Tuesday, October 21, 2008

What to do With Your Share---Week 24

We hope that you enjoyed your CSA experience this year. We also hope that the blog was a useful addition in communicating with you. You can let us know what you thought by commenting here, or sending us an email.

Grated Cabbage and Root Slaw with Amana Colonies Dressing
A few weeks ago I was looking for a radish recipe and found one called Amana Colonies Radish Salad. It has a sour cream dressing that can be used on roots besides radishes. The source of the recipe, Cooking A to Z, notes “One group of German immigrants, the Amana Society founded seven villages near Cedar Rapids, Iowa, in the 19th century. For many years the residents dined in communal kitchens. Their far, of which this radish salad is typical, reflected both their German heritage and the abundant harvest of the rich Iowa farmland.”

2 cups grated cabbage
2 cups grated root vegetables (radish, beets, carrots, turnips, kohlrabi)
½ cup sour cream
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
¼ tsp ground pepper
2 tbsp chopped chives, parsley or dill
  1. Mix cabbage and root slices with salt. Place in a colander and let stand to drain for 30 to 45 minutes. Blot dry with paper towels

  2. In a medium bowl blend together sour cream, vinegar, pepper and chives. Add drained vegetables and mix lightly to coat with dressing. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve (up to 2 hours).
  3. Serve salad in bowl lined with lettuce leaves

Bulk List
Chard, collards, kale, Asian green $2.50/bu

NEED TO KNOW MORE? Go to our Recipe page and search.

Week 24 - Last week

In the Share: Week 24
HERB CHOICE (F/P) Cilantro and Dill
DRIED HERB (F/P) take a tin of herbs dried in our greenhouse for the winter.

Also this week: Bread of Life delivery

Farm report
The last week of the 2008 season is upon us. We are both sad to be saying farewell for the winter but also grateful for the chance to rest. We thank you all for your support of our farm and hope that you enjoyed sharing the season with us as much as we enjoyed sharing the harvest with you. Tom and I are really looking forward to celebrating our 5th CSA season with all of you at the End of the Season Dinner this Saturday. We’re working on a summary of our efforts thus far as well as some thoughts on the future. We hope to see many of you there.

As I was finishing the blog tonight, I was sent a link to a fun youtube video on blanching Fair Share Farm greens from Emily Akins & Sergio Moreno. Have a look: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xJdDaQU308c

The end of the season also means the end of the apprenticeship of Jennifer Baughman. Jenn was a real treat to work with and we will absolutely miss her as she sets out on a search for her farming future. Here’s a few words from her to all of you:

Hello, my name is Jennifer Baughman. As the 2008 growing season comes to an end, I will share my reflections on my learning experience as Fair Share Farm's apprentice this year.

What a blast! THE BEST EVER! Tom and Rebecca are incredible teachers and very patient (as I was pretty inexperienced in the beginning). They showed me the importance of being very detail oriented and very very organized, from planting methods to post harvest handling, always ensuring that the CSA's standards are being met and even exceeded. I feel inspired to apply all that I have learned right away!

Where am I going from here? Before I decide where to live permanently, I plan on visiting a few more farms. I am interested in bio-dynamic farming, no-till methods, and permaculture, and plan to marry all three methods along with specializing in wild crafting and medicinal herbs. Next up on my journey, I will travel to a BEAUTIFUL camp resort down in Georgia. Enota Springs is found tucked deep in the forests at the beginning of the Appalachian Mountains.( \http://www.enota.com/index.htm)

As for this winter, I will be focusing on my home-based business, where I work with my boyfriend to supply Kansas City with the highest quality superfoods available. As well as host nutrition classes and potlucks through our meetup group.(http://rawfood.meetup.com/423/)
Thank you for your comitment to local, organic food. Together, we enhance our wonderful environment.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

What to do With Your Share---Week 23

Blanching and Freezing
As the season winds down, we are harvesting what remains in the field that is mature enough for picking. There is more of some things (mainly greens) than we will be handing out in the shares, so the bulk list is back on-line. If you would like any kale, collards, chard or Asian greens to stock in your freezer, now is the time. They are easy to freeze and store for use in side dishes, soups, stews and other winter dishes.
The trick to successfully freezing vegetables is the blanching process. This step, which consists of dunking the vegetables in boiling water for a minute or two, destroys enzymes that will otherwise cause loss of color, texture and flavor. To freeze greens---
1. Clean greens and remove stems if desired. You can cut, but do not chop greens. They will wilt significantly when blanched and will pack into freezer bags easily.
2. Blanch things like spinach and Asian greens for 2 minutes and tougher greens like collards and kale for 3 to 4 minutes. Start counting when the water comes back to a boil. Use a large volume of water so it will keep boiling when you add the vegetables.
3. Remove the greens from the pot and cool immediately with cold water to stop the cooking process. Drain thoroughly and pack in freezer bags or containers.

Bulk List
Chard, collards, kale, Asian greens $2.50/bu

NEED TO KNOW MORE? Go to our Recipe page and search.

At the farm - Week 23

In the Share: Week 23
CARROTS (F/P) Red-cored Chantennay – an heirloom and a good-keeper.
GREEN PEPPERS (F/P) the last harvest
BOK CHOY (P) see week 22 kimchee recipe
NAPA (CHINESE) CABBAGE (P) ditto above
ASIAN GREENS (F) Vitamin Green or Tatsoi
HERB CHOICE (F/P) Cilantro or dill or a dried herb.

Also this week: Parker Farms delivery

Next Week: More greens and roots. Cabbage, garlic and sweet potatoes. Bread of Life delivery.

Farm report
The farm continues to be active as we prepare for the coming cold season. This week we dug the rosemary and marjoram plants from the field and potted them up. They will spend the winter dormant but protected in the greenhouse. Today we harvested all the green peppers of reasonable size from the plants and pulled more irrigation tape out of the beds. We also began the process of folding up the header pipes and fire hose that brings the water to the field. Each run is folded, tied and labeled before being hung in the barn rafters for the winter. On Saturday, the membership rolled out straw bales down the beds destined for next spring's pea crop.

But before you all say goodbye for the season, we need something from each of you. A commitment that you’ll be with us next year … and some money to back it up. This week’s email includes a handy deposit slip that along with $50 will secure your spot in the 2009 membership. Some call it ‘seed money’ which it truly is. We are often asked what we do during the winter. Part of what we do is we purchase the bulk of what the farm needs for the year ahead. We save money by buying in bulk and limiting the amount of shipping by picking up supplies at the winter conferences from our suppliers. Also with the price of everything going up from seeds to plastic, fuel to peat moss, we get the best price early in the season before any shortages can occur. While it all makes good business sense, the winter is obviously a pretty slow time economically for farmers. The only money coming in until the spring signup will be your deposits. So before old man winter arrives, please consider sending in that deposit so that we can prepare for another season of growing quality, nutritious food for your family and your community. Thanks!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

What to do With Your Share---Week 22

Asian Staple
This season has been a challenge figuring out what to hand out each week. We evaluate the plants to try to pick them before their prime passes because of stress from too much rain. The Chinese cabbage and bok choi are peaking now, and just right for making kimchi. This Korean specialty is an example of how Asian cuisine treats the idea of sauerkraut.

Wikipedia notes that “the magazine Health named kimchi in its list of top five ‘World’s Healthiest Foods’ for being rich in vitamins, aiding digesting and even possibly retarding cncer growth.” So we hope you use this week’s share (next week’s for partials) to make this tasty condiment.

Kimchi (adapted from Sunset Oriental Cook Book, ©1984)
1 small Chinese cabbage and 1 bok choi (1-1/2 to 2 lb total)
2 tbsp salt
1 large watermelon radish, cut into matchsticks
2 green onions (including tops) cut into thin slivers
3 garlic cloves, chopped
2 dried red peppers, cut in half or 1 jalapeno pepper, chopped
¼ tsp cayenne
1-1/2 tbsp honey

Cut cabbage into chunks about 1 inch square; place in a large bowl and add 2 teaspoons of the salt. Mix well. Cover and let stand at room temperature until cabbage is wilted and reduced to about half it’s original volume (3 to 4 hours). Rinse thoroughly, drain. Return to bowl along with the radishes, onions, garlic, peppers, cayenne and honey. Mix well. Pack lightly into a 1 quart jar; cover with lid or plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature, tasting often, until fermented to your liking. (In warm weather, fermentation may toke only 1 to 2 days; in cooler weather, count on 3 to 4 days). Store in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 2 weeks. Makes about 3-1/2 cups.

NEED TO KNOW MORE? Go to our Recipe page and search.

Week 22 - fall preparations

In the Share: Week 22
LEEKS (F/P) This week only.
BOK CHOY (F) see Tom’s kimchee recipe
NAPA (CHINESE) CABBAGE (F) ditto above
GARLIC (F/P) choice for the partials with the herbs. Fulls get both
HERB CHOICE (F/P) Basil, lovage or a dried herb.

Also this week: Bread of Life delivery

Next Week: More greens, broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce and roots. Perhaps carrots and beets. Green peppers. Parker Farms delivery.

Farm report
We continue to prepare the fields for their dormant period. The Saturday crew weeded and mulched the strawberries in record time. Photo courtesy of CSA member, Emily Akins.

Despite the fact that 2008 has been one of the most difficult for vegetable growing that we’ve seen, we feel lucky that we did not have actual flooding like many others. While it is my nature to obsess over the details of every crop failure, I must admit that we really cannot complain. The mid-season survey results seem to show that you all feel the same. You are apparently pretty content in both the produce you receive and in the CSA organization. Berries continue to win the ‘please grow more’ category and the okra lovers and haters continue to be equally represented. However, the overwhelming response was none at all. If you did not complete a survey (and you are actually reading this) let us know why not. Perhaps your comments will help us reach more of you next time. The survey results were discussed at our recent core group meeting whose main purpose was to plan the End of the Season dinner taking place this October 25th. As always it is the best potluck in the metro with live entertainment from the membership along with a season wrap-up from us, door prizes and kid’s activities. In the spirit of community, the coordinators are looking for folks who can come early or stay late to help. Keep an eye out for the email invitation which should be coming to your inboxes this week from Social Coordinators, Ann & Mark Flynn.