Weekly Weed Archive

this is an archive of the weekly newsletters from summer 2010

Week 17 & 18

October 13, 2010

What’s In Your Last Harvest Basket?

A plethora of “new” stuff!

  • Winter Squash:
  • Pumpkins ,Sugar Pie and minis
  • Spaghetti
  • Buttercup
  • Butternut
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Salsify
  • Sunflower Heads (seeds)
  • Cabbage, Chinese , Cone, and  Dutch Late
  • Potatoes, Purple Majesty, Yukon Gold and Lakotas
  • Spinach
  • Onions, Yellow
  • Tomatoes, A variety of heirlooms
  • Peppers:
    • Big Jim
    • Banana Peppers
    • Bells: yellow, purple, red and orange
    • Jalapenos
  • Celery
  • Carrots
  • Beets: Red and Gold
  • Rainbow Swiss Chard
  • Dill

Ideas for Eating, Cutting, Cooking and Keeping all the new stuff:

Pumpkins these are organic . Bake( the little ones too) steam,or  use the filling in a pie,muffin or bread recipe. Don’t be limited by pie, however. Pumpkins make a great ingredient in savory recipes as well, including curries, salads, and soups. The possibilities are too numerous to post recipes for, so I’ll leave it to you to get creative with your cookbooks and the internet.

Don’t forget that you can roast the seeds and make your own pepitas: scoop out the seeds, rinse them clean, toss with olive oil and salt on a roasting pan, and roast at 350 in your oven until lightly browned. Yum. I know it is tempting to use them for a decoration or Jack o Lantern! (get one of those at the PotLuck) but I challenge you to eat them !

Spaghetti squash when baked or boiled has fibers that separate into long noodles,resembling spaghetti.A fun treat and kid friendly. Fork out and serve with your favorite sauce.

Store your squash on the counter, not in the fridge. It will keep for months if conditions are cool (about 50 degrees) and dry.

Buttercup Buttercup squash are in the Kabocha family. It has a corky stem, leathery skin, and dry sweet flesh. They are notorious for the grey “button” on the bottom of the squash – some barely show a trace of it, but others have a large button that bulges out as much as three inches.

Store your Buttercup on the counter, not in the fridge. It will keep for months if conditions are cool (about 50 degrees) and dry.

Or consider baking your squash (cut in half, cut sides down on a baking sheet with a little water) until soft, scooping it out of its skin, and then mashing it like a potatoe

Butternuts are the quintessential soup squash: thin-skinned, easy to peel, incredibly meaty, golden-hued, and sweet. If you’re in the mood for some winter comfort food that you can eat with a spoon, this is your squash. Not that Butternuts can’t play a main role in lots of other dishes as well: curries, root roasts, braised or glazed. They are easy to handle, delicious to eat, and impressive to behold.

And if you want to do something simple, try roasting your Butternut: Heat the oven to 400. Peel your butternut and slice into ¼ inch rounds. Douse a roasting pan with some olive oil or melted butter. Arrange the rounds on the pan, sprinkle with salt, pepper and/or herbs like sage, thyme or rosemary, and drizzle with a little more oil/butter. Roast for about 20-30 minutes without turning until the squash is tender.

Store your Butternut on the counter, not in the fridge. It will keep for months if conditions are cool (about 50 degrees) and dry.

Brussels Sprouts should  not be harvested until after a frost. No problem.

You can cook them up in a number of ways. One of the best things you can do, especially if you are eyeing them dubiously and reliving “eat your vegetables” childhood nightmares, is to roast them.  Toss them with some olive oil and salt, and put them in the oven at 400 until they are tender and a little crispy-browned. They get sweeter and saltier. So good that you might just like them. And maybe, just maybe, you’ll love them.

Refrigerate loose sprouts in an open bag.

Salsify has been popular in Europe since the 16th century.Salsify must be peeled, blanched and sauteed or roasted and has a taste akin to oysters; hence its name oyster plant. Salsify grows wild in Europe and requires a long warm season for full maturation.

Steam salsify and serve with your favorite vinaigrette as a side dish.  Add sliced salsify to  soups and stews. Serve mashed salsify instead of mashed potatoes.

In San Francisco’s historic Westin Hotel, a central entree is highlighted with a trio of diverse accompaniments. Something standard like fish and chips becomes potato crusted dover sole surrounded by cauliflower puree, roasted sweet onion puree and truffle salisify. The objective? Turn the ordinary into the extraordinary.

Sunflower Heads These were planted by  Share Holder Ben Fawson  and family.On one of our “Work Days” after everyone had left it was getting late and here this family came back to offer more help. If it were not for them these would never have gotten planted.These huge ,happy flowers brought us much joy and served as a wind break as well. They really made the farm look good and having  so many visitors and events this season looking good was appreciated. It really does take a community.

As long the sunflowers are kept warm, dry and sheltered, you’ll be able to successfully harvest the seeds .Simply run your hand over the sunflower head and the seeds will pop right out. If they are still “green” or soft you can let them dry in or out of the flower.Put them on a cookie sheet in the oven and roast in the shell. Whole sunflower seed heads are a natural way to help the birds make it through the winter.  Fill the empty seed heads with peanut butter for an extra treat ..

Cabbage it has been in your basket before store and use the same way. However Napa or Chinese cabbage combines the thin crisp texture of lettuce with the flavor of cabbage.

Potatoes have been in your basket before but not purple ones ! Not all potatoes are for mashing and I have not yet tried this one.We made sure there was some dill for your potatoes too.

“But wait,” you’re saying, “I thought we were supposed to get 18 weeks of produce from Red Acre……”It’s true, (we did not promise we said”16 to 18 weeks”) which is why this week you’ll be getting a double share. Two baskets in one. or rather one big bag In other words, a mother lode of food.

We’re ending the season with abundance for several reasons:

It is freezing  here now(below 32) every night and we have to cover the entire field.Winter Shares need to get started  and we are looking forward to a week off.

WINTER SHARES

Not yet available on our website. You can pay anytime.

WINTER SHARE: 10 weeks October 27th NO baskets December 15,22,29 and Ending on January12th. $100. for a Pair Share.$200. For a Family Share.Same size baskets as last season.

The green houses and cold frames are beautiful and more importantly so is the food! Carrots, lettuce, beets, peas, winter squash, spinach ,basil and greens you have never known of before! This is for the real fresh vegetable eater. I am thinking Smoothies, salads, stir fry and soup! http://greenforlife.com/ It will be the healthiest winter of your life! I bet you do not get sick. Unless you make your smoothies with ice cream from Wall Mart.

Egg Share $25. Milk Share $40. Cheese $45.

EGG and MILK SHARES THIS season: You get 18 weeks. We are taking one week off. So please come the 27th  and receive your last egg,milk and or cheese share.If you buy a winter share it will be one week longer . Anyone else that is still owed for anything. Please tell me NOW!

Terrified there would never be a first week. A frost June 15th and then one August 30th!When in early September it took us 3 hours in the dark to cover the entire field It seemed impossible at times.Yet, Mother Nature was good to us. What a blessing to have such a warm   late September/October. We have never had anything left in the field this late in the season that was not frozen  the first weekend in October. We DID It! And it would not have been possible without you. What a bitter sweet day today is. The last day of the harvest, literally .Grateful we were successful and that it is over. Sad to think our paths might not ever cross again. You have become friends to us.

At a time when a lot of the news is grim, we feel blessed to be part of this great experiment in eating with you. We know full well there were days when you pulled that bunch of kale out of your basket and wondered, “what in the world am I going to do with it this time?” We know that some of you have pushed yourself to your culinary limits with things like celery that doesn’t look like celery , onion scapes,radish beans and yes more odd greens! And we know that some of you have juggled your schedules and figured out complicated veggie carpools just to be able to pick up your share each week. We know all this takes commitment and we are deeply grateful to you for your partnership – for saying to us, and the world, “Local food matters. Family farms matter. Sustainable agriculture matters. And eating well, eating seasonally, eating as part of a community, matters.”

Thanks for all that you eat.

Red Acre Sara, Lynn and Symbria

Week Sixteen

October 6, 2010

What’s In Your Basket This Week?

  • Squash Blossoms
  • Radish Beans
  • Kohlrabi ( full share only)
  • Lemon Cucumber
  • Broccoli (full share only)
  • Onion, Yellow,Purple and White
  • Tomatoes: Cherry, A variety of heirlooms
  • Peppers:
    • Big Jim
    • Hungarian Yellow Wax
    • Banana Peppers
    • Bells: yellow, purple, red and orange
  • Jalapeno
  • Celery
  • Carrots
  • Beets
  • Apples, Jonathan
  • Basil

Ideas for Eating, Cutting, Cooking and Keeping the new stuff:

Squash Blossoms use them today if possible!If you must store them,arrange them in a single layer in a paper towel-lined plastic container,cover and refrigerate.

If you were at the Share Holder dinner,we passed these as an appetizer.(fried )I have put 3 recipes on the exchange. A frittata,hush puppies and a quesadilla.

Fried: From Mexico to Italy, frying is one of the most popular ways to prepare squash blossoms. Simply batter and fry them or stuff them first. Cheeses (ricotta, fresh mozzarella, goat cheese) and herbs (basil, thyme, parsley) make good fillings. Try adding lemon zest to the cheese or season the crispy fried blossoms with a squeeze of lemon juice and sprinkling of coarse salt.

Baked: If deep frying turns you off, or you just want to try something different, you could stuff the blossoms with cheese – savory or sweet – and then bake them in the oven. Steaming is another healthy option.

Pasta: We sometimes gently tear or make a chiffonade of squash blossoms to serve over pasta, risotto, or salad. The blossoms can also be cooked into a pasta sauce

Quesadilla

Squash blossoms are abundant in Mexico, where they are known as flores de calabaza. There’s something very satisfying about the combination of the mildly sweet, squash-y blossoms with creamy cheese.

Soup: How about in a soup?

Radish Beans are what happens when you let a radish go to seed. Eat raw as a snack or a fun crunchy salad addition.

Keep them in the fridge .

Kohlrabi this is a vegetable that achieves that unusual balance of sweet, crunchy, tender, bizarre and beautiful. Kohlrabi belongs to the Brassica family, along with broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, kale, mustard greens, and many more crops (it’s a very big family)

Kohlrabi is foreign to most folks, so a few tips:

The outer skin on kohlrabi is tough, so we suggest you peel it with a paring knife. The innards are tender and crunchy, like a peeled broccoli stem.

Kohlrabi is great cut into sticks and enjoyed raw, but you can also sautee or steam it lightly.

Heirloom Tomatoes What’s an heirloom, you might ask? Well, technically it’s an open-pollinated variety, as opposed to a hybrid. That means that if you were so inclined, instead of eating it, you could let your tomato rot in a bucket and then save the seeds (no, really(!) this is how you save tomato seeds – the acidic fermentation breaks down the gelatinous coating on the seeds and primes them for germination next year….). If you planted those saved seeds next spring, you could be relatively assured that you’d get the same kind of tomato again (versus a hybrid, which wouldn’t come “true”).
 
Heirlooms are also tomatoes that have typically been passed down through a few generations, hence the name….
 
How to eat them? I have a feeling you can figure that one out. Our favorite thing to do at this time of year is to make a simple platter of caprese: slices of tomato, layered with mozzarella, and fresh basil. Drizzle with good olive oil and some sea salt. If you want, you can eat it atop slices of baguette. It’s late summer in it’s purest form.
 
Like all your other tomatoes, store your heirlooms on the counter, but be forewarned: if your heirlooms seem soft to the touch and ripe when you get them, you should eat them sooner than later. They are fragile (more prone to splitting and bruising) and don’t hold up as well as the red slicers.

That is it for the new stuff.

I have missed writing this newsletter since the dinner. We are just trying to keep up with it all. I knew there was no “new stuff” in the Shares and that you would survive with out my words of wisdom!

Also since the dinner we have taken our mentors (Quail Hallow Farm) advice and let you put your basket together. Let us know what you think? It seems to be a hit!

LAST SHARE: Next week is the 17th share. THE LAST SHARE for the season! I do not keep track of who is owed what. So if you are owed a basket,eggs or milk because you made an arrangement let us know.

Eggs and Milk are for 18 weeks. I will let you know if we take a one week break or not to fulfill those shares.

BASKETS: PLEASE pretty PLEASE bring EVERY basket you have of our ours next week.

WINTER SHARE: The plan is for 10 weeks. Starting October 27th with a break in December and ending in January. $100. for the Pair Share and $200.for the full Share. Very limited Shares. Our current share holders will be taken first.I will email you all before I change the website and notify our wait list.If you have more questions feel free to call or email.

FALL HARVEST FAMILY EVENT:I hope you have enjoyed the Farm events? We have our family Harvest pot luck,corn maze and pumpkin pick Friday October 15th 5:00 .It will be at a Share Holders farm,the Carlings.I will post directions next week.If you would just let us know if you are coming that would be great.

Chow

Week Fifteen

September 29, 2010

What’s In Your Basket This Week?

  • Cabbage
  • Onion, white
  • Tomatoes, Early Girls, Lemon Boys and heirlooms
  • Peppers:
    • Sweet Italian
    • Pobalano(hot)
    • Bells,yellow purple and red
    • Sunrise Orange Bell
  • Celery
  • Melons, Crimson Sweet
  • Apples, Winesap
  • Summer Squash, yellow crookneck and zucchini
  • Swiss Chard
  • Egg Plant
  • Basil
  • Dill heads

Ideas for Eating, Cutting, Cooking and Keeping the new stuff:

Nothing new but sure loving this warm fall that keeps giving us all these beautiful tomatoes! By now everything has been hit by frost. The pumpkins even have to be brought in. We eat a lot of green tomatoes as most of them have to be ripened inside.

Week Twelve

September 8, 2010

What’s In Your Basket This Week?

  • Watermelon: Yellow Star Moon Sun(cut) if you picked up your basket early and Sugar Baby if you picked up later
  • Cantaloupe (full shares only)
  • Peaches: Conventionally grown in Hurricane
  • Apples: Golden Delicious & Jonathan Organic
  • Tomatoes
  • Banana Peppers
  • Jalapenos
  • Corn
  • Broccoli
  • Basil
  • White onions and Yellow for full shares
  • Summer Squash
  • Carrots
  • Lemon Cucumbers
  • Lettuce : Head of Ruby Red & a Head of Butter Crunch

Ideas for Eating, Cutting, Cooking and Keeping the new stuff:

Melon: There are great recipes out there for melon sorbet, melon soup, and other elaborate concoctions, but right now my favorite way to put these down is in their pure form: cut in half and eaten with a spoon, one juicy bite at a time! If your melons come to you dead-ripe and you’re not ready to eat them, put them in the fridge. Otherwise, melons do fine on the counter where they will continue to ripen.

Peaches: A gift from Southern Utah,conventionally grown. You have all the fixns for peach salsa:tomatoes,onions,peppers!

Apples: Sara hand picked these herself. To get the complete story of our weekend visit this blogquailhollowfarmcsa.blogspot.com

Looking forward to this Tuesday September 14th Share holder dinner 6:00.Here at the Farm!

If you have not yet rsvp we would sure appreciate knowing if you are coming.

See you all then.

Week Eleven

September 1, 2010

What’s In Your Basket This Week?

  • Green Tomatoes
  • Corn
  • Japanese Egg Plant
  • Cabbage
  • Kale (Tuscan heirloom)
  • Kale (Scotch) A few leaves in some bags
  • Celery
  • Swiss Chard
  • Summer Squash
  • Carrots
  • Beets
  • Lettuce Mix:Baby Red Romaine,Oak leaf, New Mesclun Mix (includes endive,arugula,spinache,mizuna,and endive) and possibly a few leaves of Butter Crunch
  • Cucumbers

Ideas for Eating, Cutting, Cooking and Keeping the new stuff:

GREEN Tomatoes

Pray for hot warm weather so they turn red. Every one has heard of fried green tomatoes, grill them ,put them in salsa or find a new recipe.

Corn

Oh heavenly sweet corn. In our microclimate, sweet corn and red tomatoes is an exercise in delayed gratification. While everyone else in Cedar City and parts of the Valley have been enjoying red tomatoes and fresh corn on the cob for the last few weeks,withstanding the winds our corn has been slowly, steadily inching towards maturity. Cooler days and nights usually mean that the corn is only shin high by the Fourth of July, but it also means that September is a glory month. iThe only downside of our late corn season is that as organic growers we are more susceptible to corn earworm, a gross, juicy larva that likes to nestle into the tip of the corn cob and munch away at the kernels. You may encounter a corn earworm or two this week. If you do, simply cut the tip off the cob. The worms usually only affect the tip.

If you’re not going to eat your corn right away, store it in the fridge in a plastic bag. Remember that once picked, the sugars in sweet corn begin to convert to starch – so eat it soon

Cabbage

You have had this in your basket earlier this season but they were whole heads.This is not a continious giving crop..We literally count each one that we plant and harvest just enough for each one of you. It last weeks in the fridge. So we plant weeks apart. These final Fall heads were eaten by our Mr. Rabbit .With no more to come we cut them in quarters so you could enjoy what’s left.

I need to know by NOON TOMORROW !

APPLES, I will not know for sure until we get there if there are apples. I need to know if you want them. They are Jonathan’s,Winesap’s, yellow, and red delecious.

We mix them ,trying to put more of the first two in. These are small heirloom type not commercially grown and ORGANIC for sure.Worms and all. We LOVE them.

$15. Hand picked by us. One 5 gallon bucket weighs about 20 lbs a 1/2 bushel (that is your share basket if you get a full share or 2 baskets if it is a pair share)

$10. Shook. Same Quantity. Good for sauce, freezing, and pie filling. You can eat them but they do not last long due to some bruising.

Our Share Holder dinner will be SEPTEMBER 14th Tuesday Night.Regardless of what you have told me please RSVP, no children and if there will be one or two of you?

Certain crops have staggered a little along the way. But overall, given such a cold Spring and difficult start we had this season, it feels like the farm is doing pretty well. However we had a frost Monday night. That means it was 32degrees out here. Yes, that is normal for August. Having such a wide diversity of crops makes a big difference. Wow, would it have been bad to have put all our eggs in one basket this year.
That’s the beauty of the community-support agriculture (CSA) model that you are all a part of as Share Holders: your commitment to the farm creates an imperative for us to grow lots of different crops, and in doing so, spreads the overall risk of farming out amongst 100s of different varieties, dozens of different plant families, and many successive weeks of planting. With that kind of farming approach, something – and hopefully many things – are bound to grow well.

They did and they have.

We hope you are enjoying the bounty!

Symbria

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