The End of the Winter

We are sad that our official Winter Share is coming to a close. The transition to spring feels very real with these tropical temperatures and dried out fields. We hope you've enjoyed the winter share this year, we feel proud of the roots and greens and canned goods we've been able include in the share. It is such a joy for us to be able to provide healthy veggies for our community members through the winter. You've received an average of a 25% discount on all the produce and products in the share this season! 

We've spent the last few weeks keeping up with warming temps, finishing our Organic Certification annual update, buying new equipment and cleaning up for spring farming! We're ready for the season ahead! Please sign up for our Summer/Fall CSA if you haven't already. We rely on members like you to keep up going through the season and we are so lucky to have you as part of our farm community!

Scenes from the farm: the most beautiful lettuce heads, walks on the farm, working on organic certification as the sun sets over the farm, the greenhouse looking lush, and farmer Malaika featured in an amazing new cookbook all about alliums called "Onions etcetera".

The Share:

salad mix

kale

choice of baby kale or arugula

lettuce

garlic

cilantro 

Choice of sauerkraut or kimchi

Choice of canned good: sauce, puree, ketchup, tomato butter

Choice of 8 pounds roots

Recipe of the week:

Carrot fritters

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tablespoons plain flour

  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin

  • 1 garlic clove, crushed

  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley

  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced

  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten

  • 3 carrots, peeled

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 2 green onions, extra, thinly sliced lengthways

  • reduced-fat Greek-style natural yoghurt and lime wedges, to serve

METHOD

  • Step 1

    Combine flour, cumin, garlic, parsley and green onions in a large bowl. Add eggs. Mix well to combine.

  • Step 2

    Coarsely grate carrots. Use your hands to squeeze out as much excess moisture as possible. Add carrots to egg mixture. Season with salt and pepper.

  • Step 3

    Heat oil in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Add 1/4 cup of batter per fritter to frying pan. Cook fritters in batches for 3 minutes each side, or until golden and cooked through.

  • Step 4

    Place 2 fritters onto each serving plate. Top with extra green onions. Season with salt and pepper. Serve warm with yoghurt and lime wedges.

 

From afar

This week's newsletter is being written from the top of a hill on the island of Guadaloupe. Even farmers deserve a vacation, right? With limited internet, we'll keep it simple.

Here's the share this week:

The Share:

salad mix

kale

arugula or baby kale

head lettuce

cabbage

dried hot chilies (great for soups!)

Choice of sauerkraut or kimchi

Choice of roots (8lbs)

Choice of canned goods: ketchup, tomato sauce, tomato puree, salsa, tomato butter

Seed Order

The seed order is done! Crop planning and the great tetris that is planning a farm season commences. Ordering seed, equipment and planning for a small diversified farm is no small feat, it takes about 22 different spreadsheets and weeks of math problems to figure out what crops to grow when, how many and where to put them all. Each type of vegetable, of which we grow hundreds, all have different rates of seeding, prices, days to harvest, nutrient needs and space required. It is a mind-bending task to get it all to fit into one realistic picture. A mentor of mine once told me that CSA farms would not exist without Excel. She is not wrong. 

The stats:

We are growing 255 different varieties of vegetables this year, 9 types of potatoes, 2 varieties of garlic, 15 kinds of flowers, 17 types of herbs, and 36 varieties of transplants for spring plant sales.

It's going to be amazing.

Scenes from the farm: seed order command central; what Duma does during crop planning; Phoenyx doing some winter work- trimming the fence; sunset over Gravity Hill after working on contour field layouts

The Share:

salad mix

spinach

head lettuce

cabbage

dry beans

parsley

cilantro

Choice of roots (7lbs): carrots, beets, potatoes, celery root, rutabaga, radish, turnip

Choice of canned goods (2): ketchup, tomato sauce, tomato puree, salsa, tomato butter

Recipe of the week:

Orecchiette with Carrot-Hazelnut Pesto

INGREDIENTS 

  • 6 small carrots (8 ounces), peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup toasted whole hazelnuts, plus 2 tablespoons, chopped, for serving
  • 1 small clove garlic
  • 1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano (2 ounces)Coarse salt
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling1 pound orecchiette

DIRECTIONS 

  1. Combine carrots, whole hazelnuts, garlic, and cheese in the bowl of a food processor; season with salt. Pulse until coarsely pureed. With motor running, slowly add oil, processing to a paste. 

  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil; add salt. Cook pasta until al dente, according to package instructions. Drain; transfer pasta to a bowl. Add pesto and toss to coat evenly. Drizzle with oil, top with chopped hazelnuts, and serve immediately.

The Expansion

We are very excited to finally announce our plans for next season! We are expanding our farming operation to the farm formerly known as Gravity Hill Organic Farm in Titusville NJ where we now operate a weekend market and our Winter CSA Pickup. The farm is about 8 tillable acres with lots of farm infrastructure that will help us do what we do better. We will be continuing to grow at our current farm in Solebury but are very excited to utilize the indoor growing spaces, new fields for organic rotation and the On-Farm Market and CSA building at the Gravity Hill property. Our intention is not to grow into a huge farm but be able to take advantage of the opportunities at Gravity Hill to become more efficient at growing high quality veggies while also providing a public place for our community to enjoy the farm. 

We are very excited and a little daunted by our new project, but we have an experienced and enthusiastic crew lined up for the season and many others on board to help make it a success! It will truly be a village effort and we hope you'll join us!

If you haven't already signed up, check out the CSA options for the summer at http://rootstoriverfarm.com/csa-info-and-share-options/

We will be offering a weekday Pickups at Buckingham PA and Titusville NJ and weekend market pickups at Doylestown PA and Titusville NJ. All shares are free-choice and all members will have access to the Pick-Your-Own gardens at Gravity Hill.

Scenes from the farm: snowy harvest days, Winter craft projects by the crew, greens picked fresh for the shares

The share:

salad mix

judy's kale

collard green hearts

spinach

parsley

napa cabbage

head lettuce

onions

garlic

Choice of roots (7 pounds): carrots, potatoes, beets, celery root, turnips, rutabaga

Choice of canned goods: tomato sauce, puree, ketchup, salsa or butter

 

Recipe of the day:

PENNE WITH LEMON AND ROOT VEGETABLES 

BON APPÉTIT TEST KITCHEN BON APPÉTIT DECEMBER 2009

YIELD

Makes 4 main-course servings

ACTIVE TIME

50 minutes

TOTAL TIME

50 minutes

INGREDIENTS

    • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
    • 5 cups 2 x 1/2 x 1/2-inch sticks peeled assorted root vegetables (such as parsnips, carrots, celery root, and golden beets)
    • 2 large garlic cloves, peeled
    • 2 celery stalks, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-wide pieces, plus 6 tablespoons chopped celery leaves, divided
    • 8 ounces penne rigate or whole grain penne
    • 3/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
    • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon peel
    • 1/4 teaspoon (scant) ground nutmeg

PREPARATION

    1. Heat extra-virgin olive oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add assorted root vegetables; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sauté 9 minutes. Using garlic press, squeeze in garlic. Add sliced celery stalks. Sauté vegetables 1 minute longer. Add 1 cup water. Cover and simmer until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally, 12 to 15 minutes.
    2. Meanwhile, cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain, reserving 1 cup cooking liquid.
    3. Add pasta to vegetables in skillet. Add 3/4 cup reserved cooking liquid, finely grated Parmesan cheese, finely grated lemon peel, ground nutmeg, and 4 tablespoons chopped celery leaves. Toss until heated through and sauce coats pasta, adding more cooking liquid if pasta is dry, about 2 minutes. Season pasta to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer pasta to bowls; sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons chopped celery leaves.

 

Breathing Room

People always ask what farmers do in the winter. I'll tell you: we breathe a little. In between website design, crop planning, newsletter writing, accounting and catching up with friends and family, I love the couple hours a day when I have to take the dog for a walk or vent the tunnels at the farm. It's such a wonderful chance to truly appreciate the beauty that is the place where I live and work. A chance to slow down, breath and look around. I have time to notice the tree that has fallen in the woods since I was last there or that the grass is a different variety on the top of the hill than it is on the bottom. In the growing season, when I notice things on the farm, those things go straight on to the to-do list. An automatic categorization of tasks based on how the environment has changed. Now all I have to do is walk and look and breathe and notice with wonder. I'll think about the to-do list when I go back inside. 

The Share:

Choice of collard greens or kale

Salad mix

Spinach

onions

garlic

napa cabbage

winter squash

Choice of canned good: tomato sauce, salsa, puree, ketchup or tomato butter

Choice of roots (6 pounds): potatoes, beets, carrots, turnips, celery root, watermelon radishes, rutabaga

Recipe of the week:

Rosy Beet/ Napa Cabbage Slaw


From Global Cookbook. Serves 4-6.
6 c. Thinly sliced Napa cabbage leaves
1 1/2 c. Minced red onion
2 med Beets, grated
1 c. Minced fresh parsley
1/4 c. Red wine vinegar
1/2 c. Water
2 Tbsp. Brown sugar
1/2 tsp Salt
1/3 c. Minced fresh dill leaf
3 Tbsp. Minced fresh chives
1/2 c. Low fat lowfat sour cream
Salt and freshly ground pepper

 

Combine vegetables and parsley in a large bowl. In a saucepan, combine vinegar, water, sugar, and salt. Bring to a boil, stirring till sugar is dissolved. Pour over vegetables and toss. Add in dill and chives and fold in well. Cover and let marinate overnight. Stir well once or twice. Just before serving, drain off excess liquid. Stir in lowfat sour cream and add in salt and pepper to taste.

  

Intricacies of Winter Growing

Vegetable farming in the winter is a whole other way of farming then in the main season. In the summer, things are constantly changing, moving, growing, dying, and fruiting. It's our job to keep up with it all. In the winter we have a stock that is set, the roots are in and the greens are planted. Now it is our job to keep them stable. We have to make constant adjustments to their environments in order to keep what we have stay their best. The greens have to be covered every night and the nighttime temperature dictates how many layers they get. They must be uncovered every morning and the houses opened to let air in. The roots must be humid but not wet. They must be cold but not freezing. The squash and sweet potatoes have to stay warm and dry but not too dry. The onions and garlic, cold and dry. Winter vegetable farming is much more akin keeping livestock; instead of growing plants, we are trying to keep them alive. It's an interesting challenge, one that we get better at every year.

In the share this week:

Choice of bagged greens (2 bags): salad mix, spinach, specialty greens

Choice of bunched greens (2 bags): kale, collards, swiss chard, mustard greens

fennel

pan di zucchero

onions

garlic

winter squash

tatsoi

Choice of roots (6 pounds): potatoes (2 kinds), beets, carrots, turnips, watermelon radishes

Recipe of the Week:

SPICED WINTER SQUASH WITH FENNEL 

BON APPÉTIT OCTOBER 2004

INGREDIENTS

    • 1 1 1/2-pound butternut squash, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded, halved crosswise, then cut lengthwise into 3/4-inch-wide wedges
    • 1 fennel bulb, trimmed, cut lengthwise into 1-inch-wide wedges
    • 1 large onion, root end left intact, then cut lengthwise into 1/2-inch-wide wedges
    • 3 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
    • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1 teaspoon chili powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
    • (farmer note: i would also add the pan di zucccero to this as well)

PREPARATION

    1. Position rack in bottom third of oven and preheat to 450°F. Combine squash, fennel, and onion on heavy large rimmed baking sheet. Add oil and toss to coat. Mix all spices in small bowl to blend. Sprinkle spice mixture over vegetables and toss to coat. Sprinkle with salt and generous amount of pepper. Roast until vegetables are tender and browned, turning once, about 45 minutes. Transfer to shallow dish and serve.

 

 

The Winter Share

The winter share is a curation of vegetables and products that starts all the way back in March when we seeded our first crops in the greenhouse. Some of the products that we will be giving out in the next few months are vegetables like onions and celery root that we took care of for 9 months, some of these vegetables have lived through every season of the year. It's amazing to think about the process that goes into our winter share offerings. Some have been grown, weeded, harvested, cured and cleaned; some have been grown, pruned, picked, cooked, and canned; some harvested and dried; some picked, chopped and brined and some just pulled from the ground, washed and bagged. Every crop has it's own story and for the winter we try to get every vegetable to its most stable state in order to hang on to it all season. The winter share is a science all it's own, we hope you enjoy it. 

Scenes from the farm and veggies coming your way:

What's in the share:

Choice of greens: salad mix, arugula, specialty greens mix, spinach

Choice of kale or swiss chard bunches

Fennel

Broccoli

Pan di Zucchero

Tatsoi

Parsley

Pea shoots

Winter squash

Onions

Garlic

Choice of roots (5 pounds): carrots, beets, turnips, rutabaga, kohlrabi, watermelon radishes

 

Recipe of the week:

Tatsoi & Pan di Zucchero Pasta with Preserved Lemon and Toasted Almonds from Julia


I wanted to make a quick dinner for a quick and relaxed weeknight just-get-it-done but sit down together meal. I looked in the fridge and cupboard, and threw this together with the garlic I cleverly purchased earlier in the day. 

1 head pan di zucchero (you could use escarole or radicchio or another cooking green here), cleaned and sliced into ribbons then chopped a bit some more
1 pound tatsoi: stemmed and washed well. I removed the stems and washed up the green leaves with the bits of stem that remained, it was pretty quick thanks to my salad spinner
4 large cloves of garlic, or to taste
1 onion (optional, I meant to add this and didn't...)
2-4 tablespoons olive oil
4 Tablespoons (approx) chopped preserved lemons (you could use capers and or kalamata olives if no preserved lemons are lurking in your fridge)
1 bunch Italian parsley washed and chopped (I actually bought a bunch of this, then forgot!)
Toasted almonds, roughly chopped
1 can great quality tuna or salmon in oil, flaked, optional (I didn't add this but I pondered it)
3/4 pound pasta or a whole pound (I used penne, could use other shapes including spaghetti), cooked
S & P to taste
1-2 lemons quartered to serve for squeezing to taste at the table
a grating cheese to serve on the table with the grater (I like to make the eaters do some of the work, and I don't usually add cheese to my dish)

Saute the onion in 2-4 tablespoons oil until soft. Add all the cooking greens plus the garlic, cook until well wilted and garlic is soft.

Toss the hot wilted greens/onion mix with the preserved lemons & pasta. Add tuna if using, and toss the whole thing in a large bowl. Season to taste with S & P. (go light on the salt as the preserved lemons are salty!)Serve with a small pile of chopped almonds on top. At table pass lemon quarters and hunk of grating cheese such as parmesan or asagio with the grater for eaters to garnish themselves.

http://mariquita.com/recipes/pandezuccero.html

The Last of the Fall

Here we are once again at the last CSA Summer/Fall Pickup of the year. It always seems like it comes so fast, although I never think that it will in the middle of the summer heat. We've had a wonderful season and we are incredibly pleased with the quantity and quality of produce we were able to grow this season. Our crew was unmatched in enthusiasm, curiosity and stamina. They were hard working, positive and supportive of each other even through the toughest moments of the season. I feel lucky to count them as my colleagues and fellow farmers. Our community of CSA members, farmer's market customers, chefs, and volunteers have grown and I am continually humbled and amazed by the support we have received by our community. Every CSA Pickup, Farmer's Market and restaurant delivery renews my commitment and energy after seeing and talking to those that we feed each week from our farm. We are busy filling the root cellar and cleaning up the last of the fields and are looking forward to a bit of a break in the colder months. We hope you'll join us for the winter and for next season. Watch for updates about the farm in the next few months, we have some exciting things in the works. 

Thank you thank you thank you for your support, enthusiasm and commitment to our farm and what we do. We look forward to serving you again and again. 

Scenes from the farm: Sunrise over the farm, dahlias and fall colors, a perfect basket of broccoli, sunset over the farm.

In the share:

arugula

specialty greens

spinach

head lettuce

kale

swiss chard

collard greens

cabbage

napa cabbage

purple top turnips

beets

carrots

radishes

watermelon radishes

fennel

radicchio

celery root

winter squash

onions

garlic

cilantro

dill

parsley

rosemary

sweet peppers

broccoli

PARSLEY, FENNEL, AND CELERY ROOT SALAD 

GOURMET NOVEMBER 2001

INGREDIENTS

    • 1 large fennel bulb with fronds (sometimes called anise; 1 1/4 lb)
    • 4 1/2 cups small fresh flat-leaf parsley sprigs (from 3 large bunches)
    • 1 1/2 cups small curly parsley sprigs (from 2 large bunches)
    • 1 medium celery root (1 lb), peeled with a sharp knife and cut into 1/8-inch-thick matchsticks
    • 2 1/2 to 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
    • 2 tablespoons minced shallot
    • 3/4 teaspoon sugar
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
    • 1/3 cup olive oil

PREPARATION

    1. Tear enough fennel fronds into small sprigs to measure 1 1/2 cups. Trim fennel stalks flush with bulb and discard stalks. Quarter bulb lengthwise, then cut lengthwise into paper-thin slices with a mandoline or other manual slicer. Toss sliced fennel with fronds, parsley, and celery root in a large bowl.
    2. Whisk together lemon juice (to taste), shallot, sugar, salt, pepper, and oil in a small bowl. Toss salad with dressing.

 

Fall Colors

We are so very lucky to live in Pennsylvania  in the fall. The landscape all around us turns into a magnificent painting that not even a camera can do it justice. We sometimes catch ourselves just standing in the fields and staring at what once was gray and bare and then green and lush and is now the most beautiful brightest rainbow if autumn color we can imagine. 

Scenes from the farm: fall colors in the front field, frosty harvest morning, fog-bow over the farm, Duma looking beautiful with the collards

The share:

head lettuce

arugula

specialty greens

spinach

kale

collards

swiss chard

broccoli

radishes

purple top turnips

napa cabbage

standard cabbage

sweet peppers

carrots

beets

onions

garlic

herbs

radicchio

fennel

celery root

winter squash

Buttered Turnip Puree
Recipe courtesy of Tyler Florence


Total Time:
30 min
Prep:
10 min
Cook:
20 min
Yield:4 servings
Level:Easy
Ingredients

3 large turnips, peeled and cut into uniform chunks
1 quart milk
3 fresh thyme sprigs
1 clove garlic, peeled and gently smashed with the side of a knife
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Combine the turnips, milk, thyme and garlic in a medium saucepan. Set over medium heat and partially cover the pan. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook for 20 to 30 minutes, until the turnips are tender-the tip of a paring knife should go through without resistance.
Drain the turnips, reserving the cooking liquid, and transfer to a food processor (discard the thyme sprigs). Add about 1 cup of the reserved cooking liquid and the butter, season with plenty of salt and pepper and puree until smooth. Add more of the liquid, if necessary. Serve hot.


Recipe courtesy of Tyler Florence for Food Network Magazine

Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/tyler-florence/buttered-turnip-puree-recipe2.print.html?oc=linkback

Frost

We woke up to a light frost on the farm this morning. Not enough to do any damage, the last of the peppers seem like they'll pull through ok. But it was enough to remind us that cold weather is imminent and our crops won't be safe out in the fields for much longer. It's time bundle up, ignore our cold fingers and get those roots out of the ground and into storage. It's nice that we can sometimes rely on nature to give us those not-so-subtle hints about what our most important tasks should be. How lucky to be given a little frost and then a week of warm weather to get ourselves in gear and really start to prepare for winter. Sometimes it can be a relief to feel that the weather is happening with us, rather than to us. 

Scenes from the farm: the gorgeous variegata di lucia radicchio, harvesting in the fog, jars of processed tomatoes for the winter, and the sunrise through the mist on harvest morning. 

The share:

head lettuce

arugula

specialty greens

spinach

broccoli

hakurei turnips

radishes

watermelon rashishes

carrots

beets

onions

garlic

sweet peppers

hot peppers

eggplant

swiss chard

kale

collards

parsley

dill

cilantro

radicchio

fennel

rutabaga

cabbage

winter squash

Kale Salad with Quick-Pickled Watermelon Radish

Serves 4

1/2 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
Kosher salt
1 (6-ounce) watermelon radish (can substitute regular radishes)
1 (8-ounce) bunch kale
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon toasted pumpkin seed oil
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds, toasted

Do ahead: In a medium bowl, combine vinegar, sugar, and 1 teaspoon salt. Thinly slice the radish using a mandoline or chef's knife, add to the bowl, and stir to combine, making sure the slices are well coated. Let stand at least 30 minutes or refrigerate up to a day before serving.

Wash the kale and pat off excess water. If the center stems are tender enough to eat, simply trim the bottom inch or two. If the center stems are thick or tough, cut or tear them out (see Basic Technique: How to Prepare Chard Or Any Other Leafy Green) and discard or save for another dish. Slice the leaves crosswise into 1/4-inch-wide ribbons.

In a large bowl, combine olive oil, pumpkin seed oil, lemon juice, thyme, a generous grind of black pepper, and a little salt. Add the kale and use your hands to massage the dressing into the leaves until they soften and wilt.

Drain the radishes. Toss with the kale - OR - arrange the slices on individual plates and place the kale on top. Garnish with pumpkin seeds and serve.

 

 

October

October, ruddy-cheeked, comes o'er the plains,
And as with rustling step it speeds along,
Its feet beat music to the harvest song...
~Albert Laighton (1829–1887), "October," c.1859

Harvest song indeed. We wait all year for October, to be blessed by changing colors, cool crisp air and the coziness of autumn bounty. With mud on our boots, we'll bring in the crops steadily until a frost gets us in gear for the last hustle. We're looking forward to good October. 

Scenes from the farm: fall bounty.

In the share:

salad mix

arugula 

specialty greens

kale

collard greens

broccoli

beets

carrots

spinach

radishes

hakurei turnips

watermelon radishes

sweet peppers

eggplant

cherry tomatoes

plum tomatoes

hot peppers

parsley

dill

cilantro

purple top turnips

napa cabbage

radicchio

fennel

winter squash

 

Chai-Spiced Pumpkin Lassi

Smoothie

  • PREP TIME
    5 minutes

  • COOK TIME
    0 minutes

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened pumpkin puree
  • 1 1/2 cups plain unsweetened full fat yogurt (steer clear of a greek style yogurt here, you want a thinner consistency)
  • 1/2 cup ice cold water + additional to thin as needed
  • 2-3 tablespoons pure maple syrup (more to taste if necessary)
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon chai-spiced tea leaves (from1 tea bag)


 

Serves 2

  1. Combine all the ingredients into a high speed blender and blend until smooth. Taste for seasonings and adjust as necessary. If the drink is too thick, add more ice cold water.

*Use this recipe as a guide
*Adjust measurements and ingredients as necessary
*Taste test as you go

 

Carrot Tahini Soup

Soup

  • PREP TIME
    20 minutes
  • COOK TIME
    30 minutes

Pin Nut Gremolata

  • 1/4 cup lightly toasted pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup minced parsley
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • pinch of fine sea salt

Soup

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 1/2 pounds carrots, scrubbed clean and chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 cups water + additional to thin if necessary
  • 3 tablespoons tahini
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice


 

Serves 4

  1. Prepare the gremolata by combining all the ingredients in a bowl. Toss well and set aside until ready to serve.
  2. Heat the oil in a heavy bottom skillet. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally until it begins to soften. About 5 minutes. Stir in the carrots, garlic, cumin and salt. Stir until the veggies are coated in the spice mixture. Add the water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until the carrots are tender, about 20 minutes.
  3. Remove the soup from the heat. Add the tahini and lemon juice. Carefully puree the soup in a blender until completely smooth and creamy.  Taste for seasonings.
  4. Divide between bowls and top with a healthy portion of the pine nut gremolata.

*Use this recipe as a guide
*Adjust measurements and ingredients as necessary

It's starting to be that time...

This was one of those perfect New England days in the late summer where the spirit of autumn takes a first stealing flight, like a spy, through the ripening country-side, and, with feigned sympathy for those who droop with August heat, puts her cool cloak of bracing air about leaf and flower. 

from "The Courting of Sister Wisby" by Sarah Orne Jewett, 1894

It's starting to be that time when the tasks of picking and weeding slowly stop and we move our energies to stocking the root cellar and nursing the last of our crops through the next two months of harvest. It's starting to be the time when we can move a little slower and appreciate fall weather all around us. It's starting to be that time when we can take a deep breath and marvel at how fast a farm season goes. It's not that time yet, but it's starting. 

Scenes from the farm: another miraculous arrow head find by Kat in the tomato field, sun rays over a newly cover cropped field, purple tops looking good, a morning harvest scene.

The share:

salad mix

arugula

specialty greens

spinach

kale

collard greens

swiss chard

escarole

mustard greens

radishes

hakurei turnips

sweet peppers

eggplant

shishito peppers

hot peppers

beets

carrots

red tomatoes

plum tomatoes

winter squash

parsley

dill

onions

Just made this the other night and it is delicious:

Honey-Lemon Mustard Green Salad

Serves 4 to 6

Active time: 10 min   Start to finish: 20 min

5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

3 thick slices whole wheat country-style bread, cut into cubes

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 small shallot, finely chopped

1 tablespoon honey

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 bunches mustard greens

½ cup toasted walnuts

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Toss the bread cubes with 1 tablespoon of the oil on a large baking sheet, then sprinkle the bread cubes with a large pinch each of salt and pepper. Toast the bread in the oven until golden, 10 to 12 minutes. Let the croutons cool to room temperature.

Whisk the remaining 4 tablespoons together with the lemon juice, shallot, honey to taste, ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper in a large bowl.

Stack the mustard greens then roll them up into a tight cigar shape. Using a sharp knife, thinly slice the mustard greens into thin ribbons. Toss the mustard greens with the dressing and sprinkle with the croutons and walnuts. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then serve.

Crop Failures

It's a bit of a dramatic term but crop failures are a part of every farming season on a small diversified farm such as ours.  Some are huge and others are tiny. They range from not getting to weed a bed of greens and having little less arugula that week, to entire crops that have been wiped out by bugs or water issues or disease or any number of other things.  We do all sorts of things to prevent crop failures, but sometimes they are inevitable. They are hard to accept and can really affect morale on the farm. I'm getting better at dealing with the emotional part of crop failures as I get more seasons under my belt, but it's never easy. This year we lost all of our leeks before we could even plant them to onion maggots. We lost half of our onions and garlic to those same darned pests (it has not been a good allium year). Our parsnips did not germinate at all. The most disappointing and mysterious has been our storage potatoes. We had the most beautiful weed-free, pest-free plants I had ever grown. I amended the soil to the exact suggestions of our soil tests, we irrigated as much as we could and we thought we had finally nailed it. And now as we start to dig up the spuds, we are finding that there is hardly anything under those perfectly hilled rows. It's such a complete mystery and a crop failure that is very hard to accept given all the work that went into those plants. What a lesson in letting go and such a realization of how much is truly out of our control. We'll dig what we can and hope for a better crop next year as always. The rest of our fall roots look good as can be and we can only be thankful for what we've got.

Scenes from the farm: Potato digging photo shoot for a cookbook (even if there aren't that many, at least we look good doing it right?), the fennel looking great, and winter squash is in and curing!

The share:

head lettuce

arugula

specialty greens

spinach

sweet peppers 

eggplant

shishito peppers

hot peppers

kale 

swiss chard

kohlrabi

parsley

beets

carrots

escarole

tomatoes

radishes

winter squash

 

~Spinach Pesto Farro Recipe~

 

2 cups Italian semi-pearled farro

5 cups water

4 cups loosely packed baby spinach leaves

2 cloves garlic

1/2 cup toasted pine nuts (1/4 cup reserved)

1/3 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

pinch of sea salt

1 onion, sliced and 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil

6-8 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped*
shaved Pecorino Romano to garnish


Cook farro:
In a saucepan, combine water and farro and bring to a boil.  Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for about 15-20 minutes.  The cooking time can vary by brands, some requiring 30 minutes.  Check the instructions on the bag you've purchased.  I tend to taste a few morsels as I move along.  You want it to be 'al dente,' but don't let it go too far.  Also, keep in mind, if you've purchased whole farro, not semi-pearled farro, you should soak the grains overnight.  Your cooking time will take 45 minutes to an hour.


Toast pine nuts and cook onion:
While the farro is cooking, heat a cast iron or skillet pan over medium heat.  Let the pine nuts go for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently.  Keep your eye on them.  Your nose will tell you when they're done.  Reserve half the pine nuts as a topping.  The other 1/4 cup will be used in the pesto.  Wipe out pan and add a teaspoon of olive oil.  Cook sliced onion for a few minutes over medium heat until it wilts down and put it aside.


Make spinach pesto:
In a food processor, combine spinach leaves, garlic, 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts, Pecorino Romano, extra virgin olive oil, and sea salt.  Pulse for a few seconds.  Scrape down the sides and give it another whirl until combined.  


Pull it all together:
Drain any excess water from the farro.  In a large bowl fold the spinach pesto into the warm farro.  Transfer to a serving platter from here, or simply assemble right in the same bowl.  Top with wilted onion, sun-dried tomatoes, reserved pine nuts, and shavings of Pecorino Romano.  Serves 4.

 

    September

    It never fails to come as a shock that September is not the beginning of our fall season but only a crazier version of August. Our summer crops are still fruiting like crazy, our fall crops are starting to come in, it's time to start thinking and organizing for winter plantings and storage, and planning for next spring's fields and rotations. It feels like being pulled in all the directions of the seasons. The annual farmer tomato fight happens in September and usually marks the decline of tomato season. The beginning of greens and the harvest of winter squash usually marks the beginning of fall and inspires a good look at our coming winter season. We're in the thick of September and we'll get through it soon enough and miss its bright days and crazy harvests. 

    Scenes from the farm: September sunsets over the river on the way back from the Farmer's Market, fall crops and clouds, irrigating new plantings in this dry dry month, hot peppers bagged up for pepper processing for the winter CSA, and the great tomato sort. 

    In the share:

    head lettuce

    arugula

    specialty greens

    hakurei turnips

    kale

    swiss chard

    kohlrabi

    beets

    carrots

    summer squash

    sweet peppers

    hot peppers

    shishito peppers

    eggplant

    cherry tomatoes

    heirloom tomatoes

    watermelon

    onions

    parsley

    Warm Kohlrabi Salad

    Ingredients
    3 pounds kohlrabi, peeled and quartered (about 4 kohlrabi)
    4 medium carrots
    2 cloves garlic
    1/4 cup olive oil
    1 quart cherry tomatoes (multi-color if available)
    4 scallions, sliced thin
    2 packed cups parsley leaves, chopped
    2 tablespoons lemon juice
    Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

    Directions
    Shred the kohlrabi, carrots and garlic in a food processor fitted with the shredder attachment.
    Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add the tomatoes, followed by the shredded vegetables. Saute for 3 to 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, and then add the scallions, parsley and lemon juice, stirring until incorporated. Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.
    Recipe courtesy of Nancy Fuller

    Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/nancy-fuller/warm-kohlrabi-salad.html?oc=linkback

    Labor Day

    For most people Labor Day means the end of summer, back to school, the last chance for barbecue or a trip to the beach. It has its roots in the Labor Movement and celebrates the workers of the industrial revolution. On the farm, it doesn't really mean anything. It falls right in the middle of our busiest season, making it impossible to take a day off. Not that we mind, it's what we've signed up for and those tomatoes don't pick themselves. We are lucky to have a job that is satisfying and necessary. It's a time to be grateful for the kind of farming we do and that as laborers on our farm (compared to many other farm workers around the world) we are compensated well, appreciated, and feel good about the work we do. It's not always easy and picking tomatoes isn't always fun, but to know that our labor feeds us and our communities has value all its own. Happy Labor Day. 

    Scenes from the farm: weeding in the fall brassicas, Kat and an amazing trombocino, mini red peppers, Sarah and Kat trying not-spicy habanero peppers and loving them, and heirloom tomato goodness. 

    The share:

    head lettuce

    arugula

    specialty greens

    spinach

    beets

    carrots

    hakurei turnips

    cucumbers

    summer squash

    potatoes

    shishito pepppers

    sweet peppers

    padron peppers

    hot peppers

    eggplant

    fairytale eggplant

    cherry tomatoes

    heirloom tomatoes

    paste tomatoes

    onions

    potatoes

    parsley

    Beet-and-Tomato Soup with Cumin

    Benjamin Leroux's terrific soup is an unexpected mix of beets, tomatoes and tomato paste; it has the flavor of a light borscht.

    INGREDIENTS

    • 1 pound medium beets
    • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    • 4 medium shallots, thinly sliced
    • 3 medium tomatoes, chopped
    • Salt and freshly ground pepper
    • 1 teaspoon ground cumin, plus more for garnish
    • 1 quart vegetable stock or chicken stock
    • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
    • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons crème fraîche
    • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley

    Get Ingredients

    HOW TO MAKE THIS RECIPE

    1. In a large saucepan, cover the beets with water. Bring to a boil and cook over moderately high heat until tender, about 1 hour; if necessary, add more water to keep the beets covered. Drain the beets and let cool slightly, then peel and coarsely chop. 
    2. Wipe out the saucepan and heat the olive oil in it. Add the shallots and cook over moderate heat until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the tomatoes and chopped beets, season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes release their juices, about 5 minutes. Add the 1 teaspoon of cumin and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in the vegetable stock and tomato paste and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes. 
    3. Puree the soup in batches in a food processor. Rewarm the soup in the saucepan and season with salt and pepper. 
    4. Ladle the soup into bowls and top with dollops of crème fraîche. Sprinkle with a little cumin and the parsley and serve.

    Changing seasons, Changing minds

    As we begin to wrap up planting and seeding for the season, we begin to take stock. Soon, we'll run out of chances to seed another bed or plant something else if germination isn't good or the pests are bad. It's when we start to not care that the tomatoes are falling from their trellises or that the eggplant paths are weedy, those crops that we obsessed over for months are almost finished their seasonal journey and we turn our attention to the fall. The fall crops become our main focus as we weed and thin and seed our last beds of greens. We watch carefully to see how the pest pressure is on the brassicas and irrigate the storage crops regularly. We strategize about storage, hoping for yields that will take us through the fall and winter months. It's amazing how fast the seasons go and how our anxieties and strategies change so quickly with them. 

    Scenes from the farm: 3 bees in a squash blossom, irrigating the winter beets and carrots, hunched over in the pepper fields, padron pepper close-up (see today's recipe)

    In the share:

    head lettuce

    arugula

    asian greens

    onions

    potatoes

    carrots

    beets

    sweet peppers

    hot peppers

    shishito peppers

    padron peppers

    eggplant

    fairytale eggplant

    watermelon!

    heirloom tomatoes

    red tomatoes

    plum tomatoes

    basil

    parsley

    summer squash

    cucumbers

    Roasted Pepper Sauce

    Sarah L. Voisin/The Washington Post

    SEP 4, 2013

    At Woodberry Kitchen in Baltimore, chef-owner Spike Gjerde and his preservation team make this sauce using padron, espelette or fish peppers, but the recipe also works well with widely available fresh poblanos. If you don't want it spicy try it with shishitos or sweet peppers. 

    The sauce can be used to dress roasted vegetables and grilled meats, or in tacos. 

    Make Ahead: The garlic needs to be confited for 1 1/2 hours. The sauce can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 weeks or frozen for up to 8 months.

    SERVINGS: 1.5 CUPS 

    INGREDIENTS

    • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons canola oil (may substitute another vegetable oil)

    • 6 cloves garlic

    • 2 large yellow onions, cut into halves then thinly sliced

    • 1 pound padron peppers

    • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

    • 1 tablespoon kosher salt, or more to taste

    • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or more to taste

    DIRECTIONS

    Line a small plate with a few layers of paper towels.

    Warm 1 cup of the oil in a small saucepan over low heat. Add the garlic and slow-cook until they are golden and soft, about 1 1/2 hours. Transfer the cloves to the lined plate to drain. Discard the cooking oil.

    Meanwhile, heat a large saute pan over medium-low heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil and the onions; toss to coat. Cook for about 50 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft and caramelized.

    Position an oven rack 4 to 6 inches from the broiling element; preheat to broil. Have a small baking dish at hand.

    Toss together the padrons and the remaining tablespoon of oil in the baking dish until the peppers are well coated. Broil until they are well blistered, about 12 minutes.

    Combine the confited garlic, caramelized onions and roasted padrons in a food processor, along with the vinegar, salt and pepper. Pulse to form a smooth puree, then use a spatula to push the puree through a fine-mesh strainer into a storage container. Discard the solids left in the strainer.

    Taste and adjust the seasonings as needed. Serve right away or cool, cover and refrigerate or freeze.

    A good week.

    The weather has given us some relief this week and we are thankful. The summer trudges on and we follow along just a step behind of keeping-up. Our fall fields look good and healthy. There are weeds to pull and lots of roots growing and in the ground waiting to be harvested - hopefully they'll stay put until October. Not too much left to plant, the greenhouse is almost empty of transplants and quickly becoming a weed jungle itself, as it does every summer. The greens are on their way to making a comeback and the tomatoes, summer squash and cucumbers are still coming but at a slightly slower pace. It's a nice week to be a farmer.
     

    Scenes of the farm: fall brassicas growing nicely, Jordan with some impressive chard bunches, the whole crew and some volunteers thinning beets,

    The Share:

    arugula

    specialty greens

    swiss chard

    celery

    summer squash

    carrots

    beets

    onions

    beans

    sweet peppers

    shishito peppers

    hot peppers

    potatoes

    eggplant

    heirloom tomatoes

    standard tomatoes

    cherry tomatoes

    parsley

    dill

    basil

    cilantro

    melon (watermelon, cantaloupe, canary melon)

    Yellow Tomato, Watermelon and Arugula Salad

    Food and Wine

    Ingredients

    • 2 cups seeded and cubed ( 1/2 inch) watermelon
    • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
    • Salt and freshly ground pepper
    • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
    • 6 ounces arugula leaves, large stems removed (4 cups)
    • 5 yellow tomatoes (about 2 pounds), sliced crosswise 1/4 inch thick

    How to make this recipe

    1. In a medium bowl, toss the watermelon cubes with 1 tablespoon of the vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Let stand for 5 minutes, then drain.
    2. In a small bowl, whisk the remaining 3 tablespoons of vinegar with the olive oil. In another bowl, gently toss the arugula with 3 tablespoons of the dressing. Fan the tomato slices on 10 plates and sprinkle with salt. Scatter the arugula over the tomatoes and top with the watermelon. Drizzle the remaining dressing over the salads and serve at once.

     

     

     

    Seeds

    One of our favorite CSA crops is in! Watermelon! It's a crop we don't grow for any other market, because it really isn't that profitable. It takes 3 months to grow, it's incredibly heavy, takes up a lot of room and doesn't go for much of a price. It's impossible to compete with the grocery store's 10 pounders for $3. We grow it for our CSA members and ourselves as the perfect late summer treat. We grow smaller, sweeter varieties that are easier to carry and can be eaten in one sitting.

    We also only grow watermelon with seeds. There are a couple of reasons for this decision. Seeds are such an important part of food sovereignty and self sufficiency that we choose not to grow seedless watermelon because of a philosophical stubbornness. We want to, if we choose, to be able to reproduce the vegetables we grow without having to get our seeds from a corporation.


    The second reason is that years ago a CSA member who is a mother of 2 daughters, 4 and 6 years old at the time picked up their share during watermelon time and told me her daughters had never eaten a seeded watermelon before. She told me that they had such a fun time eating outside and learning to spit the seeds out. I was shocked. I had spent so many hours of my childhood eating entire watermelons with my friends having competitive seed spitting contests off the back porch. I remember letting the juice drip down my chin to the grass because no one needs a napkin when you're eating outside. Seeds and watermelon were such an important part of my childhood summers and I was so happy to provide that experience for those little girls.

    So, we encourage you to revel in the magic of the seeds, eat outside and enjoy the true taste summer.

    Scenes from the farm: The crew bringing beets and carrots in the heat, the fall brassicas looking good, and Duma hiding from the sun under the gherkins.

    The Share:

    Unfortunately, it's too darn hot for lettuce - so no greens this week.

    Swiss Chard

    Onions

    Potatoes

    Beans

    Summer Squash

    Cucumber

    Ground Cherries

    Sweet Peppers

    Eggplant

    Cherry tomatoes

    Heirloom tomatoes

    Dill

    Cilantro

    Parsley

    Basil

    Watermelon!

    Summer Squash Carpaccio

    Directions

    Thinly slice 1 yellow squash and 1 zucchini lengthwise (a mandoline works best); arrange a few slices on a plate in a single layer. Sprinkle with minced shallots and chopped mixed herbs, drizzle with lemon juice and olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Repeat to make about 5 layers. Top with grated pecorino; let marinate for 20 minutes.

    Photograph by Antonis Achilleos

    Recipe courtesy of Food Network Magazine
    Advertisement

    © 2016 Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

    Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/summer-squash-carpaccio-recipe.print.html?oc=linkback

    Tomato Season

    Oh these blessed days of mild weather. What a treat to work in the fields in 85 degree weather. We are picking, picking, picking and picking. This is the real summer grind. Pick tomatoes, sort tomatoes, distribute tomatoes. In a good tomato season like this one, it is never ending. In between we try to do a little weeding and get our fall crops in, but it's hard when there is so much to pick. Tomato season is truly a blessing and a curse. We look forward to it every year, trudge through the thick of it and then miss it when it's gone, unable to eat a tomato sandwich until the next season rolls on through.

    Scenes from the farm: fall planting under the mild sun, Emily and Kat being awesome tractor driving farm ladies, striped german tomatoes, and a scene from the never-ending tomato sorting.

    The Share:

    Head lettuce

    Salad mix

    Swiss Chard

    Onions

    Beans

    Summer Squash

    Cucumbers

    Sweet Peppers

    Beets

    Carrots

    Eggplant

    Heirloom Tomatoes

    Cherry Tomatoes

    Standard Tomatoes

    Parsley

    Dill

    Basil

    Cilantro

    Panzanella With Mozzarella and Herbs

    NY TImes

    Ingredients

    • 4 ounces ciabatta or baguette, preferably stale, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 3 cups)
    • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, more to taste
    • ¾ teaspoon kosher sea salt, more to taste
    • 2 pounds very ripe tomatoes, preferably a mix of varieties and colors
    • 6 ounces fresh mozzarella, torn or cut into bite-size pieces
    • ½ cup thinly sliced red onion, about half a small onion
    • 2 garlic cloves, grated to a paste
    • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar, more to taste
    • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano or thyme (or a combination)
    • Large pinch red pepper flakes (optional)
    • ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
    • Black pepper, to taste
    • ½ cup thinly sliced Persian or Kirby cucumber, about 1 small cucumber
    • ½ cup torn basil leaves
    • ¼ cup flat-leaf parsley leaves, roughly chopped
    • 1 tablespoon capers, drained
    • Nutritional Information

      •  

    Preparation

    1. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Spread the bread cubes on a rimmed baking sheet and toss with 2 tablespoons oil and a pinch of salt. Bake until they are dried out and pale golden brown at the edges, about 7 to 15 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack.
    2. Cut tomatoes into bite-size pieces and transfer to a large bowl. Add mozzarella, onions, garlic paste, 1 tablespoon vinegar, oregano or thyme, 1/4 teaspoon salt and the red pepper flakes if using. Toss to coat and set aside.
    3. In a medium bowl, combine remaining 1 tablespoon vinegar, the mustard, 1/4 teaspoon salt and some black pepper to taste. While whisking constantly, slowly drizzle in the remaining 4 tablespoons olive oil until the mixture is thickened. Stir in cucumbers, basil and parsley.
    4. Add bread cubes, cucumber mixture and capers to the tomatoes and toss well. Let sit for at least 30 minutes and up to 4 hours before serving. Toss with a little more olive oil, vinegar and salt if needed just before serving.

    It's official!

    We are officially Certified Organic!

    It was a lot of paperwork and more than a little money, but it feels good to be legit.

    Here's the share this week:

    Head lettuce

    Salad mix

    swiss chard

    celery

    eggplant

    shishito peppers

    sweet peppers

    eggplant

    summer squash

    cucumbers

    ailsa craig sweet onions

    cherry tomatoes

    heirloom tomatoes

    potatoes

    beets

    carrots

    dill

    parsley

    cilantro

    basil

     

     

    Late-Season Ratatouille

    http://www.takepart.com/article/2013/09/22/meatless-mondays-late-season-ratatouille

    Serves 4

    5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

    1 large red onion, chopped

    fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

    3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

    6 medium ripe tomatoes, chopped

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    12 small eggplant

    1 medium zucchini

    Thai basil leaves

    Cooked white rice

    Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large heavy skillet over medium high heat until hot. Stir in the onion, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes are broken down and slightly thickened, 8 to 10 minutes.

    Preheat the oven to 425°F.

    Halve the eggplant and slice the zucchini. Toss the eggplant and zucchini with the remaining 2 tablespoons oil, and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper, then spread in one layer on a baking sheet. Roast eggplant and zucchini, turning occasionally, until golden in spots, 15 to 20 minutes total. Stir eggplant and zucchini into tomato mixture and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve ratatouille sprinkled with basil and over rice.