Thursday, October 25, 2012

Fall crop harvest, kimchee, corn meal, Napa cabbage

Hello from the farm,

Almost November, and yet your farmers are enjoying T-shirt weather here as we gather crops from the field.
It's almost conventional wisdom that once frost hits, the growing is done, but there are a great number of cool weather crops that are unfazed.  And so we keep on farming until either the ground or the farmers are frozen solid.  Most fall crops tolerate frost and  several freezes down to the mid-20s--once it starts dropping much below that, plants give up the fight.

We've got ornamental/Indian corn this week, it's been drying in the greenhouse and is now ready for decorating and even grinding into cornmeal and baking with.  The best corn bread I've ever had has been made with ground corn meal that we've grown and ground here.

Another newcomer is Napa cabbage.  This is a mainstay of Japanese/Korean/Chinese cooking and can be used any time you would use regular cabbage.  Napa is thinner and more lettucey than regular cabbage and is great for stir-fries, salads, and especially kimchee--see recipe below.  Yes, I am still eating the unrefrigerated kimchee that I made a year ago and by most accounts I am doing fine.  You may want to keep yours refrigerated to keep it crunchier ;-)

Regular Harvest Season Ends November 7, 8, 9
(self-harvest will follow--you will be able to glean the fields for remaining crops)  

"Doc" Flanagan of Flanagan Welding stops by to check things out.  He's helped out with many repairs and projects over the years.  Thanks Doc! 

Bob McClure testing a device to help us with the formidable task of bringing in the beans-woo hoo.
Thank you Bob. 

Suggestions for the harvest
Napa Cabbage: great for stir fries, super nutritious, use wherever cabbage is called for.  See kimchee recipe below
Ornamental/Indian/Flour Corn:  decorate with it and then grind it for cornmeal. I'll bring my grain mill in next week.
Scarlet Queen Turnip: amazing scarlet color outside, white inside. Eat raw as turnip sticks or cooked.
Long Island Cheese squash: shaped like a round of cheese, this is a great-keeping squash with excellent decorating properties. Can roast in the oven to prepare
Kale: my favorite of the greens. It is said that if you could only eat one vegetable, kale would be the one that would do you the most good, as it is a nutrition powerhouse.
Arugula: a peppery salad green that is complimented well by fruit and goat cheese in a salad.
Mustard Greens: known for their pungent flavor, these greens can be added to a salad for a mustardy hot punch, or can be added to soups or stir frys. Flavor mellows when cooked.
Tatsoi: a mild green that is great raw in salad or cooked. We think of it as fall spinach.
Purple Mizuna: a unique mustard green from Japan that has mild flavor and is great in salad for color and flavor.
Senposai: has a sweet and tender cabbage-like flavor. Makes a great outer wrap for veggie wraps. Use raw or cooked.
Butternut squash: use for soup, an entrée or use in any recipe calling for "pumpkin." Makes fantastic pumpkin bread, cookies and pumpkin pie.
Watermelon Radish: These are mild for a radish and have a striking pink interior. Greens edible.
"Dessert Turnips:" also known as White Lady, Hakurei, or Salad Turnips, this white, mild and sweet turnip is a great snack. Best eaten raw, but of course, you could cook them as well. Greens are edible.
Enjoy the harvest!

                         The colors of fall surround us at the farm while we paused to eat lunch yesterday

Kim Chee Recipe:

This Korean spicy "sauerkraut" of a sort is outstanding. It is enjoyed in Korea and Japan. I like to get it from the Viet My Asian grocery across from McCaskey High School--the brand they carry is Kimchee Pride from NYC and the favorite of the kimchee I've purchased.

1 large head Chinese (celery or Nappa) cabbage
Salt--non iodized, esp. sea salt preferred.
4 green onions (including tops)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 dried hot red chili (about 2" long), crushed
1 tsp fresh ginger, grated

1. Cut cabbage into pieces, 1-inch long and 1-inch wide.
2. Sprinkle 2 Tbs salt on cabbage, mix well, and let stand 15 minutes.
3. Cut green onions in 1-1/2 inch lengths, then cut lengthwise in thin slices. Wash salted cabbage three times with cold water. Add the onions,garlic, chili, ginger, 1 Tbs salt and enough water to cover. Mix well.Cover and let stand for a few days.
4. Taste mixture every day. When it is acidic enough, cover and refrigerateup to 2 weeks.

Makes about 1 quart. --from

Thanks for being a part of the farm,

Your farmers

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