Notes From the Farm
Hello! This is the final week of veggies. As some of you have heard we are taking a sabbatical next year from Veggie Feast/ CSA boxes. We have provided organically grown vegetables for the Bitterroot community for over 20 years.
Closing this chapter of our lives is bittersweet. We have had the opportunity to do honest work, be outside, make our own schedule, meet some fabulous people, and be available for our kids. But agriculture is a challenging business. Just like many small business owners we work all the time. Growing vegetables takes an enormous amount of labor. Even though it seems expensive when you are loading your cart at the store, the amount of time and energy that goes into our food is not monetarily compensated. It is the big ag businesses that get the subsidies. The only way for smaller farms to make money is to produce more (so the meager profit adds up), depend on underpaid labor (hello interns), go fund me type campaigns, or grants. On top of the low-to-no-pay the ironic and cruel twist is only the fairly affluent can afford to buy organic food. The farmer simply cannot afford to sell for less, and the impoverished simply cannot afford to pay the higher price.
So we are looking at other ways to lend a hand and make a difference. It’s impossible not to see the dramatic changes in growing conditions and weather patterns and wonder what that means for our country’s food security. Next year we aspire to test our method of farming against current “standard” farming practices in hopes of showing others how to improve soil conditions, save labor costs and reduce water use. Leon is also gearing up for his “How to grow a small farm/ garden” course this fall through the O’Hara Commons, and plans to put more effort into education so people can feed themselves and their neighbors.
We thank you all for making the effort to eat locally. We hope you continue to support other farms in the area.
This Week’s Veggie Feast
Spaghetti Squash, Sunchokes, Brussels Sprouts, Sweet Onions, Spinach, Tomatoes, Peppers, Swiss Chard
New This Week
Spaghetti squash can be used in lieu of pasta. Check out Delish to explore a variety of ways to prepare this versatile food.
Sunchokes (also known as Jerusalem artichokes) are a new vegetable for many people. They are gaining popularity in recent years due to their high nutritional value, high fiber (in the form of inulin) and low carb content. Since we dig them up, like a potato I assumed they were a tuber, but according to Serious Eats: “A sunchoke is a woody-looking tuberous formation found on the rhizome (horizontally growing underground stem) of a type of sunflower.” Sunchokes are very versatile, they can be fried, roasted, steamed and eaten raw. Add them to a roasted vegetable dish, use as a base for soups, or thinly slice as a topper for a fall salad. They store well in the fridge in a container or a plastic bag for a couple of weeks.
Apple Sunchoke Salad
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt, divided
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
- 2 pounds sunchokes, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
- ¼ cup chopped fresh dill
- 1 tablespoon chopped shallots
- 2 tablespoons unfiltered apple cider
- 2 ½ tablespoons cider vinegar
- 1 cup halved, cored, and thinly sliced Granny Smith apples
- 1 cup halved, cored, and thinly sliced Honeycrisp apples
- 6 ounces skinned smoked trout, broken into 1/2-inch pieces
- 2 tablespoons sliced fresh basil
- Preheat oven to 400°.
- Combine 1 tablespoon oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and sunchokes in a large bowl; toss to coat. Spread sunchokes, cut sides down, on a baking sheet; bake at 400° for 25 minutes or just until tender and golden. Cool completely.
- Combine dill, shallots, apple cider, cider vinegar, remaining 2 tablespoons oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl. Add apples and sunchokes; toss gently. Place on a serving plate. Top with trout and basil.
Source: My Recipes
Smashed Sunchokes with Thyme Butter
- 1 pound (450g) sunchokes, rinsed and trimmed of any dark spots
- Kosher salt
- 1 1/2 tablespoons (20ml) canola or other neutral oil
- 2 tablespoons (1 ounce; 30g) unsalted butter
- Large pinch freshly picked thyme leaves
- Flaky salt for serving
- In a medium saucepan, cover sunchokes with 1 inch cold water. Season generously with salt (the water should taste nicely salted, as if you were seasoning soup). Set over high heat and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook until paring knife inserted into a sunchoke meets little resistance, about 10 minutes; be careful not to overcook.
- Drain sunchokes using fine-mesh strainer or colander. When cool enough to handle, place sunchokes on work surface or cutting board. Working 1 sunchoke at a time, use the bottom of a heavy skillet to press firmly on each sunchoke until it is flattened but still in one piece; take care not to press so hard that the sunchokes break apart.
- In a large cast iron skillet, heat oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add sunchokes in a single layer and cook without moving until well browned, about 3 minutes. Flip sunchokes, then add butter to the pan and allow to melt. Add half of thyme to the melted butter and continue to cook, spooning butter over sunchokes, until browned on the second side, about 3 minutes longer.
- Transfer sunchokes to a serving plate and spoon the thyme butter on top. Garnish with remaining freshly picked thyme leaves and sprinkle with flaky salt. Serve immediately.
Source: Serious Eats