Thursday, October 22, 2015

cover crops and kimchee

Hello from the farm, 
 Your farmers are enjoying the beautiful fall colors and cool air as we work this week.  Some of the heat-loving crops are completely finished, and we are pulling up the stakes, mowing down the plant debris and discing the fields to plant a barley cover crop on them.  Cover crops "tuck in" in the fields for the winter, keeping the soil from eroding, aerating the soil and adding organic matter, and even pulling nitrogen from the air and putting this free fertilizer into the ground in the case of clovers and legumes.  They are also able to suppress weeds and shade out Canada thistle, which is probably public enemy number one for an organic vegetable farm.

Scarlet Queen turnips are showing off their color. They are better flavored than the traditional purple top turnips of old 

Final Harvest is November 12, 13 and 14 
many of these crops take several bouts of frost and just keep on ticking. Look for continued super harvests until Nov 14, and there will be gleaning available for current shareholders as well after that. 

We like to call these "dessert turnips" because they are mild and very sweet. This variety comes from Japanand is called "Hakurei" meaning white lady. 

Corn Grinders are back!  They are attached to the the long wooden table next to the sinks.  If you are not familiar with corn grinders they are used to grind down the Indian corn kernels.  Once it is ground into a powder form it is called cornmeal.  Cornmeal can be used to make corn bread, biscuits, pie crusts, and much more! We recommend that you remove the kernels from the cob before coming to the farm.  Also, the silver corn grinder produces a coarser cornmeal, while the red one makes the cornmeal finer. The corn grinders will be left on the table until the end of the season, so you can keep your Indian corn as decoration a little longer!            
Abendessen Fresh Bread:
Chocolate chip & Cinnamon Sourdough Bread for $5/loaf
Farewell Weekend - October 31 - 10:00am 
This is a time to say farewell to Scott who has been a fabulous farm manager to our farm for 10 years and a goodbye to the 2015 season. There will be coffee, cider, seasonal snacks, art fun for kids, and farm photo booths! This is a great way to see everyone and the farm before it gets too cold!
Suggestions for the Harvest: 
Cabbage: the cabbage crop is starting to come in and we are excited to be harvesting them this week. You will most likely have a choice between cabbage and napa cabbage.

Napa Cabbage:  great in salad, it's like a mild lettucey cabbage--napa cabbage is famously used in making kimchee, a pickled spicy cabbage salad that is a mainstay in Japanese and Korean cuisine.

Kimchee:  This Korean spicy "sauerkraut of a sort" is outstanding. It is enjoyed in Korea and Japan. When buying it, 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.  This recipe resembles Kimchee Pride type kimchee

1 large head Chinese (Napa) cabbage
Salt--non iodized, esp. sea salt preferred.
4 green onions (including tops)
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup paprika to taste --or Korean chili powder if you want to go to the Asian store for the real deal. ( Paprika does pretty well I think)
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, let sit 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 if needed--water to cover. Mix well. Cover with a cloth and let stand for a few days.
4. Taste mixture every day. When it is acidic enough, cover and refrigerate up to 2 weeks.

Sweet Potatoes: they can be cooked just as you would with a baked potato.  You could also put them in a dish and bake them with brown sugar and marshmallows to add more sweetness, this is how my grandparents always make them.
Popcorn: take a pan with high sides and a lid, put some olive oil so its covering the bottom of the pan, add kernels, turn stove on medium, put lid on to contain popcorn but do not fully cover pan with lid.  Then watch the kernels pop!    
Bok Choy: this Asian green can be sauteed by adding ginger, red pepper, and garlic.  A healthy side dish! 
Kale: Kale chips are delicious and easily done.  Just put some olive oil and salt on the raw kale.  Next they will stay in the oven on a cookie sheet until the edges are brown.
Arugula: It is sometimes called "Salad Rocket".  Arugula adds a kick to your salad with its strong flavor.
Asian Greens: Can be used in a stir fry by adding chiles, garlic, peanut oil, and possibly adding some salt. Also, the greens could simply make a yummy salad.
Chard: this cousin to the beet is appreciated for its leaves instead of its roots.  Use for salads, or as a spinach or kale substitute in cooking. 
Easter Egg Radishes: This would be a perfect additive to your Asian green stir fry!  Radishes could be added to a sandwich for more flavor or eat it without anything.      
Carrots: these carrots are better than candy--simply refrigerate and then eat washed and unpeeled for a snack.  
Butternut Squash: butternuts have great flavor and can be used for making pumpkin pie. 

Sweet Peppers: the icy frost has sent the pepper plants to the point of no return--compost.  
Pawpaws: best to keep them in the fridge until they are soft so the fruit flies don't find them. Cut in half the short way and spoon out like eating a kiwi fruit.  Don't eat the seeds or skin. The pulp is good fresh or added to a smoothie.  Pawpaws can also be made into ice cream!

Tomatoes: these have also peaked and are descending:  tomatoes seem to stand for themselves without words of introduction, but here are some words anyway: delicious, great in sandwiches, BLTs, tomato & cucumber salad, cooked down for sauce, chopped in salad, fresh or canned salsa and more.  
Eggplant: The Italian and Asian types differ only in shape and color, they are used in the same manner.  I like them sliced and grilled or pan fried with soy sauce, oil, miso etc until browned and crispy. 
Storage Onions:  the red and white storage onions should keep for a month or two in cool dark storage.  
Potatoes: well, that's the hardest we ever worked for potatoes and for not a lot of them unfortunately. We did get some, and for that we are glad. 
Green/Purple/Yellow Beans: Older beans can be saved for vegetable soup, which is what we did growing with vegetables that were a little on the mature side. These beans are so amazingly good it almost puts frozen beans to shame.  The purple variety is beautiful--if heated they turn green, if used in salad their purple looks great.  To cook, bring to a boil in an inch of water or so, then turn down to three lines or so until tender. Yum yum!
Cabbage: great for a cabbage and chopped peanut with vinegar salad. Simple and surprisingly good in spite of its simplicity. 
Beets: We grow red, orange and striped beets, beautiful.  mmm, I used to love to eat these after my mother had blanched them and slipped the skins off and they were cooling on the counter.  Super nutritious, they can be roasted, grated for salad, boiled or steamed, then eaten hot or cold, and of course, made into pickled beets or used for pickled beet eggs. Makes me hungry writing about them.
Thanks for being a part of the farm,  

Your farmers

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