Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Week 19 9-18-12
Oh no! Only one more week? We’ve snuck some delicious greens into your boxes!   We’ll have more tender little greens for you next week.
Monsoons and Old Boots
Rain, eh? I’m sure you know that nice gentle rain once a week is preferred over 5 inches of rain in 3 days.  The fields are flooded with standing water.  The animals are hunkered down to stay dry and warm. The pathways in the garden are filled with slurpy mud that sticks to your boots.  Sheets of rain approached the vegetable field this morning. I saw (Marie) the solid sheet of rain hit the far hill and ran for cover, abandoning the Swiss Chard.  Stubborn ole’ William kept harvesting, thinking it would let up. Nope. The rain got harder.  So while I was harvesting cherry tomatoes inside the cozy, dry hoophouse, William was outside in the rain.  People live in monsoons all over the world right? When we went to the other farm to harvest the much needed vegetables for your boxes, we both thought that the rain would let up for a few hours.  When the rain didn’t let up, we kept harvesting.  We needed the veggies for tomorrow, so slogging in the muddy field it was.
And through all of that, my feet stayed dry in my wonderful Muck boots.  It wasn’t until I got into town and walked through several inches of water that one of my feet got a little soggy.  Apparently one of my boots has a giant 3 inch crack in the sole that only leaks when I step in standing water, not when I stand in mud.
Nothing like strong monsoon days to help you remember to be thankful for dry roofs and clothing!
This week’s box:
Lettuce mix- mixed varieties of baby lettuce
Arugula –Delicious crisp greens are back. 
Radishes – Just a couple, so you can compare the flavor with Hakurei turnips.  They are mixed with Hakurei turnips in a bunch.
Hakurei turnips-Wow!   Try grating them, salting, and drizzling with olive oil.  These tender little white round roots have a flavor mixed with sweet cabbage and radishes. 
Tomatoes- As a neighboring farmer says, these tomatoes are the “last of the Mohicans.” Well, they aren’t the last tomatoes, but we are getting fewer and fewer each week.
Cherry Tomatoes- These have the best flavors.  Sweet little cherry tomatoes are still growing away in the hoophouse.  The plants seem well protected from the elements and any last season diseases.  Keep growing, little ones!
Red and Green Peppers- Not all of the peppers are as big anymore, but still wonderful and sweet.  Try roasting in the oven or grill and freezing.
Baby Red Russian- Enjoy a small bunch of small and tender Red Russian kale leaves!
Baby Swiss Chard- Enjoy a small bunch of small and tender Swiss Chard leaves!
Eggplant- Try simmering cubed eggplant in lightly salted water for a few minute before adding to tomato sauce or a vegetable sauté. 
Garlic-You might feel a little piled up with garlic.  But remember, if stored in a cool dark place (like a paper bag in a pantry) it should keep for much of the winter to be eaten off of for several months to come.

Back when it was sunny-some pretty new hens!

Fettucine with sausage and kale
Recipe from Shiloh at Tumbling Shoals Farm in Wilkesboro, NC.  We both have stands at the Hickory Farmers’ Market, and she sends her vegetable customers over for our ground Country or ground Italian sausage for this recipe!  She says this recipe is how she gets her farm customers “hooked” on kale!  It’s certainly an all-star vegetable in this awesome recipe!
Makes  4 servings
A quick hearty Italian dinner.  I prefer to use a whole wheat penne, but the fettuccine is always tasty!
    3 tablespoons olive oil                                        
    1 pound turkey or pork sausages, casings discarded and sausage crumbled
    1/2 pound kale, tough stems and center ribs discarded and leaves coarsely chopped
    1/2 pound or less dried egg fettuccini pasta                   
    2/3 cup chicken broth                                          
    1 ounce finely grated pecorino romano cheese plus additional for serving
Heat oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then cook sausage, chopping in quarter sized pieces with a spatula or spoon, 4-6 minutes.  Meanwhile, blanch kale in a 6-quart pot of boiling salted water, uncovered, 5 minutes.  Remove kale with a large sieve and drain.  Return cooking water in pot to a boil, then cook pasta in boiling water, uncovered, until al dente.  Reserve 1 cup pasta-cooking water, then drain pasta in a colander. While pasta cooks, add kale to sausage in skillet and saute, stirring frequently, until just tender, about 5 minutes.  Add broth, stirring and scraping up any brown bits from bottom of skillet, then add pasta and 1/2 cup reserved cooking water to skillet, tossing until combined.  Stir in cheese and thin with additional cooking water if desired.  Serve immediately with additional cheese on the side.
Gourmet, March 2006

Beans 'n Greens Burritos w/ Chorizo
From http://www.girlichef.com/2010/12/little-donkeys-stuffed-with-beans-kale.html
slightly adapted from the Food Matters Cookbook by Mark Bittman
yield: ~8-10 burritos (depending on size of tortilla)

8-10 homemade whole wheat tortillas 
*see recipe below, or store bought
2 Tbs. olive oil
½ lb. fresh,
Bluebird Farm chorizo or breakfast sausage
~1 Tbs. minced garlic
~1 Tbs. chipotle chile powder
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
~1 lb. kale, roughly chopped (can substitute Swiss Chard)
2 c. cooked or canned black beans, drained, liquid reserved
½ c. crumbled queso fresco
Pico de Gallo, for serving

Heat the oven to 350° F. Stack tortillas and roll them up in a sheet of foil.  Place them in the oven to warm while you cook the filling.

Place oil in a large, cast-iron skillet over medium heat.  When it's hot, add the chorizo and cook, stirring and breaking up the meat, until it is cooked through.  If the pan is very dry (which is more likely with homemade chorizo than storebought), add a bit more oil.  Add garlic and onion and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until they are soft.  Sprinkle in chile powder, a bit of salt and pepper, and then add kale.  Cook, stirring from time to time until it wilts and releases liquid, ~5 minutes.  Stir in the black beans, mashing a bit with a fork or potato masher, adding a bit of the reserved bean liquid if mixture seems too dry.

To roll each burrito, lay a tortilla on a flat surface and divide the filling mixture evenly among the tortillas (amount you get will depend on size of tortilla) on the third closest to you.  Sprinkle on cheese.  Fold tortilla over from bottom to cover filling, then fold in the sides to fully enclose them; finish rolling and put burrito seam side down on a plate.  Serve with pico de gallo on side.

Braised Swiss Chard with Asiago
This is a yummy Swiss Chard idea for quick and easy garden fresh cooking.    Try playing around with the favors however you may imagine it!
·         1 clove garlic, minced
·         1 medium onion, diced
·         1 bunch Swiss Chard, stems and leaves separated.
·         Lemon juice
·         Asiago, Parmesan, or Romano cheese
1.     Dice upper half of stems (you may also dice the entire length of the stem for stronger flavor).  Roughly chop the leaves into 1-2 inch pieces. 
2.    Sauté 1 clove garlic, 1 diced onion, and diced chard stems over medium low heat in 3 tablespoons olive oil for 5 minutes.
3.    Add ¼ cup of water and chopped chard leaves. Cover and lightly steam in the pan until the leaves are tender and still bright green, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4.    Uncover, add a dash of lemon juice.  Grate your aged cheese of choice and toss over your favorite carb like fettuccine, cous cous, quinoa etc…

Tip: Feel free to run wild with the flavors based on what is in season in the garden! Add some dice zucchini or summer squash,  more garlic, fresh oregano, and perhaps little cherry tomatoes cut in half. 

It all comes together, sheep and chickens grazing cover crop in a fallow vegetable area.  Food, fertilizer, and multi-species grazing!  All under the watchful eye of our livestock guard-Tazzy

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