Monday, October 1, 2007

Where does my food grow?

Farm Tour . . .

This coming Sunday, October 7th, from 2 pm to 5 pm, we invite CSA members and your families to come out to the farm for a tour of things and a visit with us - or with the chickens, whichever your group may prefer. This is an opportunity to view the crops, the high tunnel, the compost system, etc. Ask questions about the veggies, the season, and other things of interest.
We apologize for taking so long to firm up the time and plans for the day as we really wanted to offer you a bonfire harvest dinner – but the drought and lack of rainfall predicted this week makes the fire out of the question. As a result, we have cancelled the potluck portion of the plan. Rather, we want to focus on letting you see what goes on here in producing vegetables for you. Due to our livestock, please do not bring your dogs. Wear appropriate footwear for walking about and spend a little time in the country this week!

In Your Basket . . .

Broccoli –organic – new fall crop!
The recent cooler temperatures (in the 80s rather than 90s) have helped the broccoli. Loaded with Vitamins A & C, try not to overcook to enjoy the full flavor.

Stringless Green Beans – organic
Our last green bean planting is ready for harvest this week. The pods may not be as filled out as desired, but these beans cook up nicely. Snap the beans, blanch in boiling water for 2-3 minutes, rinse in cold water to stop the cooking, drain, dry and pack into freezer containers. Pull out in the middle of winter for a reminder of summertime. Find a new green bean recipe below.
Fall Greens Mix (kale, mustards, turnips) – organic
Your fresh cooking greens bundle contains a medley of curly kale, giant red mustard, green mustard, or turnip greens. Find an easy soup recipe below using your greens, red onion, and any root vegetables you might have on hand.

Garlic - organic


Red Onions - organic
These red onions are freshly harvested though beginning to dry as a storage onion does. Remove the tops for long term storage. We find these more of a strong rather than a sweet flavor. Use in any recipe calling for an onion, they are especially nice pan fried or caramelized.

Acorn Squash
Remember that this hard skinned winter squash can be kept in your pantry for weeks. It also can be refrigerated, but will suffer if allowed to freeze (this means don’t store in your garage).

Mini Decorative Pumpkin
Our larger pumpkins just won’t fit in your baskets! We will have some available at the farm tour though.

Your Choice Basket:
Red Tomatoes – new fall crop

We estimated it would be the first of October before the last tomato plants offered ripe fruit. With night temperature reaching into the 40’s, these will finish ripening inside your house better than outdoors.

Recipes to Enjoy . . .

Green Beans with Caramelized Onions
from From Asparagus to Zucchini

2 pounds green beans, stem ends snipped off, snapped into bite sized pieces if desired
2 T butter
2 medium onions, sliced as thinly as possible
1 C chicken stock
1 ½ T sugar
1 T red wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

Cook beans in boiling salted water until crisp-tender, 2 to 4 minutes (check to make sure pods are cooked, may need a little longer). Drain; immerse in ice water. Drain again and let stand to dry. Melt butter in skillet over medium flame. Stir in onions and cook them slowly until very wilted and deepened in color, about 15 minutes. Boil stock in a saucepan until reduced to ¼ C; stir in sugar and vinegar. Stir in onions. Simmer until slightly reduced. Combine onions and green beans; heat through. Season with salt and pepper. Makes 8 servings.

A Simple Greens Soup
from From Asparagus to Zucchini, makes 4 servings

2 T butter or oil
1 small onion, medium-diced
1 pound peeled Jerusalem artichokes or other root vegetables, medium-diced
4 C water or chicken broth
1 bunch greens, washed and chopped (suggestions include watercress, sorrel, red kale, nettles)
salt and pepper
½ C heavy cream (optional)

Heat butter or oil in saucepan over medium heat. Add onions; cook slowly, stirring occasionally, until they are translucent (don’t let them brown). Add the artichokes or other roots and water or broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook until the root vegetables are soft when pierced with a fork, approximately 15 minutes. Add the greens and cook them until they wilt, about 5 minutes. Puree the soup with an immersion blender (or in batches in a blender) until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Optional: You may pass the soup through a strainer to take out the little bits and make it smoother. If so, you may skip the peeling of the root vegetables, as the skins will strain out.
Creamy option: Add heavy cream at the end and heat through.

Garlic-Onion Tomato Pizza
We enjoy pizzas many nights during the summer months with a variety of toppings from fried eggplant to basil pesto. This recipe from Taste of Home Magazine.

2 pre-baked pizza dough, homemade or purchased, about 14 inches
2 medium yellow or red onions
8 garlic cloves
6-8 plum tomatoes
herb mixture (oregano, parsley, pepper)
1½ C shredded mozzarella cheese
¼ C grated Romano cheese

Thinly slice onions. Halve garlic cloves. Broil both 3-4 inches from heat until softened and lightly browned. Cut tomatoes into eighths and remove seeds. Broil tomatoes for 2 minutes on each side. Finely chop garlic. Arrange onions, garlic and tomatoes on pizza crusts. Sprinkle with herbs and cheeses. Bake at 450 degrees for 8-9 minutes until cheese is melted.