Week #20, Oct. 4/5, 2018

Gleaning party

We had a wonderful gleaning day on Sunday.  Hundreds of members showed up and it did not rain at all.  What a gift, considering how much it rained the rest of the week.  The fields were muddy but I think everyone enjoyed the chance to wander the farm and pick some vegetables.  Let’s take a look.

Gleaning treasures!

This young lady talked her family into walking to the furthest field to pick grape tomatoes.  The walk was rewarded!

We offered sweet potatoes for gleaning.  I think it was a first experience for everyone, and quite the treasure hunt.

Our field roads are riddled with puddles. They are a nuisance for us but a big hit with the kids.  Parents patiently guide their toddlers through every irresistible puddle.

Digging carrots is a perennial favorite.  Carrots are not a true gleaning crop (we could harvest and use them all) but we offer them each year because it’s a great experience for the kids.

At left, Karen and Sena silkscreen t-shirts for an audience.

Solveig offered cooked beet samples from her PhD breeding project.  After several years, we can taste the difference in her breeding lines.  New this year, we offered the remnants of her beet field for gleaning.  People stopped first at Solveig’s table to complete her tasting survey.  Based on their survey preferences, she then directed them where to glean.  “I think you’ll like the beets with pink flags best,” or white or red flags based on the breeding lines they preferred.  I thought that was pretty darn cool.  Beth

The rest of the week was complex & interesting.

FRIDAY.  Steve holds a freshly-dug cluster of sweet potatoes. That’s a very nice cluster, hence the smile and the photo.  So many of our fall crops are heavy; sweet potatoes, winter squash, cabbage, roots. We undercut the sweet potatoes to life them out of the soil, but pick them up by hand.  This year’s harvest is very, very nice.  Sweet potatoes will be in the boxes next week.  We began harvesting weeks ago to allow enough time for the roots to cure and sweeten.

SATURDAY.  We prepared for the upick and moped about the rain.  More than 4 inches of rain fell between Friday and Monday.  This is getting tedious.

SUNDAY.  Pumpkin u-pick and gleaning party!

MONDAY.  We hired our cement guy Kyle Allen to cast a new cement floor in our indoor washroom.  The old floor was at two levels, with a high curb in the middle.  We will appreciate the new, open working space once we begin working indoors next month.  Work schedules are backed up for every contractor that works outside.  Kyle was glad to have an indoor job for his crew.

TUESDAY.  It is too wet to use our carrot harvester.  We wanted carrots for this week’s box and just pulled them out by hand.  We joke that we are regressing to the stone age.  We have a fortune invested in carrot harvesting equipment yet resorted to pulling them by hand.  It was an easy job with a big crew and no rain.  The soil is so moist that it gave no resistance.

WEDNESDAY.  We had our annual inspection for our organic certification.  We are organized and do this every year but it still feels like endless amounts of paperwork.

Finally, we got outside as much as we could today, to enjoy the sun and wind.  Front to back, Simone, Taylor and Billy bring in the napa cabbage harvest.  Ah, what a beautiful warm day.  Beth

Veggie List and Veggie Notes
Week #20, October 4/5, 2018

Ethiopian kale, 1 bunch
‘Satina’ potatoes, 3.5 lb
‘Jester’ or acorn winter squash, 1 or 2
Carrots, ~2 lb
Green beans, 1.4 lb
Oranos peppers OR shishito peppers, ~1/3 lb
(in bag with beans)
Bell or frying peppers, ~2
(At least one will be tiny; it’s that time of year.)
Yellow onions, ~2

Each site gets 1 or 2 things from this list:
Cauliflower OR globe eggplant OR broccoli.

Next week’s box will probably contain sweet potatoes, greens, broccoli or cauliflower and more. 

Ethiopian kale – This is a new variety for us.  Here’s the seed catalog description: “While technically a mustard, Amara is known by several different names including Ethiopian kale, highland kale, Abyssinian mustard, and Texsel greens. The attractive, dark green leaves are tender, slightly savoyed with a wavy margin, and have an excellent rich flavor. Good in salads or as a cooked green.”  This stuff is pretty interesting. It has the texture of kale but the spiciness of mustard.  I’d say it’s about half as spicy as mustard greens.  The flavor is strong once cooked but quite good.

Winter squash – Everyone gets at least one Jester.  This is my favorite squash.  It’s a hybrid between sweet dumpling and acorn squash.  It’s got the size of an acorn but the speckling and delicious taste of sweet dumpling.  These squash do not store for long.  They are prima donnas.  Eat within two weeks, or sooner if you see problems developing.  

‘Jester’ winter squash


Visit our 2018 Recipe Log or our 2017 Recipe Log or join our Facebook discussion group.

LOCAL THYME/ Comforting Classics
Wilted Ethiopian Kale with Bacon and Vinegar
Shepherd’s Pie with Winter Squash and Broccoli
Maple Winter Squash Puree
Broccoli Cheddar Stuffed Potato

LOCAL THYME/ Outside the Box Recipes
Steamed Snapper with Wilted Greens and Ponzu
Broccoli Quinoa Salad
Cinnamon Brown Sugar Roasted Winter Squash with Honeyed Yogurt
BSK Breakfast Potatoes

LOCAL THYME/ Quick & Easy Meal
Spaghetti with Pancetta and Green Beans

Recipe inspired by Bon Appetit

1-1/2 pound pork tenderloin OR 4 pork chops, bones removed
2-3 cups cooked white rice
2 tablespoons hot chili paste (I used sambal nyonya; sambal oelek is pretty common in the ethnic aisle of your grocery store or you could always just use sriracha in a pinch)
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1″ piece ginger, peeled and minced (or finely grated)
4 garlic cloves, divided
4 tablespoons soy sauce (or gluten-free tamari), divided
3 teaspoons toasted sesame oil, divided
1 large (or 2 small) Jester squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
4 tablespoons peanut oil (or vegetable oil), divided
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt + more for seasoning pork
1 pound carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
1 bunch Ethiopian kale
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1-2 Oranos, cut into strips, optional
1 bell or Italian frying pepper, cut into strips, optional
1/2 onion, sliced, optional

  1. In a medium bowl, combine chili paste, brown sugar, ginger, 1 clove garlic, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, and 2 teaspoons sesame oil. Very thinly slice pork tenderloin or pork chops and add to marinade. Stir well to coat evenly. Place in fridge for at least 20 minutes or up to 2 hours.
  2. When you are about ready to get started, preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  3. On a roasting pan. combine squash with 1 tablespoon peanut oil and salt. Roast for 25 minutes turning occasionally to ensure even browning.
  4. Cook rice according to package directions. I always follow this easy rice guide.
  5. In a large heavy skillet (preferably cast-iron if you have one), heat 1 tablespoon peanut oil and heat over medium high heat. When oil is very hot, add pork. Season very lightly with salt. Cook, without moving for 2 minutes. This will help the sugars caramelize. Stir and then cook again for 2 minutes without moving. Stir and cook 2 minutes more. This should caramelize all edges and cook the pork through. Transfer to a plate. Wipe pan with a paper towel– if some sauce remains, don’t worry about it, just get it mostly clean.
  6. Add additional two tablespoons peanut oil to pan and allow it to get very hot over medium high heat. Add carrots, cook undisturbed for two minutes. Stir and then add kale. Cook for 5 minutes until kale begins to wilt, then add remaining 3 garlic cloves and roasted squash. Cook for 3 minutes more. Turn off heat.
  7. † In a small bowl, whisk together rice wine vinegar with remaining 2 tablespoons soy sauce and remaining 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil.
  8. Serve rice with pork, carrot mixture, and raw peppers and onions (if using). Drizzle with rice wine vinegar.mixture.

Recipe inspired by Joshua McFadden’s Six Seasons cookbook
This combination of flavors is equal parts odd and delicious. And again, we have Joshua McFadden to think for the inspiration. I love the addition of broccoli to mashed potatoes. It adds a healthy note and complexity you don’t usually find. But what really makes this unique is the lack of the usual dairy suspects of butter and heavy cream for the heart-healthy substitution of olive oil and lemon. It’s a fun recipe that I’ll come back to again and again. I served it with baked white fish and thought it paired perfectly.

Takes 40 minutes
Serves 4-6 as a side

1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon Kosher salt, divided
2 pounds white potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes (about 5 cups)
6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 large yellow onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 head broccoli, cut into bite-size chunks
1 cup finely shredded asiago cheese
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  1. Add a tablespoon of salt to a large pot of water. Bring to a boil on the stove. Once boiling, add potatoes and cook for 15 minutes.
  2. While the potatoes cook, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium or large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt. Saute over 10 minutes then reduce to low and add garlic. Cook 5 minutes longer. Remove from heat and set to the side.
  3. By now your potatoes have likely cooked for 15 minutes, add broccoli to pot and boil for 5 minutes more.
  4. Drain potato mixture. Use a fine-mesh strainer if you have one (as opposed to a colander) to save some of the broccoli pieces from washing through. Return to pot.
  5. Add sauted onions and garlic to potato mixture. Smash mixture gently until crushed but still chunked. Add the asiago, lemon juice and remaining 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt and stir with a wooden spoon until cheese is melted and ingredients appear well-incorporated. Add remaining olive oil. Stir to combine, taste and adjust ingredients as desired. If it’s too bright and lemony, add more olive oil. If the flavors aren’t popping add a little salt and maybe more lemon juice.
  6. Serve warm or reheat later using a bit of water to loosen the mixture.


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