Thursday, October 29, 2015

Notes from your Farm: Rain, Garlic, & Jack-O'-Lantern's

Hello from the farm, 
How about that rain on Wednesday?!  It came down gently with some forceful winds.  This caused all of us to stay indoors and keep dry during the rainfall.  We jammed out to some 80's music, while washing sweet potatoes and squash.  The radio is a must when it comes to the trainees washing vegetables.  It kept all of us in a cheerful mood on such a rainy day!
Even though it was rainy on Wednesday the weekend weather sounds perfect for the Farewell Weekend event!  We hope to see many people at this event which will include delicious food, drinks, fun, and our farewells to Scott.  Down below is more information on the event.  See you there!  
A head of broccoli with rain drops on it from Wednesdays rain.  Hopefully the rain will give the broccoli a growth boost.   
What happened on the Farm this week? 
The farm is still in the winterizing process.  From pulling out plastic, metal stakes, planting cover crop, and now planting garlic. Fall crops are still looking beautiful and full of flavor!  On the shelves this week there will be Asian greens, kale, collards, mustard, arugula, radishes, turnips, cabbage, pumpkins, squash, sweet potatoes, and popcorn.  We will be sure to fill your bags with lots of vegetables this week.
Another one of our main projects in the fall is planting garlic.  Garlic has to be planted during the fall time.  It is similar to planting tulips, which need the cold spell (winter temperatures) to produce well in the spring time.  Planting garlic seed should be done after a frost and before the ground freezes.  We have planted one bed of garlic this week and will be planting four more next week.    
Here in this photo Del (on left) and Cameron (on right) are breaking apart the garlic bulbs. For the past couple of years the farm has been producing their own seed for garlic.  This means the farm saves back 200 pounds of garlic that is only going to be used for seed.  The individual sections of garlic are called cloves.  The cloves are being separated by Cameron and Del in this photo.  Cloves are then used as the seed for the garlic we plant in the fall time.  
Did you know?
Turnips are the original vegetable used to carve as Jack-o'-lantern's.  This tradition originated from a legend in Ireland.  Instead of carving creepy faces out of pumpkins, try a turnip for a change!  Turnips are in your share this week and can be used for carving.  If you try this please post a picture of your turnip carvings to our Facebook page, so we can see your creativity!    
Abendessen Fresh Bread:
Dark Honey Wheat for $5 a loaf. 
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!            
Final Harvest - November 12, 13, & 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.
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.  Also good in sandwiches.  
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.     
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. 
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.
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. 
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.

Have a spook-tackulous Halloween weekend,  
Your Farmers


Linda said...

Great post! And I didn't know that about the turnips! Thank you so much for sharing.

Goodwill at Homefields Farm said...

Thank you Linda! Glad you liked it :)