Thursday, September 11, 2014

Scoville Units, Fall crops arrive, Dining in the Fields, thank you Steve and Barb

Hello from the farm,

Dining in the Fields on Sunday was a great time, the food was fantastic, and it was good to see many of you there.  Many thanks to all who gave their time, energy, food, and materials to make it the feast that it was!  No one left without a pleased palate :-) 

It's September and the fall crops are arriving, woo hoo.  This week we are starting to harvest the Indian Corn aka Ornamental Corn.  This organic corn makes awesome cornmeal, and there will be a flour mill here for you to use in the weeks to come, as well as a knock your socks off corn bread recipe from my wife and daughter that they've continued to tweak and make better and better. We are also starting the squash harvest--we'll have a mix of delicata squash, spaghetti squash and probably acorn squash this week.
For spaghetti squash, cut in half, remove seeds, and bake on a baking tray at 350 for about half an hour up to an hour-- until soft when poked with a fork.  Remove and flake the "spagetti" out with a fork and top with spaghetti sauce of your choice. 

 Enjoy the beauty while it's here, frost will arrive end of Sept. early October!

Feeling the burn, Scoville units and hot peppers

We've got a great variety of hot peppers from mild to wild in the pick your own field this year, hailing from all over the world, including Korea and Japan.  Did you know that the heat in hot peppers is measured in something called Scoville units?  
Being a taster to determine how fiery hot peppers are has be to like getting in a ring with Mike Tyson or George Foreman and trying to figure out which boxer hit you harder.  A pharmacist by the name of Wilbur Scoville came up with a really interesting method about one hundred years ago to determine the heat levels without getting in the boxing ring! A pepper's oil is diluted with sugar water, and then the concentration is increased until 3 out of 5 tasters can sense the presence of heat.  It's a clever way of working backwards at a problem. 

Some of our Peppers by the Scoville Scale
Sweet Pepper= 0
Jalapeno= 3,500-10,000
Cayenne=30,000-50,000Tabasco=30,000-50,000Habanero=100,000-350,000 (Tyson) Car. Reaper=2,0000-2,200,000 (Foreman, Tyson, De la Hoya combined) 

 Jerusalem artichoke flowers are smiling at you.  Feel free to cut for arrangements.  Despite the name they are not related to artichokes but are in the sunflower family but have an edible root.
Monthly Farm Tour: 
Want to get a behind the scenes look at the workings of the farm? There is a monthly farm tour on the 1st Tuesday of the month at 9am.  If you are planning to attend, please email  Tour lasts approximately 30 minutes. 
No tours during Dec/Jan/Feb due to Volcanic winter, ok, just joking about the Volcanic part) 

Note from Stephanie the Breadbaker: A Bun in the Oven
This week will be the last week of bread due to my "bun in the oven" making it's arrival very soon.  Thank you to everyone who has purchased bread this season.  I appreciate the support and feedback that I've received.  For future bread orders, questions, or comments, please feel free to contact me at  Thank you! Stephanie Breneman

I'm making Pretzel Rolls this week at $4/half dozen. 

 The flower field keeps humming right along! 

Serving Suggestions for the harvest this week:

Winter squash:  firm winter squash are great for baking, "pumpkin" pie, faux spaghetti noodles in the case of spaghetti squash or halved and baked in the oven with butter and maple syrup and/or brown sugar.  The squash we are harvesting now are not types intended for long storage. Use within a week or two for best results. 

Potatoes: We really like the Yukon Gold for making farm fries.  How difficult is it?  Not difficult at all.  Cut taters into fries, put in pot of heated oil--we like peanut oil, and fry until golden brown. The Red Pontiac is a great all around variety as is the stunning Purple Viking.  The diminutive dynamo French Fingerlings are a delight also and chefs clamor for them because of their flavor and texture.  
Red River and Sterling White Onions: both of these are good storage onions and are desirable for just about any purpose. 
Sweet Peppers:  whether green, yellow, orange, red, or purple. bell shaped or horn shaped, we'll have a sweet pepper for you. Our perennial favorite is Carmen, a lipstick red bull's horn type sweet pepper. 
Tomatoes: the tomato plants are going gangbusters.   Look for the harvest to slowly decrease as fall approaches.  Mmm, tomato and cheese sandwich anyone?  
Eggplants:  We really like the long slender Asian type eggplants! They are user friendly, mild and great for grilling with soy sauce, miso etc on the grill or use in any recipe that calls for eggplant--in short, treat them the same as the Italian "bell-type" eggplants.  


Scallions: These mild-mannered onion family folks give an easy onion flavor to salads, sandwiches, stir fries and more.  Or you could do the old classic buttered bread and sliced scallion treat: my grandparents talked a lot about enjoying them in spring.  We found a few more. 
Watermelons and cantaloupe: it was nice melon run, but sooner or later, we knew they'd be done.  We hope you enjoyed them as much as we did.  
Cucumbers:  these are finished for this season, we're sad to see them go. 
Carrots: carrots are really good roasted in the oven with some coconut, olive or peanut oil. Of course they are also good as carrot sticks or in salads. We will miss the fresh taste of farm carrots, it's just not the same getting them from the store. 
Summer Squash:  add raw to salads, steam lightly, or stir-fry. Don't overcook unless you like soft consistency. 
Kohlrabi: sort of a mini-broccoli little crunchy dude, these are tasty raw and taste kind of like mild sweet broccoli. Usually eaten raw.  Some people peel away the outer layer.  May return in autumn. 
Greens: these succumbed to the heat, with the exception of chard which continue to grow through the summer heat. We like to fry these in a skillet with butter or coconut oil until crisp, add some onions and saute them as well--a superb topping for rice, fried eggs or stand alone too.
Broccoli: Broccoli is dicey as a spring crop and the heat has made it flower and diminished its quality--look for a new crop in fall. 
Garlic scapes: we hope you enjoyed the delightful flavor of these. 
Lettuce heads: these have run their course and are stretching skyward--a precursor to bolting--flowering to make seed. 
Lettuce mix--the leaves have given it their all and are now finished.  
Green garlic: this is garlic harvested before the base swells and becomes a bulb. It has a milder flavor than bulb garlic and can be used anywhere garlic is called for. Keep refrigerated as you would green onions/scallions. 
Cilantro: this herb has run its life cycle and is "bolting" or going to seed.  

Thank You

Thank you farm crew for hard work and perseverance to bring in the harvest each week. Job well done!   Steve and Barb from Miller's Smorgasboard--wow, impressive culinary skill!  Thank you. 

Your farmers

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