CSA 2018 – Week 18: October on the Farm

Hi folks,

We can’t believe it’s already week eighteen! There are only three more weeks of CSA to go after this! Our cauliflower, broccoli, and romanesco game is on point with some of the biggest and most pristine florets that I’ve ever seen. Brassicas will be stealing the spotlight for the next few weeks; they just love this weather. Though we might have icy fingers, muddy boots, and full-rain gear strapped on, you can see the dew-covered broccoli plants standing strong and almost glowing in the cool air.

Things are slowing down significantly out at the farm. We moved our start time to a luxurious 7:30 am and the summer sensation of feeling rushed at all times has officially passed. Now we play the weather game where we wait as long as we can to harvest our winter storage roots so that they can sweeten up with cold temperatures, but not too long into the rainy season that the ground is too wet to work with. Our sunchoke patch is bursting with ten-foot tall sunflowers, the last hurrah of their growth cycle before root harvest. I can’t wait for those savory mushroom-like morsels! Even when things seem like they are coming to an end, there are still so many beginnings to look forward to.

Best, Laura Bennett

 

Table of Box Contents

  • Delicata—Delicata is particularly versatile, being incredibly sweet and easy to cut into a variety of shapes. You can bake them as boats or roast them in stuffed halves. My favorite is to slice them into half-moon shapes and sauté them with garlic and poblanos, and serve with fried eggs & chili oil.
  • Jester—This flashy squash is a cross between acorn squash and delicata, and as you can see it has the shape of an acorn and the coloring of delicata. I find myself using it more like an acorn squash, cooking it like my mother did by baking it in halves with brown sugar, butter, and bacon, but there are a thousand better ways to utilize it as well! The skin isn’t quite as delicate as delicata, but it’s not the toughest either, so munch if you feel so inclined.
  • Cauliflower—Cauliflower is the vegan dream! You can make the creamiest sauces, dips, and dressings with blended cauliflower (both steamed and raw) that are completely dairy free. I once was quite skeptical of some vegan chicken wings that were served to me until I realized that they were just fried cauliflower in a tasty wing sauce—it was SO GOOD (see link: https://food52.com/recipes/39759-general-tso-s-cauliflower). And as always, you can just chop up some little white trees and enjoy them raw in their sweetest, crunchiest form.
  • Dried Shallot
  • Lacinato (Black Kale)
  • Bunched Carrots
  • Harvest Moon Potatoes
  • Sweet Red Italian & Orange Bell Pepper
  • Dried Sweet Onions
  • Red Leaf Lettuce

Recipes

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Fall Greens w/ Delicata Squash, Caramelized Apples, and Bacon

“Hearty greens such as kale, mustard, and chicory are necessary to support the weight and bold flavors of the salad’s other ingredients: crescents of roasted squash, smoky bacon, sweet caramelized apples and onions, and the slightly sharp acidity of cider vinegar. Search for a mix of the young, smaller leaves of the robust greens rather than the more mature large leaves. If ever a salad smelled and tasted like autumn, this is it!” —Adapted from Erika Reagor’s recipe in the Portland Farmers Market Cookbook, p 137

Ingredients

  • 1 small Delicata/Jester Squash
  • 4 cups Black Kale, sliced thinly
  • 4-6 oz thickly sliced Bacon
  • 1 firm, tart Apple, such as Pink Lady, skin on, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 large Onion, thinly sliced (~1 cup)
  • 2 tsp Dijon Mustard
  • 1 tsp Honey
  • 3 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar, divided

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line 2 sheets with parchment paper or aluminum foil and set them aside.

  2. Cut the squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds with a large spoon. Slice each half into ¼ -inch half moons and add them to a small bowl with 1 tablespoon of the oil, the salt, and a few grinds of black pepper. Toss the squash pieces until they’re evenly coated, spread them in a layer on one of the baking sheets, and bake them until they are tender and lightly caramelized, but not mushy, 12-15 minutes.

  3. Meanwhile, lay the bacon slices 1 inch apart on the other baking sheet. Put the sheet in the oven with the squash and cook the bacon for 10 minutes. Rotate the pan front to back and cook the bacon until it is crispy, 3-5 more minutes. Remove the bacon to a plate lined with paper towels to drain and cool completely.

  4. In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter. When the butter begins to foam and bubble, add the apples and a pinch of salt. Sauté until the apple slices are tender and lightly browned, 5-8 minutes. Stir in 1 tablespoon of the vinegar and remove the apples to a large serving bowl.

  5. Return the sauté pan to the heat, reduce the heat to medium-low, and add the remaining 2 tablespoons butter. When it begins to bubble, add the onions and pinch of salt. Cook the onions until they’re very soft, lightly golden, and sweet-tasting, 20-30 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon of the vinegar, toss to coat the onions, and add them to the bowl with the apples.

  6. In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining 1 tablespoon vinegar with the mustard and honey. Slowly drizzle in the remaining 3 tablespoons of oil, whisking to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

  7. To serve, add the greens to the bowl with the apples and onions. Crumble in the bacon pieces and add the squash. Toss the salad with the dressing to coat the ingredients and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately. 

 

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Potato Hash with Sweet Peppers & Onions

Adapted from  http://www.thecomfortofcooking.com/2012/09/potato-hash-with-bell-peppers-and-onions.html 

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 tbsp Unsalted Butter
  • 6 medium Potatoes, cut into 1/2" cubes
  • 1 Onion, diced
  • 1 Sweet Bell Pepper, diced
  • 2 tsp fresh Parsley, chopped
  • 3 cloves Garlic, minced
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan, freshly grated

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oil and butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add potatoes, toss to coat with oil, and place a lid on the pan. Allow the potatoes to cook covered for 10 minutes.

  2. Remove the lid and increase the heat to medium high. Add onion and bell pepper. Cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes and vegetables turn golden brown.

  3. Add the parsley and garlic; cook for 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with Parmesan and serve immediately.

  4. (LB Addition) Then plop a couple fried eggs on there, and you’ll be set.

Dinner Menu: Oct. 4-6, 2018

Salads & Small Plates

Simple salad and balsamic vinaigrette 7-

Mixed green salad with summer vegetables, hazelnuts, and balsamic vinaigrette 9-

 Plate of pickled farm vegetables 6-

Deck Farms pork rillettes, frisee and apple salad, and garlic crostinis 7-

Shaved radicchio, apples, hazelnuts, and Alsea Acres chevre with sherry-tarragon vinaigrette  9-

Kale, blue cheese and grapes with herb-buttermilk dressing 9-

End of summer ratatouille with fontina and breadcrumbs 9-

Meatballs with roasted peppers, onions, tomato sauce, pecorino and breadcrumbs 10-

Roasted cauliflower soup with black pepper and microgreens 7-

Burrata, summer squash, and cherry tomatoes with balsamic reduction and garlic crostinis 10-

 

Entrees

Roasted fall vegetables with salsa di noci 16-

Kabocha squash and chevre raviolis with roasted fennel, kale, onions, brown butter and hazelnuts 18-

Wood roasted GTF chicken and dumplings with green beans, sweet corn, radicchio, chicken jus and breadcrumbs  20-

Apple braised pork shoulder with celeriac puree, braised collard greens and pork jus 21-

Seared black cod with roasted delicata squash, onions, kale and fermented chile crema 24-

Braised Oregon Valley Beef osso buco with creamy polenta, fall vegetables and gremolata 23-

Wood-Fired Pizzas

Classic margherita 11-

Quattro formaggi 12-

Summer squash, roasted corn, and habinada peppers with basil pesto and feta 13-

Roasted peppers, onions, and sage sausage with tomato sauce and mozzarella 14-

Anchovies, fresh tomatoes, and roasted garlic with olive oil, chevre and fresh herbs 14-

Dessert

Chocolate torte, dark chocolate sauce, chantilly, and cocoa sticks  7-

Turkish Coffee creme brulee with cookies 7-

Brioche pain perdu, apple compote, vanilla ice cream, apple caramel 7-

Scoop of daily ice cream with cookies   6

Ode to the Beetle in Your Salad

Diversity as an Organic Pest Control

We have all had the experience of finding the occasional beetle in a salad or a slug in a head of cabbage. When we encounter such a thing, we have to decide how we feel about it. But it’s hard to know what to think, and there is so much more to think about beyond what meets the eye.

On occasion we’ll get a call from a chef who bought our produce saying that an upset customer found a bug in their salad. We thought it was important to tell our customer base more about the truth behind that bug in the salad mix, and why it is actually something to make you feel better about your food rather than worse.

So why would anyone feel good about finding a bug in their salad? There are three main reasons why this would be the case, which I’ll get to in a bit. But first, it is essential to understand the concept of the microbiome. The microbiome is the ecosystem of non-human lifeforms that exists in your digestive system to regulate your digestive and mental health. Having a diverse microbiome is a healthy microbiome. This is because a diversity of microbes can protect a diversity of attacks on your health. A small amount of “bad” microbes cannot take hold and create an infection because they have to compete for space and resources with the diversity of beneficial microbes present. The same is true of the ecosystem outside our bodies. A diverse ecosystem is a health ecosystem. When a farm’s ecosystem has a diversity of bugs present, it is harder for one bug to become a major infestation.

The first reason why a bug in your salad is a good thing is that we do not use any broad-spectrum pesticides. Broad spectrum pesticides eliminate all forms of bug life within a certain category, whether they’re beneficial, indifferent, or damaging to the crop being “protected.” The ecosystem then has such a lack of diversity that it is essentially a blank substrate that can be easily taken over by a pest again, rather than kept in balance by the multitude of different kinds of critters all vying for the same space.

Also, broad-spectrum pesticides create heavy selection pressure on pest populations, forcing them to rapidly develop resistance to the chemicals being dumped onto the ground. This can quickly lead to the creation of what are commonly referred to as super bugs that are so resistant to our methods to control them that complete crop failure becomes a likely risk. Additionally, there are many other negative environmental side-effects of broad-spectrum pesticides aside from the fact that you’ll make pest control harder for yourself the following season. As our agronomist John Yeo takes on pests on the farm, he remembers Jerry Mahoney’s quote, “If we poison the earth, we’re poisoning ourselves.”

Secondly, broad spectrum pesticides are not good for your health in a more direct way than harming the environment. Anything that is designed to blindly destroy life should not go into your body. Of course there is a system in place that is designed to make sure that anything applied to food crops does not harm you, but this classification system is flawed. In simplified terms, for a pesticide to be approved for use, it must be classified under “non-mammalian toxicity.” But this is highly problematic, as the majority of cells in your body are not actually mammalian. They are protozoan, bacterial, fungal, etc. Just as described above, a healthy microbiome is a diverse microbiome.

And lastly, on our farm we feel very strongly about never spraying anything on leafy greens specifically, as they will be consumed raw. That means no organically certified pesticides either. Straight up nothing goes on greens that you will put into your body raw. Leafy greens such as lettuce, spinach, and arugula are very delicate and must be treated as such. To spray something on a leafy green is to eat what you spray, and we take that reality very seriously.

So what do we do to control pests on our farm? Our main control methods are exclusion and staying in tune with the annual rhythms of pest populations. Exclusion controls pests by creating a barrier between them and the plants. For our outdoor greens we put floating row cover, a cheese-cloth like fabric, over the greens and just lift it up when we need to harvest. For crops inside hoop houses, we hang netting over the ends of the house to keep bugs from getting in.

Working with the natural cycles of pest populations is also very important. There will always be certain times of year when pest populations reach their climax. It’s like clockwork. During the times when we know aphids will be rampant, we don’t harvest the crops that they have infested. We wait it out, move on to the next planting, and go back to the old planting after the aphids are gone and it has produced a new set of shoots to harvest.

We also focus heavily on interplanting insectary plants to encourage the growth of beneficial bugs who like to eat pests. Currently, we plant lots of alyssum, and in the past we have also used calendula and phacelia. Alyssum is excellent at attracting wasps that eat aphids and thrips, which are major pests on our farm.

At the very bottom of our pest control repertoire are organically certified sprays, of which we use only three. The most commonly used spray is Surround, a brand of kaolinite clay that is very fine that we spray on winter squash seedlings to protect them from cucumber beetles. The second is BT, a bacterium known as Bacillus thuringiensis that is a naturally-occurring bacteria that lives in the soil. We spray it on Napa cabbage seedlings to prevent moths from laying their caterpillar eggs on them. Lastly, we will use Pyganic, a chrysanthemum derivative, on our pepper seedlings to protect them from aphids. In all of these cases, the crops get sprayed at a very young age to get them through to when they will be strong enough to protect themselves.

If you are reading this, you are likely already someone who is able to choose to pay the extra dollar for organic produce for ethical and health-related reasons. You probably already know that conventional food production is rife with environmental degradation, minimal nutritive quality, and a corporate-controlled suppression of science. But perhaps you didn’t know that finding a beetle in your salad is a physical embodiment of environmental and nutritive health. Either you see a beetle on occasion and you know that you’re eating real food, or you never see any sign of life on your food and you know that it’s been eradicated.

Diversity is what it all comes down to. Diversity is what we work to preserve.

Delicious, nutritious diversity.

By Laura Bennett

Lunch Menu: Week of Oct. 2, 2018

*All items and prices are subject to change

Kale, blue cheese and grapes with herb-buttermilk dressing

Salads & Small Plates

Simple salad and balsamic vinaigrette 7-

Mixed green salad with summer vegetables, hazelnuts, and balsamic vinaigrette 9-

Sourdough bread and salted butter 6-

Plate of pickled farm vegetables 6-

Shaved radicchio, apples, hazelnuts, and chevre with sherry tarragon vinaigrette  9-

Kale, blue cheese and grapes with herb-buttermilk dressing 10-

Celeriac and apple soup with roasted apples and herbs 7-

Deck Farms pork rillettes, frisee and apple salad, and sourdough bread 7-

Burrata, summer squash, and cherry tomatoes with balsamic reduction and sourdough bread 10-

Wood roasted GTF chicken and dumplings with green beans, sweet corn, radicchio, chicken jus and breadcrumbs

Entrees          

Roasted fall vegetables with salsa di noci 16-

Smoked black cod tartine with pickled beets, fall greens, cherry tomatoes, mustard, and dill creme fraiche 13-

Oregon rockfish cakes with mixed greens salad, farm pickles and tonnato 16-

Wood roasted GTF chicken and dumplings with green beans, sweet corn, radicchio, chicken jus and breadcrumbs  19-

Seared black cod with roasted delicata squash, scallions, kale and fermented chile crema 22-

Braised Oregon Valley Beef osso bucco with creamy polenta, fall vegetables and red wine jus 22-

Sandwiches

Farm smoked Deck Farms ham on ciabatta, with dijon, pickles, and gruyere cheese 13 / 7.5-

Roasted delicata squash, hazelnut butter, shaved kale, carrots, and celeriac on pugliese 12 / 7-

Wood-Fired Pizzas

Classic margherita 11-

Quattro formaggi 12-

Summer squash, roasted corn, and habinada peppers with basil pesto and feta 13-

Roasted peppers, onions, and sage sausage with tomato sauce and mozzarella 14-

Anchovies, fresh tomatoes, and roasted garlic with olive oil, chevre and fresh herbs  14-

Dessert

Chocolate torte, dark chocolate sauce, chantilly, and cocoa sticks  7-

Brioche pain perdu, apple compote, vanilla ice cream, apple caramel 7-

Scoop of daily ice cream with cookies   6

CSA 2018 – Week 17: Come Visit us at the Farm!

CSA Newsletter- Week 17


Come Visit Us at the Farm!

Hi folks,

Welcome to October! Owners John and Sally wanted me to pass a few messages along to you all this week. John said that he’s spoken with quite a few CSA customers this season who have never been to our restaurant before, so for the remainder of the season all CSA customers are welcome to dine at our restaurant with 10% off for their entire party’s meal. We are open for lunch Tue-Fri 11-2, dinner Thu-Sat 5-9, and for breakfast Sat 9-2, but our farmstand is open for shopping Tue-Sat 9-5.

For those of you who don’t know, we have a restaurant that we call the Farmstand on our farm base, attached to the same building that we wash and pack all of our produce out of. We make all our own pastries and bake our own bread every morning, and have a tireless kitchen crew working to celebrate the vegetables we grow through new flavor combinations every week. The servers are simply lovely and adore talking to customers about all things food, farm, and friends. Our restaurant closes for the winter in mid-November, so we hope to see you soon!

Also, now that we’re in October, it’s time for our CSA members to come out to the pumpkin patch! Our jack-o-lantern crop struggled a bit this year, so unfortunately they are first come first serve, and we ask that people take just one pumpkin per family, or one per child for families with more than one. Thanks for understanding. Just come to the Farmstand anytime between now and Halloween during open hours (Tues-Sat 9am-5pm) and tell our servers that you’re a CSA customer here to hit up the pumpkin patch. They will offer everyone in your family a free, house-made potato doughnut and show you the way to our patch o’ pumpkins. Please feel free to waltz around the farm and take a look at the vegetables that will soon be on your plates!

Best, Laura Bennett

Table of Box Contents

  • Scarlet Kabocha!!!—Although Delicata might be our most popular squash, Kabocha is my personal favorite. I think of them as giant chestnuts, with a nutty savory flavor and a dry yet creamy texture. As with all winter squash, Kabocha is excellent roasted and served simply with oil, salt, and pepper. However, just like Delicata, my favorite way to prepare it is fried in the frying pan. Cut into small pieces, it takes hardly ten minutes to cook.
  • Parsley Root!!—Not a parsnip, parsley root. Parsnips are more sweet-dominant whereas parsley root is more savory-dominant with a particularly parsley-like flavor. Of all the lesser known roots that GTF grows, celeriac (from last week), sunchokes (to come), and parsley root are my favorites!
  • Bunched Turnips!—Radishes made their debut at market this past Saturday, and now turnips are making their seasonal debut in your box! These juicy orbs are excellent sliced thin and enjoyed raw, but are also great lightly sautéed with their greens in tamari and served with rice.
  • Collard Greens—These greens are tougher than most. Try cutting the leaves in half down the center and then making a stack to cut into very thin strips. The smaller pieces (sautéed in butter) will become soft and delicate.
  • Purple Potatoes
  • Leeks
  • Bunched Red Beets
  • Pepper Party, Continued
    • 1 Sweet Red Ruffle Pimento
    • 1 Anaheim—slight kick
    • 1 Sweet Yellow Bell
  • Sweet Onion
  • Green Leaf Lettuce
  • Tomato Surprise—romas or a slicer

Recipes

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Stuffed Collard Greens

Collard greens are great leaves to stuff. They remind me a bit of grape leaves, though they don’t need to be brined before you stuff them. Just remove the stems, blanch them, fill and cook like cabbage leaves. I used medium-grain Cal-Rose rice that I bought at my local Iranian market for these; this type of rice is perfect for stuffing grape leaves and vegetables, the package told me, because it doesn’t swell when cooking and won’t break the leaf. https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/12464-stuffed-collard-greens

Ingredients

  • 1 large bunch Collard Greens (about 1 1/2 lbs), stemmed
  • 1/4 cup Olive Oil
  • 1 large Yellow Onion, finely chopped
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 1 1/4 cups medium-grain Rice, rinsed and drained
  • 3 tbsp Pine Nuts
  • 2-3 cloves Garlic (to taste), minced
  • 1/3 cup Fresh Dill, chopped
  • 1/3 cup Mint, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup Flat-Leaf Parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/3-1/2 cup Lemon Juice, strained, freshly-squeezed
  • 2 tbsp Tomato Paste
  • 1 Lemon, sliced (optional)

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil while you carefully stem the collard greens, trying to keep the leaves intact. Fill a bowl with ice water. When the water comes to a boil, salt generously and add the collard leaves, in batches. Blanch for 2 minutes and transfer to the ice water. Drain, gently squeeze out excess water and set aside.

  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium-low heat in a large nonstick skillet and add the onions and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring, until the onion is tender but not browned, 5 to 8 minutes. Add the pine nuts and garlic, stir together and add the drained rinsed rice. Stir for a minute or two, until you hear the rice begin to crackle, then remove from the heat. Toss with the herbs, salt and pepper, and 1 tablespoon olive oil. To gauge how much salt you will need, use the amount that you would use when cooking 1 1/4 cups of rice.

  3. Oil a wide, deep lidded sauté pan or saucepan with olive oil. To fill the leaves, place one on your work surface, vein side up and with the stem end facing you. The leaf may have a big space in the middle where you stemmed it; if it does, pull the two sides of the leaf in toward each other and overlap them slightly. Place about 1 level tablespoon of filling on the bottom center of each leaf. Fold the sides over, then roll up tightly, tucking in the sides as you go. Place in the pan, seam side down, fitting the stuffed leaves in snug layers. 

  4. Whisk together the lemon juice, remaining oil, and tomato paste with 2 tablespoons water. Season to taste with salt. Pour over the rolls. Add enough water to barely cover the rolls and top with a layer of lemon slices if desired. They will add some bitterness to the dish because of the bitter oils in the lemon skin. Invert a plate over the rolls to keep them wrapped and in position, and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cover the pan, turn the heat to low and simmer for 1 hour, at which point the leaves will be tender and the rice cooked. Remove from the heat and carefully remove the stuffed leaves from the water to a platter or to plates with a slotted spoon or tongs. Allow to cool for at least 15 minutes. Taste the liquid left in the pot and adjust seasonings. Serve the rolls warm or at room temperature with the liquid from the pot as a sauce.

 

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Stir-fried Kabocha Squash

Kabocha and other large squashes lend themselves to easy baking, but being limited to a frying pan at market forces me to cook in creative ways. Trust me, if you stir fry kabocha once, you might never go back. Cooking it in the frying pan takes hardly ten minutes, as there is very little water to cook out, and you end up with bites of creamy squash encased within crisp edges. http://blog.gatheringtogetherfarm.com/2017/10/10/csa-2017-week-18-flavors-fall 

Ingredients

  • 1 Kabocha Squash, sliced thinly thinly (you can decide if you'd like to shave the skin off first with your knife; scarlet kabocha skin is often soft enough to leave on, but the green squashes you have this week may have thicker skins)
  • 1 Sweet Onion, sliced thinly
  • 1 Sweet Pepper, sliced thinly
  • 1/2 head Garlic
  • Coconut Oil
  • Salt & Pepper

Instructions

  1. Cutting up the big kabocha squash while it’s raw is the hardest part of this recipe. Be safe, take your time, and don’t chop your fingers off however tempting it may be. Follow the chopping tutorial in the link above if needed.

  2. Finely chop your onion.

  3. Heat a pan of oil up to medium-low temp and add in the onions, letting cook 2-4 minutes.

  4. Add in the kabocha squash slices and stir around. Let cook covered 2-3 minutes.

  5. Finely chop garlic and peppers and add into the pan, continuing to cook uncovered another 5-8 minutes until crispy brown on some edges, but before the pieces turn to mush.