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 14, 2022

The whole crew picking green beans.

It has been an exciting week! Saturday was Harvest Fest at Bayfront Festival Park. It was great seeing all of you that stopped by our booth. We have also had a new crew member join the gang and an old crew member move on to great new things.

A note about peppers: The large pointy red peppers are a SWEET pepper variety named Carmen. The smaller yellow pointy pepper are a HOT pepper variety.

In your share this week:

Green Beans – Carrots – Celery – Cilantro – Cucumber – Garlic – Onion – Red Pepper – Green Peppers – Hot Peppers – Potatoes – Tomato – Zucchini


Here are pictures from our Harvest Fest booth! We moved a lot of produce on Saturday. Thank you to everyone who came out. Harvest Fest is hosted by the Lake Superior Sustainable Farming Association.


Tomato and Pepper Chunky Salsa

Salsa is one of the joys of summer. It’s great as a snack with tortilla chips or on top of eggs. Luckily, salsa is very easy to make!

Ingredients

  • 7 medium tomatoes
  • 1 red bell pepper (the long pointed one)
  • 1 small diced red onion
  • 1 hot pepper
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro
  • 1–2 garlic cloves
  • juice of 1 lime
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp salt, or to taste

Instructions

  1. Finely dice the tomatoes, red bell pepper, red onion, hot pepper, garlic and cilantro. Combine in a large bowl and add lime juice and seasonings.
  2. Alternatively, process all ingredients in a food processor for 30 seconds.
  3. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Recipe based off the green creator..


Congrats to our former crew member, Emily, who is moving on to a great new job in her field. Emily has been with the Food Farm for two years and wrote last year’s newsletters.

This beautiful key lime pie was made in Emily’s honor by Charlie, a fellow crew member.


A great morning for spiders!

The first spider is a funnel-weaver spider with in her name-sake funnel web beautifully outlined in morning dew. This spider was found next to our celery rows. The picture doesn’t do justice to the unique 3D tunnel structure this spider builds. The second spider is a black and yellow argiope, also called a black-and-yellow garden spider, which may be the largest web-building spider in the northern United States. She was a big one! She was found feasting on a fly in her web that spanned one of the green bean paths. (We made certain not to disrupt her.) Many think because this spider is so colorful and large it must be dangerous, but in reality, they are shy and rarely venture off their webs. We appreciate these spiders eating the more annoying bugs for us!


For the farm crew,

Starr

Summer CSA Week 12, 2022

Loading up the tractor for a hayride last Saturday.

It was so great seeing so many of you at the farm on Saturday. We hope you enjoyed the pizza, hay rides and exploring the farm. The farm crew loved meeting the families we feed each week!

In your share this week:

Green Beans – Beets – Carrots – Cilantro – Cucumber – Lettuce – Green Peppers – Hot Peppers – Onion – Red Potatoes – Tomato – Zucchini

Taste the rainbow 😉

Guess what vegetable these baby plants will grow up into!

Scroll to the bottom for the answer.


The weather was beautiful on Saturday in spite of threatening rain in the morning. The pizzas were not and tasty and covered in farm fresh produce. Thank you to the farm family and extended family for providing the awesome food. The pizza was cooked in a home-built woodfire oven right in the farm house backyard. Have you ever had a breakfast pizza? If you haven’t had egg on your pizza, you’re missing out!


Marinated Green Beans with Cilantro and Garlic

Ingredients

1 tablespoons minced garlic

1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1 pounds fresh green beans, trimmed and washed

Salted water to boil

2 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1/2 tablespoon lemon juice

1 1/2 tablespoons cider vinegar

freshly ground black pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Place minced garlic and chopped cilantro in a large bowl and set aside.
  2. Bring water to a boil and plunge in green beans. Cook just until tender, about 5-10 minutes, do not overcook. Drain well and place beans back in hot pan, turn on stove burner and shake for 30 seconds to dry the beans out. Pour hot beans in the bowl with the garlic and cilantro mixture and stir briefly, then let sit untouched for ten full minutes. Add olive oil, toss and place in refrigerator overnight or for at least 4 hours.
  3. Before you are ready to serve, remove beans from refrigeration and let sit for 45 minutes at room temperature. Add lemon juice, vinegar and pepper. Toss, taste for seasoning and serve.

Based off a recipe from A Family Feast.


Parsnip!

Parsnip is a member of the parsley family. You eat the root of the mature parsnip, which looks similar to a white carrot.


For the farm crew,

Starr

Summer CSA Week 11, 2022


We’d love to see you this Saturday for our annual farm tour!

In your share this week:

Basil – Carrots – Cilantro – Cucumber – Kale – Lettuce – Bell Peppers – Hot Pepper – Onion – New Potatoes – Tomato – Zucchini


Guess what vegetable these baby plants will grow up into!

Scroll to the bottom for the answer.


Basil, greens mix and young pole beans in the greenhouse.

Scalloped Potatoes

Ingredients

  • 1 clove garlic, lightly smashed and peeled
  • Unsalted butter, room temperature, for pan
  • 2 pounds think skinned potatoes
  • 1 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 tablespoon lightly packed fresh thyme leaves
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • 3 ounces Gruyere, coarsely grated (1 cup)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Rub the bottom and sides of a baking dish with garlic; reserve garlic. Brush pan generously with butter. Wash and cut potatoes into 1/8-inch-thick rounds.
  2. Transfer potatoes and garlic to a large pot with cream, milk, thyme, 1 tablespoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and nutmeg. Bring to a boil over high. Reduce heat to medium and simmer 1 minute. Let cool slightly, about 10 minutes.
  3. Spoon one-third of potato mixture into prepared dish. Sprinkle with one-third of cheese. Repeat layering twice more. Loosely cover dish with parchment-lined foil.
  4. Bake until potatoes are tender when pierced with the tip of a knife, 35 to 40 minutes. Remove foil; turn oven to broil. Broil until potatoes are bubbly and browned in places, 3 to 5 minutes. Let cool 15 minutes before serving.

Based off a recipe from Martha Stewart.


Rutabaga!

Rutabaga or “swede” is a root vegetable and part of the Brassica family. Did you know that the first Jack O’lanterns were carved from rutabagas and turnips?


For the farm crew,

Starr

Summer CSA Week 10, 2022

The crew preparing to harvest carrots with THE HARVESTER.

Last week was a big week for the Food Farm crew: we harvested our long awaited garlic! You’ll find more pictures and descriptions of that process below. We also brought out the carrot harvester, which is efficient but requires many hands to run smoothly. Boxes are filled with high summer bounty. New this week you’ll find green peppers and GARLIC! The garlic in the box this week is “green” or not yet cured. It should be left out on the counter with good ventilation so it does not mildew.

Would you like to come see the farm at peak season? You’re in luck! We are hosting a farm tour and pizza dinner on Saturday, August 27th! Come by the farm at 2612 County Road 1, Wrenshall from 4:00pm to 6:00. We’ll be serving pizza hot from our wood fired oven and giving farm tours. Free for all to attend, we’d love to see you!


In your share this week:

Basil – Beets – Cabbage – Carrots – Cucumber – Dill – Green Garlic – Green Pepper – Green Onion – New Potatoes – Parsley – Tomato – Zucchini


What am I looking at?

This is a swarm of honey bees seen near the farm hives recently. When a hive gets large enough it splits into two distinct colonies. During this process, part of the hive leaves as a swarm to find a new home. These swarms are often very docile because they are not guarding honey or a queen, but always be careful around bees, especially if there there is a chance you could be allergic.


Cucumber and Tomato Salad

From Claudia Roden’s Mediterranean

Ingredients

  • Cucumber (peeled, seeded and cut into pieces)
  • 2 large tomatoes, seeded and cut into pieces
  • green onion
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • small handful of fresh herbs (parsley, oregano, dill, cilantro) chopped

Instructions

  1. Put cucumbers, tomatoes, and onions into a bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the olive oil and lemon juice and season with salt and pepper to make a dressing. Just before serving, pour the dressing over the salad and mix well. Sprinkle with the herbs and add feta if you like.

Basic Pesto

We have garlic AND basil in the box this week. The only option is to make pesto 😉

Ingredients

  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves (no stems)
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts or walnuts
  • 2 large cloves garlic
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. Combine basil leaves, pine nuts or walnuts and garlic in a food processor and process until very finely minced.
  2. With the machine running slowly dribble in the oil and process until the mixture is smooth.
  3. Add the cheese and process very briefly, just long enough to combine. Store in refrigerator or freezer.

From NYT Cooking


What is Harvesting Garlic Like?

Step one: Janaki uses the tractor to mow and subsoil the garlic. The subsoiler has big hooks that dig down between the garlic rows, loosening the soil and lifting up bulbs.

Step two: Bring in the farm crew! We pull the garlic and stack it up in piles. These piles are then loaded on a trailer and brought to the wash station.

Step three: Scrub-a-dub. The garlic is washed, removing any dirt that’s still on the bulbs.

Step four: Stack and cure. In order for garlic to last into the winter it must “cure” or partially dry for a few weeks.

Garlic takes at least three weeks to cure. Then, if stored properly, garlic should last through the next spring!


For the farm crew,

Starr

Summer CSA Week 9, 2022

Emily, Ellis and Janaki packing Monday CSA boxes

We have full and diverse box for you this week. We had all hands on deck to harvest everything in time for Monday deliveries! Annie and Ellis were even helping packing boxes. This week new in the box we have cilantro, dill, onion, hot pepper, and new potatoes. “New potatoes” are young tender potatoes.


In your share this week:

Carrots – Cilantro – Cucumber – Dill – Greens Mix – Lettuce – Onion – Snap Peas – Hot Pepper – New Potatoes – Tomato – Zucchini


Terri harvesting dill in the field.

Georgian Cilantro Sauce

This sweet, pungent sauce is a mainstay of Georgian national cuisine, often served with grilled meat, chicken or vegetables. It’s great way to use fresh summer herbs!

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces dried apricots
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • ⅓ cup shelled walnuts (1 ounce)
  • 2 to 4 garlic cloves (to taste), halved, green shoots removed
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon salt (more to taste)
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Pinch of cayenne
  • 2 cups cilantro leaves (2 good-size bunches), coarsely chopped
  • 1 ½ cups parsley leaves (1 1/2 bunches), coarsely chopped
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped mixed basil, tarragon, and dill
  • 5 tablespoons walnut oil (or more, to taste) (substitute with unrefined peanut oil, or olive oil)
  • ½ cup soaking water from the apricots, as needed

Instructions

  1. Place the dried apricots in a bowl and pour on the boiling water. Let sit for at least an hour, more if possible, even overnight. Drain over a measuring cup and retain 1/2 cup of the soaking water.
  2. Turn on a food processor fitted with the steel blade, and drop in the garlic. When it is chopped and adhering to the sides of the bowl, stop the machine and scrape down the bowl. Add the walnuts, and process with the garlic. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the drained apricots, the lemon juice, salt, pepper and cayenne to the bowl, and process to a puree. Add the cilantro and other chopped herbs, and puree, stopping the machine to scrape down the sides several times. Combine the walnut oil and soaking water from the apricots, and with the machine running, gradually add it to the puree. Process until smooth. Transfer to a bowl, and let sit for one hour. Taste and adjust salt. Serve with beans, chicken, meat or fish, grilled or roasted vegetables, or grains.

From the New York Times.


Crushed New Potatoes

Ingredients

  • 1 pound (450 grams) baby potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic crushed
  • 1 teaspoon parsley or basil
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. Boil slightly salted water, then throw your baby potatoes into the pot. Leave them to cook for 15-20 minutes or until they’re cooked through and soft.
  2. Grease your baking tray with olive oil, and get the potatoes out of the pot and onto the baking tray.
  3. Lightly crush the potatoes with a fork or a potato masher, but make sure not to over do it as you don’t want really flat pieces of potato all over your baking sheet.
  4. Using the excess olive oil on the baking tray, light brush the potatoes with the olive oil.
  5. Season with freshly ground black pepper, and sea salt.
  6. Sprinkle with either dried or fresh herbs and garlic.
  7. Bake in the oven for 10-15 more minutes at 200°C (392°F). The baking time depends on the size of your potatoes, so keep checking on them as they bake.
  8. Served Immediately. 

From Little Sunny Kitchen.


Janaki and the farm crew bagging up snap peas. Yes, he is indeed that talll!

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.

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.

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!