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.

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