Thursday, November 5, 2009

1st Week of November

The final harvest is next week: Nov 12, 13 & 14--self harvest opportunities will follow for those of you who wish to glean the fields for remaining crops

Notes from your Farm
It's frosty white this week here at the farm both yesterday and today. We are winding down the regular harvest season but still have plenty of good reasons to come to the farm! The broccoli and cauliflower are incredible this year, probably the best they've been in all of our seasons. Have you noticed how much better organic broccoli tastes and feels? It's succulent and has a great fresh flavor. In addition to all of the greens and root crops that we've been having we also have an assortment of potatoes from our neighbor, farmer Amy at Promised Land Farm.

WITF will be here tomorrow at 11:30 to do some interviews for a program called "The Good Life Cafe," and gift box making is on the horizon. The gift box making is a great fund-raising opportunity for the farm program as well as a welcome retreat from the frozen fields and crops that inevitably occur in mid-November. The aroma of Wilbur Buds and freshly-roasted coffee filling the barn is not unpleasant either! There are two gift boxes near the vegetables if you would like to see what they look like. To order some, give us a call or send an email.

A Little About Soil
"All life, as we know it, is dependent, either directly or indirectly, on the soil. Animal life and mankind are both tied closely to the soil and the vegetation that it produces. This relatively thin layer of material, which makes up only a small percentage of the earth's crust, is the key to existence on our planet.” Robert W. Terrell. Soil Neath My Feet.

The soil is the foundation of all nutrition. Healthy soil produces healthy plants which produces healthy consumers of those plants. The nutrition of the soil will determine the health of the person or animal who partakes. The French food agency AFSSA finds organic food to be more nutritious: Author Dennis Lairon of University of Aix-Marseille concludes that organic plant products contain more dry matter and minerals – such as iron and magnesium – and more antioxidant polyphenols like phenols and salicylic acid.

About Some of the Characters
  • Shunkgiku: these sweet and mild greens are tasty in a salad or added to soups and stir-fries at the last minute to prevent overcooking.
  • Watermelon Radish: beautiful, crisp and fairly sweet for a radish
  • Parsnip: see recipe below, or roast with other root vegetables, simple to add to stews and soups, beef stew etc.
  • Collards: a nutritional phytonutrient powerhouse and loaded with calcium. De-stem, chop and sauté with oil and garlic and serve as a side and see recipe below.
  • Arugula: a nutty, sort of spicy green--great addition to any salad
  • Greens: discard the stems or ribs, and use the leaves sautéed with olive oil, garlic, onion, soy sauce etc.
  • Cauliflower: try it roasted!

Lots of Leaves

We welcome your leaves and compost on the compost pile behind the greenhouse. Additions go on near end of the pile. Thanks for contributing to the fertility of our fields and your food. We also appreciate wood chips on our wood chip pile if you know of any arborists looking for a place to put them.

Thank You

Thank you for enjoying and appreciating the farm, the people and the work that we do to provide a harvest each week.

Curried Parsnip Pie

Savory vegetable pie combines parsnips with onions, carrots, mild curry, Cheddar cheese, and herbs. It is topped with an crust flavored with oregano.

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold butter, cut into cubes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
Cold water

8 baby onions or shallots, peeled
2 large parsnips, thinly sliced
2 carrots, thinly sliced
2 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons whole wheat flour
1 Tablespoon mild curry powder
1-1/4 cups milk
4 ounces grated sharp Cheddar cheese
3 Tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro (or substitute parsley)
Salt and ground black pepper
1 egg yolk, beaten with 2 teaspoons water

Place flour and butter in a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Pulse to a mealy consistency. Do not over mix. Remove to a bowl and stir in oregano, plus salt and pepper to taste. Stir in cold water until a dough forms. Form into a ball, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate while you make the filling.

Place onions or shallots, parsnips, and carrots in a saucepan and add just enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 5 minutes. Drain, reserving 1-1/4 cups of the liquid.

Melt butter in a medium saucepan. Stir in flour and curry powder. Stirring constantly, cook for 2 minutes. While continuing to stir, slowly add reserved vegetable stock and milk. Simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in Cheddar cheese until melted. Gently stir in vegetables and cilantro. Taste and add salt and pepper, if needed. Let cool to room temperature, then spoon into a deep-dish pie plate.

Roll out pie crust dough between two sheets of plastic wrap. Place crust over the top of the pie, trim the edges, and seal to the rim of the pie plate. Cut 4 slits in the top to vent and brush with the egg yolk wash. Re-roll any crust scraps and cut out decorations, if desired, using the egg wash to adhere them to the crust. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400 F. Place pie on a rimmed baking pan to catch any potential drips. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until crust is golden.

Yield: 4 servings as a main course, or 8 servings as a side dish -- from

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