Thursday, October 31, 2013

Farm season survey, gift boxes, frosty farm

Hello from the farm,

These fall days are glorious for your farmers to work in! This week we've been putting a lot of things to bed for the winter. Law Reh (especially) and the farm crew have done an amazing job getting the overgrown blueberry patch cleaned out. We repaired the plumbing problem that was sending water across the parking area. The tractor, whose lift arm broke early this season, experienced the same breakdown once again. Thanks to Butch Bixler, we successfully tracked down an exaact original rod in Dallas, TX that should give us years of reliable use.
Our farm survey has been online for a few seasons, but this year we would like to give you paper to touch and to put your thoughts on for our planning for next season. We value your insights on this farm and food, thank you for taking the time. We are getting ready for making our gift boxes for Christmas and will have more information about them next week. Among other goodies, they contain Wilbur Buds and College Coffee Roasters coffee. 'Nuff said for now...

The morning frost paints the farm and crops icy white

Farmer Elizabeth is contemplative after mowing down the early morning frozen, blackened, eggplant foliage

The first tree of the bald cypress trio is showing its fall color. Bald cypress is one of the few conifer species that loses its needles for the winter.

The signs of the season are all around...

Suggestions for the Harvest

Oven Roasted Sweet Potato Chunks: My wife roasted some sweet potatoes, chunked and coated with coconut oil and sea salt, in a baking dish at 400 for 1-2 hours until soft and crispy-edged and they went over like melt-in-your-mouth chocolate confections.

Napa Cabbage: at its finest for kimchee making. See the recipe a few newsletters back, or search it on our farm blog, or find your own recipe online.

Bok Choi: this Asian cabbage was made for stir fries with soy sauce, peanut butter, or chicken or a combination of all three.

Butternut squash
: your farmers find that the butternuts and Long Island Cheese squash are tops when it comes to baking and cooking winter squashes and pumpkins. Did you know that canned "pumpkin" at the store is usually squash due to its superior flavor and texture?

Black Radishes:

Black Radish Russian-style
First peel the black skin off. In a bowl, grate the radishes, chop or mince green scallion, grate a carrot and dice fresh cucumber...mix together with sour cream If you want more of a spicy tang, use less carrot and cucumber, if it's too spicy then use more carrot and cucumber. Use as a salad or eat on crackers. --adapted from

Popcorn: our popcorn is very tasty--put oil in heavy bottomed pan and heat up the oil. Put a test kernel in when you think the oil is hot. When that one pops--pour in popcorn enough to cover the pan bottom and shake. Put a lid over the pan--but not tightly, so that steam can escape. Shake the pan as corn pops until popping slows. (it must be said that everyone seems to have a different method that works for them--and only them, perhaps ;-)

All Winter Squash: these hard squash will keep in cool and dry storage for months. Great for apple and squash bake, curried or sweet soup.

Cilantro: great in a sandwich, soups, salads, recipes from around the world Dill: great for pickling or with potatoes.

"Dessert Turnips": Our pet name for the sweet and mild white Hakurei salad turnips is dessert turnips. These are not your ordinary firm and strong purple top turnips. They are best eaten raw like carrot sticks with or without some kind of dip. Growing up, we had carrot, celery and turnip sticks at holiday meals.

Arugula: Yes, the arugula is back—cheers from all corners. This spicy green's nutty flavor jazzes up a salad or sandwich really well! Kind of zingy for most people--use as your palate prefers.

Ornamental/Flour Corn: feel free to shell your corn from the cob sometime and bring the kernels in to grind in the mill that we have here. Run it through once to grind coarsely and then tighten it up and run through again for finer grind for cornmeal for cornbread, cornmeal pancakes, muffins etc.

Potatoes: Yukon Gold potatoes are the farm favorite for French-fry making, hands down. Potatoes are a wonderful source of nutrients, versatile to cook with, and very satisfying to the eater--they even help you sleep well at night. (Potatoes not Prozac book)

Chard: Remove the lower portion of the stalk as it is usually tough. Sautee leaves in butter, olive or coconut oil, add salt, and red pepper, top with Parmesan cheese.

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.

Senposai: very kale or leaf cabbage like and can substitute for either.

Enjoy the fall bounty,


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