Thursday, November 13, 2008

Final Harvest week

The end of the harvest season… seems like just yesterday we were filling up the greenhouse with the promise contained in tables and tables of seedlings. Looking back on the season, it is one to be very satisfied with. Trainees had more responsibility for growing the crops than ever before, the drip irrigation was responsible for getting us through that very long dry period in August, a record 160 shareholder families enjoyed the food and the farm, the scented deer tape kept the deer out long enough for tender plants to make it to maturity, and when it did rain hard, the soil is visibly improved over when we starting farming here, because it held and did not wash away.

It was a great year for melons—there were all kinds of watermelons and honeydews, Galias, and Sweeties to name a few. Tomatoes were very plentiful and peppers did decently. The strawberries had incredible flavor this season and were plentiful. The fall crops have been abundant, varied and great-flavored. Crops like cucumbers and chard did ridiculously well—the year of the cucumber to be sure. Not everything grows as well as one would wish: I really like carrots, but the 1st carrot planting didn’t germinate in the spring due to cold temperatures
and soggy soil, the 2nd planting succumbed to someone in pursuit of weeds, and the 3rd came up sparsely because of extreme heat. We had great lettuce mix and heads early in the season, but lettuce planted for the fall was taken care of by the deer who rated it highly. Next season just might be the year of the carrot!

How to Be a Shareholder Again next Year

After the Holidays are over, but well before tax season rolls around, look for a good old-fashioned snail mail letter to come your way telling you about the coming season and how to sign up for it. As a shareholder this season, you will be given the first opportunity to sign up for next

The Survey

If you have not yet filled out the farm survey, please give us the honor of your input. Your feedback is a great help in planning for next season. The surveys are located here at the sign-in table and you are welcome to take it along and drop it off later, mail it, or send an email response if you prefer.

Self-Harvest Begins Next Week

Each year once the regular season is finished the remaining crops are available for you to harvest from the field. Times are Mon-Sat 8am-dusk. A map and instructions are here at the sign-in table. Please see note about respecting the landowner next door when harvesting on their property.

Want to support the farm with a Gift box purchase?

Each year we make and sell Holiday gift boxes that contain locally made treats such as Wilbur Buds, College Coffee Roasters coffee, apple and pear butters. They are available ordered online at: The order deadline is Dec 8. Proceeds benefit the Goodwill farm program.

Serving Suggestions for the Harvest:
  • Arugula: piquant green great with nuts, citrus, parmesan, oil
  • Turnips: The hakurei turnips are very tasty, even for people who think they won’t enjoy them.
  • Mibuna and Mizuna: these Asian greens have a nice tangy flavor and can be used in salads or as cooked greens.
  • Cabbage: great in a spicy vinegar salad
  • Collards: tasty and nutritious fall greens—often enjoyed cooked.
  • Winter Squashes—choice of many different kinds: use for pies and desserts, breads, roast the seeds, hot curried soup. With the exception of spaghetti squash, winter squash are interchangeable.

See some great recipes from Elizabeth below!
Thank you

Where to begin…thank you very much to an outstanding farm crew: trainees Jeff, Bob, Brad, Eric, Glenn, Orie, Scott, Tim, and Del. Your skill and care made for a great season. Thank you Elizabeth Swope, Asst. Farm Manager, for excellent work with the trainees and all around the farm, Brian Martin, for making it rain (irrigation) and equipment operation, and Amy Finnegan and Vicki Scheetz for filling in at the distribution area with ease. Thank you Homefields and Goodwill for making this CSA program possible. Lastly, thank you for being a shareholder and enthusiastically supporting our work.



Looking for ways to use winter squash? Here are three unique recipes using winter squash from World Vegetarian by Madhur Jaffrey

Pumpkin Fritters
Serves 6
serve with a meal, as a snack, or with breakfast in place of homefries

For the batter
½ lb chickpea flour
½ cup rice flour
¼ tsp basking soda
¼ tsp ground turmeric
¼ to ½ tsp cayenne
¾ tsp salt
peanut or canola oil for shallow frying
1 lb orange pumpkin flesh, coarsely grated (any orange fleshed winter squash)
½ medium-small onion (1 ½ oz), peeled and cut into very fine half rings
1 ½ Tbsp sesame seeds

Put the chickpea flour, rice flour, baking soda, turmeric, cayenne and salt into a bowl. Slowly add water (you will need about 7 oz, plus another tablespoon), mixing as you go, to make a smooth batter of medium thickness.

Just before you get ready to eat, pour the oil to a depth of ½ inch into a large frying pan and set it over medium-low heat. Wait until the oil is hot; this can take several minutes. Stir the batter and put in the grated pumpkin, sliced onion, and sesame seeds. Mix gently. Now pick up a handful of the pumpkin mixture, enough to make a patty about 2 ½ inches in diameter and about ½ inch thick on the palm of one hand.

Slide this patty into the hot oil. Make several such patties, just enough to fill the frying pan in a single layer. Fry the patties for about 3 ½ minutes on one side. Turn them over and cook for another 3 ½ minutes on the second side, or until reddish-brown and crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and set down on paper towels to drain. Make all patties this way and serve as soon as possible.

Butternut Squash with Sage
Serves 4
Serve with rice, greens and some kind of bean for a complete meal

3 Tbsp olive oil
1 large shallot (about 2 oz), peeled and cut into fine slivers
10 fresh sage leaves
1 ½ lb peeled butternut squash (or other winter squash), but into ¾ to 1 inch cubes (4 cups)
½ tsp salt
1 Tbsp sugar

Put the oil in a wide pan or deep frying pan and set it over medium-high heat. When hot, put in the shallot slivers and sage leaves. Stir and fry until the shallot slivers are golden. Put in the squash and stir until the pieces turn a little brown at the edges and the shallot slivers turn a rich reddish-brown. Add the salt and sugar. Give a few quick stirs to caramelize the sugar and then add ½ cup of water. Bring to a boil. Cover, turn the heat down to low, and simmer gently for 15 to 20 minutes, or until squash is just tender.

Greek Pumpkin Risotto
Serves 4 to 6
May be served as a starter course or as the main meal, accompanied by green salad

3 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion (3 ½ oz), peeled and finely chopped
1 ¼ lbs winter squash flesh, cut into ½ inch dices
2 tsp sugar
1 ½ cups unwashed risotto rice
2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh dill (or substitute 6-9 fresh sage leaves)
1 tsp salt, or more if needed
6 cups heated light vegetable stock
Freshly ground black pepper
2/3 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Heat the stock and keep it hot over very, very low heat. Put the oil in a large, heavy sauté pan and set over medium-high heat. When hot, put in the onion and stir fry for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the onion bits just begin to brown at the edges. Add the pumpkin and sauté it for 5 minutes. Add the sugar and stir once or twice. Put in the rice, dill and salt. Saute the rice gently for 2 minutes. Now pour in a generous ladle of stock. Turn the heat to medium. Keep stirring the risotto. When the stock has been absorbed, add another ladle full. Keep stirring and adding liquid until all the stock has been used up and the rice has cooked for at least 22 minutes. By this time it should be done. Cook another minute or so to absorb the last of the liquid. Now stir in a good amount of black pepper and cheese. Turn off the heat. Let the risotto rest for a minute or two, mix well and serve.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

1st Week of November

This Week at the Farm

We are grateful for the return of warm temperatures this week as we have been busy with fall clean up. We are excited to continue to harvest a variety of greens and root crops, even as the end of the season draws near. Next week, November 13, 14 and 15 will be our last week of harvesting. Look for more information next week if you are interested in coming out after the close of the season for self-harvesting.

We will have a variety of all the winter squash available this week, including new additions of acorn and Jarrahdale. Acorn squash is a great one for stuffing with sweet or savory fillings. Jarrahdale pumpkin is a New Zealand heirloom with a beautiful blue grey exterior and deep orange sweet flesh that is dry and stringless.

Thank You

Thank you to Craig and Teresa for coming out last Saturday to make sauerkraut!

Upcoming Events

Nov 13, 14 and 15 Final Harvest Week
Mid-November: end of weekly harvest, beginning of self-harvesting for shareholders once the regular season is over.

Mid-November-Dec: Gift Box season.

Serving Suggestions for the Harvest
  • Turnips: the Scarlet Queen turnips are "mid grade" in pungency, and the traditional Purple Top turnips that are arriving this week are pungent.
  • Mibuna and Mizuna: these Asian greens have a nice tangy flavor and can be used in salads or as cooked greens.
  • Collards: tasty and nutritious fall greens—often enjoyed cooked.
  • Winter squash: Use in soups, stuffed, or for baking in pies, cookies, and muffins.


Bean Soup with Kale from shareholder Linda Bradley
1 Tbsp olive oil
8 large garlic cloves, crushed or minced
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
4 cups chopped raw kale
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
2 (15 oz) cans white beans (cannelloni or navy), undrained
4 plum tomatoes, chopped
2 tsp dried Italian seasoning
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup chopped parsley

In large pot, heat olive oil. Add garlic and onion; sauté until soft. Add kale and sauté, stirring, until wilted. Add 3 cups of broth, 2 cups of beans, and all of the tomato, herbs, salt and pepper. Simmer 5 minutes. In a blender or food processor, mix the remaining beans and broth until smooth. Stir into soup to thicken. Simmer 15 minutes. Ladle into bowls; sprinkle with chopped parsley.

White Bean, Kale and Roasted Vegetable Soup – Bon Appetit, January 2000
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
1 Tbsp. olive oil
3 medium carrots, peeled, quartered lengthwise
6 cups vegetable broth
4 cups finely chopped kale
2 large tomatoes, quartered
3 large fresh thyme sprigs
1 large onion, cut into 8 wedges
1 bay leaf
½ small butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cut lengthwise into ½ inch wedges
1-15 ounce can Great Northern white beans drained
6 garlic cloves, unpeeled

Preheat oven to 400°. Spray rimmed baking sheet with oil spray. Arrange carrots, tomatoes, onion, squash and garlic on sheet. Drizzle with oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Bake until vegetables are brown and tender, stirring occasionally, about 45 minutes. Transfer carrots and squash to work surface. Cut into ½ inch pieces; set aside. Peel garlic cloves; place in processor. Add tomatoes and onion; puree until almost smooth. Pour ½ cup broth onto baking sheet; scrape up any browned bits. Transfer broth and vegetable puree to large pot. Add 5 ½ cups broth, kale, thyme and bay leaf to pot; bring to boil. Reduce heat; simmer uncovered until kale is tender, about 30 minutes. Add beans and reserved carrots and squash to soup. Simmer 8 minutes to blend flavors, adding more broth to thin soup if necessary. Season with salt and pepper. Discard thyme sprigs and bay leaf. Serves 6.

Monday, November 3, 2008

5th Week of October

This Week at the Farm: The Barackli and McKale Edition

Recent polling numbers among people and vegetables here at the farm indicate that it’s been a week of exceptional weather, exceptionally cold and windy; we are all decked out in motley farm gear that gives us a NASA-hazmat-farmer-marshmallow Michelin man flair. It’s been a very dry October up until last weekend: 1/100th of an inch of rain exactly, but the recent rainfall has been a boost to both field crops and cover crops alike. As we march towards the final harvest, please share your input with us on the season survey to help with planning for next year.

Sauerkraut Making Workshop this Saturday November 4

If you have ever wanted to learn how to make your own sauerkraut, join shareholders Teresa and Craig Rineer, Saturday, November 1st from 10 to 11 a.m. at the barn. Teresa and Craig have been making and canning their own kraut with their family since 1999. The demonstration will include preparing and shredding our very own Goodwill at Homefields Farm cabbage. Non-iodized salt will be used in the process to slightly wilt the cabbage and draw the juices. The cabbage will then be bruised by hand and stored in a five-gallon stone crock for approximately six weeks to cure.

After curing, the kraut will be ready to eat or can. If you’d like to have your homemade sauerkraut for New Year’s Dinner, plan to make your kraut by November 20.

Serving Suggestions for the Harvest
  • Turnips: the Scarlet Queen turnips are "mid grade" in pungency, and the traditional pungent Purple Top turnips you will see in the next two weeks.
  • Mibuna and Mizuna: these Asian greens have a nice tangy flavor and can be used in salads or as cooked greens.
  • Cabbage: there will be a sauerkraut making demonstration this Saturday am—details below!
  • Collards: tasty and nutritious fall greens—often enjoyed cooked.
  • Winter Squashes—Spaghetti squash this week—see tips and recipes below.

Thank you: To all the trainees and staff who suited up and braved the cold weather this week to keep things going.


Upcoming Events

Nov 13, 14 and 15: Final Harvest Week
Mid-November: end of weekly harvest, beginning of self-harvesting for shareholders once the regular season is over. More details will follow in November.

Mid-November-Dec: Gift Box season.


How to microwave Spaghetti Squash*:
Pierce squash (about an inch deep) all over with a small sharp knife to prevent bursting. Cook in an 800-watt microwave oven on high power (100 percent) for 6 to 7 minutes. Turn squash over and microwave until squash feels slightly soft when pressed, 8 to 10 minutes more. Cool squash for 5 minutes. Carefully halve squash lengthwise (it will give off steam) and remove and discard seeds. Working over a bowl, scrape squash flesh with a fork, loosening and separating strands as you remove it from skin. Watch it become "spaghetti"-like!
*Alternatively, you can bake the squash in a preheated 350°F oven for 1 to 1 1/4 hours.

Spaghetti Squash with Moroccan Spices from Epicurious
Start to finish: 25 minutes
Servings: Makes 4 servings
1 (3 1/2- to 4-pound) spaghetti squash
4 Tbsp olive oil or butter, cut into pieces
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/8 tsp cayenne
3/4 tsp salt
2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro

Prepare squash following directions above. While squash is cooking, melt butter in a small heavy saucepan over moderately high heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until golden, about 1 minute. Stir in spices and salt and remove from heat. Add the spaghetti squash strands and toss with spiced butter and cilantro.

Squash and Citrus Slaw
Half a spaghetti squash, medium size
1/4 cup orange juice
1 Tbsp rice vinegar
1 tsp sugar
salt and pepper, to taste
2 Tbsp cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup red bell pepper
1 green onion, chopped
Prepare squash following directions above, cutting cooking time in half if only cooking half the squash. Combine orange juice, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper in salad bowl. Add squash strands, cilantro, red pepper and onion. Toss to blend and chill well. Serves 4 to 5.