Monday, October 22, 2012

October 23rd and 26th: End of Summer

New Beginnings

Well here it is, the end of the Summer Share.  A season full of intense heat, insects, 9 inch rains, weeks of dry, wicked humidity and still, in the end, our bellies are full of gourmet, hand grown, succulent, earth rich fruits and veg from our little farm.  It may be the end of summer, but for me, this marks a new beginning.  For one, I went for a walk in the woods with Simon for the first time since March.  And last week I worked 50 hours instead of the usual easy 80.  And little green spinach sprouts are just starting again in the hoop house for the Winter Share.
I am feeling a flurry of emotions as we wrap up another growing unbelief that it has passed by already, an urgency to harvest and wash literally tons more veg for storage, a whirlwind of thoughts and plans and changes to make next season even better, an intense desire to lay on a massage table and shear thankfulness that I have a community of shareholders who support me and allow me to be a farmer. 

We hope that you will be joining us for the Holiday and Winter Shares and of course again in 2013!!!

This Week's Harvest:
lettuce, chickory, tat soi, pac choi, onions, garlic, winter squash, sorrel, fennel, carrots, potatoes, herbs, chinese cabbage? and ...
Last Night's Dinner
Eggplant parmasean with tat soi.

Modified Chicken Satay
On the side: sauteed peppers and pac choi in peanut and sesame oil

Sunday, October 14, 2012

October 16th and 19th: fall

Harvesting, Washing, Cleaning, Packing for Winter

I spend most of October and early November on my knees in the cool damp soil harvesting the last of the veggies for winter storage (carrots, beets, turnips, rutabagas, celeriac, leeks, potatoes and cabbage) and planting garlic.  If all I had to do was harvest, the fall would be easy!  But alas, after the veggies are harvested many hours are spent in my rain gear washing, washing, washing.  Then the veg must go into a container and placed into the walk in cooler for the winter.  Some veggies like onions and potatoes store better unwashed, but still we sort through and "clean" them as much as possible.  Since these are dry products, they are the last items to get packed into the walk in for winter storage.  The winter harvest is looking bountiful, so hopefully there will be space!
Fall always amazes me.  Late September comes with cool nights and a few frosts and I always think "ok this is it, no more growth".  But wow!  cool loving crops like broccoli, cauliflower and greens are still inching along and looking so vibrant and tasty.  Friday night brought a low of 24 degrees here.  A cold too cold for the PYO flowers, peppers, tomatoes and tomatilloes.  A cold too cold for even a few broccoli and cauliflower plants.  Most of the greens I have protected and when I flipped up the cover today to take a peek they looked like little green gnomes lined up in perfect formation....just waiting to be eaten!
I may give you a few "weird" greens these last couple of weeks...chicory, tat soi and pac choi.  But I hope you can find a way to love them, to love what Maine fall growing brings to our table.  I know eating locally and seasonally is a life change and a challenge that some of you don't even want to take.  But I hope that being a part of a CSA this year has at least brought you a little closer to realize what bounty and greatness our short growing season can bring, even if some of it is a little strange!

Extra Pumpkins $.35/lb!
Help yourself to the wagon to decorate your home..or make more pumpkin goodies!
The next couple of week's harvest:  will be a smorgasbord of veggies from the fall fields......lettuce, tat soi, pac choi, pan di zucherro chicory, fennel, peppers, carrots, potatoes, onions, garlic, leeks, cabbage, butternut squash, beets, chard, parsley...(broccoli, cauliflower, spinach you may not all  see these 3 items when you come, but I will try and mix them around so you all get a taste).
pan di zucchero chicory
"sugar loaf" in Italian. This heirloom chickory is sweeter than most bitter chickories.  The center will be the sweetest, with the outer leaves being a bit more bitter.  Use the center leaves raw in salad and try sauteing the outer leaves with olive oil, garlic and even the tat soi or pac choi!
greens and beans
1 head pan di zucchero chicory (about 4 cups, chopped)
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
3T olive oil
1 ½ cups cooked white beans (cannellini, great northern, or navy)
2-3 cups vegetable broth (or water from parboiling the chicory)
salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes
grated cheese
chop the chicory into coarse big pieces and boil for a minute or two in a pot of water. remove, drain (reserving some water for later if you don’t have handy broth) and dry off (blotting with a clean towel works fine)
meanwhile, warm the olive oil in a large cast-iron or other fry pan, add the garlic and sauté just until soft (not brown) add a pinch of salt, black pepper and a pinch of red pepper flakes
add the greens and sauté until very tender (4-5 minutes)
add the beans with the broth and warm them through
drizzle with a little more olive oil and serve with fresh grated pecorino or caprino romano (sheep or goat romano)
(for a non-vegetarian version, start by cooking a little bacon in the pan before the garlic and use beef or chicken broth)
TAT SOI/PAC CHOI (aka Bok choy)
Grilled Bok Choy/Tat Soi
Time: 10-20 minutes heating grill, 5 minutes preparation, 5 minutes cooking

1 head of young bok choy or tatsoi per person
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1. Slice the head in two lengthwise and wash thoroughly for any sandy soil that may reside in between leaves.
2. Drizzle with olive oil and soy sauce and sprinkle on a light coating of salt and pepper on the cut side.
3. Grill the bok choy, cut side down, over very hot coals for 4-6 minutes or until the greens are browned but not burnt. Serve immediately.

Yummy Tatsoi Recipe (or use pac choi!)

6 cups tatsoi, chopped
1½ cups carrots, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus 1 additional tablespoon
1 tablespoon season oil
¼ onion, chopped 5 tablespoons peanut butter
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
3 tablespoons soy sauce
Egg noodles


Sauté oil and garlic for 5 minutes. Add carrots and onion sauté for 5 mintues. Add tatsoi and sauté till tender. In a bowl, mix together peanut butter, white wine vinegar, and soy sauce. Poor over vegetables and fry for a few minutes. Serve over egg noodles

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

October 9th and 12th: Pumpkins

PYO Pumpkin Party!

The BIGGEST Pumpkin Ohmy!  Zach is in competition with our neighbor, Pete, on who can grow the biggest pumpkin.  Coincidentally Pete couldn't make it to the party this weekend because he had to go "hunting".  We think he knew he lost ; ) 

Fireman's pass of the pumpkins over the broccoli.  All the orange globes just fit on the wagon...but barely, we needed spotters on the drive back to the barn.  Fun was had by all and it turned out to be a gorgeous day!!!! 
This Week's Harvest: lettuce, tat soi, fennel, beets, potatoes, carrots, hot peppers, tomatoes, parsley and a pumpkin!
Tat soi...Remember this super Vitamin green from the spring? Use it just like you would spinach or broccoli.  Lightly cooked. 
Beets:  Roasting them whole rather than boiling them allows beets to keep their color, flavor and all of their nutrients.
beets--toss with 2 tbs olive oil and a pinch of salt roast them whole at 400 covered with foil about 40 minutes set aside to cool, you may remove the skins...I never do
Combine olive oil, 6 tbs sherry vinegar, 2 tbs honey (i used maple syrup), 1 thinly sliced shallot (i used leek).
Stir in beets, cover and refrigerate up to 12 hours
Drain dressing, crumble feta cheese (i used feta cheese from Winter Hill that i sell) on top along with 1/2 chopped arugula
...the recipe also calls for toasted pumpkin seeds on top.  toast cleaned raw seeds over med heat, stir constantly until puffed and brown, about 10 minutes.  Drizzle with oil and salt

Monday, October 1, 2012

October 2nd and 5th: Farewell


Wow I cannot believe it is October!  And it turned fall almost instantly this weekend.  Fall is my favorite season.  Crisp air replaces the humidity, fall colors paint the trees and then the ground. This fall I just feel like I cannot keep up with the harvest.  I'll agree it is good problem to have, loads of food, when you are a farmer....and for you as the consumer : ) 
By the Way--now is the perfect time to sign up for Holiday and Winter Shares, Turkeys and 2013 Summer Shares!!!
The piggies have been loving fall as well.  The last couple of years we have been finishing them in the woods--they just love it in there.  Every day I go out to feed them there is a new log (seriously BIG logs) moved out of the woods and into their pasture...true bulldozers.  This year Zach planted a patch of corn for them.  It was about 100'x100' square and they gobbled it up in about 3 days.  No joke!  I think next year we will plant 2 corn plots for them.  Now I am feeding them any apples I can scrape up from the neighbors yard (if you have any, bring them on over) and corn stalks from my field.  These 9 critters (inlcuding Blind Melon, the blind pig) are pretty special.  And we will miss them when they go this Sunday.  Sending out a big appreciation to them and to the bounty of our land.
This Week's Harvest: lettuce/spinach for Tuesday folks this week (Friday folks got it last week), beets, colored carrot medley, chard, onion, winter squash, pac choi, peppers, tomatoes, turnips, parsley, dill, cilantro...

A great greens description, including pac choi: