Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Bulk List---Week 24

There are a few things we have extra of. Stock up now.

Sweet potatoes: $1.75/lb
Asian Greens (bok choi, tat soi): $3.00/large head
Kale/Chard/Collards: $3.00/bunch
Leeks: $3.00/lb

In the Share - Week 24

SWEET POTATOES (F/P) More sweets from our overflowing stores. It was a good year for the sweet potato.
CHOICE OF GREENS (F/P) bok choi, tat soi or rapini (broccoli raab)
CAULIFLOWER (F) The cauliflower continues it's great run.
BROCCOLI (P) A good pound for each partial share.
CABBAGE (F) The first to head from our patch, just enough for the full shares.
KOHLRABI (P)Partial shares get their turn at our best kohlrabi of the year. Peel, slice and eat it raw.
LETTUCE (F) Our fall lettuce is giving me fits. There is only enough that has even remotely sized up for the full shares, so here you go!
WATERMELON RADISHES (P) Chop off their tops and they will keep til Christmas. But eating them now is a nice thing too. The outside is the hottest, the inside the prettiest.
CHOICE OF EGGPLANT, SWEET PEPPERS OR OKRA (F) This warm October weather is keeping these hot weather crops going.
BEETS OR TURNIPS (F) The beets are very nice. I like to sautee the whole beet plant top to bottom in a little olive oil and vinegar. Yum. Or you can choose hardy fall turnips, either Purple Top or Gold Ball, the perfect addition to a hearty fall stew.

ALSO THIS WEEK: Parker Farms delivery

Here we are at the last week of the season. A bittersweet time for us all. After a long, hard dash through the growing season, Tom and I are looking forward to the slower pace of winter work. We're not there yet, however. This week's been all about the pipe - 2100 feet of it.

pushing the pipe

pipe waiting to be pushed

The unseasonably warm weather has really been nice for the work. It has kept the crops growing too. While it's hard to say for sure until the last share is harvested, we think if the weather holds we will have some broccoli and cauliflower next week. We'll keep you posted but we may go down to the Bad Seed Friday night market on the 29th to sell what we have. I'll send out an email once we know for sure. Also, we plan to do the pre-Thanksgiving market at the Bad Seed on November 19th. By then it will be time to glean the fields of whatever is left and get us all loaded up for our Thanksgiving meals. We'll be in touch once we know what will constitute the "Thanksgiving share".

But before we get to all that, it is time to celebrate the completed CSA season. We hope to see many of you this Saturday at the 7th annual Fair Share Farm CSA End of Season dinner. All of our current members should have received an evite in their inboxes. The party is going to be rocking with a live band, face painting for the kids and, as always, the best darn potluck in town. Our CSAers sure know how to cook, and eat! See you there!

What to Do With Your Share---Week 24

Another Season Eaten Up
Hard to believe that it has been 24 weeks since we first handed out shares for 2010. And while our bones and muscles feel it, our brain sees it all as having flown by. We want to thank everyone for there support, input, encouragement, and camaraderie. Community is the first word in CSA, and we couldn't have done it without you.

The Last Share
We feel it is important to remind everyone of how to store items from the last several shares, so that they will last if you do not eat them right away. Sweet potatoes, for example, are from a tropical plant, and should not be refrigerated. Keep them in a warm, dark area that is over 55 deg F. They can keep until the spring if treated that way. Store your winter squash the same way.

If you happen to get a cabbage, you can store it in a bag in your crisper for at least a month. We store ours in the packing room cooler (after it has been turned off), and can enjoy cabbage for months. Try some cole slaw at Xmas.

Any root crops will keep a long time too. Simply cut the greens off of your winter radishes, kohlrabi, turnips or beets, before storing them in a bag in the crisper.

Butternut Squash-White Bean Stew
We got this recipe from Relish Magazine. Rebecca happened to recover it from the recycle bin, as it was apparently a supplement in The KC Star. To say this stew is hearty is an understatement. Leeks are an excellent substitute for onions in this dish, and sweet potatoes can take the place of the squash.

A 2-pound whole squash yields about 4 cups of cubes. Look for tomato paste in a tube, so you can use a tablespoon at a time. Serve with cheese toast.

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup slivered onion
3/4 cup thinly sliced celery
3 cups mushrooms, halved
4 cups cubed, peeled butternut squash
1 (14-ounce) can diced fire-roasted tomatoes
1 garlic clove, pressed
2 cups water
2 tablespoons tomato paste
3/4 teaspoon dried rosemary, crumbled
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 (15-ounce) cans Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained
Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (optional)

1. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion, celery and mushrooms. Cook until vegetables start to brown, about 8 minutes.
2. Stir in squash, tomatoes, garlic, water, tomato paste, rosemary, salt and pepper. Mix well. Cover and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat and simmer until squash is tender, about 25 minutes. Uncover, stir in beans and simmer until stew consistency, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley, if desired. Serves 8.

Recipe by Jean Kressy
Nutritional Information
Per serving: 150 calories, 4g fat, 0mg chol., 5g prot., 24g carbs., 7g fiber, 420mg sodium.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

In the Share - Week 23

your cauliflower

CHOICE OF GREENS (F/P) Kale, collards or Swiss chard
WATERMELON RADISH (F) A big winter radish that is green on the outside and pink on the inside. To store for a month or more, cut off the greens leaving an inch of top and place in a plastic bag in your crisper.
KOHLRABI (F) Same story for storing long term. Peel it before you eat it. Great raw or lightly steamed.
HERB CHOICE (F/P) Sage, lemongrass or a dried herb

ALSO THIS WEEK: Bread of Life shares

NEXT WEEK: More broccoli, cauliflower and greens. Partial shares will get either kohlrabi or watermelon radishes or both. More sweet potatoes for everyone. Hopefully the lettuce will be ready.

cleaning off the bean plants

The end of the season is almost here (just one more week after this one) but yet the farm is as busy as ever. We had a big crew on Saturday and took the opportunity to tear down the pole bean fence.

walking out the fence under Rocky's supervision

Later that day the FSF CSA Core Group gathered to plan the Fair Share Farm End of Season dinner which will be held next Saturday, October 23 from 5-7 pm. Look for an evite in your inbox in the next few days from Social Coordinator, Ann Flynn. We look forward to celebrating the season with you all by enjoying what is surely the best darn potluck around. This year the party will be festive with live music and face painting. Hope to see you all there!

The other big excitement this week is covered in Tom’s post. I’m keeping it short here so that we can return my dad’s “hot spot” internet service in a timely manner. If you need to reach us call, don’t send any emails.

What to Do With Your Share---Week 23

Herbs are Great
We heard that the last time we had sage in the shares there were a lot of bunches that made it to the swap box instead of to folk’s homes. While you may not have an affinity for sage, we hope that you reconsider these last few weeks of the season.

Sage is an old, traditional herb (thus said the old sage.) While it is available most all year round from the garden, we save it for the time of year when winter squash and pumpkins are handed out, as it is an idea seasoning for these cucurbits. In past blogs and newsletters we have highlighted its culinary benefits, like in sweet potato ravioli with browned sage butter, or simply with sweet potatoes, as a substitute for sugar and marshmallows.

Lemongrass is another herb choice this week. A plant suited to the tropics, we were able to get an OK harvest this year. Its wonderful aroma is obvious, but how to utilize it in a dish might not be. These little plants pack a lot of flavor and to get to it all you have to do is grate the bulbous root end (after cutting off any root hairs.) Our favorite use is in Lemongrass Chicken. But search the web and you are sure to find many recipes.

The Trencher Strikes
Sorry if this blog is short, but it has been a busy couple of days. You may know that we recieved some stimulus funds to improve our irrigation system---75% cost share on the 2,300 feet of irrigation pipe, as well as 4 solar panels.

With 2 days of trenching behind us (see photo below) we have weathered the trencher hitch coming off our truck on the way to the farm (all is OK), a very wet day of work on Monday, and severing our internet line. We are fortunate enough to have Rebecca's dad next door so we can borrow his Droid and have a hot spot for an hour to compose this latest installment.

Many thanks go out to our farm crew for putting pipe into the ground today, and especially to Tom Parker, a busy farmer and experienced water line installer, who assisted us today. We plan on being even better prepared in the future for all those hot, dry Missouri days that we know we will see.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

What to Do With Your Share---Week 22

Relish the Share
The two light frosts of Saturday and Sunday brought all of the peppers out of the field and into your shares. We hope that you are not overwhelmed by the harvest and put them to good use.

There are many things to do with green peppers. This week we have a green pepper relish recipe. You won’t have enough peppers to make it worth your while to can them, so don’t stress about that. Just keep it in your fridge and use it over the next several months on burgers, in egg salad, potato salad, or in your homemade thousand island dressing.

An option for the peppers you can’t use right away is to freeze them. Peppers are unique in that you don’t have to blanch them before freezing. Simple clean them of the stem and seed, cut them into chunks, and freeze them. It is best to first freeze them on a cookie sheet and them put them in a freezer bag or other suitable container.

Fajitas are another wonderful use of peppers. Or check our Week 21 of 2005 newsletter for 3 other tasty pepper and onion dishes. You can use your leeks instead of onions if you haven't eaten them already.

Hot Peppers
The fulls get a shot at some more hot peppers this week, as they were also harvested to beat the cold. The first hot pepper primer was in this year's Week 13 blog. This week there are a few new ones for you. The ones in the foreground of the photo below are cherry bells. They are the ones you see stuffed with cheese and prosciutto at the Italian delis.

The ones in the background are poblanos. Also known as an ancho pepper when it is dried, they are quite spicy and the pepper of choice for chile rellenos. Unfortunately these peppers never sized up, but they can still be used for this wonderful dish.

Green Pepper Relish
If your are thinking of canning your pepper relish, or doing some other preserving, I suggest this National Center for Home Food Preservation Publication 8004, page 10. The recipe below is adapted to fit the quantity of peppers in your share.

Makes about 3 half pints.
About 6 medium peppers (1.5 lb +/-) a mix of green, red and hot to suit your taste (including juice)
2 medium onions
3/4 cups sugar
3/4 cups white vinegar (5%)
1/2 tbsp mustard seeds
1 tsp salt

1. Combine all ingredients. Boil 30 minutes, uncovered.
2. Pack into jars, to 1⁄2 inch (1 cm) from top.
3. Remove air bubbles by running a plastic knife or spatula between the food and
the jar. Then wipe jar rims with a clean, damp cloth and secure lids and ring
4. Let cool and then store in the fridge, or process pints in a boiling water bath as prescribed in Table 6 of the guide.

In the Share - Week 22

the pepper harvest

SWEET POTATOES (F/P) A good harvest with some real jumbos. Don’t refrigerate your sweets! They don’t like to get below 50 degrees.
SWEET PEPPERS (F/P) The frost threatened so we picked them all. Full shares get 2 lbs, partials 1.5 lbs. Read Tom’s post for some simple ideas for preserving and enjoying them.
GARLIC (F/P) Softneck variety, keeps well.
BROCCOLI OR CAULIFLOWER (F) Just enough for the full shares this week, partial shares are next in line. We are scrambling a bit as the second planting stalled after the deluge 2 weeks ago.
EGGPLANT, GREEN TOMATOES OR HOT PEPPERS (F) Harvested before the frost and the last of the season.

ALSO THIS WEEK: Parker Farms delivery

NEXT WEEK: More broccoli and cauliflower. Kohlrabi, butternut squash and leeks. Cilantro and dill. Kale, collards and Swiss Chard return.

Saturday morning we awoke to a frost advisory for our area for that night. After the regular CSA harvest morning, the farm crew jumped to the task of harvesting anything that might be damaged. The last of the sweet potatoes came out well. We think all the heat and humidity of this summer led to some extra large sweets. We have several football-sized ones to feed us through the winter. Most of the crop was Beauregard, a standard commercial type with sweet orange flesh. We also planted a short stretch of O'Henry, a white variety that grew very uniformly. Hardly any footballs, but few small ones either. We mashed up some for dinner the other night and they were tender and oh so creamy.

one of many crates of Beauregards now safely stored in the greenhouse

Sweet peppers were the other big harvest on Saturday. We ended up with over 200 lbs. of these last jewels of summer. In the last hours of the day we covered the young lettuces with row cover, picked the remaining eggplant, hot peppers and green tomatoes. The sun set and we rested easy knowing that we had done what we needed to do.

The next morning we awoke to frost on the ground. It was a light and patchy frost. Only the most sensitive plants were hit and only here and there. A bit of frost on the tops of the basil plants and on the tips of the okra. The pepper plants look fine. If the warm weather holds for a few weeks we may even get another harvest.