Friday, December 5, 2008

From The Farm

Elmwood will be at the indoor farmers market several Saturdays this winter, including this coming morning Saturday, December 6th. We will have an assortment of seasonal produce, eggs, meats, and even some Kentucky Proud farm crafted items suitable for the holiday season. Consider an "Elmwood Gift Certificate" in your gift giving this month - available in any amount to use towards healthy, wholesome organic farm foods all next season!

Possible items (depending on weather as always) include:
-organic potatoes, beets, winter radish, beauty heart, turnips, rutabagas, garlic,
-sweet potatoes, butternut squash, kabocha squash, acorn squash
-organic eggs
-organic chicken and beef
-inquire about an organic heritage turkey for your winter special occasions
-salsa, garlic braids, hot pepper packs

Visit our website or phone ahead to arrange special meat orders - remember that all of the meat and egg items we sell are grown by us under organic certification at our Scott County farm. Visit our
website to contact the farm and inquire about your family's needs for premium organic locally raised meats or vegetables.

The indoor market is inside Victorian Square, corner of Main and Broadway in downtown Lexington. Hours 9am-noon.

Elmwood dates:

December 6th

December 20th

January 3rd

February 7th

March 7th

April - market moves back outdoors 2nd Saturday, April 11th. Spring is really not that far away . . .

Monday, November 17, 2008

Heritage for the Holidays

Heritage Breed Turkeys

All of Elmwood's poultry ranges about outdoors in the organic grass and clover pastures. Electric fencing on the perimeter protects the birds from predators, along with their natural instinct to roost up off the ground in the mobile poultry houses.

The Bourbon Red, Slate, Narragansett, and Royal Palm breed turkeys are on the Slow Food Ark of Taste -- a catalog of foods in danger of extinction. Only by promoting and eating foods on the Ark can we ensure they remain in production.

Have you ordered a locally raised, organic certified, heritage breed holiday turkey for your family meal from Elmwood Stock Farm? Contact the farm for pricing and pickup options.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Last Week of Summer CSA

Week 22, News from the Farm

As you already know, this is the final week of harvesting shares for summer CSA season. For those of you continuing on into fall, we have a break next week, then the Fall CSA harvest on Oct. 23-25. It seems like the summer has flown by, possibly we are fooled by the warm days and lack of rain and cloudy weather. We did have frost one night last week, but only in the low sinkhole areas, and no remarkable damage to any heat-loving vegetables. We are optimistic that our current dry weather pattern will change and the farm will get October rains.

Elmwood Stock Farm will continue to attend the Saturday farmers market in downtown Lexington through Thanks-giving and we hope to see you there. We also attend the indoor market, Victorian Square, Lexington, the first Saturday morning of the winter months (Dec, Jan, Feb, Mar). We will have a few winter veggies, fresh eggs, and organic meats. Contact the farm to arrange your order for pickup on those Saturdays once CSA is over.

We want to give you our wholehearted thanks for your commitment to Elmwood this year. Your partnership with the farm allows us to plan in advance of the season – and that plays out in so many different ways. Financially we are able to purchase seed, heat the greenhouses to grow the transplants, hire employees, and begin growing. During the season, we get to meet and talk with some of you, or exchange emails. On those very challenging days, it helps to know we are growing good food for real people that want and appreciate it.

We survey our membership each season to help us improve our CSA program. We know how it works from the growing side – it is your turn to tell us how it works from the eating side. Our survey is being sent by email this week – if you need a paper copy, please let us know. We thank you in advance for your time and thoughts.

In Your Share
Share items may vary depending on your share size and harvest day. Each share may not have every item listed below.

Arugula – organic
Arugula can be enjoyed either raw in a green salad, or cooked in stir-fry or with pasta. This variety has a peppery, bitter flavor – nice if topped with a sweet dressing. The hot temper-atures encourage flea beetles to seek out arugula leaves, so just rinse well before preparing. Find a recipe below where holes in leaves do not matter.

Brussels Sprouts – organic
A new recipe idea: steam until tender then top with orange marmalade!

Fresh Herb, Thyme – transition to organic

The thyme will dry easily for you and holds its flavor well. It can also be frozen. To keep fresh, store refrigerated.

Hard Neck Garlic – organic

Baby Lettuces – organic
The lack of rainfall gave our fall salad greens a late start, as they are dependent on irrigation for their needed water source. They are very tender due to size and sweet due to cool night temperatures. Mix with arugula to stretch the salad making this week.

Potatoes – organic
The Cranberry all-red potatoes have a creamy center and nice flavor. They are soft and moist inside when cooked and are best sautéed, au gratin, or steamed.

Radish, Daikon – organic
You may recall this spicy Japanese favorite from the early season shares. Store refrigerated and find a new recipe below.

Winter Squash, Delicata
The squash will store for you several weeks, you do not need to use right away. This is another favorite winter squash once people try it for the first time.

Heirloom Tomato – organic

Red Tomato – organic

Turnip, Purple Topped with Greens – organic
Enjoy this late season turnip oven-roasted or grilled outdoors with your potatoes and your daikon radish. The combination will surprise your taste buds and prove to be an easy and simply method to let the whole family enjoy eating root crops.
Remove the nutritious greens and prepare soon – they are more delicate than the turnip root which will keep refrigerated for several weeks. The greens are a good source of Vit. A and folic acid.

Recipes to Enjoy

Arugula Gremolata, Gorgonzola, Golden Raisins, and Walnuts
from Mollie Katzen’s Vegetable Dishes I Can’t Live Without

¾ pound farfalle (bow-tie pasta)
2-3 T extra virgin olive oil
¾ C arugula gremolata (recipe below)
½ C crumbled Gorgonzola
2-3 T golden raisins
1 C very small, sweet tomatoes (optional)
½ C minced walnuts, lightly toasted
freshly ground black pepper

Cook the pasta in plenty of boiling water until al dente. Drain and transfer to a serving bowl. Toss with the olive oil. Add the remaining ingredients, except the walnuts and pepper. Toss until combined. Serve immediately, topped with walnuts and black pepper. Yields 4 servings.

Arugula Gremolata

2 C loosely packed arugula, about 2 ounces
4 tsp finely minced garlic
4 tsp finely minced lemon or orange zest
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Combine arugula, garlic and lemon zest in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse to finely chop, don’t puree. Season to taste with the salt and pepper.

Shredded Daikon with Scallions and Sesame Seeds
from Deborah Madison’s Local Flavors

1 ½ pounds firm Daikon, peeled
1 bunch scallions/green onion
1 T sesame seeds
1 T light sesame oil or vegetable oil
1 T dark sesame oil
sea salt
soy sauce

Coarsely grate the Daikon or cut into matchsticks. Slice the scallions on the diagonal. Heat a skillet and toast the sesame seeds, shaking often, until they smell good, about 3 minutes. Pour into a dish. Return the skillet to the head and add the oils. Add scallions and cook for 1 minute. Add Daikon. Season with ½ tsp salt, sprinkle lightly with soy sauce, and sauté over high heat, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes. Taste for salt, add more soy if needed, toss with sesame seeds and serve.

Honey Thyme Vegetables
from From Asparagus to Zucchini

4-5 C fresh vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, Brussels sprouts, radishes, turnips, carrots)
2 T melted butter
2 T honey
1-2 T minced fresh thyme
salt and pepper

Cook vegetables in a small amount of water until crisp-tender. Drain very well. Combine melted butter, honey and thyme; toss mixture with the vegetables. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately, makes 3-4 servings.

Delicata Squash with Roasted Mushrooms and Thyme
from, this recipe will serve 6

6 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 lb delicata squash (3 medium), halved lengthwise, seeded, and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-wide slices
2 lb mixed fresh mushrooms such as cremini, shiitake, and oyster, trimmed (stems discarded if using shiitakes) and halved (quartered if large)

Stir together oil, thyme, salt, and pepper. Toss squash with 2 tablespoons thyme oil in a shallow baking pan (1/2 to 1 inch deep) and arrange in 1 layer. Toss mushrooms with remaining 1/4 cup thyme oil in another shallow baking pan (1/2 to 1 inch deep) and arrange in 1 layer. Roast squash and mushrooms, stirring occasionally and switching position of pans halfway through roasting, until vegetables are tender and liquid mushrooms give off is evaporated, 25 to 30 minutes – 375 F is a good temperature to ensure the skin is cooked through enough to be tender too.

Monday, September 29, 2008

CSA, Week 21

There are two more weeks of the CSA summer season, this week and next week – your LAST PICKUP is next week October 6th through October 10th. Please return all your baskets or boxes to your pickup location.

We will be taking orders for our ORGANIC TURKEYS soon for the holidays. These are both rare heritage breed turkeys and dark-feathered broad-breasted breed turkeys all raised outdoors (unlike traditional butter-balls) on pasture in a certified organic system. The high price per turkey (pushing $100 this year) will reflect both the specialty breeds and the high cost of organic grain that turkeys require to thrive. There are very few organic heritage turkeys available anywhere in the USA so we get a lot of requests to ship. We prefer to find ours a local home, and we take pre-orders for Thanksgiving, with payment at pickup. A photo is on the poultry product page of our website.

In Your Share
As always, shares may vary depending on your harvest day and your share size. Each share may not have each item listed below.

Beans, Green – organic
These tender and green late snap beans are a sight for sore eyes around the farm, with so many dried vines about. A lot of irrigation and a large block of field corn to block the drying winds allowed this fall planting to produce some nice beans. Store refriger-ated until ready to prepare. Find an easy recipe below.

Brussels Sprouts – organic
The sprouts contain high nutrition with low calories: high in Vit. A, potassium, and phosphorus, and they say the smaller, the better as far as tenderness. Be sure to cook them all the way through (but not over-cook). After removing the stem, cut a tiny X in the base to hasten the cooking, or halve them. Store in your refrigerator.

Fresh Herb, Sage – transition to organic


Hard Neck Garlic – organic

Yellow Onion – organic
This week’s onion is not as sweet as earlier in the season – more of a mild type. Use in any recipe. Can be stored in your pantry or refrigerated.

Potatoes – organic
These russet potatoes are nice for baking, mashing, or other recipes where you do not need the potato to hold its shape. While the skin is edible, you may want to peel if desired.

Summer Squash or Zucchini

Winter Squash, Long Neck Butternut
The squash will store for you several weeks, you do not need to use right away. The butternut is one of the most popular of all winter squash due to its ease in peeling. There is meat all the way up into the neck, not just in the bulb end, so be prepared to cook it all when you cut into it. Any recipe for winter squash can use the butternut. Find more recipes below.

Red Tomato – organic

Larger Shares:

Red Chile Pepper
Poblano Pepper

Recipes to Enjoy

Butternut Squash Soufflé
We enjoyed this Southern Living, Sept 2007 recipe over the weekend at the farm. It was declared a winner!

1 large butternut squash (about 2 lb.)
3 large eggs
½ C light sour cream
¼ C sugar
¼ C butter, softened
¼ C all-purpose flour
1 T finely chopped fresh sage
1 ½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp ground nutmeg

Remove stem from squash. Cut squash lengthwise into 4 pieces; remove and discard seeds. Cook squash in boiling water to cover in a large saucepan over medium-high heat 10 to 15 minutes or until tender. Drain well; let cool for 25 minutes or until completely cool. Remove and discard peel.

Process squash and eggs in a food processor until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides. Add sour cream and remaining ingredients; process 20 to 30 seconds or until smooth. Pour mixture into a lightly greased 8-inch square baking dish.

Bake at 350° for 55 to 60 minutes or until set.

Make-Ahead Potatoes from Taste of Home 1998

10 large potatoes, peeled and quartered
1 cup (8 oz) sour cream
1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened
6 T butter, divided
2 T dried minced onion
1 tsp salt

Place potatoes in Dutch oven or large kettle. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat. Cover and cook for 20 to 25 minutes or until tender. Drain and place in bowl. Mash.

Add sour cream, cream cheese, 4 Tbsp butter, onion, and salt. Stir until smooth and cream cheese and butter melts. Spread in greased 13X9X2-inch baking dish.

Melt remaining butter. Drizzle over potatoes. Sprinkle with paprika. Refrigerate or bake immediately, covered, at 350° for 40 minutes. Uncover and bake 20 minutes longer.

If made ahead and refrigerated, let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before baking. Makes 12 servings.

Brussels Sprouts with Toasted Breadcrumbs and Lemon
a Susan Russo recipe, making 4 servings

3 cups Brussels sprouts, halved (can make with a smaller amount, just reduce breadcrumbs also)
1 small garlic clove, minced
2 T butter
1 T lemon juice
Pinch of lemon zest
¼ C breadcrumbs, toasted

Salt & pepper, to taste. Peel off any marked outer leaves of the sprouts and trim the bottoms; slice in half. Boil for 3-4 minutes. Drain and plunge into a bowl of ice water; this will stop the cooking and maintain the sprouts' vibrant color.

To toast the breadcrumbs, place in a dry skillet over medium-low heat. Cook for 2-3 minutes, while giving the pan handle a few shakes to toast the breadcrumbs evenly. Once they begin to turn golden, remove them from the heat and place in a bowl, as the heat from the pan will continue to toast them.

Meanwhile in a skillet over medium heat, sauté the garlic in the butter. Once the butter begins to bubble up and the garlic starts to jump a little, add the sprouts. Cook about 5 minutes, turning occasionally, until brown spots start to appear on the sprouts. Add the lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, and pepper. Add the toasted breadcrumbs into the skillet and toss gently. Add more breadcrumbs on top before serving; sprinkle with lemon zest if desired.

Tomato Pie

1 frozen deep dish pie shell
3-4 ripe tomatoes
1 medium onion
1-2 ounces fresh sweet basil (try substituting other fresh herbs if desired)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup mayonnaise

Bake frozen pie shell half done.

Quarter tomatoes and roughly chop. Layer tomatoes in pie shell. Chop onion and add to pie shell as second layer. Chop sweet basil and add to pie as third layer. Mix cheese and mayo together in bowl, then spread over top of pie.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 - 40 minutes.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Week 20, CSA

News from the Farm

Some things have slowed down a little on the farm – most of all is the rate at which the crops grow with shorter daylengths and cooler nighttime temperatures. Summer crops will still produce, just the time to reach the same level of ripeness is much longer in September than in July. This change of season also affects the egg laying of our hens – shorter days equals less production and less eggs to gather and wash each day.

We continue to experience extremely dry conditions, some say we are in the same situation as the 2007 drought. However, by having early rain this season, we were able to get plants established and many items harvested before the non-rainy days began. We had some good early hay crops and have some bales of hay stockpiled for our livestock for winter feeding. (Actually some of our neigh-bors that do not rotate their animals as frequently as we do around several pastures are already feeding their winter hay supply. We may be in the same situation soon.) With such a low water table now, we face going into fall and winter with dry ponds and non-flowing streams. We are very thankful for the wisdom of our ancestors who chose this farm with good soils and a strong creek for fresh water. The ability to irrigate and the willingness to put the hours of time in to set up and move the lines and pumps around is a requirement in growing crops the last several years. We also use municipal water to irrigate and the expense adds up when the flow goes 24 hours daily.

On the up-side, weeds can be identified pretty easily in our row crops, only appearing around the irrigation line. We can spot water leaks pretty quickly from our water lines running to the cattle and the poultry as the leaky spot will green up the grass in a day. We don’t worry about the truck getting stuck in the field in that low spot that holds water, and we really don’t ever get rained out on harvest days. We have an appreciation for heavy dews and foggy mornings that pull a little moisture out of the air into the ground.

We had good yields on some earlier crops allowing us to get winter squash, garlic and potatoes into storage. We may get less than desired yield on later crops, however, but we know to take that into account as we plan for the fall. The dry conditions now will affect over-wintering crops such as next year’s garlic and onions if we do not receive any rainfall. The plants need to grow strong roots and be healthy to prepare for the cold winter their production cycle requires. The weather continues to keep things interesting.

In Your Share
Items in your share may vary depending on your share size and harvest day. Every share may not have every item listed below.

Beans, Green – organic
These tender and green late snap beans are a sight for sore eyes around the farm, with so many dried vines about. A lot of irrigation and a large block of field corn to block the drying winds allowed this fall planting to produce some nice beans. Beans are low in calories and high in Vit. A and potassium. Store refrigerated until ready to prepare. Find an easy, new recipe below.

Cilantro – organic
This popular pungent herb can be used right away in sauce, salsa, on salads, or with pasta. To freeze, remove the stem and put chopped leaves in ice cube trays, adding a little water if desired. Freeze. Remove cubes and store in freezer bags, pulling out one or two when needed later on. To keep fresh, store refrigerated in the coolest area, in a bag or container to keep from drying out.

The fall cucumber plants are producing, offering a refreshing crisp coolness during these dry days. Mostly water, cucumbers need to be refrigerated and will keep 7-10 days. Find two new recipes.

Hard Neck Garlic – organic
Our members have told us that garlic is one of your top vegetables and to keep including it in your share. You may not use a whole head each week, but you will want to save your extras in a dry, darkish area of your pantry. Your garlic will keep for many weeks and you will have it to use long after the CSA season is over. Chop with your fresh herbs to make pesto and pop into your freezer!

Potatoes – organic
This week’s potatoes are a good all-purpose type that can be used for most any dish. Please remember that organic potatoes are not treated with chemical sprays to prevent discoloration or sprouting, so store refrigerated out of the light. Your potatoes will also keep for you for several weeks.

Radish – organic
The fall root vegetables are beginning to get established, and the quick growing radish is ready for harvest this week. The greens will not keep as long as the bulbs but contain high nutrition. Find a recipe below using in a salad; also use your radishes cooked with roasted chicken or beef roast.

Summer Squash

Winter Squash
The squash will store for you several weeks, you do not need to use right away. To prepare, cut in half, remove seeds, bake in 350 F oven 30-60 minutes, depending on size. Enjoy with butter and seasonings or with honey.

Swiss Chard - organic

Red or Heirloom Tomato – organic
Open any cookbook and you are sure to find a recipe for fresh salsa using tomatoes and cilantro. The late tomato crop is a good time to enjoy the freshness of the tomato fruit with some homemade salsa – find one recipe below. Another option is to use some crusty bread in a late summer bruschetta.


Recipes to Enjoy

Find two ideas for fresh salads using cucumbers and radishes, adapted from Alanna Kellogg recipes

Cucumber in Vinegar

1 large or 2 small cucumber, trim ends, slice thin

6 or so red radishes, trim ends, slice thin
1 T kosher salt
Water and vinegar to cover, about 2:1 water:vinegar
Pinch sugar
Black pepper to taste

In a colander, layer the cucumber, radishes and salt. Place in a sink (or in a bowl in the frig, if you want the cucumber to be really cold) to drain for an hour. Lightly rinse in cold water. Taste -- if it's too salty, rinse again, though you do want some saltiness to come through.Transfer cucumber/radish mixture to a bowl. Add just enough water and vinegar to cover, stir in the sugar and black pepper. Stir and let rest for about 20 minutes. Drain and transfer to serving bowl. Sprinkle with paprika, serve and enjoy!

Cucumber Salad

1 cucumber
1 T coarse sea salt or kosher salt
½ C sour creambunch of fresh herb, snipped with scissors (original recipe uses chives)
1 tsp sugar
Salt & pepper to taste

Slice the cucumber into thin rounds. Combine with the salt and let sit for about an hour. Rinse, press out what water you can, combine with the remaining ingredients, and serve.

Braised Garlic and String Beans
recipe from Bert Greene; serves 4

1 pound tender young beans, trimmed
3 T unsalted butter
4 to 5 large cloves garlic
1 tsp chopped fresh sage
1 T chopped fresh parsley
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cook the beans in boiling salted water until crisp-tender, about 1 ½ to 2 minutes. Rinse under cold running water until cool. Drain.

Melt the butter in a large skillet over low heat. Add the garlic cloves; cook, covered, until lightly golden and soft, 20 to 25 minutes. Do not let the butter burn. Remove the cover and mash the garlic with a fork until well mixed with the butter.

Add the beans to the skillet; toss over medium heat until warmed through. Add the sage, parsley, and salt and pepper to taste.

Tomato Salsa, a From Asparagus to Zucchini recipe

1 small onion
½ bell pepper
small bunch cilantro
3 minced garlic cloves
chile pepper to taste
1 T honey
salt to taste
1 ¾ pounds, peeled, fresh tomatoes

Process all ingredients except tomatoes in a food processor. Add peeled tomatoes. Process again, and it’s ready to eat. Will keep refrigerated 1 week. Does not freeze well. Makes about 2 cups.

Squash and Sausage Ratatouille
recipe from Bert Greene; serves 4

2 T olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
¾ pound sweet Italian sausage, sliced into 1/8” rounds
1 medium sized pepper, seeded, cut into thin rounds
1 T red wine vinegar
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-low heat. Add the onion; cook 1 minute. Add the garlic, cook 4 minutes more. Stir in the sausage slices. Cook, stirring frequently, until well browned, about 12 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the mixture to a plate.

Pour off all but 3 T fat from skillet (if not enough, add butter to compensate). Add the squash and pepper. Cook, tossing frequently, until tender, about 10 minutes.

Return the sausage mixture to the skillet, stirring well. Cook, covered over medium-high heat for 5 minutes. Remove the cover and sprinkle the mixture with the vinegar. Cook uncovered, stirring constantly, 3 minutes longer. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Monday, September 15, 2008

CSA News, Week 19

In Your Share . . .


Hard Neck Garlic – organic
So far this season, most of the garlic has had a mellow and not too pungent flavor. To get a stronger taste, mince or puree to release sulfuric compounds and oils. The longer you cook garlic; the flavor softens and even sweetens up. Store your whole garlic heads in a dry, cool, and even dark place for several weeks. Once broken into pieces, the cloves will not last quite as long. Don’t store refrigerated.

To Roast Garlic:
Position oven rack in center and preheat to 350F. Remove papery skin from head of garlic, taking care to leave the heads intact and the cloves covered. Slice ½ inch off the top to expose the cloves. Put head in a large piece of foil and drizzle with olive oil. Gather foil around the garlic and place in baking dish in case the oil leaks. Roast until garlic is completely soft and golden brown, 70-80 minutes. Let cool briefly and push garlic from skin.

Use as spread on bread or crackers; whisk into a salad dressing; stir into mashed potatoes or cooked veggies.

Fresh Cut Herbs, Scarborough Bundle – organic
This week’s fresh herb is a collection of Parsley (Italian Flat-Leaf), Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme. Use fresh or dry for later use.

To Dry Herbs:
Ideal temperature for drying is between 70-90 degrees F, not letting herb dry out too fast. Preferable is an airy, dark place, so that moisture can evaporate and oxidation is prevented that may change the flavor. To air dry, tie stems in small bunches and hang upside down in paper bags to keep dust-free.

To quickly oven dry, spread out in a single layer on flat pan with oven on lowest possible temperature and leave door ajar to let moisture escape.

To store dried herbs, first remove stem, seed chaff, or other material. Put into airtight jars or bags and store in dark area.

To Freeze Herbs:
Freeze a whole stem as is in a ziploc bag. Or, remove herb from stem, chop fresh, freeze in ice-cube tray with a little water. Once frozen, put cubes in other container ready to use one or two cubes in your recipes.

Pepper, Bell – organic

Potatoes – organic

Spaghetti Squash

Summer Squash

Red or Heirloom Tomato – organic

Recipes to Enjoy . . .

Bohemienne – French Eggplant
This dish from Béatrice Peltre comes from the south of France, where it's typically served as a side, or a spread on toasted rustic bread. In many ways, bohemienne is similar to ratatouille or caponata, except that bohemienne is an even simpler dish, requiring fewer ingredients and less time behind the stove.

2 medium eggplants, cut into ½ inch dice
1 T coarse sea salt, or to taste
5 tomatoes
3 T olive oil
1 onion, finely sliced
1 clove garlic, finely grated
2 sprigs fresh thyme
pepper, to taste
1 T chopped basil

1. In a colander, place the eggplants and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of salt. Toss and let rest for 30 minutes. This softens the flesh so they cook faster and removes any bitter juices.

2. Core the tomatoes. With the tip of a paring knife, make a 1-inch "x" at the bottom of each one. Place the tomatoes in a large heatproof bowl. Pour enough boiling water over them to cover them. Set aside for 10 seconds to loosen the skins. Drain the water. Peel off and discard the skins at the slits. Halve the tomatoes, squeeze the halves till the seeds pop out, and discard the seeds. Coarsely chop the flesh.

3. In a heavy-bottom casserole over medium heat, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, for 6 minutes or until it softens without browning. Add the garlic and thyme. Cook for 1 minute more.

4. Add the eggplant and cook, stirring, for 15 minutes. Add the tomatoes and continue cooking, stirring often and crushing the eggplant pieces with the back of a spoon, for 1 hour, so the texture resembles a coarse puree.

5. Remove the pan from the heat. Discard the thyme. Add pepper and basil. Taste for seasoning and add more salt, if you like.

Squash Casserole
Thanks to the CSA member who shared this delicious recipe, originally in a Southern Living magazine. Makes 8 servings.

2 ½ lbs yellow squash, sliced
¼ C butter
2 large eggs
¼ C mayonnaise
½ C chopped onion
2 tsp sugar
1 ½ tsp salt
½ C crackers, crushed, either Saltine or buttery
½ C shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

Cook squash, covered, in a small amount of boiling water 8 to 10 minutes or until tender; drain well. Combine squash and butter in a bowl; mash until butter melts. Stir in eggs, mayonnaise, onion, sugar and salt; spoon into a lightly greased shallow 2-quart baking dish. Sprinkle with crushed crackers. Bake at 325° for 30 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese; bake 5 more minutes or until cheese melts.

Roasted New Potato Salad
also a Southern Living recipe from 2004

2 T olive oil
2 pounds small potatoes, diced
½ medium-size sweet onion, chopped
2 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp coarse salt
½ tsp freshly ground pepper
8 to 10 cooked crisp bacon slices, crumbled
1 bunch green onions, chopped
¾ C prepared dressing (Ranch suggested)
Salt and pepper to taste

Place oil in a 15- x 10-inch pan; add potatoes and the next 4 ingredients, tossing to coat. Arrange potato mixture in a single layer. Bake at 425° for 30 to 35 minutes or until potatoes are tender, stirring occasionally. Transfer to a large bowl. Toss together potatoes, bacon, green onions, and dressing. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately or cover and chill until ready to serve.

Garlic-Rosemary Butter
adapted from Fine Cooking, yields ½ cup

2 large or 4 small garlic cloves
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
½ tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
8 T unsalted butter, at room temperature
freshly ground black pepper

Peel the garlic cloves, halve them lengthwise, coarsely chop. Sprinkle with 1 tsp salt. Using the flat side of a chef’s knife, smear and mash the garlic and salt together to form a smooth paste, making about 2 tsp paste. Transfer the paste to a small bowl; add lemon juice and rosemary. Stir to combine. Add the butter and mash together with a fork until completely incorporated. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Use immediately or shape into a log in wax paper or plastic wrap, twisting the ends like a sausage. Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Slow Food Nation

The Slow Food USA organization just concluded its three-day event in San Fransisco of workshops, tastings and food celebrations. With a wide range of both presenters and attendees from all over the country and other parts of the world, word is out that it stands out in sheer scale. Headliners included authors and chefs such as Michael Pollan, Wendell Berry, Alice Waters, and Eric Schlosser. The first “continental culinary congress” is considered a success. A delegation of Kentuckians including several artisian producers attended, so there should be some stories about locally soon. The local Slow Food Bluegrass chapter organizes happenings throughout the year in our region and maintains a calendar of food and farm related events. Visit the website to learn more and keep up-to-date.

As a member of the local Slow Food chapter, Elmwood has the opportunity to connect with consumers and chefs who are interested in choosing local foods, specialty items, and even heritage breeds of meat such as the turkeys we raise at the farm. Several years ago, Slow Food recognized the need to partner with the American Livestock Breeds Conservatory to further their mission of protecting genetic diversity in livestock species by protecting and promoting endangered breeds. It was recognized that to save the Bourbon Red, Royal Palm, and Slate turkey breeds from extinction, there needed to be a demand for farmers to continue to breed and raise them. The turkey breeds were added to the Slow Food Ark of Taste which is a catalog of over 200 delicious foods in danger of extinction.
In future news, we’ll share more about Elmwood’s heritage breed organic turkeys. Until then, visit the websites:

In Your Share
As share contents vary depending on your share size and day of the week your items are harvested, each share may not have each item listed below.

Brussels Sprouts – organic – new this week!
We agree with the author of the sprout recipe included below, forget boiling! Her golden-crusted version of sautéed sprouts will “turn around the most vigilant sprouts-hater.” Try not to overcook and eat soon after prepared. Store refrigerated until ready to prepare.

Hard Neck Garlic – organic

Okra - organic

Sweet Onion– organic

Pepper, Hot – organic
To save for later, you can air dry, or use a food dryer for the tiniest pepper. Others can be sliced and put into freezer bags raw.

Potatoes – organic
This week’s share includes the Cranberry All-Reds, a soft moist potato that can be all-purpose, but really shines when steamed, sautéed or au gratin. Look for streaks of pink color in the white interior. Store out of the light refrigerated.

Winter Squash – new this week!
You have Calabaza, known also as Cuban Squash or West Indian Pumpkin. It is edible, not decorative, and desired in Caribbean style cuisine. Store in your pantry up to 6-8 weeks. The flesh is bright orange and can be used in any recipe that calls for winter squash like butternut. Use care when slicing – use the largest butcher type knife that you have

Fresh Tarragon –in transition to organic
This fresh cut herb is wonderful with roasted chicken. Add to chicken salad for a tasty “mystery” ingredient. Find a new recipe below. Air dry for later use or refrigerate to use this week. Can be chopped and frozen as is.

Red or Heirloom Tomato – organic

Recipes to Enjoy

Fried Okra Salad
a Paula Deen recipe

1 ½ pounds fried okra (recipe below)

Oil for frying
2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
½ green bell pepper, diced
1 bunch green onions, diced
6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
½ C vegetable oil
¼ C sugar
¼ C distilled white vinegar

In a medium bowl, combine fried okra pieces, tomatoes, bell pepper, green onions and bacon. In a small saucepan, combine oil, sugar and vinegar. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently until sugar dissolves. Pour over okra mixture, tossing gently to coat. Serve immediately.

Ingredients below will make a lot of fried okra, you can reduce the oil and breading to meet your quantity on hand. To fry okra:
6 C oil, for frying

½ C cornmeal
1 C all-purpose flour
2 tsp Paula’s seasoning, recipe follows
¼ tsp cayenne pepper (if desired)
2 pounds fresh okra, sliced ½ inch thick
½ C buttermilk

Heat oil in a large, heavy-bottomed skillet to 350 degrees F. (You may not need to use this much oil; do not fill the pan more than halfway up the sides with oil.) In a medium bowl, combine cornmeal, flour, Paula’ seasonings, and cayenne pepper. Dip okra in buttermilk and then dredge in cornmeal-flour mixture to coat well. Carefully add okra to the hot oil, in batches as needed, and cook until golden brown. Remove from oil, drain on paper towels, and then serve immediately.

for Paula’s seasoning:

1 C salt
¼ C black pepper

¼ C garlic powder
Yield: 1 ½ C; Mix ingredients together and store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.

Golden Brussels Sprouts
recipe from; serves 4

24 small Brussels sprouts

1 T extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for rubbing
fine-grain sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
¼ C grated cheese of your choice

Wash the sprouts well. Trim the stem ends and remove any raggy outer leaves. Cut in half from stem to top and gently rub each half with olive oil, keeping it intact (or if you are lazy just toss them in a bowl with a glug of olive oil). Heat 1 T of olive oil in your largest skillet over medium heat. Don’t overheat the skillet, or the outsides of the sprouts will cook too quickly. Place the sprouts in the pan flat side down (single-layer), sprinkle with a couple pinches of salt, cover, and cook for roughly 5 minutes; the bottoms of the sprouts should only show a hint of browning. Cut into or taste one of the sprouts to gauge whether they’re tender throughout. If not, cover and cook for a few more minutes.

Once just tender, uncover, turn up the heat, and cook until the flat sides are deep brown and caramelized. Use a metal spatula to toss them once or twice to get some browning on the rounded side. Season with more salt, a few grinds of pepper, and a dusting of grated cheese. Parmesan is recommended for a light dish; try Gruyere or Gouda in colder weather. While you might be able to get away with keeping a platter of these warm in the oven for a few minutes, they are exponentially tastier if popped in your mouth immediately.

Mashed Calabaza Squash

the onion and cumin add a contrast to the sweetness of the squash

1 T vegetable oil
1 small onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves (minced
1/4 tsp cumin seed
2 C calabaza squash or butternut squash (chopped 1 inch pieces)
salt (to taste) (optional)

Heat oil in a saucepan and fry onions until translucent. Add garlic and fry until light golden brown. Add cumin seeds and fry until they begin to pop and release their aroma. (About 30 seconds). Mix in the pumpkin and sauté for 1-2 minutes. Add ¼ C water. Cover and lower heat to med low. Cook for 10 - 20 minutes or until tender. Remove lid and mash squash with fork or potato masher until smooth. Add salt if using. If water is not yet absorbed, cover and simmer until water is absorbed. Remove pot from heat and serve as a side dish with rice or alone.

Braised Potatoes with Tarragon
adapted from July 2008 Gourmet, serves 4

1 ½ pound potatoes (peeled if desired)
1 ½ C water
3 T extra-virgin olive oil
1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
1-3 T chopped tarragon

Slice potatoes into long wedges. In a 10-inch skillet, bring potatoes, water, oil, garlic, ½ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp pepper to a simmer. Cover and briskly simmer, shaking skillet occasionally, until potatoes are tender, 10-12 minutes. Remove lid and cook, stirring gently, until moist of water has evaporated and potatoes are glazed, 1 to 2 minutes more. Stir in herbs.

Monday, September 1, 2008

News about local food

CSA, Week 17
Coming up at the end of this week is the Healthy Foods, Local Farms annual conference organized each year by the Sierra Club in Kentucky. This year it will be held in Louisville on Saturday with a Harvest Festival local food tasting on Friday night. Always offering compelling presentations from diverse speakers (KY’s own Wendell Berry is a favorite participant) the event brings together food consumers, farmers, environmenalists, faith-based organizations, policymakers, non-profit organizers, and educators. Topics vary from year to year, but ultimately the title of the event is always the focus—accessing healthy food grown on local farms. That access is easier now as almost every county in KY has a farmers market with local food items. Many farms (including Elmwood) participate in the WIC program and Senior program that gives vouchers to low income seniors and young mothers to spend on KY grown fruit and vegetables.

Changing a family’s food consump-tion from processed items purchased at a conventional grocery store chain to local produced foods, eating food that is in season where you live, food offered for sale at an independent food market or restaurant, and food items you grow yourself is more than just a simple choice – it does turn into a change in lifestyle. Not having all the ingredients in that recipe you saw on TV, having family members unwilling to try foods that are “different”, or not having enough time to think through your meal preparation are all real challenges.
Often, however, folks find surprising benefits if they get far enough into the lifestyle change. Examples are weight loss from including more vegetables and whole foods in the diet, healthier medical test results, quality family time as meals are prepared and eaten together, better food choices by the kids at school, and happier folks as a result of consciously eating nutritiously.

In Your Share
As always, your share may vary depending on pickup day and share size. Each share may not have each item listed below.

Sweet Basil - organic

Hard Neck Garlic – organic
The garlic will keep for you for several weeks. Store in the pantry or at room temperature.

Okra – organic

Sliced okra can be sautéed with diced tomatoes for a nice side dish. Try oven roasting whole okra -- put on baking sheet in single layer, drizzle with olive oil, roast at 375-400 until crisp. Batter and fry or oven roast for traditional Southern style fried okra. Until ready to use, store refrigerated.

Sweet Onion– organic
Not a storage onion like some, try to use your sweet onion fairly soon. Store refrigerated.

Bell Pepper, Sweet – organic

Pepper, Hot - organic

Potatoes – organic
Your potatoes will also keep for several weeks if stored refrigerated, and out of any light.

Yellow Squash

Swiss Chard –organic
Find a bunch of dark, rainbow leaf chard this week, a favorite. High in Vit. A, E, and C and iron and calcium, the minerals in chard are better absorbed than from other leafy greens like spinach. Store refrigerated and try to use within 2-4 days. Can be blanched quickly, drain-ed, and frozen in bags.

Green Tomato
To keep green, store in the refrigerator; if out on the counter, they will begin to ripen into a red or yellow.

Red or Heirloom Tomato – organic

Green Zucchini

Larger Shares:
Beans, Green – organic

Enjoy these heirloom beans grown from saved seed, not a variety that is available commercially. You do need to string them on both sides and break into bite-sized pieces before cooking. Simmer in plenty of water for an hour or more until the pods are soft and the beans cook through. Use your favorite seasonings or one of the following: olive oil, bacon grease, onion, bell pepper, hot pepper, or ham hock.

Recipes to Enjoy
Zucchini Strand Spaghetti, adapted from a Michael Chiarello recipe on the Food Network, serves 4
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

¾ pound whole-wheat dried spaghetti
¾ pound zucchini
¼ C olive oil
2 T minced garlic
½ tsp red pepper (either flakes, or a little less fresh)
3 T coarsely chopped fresh basil leaves
½ C grated Parmesan, plus a small piece

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add salt. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, about 10 minutes. While the water comes to a boil and the pasta cooks, cut the zucchini with the fine French-fry cutter on a mandolin, or cut by hand into the longest, finest julienne you can manage. Season with salt and pepper. If your zucchini is very finely cut, it does not need to be cooked. Otherwise, place in a colander, suspend over the pasta pot, cover the pot, and steam the zucchini until still slightly crunchy, about 2 minutes.

Heat ¼ cup of the olive oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add the garlic and sauté briefly until light brown. Turn on the exhaust fan and add the red pepper. Quickly mix in the basil and remove from the heat. When the pasta is al dente, drain through a colander, reserving about ½ cup of the pasta cooking water.
Pour the pasta into a warm serving bowl; add the zucchini, garlic mixture, and ½ cup of the cheese. Toss well, adding cooking water as needed to make a smooth sauce. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper, as needed. Grate about 2 tablespoons Parmesan over the top and serve at once.

Swiss Chard with Caramelized Onions and Pine Nuts

adapted from recipe published in Hearst Newspapers to serve 1 as a main dish, 2 as a side dish
1 T pine nuts

1/2 T olive oil
1 medium sweet onion, sliced thin
7 stalks of Swiss chard, stems & leaves
1 T golden raisins (optional)
1 T balsamic vinegarsalt and pepper

In a large saucepan over medium heat, toast the pine nuts until brown & fragrant. Set aside. In the same pan heat the oil & add the onion. Allow to cook until soft & golden brown, stirring frequently, about 10 minutes.

While the onions are cooking, separate the stems from the chard leaves. Chop the chard stems into 2 inch pieces & the leaves into 2-inch strip. Once the onions have cooked add the chard stems and raisins to the pan and cook for another 10-15 minutes until the stems are tender.

Add the chard leaves and cook until wilted down, about 5 minutes. In the last minute or so of cooking stir in the vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a serving dish and top with the reserved pine nuts.

Roasted Pepper Vinaigrette
This recipe works well for a salad dressing as well as a sauce for chicken or fish entrées.

Fresh peppers (roasted, skins and seeds removed)
1 C quality olive oil
1/3 C white vinegar
Juice of 1 fresh lemon
¼ C chopped fresh mixed herbs
1 tsp sugar
Salt & pepper to taste

In food processor or blender, combine all the ingredients and emulsify. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

To roast peppers:
Over a gas range top or outdoor grill, place fresh peppers directly onto the flame. Char the peppers all the way around each side; the pepper skins should turn black and blistered.

After the peppers are charred, place them in a paper bag and allow to steam for twenty minutes. Steam-ing allows the skins to be removed more easily. After the peppers have cooled, remove them from the bag and peel them. Consider wearing rubber gloves or coating hands in oil prior to peeling any hot peppers. Discard the seeds and the charred skins, remember to save the pepper juice, it has a lot of flavor. Store refrigerated or can be frozen for later use.

You can also roast peppers in the oven, lightly oiled on a sheet pan. Roasting peppers in the oven works well if you do not have a gas range, but the end result is not quite as good. You can roast almost any pepper using this same method.

Baked Green Tomatoes Thanks to a CSA member for sharing this recipe. She says to enjoy the taste of fried tomatoes without the fat!

1 C cornmeal
1 tbsp dried dill weed
Salt & Pepper to taste
5 medium green tomatoes, thinly sliced

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly grease a medium baking sheet. In small bowl, mix the cornmeal, dill, salt and pepper. Dip tomato slices into the mixture, coating both sides. Arrange coated slices in a single layer on baking sheet. Bake 45 minutes in preheated oven until crisp and golden brown.

Squash Fritters recipe shared by Wash House Herb Farm in Stamping Ground, Kentucky

3 T vegetable oil, divided

1 egg, beaten

2/3 C milk

½ C self-rising cornmeal

1 C packed grated yellow squash or zucchini

2 T grated onion

2 T sour cream

2 T finely shredded Parmesan cheese

¼ tsp cayenne pepper

½ teaspoon salt

¼ tsp black pepper

prepared salsa

Combine 2 T oil, egg, milk, cornmeal, squash, onion, sour cream, cheese, cayenne, salt and pepper; mix well. Add additional milk for a thinner consistency or another tablespoon of cornmeal if batter is too runny. Heat remaining oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Spoon ¼ C batter per fritter on first side and 2 minutes on second side. Repeat with remaining batter. Serve with salsa. Serves 4 as an entrée or 8 as a side dish. Makes a great appetizer.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Week 16, CSA News

News from the Farm
We do need to give you a more detailed picture of the dry conditions we are facing now at the farm. Although discussions of rainfall are bantered about, we have not had close to the average amount for this August. In fact, it is on track to be one of the four or five most dry Augusts since they started keeping records in this area. Last season’s summer drought finally had a little bit of reprieve beginning in August 2007 – this year we are experiencing the opposite: spring and early summer rains as expected, but hot and dry for the past 6 weeks. Maybe this week will bring rain.

Several of the bean crops reflect the dry conditions. Only 15% of the edamame was harvestable as it dried up over a three day period last week – we planned on more for you this week also. The snap and runner beans have shucky pods, and while edible, are not the quality desired. Once the pod is set and the beans begin to fill out, irrigation cannot battle against the hot, dry air conditions and high humidity. We do have several dry bean varieties planted that we hope can be harvested in the next few weeks. Since they will be shelled out, the dry pod is not as big of a problem as with a snap bean.

We are continuing irrigation on most summer vegetables, including the tomatoes, squashes, and eggplant. The night temperatures into the 50s in early August did slow some ripening and plant growth on the current crops. However, fall tomatoes and cucumbers look good and should set fruit in September. We have been running the irrigation pump nonstop the last 9-10 days to support successful germination of the fall greens and root veggies. A good rainfall this week is needed to get them off to a good start and help the transplants get established. We also set up an overhead irrigation gun in order to dig potatoes. The late sweet corn is dependent on rain this week to get a harvestable crop.

We are using forks and shovels to dig the root crops, and are pleased their growth has continued. One benefit of dry conditions is that natural sugars are concentrated resulting in a sweeter fruit or vegetable.

In Your Share
Share contents may vary depending on the harvest day and share size. Every share may not have every item listed below.

Beets, Red – organic
You may want to use your beet greens fairly soon, but the roots will store for several weeks if desired. Recent news stories are reporting on the exceptional health benefits of beets with loads of anti-oxidants and few calories. Find a new recipe below using the whole beet.

Carrots, Golden – organic
This week’s carrots offer a little more sweetness than earlier plantings due to dry soil conditions. High in beta carotene and Vit. A, carrots can be eaten raw or cooked. A small thin fresh carrot should be eaten soon and will not store as long as the thick types.

Hard Neck Garlic – organic

Leeks – organic – new this week!
Another vegetable full of minerals (calcium and phosphorus) and Vit. A, leeks are low in calories. Use the lower green part along with the white stalk and be sure to wash well as soil may hide inside the fan leaves. Slice lengthwise if desired rather than across. Leeks often partner with potatoes in soups or in egg dishes. Store refrigerated up to 2 weeks or more. Find a new recipe below.

Okra - organic

Sweet Onion – organic

Bell Pepper, Sweet – organic
Some green peppers will turn red, some yellow, some orange depending on what variety is planted. As it turns color, the flavor is less tart and sweeter. The long time it takes to do this & the halting of growth of more peppers by the plant are some reasons why sweet color bells are so costly. The purple and chocolate bells grow as such colors and will be sweet, but not as sweet as a yellow, orange, or red pepper that started out green. You can use the different color peppers interchangeably in recipes calling for green bell or red bell. Store refrigerated.

Pepper, Hot - organic
We are finding that many of the long red chiles are just not that hot right now. However, the variety usually is medium heat, so don’t assume they all are sweet like bell peppers. The green chiles do have heat.

Potatoes – organic
This week’s potato is the Rote Erstling variety, a creamy mid-dry potato. The rosy skin covers a yellowy gold flesh that can be used for all purposes, however, it is best when steamed, baked or in creamy soups.

Spaghetti Squash – new this week!
Store this hard-skinned squash in a cool, dry place with good ventilation (does not need to be refrigerated). It will keep for a month or more. This yellowy-orange squash will have flesh similar to spaghetti pasta once cooked. Find details on preparing below. Once baked, you can serve with butter, or pesto, or any favorite sauce.

Red or Heirloom Slicing or Salad Tomato – organic

Yellow Squash and Green Zucchini

Watermelon, Seedless – new this week!

For those picking up at the farm this week --
Specialty Melon, the variety a mystery . . .
Help in a farm research project with the University of Kentucky and Elmwood. Several different melons are planted in a trial that measures both production qualities such as disease resistance and yield, and marketability qualities such as flavor, taste and storage attributes. If you want to give us feedback on your melon, just send an email describing the rind outside color, flesh color inside, and size (like a grapefruit or a softball, bigger than our watermelon this week, looks just like a traditional cantaloupe). We can identify it from there. Share your comments on taste and flavor -- positive or not. So far we have a favorite or two, and a couple of so-so’s, but we welcome your opinions too.

Recipes to Enjoy

Spaghetti Squash with Sausage
adapted from recipe originally in Bon Appetite, Sept 1998; can be adjusted for different size squashes, this recipe makes 4 servings.

1 spaghetti squash (3-4 lb), halved lengthwise, seeded
1 pound sausage (spicy or sweet, or use ground beef, or ground turkey; use mushrooms or eggplant rather than meat if desired)
1 C chopped bell pepper
1 C chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1½ C marinara sauce
½ C grated Parmesan cheese

Place squash halves face down in ovenproof baking dish, add a little water to keep from sticking and bake at 375 F for 45-60 minutes until done.

Meanwhile, sauté sausage, pepper, onion and garlic in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat until sausage browns and vegetables are tender, breaking up sausage with back of spoon, about 12 minutes. Mix in marinara sauce.
Using fork, pull out squash strands from shells. Mix squash strands into sausage mixture. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover; refrigerate.)

Preheat oven to 400°F. Arrange mixture in ovenproof dish. Sprinkle with Parmesan. Bake uncovered until heated through, about 20-25 minutes (30 minutes if previously chilled).
Original recipe suggested putting mixture back into squash shells before baking which makes for a nice presentation, but usually they tend to fall apart.

Two Way Street Beets
Recipe from From Asparagus to Zucchini; can be easily adjusted for smaller number of servings.

2 bunches small beets
juice of 1 orange
1 T butter, softened
1 tsp peanut oil
1 tsp dark sesame oil
1 tsp hot chili oil
1-2 T soy sauce

Cut beets off stems. Gently scrub beets. Wash the greens. Cut stems into 3 inch pieces and coarsely chop the greens; set aside stems and greens in separate piles. Steam beets until tender, 20 –30 minutes. Cool briefly, slip off skins, and cut into wedges. Toss with orange juice, butter and pepper to taste; cover and keep warm. Meanwhile, heat heavy skillet over medium flame. Add oils. Add stems; sauté 2-3 minutes. Add greens; cook, tossing often, until limp. Toss in soy sauce and pepper to taste. Arrange beets over greens on platter. Makes 6 servings.

Savory Goat Cheese Tart with Leeks
From Deborah Madison’s Local Flavors

1 9-inch prebaked Tart Shell
6 slender leeks (or less larger ones)
1 T unsalted butter
6 ounces goat cheese
1 large egg
½ C crème fraiche
½ C milk
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tsp chopped thyme leaves

Preheat oven to 400 F. keep the prebaked tart shell on its baking dish. Slice the leeks into thin rounds, separate them, and wash them well in a bowl of water. Lift them into a strainer. Melt the butter in a medium skillet, add the leeks with any water clinging to them, and cook over medium heat until tender, 10-12 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Beat the goat cheese with the egg until fairly smooth, then stir in the milk, crème fraiche, pinch of salt, and a little pepper. Pour the custard into the shell and bake until golden and puffed, about 30 minutes. Scatter the thyme leaves over the top. Remove the tart from the pan and transfer to a serving platter. Serve warm.

Double Chocolate Zucchini Cake
Recipe from From Asparagus to Zucchini

¾ C oil
1 ¼ C sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 C grated zucchini
½ C sour milk or buttermilk
3 T cocoa
½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp each cinnamon and cloves
2 ½ C flour
small bag of chocolate chips

Heat oven to 350 degrees F; grease a 9 x 13 inch pan. Mix all ingredients and bake 30-35 minutes. Makes 16 servings.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Week 15, CSA

News from the Farm . . .

While some CSA members are making plans for seasonal vacations, others are back into the routines of school schedules. The cooler temperatures this August push us all to think a little about fall, but from the perspecitve of the growing potential on the farm, we are really just about halfway through the year. Continuous producing summer veggies like tomatoes and squash have been coming ripe for havest almost two full months. Items that have a one-time harvest like cabbage, onions, and sweet corn had somewhat good growing conditions. We still have several items that take the whole summer to reach maturity like Brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes. Other items prefer the shorter, cooler days of autumn for their primary growth and harvest.

The summer season CSA goes through the week of October 6th. We also offer a shorter season Fall CSA that runs late October through mid-December. Shares are expected to contain some combination of cooking greens such as kale and collard; salad greens; root crops such as turnips, radishes and beets; and storage items such as potatoes and winter squashes. We offer only one share size and cannot offer credit for canceled pickups during the fall season. Harvest and pickup is every second week: 5 pickups over a 10 week period. Some members are already signed up, and we are offering another signup period now to our current CSA membership, then available to the general public if we still have availability. Please contact us by email, or phone, and we can share all the details.

In Your Share . . .
As always, items in the shares may vary depending on your share size and harvest day. Each share may not have each item listed below.

Edamame – organic
Find a share of this popular soybean in your basket this week. Do not use the shell beans raw. Pull from the vine, wash, and put the pods into boiling, salted water. Cook 5-8 minutes. After drain-ing water, you may salt or season as desired. Pop beans out of the pod into your mouth for a healthy snack.


Hard Neck Garlic – organic

Herbs, Mixed – organic
This week’s fresh herb can be called the Scarborough Mix – Sage, Rosemary and Thyme. Chop into salads, soups, add to potatoes, pastas, with meat or fish, and in some recipes below.

Okra - organic

Cipolline Onions – organic

These pungent, deliciously sweet onions should be the stars of a meal. A favorite of chefs everywhere, these flat onions will store a little while for you if you need them to. Find a new recipe below, or sauté with your fresh herbs and 2-3 T butter on low heat for 20 minutes or so until they begin to brown and caramelize.

Bell Peppers – organic

Some green peppers will turn red, some yellow, some orange - it depends on what variety is planted. As a bell turns color, the flavor becomes sweeter, less tart. The long time it takes to do this and the halting of growing more peppers by the plant are some reasons why sweet color bells are so costly to grow.

Chile Peppers – organic
Your share contains a small assortment of barely-hot green or red chiles up to somewhat-hot jalapeno or poblano peppers. In this week’s harvest, the larger the pepper, the more mild its flavor. Chop fresh with onion, tomato, garlic for a nice pico de gallo; roast the long chiles on an open flame and peel the skin to enjoy fresh roasted pepper; you can carefully remove the seeds from the smaller peppers, then throw in the freezer for later use.

Potatoes – organic
This week’s potato is the Rose Gold or Rote Erstling variety, a creamy mid-dry potato. The rosy skin covers a yellowy gold flesh that can be used for most all purposes, however, it is best when steamed, baked or for creamy soups. Remember to store all your organic potatoes refrigerated, out of the light (in a container or paper bag) to prevent the skin from turning green. If this happens, just cut out that portion.

Yellow Squash

Roma Tomatoes – organic
A few of the roma paste-type of tomatoes are included in your share this week. Used to make sauce, salsa, ketchup, marinara, or for freezing or canning, the roma type tomatoes are more meaty with less seeds.

Heirloom Salad Tomatoes, Red Slicing Tomato – organic
A good week to make fresh salsa or pico de gallo. (See July 07 news for recipes).

Green Zucchini

Recipes to Enjoy . . .

Cipolline with Bay Leaf and Golden Raisins
recipe serves 4, from July 2008 issue of Gourmet, can be adapted for other favorite fresh herbs

¼ C golden raisins
1 T sugar
1 T unsalted butter
¾ lb cipolline onions, peeled
1/3 C dry white wine
½ fresh or dried bay leaf

Soak raisins in hot water until ready to use. Cut out a 10 inch round of parchment paper. Heat sugar in center of 10 inch skillet over medium heat until it starts to melt. Cook, tilting skillet occasionally so sugar melts evenly, until golden brown. Stir in butter, then add onions, and cook, stirring occasionally, until they begin to brown, about 3 minutes. Add wine, bay leaf, ¼ tsp each of salt and pepper, and drained raisins. Reduce heat to low, cover with parchment and lid. Gently simmer, shaking skillet occasionally, until onions are tender, 18 to 20 minutes. Remove lid and parchment, then simmer, stirring occasionally until liquid is reduced to a glaze, about 3 minutes. Discard bay leaf. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Crispy Sage Leaves

from Mollie Katzen’s The Vegetable Dishes I Can’t Live Without
Her Notes: You must pay very close attention for just a few seconds or you will burn the leaves. Try cooking the first leaf or two until you see how fast they go. Different stoves and pans make this an imprecise act.

1 T extra virgin olive oil (or as needed)
16-20 large, fresh sage leaves, washed and carefully patted dry.

Line a plate with several layers of paper towels and set aside. Place a small skillet over medium heat. After about a minute, add 1 to 2 tsp olive oil, enough to generously coat the bottom of the pan. Add 3 to 4 sage leaves, gently pressing them flat with a fork or the back of a spoon. Cook them for only 5 to 7 seconds, then use tongs to carefully flip over. Cook for about 5 seconds on the other side, or until they turn bright green with no hint of browning. Quickly transfer to the plate, they will crispen as they cool. Repeat with remaining leaves, adding more oil as needed. Store in a jar at room temperature for a week or more. Use as a topping on quiche, pasta, potatoes.

Baked Eggs in Tomato Cups
recipe from Vegetarian Times Issue: September 2006

8 large tomatoes (for 8 servings)
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
8 medium eggs
1 tsp. dried herbs, such as oregano, chervil, basil or sage (can use freshly chopped)

Preheat oven to 425F. Slice tops off tomatoes and scoop out seeds and pulp. Place tomatoes in shallow baking dish, and sprinkle cavities with salt, pepper and pinches of cheese.

Crack one egg into each tomato. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, herbs and remaining cheese. Bake 20 minutes for soft yolks, 30 to 35 minutes for hard yolks. Serve immediately.

Stuffed Zucchini
Thanks to a CSA member for sharing this easy and tasty recipe. It makes enough to serve 8.
4 medium zucchini
¾ C chopped tomato
1/3 C chopped green pepper
¼ C chopped onion
¼ t salt
¼ t dried whole basil
1/3 C extra sharp cheddar cheese

Wash squash; place in saucepan with water to cover and bring to boil. Cover; reduce heat and simmer 8 minutes or until tender but still firm. Drain and cool to touch. Cut squash in half lengthwise; remove and reserve pulp, leaving firm shell.
Chop pulp, combine pulp and next 5 ingredients. Place squash shells in a baking dish. Spoon vegetable mixture into shells. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese and bake additional 5 minutes.

Monday, August 11, 2008

CSA, Week 14

In Your Share
Depending on your harvest day and share size, items may vary. Every share may not have every item listed below.

Sweet Basil- organic
All three recipes this week can use fresh basil, but we have to admit our favorite is to serve with mozzarella and fresh tomatoes on a platter drizzled with your favorite dressing.

Sweet Corn
We found more ears in our latest block of corn, so you have a few more included this week. A little smaller and fatter, they have wonderful flavor. If you are tired of eating it off the cob, find a new recipe below including fresh corn.

The larger shares may have Asian style eggplant that can be used in recipes as any traditional globed one. With a slender shape, the moisture evaporates fast, so keep refrigerated and try to use within 4-5 days. It is not necessary to peel as it has a thinner skin, and may have smaller seeds.

Hard Neck Garlic – organic

Bell Pepper – organic

Potatoes – organic
This week’s potato share is a mix of several gold varieties. Moister than last week’s dry, white variety, these will hold their shape when cooked, and are good for soups, stews, potato salad, or boiled. There is no need to peel as the skin is tender and adds beneficial nutrition also.

Yellow Squash

Heirloom Slicing Tomato, Heirloom Salad Tomatoes, Red Slicing Tomato – organic

Green Zucchini

Recipes to Enjoy

Rock Shrimp and Fresh Summer Vegetable Bowtie Pasta
Our thanks for this yummy recipe shared by a CSA member. She found it on the website of Bob and Sheri’s radio program and reports that it is spectacular! It also matches up really well with the contents of this week’s share. Serves 8.

1 lb. farfalle pasta
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 lb. rock shrimp, cleaned
3 tomatoes, diced
2 ears corn, kernels cut from cob
2 medium-sized zucchini, diced small
2 medium-sized squash, diced small
1 cup frozen peas
1 bunch basil, chopped
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
4 Tbsp. butter, softened
½ cup parmigiano-reggiano, grated
Kosher salt

In a large pot, bring 6 quarts of water to a boil. Add 2 Tbsp. salt and pasta. Stir immediately. Cook until pasta is al dente (approximately 9 to 12 minutes).

Meanwhile, heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and garlic. Cook until the garlic is golden brown. Add the rock shrimp and sprinkle with salt. Cook for 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook for 1 minute more. Remove from heat and place mixture in a large bowl.

Using a slotted spoon, remove pasta from water and add to bowl with shrimp. Add the corn, zucchini, squash and peas to pasta water and cook for 3 minutes. Drain vegetables and add to bowl with pasta and shrimp. Add basil, lemon zest, lemon juice and butter. Stir gently and season to taste.

Ratatouille Makes 8 servings.

2 - 3 eggplant (approx. 1-1+1/2 pounds)
1/3 C olive oil
1 onion
2 cloves garlic
1/2 C whole pitted black olives (optional)
4 green bell peppers
2 medium zucchini
2 medium yellow squash
4 medium tomatoes
olive oil
2 tsp chopped fresh basil

Peel and slice eggplant. Lay out slices, salt & let drain on a rack or paper towels to rid of excess of moisture (this step is less important when using very fresh eggplant).
Put olive oil in large pan. Add thinly sliced onion and garlic, and sauté. Seed and julienne bell peppers. Slice zucchini and squash into 1/2 inch slices. Skin, seed, & quarter tomatoes. Add olives, peppers, zucchini, squash, & tomatoes to pan. Dice drained eggplant and add to pan. Sprinkle mixture with olive oil and chopped basil. Cover and simmer over very low heat for 45 minutes. Uncover and simmer 15 minutes to reduce the amount of liquid. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Herbed Summer Squash and Potato Torte with Parmesan
This recipe is shared by a CSA member who first found it on She has made it several times, sometimes substituting zucchini for squash and once with basil rather than thyme. She says it is very easy and a forgiving recipe – great for experimenting. Makes 8 servings.

1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled, cut into 1/8-inch-thick rounds
12 ounces yellow crookneck squash, cut into 1/8-inch-thick rounds
6 teaspoons olive oil

Preheat oven to 375°F. Butter two 8-inch-diameter cake pans. Set aside 1/4 cup sliced green onions. Toss remaining green onions, cheese, flour, thyme, salt and pepper in medium bowl to blend.

Layer 1/6 of potatoes in concentric circles in bottom of 1 prepared pan, overlapping slightly. Layer 1/4 of squash in concentric circles atop potatoes. Drizzle with 1 teaspoon oil. Sprinkle with 1/6 of cheese mixture. Repeat with 1/6 of potatoes, then 1/4 of squash and 1 teaspoon oil. Sprinkle with 1/6 of cheese mixture. Top with 1/6 of potatoes. Drizzle with 1 teaspoon oil. Sprinkle with 1/6 of cheese mixture and press gently to flatten. Repeat procedure with second cake pan and remaining potatoes, squash, oil, and cheese mixture.

Cover pans with foil. Bake until potatoes are almost tender, about 40 minutes. Remove foil; bake uncovered until tortes begin to brown and potatoes are tender, about 25 minutes longer. (Can be made 6 hours ahead. Cool. Cover with foil and chill. Rewarm, covered with foil, in 350°F oven until heated through, about 30 minutes.)
Cut each torte into wedges. Sprinkle wedges with 1/4 cup green onions; serve.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Week 13, CSA News

News from the farm . . .

It should be obvious after the last few weeks that this is the time of year that your shares are overloaded. Several of the items will keep in your refrigerator or pantry, so don’t feel overwhelmed to use that last clove of garlic or make that cabbage cole slaw right away. It is also a good time in the season to take a few extra minutes and put some extras away in the freezer. Corn and tomatoes can be blanched in hot water, put into an ice bath to stop cooking, and then put into a freezer bag whole, as is. Or, you can cut the corn off the cob first and remove the skins of the tomatoes if you have a few more minutes. We are happy to offer you tips, however, it seems that you can find a recipe or preparation technique for almost every combination of food on the internet. A quick search will pull up popular websites or listserves with very detailed recipes. Just let us know if you need some references.

We did get over 1 inch of rain last week and it was very much needed. We have been fortunate this season compared to last with good spring rains that allowed us to get through May and June with better plant growth and vegetable production. July did turn a little more dry and hot, but it seems that only a few items have been affected so far – beans began to fill out about the same time the pods began drying; our last two sweet corn plantings began kernel development when their only water source was overhead irrigation resulting in a little irregularity in appearance; we had to irrigate the potato field in order to begin digging as the soil was so dry.

As harvesting, cultivation, and irrigation continue, planting is also underway for the fall crops. Some items were planted in the spring, as they have a long growing season and are not ready until fall, while others prefer a cooler climate and will not grow until air and soil temperatures drop. Generally things look good!

In your share . . .
Items in the shares may vary depending on share size and harvest day. Every share may not have every item listed below.

Heirloom Green Beans – organic – new this week!
These fat runner beans are an heirloom variety and the seed is saved from year to year for replanting. This first harvest of the season should offer enough to prepare a small bean side dish. Store in the fridge, and be sure to allow time to remove the strings and break before cooking. Start at one end, pulling the string down one side completely; also remove the string from the other side. When breaking into bite-sized pieces, check for an additional hidden string. Any white pod that may be tough can be discarded and the shelled beans added to your pot. Be sure to simmer in water long enough until tender, 1 to 1 ½ hours depending on quantity.

Savoy Cabbage – organic

Sweet Corn

This week’s harvest is a white kernel variety, but there may be some bi-color ears in the patch. We did see some cross-pollination in the first few rows. Either way, we think it is one of the best tasting of the season. After having corn for four straight weeks, you will have a break for a while as the next planting is a few weeks away from harvest.

Hard Neck Garlic – organic

Eggplant or Asian Eggplant

Your Asian style eggplant or any various color eggplant can be used in recipes as any traditional dark globed eggplant. With a slender shape, moisture evaporates quickly from the Asian, so keep refrigerated and try to use within 4-5 days. It is not necessary to peel as it has a thinner skin, and you should find smaller seed. White and rose color skins are not as bitter as the darker purples. Popular ways to prepare include halving lengthwise and grilling.

Sweet Mild Onion – organic

Yellow Onion - organic

Okra - organic - new this week!
Okra is an item often found on a traditional KY summer menu. Sliced into bite-sized pieces, lightly rolled in corn meal and cooked in oil, it makes a nice addition to other summer veggies. Other options include heating with tomatoes and fresh corn into a succotash-type dish. Store refrigerated and use fairly soon to keep longer spears from be-coming tough.

Bell Pepper – organic
The purple or brown bell peppers are varieties that ripen earlier than other colors. They both tend to be less tart than a green pepper, and not quite as sweet as the red bell. You can use in any dish that asks for a green bell and store refrigerated.

Potatoes – organic – new this week!
This week’s share includes the Russet potato variety called Butte. As you probably know, different potatoes have different qualities, some moist, some dry, some firm, some waxy, all differing in amount of starch. Butte is a mealy dry potato with outstanding flavor and is best baked, mashed or fried. When baked, it will be fluffy rather than firm. It can also be boiled, but will tend to fall apart and not hold its shape as well as other varieties. As a freshly dug new potato, store refrigerated.

Sage – organic – new this week!
This week’s fresh cut herb is the soft leafed gray-green pleasant smelling Sage. Use leaves fresh or dried with meat dishes of all kind, in stuffing, marinade, fish, cheese and as a complement to cabbage, carrots, corn, eggplant, potatoes, squash, tomatoes and eggs. Dry as any herb and store in airtight container -- the flavor will intense when dried. Serve with your fresh potatoes in a new recipe below.

Heirloom Slicing Tomato and Heirloom Salad Tomatoes – organic

Red Slicing Tomato - organic

Recipes to enjoy . . .

Cole Slaw
recipe from Virginia Celebrates

1 C finely chopped onion
1 C finely chopped green pepper
1 head cabbage, shredded
1 C sugar
1 C vinegar
¾ C vegetable oil
1 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp celery seed
1 tsp salt

Combine onion, pepper and cabbage in large bowl. Combine rest of ingredients and bring to a boil. Pour hot dressing mixture over cabbage mixture. Cover well and refrigerate at least 4 hours. Keeps well for days, serves 8-10.

Thanks to a CSA member who recently found this recipe in her collection that she enjoyed making years ago. The pan-fried or grilled battercake can be frozen and eaten later, from the Tassajari Bread Book.

1/2 cabbage
1 large carrot
1/2 onion
3 celery stalks
1/2 C. cooked meat (if wanted)
2 C. (or more) flour (whole wheat or unbleached)
1 egg, beaten
2 T. brown sugar
1 t. salt
1 tall can evaporated milk
enough water to make a batter

Chop, shred, dice, or thinly slice vegetables and meat. Mix together remaining ingredients to form batter. Fold vegetables into batter and grill.
Good with soy sauce or sweet and sour sauce.

Sage and Butter Sauce
recipe from Farmer John’s Cookbook by John Peterson and Angelic Organics. This sauce can be tossed with pasta and seasoned with Parmesan cheese. Can go with cooked carrots & potatoes.

7 T butter
10 large fresh sage leaves
freshly ground black pepper

Melt the butter in a small sauté pan over medium heat. Monitor closely until the foam subsides and the color is a rich gold. Do not let the butter brown.
Add the sage leaves (they should sizzle, if not, your butter is not hot enough). Cook the leaves in the butter, turning them once, for 15 seconds. Immediately remove the skillet from the heat and serve.

Chilled Corn Soup
recipe from Gourmet, August 2008

3 ears of corn, shucked
1 medium onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
2 T unsalted butter
4 ½ C water

Cut kernels from cobs with a sharp knife, then cut cobs into thirds. Cook onion and garlic in butter with ¼ tsp salt in a large heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until onion is softeneed, about 5 minutes. Add corn AND cobs, water, 1 tsp salt, and ½ tsp pepper and simmer, uncovered 20 minutes. Discard cobs, then puree corn mixture in batches in a blender until very smooth. Force soup through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl, disarding solids. Chill until cold, at least 1 hour, can be chilled up to 3 days. Thin with water if desired and season with salt. Recommended garnish is chopped chives, but try chopped sage.