Farm Newsletter

Week #1. Let’s start!

Welcome to our CSA!  Deliveries begin this week for weekly members and for green every-other-week (EOW) members.  Go here to check the delivery schedule for other shares.

Things you need to know.

♦  We post this newsletter/blog each Wednesday night, with a list of veggies for the week, quantities, information about storage and preparation, news of the farm, recipes, and a forecast for the next week’s box.  We alert you by email on Wednesday night once the newsletter is posted and ready to read.
♦  Want earlier notice of what will be in the box?  Check the sidebar on our website homepage around 7 p.m. on Wednesday night.  I’ll post the list under “Box Contents.”  I also provide a tentative list for the following week in the Veggie List section of this newsletter.  The next week’s list is rarely complete but the items listed are ones we feel confident about.
♦  EOW, sampler and weekly members, we assume you read all the newsletters, even on your “off” weeks.  This newsletter (and our emails to you) are our means to communicate with you.
♦  The first few boxes of the season are often the lightest.  EOW members, do not worry that you have signed up for the wrong share.  Our deliveries get heavier and more abundant as the season progresses.
♦  We will sometimes write “OR” in the produce list, e.g. green leaf OR red bibb lettuce.  You will receive one of these crops.  All the boxes at each site are identical; we pack the same crops for all the members at each site.  Please don’t open other members’ boxes.
♦  Wash your produce well this week to remove grit.  It has rained a lot lately, driving grit into the asparagus and anything that forms a head (lettuce, bok choy, spinach).  Our crew took extra care with washing but expect to wash everything.  You should always wash your produce!
♦  On Thursday, we deliver CSA boxes to Evansville, Fitchburg, Madison, McFarland, Middleton and Oregon.
♦  On Friday, we deliver CSA boxes to Brookfield, Janesville, Mequon, Milwaukee, Waukesha and Wauwatosa.

A Tricky Spring Decision

In mid-April, we had to decide whether to transplant our precious greenhouse seedlings the day before a predicted snow storm.  Seems crazy, right?  Why not just wait?  Well, we were already two weeks behind schedule, the plants were growing actively and our greenhouses were completely full.  We had a CSA schedule to meet!

We decided to plant.  As a rule, we use every opportunity to plant and transplant in late March and early April.  If the ground gets soaked, it can take a long time to dry.  We use row cover (a lightweight fabric) as an insurance policy, to moderate the cold and wind and to gather the sun’s warmth.  This is a situation where experience is so helpful.  We’ve been through this before and have yet to lose a crop by putting it out too early.  Of course, we did wait for the 15 degree nights to pass before transplanting.  That’s just common sense.

Our greenhouse seedlings are precious.  It takes 6 to 8 weeks for them to grow to transplanting size, which means that we cannot replace them.

We transplanted on a beautiful sunny day, and covered the plants with floating row cover.  It snowed the next day, weighing down the plants and freezing the row cover to the ground.

The plants did fine.  The row cover makes a nice shelter and traps heat from the ground.

The row cover was seriously beaten up by the weather.  We patched it together because we did not want to replace it with a new $300 piece.  Your bok choy has some insect damage as a result; the flea beetles snuck in through the holes.

Otherwise, everything did very, very well.

Harvest day!

The happy resolution to the story.

Veggie List and Veggie Notes
May 24/25, 2018 (Th/Fri sites), week #1, green EOW

Asparagus, ~1 lb
Spinach, 1 big bunch
German Butterball potatoes, 3.5 lb
Green leaf lettuce
Salad radishes, 1 bunch
Green garlic, 1 bunch
Bok choy, 1 large
Rhubarb, 2 lb

Next week’s box will probably contain asparagus, spinach, button mushrooms, lettuce,  green garlic, Abyssinian mustard, rhubarb and more.

Asparagus – Enjoy this spring treat!  Your asparagus will be green or purple.  The purple variety turns dark green when cooked.  Its flavor is almost identical to normal green asparagus.  Wash your asparagus thoroughly to remove hidden grit.  Submerge in water with the tips pointing down, soak briefly, then swish vigorously and pull out of the water.  The draining action helps pull the grit out of the asparagus tips.  Repeat several times.
Storage: Asparagus is perishable, so eat it as soon as possible.  Store it in the paper bag we packed it in, and wrap loosely in a plastic bag.  The paper bag protects the asparagus tips from direct contact with the plastic bag.  The plastic bag keeps the asparagus from wilting.
Preparation: We snap our asparagus at harvest, rather than cutting.  Therefore, there is no need to snap the stalks to remove fibrous ends.  For the same reason, it is not necessary to peel the asparagus stalks.  It’s OK to trim the cut end a bit.
Cooking:  If your asparagus stalks vary greatly in size, you will want to cook the thicker ones longer.  Put an empty steamer pot over water, and bring the water to a boil.  Add the asparagus.  Cover and steam over medium heat until just tender.  Use two forks or a spatula to turn the asparagus during cooking, rotating the bottom spears to the top.  Drain and serve.  Alternatively, you can lay spears flat in the bottom of a broad pan, with ½ inch of water.  Also excellent broiled or grilled.  Good dressed with vinaigrette, or with lime juice, salt and pepper.

German Butterball potatoes –  Please refrigerate these potatoes.  They are in great shape now but will sprout within days if stored at room temperature.  They’ve been stored all winter and want to grow.  Store in a paper bag to protect from light, even in the fridge.  We grow everything we send in our CSA boxes except potatoes, some of the garlic, and mushrooms, all of which we buy from organic growers that we trust.  We purchased these potatoes from Jesse Perkins at Vermont Valley Farm.  German Butterballs are good all-around potatoes with outstanding flavor.  This variety was the first place winner in Rodale’s Organic Gardening “Taste Off.”  Best uses are roasted, boiled or fried.  With the predicted weather this weekend, you might want to make potato salad!  Jesse says the potatoes have a higher sugar content because of starch to sugar conversion during cold storage.  The potatoes taste a bit sweet, and will blacken slightly when fried.  It’s a harmless color change due to the sugar conversion.

Lettuce and spinach – Wash your greens to remove grit splashed into the heads by rain.  Cut to the size you like, submerge in water, swish gently, then pull from the water and drain in a colander.  Some weeks, you will need to repeat in fresh water.
Storage hint – To extend the storage life of your tender greens, wash them, dry in a salad spinner, then store in a dry container or bag.  Lettuce and spinach last much longer when handled this way.

Bok choy (large rosette with thick white stems and green leaves) – This Asian green is good for stir-frying or sautéing or in soup.  You can think of the stems and leaves as two separate vegetables.  The stems require longer cooking.  The leaves will cook almost as quickly as spinach.  Bok choy stores well, so feel free to pull off leaves as you need them, or use the whole head at once.  Refrigerate in a plastic bag.

Green garlic (looks like scallions, tastes like garlic) – Last fall, we planted garlic cloves that grew into the stalks we harvested this week.  If left to grow until mid-summer, the slim white bulb on this week’s garlic will divide and form the usual cluster of cloves in a garlic bulb.  This year’s green garlic is robust.
Preparation: Green garlic is more pungent than scallions, so slice thinly and use sparingly when raw.  It mellows when cooked.  Chop and add to any cooked dish that would benefit from garlic.  Use the white bulbs and pale green stems.  Avoid the dark green stems and leaves, as these are fibrous.

Rhubarb – Refrigerate in a plastic bag.  FYI, 2 lb of rhubarb yields 6 – 6.5 cups when chopped.
Stewed rhubarb:  This is the simplest way to prepare rhubarb.  Chop rhubarb into one inch chunks.  Stir over medium heat with a small amount of water in the bottom of the pan.  The rhubarb will release moisture as it cooks.  Stew until it softens and falls apart.  Sweeten to taste with honey or sugar.  Eat warm on its own, over vanilla ice cream, on pancakes, etc.

Recipes from chef Pat Mulvey at Local Thyme

Comforting Classics
Spinach Salad with Pan Seared Asparagus, Steamed Potatoes, Chickpeas and Oven Poached Egg
Pureed Potato and Asparagus Soup with Spinach
White Bean Stew with Potato and Bok Choy
Rhubarb Compote with Fresh Ricotta

Outside the Box Recipes
Grilled Pizza with Wilted Spinach and Shaved Asparagus
Saag Paneer
Rhubarb Glazed Bok Choy and Radish
Spatchcocked Chicken and Potatoes with Rhubarb Butter

Quick and Easy Recipe
Classic Warm Spinach Salad

Recipes from Lauren

Not many people realize that rhubarb is as amazing in savory dishes as it is in desserts.  Just like citrus, rhubarb lends a complex acidity and sweetness to dishes.  I love to use rhubarb in Asian style recipes with powerful flavors that can balance it (like toasted sesame oil and soy sauce).  Whip up this dish for a quick weeknight meal and remember why you waited so long for fresh produce.  Lauren.

Serves 4.
Takes 45 minutes.

1 large head Bok Choy
3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil, divided
2 tablespoons water, plus more as needed
1/2 pound spinach
2 cups rhubarb, diced
3 green garlic, minced
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 pound raw flank steak, cut into strips
2 cups cooked rice
Toasted sesame seeds, optional

  1. If you don’t have cooked rice in the fridge, begin your rice according to package directions.
  2. Remove individual leaves from the bok choy and thoroughly wash. Thinly slice the stalks (like you would celery). Roughly chop the leaves and keep in a separate pile from the stalks.
  3. In a large wide saute pan, heat 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil with 2 tablespoons water over medium heat. Add bok choy greens and spinach and toss with oil and water to coat. Cover pan and steam for 5 minutes until just wilted. Remove greens from pan with tongs and set aside. Leave juices in pan.
  4. Add 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil, rhubarb, green garlic, soy sauce, white sugar, honey, garlic powder and red pepper flakes to the same pan you cooked greens in. Simmer gently (and reduce mixture) over medium heat for 10-15 minutes, adding a tablespoon or two of water if it gets too thick. Remove sauce to a small bowl and again, don’t wipe out your pan.
  5. Add last tablespoon of toasted sesame oil to the pan along with bok choy stalks and steak. Cook over medium high heat 5-7 minutes until meat is cooked through. Add sauce and greens back to pan. Stir to combine and cook for about a minute, just to warm. Serve over rice and garnish with sesame seeds, if using.

Ingredients adapted from Smitten Kitchen recipe
I have no shortage of amazing asparagus recipes in my repertoire but for some reason or another, I come back to this one every year. I love the combination of smoky bacon and fresh tender asparagus, but I also love the versatility and heartiness of this dish created by Smitten Kitchen. This time around I added green garlic and radishes. It’s a perfect place to hide radishes if you aren’t a huge fan. Cooked radishes don’t taste all that different from a potato and you’ll relish the slight spice and bite they bring. Enjoy!  Lauren.

Serves 4 depending what you serve with it.
Takes 45 minutes.

1/2 pound bacon, cut into 1/4-inch dice
2 cups potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 cup radishes, cut into 1/2-inch dice
2 green garlic, thinly sliced
0.90 – 1 lb asparagus, ends trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
Salt and Pepper to taste

  1. Heat a 12-inch cast iron skillet or other large frying pan over medium heat. Fry the bacon, turning it frequently so it browns and crisps evenly. This should take about 10 minutes. Remove it with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Leave the heat on and the bacon grease in the pan.
  2. Add the potatoes and radishes and donít move them for a couple minutes. Use this time to season them well with salt and pepper. Once theyíve gotten a little brown underneath, begin flipping and turning them, then letting them cook again for a few minutes. The idea is not to fight them off the frying pan, once theyíve gotten a little color, itís easier to flip them and youíve gotten closer to your goal of getting them evenly browned.
  3. When the potatoes and radishes are as crisped and brown as youíd like them ó this takes about 20 minutes ó add the green garlic and asparagus. Stir to combine and then add a lid. (It doesnít have to fit perfectly). Cook for an additional 5-10 minutes (thin spears of asparagus will take closer to 5 minutes, thick spears will take a bit longer) until asparagus is softened. Remove the lid, return the bacon to the pan for another minute, to reheat. Taste for seasoning and adjust if needed.
  4. Serve immediately with a fried egg on top and maybe a small salad of lettuce and thinly sliced radishes on the side.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Spring news

If you haven’t enrolled yet, we encourage you to sign up during the next two weeks.  We need to know whether to plant for you!  
– Returning Tipi CSA members, go here to enroll.
– New Tipi CSA members, go here to enroll.

CSA Updates (revised 4/14/18)

– We plan to delay our first CSA delivery by one week because of the cold spring weather.  The plants have to grow!  We’ll announce the delivery schedules during the first week of May.  Watch for emails from us then.
– A few members have contacted me in search of someone to split a CSA share.  If you are in the same situation, tell me your pickup site and I will try to match-make.
– Rebates for CSA share purchases are available to some people insured by the WEA Trust State Health Plan.  The rebate is $100 for individual plans and $200 for family plans.  Read more here.

Toasted Orzo Salad with Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Celeriac and Carrots

We are soooo close to our spring produce.  Let’s enjoy the last of our lingering winter stash, and start thinking about spring recipes.  Here is my current favorite winter recipe, which should adapt easily to spring or summer produce.  Soon, I’ll try the dish with steamed asparagus and minced green garlic added to the lemon dressing.  Olive oil is repeated multiple times in the ingredients list because it’s used in several steps.  The rich fragrance of this dish comes from toasting the orzo and from the sumac spice.  It’s worth hunting up sumac if you can find it.  (I bought mine at Basics Coop in Janesville.)  *Otherwise, substitute with paprika.  Beth
Adapted from Food52.

1-1/2 lb sweet potatoes
1 medium celeriac
2 large carrots
olive oil

Dressing ingredients
4 tsp dijon mustard
4 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
4 Tbsp olive oil
1-2 medium shallots, minced

2 cups orzo
1 Tbsp olive oil

Spices.  Combine in a small bowl.
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp sumac*
1 tsp sesame seeds, toasted and crushed

3 – 4 oz feta cheese, crumbled
roasted cashews or your favorite nut

1.  Heat the oven to 425o.
2.  Peel the celeriac and carrots.  Dice the sweet potatoes, celeriac and carrots into bite-sized pieces.
3.  Oil a baking sheet (or two sheets).  Keeping the vegetables separate by type, toss with olive oil and spread into a single layer.  
4.  Roast, turning once, until fork-tender and blackened in spots.  The sweet potatoes will be ready in 20 – 25 minutes, the carrots and celeriac might take longer.
5.  Make the dressing.  Put the lemon juice, dijon mustard, garlic, salt and pepper in a pint jar.  Mix with a fork, then add the oil in a slow stream and whisk to combine.  Add the minced shallot.  Set aside.
6.  In one pot, bring 6-8 cups water to a boil.  In a second pot, stir the dry orzo over medium heat until it is lightly browned and smells toasty.  Turn off heat, wait 30 seconds, then add the boiling water.  Watch out for steam!  Be ready to stir!  Turn the heat back on and cook until al dente.  Drain, transfer to a mixing bowl and toss with 1 Tbsp. olive oil.
7.  Sprinkle the spice mixture over the orzo and combine.  Add the dressing and combine.  Add the roasted veggies and mix gently.  Transfer to bowls and top with feta and cashews.

Hints to speed the process
– Make the spice mixture in advance and store in a sealed jar.
– You can prep the dressing the morning of.  The minced shallots pickle nicely in the dressing.

Farm News

The sunny greenhouses are my favorite place.  Above, Steve checks lettuce seedlings.  In a normal year, we might have transplanted two weeks ago.  Instead, we waited until the cold nights were over.  We’ve experimented over the years with how much cold these early seedlings can handle.  They are pretty resilient, and can tolerate temperatures down to about 20o if protected with floating row cover.  The recent 11 and 14 degree nights were just too risky.  

We transplanted lettuce, spinach, scallions and bok choy on Wednesday.  The time was right; we needed to get the plants in the ground before this weekend’s rain.  Everything is sheltered under row cover and will be fine, even if it snows.  From left, Charlotte, Raul and Kristen feed lettuce seedlings into the transplanter.  Maggie checks the planting depth.  Steve comes to see how the job is progressing.  Wow, it felt great to get so many plants in the ground.

From left, Simone, Kerry and Maggie move pepper seedlings into larger pots.

We’re raising an army of bell peppers.  Chiles and Italian peppers get planted this coming week.

Lush, beautiful onion seedlings.

Steve planted cold-hardy spinach, radishes, arugula and sweet salad turnips outside weeks ago.  The seedlings have slowly emerged.  They are covered with floating row cover for protection and to warm the soil on sunny days.

I am apprenticing with the local Prairie Enthusiasts to learn fire management.  It is both fascinating and scary.  Healthy caution is a good idea, right??  We are raising prairie plants from seed I collected with the Enthusiasts last summer.  The seedlings will go into our expanding habitat to support pollinators and beneficial insects.  I love this project.  Beth

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Online forum to share cooking ideas?

Let’s brainstorm.  Many of you have expressed interest in how other Tipi CSA members use their CSA produce.  (This has come up in the end-of-season survey for several years.)  Members often devise recipe or cooking ideas that never occurred to me when planning the CSA box!  Let’s share that creativity through an online forum where you can exchange ideas.

Help me choose the best platform to use on a weekly basis.  I’ll post the box contents list (and maybe a photo), then you share your cooking plans or successes.  Honestly, this needs to be community-based without too much input from me.  I get so busy during the farming season.

What’s the best approach?  A Facebook group (public? closed?)?  Instagram?  Something else I don’t know about?  Is the comments section of our farm newsletter too out-of-the-way?  We should choose a platform that people are already visiting.  Posts to our Facebook page (i.e. not to a Facebook group) won’t work because of new algorithm changes at Facebook.

Send me an email if you have ideas or advice, or share in the comments section below.  Thank you in advance.  Beth

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Storage Share, Nov. 16/17, 2017

Cabbage in flight, on its way to you.

We are tantalizingly close to the end of our season.  The cold spell last week hurried us along.  13 degrees!  That will do some damage.  With that deadline, we pulled in all but the hardiest crops.  Cabbage, celeriac, even leeks can get damaged at 13o.  We are still harvesting carrots.  Protected in warm-enough soil, they survived the brief cold night without trouble.

Instead, trouble came as broken machinery.  Our complex carrot harvester broke down unexpectedly.  This is the machine we imported from Europe a few years ago.  It’s a terrific harvester but largely unknown in the USA.  We had to get a replacement part flown in from Germany, routed through the North American dealer in Canada.  It took over a week to travel here and clear customs.  Oh, this has been a tense week.  As our kids say “The intensity intensifies!”

We pulled out our trusty older carrot harvester but it’s slower and requires a much bigger crew for harvest.  Plus it’s more demanding physically for all of us.  The replacement part arrived this morning and we got the big harvester back in the field by midmorning.  If the weather holds through Friday, we will finish every field, leaving our coolers stuffed to the gills.  Wish us luck.  

We are ready to wrap up this season.  Then we’ll enjoy the winter, with lots of cooking and ice skating and maybe even a vacation before we start plotting next year.  Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!  Beth & Steve

Storage Share this week

DSCF8942-2 storage 2 boxes
Take one box labelled “A” and one box labelled “B”.

Things you need to know about your winter share

* Your delivery will consist of two different boxes, labeled “A” and “B”.  Take one “A” box and one “B” box.  The boxes contain different vegetables.
* Please pick up your boxes on the day of delivery, during the normal hours for your site.
* Outpost members, please get your boxes on Friday.  This is the busiest weekend of the year for the Outpost staff, so we cannot ask them to hold boxes past Friday.
* Members at outdoor sites, please carefully put the blankets back on the boxes.  That keeps everyone’s produce in good shape.
* The boxes are heavy!  It’s OK to take home the packed boxes, then return the empty boxes to your pickup site within two weeks.  We’ll swing back and pick them up.

Veggie List and Storage Info (Storage share, Nov. 16/17, 2017)

We hope you enjoy this shipment of veggies.  Strategize to use them well, as some will last longer than others. 
* These are the most perishable vegetables: green cauliflower, fennel, Romanesco.
* These are the next-most perishable: Brussels sprouts, cabbage, leeks and onions.  Keep an eye on your butternut, potatoes and sweet potatoes.  The last two are susceptible to drying out.  Expect the largest butternuts to last the longest.
* These will last the longest: Beauty Heart radish, beets, carrots, celeriac, garlic, parsnips, shallots.

Box “A”
Refrigerate everything in this box.

Beauty Heart winter radishes, 1 or 2
Brussels sprouts, on stalk(s)
Carrots, 6 lb total
….. orange ~4.5 lb
….. yellow ~1.5 lb
Celeriac, 1
Fennel, 1 fat bulb
Green cabbage
Green cauliflower, 1 very small
Leeks, ~3 lb
Parsnips, 3 lb
Romanesco cauliflower, ~2

Box “B”
The beets need refrigeration.  Everything else in this box can be stored cool or at room temperature.  See notes below for more detail.

Beets, 3 lb
Butternut squash, ~4
Potatoes, russet, 5 lb
Potatoes, Satina, 5 lb
Sweet potatoes, ~10 lb
Onions, 5 lb total
….. ~1 lb red
….. ~4 lb yellow
Shallots, 3
Garlic, 3

Beauty Heart radishes (round, white with pale green shoulders and bright pink interior) – Refrigerate.  The interior color is lovely.  Slice thinly and add to salads, cook lightly in mixed vegetable medleys or cut into matchsticks and add to pasta salads.  We enjoy grated carrot and Beauty Heart salads all winter.
Beets – Refrigerate in a bag or container.  Beets will store for two months or longer.
Brussels sprouts – Pluck from stalks and refrigerate in a bag or container.  Do this the day you pick up your CSA boxes.  Eat within 2 to 3 weeks.
Butternut winter squash –  You will receive up to four butternuts, depending on size.  Store your butternut in a cool, dry place.  50 F is ideal.  Do not put in a plastic bag.  Expect the largest butternuts to store the longest.  Inspect your squash frequently and cook promptly if you see any soft spots developing.  You can cook, mash and freeze the squash for future use.  I find that you can refrigerate cut raw squash for up to one week.  This runs counter to the accepted way to store squash, but is useful if you want to cook just half a squash.  Try microwaving your squash for one to two minutes before cutting or peeling.  This softens the squash and makes a large butternut easier to handle.
Cabbage – Refrigerate.  Cut off chunks as needed.
Cauliflower, green – Refrigerate in a bag or container.
Carrots, orange.  Refrigerate in a plastic bag.  Will keep for several weeks.
Carrots, yellow.  This variety is pretty AND they taste good.
Celeriac – Will store for months in your fridge.  Cut off chunks as needed.  Peel before using.  I find it easiest to cut the celeriac into flat slices, then peel.
Garlic.  Can be stored at room temperature.
Leeks.  Refrigerate and eat within three weeks.  Leeks are not a long-storage crop.  You may need to strip off one or two outer leaves to freshen the leeks before you cook them.  Your leeks will probably need washing.  We finished preparing them after dark and didn’t realize how much soil was still on them.
Onions: Refrigerate or store in a cool, dark spot and protect from light.  Exposure to light stimulates sprouting.
Parsnips (These look like large white carrots.) – Refrigerate in a plastic bag.  Parsnips will store for two months but will darken in color.  That is a harmless change.
Potatoes, Russets and Satinas – Can be stored at room temperature or in a cool spot, but must be kept in the dark so they do not turn green.  A cloth or loose plastic bag draped over the paper bag will help avoid moisture loss, but do not close the plastic bag.  Both types will store longer if kept cool.  Around 40 – 50 F is ideal.  The potatoes were grown by the Igl family near Antigo.
Russets– We got the big ‘baking’ grade so you have nice bakers for Thanksgiving.  Excellent for mashed potatoes.
Satinas– These are good all-purpose potatoes, everything from roasted to potato salad.  I really like this variety of yellow potato because they oven-roast so well and because they are less sweet than other yellow varieties like Yukon Golds.
Shallots – These look like small red onions, often with internal divisions into several bulbs.  They can be round or oblong.  Store at room temperature.  This is the first time we’ve grown shallots!  They seemed like a fun thing to try and have turned out nicely.  Honestly, I am a novice with shallots but from what I’ve read (and eaten at restaurants) they are good in salad dressing, and caramelized and used to top dishes or sandwiches.  We split some in half and roasted them with other veggies in a hot oven.  They turned out mild and sweet, very nice.
Sweet potatoes – These are a mix of the  Covington and Beauregard varieties.  Both types have developed excellent flavor and sweetness.  Some tubers have dark skins, the result of soil staining during wet weather.  It’s unsightly but superficial and harmless.  Store at room temperature, no lower than 55 F.  Keep them on your kitchen counter where it’s easy to keep an eye on them.  I like to keep ours in a paper bag so they don’t dehydrate.  Cook promptly if they start to soften.  The roots come in a wide ranges of sizes and all are good.

What are you cooking for Thanksgiving?

We are creatures of habit when it comes to Thanksgiving.  Here are our plans so far: brined roast heritage turkey from our friends Jen and Bryce Riemer (Beth), Brussels sprouts with garlic-mustard vinaigrette (Steve), roasted sweet potatoes with garlicky yogurt dip (Sophie), glazed butternut squash (Beth), crunchy carrot-Beauty Heart salad with sesame-seed dressing (Steve), pickled onions (Beth & Ari), pickles (Beth & Ari), homemade applesauce (Ari), and apple pie (Sophie).  I’ll probably make stuffing with lots of celeriac and onions but that might be overkill.  We love celebrating Thanksgiving and the end of harvest season!

Menu Ideas

There are many terrific Thanksgiving menus and recipes online right now.  Search any of the sites below if you are stumped about what to do with your storage share.  Check out the online Thanksgiving collections soon; they get taken down quickly after the holiday.
♦ I like the lively site.  It’s a curated community site so judge a recipe’s rating and read the comments.  Start at their Thanksgiving page and settle in.  I want to read and cook everything on this site!  Here’s a tiny subset of their current articles and recipes.
….. Thanksgiving Menu Maker
….. Freezer-Friendly Thanksgiving Dishes For the Ultra-Prepared
….. Make room for Spicy Raspberry Relish
….. The Genius Fix for Broken Gravy
….. 22 Pack-and-Go Thanksgiving Recipes
….. etc, etc.
♦ Smitten Kitchen is our go-to site for dessert recipes but has excellent veggie recipes too.  Plus blogger Deb Perelman is funny.  She has not posted a Thanksgiving menu yet but her recipes from last year are still accessible.
….. Thanksgiving recipe list
….. Last year, she was all about Team Casserole.
♦ 101cookbooks.  Always has good vegetarian and whole-grain recipes.
♦ The New York Times has changed access to their Cooking app.  They now require a paid subscription, although there appears to be occasional free access.  This year, they’ve posted how to cook an entire Thanksgiving feast in a 400 degree oven, a very thorough Thanksgiving Menu Planner and many holiday-themed recipe collections, such as “Our 21 Most Popular Thanksgiving Pies“, “What to Bring to a Thanksgiving Potluck“, “Thanksgiving Casseroles” and more.  If you can access it, start at their Thanksgiving 2017 page.  In my opinion, Melissa Clark is the best NYT food writer.  She’s practical and her dishes are always flavorful.  David Tanis is my second-favorite.  Recipes from Mark Bittman and Martha Rose Shulman are always worth a look.
♦ Finally, remember that we can use Local Thyme recipes all winter.  Check them out for Thanksgiving ideas.  Send me an email is you need the registration information.

Do you have favorite menu sites for fall and winter recipes?

If so, please share in a comment!


Recipe adapted from Food 52
I love the ease of this recipe. It uses one baking sheet and and a couple large bowls and comes together effortlessly while you do the dishes or tidy up. Honestly, the hardest part will be slicing the cabbage and fennel! If you feel like getting a second sheet pan dirty, throw some extra roast veggies on there and stock up on roasted veggies for the whole week! Carrots, sweet potatoes, parsnips, celeriac, potatoes and/or butternut squash would all go well with this tasty meal.  Lauren.
Serves 6-8
Takes 1 hour

1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1/4 cup olive oil + more for drizzling
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon sriracha, optional
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
8 pieces chicken, bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs or drumsticks (or a mix)
1/2 head cabbage
1 head garlic, separated and peeled
1 large fennel bulb, cored and cut into 1-inch wedges
3 leeks, white and pale green parts only, cut int 1-inch thick slices

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl combine oils, soy sauce, vinegar and sriracha. Place chicken in a second large bowl. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Pour 1/4 cup of the oil mixture over the chicken and let is marinade while the oven preheats.
  3. Cut the cabbage in half through it’s core. Set half aside for later use. Cut half you are using through to core again and keep slicing until you wind up with many wedges (all no thicker than 1-inch). Add cabbage to first large bowl (with remaining sauce not chicken) along with peeled garlic cloves, fennel, and leeks. Season with a bit of salt and pepper.
  4. Drizzle baking sheet with olive oil and add chicken. Spread it out evenly so not crowded and roast for 10 minutes. Remove pan from oven and nestle chicken with vegetables– tucking it under if necessary. It will feel like a lot. That’s fine! Roast for 25 minutes longer. Remove pan from oven and transfer chicken to a platter to rest. Also remove garlic if it seems to be beginning to brown at all (will depend on the size of your cloves). Continue roasting veggies for 10-15 minutes until juices have reduced and edges of veggies have caramelized ever so slightly.
  5. Serve veggies and chicken together with any residual sauce. Season with salt and pepper as desired.

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
There is a chance that some people won’t get as excited about vegetable pancakes as me, but I swear I could eat them every single dang day. They are the perfect combination of crunchy, hearty, healthy, fresh and fried. They can be a side of a meal or a whole meal and despite all the chopping that goes into them, come together rather quickly. If you have a mandolin, this is a great time to use it.
And again, the recipe is pretty flexible. Feel free to swap in any other root veggies (in similar quantities) for the sweet potato, carrots and parsnip. Lauren.
Takes 45 minutes
Serves 4-6 (more if it’s a side dish)

1 pound Brussels sprouts, ends trimmed and very thinly sliced (you will want about 4 cups sliced sprouts)
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and julienned (about 4 cups)
2-3 carrots, peeled and julienned (about 3 cups)
1 parsnip, peeled and julienned (about 1 cup)
1 shallot, peeled and very thinly sliced
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
2/3 cup flour
4 large eggs
Vegetable oil

  1. In a large bowl combine Brussels sprouts, sweet potato, carrots, parsnip and shallots. Sprinkle with salt followed by flour and stir until flour coats vegetables. Stir in the eggs until mostly smooth.
  2. Heat a heavy large skillet over medium high heat. Coat the bottom with oil and warm until hot but not smoking. Drop 1/4 cup spoonfuls into the pan (about 4-5) so they do not crowd. Gently press the pancake down until almost flat. Cook until the edges begin to brown, about 3 minutes and then flip. Cook for 1-2 minutes until other side browns. Remove to paper towel to drain grease.
  3. Add more oil in between batches and continue cooking until no more batter remains. Feel free to keep the first ones warm and crisp in a 250-degree oven while you cook the rest.
  4. Serve warm with tangy ketchup (below), spicy mayo or other favorite Asian dipping sauce.

Tangy Ketchup
1/2 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

Combine all sauce ingredients in a small saucepan and simmer until smooth and thick, about 3-5 minutes.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Extension share; Nov 2, 2017

Carrot Team

We are hurrying our storage crops from the fields to the coolers.  This week, we brought in the final parsnips and daikon, plus carrots and cabbage. We hope to finish the carrot and cabbage harvests next week but the work could continue into the following week.

It takes a team to bring in the carrot harvests.

Steve drives the root harvester.  We imported this implement from Sweden two years ago.  Steve appreciates what this machine can do, and continues to tinker and improve it.

Maggie controls the harvester from the back platform.  With the controls at her left hand, she distributes the carrots into a bin.  Once the bin is full, she’ll send it down a ramp to the ground.

Charlotte and Kristen pick up carrots dropped by the harvester.  They are too valuable to leave behind.

Matt picks up filled bins with the front end loader and places them on a wagon for transport back to the farmstead.

A wagon o’ carrots, plus parsnips at the front.

We cover the bins and tuck them in our cooler.  We’ll wash the carrots and other roots all winter long, providing food for our customers and work for our longterm employees.  

Extension Share, 1 delivery, Nov 2/3, 2017)

Beth’s box logic:  
(i) You can roast almost everything in this box.  See Lauren’s recipe for roasting and sauce ideas.  We routinely roast carrots, parsnips, and onions together.  They cook at the same rate.  Sweet potatoes get sliced, oiled, and roasted on their own sheet, because they cook more quickly.  Even Brussels sprouts and Romanesco can be pan-roasted in the oven.  We bought a convection oven a few years ago, and find the convection speeds roasting and evens the results.
(ii) We send the Beauty Heart radishes in combination with carrots because they make lovely, mixed salads, like Lauren’s Beauty Heart Radish, Carrot & Avocado Salad from last year.

Sweet potatoes, ~2 lb
Butternut squash
Brussels sprouts, ~1 lb
Romanesco, 1 head
Broccoli, 1 head
Carrots, 2 lb
Parsnips, 1.5 lb
Beauty Heart radish, 1 or 2
Yellow onion
Leek, 1 large
Jalapeno chile

Beauty Heart radishes (round, white with pale green shoulders and bright pink interior) – Refrigerate. The interior color is lovely. Slice thinly and add to salads, cook lightly in mixed vegetable medleys or cut into matchsticks and add to pasta salads. 

Visit our Recipe Log, a list of all our 2017 recipes.  Look for Brussels sprout recipes in the past two weeks (Oct 19, Oct 26)


Comforting Classics
Squash Chickpea Curry with Parsnips and Romanesco
Vegan Miso Soup with Winter Squash
Mashed Carrots, Parsnips and Sweet Potatoes
Sweet Potato Posole with Black Beans

Outside the Box Recipes
Steamed Romanesco with Mustard Butter
Roasted Vegetables with Goat Cheese Crostini and Pumpkinseed Oil
Black Pepper Tagliatelle with Parsnips and Pancetta
Elbows with Sweet Potato, Capers and Parsley

Quick and Easy Meal
Hazelnut Butter Sandwich with Beauty Heart Radish


Adapted from Dishing Up The Dirt
Something about fall abundance just has me cooking in huge batches to prepare for the cold days ahead. I love roasting up tray after tray of veggie on Sundays, sticking them in my fridge and using them as a base all week long. These veggies are great on their own or you can turn them into a meal with some baked fish, grilled steak or a pile of wild rice.  Lauren
Beth’s note:  I love the sound of this tahini sauce.  We roast vegetables every week through the winter. As Lauren points out, they make versatile leftovers. Our go-to sauces are sriracho mixed with mayo, or yogurt seasoned with salt, garlic, smoked paprika, and good olive oil.

Takes 1 hour
Serves 8

4 cups peeled and chopped sweet potato
2 cups peeled and chopped parsnips
2 cups chopped carrots
1 pound Brussels sprouts, ends trimmed and halved
1 head broccoli or romanesco, cut into bite-size florets
6 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons Kosher salt
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne powder
1 watermelon radish, thinly sliced

Turmeric Tahini Sauce
1 cup tahini
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce (or tamari)
2 tablespoons peeled and freshly grated ginger
2 teaspoons dried turmeric (unless you can get your hands on some fresh stuff– then use 2 tablespoons freshly grated)
1 tablespoon maple syrup
3/4 cup water, plus more if needed

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a huge bowl, combine sweet potatoes, parsnips, carrots, brussels sprouts, and broccoli or romanesco with oil, salt, thyme, pepper and cayenne. Stir until everything is evenly coated with oil and spices. Pour out onto three baking sheets or roasting pans. (If you don’t have a huge bowl, just combine all ingredients on baking sheets as evenly as you can.)
  3. Roast for 40-45 minutes or until veggies are tender and beginning to brown in places. Halfway through roasting, make sure to turn veggies and rotate pans for more even cooking.
  4. While the veggies roast, prepare your sauce by combining all ingredients in a food processor and pulsing to combine. If you don’t have a food processor, you can absolutely just whisk all ingredients together in a medium bowl (it’s just easier to break up the tahini with a food processor). If the mixture looks too thick, add more water. If it’s too thin, add a bit more tahini. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired. More syrup for sweetness. More vinegar to brighten it up. More soy sauce if you think it needs more salt.
  5. Serve veggies warm with a generous amount of sauce drizzled over them. Garnish with radish slices.

Adapted from Minimalist Baker
This soup just feels like fall. I love it on a cold night buried in blankets on the couch. Soup is always warming, but the creamy coconut milk and soothing curry and cinnamon spices really boost the coziness factor. Add the garnishes if you’re feeling fancy but don’t worry if you’d rather skip them. The soup very much stands up well on its own.  Lauren

Serves 4-6
Takes 40 minutes

2 tablespoons butter (or coconut oil if vegan)
1 yellow onion, peeled and diced
1 leek, white and pale green parts only, peeled and diced
1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
6 cups butternut squash, peeled and diced
2 tablespoons favorite curry powder
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups water.
2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 can coconut milk (I always use full-fat but you can also use low-fat)
2 tablespoons maple syrup
Greek yogurt, optional
Sriracha, optional
Toasted pepitas, optional

  1. In a large stock pot, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion, leek and jalapeno. Saute for about 10 minutes until veggies are very tender and fragrant.
  2. Add squash and spices. Stir to combine well. Cover and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. If spices begin to stick to the bottom of the pot, just add a cup of water early.
  3. Add remaining water, broth, coconut milk and maple syrup. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes until squash is tender.
  4. Let soup cool for a few minutes then puree with an immersion blender. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired. If it’s too thick, add a bit of water.
  5. Serve warm with optional garnishes of yogurt, sriracha and pepitas.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email