What a difference a month makes! We know that there’s a lot more of winter left, but it feels like spring is just around the corner. Annie and the kids and I are getting away for a family trip to Washington, DC this week to visit friends and family. We’re really looking forward to having a little time away before we open up the greenhouse for onion planting in just two weeks!
Share signups are going well, we’re about 90% full for the summer season, but there’s still a chance to get a spot if you haven’t done it yet.
We are looking for a couple of seasonal farm crew members for the upcoming season, if you know of someone who is interested in good, meaningful work with a team of great people, have them reach out, I’d love to talk with them! https://foodfarmcsa.com/employment/
Unfortunately, it looks like the weather won’t be cooperating for curling on Wednesday, but we’re still planning to bring in a bunch of rutabagas to give away at Wild State Cider on Wednesday evening, and we’d love to see you! If you have friends or family who are interested in the farm, send them down to meet us and answer any questions they might have about being a member.
Enjoy the sunshine! For the farm crew,
In your share today:
Beets — Green Cabbage — Orange and Purple Carrots — Garlic — Onions — Parsnips Red and Russet Potatoes –Delicata Squash
Valentine’s Casserole (or Hotdish for you true Minnesotans)
5 cups cream or 1/2-n-1/2 (see Tips)
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups Parmesan cheese (see tips)
1 tsp cornstarch
1 lb dark leafy greens (kale, collards, or finely chopped green cabbage)
3 cups chopped potatoes and squash (total)
2 cups chopped yellow onion
8 slices bacon, diced (omit if vegetarian)
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1 Tbsp olive oil
1. Preheat oven to 350°. Bring first two ingredients to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce heat to low, and simmer 30 minutes or until reduced by half. Stir in 1 cup of cheese.
2. Stirred together corn starch and 1 tablespoon of water. Whisk into cream mixture until thickened.
3. Wash and dry greens. If using collards, cook in boiling water until tender (5minutes).
4. Cook bacon in large skillet over medium high heat, stirring often When crisp, add onion, cook five minutes or until tender. Add the diced vegetables and saute for another 5 minutes. Stir in the greens and cook for three more minutes.
5. Mix the cream mixture with the vegetables and pour into a lightly greased 11 x 7 baking dish. Stir the breadcrumbs, remaining cheese, and olive oil together and sprinkle over the casserole.
6. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes until the diced vegetables are cooked thoroughly and the breadcrumbs on top are golden brown. Let stand for five minutes before serving.
Try fat free 1/2-n-1/2 rather than milk or the sauce can curdle.
Sharp cheddar also works well but use some Parmesan for the topping.
Welcome to the first month of the Winter CSA Season! Thank you for choosing local and organic.
Things have been busy busy busy this fall! The farm crew has been working hard filling up the root cellar with all the produce that will feed the CSA members through the winter and be sold to local restaurants and grocery stores. Our final full crew work day culminated in a party where we honored Dave our farm manager, who has been working at the Food Farm for 30 years! Thank you for being a great leader Dave!
I took the liberty of wearing my Halloween costume to the party, because I felt it was appropriate to what we do at the farm. Can you tell which vegetable I am? If you’re confused, just look at the skirt and ignore the rest. You’ll be getting this vegetable in next month’s CSA box!
On our last full crew work day last Friday, we moved the chickens into their winter home. The girls would get too cold out in the field during the deep winter, so they are moved to an indoor barn area to keep warm. You may wonder how we move 100 chickens from a wide open field to another area of the farm. In the evening all the chickens go into their coop for protection (the metal structure pictured above). Little do the chickens know that their house is actually a trailer on wheels that can be pulled by tractor to a new location. Once the the coop is moved close to the chickens’ winter home, we get them into the building by forming a long line of farm crew, family members and volunteers, and we commence the biannual chicken hugging. Janaki hands each person two chickens which are held in a “bear” hug and walked to the barn where they are loving deposited into their winter coop. As we move them, Farmer John serenades them with a special song he wrote for the occasion!
Balsamic-Roasted Brussels Sprouts
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1.5 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
.5 Tbsp. (or more) honey
1 tsp. Diamond Crystal or .5 and a pinch tsp. Morton kosher salt
2 medium garlic cloves, finely grated
Freshly cracked black pepper
1lb. brussels sprouts, trimmed, halved, quartered if large
Flaky sea salt (as garnish)
Place a rimmed baking sheet on middle rack in oven; preheat oven to 425°. Stir together olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey, salt, and garlic in a medium bowl; season with freshly cracked black pepper. Taste mixture and add more honey if needed. Add Brussels sprouts along with any loose leaves; toss to coat.
Carefully remove baking sheet from oven. Using tongs, arrange brussels sprouts cut side down on baking sheet. Roast until deeply browned underneath and tender, 25–30 minutes. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt.
Stuffed Delicata Squash with Quinoa, Cranberry and Pistaschio.
Delicata squash, sliced in half lengthwise and seeds removed (recipe for 3, but make as many or few as you like or have, adjust the stuffing quantity accordingly)
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup or olive oil
2 teaspoons thyme, fresh or dried (try substituting with rosemary from your CSA box!)
1 cup dried quinoa, rinsed well
1 3/4 cup water
1/2 – 3/4 cup dried cranberries
1/2 – 3/4 cup pistachios
1 shallot, finely diced (try substituting with onion from your box!)
salt & pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment or silicon mat.
Prep and roast the squash: Wash and dry squash. Slice each squash in half lengthwise, remove seeds. The seeds should come out easily by scraping the inside of the squash with a spoon. Lightly brush the inside of each squash with a little oil or maple syrup. Sprinkle with a bit of salt and herbs. Place on baking sheet cut side up. Bake in oven for 35 – 40 minutes, or until squash is tender and pierces easily with a fork.
Quinoa Stuffing: In a medium pot, add quinoa and water, bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove lid, fluff a fork and let set 10 minutes. Add pistachios, cranberries, shallots, salt, pepper. Toss well to combine.
Assemble: Scoop quinoa into squash halves, place back in the oven for 10 minutes to warm if needed, and serve.
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!
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.
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
Sauté veggies in the butter 10-15 minutes (until tender but not brown).
Add flour and cook for a couple of minutes.
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.
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.
Return soup to the pot and add 1/2-1 cups milk or cream. Salt and pepper to taste.
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.
Peel daikon and carrots, then cut with mandolin slicer medium to small matchsticks. Smaller cuts will pickle faster.
In a large bowl, sprinkle with salt evenly and toss to coat. Soak for 15 minutes.
Rinse thoroughly to remove the salt and in small hand-fulls, squeeze to remove as much moister as you can.
Add to jars, filling almost to the top.
Create the vinegar solution (brine) by boiling water then adding sugar. Mix to dissolve. Add vinegar.
Pour this liquid evenly into your jars. If needed, add extra room temp water to barely fully submerge the veggies.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
“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
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!
As we round the year, and pull out the next calendar, I am reminded of the push-pull of this time of year in my own mind: is it still this farm season or is it the next farm season? The answer must always be “this farm season”… but you get what I mean. The winter crew spends our few work days packing food grown this past year, but we look forward in planning to the next growing season. There is much to be grateful for from this past growing season- even though it was also very challenging. There is reason to hope too, for good in the coming season on the farm.
The end of one season, and the beginning of another on a farm is evocative of the cyclical nature of so many aspects in life. Winter gives way to spring, which lends itself to warmth and melting creeks. Fallen leaves of a season become next summer’s worm food. Pallet boxes full of potatoes and carrots are emptied, which leads to fields again full of the same.
Of course, the cyclical nature in most things around us isn’t a guarantee of anything particularly. Some things appear to go on and on no matter what, but behind the scenes much has to align for farm seasons to come and go, for seasonal changes to go on without interruption, for insect and bird and whale migration to continue unimpeded.
In these insane times we find ourselves in, I am often reminded, with the clarity of lemon juice in a cut, that very little is guaranteed. Even things set in stone can be shaken. I don’t know if the pain of what we are facing is the pain of birth, or the pain of death. Where are we in the cycle, and is there room for us after the turn? It feels imperative to acknowledge that much of what is good in life, and in the world, is very delicate, and in need of defending. Tearing down, ripping, breaking trust, poisoning land is all so easy. It can be done in a moment. The work of building back up, or reaching for a better stronger future for everyone, and all the living things sharing this planet, is slow hard work. Work that may feel almost undoable.
My hope for you this month is that the slow food from your share be a starting point of health and healing. In the setting of your table, the roasting of vegetables, the breaking of bread and sharing of drink may we all find ways to gather our strength together. Though the strength may feel as illusive as vapor rising from the lake, it can grow, rise, gather slowly, return to cloud and gain enough of itself together to become a healing deluge in time.
With care and love to you all in this time, and for the Farm crew whom you support,
In your share this month: Chioggia Beets, Green Cabbage, Carrots, Red and Yellow Potatoes, Onions, Rutabaga, Winter Sweet and Delicata Squash
Raw rutabaga and purple carrot salad
Ingredients 1 rutabaga 3 purple carrots (any carrots work – these are just pretty in the salad if you have any left over) 1 large apple 1/2 cup walnuts chopped (optional)
For the dressing: 1/4 cup olive oil 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar 1 tbsp honey 2 tsp dijon mustard
Instructions Shred the rutabaga, carrots and apple in a food processer, spiralizer, or grater (or do small matchsticks). Add the walnuts (optional).
In a separate bowl, combine the ingredients for the dressing and whisk until smooth. Pour over the salad ingredients and toss until coated.
Enjoy chilled or at room temperature!
Spicy Squash Salad with Lentils
Adapted from The Smitten Kitchen
3/4 cup black or green lentils 6 cups peeled, seeded and cubed winter squash (1-inch cubes) (from about a 2-pound squash) 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided 1 teaspoon ground cumin 1 teaspoon hot smoked Spanish paprika* 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt 1 cup soft crumbled goat cheese 4 cups arugula (optional) 1/4 cup thinly sliced mint leaves (optional) 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar, plus additional to taste Roasted seeds (about 1/2 cup) from your butternut squash
Preheat oven to 400°F. Toss squash cubes with 2 tablespoons oil, cumin, paprika and salt. Arrange in a single layer on baking sheet and roast 20 minutes. Flip pieces and roast for an additional 10 to 15 minutes, until tender. Cool.
Meanwhile, soak lentils for 10 minutes in a small bowl, then drain. Cook lentils in boiling salted water until tender but firm, about 30 minutes. Rinse with cold water, then drain and cool.
Combine lentils, pumpkin, any oil you can scrape from the baking sheet with arugula, if using, half of goat cheese, mint, vinegar, and 1 tablespoon oil. Season with salt and pepper and extra vinegar, if desired. Divide among plates and pass with remaining goat cheese to sprinkle.
As I look back over this farm season, I am reminded of how challenging it has been. There was not enough rain, then too much at once, then hail, then not enough rain again. It hasn’t been an easy year on the vegetables = not an easy year on the farmers.
Obviously, out there in the world there has been a huge amount of difficulty and unpredictability that has affected all of us. So much rubber seems to be meeting the road at once and it stinks. I practically have to hold my nose while listening to the news.
I think a lot of us have been thinking about food, how we get it, and how much of it we keep on hand at any one time during these past several months. Or any shopping and consuming really; I’ve learned about myself that I ran way more petty errands than I needed to in the “before times”.
For me, preparing food has been a nice diversion from other parts of life that feel more unsure, and more stressful. It’s been nice to sometimes, not always, have a meditative approach to cooking and baking to go along with the sometimes meditative aspects of farming. I’ve been lucky to be on both sides for a while now.
I hope that for you, getting your CSA share each week has been a positive point of structure and rhythm, even as normal rhythms get canceled, changed or postponed. We are glad you chose our CSA, and want to hear what you thought about it on the end of season survey! We’re always fine-tuning things to most closely match what has been working best for our members.
If you are also a member of our Winter Share, then we’ll “see” you in a few weeks. (A few weeks that is a blur of harvest activity around the farm!). If you just get our Summer Shares, we hope you have a good fall and winter, and look forward to connecting again in the spring. Either way, we hope your dinner table continues to be a center for you in these un-centering times.
Thank you for participating with us in this crazy, messy, tasty thing we call life.
For the farm crew,
In your share this week: Brussels Sprouts – Carrots – Celery – Cilantro – Cucumber – Garlic – Greens Mix – Kale – Lettuce – Onions – Sweet and Hot Peppers – French Fingerling Potatoes – Delicata Squash – Tomatoes
Roasted & Stuffed Squash
From No Crumbs Left
For the Squash: Delicata squash 1 tsp salt ½ tsp pepper 1 Tbsp olive oil
For the Ground Sirloin Filling: 2 Tbsp olive oil 2/3 cup chopped onion 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped 2 ½ – 3 cups sliced brown mushrooms 1 ½ pounds ground sirloin 1 tsp salt 1/2 tsp pepper ¼ tsp cayenne 2 generous handfuls spinach, chopped (could use greens mix!)
Preheat oven to 400. Peel and cut the squash into 1” thick rounds. Brush with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place on a large sheet pan, lined with parchment paper. Cook until soft but not mushy, about 55 minutes, flipping halfway through. While the squash is cooking, make the filling: Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Sauté the onions for 3 minutes then add the garlic and cook for 30 more seconds, stirring. Add the mushrooms and cook, covered for 3 minutes. Uncover and cook for 3 more minutes. Add the ground sirloin and cook over high heat, about 6 minutes (or until meat is no longer pink), breaking up clumps with a wooden spoon.
Add the salt, pepper and cayenne. Then add the spinach and cook for about 2 minutes. Remove the squash from the oven and place on plates. Top with the meat mixture and serve.
Dijon-Braised Brussels Sprouts
1 pound brussels sprouts 1 tablespoon unsalted butter 1 tablespoon olive oil Salt Freshly ground black pepper 1/2 cup dry white wine 1 cup broth (chicken or vegetable) 2 to 3 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced 2 tablespoons heavy cream 1 tablespoon smooth dijon mustard (or more to taste) 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley (optional)
Trim sprouts and halve lengthwise. In a large, heavy 12-inch skillet heat butter and oil over moderate heat. Arrange halved sprouts in skillet, cut sides down, in one layer. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, to taste. Cook sprouts, without turning until undersides are golden brown, about 5 minutes. [Updated to note: If your sprouts don’t fit in one layer, don’t fret! Brown them in batches, then add them all back to the pan, spreading them as flat as possible, before continuing with the shallots, wine, etc.]
Add the shallots, wine and stock and bring to a simmer. Once simmering, reduce the heat to medium-low (for a gentle simmer), cover the pot with a lid (foil works too, if your skillet lacks a lid) and cook the sprouts until they are tender can be pierced easily with the tip of a paring knife, about 15 to 20 minutes.
Remove the lid, and scoop out brussels (leaving the sauce behind). Add cream and simmer for two to three minutes, until slightly thickened. Whisk in mustard. Taste for seasoning, and adjust as necessary with more salt, pepper or Dijon. Pour sauce over brussels, sprinkle with parsley, if using, and serve immediately.
The summer -turned fall- CSA has just two weeks more after this one, and it will probably go out with a climax of color, just like the summer does. We have winter squash in out of the field now, and are harvesting a variety of potatoes to go along with all the usual summer/end of summer produce you’ve been seeing lately. I hope that you have been finding fresh and creative ways to use the vegetables each week. I say this knowing that for me, I tend to get in a rut of cooking (sometimes tasty ruts, but still, how many zucchini fritters can one family eat?) and am now thankful for a change of weather to remind me of other go-to foods I love to make.
When I was growing up, my mom used to make big batch meals, some for dinner, some to freeze, and more often than not, some to bring to someone who needed it. My sister and I loved smelling whatever was cooking all day, and were primed and ready for chili, or spaghetti or roast for dinner by the time it rolled around. The worst was when she said it was something she was making a day or two ahead of time -pure torture for growing kids to wait to eat whatever smelled so good!
Back when the farm still had chickens for meat, one had been injured somehow a couple weeks before we were set to harvest them all. Figuring she might not make it that long, and knowing that either way she was suffering, Janaki said I could have (read: eat) her if I wanted to do that on my free time. So after work, I pulled together all the stuff I’d need to kill, clean and pluck the chicken and got to work. It isn’t really so very much work if you know what you’re doing, but what I did learn that evening was cleaning up from killing one chicken is just about as much work as cleaning up from 200. A little blood, a lot of blood, either way everything has to get totally clean. Only there’s just one dead chicken, verses food for dozens of families. So, I decided that day I’d set a minimum of 5 chickens next time.
In the before times (as they are called now) the crew used to eat lunches all together in Janaki and Annie’s house (ever more becoming Truman and Ellis’ house!). Some years we’d have a rotation down of who would go in a bit early to start lunch, other years we’d all cook together as fast as we could in an hour. Often I’d find myself in there with a pot of rice and a pile of vegetables and 25 minutes to put something together for 5, 6 sometimes 8 people. I could lie here because who’s going to check… but the truth is that the kitchen sometimes looked like a tornado had struck by the time I was finishing up. Many a time someone (Patricia) would come in and start working around me in the kitchen, scraping cut ends of onions off into the compost and washing salad spinners and colanders. But the end result was usually half way decent, fresh whole-food for a hungry farm crew and a kitchen that went back to sorts.
If only my kitchen at home had a person walking around behind me making things cleaner. Right now, it has a little person walking around pulling towels out of the drawer, putting measuring spoons between the fridge and the wall and holding onto the back of my pants. Basically, he’s no help. To boot, I’ve realized the same lesson applies from the chickens: cooking using whole food for 8 people – same mess as cooking for 3. Is this just me? So, the down side of that is obvious, it is: wow, what a mess. The plus side: it really isn’t so much more work to make twice, or three times as much and put some away for later. If you have to wash a cutting board, counter, knife and pots anyway, why not just chop a little more? If you’re roasting something, is another couple of baking sheets such a burden?
If anything, I write this as a pep talk to myself to just go nuts cooking. We can all go wild in these next few weeks of bounty, like squirrels running around frantically for acorns.
For the farm crew,
In your share this week: Northeaster Green Beans – Carrots – Cilantro – Cucumbers – Greens Mix – Leeks – Onions – Red and Hot Peppers – Potatoes – Rutabagas – Acorn Squash -Tomatoes – Zucchini
from The Leek and the Carrot
My two cents, and educated guess, is that quiche is usually very flexible, and as long as you don’t add something too watery (like tomatoes) without changing the amount of milk you add, you can put in just about anything you want as substitutions. Example, leeks instead of onions, or adding red pepper instead of mushrooms.
2 partially baked pie crusts (see below) or 2 store-bought pie crusts 1/4 cup sunflower oil (or olive oil), divided 4 cups diced butternut squash 1 tablespoon Kosher salt, divided 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided 1/2 teaspoon sage 1/2 teaspoon thyme 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, divided 1 garlic bulb 2 medium yellow onions, thinly sliced 2 tablespoons butter, divided 1 teaspoon sugar 1/4 pound shittake mushrooms, loosely chopped 3 kale leaves, stalks removed and roughly chopped 1 cup finely shredded parmesan 6 eggs 2 cups half & half or whole milk
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Toss diced butternut squash with 2 tablespoons oil, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, sage, thyme and 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes. Pour out onto a large baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes. Set aside once finished. Cut the top off a garlic bulb. Drizzle with one tablespoon oil. Wrap in foil and add to the oven to roast until the squash is finished. Once cooked, remove from foil and squeeze cloves out of the peel. Gently chop and set aside. Meanwhile, begin caramelizing onions. Combine last tablespoon oil and one tablespoon butter in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add onions, 1 teaspoon salt and remaining pepper. Reduce heat to medium low and cook for 15 minutes until well softened. Add sugar and continue cooking for 10 minutes until lightly browned and just caramelized. Remove from pan and set aside. Wipe the large skillet out with a paper towel (if necessary) and add remaining tablespoon of butter. Melt over medium low heat. Add mushrooms along with remaining teaspoon Kosher salt. Saute for 5 minutes. Add kale and remaining 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes. Cook for an additional 5 minutes until just wilted. Reduce oven temperature to 375 and prepare your quiche! Add half of the cooked butternut squash, chopped softened garlic, caramelized onions and sauted mushrooms and greens to each partially cooked pie crust. Sprinkle 1/2 cup parmesan cheese over each quiche. In a large bowl, combine 6 eggs and cream or milk. Whisk until smooth. Pour mixture over each quiche so that all veggies are covered. Bake quiche for 35 minutes or until center is set. Enjoy warm today, tomorrow or all throughout the week!
Pie crust: 2-1/2 cups flour 1 tablespoon sugar 1 teaspoon Kosher salt 2 sticks butter, cut into pieces and very cold 1/2 cup cold water
I love to make pie crust in my food processor. I think it is the simplest thing on Earth. If you don’t have a food processor, follow this recipe; same techniques but no food processor necessary. Before I even begin making the crust, I cut the butter into pieces and stick it in a bowl in the freezer. Then I fill a one- or two-cup measuring cup with 1/2 cup cold water and stick that in the freezer too. The trick with pie dough is to work quickly so that the butter stays cold and in small uneven pieces. This is what creates a flaky crust. Chilling these ingredients right before you start helps with this. Combine flour, sugar and salt in the food processor and pulse a few times until well combined. Add all the butter at once and pulse a few times until broken up but not at all incorporated. What you are looking for is pea-sized pieces of butter sprinkled throughout. Uniform size is not important. Add half the cold water to the mixture, turn on the food processor and slowly pour in the rest of the water. Continue running the food processor until the dough comes together into one mass (it will not be a ball, but will be smooth and even). Remove dough from food processor using a rubber spatula and wrap with plastic wrap. Chill in the fridge for at least an hour. When ready to use, turn half the pie dough out onto a well-floured counter. Dust the top with flour and roll out until about 12 inches in diameter. Press into a 10-inch pie pan, line with foil and add pie weights (or dried beans). Bake at 425 degrees (with the butternut squash works well!) for 10 minutes.
Carrot Salad with Tahini, Crisped Chickpeas and Salted Pistachios
From the Smitten Kitchen
Chickpeas 1 3/4 cups cooked chickpeas, or 1 15-ounce can, drained and patted dry on paper towels 1 tablespoon olive oil 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
Salad 1 pound carrots, peeled and coarsely grated 1/4 cup coarsely chopped parsley 1/4 cup shelled, salted pistachios, coarsely chopped
Dressing 1 medium garlic clove, minced 1/4 cup lemon juice 3 tablespoons well-stirred tahini 2 tablespoons water, plus more if needed 2 tablespoons olive oil Salt and red pepper flakes to taste
Roast chickpeas: Heat oven to 425 degrees F. Toss chickpeas with one tablespoon olive oil, salt and cumin until they’re all coated. Spread them on a baking sheet or pan and roast them in the oven until they’re browned and crisp. This can take anywhere from 15 to 20 minutes, depending on the size and firmness of your chickpeas. Toss them occasionally to make sure they’re toasting evenly. Set aside until needed.
Make dressing: Whisk all ingredients together until smooth, adding more water if needed to thin the dressing slightly. Taste and adjust seasoning; don’t worry if it tastes a little sharp on the lemon, it will marry perfectly with the sweet grated carrots.
Assemble salad: Place grated carrots in large bowl and toss with parsley. Mix in 2/3 of the dressing, adding more if desired. Add more salt and pepper if needed. Sprinkle with a large handful of chickpeas (you’ll have extra and if you’re like us, won’t regret it) and pistachios and dig in.
Do ahead: Salad keeps well in the fridge for two days, however, I’d add the chickpeas and pistachios right before serving, so they don’t get soft.
Winter is coming and there is a hell of a lot of work left to do. Thankfully there is sunshine on the horizon this week. We could all you a good dose of vitamin D to boost our harvesting spirits.
Fun fact the month of September only saw 7 days with no rain for the twin ports region. Let’s hope October can at least get into the double digits.
So should I get on with it and just tell you the answer already? I did have to look back at the newsletter archives to obtain the stats. It was joyful to watch each box grow from week to week as more food becomes plentiful and ready to harvest.
Without further ado:
First place goes to the Food Farm mascot. The greatest vegetable on earth. The tastiest creature to come out of the ground: The Carrot
The carrot appeared a whopping 15 out of 18 times.
Second place goes to my favorite summer food. A cool refreshment after a scorching hot day. The Cucumber appeared in your CSA box 13 out of 18 times. You can thank Sam next time you see him for diligently caring for them all summer.
Third place belongs to an underdog. A sweet snappy snack to go with every meal. The Peppers, who I lumped together because it’s my quiz and I make the rules. Usually sweet but sometimes spicy, Peppers appeared 11 times this summer.
Fourth place you would have thought higher on the list, but they are late bloomers. Perfect sliced with mayo and bread. The Tomato appeared 10 times.
And last but certainly not least Fifth place goes to the leader in the winter months. The one with their own room in the root cellar. Eaten best as crispy hash browns, The Potato, appeared 9 times this summer.
Regardless of correct answers congratulations you’ve won! And we hope you continue to win for years to come! Thank you for supporting The Food Farm. Thank you for eating that giant list of vegetables. Thank you for finding creative things to do with greens mix.
From a farm crew off finding the joy,
In your box:
Brussels Sprouts, Northeaster Pole Beans, Carrots, Celery, Garlic, Greens Mix, Onions, Oregano, Peppers, French Fingerling Potatoes, Rutabaga, Spinach, Delicata and Acorn Squash, Tomatoes
Roasted Brussels Sprouts
3/4 lb brussels sprouts
Garlic-sliced very thin
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place Brussel sprouts on baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil. Scatter sliced garlic across pan. Grate Parmesan cheese over Brussel sprouts. Bake 20 minutes or until sprouts are golden brown and crispy at edges.
Harvest Moon Kale Ceaser Salad
1/2 cup pecans
1/2 tbsp tamari
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp paprika
1 delicata squash
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 bunch kale (or greens mix!)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large apple
2 tsp maple syrup
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
Preheat oven to 325. Place pecans on baking sheet and roast for 7 minutes. Place nuts in bowl. Toss nuts with tamari, cinnamon and paprika. Set aside.
Increase heat to 400. Slice delicata into half moons. Place on parchment paper covered pan and bake 20 minutes.
Meanwhile de-stem kale. Rip into bite sized pieces. Squeeze half lemon over kale and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with pinch of salt. Massage kale in hands until kale is tender. About 2 minutes.
Slice apples and toss in with other half of lemon juice.
Combine everything into serving bowl, drizzle with mustard and maple syrup and eat!
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,
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.
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
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.