems like only yesterday we were on the back of the transplanter planting the first of thousands of veggie starts. I don’t think we could have done it without that life-saving, and back-saving implement. Moreover, we could not have done it all without the support of our community and share members. It is all of you that keep the farm afloat and drive us to be the best farmers we can be. 18 weeks of shares have gone by in the blink of an eye yet we have so much to show for it. We have fed hundreds of people fresh, local, and organic veggies all while sustainably stewarding our farm.

This is not to say that with the end of the Summer CSA that comes the end of our work on the farm. In fact, we are just starting most of the large scale projects that will prepare us for our ’21-’22 Winter CSA, winter wholesale orders, and winter itself. On the farm hand side of things, this means clearing out the greenhouses, harvesting insane amounts of carrots, potatoes, beets, rutabagas, parsnips and cabbage, taking down trellises, and stowing the irrigation pipe that got our plants through this brutal summer. On the Janaki side of things, this means ensuring that fields are seeded with cover crops, compost is produced to feed our soil microbes, and operating the tractors so that us farm hands do not suffer at the expense of the insane amount of carrots I mentioned. Of course these aren’t the only things we will be doing over the next month, but you get the idea.

Just as we’re putting the farm to bed, we’re including a few sprigs of lavender in your share, long used as an aromatherapy sleep aide.

Here’s a list of things I have learned this season, even though nobody asked for it:

  • Do not waste time picking burs off of Chester. He will only come back around covered in more. He is also a professional skunk hunter and deer carcass finder.
  • Driving a very old tractor (we call it Stubby) is very fun and also terrifying at the same time.
  • Pigweed is a noxious plant that really makes you question whether or not being an organic farm is really worth it… (It is).
  • When a bee colony swarms they are actually super calm because they are not protecting their queen or hive anymore. I once walked through a swarm of thousands of bees to feed the chickens.
  • Raccoons sneak onto the farm for our tiny corn patch and nothing else.
  • Aside from the skunks that Chester brings around, the worst smell on the farm is hands down the smell of rotting daikon radish.
  • Do NOT harvest beets without gloves on unless you want to look like a murder suspect.
  • There is no such thing as a free meal.

Once again, we could not have done it without all of your support this season. We look forward to feeding you again in 2022. Until then, we will be here waiting and working the land to ensure you all receive high quality veggies next time around.

Take care,

Emily

“Agriculture is the noblest of all alchemy; for it turns earth, and even manure, into gold, conferring upon its cultivator the additional reward of health.” – Paul Chatfield

In your shares this week:

Beets – Carrots – Cilantro – Collar Greens – Lavender – Lettuce – Yellow Onions – Sweet Red Peppers – Hot Peppers – Potatoes – Rutabagas – Red Shallots – Delicata and Kabocha Winter Squash

A wonderful rainbow that made an appearance after we were rained on all day.
An absurdly large daikon radish that is destined for Spirit Creek Farm kimchi.

Red Flannel Hash (modified from NYT Cooking)

This recipe also works wonderfully with left-over roasted vegetables!

1.5 cups diced potatoes

1 cup diced squash

1/2 cup diced beets

1/2 cup diced carrots

1/2 cup diced peppers

1/4 cup diced onion

1/2 tsp each thyme and parsley

salt and pepper to taste


*Note:  Dice all the veggies into the similarly sized cubes (~1/2 inch) Heat oven to 425.  Place potatoes, squash, and beets on a rimmed baking sheet with 1 tablespoon of oil and bake for 20 minutes.  Add remaining veggies and herbs to the pan with the remaining olive oil and bake another 25 minutes.   
Fry the baked veggies in a frying pan with butter in a single layer to achieve crispness.  Top with a fried egg and serve with a side salad.


Strata (savory bread pudding)

1/2 lb french bread (stale or leftover works best), enough to make 4 cups of bread cubes

1 cup sliced mushrooms

1/2 cup diced peppers

1 cup diced or grated squash (~1/4″ cubes)

2 cups kale

1 clove garlic, minced

1.5 cups milk

1/2 cup grated hard cheese (swiss, gruyere, or cheddar)

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp fresh rosemary (or 1/2tsp dried) 

1 tsp salt

4 large eggs


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Soak the bread cubes in 3/4 c. of the milk. Oil or butter a 2 qt baking dish.  Heat a frying pan and add the kale.  Fry over medium heat until the leaves begin to soften and wilt.  Cover the pan and let the kale steam until cooked (3 minutes).  Remove from pan, press or squeeze out the excess liquid.  Chop coarsely and set aside.  Add 1 tbsp oil to the same frying pan and add the mushrooms and peppers.  Fry on medium heat until the mushrooms are cooked and the peppers have lost some of their moisture.  Add the minced garlic and the squash, and continue to fry for another minute.  Stir in the rosemary and kale.  Remove from heat, pour into a bowl with the cubed bread, the two cheeses, and toss together.  Arrange in a baking dish.
Beat eggs in a medium bowl and add the remaining milk and salt (and a few shakes of black pepper if you like it).  Pour over the bread and press the bread down into the custard mix.  Bake for 40-50 minutes until puffed up and brown and a knife poked into the strata comes out clean.
Note:  this can be assembled and left (covered) in the fridge for the night for a quick and easy morning bake, too!

February Winter Share

Now we have four Winter Shares done, and two to go! I hope that you all are well into the swing of using these storage-time staples each month. It can be nice to settle into patterns and familiar recipes. I’ve been through a few: hashbrowns, cubed and sautéed roots together with an egg on top, spicy coleslaw, miso soup, chocolate-chocolate chip cookies with peanut butter. Oh wait, that’s a different category.

If your go-to recipes are starting to feel more like a rut, and less like a comfort, I hope you can find some ways to add some pep and switch things up this month. Making a meal plan change can be as easy as trying a new condiment, or digging into the back of the spice cupboard and see what has fallen out of use for a while (not too long though… they do go bad [mom]). If you normally reach for lemon juice to brighten dishes, try a new vinegar, or some wine.

I know I’ve said before, that I have learned more about cooking from friends and roommates than I ever have from a cook-book or blog. From canning tomatoes to homemade pita bread to massaged kale to chopping food small enough- my friends didn’t even know the lessons they passed on just by sharing a kitchen.

The joy of cooking and preparing food together is something I miss. Sharing meals and passing dishes around a table to friends or family is going to be the first thing I do whenever those kinds of things can happen again. I am sure I will cry the first time.

With the sharing of food in groups missing, the connection between food and community might feel non-existent at times. Maybe if you split your share with another family you have an additional sense of connection as you sort through boxes together or drop food off. I am glad that at least, with the food you get from our farm, we are all still connected, and your support is a critical part of how we can do what we do. Indeed, of why we do what we do.

Even if you find yourself alone over a plate of uninspired-feeling (but delicious tasting) roasted delicata some time this month… you might not actually be as alone in that as you think.

For the farm crew,

Karin


In your share this month:
Beets – Purple and Orange Carrots – Green Cabbage – Delicata Squash – Onions – Parsnips* – Red and Baby Yellow Potatoes


*A note on our tiny little parsnips: this crop got 2020ed (is that be a verb now?), and the replanted ones didn’t have time to size up very well. I would recommend NOT peeling them, but scrubbing them well instead. The rusty, oxidized look on the outside shouldn’t affect the taste. They are just too small to peel. Here’s to next year’s planting going better.


Potato-Parsnip Latkes with Horseradish and Dill
From the Smitten Kitchen

Yield: About 18 2 1/2 to 3-inch latkes

Pancakes
1/2 pound (about 1 large) potato
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 pound parsnips (Farm note: you got 1 1/2 lbs in your share, and you could probably get away with using all of them in this)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
1 teaspoon table salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Olive oil (or a mix of olive and vegetable or peanut oil) for frying

Sauce
1 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 tablespoon freshly grated or prepared horseradish
1 tablespoon chopped dill

Preheat: Oven to 250 degrees. Line one large or two smaller baking sheets with foil and leave them in the oven until needed.

Prepare vegetables: grate them on the large holes of a box grater or (my preferred method) using the shredding blade of a food processor.

Transfer shredded vegetables to a lint-free dishtowel or square of cheesecloth, and wring out as much liquid as possible. Let stand for two minutes, then wring again. Wetness is the enemy of crisp, light latkes, so we want to get rid of as much as possible.

Make batter: Transfer wrung-out vegetables to a large bowl. Add lemon juice. In a tiny dish, stir together the flour, baking powder, salt, pepper and any herbs or additional seasonings and toss with vegetables, evenly coating the strands. In the same tiny dish, whisk your egg(s) and then stir this into the vegetable-flour mixture, evenly coating the strands.

Prepare pan: Heat a large, heavy skillet, preferably cast iron, over medium heat. Once skillet is hot, add 3 tablespoons oil and heat oil until shimmering. If you’re unsure, you can flick a droplet of water onto the oil; if it hisses and sputters, you’re good to go.

Cook: Using a fork or your fingertips (letting the eggy batter drain off a little is good), gather spoonful-sized mounds of battered vegetables and drop them onto the heated skillet. When golden underneath, 3 to 4 minutes later, flip pancakes. Cook on the other side until nicely bronzed underneath, another 2 to 3 minutes, and transfer to paper towels briefly to drain pancakes, before transferring them again to tray(s) in warm oven. If latkes cook too quickly or slowly on the stove, adjust the heat accordingly.

Add more oil if needed (you want to keep the pan at that 3 tablespoon level), being sure it is heated before adding more pancakes to the skillet. Repeat with remaining batter. I like to keep the latkes in the oven for at least 10 minutes to ensure they’ve cooked through before serving them. This gives you time to…

Make sauce: Mix sauce ingredients in a small dish. Adjust seasonings to taste.

Beet and Carrot salad with Currants
From the Leek and the Carrot

4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup dried currants (or cranberries)
1/4 cup champagne vinegar
2 large (or 1 extra-large) beets, peeled
3-4 large carrots, peeled
2 apples
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 cup olive oil
1-2 cups chopped and toasted almonds

  1. In a small bowl, combine garlic, currants and vinegar. Let currants plump and garlic mellow in there for at least 20 minutes. It will likely take that long to get your veggies cut up anyhow.
  2. Cut the beets, carrots and apples into matchsticks and place in a large bowl. Squeeze with lemon and season with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Toss to combine then add the garlic and currant mixture. Drizzle with olive oil and toss several more times to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.
  3. When ready to eat, serve with toasted almonds. If not eating all at once, keep toasted almonds to the side and add right before eating so they maintain their crunch.

December Winter Share

Greetings on this sunny winter day! Karin was off newsletter duty today, so you’re stuck with the last minute ramblings Truman and I came up with. Here are his thoughts:

I would like to wish all the farm kids a very happy, jolly, merry Christmas and that you all get what you’re looking for this holiday. I am looking forward to special food in my stocking, especially candy canes because we only get those at Christmastime. My favorite foods for dinner are mashed potatoes, broccoli, carrots, and beets. I like making and eating gingerbread cookies. I also like being in my pjs all day, especially my footy firetruck pajamas. I call them my matchies because Ellis has the same ones.

Even–or I suppose especially–in a turbulent year like this, I am just so humbled by my position in this world, so thankful to have family and friends nearby, so honored to have hundreds of families trusting this farm for their food supply. The older I get the more I realize how essential it is to have these networks of support in place to allow me the energy to in turn do my part in what I hope is an effort to make the world a little better. Our family is incredibly grateful to this place, the people, and the planet we call home.

For the farm crew,

Janaki

In your share today: Beets, Red Cabbage, Orange and Purple Carrots, Onions, Yellow and Russet Potatoes, Sunshine and Delicata Squash

Sorry, I didn’t have time to type in recipes today, so I’m just going to take a picture of two of my favorites–hopefully you can read the handwriting!. I was skeptical of the fresh beet/carrot salad at first, but it has become a staple in our house. And warm biscuits are hard to pass up any time of the year.

Summer CSA Week 17

Don’t blink, or you’ll miss it!

I am thinking of the autumn colors, naturally. They are so lovely and so fleeting. Unlike the turn of season at the end of winter, which seems to drag on and on through slush and grime, autumn is so fast, and so crisp. It is the snap of an apple, hands on a cold steering wheel, wind in your face, yard work hastily finished. It’s clean and clear and cold and beautifully strips away the things of summer and gets us ready for a long tuck-in time.

Don’t blink or you’ll miss it!

The CSA season usually feels like it goes so fast. One week left, and poof, there go 18 weeks. This year has felt a little slower in some ways (because this year has been 500 years long), but quick enough that I just realized I need to start using my frozen rhubarb and not wait for next April like I have some years. The time is now! Switch out those early summer/spring items to make way for frozen squash or soups or greens.

Like any new parent, I can say how much faster time goes with a baby. They say that the days are long and the years are short, but even the days seem so quick with him when I realize it’s already late afternoon and there’s still so much I “need” to do (like laundry, always) and there’s still so much he “should do” like hear big words or classical music or whatever. It’s nice to have him around to remind me of how much is worth exploring in just a few square feet of forest, or living room.

Having autumn, slow food, or little people to slow down for so we don’t over look the fleeting beauty and bounty of the world is such a blessing. I hope in the often craziness of life this week there are moments that spark your curiosity or rekindle your joy.

For the farm crew,

Karin

This carrot took the scenic route!

In your share this week:

Northeaster Green Beans – Beets – Broccoli – Red Cabbage – Carrots – Cucumber – Lettuce Mix – Onions – Parsley – Yellow Potatoes – Pumpkins – Sunshine Squash – Tomatoes

MISO ROASTED ROOT VEGGIE NOODLE BOWL
From The Leek and the Carrot

Serves 4-6
Takes 1 hour

1 1/2 pounds carrots, topped and peeled
1 1/2 pound beets, topped and peeled
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon white miso paste
2 tablespoons maple syrup, divided
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
4 cups roughly chopped mushrooms (I used a mixture of shittakes and cremini)
8-10 ounces rice noodles (I love the Lotus Foods Millet & Brown Rice Ramen)
4-5 ounces lettuce mix
2-3 avocados, sliced
1/2 cup Almond Miso Dressing (see below)
2 tablespoons white or black sesame seeds, optional
Kimchi, optional

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cut beets in half and then cut each half into quarters. Cut carrots in half in the middle and then quarter each half lengthwise. Spread out on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, white miso paste and 1 tablespoon maple syrup until smooth. Brush carrots and beets with this mixture then roast for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, toss veggies and then roast 20 minutes longer.
  4. In a medium saucepan, mix together soy sauce, toasted sesame oil and remaining 1 tablespoon maple syrup. Add mushrooms and toss until they’re well-coated. Cook over medium low heat for 15-20 minutes. The mushrooms will first release a lot of liquid, then reduce down. Once fully cooked and soft, remove from the heat.
  5. Cook noodles according to package directions.
  6. Divide lettuce mix evenly into dinner bowls. Top with noodles and miso roasted veg. Spoon mushroom mixture (sauce and mushrooms) over noodles. Add 1/2 avocado to each bowl. Drizzle 2-3 tablespoons of Almond Miso dressing and then sprinkle with sesame seeds. Add kimchi to your preference.

Almond Miso Dressing
1/2 cup almonds
5 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon white miso
1 tablespoon maple syrup

  1. In a food processor, process almonds until finely chopped (so it looks roughly like minced garlic). Add remaining ingredients and process until smooth. You may have to scrape down edges a couple times.

Creamy Roasted Carrot Soup

2 pounds carrots
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
¾ teaspoon fine sea salt, divided, to taste
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
½ teaspoon ground coriander
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
4 cups vegetable broth (or water)
2 cups water
1 to 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, to taste
1 ½ teaspoons lemon juice, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper for easy cleanup, if desired.
  2. To prepare your carrots, peel them and then cut them on the diagonal so each piece is about ½″ thick at the widest part (see photos).
  3. Place the carrots on the baking sheet. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil and ½ teaspoon of the salt. Toss until the carrots are lightly coated in oil and seasonings. Arrange them in a single layer.
  4. Roast the carrots until they’re caramelized on the edges and easily pierced through by a fork, 25 to 40 minutes, tossing halfway.
  5. Once the carrots are almost done roasting, in a Dutch oven or soup pot, warm the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion and ¼ teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened and turning translucent, 5 to 7 minutes.
  6. Add the garlic, coriander and cumin. Cook until fragrant while stirring constantly, about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Pour in the vegetable broth and water, while scraping up any browned bits on the bottom with a wooden spoon or sturdy silicone spatula.
  7. Add the roasted carrots to the pot when they are out of the oven. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat as necessary to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook for 15 minutes, to give the flavors time to meld.
  8. Once the soup is done cooking, remove the pot from the heat and let it cool for a few minutes. Then, carefully transfer the hot soup to a blender, working in batches if necessary.
  9. Add the butter, lemon juice, and several twists of black pepper. Blend until completely smooth. Add additional salt and pepper if necessary, to taste. Add another tablespoon of butter if you’d like more richness, or a little more lemon juice if it needs more zing. Blend again, and serve.
  10. This soup keeps well in the refrigerator, covered, for about four days, or for several months in the freezer.

December Winter Share

Copy of farm to table

We have had some challenging winter days the past couple of weeks: if you are reading this, you must not be under a bank of snow. Congratulations! I hope that beyond the shoveling and snow-blowing and spinning and drifting, you have had a chance to enjoy how beautiful the whole world is under the winter-spun blanket.

This time of year tends to be busy – and many of us have traditions that bring us back to family or friends to share a meal or two. The traditions surrounding the food we eat at any holiday run deep in many families, and others may have more flexibility and change up seasonal cooking norms. I tend to like what I’ve eaten year in and year out. For just  a couple of meals a year: I like the same things over and over, and not much of it is all that healthy.

There are also common complaints about this Holiday season, probably more than any other. The complaints I’ve heard tend to center around the need to shop for gifts, and the expectations surrounding how families spend their time, and with whom, and when and all that. There are a lot of stressors. Not a small one is that people seem to feel trapped by how decadent the food is and that it is everywhere, all the time, in copious amounts. And when I say food, I mean treats. So, so many treats.

Over the years, I’ve found myself thinking that peoples’ complaints about this time of year aren’t really about the Holidays. The root of the problem is that all year long we feel stressed about expectations around family time, and about the endlessly available shopping options, and about the constantly available treats. We’ve spent 11 months burning ourselves out on it all and when the time rolls around for those things to be special, they aren’t any more. Now it becomes a matter of having to do all these things, but multiplied by 10 to make it seem special.

The older I get the more I think I would like a Christmas season that our families lean a little more to a “Little House on the Prairie” sort of gift exchange (i.e., a penny, candy small cake and little cup), and think of oranges as a bit of a treat.

Of course this time of year doesn’t hold exactly these kinds of issues for everyone. Some people don’t make a big deal out of the Holidays. Some people maybe would like to, but don’t have people near by to share the bounty with. There is of course a wide range of ways people spend their time and energy this time of year.

Perhaps parts of your winter share this month will add healthful and seasonal dishes to the bounty. Or, like the recipes below, somewhere between healthy and not. And wherever you enjoy your share, and with whomever you enjoy it: I hope it’s blessed.

And I hope that there are some moments of peace and love and simplicity for you this time of year as well.

From all of us at the Food Farm,

Karin


In your share this month:

Beets, Red cabbage, Carrots, Onions,  Russet and yellow potatoes, Delicata and Sunshine squash


 

Beet Chocolate Cake (From Bon Appétite)

Gluten free and dairy free

Cake

  • 4 medium beets, scrubbed
  • 2 Tbsp. virgin coconut oil, plus more for pan
  • ½ cup cocoa powder, plus more for pan
  • 1½ cups almond flour
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2 oz. bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar or distilled white vinegar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1¼ cups (packed) light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt

Glaze

  • 4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. virgin coconut oil
  • ¼ tsp. vanilla extract
  • Pinch of kosher salt

    Cake:

  • Cook beets in a medium pot of boiling unsalted water until tender, 30–40 minutes, depending on size. Drain and rinse under cold water until cool enough to handle. Cut off stem end, then peel and cut beets into large pieces. Transfer to a blender and add 2 Tbsp. water. Blend, adding water 1 Tbsp. at a time as needed, until a smooth purée forms—it should be the consistency of applesauce. Measure out 1 cup purée (reserve remaining purée for another use, such as blending into a smoothie).

  • Preheat oven to 350°. Line bottom of an 8″ round cake pan with parchment. Grease with oil, then dust with cocoa powder, tapping out excess.

  • Whisk almond flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and remaining ½ cup cocoa powder in a medium bowl; set aside.

  • Heat chocolate and remaining 2 Tbsp. oil in a medium heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water, stirring often, until melted. Remove bowl from heat. Stir in vinegar, vanilla, and reserved 1 cup beet purée until smooth.

  • Beat eggs, brown sugar, and salt in the large bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment on medium-high speed (or use an electric mixer and large bowl) until more than tripled in volume and mixture holds a ribbon for several seconds when beater is lifted above batter, 5–7 minutes. Thoroughly beating the eggs is key to creating an aerated, light crumb and is a critical step when using gluten-free ingredients.

  • Pour chocolate-beet mixture into egg mixture and beat on medium-low speed until combined. Turn mixer off and gently tip in reserved dry ingredients. Beat on lowest speed, scraping down bowl as needed, until combined.

  • Transfer batter to prepared pan. Bake cake until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean and the top springs back when gently pressed, 45–50 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around edges of pan, then invert cake onto a wire rack and let cool.

    Glaze:

  • Heat chocolate, oil, vanilla, and salt in a medium heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water, stirring often, until chocolate is melted. Let cool, stirring occasionally, until mixture is thickened and cool enough to touch, 10–15 minutes.

  • Place rack with cake on a rimmed baking sheet. Pour glaze over center of cake to cover top, tilting baking sheet slightly to encourage a few drips to run over sides of cake. Let sit at room temperature until glaze is set, 2–3 hours.


Blue Cheese and Potato Tart

  • 1 Savory Tart Shell, below, or recipe of your choice, in a 9-inch tart pan and ready to fill
  • 1 pound potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/4 pound blue cheese, crumbled (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1 tablespoons finely chopped herb or herbs of your choice, such as a mixture of thyme and rosemary
  • Fine sea salt for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 350°F. In a medium saucepan, cover potato slices with water by two inches. Simmer, uncovered, until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain. If the potatoes don’t seem very dry, pat them dry with towels.

Arrange potato slices, overlapping slightly, in concentric circles around the tart pan. Sprinkle blue cheese over potatoes. Whisk cream and egg yolk together and pour into tart shell, then sprinkle tart with herbs of your choice and salt.

Bake tart on a baking sheet until bubbling and golden brown, about 45 to 50 minutes. Cool in pan on rack and serve warm or cold. With a big green salad, for balance.

Savory Tart Shell

  • 1 1/4 (5 1/2 ounces) cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons (3 ounces) butter, diced
  • 1 large egg

In a large bowl, combine the flour, cornstarch and salt. Cut the butter in with a pastry blender, fork or two knives until it is in very tiny bits. Add one egg and mix with a fork until a dough forms. If this does not happen easily, toss it out onto a counter and knead it together. This dough is rather tough but with a little elbow grease, it does come together nicely.

This dough can also be made a food processor, or in a stand mixer, though I’ve only tried it in a food processor.

On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to a 12-inch circle. Place the dough in a 9-inch pie plate or tart pan and press to remove any air bubbles. Level the edges, and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Proceed with a filling of your choice, no parbaking required.

Summer CSA, Week 17

Rain rain go away,

Come again another day,

Rain rain go away,

We’d like to harvest our vegetables someday

So after the CSA on Monday I think we are going to start building an ark. Two of every vegetable of course. Two Astro vans, thank goodness. Wouldn’t want those to die off.

After a summer of wishing it would rain Mother Nature has decided now would be a much better time to challenge us. The thing is it’s way more fun to get rained on when it’s 70 or 80 degrees as opposed to 40 or 50 degrees.

Endless showers, impeachment headlines and vegetables that need harvesting. If you can find the joy then that could be a recipe for success.

Most of the week was spent harvesting the second planting of carrots. We also picked the last of the outside tomatoes and stacked the squash to store for winter. We took the new potato harvester for a test run. Little tweaks and improvements were made to the design. And it works great!

A ray of baby sunshine came out to the farm on Friday. Bosen and Karin lent a hand and all seemed right with the world again.

From a farm crew out finding the joy,

Tiffany


In Your CSA box:

Northeastern Pole Beans, Beets, Broccoli, Carrots, Cilantro, Cucumber, Lettuce, Yellow Onion, Parsley, Red-ish Sweet Peppers, Hot Peppers, Potatoes, Delicata and Sunshine Squash, Tomatoes, Turnips


Breakfast Huevos Rancheros

Lots of people have very different meanings for huevos rancheros. I like to keep it simple.

  • 2-4 medium potatoes (depending on number of people eating), shredded.
  • Salsa
  • Sour cream
  • Cilantro
  • Shredded cheese
  • Eggs and or meat of choice.

Shred potatoes and squeeze as much water out of them as possible. Heat skillet (cast iron is ideal) to medium high heat with olive oil. Test skillet with sample of potatoes or water to see if it sizzles.

Once skillet is hot place shredded potatoes evenly on skillet about 1-2 inches thick. Salt and pepper top. Drizzle olive oil over top as well.

Leave alone for 5 minutes. Check the bottom often to make sure it isn’t sticking to pan. Flip once golden brown. Salt and pepper other side. Wait another 5 minutes and turn off heat.

Fry eggs to desired consistency. I would recommend over medium-hard. Place shredded cheese on hash browns. Place cooked egg on top of cheese. Apply more cheese. Add a dollop of sour cream and salsa. Garnish with chopped cilantro.

Add ground beef or shredded pork if you are into that for a different flavor.

Autumn Harvest Salad

  • Delicata Squash
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 3 cooked beets
  • 1 raw onion
  • 1 bunch of crunchy kale
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 cup farro- cooked
  • 3/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp Apple cider vinegar
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 oz goat cheese
  • Parsley for garnish

Set oven to 400 degrees. Cut delicata into slices. Dress with olive oil, salt pepper and chili powder. Roast for 15 minutes.

Cut beets into small cubes. Toss in olive oil place on baking sheet and roast for 30-40 minutes or until tender.

Cook farro by directions and cool. Whisk together ingredients for dressing: apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, olive oil, paprika, chili powder, salt and pepper.

In a large bowl add kale, squash, farro, beets and chopped raw onion. Add dressing and mix well. Top with goat cheese and a garnish of parsley.

Summer CSA, Week 13!

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This year was a late spring and what seems like an early fall. The actual start to fall isn’t for another couple weeks but with the crispness in the air why not start the festivities early?

The fall equinox is an important event for Pagans around the world. During the fall equinox the hours of daylight and and night are completely equal. There is no single tradition of celebration, more like themes to live by.

These themes coincide nicely with our work on the Food Farm. The themes to live by during this autumn time include:

Balance, think about what in your life is out of balance. Sleep, work, exercise? Perhaps you haven’t had enough candy corn yet this year?

Gratitude, for the bountiful harvest. We are beginning to harvest actual tons of food from our fields. Waves of gratitude wash over me when I imagine how many people will get to enjoy this harvest.

Letting go, because winter is coming. Autumn marks the turn towards the dark time of year. A time when we all look inward. Discard what will hold you back on the journey through the darkness….aka -30 degree winter days.

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Summer came and went in the blink of an eye. Now it’s time for long sleeves, long pants and rubber boots. It’s time for soup and baked potatoes and warm bonfires. It’s almost time for watching the leaves change and apple cider.

From our farm family to yours,

Tiffany

This is a gentle reminder the Food Farm will be at the Harvest Festival in Bayfront park this Saturday from 10-4!

Come talk to us and come get some veggies!


In your CSA box: Green Beans, Beets, Red Cabbage, Carrots, Cilantro, Cucumbers, Dill, Red Russian Kale, Greens Mix, Sweet Onions, Green and Hot Peppers, Potatoes, Tomatoes, Zucchini


Borscht Soup

Beef stock

  • 2 lbs stew beef
  • 1 lb beef bones
  • 2.5 quarts of water
  • 2 large bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp coriander
  • 1/2 tbsp peppercorns

Soup

  • 3 medium beets
  • 1 medium sweet onion
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 1 head of red cabbage
  • 2 to 4 red potatoes
  • 8 oz baby Bella mushrooms
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 tbsp fresh dill

Preheat pot over medium high heat with a little bit of canola oil. Add beef and bones to pot and seat for a few minutes.

Add water to pot and bring to simmer. Add bay leaves, coriander and peppercorns and reduce heat to low.

Loosely cover with lid and let cook for 2-4 hours.

About half way through cooking the meat add whole unpeeled beets. Cook until done and set aside.

Strain off the stock and remove bones, coriander, bay leaves and peppercorns. Set meat and beets and stock aside.

Prepare the veggies! Slice thinly: onions, shrooms, cabbage. Grate carrots. Cube potatoes. Mince garlic.

Using same pot on medium high heat add a little canola oil. Add onion and carrot and sauté until soft. Add garlic and stir well.

Add potatoes and mushrooms stirring occasionally.

Add cabbage, stir until cabbage softens.

Add tomato paste, sugar, salt and pepper to taste. Stir until tomato paste is evenly mixed.

Break apart beet and add to pot, now start adding stock! Add enough stock to completely cover veggies. Add more if you desire more broth.

Cook over medium heat for 25-30 minutes. Taste, make sure there is enough pepper and salt. Stir in dill.

Peel beet and grate into soup.

Garnish with sour cream and more dill!

Dilly Vegetable Dip

  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 tbsp sweet onion
  • 1 tbsp dill
  • 1 tsp salt

Mix all ingredients well in a medium bowl. Best served with fresh Food Farm carrots or topped on Borscht Soup!

Summer CSA, Week 4

Let’s think about the joy in life.

NPR is not currently broadcasting about the member drive and I find myself still not able to turn the news on. Between the debates and the eminent war updates I quickly fall under a rain cloud. So this week I went searching for some joy.

Periodically throughout the week I asked folks where they found some joy. These are their thoughts:

Sandy told me he enjoyed going to the Huskies game with Annie, Truman and Ellis. Sandy also caught a skunk in a live trap and re-homed it away from their property. I assume that brought him some bittersweet joy.

Dave himmed and hawwhed then finally said he was very grateful for the water that fell from the sky this week.

Teri eagerly listed off turnips, radishes, and lettuce as things that brought her joy. But ultimately finally getting to wear shorts and a cold glass of lemonade brought her the most joy.

Jane initially said going to the beach after work with her kids one night was wonderful. Later in the week she got out of going to the mall with her parents and decided that was more joyful.

Garrett expresses some frustration in the carrot field about being under a rain cloud. But the carrot field is a magical place where worries wash away after you talk about them. And through much reflection and venting Garrett said he was reminded to be at peace with the world.

Karin said Joel has started talking to their baby (in utero) more! Maybe by the time you read this she will have had her baby! [editor’s note: nope]

Patricia thought for a moment and gleefully said she saw some work being done to her house. This is very exciting!

Sam told me carrots. I did not wish him a Happy Friday, he does not enjoy that.

As for me the heartwarming feels I got from all the farm crew leading up to my race have been wonderful. Dave making lunch on Friday brought me so much joy. Sam made me granola bars!

I left the farm Friday with a happy heart knowing our farm crew is a joyful bunch.

Tiffany


In your CSA box:

Carrots – Green Top Beets – Green Onions – Radishes – Lettuce – Turnips – Pac Choi


*This is likely the last week your carrots will have green tops on them. You can wash and use those greens! We recommend a carrot top pesto.

Roasted Beet and Carrot salad with Burrata Cheese

For the salad

  • 5 or 6 Red Beets with tops
  • 6 carrots halved lengthwise
  • Olive oil
  • Sea salt to taste

For the dressing

  • 3 Tbs Olive Oil
  • 2 Tbs White Wine Vinegar
  • 1 Tbs Honey
  • 1 Garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 tsp minced rosemary
  • Sea salt to taste
  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cut the tops of the beets, reserving the beet greens. Scrub the beets clean, half and slice. Clean ribs off the beet greens and tear the greens into pieces. 
  3. Set aside. Keep the red beets separate from the rest of the vegetables if you don’t want the colors to bleed. Toss beets and carrots in olive oil with salt. Spread in one layer on sheet pan. Again keeping red beets separate from the rest of the vegetables if you don’t want the colors to bleed. 
  4. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes or until tender and browned.
  5. Combine dressing ingredients and whisk until well combined.
  6. Right before the vegetable are read from the oven heat a skillet over medium-high heat with a drizzle of olive oil. 
  7. Quickly sauté the beet greens, about 2 minutes or until lightly wilted. Transfer to platter. 
  8. Top with roasted vegetable, burrata cheese and drizzle with dressing. Garnish with fresh rosemary.

Crispy Turnip Fries

  • 4 Turnips, peeled and cut into fries (our turnips are smaller and don’t need to be peeled, so add in the ones from last week if you have them still)
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper or cooking spray.
  1. Toss the turnips with olive oil, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper.
  1. Place in one layer on the baking sheet. Bake for 18-20 minutes, flipping after 10 minutes until nice and crispy. If needed you can broil them at the end to help crisp them up.