Thursday, November 10, 2011

Hello from the farm,

It's was a warm misty morning at the farm this morning as a half year of harvests comes to a close this weekend. The garlic is all planted for next season, the pick your own fields is cleaned up, there are a few cover crops to plant yet, and we have been working on cleaning up the fence row, and getting ready for gift boxes. The crops did really well this year over all. Remember when spring was so cold and wet that we couldn't get seeds or transplants into the ground because it was wet cold muck?  And then summer arrived with intense heat and a lack of rain, and September brought us almost a year's worth of rain in a month's time. 
Some non-weather moments were beginning to work the new ground to the east and the arrival of the orange tractor for tillage and harvest. We had a seasoned group of trainees as well as a bunch of new faces, and the veteran farm staff efforts of Kim, Law Reh, and Elizabeth shone through in everything that they did. Thank you! 

Gift Boxes for Sale--order before Dec 9th by send us an email or by phone. See the link below for more details. The small box is 17.95 and the large is 24.95. Wilbur Buds, coffee, peanut butter pretzels, apple butter...can't go wrong. 

We value your input on the season.  
To give us feedback, please fill out the survey at:  Thank you Elizabeth for setting this up!

Get on the Farm Wagon for next Season and save $20.00 
Reserve you share in November to save 20.00 on the 2012 season.  Go to

Thank you for an excellent, abundant, and memorable season!

Self Harvest Begins Monday Nov 21st.  
Mon-Saturday 8AM-dusk, come on out to glean the fields of the crops that remain. Take what you can use for your family, and if you know of anyone who has fallen on hard times, please take some for them as well.  We'll have a map here at the distribution area for you as well as plastic bags if you need them.  This is open to all current members and continues until the ground is frozen continuously, usually around Christmas time. 

Turnip Sauerkraut--or what to with all of those turnips--make sauer ruben
Turnip Kraut is pretty easy: top and tail, peel, shred in whatever shredder device you have, weigh, add 1/2 tablespoon of salt per pound and leave overnight.  Next day, pack into crock and push down.  The turnips should be covered by about 2 inches of briney water.  If not, add salty water to the tune of 1.5 teaspoons of salt per cup of water.  I also add some whey, about 1/4 cup, to kick off the lactic fermentation. Then cover mine with a double layer of muslin and weigh with a board and a large mason jar filled with water.
After about two weeks, it has krauted.  Which for me is just the start because I process my kraut in jars.
And I flavor it.
With all kinds of flavors.
In individual jars.
I am pretty sure this is against all kraut rules, but I really hate eating the same thing over and over again.**  But I am not a big processed food gal and I can’t make food from scratch every day and keep my sanity. So, I tend to make a base of something and then make variations I can pop on a pantry shelf for later.
So, my turnip kraut is going to get dressed up in all manner of guises when it goes into the canning jar. This year, I am making:
Spicy Kimchee-Inspired But Spanish Really Turnip Kraut
I make this with pimentón — and yes, it makes me feel so clever. Even if it makes you think I am culinarily insane. Basically I make a fire-y paste with the pimentón, homemade garlic powder and the kraut liquid, dump it into the jar with the fermented kraut and process it.  Totally not traditional, I know. You are supposed to add the heat as part of the fermenting! Kimchee is made with Napa cabbage! I know, I know. So, don’t get your underwear in a bunch and then don’t even think of then turning around and asking me for a recipe after you try it after bashing it.
This stuff, this is good for hangovers served along side some scrambled eggs. But you can’t have a hangover for at least a month or so because the flavors need to blend.  So, be careful there, my friend.
Boatloads of Fresh Bay Turnip Kraut
I happen to have a bunch of Bay that has been hanging around for a while and three trees for the garden on the way so I don’t need to dry it.  I love fresh Bay. I use too much of it in everything I can.  This can be an awesome way to complement a mild hot dog, if you make your own hot dogs or buy them from a reliable source.  If you don’t let me know where to send the flowers.
Caraway Turnip Kraut
You can mess with the cabbage-y part, sure, but don’t mess with the flavors of choucroute, Yo.  I put a bunch in the bottom of the jar before filling up with the kraut.  Seal and leave until choucroute time to marry the flavors.
Ode To Rob Levitt Fennel, Coriander and Chili Flake Turnip Kraut
As I continue to make the meaty things Rob tells me to make, it will be handy to have a complementing kraut on the shelf.  Rob is obsessed with the fennel-coriander-chili flake combo.  If this turns out, I’ll bring him some just to say thanks for being an awesome dude.
Ramp-y Turnip Kraut
Duh, it’s spring. Ramps. For this, I will actually be making a smallish batch of krauted ramps to add to the turnips at canning.  To make a smallish batch of basically any kind of kraut, pile vegetables into a quart canning jar, add 2 tablespoons each of whey and salt and fill with filtered water to the top (for all you “tap water is fine” folk, know that the chlorine messes with the fermentation).  Again, I cover with a cloth to keep everything submerged and then, using a used lid, screw on the cap and leave on the counter for a few days before moving to a cooler place to ferment.
Turnip Kraut is a spring thing, because the turnips are sweeter in Spring than in the Fall.  So, make some now or just come over in the fall and eat mine.

Thank you for being a part of the farm and appreciating the food and what we do, 

Your farmers 

Friday, November 4, 2011

Hello from the frosty fields,

As the sun came up this morning, the frost-covered leaves of the senposai, collards and kale gleamed in the light. Each season has its aspect to relish, and now the crisp cold air, the beauty of the frost, and the warm season weeds disappearing due to freezing are a few things that we take satisfaction i

Final Harvest Days for this Season: Nov 10, 11, 12

Looking forward to another season of great veggies? Sign up in the month of November to save $20.00 on your 2012 share. To reserve your fresh food for next year go to:


                                                COLD hot Peppers!

Farm Program Gift Boxes for Your Staff, Clients or Family:
As our growing season winds down, we will be making gift boxes again for Christmas time. Filled with local tasty treats like Wilbur Buds, College Coffee Roasters coffee, peanut butter pretzels, and apple butter from Kauffman's fruit farm, they are a great gift and a support to the farm program.
The small box is 17.50 and the large, which has 1/2lb of coffee and also pear butter is 24.95. For more details see:
To order, send an email to or call 871-3110
Order Deadline Dec 9th
Gift Box Pickup at Barn Dec 14,15,16

Survey Says: We appreciate your feedback on this growing season
Elizabeth set up a great and easy to use survey at: Please let us know how you experienced this season, your input will help shape next season\'s crops and amounts.
Thank you for helping us to improve each year.

Serving Suggestions for the Harvest:

**the pick your own field froze repeatedly--gone until next season** 
Bok Choi: this is great in stir fries, goes well with rice, peanut butter, soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger and other Asian seasonings.
Napa Cabbage: this mild Asian cabbage is preferred by many to regular cabbage. It can be sauteed, used in salads, or made into kimchee or coleslaw.
Salad turnips: if you turned up your nose at old Purpletop as a kid, try out the white salad turnips--they are best raw--sweet and mild. Thumbs up! The visually stunning Scarlet ones are great too, also milder than the traditional turnip. Asian greens: tatsoi, mizuna, senposai, they are all good in salad or stir fry.Arugula: this is great in salads with apples and pears, and nuts
Popcorn: using peanut oil or other hi-temp veg. oil preheat oil on HIGH with 3 test kernels--when they pop, put in the rest of your corn, cover, shake the pan until popping slows considerably.Indian Corn: These are beauiful for decorating with and make an outstanding cornmeal, or put them out for the creatures to enjoy in your back yard. We have a grain grinder here if you want to shell your corn and bring it in for making excellent corn bread. 
Sweet peppers: these are fading away, enjoy. so many shapes and colors when ripe. They are easy to freeze, halve, core and freeze on a baking tray, then put into freezer bags.
garlic: great in everything--except cake and ice cream, and even then.... ;-)
cilantro: excellent on a ham sandwich, salsa, salad, liverwurst sandwich and on and on.
Enjoy the last few weeks of fall harvests. Self-harvest will follow.

Your farmers