2015_summerweek13

Summer 2015 – October, Week 13

At a Glance:

Chioggia Beets, Carrots, Sweet Onions, Savoy Cabbage, Cucumbers,
Italian Zucchini, Green Beans, Yellow Beans, Bell Pepper,
Dandelion, Yellow Chard

 

 

Dear Friends,
There is a saying among firefighters:

Firefighting is easy; it’s like riding a bike, except that the bike is on fire, and you’re on fire, and everything is on fire, and…well, you get the picture.

I feel that way about farming sometimes, it’s easy, like riding a bike, except that the bike is on fire, and you’re on fire, and everything is on fire.  Then, it’s October.

October for me is all about cleaning up. I would like to simply say it’s easy, like cleaning your kitchen, except your kitchen is 70 acres and you need trucks and loaders and your help is already working full time and then some and if you’re lucky you’ll get everything in before the mud makes the fields impassible. But then all the pipe and pumps are in the barn, and the fields are covered with rye and vetch and clover.

This year, barring early rain, I have just enough time to get all the open areas cover-cropped before it gets too cold for a solid stand of rye. A well orchestrated Fall plan is a work of art in early spring. Lush green fields passively creating tons of material to add tilth to next year’s soil, feed next year’s crops, retain nutrients, prevent erosion, and feed pollinators.

Wish me luck!

Mike

We harvested an abundance of Italian zucchini this week (truly surprising this time of year!), so I have included my favorite zucchini bread recipe.  Give it a try and freeze what you don’t eat!

 

Zucchini Bread

Julie Sochacki, One United Harvest
Makes two large loaves
3 eggs

1-3/4 cups sugar

1 cup light vegetable oil

2-1/2 cups peeled, grated zucchini

2-1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

3 cups flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

3 tsp cinnamon
1/8 c walnut or hazelnut oil
Beat the eggs, then add sugar, mixing well. Add the oil, zucchini and vanilla, mix well. Sift the dry ingredients and slowly add to sugar mixture. Stir until well blended. Add the nut oil and stir.

Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 55-60 minutes in two greased (9x5x3) loaf pans.

Cool on wire racks and freeze or refrigerate.

Hot and Sour Cabbage Salad
Adapted from Gourmet, December 2001

1 lb Savoy cabbage, thinly shredded

1 small onion, thinly sliced

1 medium carrot, shredded

1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar

1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger

1 teaspoon sugar

1 pepper, very thinly sliced

Put cabbage and scallion in a large bowl.

Bring vinegar, ginger, and sugar to a boil in a small saucepan over moderate heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Pour hot dressing over cabbage, peppers, and onion, tossing to combine.
Dandelion Greens with a Kick

Adapted from recipe by TTV78
Recipe found at: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/222744/dandelion-greens-with-a-kick/

1 teaspoon salt

1 bunch dandelion greens, stems trimmed, washed well, torn into 4-inch pieces

1 teaspoon salt

1 Tablespoon olive oil

2 teaspoons butter

1/2 onion, thinly sliced

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

2 cloves garlic, minced

salt and ground black pepper to taste

1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
Soak dandelion greens in a large bowl of cold water with 1 teaspoon salt for 10 minutes. Drain.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil with 1 teaspoon salt. Cook greens until tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water until chilled.
Heat olive oil and butter in a large skillet over medium heat; cook and stir onion and red pepper flakes until onion is tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic until garlic is fragrant, about 30 seconds more. Increase heat to medium-high and add dandelion greens. Continue to cook and stir until liquid is evaporated, 3 to 4 minutes. Season with salt and black pepper.

Sprinkle greens with Parmesan cheese to serve.

2015summer_week6

Summer 2015 – September, Week 6

What’s in the Box:

Green & yellow, wax beans, Austrian Crescent potatoes, Chioggia beets,
Zucchini & Summer squash, Cucumbers, Green onions, Lettuce,
Pears, Flowers

Dear Members,

PLEASE TAKE ONE BOUQUET OF FLOWERS

The bad news: this is the last of the lilies

The good news: this is the last of the lilies!!!

We always wonder if people tire of lilies. We at the farm get overrun every year at some point. We have several long beds of lilies which all start out innocently enough sending up a precocious blossom here and there to get our attention before that variety blooms in earnest. We plant several varieties intended to bloom in succession, thereby giving us a long season of these gorgeous and fragrant flowers. However… Every year there is this ramp up in production with a crescendo of several varieties blooming at the same time. Lilies to the left of us, lilies to the right of us, lilies all around us! Every year I have to give a pep talk to the people cutting the lilies. It goes something like, “Don’t let the lilies rule your life, don’t let them get the better of you.” If a person tries to keep up, and get every breaking bloom they are at risk of going mad, and if heaven forbid they succeed in keeping up, the lilies then take over every square foot of refrigerated space on the farm. It is always a bittersweet farewell. We do have sunflowers just starting to come on, and the snapdragons are blooming like crazy.

In more exciting news: IT RAINED!!!

It rained nearly 1 ½ inches over the weekend, precipitation that was sorely needed.  This doesn’t negate the drought entirely, of course, but it takes the immediate pressure off some of our irrigation needs, and reduces the stress that the plants have been enduring these past weeks.  I can almost feel them relaxing…or maybe that’s me.  As much as I love a warm, dry Autumn, the rain was truly welcome. Among other things it takes the pressure off field cultivating as it is just a bit wet out there right now. The rain also brings with it a much more moderate ambient temperature and that helps lower the anxiety around harvesting everything right now, before it blows. Though the farm is still a bit of a runaway train, the vibe is much more relaxed than it was a week ago. I think we all feel that, farming or not, this rain has relieved a lot of pressure.

Included in this week’s delivery are Chioggia beets. Named for a fishing town near Venice, they are an Italian heirloom dating back to the early 1800s and introduced to the U.S. before 1865. Their uniquely beautiful flesh has alternating red and white concentric rings that resemble a bull’s-eye. Truly beautiful if cut in cross section, they will retain this unique feature if baked whole and sliced just before serving.

Also included this week are Austrian Crescent fingerling potatoes. They originated in South America but where introduced to this country by European settlers. They are delicate and cook quickly. I like them best pan fried or roasted gently with green onion. I think the simpler the preparation the better, and usually toss them with a good quality olive oil and just a bit of salt and pepper before baking them in a toaster oven.

Enjoy!

Heidi

October 30th, 2014

Summer 2014 – week 20

What’s in the Box:

Petite Share:
Chioggia Beets, Carrots, Garlic, Yellow Onions, Italian Parsley,
Mixed Peppers, Carnival Squash, Pears

Small shares:
Chioggia Beets, Carrots, Garlic, Red Russian Kale,
Yellow Onions, Italian Parsley, Mixed Peppers,
Carnival Squash, Pears
Family shares:
Chioggia Beets, Carrots, Garlic, Red Russian Kale,
Yellow Onions, Italian Parsley, Mixed Peppers,
Carnival Squash, Pears

Dear Friends,
Here we are at the last week of the Summer season. This is always a balancing act between the unbridled joy of a more relaxed schedule, and the very real feeling of sorrow. You will be missed. The CSA is a tangible way of connecting with our customers, and at the end of the day it is that connection that we value above all else. So let’s’ not say goodbye, but rather, see you later.
This week, we have included parsley and kale to round out our heartier offerings of winter squash, carrots and beets. The Chioggia Beets inconspicuously dull exterior hides a brilliant candy-striping of burgundy and white underneath. These can be sliced in salads for color and crunch or roasted with a bit of olive oil and garlic for a simple side dish; or you can include them in the Beet and Orzo recipe below. We have also included a healthy dose of mixed peppers, because they were just too beautiful not to share.

The garlic, our beautiful signature Carpathian, is included gratis. We cannot guarantee it free of mold. We have been growing this variety from our own seed since 1993. I thought we could outrun this issue by careful selection of seed stock, but it has gotten worse instead of better. We will carefully sort once more and plant only the best of the best. I am hopeful we can select this out, but even if we do, it may be two years or more before we have a marketable quantity again.

Also please note that we have placed this week’s flowers; a bouquet of dried Statice, inside the box itself.

We would like to thank you for accompanying us on this portion of our farming journey. This is the time to pause and appreciate you, our members. It is your support and faith in us that makes what we do possible, and we are humbly grateful.

We hope that you will continue to join us for this upcoming winter season. Please follow the link and consider signing up. This includes our Holiday Boxes in November and December, plus 10 deliveries from January through May: http://boistfortvalleyfarm.csaware.com/2014-2015-winter-share-nov-may-C5635

Thanks again for a great season!
-Emily, with a bit from Mike