Thursday, November 12, 2009

2nd Week of November

The Final Week of Regular Harvest

Hello from the farm
Time is a slippery substance, it's hard to believe that twenty four weeks of harvest have gone by already. It seems like we were just planting pepper seeds in the greenhouse last week. On the other hand, the cold and dark days let us know that winter is approaching and we are glad for a dormant period to give us new energy for another growing season. October and November have been fairly mild so far, so we have plenty of variety to bring to you this week, including hard-fought sweet potatoes and sunchokes, aka. Jerusalem Artichokes.

These bear the most inaccurate moniker ever, as they have nothing to do with Jerusalem and are not artichokes. Girasola means "turns to the sun" in Italian and was corrupted by someone into "Jerusalem"--perhaps the same someone thought that they tasted like artichokes. And so they carry this name even though they are a perennial edible in the sunflower family. Sunchokes are tubers and can be used similarly to potatoes, but they cook a lot faster. My personal preference is for them cooked as opposed to raw, unless they are used water chestnut-like in a salad. Once you plant one of these in a corner of your yard, they multiply like crazy and you will never be without them. Like rhubarb, they are an "old faithful."
On a health note, their starch contains inulin and does not convert to sugar, making them popular with diabetics and those who are avoiding gluten.

Daikon Kimchee
If you are uncertain about the large daikon that may be lurking in your fridge, here is an easy to follow recipe for making kimchee.

"Kimchee is a Korean staple and I really love the crunch of the vegetables and the sweet spice of the Korean red chili. Quite some time ago I posted a kimchee tutorial for making the classic fermented napa cabbage. There are many kinds of kimchee in Korea and daikon is another favorite vegetable for pickling in this way. I really enjoy the Korean daikon, which is more round and shorter than the typical daikon you find in most grocery stores. But you can use either for this dish. I actually used one large regular long daikon to make a batch. Two Korean bulbs would be about the same amount.

The process I used to make this is similar to the cabbage variant. I diced the radish, salted it and let it sit for about an hour. After a good rinsing the daikon was tossed with one bunch of green onions, sliced; 5 cloves of garlic, chopped, 1 inch of fresh ginger, minced; about half a cup of Korean red chili flakes, and about a tablespoon of nuöc mam fish sauce. I prefer the Three Crabs brand. You don't want to know how this is made! But it isn't kimchee without some fermented fish. Traditionally, kimchee is prepared with chopped fish or fermented shrimp. This sauce makes it much easier to add that hint of fish. I also added a pinch of sugar. Mix everything well and let it sit out for at least a day then store it in the fridge. Unlike the napa cabbage kimchee, which I like well fermented and sour, I prefer my daikon kimchee fresh and sweet."

Self Harvest starts Next Week
Many shareholders report that a highlight of the farm program is coming out in November to glean the fields for crops that remain. Starting Monday Nov 16th, Mon through Saturday, 9am-dusk, you can come out to self harvest. We will have a map that shows you where the crops are located as well as bags and pruners. The remaining crops include: greens, turnips, daikon, cabbage, a few kohlrabi, some Brussels sprouts, broccoli and cauliflower. The self-harvest season runs until either the vegetables or the gleaners give way to the frozen ground.

End Notes
On behalf of the whole farm crew, I'd like to say thank you for being a part of the farm this season and enjoying and appreciating the farm and the food. Thank you Elizabeth for supervising and training all sixteen of the trainees that worked on the farm this season. Thank you Bradley, for bringing great skills and creativity to the farm, most noticeably the herb beds and distribution area. Thank you to a great group of trainees: you showed up on time, were enthusiastic and hard-working, pruned hundreds of berry canes and bushes, transplanted tens of thousands of transplants, harvested many tons of produce, mowed around the buildings each week, and took great care of many things small and large. Thank you for a great team effort!

In appreciation,


PS: Wanting to reserve a share for next season? You'll receive a letter in the new year telling you about the coming season.

See you soon.

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