Monday, October 24, 2011

First Winter CSA Share, Oct. 25th!

5 lbs Red Dale potatoes
5 lbs onions
5 lbs carrots
10 lbs squash, varieties TBD
1 head garlic
2 heads pac choi
2 heads lettuce
½ lb salad mix
1 bunch kale
2 lbs turnips
1 pumpkin for decorating!

Farm News:
Usually fall’s arrival means a more relaxed pace for us, but this fall is proving busier than that – not only are we hurrying to get the farm “put to bed” for the winter, but we are also putting up a new greenhouse! This is pretty exciting for us, as it will mean more veggies in the off-season!  We are also finishing up the last harvests of late vegetables like cabbage, beets, and carrots.
  In a few weeks, though, the outside work will be done, for the most part. Mike will have to start working his winter job, and I’ll have to face the backed-up paperwork that I’ve been carefully avoiding all summer. Winter isn’t without it’s perks, though – we’ll probably be able to find time to go cross-country skiing, go to bed early, and have cozy fires in the wood-stove.
   Hope you enjoy your first share!

Christa, Mike and little Lizzy


Caldo Verde Soup
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 10 ounces chorizo or other spicy sauage, diced
  • 6 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 8 cups cold water
  • 1 bunch kale, cut into very fine strips
  • Salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until they are translucent. Add the garlic and half the chorizo and cook for 2 minutes. Add the potatoes, cover everything with the water, bring to a boil and lower the heat, simmering until the potatoes are almost done, about 15 minutes.
When the soup is cool enough to handle, purée it in the food processor and return to the pot. Add the greens, bring everything back to a boil and simmer for 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, ladle into bowls, and garnish with the remaining cubes of chorizo.

Potato-Carrot Pancakes
A bastardized version of’s potato latke

  • 1 lb potatoes, shredded                       
  • 1-2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 lb carrots, shredded                       
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 large onion, shredded                       
  • Vegetable oil for frying
Combine shredded carrots and potatoes. Drain off excess liquid. Add onions, egg, salt and pepper. Heat a griddle or non-stick pan and coat with a thin film of vegetable oil. Take about 2 tablespoons of the potato mixture in the palm of your hand and flatten as best you can. Place the potato mixture on the griddle, flatten with a large spatula, and fry for a few minutes until golden. Flip the pancake over and brown the other side. Remove to paper towels to drain. Serve immediately. You can also freeze the potato pancakes and crisp them up in a 350-degree oven at a later time.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

CSA Share#19, Tues Oct. 11th, 2011

Last week for 2011's Growing Season Share!

1.5 lb potatoes             1 lb carrots
½ lb spinach                1 head cabbage
1 lb onions                 1 bunch kale
1 winter squash, variety to be determined

Farm News:

Last week! So sad!
This week is also our last week for our wonderful apprentices, so we’re trying to get a lot done before they leave. We are putting up our new greenhouse, getting hardy crops tidied away for winter, and harvesting some of our storage crops, like carrots and beets. We’ll still be busy with farm tasks pretty much all winter, but things will slow down and be more relaxed, and we’ll take some time to visit family and friends.
            We have loved having all of you be part of our CSA this year – Thank you so much! We truly hope you will all decide to come back and join us again next year. We are, once again, trying to expand our CSA for next year – if each of you can convince one like-minded friend, our new goal will be easy to hit!

We hope many of you will be able to join us on October 30th. We’d always love to get to know you better!

Christa, Mike and Lizzy

Recipes of the Week:

Skillet Potato and Cabbage Pancakes from Farmer John’s Cookbook. 2006.

  • 1 cup shredded cabbage
  • 2 1/2 cups grated potatoes
  • ¼ cup minced onion
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 2 tbsp. oil
  • sour cream or applesauce (optional)

Place the cabbage in a steamer basket set over 1 1/2 inches boiling water. Cover, steam until tender, 15-20 minutes. Place the grated potatoes in a dish towel. Gather up, twist and hold over the sink. Squeeze out as much moisture as you can. Combine the potatoes, cabbage, onion, garlic, egg, salt and pepper in a bowl. Mix well and then use your hands to form thin, loose patties. Combine the butter and oil in a large skillet over med-high heat; heat until butter melts. Add patties a few at a time. Cook until browned on one side, 7-10 minutes, periodically pressing down with a spatula. Flip and cook 7-10 minutes more. Serve hot and top with sour cream or applesauce. Serves 4.

Quick Carrot Soup
            1 lb carrots,
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (or clarified butter),
2 medium cloves garlic, minced
1 large yellow onion, chopped,
3 cups+ vegetable stock or water, 
juice of 1/2 a lemon,
fine grain sea salt (as much as you need)
Give the carrots a good scrub. Cut them into 1-inch segments and set aside. Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy soup pot over medium heat. Add the garlic and onions and saute for a few minutes or until the onions start to get translucent. Add the stock and carrots and bring to a gentle boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 20 - 30 minutes or until the carrots are tender - longer if your carrot pieces ended up larger. But try not to overcook. Remove from heat and cool for a few minutes. Puree with a hand blender  or in a food processor (sometimes I leave the soup a bit chunky, other times I go completely smooth) - then stir in the lemon juice. Now salt to taste. If you used a salty veggie stock, you might just need a little salt. If you used water, you'll need quite a bit more. Keep adding a few pinches at a time until the carrot flavor really pops. If it tastes flat or dull, keep adding.
Finish with a drizzle of great extra-virgin olive oil. Thanks to

CSA Share#18, Tues Oct. 4th, 2011

In your share this week:

1.5 lb potatoes             1 Delicata Squash
½ lb leeks                    ½ lb salad mix
1 lb onions                 1 bunch kale
1 bunch parsley           1 head broccoli

Farm News:

I can’t believe we only have one more week of Growing Season CSA! I hope you guys have been enjoying it as much as we have. I can’t wait for the Winter CSA to start, either! This week we will have more fresh greens in our Winter CSA than we have ever had before – I am doing some winter greens trials that I am excited about.
            At the farm, we are getting our fall building projects underway. Mike is decking out a new level in part of the barn so we can get a little bit more organized in there. We won a NRCS grant for some erosion control, so that means an exciting new access road and drainage work. We also have the frame for a new greenhouse coming next week! That will mean earlier veggies  and more variety next year!
            We can’t thank you all enough for supporting our family farm this year. See you next week!

Christa, Mike and Lizzy

Recipes of the Week:

Julia Child’s Potato Leek Soup

  • 3-4 cups of diced peeled potatoes (1 lb.)
  • 3 cups thinly sliced leeks, including the tender greens (1/2 lb)
  • 2 quarts water
  • 1 Tablespoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons heavy cream or 3 tablespoons softened butter
  • 3 tablespoons minced chives or parsley

Simmer vegetables, salt, and water together, partially covered for 40-50 minutes in a 3-4 quart saucepan. Mash the vegetables into the soup with a fork or pass through a food mill. Julia does not like the texture of soup pureed in a blender, your call. Adjust salt and pepper. You can stop at this point. When ready to serve, bring soup back to simmering. Then off the heat, stir in the cream or butter and top with chopped chives or parsley. It does not get much better than that! Makes 2 quarts of soup for 6-8 servings.

Stuffed Delicata Squash
One of our favorite meals, we look forward to this simple dish all summer long! 

  • 1 Delicata squash, halved lengthwise
  • 1.5 cups cooked rice
  • One large onion, diced
  • Three cloves of garlic, diced
  • Cheese – to taste (We usually use extra sharp cheddar)
  • 1 lb sausage of your choice
  • Salt, pepper, olive oil

            Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees F. Scoop the seeds and guts from the squash, and then place the halved squash in a baking pan, face-up. Cover the bottom of the pan with water, about ¼ inch deep. Place the pan in the pre-heated oven. Sautee the onions and garlic in olive oil. Fry the sausage, and then chop cooked sausage as finely as desired. Mix sausage with onions and garlic. Mix in cooked rice, as well as pepper and salt to taste. When squash is soft (is easily punctured with fork, usually after about 20-30 min.), remove from oven and fill with mixture. Grate cheese and cover tops of filled squash. Put it all back in the oven until cheese has melted.

CSA Share#17, Tues September 27th, 2011

What's in the share this week:

1.5 lb potatoes             1 lb carrots
1 lb beets                     1 head lettuce
1 lb onions                 ½ lb shallots
1 hot pepper                1 bunch swiss chard


Farm News:

After a great weekend at the fair, we were ready for our day “off” today (Aka, a day to catch up on clean up). We always have a great time at the fair. Now we’re buckling down to some early fall projects, getting our cover crops seeded, general clean up, caring for the first plantings of winter greens, and starting the work on putting up our new greenhouse.

Next week: winter squash, yum! There will only be two more pickups after this one. Hope you are all enjoying the end of September!

Christa, Mike and Lizzy

Recipes of the Week:

Swiss Chard with Crispy Shallots

  • 1 cup canola oil, plus 2 tablespoons
  • ½ lb shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground white pepper
  • 1 bunch Swiss chard, trimmed and washed, leaves separated from stalks, the stalks cut into 1-inch thick and 3-inch long matchsticks, leaves torn into bite-size pieces
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar

In a medium pot, heat 2 cups oil to 325 degrees. In a bowl, toss the shallot slices with the flour. Test a shallot slice to assure the oil is sufficiently hot enough to fry the shallots. Fry them in small batches until golden brown, removing them with a slotted spoon and drain them on a paper towel. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Heat a large skillet, and add 1 tablespoon of oil. When the oil begins to smoke, add the Swiss chard stalks and season with salt and pepper. Cook until tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a serving bowl. Heat the remaining oil and quickly saute the leaves until they "wilt", 1 to 2 minutes. Combine in the bowl with the stalks. Stir in the olive oil and sherry vinegar. Top with the shallots.

Hot Pepper Hash Browns

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 lb potatoes, baked, peeled, and diced
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • Hot pepper, seeds removed and chopped finely
  • Cheddar cheese

In a heavy medium skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and pepper and sauté until softened and caramelized. Add remaining tablespoon oil to skillet and heat. Add diced potatoes in an even layer in the skillet, season with salt and pepper and cook until the potatoes begin to brown on the bottom, 6 to 7 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally to prevent sticking.

CSA Share#16, Tues September 20th, 2011

What's in the share this week:

1 lb potatoes                1 lb carrots
1 kohlrabi                    1 head lettuce
1 lb onions                 1 head cabbage
1 bunch parsley           1 bunch kale

Farm News:

This week is all about fair, fair, fair! We are very busy getting everything ready for the Common Ground Country Fair on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday this coming weekend. If you go, be sure to come say hi to us at the Rose Gate (North) Farmers Market area!
Christa, Mike, and Lizzy

Recipes of the Week:

Parsley and Cabbage Salad
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/2 teaspoon anchovy paste
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 6 to 8 cups green cabbage, cored, cut into 3 wedges, and thinly sliced crosswise
  • 2 cups fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves

Whisk together oil, sour cream, vinegar, water, anchovy paste, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Add cabbage and parsley and toss until coated.

Read More

Italian Style Kale

  • 1 bunch kale, stems removed and leaves coarsely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste

Cook the kale in a large, covered saucepan over medium-high heat until the leaves wilt. Once the volume of the kale is reduced by half, uncover and stir in the garlic, olive oil and vinegar. Cook while stirring for 2 more minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Irish Carrot-Potato Soup
  • 4 tbsp. butter
  • 1 med. onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 med. potatoes, chopped
  • 13 3/4 oz. chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 to 2 c. milk
  • 1/2 tsp. each: salt, thyme
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper

Cook onion, garlic, celery and carrots in butter in large saucepan about 5 minutes. Stir in potatoes, chicken broth and thyme. Simmer 30 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Puree. Return to pan. Add milk, salt and pepper.

CSA Share#14, Tues September 6th, 2011

Lizzy likes her veggies too!

In today's share:

Tomatoes                     1 lb potatoes
1 lb beets                     1 head lettuce
1 lb onions                 1 bunch parsley
1 pint cherry tomatoes

Farm News:

It’s beginning to feel a little bit like fall this week, and I’ve seen the first few changing leaves. This means that some of the summer visitors are gone from the farmers markets, and it also means that in a few weeks, life on the farm will slow down. We are always both sad and glad to see the summer come to an end.  Although the hustle and bustle of the summer months is exciting, and it’s continually rewarding to see our labor come to fruition, we are very much looking forward to the slower months as well, getting to spend more time relaxing as a family, visiting friends, catching up on our paper work, and fixing all the things that have broken over the season. Before that happens, though, we have about 2 ½ busy weeks of getting ready for the Common Ground Fair (September 23rd, 24th, and 25th). We have already harvested all of our garlic and onions, and next week will be the winter squash. After the fair, we’ll cut down to more reasonable work hours, and work on our farm clean up, winter greens seeding and planting, and our building projects. This year’s exciting project is a new hoophouse – VERY exciting! 
Well, I’m blabbing. Better get to bed. See you on Tuesday!
Christa, Mike, and little Lizzy
Recipes of the Week:

Pickled Beets Recipe
            Easy refrigerator pickles!

  • 1 lb beets
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • Salt and pepper

Cut beets to uniform sizes so they will cook evenly. Steam or boil around 30 minutes or until done. (Alternatively, you can roast them by wrapping them whole in foil and cooking them in a 350°F oven for about an hour.) A fork easily inserted into the beet will tell you if the beets are done or not.
Drain the beets, rinsing them in cold water. Slice the beets.

Make the vinaigrette by combining the cider vinegar, sugar, olive oil, and dry mustard. Whisk ingredients together with a fork. The dry mustard will help to emulsify the vinaigrette. Adjust to taste. Add salt and pepper to taste. Combine beets and vinaigrette in a bowl and allow to marinate for a minimum of ½ hour. Eat right away, or keep for weeks in the fridge.

Linguine with Tomatoes, Olives, Feta, Basil and Parsley

    2 cups chopped tomatoes
    1/2 cup dry white wine
    2 garlic cloves, chopped
    1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
    1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives, chopped
    3/4 pound linguine
    1/2 cup coarsely chopped parsley
    1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil
    1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
    1 1/2 cups crumbled feta cheese (5 to 6 ounces), divided

Purée 1 cup tomatoes, wine, and garlic in blender. Heat oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add tomato puree and olives. Cook until sauce begins to thicken, stirring often, about 6 minutes. Meanwhile, cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup pasta cooking liquid.

Add pasta, parsley, basil, and vinegar to sauce in skillet. Toss over medium high heat until sauce coats pasta, adding reserved cooking liquid by 1/4 cupfuls if dry, about 3 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Mix in remaining 1 cup tomatoes and half of cheese. Mound pasta in bowl. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.

CSA share #13, August 29th, 2011

Yikes, it's almost September! How'd that happen so quickly?

Once again, we are experiencing some technicnal difficulties with our computer (IE, ours is unusable, and we haven't been able to replace it as quickly as we hoped), so I can't compose a Word document for the newsletter. I am including some recipes here today, though, because some of you guys let me know last week how important those were to you. Thanks for the feedback guys, and thanks for your patience while we deal with our computer issue! Don't forget, if you ever need a recipe, all past recipes are up on our blog! Click the CSA Blog link on the homepage of our website to check it out.

Also important: We are still drying down our garlic, and trying to see if it is curing well, or not. If you found a bad spot in your garlic from last week, please let us know.

We seem to be surviving the storm pretty well so far (Knock on wood!). It's been very busy here for the last few weeks, lots of harvest and not much sleep - But we should be busy in August, otherwise we'd be in trouble! We have two great apprentices helping us out - Dave and Caitie. Yahoo, we're running on adrenaline right into September!

Lizzy is doing great, trying really hard to crawl but not quite there yet. She's sleeping through the night now, for which I am extremely grateful.

In the share this week:

Tomatoes, 3 lbs
Cherry Tomatoes, 1 pint
Beets, 1 lb
Carrots, 1 bunch
Kale, 1 bunch
Lettuce, 1 head
Basil, 1/4 lb

Past recipes that will be useful for this week's share are:
Fresh tomato salsa
Kale Chips

New recipes for this week:

Roast Carrots and Beets
1 lb beets
1 bunch carrots
1 onion
1 bulb garlic
2 Tb olive oil
Salt and black pepper to taste

Chop beets, carrots, and onion into uniform sized chunks, about 1 inch or less. Mince garlic. Toss beets, carrot, and onion chunks with garlic and olive oil. Season with salt and black pepper to taste. Roast in a 400 degree oven for approximately 45 minutes, or until very soft and beginning to brown. Yum - one of our favorites.

A few wonderful Tomato and Basil recipes:

Tomato and Basil Appetizers

These tomato slices simply topped with freshly sliced basil and salt and pepper. Prepare these tomatoes about 30 minutes before serving and allow them to come to room temperature.
  • 2 large tomatoes
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 large basil leaves, chopped or rolled and sliced thinly (chiffonade)
  • vinaigrette or salad dressing
Slice tomatoes; arrange on a serving plate. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then the chopped basil. Let stand for 30 minutes. Serve with vinaigrette, salad dressing, grated cheese, or serve as is.

Fresh Tomato and Basil Sauce Recipe:

  • 3 pounds tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1 large onion, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

In large saucepan, cook tomatoes and basil over medium-low heat until tomatoes are soft. Meanwhile, in medium skillet, saute onion and garlic in olive oil until onions are translucent. Add onion mixture to tomato mixture and add salt and pepper. Let simmer on low heat for 2 hours or until thick.