Compost can be spread on top of your garden, around trees, shrubs, or incorporated into the soil. Compost adds humus to your topsoil aiding in water retention and enhances your soil structure. Our compost is chem-free and GMO free. Made from manure, hay and Leon’s TLC. It’s the best compost in the valley! Sold by the bobcat bucket for larger projects, or in five gallon units for smaller applications. Contact Leon for pricing, and pick up/delivery options.
Katahdin/Barbados cross lambs for sale. This breed produces lean, flavorful and high quality meat, all pasture fed. We are down-sizing our flock. If you are interested in raising your own livestock these animals are hardy, great for weed control and do not need to be sheared.
If you are interested in stocking up your freezer we have lambs ready to butcher, with options to process the meat yourself if you want to save some $$. Please contact Leon for more information on availability, and pricing.
CSA’s or community supported agriculture is a way for farmers to plan what they grow, procure much needed spring income, and focus more time on growing food instead of marketing food. CSA’s benefit consumers by providing fresh, high quality produce. Fresh food tastes better and has more nutrients. We harvest most produce less than 24 hours before it leaves our farm.
At Yourganic Farm we are totally committed about the health of our soil, adding yearly compost, trace minerals and mycorrhizal fungi. We practice minimal tillage and mulch our crops to cool the soil, retain moisture. All of these methods promote soil structure. We don’t use chemicals or GMO’s.
Check out our list of produce. We sell three sizes of CSA veggie bags; a Large feeds 4, a Medium feeds 2 and a Small feeds 1. You can check out past blogs, most have a photo for the week featuring a Medium sized CSA. Sign up here, or contact Leon if you have more questions.
Fabulous Fall Veggies
We have some lovely storage vegetables for sale. The key to storing veggies for the winter is having a space that is both on the cooler side and also relatively dry. A closet or pantry can work well for those that do not have a root cellar. A basement can be a great storage space for vegetables as long as it does not get damp.
We have Red, and Yellow Storage Onions. Both of these varieties can last through the winter and into the spring. White Sweet Onions store through November, but are mild and sweeter that the reds and yellows. All onions $1.25/lb
Shallots, the gourmet of alliums, store almost forever, or until next July, whichever comes first. Garlic lasts well over the winter and into spring. Both are $4/lb
Winter Squash, anyone? We have Pie Pumpkins, Sunshine Kabocha, Green Kabocha, Gray Kabocha, Carnival, Delicata, and Spaghetti. Lots of size variation so let us know if you want S, M, or L. $1.25/lb
Lovely Sprouts perfect for a quick vegetable side dish, roast them in the oven, add balsamic vinegar, tiny bit o’ honey and voila! $4 per stalk.
Add crunch to your winter. Store cabbage in a fridge. We have some medium sized heads and some small heads. $1.50/lb
Worm Castings and Compost
Worm Pooze is worm castings, minerals and humates all in a cute little package with instructions on the back. Use on indoor plants for a nutrient boost! $5 per bag
Compost can be added to your vegetable and flower gardens in the fall. It helps to retain moisture, blankets the soil for overwinter protection (giving an extra layer between the cold, soil microbes, and roots), and provides readily available nutrients for the spring. $50 per Bobcat bucket
Unscreened Worm Castings are great for outdoor gardens and flower beds to condition the soil, balance nutrients and it is relatively odorless. $1/ lb
Notes From the Farm
I am writing this as the rain drizzles, stops and drizzles some more. Harvesting beets this morning was a bit chilly and it feels like Autumn is officially here in the Bitterroot. We have had a gorgeous, long late summer, much to everyone’s surprise considering the looming fire danger since early June. The long summer has also allowed us to harvest at a leisurely pace (relatively speaking) and given many crops a few extra weeks to ripen. We are very thankful. We thank you too for eating locally grown food, for committing to take the time to pick up your vegetables and for eating well!
(We will have storage vegetables for sale in the coming weeks. Feel free to contact us to place an order.)
This Week’s Veggie Feast
Storage Onions, Sunchokes, Pie Pumpkin, Buttercup Winter Squash, Beets, Cabbage, Parsley, Tomatoes
New This Week
Storage Onions! Due to the beautiful, warm September days our onions just kept growing. We waited and waited for the tops to die back but they never did. We harvested them last week, before the rain so they can start to dry or “cure.” These onions are ready to eat, but not ready to store. To store them the tops need to be completely dried out, which seals the body of the onion from the stem. You can hang them somewhere out of the way while they cure; a pantry, the garage, a closet. Somewhere dry where it will not get too cold. Once they are dry simply clip the stems off.
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.
Pie Pumpkins are just the ticket for making your own pumpkin puree and a very delicious pumpkin pie. Making puree is not difficult; there is a recipe below if you want specific details. Here’s how I make mine: I put the whole pumpkin in the oven, turn the oven on somewhere between 350-400 (who needs preheat?) and then go outside, forget that I am baking a pumpkin until something jogs my memory and then come racing back into the house hoping there is not a charred pumpkin in the oven. I turn off the oven, open a window (if necessary), pull the pumpkin out with hot pads, set it on a plate to cool and go outside again until the smoke clears. Eventually I come back inside, cut the pumpkin open, scoop out the seeds, peel the skin off. Voila, pumpkin. Now I can use this to make a pumpkin pie filling.
The pumpkin should store well at least into December. If you notice soft spots appearing you can make the pumpkin puree (in recipe below) and use or freeze.
Buttercup has a dark green exterior and a bright orange interior. The flavor of the buttercup squash’s flesh is sweet and nutty, with a creamy consistency more in line with that of a baked sweet potato than a pumpkin, which tends to be more fibrous and watery by comparison. The flesh can tend toward dryness, a flaw that is easily compensated for by cooking method. Steaming and baking are preferred methods of preparation, as both will bring out the sweetness of and add moistness to the flesh.
- 3 cups peeled and diced Sunchokes
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
- Place the Sunchokes in a 2-quart saucepan, and cover with water.
- Set over high heat and bring to a boil. Once the water comes to a boil simmer for 15 minutes, or until easily pierced with a knife.
- Remove from the heat, drain, and place the Sunchokes in a food processor with the heavy cream, butter, salt and white pepper.
- Process for 10 to 15 seconds, or until a smooth puree is formed.
- Remove from the bowl of the food processor, and place in a heat resistant bowl set over a water bath to keep warm for serving.
Source: Food Network
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
Homemade Pumpkin Puree
- Select a couple of small-ish pumpkins. Cut the pumpkin in half. With a spoon or a scoop, scrape out the seeds and pulp from the center. You don’t have to be too thorough with this.
- Place all the seeds into a bowl (you can roast them later and make pepitas). Repeat until all the pumpkin pieces are largely free of seeds and pulp.
- Place pumpkin pieces on a baking sheet (face up or face down; I’ve done both) and roast in a 350-degree oven for 45 minutes, or until pumpkin is fork-tender. They should be nice and light golden brown when done.
- Peel off the skin from the pumpkin pieces until you have a big pile of the stuff. If you have a food processor, throw in a few chunks at a time. A blender will work, too, if you add a little water. Or you can simply mash it up with a potato masher, or move it through a potato ricer, or process it through a food mill.
- Pulse the pumpkin until smooth. If it looks too dry, add in a few tablespoons of water during the pulsing to give it the needed moisture. (Note, if the puree is overly watery, you should strain it on cheesecloth or over a fine mesh strainer to get rid of some of the liquid.)
- Dump the pureed goodness into a bowl, and continue pureeing until all the pumpkin is done.
- You can either use this immediately in whatever pumpkin recipe you’d like, store it in the freezer for later use.
- To store in the freezer, spoon about 1 cupful of pumpkin into each plastic storage bag. Seal the bag with just a tiny bit of an opening remaining, then use your hands to flatten out the pumpkin inside the bag and push out the air. Store them in the freezer until you need them.
Source: The Pioneer Woman
Classic Pumpkin Pie with Pecan Praline Sauce
(The author of Smitten Kitchen has several notes about this recipe on her site, it is worth reading)
1 1/4 cups (155 grams) all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons (6 grams) granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon (3 grams) fine sea or table salt
1 stick (4 ounces or 115 grams) cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks
1/4 cup (60 ml) very cold water, plus an additional tablespoon if needed
1 3/4 cups pumpkin puree, from a 15-ounce (425 gram) can or homemade
2/3 cup (130 grams) granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon (3 grams) fine sea or table salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
A few gratings of fresh nutmeg (or a pinch of ground nutmeg)
1 1/3 cups (315 ml) cold heavy cream
3 large eggs
1/2 cup (95 grams) packed light or dark brown sugar
6 tablespoons (85 grams) unsalted butter
3 tablespoons (45 ml) heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon flaky sea salt, or a little less of a coarse salt
1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract
3/4 cup (85 grams) pecans (I coarsely chopped 1/2 cup, left the last 1/4 cup in halves)
Make the pie dough:
- By hand, with my one-bowl method: In the bottom of a large bowl, combine the flour, salt and sugar. Work the butter into the flour with your fingertips or a pastry blender until mixture resembles a coarse meal and the largest bits of butter are the size of tiny peas. (Some people like to do this by freezing the stick of butter and coarsely grating it into the flour, but I haven’t found the results as flaky.) Add 1/4 cup cold water and stir with a spoon or flexible silicone spatula until large clumps form. Use your hands to knead the dough together, right in the bottom of the bowl. If necessary to bring the dough together, you can add the last tablespoon of water.
- With a food processor: In the work bowl of a food processor, combine flour, salt and sugar. Add butter and pulse machine until mixture resembles a coarse meal and the largest bits of butter are the size of tiny peas. Turn mixture out into mixing bowl. Add 1/4 cup cold water and stir with a spoon or flexible silicone spatula until large clumps form. Use your hands to knead the dough together, right in the bottom of the bowl. If necessary to bring the dough together, you can add the last tablespoon of water.
- Both methods: Wrap dough in a sheet of plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour, or up to 48 hours, or you can quick-firm this in the freezer for 15 minutes. Longer than 2 days, it’s best to freeze it until needed.
Form the crust: On a floured counter, roll the dough out into a 12 to 13-inch circle-ish shape. Fold dough gently in quarters without creasing and transfer to a 9-inch standard (not deep-dish) pie plate. Unfold dough and trim overhang to about 1/2-inch. Fold overhang under edge of pie crust and crimp decoratively. Return to fridge until ready to fill. (See Notes below for par-baking directions, if desired. I rarely desire this.)
Heat oven: To 400°F (205°C).
Make the filling: Combine pumpkin, sugar, salt and spices in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a sputtering simmer and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring frequently. Scoop cooked pumpkin filling into bowl, and whisk in cold cream until smooth. Whisk in eggs, one at a time. Pour filling into prepared pie crust.
Bake pie: For 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 350°F (175°C) and bake for another 30 to 40 minutes, until only the center barely jiggles and a toothpick inserted into it comes out pumpkin-free. (Damp is fine, but the toothpick shouldn’t have loose pumpkin batter on it.)
Let pie cool on a rack completely, if you, like me, prefer your pumpkin pie cool. You can hasten this along in the fridge. This pie is now ready to serve, but if you want to gild the lily a little, make the topping as well.
Make pecan praline topping: In a small/medium saucepan set over medium-low heat, combine the brown sugar, butter, cream and salt. Bring to a simmer and cook until thick and bubbly, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove pan from heat and stir in vanilla and pecans.
Serve pie: In wedges, ladles with pecan praline sauce. Extra pie (an unfamiliar phenomenon) keeps in the fridge for up to a week.
Source: Smitten Kitchen
Notes From the Farm
We have gotten several frosts, the winter squash vines are crunchy underfoot, and the basil plants have turned brown. Frost cover has saved the tomatoes several times over. But really this is the most abundant time of the year! So many wonderful fall crops that are filling and nourishing. Some of the vegetables in your share can be put aside for a time if you are catching up from last week. The sprouts, winter squashes and carrots all have a longer shelf life.
Below are a few recipes to inspire you. I have made the glowing carrot turmeric soup many times (with ground turmeric instead of fresh). It is one of my favorites and has even gotten two thumbs up from my non-soup-loving household members. We also tested out the balsamic/honey roasted Brussels sprouts; easy and yummy.
This Week’s Veggie Feast
Brussels Sprouts, Sunshine Squash, Carnival Squash, Cayenne Pepper, Anaheim Chile Peppers, Tomatoes, Cucumber, Salad mix, Radishes, Carrots, Leeks
New This Week
Those of you who have been our CSA members for years may know how I go on and on about Sunshine winter squash. It is my favorite, not only for it’s cheery bright color on the outside, but also for it’s rich flavor. The inside of this winter squash is also a deep orange. Unfortunately, the mice know a good thing when they see (or smell?) it. Sunshines get chewed on more than the other varieties of winter squash in our field, so I am guessing it is a favorite of theirs. The squash is remarkably resistant, the skin forms a scab over the chew marks if they are not too deep. This squash has been harvested and cured for 3 weeks now, so it is ready to eat. It can also store in a dry, cool spot. Dry is more important than cool. Just be sure to check it every week to make sure that it is not getting soft spots. If it is you can still bake it and cut around the icky parts.
The flesh of sunshine is typically drier than an acorn or delicata. Due to the thicker skin most people do not try to peel this squash before cooking it. It makes for a great addition to soups and casseroles and also makes a fine substitute for pumpkin in a pumpkin pie.
Brussels sprouts on the stalk are fun for seeing how this mini cabbage look-a-like grows. If you don’t have room in the fridge for the whole stalk, the sprouts can be easily popped off the stalk and stored in a plastic bag.
Brussels sprouts can last a long time but they are best when eaten sooner than later, as their flavor becomes more assertive over time. Any food item that goes well with cabbage or cauliflower also makes a great pairing with Brussels sprouts, including butter, cream, blue cheese, mustard, capers, garlic, bacon, and vinegar. Brussels take well to steaming, roasting, or braising. If cooking whole, cutting an X in the bottom brings heat to their centers more quickly. Generally the small round heads are cut in half or thinly sliced, allowing them to cook faster and better absorb more sauce or seasoning.
This week you will get a bag of mixed Anaheim and Cayenne peppers. Cayennes are long, skinny and usually much hotter than Anaheims. In the photo the Anaheim is on the left, the cayenne on the right. Anaheims can be roasted, made into chile rellenos, added to an egg dish or salsa, a versatile pepper. Cayennes are on the spicy side and can also be added to a variety of dishes if you like heat. They also dry really nicely, so you could make your own cayenne powder by grinding up dried cayennes. There are several ways to go about this. If you are patient you can string them up using a needle and thread. I usually thread through the bottom of the stem and they dry just fine but there is the possibility of mold forming on the inside of the pepper using this method. We also have dried them whole on screens. This method requires the least amount of effort after you find a screen and appropriate location, but does take up more space. the last method is using a dehydrator or an oven to dry them. This takes more energy but gets the job done more quickly and eliminates the potential mold issue. Here is one website I found explaining all of these techniques more fully.
Not new this week, but new last week when I was unable to write the newsletter is Carnival squash. This little beauty is not only fun to look at but has a mild taste and smooth texture. These squashes can be peeled before being cooked, or baked whole in the oven.
Carnivals can store a long, long time. We stored 15 of them on the uppermost reaches of our kitchen shelf last winter, because we didn’t have anywhere else to put them. Even though our kitchen stays pretty warm Carnival lasted into April!
Roasted Brussels Sprouts With Balsamic Vinegar and Honey
- 1-1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts, halved, stems and ragged outer leaves removed*
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon honey
- Preheat oven to 425°F and set an oven rack in the middle position. Line a baking sheet with heavy-duty aluminum foil.
- Directly on the prepared baking sheet, toss the Brussels sprouts with 2 tablespoons of the oil, the salt, and the pepper. Roast, stirring once halfway through, until tender and golden brown, about 20 minutes.
- Drizzle the remaining tablespoon of oil, the balsamic vinegar and the honey over the roasted Brussels sprouts. Toss to coat evenly. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary, then serve.
- *If you have some brussels sprouts that are very large, cut them into quarters. They should all be cut about the same size to ensure even cooking.
Source: Once Upon a Chef
Glowing Carrot Turmeric Soup
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil ( or vegetable oil, olive oil)
- ½ cup chopped shallot ( 2 shallots, or ½ an onion)
- 2 tablespoons chopped, peeled turmeric ( see notes)
- 2 tablespoon chopped, peeled ginger root
- 4 garlic cloves, rough chopped
- 1 pint fresh carrot juice ( 2 cups– ok to use store bought) or use 2 cups veggie or chicken stock.
- 2 cups water
- 1 lb chopped carrots
- ½ teaspoon salt, then more to taste
- ¾ – 1 can of coconut milk, saving some for swirling if you want.
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- ½ teaspoon apple cider vinegar, or lime juice
- ½ teaspoon soy sauce ( or Braggs liquid amino ) – this is optional, added for depth.
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- Pinch or two cayenne, to taste
- garnish with mint, cilantro or edible flowers
- Peel and chop shallots, turmeric, ginger and garlic.
- Chop the carrots into ½ inch rings, no need to peel if scrubbed.
- Heat oil in a large pot, over medium heat.
- Add shallots, turmeric root and ginger and sauté until golden, about 3-4 minutes. (see notes if using ground turmeric)
- Add garlic and continue cooking, stirring about 2 minutes.
- Add carrot juice, water and carrots and salt.
- Bring to a boil, cover, turn heat down and simmer until carrots are tender, 15-20 minutes.
- Let it cool a bit, then blend in batches until very smooth and velvety.
- Place the soup back in a pot, over low heat and add coconut milk and curry, vinegar, soy, and maple. Simmer and stir until coconut milk is combined. Taste, adjust salt.
- Add cayenne for a little heat.
- Serve with fresh herbs and coconut milk swirls.
If subbing ground turmeric add it when you add the curry powder. It is much more intense in flavor than the fresh root, so start with one teaspoon, adding more to taste.
Source: Feasting at Home
Vegetarian Stuffed Acorn Squash
Vegetarian Stuffed Winter Squash
- 2 medium winter squash
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt, divided
- ½ cup quinoa, rinsed
- 1 cup water
- ¼ cup dried cranberries
- ¼ cup raw pepitas (hulled pumpkin seeds)
- ¼ cup chopped green onion
- ¼ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, plus 1 tablespoon for garnish
- 1 clove garlic, pressed or minced
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- ½ cup crumbled goat cheese or feta
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper for easy clean-up.
- To prepare the squash, use a sharp chef’s knife to slice through it from the tip to the stem. I find it easiest to pierce the squash in the center along a depression line, then cut through the tip, and finish by slicing through the top portion just next to the stem. Use a large spoon to scoop out the seeds and stringy bits inside, and discard those pieces.
- Place the squash halves cut side up on the parchment-lined pan. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over the squash, and sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon of the salt. Rub the oil into the cut sides of the squash, then turn them over so the cut sides are against the pan. Bake until the squash flesh is easily pierced through by a fork, about 30 to 45 minutes. Leave the oven on.
- Meanwhile, cook the quinoa: In a medium saucepan, combine the rinsed quinoa and water. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat as necessary to maintain a gentle simmer. Simmer, uncovered, until all of the water is absorbed, 12 to 18 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the cranberries. Cover, and let the mixture steam for 5 minutes. Uncover and fluff the quinoa with a fork.
- In a medium skillet, toast the pepitas over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the pepitas are turning golden on the edges and making little popping noises, about 4 to 5 minutes. Set aside.
- Pour the fluffed quinoa mixture into a medium mixing bowl. Add the toasted pepitas, chopped green onion, parsley, garlic, lemon juice, the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt, and the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Stir until the ingredients are evenly distributed. Taste and add additional salt, if necessary.
- If the mixture is very hot, let it cool for a few minutes before adding the Parmesan cheese and goat cheese. Gently stir the mixture to combine.
- Turn the cooked squash halves over so the cut sides are facing up. Divide the mixture evenly between the squash halves with a large spoon. Return the squash to the oven and bake for 15 to 18 minutes, until the cheesy quinoa is turning golden on top.
- Sprinkle the stuffed squash with the remaining 1 tablespoon chopped parsley, and serve warm.
Source: Adapted from Cookie + Kate