Blog/Farm Newsletters

Posted 12/17/2013 11:47am by Debra Brubaker .
 FARM NOTES… Here we are at the last CSA distribution of the 2013 year.  It has been a great year- good growing conditions, good harvests, good folks to work with, and good customers! Thanks to all of you for your support, whether throughout the whole year or just in the last few weeks.  We are excited for a short break (5 weeks) before resuming every-other-week deliveries in late January.

While we will be spending good time with family and having some true down time, we will also be continuing the process of farm succession planning as we try to guarantee that this land and the farm is stewarded wisely, well into the future.  Most of you know the first stage of this process happened with transitioning from my parents being the lead farmers to a legal partnership between my dad and me. We’ve been hard at work, holding family/farm meetings, doing our transition plan homework (and being sensitive to the needs of my parents as they move into retirement) and planning for how Hannah and the kids and I will manage to keep the farm running viably and honor the holistic goals we all have for this land. We’ve surveyed you all several times as we continue to refine our plans and we are fortunate to have a loving, supportive family (including our siblings) who are all encouraging us as we move into the next stage of our farming journey.

Thanks for agreeing to come along for the ride! Have a wonderful next few weeks! Deb

IN THE SHARE TODAY: Sweet Potatoes, Spinach, Mesclun/Arugula, Red Onions*, Carrots, Butternut Squash, Napa Cabbage, Herbs, and Frozen Red Raspberries (bring a cooler if you aren't going straight home!) *Purchased from Tuscarora Organic Growers (our grower’s coop)

 

RECIPES…

Raspberry Yogurt Muffins

No need to thaw the raspberries – just toss them in right from the freezer.

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/3 cup sugar, sucanat or other sweetener

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

6 ounces yogurt

1/3 cup butter or oil

1 egg

1 cup frozen raspberries

Preheat oven to 400˚F.  Spray, grease or put paper liners in 12 (2 ¾ inch) muffin cups.  In medium mixing bowl, stir together dry ingredients.  In small bowl, beat together yogurt, oil and egg.  Stir yogurt mixture and raspberries into dry mixture until almost blended.  Add raspberries and stir until batter is just blended.  Do not overmix.  Spoon into prepared muffin cups.  Bake until nicely browned, about 20 minutes.

 

Savory Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes

Cumin, cayenne and salt to taste

Roasted and salted nuts or seeds

Preheat oven to 400º F. Place sweet potatoes on a pan (don't poke them), and bake for an hour or until soft. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before slipping off the skins.

Transfer the sweet potato to a glass bowl. Add spices and salt, and mash with a fork or potato masher until smooth. Top with roasted and salted nuts or seeds, and serve immediately, or it can be stored in an airtight container the fridge (just reheat before serving).

Posted 12/9/2013 8:44pm by Hannah.
IN THE SHARE TODAY:

Sweet Potatoes, Carrots, Red Beets, Rutabaga, Cabbage, Leeks, Garlic, Mesclun Mix, Kale


FARM NOTES…

As the work here at the farm slows with the shorter days and colder temperatures, we find ourselves equally busy…not only tending to those things that have been neglected for the past 9 months, but also engaging in workshops and trainings.  This week has been quite full of learning and networking with other farmers. Last week I attended a two day conference for experienced Organic farmers- learning tips for pest control, greens production, and general business management.  Over the weekend, we took part in the Pennsylvania Farmers Union convention and were inspired by the wisdom of John Ikerd -an agricultural economist who writes and speaks extensively on economic sustainability, emphasizing the critical role of small farms in this process.  And this week the off-farm learning and networking opportunities continue as both Hannah and I will be presenting at the Pennsylvania Women in Agriculture Conference.  Of course it’s a little hectic trying to pull off all of these engagements when we are still in the midst of weekly CSA distributions, but thanks to Adam and Will, all the harvest has gotten done in time and my parents, Julie, Chandler and Owen are stepping in to make sure all the details of distribution are taken care of. It really helps to have a great team. I’m grateful!  I am looking forward to settling back into a routine at the farm though… and diving into those seed catalogs for next season!

Also, just a reminder that there is one more week remaining in the fall extension (Dec17/18) which will be followed by a 5 week break before our first Winter CSA delivery on January 21/22.  We will have extra eggs and chicken available next week so that you can stock up for those weeks if you like. I also hear that Chandler may have some of her highly sought-after all-natural lip salve sticks for holiday gifts…stay tuned. 

Deb

 


 

While we prefer our rutabaga sliced raw with sharp cheese…

RECIPE…Roasted Rutabaga (Technically, this recipe could be made with sweet potatoes, carrots, red beets, rutabaga cabbage, leeks, garlic and kale - all together or pick & choose!)

Ingredients:

1 rutabaga about 6 inches in diameter

2 - 3 Tbsp. olive oil

1 Tbsp. dried Italian Herb mix

2 tsp. Kosher salt

1 tsp. sugar

 

Preparation:

1. Heat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Peel rutabaga and cut into 1/2-inch cubes.

3. Place rutabaga cubes in a large mixing bowl and drizzle with olive oil.

4. Cover bowl with a plate and shake to coat rutabaga with oil.(You may need a bit more oil.)

5. Sprinkle rutabaga with remaining ingredients and shake again to distribute.

6. Transfer rutabaga to a parchment-lined or non-stick baking sheet.

7. Roast in center of the oven until edges brown and rutabaga is tender - 30 to 40 minutes - stirring about halfway through to minimize sticking

 

 

Posted 12/3/2013 11:29am by Hannah.

FARM NOTES… 

Welcome to our first ever CSA fall extension!

Typically, at this time of year, we are beginning our winter/spring share and delivering every other week. The fall extension is our way of concluding the season within a calendar year before taking a more significant break than we have typically taken in the past. We are still working out what our schedule will be at this time next year and you’ll likely hear from us at some point, asking for your opinion. This year, we are fortunate to have had an abundant season, with plenty of crops in storage and three greenhouses packed with, well, green! All we need now is a nice sunny December to keep those greens growing (and farmers cheery)!

We hope you enjoy your share the next three weeks. We plan to have extra eggs and chicken (and perhaps some other things as well) at the December 17 distribution to hold you over through the holidays. Our first winter/spring distribution will by January 21.

Please note: For those of you who received a Thanksgiving turkey, we are asking for your feedback in a turkey survey. Please visit goo.gl/ZaiNZ2 to contribute. You will also receive an email with the direct link.

 

IN THE SHARE TODAY:

Red Beets Butternut Squash Tatsoi/Bok Choy (choice – limited bok choy), Mesclun Mix, Hakurei, Turnips, Leeks, Potatoes, and Chard


RECIPE…

Beet, Citrus and Avocado Salad

NYTimes.com

For the dressing:

-        2 tablespoons lemon or lime juice

-        1 teaspoon cumin seeds, lightly toasted and ground

-        Salt and freshly ground pepper

-        1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

-        1 tablespoon walnut oil

-        2 tablespoons canola oil

For the salad:

-        1 bunch beets (about 1 pound), scrubbed and roasted

-        1 pink grapefruit

-        1 medium-size or large ripe but firm Hass avocado, sliced

-        2 tablespoons slivered fresh basil 

1. Mix together the lemon or lime juice, the ground cumin seeds, salt, pepper and Dijon mustard. Whisk in the walnut oil and canola oil.

2. Peel the roasted beets, and slice or cut in wedges. Toss with 2 tablespoons of the dressing.

3. Cut away both ends of the grapefruit so that it sits flat on your work surface. Cut the skin and pith completely away from the fruit, following the natural curve of the fruit from top to bottom. Hold the grapefruit in your hand over a bowl to catch the juice, and cut away each segment from between the membranes.

4. Arrange the beets in the center of a platter, and surround with the grapefruit and avocado slices. Drizzle on the remaining dressing, and drizzle any grapefruit juice in the bowl over the grapefruit and avocado. Sprinkle on the basil, and serve.


 

Posted 11/26/2013 11:29am by Debra Brubaker .

Farm Notes…

 It seems to us fitting that our fall season concludes with Thanksgiving.  We have much to be grateful for this season…

˜ We are grateful for the wonder and delight that is this beautiful life.

˜ We are grateful for all the friends and family whose relationships with us make are lives richer.

˜ We are grateful for the opportunity to steward the land on this farm and to share with you all the bounty offered.

˜ We are grateful to be able to engage in work that is satisfying and tangible and fruitful.

˜ We are grateful for all the earth offers us, that the earth is patient with us and communicates with us what is needed to ensure future harvests.

˜ We are grateful for everyone who lives and works with us on the farm, dedicating themselves to a continual process of learning and sharing.

˜ We are grateful for everyone who makes our distribution process possible, offering up their homes/businesses/places of worship for us to be able to connect with community, offering their time and effort through our workshare program, and understanding when we need to make last minutes changes for weather, vehicle issues and crop surprises.

˜ We are grateful for a growing community of folks who care about the future of farming, who want access to nutrient-dense and safe food, and who increasingly understand the realities of what it takes to make it all happen.

When you sit down with your family this Thanksgiving, maybe take a moment and think about who grew the food you are eating and know that whatever part our farm plays in your meal, we are grateful to be in relationship with you and for the gifts that come with sharing our bounty with you.

 

Hannah, Debra, Chandler, Owen, Roy & Hope

IN THE SHARE TODAY:

Parsnips, Rutabaga, Celeriac, Leeks, Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Carrots, Garlic, Spinach, Napa Cabbage, Kale, and Mesclun mix (full shares only) 


Apple Cider Turkey Brine
(yes you can use the cider you purchased, didn’t drink, and is now hard!)

Ingredients

-        3 cups Apple Juice or Apple Cider

-        2 gallons Cold Water

-        4 Tablespoons Fresh Rosemary Leaves

-        5 cloves Garlic, Minced

-        1-½ cup Kosher Salt

-        2 cups Brown Sugar

-        3 Tablespoons Peppercorns

-        5 whole Bay Leaves

-        Peel Of Three Large Oranges

 

Preparation Instructions:

Combine all ingredients in a large pot. Stir until salt and sugar dissolve. Bring to a boil, then turn off heat and cover.

Allow to cool completely, then pour into a large brining bag or pot. Place uncooked turkey in brine solution, then refrigerate for 16 to 24 hours.

When ready to roast turkey, remove turkey from brine. Submerge turkey in a pot or sink of fresh, cold water. Allow to sit in clean water for 15 minutes to remove excess salt from the outside.

Discard brine. Remove turkey from clean water, pat dry, and cook according to your normal roasting method.

Creamy Mashed Parsnips & Potatoes

-        5 medium white potatoes

-        5 parsnips

-        1 large white onion

-        1 clove elephant garlic

-        kosher salt

-        4 Tbls. butter (that’s 1/2 a stick)

-        1/4 cup-1/2 cup heavy cream

-        1/4 tsp. white pepper

 

+Peel your veggies and chop them up

+Boil them ’til soft and drain

+Mash with butter

+Infuse with cream

+Season with a little salt and white pepper

 

Braised Cabbage

-        2 tablespoons melted lard, ghee, or bacon grease for coating the baking dish

-        1 medium head cabbage (about 2 pounds)

-        1 large red or yellow onion, peeled and thickly sliced

-        2 large carrots, peeled and cut in 1/4-inch coins

-        1/4 cup bone broth or water

-        1/4 cup melted lard, ghee, or bacon grease

-        Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

-        Aleppo pepper (optional)

-        Aged balsamic vinegar

 

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees with the rack in the middle. Coat a 13-by-9-inch baking dish with the melted fat.

 

2. Cut the entire cabbage into 4-6 wedges. Keep the core attached so the wedges stay intact after the long cooking time. Don’t worry: The tough core will get super tender, too.

 

3. Place the cabbage pieces in a single layer in the greased dish — a little overlap is okay. Toss on the onions and carrots and drizzle with broth and the melted fat. Season well with salt, pepper and Aleppo pepper (if using). Cover tightly with foil and place in the oven.

 

4. Cook the cabbage undisturbed for 40 mins - 1 hour. Crack open the foil cover and carefully flip the wedges over. Reseal the dish tightly and braise until fork-tender.

 

5. At this point, you can remove the cabbage to cool and store in the fridge until you’re ready to eat it (up to 4 days). When you’re ready to serve, crank the oven up to 425 F and bake until browned (about 15 minutes).

 

6. Drizzle with aged balsamic vinegar and serve immediately

 

Posted 11/19/2013 1:14pm by Hannah.

Farm Notes…

November is a special month.  In the first few weeks we all start to recover from the chaos of the height of the growing season and the projects that have been on the back burner and which slowly become the tasks of the day. We all begin to breathe easier and tell slightly longer stories at the morning meeting.  This is of course until we reach the week and a half before Thanksgiving. We then suddenly need to switch back to summer mode -strategizing the processing, cooling, and packaging of 200 turkeys on top of harvesting, washing, and packing our Thanksgiving CSA boxes. It’s an exciting last hurrah for the year. We are bracing ourselves for taking that plunge in the next few days.   The feeling I have is similar to the feeling I used to have entering Final Exams - a little anxiety, a little satisfaction, and a good dose of excitement, knowing the end of one phase of the process is near.  Deb

 


IN THE SHARE TODAY: Kale, Cabbage, Sweet Potatoes, Carrots, Watermelon Radish, Turnips, Onions, Garlic, Butternut Squash.

Fall Extension/Winter CSA Sign up now open!  Sign up online or at a staffed distribution

Pastured Turkey’s available for ThanksgivingPreorder online or at a staffed distribution!


 

Recipes… 

Cabbage Salad

1 Head Cabbage (chopped)

4 Green Onions (chopped)

2 packets ramen noodles

4 T Sesame Seeds

3/4 c slivered almonds

3/4 c oil

1/2 c honey or other sweetener (if desired)

1/4 c white vinegar

2 T soy sauce

Toast the 2 packets ramen noodles, 4T Sesame Seeds, and 3/4 c slivered almonds.

Dressing: mix oil, honey (heat mix slightlyif using sugar), white vinegar and soy sauce together.

Add all of the above items together just before serving. The noodles get soggy if the dressing is added too early.

 

Baked Kale Chips

Large handful of kale leaves

2 Tablespoons olive oil

sea salt, to taste

Preheat oven to 275 F. Remove the ribs from the kale and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces. Lay on a baking sheet and toss with the olive oil and salt. Bake until crisp, turning the leaves halfway through, about 20 minutes. Serve as finger food.

 

Radish Butter

 

4 small radishes

2 T fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves

6 T butter

Sea salt

Pulse 4 trimmed radishes and the parsley leaves in a food processor until finely chopped. Add the butter (softened), and pulse until well combined. The radish butter can be refrigerated, tightly wrapped, for up to 3 days. Serve on toasted bread. Sprinkle sea salt on top to taste.

 

Our daughter Chandler made this recipe this week and it was FANTASTIC!

Chocolate Swirl Sweet Potato Pie with Pecan Crust

This pie happens to also be gluten free, but it is completely satisfying and delicious.

Ingredients

2 eggs

3/4 cup cream

3/4 cup sugar (we used sucanat)

1/3 cup butter, melted

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

3/4 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon kosher (coarse) salt

2 cups roasted and mashed sweet potato (about two large potatoes)

Chocolate Swirl

1/4 cup cocoa powder

1/4 cup cream

Pecan Crust

1/3 cup sugar (we used sucanat)

2 1/2 cups ground pecans

1/4 cup butter, melted

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions

Step 1. 

If the sweet potatoes have not been pre-roasted, wash and pierce the skins of two large unpeeled sweet potatoes and set them in the oven to bake for approximately 1 hour at 350F, or until soft when squeezed and the skin peels away easily. Peel

Pie Crust

Step 2.  Mix the ground pecan, sugar and cinnamon together, and stir the melted butter into the dry mix. Continue to stir by hand for a few minutes, until all of the pecans have been coated with the melted butter.

Step 3. 

With patience, press the pecan mix FIRMLY into the bottom and up the sides of a 9.5" deep-dish pie plate. Take the time to ensure that it is packed well; the nut crust will hold together better. Chill the crust for 40-45 minutes in the fridge.

Pecan Nut Crust

Step 4.  On a cookie sheet in the middle rack of the oven, bake the pie crust at 350F for 8 minutes, watching to ensure that the crust does not burn. Remove from oven and set aside to fill. (The sweet potatoes could also be done at this stage if you did not pre-roast them).

Pie Filling

Step 5.  In a small saucepan, warm the 1/4 cup cream for the chocolate swirl. Sift the 1/4 cup of cocoa powder in gradually, smoothing out any lumps with a spatula and set aside.

Step 6.  Peel the roasted sweet potatoes and remove any bad spots from the surface with a knife. With a mashing tool, smash the potatoes coarsely.

Step 7. 

Place the cream, white sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, salt, and eggs in a blender with the mashed sweet potato and butter. Purée the mixture until no chunks of sweet potato remain. This will ensure a fine texture to the finished pie.

Sweet Potato Puree

Step 8.  Pour off about 1/2 to 3/4 of a cup of the sweet potato purée and fold into the saucepan with the cocoa powder. Add more sugar to sweeten the purée if desired, as it will taste like unsweetened dark chocolate (we did not add sugar and it was plenty sweet – assuming you like dark chocolate). Set aside.

Step 9.  Without scraping, pour all of the remaining purée from the blender into the ready pecan crust.

Marbled Swirl

Step 10.

To create a top swirl that doesn't marble the pie all the way through: Top the orange purée with the chocolate purée. Do not worry about getting the chocolate to the edges. Top the chocolate with irregular splotches of orange purée scraped out of the blender. With a knife, make large loops and swirls through the chocolate and orange. Less is more dramatic.

Step 11.           

Keep the pie on top of a cookie sheet. Using a pie shield (or create a shield with aluminum foil), carefully tent the exposed edges of the nut crust to prevent burning. Bake at 350F for 50minutes to 1 hour. The pie will begin to heave at this stage, but there will still be a soft spot in the middle.

Step 12.           

Turn off the oven and allow the pie to remain in the heat for another 5 minutes, then remove and cool completely before serving.

Posted 11/12/2013 10:50am by Hannah.

Farm Notes…

Our Summer/Fall season is rapidly coming to a close- just two more distributions after today.  We are continuing to put outside planting to sleep for the winter.  Yesterday, Dad spent the day putting compost around our blueberry patch and the recently planted garlic will shortly be blanketed with straw mulch.  Inside the greenhouses we are installing supports for additional row covers that will be drawn over the greens every evening and rolled back every morning for the next 3-4 months. 

We are also quickly trying to learn the routines of Steve and Marsha who are finishing their last weeks here.  Steve and Marsha have been integral members of the farm for the past few years.  Steve has been a diligent caretaker of the animals, always the first to get up in the morning, and faithfully remembering to close the hens into their shelter every night.  He has also stoked the fire, turned the compost, maintained many machines, and moved countless lengths of poultry netting- all in addition to helping with the planting, weeding, and harvesting tasks of the day.  Marsha has been fantastic at heading up CSA box packing and ensuring that the correct number of shares makes it to each distribution location.  She has also done many of the often thankless jobs of organizing the packing shed, washing and hanging out to dry hundreds of box liners, weighing and recording the seemingly endless amounts of produce that come from the field and strategically packing it all into the coolers.  She has made delicious biscuits and coffeecakes and roasted some fine coffee to serve for our First Saturday breakfast.  Marsha has always been the person to give a smile and lighten the mood even on the most stressful summer days.  Together, Steve and Marsha have processed over 1500 chickens and almost 400 turkeys and washed approximately 2000 dozen eggs in their tenure at Village Acres.    So…as you can see we have some big holes to fill as they transition back to Eastern PA, closer to their families, and their next phase of farming life.

As always, life here on the farm (well, life in general) is about the changing of the seasons: constant renewal…

 


IN THE SHARE TODAY: Acorn Squash, Potatoes, Carrots, Celeriac, Red Beets, Head Lettuce, Mesclun Mix, and Leeks.

Fall Extension/Winter CSA Sign up now open!  Sign up online or at a staffed distribution

Pastured Turkey’s available for ThanksgivingPreorder online or at a staffed distribution!



Recipe…


Leek, Celeriac & Potato Soup

Adapted from Ellen Ecker Ogden’s From the Cooks Garden.

Ingredients

-        4 T butter

-        3 cloves garlic minced

-        1 celeriac peeled & cubed

-        1/2 t nutmeg grated

-        1 c spinach chopped

-        3 med leeks chopped

-        4 potatoes red skinned, cubed

-        6 c vegetable or chicken stock

-        1 bay leaf

-        to taste salt & pepper

Instructions

Heat butter in large pot over medium-low heat. Add leeks and garlic and cook, stirring often until leeks are tender (about 15 minutes). Add potatoes and celeriac and cook, stirring often (about 5 minutes). Add stock, nutmeg, and bay leaf. Cover and simmer until potatoes are tender (about 30 minutes). Remove bay leaf.

In batches, purée soup in blender until smooth. Add the spinach leaves and pulse to blend. Return to pot, season with salt and pepper to taste, and reheat gently. Season with salt and pepper shortly before serving.

Posted 11/5/2013 12:55pm by Hannah.

Farm Notes…

Well, it’s that time of year when we officially have everything in from the fields with the exception of parsnips, leeks, and celeriac, as well as carrots, collards and kale that we are overwintering. Now will rely heavily on storage crops and what we are growing in the greenhouses. Don’t worry, though, we we’ve stored a lot for you and our greenhouses are truly GREEN!

Today we are providing several recipes, one of which (stuffed cheese pumpkin) is a real treat for the whole family, so consider making it together with kids or invite some friends over!

Notes on some of the box  items:

New England Cheese Pumpkins: These pumpkins are similar in flavor to butternut squash and are great for pies, custards, and other pureed type dishes.  We don’t have quite enough for everyone, so if you prefer, we have the option of choosing  butternut squash instead.

Sweet Potatoes: You will notice that some of the sweet potatoes have little holes this year.  Early on in their development, our sweet potatoes were subjected to the impact of wire worms in the soil. There are not worms in the potatoes, but you will see the evidence of their feasting. What is left behind is a hardened hole which typically separates from the potato after cooking if you choose to remove the skin. There is nothing inedible about it, but you may notice the visual imperfection. We are working to figure out what is causing the increase in wire worm damage and will hopefully figure it out before next year. 

Peppers: These are seriously the last of the season.  The last row came out of the greenhouse this week.  I know there have been a lot of peppers this year, but if you can, enjoy the last of the season!

Thanks to everyone who came out for our Fall Harvest gathering and last Saturday Morning breakfast of the season. Our FoodShed was full most of the morning. We hope to see you all again in the spring!

 


IN THE SHARE TODAY: Cheese pumpkins / Butternut squash (out of box – choice), onions, sweet potatoes*, watermelon radishes, peppers, Tatsoi, Napa cabbage, kale/chard, rosemary.

Fall Extension/Winter CSA Sign up now open!  Sign up online or at a staffed distribution

Pastured Turkey’s available for ThanksgivingPreorder online or at a staffed distribution!



Recipe: Sautéed Tatsoi

Organic Coconut oil

Tatsoi leaves or Baby Bok Choy

Peppers

Onions

Garlic, minced

Fresh Lemon slices or wedges

Coarse salt or sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste

 

Preparation:

Separate, wash, and dry the Tatsoi (keeping the stems on). Place the them onto a towel to dry.

Add coconut oil to a medium-hot large frying pan and sauté the peppers and onions. Add fresh minced garlic to your taste. Sauté until the garlic releases its lovely odor.

Turn heat to medium low, toss in the prepared greens, stir, place lid on the pan; cook just until the greens have turned a brilliant green, approximately 3 to 5 minutes, and have softened and just begun to wilt. If needed, add a little water or chicken stock so nothing sticks to the pan.

Add fresh lemon slices or wedges as garnish. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.



Stuffed Cheese Pumpkin – takes some time but a real treat and fun for the whole family!

Recipe courtesy of Daniel Boulud, adapted from a recipe prepared by his mother, Marie

Yield: 10-12 servings (recipe is for a large pumpkin of 10 or so lbs – halve for a small pumpkin of 5 or so lbs)

Ingredients:

1 cheese pumpkin

1 squash (acorn or butternut)

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 loaf sourdough bread

1 clove garlic, peeled

3/4 pound smoked bacon, cut into approx ¼ inch thick batons (can be omitted)

½ cup toasted and chopped pecans

½ cup toasted pumpkin seeds

1 bunch chives, sliced

1 pound Gruyere or other similar cheese, grated

5 cups Half and Half

3 tablespoons spice blend of brown sugar, rosemary, coriander, ground cloves, and nutmeg to taste

Salt and pepper to taste

 

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Slice the squash (not the pumpkin) in half, remove the seeds, rub the inside with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Lie the squash flesh side down on a sheet tray lined with aluminum foil and bake for approximately 1 hour, or until cooked through (check with the tip of a paring knife). 

Meanwhile, with a small serrated paring knife, remove a circular cap wide enough to later fill the pumpkin with stuffing (approximately 10 inches in diameter). Cut the sourdough bread into 1-inch thick slices and toast. Lightly rub the toasted bread with the clove of garlic. 

In a medium saute pan over medium heat, add the bacon and cook, stirring, until crispy. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon, drain on a paper-towel lined plate and set aside. When the cooked squash is cool enough to handle, remove the flesh with a spoon and cut into a rough dice. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the Half and Half with 2 tablespoons of spice blend, and salt and pepper to taste. 

Sprinkle the inside of the cheese pumpkin with salt, pepper and the remaining spice blend. Begin filling the pumpkin, starting with a layer of bread, then half of the bacon, half of the pecans, half of the squash, half of the chives and half of the cheese. Pour in about half of the Half and Half mixture and lightly press down. Repeat with remaining filling ingredients to reach the top of the pumpkin. Pour in the remainder of the Half and Half to reach the top of the pumpkin. Return the cap to the pumpkin and transfer onto an aluminum foil lined baking tray. Bake for 1½ to 2 hours, or until the cheese pumpkin is cooked through. 

Serve warm, scooping a bit of the cheese pumpkin from the sides along with the filling.

 


Kim Chi

Recipe courtesy of chow.com

 

Ingredients:

1 (2-pound) napa cabbage

1/2 cup kosher salt

About 12 cups cold water, plus more as needed

8 ounces radish (daikon is ideal), peeled and cut into 2-inch matchsticks

4 medium scallions or onions or leeks, ends trimmed, cut into 1-inch pieces (use all parts)

1/3 cup Korean red pepper powder

1/4 cup fish sauce

1/4 cup peeled and minced fresh ginger

1 tablespoon minced garlic cloves

2 teaspoons Korean salted shrimp, minced (optional)

1 1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar

 

Instructions:

Cut the cabbage in half lengthwise, then crosswise into 2-inch pieces, discarding the root end. Place in a large bowl, sprinkle with the salt, and toss with your hands until the cabbage is coated. Add enough cold water to just cover (about 12 cups), making sure the cabbage is submerged (it’s OK if a few leaves break the surface). Cover with plastic wrap or a baking sheet and let sit at room temperature at least 12 hours and up to 24 hours.

Place a colander in the sink, drain the cabbage, and rinse with cold water. Gently squeeze out the excess liquid and transfer to a medium bowl; set aside. 

Place the remaining ingredients in a large bowl and stir to combine. Add the cabbage and toss with your hands until evenly combined and the cabbage is thoroughly coated with the mixture. Pack the mixture tightly into a clean 2-quart or 2-liter glass jar with a tightfitting lid and seal the jar. 

Let sit in a cool, dark place for 24 hours (the mixture may bubble). Open the jar to let the gases escape, then reseal and refrigerate at least 48 hours before eating (kimchi is best after fermenting about 1 week). Refrigerate for up to 1 month.

Posted 10/22/2013 9:59am by Hannah.

IN THE SHARE TODAY Acorn Squash, Sweet Potatoes, Red Beets, Hakurei Turnips, Leeks, Bell Peppers, Garlic, Bok Choy, Spinach, Salad Mix, Tomatoes, hot peppers, Yummy peppers

UPCOMING EVENTS:

October 26th: Live Music with Blue Heron. FoodShed grill will open at 6pm with music performance at 7pm. Blue Heron is encouraging attendees to come in costume!

Nov 2nd: Farm Breakfast & Fall Harvest Gathering 8am to noon. Hayrides, farm tours, children’s activities and the breakfast grill will be open in our FoodShed.

Fall Extension/Winter CSA Sign up now open!  Sign up online or at a staffed distribution

Pastured Turkey’s available for ThanksgivingPreorder online or at a staffed distribution!

 

Farm Notes: WE NEED YOUR HELP!

We do not wish to sound alarmist, but today we are asking for your support during the comment period for the new Food Safety Modernization Act. We try to reserve these requests for situations where our farm and our shareholders are directly impacted and this is one of them! This act is poised to GREATLY impact family farms, and our farm directly, and action must be taken by Nov 15. Depending on how the rules are set, we will see massive oversight of farms by the Food and Drug Administration for the first time and will impact how food is grown, packaged, and distributed and it doesn’t look hopeful for farms like ours.

Much of what appears here can be found on the National Sustainable Agriculture’s website at www.sustainableagriculture.net. Please visit the site for more information and for a template for submitting comments if you do not feel comfortable submitting on your own.

In its push to write new food safety rules based on the Food Safety Modernization Act passed by Congress, FDA is threatening to make sustainable and organic agriculture, local food, and farm conservation efforts collateral damage.

As currently written, the rules will:

  • put many small farms out of business;
  • reduce the supply of fresh, local produce in schools and hospitals;
  • push farmers to tear out wildlife habitat; and
  • increase the use of chemicals rather than natural fertilizers.

Everyone has a role in ensuring our nation’s food is safe – from the farmers who grow it to the folks who take it home and prepare it. But unless we act now, these new rules will have a devastating impact on the farmers and businesses responsible for putting fruits, vegetables, and other healthy foods on America’s dinner plates – which, in turn, affects our health and wellbeing.

Make Your Voice Heard: Submit a Comment to FDA Today!

FDA is seeking comments from the public - that's you! The #1 most important thing you can do to help fix FSMA is take a few minutes RIGHT NOW to submit a comment to FDA either online or through the mail. Use the sample comment below to get started! It is important to personalize your comment – FDA will read every single submission, and unique comments have the most impact.

Submit (or postmark) your comment by the deadline: November 15, 2013!

Step 1 – Customize the comment below for yourself! There are guiding questions to help you tell your story effectively to FDA below.

Step 2 – Submit your comment in TWO places – to the Produce Rule (http://bit.ly/fsma-pr) and to the Preventive Controls Rule (http://bit.ly/fsma-pcr). This is important because these issues affect both rules.

Step 3 – Take a stand publicly and sign NSAC’s FSMA petition! Then use your voice and the tools of social media to help spread the word!

Sample Comment for Consumers

Re: Preventive Controls Rule: FDA-2011-N-0920, Produce Standards Rule: FDA-2011-N-0921

I am a [concerned consumer, parent, entrepreneur, etc.] writing because I am concerned about the impact that FDA’s proposed FSMA rules will have on [the farms that I buy food from, my business, my family’s ability to find local food, the environment]. I ask you to ensure that new regulations do not put family farms out of business, harm farmers’ soil, water, and wildlife conservation efforts, or shut down the growth of local and regional healthy food systems!

[Customize your comment: Do you make an effort to buy from farms that use sustainable practices like organic?  Why? If local farms went out of business due to the rules, how would that limit your access to fresh produce? Why is it important to you that farmers be able to support habitat for honeybees and wildlife?]

I urge you to modify the rules so that they:

Allow farmers to use sustainable farming practices, including those already allowed and encouraged by existing federal organic standards and conservation programs. Specifically, FDA must not exceed the strict standards for the use of manure and compost used in certified organic production and regulated by the National Organic Program.

Ensure that diversified and innovative farms, particularly those pioneering models for increased access to healthy, local foods, continue to grow and thrive without being stifled. Specifically, FDA needs to clarify two key definitions: first, as Congress required, FDA must affirm that farmers markets, CSAs, roadside stands, and other direct-to-consumer vendors fall under the definition of a “retail food establishment” and are therefore not facilities subject to additional regulation. Second, FDA should adopt at least the $1,000,000 threshold for a very small business and base it on the value of ‘regulated product,’ not ‘all food,’ to ensure smaller farms and businesses (like food hubs) fall under the scale-appropriate requirements and aren’t subject to high cost, industrial-scale regulation.

Provide options that treat family farms fairly, with due process and without excessive costs. Specifically, FDA must clearly define the “material conditions” that lead to a withdrawal of a farmer’s protected status in scientifically measurable terms. FDA must also outline a clear, fair, process for justifying the withdrawal of a farmer’s protected status and for how a farmer can regain that status.

Thank you for your consideration,

[Full name, city and state, email address]

Remember – You’ll need to submit this online twice (to the Produce Rule (http://bit.ly/fsma-pr) and to the Preventive Controls Rule (http://bit.ly/fsma-pcr) or mail in a single hard copy to Division of Dockets Management (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, Room 1061, Rockville, MD 20852.

Submit (or postmark) your comment by the deadline: November 15, 2013!


Recipe: Scalloped Sweet Potatoes & Squash

Layer sweet potatoes and butternut squash with a cream sauce and Asiago cheese for a new colorful twist on scalloped potatoes."

INGREDIENTS:

-        2 sweet potatoes, quartered lengthwise

-        1 butternut squash, quartered and

-        seeded

-        2 tablespoons olive oil, or as needed

-        3 tablespoons butter

-        1/2 yellow onion, chopped

-        2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

-        2 cups milk

-        1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh sage, or

-        more to taste

-        1 pinch garlic salt, or to taste

-        ground black pepper to taste

-        1/4 cup grated Asiago cheese

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease an 8x8-inch baking dish.
  2. Brush sweet potatoes and squash with olive oil. Arrange sweet potatoes on a baking sheet; set squash aside.
  3. Bake sweet potatoes in the preheated oven for 5 minutes. Add squash to sweet potatoes; cook until almost tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove and cool.
  4. Heat butter in a saucepan over medium heat; cook and stir onion until tender, about 10 minutes. Add flour, milk, and sage; season with garlic salt and black pepper. Cook and stir until flour is dissolved and sauce is thickened, 5 to 10 minutes.
  5. Remove and discard skins from sweet potatoes and squash. Thinly slice sweet potatoes and squash. Arrange sweet potato slices in the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Layer half the squash atop sweet potatoes. Pour a little less than half the cream sauce over squash. Sprinkle with half the Asiago cheese. Repeat layering with remaining squash, cream sauce, and Asiago cheese, respectively. Cover with aluminum foil.
  6. Bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil and bake until cheese is melted and bubbling, about 10 more minutes.
Posted 10/8/2013 9:51am by Hannah.

Farm Notes…

Another beautiful autumnal week on the farm! We hope you will join us on November 2nd for our Fall Harvest gathering. We are tossing things up a bit this year and having a Saturday morning event, in conjunction with our first-Saturday-of-the-month breakfast. We will have hayrides, farm tours, children’s activities and will open the grill where you can purchase a delicious farm-sourced meal if you want.

With the changing seasons, we are starting already to plan for next year’s harvest. Every day we work to balance serving well our current shareholders, planning for a manageable and vibrant future, and ensuring the land is stewarded. You are an integral part of our community and we are grateful particularly to those of you who now have been with us for 10, 15, even going on 17 years! Of course we thoroughly enjoy the yearly additions to our community as well. Thank you to each of your for enriching our lives.

Enjoy your share! Hannah


IN THE SHARE THIS WEEK: 

Pie pumpkins*, romaine lettuce, onions, garlic, napa cabbage, eggplant, bell peppers, potatoes, tomatoes, hot peppers, herbs and kale (outside box)

 

UPCOMING EVENTS:

October 26th: Live Music with Blue Heron. FoodShed grill will open at 6pm with music performance at 7pm.

Nov 2nd: Farm Breakfast & Fall Harvest Gathering 8am to noon. Hayrides, farm tours, children’s activities and the breakfast grill will be open in our FoodShed.

Fall Extension/Winter CSA Sign up now open!  Sign up online or at a staffed distribution

Pastured Turkey’s available for ThanksgivingPreorder online or at a staffed distribution!


Recipes…

Pumpkin Soup

Ingredients:

3-4 cups mashed cooked pumpkin

1 Tablespoon minced garlic

1  large mild (sweet) onion, chopped

6 fresh carrots (finely chopped or grated)

3 tablespoons melted butter or margarine

one half teaspoon salt and dash of pepper

1 pint half-and-half (If you want to go "au naturale" try your favorite milk instead - half and half gives it more body, though)

2 teaspoons thyme

4 tablespoons chopped parsley

2 stalks of celery

Step 1 - Cook pumpkin*

Step 2 - Gather the other ingredients

Step 3 - chop the onion & celery- about 1/8” in   

Step 4 - Sauté the onion, celery and grated carrots in butter until tender.

Step 5 - Add the rest of the ingredients, except the ½ and ½. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  

Note: If you want to freeze the soup for use later, stop now and freeze it.  When you are ready to use it, defrost it, heat it up  and resume with step 6! 

Step 6 - Add half-and-half, and heat (on medium, while stirring). Serve warm. Makes 6-8 small servings.

* To make pumpkin purée from a pie pumpkin: start with a small-medium pumpkin, cut in half, scrape out the stringy insides with spoon or ice cream scoop, discard (save the seeds, of course). Lay cut side down on a rimmed baking sheet lined with silpat or aluminum foil. Bake at 350°F until fork tender, about an hour to an hour and a half. Remove from oven, let cool, scoop out the pulp. (Alternatively you can cut the pumpkin into sections and steam in a saucepan with a couple inches of water at the bottom, until soft.) If you want the pulp to be extra smooth, put it through a food mill or chinois.

Posted 10/1/2013 1:19pm by Hannah.

IN THE SHARE TODAY: Sweet Dumpling Squash, Leeks, Cauliflower, Eggplant, Kale, Lettuce Heads (Full Shares), Lettuce Mix, Red Beets, Watermelon Radishes (excellent in salads), Peppers (Out of Box), Bok Choy, Sweet Corn (last of season), Tomatoes, and Garlic.


UPCOMING EVENTS:

October 5th: Farm Breakfast 8am to 11am. Stop by for a farm-sourced nutrient-dense (and delicious) meal.

October 26th: Live Music with Blue Heron. FoodShed grill will open at 6pm with music performance at 7pm.

Nov 2nd: Farm Breakfast & Fall Harvest Gathering 8am to noon. Hayrides, farm tours, children’s activities and an open breakfast grill in our FoodShed.

Fall Extension/Winter CSA Sign up now open!  Sign up online or at a staffed distribution

Pastured Turkey’s available for ThanksgivingPreorder online or at a staffed distribution!


Farm Notes…CSA Box 101

Here are a few things that can make your CSA experience even a better one:

Plan: Assuming your farmer gets her “box predictions” out in a timely manner, J, plan at least a few meals ahead of time around the box. Or, if you like surprises, design your meal plan the evening you get your box.

Know what you have: If you don’t recognize something in your box, ask your farmer while you have her at distribution. She might not be available when your pan is hot and you are rooting around in your crisper drawer! Reading your newsletter helps too as we often have special notes.

Store right away: Once you are home, store your veggies according to each one’s needs (you can always Google this, if need be). Unwashed veggies last longer, but being able to grab something in a pinch is helpful, too. If there are veggies you know you’ll eat raw, get them as ready for eating as you can, including washing and chopping, etc.

Think out of the box: We recently read this in a blog post by Johanna Vost on greatest.com: “Fry Lettuce: Yup. I said fry your lettuce. Switch up how you think of each vegetable. For example, move past thinking of lettuce just in salads. It can be sautéed, tossed into soups, fried etc.”

She also makes these recommendations for CSA box content preserving: Turn your fridge down one degree. And, “just about every fruit, all your leafy greens, tomatoes, peppers, beans and yes, even potatoes can be frozen raw or blanched to use later on. No doubt you will be excited to open your freezer and eat summer vegetables in the middle of winter.”

Too much? Feel overwhelmed by zucchini or bok choy? Make it an excuse to prepare extra and freeze it OR drop in on that neighbor you’ve been meaning to connect with.

  

Recipe…Braised Winter Squash with Black Bean Sauce & Bok Choy

3 tbsp vegetable oil

1/4 cup shallots, about 2 bulbs worth, minced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 large 1-inch hunk ginger, peeled and minced

1 tbsp Asian black bean-garlic sauce

3 - 4 cups winter squash, such as butternut, peeled and cut into 1- to 2-inch chunks

2 tbsp Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry

2 tbsp soy sauce

1/2 tsp granulated sugar

1 cup water or vegetable stock

1 large bunch bok choy, cleaned thoroughly and trimmed as needed and cut into 2 inch pieces

Sesame oil for drizzling

1. In a deep skillet or wok with a lid, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat and add the shallots. Cook until softened, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for 1 minute or so, then add the black bean sauce. Stir to keep from sticking.

2. Add the squash and stir to coat with the aromatics, 2 to 3 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the rice wine, soy sauce, and sugar. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Add to the squash and bring to a lively simmer. Add enough liquid so that the vegetables are barely covered. Cover and cook until the squash is just about fork tender, 15 minutes.

3. Remove the lid and place the bok choy on top of the squash mixture. Drizzle the bok choy with the sesame oil. return the lid and allow to steam until the bok choy arrives at your desired done-ness, at least 3 minutes.

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