Tuesday, October 20, 2009

First Frost

No need to "stick your toe in to test the water." You know it is cold. The temperature reached down to 26 degrees early, early Sunday morning for the first frost (and freeze) of the season.

Monday, October 5, 2009

CSA News, Final Week 22

Thanks from the farm . . .

We want to give you our whole-hearted thanks for your commitment to Elmwood Stock Farm this year. Your partnership with the farm allows us to make plans in advance of the season of how much to grow, how much seed to purchase, how many employees to hire, and orga-nize a true business plan for the farm. This is so different from the unpredictability of sales at farmers markets and wholesale quantity produce markets.

Our belief is that the future of sustaining local, organic farming depends on the direct link from the farm and its products to you and other families making conscious choices to eat healthy and locally. By establishing a relationship with Elmwood through your commitment to share in its production, you are an extremely important partner in this locally-focused community food system. Thank you for the work on your part to pick up your share each week, make time to prepare healthy dishes from whole foods, and even sharing news about the program with friends and neighbors. We will continue to work as hard as we can to grow good food, choose tasty varieties, negotiate challenging weather, and get items to you as clean and fresh as we can!

● Elmwood Stock Farm will continue to attend the Saturday farmers market in downtown Lexington through Thanksgiving, and the Southland Drive Sunday market through Nov. 1 -- we hope to see you there (you can return your boxes or baskets!) We also attend the indoor market, Victorian Square, Lexington, the first Saturday morning of the winter months (Dec, Jan, Feb, Mar) with a few winter veggies, fresh eggs, and organic meats. You can always contact the farm to stock up on items for the pantry or freezer.

● If you are interested in the Fall CSA (Oct-Dec), please visit the website homepage to review details and contact the farm about the few shares that remain.

● We survey our membership each season to help us improve our CSA program. Some things we cannot change (like a warmer climate to grow olives or figs in KY), but we always appreciate your time in sharing your comments. A survey is being sent by email this week – if you need a paper copy mailed, please let us know.

● We are taking signups for our Heritage breed Certified Organic Turkeys. Please visit our website for information on our pastured poultry and contact the farm for details on reserving your holiday season organic heritage turkey.

● After we evaluate records of this year’s production and make any necessary changes, we can open the signup for the 2010 CSA season. You, our current members will get first opportunity to renew your share with the farm. Look for an email this winter!

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

Beets – organic
We harvested a mixture of Heirloom Chioggia (pink outside, pink and white striped on the inside), Dark Red Beets, Golden Beets, and some Sweet White Beets. They all can be cooked whole, steamed, sautéed, oven-roasted, or pickled.

Roasting brings out a sweet flavor enjoyed by folks who think they don’t care for beets. Refrigerate the beetroots several weeks if desired, but cut off the tops 1-2 inches just above the root for long-time storage. The greens should be used fairly soon, are desirable as a mild salad or cooking green. You can substitute the beet greens in any recipe calling for spinach or Swiss chard. We’ve shared several recipes this season, but find a new recipe below.

Brussels Sprouts – organic
Fresh sprouts have so much flavor and can be prepared various ways. Store refrigerated and try to use within a few days for the tenderest results. As a result of all the rainfall and cloudy days, you will need to remove any loose or discolored leaves from the little sprouts. The easiest way to do this is to slice off the elongated stem. A few of the outer leaves will then fall away more easily. Depending on your preparation technique, you can then score an “x” in the bottom of the larger sprouts for faster and more even cooking.

Cabbage, Green – organic
Enjoy one more share of little green cabbage heads this week. You can sauté, steam, or use in soups. Will store refrigerated for several weeks.

Celery – organic
You may recall from earlier in the season that flavorful celery can be the star of your meal. Visit the blog for soup recipe 8-27-07.

These late cucumbers seemed to have survived the colder temperatures (38 last week, 39 on Sunday night) without damage to flavor or appearance. Have you made Benedictine spread this season? Or, try a sweet salad with the new recipe below. Store refrigerated.

Garlic - organic

Garlic Powder – organic
Included this week is a little packet of our own garlic powder made from our organic hard neck garlic bulbs. We peeled, dried, and ground the cloves into a flavorful powder. Enjoy!

Peppers, Bell

Potatoes – organic
These all-purpose golden potatoes will keep for you if you desire (refrigerated and out of light is best). They hold their shape when cooked and also make great masked potatoes.

Radishes, Spanish Black – organic
Many varieties of radishes are well-liked in Europe and grown all over. Most popular are sandwiches made with thinly sliced breakfast radishes and good butter with freshly baked bread. You can enjoy yours many ways and know that they are interchangeable in most recipes. Have you seen something you want to try that calls for a Daikon radish? Substitute instead. You might want to peel the skin before pre-paring. They will keep in the crisper for weeks.

The greens are also edible and can by used in soups, stews, stir-fry; a great source of Vits. A, C, B and helps to cleanse your blood.

Radishes - organic
Add these Easter Egg and French Breakfast baby radishes to your fresh cucumber salad. You can also oven roast with other root vegetables – peeling the skin is optional. Store refrigerated and don’t forget to throw your radish tops in with your beet greens to get the most nutritional benefit of this healthy item.

Raspberries - organic

Squash, Acorn
This item will keep well for you, no need to refrigerate until you cut into it. We’ve included a recipe below that has proved quite popular over the years – you may have seen different versions, but it still remains a tried and true favorite!

Squash, Spaghetti

Squash, Yellow Summer

Turnips, Purple Top White - organic

Recipes to Enjoy . . .

Pickled Beets, a Martha Stewart recipe

2 to 3 red or golden beets
1 Thai chile pepper (optional)
1 C rice vinegar
¼ C sugar
1 bay leaf
½ tsp black peppercorns

Slice beets thinly and transfer to a jar. Split chile in half. Bring chile and remaining ingredients to a boil in a small saucepan. Pour hot mixture over beets. Seal jar, and refrigerate. Beets will keep for 1 month.

Stewed Beet Greens, a Martha Stewart recipe

Reserved beet stems and green from pickled beets
2 T olive oil
1 small onion, coarsely chopped
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 tsp coarse salt
¼ tsp freshly ground pepper
1T fresh lemon juice

Thinly slice beet stems, rinse well and drain. Coarsely chop beet greens, rinse well and drain. Recipe expects 3 cups of stems and greens. Set aside.

Heat oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add onion; cook, stirring often until translucent and tender, about 5 minutes. Add garlic; cook 1 minute.

Raise heat to medium-high. Add beet stems; cook, stirring, until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat; season with salt and pepper. Stir in lemon juice, and serve.

Sweet Cucumber Salad Recipe
Thanks to a CSA member for sharing this tasty Cooks Garden recipe earlier this season.

2 cucumbers, thinly sliced
1/8 C rice wine vinegar
¼ C extra virgin olive oil
1 T sugar
1 T soy sauce
fresh ground black pepper, to taste
fresh chopped dill, as garnish

Thinly slice 2 cucumbers and place in bowl. Add in vinegar, olive oil, sugar, soy sauce, and pepper. Stir thoroughly to coat cucumbers. Garnish with dill. Allow to marinate an hour or more before serving.

Baked Acorn Squash with Apricot Preserves
internet recipe from allrecipes.com

1 acorn squash, halved and seeded
salt, to taste
2 tsp butter
3 T apricot preserves

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place squash halves cut side down in a baking dish. Fill the dish with water to a depth of ¼ inch. Bake 40 minutes in a preheated oven. Remove squash from oven and set oven to broil. Turn squash cut side up in dish and season lightly with salt. Place 1 tsp butter and 1 ½ T preserves in each squash half. Return to oven and broil 5 minutes or until butter is melted and squash is lightly browned.