Tuesday, November 15, 2016

In the Share: Week 7 extended season


SWEET POTATOES  orange-fleshed Beauregards

LETTUCE MIX  More mix from the fields

LEEKS

SWISS CHARD

ARUGULA

SPINACH

BROCCOLI/GAI LAN

ROOT MIX  A mix of radishes, turnips, beets and carrots

HERB CHOICE thyme, rosemary or dried herbs

NEXT WEEK:  The 2016 CSA season is over.

FARM REPORT:

What a week!  As I said in an email to the membership after the election, no one is going to build a better world for us.  That is true no matter who is in the White House.  We must work together to create a world that is just, fair and based on love and mutual respect.  In our small way, these lofty goals were visible this past Sunday at the CSA meeting.  Thanks to all who participated.  For the full rundown on what transpired, check your email inbox.   We appreciate everyone's interest and support of our plans for sabbatical in 2017.


The end of the CSA season has arrived with the final shares to the extended season members.  This usually is cause for bittersweet celebration at the farm.  The first shares went out in mid-April, almost 7 months ago.  Since then we have been on a weekly CSA schedule that is relentless.  Until now.  We are looking forward to the winter work of maintaining equipment, organizing the barns and planning for the year ahead.



What to Do With Your Share---Extended Season Week 7

Well this is it for 2016. Thanks once again for the support that helps us be able to keep doing the work we are doing. As always the season was filled with good food, fun work crews, unpredictable weather, and life.

This closing chapter includes a wonderful variety of produce and seasonings. Today we harvested the marjoram in anticipation of low temperatures that will finally do it in. This Mediterranean herb may just be my favorite. Nothing is more aromatic among our dried herbs.
Beautiful marjoram growing robustly in mid-November
With this week's share, and any vegetables you may have left or stored up from previous shares, your options are many right now. A few suggestions include: tagine sweet potatoes, leek and tomato pasta, angel hair pasta with leeks, and curried hakurei turnips. Remember you can always search the blog. With 9 years of posts you should be able to find something good.

Taking time to walk the grasslands of the farm

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

In the Share: Week 6 extended


LETTUCE  salad mix from the fields

BEETS

BULB FENNEL

SWEET POTATOES  Bonitas with yellow flesh

BOK CHOY OR TAT SOI

HAKUREI TURNIPS

KALE

GARLIC

HERB CHOICE  Cilantro, dill, or cutting celery

NEXT WEEK:  sweet potatoes, garlic, greens, herbs,

FARM REPORT:
I am beginning to write this on Monday night before the election.  That's a day earlier than usual due to the fact that I may not be able to tear myself away from the election results tomorrow.    I hope for a brighter day after a year of intolerance and division.

Besides voting, the big task tomorrow is preparing for frost.  Looks like we are going to have one Tuesday night into Wednesday morning.  I happy to see cold weather in the forecast after what has been a very strange fall season.  Perhaps the crisp mornings will remind us that Thanksgiving is only a few weeks away.  We encourage everyone to go local and organic for your holiday meals.  For those in the extended season, you get your last share the week before Thanksgiving.  For all of our other members, feel free to order off of our email bulk list.  And for everything else, consider shopping the  KC Food Circle Holiday Pop-up   .  Fair Share Farm will be in the house with ferments, sweet potatoes, garlic and greens.  Click the link to see a list of all the awesome vendors.  Hope to see you there!

What to Do With Your Share---Extended Season Week 6

Not your average blog night. They've started calling states and my attention is being drawn in another direction. A big night in American history.

We still have to eat though, and the fields have been quite generous lately. We have been making quite a few stir-fries, and have been using the lingering flavors of past meals to make our sauce. As an example, we cooked up some ribs recently in our dutch oven, and kept the pan drippings for future use. Namely, to add some umami to a pan of sautéed vegetables.

Volunteer bok choi
We are getting the kitchen warmed up, taking what time we have as we wrap up the season to build up an inventory of ferments. It has been a pleasure to have such a functional space to prepare our products.

An early morning view into the kitchen


Tuesday, November 1, 2016

In the Share: Week 5 extended


SPINACH   The leaves are large and in charge.

SWEET PEPPERS  The weather has forgotten that it is November and so we still have sweet peppers ripening in the fields.

HAKUREI TURNIPS  The leafy growth and warm weather has attracted some aphids in the high tunnel.  You might want to wash your greens extra carefully if you don't want extra protein.

LETTUCE  We continue to try to make the lettuce last.  Huge heads of red leaf had to be picked on Friday.  A salad a day keeps the doctor away.

LETTUCE OR ARUGULA  A choice of a second head of lettuce or arugula.

BROCCOLI/GAI LAN  We are down to side shoots of broccoli which are much like the gai lan.

SWEET POTATOES  Orange type this week.

RADISHES  red globes from the fields and high tunnel.

HERB CHOICE  Cilantro, parsley or dill.

NEXT WEEK:  Greens, turnips, garlic, bok choy, lettuce, sweet potatoes, kale, bulb fennel.

FARM REPORT:
With us now in November a killing frost is surely not too far away although there is no sign of it in the 10-day forecast.  It has happened that it waits until practically December.  It has been very dry as well as warm and so we have fired up the irrigation pump to keep the peppers and the field greens going.  We gave the strawberry patch a good drink as well so that they will be healthy and strong while they are dormant.  The high tunnel is the opposite of dormant right now.  We continue to struggle to keep up with it's leafy growth.


Pretty fantastic looking, really!  Makes a farmer proud.  All this leafy-ness is not all fabulous, however.  We plant beneficial alyssum to draw in predators like brachnid wasps, but we still have aphids especially on the radish tops.  Which if you have to pick a leaf for an aphid to go after, it could be worse.

On Saturday we completed the tomato teardown and expanded the chicken yard into it.  They really enjoyed the old hay that we use to mulch the tomatoes and quickly put their heads down into it hunting bugs and seeds.


What to Do With Your Share---Extended Season Week 5

It is often amazing to see just what influence the weather has over our crops. The weather of late has allowed our plant to "put on growth." We are fortunate with modern weatherforcasting to have know to harvest before the mid-October frosts, so that we can enjoy the new fruits and greenery of this late fall burst of produce.

Our latest sweet pepper harvest ever
I was talking to one of my sisters the other day and she said that they had a large garden harvest of peppers last week and proceeded to make stuffed peppers. I searched our archives and found a couple recipes that should help a resourceful cook also make some stuffed dishes out of what is in recent shares.

The first, of course, is stuffed peppers. Our newsletter from way back in September 2004 (our first CSA season), has a great recipe for cheese stuffed peppers. While the recipe calls for cherry bell peppers, you can use whatever ones are in your share.

The other is stuffed chard leaves. Kale can also be used for this recipe. Just about any vegetable in the share can be added to the stuffing.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

What to Do With Your Share---Extended Season Week 4

As the climate changes we try here at the farm to adapt. We have learned from fellow farmers that ginger, a tropical plant, is something you can grow here in Missouri with some technique. We are working too at growing other hot weather crops, like lemongrass.

We had a nice little patch of this aromatic in our herb garden this year to see how well we could grow it in a raised bed. You will be tasting the result. According to Wikipedia,  "It is believed to help with stress-related disorders, and has been shown to have antifungal and antimicrobial properties."

I have an affinity for its flavor. I first sampled lemongrass in the mid-1980's at a restaurant in Rochester, New York where I lived. I asked the waitress about the incredible lemongrass chicken I was eating and she came back with the recipe. So, if you eat chicken, I highly recommend this dish.



This was apparently a very quickly translated recipe at the chef spoke only Vietnamese, so I have found that the ratios can be suited to taste. For a whole chicken I would grate a full tablespoon of lemongrass. The grated onions are the carrier of the marinade, and I will grate up to 1/3 cup for a whole chicken.

Broiled Lemongrass Chicken
1/2 chicken boned
1/4 tsp fresh ground lemongrass (use a grater)
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp cayenne
1 tsp grated onion
1 small clove garlic (crushed)


Mix all seasonings together. Pour over chicken and marinate 2 hours to overnight. Bake chicken at 375 deg F for 45 minutes, turning once.

To use the lemongrass you need to trim, and then grate the base of the plant. The stalk that remains is then in perfect shape to steep for a healthy tea.