Farm Newsletter

Week #23, October 25, 2018

Fall Pleasures

This newsletter consists mostly of photos for a simple reason.  I could not bear to stay indoors this week.  This spell of dry, sunny weather is our reward after a wet summer.



We spent Monday afternoon harvesting white and purple daikon to store for winter sales.  The top photo is not adjusted; the leaves really are the brightest shade of green.  We always harvest daikon by hand.  It’s too fragile for machine harvest.



There are a few warm nooks to work.  The barn loft is a favorite, sheltered place on a sunny day.  Sister and brother Sena and Michio prep onions in the loft.  The flying ribbons deter birds when the doors are open.


Our small ginger greenhouse is the warmest place we’ve got.  You might need a winter coat outside but it’s t-shirt weather inside when the sun shines.  Kristen digs and trims ginger that has grown all summer in this small greenhouse.


Kristen holds up an unusually robust ginger ‘hand.’  She and Charlotte did the digging.


My job was to trim the hands into small pieces to share among the CSA boxes.


The nearby city of Evansville delivers their leaves to our farm each fall.  Delivery began this week, with the fresh leaves in the foreground, and last year’s leaves in the darker pile behind.  We let the leaves rot for six to twelve months, then add them to our soil to build organic matter.  It’s a wonderful resource.  The smell is incredible as the town crew heaps up the leaf piles.  It’s a fruity smell similar to curing tobacco.  You can smell it all over the farm.  It’s a special part of fall for us.



The moon has been brilliant all week.  Strong winds on Saturday ripped a large row cover laid over fennel.  Steve and I couldn’t get the cover back in place until about 11 pm, after the winds died.  By then, we’d been to dinner at friends’ house and drunk a bottle of wine together.  Honestly, we were not excited to go back to work at that time of night.  But we got out there and the moon was shining and the row cover rippling in the light.  It was a lovely moment.  The photo above is from daytime but you get the idea.  Beth

Veggie List and Veggie Notes
Week #23, October 25/26, 2018
– weekly shares
– green EOW

Green EOW members, this is your final delivery of the regular CSA season.
Thank you for joining our farm this season!

Butternut squash, 1 small
Acorn squash OR a 2nd butternut
Satina potatoes, 3.5 lb
Brussels sprouts, 1/2 lb
Bok choy
Carrots, 2 lb
Bell peppers, green &/or red, 3 – 4
Yellow onions, ~2
Cilantro, 1 bunch
Jalapeno chile, 1
Garlic, 1 small
Fresh baby ginger, 1 knob

By site …
1 small cauliflower or 1 small Romanesco or 1 broccoli

Next week’s box will probably contain sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts, carrots, parsnips, celeriac, onions, Beauty Heart radish and more.

‘Metro’ butternut – This is my favorite butternut. It is productive and tasty every year.  These are small; average size <1.5 lb.

Acorn squash – You’ll receive Jester, Carnival, or Festival acorn or a second Metro butternut.

Satina potatoes – These are from Igl Farms.

Brussels sprouts – If you are a new CSA member, please approach Brussels sprouts with an open mind.  Many of us grew up eating awful, overcooked Brussels sprouts.  These Brussels sprouts are completely different.  It’s only a small amount of sprouts this week.  Cook and combine with other ingredients from the box to bulk up the sprouts to make a salad with one of the dressings listed below.  Brussels sprouts are great with thinly sliced peppers and onions.
Here is our method to cook Brussels sprouts: Wash the sprouts and trim the cut ends. Cut an X in the stem end of large sprouts.  Cut a single slit in small or medium sprouts.  This does two things. It helps the Brussels sprouts cook evenly, plus it allows them to soak up any marinade or dressing.  Place sprouts in a pot with one inch of water in the bottom and steam until tender, 7 to 10 minutes.  If the sprouts are uneven in size, then set aside the smallest ones and add to the pot after the larger ones have cooked for a few minutes.  Don’t overcook them!  You can also oven-roast Brussels sprouts.  
Here are a few dressing ideas for cooked sprouts:  
– Sherry vinegar/olive oil/Dijon mustard/garlic/white wine/salt and pepper.  This is our favorite, especially when you combine the Brussels sprouts with slivered peppers and thinly sliced onions.  Delicious warm, cold, or at room temperature.
– Balsamic vinegar/olive oil/garlic/salt and pepper
– Lemon juice and zest/melted brown butter/poppy seeds/white wine/garlic/salt

Bok choy – We are sending the bok choy with cilantro, jalapeño, garlic and fresh ginger, a perfect combination for soup.

Bell peppers – Eat soon!  These will not store for long.

Garlic – These small heads are from our friends Hans and Katie of PrairiErth Farm.

Baby ginger – This is baby ginger, bright white and pink because it hasn’t grown a brown epidermis yet.  The ginger in stores grows for a long season in warm places like Hawaii.  Baby ginger is special because it has the full ginger flavor and spiciness but almost no fibers.  That’s why it’s used to make the pickled ginger served with sushi.  I asked the crew to wash it lightly to avoid bruising.  Expect to do a final wash before using it.
Storage:  Eat soon; baby ginger is perishable.  Wrap in a damp cloth or paper towel, and keep in the refrigerator in a plastic bag.  You can also freeze your ginger, then grate as much as you need from the frozen knob.

RECIPES

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

LOCAL THYME/ Comforting Classics
Umami Cod on Braised Bok Choy
Ginger Curried Carrot Soup
The Fluffiest Mashed Potatoes
Braised Brussels Sprouts and Carrots

LOCAL THYME/ Outside the Box Recipes
Ponzu Chicken and Bok Choy Salad
Sheet Pan Chicken and Fall Vegetable Roast
Southwestern Potato Salad with Pickled Onions
Creamy Sausage, Brussels Sprouts, Carrots and Potatoes

LOCAL THYME/ Quick & Easy Meal
Baked Potato Bar

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Week #22, October 18/19, 2018

A few feet in elevation makes all the difference.


Maggie and Billy harvested your Koji greens on Tuesday.


It was warm enough to wash the greens outside.  Of course, Maggie is tough and would do this job in much colder weather.


Let’s compare the Koji field (above) with the one we harvested your leeks from last week.  See the pickup truck in the distance (to the right of the white row cover protecting fennel)?  That’s the bottom of our farm, the lowest point before water drains into the neighboring wildlife area.


The tall brown grasses are not cover crops.  Those are our leek and celeriac fields, buried in weeds.  We cultivated several times by tractor but the weeds re-rooted after each rain.  Eventually, it was too wet to take a tractor in those fields at all.


The leeks and celeriac are in there; we just have to dig them out.  The celeriac did surprisingly well.  The leeks are small.


Turn and look up the hill and you find this pristine cabbage field.  It’s just a few feet higher in elevation but that was enough for this field to drain and dry more quickly.  We were able to successfully cultivate and weed this field and the Koji field shown above.  We’re happy to have such nice fall crops.  Beth

Veggie List and Veggie Notes
Week #22, Oct 18/19, 2018
– Weekly shares,
– Purple EOW,
– Sun Sampler.

This is the final Sun Sampler delivery.

Red cabbage
Butternut squash
Koji greens
Red beets, 2 lb
Frying peppers, mixed green & red, 6 – 7
Bell peppers, mostly green, ~3
Curly parsley, 1 big bunch
Yellow onion, 1
Red onion, 1
Garlic, 1 bulb

Each site gets one item from this list:
Cauliflower OR purple cauliflower OR Romanesco cauliflower OR broccoli

Next week’s box will probably contain winter squash, Satina potatoes, Brussels sprouts, carrots, celeriac, cauliflower/Romanesco, onions and more.

Red cabbage –  This beautiful cabbage is great cooked or raw.  We have a favorite winter salad that we make with red cabbage.  I’ll include it below.

Butternut squash –  This “Nutterbutter” variety is a favorite because it cures and sweetens quickly after harvest.  These are golden-orange and delicious.  
Storage: Store uncovered at room temperature or a bit cooler.  Keep above 55 oF to avoid chilling injury.  
Tips for cutting winter squash:  Microwave your intact squash on high for one minute before cutting or peeling.  That’s enough to warm and soften the squash, making it much easier to cut or peel.

Koji greens – Koji greens are a lot like Yukina if you know that one; dark green with a nice balance of bitter flavor but not too strong.  Like tat soi but with larger, lusher leaves and not so many leaf stalks.  Recipes that use mustard greens or bok choy will work with Koji.

Beets – Storage:  Cover and refrigerate.  Beet roots will store for months.  Wash well to remove leaf fragments.  For all the cooking methods below, wash and scrub the beets but do not peel.  The skins slip off easily once the beets are cooked and cooled.
Cooking beet roots on the stovetop:  Slice or quarter, cover with water in a pot, and simmer until tender.  This will take from 25 to 45 minutes depending on how large the beet pieces are.  Drain.
Roasting beets in oven:  Wash beets, but do not peel.  On a sheet of aluminum foil, put beets (halved or quartered if large), salt, pepper and a few sprinklings of water.  Seal the foil packet, and roast at 400 oF until tender, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.  Slip off skins once cool.
Microwave:  Slice beets in half and place in a large microwave-proof bowl.  Add ¾ inch water and cover with a plate.  Microwave on high until tender, about 9-20 minutes, depending on your microwave’s power.  Drain and slip off skins.
Uses:  Use cooked beets in cold salads, or dress simply with vinaigrette, onions, salt and pepper.  Beets are also good tossed with sour cream, minced onion, fresh herbs and walnuts.  

Frying and bell peppers –  These are the last frying peppers but we’ll have a few more bell peppers for you next week.  Eat or freeze these soon.  Some were picked last week, some were protected from cold under floating row cover.  Either approach shortens the storage life.  Remember, peppers are easily frozen.  Chop raw peppers into bite-sized pieces.  Put in a freezer bag or container and freeze.  That’s it – there’s no need to blanch them.  There’s no need to thaw the entire container at once; you can easily break off and thaw the amount you need.  You will enjoy these come winter!

Curly parsley – This is a big bunch.  If it’s more than you need, wash and drain well, then chop and freeze in a bag or container.  Break off pieces and thaw directly in your dish near the end of cooking.

Garlic – Here’s another German Extra Hardy bulb, with nice fat cloves.  We will continue growing this variety!

RECIPES

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

Beth’s favorite Red Cabbage Slaw


Red cabbage slaw with cheese-filled pupusas.  If there’s interest, I can hunt up the pupusa recipe and post in the Facebook discussion group.

Adapted from Taqueria Gila Monster Restaurant’s recipe.
I’ve shared this recipe before but it’s worth sharing again; we seem to survive on this colorful, zesty salad in winter.  There are no carrots in this week’s box, but maybe you have a few left over from last week.  The slaw holds well, so it’s easy to prepare on Sunday then enjoy throughout the week.  Can also be made with green cabbage.  Beth
Makes 3 – 4 quarts
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2-3 lb red cabbage (one small head or half a larger head)
1 lb. carrots
1/2 bunch parsley (good) or cilantro (even better)
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. ancho chili powder

1. Quarter and core the red cabbage. Slice thinly by hand.
2. Peel and grate the carrots.
3. Chop the parsley or cilantro.
4. Toss all ingredients together.  Adjust the salt to taste.  Let stand 30 minutes before serving.  Toss again.  Serve as a salad, or as a garnish for tacos or pupusas (pictured above).

LOCAL THYME/ Comforting Classics
Pickled Red Cabbage
Roasted Butternut Squash Puree
Quick Sesame Koji
Beet Salad with Parsley Pesto, Goat Cheese and Pistachios

LOCAL THYME/ Outside the Box Recipes
Black Bean Burrito with Chipotle Butternut Squash and Red Cabbage
Butternut and Ricotta Tart
Pan Seared Chicken Breasts with Curried Peppers and Koji
Beet Chips

LOCAL THYME/ Quick & Easy Meal
Laotian Mung Bean Noodles with Shredded Veggies

RECIPES FROM LAUREN

WARM RED CABBAGE SALAD WITH SQUASH & CHICKEN
Inspired by Epicurious
Takes 1 hour, most of it inactive.
Serves 4 as a meal (8 as a side).

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 butternut squash, peeled, halved and cut into 1/4-inch slices
2 pounds beets
1/2 head red cabbage, shredded
1/2 red onion, sliced=
1 grocery store rotisserie chicken (or roast your own chicken if you are feeling really ambitious), shredded (about 5 cups meat)
1 cups walnuts, toasted
4 ounces high quality blue cheese or gorgonzola, crumbled

Maple Balsamic Dressing:
2-3 large garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon maple syrup
3/4 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Toss butternut squash with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast for 45 minutes tossing once or twice for even browning. Wrap beets in foil and roast alongside the squash for 45 minutes or until they are well-softened (so the peel slips off easily).
  2. In a large bowl, combine red cabbage and onion.
  3. In a small bowl, preparing dressing by whisking together garlic, balsamic, mustard and syrup. Add olive oil and whisk until thick and creamy. Add salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.
  4. When squash is finishing roasting add to bowl of cabbage along with chicken. Remove beets from foil, slide skins off and then slice thinly. Halve the circles if large. Add to salad.
  5. Dress as much of the salad as you plan to eat tonight and toss to coat. Sprinkle walnuts and blue cheese over salad and serve warm.

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GENERAL TSO’S CAULIFLOWER
Adapted (barely) from Pinch of Yum
I can’t take any credit for this totally creative, totally genius way to make everyone’s favorite take-out Asian food at home (and a bit healthier!). I only take credit for sprucing it up with a couple more veggies. This recipe may look complicated with a lot of ingredients and steps but it really comes together pretty effortlessly and the payoff is way worth it. Enjoy!  Lauren.
Serves 4 (generously).
Takes 45 minutes.

Rice:
1-3/4 cups water
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 cup white rice

General Tso’s Sauce:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1-inch ginger, peeled and minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup chicken (or vegetable) broth
1/2 cup soy sauce (or tamari)
1/3 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch, dissolved in 2 tablespoons of cold water
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2-3 red and/or green Italian fryers, diced (about 2/3 cup)

Fried Cauliflower:
Vegetable oil
1 cup flour
2/3 cup cornmeal
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
4 eggs
Water as needed (about 1/3 cup)
1 head cauliflower (or purple cauliflower or romanesco cauliflower), cut into bite-size florets

For Serving:
1/2 yellow onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup finely chopped curly parsley
1 tablespoon sesame seeds

  1. In a medium sauce pan, bring water for rice to a boil. Add rice and salt. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 18 minutes. Uncover and fluff with a fork.
  2. Heat olive oil in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Add ginger and garlic. Saute for a coupe minutes until fragrant. Add broth, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sugar and cornstarch slurry. Whisk to combine. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce to a simmer, stir in red pepper flakes and cook for 20 minutes until thickened. Stir in diced peppers and set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare your fried cauliflower. Pour two inches of vegetable oil into a deep, heavy bottomed skillet. Heat over medium heat.
  4. Prepare your batter by combining flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt, eggs and water. It should be thick enough to coat the cauliflower but thin enough to easily run off. Adjust this thickness with a little more water if needed. Dump in the cauliflower florets and stir until very well coated.
  5. Drop a bit of batter into the oil. If it floats to the top, it’s ready. If it sinks, the oil needs to be a little hotter. Once the oil comes up to temperature, fry a quarter of the cauliflower one batch at a time. Cook for 3-4 minutes until golden brown. Drain each batch on fresh paper towels.
  6. When ready to serve, toss fried cauliflower with General Tso’s sauce. Serve over rice and garnish with some onion, parsley and sesame seeds.

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Week #21, October 11, 2018

Farm News


It’s likely to frost this week.  Watch the sky as the cold front moves in.  Sunsets can be spectacular.  I took this photo on September 28, the night before our first, very light frost which barely nipped at the crops.

The upcoming cold weather will do more damage.  Hey, it’s mid-October and time for this change.  Look at the low temperatures predicted for next few days: 32, 29, (40), 30, 30 oF.  We’ve started stripping peppers before they get damaged.  You’ll get a bunch of bell peppers this week, many of them green.  We plan to protect a few crops with lightweight row cover (fennel, other peppers) but everything else should be able to handle the cold.  Cauliflower, Romanesco, root crops, and Brussels sprouts take these temperatures in stride.  Tender crops like sweet potatoes and winter squash are tucked away in heated spaces.

Look at the precipitation forecast!  There’s almost no rain coming.  Steve asked that I tell you we got only 2 inches of rain this week.  After this summer, he says “it doesn’t count as a wet week unless we get 4 inches.”  For perspective, we’re happy to get 4 inches during a typical summer month.


We harvested your carrots by hand again this week, grubbing them out of muddy ground.  Jory and Billy might be exaggerating the difficulty of the job but not the mud.


By mid-week, the ground was dry enough for Steve to use our mechanical carrot harvester.  He considered trying earlier this week but we talked him out of it.  If that tractor gets stuck in the mud, we don’t have anything powerful enough to pull it out.  We’d have to call in a tow rig and that’s expensive and embarrassing.  Beth

Garlic harvest


Garlic drying in our barn loft soon after harvest in July.  Our barn is a good place for this, dry with good ventilation. We lay the garlic on overturned wooden bins, the same bins we will soon fill with carrots for winter.


This year’s garlic has nice, plump cloves.

Our garlic crop is excellent this year, the best we’ve ever grown. Unfortunately, it was a terrible year for many garlic farmers in the midwest, including our friend John Hendrickson who lost his entire crop.   He thinks his garlic was damaged during the warm spell in February.  Snow melted, then froze again in sheets.  That’s hard on garlic.  John usually grows about half our CSA garlic, so this is a big loss.  I’ve checked around and (not unexpectedly) there is little good-quality local garlic available for sale.  

Fortunately, we scaled up our garlic planting last fall, with plans of packing more in the CSA boxes.  We will use that larger harvest to plant an even bigger field this fall, so we can grow all your garlic and not rely on someone else.  We were lucky in our field choice last year.  We planted in a small, elevated field with good drainage and laid down an unusually thick mulch.  I think that’s what saved our crop this winter: good drainage and a thick mulch.  We’ll try to replicate those conditions when we plant this year.  I’ve held off packing garlic in the CSA boxes while we had good herb options growing outside.  We’ll deliver nice bulbs over the coming weeks.  Beth

Veggie List and Veggie Notes
Week #21, October 11/12, 2018
– weekly shares
– green EOW

Sweet potatoes, ~2.5 lb
Carrots, 2 lb
Kale, Red Russian or lacinato or green
Celery
Leeks, 2 skinny, ~1/2 lb
Daikon radish, ~1 lb
Bell peppers, 5?, mostly green, maybe 1 fully or partially colored
Oranos snack pepper, 2 or 3
‘Habanada’ not-hot habanero, 2
(in bag with carrots to distinguish from the Oranos)
Yellow onion, 1
Garlic, 1

Each site gets an item from this list:
broccoli OR cauliflower OR Romanesco cauliflower OR purple cauliflower OR globe eggplant

Next week’s box will probably contain butternut squash, beets, peppers, onions, garlic and more.

‘Beauregard’ sweet potatoes – Here are a few things we’ve learned about sweet potatoes:
– For best flavor, cook your sweet potatoes so they brown and caramelize.  We have a simple, favorite way to roast sweet potatoes.  We used to prepare sweet potato fries in the oven.  Now we just quarter the potatoes, rub with olive oil, dust with salt and place cut-side-down on a cookie sheet.  Roast in a 450 F oven without turning until soft.  The flavors will caramelize (like sweet potato fries) but preparation is simpler and the cooking time less exacting.  Slender sweet potato fries go from undercooked to overcooked in the blink of an eye.  Larger slices are less exacting, and therefore are easier.  Small sweet potatoes can be cut just in half.  Jumbos will need to be chopped into pieces.  Otherwise, they will take a long time to cook.
– Store your sweet potatoes at room temperature.  They suffer chilling injury below 50 F.
– The sweet potatoes we grow require slightly longer cooking than ones from the supermarket, perhaps because they contain higher moisture so soon after harvest.
– Sweet potatoes are good at any size. We have cooked everything from tiny to jumbo and consistently find that all sizes taste good.

Kale – You’ll receive either Red Russian (pink midveins) or lacinato (dark green and bumpy) or green kale (medium green, with wavy leaf edges).  All are from fields in good shape.  The kale is tender enough to use raw but can be cooked too.

Celery – Our celery is more strongly flavored and more fibrous than typical grocery store celery.  Taste it raw then decide how you want to use it, raw or cooked.  This is one of our better batches of celery, which we pack in the CSA boxes just once per year.  We’ve pushed the planting date later.  We want to avoid summer harvests because the celery is tough if it matures during hot weather.  Harvest too late in the fall and insect problems accumulate.  Who knew celery is so finicky to grow?

Leeks – Well, this is not our best leek crop.  You will receive two spindly little leeks this week.  They were in a wet field this year and we lost control of the weeds.  They’ll be better next year.

Daikon radish (long white root(s)) – This is a Japanese radish, good cooked or raw.  
Ideas: (i) We specifically send the daikon with carrots so you can make mixed grated carrot and daikon salad.  Dress with a simple marinade of rice vinegar, mirin, soy sauce, sesame oil and a pinch of sugar.  Even a brief marination mellows the radish’s sharpness.
(ii) I look forward to making Cubed Radish Kimchi.  You can ferment it if you wish but I often just eat it fresh.
Storage: Cover and refrigerate.  

Bell peppers –  It has been a poor pepper year.  We usually send many more peppers in the fall CSA boxes.  Unfortunately, most large peppers rotted during the rain.  Now that frost looms, we’ve begun stripping the pepper fields, and will have bell and frying peppers for another week or two.  You’ll get more green peppers than red, yellow or orange.  
To preserve, simply freeze your raw peppers.  You can do this with bell or frying peppers of any color.  Chop raw peppers into bite-sized pieces.  Load into a freezer bag and freeze.  No need to blanche.

‘Habanada’ peppers – These are an experiment, so we have only two small ones per CSA box but we want to share them because they are interesting.  They are packed in the carrot bag, to avoid confusion with the Oranos peppers.  These are habanero chiles with all the heat bred out of them.  Lo and behold, habaneros have a wonderful fruity flavor.  No one knew because the blazing heat of a traditional habanero sears your taste buds.  I suggest you just eat them to enjoy the flavor.  These were developed through a collaboration between chefs and plant breeders.  Go here if you are interested in the background story


Two little ‘Habanada’ peppers

RECIPES

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

LOCAL THYME/ Comforting Classics
Creamy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup
Baked Beans
Grilled Maple Glazed Sweet Potato
Grilled Steak with Carrot Daikon Salad
LOCAL THYME/ Outside the Box Recipes
Shrimp or Bean Filé Gumbo
Rice Noodles with Chicken, Carrots and Peppers
Kale and Sweet Potato Salad with Roasted Garlic Dressing
Chinese Chicken Noodle Soup with Star Anise
LOCAL THYME/ Quick & Easy Meal
Kale Carrot Juice

RECIPES FROM LAUREN

ROASTED VEGETABLES WITH WHITE MISO TAHINI SAUCE
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Serves 4
Takes 1 hour

1/4 cup olive oil, divided
1-1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 head broccoli OR cauliflower OR romanesco, cut into florets
2 small leeks, cut into thick slices
1 bunch kale, stems removed and torn into bite-size pieces
1-2 cooks favorite cooked grain (wild rice is great here!), optional

White Miso Tahini Sauce
1 garlic clove
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons white miso
2 tablespoons tahini
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon honey

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Toss sweet potatoes with 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper on a large baking sheet. Place in oven while you cut broccoli (cauliflower or romanesco) and leeks. These will take 5-10 minutes longer than these other veggies.
  3. Toss broccoli and leeks with additional tablespoon olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper on a second large baking sheet. Add to oven and set timer for 30 minutes.
  4. Add kale to broccoli pan. Drizzle with remaining olive oil and sprinkle with remaining salt and toss gently with broccoli and leeks. Place in oven and roast (along with sweet potatoes) for 20 minutes more.
  5. Meanwhile, prepare you sauce by combining all ingredients in a blender or food processor and mix until smooth.
  6. Toss all roasted veggies together and drizzle with sauce immediately before eating. If you want to beef it up, toss veggies with a favorite grain right after they come out of the oven.

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SESAME NOODLE BOWL WITH PORK MEATBALLS & PICKLED VEGGIES
Inspired by Dishing up the Dirt

Takes 1 hour
Serves 4-6

Pickled Veggies
1/2† cup rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
3 carrots, cut into matchsticks
1 pound daikon (all the daikon you got), cut into matchsticks

Pork Meatballs
3-4 stalk celery, with leaves, roughly chopped
2 habanada peppers, stems and seeds removed
3 garlic cloves, peeled
1/4 cup fish sauce
1 tablespoon sriracha
2 pounds ground pork
1 tablespoon peanut (or olive) oil

Noodles
1/2 pound Soba noodles
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup soy sauce (or tamari)
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1 green pepper, finely chopped
1-inch ginger, peeled and minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup peanut (or olive) oil

  1. In a medium bowl, combine vinegar, sugar, oil and salt for pickled veggies. Whisk until smooth and then stir in carrots and daikon. Let sit and pickle while you work on the rest of your meal.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  3. In the bowl of a food processor combine celery, habanada peppers, garlic, fish sauce and sriracha. Process until everything is finely chopped and well-combined. Add pork and process until all the beautiful celery mixture is incorporated into the pork.
  4. Shape pork mixture into meatballs about the size of a golf ball. My mixture yielded just under 40. The size doesn’t matter too much but go for no more than 45 and no less than 30 to ensure they cook all the way through.
  5. Drizzle baking sheet with 1 tablespoon oil and place meatballs on it. Bake for 30 minutes. Drain grease halfway through if you like. The meatballs are cooked through at this point. If you want them to have a little more browning (as I usually do), you can absolutely heat some more oil in a skillet and cook the meatballs on high heat for 2-3 minutes, turning as you go until browned on all sides.
  6. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add soba noodes and cook according to package directions.
  7. Meanwhile, combine maple syrup, soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, green pepper, ginger, garlic and olive oil in a large bowl. Whisk to combine. Once noodles are cooked (and drained), add to this mixture. Use a tongs to evenly coat.
  8. Serve a bowl of noodles with meatballs and drained pickled veggies. Add a bit of sriracha if you like a bit more heat.

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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

RECIPES

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

SPICY PORK BOWL WITH FALL VEGGIES
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.

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SMASHED BROCCOLI & POTATOES WITH ASIAGO, OLIVE OIL & LEMON
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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Week #19, Sept 27, 2018


From left, Noah Engel (Driftless Organics), Mike Nolterwyss (Crossroads Community Farm), Hans Bishop (PrairErth Farm), Steve and Raul Casique Montes (our farm).

Steve left at 5:30 this morning for a field day at our friends Hans and Katie Bishop’s farm in Illinois.  The topic was mechanical weed control.  Steve was in seventh heaven, checking out specialized machinery imported from Europe and watching tool demonstrations.  “I got to meet the engineers who designed these pieces!”  We spend so much time managing weeds that even small improvements are exciting.  Steve carpooled with farmer friends Noah Engel, Mike Nolterwyss and our assistant farmer Raul.  They had a great time hanging out during the seven hour round-trip.  Sounds like 90% of the discussion was about farming and the remaining 10% gossip about other farmers.

We hosted UW beet trials again

 
Tipi crew members evaluate beet breeding lines selected at our farm by UW grad student Solveig Hanson, second from right.


Solveig with a vivid orange-fuschia beet line.

Once again, we hosted research trials this summer for UW graduate student Solveig Hanson, who is breeding beets for specific flavor and color profiles.  Many of you have given input on this project.  At last year’s gleaning party, Solveig brought beet samples for Tipi CSA members to evaluate.  She used your opinions (among others) to hone her lines.  She is selecting beets for different levels of the ‘earthy’ flavor that some people like and some people don’t.

Solveig returned to the farm this fall so our work crew could evaluate the updated breeding lines.  The range of flavors is quite interesting. As a group, we are a mix of beet-lovers, beet-haters and beet-ambivalent types. Almost everyone found a breeding line they found appealing.  Solveig plans to sample beets again at our gleaning party this year.

Veggie List and Veggie Notes
Week #19, Sept 27/28, 2018
Weekly and green EOW

Green cabbage
Bok choy or tat soi, 1 medium
Acorn winter squash, 1 or 2
Frying &/or bell peppers, ~2
Oranos snack pepper, ~1
Poblano chiles, 3
Yellow onions, ~2
Basil, the last sprig of the year
Each site gets 1 or 2 of these:
Broccoli OR cauliflower OR eggplant OR zucchini OR orange snack peppers

Next week’s box will probably contain yellow potatoes, green beans, carrots, peppers, leeks and more.

Green cabbage – Here’s a crop that’s done very well.  These are substantial.  Storage:  Refrigerate.  It’s OK to cut off chunks as needed, then store the leftover head in your crisper drawer.  If you plan to use again within a week, you don’t need to cover the cut head.  Next time you use the cabbage, shave off and discard the cut surface.

Bok choy or tat soi – These nutritious greens are interchangeable in recipes.  Bok choy has thicker white midveins, tat soi has smaller, darker, more abundant leaves.

Acorn winter squash – You’ll get one or two acorn squash.  Most people get Festival, a very tasty variety.  Some get one of the other types in the photo below.  All are cured and ready to eat.  Store on your kitchen counter and keep an eye on them.  They look good now but might not last.  Wet weather as the squash matured makes them unpredictable now.  They sure taste good!

Poblano chiles (triangular, shiny, dark green) – This week’s poblano variety is spicier than the one we sent three weeks ago. 


You’ll get one or two of these types.  Clockwise from top left:
– Festival, a very tasty acorn squash.
– Celebration, a new type we’re trialling this year.  Can you distinguish Celebration from Festival?  Neither can we.
– Jester, a favorite acorn x sweet dumpling cross.  This one is more oblong.
– Heart of Gold, another promising new acorn we’re trialling this year.  This variety is green and white with a little orange but no yellow.


Poblano chiles (top) versus frying peppers (bottom).  Poblanos are darker and triangular.  They will be all green, or chocolate-brown, or green with a red tip.  Frying peppers are longer, and will be red or yellow, some peppers mixed with green.

RECIPES

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

LOCAL THYME/ Comforting Classics
Simple Sesame Soy Choy Pepper Sauté
Cabbage and Onions with Caraway
Chicken Tacos with Shredded Poblanos and Cabbage in Chipotle Crema
Honey Soy Glazed Winter Squash Rings

LOCAL THYME/ Outside the Box Recipes
Miso Grilled Tatsoi or Bok Choy
Sweet Salt-Pickled Cabbage
Rigatoni with Cabbage and Meat Sauce
Lasagna Stuffed Acorn Squash

LOCAL THYME/ Quick & Easy Meal
Winter Squash and Poblano Posole with Black Beans

RECIPES FROM LAUREN

CABBAGE & POBLANO RUNZA
What the heck is runza you ask?  Well, officially, it is the state dish of Nebraska.  But closer to home, it is a dish I grew up with when my mom had extra cabbage in her garden.  It’s essentially a German-style calzone packed full of ground meat (traditionally beef, but here I used pork because it’s what I had on hand), cabbage, and onions.  Poblanos are a fun addition and you could even throw more peppers in there if you wanted to.  I know making your own dough can seem intimidating but give it a try.  It’s easier than you think.  Lauren.

Makes 8 runzas
Takes 2 hours

Dough:
3/4 cup lukewarm water
2-1/4 teaspoons active yeast
Pinch sugar + 3 tablespoons sugar, divided
4 eggs; 3 for dough, 1 for egg wash
4 cups all-purpose flour, divided + more for dusting counter
12 tablespoons butter, softened
2 teaspoons Kosher salt

Filling:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound ground pork
1 teaspoon Kosher salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 medium (or 1/2 large) yellow onion, sliced
2 poblanos, diced
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 head cabbage, shredded
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried sage

  1. In a large bowl, combine water (it should be warm but not hot), yeast and sugar. Whisk gently to combine. Let sit for 10 minutes until it bubbles, rises and smells yeasty. Add 3 eggs and whisk to combine. Add half the flour and beat with a spoon until totally incorporated. Add butter, remaining flour, sugar and salt. Stir until just combined and then let rest for 15 minutes.
  2. Once rested, dust counter with flour and knead dough for 5 minutes until tight and smooth. Transfer the dough to a clean, greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm space for an hour (until doubled in size).
  3. When the dough is about 20 minutes from finished, preheat the oven to 375 degrees and start on the filling. In a large heavy skillet (or Dutch oven), heat olive oil over medium heat. Add ground pork, 1/2 teaspoon salt and the pepper. Break up meat with two forks, cooking for 5 minutes until browned. Add onion and pepper. Cook 5 minutes more. Add butter and remaining salt to skillet. Get it a stir so the butter coats all the meat and veggies. Add cabbage along with dried herbs and let wilt gently over medium low heat for 15 minutes.
  4. At this point, your dough should be risen. Grease two baking sheets. Divide into 8 pieces.
  5. Re-dust counter with flour and roll out dough into a rough 8×4-inch rectangle. Scoop 3/4 cup of cabbage mixture into the center. Fold in the two long sides of dough so they touch then pull the other edges into the center until you form a sealed dough pocket with the meat in the middle. Place, seal side down, on the greased baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough and cabbage mixture.
  6. Beat last egg in a small bowl until smooth and brush runzas with egg mixture.
  7. Bake for 15 minutes. Rotate pans and bake 15 minutes longer until golden brown.

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FALL SQUASH CURRY
I know a lot of you aren’t receiving eggplant this week.  If you have some in your fridge from last week, use that!  Otherwise, just skip the eggplant or feel free to substitute zucchini or cauliflower. This recipe is incredibly versatile so you can adjust the veggies a bit based on what you have on hand.  Lauren.

Serves 6-8
Takes 50 minutes

2 tablespoons coconut oil (or olive oil or butter)
1 yellow onion, diced
1 medium head bok choy (if you got two small heads, use about 75% of them), leaves roughly chopped and stems sliced
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1-2 acorn squash (whatever you received this week), halved, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 pound eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (optional)
1 colored bell pepper, diced
1 orano, diced
1-inch piece ginger, peeled and minced

5 tablespoons red curry paste
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon curry powder

2 cups chicken (or vegetable) broth
Two 13.5-ounce cans full-fat coconut milk
2 tablespoons fish sauce
5-6 cups cooked rice
Sriracha, optional
Lime wedges, optional

  1. In a large stock pot, heat oil over medium high heat. Add onion to pot followed by bok choy stems and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to medium. Add squash, eggplant, if using, peppers, and ginger. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes longer until squash is just beginning to soften.
  2. Add red curry paste, brown sugar and curry powder. Stir until it evenly coats the vegetables and cook 5 minutes longer until fragrant.
  3. Add broth and coconut milk to pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium low and cook for 15 minutes. Add bok choy greens and fish sauce. Cook until greens are just wilted, about 3 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. This curry as written isn’t super spicy so you may want to add sriracha.
  4. Serve over rice with lime wedges.

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