Blog/Farm Newsletters

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.

 

Posted 11/6/2012 10:32am by Dave.

Hello again, Tuesday folks, after just five short days without us! After weathering the hurricane and a schedule change we are moving on today to our next complexity – Election Day – and afterwards we will be back on our normal routine.  Alas that’s only lasting for about a week – in two weeks it will be Thanksgiving, time for a busy and bountiful box for Summer and Winter shareholders as well as turkey deliveries, and then our Winter schedule begins and we will be welcoming new members and saying goodbye to some of our summer friends as well.  And with the end of Daylight Savings Time, distribution will be unusually dark today too, so no matter how you look at it things definitely have a different feel to them at this time of year.  At the farm our tasks have gradually changed too, following the trend we have been on since mid-summer.  Our day is now almost completely devoted to harvesting; except for a little bit of greenhouse work seeding, planting, and weeding are rare tasks. The farm’s whole effort is bent on bringing in all that we can before the nights get cold enough to spoil our efforts.  With beets, bok choy, and broccoli, cabbages, carrots, and celeriac, we need to prioritize – what can survive at 30 degrees? At 25? At 20?  The turkeys are growing, the pigs are getting fat, the air smells like snow and woodsmoke.  Welcome to November and the final three weeks of our Summer CSA! - Dave   

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 16) and leave the box. We 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 to return from a previous week, please do so right away. Thanks!

Thanksgiving Turkeys and Winter CSA Shares:  Going fast – order online to reserve your spot!

 

In your box: Broccoli, Sweet Potatoes, Leeks, Butternut Squash, Mesclun Mix, Carrots, and Spinach and Garlic (Fulls) or Arugula (Mediums)

Produce Notes 

Broccoli is coming in all sizes today as we cleared out the patch in anticipation of last night’s freeze.  We are trying to even out portion sizes, but some of you may get one big head and some may get three or four small florets.

Full Shares are getting spinach today while medium shares are getting arugula.  Both work well sautéed in all sorts of dishes and will cook down to much smaller than their fresh size – and both will also work to add to your mesclun mix as an additional green (especially the smaller leaves of each).

Butternut Squash have not yet officially appeared in your boxes yet this year, as we have been using up smaller and more perishable squashes, but they are probably familiar to all you already.  Some of our squashes have ring- or bullseye- shaped scars on them; they may look ugly but as long as your squash is hard this is just a cosmetic injury and the squash inside should be delicious and unharmed.

 

 

 

 

Recipes…

Egg, Arugula, and Herb Tartine

thekitchn.com

Serves 1 for breakfast or lunch

2 thick slices of good bread
2 big handfuls fresh baby arugula
1 sprig tender rosemary
Several chive stalks
1 tablespoon butter
1 egg 
Salt and pepper

Toast the bread and scrape on a little butter. Roughly chop the herbs and arugula as the rest of the butter heats in a small heavy sauté pan. Sauté the herbs and greens for just about a minute or until slightly wilted. Add the egg and quickly cook over medium heat until barely scrambled around the greens. Remove from the heat. Season with salt and pepper, pile on the toasted bread, and eat immediately.

 

Steamed Broccoli & Squash Dish

tasteofhome.com

Ingredients

1 pound broccoli, cut into spears

1 medium yellow summer squash, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/4-inch slices

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 garlic clove, minced

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

Directions

Combine the broccoli and squash in a steamer basket; place in a saucepan over 1 in. of water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Cover and steam for 5-8 minutes or until crisp-tender. Meanwhile, combine the remaining ingredients. Remove vegetables from steamer; drizzle with oil mixture and toss to coat.

 

Spinach, Potato, Leek Frittata

Ingredients

1 teaspoon butter

2 cups thinly sliced leek (about 2 large)

10-ounces of fresh spinach

1/3 cup milk

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

4 large eggs

4 large egg whites

2 cups cooked, peeled potato (about 3/4 pound)

Cooking spray

1 1/2 tablespoons dry breadcrumbs

1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded provolone cheese

 

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350°.

Melt butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add leek; sauté 4 minutes. Add spinach; sauté 2 minutes or until spinach wilts. Place mixture in a colander, pressing until barely moist.

Combine milk, basil, salt, pepper, eggs, and egg whites; stir well with a whisk. Add leek mixture and potato. Pour into a

10-inch round ceramic baking dish or pie plate coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs and top with cheese. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until center is set.

Preheat broiler.

Broil frittata 4 minutes or until golden brown. Cut into wedges.

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!

 

Deb

 

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


Recipes…


Baked Acorn Squash Rings:  Martha Stewart Cookbook

Ingredients:
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

Directions:
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

Ingredients

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
Directions

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.

Sautéed

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

Stir-fried

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.

Baked

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.

Roasted

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.

Braised

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.

Raw

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.

 

 

 

Posted 10/23/2012 12:04pm by Dave.

Last Sunday, I had the pleasure of leisurely wandering the farm collecting a selection of our “in season” produce to take for a booth at an event at the Unitarian Church in Harrisburg. We had had our first frost two nights before and the items harvested were the true cold tolerant vegetables. Even though I have been planning, planting, and weeding all these vegetables all season long, it was striking even to me the amazing beauty and diversity of vegetables that can be produced on this land at this time of year: Pumpkins, 4 types of squash, refreshing Hakurei Turnips, zesty watermelon radishes, the ever reliable carrot, broccoli (coming to everyone’s box soon we hope!), kale, the delicious red beet, celariac, tatsoi, bok choi (our cabbage alternative this year), onions, garlic, the comforting sweet potato, potatoes, spinach, and arugula.

Deb

In the box: Acorn Squash, Carrots, Red Beets, Watermelon Radishes, Potatoes, Onions, Bell Peppers, Hot Peppers, Mesclun Mix, Broccoli (Full Shares), Spinach (Fulls) or Chard & Beet greens (Mediums).


Produce and Cooking Notes…
Watermelon Radishes – Be sure to slice into these beautiful radishes and take a look at the vibrant pink flesh. A very tasty radish, indeed!
Potatoes – These potatoes are not from our farm, but from a neighboring Amish grower who is spray-free but not certified organic. We had a rough year for our storage potatoes and so bought some in for the winter from friends of ours who meet our standards for natural growing.
Bell Peppers - The last of our bell peppers for the year - they are unfortunately not holding well in storage. Full shares are also getting a couple of the skinny, red, wrinkly Jimmy Nardellos - and nobody is getting hot red cayenne peppers in their boxes.
Broccoli – Just starting to head up and tends to come in at different times which makes it hard to offer it to everyone at the same time. We hope to get it to everyone as soon as we can.
Mesclun Mix – Always delicious, sometimes spicy salad mix. Mesclun is a French term that originally meant a mixture of tender salads that were wild-harvested to renew the blood each spring. For you, with the aid of field tunnels, the renewal is available in the fall and all winter long as well!
Spinach or Chard & Beet Greens: Everyone is getting some sort of fresh cooking green today, suitable for adding in to most any dish. Full shares are getting a bag of spinach greens, while medium shares get a mix of young chard and beet greens.

Recipes

Sweet Pickled Onion Watermelon Radish Salad
kblog.lunchboxbunch.com

1 large watermelon radish, sliced into thin rounds
1 small mild onion, sliced into thin rounds
1/3 cup orange juice
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp pepper (fresh ground)
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
splash of rice wine vinegar (optional - adds an extra layer of tart-sweetness)
1. Slice your onion and radish. Place in a large mixing bowl.
2. Add the remaining ingredients to the mixing bowl - toss well.
3. Place in fridge to chill overnight.
4. Serve!


Mesclun Beet Salad
nytimes.com

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar
3/4 teaspoon balsamic vinegar (optional)
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 small garlic clove, finely minced or pureed (optional)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
6 ounce mesclun mix
2 medium or 4 small beets, roasted (to roast, simply place whole, sliced or cubed beets in a high heat oven or under the broiler), peeled and cut
A handful of fresh herbs, like chervil, tarragon, parsley and chives, chopped
Whisk together the vinegars, garlic, salt and pepper in a bowl or measuring cup. Whisk in the olive oil. Toss with the lettuces, beets and herbs just before serving.
Variation: Add 1 to 2 ounces crumbled feta or goat cheese to the mix.

 

*A note from The Greenhouse organization on their YES WE CAN Event at the FoodShed…

The Greenhouse is a community organization dedicated to transforming Harrisburg, Pennsylvania from a food desert into a food oasis by recovering food that would have otherwise been wasted, preserving it in healthy and creative ways and then distributing it to the community.

Yes We Can! is the Greenhouse's inaugural formal event and we are hopeful that you will take part in this exciting endeavor.

October 27: Stuff the Bus! is the fundraising and equipment gathering event for Yes We Can! Stop by Lenker Manor Park (just a block off the intersection of Derry Street and Wilhelm in Swatara Township) on Saturday October 27, 2012 anytime from 1:00-5:00 pm to Stuff the Bus with cases of canning jars (and other canning equipment). In return for your kind canning or monetary donations please enjoy some spicy chili, warm cornbread and hot cider. Special guest Bobbi Carmitchell will provide music.

November 3: YES WE CAN event - The Greenhouse is working in collaboration with Village Acres Farm & FoodShed for this event. Village Acres is in Mifflintown, PA, north of Harrisburg. Carpooling will be available. Please visit their website to view the amazing facility that we will be using for the Yes We Can! event. We will begin canning at noon on Saturday November 3, 2012. Shifts will be available throughout both Saturday and Sunday. Please mark your calendars now.

WHO ARE WE? The Greenhouse is a community group made up of passionate people that believe that healthy fresh food should never be locked away in dumpsters and buried in landfills while people are hungry. We believe that access to healthy and delicious food is a right, not a privilege. The Greenhouse is seeking energetic and passionate individuals to carry this mission forward.

WHAT DO WE DO? We recover food that would have otherwise been wasted and preserve it through canning, drying and freezing. The food that we use is always high-quality and we use safe food handling techniques. The food is recovered from farms, gardens and grocery stores. The Yes We Can! project will involve cleaning, sorting, canning, boxing and distributing apple sauce for a nonprofit service organization in Harrisburg that serves children.

WHY? Because access to healthy food is a right. We are hopeful that you will participate in this hands-on project. Take this first step toward transforming Harrisburg into a food oasis with us.

Can't make it to either event? Donations of canning equipment, jars, seals, lids, and other general kitchen utensils are being accepted on an ongoing basis.

Please contact Ashlee Shelton at (the.greenhouse.can@gmail.com) to arrange to make a donation or to be added to our mailing list.

Posted 10/12/2012 9:34am by Debra.

Farm Notes…

Well, here it is: We are 23 weeks into our 28 week season. Hard to imagine! Please note that our winter shares are filling up and Thanksgiving boxes and turkeys are available. You can reserve your turkey and sign up for the winter season right here on our website.

In the Box for Friday: Mixed Bell Peppers, Garlic, Lettuce Heads, Yellow Onions, Kale, Bok Choy,        Hakurei Turnips, Carrots, Rosemary, Spinach, Pie Pumpkin, Sweet Potatoes, Parsley,Sweet Dumpling Squash 

This week, we thought it may be fun to share a few photos from this season...

Our On-Farm Community  (from left to right): Debra Brubaker, Hannah Smith, Steve Freed, Will Markley, Marsha Freed, Owen Scott-Smith (front), Roy Brubaker, Megan Filoromo, Hope Brubaker, Byron Child, Chandler Scott-Smith (front), Dave Ruggiero, Etayehu Zenebe, Nick Lyter. 

An early summer share

Beautiful variety available in root crops- Watermelon radish, hakeuri turnips, carrots, purple top turnips. Many of these are still in the field, continuing to "size up".  We are systematically moving through the fields trying to make sure everything is harvested as close to the ideal time as possible.  THis week we were harvesting many carrots and sweet potatoes.

 

Early summer photo of our summer intern Etayehu Zenebe.

 

Kid goats born in spring that are now much bigger and have done a wonderful job of helping to control multi flora rose and other invasive plants that are present in the margins of our farm.  

 

 Mid-summer harvest of color!

 

If you haven’t “liked” us on facebook, please do so you can see more photos…

 

 In the box this week: Sweet dumpling squash, garlic, onions, kale, mesclun mix (fulls), spinach (mediums), hakurei turnips, bell peppers, carrots, pie pumpkins, sweet potatoes, and herbs (rosemary & parsley).

Produce and Cooking Notes

Sweet Dumpling Squash - This small, mildly sweet-tasting squash resembles a miniature pumpkin with its top pushed in

Hakurei Turnips - A small, delicately flavored variety that will win over even the harshest turnip critic

Kale – Full shares are getting a bag of kale; mediums are getting a smaller amount, in the same bag as their spinach (but easily separated out).

Pie Pumpkin - Small and sweet, with dark orange-colored flesh, they're perfect for pies, soups, muffins and breads. A medium-sized (4-pound) pie pumpkin should yield around 1½ cups of mashed pumpkin. This puree can be used in all your recipes calling for canned pumpkin.

Here are two ways to transform an uncooked pumpkin into the puree used in baking:

Baking Method

  • Cut the pumpkin in half and discard the stem section and stringy pulp. Save the seeds to dry and roast
  • In a shallow baking dish, place the two halves face down and cover with foil
  • Bake in a preheated 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) oven for about 1½ hours for a medium-sized sugar pumpkin, or until tender
  • Once the baked pumpkin has cooled, scoop out the flesh and puree or mash it
  • For silky smooth custards or soups, press the pumpkin puree through a sieve


Boiling Method

  • Cut the pumpkin in half, discarding the stringy insides
  • Peel the pumpkin and cut it into chunks
  • Place in a saucepan and cover with water
  • Bring to a boil and cook until the pumpkin chunks are tender
  • Let the chunks cool, and then puree the flesh in a food processor or mash it with a potato masher or food mill

 

Recipes…

 


Quinoa Stuffed Sweet Dumpling Squash

Emily Ho, www.thekitchn.com

Serves 3

3 sweet dumpling squashes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, diced (about 1/2 cup)
1/4 cup shelled pistachios, coarsely chopped
8 dates, coarsely chopped (about 1/4 cup)
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup cooked quinoa
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Cut squash in half and scoop out seeds. (The seeds can be roasted, like pumpkin seeds.)

Place squash face-down in an oiled baking dish. Bake until tender when pierced with a knife, about 30 minutes. Remove squash from oven but keep oven on.

Prepare the stuffing while the squash is baking. Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and sauté until onion is translucent. Add pistachios, dates, lemon zest, and cinnamon and sauté for another minute. Stir in the cooked quinoa and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Turn the squash upright in the baking dish and stuff with the quinoa mixture.

Cover dish with aluminum foil and bake for another 20 minutes.

Serve warm, garnished with extra pistachios or lemon zest, if desired. The peel of sweet dumpling squash is generally tender enough to be eaten.

 

Roasted Radishes, Hakurei Turnips & Onions

www.farmerdaves.net

Ingredients:

As many radishes as you have, quartered
As many hakurei turnips as you have, quartered
As many scallions (or onions or leeks) as you like, chopped into 1-inch pieces.
Toasted sesame oil
Tamari or other soy sauce

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In baking pan large enough to fit all your vegetables, toss the vegetables with enough sesame oil and tamari to lightly coat everything. Spread out vegetables evenly on a baking pan. Roast for about 30 minutes, or until tender, stirring once or twice in between. Delicious!

Posted 10/5/2012 7:43am by Dave.

With the coming of October fall seems to have completely overtaken the farm.  The vibrant greens of spring and ripe tomato reds of summer have disappeared; the color of the season is orange now.  The trees along the creek have changed color, and the ones on the ridge, always a week or two behind, are on their way orange as well. The flower beds are mostly fading now, except for the bright marigold patches along the drive.  The orange carrots are ready to pull; the sweet potatoes wait for a dry day to dig up; the squashes and pumpkins are already in storage and in our boxes. Even the turnip leaves are turning a little orange, as the plants finish growing and wait for our attention.  As we look toward the rest of the year, when the orange will eventually fade to gray and then the brilliant black-and-white contrast of winter, we both look forward to a rest from the busy summer season and wonder when and how we can do all the things that need to be done in the meantime.  But part of the glory of October and November on the farm is that things can be done and finished, as they can be in so few things in life.  The carrots that we dig, the rye that we seed, the compost that we spread, can be checked off our list and our lives for another year and forgotten.  They don't constantly demand editing and revision, can't be done a second time or a third - they sit in the cooler or in the ground as a finished project.  And so the work of October has a satisfaction to it that picking August sungolds lacks - since those little tomatoes seem to be growing back again at the beginning of a row by the time you finish the end.  I hope you all feel satisfied this October with the end of another growing season and happy with where your year has taken you! Dave

Produce and Cooking Notes

In the box this week: winter squash, collards(fulls only), mesclun, leeks, garlic, onions, arugula, bok choy, herbs, and green bell peppers.

Winter Squash– Everyone is getting delicata squash today; plus the full shares are getting a Long Island Cheese Pumpkin – a big squash shaped like an old-fashioned wheel of cheese.  Although called pumpkins, they are really more like a butternut squash in flavor and texture, and are well-suited to pies and baking.

Collards – These greens are great sautéed or cooked with a bit of pork (as is traditional) but anything with a little fat and flavor will work: butter, olive oil, or stock will all make great collards too.

Arugula- A great leafy green with a bit of a kick.  Add it to your salads, or make it into a pesto (recipe in last week’s newsletter).  These greens have not been washed, and do have some grit from the rain so wash them well before using.

Bok Choy – These stir-fry favorites are a little dirty from their hurried harvest yesterday, but a quick wash should leave them just perfect for your culinary needs.

Bell Peppers – These green bell peppers were salvaged from our field tunnel planting, which has recently been turned under to make way for fall and winter crops.  Green bells are just unripe red or yellow peppers – as such they are not quite as sweet or fully-flavored, but have a crisp texture that goes well in stir-fries or salads.

 

Black-Eyed Peas and Greens

From From Asparagus to Zucchini

 

  • 3 cups dried black-eyed peas
  • 6 medium-sized cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • 2 medium-sized leeks, cleaned and chopped
  • 6-8 cups packed chopped mixed greens (collards, arugula, and mesclun would all work)
  • Freshly ground black pepper

 

Place black-eyed peas and 6 cups water in a very large soup pot or Dutch oven.  Bring to boil, lower heat and simmer, partially covered, until peas are tender. (Check water level occasionally; if it’s getting dry, add more water. About 15 minutes into cooking, add garlic. The pas will take 30-35 minutes to cook.  When they are nearly tender, stir in salt, leeks, and greens. Cover and continue to simmer a few more minutes. The greens and leeks will cook very quickly. Season to taste with pepper and serve hot.

 

Winter Squash Bisque

From From Asparagus to Zucchini

 

  • 1 large acorn squash or equivalent
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 2 leeks, chopped
  • 1 ½ cups chicken stock
  • 1 tsp dried thyme (1 tbsp fresh)
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 1 tsp rum (optional)

 

Poke several holes in squash with a fork and bake at 325 F until it pierces easily with a fork, about 45 minutes. Cut in half, remove and discard seeds, scoop out pulp and reserve. Melt butter in saucepan, add leeks and sauté over low heat 20 minutes. Place in blender or food processor with squash pulp, stock, thyme, salt, and pepper; whirl until smooth. Return to saucepan; simmer over low heat 20 minutes. Stir in cream and optional rum and heat through just before serving. Adjust seasonings.

 

Bok Choy with Shiitakes and Oyster Sauce

From Mark Bittman, NY Times

  • ¼ cup dried shiitakes
  • 1 ½ lbs bok choy, trimme
  • ¼ cup peanut oil
  • 1 tbspminced garlic (optional)
  • 1 cup fresh shiitake mushrooms, cleaned, trimmed and sliced
  • ½ - ¾ cup oyster sauce

 

Soak shiitakes in one cup of very hot water until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain, reserving liquid. Trim mushrooms and chop. Separate leaves and stems of bok choy; cut stems into 2-inch lengths and slice leaves into ribbons.

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a wok or large skillet over high heat. When oil is hot, add bok choy stems, garlic if you are using it, reconstituted mushrooms, and about 1/4 cup reserved mushroom water. Cook, stirring frequently, until stems are crisp-tender, about 4 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small skillet heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil; sauté fresh shiitake mushrooms over medium-high heat. Continue cooking until they begin to brown and crisp on edges.

Into the large skillet or wok, add bok choy leaves and oyster sauce and toss vegetables gently to combine; continue cooking until greens wilt, about 2 more minutes. Serve immediately, topped with crisp mushrooms.

Posted 9/28/2012 8:06am by Hannah Smith.

Farmers Aren’t the Only Ones Working Hard for You!

At Village Acres, we believe in producing food in a way that honors the eco-system around us. In concrete terms, this means we are often performing a balancing act involving animal, vegetable and mineral, quite literally.

In addition to the domesticated creatures (goats, chickens, turkeys, pigs…) that we have integrated into our farm system, we are honored to be part of the same system as the wildlife on our farm. Wildlife that seem to be non-stop workers themselves: the Great Blue Heron we can see fishing in the creek while we are eating our own breakfast, the myriad pollinators who are constantly at work even while we stop to give in to our raspberry cravings, the bats who control pests while we are sleeping (mind you, the chickens would argue they play a larger role during the day!), even the earthworms who stimulate microbial activity in our tough clay soil and provide channels for root growth.

I have this habit of waking up at 4:30 in the morning and I’m starting to hear the sounds of birds I haven’t heard since the spring, now on their way south for the winter. I sometimes run outside to stand under a sky dripping with stars and try to focus on the hidden activity that is going on all around us. We do work hard, but sometimes I think we forget there are many, many creatures working just as hard or harder around us all the time!

Next time you get a chance, walk outside and pay attention to what’s going on out there!

Fondly, Hannah

In the Box: Delicata Squash, Acorn Squash, Sweet Potatoes, Edamame Soybeans, Arugula, Garlic, Leeks, Onions, Watermelon Radishes, Rosemary, Parsley, Thyme. Full Shares: Mesclun Mix and Tomatoes

 

Produce and Cooking Notes

Delicata/Acorn Squash– Two different types this week so you can compare.  Both kinds are easy to prepare – just slice them in half and roast them, cut-side-down, for about 45 minutes at 350 degrees or so.

Sweet Potatoes- A Fall favorite to be sure.  The first of our sweet potatoes have completed their “curing” in our greenhouses and are ready for your box.  Sweet potatoes are great baked, fried in stir fries, made like French fries, or even made into hash browns- versatile and delicious.

Edamame (Green) Soybeans- Another shell bean.  This type is easily popped out of the shells after boiling.  Add salt to the boiling water to make for a wonderful pop in your mouth snack, or add the beans to other stir-fries, succotash’s, etc.

Arugula- A great leafy green with a bit of a kick.  Try it in salads, or make it into a pesto (recipe on back).  These greens have not been washed, and do have some grit from the rain so wash them well before using.

Leeks- A nice mild allium. Leeks can be gritty-they need to be washed well before cooking. Chop the white and pale green parts and place them in a bowl of cold water. Stir them briskly to loosen dirt, then let them stand so the grit can sink to the bottom of the bowl. Lift the leeks out of the water, leaving the grit behind, and transfer them to a sieve to drain.

Watermelon Radishes: These big radishes are "watermelons" not because of their flavor, which is spicy and zingy, but because the green exteriors contrast so nicely with the red inside.  As such they look beautiful sliced into thin rounds and put in salads or pickles - and they'll also stand up well to cooking in a roast or a stir-fry.

 

 

Mushroom and Leek Soup with Thyme Cream (Epicurious, Nov 2007)
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 teaspoons fresh thyme, chopped
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
2 pounds crimini (baby bella) mushrooms, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices (10 1/2 cups)
3 large leeks, white and pale green parts only, cut into 1/4-inch dice (2 1/2 cups)
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
6 cups chicken stock or canned low-sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Using electric mixer, beat cream just until soft peaks form. Fold in 2 teaspoons thyme. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours to blend flavors. (Thyme cream can be made up to 1 day ahead. If cream separates, whisk until soft peaks re-form. ) Remove from refrigerator 1 hour before serving to come to room temperature.

In 4-quart stock pot over moderately high heat, heat 2 tablespoons butter until hot but not smoking. Working in 2 batches (add 2 more tablespoons butter before second batch), cook mushrooms, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 8 minutes. Transfer to large bowl.

In same stock pot over moderate heat, heat remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Stir in leeks, cover, and cook, stirring often, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add cooked mushrooms, sprinkle with flour, and stir until flour is evenly distributed. Stir in stock, then salt, pepper, and remaining 1 teaspoon thyme. Bring to boil, stirring often, then reduce heat to low, set lid ajar, and simmer 20 minutes. (Soup can be made up to 2 days ahead and refrigerated, covered. Reheat before serving.)

Divide soup among 8 bowls and top each portion with dollop of thyme cream. Serve immediately.

Boiled Edamame

Ingredients:

1 lb fresh edamame in pods, or frozen edamame in pods

2 Tbsp and more salt (The desirable amount of salt vary, depending on the amount of water to boil edamame.)

Preparation: Wash edamame well and put in a bowl. Sprinkle a pinch of salt and rub edamame with salt. Boil lots of water in a large pot. Add about 2 Tbsp of salt in the boiling water. Put edamame in the boiling water and boil for 3 to 4 minutes, or softened. Drain edamame in a colander. Taste one edamame and if it's not salty enough, sprinkle more salt over boiled edamame. Spread the edamame on a flat tray to cool.

Arugula Pesto
1/2 cup (2 oz/60 g) walnut pieces
1 garlic clove, minced
2 cups (2 oz/60 g) packed arugula leaves
1/2 cup (2 oz/60 g) freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Kosher salt
1 cup (8 fl oz/250 ml) extra-virgin olive oil

1. In a food processor, combine the walnuts, garlic, arugula, Parmesan, and 1 tsp salt and pulse to blend. With the machine running, pour in the olive oil through the food tube in a slow, steady stream and process until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Taste and adjust the seasonings.

This Is a Cookbook
Recipes and text © Copyright 2012 Eli Sussman and Max Sussman
September 2012

 

 

Posted 9/20/2012 9:59pm by Debra Brubaker .


Farm Note
· a word from the Village Acres Crew:    

Today I decided to take the time to do something that has been on my “to do” list for much of the summer and that is to walk around the farm taking photos of the season in progress to share with those of you who aren’t able to see the day to day scenes of the farm.  These photos are viewable on our Facebook page.  Besides having photos to share with you all, these walks around the farm are good reminders for me of just how beautiful this farm is, how satisfying the art of growing food is, and how fortunate my family is to have both great folks working with us and wonderful CSA members that support us in doing what we love .  This week we were busy harvesting the first of the sweet potatoes, cleaning onions and garlic while the lovely rains fell, washing winter squash and strategizing best methods of storing, as well as harvesting other items that filled the CSA boxes this week.

Enjoy- Deb

In the Box: Delicata Squash, Hot Peppers, Garlic, Leeks, Onions, Tomatoes, Bok CHoy, Green Beans, Rutabaga Tops, Herbs, plus Mesclun and Eggplants for full shares.

Produce and Cooking Notes

Delicata Squash –   These squash are sweet and easy to prepare – just slice them in half and roast them, cut-side-down, for about 45 minutes at 350 degrees or so.

Mesclun Mix- The first of our fall greens mix has arrived.  These greens have not been washed, and do have some grit from the rain last week so do wash them well before using either as a salad base, or as a braising mix. 

Rutabaga Greens - We thinned out our Rutabaga planting to try and encourage larger roots, but didn’t want to waste the many greens.  You can use this green the same way you would use spinach–sauteed in a little oil or butter they’ll be very tasty. 

Bok Choy – These Asian greens are delicious in a stir-fry or sauté, with a mild cabbage flavor.  When you chop them, separate out the stems from the leaves so you can give the stems a couple extra minutes to cook.

 

Green Jade Soup

From From Asparagus to Zucchini

 

  • 4 dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 6 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 ½ tbsp. freshly grated ginger root
  • 1 ½ cups sliced carrot rounds
  • 2 cups chopped bok choy
  • 1 ½ cups thinly sliced leeks or onions
  • 4 cups firmly packed chopped spinach
  • 1 cake tofu, cut in ½” cubes
  • Salt
  • Chopped green onions
  • Several drops dark sesame oil

 (could substitute mesclun or rutabaga tops for spinach)

Soak shiitake mushrooms with boiling water in heatproof bowl for 10 minutes.  Bring stock to boil in large soup pot.  Add ginger, leeks, bok choy, and carrots.  Lower heat and simmer 10 minutes, until vegetables are tender. Drain mushrooms and add soaking liquid to soup.  Thinly slice shiitake caps and stir into soup with spinach and tofu; cook 5 minutes.  Add salt to taste. Sprinkle with green onions and optional sesame oil. Six servings.

 

Squash and Black Bean Stew With Tomatoes and Green Beans
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice
2 pounds squash, halved, seeded, peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces
4 ounces green beans, trimmed, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 15- to 16-ounce can black beans, rinsed, drained
1 tablespoon minced seeded jalapeño chili
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until tender and golden, about 7 minutes. Add garlic, chili powder and cumin and stir 1 minute. Add tomatoes with juices; bring to boil. Stir in squash and green beans. Reduce heat; cover and simmer until vegetables are almost tender, about 12 minutes. Stir in black beans and jalapeño. Cover and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes longer. Stir in cilantro. Season with salt and pepper.

Bon Appétit
October 1999

 

 

Corn Fritters with Arugula and Warm Tomato Salad*

*Could substitute Mesclun or Rutabaga for Arugula, and onions for scallions, and regular tomatoes for cherry tomatoes***
For tomatoes
6 scallions, white and pale green parts separated from dark green parts and both finely chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 lb cherry or grape tomatoes, halved (3 to 4 cups)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

For fritters
2/3 cup corn (cut from 2 ears)
2/3 cup yellow cornmeal
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of sugar
1/2 cup whole milk
1 large egg
1/3 cup vegetable oil

For arugula
2 1/2 teaspoons white-wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon whole-grain mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 lb arugula, coarse stems discarded (8 cups)

Prepare tomatoes:
Cook white and pale green scallions in oil in a 10- to 12-inch nonstick skillet over moderate heat, stirring, until softened, 1 to 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, salt, and pepper and cook, stirring, until tomatoes begin to soften, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in scallion greens. Transfer to a bowl and cool to warm.

Make fritters while tomatoes cool:
Cook corn in a small saucepan of boiling water until tender, about 3 minutes. Drain in a sieve, then rinse under cold water and pat dry.

Whisk together cornmeal, flour, salt, baking soda, and sugar in a bowl. Whisk together milk and egg in another bowl, then add to dry ingredients and stir until just combined (do not overmix). Stir in corn.

Heat oil in cleaned skillet over moderate heat until hot but not smoking. Working in batches of 4, spoon 1 heaping tablespoon batter per fritter into skillet and fry, turning over once, until lightly browned, about 4 minutes total. Transfer with a spatula to paper towels to drain.

Prepare arugula:
Whisk together vinegar, mustard, salt, and pepper in a large bowl, then add oil in a slow stream, whisking until emulsified. Add arugula and toss to coat.

Divide arugula, fritters, and tomatoes among 8 small plates.

Gourmet
August 2003

Posted 9/14/2012 7:21am by Debra Brubaker .

Farm Note · a word from the Village Acres Crew:    

The excitement this week was completing our Winter Squash harvest.  The weather was a perfect and the squash plentiful.  As I was picking, I was trying to figure out why in the world as a kid I was so eager to go back to school just to avoid the squash harvest?  By the time we harvested the last squash from our 2 plantings, our 3 hay wagons and our 4 giant apple crates were filled with more than 5 tons of squash.  I hope you all enjoy butternut, acorn, delicata, and sweet dumpling squash as I’m sure they will be a staple of the fall (and winter) boxes.  The first squash are in your box today. 

Enjoy, Deb.

 

In the box: delicata squash, corn, collards, onions, garlic, bell peppers (Fulls only), tomatoes, and herbs.

Delicata Squash – These yellow-and-orange, football-shaped squash are the first fruits of our winter squash harvest, with many more left to come.  These squash are sweet and easy to prepare – just slice them in half and roast them, cut-side-down, for about 45 minutes at 350 degrees or so.

Sweet Corn  - One big harvest of sweet corn was left this year, and here it is.  A few worms may make their presence known to you, but hopefully the large ears, and lots of them, make up for it.

Collard Greens - We thinned out these Southern favorites and now you have some greens for the week.  You can cook these the same way you’d cook kale or chard –sauteed in a little oil or butter they’ll be very tasty.  They’re much younger than some traditional Southerners would harvest them and so they don’t need to be boiled for hours and hours.   We’re still not sure if they’ll be enough for medium shares, so unfortunately you’ll have to wait and see your boxes!

Many of the other veggies in the box this week should be familiar to you at this point.  Check out the back of this page for recipes ideas.

Will’s Collard Greens

From From Asparagus to Zucchini

 

1 bunch collard greens, stems chopped up

¼ cup olive oil

½ tsp salt

¼ tsp pepper

1 tsp sugar

1 tsp minced garlic

 

Wash the collard leaves and stack them (5-10 leaves at a time). Roll them up tightly, then slice thinly so you have a chiffonade of greens.  Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium ehat with salt, pepper, sugar, and garlic.  When the oil is hot, add collards and stir often for 15-20 minutes, until collards are tender, taking care not to burn the greens.  Add more oil if necessary.  Makes 4 servings.

 

 

Pasta with Butternut Squash and Lima Beans
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried
1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
3 1/2 cups 1/2-inch pieces seeded peeled butternut squash (from about one 2-pound squash)
1 10-ounce package frozen baby lima beans, thawed
2 cups (or more) canned vegetable broth

10 ounces penne pasta (3 cups)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until tender and golden, about 10 minutes. Add garlic, thyme and crushed red pepper and stir 1 minute. Add squash and lima beans and sauté 3 minutes. Add 2 cups broth and bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 6 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain. Return to pot. Add squash mixture to pasta. Toss to blend, adding more broth by 1/4 cupfuls to moisten if necessary. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to bowl. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Bon Appétit
October 1999

 

Delicata Squash with Rosemary, Sage, and Cider Glaze
2 medium delicata squash (about 2 pounds) or other firm winter squash
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup very coarsely chopped fresh sage
1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh rosemary
1 1/2 cups fresh unfiltered apple cider or juice
1 cup water
2 teaspoons sherry vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper

1. Squash. If using delicata squash, peel it with a vegetable peeler, cut it lengthwise in half, and scrape out the seeds with a spoon. Cut each piece lengthwise in half again, then crosswise into 1/2-inch -thick slices. Other types of squash should be peeled with a chef's knife, seeded, cut into 1-inch wedges, then sliced 1/2-inch thick.

2. Herb Butter. Melt the butter in a large (12-inch) skillet over low heat. Add the sage and rosemary and cook, stirring, until the butter just begins to turn golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Do not brown the herbs. Cooking the herbs in butter mellows their flavor and improves their texture.

3. Cooking the squash. Add the squash to the skillet, then the apple cider, water, vinegar, and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, over medium heat at an even boil until the cider has boiled down to a glaze and the squash is tender, 20 to 30 minutes. Taste and season with pepper, and additional salt if needed.

The Herbfarm Cookbook
March 2000

Posted 9/11/2012 11:50am by Davr.

Farm Note · a word from the Village Acres Crew:    

One common observation on the farm this year has been that everything has seemed a little early.  We had a mild winter, and days in April reached up into the 80s.  Apples were blooming, the trees were leafing out, we fretted over a frost killing our blueberry buds, and everyone agreed that spring seemed to be about two weeks ahead of schedule. In June the strawberries came in earlier than expected and ended earlier too – and so did the blueberries in July.  Roy will often be taken by surprise by a patch of green beans that mature earlier than planned – but Nature seems to have little respect for a seed packet guarantee of 50 days till maturity. As for our August favorite, tomatoes, they also came in a little early, and seem to be on their way out earlier than we had hoped too.  In a good year tomatoes will keep on producing (slower and slower in the dwindling sunlight) until they are finally killed by a morning frost.  In a bad year they die earlier, victims of one of the countless tomato diseases that fester on cool foggy days.  This looks likely to be one of those years, but in better news the good parts of fall are also arriving early.  The crew has harvested over three tons of winter squash in the last two days, with perhaps half that much or more left to bring in.  The apples are ripening, the sweet potatoes will be harvested soon, and the nights are refreshingly cool.  Now if both the deer and the political ads could just “disappear” a little sooner than normal, I’ll be happy indeed with the quick passage of time this year! -Dave

 

Produce and Cooking Notes

Lima Beans- These were grown by Iddo Hostettler, a neighboring farmer who grows them for us every year.  These Limas are not certified organic, but are grown without pesticides and herbicides. If you are not familiar with Lima beans, they will need to be shelled before using.  The beans inside are great just lightly steamed and served with butter, salt, and garlic if you’re a garlic fan.

Rhubarb- Although typically thought of as a spring crop, Rhubarb is also productive in the fall. I enjoy using Rhubarb to make chutney to be served with pork dishes, or curries. 

 

Many of the other veggies in the box this week should be familiar to you at this point.  Check out the back of this page for several recipes ideas.

 

Sandra’s Moroccan Tomato Soup

From Gardener’s Community Cookbook

 

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 2 lbs tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • 2-3 tsp minced fresh chilies
  • 3 c vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ½ c chopped cilantro leaves
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice

 

Heat the oil in a large pot.  Add the onion and garlic and cook over medium heat until wilted, about 5 minutes.  Add the tomatoes and chilies and continue cooking, stirring from time to time, until the tomatoes are collapsing, about 10 minutes.

Stir the stock, cumin, turmeric, salt, pepper, and cilantro into the pot. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the tomatoes are very soft.  Remove from the heat, uncover, and let cool enough to handle.

Puree the soup through a food mill or press it through a sieve set over a bowl.  Reheat briefly.  Stir in the lemon juice, if using, and serve.

 

Beth’s Grandmother’s Pickled Beets

From Asparagus to Zucchini

  • 2 lbs beets
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1 c sugar
  • 1 ¼ c white vinegar
  • 1 tsp whole allspice
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 1 stick cinnamon

Boil or steam beets until tender. Reserve 1 cup of the cooking liquid, then drain beets and let them cool enough to handle.  Peel, slice, and pack beets and onions into 3 pint jars.  Combine reserved liquid, sugar, vinegar, allspice, cloves, and cinnamon in a pot; bring to simmer and cook for 5 minutes.  Strain; pour over beets. Cool, cover, and refrigerate 24 hours. Makes 3 pints.

 

Rhubarb Chutney

Bon Appétit, April 2003


1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1 1/2 cinnamon sticks
1 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons grated orange peel
1/2 teaspoon (scant) ground cardamom
4 1/2 cups coarsely chopped rhubarb (from 1 3/4 pounds rhubarb)
3/4 cup dried currants
4 green onions, chopped

Stir first 6 ingredients in heavy large saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves and mixture boils. Add rhubarb, currants, and green onions; bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer until rhubarb is tender but not falling apart, about 4 minutes. Cool to room temperature. Discard cinnamon. Cover and refrigerate chutney until cold, at least 1 hour. (Can be made up to 2 days ahead. Keep refrigerated.) Bring to room temperature before serving.

 

 

 

 

Mailing list sign-up