2015_summerweek14

Summer 2015 – October, Week 14

What’s in the Box:

Corn! Carrots, Potatoes, Celery, Celery root (celeriac), Leeks, Sweet Onions, Purple beans, Italian zucchini, Thyme

Our preparation for Winter continues!  Mike has begun cover cropping the fields, we have tucked the last of the Winter squash into storage (expect some in your shares soon!), and we are making the most of the daylight as the darkness creeps into our work time.  We still have a few high Summer vegetables this week, but the rain and cold will finish them off in a hurry.

We are excited to finally send you some corn!  Initially dubbed “Christmas Corn” by Mike (as we jokingly hoped it would be mature by December), we are pleased to have it before Hallowe’en.  Enjoy it right away-it’s sweetest when fresh picked.

This is most likely the last of the fresh beans for this season (fresh beans being green, purple, yellow, and Roma).  Rain generally diminishes their crispness and makes them harder to keep.  Please eat your purple beans quickly this week!

I have added a few veggies to the website for add-on purchase; specifically, carrots, beets, and kraut cabbage.  Additional quantities for eating, juicing, or preserving can be ordered with any of your share deliveries.  Please remember to order 72 hours in advance of the delivery day!

We anticipate having our full Winter shares available for sign up on the web site by the end of this week.  This season we have elected to shorten the Winter/Spring season, to highlight more of our own produce and minimize outside purchasing if at all possible.  Deliveries will be twice monthly through the end of March.  We will include local ‘extras’ as we have in seasons past, such as cheeses, coffee, kraut, in addition to our dry beans and farm honey.  I’ll send out a notice when the share goes live!

I’m making a LOT of soup lately, to help combat the dampness creeping into my bones.  Here are a couple recipes for you to try out.

Enjoy,
Heidi

 

 

Carrot, Celery, and Leek Soup with Cornbread Dumplings
Adapted from recipe found at: OChef.com, From 300 Sensational Soups, by Carla Snyder and Meredith Deeds

For Soup:
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp butter
3 leeks, stem thinly sliced and rinsed to remove any soil
6 carrots (about 12 oz, thinly sliced
3 stalks celery, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
3 sprigs thyme
Pinch each freshly ground black pepper and cayenne pepper
2 vegetable bouillion cubes (no salt added)
6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 cup half-and-half
1/4 cup minced fresh Italian parsley

For Cornbread Dumplings:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup stone-ground cornmeal
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp each baking soda and salt
pinch of garlic powder
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup buttermilk (I use plain Greek yogurt and water instead, since I rarely have buttermilk)
2 Tbsp butter, melted
1/2 cup corn kernels

In a large pot, heat oil and butter over medium-high heat. Add leeks and sauté until starting to soften, about 2 minutes. Add carrots, celery, salt, garlic, black pepper and cayenne; sauté until vegetables start to soften, about 5 minutes. Add stock, cream, thyme (as whole sprigs-just remove stems from soup before serving) and parsley; bring to a simmer. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, while you assemble the dumplings.

Prepare the dumplings: In a large bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In another bowl, whisk together eggs, buttermilk and butter. Pour over dry ingredients, along with corn. Using a large spatula, fold the dry ingredients into the wet just until mixed. (Don’t overmix, or the dumplings will be heavy and tough.) Drop dumpling batter by tablespoonfuls into simmering soup. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer until vegetables are tender and dumplings are cooked through, about 20 minutes.

Double Celery and Potato Soup
Adapted from Bon Appétit, February 2003

2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 large leeks (white and pale green parts only), thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
1 large onion, chopped
3 medium-sized potatoes (about 12 ounces), scrubbed and cut into 1- inch cubes
1 medium celeriac, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 large fresh thyme sprigs
1 bay leaf
8 cups low-salt chicken broth
5 celery stalks with leaves, stalks thinly sliced, leaves reserved
1/3 cup whipping cream

Melt butter with oil in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add leeks and onion and sauté until almost tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in potatoes, celery roots, thyme, and bay leaf. Add broth and bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 40 minutes. Add celery stalks and simmer until all vegetables are very tender. Cool slightly.

Using handheld blender, puree soup in pot. Stir cream into soup. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle soup into bowls. Garnish with reserved celery leaves and serve.

 

2015_summerweek12

Summer 2015 – October, Week 12

At A Glance:

Spinach
Green Beans
Purple Beans
Yellow Beans
Green and Purple Kohlrabi
Edamame (edible soybeans)
Red Russian Kale
Purple Carrots
2lbs Rose Finn Potatoes
Leeks

Greetings Friends,

The weather today was perfect. There was a fog so thick you could cut it early this morning, which gave way to a beautiful afternoon. I watched most of it go by through the office window as I diligently took care of all the odds and ends, big and small, which go along with any business. I am always grateful for fair weather even if I do not get to enjoy it firsthand. When I am warm and cozy and it is blustery out there I cannot help but feel the sting of guilt, knowing that our field crew is braving the elements to harvest produce for delivery. On a day like today I can almost enjoy the envy I feel, knowing that this same crew is working under reasonable conditions and without the headache that comes with muddy vegetables and stuck field trucks.

As promised, the contents of this delivery are beginning to represent the more savory vegetables that Fall has to offer. Nothing says stew or roast like a combination of leeks and potatoes. Edamame make an appearance this week as well. The word Edamame means “Beans on Branches,” and they grow in clusters on bushy plants which deer LOVE. In East Asia the soybean has been used for over two thousand years as a major source of protein. We can barely get them to finish this far north, and it was quite a feat considering the late start we got this year. If not for this long dry season it would not have been possible. As a snack, the pods are lightly boiled in salted water, and then the seeds are squeezed directly from the pods into the mouth with the fingers-the pods themselves are not edible. If you have not tried them before, you are in for a treat. I think them the pretzel of vegetables; simple preparation instructions follow.

A quick word too on the purple carrots. Purple Haze by name, they are the best purple carrots we have ever grown. They do have an orange core unlike some others, but they also have a great carrot taste, and they grow to maturity without bolting (going to seed), which is saying something if you have ever tried to grow them. We trialed at least three other varieties of purple carrots, unsuccessfully, before finding this one. We just love them, and hope you will too.

Mike

 

 

 

Edamame
Gourmet  | August 1998

Soybeans in the Pod

Preparation:

Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil, add the beans and boil over high heat for about 5 minutes. Just before serving, toss edamame with salt to taste.

Or for a little more zing-
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes and 2 sliced garlic cloves in a skillet over medium heat, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the edamame, some lime juice and salt

Coax the beans out as you would eat an artichoke, by gently scraping the pod with your teeth


Simple Stew

You’ll be surprised how savory and satisfying this simple vegetable stew is! Serve with quinoa, millet, or steamed rice.

3 to 4 servings

1 large bunch of kale
3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1 medium leek (white and pale green), thinly sliced
1 cup vegetable or chicken broth
2 medium carrots, peeled and thickly sliced
4-5 fingerling potatoes, cut into ½- to ¾- inch cubes
1 low sodium bouillion cube (we like Rapunzel brand)
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Strip the thick stems off the kale leaves. Cut the leaves crosswise into ¼-inch strips.
In a medium stew pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the leek, and cook until softened, about 3 minutes.

Add the kale in 2 or 3 handfuls, stirring to wilt. Add the broth and bouillion and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes.

Add the carrots and potatoes, cover, and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes.

Remove and blend in a blender about ½ the stew then return it to the pot. Stir.  Season with salt and pepper before serving.

Adapted from The Swiss Secret to Optimal Health by Thomas Rau, MD, with Susan Wyler. Berkeley Books 2009.

 

2015summer_week11

Summer 2015 – October, Week 11

What’s in the Box:

Celery, Cucumbers, Yellow & Purple beans, Bell pepper,
Baby bok choy, Cilantro, Tomatoes, Cameo apples,
Dried Lavender (not intended for eating)

Dear Members,

What do farmers do when they take a weekend trip out of town? Visit other farms of course. It kind of sounds silly reading it, but that is exactly what Heidi and Nat and I did this past weekend. We pointed the Ford f-350 north and headed up to the Skagit Valley to check out some farms and ranches during their two day ‘Festival of Family Farms’. We visited Cascadian Farm outside Rockport and checked out their blueberry harvester and had ice cream and actually picked a few pumpkins. We spent a few hours painting baby pumpkins and shopping for a variety of unique plants at Cloud Mountain outside Everson. We had brisket and corn on the cob, and visited with cattle and draft horses at Ovenell’s Double O Ranch outside Concrete. In short, we had a whirlwind tour of some great farms in the Skagit Valley and left with a deep appreciation for the farms themselves and what they are doing, as well as a lot of respect for the way Whatcom county has supported them and created an atmosphere where the contribution these agricultural businesses make to the community and the region are highlighted and acknowledged. Are you listening Lewis County?

This week’s delivery continues the trend into fall and includes some cool weather loving Bok Choy, some fresh crop apples, and our first celery. Also included in this delivery is two bunches of dried lavender. It was harvested this Summer and was hung in the barn to dry.  What to do with a bunch of dried lavender? Put it into a vase to enjoy as a dry bouquet, or make a lavender sachet to place in a drawer or somewhere you would like a fresh scent.

What you’ll need for a lavender sachet:

A square of pretty fabric (Heidi recommends at least an 8″ square)

A ribbon to tie it with-long enough to make a bow
Remove the lavender flowers from their stems with your fingertips over a large cookie sheet or bowl. Place the flowers in the center of the cloth, fold the fabric on the diagonal and gather the fabric edges together.  Tie at least an inch below the fabric edges and trim any long edges. Easy!

Please enjoy this week’s delivery and stay tuned as we continue our journey into Fall.

Mike