Tuesday, October 30, 2012

What's in the Share---Week 26

Sorry for the haitus last week from the blogging, as our main computer had crashed. Luckily, after a few days, we were able to figure out the problem and get to Recovery mode to reset things. So we are now back to normal.

High tunnel last week.
This week's share is a great combination of Spring and Fall:
Sweet potatoes
Broccoli or cauliflower
Lettuce heads (two)
Herbs (sage and parsley)
Broccoli raab
Red cabbage
Roots combo (watermelon radish and gold ball turnips)

Our blog of September 6th of last year has lots of good info that is applicable to this week's share. It talks about the benefits of sweet potatoes, the culinary attributes of sage, and has a great broccoli raab recipe from Mark Bittman of the NYT.

Spaghetti with broccoli raab, toasted garlic and bread crumbs (photo NYT)
We really like the recipe. The toasted bread and garlic are perfect with this tasty brassica. You could also add some pine nuts, walnuts, pecans, cheese or other protein source to the dish. A good hot sauce is a nice embellishment too. Good hot or cold, make a big serving and have the leftovers for lunch.

An it has been nothing but celebrations and farming for us the last two weeks. The Outstanding in the Field dinner was a big success. Despite the cold and wind everyone had a grand time. Some of the photos below are from my sister Jeanne who joined us for the festivities.

Next celebration was the 9th Anuual End of the Season Dinner. Another grand time with great food, great friends and great music. We want to thank everyone who helped out and made the dinner yet another success story for the 2012 season.

An finally, it has been back to work. Still lots to do here, between harvesting, tending to the high tunnel, taking down bean fences and tomato trellishing, rolling up the irrigation tape and headers, mulching, row covering in advance of frosts, prepping beds for the winter, planning for next year...and scheduling our down time. All the while enjoying this bountiful time of year.

Row covering the broccoli and cauliflower

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

In the Share - Week 24

SAVOY CABBAGE (F) We are very proud of our big, beautiful cabbages.  The savoy type has pretty ruffles and is very sweet. 

LETTUCE (F/P) More tender leaf and butterhead types. Two for the full shares, one for the partials.

SWEET POTATOES (F/P) You will have your choice of either traditional orange or cream-color or a mix of the two.

CARROTS (F/P) The first digging of the fall carrots. They are young and tender good!

BULB FENNEL (F/P) See Tom’s post on fennel. We like to eat it raw in our salads.

BROCCOLI (F/P) HERB CHOICE (F/P) Cilantro, dill or mint

GREENS CHOICE (F) Kale, collards or Broccoli Raab (Rapini)

ALSO THIS WEEK: Parker Farms CSA shares

NEXT WEEK:  If you can’t get enough Fair Share Farm veggies and are sad for the season to end, you can keep the produce coming by signing up for the extended season shares. See your email inbox for all the details. Otherwise, you are on your own kiddos until next Spring rolls around.
FARM REPORT: Seeing as how this is the last week of the 2012 CSA “regular” season I should be thanking you all and bidding you a happy winter, but to do so seems inappropriate to the circumstances at hand. It really doesn’t feel like the end of the season on the farm. Despite frosts that killed the summer fruits, the fields are full of produce. Not even counting the crops in the high tunnel, we have enough vegetables to feed many families for many more weeks. We thank those of you who have already signed up for another month of salad greens, fall roots, sweet potatoes and leeks. We still have some spots open, so don’t be shy.

But, really, we must thank you all for your support of Fair Share Farm. The farm exists because you decided to take a chance with us this Spring before any crops were harvested and most hadn't even been planted. Since then we have had record heat, record drought and record tomatoes all without the use of synthetic chemicals, pesticides and GMO seeds.  We hope that when you look back on the season as a whole, you will know that taking a chance with us pays off.  Every year the harvests get better as we continue to make improvements to our soil, to the farm's infrastructure, and in our planning.  Together with you we look forward to many more seasons of bountiful harvests for the community.

What to Do With Your Share---Week 24

Seems like only yesterday that the season began, and here we are in October in the last week. We made it through the drought, and the October frosts, and still have plenty of vegetables.We have had a very good year, all in all, and hope it has been good for you too.

The Outstanding in the Field dinner is approaching quickly, and we are ready to be quite busy the next 2 days prepping to host over 100 guests. We are quietly stressing as we also prepare for this week's harvest. Luckily digging tender Fall carrots calms our nerves, as does any good harvest.

We hope you enjoy the newest item this week, bulb fennel. There is perhaps no other plant as aromatic in our fields. A frost, a rain, or a stiff breeze will cause fennel to scent the air with a wonderful fresh smell. On the culinary side it adds a nice brightness to salads, and is good anywhere you would use celery.  One recipe that might fit into what you have in your fridge is Roasted Fennel, Leeks and Kohlrabi, from our 2011 Thanksgiving post.

We appreciate the support we get from our CSA and want to remind you that we couldn't do this without you. As we begin our first extended season we start a new era at the farm, and look forward to providing you with vegetables for even more of the year.


Thursday, October 11, 2012

Remembering the 2011 Outstanding in the Field DInner

As we get ready to host Outstanding in the Field again, we thought we would look back and remember what a wonderful day we had. Attendee Mo Hirsch from St. Louis did a wonderful job of documenting the event and here are a few photos. You can sign up for this years dinner on October 19 at 2pm here.

Setting up

Signing in
Chef, artist and founder Jim Denevan, talking with Rebecca
Chef Jonathan Justus and the main course
Rebecca demonstrating the electric G

Eating dinner
One of the courses, served family style

The menu


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

What to Do With Your Share---Week 23

A slight two months ago we were in the middle of as hot a Summer as has been had in these parts, and now the freeze has come and gone. No more tomatoes or peppers on the vine, but cabbages as big as a volleyballs are in the fields awaiting harvest. We are happy to move on to this new season, well stocked and anticipating a little rest.

Tomato plants after a hard frost

I have always been drawn to the Fall harvest. The thought of a warm house with pots of local fare on a hot stove is comforting. And right now I am excited about the green tomatoes. For while I am surrounded by them for a good portion of the year, it is now that they really seem like the thing to cook.

One recipe (that I have not tried) comes from member Heather Gibbons via her Facebook page. She says...I tried something new with green tomatoes and it's crazy good. I roasted wedges with salt and olive oil, then blended them with 2-3 cloves of roasted garlic and a little more olive oil. It's addictively tangy and earthy, salty and sweet. I'm just not sure what to call it. Not sure either but I would recommend it.

A favorite meal of mine is green tomato curry over rice. We put a version of it in our October 17, 2007 newsletter. The thing about this recipe, is that there are lots of options for what you can add, so you can make it with whatever you have on hand. Don't have curry paste, use curry powder. Don't have eggplant, skip it and add more peppers and leeks. Add some diced potatoes or radishes or kohlrabi.

I do suggest though, that you find yourself some coconut milk. It makes for a smooth and creamy curry and adds a nice flavor. Another suggestion for this dish is to cut the veggies all different ways to enhance its texture. Cut long slivers of the onions, mince the peppers, chop the green tomatoes into chunks.

1 medium onion or 1 large leek
2 to 3 green tomatoes
2 green peppers
3 cloves garlic, chopped fine
2 tbsp sesame oil
1 to 2  tbsp curry powder or green curry sauce
1 cup coconut milk

Peel the onion/clean the leeks. Core the green tomatoes.  Core and seed the peppers.
- Chop the onion/leek into slivers, the peppers into dice and the green tomatoes into chunks.
- Heat the sesame oil to a large skillet or pan. Add the curry sauce, onions and peppers.
    Sauté on high heat for 2 minutes.

- Add the green tomatoes and garlic, stir. Cook for 2 more minutes.
- Turn heat to medium, cover and cook for 10 minutes, stirring once.
- Add the coconut milk, stir, cover and cook for 10 minutes more, or until tomatoes are tender.

In the Share - Week 23

LEEKS (F/P) I love the way the walk-in cooler smells when it is full of leeks. It smells like buttery goodness.

LETTUCE (F/P) Tender red leaf and butterhead varieties this week.

TOMATOES (F/P) A couple of green tomatoes and a few more ripe ones.

GREEN PEPPERS (F/P) The last of the green peppers

NAPA CABBAGE (P) We are harvesting the prettiest Napa cabbage crop we have ever had: dense heads of delicate leaves.

CAULIFLOWER OR BROCCOLI (F) We planned on putting out more broccoli and cauliflower transplants this summer but as insanely hot as it was we are grateful to be able to offer a choice of the two. Partial shares will get broccoli next week.

BEETS (F) The first harvest of the fall beets, mostly a long variety called “Cylindra”

TURNIPS AND WATERMELON RADISHES (F/P) A couple of each. The watermelon radishes are good keepers. To reduce the heat of radishes slice them into rounds and peel the hot outer layer off.

HERB CHOICE (F) Arugula, dill or tarragon

NEXT WEEK: The last week of the regular 24-week season. More lettuce, herbs, broccoli, cauliflower and sweet potatoes. Carrots, savoy cabbage and bulb fennel.


 The thermometer read 26 degrees F Sunday morning and with that the summer crops took their exit. The fields are now stripped with brown rows of dead plants. Everything does not die with the frost. We are gladdened by the resilient cabbages and broccolis that will keep growing until the hard freeze. Other crops fared just fine under a layer or two of row cover. We are just beginning to harvest the fall roots and look forward to many more warm days before winter. The high tunnel plants are growing rapidly within the protected environment.

Next Friday 10/19 we will be hosting our second Outstanding in the Field dinner at the farm and we invite you to join us. The talented folks at Justus Drugstore will once again be serving up their hand-crafted recipes to 100+ diners sitting at a long table in our fields. The chef will be using some of our produce along with other local meats, wines and cheeses. There are still seats at the table available. Go here to learn more and to purchase tickets. Last year the food was amazing and we met so many interesting people who traveled great distances to eat dinner in our farm field.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

What to Do With Your Share---Week 22

The shares continue to put on the pounds right now as the Fall harvest kicks in, and the coming frost calls for harvesting all of the fruit off the peppers, eggplant and tomatoes. And don't forget the last of the sweet potatoes. It is the richest time of year, as harvesting takes center stage.

The green tomatoes may be in the shares for a couple weeks, so you should know at least one way to cook them. The web is filled with recipes for fried green tomtoes, and here is ours.

Recently the cabbage and sweet potatoes have been coming on, and it seemed that the two of them would make a nice combination. The recipe below is similar to a German potato salad, except it has no bacon. You can use any type of cabbage that you have on hand, including this week's Chinese cabbage. 

Sweet Potato Cabbage Hash
2 to 2-1/2 lbs sweet potatoes red or orange), chopped
4 cups choppped cabbage
2 cloves garlic
2 medium onions
olive oil
salt and pepper
1/2 cup vinegar
2 tsp honey

  1. Bring a pot of water to boil and add the sweet potatoes, cabbage and a teaspoon of salt. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Drain. The liquid can be saved and used as a vegetable stock or warm drink.
  2. Meanwhile saute the onions and garlic in olive oil in a large pan for about 10 minutes.
  3. Add the sweet potatoes and onions and fry for approximately 15 minutes, until tender and brown.  You can add some ot the stock if the potatoes start sticking to the pan.
  4. Mix the vinegar and honey and add to the pan. Stir.
  5. Garnish with parsley

In the Share - Week 22

sweet potatoes
CAULIFLOWER (F/P) The broccoli is just starting and some may get a choice of the two.

SWEET POTATOES (F/P) These are the traditional orange type. They keep for months at room temperature. Never refrigerate sweet potatoes.

LETTUCE (F/P) The last of the crispheads this week. Next week we start in on the more tender leaf lettuces.

GARLIC (F/P) One head for all one last time. The rest we are planting at the end of the month.

TOMATOES (F/P) We have quite a few ripe tomatoes still and we think everyone will get around a pint again.

GREEN TOMATOES (F/P) Frost is on it’s way by Saturday morning. The farm is in full swing preparing for it which includes harvesting the green fruits from the summer crops. See Tom’s post for ideas for using your green ‘maters.

GREEN PEPPERS (F/P) Ditto on the peppers.

EGGPLANT (F) If the forecaster is right this will be the last of the eggplant.

NAPA CABBAGE (F) See Tom’s post for a yummy sweet potato and cabbage recipe.


ALSO THIS WEEK: Parker Farms CSA shares


pre-frost harvest
The frost is not forecasted until Saturday, but we are trying to get a lot done early this week before the weather gets wet and cold. Tomorrow we hope to bring in the last of the tender crops and button up the high tunnel. Row cover is protecting the lettuces and bulb fennel out in the field and most of the green summer fruits have been picked.  Many of the crops that we grow this time of year can handle a light frost and actually get sweeter in the cold weather.  Fall carrots, broccoli, kale and turnips actually benefit from a cold night or two. 

Speaking of cold nights, all current CSA members are invited to sign-up for the Inaugural Fair Share Farm CSA extended season.  A deposit form will be in your inbox tonight.  We are offering 4 extra weeks of produce starting October 24th.  Space is limited to 50 shares, so send that form on in to secure your spot.  We are only offering full shares, so consider sharing with friends and family if it is too much for you alone.  Cost is $30/week. Distribution will be available at the normal farm, Liberty and Bad Seed locations and times.   No work requirement for this short run although that may not be the case in 2013.  Our best guess is that the shares will be comprised of the following:  lettuces, bok choy, sweet potatoes, cabbage, bulb fennel, beets, carrots, turnips, radishes, leeks, endive, spinach, herbs, cauliflower and broccoli.  Tom and I are looking forward to extending our harvest season on the farm and we welcome you to join us.