Thursday, November 5, 2015

Notes from your Farm: Farewell Weekend, Fall Weather, & Campfires

Hello from the farm, 
The Farewell Weekend event was a hit!  There were lots of laughs, conversations, gifts, and eating at the farm on Saturday.  Shareholders, trainees, farm staff, and Homefields board members did a great job at dedicating this event towards Scott's 15 years of hard work, care, and love that he put into this farm.  It was also a farewell to the 2015 season, which the last harvest is coming right around the corner.  There is more information about the last harvest down further.
Note from Farmer Scott:
"Thank you for your kind notes of appreciation and well wishes on the veggie themed Jumbo Thank You Card and for coming to the farm on Saturday for a much-appreciated send off party. It was heartening to see the deep sense of community at the farm with a wide mix of farm staff, trainees, Homefields board, shareholders, parents, neighbors and friends in attendance. Your presence, kind words and blessings mean more than you can know."
         -- Scott  
Homefields delicious selection of food and drinks that were at the event this past weekend. Hope everyone had a great time!
Now is the time for Surveys!  We have made up a short survey that can be filled out when you pick up your vegetables.  There are only a few questions that will ask your opinion about the vegetables we grow and how your experience is on the farm.  Please fill out a survey because it will help us make your farm a better place.
What happened on the Farm this week? 
This warm weather is b-e-a-utiful!  We are having a blast working in the warmth and having the different colors of leaves as our background.  The fall time transforms the farm into an ideal landscape that is perfect for a short walk.  When you come to pick up your veggies please take some time to walk around the farm and see what nature gives us in this season of change.

The view from where you pick up your vegetables.  Breathtaking! 
Harvest day is finally here our favorite day of the week!  On the shelves this week there will be Asian greens, kale, collards, mustard, arugula, radishes, turnips, cabbage, persimmons, pumpkins, and squash.  We are delighted that you shareholders are soaking up these greens!  
Another event that took place during the week at the farm is our campfire we had on Wednesday.  We made up yummy fall snacks, s'mores, roasted hot dogs, and drank some apple cider while sitting around the campfire.  It was a great time to reflect, with the farm staff and trainees, about times on the farm with Scott.  It couldn't have been any better of a day to have such an event.   
Abendessen Fresh Bread:
This week it is going to be Apple Strudel Sourdough 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.
Suggestions for the Harvest: 
Daikon Radishes: these radishes can be pickled, made into cakes, chips, or just sliced up and added to your salad.  
Broccoli & Cauliflower: both of these vegetables can be steamed until soft and put some butter or cheese on top.  They could also be eaten raw as a healthy snack or add some of the delicious ranch dressing to that snack! 
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.
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.    
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.  They also could be sliced in half, cooked until soft, and then add some brown sugar or syrup for a sweet taste.   
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!    
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.
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.    

Hope you Fall in love with our veggies,  
Your Farmers

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