November 16, 2009

16 Nov

This is your last week of your 2009 CSA share. Last weekend I took time to reflect on my year at Fairview, how the farm has changed, and how grateful I am to be a part of this farm. I want to share my joy with you because you are also a part of this farm, a huge part, and I am thankful for you as well.

This week I want to celebrate our farmers, the men and women who throughout the year grew us an abundant amount of food. This food sustained us, fed our friends and family, and fueled us with good health. I would like to express my gratitude to Chava, Javier, Manuel, Cesar, Luis, Jose, Manuel Jr., Ricardo, Jorge, Erik, Fancy, Lauren, Connor, Julian, and Toby. I want to say thank you to wives, partners, children, parents, and friends who support and care for our farmers each day through the ups and downs of working on a farm. We are a community here on this farm; together during the cold mornings and the scorching summer afternoons; together in weeks of abundance and weeks of shortage; together with the gophers and the field mice who eat our crops; together enjoying the sunshine and the rain as it nourishes the soil that will soon become our dinner.

For the last week, our farmers have been preparing beds for your strawberry harvest next summer. It is an incredible labor intensive task, done by hand. It involves cover cropping and tilling, building tall deep fertile beds, laying black plastic and irrigation tape to keep the soil warm and the berries off the group, punching holes (about 2000) in the plastic one by one, placing wet cuttings in each hole, and covering each with soil. I want to honor them and the strawberry harvest by telling you how the process of growing strawberries is incredibly labor intensive. We do not have machines planting strawberries, we have farmers. We have farmers who grow us these juicy red bulbs of mouthwatering joy, also known as strawberries. As we celebrate Thanksgiving this year, please give thanks for your farmers and their families.

I will be sending email updates about the farm and the farm’s produce during our break. If you would like to be removed from the list please let me know. We will miss you at the farm, but hope to see you at the farmer’s market on Saturdays. Mention you are a CSA member for a 10% discount!

Don’t forget to sign up for the 2010 CSA season. You will save $85 or $117 for signing up for the full year before Dec. 5th.

With gratitude and thanksgiving for you and for our farmers,

Jen Corey, Marketing Manager

Sneak Peek:

Small Share

Carrots

Turnip  

Spinach

Cilantro

Lettuce           

Kale

Winter Squash 

Bunch Onion

Popcorn (mystery solved, scroll down)

Large Share

Carrots

Turnip

Spinach

Cilantro

Lettuce

Kale

Winter Squash

Bunch Onions

Popcorn (mystery solved, scroll down)

Garlic

Recipes:

Popcorn (try #3):

Toby, our head farmer, has also been our test chef and it wasn’t working. Well, the mystery has been solved; all you need to do is use oil that gets hot enough to pop the kernels. I made a batch of awesome popcorn on my lunch break today. Here were my steps:

  1. Popped out kernels.
  2. Heated vegetable/canola blend oil in a good size saucepan on high heat.
  3. After three minutes I put three kernels of popcorn in the pot. (They popped and shot straight out of the pot. Be careful)
  4. Poured the rest of the popcorn in the pot and stuck a lid on it.
  5. Gave it a couple shakes to make sure it didn’t burn.
  6. The popping slowed after two minutes, so I turned off the heat and let it sit on the burner. It kept popping for another minute or so and then it was done.
  7. Enjoy.

Fun seasoning variations:

  1. Parmesan with cracked pepper and other dried herbs is nice and savory
  2. Sugar for kettle corn
  3. Furikake (my favorite) which is a Japanese seasoning you can get in the Asian section of the grocery store.

The following are recipes from Simply in Season: Recipes that celebrate fresh, local good in the spirit of More-with-Less. It is a great cookbook and I recommend it.

Nutty Pumpkin Bread (contributed by Lisa Mast, pg. 178)

Yeilds 2 loaves or 48 mini muffins

1 ½ cups flour

1 ½ cups whole wheat flour

1 cup wheat germ

1 cup sugar

1 cup brown sugar

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 ½ teaspoons salt

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon (optional)

½ teaspoon each ground ginger, nutmeg, cloves (optional)

Mix together in a large bowl and make a well.

2 ½ cups pumpkin or winter squash (cooked and pureed)

4 eggs (lightly beaten)

½ cup oil

½ cup pecans or other nuts (chopped)

1 cup raisins or dates (chopped; optional)

Add into the well and mix just until all of the dry ingredients are moistened. Pour batter into 2 greased 9X5-inch loaf pans. Bake in preheated oven at 350F until toothpick inserted in center of loaves comes out clean, 50 minutes. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Loosen edges and turn the loaf out onto the rack to cool completely before slicing.

Muffin variation: Pour batter into greased mini-muffin tins; bake about 10 minutes.

Turnips (autumn, winter page 27)

Serving suggestions:

  • Slice or julienne young turnips and eat raw with a dip or peanut butter.
  • Add shredded raw turnips to salads.
  • Bake turnips with sweeter root vegetables like carrots and parsnips.
  • When boiled and then pureed with a potato, turnips make a delicious low-starch alternative to mashed potatoes

Green Surprise Dip (contributed by Teresa Dutchersmith; page 224)

A yummy addition to vegetable sticks, crackers or tortilla chips. Kids like it too!

1 cup steamed kale, Swiss chard, or spinach

1 cup plain yogurt

1 cup cooked chickpeas (also known as garbanzo beans)

¼ mayonnaise (can also use veganaise)

2 cloves garlic

½ onion (chopped)

1 tablespoon lemon juice or to taste

½ teaspoon salt or to taste

Puree in a blender or food processor

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