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A sigh of relief here in central PA...

Posted 11/1/2012 9:52am by Debra Brubaker .

Thanks to everyone for your flexibility this week.  While we were spared significant damage here in Central PA, we all have been reminded of the amazing strength of Mother Nature.  As I mentioned in an email earlier this week, we had quite a frantic start to the week- Steve and Marsha changed their plans and processed our last batch of chickens a day early in order to avoid processing in driving wind and rain, and much of Monday we spent securing animal shelters and greenhouse plastic/doors and harvesting as many of the more sensitive crops from the field (this will explain the large amount of greenery in your box today.)  Luckily Tuesday morning came, and we were pleasantly surprised that we did not have a large amount of clean up and the roads were even passable, but having already made the decision to postpone our CSA delivery, we enjoyed the most leisurely Tuesday of our season so far!  We hope you all also were spared too much damage, and perhaps also enjoyed a change of schedule this week.  We plan to be back on our Tuesday schedule next week, but with it being Election Day, it will  be little exciting as well (State College folks please see note below.)  Wishing you all a great weekend, and please vote on Tuesday!




State College Distribution Next Tuesday (Election Day): The Friends Meetinghouse is a polling location for the university area.  This means that there will (hopefully) be lots of traffic in and out of the parking lot and potentially lines of people.  We will still have our distribution there, but we ask CSA members to park as much as possible on the street to make sure folks coming to vote have places to park. 


CSA Boxes:  Please, please return your CSA boxes. We hand-build the boxes and had over 200 large and 200 medium boxes several years ago and are now down to about  75 Large and 25 medium. Amnesty day?J  For our last Summer Distribution (Thanksgiving week) and continuing into our winter CSA, we will be asking folks to bring their own boxes/bags, or to simply take the liner in efforts to significant cut costs of packaging.  We apologize to all of you who have been diligent in returning boxes over the years. 


Thanksgiving Turkeys:  Still a few left.  Order online or sign up on list at distribution.


Winter CSA Shares still available: We are still accepting signup for winter shares as well.  Sign up on our website (villageacresfarm.com) or on the lists at distribution. 

In the Box…  Broccoli, Bok Choy, Tatsoi, Lettuce heads, Sweet Potatoes, Leeks, Acorn Squash, and Carrots


Baked Acorn Squash Rings:  Martha Stewart Cookbook

1 small acorn squash
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
Coarse kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 
Cut the unpeeled squash crosswise into 1/2-inch slices and place them on a cutting board. Using a biscuit cutter or cookie cutter slightly larger than the seed center, cut out the seeds from each ring and discard.
Place the squash rings on a lightly buttered baking sheet. Dot each ring with butter and season to taste. Sprinkle a bit of brown sugar over each ring.
Bake the squash for 15 minutes. Turn the rings over, dot with more butter and sugar, and bake until tender, 5 to 10 minutes longer. Serve hot.



Parmesan-Roasted Broccoli: FoodNetwork.com


4 to 5 pounds broccoli
4 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
Good olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons julienned fresh basil leaves

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Cut the broccoli florets from the thick stalks, leaving an inch or two of stalk attached to the florets, discarding the rest of the stalks. Cut the larger pieces through the base of the head with a small knife, pulling the florets apart. You should have about 8 cups of florets. Place the broccoli florets on a sheet pan large enough to hold them in a single layer. Toss the garlic on the broccoli and drizzle with 5 tablespoons olive oil. Sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes, until crisp-tender and the tips of some of the florets are browned.

Remove the broccoli from the oven and immediately toss with 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, the lemon zest, lemon juice, pine nuts, Parmesan, and basil. Serve hot.

7 ways to cook leeks - http://www.ivillage.co.uk

Leeks are a truly versatile vegetable. They have a milder, sweeter flavor than onions and a smooth texture similar to asparagus.

Leeks can be cooked in all sorts of different and delicious ways. Try these:

Pan fried

Heat a small amount of olive oil and butter in a frying pan, add some sliced leeks and gently cook for about 5-10 minutes until tender.


For super-healthy leeks, saute with fennel and garnish with fresh lemon juice and thyme.


Heat a little oil over a high heat in a frying pan or wok, add some prepared leeks and stir-fry for a few minutes.


Place some sliced leeks in an oven-proof dish, sprinkle with cheese or cover with white sauce and bake for 30-40 minutes at 190C.


Pour some olive oil into a roasting tray and add leeks, making sure they are coated all over. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt and roast in the oven (210C) for 30 minutes.


Pour a small amount of chicken or vegetable stock into a frying pan, add some prepared, sliced leeks, cover and gently cook for 10-15 minutes. Braised leeks dusted with fennel or mustard seeds are a delicious accompaniment to fish, poultry or steak.


Spice up a salad by adding finely chopped leeks and dress generously with vinaigrette.

Leeks make an effortlessly easy side dish. Equally, they work wonderfully in a wide variety of recipes such as casseroles, omelets and frittatas, risottos, quiches, pasta sauces and soups.