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Looking ahead, and back...

Posted 11/13/2012 12:14pm by Dave Ruggiero.


Next week (Nov 20) is our last Summer Share delivery. Some new Winter members (those that paid for the extra Thanksgiving box) will also be joining us that day, and it’s also the day for turkey delivery (and turkey payments).  If you are reading this note, you are most likely a summer member and will be getting a box next week of the same size (Full or Medium) that you have gotten all year, but please contact us if you’re at all unsure.  There is no delivery (for anyone) on November 27th, and then Tuesday, December 4th will be the first regular delivery for Winter members.


Four and a half years ago, in May 2008, I headed out to Village Acres for a six-month apprenticeship.  I had spent a lot of time in school studying land use and conservation; I was looking for a hands-on way to apply it.  I wanted to move back to the ridges and valleys of Pennsylvania, which I had fallen in love with during my own time in State College.  And, perhaps most importantly, I loved to grow, cook, and eat good food.  A couple times during those years I’ve made plans to leave and been drawn back in at the last minute by the anxious call of the work we do here at the farm.  After 2010 I mostly stopped even planning to leave.  But circumstances have at last pulled me on to other things, and so as many of you know I will finally be moving on from the farm after the end of this summer season, to try my luck at farming on my own near my new home in Carlisle.  If farming teaches us anything, it shows us that time is both a wheel and a straight line.  Every moment is different; the past is never fixable and the future is always unexpected.  But at the same time, the events of each day, of each week, of each year never really change the underlying pattern.  I will miss you all on Tuesday afternoons for a long time to come, and will be thinking of the farm’s year (and my years at the farm) as I do all the same tasks for years into the future.  I hope that you all have as restful a winter, as frantic a spring, as exuberant a summer, and as bountiful a fall as we hope to in the years to come.

-Dave, CSA Manager 2010-2012.


CSA Boxes:  We appreciate all of you who have been diligent in returning boxes every week. We are asking that everyone simply take the plastic liner out of their box (or bring their own bags) for the last distribution of the summer season (November 29) and leave the box. We'd like to take stock of how many boxes we have at that point, before moving into the winter season. If, by any chance, you have a box that needs returning from a previous week, please do so right away. Thanks!


Thanksgiving Turkeys and Winter CSA Shares:  A few Winter CSA shares left, but if you still need a turkey, you should call us right away. If we we do have any unclaimed turkeys (we might not already) then they’ll be gone by Friday.


In the box this week: Beets, Turnips, Celeriac, Lettuce, Bok Choy, Tat Soi, Winter Squash, Sweet Potatoes, Carrots (for fulls only).

Produce Notes:  

Two new crops today, which might be especially interesting to those of you not joining us for the winter.  Turnips have a reputation as a sort of poor peasant’s food, but as long as you have something else to eat for six months I find them quite delightful.  They’re tasty roasted with other roots in a bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper, and they will also take well to soups (especially…mmmm….pureed soups with cream).  Celeriac, although it may look like some sort of squid monster, is a delightfully delicious vegetable that has the texture of a potato and the taste of celery.  Obviously this makes it a shoo-in for stocks, but keep in mind that unlike potatoes celeriac are also delicious grated raw.  See below for more information on both of these.

Blue Rooster Farm- On special for Tuesday, Nov. 20, beef brisket for $6. 75/lb.  When your out-of-town guests are tired of turkey leftovers, put a brisket in the Dutch oven, slow cooker, or smoker for a simple, delicious meal.


From Squidoo.com

Celeriac, sometimes known as celery root, is an unattractive looking vegetable. Celeriac has been called The Ugly One! Even its own mother wouldn't call it handsome, yet celeriac has been called "the unsung hero of the vegetable world" However, beauty is only skin deep- look below the surface!
Celeriac is a wonderful vegetable if you just know how to handle it…In the fall celeriac comes into its own for great soups and stews, so now's the time to get cooking with celeriac…In fall and winter, celeriac mash is a change from the dull old mashed potato. Another great way to use celeriac is in celeriac soup. Celeriac is a great base for many tasty soups.


Celeriac Mash

Celeriac adds a distinctive taste to your mash. It does, as its name suggests, have a slight celery flavor. You can make a mash entirely with celeriac, or you can make a potato and celeriac mash for a milder taste.

If you're following a low carbohydrate diet another good celeriac recipe is to mash celeriac with pumpkin or squash. All of these give you the texture of potato without the carbohydrate.
Peel your celeriac, chop into slices, and boil in salted water as you would do with potato. When the celeriac is soft, you can smash it with a potato masher, a fork, or you can put it through your food processor.

Now's the time to add a few extras to your celeriac recipe.
Mash a little butter or olive oil into the celeriac. Add some wholegrain mustard to the celeriac mash. Add herbs of your choice (we like chives), or a little coriander for a spicy taste.


Roasted Turnips with Balsamic Vinegar


2 large turnips
1 T olive oil
1 T balsamic vinegar
additional 1 tsp. balsamic vinegar for finishing
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 425 F for convection or 450 F for regular oven. Peel turnips with knife, then cut into pieces about 1 inch square. Whisk together olive oil and balsamic vinegar and toss with turnips, then spread in single layer in roasting pan. Roast turnips 25-30 minutes, or until slightly browned and softened.


Remove turnips from oven and place into serving bowl. Toss with additional 1 tsp. balsamic vinegar, season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper, and serve immediately.