Good day everyone. We were hoping to post some pictures of last Thursday's event at the farm when two 4th grade classes from Glide came for a visit. Alas the pictures don't want to seem to load so I will stick to the 1,000 words to describe each missing picture! We had kids, teachers, parents, and even the bus driver and Principal visiting. A wonderful time was had by everyone. When the students got here we broke into 4 groups. One group was working in the greenhouse sifting compost, planting their own pots with lettuce and spinach and then getting a close look at the 6 honeybee hives that are on the farm. Thank you CSA member Elee Hadley for coming to the rescue to lead this group! Asinete took one group down into the field and they helped him pull out old cucumber vines, pull up weed cloth and then harvest tomatoes for salsa making. The kids in Asinete's group then came up into our garage/packing shed and Violet taught the kids how to properly cut tomatoes and make salsa. The other group worked with my Mom to cut the tops off of our storage onions and put them in mesh bags. Also this group worked on breaking up heads of garlic and separating the heads into individual cloves to get ready to plant in the upcoming days. In between the clove breaking and onion cutting my Mom gave an impromptu geography and cultural lesson about Asinete's homeland of Kiribati. It was funny to see the kids all running up to Asinete and saying Mauri! The last group was with me for the farm tour where students, tasted, smelled and traversed their way through the row crops answering trick questions like "what is this unopened green flower called that we eat?" many of the kids knew it was broccoli. Then the farm tour kids ended down in the peach orchard and helped me to spread cover crop seed between the peach trees. Wonderful to have all that energy and helping hands. Every thirty minutes the groups would switch so all the kids got a chance to do the 4 different events.
The field trip was made possible in large part from Wildlife Safari. Wildlife Safari had received grant funds to help get school kids involved in local, conservation work. If you would like to encourage your child's class to come out for a visit we would be happy to host more students. Probably looking toward next Spring at this point since weather may turn soon.
In other news life on the farm is all about clean up this time of year. Many of the rows we covered with weed barrier cloth. The cloth is held into the soil with metal clips so these are all pulled out, weed cloth is rolled up (150 foot rolls) and then stored up in the shed for next season. Also drip tape for irrigating certain crops needs to be rolled up carefully on a spool and put away for next season. Our main clean up will come after our first frost which will kill off many of the things still growing (peppers, basil, cucumbers, squash).
Also at this point in the season we have tried to plan out what each harvest will include now that we have a count of what's available out in the field for the remaining 6 weeks. We are keeping our fingers and toes crossed that all of our fall crops will mature in time. A lot can happen in 6 weeks!
Suzie, Asinete, M.A., Violet & Sally
Harvest This Week Includes:
Leeks! (we've been waiting for these babies all season!) recipe ideas below!
Rainbow Chard (recipe ideas below)
Luscious Sweet Corn blowout! ~ alot and the last of it for 2010!
Green Slicing Cucumbers
Peppers (sweet and hot) The hotter ones are thinner.. when in doubt taste a tiny sliver)
Winter Squash (finally!) every other week from here on out Recipe ideas below..
Daikon Radish (recipes below)
Raspberries (on rotation)
How to Store it and Eat it!
If your desire for the Big Lick strawberries is waning the berries freeze really well. Cut off stems, rinse and then freeze on cookie sheets so that berries don't freeze in one big clump. We use these in smoothies and also heated up and put on pancakes. Once they are frozen they are soft and lose their texture.
The raspberries you may have all gotten by now are a fall bearing variety called Autumn Bliss. Raspberries are very delicate and need to be eaten asap. Store in your fridge for up to 2 days.
Sweet Corn preservation: depending on how much sweet corn you get in your basket you may want to save some for later. Here are some ideas to help you.
On the cob doesn't lend itself to freezing. We freeze corn every year, it is great!
Husk the corn. Fill huge pot with water (enough to hold corn)
bring water to a full boil
put corn in and wait to start boiling again
boil for about 8-10 min
pull from water and immediately put in cold water
when corn is cool
cut off cob with sharp knife
bag in zip lock and freeze
Use by next summer when fresh corn in avail again.
Hooray for Leeks!! Leeks are in the Allium family like onions and garlic. They taste like a very mild onion. Anywhere you would use onion you can add leek chopped up. It stores well wrapped loosely in a plastic bag and put in the crisper drawer of fridge.
from Almost Vegetarian by Diana Shaw
1 lemon (or 2 small)
3 cups broth: vegetable or chicken
1 large leek, white & green part, cleaned and chopped
1 bay leaf
1 T butter, unsalted
2 shallots, minced
1 T chopped parsley
1 cup arborio rice
2 T white wine
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
Halve and juice the lemon and remove the zest with a vegetable peeler. Leave half the zest in strips and mince the rest. Set aside the juice and the minced zest.
Place the strips of zest in a saucepan with the broth, leek, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil over med-high heat, then cover and simmer gently over low heat for 30 minutes.
Stain the broth through a sieve, discard the leek and bay leaf, and pour it back into the saucepan. Cover and bring it back to a gentle simmer over low heat.
Meanwhile, in a separate saucepan melt the butter. Saute the shallots, parsley, and minced lemon zest over med-low heat until the shallots are soft, about 10 minutes. Add the rice and stir until it’s just about evaporated, about 3 minutes. Add the white wine and lemon juice, turn up the heat, and stir until it’s just about evaporated, about 2 minutes. Lower the heat.
Using a ladle, add about 1 C hot broth. Stir constantly over med heat until the broth has been absorbed. Add another ladle full of broth and keep stirring until it’s been absorbed.
Continue the process, adding broth a half cupful at a time and stirring in this way, until the kernels are plump and no longer chalk white in the center. This should take 25 to 30 minutes altogether. The rice is almost done when the kernels are still separate but starting to bind and there are pools of broth on the surface. It’s done when the liquid has been absorbed, and the kernels are bound in what looks like very ricey, yet somewhat creamy, rice pudding.
When the risotto is nearly done, stir in 2 T more broth, along with the Parmesan cheese, and stir well until all the liquid has been absorbed, about 3-4 minutes. \
1/2 pound smoked sausage
1/4 olive oil or butter
3 cups cleaned, chopped leeks
3 tablespoons chopped herbal celery or parsley
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 cup milk or half and half
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
S & P to taste
Slice or cut the sausage into thin slices. Heat oil in a large saucepan on medium heat. Add the sausage, heat and stir for 3-4 minutes add the chopped leeks, heat and stir for 5 minutes. Add the celery/parsley, stir add the chicken broth bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 20-30 minutes. Remove from heat and puree with a hand blender or in a food processor. Return to the pot and place over a low flame; stir in milk and gradually stir in the grated cheese. Season to taste with S & P and serve hot.
Daikon Radish.. if you don't love the heat of normal radishes try these! Daikon Radish (Raphanus sativus subsp. longipinnatus) is an everyday component of Asian cuisine. In fact, it is the most widely grown vegetable in Japan. You’ll find it with your meal at almost any Japanese restaurant. It can be prepared almost anyway you like, including raw, fried, grilled, boiled. Not only does it taste great, but Daikon is also good for you. It is very low in calories, helps in digestion and is a a good source of vitamin C, phosphorus and potassium. There is even some evidence that it helps fight cancer.
Daikon Radish Miso Soup (Miso is a paste that is made from fermented soybeans). It is a superfood and has been proven to reduce chances of breast cancer in women. Not only that it tastes wonderful too! We get our miso paste at Sherm's in their refrigerated section in health food isle but any store should have it! We use the yellow miso since the taste is so mild.
1 Qt. water
8 Tbsp. miso paste
1/2 cup chopped Daikon radish
tofu, chopped into small cubes
2 strands of chopped green onions
Add Daikon radish to slow boiling water, let cook for another 10 minutes or until soft. You can cut the Daikon anyway you like but if you slice it relatively thin (1/4 inch) and then cut in half so that they are half-moon shaped, it will cook faster.
Add miso paste. The best way is to take a small amount of the soup in a small bowl and mix the miso paste in there until it is evenly distributed, then pour the soup (with miso) back into the soup pot.
Remove the soup from heat immediately after adding the miso paste.
Add the tofu and green onions and serve!
Makes around 6 servings.
Pork Bone and Daikon Radish Soup
1 lb pork bones or pork ribs
1 lb Daikon radish
1/2 leek sliced thinly and/or cilantro
sliced fresh ginger (about 2 inches of a regular size ginger)
Boil pork bones for approximately 5 minutes. Remove and discard water. This gets rid of the scum that floats to the top.
Add ginger and pork bones to 4 cups (or enough to cover all the ingredients) of fresh boiling water for 10 minutes then reduce to a low boil and cook for at least 90 minutes.
Chop Daikon radish. Slice the radish into 1/4 – 1/2 inch thick circles and then chop them into quarters.
Add Daikon and thin slices of leek to soup and let cook for 20 minutes.
Add chopped green onions or cilantro, salt to taste.
Makes 4 servings.
You do not need to follow just these two recipes.. Daikon is wonderful added to stir fry's and freshly cut up in salads.
Rainbow Chard Chard like the kale we have been putting in your baskets in chock full of all sorts of good vitamins and minerals. Chard keeps best in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer of your fridge.
Seared Rainbow Chard with Leeks
Gourmet | August 2000
yield: Makes 8 servings
active time: 25 minutes
total time: 25 minutes
* 1 bunch rainbow chard
* 1.5 tablespoons unsalted butter
* 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
* 1 large leek (white and pale green parts only), halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
* 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
Cut stems from chard (if leaves are large, cut out coarse portions of rib), then cut stems crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Stack chard leaves and roll into cylinders. Cut cylinders crosswise to make 1-inch-thick strips of leaves.
Heat butter and oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until foam subsides, then sauté chard stems and leeks with sea salt and pepper to taste, stirring occasionally, until slightly soft, 3 to 5 minutes.
Add chard leaves and continue to sauté, stirring frequently, until wilted. (If greens begin to brown before they wilt, sprinkle with a few drops of water.)
Swiss Chard Tian
from A Complete Menu Cookbook for All Occasions by Brother Victor-Antoine d’Avila-Latourrette 4-6 servings
1 bunch rainbow chard
Olive oil, as needed
1 leek or 1 onion, chopped (if using a leek, make sure it’s cleaned, and only use the white and light green parts)
3 garlic cloves, minced
S and P to taste
4 teaspoons water
Bread Crumbs, as needed
1. Chop the chard, both leaves and stems, and then boil the chard for about 20 minutes (yikes, I think I would do 5-10 in my kitchen-julia) in lightly salted water. Drain the chard and set it aside.
2. Preheat the oven to 350degrees. Pour some olive oil into a large skillet. Add the onion and saute lightly over low-medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic, and saute for another minute. Add the Swiss chard and continue sauteing for 2-3 minutes more, blending the ingredients well. Beat the eggs in a deep bowl, add the salt, pepper, and water. Mix well.
4. Butter thoroughly a long, ovenproof dish. Place the chard mixture in it and spread evenly. Pour the egg mixture on the top and also spread evenly. Sprinkle some bread crumbs over the top surface. Place the dish in the oven for about 25-30 minutes. Serve hot.
Winter Squash Storageinter : store in a cool, dry place: nearly anywhere in your kitchen or pantry should work. If the winter squash doesn't have nicks/fresh gashes it should last for months. Winter squash is a powerhouse of vitamins and beta carotene!
In case you've never tried to cook winter squash, it couldn't be simpler: Cut in half with a big sharp knife. Remove seeds. (If you've ever carved a pumpkin, these two steps should be very familiar.) Put in a baking pan (use glass, metal or ceramic would also work) cut side down, with a little water in the pan. Or rub the cut side with a little oil first. Bake in a medium oven (325, or 350, or 400, etc.) until it's easily pierced with a fork. Remove, and eat. Possible toppings: many like maple syrup, and/or salt and pepper. You can also add cut, seeded halves of winter squash to the crockpot with some water, and let it cook that way for a few hours. This method works especially well when all you want is the cooked flesh to puree for a soup or other dish.
Another winter squash/pumpkin preparations:
cut up pieces (large ones) already seeded into a crock pot for 2 or so hours on high. When a fork can easily pierce the squash/pumpkin pieces, remove it and scrape the flesh into a food processor and whirl a bit. Then freeze in 1 and 2 cup increments. Soup and pie are obvious and delicious choices, you can also put 1 cup of this puree into nearly every batch of muffins, waffles, cookies, pancakes, biscuits etc. that you make. Just take an existing recipe and add a cup of squash puree.
Curried Winter Squash
* 3 cups cooked, mashed winter squash
* 1 1/2 tablespoons curry powder
* 2 tablespoons butter or trans fat-free margarine
* 2 tablespoons maple syrup
* 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
* 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
* 3 tablespoons sweetened coconut flakes, toasted (optional)
1. In a medium bowl, combine first six ingredients. Cook until warmed through and blend in coconut at end.
Original Recipe Yield 5 dozen
* 1/2 cup butter, softened
* 3/4 cup white sugar
* 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
* 2 eggs
* 1 1/2 cups mashed, cooked winter squash
* 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
* 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
* 1 cup raisins
* 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
* 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
* 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
2. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugars until fluffy. Beat in the eggs and squash. Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and spices; add to mixture, stirring until well blended. Stir in raisins and nuts. Spoon onto cookie sheets spacing cookies 2 inches apart.
3. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes in the preheated oven, until edges are golden.
Amount Per Serving Calories: 171 | Total Fat: 7.8g | Cholesterol: 22mg