Thursday, October 15, 2015

Notes from Your Farm

Hello from the farm, 

We are so excited to be filling the shelves with delicious fall greens during this part of the season!  There is so much variety in what you can use these vegetables for at your home.  Fall greens will be with us till the end of the season, so you have time to test out new recipes.  Frost and the colder temperatures do not effect the production of the greens since they favor this type of weather.  At least with the frost, that might be coming this weekend, it will kill those pesky weeds!     

This is Mizuna growing in our fall crop field.  It is one of the Asian green choices on the chalk board.  I love how you can see the life in this plant by looking at the purple veins that are seen through the leaves.  

What's happening on the farm this week?
Patience is a virtue when it comes to being a vegetable farmer. Popcorn has been drying in the greenhouse for two weeks!  We are making sure that the kernels are dry enough to pop when you take the popcorn home.  Farmer Elizabeth took an ear of popcorn home earlier this week to test it out.  Guess what?!?  Yes your wishes have come true, the popcorn was popping out of control!!! There will be popcorn to choose from this week! 

Just adding a little popcorn humor to the excitement.  

Another crop that takes a lot of patience are sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes need time to convert their sugars into starches after being harvested.  This means they need to sit in an area that is relatively 85 degrees and 85% humidity.  The closest we can reach those standards on the farm is by putting the sweet potatoes in the greenhouse.  After being in the greenhouse for 7-10 days they should be ready for your taste buds approval.  Which indeed the sweet potatoes are ready for the shelves this week!      

Other crops that will be on the shelves are Asian greens, arugula, kale, shunkyo radishes, dessert turnips, Easter egg radishes, garlic, bok choy, pumpkins or winter squash, and the fruit selection.  The farmers are hard at work harvesting all the vegetables listed.  Truly it is one of their favorite jobs on the farm, harvesting fresh vegetables.

Frost Warning
As said in the beginning there is a chance of frost coming this weekend.  The Pick Your Own Field (PYO) has a chance of being damaged or eliminated by the frost.  You may want to take advantage of the PYO field this week because of the threat of frost. 


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 its grinded to 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:
Sun-dried Tomato & Roasted Garlic Sourdough for $5 a loaf.

Gift Boxes: 
It is becoming that time of year again with gift boxes on our mind.  If you are new to this, our gift boxes include Wilbur buds, coffee, peanut butter pretzels, and apple butter.  They are a great gift to give to coworkers or friends.  More information about gift boxes will be coming soon!  

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:

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. 

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!

Sweet Peppers: wow, it's been a great season for these lovely peppers. They are slowing down now with the shorter days. Sweet peppers come in all shapes, colors and sizes.  Carmen, a long horn-shaped pepper is a perpetual favorite among your farmers. We like to snack on them as if they were candy. 


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.

Hoping the popcorn will make you pop with joy, 

Your farmers

No comments: