Blog/Farm Newsletters

Posted 4/2/2013 11:21am by Debra Brubaker .

While operating a year round CSA does not allow the typical winter recess for us as farmers, the slower growth rates, and bi-weekly distributions do allow for us to squeeze in moments of thinking of things other than what need to be planted/weeded/harvested. Over the past months, I have used these moments to step off the farm and into rooms of other farmers either gathering to learn new growing techniques or developments on policies on the state and federal level that have effect on our farms and communities. I thought for this newsletter, I would also take a step away from the daily happening of the farm (and weekly weather report) to fill you in on policy that is certain to effect farms and food in this country.


Last month I attended the annual convention of the Pennsylvania Farmer’s Union, a member organization that works to provide a voice for small family farms. Part of the day was devoted to learning about the recent FDA’s Proposed Food Safety Rules that were released in January and are currently open for comment. These rules are a response to the Food Safety Modernization Act that Congress and President Obama passed as a result to the increasing numbers of food related illness outbreaks over the recent years. These serious cases warranted evaluation of our food handling practices and regulations surrounding them, but as a small farmer the potential of more regulation and costly inspections were anxiety causing. What would be expected of us if some blanket rule was made for all food producers? Could we afford to stay in business if we had more inspection costs? Fortunately, as a small farm, we had folks speaking for us at the rule making table (Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture and The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition to name a few). The proposed rule rejects a “one size fits all” approach to food safety regulation and ensures that scale-appropriate regulations include the option for small, mid, and direct-market agricultural operations to comply with equivalent state regulations or modified, scale-appropriate federal regulation. Of course these allowances are very comforting to us here at Village Acres. If adopted as proposed, these rules will not require us to have more inspections or practices beyond our current practices to ensure that the food we deliver to your tables in not only safe, but also healthy and our farming practices contribute to the health of the environment as well.
Of course, the reason I’m writing about this in the newsletter is that we are not guaranteed that these rules will be implemented as written. There will most definitely be folks from the agribusiness community that oppose the protections for small and medium sized operations and the power of these groups is intimidating. So I’m asking all of you to add your voice to the discussion and work alongside our farm and farms like ours to work for rules that both protect the safety of our consumers as well as the viability of many of our nation’s small and medium sized farms and processors. For more information on the evolution of the Food Safety Modernization Act, and the proposed rule, please visit and follow Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture’s (PASA) executive director’s Write to Farm blog.

This week’s Share: Lettuce Mix, Spinach, Potatoes, Carrots, Turnips, Celeriac, Onions, and Thyme

Recipe:

White Root Vegetable Soup with Thyme Butter (Serves 4)
Bon Apetit, Dec 2001

1/3 stick butter, room temperature
1 tablespoons minced fresh thyme
2 medium leeks (white and pale green parts only), sliced
1 garlic cloves, minced
3 1/2 cups (or more) canned low-salt chicken broth
2/3 pounds celery root (celeriac), peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 pounds turnips, peeled, each cut into 8 wedges
1 pound parsnips, peeled, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
1/2 cup whipping cream

Mix 6 tablespoons butter and thyme in small bowl to blend well. Season thyme butter to taste with salt and pepper.

Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add leeks and garlic and sauté until leeks are tender but not brown, about 10 minutes. Add 10 cups broth, celery root, turnips, and parsnips; bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium, cover and simmer until vegetables are very tender, about 50 minutes. Cool slightly. Working in batches, puree soup in blender until smooth. Return soup to pot. Stir in cream. Season with salt and pepper. (Thyme butter and soup can be made 1 day ahead. Wrap butter in plastic wrap. Cool soup slightly. Refrigerate uncovered until cold, then cover and keep chilled. Rewarm soup over medium heat, adding more broth, if desired, to thin.)
Ladle soup into 12 bowls. Top each with small piece of thyme butter; swirl into soup and serve

Posted 3/19/2013 11:38am by Debra Brubaker .

Farm Notes…

Well we have been rather suddenly reminded that we in the middle of mercurial month of March this week. After a couple of weeks of feeling like spring was taking off, the numb hands syndrome returned yesterday as we harvested spinach. We have a good blanket of snow this morning. The one person who seems to be enjoying the snow this morning is my father, who is happily riding around on the tractor clearing all the neighborhood driveways-perhaps he knows it will be the last of the season. While my dad is on his joy ride, my mother, newly retired from her nursing career, has shown up to work in the packing to help pack CSA shares today. It’s a new age here at Village Acres, and I’m very happy to be working alongside my mother again on a daily basis on this farm. It brings back vivid memories of transplanting tomatoes with her in the basement of our house (before the time of our propagation greenhouse.) I’m looking forward to creating many more memories and am grateful to have her back on the farm full time as she has a way of making this farm a more beautiful place- through her stunning flower beds and her ever gracious spirit ~Deb

Vegetable Notes:
This week’s box reflects a transition week. You will likely notice that there is no mesclun mix for the first time this winter. Up until last distribution we have been harvesting from plants seeded before the winter solstice, and with the lengthening day, these plants have now decided it is time to set seed (bolt) so they are no longer of harvestable quality. We do have a new planting that will be ready in a few weeks. Also next distribution will include the first lettuce mix which will add some variety to your salads.

This week in your box, you will have the final harvest of our winter chard/beet plantings and also Kohlrabi which was also planted last November into the greenhouse. For those of you not familiar with Kohlrabi (cabbage turnip), it is a beautiful vegetable that is in the same family as broccoli and cabbage. The bulb can be sliced and eaten raw, or chopped and cooked. It tastes very similar to the stem of broccoli, and can be used similarly. The leaves can also be used like other greens. Unfortunately the voles (small rodents) seem to love the sweet stem of the kohlrabi and ate about half our planting as a winter snack, so each share will only get a small sampling of this crop.

With these crops now out of the greenhouse, we are busily adding compost to beds, and planning the best design of the greenhouse to inter crop one more spring planting of lettuce heads, other greens, or summer herbs, with our early tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, and eggplant. It’s exciting and makes for an exciting patchwork design in the greenhouses. I will try to keep you updated with photos.

Don’t forget to sign up for our Summer/Fall CSA-
Asparagus, Rhubarb, and Strawberries are just around the corner!
www.villageacresfarm.com/2013-summer-csa

 


In the Box this week…
Potatoes*
Spinach
Carrots
Butternut Squash
Onions
Red Beets
Kohlrabi
Rainbow Chard
*from neighbor farmer- no spray/but non-certified

Posted 3/5/2013 12:03pm by Debra Brubaker .

The sun is shining, the spinach growth rate has doubled, and the mesclun mix planted in December has decided that it is time to bolt. Eggplant, pepper, basil, and tomatoes are sprouting in the greenhouse, and our mouths are watering as we talk about tomato, basil, and mozzarella sandwiches. I’ve been doing a lot of math lately as I try to hone in on the proper amount of cucumbers to seed to ensure that I have at least 3-4 cucumber per summer share member from the end of June through September. It’s a complicated formula, full of multiple variables which in the end makes the formula really a definition of the artistic process of farming rather than the cut and dry scientific tool that we would maybe like it to be. Either way, it gets applied to every crop and at least provides a starting point for the season. We are strategizing how to get one more planting of short season lettuce mix, radishes, and greens in and out of the greenhouse without postponing planting tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant. All of it is an exciting puzzle; one we hope will come together for the creation of some beautifully delicious spring boxes! We hope you all have a wonderful couple of weeks and enjoy both the snow and 50 degree days expected in the next week.
~Deb

Signups for our Summer CSA are picking up- We hope many of you will consider joining us for the coming season. Visit our website, the extra’s table (staffed distributions), or email CSA@villageacresfarm.com to get more information and sign up! Also word of mouth is our strongest marketing method- please help us spread the word!

Vegetable Notes:
Today in your box you have the last of our sweet potatoes and Napa cabbage for the year. As we start clearing out the last of our fall storage crops, the boxes will start to be filled with more greenery. Savor that caramelly sweetness of those potatoes- I know I will be!

Posted 2/19/2013 11:18am by Debra Brubaker .

These past few days, we’ve been lurching into the spring season in much the same way as our little Farmall tractor starts out each season- some strong spurts followed by some sputtering! Yesterday, spirits were high among the farm crew as we harvested greens in the very sunny greenhouses, slowly shedding one layer after the other until eventually we were in t-shirts. After we were finished cutting the mesclun in the morning, we returned to tear out the plant stubs and roots so as to squeeze in one last planting of greens before the space is needed for our early tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers. The greens stubs we rip out of the greenhouse are tossed over the fence to the chickens which come running our direction when they see one of us carrying a bin of this winter salad. Our propagation greenhouse is filling quickly and overwintering tatsoi and mustards are beginning to bolt upward, often with a fine display of yellow flowers (a winter salad delicacy at our table). Even on the farm margins, the skunk cabbage is pushing through and the multiflora rose buds are beginning to swell. 
This morning we are sputtering a little as the snow is falling and we are reminded that we are not clear of winter just yet. We will try to be patient and do our best to make certain that we do everything in our power to be greased, primed, and ready to shift into high gear when the time is right.

Signups for our Summer CSA are open. We hope many of you will consider joining us for the coming season. Visit our website, the extra’s table (staffed distributions), or email CSA@villageacresfarm.com to get more information and sign up!

In the box this week: Spinach, Mesclun Mix, Carrots, Potatoes, Red Beets, Butternut Squash, and Onions.

Posted 2/5/2013 9:22am by Debra Brubaker .

Farm Notes…

I’m not sure about you, but I have been religiously checking the 10-day weather forecast looking for the picture of a sun and the numbers 32 and higher for what feels like a very long time. The extended cold and gray has taken a toll on our greens the past couple of weeks - some beds have needed to be renovated and reseeded, but without the sunshine, our next succession is not rebounding as quickly as we would hope. We are crossing our fingers for a couple of sunny weeks to help us kick back into high gear.

In addition to renovating greenhouse beds, we have been working on an infrastructure project- running an underground waterline and electricity to our newest greenhouse. After a fall of stringing out 400 feet of water hoses every time we needed to water, having a water line inside this greenhouse will feel like a real luxury.

While the cold weather is lingering, we are able to observe that at least the chickens are responding to the subtle churn of the seasons. There are a few more eggs every day, and this week the Khaki Campbell ducks we bought off of Craigslist started to lay eggs. We are excited to use our new incubator to hatch out some ducklings to add to our poultry menagerie.

There’s all this and, yet, the biggest news of all doesn’t have to do with plants or animals! After 20 years of working off-farm (in addition to raising a family and doing farm work), my mom (Hope Brubaker) is finally retiring from her nursing job! In about 5 weeks, we can start assigning all sorts of things to her to-do list! No, seriously, we are so proud of everything she has done to make our life here possible and couldn’t be more excited to witness another 30 years of well-deserved retirement. We have not committed her to a flower share this summer, but those of you who were really looking forward to flowers should talk to us as we may offer them on a limited basis.

We have also opened our signups for our Summer CSA. We hope many of you will consider joining us for the coming season. Visit our website, the extra’s table (staffed distributions), or email CSA@villageacresfarm.com to get more information and sign up!

Eager for sun,
Deb

Upcoming Events at the FoodShed:
Live Music,Saturday March 2nd: Chicken Tractor!
Cafe opens at 6 PM, Music at 7:00PM

Perhaps you’ve hear this band at the Elk Creek, or at the Art’s Festival before. If so you will know why we are excited to have them perform in our space in a few weeks. We welcome you all to come on out and enjoy their great energy and musical talent! Chicken Tractor is an old time Country and Americana band based in the Penns Valley area. For more information about the band visit their website.

Special thanks to the Juniata County Cultural Arts Committee for making this event possible!

In the Box this week…
*Potatoes
Napa Cabbage
Carrots
Daikon Radish
Mesclun mix
Sweet Potatoes
Garlic
Beet/Chard Greens

*from neighbor farmer- no spray/ but non-certified

Posted 1/22/2013 11:04am by Debra Brubaker .

Farm Notes…

This week we are being reminded of the sharp edge winter can have. As the forecasters predicted temperatures that would not exceed freezing for the early part of this week, we started to scramble on Sunday afternoon to ensure that we had a large enough window of time to harvest greens from the greenhouse before they froze again. Luckily we finished late afternoon yesterday just as the temperatures started to plummet. While the cold temperatures create some anxiety for me, as I worry whether the greenhouses will be warm enough to allow for enough growth to supply our next harvest, I am grateful for some truly cold temperatures, as they provide helpful control of insect pest populations for the coming season. So thank you, winter… and thank you, wood stove!

Despite the fact that we are experiencing the coldest temperatures of the year, our summer season is fully in motion. We have nearly 20,000 onion plants emerging in our heated propagation greenhouse and will soon be starting scallions, lettuces, peppers, and tomatoes in the next several weeks.

We have also opened our signups for our Summer CSA. We hope many of you will consider sticking with us for the coming season. Visit our website, the extra’s table (staffed distributions), or email CSA@villageacresfarm.com to get more information and sign up!

~Deb


Vegetable Notes:

This week we decided to give you a break on the Butternut Squash. For those of you who can’t get enough, don’t worry they will be back. We were fortunate to have a good crop last fall, and they seem to be keeping well.

Spinach/Kale Choice: The Spinach harvests and Kale harvests were both on the shy side, so in an effort to give a decent portion size, we are offering these items as a choice.

Red Beets with tops: For those of you at a staffed distribution site, these will be outside the box for you to pick up is you enjoy beets. These beets were an experiment in our new large greenhouse, and unfortunately they have been very slow at “sizing up”, and now we need to the space for staying on track with lettuce mix planting. While the roots are small, the tops provide a nice edible portion as well. They can be used in place of chard or any other cooking green.

In the Box: Sweet potatoes, Potatoes, Celeriac, Green Cabbage, Bok Choy, Mesclun Mix, Spinach/Kale, Onions, Garlic, Rutabaga, and Carrots.

Posted 1/8/2013 9:11am by Debra Brubaker .

As a farmer, I have opportunities every day to be completely amazed by the wonders of the living world.  Over the past weeks, this has been particularly the case as I watch mesclun greens transform from limp and frozen to crisp and upright as the sun emerges on a 15 degree morning.  And the animals, turkeys choosing to roost under the moon on a fence row rather than in the cozy shelter of the barn which is available for them.  Or the mother hen who takes meal worms from my partner’s hand and holds them in her beak until her chicks, one my one, take and eat them. It is good for me as a farmer to take the time to observe this resilience, toughness, and natural instinct of the living world, for it helps me to my role in perspective.  These living things what to survive and flourish, and my job is to try to facilitate them to do so by careful observation of their natural preferences and working to create a system that supports these.  As we plan for the coming season, I’m trying to keep this in mind. 

In the Box…   Butternut Squash, *Potatoes, Carrots, Mesclun mix, Sweet Potatoes, Garlic, Napa Cabbage, Hakerui Turnips, Spinach

Note: Summer Sign-ups will be coming soon... We hope to have details of our Summer Season Signup completed by next distribution.  Stay tuned.

Upcoming events at the Farm:

Saturday, Jan 12th 2013 at 10am to Sunday, Jan 13th 2013 at 3pm, Village Acres FoodShed: Squash Hunger! With The Greenhouse : A delicious & heartwarming volunteer opportunity!

You are invited to Squash Hunger! Farmers from around Pennsylvania are setting aside their excess produce to be transformed into a delicious and nutritious soup for those in need. Please join us in sorting, preparing and freezing a bounty of squash soup. The soup will be donated to the St. Francis of Assisi Parish Soup Kitchen for distribution directly to those in need in the Allison Hill neighborhood of Harrisburg. For links to more information visit our Upcoming Events page on our website!


Posted 12/18/2012 9:48am by Roy Brubaker .

After a long silence I (so-called Farmer Roy) am again glad to greet you and share a few lines with our CSA friends/ members. We have had some beautiful weather for December, but I think we farmers also delight in the darkness of December, with the opportunity it provides for retreat to our homes after shorter work days. Relaxation, long restful nights and catching up on reading are pleasantries I relish these days. But during these shorter days we also review planting schedules, production records, work performance and profitability (of our first year operating as a daughter-Deb and Dad-Roy partnership).
Though we had some crop failures and didn't achieve our full potential we did have a profitable operation this year. And I as Dad, am very delighted that Deb has joined me in this partnership. I am also very grateful for the fine hard working staff currently with us. They are indeed worthy of the profit share they have earned this year.
With that note of gratitude, I also recognize with gratitude you CSA members, and your vital role in sustaining Village Acres Farm. Thank you, everyone! Some of whom have supported us from the very beginning, a total of 15 years. We hope and plan to keep rewarding you with good healthy food in the future. We believe we can improve our performance over time, and hope you will see and taste the difference in the year and years ahead.
As for other happenings, last week we had a farewell for David Ruggiero, CSA manager the last three years. Dave was a delight to have the total of five seasons here, and we wish him success as he begins his own vegetable production near Carlisle.
Also, seed orders are going out this week, also orders for raspberry and strawberry plants. Straw mulching on strawberries, garlic and asparagus is under way. Green- house plantings are taking more time with the additional large greenhouse this fall, and this should mean CSA members should have a consistent supply of greens through the winter months. We do not have the pork shares to offer this fall, as we have deferred to Blue Rooster Farm to be the pork distributor (email Julie@blueroosterfarm.com for more information)
To conclude, we hope all of you will delight in the darkness of December, and also the light and peace of the holiday seasons.

~Roy Brubaker

In the Box this week…Butternut Squash, *Potatoes, Carrot, Parsnips, Mesclun mix, Sweet Potatoes, Garlic, **Red Onion, *Cabbage, Kale/Arugula, Watermelon Radish, Spinach

Outside the box… Bok Choi and Tatsoi (for those of you who can’t get enough)


Note on this week’s vegetables:
*While 2012 was overall a good growing season we did have some difficulty. We had a potato crop failure (wet caused seed potatoes to rot in our heavy clay fields). Also our cabbage transplants were stunted with extreme heat in mid-summer and didn’t produce. Luckily our neighbor farmer Steve Wengerd has been able to help us make sure you folks get these staples this season.
**The Red Onions are certified organic onions we purchased from our growers co-op. While onion are reasonably good storers, we have had some difficulty keeping good quality onions year round. In order to help supply you with better quality, we often sell our own onions earlier in the fall to our co-op and in exchange have the ability to purchase good quality as needed through the winter months. We hope to find some better varieties and storage methods to be able to store our own onions better in the future as well.

Today’s box is a hefty box! We hope you like the variety. There will be a 3 week window and perhaps several Holiday feasts till our next distribution on January 8/9 so we thought a little more bulk could be utilized!

Upcoming events at the Farm:
Saturday, January 5th: Live Music at the FoodShed: “The Heggs”: a local bluesy, folksy band (staring our own Will Markely, part time farmer, full time musician.)Café opens at 6pm, music starts at 7PM. Event is co-sponsored by the Juniata Cultural Arts Committee. BYOB


Saturday, Jan 12th 2013 at 10am to Sunday, Jan 13th 2013 at 3pm, Village Acres FoodShed: Squash Hunger! With The Greenhouse : A delicious & heartwarming volunteer opportunity!
You are invited to Squash Hunger! Farmers from around Pennsylvania are setting aside their excess produce to be transformed into a delicious and nutritious soup for those in need. Please join us in sorting, preparing and freezing a bounty of squash soup. The soup will be donated to the St. Francis of Assisi Parish Soup Kitchen for distribution directly to those in need in the Allison Hill neighborhood of Harrisburg. For links to more information visit our Upcoming Events page on our website!

Posted 12/4/2012 12:12pm by Debra Brubaker .

Farm Notes…

Welcome to Village Acres Winter CSA 2012-13! We are happy to have you all be part of our extended farm community, whether you’ve been a member in previous seasons or are joining us for the first time this winter! We are grateful for all of your support of our farm and for your dedication to eating seasonally year round!
Just to start off with introductions, I am Debra Brubaker, the youngest child of Roy and Hope Brubaker, founders of Village Acres Farm. I have been involved with this farm since our family moved here in 1982 and have grown to love this land immensely. This year has been an important transition year for our family and this farm as I have stepped into the role of business partner alongside my father- the first stage of our family’s succession planning. This past summer, I worked closely with our CSA manager, to learn the ropes of CSA coordination and now with the start of this Winter CSA, I’m taking the reins. I’m grateful for the opportunity to connect with all of you and to work to fulfill our farm’s vision of connecting people to their food, the earth, and each other. I welcome comments and suggestions throughout the season. I also want to extend an open invitation to come and visit the farm. We will try to keep you informed of events happening here, but we welcome visitors at any point (calling or emailing ahead is a good idea just to make sure we are around.)
I look forward to seeing each of you at some point during the season, Deb

IN THE BOX: Butternut Squash, Daikon Radish, Red Beets, Hakerui Turnips, Sweet Potatoes, Bok Choy, Garlic, Mesclun Mix, Napa Cabbage,  Spinach, Carrots

Recipe

Sandor Katz, author of Wild Fermentation, Cabbage Kimchi

Makes 1 quart
• sea salt
• 1 pound chinese cabbage (napa or bak choi)
• 1 daikon radish or a few red radishes
• 1­2 carrots
• 1­2 onions, leeks, a few scallions, or shallots
• 3­4 cloves of garlic
• 3­4 hot red chilies, depending on how hot you like your food, or any form of hot pepper, fresh, dried, or in a sauce
• 3 T fresh grated gingerroot

Mix a brine of 4 cups water and 4 tablespoons of salt. The brine should taste good and salty.
Coarsely chop the cabbage, slice the radish and carrots, and let the vegetables soak in the brine, covered by a plate or other weight to keep the vegetables submerged until soft. This can take a few hours or overnight is even better.
Prepare the spices: grate the ginger, chop the garlic and onion, remove seeds from the chilies and chop or crush, or throw them in whole. Kimchi can absorb a lot of spice. Mix spices into a paste. You can add fish sauce to the spice paste; just make sure it has no chemical preservatives which function to inhibit microorganisms.
Drain brine of vegetables after soaking. Reserve the brine. Taste the vegetables for saltiness. You want them salty but not unpleasantly so. If they are too salty, rinse them. If you cannot taste the salt, sprinkle a couple teaspoons and mix.
Mix the vegetables with the ginger­chili­onion­garlic paste. Mix everything together and stuff it into a clean quart size jar. Pack it lightly, pressing down until brine rises. If necessary, add a little of the reserved, vegetable­soaking brine to the submerged vegetables. Weigh them down with a small jar, or a zip­lock bag filled with some brine. If you remember, you can just push them down with your fingers. Cover the jar.
Ferment in your kitchen or other warm place. Taste it every day. After about a week, when it tastes ripe, move it to the refrigerator or cool storage space like a root cellar.

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

IMPORTANT Farm Notes…

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.

Recipes…

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

Kalynskitchen.com

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.

 

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