Thursday, November 7, 2013

Notes from Your Farm: Extra Give, Gift boxes, Survey and More

Hello from the farm,
These have been glorious and golden days at the farm as the autumn sun turns everything harvest gold, crimson, and rich brown. Your farmers have been reclaiming the blueberry patch from the over-eager weeds that posed as trees thanks to the super abundant moisture of summer. We are grateful for the local arborists who give us wood chips to use for mulching the blueberries. We're pleased to see that we'll probably have a nice batch of true baby carrots to harvest next week from a late successful planting. The spading tractor remained unusable for fieldwork into this week due to the ordered part going to a farmer in York county by mistake, but it is freshly repaired as of late yesterday. The most excitement was that the weeder that we have been working on saw action this week:
The weeder--awaiting the first field test....
The judges--"let's see this thing work!"
the test bed--one tough customer, complete with thistle
Mr. Bob astride the weeder
The verdict:"Great"
Three cheers and heaps of thanks. Thank you Bob!
The Extra Give: The Extra Give event is coming up Nov 22nd. This is a chance to give to your favorite Lanc. county organizations and win extra funds and partial matching for it as well. Homefields will be one of the featured non-profits and you can watch the dollars accumulate in real time on the web site. The money donated to Homefields will help fund the new land that Homefields is saving from development and securing for future farm use.

Gift Boxes at the Farm:
The Gift boxes are back! Each year as the fields get colder and colder, then frosty, then frozen, and your farmers do too, we look forward to the aroma of freshly ground coffee and chocolate as we make gift boxes for Christmas time using locally produced goods.

Homefields Gift Box
The small gift box includes a packet of College Coffee Roaster’s custom blend, “Goodwill at Homefields Farm” coffee, an eight-ounce bag of tasty Wilbur Buds, one eight-ounce jar of the local specialty Kauffman's Apple Butter and a bag of Snyder's of Hanover Peanut Butter Pretzel Sandwiches.Price: $18.95

The large gift boxfeatures more Lancaster County premium flavors. It includes a 1/2 pound bag of “Goodwill at Homefields Farm” blend coffee from College Coffee Roasters, an eight-ounce bag of yummy Wilbur Chocolate Buds, one ten-ounce jar of Kauffman's Apple Butter and one ten-ounce Kitchen Kettle Village Pear Butter, (a delicious Lancaster County treat that spreads easily on bread and crackers) and a bag of Snyder's of Hanover Peanut Butter Pretzel Sandwiches. Price $26.95

Order deadline is Dec 6th Place orders by emailing or call us at 717-871-3110. Please Pick up Gift Boxes at the farm on Dec 16th and 17th between 9:00am – 4:00pm.
Thank you for supporting the farmers and the CSA program.

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.

Thank you
Thank you to Bob McClure for the excellent weeder for next season!, Tom and Butch for tools and support, Flanagan Welding for donated welding, Bob Haverstick for hydraulic expertise. Thank you to farm staff and farm crew for the radical berry patch transformation--it's outstanding.

See you for the final harvest next week,

Your farmers

Your farmers

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