Monday, October 1, 2012

Week 22, Last week of summer CSA


CSA: The Eating Seasons

Scene 1 - Summer Season

With the Autumnal equinox recently behind us, we are officially more than half way to the shortest day of the year. It is also the summer season’s last week of harvest and pick up. We have worked hard to provide you wholesome fruits and veggies for the past 22 weeks. Mother Nature seems to send some kind of character building challenge each year, this one was the hot dry spell in June, which we, and you, are still feeling the consequences of. We appreciate the kind words from many of you about how much you have been enjoying your weekly share. We also appreciate the great many of you that are our ambassadors in the community in support of our relationship, encouraging others to join, and expanding our capabilities.  Although we can predict some responses to our annual CSA member survey, we very much encourage you to respond with what you liked and what you would like to see differently next year. Look for the surveys coming to you by email the end of this week, we read every one.  Many of you are staying with us for the Fall Season Shares, the rest of you we hope to see at the farmers market.

Scene 2 – Fall Season

Monday morning’s harvest moon was adorned with a ring, known as a winter halo. Lore has it that the number of stars inside the ring is the number of days until a big season-changing storm will arrive. It was a little bit cloudy, but we’re going with 8. Eight stars, a storm in 8 days, we’ll see. Soon after, we will begin preparing for the Fall Season Shares. We have harvested potatoes, onions and garlic, while the sweet potatoes and winter squashes need to finish sizing up before we complete their harvest. The weather is good for the greens and root crops. We used to end the season not long after the first frost, but with your partnership longer into the year, we can now proudly say it takes lots of freezing weather to knock us out.  If you have signed up for fall, you should have received an email from us confirming details of your Fall Share.

Scene 3 – Winter Season

The offering for our Winter Share is coming into view as we have been preserving some of the harvest for many of you. The positive feedback from those that signed up for our inaugural season last winter has encouraged us to offer it again. There will be a Pantry share that consists of items like dry beans, cornmeal, marinara sauce, popcorn, salsa, etc.  The ‘freezer‘ portion of the Regular Vegetable share will have tomatoes, greens, broccoli, peppers, corn, etc. preserved in appropriate size bags for easy use. The recently planted greens, lettuces, and broccoli in the greenhouse are the headliners for the Regular Vegetable share to be accompanied by storage potatoes, sweet potatoes, and winter radishes including a cameo appearance from the watermelon radish. These shares will be available January thru March.
Scene 4 – All Seasons

We are always a little puzzled when people at the market ask us if we are going to be set up the following week or how long we are going to be there this fall.  Elmwood has not missed attending an official Lexington Farmers Market Saturday market in over 15 years. The streak continues this year as we will be downtown Lexington every Saturday, at Cheapside Park, until the Saturday before Thanksgiving and then in Victorian Square each Saturday in December, and all winter. We are not sure what the market’s Holiday schedule is yet. We will have meat and poultry, eggs, pantry items, and any veggies that are not needed for the Fall Share and Winter Shares, as the weather allows. The Southland Drive Sunday Market runs from 10am until 2pm through the end of October. 

Scene 5 – Turkey Season
We are taking sign-ups to reserve your Thanksgiving (or any time after that) turkey. The birds are sizing up nicely so get your name to us early to ensure you secure the size that is right for your plans. We are offering both the very special heritage breed, hatched from our breeding flock, and the traditional broad breasted, raised on pasture, as they should be, all Certified Organic.

Closing Scene – Eating Season
This being the last week of the summer season, we want to make sure you know that we greatly appreciate your support. Not just the financial commitment you made last spring, but the relationships we have developed.  Thank you for being a partner in Elmwood Stock Farm’s version of “The Eating Seasons.”

In Your Share

Beet – organic

Daikon Radish – organic


Lettuce – organic

Sweet Potato – organic

Bell Pepper – organic

French Breakfast Radish – organic

Tomato – organic

Purple Top White Turnip - organic

Celery – organic

Cilantro – organic

Garlic – organic

Sugar Snap Pea – organic

Raspberries - organic

Recipes to Enjoy

Sweet Potato & Black Bean Tacos with Cilantro Pesto recipe shared by The Wholesome Chef.
2 large sweet potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
2 T oil
1 T chipotle chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 T oil
1 small red onion, diced
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 T chili powder
½ tsp sea salt
½ lime juiced
2-3 C black beans, cooked
1 batch cilantro pesto
12 corn tortillas, warmed
1 large avocado, diced
cilantro to taste
lime wedges to taste
red pepper flakes

Toss the sweet potato and onion in the oil, chili powder and cumin, place on a baking sheet in a single layer and roast in a preheated 400F oven until tender, about 30-40 minutes. In a large bowl mix beans with the garlic, 1 T olive oil, salt, and lime. Toss with warm sweet potato mixture and set aside. To prepare tacos serve warm sweet potato mixture on a tortilla topped with pesto, avocado, fresh cilantro, lime, and red pepper flakes for garnish.

Cilantro Pesto
1 large handful of beet greens (or spinach or chard)
1 handful cilantro, coarsely chopped
1 jalapeno, coarsely chopped
1 clove garlic
1/3 C pepitas, toasted
1/3 C olive oil
½ lime, juiced
½ tsp salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
Puree everything in a food processor.

Pan Fried Daikon Cakes, thanks to a CSA member for sharing this dish from Allrecipes.  She reports that she uses this recipe for any type of radish she gets in her CSA share or turnips and kohlrabi.  Enjoy alone or serve with your favorite spicy sauce or ketchup.

1 ½ C grated Daikon radish
1 tsp salt
1 clove garlic, minced
½ onion, chopped
1 egg, beaten
½ C Italian seasoned bread crumbs
½ tsp ground black pepper
½ tsp paprika
½ tsp chile-garlic sauce
1 ½ C oil for frying

Place the Daikon in a large bowl and sprinkle with the salt. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. 

Drain Daikon. Stir in the garlic, onion, egg, bread crumbs, pepper, paprika, and chili garlic sauce. Mix well. Form into 8, small round patties. 

Pour oil into a large skillet. Heat over medium heat. Fry patties in the hot oil until firm and nicely brown, about 3 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels.

Pepper Jelly, a lower sugar recipe from Ball Canning.

2 ¼ C finely chopped bell pepper (about 2 large)
¼ C finely chopped jalapeno or serrano pepper (about 2 small), (use gloves when handling hot peppers; include seeds for hotter jelly)
½ C + 2 T cider vinegar
1 ½ T low or no-sugar needed pectin
1 C sugar
½ C honey
3 (8 oz) jars with bands
3 new lids

Prepare boiling water canner. In the meantime, wash jars, lids and bands in hot soapy water. Heat jars in simmering water until ready to use. Do not boil. Set lids and bands aside.

Combine bell peppers, hot peppers and vinegar in a large saucepan. Gradually stir in pectin. Bring mixture to a full rolling boil that cannot be stirred down over high heat, stirring constantly.

Add sugar and honey. Return mixture to a full rolling boil. Boil hard 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Skim foam if necessary.

Carefully ladle hot jelly into hot jars, leaving ¼  inch headspace. Wipe rim and center lid on jar. Screw band on until fingertip-tight.

Process filled jars in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes. Remove jars and allow to cool. Check seal after 24 hours. Lid should not flex up and down when center is pressed.  If so, refrigerate and use within a couple of weeks.

Celery-Almond Pesto recipe from Harmony Valley Farm

This pesto can be used much like a normal basil pesto. It is wonderful tossed with pasta and topped with grilled chicken or fish. It is also great as a sandwich spread.

4 cups fresh celery leaves
¼ cup raw blanched almonds
¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves
1/3 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1 tsp kosher salt

Combine all ingredients in a food processor, and blend until finely chopped, almost a paste consistency.  Toss the pesto with hot pasta or roasted potatoes. It is even great as a spread on an egg salad sandwich!