Blog/Farm Newsletters

Posted 3/10/2015 9:27am by Debra Brubaker .

IN THE GREENS SHARE THIS WEEK: 

Spinach, Chard, Baby Kale


FARM NOTES:

This past Sunday was International Women's Day, and it reminded me what great female role models I have on our farm. With Deb at the helm, our farm falls into the 14% of U.S. farms operated by women. In fact, this winter, everyone who helps run the farm except Roy and Owen is female! In an industry still dominated by men, this is impressive. Deb, Jackie, Hope, Hannah: I've got four outstanding examples of women succeeding in agriculture I can talk to everyday. Internationally, women make up half of the agricultural workforce and are essential for family nutrition, yet access to land and resources is more difficult for women than for men. Despite their obstacles, women around the world, in the U.S., and at Village Acres are leading many efforts towards sustainable and organic agriculture.

On a more local note, we've begun to transplant! The first of our lettuces and bok choys carefully seeded in the cold of January have been relocated to new beds in the high tunnels, and are happy for the increased space and sunshine. ~Allison


Registration for 2015 Summer Season can be done at http://www.villageacresfarm.com/csa.


 

Did you know we have hundreds of recipes on our website and they can all be searched by ingredient? Simply visit www.VillageAcresFarm.com/recipe and search away. We are in the process of adding this year’s newsletter recipes but we’ve got tons to choose from. If you come across a recipe you particularly like, please send it and we’ll add it.

RECIPES:

Chop up that spinach you received and satisfy your Indian food cravings!

 

Saag Paneer (Spinach and Paneer Cheese) from The Daily Feast cookbook

Saute in oil: 1 onion; 4 cloves garlic, minced; 1 inch ginger, minced

Add and saute a few minutes: 2 t. each coriander and garam masala; 1 t. each cumin and chili powder; 1/2 t. turmeric; cayenne pepper

Add: 15 oz or 1 pt canned tomatoes

Add, cover, cook on low for 7 minutes: 0.5-1 lb spinach as desired

Salt to taste, and serve with rice and cut cubes of paneer cheese* on top.

*Make your own paneer easily with milk and lemon juice here,  Or substitute farmer's cheese, ricotta salata, or tofu. I pan-fried my paneer cubes before eating, but this is optional.

Posted 2/24/2015 7:29am by Debra Brubaker .

IN THE GREENS SHARE THIS WEEK: 

Cooking Greens: Kale

Salad Greens: Blend of Spinach, Mesclun (Young Asian Greens), and Arugula


FARM NOTES:

Yesterday morning, as Allison and I were packing up your greens mix, Roy came into the packing shed from the cold and proclaimed, “Now, where did you get all that?” I was elbows deep mixing a giant bin of spinach, mesclun and arugula, and I looked up and replied with a grin, “I grew that.” Okay, we grew that, but if someone would have told me three years ago that I would be in that moment, I would not have believed them. When I left my previous career to start this adventure, I had no idea if I could be a farmer. Now, I can’t imagine anything better than the feeling of pulling warm, fresh eggs out from under a hen; the snap of spinach as we harvest in a warm greenhouse; or joking with the crew over a high fence of sungold tomatoes. So, even with subzero temperatures, hunching over spinach beds for hours, and albino groundhogs hiding under row covers, I’m proud to say, “I grew that!”
~Jackie


National CSA Sign Up Day this Saturday, February 28th! Based on a 2014 CSA Farming report, February 28th is the most popular day of the year to sign up for a CSA. This Saturday, CSA farms and communities across the country will be celebrating what CSAs offer our farms and local communities.  Of course we will all also be calling folks to action so if you'd like to be part of the movement and an exciting season of good eating, why not help us celebrate this weekend by signing up. If you are into social media, help us create a trending story by using the hashtag #CSA to share your excitement about what a CSA offers your family:-)

Registration for 2015 Summer Season can be done at http://www.villageacresfarm.com/csa.


REMINDERS:

Our Winter CSA distributions are as follows:

Tuesdays: 
State College: 4-6 pm, The Friends Meeting House
Lewistown: 3-6:30 pm, Porch of Community Partnership RC&D Office on Main St
On-Farm: 3-6 pm

Fridays: 
Selinsgrove: 2-6 pm, Emma's Food for Life 
Harrisburg-Uptown: 2-7 pm; Front porch of 4017 Green Street 
Harrisburg-East: 2-7 pm; Front porch of 3623 Montour Street

Don't forget to preorder root crops and other extra items! 

Blue Rooster Orders: If you are interested in grass-fed beef or lamb or free-range pork, you can place an order with our partner farm at BlueRoosterFarm.com and we'll deliver it with your CSA share.


Did you know we have hundreds of recipes on our website and they can all be searched by ingredient? Simply visit www.VillageAcresFarm.com/recipe and search away. We are in the process of adding this year’s newsletter recipes but we’ve got tons to choose from. If you come across a recipe you particularly like, please send it and we’ll add it.

RECIPES:

I discovered this easy salad dressing this summer and it would be awesome on your salad greens, sometimes I don’t even put anything else on my salad. From http://www.suzyhomemaker.net/2012/03/zesty-sun-dried-tomato-vinaigrette.html?m=1


Zesty Sundried Tomato Vinaigrette
8 Tbsp olive oil
3 Tbsp Balsamic vinegar
5 cloves garlic - minced
4 sun-dried tomato halves - reconstituted in oil - minced
Salt and Pepper to taste


You can either reconstitute your tomatoes overnight in oil (I mix in some basil or oregano) or buy them in oil at the store. Put all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until it’s just a little chunky. I like to let it sit in the fridge overnight to let all of the flavors marry.

Posted 2/10/2015 9:53am by Debra Brubaker .

Seed starts in Greenhouse

IN THE GREENS SHARE THIS WEEK: 

Spinach, Baby Kale, and Bok Choy Heads.


FARM NOTES:

This past week has been full of excitement for us here at Village Acres.  Not only did we get to attend the PASA conference (an annual gathering of sustainable minded farmers for learning and idea exchange) but we also celebrated the announcement of Hannah's appointment by Governor Tom Wolf to serve as Deputy Secretary of Agriculture for Pennsylvania!  While Hannah has been widely involved in the agriculture community through her work with the Pennsylvania Farmers Union, PASA, the Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts, and, of course, on behalf of our own farm, this appointment came as a bit of a surprise.  But of course Hannah was honored and willing to take on the job. We family farmers dream of having a persons that reflect our values in government and with Hannah's appointment, we know we have an effective advocate who has the creativity to bring about real change in our state.  She is already off to work (starting yesterday) and we are scrambling to make sure that all the things she does here on the farm don't get forgotten- Like this weekly newsletter/blog :-) We are excited to see what the next 4 years hold and are so very proud of Hannah!

~Deb


REMINDERS:

Our Winter CSA distributions are as follows:

Tuesdays: 
State College: 4-6 pm, The Friends Meeting House
Lewistown: 3-6:30 pm, Porch of Community Partnership RC&D Office on Main St
On-Farm: 3-6 pm

Fridays: 
Selinsgrove: 2-6 pm, Emma's Food for Life 
Harrisburg-Uptown: 2-7 pm; Front porch of 4017 Green Street 
Harrisburg-East: 2-7 pm; Front porch of 3623 Montour Street

Don't forget to preorder root crops and other extra items! A la carte extras should be ordered by Thursday for Tuesday delivery and by Tuesday for Friday delivery to ensure that we have time to get your veggies washed and ready to go.

State College Folks: We will have a bit of a different set-up with the a la carte style ordering, so we are asking that you please bring your own bag/basket/box to the delivery site.

Blue Rooster Orders: If you are interested in grass-fed beef or lamb or free-range pork, you can place an order with our partner farm at BlueRoosterFarm.com and we'll deliver it with your CSA share.

Summer CSA Sign-ups- If you plan to join us for the 2015 Summer/Fall season, please don't put off signing up.  We have already started seeding, and it's easier to know how many seeds to plant if we know how many people we are feeding;-) Sign up online at http://www.villageacresfarm.com/csa.


Did you know we have hundreds of recipes on our website and they can all be searched by ingredient? Simply visit www.VillageAcresFarm.com/recipe and search away. We are in the process of adding this year’s newsletter recipes but we’ve got tons to choose from. If you come across a recipe you particularly like, please send it and we’ll add it.

RECIPES:

The baby kale in the greens share is some of the sweetest I've tasted.  As we were bagging, we were all talking about our favorite Massaged Kale salads.  Here is a link to several massaged kale salad recipes. http://www.nutritionstripped.com/massaged-kale-salad-three-ways/

 

 

Posted 1/27/2015 10:37am by Hannah.

IN THE GREENS SHARE THIS WEEK: 

Salad Greens: Mesclun Mix

Cooking Greens: Super Sweet Braising Chard


FARM NOTES:

Greens! Greens! Greens! It's that time of year when we our bodies are so hungry for them and it's the best thing in the world that we've got some to share! These early weeks, while it's still so gray, your share will be smaller than perhaps we'd hope. But...as with the summer abundance that hits mid-season, we'll likely experience the same with our winter greens as the sun comes out and the days lengthen. So, hold on!

Welcome to our Winter CSA Season. We know the change to a greens-only share this winter is taking some getting used to. We look forward to your feedback as the season progresses. At least for now, the a la carte option for root vegetables and specialty items seems well received. 

Yesterday, we decided to open the heat valves to our propagation house. Can you believe it's time to start seeds for summer already? We are officially open for Summer/Fall Season signups. Please visit www.VillageAcresFarm.com/csa to secure your place.

Here's to another great season,

Hannah

 


REMINDERS:

Our Winter CSA distributions are as follows:

Tuesdays:
State College: 4-6 pm, The Friends Meeting House
Lewistown: 3-6:30 pm, Porch of Community Partnership RC&D Office on Main St
On-Farm: 3-6 pm

Fridays:
Selinsgrove: 2-6 pm, Emma's Food for Life
Harrisburg-Uptown: 2-7 pm; Front porch of 4017 Green Street
Harrisburg-East: 2-7 pm; Front porch of 3623 Montour Street

Don't forget to preorder root crops and other extra items! A la carte extras should be ordered by Thursday for Tuesday delivery and by Tuesday for Friday delivery to ensure that we have time to get your veggies washed and ready to go.

State College Folks: We will have a bit of a different set-up with the a la carte style ordering, so we are asking that you please bring your own bag/basket/box to the delivery site.

Blue Rooster Orders: If you are interested in grass-fed beef or lamb or free-range pork, you can place an order with our partner farm at BlueRoosterFarm.com and we'll deliver it with your CSA share.


Did you know we have hundreds of recipes on our website and they can all be searched by ingredient? Simply visit www.VillageAcresFarm.com/recipe and search away. We are in the process of adding this year’s newsletter recipes but we’ve got tons to choose from. If you come across a recipe you particularly like, please send it and we’ll add it.

RECIPE:

Mediterranean Braised Chard
www.Chow.com Adapted from Ana Sortun
Though braising sounds like a time-consuming effort, this recipe from Ana Sortun, chef and owner of the Mediterranean restaurant Oleana in Cambridge, Massachusetts, can be pulled off in less than 30 minutes. The mix of Mediterranean ingredients like anchovy, raisins, capers, olives, pine nuts, and lemon lends tons of bright flavor and unexpected complexity without extra fat or calories.

Game plan: This recipe can be made with beet, mustard, turnip, or older dandelion greens in place of the chard; serve it with grilled meat or fish, or eat the greens on their own with a dollop of tangy yogurt.

Ingredients
2 bunches Swiss chard, washed, thoroughly dried, and stem ends trimmed
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup small-dice white onion
4 anchovy fillets, rinsed and finely chopped
2 tablespoons golden raisins, also known as sultanas
2 teaspoons capers, rinsed
2 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 cup whole pitted kalamata olives, finely chopped
2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Instructions
Slice the chard stems from the leaves. Coarsely chop the stems and set aside; cut the leaves crosswise into 1-inch-wide strips and set aside.
Heat the oil in a medium frying pan over medium heat until shimmering, about 3 minutes. Add the onion, anchovies, and raisins and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion has softened, about 4 minutes.
Add the capers and garlic and cook, stirring often, until the garlic is fragrant and lightly browned, about 1 minute. Add the reserved chard stems and cook until they start to brown, about 2 minutes.
Add the chard leaves and cook, stirring the leaves with tongs, until they’re wilted, about 5 minutes. Stir in the olives, pine nuts, and lemon juice, season with salt and pepper, and serve immediately.

Posted 1/25/2015 5:27pm by Debra Brubaker .

 

Posted 12/16/2014 12:37pm by Hannah.

IN THE SHARE THIS WEEK: Frozen Red Raspberries, Sweet Potatoes, Potatoes, Carrots, Celeriac, Onions, Garlic, Kale, and Spinach. 


FARM NOTES:

Well, this is it! Last distribution of the summer/fall season. While last summer held more sun and therefore more tomatoes, this season was nothing to baulk at. Overall, we had a very good season. Yes, it was a colder and darker fall than we’d hoped for, but we really can’t complain.

While we know our members aren’t looking solely for the cheapest food option and we certainly want to continue to be financially viable as a farm (so we can continue to be here), we thought you’d be interested to know that our share members this year paid less than 75% of market value for retail Organic produce. We hope this and the quality of your harvest share items reinforces for you the value of the CSA model and direct farm-to-consumer trade!

Please complete our end of season survey at www.villageacresfarm.com/survey-summer-fall-2014 or simply click on the “Our CSA” tab on our website and look for the survey link.

As you know, we are full for the winter/spring season. Let us know if you’d like to be placed on a waitlist.


Here’s to another great season!
Hannah 


Did you know we have hundreds of recipes on our website and they can all be searched by ingredient? Simply visit www.VillageAcresFarm.com/recipe and search away. We are in the process of adding this year’s newsletter recipes but we’ve got tons to choose from. If you come across a recipe you particularly like, please send it and we’ll add it.

Recipe:  

 

Apple Celeriac Potato Soup

Ingredients
1 lg celeriac peeled and chopped.
2-3 med potatoes washed and chopped, leave skins on.
1 lg carrots chopped.
1 lg apple peeled and chopped.
1 med onion peeled and diced
1 qt unsalted vegetable or poultry stock
2 T olive oil
1/2 t dried thyme
2 T maple syrup
2 T salt use 2 T per gallon, adjust if desired.
Pepper to taste - Make it hot pepper if you like that.
2-3 lg collard or kale greens. Stack the leaves and then roll them tightly. Slice the 'roll' into very thin ribbons. (Greens are optional. They add great color, and are delicious.)

Instructions
Sauté onions and thyme in oil over medium heat for a few minutes until the onions are browned and translucent. Add the celeriac, carrot, and potatoes. Sauté for 5 minutes, stirring often to keep it from burning, until all is infused with the thyme oil. Add stock, apples, salt, and pepper. Add more stock (or water) if needed to cover all of the vegetables. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 15-20 minutes until potatoes are cooked.


Add maple syrup. Blend with an immersion blender, or blend in batches in a blender and return to soup pot. Stir in greens ribbons. Let stand on very low heat for 15 minutes to soften the greens. Serve hot, with garnishes of your choice on each bowl.


We’d like to end the season with some words from our favorite poet farmer: Wendell Berry.

To enrich the earth I have sowed clover and grass
to grow and die. I have plowed in the seeds
of winter grains and various legumes,
their growth to be plowed in to enrich the earth.
I have stirred into the ground the offal
and the decay of the growth of past seasons
and so mended the earth and made its yield increase.
All this serves the dark. Against the shadow
of veiled possibility my workdays stand
in a most asking light. I am slowly falling
into the fund of things. And yet to serve the earth,
not knowing what I serve, gives a wideness
and a delight to the air, and my days
do not wholly pass. It is the mind's service,
for when the will fails so do the hands
and one lives at the expense of life.
After death, willing or not, the body serves,
entering the earth. And so what was heaviest
and most mute is at last raised up into song.

 

Posted 12/9/2014 1:24pm by Hannah.

IN THE SHARE THIS WEEK: 

Green Cabbage, Butternut Squash, Potatoes, Kale, Mesclun Mix, Onions, Hakurei Turnips, Rutabaga, and Watermelon Radish.


FARM NOTES:

After today, there is only one fall season CSA delivery remaining!

This week, we wish to recognize with gratitude all our CSA members and your vital role in sustaining Village Acres Farm.  Thank you, everyone!   Some of you have supported us from the very beginning, a total of 17 years! We hope and plan to keep rewarding you with good healthy food in the future.  Ours is a mutual relationship. You afford us the commitment and finances every spring to bring you a share of the harvest all season long. With your early commitment, we can plan to ensure our harvest meets your needs, neither over or under planting. In return, we prioritize you in all we have throughout the year. While we also sell wholesale through our growers cooperative and, in limited amounts, through markets, you are our first priority. We do ask you to stretch a bit sometimes, like with our experimenting with the greens-only share this winter (we usually do something like this to be responsive to a family need, which is the case this time). And we accept the challenge to prove ourselves worthy of your trust in us that the change will still meet your needs. It will soon be time for our fall survey and we look forward to your feedback.

Please note that we are full for the winter share. If you want to participate and keep forgetting to let us know, send us a message and we’ll, at a minimum, put you on a waitlist. It’s possible we can offer 1 or 2 more once we evaluate exactly what we project to have for a harvest.

Thanks again for being in relationship with us! Hannah


Did you know we have hundreds of recipes on our website and they can all be searched by ingredient? Simply visit www.VillageAcresFarm.com/recipe and search away. We are in the process of adding this year’s newsletter recipes but we’ve got tons to choose from. If you come across a recipe you particularly like, please send it and we’ll add it.

Recipes:  

Cabbage Potato Soup

Cook 4 diced potatoes and 4 diced carrots in enough water to cover. Meanwhile in another pot, shred one small cabbage and 1 med onion and cook in enough water to cover with ¾ tsp salt and ½ tsp pepper until just tender. When potatoes/carrots are tender, drain water into pot with cabbage and mash mixture together with 1 c. sour or other cream and 2 tsp minced herbs. Add sour cream mixture to cabbage broth very slowly to avoid curdling, stirring continually. Serve immediately.

Pumpkin or Winter Squash Soup

Cut pumpkin/squash open and remove seeds. Cut pumpkin/squash into one-inch cubes. Slice one onion, and sauté for a few minutes, then add the pumpkin/squash. Saute for about five minutes, stirring, and then add a cup of water, put on a lid and let it simmer for forty to fifty minutes, until the pumpkin is tender. At this point some of the pumpkin can be mashed to thicken the broth. Add some more water to the onion-pumpkin mixture to make it soupy. Heat and season with salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. The soup may be garnished with croutons.


 

Posted 12/3/2014 10:52am by Hannah.

IN THE SHARE THIS WEEK: 

Napa Cabbage, Daikon Radish, Carrots, Onions, Red Beets, Finger Sweets (small sweet potatoes), Salad Mix.


FARM NOTES:

We hope everyone had a healthy and happy Thanksgiving! Ours was full of visits with family (some of whom hadn’t been all together for Thanksgiving in a very long time) and friends, saying goodbye to some of Chandler’s wool sheep who were here for a few weeks before traveling on to Hannah’s brother’s farm in Kentucky, scrambling to get all the work done that Debra’s parents do on a daily basis (since they were visiting family in South Carolina), and pulling off our biggest harvesting, processing, packing and distributing week of the year!

Today feels like the beginning of the end of our Fall season, only two distributions left, as we’ve gotten over the hump of last week and have our minds and bodies freed up a bit to contemplate a bit of a winter rest. Debra can resume spending more time in the greenhouses (something she relishes), preparing for your winter greens; Hannah will soon be done with the busiest time of the year for her off-farm work and can be more intentional about family projects (something she relishes); and, we can all start focusing on tasks we never seem to have enough time to get to at other times in the year.

Oh, we can also just relax and visit, read and write letters, cook and eat, plan and plan and plan…

We can never say it enough, thanks for being on this journey with us!


Did you know we have hundreds of recipes on our website and they can all be searched by ingredient? Simply visit www.VillageAcresFarm.com/recipe and search away. We are in the process of adding this year’s newsletter recipes but we’ve got tons to choose from. If you come across a recipe you particularly like, please send it and we’ll add it.

Recipe:  Cabbage Kimchi

Sandor Katz, author of Wild Fermentation, Cabbage Kimchi
Makes 1 quart

Sea salt
1 pound napa cabbage
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 11/25/2014 10:53am by Hannah.

IN THE SHARE THIS WEEK: 

Sweet Potatoes, Potatoes, Butternut Squash, Rutabaga, Celeriac, Onions, Garlic, Spinach, Baby Kale Braising Mix, Variety Bunching Kale, and Herbs.


 

FARM NOTES:

Words for Thanksgiving from author and farmer Wendell Berry

" The pleasure of eating should be an extensive pleasure, not that of the mere gourmet. People who know the garden in which their vegetables have grown and know that the garden is healthy will remember the beauty of the growing plants, perhaps in the dewy first light of morning when gardens are at their best. Such a memory involves itself with the food and is one of the pleasures of eating. The knowledge of the good health if the garden relieves and frees and comforts the eater. The same goes for eating meat. The thought of the good pasture and of the calf contentedly grazing flavors the steak. Some, I know, will think it bloodthirsty or worse to eat a fellow creature you have known all its life. On the contrary, I think it means that you eat with understanding and with gratitude. A significant part of the pleasure of eating is one's accurate consciousness of the lives and the world from which food comes. The pleasure of eating, then, may be the best available standard of our health. And this pleasure, I think, is pretty fully available to the urban consumer who will make the necessary effort.

I mentioned earlier the politics, esthetics, and ethics of food. But to speak of the pleasure of eating is to go beyond those categories. Eating with the fullest pleasure - pleasure, that is, that does not depend on ignorance - is perhaps the profoundest enactment of our connection with the world. In this pleasure we experience and celebrate our dependence and our gratitude, for we are living from mystery, from creatures we did not make and powers we cannot comprehend. ..."

(Wendell Berry from the 1989 essay "The Pleasures of Eating" as republished in Bringing it to the Table, 2009.)


Did you know we have hundreds of recipes on our website and they can all be searched by ingredient? Simply visit www.VillageAcresFarm.com/recipe and search away. We are in the process of adding this year’s newsletter recipes but we’ve got tons to choose from. If you come across a recipe you particularly like, please send it and we’ll add it.

Recipe:  Sourdough Stuffing with Kale, Dates and Turkey Sausage

INGREDIENTS
1 (1-pound) loaf sourdough bread
10 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound turkey sausage, casing removed
2 cups diced onions
½ sprig rosemary
2 teaspoons thyme leaves
2 sliced chile de árbol
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
Black pepper, to taste
1 pound kale, about 2 large or 3 small bunches, tough rib stems removed and roughly chopped
3 ounces deglet noor dates (about 16), cut in half lengthwise
1 cup dry sherry
2 cups chicken or turkey stock
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
¾ cup roughly chopped toasted almonds

PREPARATION
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Cut the crust off the bread and tear remaining loaf into 1-inch croutons. Place torn bread on a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with 4 tablespoons olive oil, squeezing and tossing bread with your hands to help it absorb the oil. Transfer to oven and toast, tossing once or twice, until croutons are golden brown and crispy on the outside but still a little soft and tender inside, 12 to 15 minutes. When croutons have cooled, place them in a large bowl.
Heat a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil and crumble sausage into pan. Sauté, breaking up sausage with a wooden spoon, until browned and just cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer sausage to the bowl with the croutons using a slotted spoon.
Return the pot to medium heat and add 2 more tablespoons olive oil, the onions, the rosemary sprig, the thyme and the chile. Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Continue cooking another 3 to 4 minutes, stirring often, until onion is soft and starting to color slightly.
Add half the kale and the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil to the pan. Use tongs to turn the greens to coat them in oil and help them wilt and cook down. When there is room in the pan (from the greens wilting), add the rest of the kale and season with another 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper. As soon as all the kale has wilted, transfer mixture to the bowl with the croutons and sausage. Remove rosemary. Add dates and stir well to combine.
Return pot to stove over high heat and carefully pour in sherry. Boil until sherry is reduced by three-quarters, then add stock. Boil until mixture is reduced by half, then swirl in butter until melted.
Pour hot liquid over crouton-kale mixture. Add almonds and toss well to combine; using tongs or your hands, squeeze and massage the stuffing to integrate the flavors and make sure bread has really soaked in all the liquid.
Transfer stuffing to a ceramic baking dish or casserole. Cover and bake 15 minutes in the 400-degree oven. Uncover and bake 10 to 15 more minutes, or until top is golden and crisp.

 


 

Posted 11/18/2014 11:37am by Debra Brubaker .

IN THE SHARE THIS WEEK: 

Green Cabbage, Sweet Potatoes, Butternut Squash, Carrots, Salanova Lettuce Heads,  Mesclun Mix (Fulls), Onions, Frozen Red Raspberries, Tatsoi/Bok Choy


REMINDERS: 

Today we say farewell to our 25 week members. If you are unsure as to whether you are signed up for 25 or 29 weeks, please check the sign-in sheet at distribution or ask and we’ll let you know.

Thanks for sharing in the harvest with us and we hope to see you in the winter, spring or summer!

Turkeys will be delivered on Tuesday 11/25.

Blue Rooster Orders: If you are interested in grass-fed beef or lamb or free-range pork, you can place an order with our partner farm at BlueRoosterFarm.com and we'll deliver it with your CSA share.

Winter/Spring 2015 Season Signup open.  You can reserve your greens shares (egg shares are sold out) for the winter (January-April) season online (http://www.villageacresfarm.com/csa).  There is no “produce” share option for this season, but root vegetables  and other seasonal produce will be available for preorder through our website prior to each winter distribution. If you don’t want a greens or egg share, but still want the option to be on our mailing list for the season to be notified of items for preorder please join our “Extras” email mailing list (http://www.villageacresfarm.com/mailinglist). 


FARM NOTES:

Here we are at week 25. It doesn’t seem all that long ago that we were handing out basil and parsley starts, but many vegetables have come through our packing shed since those early weeks. Every year at this point, I feel a sense of gratitude (and often amazement) that we have made it through. I’m grateful for resilent plants who do everything in their power to thrive and in doing so produce great quantity and quality of food for us to eat and share. Just yesterday I harvested a large handful of parsley from this poor little 6 pack of parsley that remained in our greenhouse all summer long- never receiving deeper soil, only consisent water from my dear diligent mother. I am grateful for a great team to work with- Jackie, Allison, Will, my parents, Hannah, Chandler, Owen, as well as a group of 5 Amish Women who carry out all the activities of this farm- it’s a lot of work and sometimes stressful, but we all still seem to enjoy our days work. Also I’m grateful for a community of customers who value what we do and how we do it, and are willing to buy in for a whole season- not always knowing what the season will hold. We are truly blessed to have an extended farm community that includes all of you. It sounds like it’s time for a Thanksgiving Feast! For all you 25 weekers- we wish you a wonderful Holiday season and hope to cross paths again soon. To the rest of you, we look forward to seeing you next week! ~Deb


Did you know we have hundreds of recipes on our website and they can all be searched by ingredient? Simply visit www.VillageAcresFarm.com/recipe and search away. We are in the process of adding this year’s newsletter recipes but we’ve got tons to choose from. If you come across a recipe you particularly like, please send it and we’ll add it.

 

 RECIPE: Eggs & Tatsoi in a Sweet Potato Nest

Ingredients:

1 large sweet potato or 2 medium.
¼ cup onion divided
1 knob of ginger
handful of rosemaryminced
olive oil
2 bunches tatsoi
6 large eggs
2 ounces chevre
1 ounce of swiss cheese grated
fresh thyme

Instructions: Grate sweet potato(es), onion and ginger together. Place in a dish towel and squeeze liquid out. Add two tablespoons of whole wheat flour and minced rosemary and mix ingredients together. Heat Cast Iron or other pan and add 4 tbs oil. When the oil is hot sprinkle the sweet potato mixture all around until it covers the bottom in a layer. (and leave it alone). In a separate smaller pan - non stick, heat up 1 tbs of oil. Large dice onions, and the stems of the tatsoi. Separately chop the tatsoi leaves. Sauté the onions and stems until they start to turn translucent. Add the tatsoi leaves to the pan and let cook down - the leaves will wilt down like most greens. You may need to add a little oil to the sweet potatoes as they cook. When the potatoes seem like they've formed a crust on the bottom, using a plate, flip the potatoes over and slide it back into the pan on the other side. Pile the greens mixture on top of the sweet potatoes and using your fingers, or a spoon make little wells for eggs. Dollop chevre around the pan. Crack eggs and place them with the yolk in the center of the wells. With the oven on low broil, place the cast iron pan into the oven. The yolks will start to firm and the translucent whites will become opaque, you'll have to watch to make sure that you get it out of the oven on time. Sprinkle the top with grated swiss cheese and herbs (thyme, parsley, etc.)

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