CSA 2011 – Week 20: This Land is Your Land

As many of you know, we have added on small chunks of land here and there for the past few years now. One of our newest additions is right across the street from our main production greenhouse. This past spring, the owners of the property had the hybrid tulip poplars removed and we transplanted our fall brassicas into the field in July. Those brassicas are now thriving and that is where your past few week’s of kales and collards were planted.

This next year is going to be a whole new story for us. We are taking over the lease of a 70– acre plot of land formerly farmed by a transitional organic grain farmer. Much of this land is 3 years away from being certified organic, so we are coming up with what to do with it until then. For now, Dan and John are in the process of moving the whole compost operation and equipment over there right now. We may lease some of the land to livestock raising, or maybe grow some transitional organic sweet corn there.

The main goal and excitement behind this huge chunk of land is not to actually grow more vegetables, but to be able to give large parcels of land a rest. We could then grow cover crops for longer, while cutting disease pressure at the same time. This is still in the works, but there’s no doubt it leaves a lot of possibilities for the future at GTF.

Parsnip Puree
1 pound parsnips, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces.
2-3 medium baked potatoes
1/2 cup cream or sour cream
4 tablespoons butter, softened
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger (optional)
Pinch nutmeg
Salt and pepper to taste

Cook parsnips in boiling salted water about 20 minutes or until tender. Drain and puree in a food processor along with scooped out potato flesh. Add cream, butter and ginger and process until well blended. Season to taste. *Parsnips have a wonderful sweet flavor, and go great with carrots too. Try using them in soup, or roasted!

Squash Towels! Have any old large bath towels laying around the house that need a new home? Bring them down to GTF! We have been enjoying a wonderful squash washing season and are in need of old towel donations for drying them. We’ll gladly take them off your hands!

What’s in the Box?

1.5 lb Red Potatoes (Colorado rose or Rose gold) – Steam, roast, fry, mash, these are versatile.

Carrots, bulk (~1 lb) – Shred them on salad, sauté in butter with salt, or eat plain.

3 onions (2 yellow, 1 red)– Caramelize, eat raw sliced thin on sandwiches, or add to a slaw or potato salad.

1 bunch beets– Cut beets off greens. Boil, roast or fry beets. Try grating them raw. Use the greens too! Sautee with olive oil or butter, salt, and pepper.

1 ambercup squash– Cut in half, remove seeds, place on a sheet pan, flesh side down. You may oil the pan a bit so it does not stick. Add a couple cups of water too, so the squash steams slightly. Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes-1 hour. You can use this squash in place of pumpkin in any recipe, or make a soup with it! Ambercup tends to be a bit on the dry side so it may need more moisture.

Bok Choy– Sauté in butter or olive oil and salt. It goes great with fish. Add chile flakes for a kick.

1 red Italian pepper, 1 red bell—Grill, roast, or just eat raw; they are sweet.

2 Leeks– Use in soups or sautés. Chop them, then rinse them a bit. Dirt gets inside leek layers easily.

Parsnip-Chop into small pieces and use in soups or roast with other vegetables.

1 tomato– Chop and put in soup or salad. Add to sandwiches or wraps.

Balsamic Carrot Salad
1 pound carrots, peeled and julienne small (thinly sliced pieces)
2-3 celery stalks, chopped fine
2 red peppers, seeded and cut into small slices
2 bunches green onions, chopped
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
1 1/2 cups balsamic dressing

For the dressing:
2 teaspoons Dijon-type mustard
1/4 cup plus 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1 cup extra virgin olive oil

Mix the mustard and vinegar. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil while whisking or mixing the vinegar. Add salt and honey to taste.

For the salad, combine all the ingredients and serve. You may use grated kohlrabi in place of the celery. Try adding some finely chopped red onion, or grated beets!

Beet Soup
6 medium beets
4 tablespoons butter
1 quart filtered water
Sea salt or fish sauce and pepper
2 tablespoons finely chopped green onions or parsley for garnish
crème fraiche or sour cream

Peel beets, chop coarsely and sauté very gently in butter for about 1/2 hour or until tender. Add water, bring to a boil and skim. Simmer about 15 minutes. Puree soup with a handheld blender, or food processor. Season to taste. Garnish with chopped green onions and sour cream or creme fraiche.

Ambercup Leek Soup
1 ambercup squash
2 leeks
2 tablespoons butter
6 cups water, or stock
1 cup milk or cream
Salt and pepper

Chop the leeks into small slices. Heat a large pot up with the butter. Once the butter is melted, add the leeks. Meanwhile, cut the rind off of the squash; either a knife or a peeler may work. Cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Cut the squash up into 1-inch size cubes. Once the leeks are soft and cooked, add the squash and continue cooking for another 15 minutes or so. Add the water/ stock and milk. Bring to a boil and then turn down to low and cover. Simmer for about 30 minutes or until the squash is cooked all the way. Puree with a handheld or standup blender. Season to taste and serve.

CSA 2011 – Week 19: Pumpkin Picking and Potluck

We had our pumpkin party last Sunday, and it turned out to be a great day. We had cider and great food. When people started showing up, the children went right for the doughnuts and pumpkins. They each picked out their very own pumpkin from the field. Then, John went to go start the big red truck. The tour mobile’s battery was dead, so he got it charging right away. Unfortunately it did not charge up in time.

So, plan B was to try to pop the clutch. We started up one of the old Ford farm trucks we call the U-Haul. Then, John connected a large chain running from that truck to the tour mobile. Greg, a CSA member, kindly drove the Ford around with John riding in the tour mobile trying to pop the clutch. After one lap around the farmstand the tour mobile was still not running, so we resorted to plan C, a walking tour.

The walking tour was quite pleasant. It was a great day for a walk around the farm, and we even picked a few carrots while we were out there. The kids got to run through the ‘tomato jungle’! We turned around and headed back to the farmstand where we had the potluck part. There was some exciting food and an assortment of desserts. As the sun started to descend it warmed the deck. What a beautiful day!

Split Pea soup Recipe by CSA member Stephanie
1 delicata squash (2 sweet potatoes or 1/2 butternut squash can be substituted)
1/2 large onion
2 carrots, peeled
2 stalks celery
2 cups ham or thick cut bacon cut into 1 inch pieces (optional)
6 cups water
16 ounces dried split peas
1/2 teaspoon ground thyme
1 tablespoon fresh sage
1 tablespoon fresh basil
Salt and pepper to taste

Cube the potatoes or squash. Chop the onions, carrots and celery. Rinse the split peas and combine all ingredients into one big pot. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat and simmer covered for about an hour. If you like chunky split pea soup, keep it the way
it is, or use a hand blender to smooth it up.

Squash Towels! Have any old large bath towels laying around the house that need a new home? Bring them down to GTF! We have been enjoying a wonderful squash washing season and are in need of old towel donations for drying them. We’ll gladly take them off your hands!

What’s in the Box?

1.5 lb Red Potatoes (Colorado rose or Rose gold) – Steam, roast, fry, mash, these are versatile.

Carrots, bunched – Shred them on salad, sauté in butter with salt, or eat plain.

3 onions (2 yellow, 1 white)– Caramelize, eat raw sliced thin on sandwiches, or add to a slaw or potato salad.

1 shallot– Chop and add to soup, or use as base in sauces.

1 butternut squash– Cut in half, place on a sheet pan, flesh side down. Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes. Scoop out the inside, puree, season and serve. You can use this in place of pumpkin in any recipe, or make a soup with it!

1 bunch black kale– Sauté in butter or olive oil and salt.

2 Italian peppers, 1 ruffle pimento—Grill, roast, or just eat raw; they are sweet.

1 kohlrabi– Shred raw and use in slaws or stir fries. You can also chop it up and roast it too.

1 Broccoli– Chop into small pieces and use in soups or roasted roots vegetables.

1 celeriac/celery root– Cut the bottom roots off. Peel the outside and then chop into cubes for roasting or soups. You can also make a wonderful potato/celeriac mash.

1 tomato– Chop and add to salads or sandwiches.

Potato and Celeriac puree
4 medium potatoes, chopped into cubes
1 celeriac, peeled and chopped into 1-inch cubes
1 clove garlic, minced
salt and pepper
2-3 tablespoons butter
2-3 tablespoons cream or milk

Boil the potatoes and celery root in two separate pots since they cook at different speeds. The celery root should take about 25 minutes to cook. The potatoes should take 35 minutes to cook.
Once both are cooked all the way through, strain and combine in a large bowl together. Mash either by hand with a potato masher or use a hand blender or mixer with the whisk attachment. Add the garlic while mashing along with the butter, cream, salt and pepper. Season to taste and serve.

Kohlrabi and Apple Slaw
DRESSING
1/4 cup cream
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 tablespoon good mustard (coarse stone ground, or Dijon will do)
1/2 teaspoon sugar
Salt & pepper to taste – go easy here
Fresh mint, chopped

1 pound fresh kohlrabi, trimmed, peeled, grated into large pieces
2 apples, peeled, grated into large pieces (try to keep equivalent volumes of kohl-
rabi:apple)

Whisk cream into light pillows – this takes a minute or so, no need to get out a mixer. Stir in remaining dressing ingredients, the kohlrabi and apple. Serve immediately.

Sautéed Black Kale

1 bunch black kale
1 shallot, chopped finely
Handful of mushrooms if you have them
Splash of white wine (optional)
2 tablespoons butter or olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Chop the kale into strips. Heat up the olive oil or butter on medium heat. Add the shallots and mushrooms and sauté until light brown or about 5 minutes. Add a splash of white wine and let it simmer down. Add the kale and continue to cook for about 2-3 minutes or until kale is cooked lightly, but not brown at all.

 

CSA 2011 – Week 18: Fun with Fermentation in Your Own Kitchen!

For at least 6000 years now, people have been making sauerkraut and other fermented foods. In fact, in most cultures it would be very rare to eat a meal that does not contain at least one type of fermentation. Bread, cheese, wine, ham, sausage, beer, sauerkraut, pickles, and kimchi – all of these foods are produced through fermentation. Before there were refrigerators, people figured out ways to preserve foods. Salt and time were usually the two main ingredients besides vegetables and fruits.

This type of preserving is called lacto-fermentation. Lactic acid is a natural preservative and keeps bad bacteria away. The lactobacilli found in fermented vegetables makes the vegetables more digestible and increases vitamin levels as well. These organisms produce helpful enzymes, antibiotic and anti-carcinogenic substances. Not only are they super tasty, but they are healthy too! Kimchi and sauerkraut are two of the most popular types of fermented foods around and they are fairly simple to prepare. These dishes may be a great way for some of you to use up your overload cabbage, carrots or onions that you have not gotten to yet! You can make larger batches with an investment in a 4 or 5-gallon bucket or a crock pot. Also, when making these do not use any type of metal container or tool. If you are interested in kraut-making gear, check out Lehman’s catalog!

Sauerkraut
1 medium cabbage, cored and shredded
1 tablespoon caraway seeds
2 tablespoons salt

In a bowl, mix cabbage with caraway seeds and sea salt. Pound with a wooden spoon or a wooden meat pounder for about 10 minutes to release the juices. Place in a quart-sized, wide-mouth jar and press down until the juices come to the top of the cabbage. The top of the cabbage should be at least 1 inch below the top of the jar. Cover tightly and keep at room temperature for about 3 days before transferring to cold storage. For the ‘cold storage’ you can place it in the refrigerator, or for best results in a place between 40-50 degrees until the kraut has the flavor you are looking for. The sauerkraut may be eaten immediately, but improves with age.

Kimchi 

1 head Napa Cabbage (any cabbage would work), cored and
shredded
1 bunch of green onions, chopped
1 cup carrots, grated
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
1/2 teaspoon dried chile flakes
2 tablespoons sea salt

Place vegetables, ginger, garlic, red chile flakes, and sea salt in a
bowl and pound with a wooden pounder or wooden meat hammer to release the juices. Place in a quart-sized, wide-mouth mason jar and press down firmly with a wooden pounder or a meat hammer until juices come to the top of the cabbage. The top of the vegetables should be at least 1 inch below the top of the jar. Cover tightly and keep at room temperature for about 3 days before transferring to cold storage.

CSA potluck and pumpkin picking this weekend!
Sunday October 16th.
Tour and pumpkin picking: 3-5pm  |  Potluck: 5-7pm
Please RSVP to me at csa@gatheringtogetherfarm.com or call the office: 541-929-4273

Squash Towels! Have any old towels laying around the house that need a new home? Bring them down to GTF! We have been enjoying a wonderful squash washing season and are in need of old towel donations for drying them. We’ll gladly take them off your hands!

What’s in the Box?

1.5 lb Potatoes (Nicola or rose gold)– Steam, roast, fry, mash; these are versatile.

Carrots, bunched – Shred them on salad, sauté in butter with salt, or eat plain.

4 onions (2 wallas, 2 candy)– Caramelize, eat raw sliced thin on sandwiches, or add to a slaw or potato salad. (see recipe)

2 leeks– After you chop leeks, wash them out a bit before cooking. Dirt seems to get stuck in between the layers of the leeks.

1 buttercup squash– cut in half, place on a sheet pan, flesh side down. Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes. Scoop out the inside, puree, season and serve. You can use this in place of pumpkin in any recipe, or even make a soup with it!

1 bunch of collard greens– Sauté in butter or olive oil and salt. Try braised collards.

2 colored peppers—Grill, roast, or just eat raw; they are sweet.

1 purple savoy cabbage– Shred raw and use in slaws or stir fries.

Parsley root– chop into small pieces and use in soups or roasted roots vegetables.

Bulk beets– Boil, then peel, chop, and marinate. Try chopped and fried in olive oil and salt.

1 bunch cilantro– Chop and use in soup, salsa, or try making a cilantro pesto!

Tomatoes (approximately 1 lb)– Chop raw on salad, or sandwiches.

French Onion Soup
2 leeks
4 onions
4 tablespoons butter
2 quarts beef stock or vegetable stock
1/2 cup red wine
1/2 cup cognac
2 tablespoons arrowroot mixed with
2 tablespoons water
Sea salt and pepper

Thinly slice the onions and leeks. Melt the butter in a large stainless
steel pot. Add the onions and cook on the lowest possible heat, stirring occasionally for 2 hours, or until the onions are soft and slightly caramelized. Raise the heat a bit and cook a few minutes longer, stirring frequently. The onions should turn brown but not burn. Add wine, cognac and stock. Bring to a rapid boil and skim off any foam that may rise to the top. Add the arrow root mixture and season to taste. You can top this with homemade croutons and/or
cheese.

Braised Collard Greens
1 bunch collard greens
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves minced garlic
2 strips of bacon, chopped (optional)
Splash of wine (optional)
1-2 cups water or stock
Pinch of salt
2 tablespoons olive oil or butter
Spoonful of molasses
Splash of orange juice (optional)
Pinch of chile flakes

Cook the bacon, onions, and garlic in the olive oil until the onions and garlic start to brown. Add the chopped greens and let cook for a couple of minutes. Deglaze with wine and stock. Let simmer and cook until the greens are nice and tender. Add the orange juice and/or molasses towards the end. Season to taste. Add a pinch of chile flakes for a kick.

Roasted Root Vegetables
3 medium potatoes
4 medium beets
2 chopped medium-sized onions
2 medium or 1 large parsley root
3 cloves of garlic, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1-2 teaspoons sea salt
Pinch of pepper
2 tablespoons chopped rosemary

Chop the veggies into quarter size pieces. Coat with olive oil, salt, pepper, rosemary and garlic. Place in a 400 degree oven for about 40-50 minutes or until the vegetables are cooked all the way and they become slightly browned.