Summer CSA Week 17, 2022

It’s pumpkin time!

This is the penultimate CSA week! You will be receiving a carving pumpkin with your share this week. The pumpkins do not fit in the box, so please remember to grab your pumpkin when you pick-up. Enjoy carving jack o’lanterns! Try roasting your pumpkin seeds for a bonus tasty snack.

Next week will be the 18th and final CSA box for this season. It has been a joy having you as part of the Food Farm family!

Loading up pumpkins for Monday deliveries.

In your share this week:

Noreaster Beans – Broccoli – Carrots – Garlic – Leeks – Lettuce – Onion – Sweet Red Peppers (not hot) – Jalapeño Pepper (hot) – Yellow Potatoes – Daikon Radish – Delicata and Acorn Squash – Tomatoes – Parsley


Leaves changing at the farm


Universal Cream of Vegetable Soup

This recipe works for nearly any vegetable the farm grows – from celery to leeks to squash! This is also a great way to use up veggies from last week.

Ingredients

  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 6-8 cups coarsely chopped veggies (suggested starting point: 1 med onion coarsely chopped, 2 leeks, one clove garlic minced, 2 diced carrots,  2-3 stalks celery coarsely chopped, 2 potatoes diced. Add any other veggie like broccoli, cauliflower, or  squash to total 6 cups veggies.)
  • 1/4 cup flour.  
  • 4 cups broth (chicken, pork or veggie)
  • 1/2 to 1 cup milk or cream
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Sauté veggies in the butter 10-15 minutes (until tender but not brown).
  2. Add flour and cook for a couple of minutes.  
  3. Turn heat to high and add 4 cups of broth (chicken, pork or veggie), while constantly stirring as the soup thickens.  Bring to a boil.  
  4. Reduce heat to simmer the soup.  Cook, partially covered, until the vegetables are very tender (appx 30 minutes).   Using an immersion blender, food processor, or blender process the soup until smooth.  Add a little water or more broth if the soup is too thick and difficult to process.  
  5. Return soup to the pot and add 1/2-1 cups milk or cream.  Salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Can be served with grated cheese.

Recipe from Deb Rausch


What to do with Daikon Radish?!

This week you will find daikon radish in your box. Daikon is a large peppery variety of radish that is common in Asian cuisines. This crunchy vegetable can be eaten raw, pickled (like in traditional kimchi), or cooked.

Vietnamese Pickled Carrots & Daikon Radish (Đồ Chua)

Ingredients

  • 1/2 lb daikon radish*
  • 1/2 lb carrots*
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1/2 c boiling water
  • 5 tbsp granulated white sugar
  • filtered room temp. water
  • 4 tbsp distilled vinegar

Instructions

  1. Peel daikon and carrots, then cut with mandolin slicer medium to small matchsticks. Smaller cuts will pickle faster.
  2. In a large bowl, sprinkle with salt evenly and toss to coat. Soak for 15 minutes.
  3. Rinse thoroughly to remove the salt and in small hand-fulls, squeeze to remove as much moister as you can.
  4. Add to jars, filling almost to the top.
  5. Create the vinegar solution (brine) by boiling water then adding sugar. Mix to dissolve. Add vinegar.
  6. Pour this liquid evenly into your jars. If needed, add extra room temp water to barely fully submerge the veggies.
  7. Screw on the lids, store at room temperature until pickled to your taste, checking every 12 or 24 hours. It usually takes 2-5 days depending on the temperature.
  8. Refrigerate when ready, for up to 3 weeks, or until too sour or veggies lose their crunch.

*You can change the ratio of veggies to your preference and/or scale the recipe up or down depending on how much veg you have to pickle. Just make sure you have enough brine to completely submerge your veggies.

Based off recipe from Hungry Huy.

Check out other daikon recipes here.


For the farm crew,

Starr

Summer CSA Week 16, 2022

Leaves are starting to change color on the farm.

Sixteen weeks! Can you believe it? After this week, we have two more distributions in our summer CSA. Autumn is truly harvest season. Shares this week are overflowing and the farm crew is building muscle bringing in heavy squash, pumpkins and carrots. Temperatures are brisk and refreshing and we are making preparations for the fast approaching first frost.

Crew harvesting kale and rutabagas

In your share this week:

Green Beans – Carrots – Cilantro – Cucumber – Kale – Onion – Sweet Red Peppers (not hot) – Green Bell Peppers – Hot Wax Pepper – Potatoes – Rutabaga – Squash – Spinach – Tomatoes


Harvesting Squash

It’s always fun when throwing food is encouraged! The squash plants spreads out across the whole field, so when we harvest, squash are spread everywhere. To get squash consolidated we toss squash to each other across the field. You will find delicata and kabocha squash in your shares this week


Onions curing

Minnesota Pasties

This week’s box has all the vegetable ingredients you need for tasty pasties!

Ingredients

Crust

  • 1 stick butter, cubed
  • 1/2 cup shortening (Crisco)
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 1/2 to 4 cups flour

Filling

  • 1 1/2 lb meat, 70% ground beef, 30% ground pork (make vegetarian by excluding meat and adding a vegetarian gravy to the veggie filling)
  • 2 diced onions
  • 1 cup carrots, diced
  • 1 1/2 cups rutabaga, peeled and diced
  • 4 cups potatoes diced
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • dash of garlic salt (or use a minced fresh garlic clove)
  • butter
  • milk

Instructions

  1. Melt butter and Crisco in microwave. Stir in rest of crust ingredients. Do not over mix. Let cool to room temperature.
  2. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  3. In a very large bowl, add ground beef and pork together, squishing together with a clean hand to combine. Roughly break apart into dime sized pieces. Add in all veggies and seasoning and mix ingredients well.
  4. For jumbo sized pasties, roll dough into 10 inch circles. Add 1 cup filling on one side of each circle. With water, wet the edges of the dough around the filling. Add 1/2 tsp butter on top of filling. Fold dough over the side with the filling making a pouch. Press and seal all edges tightly. Trim any uneven edges and make a 1 inch slit on top of the pasty. Brush top with milk. Repeat until all ingredients are gone. For smaller pasties use 5 inch circles of dough and 1/2 cup of filling.
  5. Bake for 1 hour at 400° F. Let cool slightly before serving, or let cool completely before storing.

Recipe from Just a Pinch Recipes.

Check out some other great rutabaga recipes in our “April Winter CSA” post.


A sneak peak of what’s to come!

For the farm crew,

Starr

Summer CSA Week 6, 2022

Cucumbers ripening in the greenhouse

It’s hot and the CSA boxes are bursting! New in the box this week is Swiss chard and napa cabbage. We hope you’re staying hydrated and wearing plenty of sunblock and enjoying the heat!


In your share this week:

Swiss Chard – Napa Cabbage – Lettuce – Cucumbers – Green Onions – Broccoli – Carrots with Tops – Beets – Parsley – Garlic Scapes


Vegan Borscht

Serves 4

Ingredients

2 medium beets

3 small carrots (~1 1/4 medium carrots)

2 medium red-skinned potatoes

2/3 medium onion diced (approximately 2/3 cups, try substitution with the green onions in your box!)

2 stalks celery, diced

1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil

5 cups vegetable stock

1 1/4 cups shredded red cabbage

1 1/4 cups chopped beet greens or chard

1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon chopped fresh dill

1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon white vinegar

1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon fine sea salt or to taste

freshly ground black pepper or to taste

1/4 cup sour cream vegan or regular (optional)

Instructions

  1. Begin by prepping your vegetables. Peel the beets. Scrub the carrots and potatoes. Dice everything up. It’s best if the beets are a slightly smaller dice than the rest as they take a little longer to cook (you could also shred them in a food processor).
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the diced onion and celery and sauté for 5 minutes or until slightly softened. Add the diced carrots and cook for an additional minute or two.
  3. Tumble in the beets and the potatoes. Pour in the vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until root vegetables are al dente.
  4. Tip in the cabbage and beet greens. Bring soup back up to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10-12 minutes. Vegetables should be tender.
  5. Sprinkle in the dill and the vinegar. Season the borscht to taste with salt and pepper.
  6. Ladle borscht into bowls and serve with a dollop of vegan or regular sour cream.

Notes

Cool completely before refrigerating the leftovers in airtight containers. Borscht will keep for up to five days in the fridge and up to six months in the freezer.

Based off a recipe from Simple Bites.


Beets and Chard

Did you know beets and chard are actually the same plant, Beta vulgaris? If you’ve grown both in your home garden, you may have noticed the similarities between the seeds and the leaves. The difference is that Swiss chard has been bred to favor leaf production, while beets have been bred to favor sweet fleshy roots.

The vegetables we eat didn’t just appear in the wild one day. Desirable traits have been “selected” for thousands of years to develop the tasty crops we enjoy today. Seeds are saved from plants that show the genetic variations we enjoy (more leaves versus fleshier roots) and then crossed through pollination with other plants with desirable traits so the offspring are better and better for human production and consumption. Please note, this is different from genetically modified which is done in a laboratory versus going through the generations of plants crossing for desirable traits already present in the species.

Rows of chard in the field

Resources for Veg Care and Use!

Remember to use the Vegetable Guide! Click the link below to see a pdf that describes most of the Food Farms crops and how to best care for the produce:

For the farm crew,

Starr

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

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.

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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.

November Winter CSA

Welcome to the first winter share of the season! There is no better time to receive your first dose of winter veggies than right after daylight savings time. Personally, after a long season here at the farm an extra hour of sleep is more than needed, even though we have to put up with Janaki complaining that his kids now wake up at 4:30 in the morning. This is also the final week of the season for many of our farm hands, some of whom have their own winter adventures ahead of them. Lucky for me, I get to stick around the farm this winter to help pack your winter shares and local wholesale orders.

If this is your first share with us, thank you for choosing local and organic. If you have been a member here for years, thank you for continuing to support our mission. Although we farm hands don’t interact with members very much, we definitely keep all of you in mind when doing various tasks on the farm. As we ventured through the great carrot and potato harvests of 2021, I considered how many mouths these crops will feed through the winter and it made the work more fulfilling.

The last few weeks have been really busy here at the farm to get us set up for the winter. We have cleared many fields of the crops they have been growing all season long. We harvested so many tons of carrots, potatoes, parsnips, cabbage, and Dave’s favorite crop: rutabagas. Among these harvests, Janaki has a plan for exactly which crop is going where this winter. Many carrots will end up in your winter shares. Others will be on the shelves at local grocery stores. The odd shaped and broken carrots even get sold to local businesses to make things such as kimchi. If it’s in the root cellar, it has a plan.

Also, be sure not to forget that it’s officially SOUP SEASON! I know I said that right at the turn of the first leaf this fall, but now it’s more relevant as we have finally experienced cooler temperatures. As a disclaimer, you’ll probably see many soup recipes in these newsletters this winter. A staple in the diets of many Minnesotans, soup may be the defining soup of the winter season. Luckily for you all, many (if not all) of our winter crops are perfect for soup makin’.

Your local soup enthusiast,

Emily

In your shares this month:

Beets, Brussel Sprouts, Carrots, Celery, Onions, Russet and Red Potatoes, Rosemary, Spinach, and Delicata and Kabocha Winter Squash

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Indonesian Carrot Soup (from New England Soup Factory Cookbook, Druker and Silverstein)

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 whole cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
  • 1 large onion, peeled and diced
  • 2 ribs celery, sliced
  • 1.5 lbs carrots (we also use winter squash), peeled and sliced
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 1/4 cup sherry
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 16 oz coconut milk (one can)
  • 2 tbsp cilantro 
  • salt and pepper to taste

Heat stockpot over medium high heat.  Add olive oil, garlic, ginger, onion, celery and carrots/squash.  Sauté for 10 minutes.  Add curry, coriander, cumin, pepper flakes, stock and sherry.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to med and simmer 30-40 minutes (until carrots and/or squash are tender).  Remove from heat and add honey, coconut milk, cilantro, salt, and pepper.  Puree the soup using immersion or conventional blender.  Makes 5-6 servings.

Spanish Tortilla (New York Times, Mark Bittman)

  • 1.25 lbs potatoes (3-4 medium)
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 6 extra large eggs

Peel and thinly slice potatoes and onions.  Heat oil in nonstick skillet over medium heat.  After 3-4 minutes, drop in a potato slice.  When tiny bubbles appear around its edges, add potatoes, onions, salt and pepper.  Gently turn mixture in oil with a wooden spoon and adjust heat so oil bubbles lazily. Cook, turning potatoes every few minutes, until they are tender when pierced with a knife.  Adjust the heat.  If potatoes begin to break, they are overdone.  As potatoes cook, beat eggs with salt and pepper in a large bowl.  Turn oven on to 350 degrees F.  Drain the potatoes in a colander.  Wipe out skillet and heat over medium heat for one minute.  Add 2 tbsp. of oil.  Gently mix warm potatoes with eggs and add to skillet.  As soon as edges firm up, reduce heat to medium low and cook for 5 minutes.  Finish cooking in the oven.  Bake until firm (appx 10-15 minutes).  Serve warm (not hot) or at room temperature.

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!

Summer CSA Week 15

It’s hard to believe that we are already on the 15th week of the CSA, it feels like the season just started last week!? Anyways, while we are excited to share with you the vegetables of the week, there are still a few that you may not see this week, or next. Crops like brussels sprouts take a long time to mature–they’re seeded in early June and usually aren’t ready until the last week of the CSA. Most crops, like the celery in your shares today, are a couple of weeks ahead of schedule, but the brussels are actually slow enough that they may not even mature in time. I’m excited to eat them even if we have to wait for the winter shares.

This past weekend we attended the Harvest Festival at Bayfront and enjoyed seeing many familiar and new faces at the booth. The crew worked all day Friday harvesting vegetables to ensure that festival-goers received the freshest produce possible. It was great to see everyone after a year off from the festival.

The theme of last week seemed to be our potatoes. We worked on getting out the rest of the first planting of potatoes which included whites, russets, and yellows. Potatoes rock our world in so many ways and are incredibly versatile. I thought it might be useful to include a guide as to what potatoes are good for different potato cooking techniques. Disclaimer: this guide is based on a quick Google search and really, you can do whatever you want to your potatoes.

Fingerlings: great for baking, roasting, and potato salads. Not as good for soups.

Russets: These are the long brown potatoes in the share today. These are good for baking, mashing, french fries, and chips.

Reds: Unlike Russets, red potatoes do not fluff up as much when cooked. This makes them good for soups and stews.

Yellow/Gold: Creamier than most and are great for mashing, roasting, and grilling.

White: Great for french fries and hashbrowns. Doesn’t necessarily need peeling due to thin skin.

That’s the reference guide I use when choosing potatoes, but I use the different varieties interchangeably for the most part. Next up, I felt compelled to include a recipe for a classic potato dish that I grew up eating at every family gathering and holiday, and I hope you did too.

Thanks for reading,

Emily

We were fortunate to receive a few random rain showers and a big rainbow last week.

In your shares this week:

Beans – Broccoli – Carrots – Celery – Cucumbers – Dill – Lettuce – Onions – Red Peppers – POTATOES – Acorn Squash – Tomatoes

Farmer Kathleen driving the crew back to the potato fields for harvesting.

Potatoes au Gratin by RecipeTinEats

  • 1 1/2 cups cream
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter,melted
  • 2 lb starchy potatoes, Russet
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 2 1/2 cups gruyere cheese (or mozzarella)
  • 2 tsp thyme leaves
  • Cream Mixture: Place butter, cream and garlic in a jug or jar. Mix until combined.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Slice potatoes: Peel the potatoes and slice them 1/8″. Or use a slicer!
  • Layer 1: Spread 1/3 of the potatoes in a baking dish, then pour over 1/3 of the Cream Mixture, scatter with 1/3 of the salt, pepper and thyme. Sprinkle with 3/4 cups cheese.
  • Layers 2 & 3: Repeat for the 2nd and third layer, but do not finish with cheese on the top layer (will add later).
  • Cover & bake: Cover with lid or foil, and bake for 1 hr 15 min or until the potatoes in the middle are soft (use knife to test).
  • Top with cheese, bake again: Remove foil, top with cheese. Bake for a further 10 to 15 minutes until golden and bubbly. Stand 5 minutes before serving.

Cream of Celery Soup by AllRecipes

  • 3 quarts vegetable stock 
  • 1 head of celery, coarsely chopped
  • ½ pound carrots, julienned
  • ½ pound onions, chopped 
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour 
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 3 quarts hot milk
  • 1 cup margarine
  • Step 1 Pour the vegetable stock into a large pot, and bring to a boil. Add the celery, carrots and onion to the pot.
  • Step 2 Whisk together the flour, salt, pepper, and milk; add to the pot along with the margarine.
  • Step 3 Boil for 10 minutes, then strain out the vegetables by pouring through a sieve, or if the vegetables are large enough, a colander may be used.