Monday, September 30, 2013

CSA Week 22, Last week of Summer Shares

It's Not Necessarily the End of the Season

This is the last week of the summer share season, but it need not be the last of the wholesome goodies you eat from Elmwood Stock Farm this year. Many of you are signed up for the fall or winter share season, we will be downtown on Saturday mornings at the Lexington Farmers Market all fall and winter, and hopefully you have tucked a few items away in your freezer or pantry.

First, we sincerely thank you for the support you have demonstrated by being a shareholder of our organic farming operation. Your financial support gives our business a solid foundation from which we secure the labor and supplies to produce and provide the food you receive. Equally as important is the feedback we hear about how much you enjoy the surprise each week and how it has helped you to try new veggies or recipes. We know that everyone does not like everything in the share, but the diversity and unique varieties we grow gives you the opportunity to try a new recipe, or share an item with a friend. Hopefully this newsletter has expanded your understanding of organic farming principles and where that fits in the larger aspect of what you eat.

The Elmwood Stock Farm – Fall CSA Season starts next week! Because of how the dates match up with Holiday cooking for Thanksgiving and Christmas there will be six (6) pick-ups instead of the historical five (5). These are every other week, the locations and days of the week are different so check this out on our website. Though we are close to full, it is not too late to sign up. The eggs and meats are also available as well. Look for the Winter CSA Season information that will be posted in December, we may be one of the few sources of local and organic foods during the winter. The crops look good going into fall, though we sure could use some of that extra rain from back in the summer. The Turkeys are sizing up nicely and now is the time to secure the size you want this year. Email the farm, or come see us at the market to get your name on the list. Being in the grass-fed beef business, harvest season is upon us. Check out our beef or beef/chicken bundles on the website so you can have a good supply in your freezer.  

We will be at our usual location on the Short Street end of the pavilion at Cheapside Park on Saturday mornings. The leadership of the Lexington Farmers Market is evaluating the possibility of staying in the pavilion all winter this year, rather than being tucked away in Victorian Square. We thank Victorian Square for the opportunity they gave us for several years, to meet you each week all winter long, to secure your meats, eggs, and veggies. We hope that with a little windbreak, patio heaters, and ample close parking on Short Street, it will be more convenient for you to stop down to visit with us all winter. Certainly we will let you know when the decision has been finalized. 

The CSA model is evolving in the marketplace, primarily still around foods. The pamphlet from our friends at the Lexington Pasta Company is a prime example. Their desire to build a loyal customer base is with a quality product, and their mission of excellent customer service is consistent with ours. You may also be hearing about businesses offering home delivery of fruits and vegetables that may or may not be local or local and organic. While these may be convenient, there is little connection between you and the farm and should not be considered a new generation CSA. 

When you make your commitment to join our CSA as a shareholder, it gives you a direct connection to the food you eat. You eat seasonally, as nature intended. You probably no longer feel right about eating some fruits and veggies shipped in from other countries as the questions come to mind: If it is not organic or local, how much could the farmer be compensated for growing it? What are the external costs associated with those foods?  By your commitment to our local, organic farm, we are able to develop the infrastructure needed to be able to supply you with local and organic produce year-round. Even though your summer shares are ending, we are easy to find, electronically or in person downtown. We are proud to be your source for local AND organic fruits, meats, vegetables, eggs, and poultry, and we’ll continue to work hard growing for you throughout the year!

In Your Share

Cabbage - organic

Garlic - organic

Leeks - organic

Onions - organic

Bell Peppers - organic

Potatoes - organic

Delicata Squash - organic

Yellow Squash and/or Zucchini

Green Beans - organic


Tomatoes - organic

Recipes to Enjoy

Roasted Delicata Squash with Apples, adapted from a Martha Stewart recipe 

2 delicata squashes, cut crosswise into ½ inch slices, seeds removed (the skin on this squash is tender and edible when cooked, so no need to peel)
4 medium or 6 small apples (about 1 ½ pounds), halved
3 T extra virgin olive oil
¼ C + 3 T light brown sugar
6 oz bacon, slices cut into ½ inch wide pieces
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves (for garnish)
 Preheat oven to 400°.  Toss together squashes, apples, oil, sugar, bacon, and ½ tsp salt; season with pepper.  Spread on rimmed baking sheet, and roast until golden on bottom, about 45-50 minutes.  Flip squashes and apples over, and roast until tender, about 5-10 minutes more.  Sprinkle thyme over mixture and serve immediately.

Roasted Eggplant and Potatoes, a Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall recipe

¼ C canola or olive oil
1 pound eggplant
1 pound potatoes, any type will do, unpeeled
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 garlic cloves, sliced
lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Put the oil in a large nonstick roasting pan and heat in the oven for a good 10 minutes, until the oil is sizzling hot.

Meanwhile, cut the eggplant and potatoes into 1-inch cubes into a bowl, and season well with salt and pepper.

Take the roasting pan from the oven and place on a stable, heatproof surface. Add the eggplant and potato and turn to coat in the oil, being careful not to splash yourself. Roast for about 30 minutes, stirring halfway through.

Remove from the oven, stir in the garlic, and roast for another 10 to 15 minutes, until the vegetables are golden brown all over. Add a squeeze of lemon juice, a little more salt and pepper if needed. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Optional garnish includes finely grated lemon zest, hot smoked paprika, or chopped herbs.

Cabbage and Beef Quiche, adapted from Cornelia Adam’s Quiches and Savory Tarts
10 inch pastry crust (homemade or premade)
1 large onion
2 T oil
1 small cabbage
6 tsp dry white wine or chicken or vegetable stock
salt and pepper
½ tsp ground caraway seed
8 oz already cooked ground beef
2 eggs
1 ¼ C sour cream
pinch of ground nutmeg
2 oz Harvarti cheese, freshly grated
Prepare the pastry crust and line a 10inch pan.  Refrigerate until ready to use.
Preheat the oven to 400°F.  Peel and dice the onion.  In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat and saute the onion until translucent.
Trim, quarter, and core the cabbage.  Wash and slice into narrow strips.  Add cabbage to the skillet and saute for 5 minutes.  Add the wine or stock, and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Add caraway seed and saute for 5 more minutes.  Remove from heat and let cool.
Mix the ground beef with the cabbage mixture.  In a bowl, whisk the eggs with the sour cream and season generously with salt and pepper.  Add nutmeg.
Distribute the cabbage-beef mixture evenly in the crust.  Pour the egg mixture over the top and sprinkle with the cheese.  Bake until filling is set and the crust is golden brown, about 30 minutes.

Summer Squash Tartines, adapted from Deborah Madison’s Vegetable Literacy, serves 4.

1 tsp olive oil
1 or 2 summer squash, very thinly sliced (about 8 oz)
½ - 1 tsp minced fresh rosemary
grated zest of 1 lemon
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 long pieces of baguette, sliced diagonally
olive oil and garlic for the bread
½ C ricotta cheese

Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the squash, saute for 1minute or so to warm, then add a splash of water and cover.  Cook until squash is soft, about 3 minutes.  Remove the lid, add rosemary and zest, toss with the squash, then season with salt and pepper.

Lightly brush the cut surface of the baguette pieces with olive oil, then toast until golden and crisp.  While the bread is hot, rub the surface with the garlic.  Spread ricotta on the pieces, then lay on the squash pieces, overlapping a bit.  Season with a bit more salt and pepper.