2016 CSA – Week 16: Root Cellar Farm Style

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CSA Newsletter – Week 16


Root Cellar Farm Style

It’s also that time of year that our coolers start to fill up with bins (25 to 60 ft2 ) of cabbage, carrots, potatoes, and beets. Soon, they will be joined by bins of parsnips, sunchokes, salsify, scorzanera, burdock, celeriac, and parsley root.

We have two walk-in coolers on the farm that we do store some of these root crops in, however, these coolers also hold all of the refrigerated produce that we send to market, all of the restaurant orders before they are delivered, and some CSA boxes too! Needless to say, it starts to get cozy in the coolers around this time of year.

We also have a shipping container that is modified to be a cold storage unit. It has a refrigeration system hooked up to it, and it is insulated with straw bales on the top and sides. We are able to store up to 36 bins of storage crops in this space but it is still not enough! As a result, throughout the season we store up to 60 bins of various crops every season at a cold storage facility nearby.

Root crops that are stored at their optimum temperature can last through the winter; on a small scale you would use a root cellar. We wash or clean one bin at a time and with so much variety, it is very important that we are able to keep the additional harvest fresh until it is ready to be washed and enjoyed.

Thanks in part to cold storage techniques, we are able to have a larger variety of produce in the winter months for folks like you and me to enjoy!

 

Table of Box Contents

  Lettuce ($2.00)

☐  1½ lbs Potatoes ($2.25) – Try them sautéed with kale, see recipe.

☐  1 Buttercup Squash ($4.00) – Buttercup squash has a smooth, dry texture and a lightly nutty flavor. It is delicious any way you cook it. Halved and baked, cubed or sliced and roasted, or in pie!

☐  2 Colored Peppers ($2.00)

☐  Bunch Radishes ($2.50) – Radishes are delicious raw in salads but they are equally delicious cooked. Try the recipe for braised radishes with shallots.

  Lacinato Kale ($3.00) – Fall kale is a bit bitter before the frost so I prefer to sauté or blanch it before eating.

  2 Dried Yellow Onions ($1.25)

  1 Dried Shallot ($1.00) – Shallots taste somewhere between garlic and onion and are delicious raw in salads as well as caramelized with just about anything.

☐  Broccoli ($3.50)

☐  4 Ears Corn ($4.00) – If you don’t eat the corn straight off the cob, try making grilled corn guacamole. See recipe.

☐   ̴ 1 lb Big Beef Tomatoes ($3.00)

 Box Market Value: $28.50
Recipes

Grilled Corn Guacamole

  • 3 ears Corn, Shucked
  • 6 whole Avocados, Diced
  • 1 whole Large Tomato, Diced
  • 1/3 cup Onion, Finely Diced
  • 2 cloves Garlic, Finely Minced
  • 2 Tablespoons Diced Fresh Jalapeno
  • 1 whole Lime, Juiced
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Ground Cumin
  • 1/2 cup Cilantro Leaves

Preparation

  1. Grill corn until nice and golden, with good grill marks on the kernels. Allow to cool a bit, then cut the kernels off the cobs. Set aside.
  2. Halve avocados and remove pit. Cut avocado into a dice inside the skin, then scoop out with a spoon.
  3. In a bowl, combine corn kernels, diced avocados, diced tomato, jalapenos, minced garlic, lime juice, salt, and cumin. Stir gently to combine. Add cilantro and stir in.

Read More: The Pioneer Woman

 

Radishes Braised with Shallots and Vinegar

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 slices bacon, diced
  • 2 large shallots, finely sliced
  • 1 pound radishes, about 2 bunches, tops trimmed and radishes sliced in half
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2/3 cup finely chopped Italian parsley
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

 Preparation

  1. Heat the butter and bacon over medium-high heat in a wide, heavy skillet — preferably cast iron. Cook for about 5 minutes. When the bacon is cooked through and getting crispy, place the radishes cut-side down in the pan and cook undisturbed for 2 to 3 minutes or until the bottoms begin to brown. Add the shallots and cook, stirring, for another minute.
  2. Add the balsamic vinegar and the water — the water should just come up around the sides of the radishes. Cover, lower the heat, and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the radishes are tender.
  3. Remove the lid and continue to simmer for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the liquid has reduced into a syrupy sauce. Add the the parsley and stir to wilt.
  4. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Read More: The Kitchn

 

Sautéed Potatoes with Black Kale and Nigella

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch black kale (about 1/2 pound), stemmed, leaves washed in 2 changes water
  • Salt
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 ½ pounds potatoes, such as yellow potatoes or Yukon golds, cut in small dice (about ½ inch)
  • 1 teaspoon nigella seeds
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 2 shallots, minced

Preparation

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. When water comes to a boil, salt generously and add kale. Blanch 2 to 3 minutes, until just tender. Transfer to a bowl of cold water, drain and squeeze out excess water. Cut squeezed bunches of kale into slivers and set aside.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over high heat in a heavy, preferably nonstick, 12-inch skillet and add potatoes. Turn heat down to medium-high and sear without stirring for 5 minutes, then shake and toss in pan for another 5 to 8 minutes, or until just tender and lightly browned. Add salt and continue to toss in pan for another minute or two, until tender. Add remaining teaspoon oil, shallots and nigella seeds and cook, stirring until shallots are tender and fragrant, about 3 minutes. Stir in kale and additional salt if desired and cook, stirring or tossing in the pan for another 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat, taste and adjust seasonings, and serve.

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.

CSA 2011 – Week 17: More on Storing Vegetables!

It’s hard to believe, but melons are gone and squash is here! There will most likely be a winter squash in each box for the rest of the season. Provided below is more information on storing and keeping vegetables. These are storing tips from Johnny’s Seed catalog.

Vegetables that last…

1-2 months: Brussels sprouts, Chinese cabbage, kohlrabi, parsley, turnips, winter squash (acorn and delicata).
2-4 months: Leeks, pumpkins, radishes, winter squash (buttercup, hubbard, kabocha, and Spaghetti).
4 months plus: Beets, cabbage, carrots, celeriac, garlic, Jerusalem artichoke, onions, parsnips, dried hot peppers, potatoes, rutabagas, butternut squash.

Temperature and humidity play a big role in a vegetable’s ability to store. Here are some tips on how these vegetables store best below:

Cold and Humid: Beets, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celeriac, leeks, parsley, radishes, rutabagas, and turnips.
Cool and Humid: Potatoes.
Cold and Dry: Garlic and Onions (this is why these are best stored when dry in a paper bag, or a bag with holes; not plastic).
Cool and Dry: Pumpkins, winter squash.

Winter Squash Information:
Acorn: Last up to 3 months
Spaghetti Squash: Lasts up to 3 months
Delicata and similar types: Stores up to 4 months
Buttercup: Sweeter after storing for a few weeks; keeps up to 4 months
Kabocha: Gets sweeter when stored for a few weeks; green varieties keep from 4-5 months. Grey varieties will keep up to 6 months.
Butternut and Hubbard: Best a few weeks after harvest; will store up to 6 months.
All Squash stores best if it’s stem is still intact.

Squash Towels! Have any old towels laying around the house that need a new home? Bring them down to GTF! We are at the brink of 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)– Steam, roast, fry, mash; you can do just about anything with these!

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

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

1 bunch of scallions– Chop raw for salad, mix chopped green tops with cheese or eggs.

2 delicata squash– Roast with olive oil and salt, add onions, scallions, or even chopped peppers if you’d like.

1 bunch of red kale– Sauté in butter or olive oil and salt. (See recipe)

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

1 bag baby onions – Cut them into quarters and add to vegetable roasts or sautés.

1 Cauliflower or Romanesco– Roast with olive oil and salt, top with cheese and scallions.

Red oak, cardinal, red Leaf, or green leaf lettuce- Make a salad, or add to sandwiches. Use to make lettuce wraps.

Tomatoes (approximately 2 lbs) – Chop raw on salad or sandwiches.

Roasted Cauliflower with cheese
1 large head or 2 small heads of cauliflower or Romanesco, cut into quarter size or larger pieces.
4 tablespoons of melted butter
Handful of baby onions(6 or so), cut in half and then sliced into quarters
1/2 cup of shredded parmesan cheese
1/4 cup finely chopped green onion tops
Pinch of salt
1 cup of sourdough or whole grain bread crumbs (optional)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Mix the cauliflower, onions, scallion tops, butter and salt together. Place in a baking pan or dish and in the oven for about 20 minutes or until the cauliflower is mostly cooked but not brown yet. Add the shredded cheese on top and continue roasting until the cheese melts and starts to bubble and turn a light shade of brown. Add the bread crumbs in with the cheese if you want bread crumbs. This dish is versatile and a variety of seasonings can be used in it, such as chile flakes, chopped peppers, tomatoes, or even parsley. Mix it up! Try new things!

Roasted Delicata Squash
Cut the squash in half. Remove the seeds (you can save these seeds and roast them for eating or dry them for planting). Cut the squash up into 1/2 inch pieces. Place in a baking pan or casserole dish with olive oil, some pieces of butter and salt. Bake at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes, checking the squash and mixing it every 10 minutes or so. For a crispier, more caramelized flavor turn the oven on broil for about 3-5 minutes at the end. Keep a close eye on it, the squash will brown fast. I like to eat the skins of the delicata, they are not tough and have a good flavor. Try seasonings with minced garlic if you want! But it’s wonderful plain as well.

Dan the Man’s Red Kale Specialty
1 bunch red kale
1 tablespoon soy sauce
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 c rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1/3 c extra virgin olive oil

Cut the leaves of the kale off where they end. You can remove the stem part if it’s too thick for your liking. Chiffonade (cut very thinly) the leaves and combine all the ingredients into one bowl. Mix thoroughly and serve. You can let it sit for 15-20 minutes before serving if you like, the kale will seem more cooked if you do. Dan says this recipe is a great way to eat any type of kale and the two acids in the recipe are what actually cook the kale. It is also great leftover the next day, the kale is tender as if it had been lightly cooked. Adjust the ingredients to your liking. If you like more soy sauce and less rice vinegar try that, or add some raw minced garlic if you want.

Enjoy!