September 30, 2020 Veggie Feast

Notes From The Farm

We know you are all sad that it is the last week of Veggie Feast.  But we are tired, and need to finish painting our house and pump house and fix the tears in the cooler and a thousand other projects that we just can’t seem to get to during the growing season.  We are pleased that nature allowed us to provide a bunch of food for our fellow Bitterrooters; and even though we had some oddball weather there was still an abundance of produce.  We strive every summer to provide you with a variety of foods, in appropriate amounts.  We would love to hear any feedback you have, what worked for you and what didn’t, what would you like to see in your boxes next year.  Thanks for joining us on this ride.

This Week’s Veggie Feast

Sunchokes, Yellow Storage Onions, Apple Variety, Radishes, Salad Mix, Storage Carrots, Brussels Sprouts, Sage Leaves, Plums

New This Week

Once again a variety of fruit provided by good people of the Bitterroot!  Thanks once again for sharing the bounty.  All fruit is unsprayed.

Sunchokes

This is the first year we have grown sunchokes for CSA.  We trialed them last year and truth be told they grow like weeds, which I think is rather nice.  If you are tempted to grow some yourself take heed;  we hear they are very difficult to eradicate once they are established, don’t plant them in the center of your garden.  The other rumor about this veggie is they can create some internal combustion in folks, um, so maybe don’t eat them before a job interview, or a date.  Leon is calling them the perfect social distancing vegetable 🙂 Here’s an informative article about sunchokes.

Recipes

Glowing Carrot Ginger Turmeric Soup

Source:  Feasting at Home

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  1. Peel and chop shallots, turmeric, ginger and garlic.
  2. Chop the carrots into ½ inch rings, no need to peel if scrubbed.
  3. Heat oil in a large pot, over medium heat.
  4. Add shallots, turmeric root and ginger and sauté until golden, about 3-4 minutes. (see notes if using ground turmeric)
  5. Add garlic and continue cooking, stirring about 2 minutes.
  6. Add carrot juice, water and carrots and salt.
  7. Bring to a boil, cover, turn heat down and simmer until carrots are tender, 15-20 minutes.
  8. Let it cool a bit, then blend in batches until very smooth and velvety.
  9. 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.
  10. Add cayenne for a little heat.
  11. Serve with fresh herbs and coconut milk swirls.

Notes

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.

Wild Mushroom and Sunchoke Soup

Source:  Feasting at Home

Wild Mushroom & Sunchoke Soup with Truffle oil. A cozy vegan soup that is luxurious and decadent, yet simple to make- perfect for fall.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 large onion- diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, rough chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme (or sage or rosemary)
  • 3 cups water
  • 3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1/2 pound sunchokes, scrubbed, sliced
  • 1/2 pound potatoes (Yukon or white), sliced
  • 3/4 cup dried mushrooms (like shiitake or morels) or sub 8 ounces fresh mushrooms
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce (or Braggs Liquid Aminos)
  • 1/2 teaspoon white vinegar
  • Drizzle of truffle oil

Instructions

  1. In a large heavy bottom pot, heat oil over medium high heat. Add onion. Saute for 4-5 minutes until golden, stirring often. Add garlic and fresh herbs, saute 1-2 minutes.
  2. Add stock and water, sunchokes, potatoes & dried mushrooms, salt and pepper.
  3. Bring to a boil, turn heat down to low, and simmer for 20 minutes, covered.
  4. Check that potatoes are fork tender.
  5. Working in batches, blend soup until very smooth. Return to a pot on the stove. Add soy and a splash vinegar. Taste, adding more salt or vinegar if needed.
  6. Divide among bowls and drizzle with truffle oil. Garnish with a sprig of fresh herb.
  7. Note: This soup can be made up to 3 days ahead and refrigerated. Gently warm up before serving. For added richness, add a dollop of sour cream.
  8. If using fresh mushrooms, saute with the onion and garlic.

 

September 23, 2020 Veggie Feast

Notes From The Farm

We have started the beet harvest.  Pretty sweet crop this year, our best golden beets ever!  This week you will get a bag of beets and bag of sweet whites, both which can be stored for future use.

Sadly this growing season is coming to an end.  The last week week of veggies is approaching!  For the Wednesday folks it’s September 30, and October 3 for the Saturday crew.  We have appreciated your support during this somewhat wacky growing season and hope that you have felt well fed!

This Week’s Veggie Feast

Pears and Plums, Celeriac, Parsley, Radishes, Spicy Greens, Zucchini, Beets, Bag O’ Sweet Onions

New This Week

Every year we hop around the valley in search of non-sprayed fruit trees laden with produce.  The past several years we have been blessed to harvest plums, pears and apples at our neighbors and friends, who have more than enough to share.  Once again their generosity has come through, but once again, in theme for the 2020 growing season, the productivity was down.  Luckily, there is enough and we can be thankful for that.

Both the pears and especially the plums need a bit of time to ripen and sweeten.  Placing them in a bowl on the kitchen table should do the trick.

 

Okay, I know you all know what a radish looks like.  But do you know what a root maggot looks like?  Before you get all squeamish let me remind you about the cycle of life and that other creatures besides humans eat vegetables.  If you have ever tried to grow a garden you know you may compete with rabbits, voles, mice, birds, earwigs, slugs, gophers, caterpillars, marmots….the list is quite long.  We have little insects that like to burrow into our turnips (which is why we rarely get a decent turnip on this farm) and radishes.  It’s a bummer cause radishes are soooo tasty.  All in all the radishes look and taste pretty darn good.  But beware of the root maggot!  You know a little buggie crawled into the radish if there is a squiggly brown trail on the radish.  Cut that part off if you don’t want extra protein, but it’s not going to kill you if you eat a bug either, it just kills the bug.

On this note about bugs in the veggies let’s also talk about diversity (in vegetables).  Radishes come in lots of shapes and sizes, just like we do.  Of course there is a “normal” but there is variation, as there is in most produce.  I am not sure how or why we have grown accustomed in our culture to accept only a specific shape and size for each vegetable, but we have!  Think about the effects of this mentality next time you walk your grocery store produce section.  What happens to all the less than perfect?  Of course this could tangent into a whole philosophical conversation….

The sweet onions have been cured and can store in a cool, dry, out of the way place.  In general sweet onions will last until November/ December.  Once they start getting soft you know you have to use them up.

Beets can also be stored covered in the fridge for several months.   You have three varieties of beets; golden, red and chiogga (concentric white and red rings). Check that they are not too moist to prevent mold growth.

September 16, 2020 Veggie Feast

Notes From The Farm

We are slowly getting the onions out of the field and soon we will be working on harvesting more beets and carrots.  We are excited that our greenhouse tomatoes are still producing, in spite of the smoke.

This Week’s Veggie Feast

Brussels Sprouts, Dill Seed, Arugula, Red Onion, Cucumber, Tomatoes, Potatoes, Carrots, a few Peppers (and Tomatillos for the medium and large boxes)

New This Week

Brussels Sprouts

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.

Dill Seed

Dill is a widely used herb that probably originated in Eurasia.  It is a staple culinary herb in Eastern European cuisine, probably because it is quite easy to grow in cooler climates.  Dill pair well with potatoes, cucumbers, carrots, beets and cabbage.  Dill seed can be toasted, fried, tossed into soups and stews.  They can be used whole or crushed; and have a somewhat mellower taste than dillweed.

Arugula

Arugula is green that we only grow in the spring and the fall because we have little bugs that devour it during the summer.  It is often eaten raw, and has an unique flavor that I see is classified as “peppery???”  I don’t see how it tastes like pepper to anyone, but it is flavorful.  It can be eaten raw or lightly cooked (psst… it’s better raw).

Recipes

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Balsamic Vinegar

(serves 4)

This recipe was shared by one of my favorite foodie friends, Emily, and it is her favorite way to cook and eat Brussels sprouts.  Simple, quick, and delicious.  For those of you who need a bit of protein, bacon or pancetta would make a great addition to this dish.

1 pound of Brussels sprouts

2 tablespoons olive oil

salt and freshly milled pepper

1/2 cup dried cherries, optional

3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Cut Brussels sprouts in half lengthwise and remove any yellow or wilted leaves.  Toss well with olive oil, salt, pepper, and cherries.  Roast on a sheet pan for 15 minutes.  Remove from oven and gently toss halves with balsamic vinegar.  Continue roasting for 10-15 minutes, checking occasionally to make sure the balsamic vinegar does not over caramelize.  Serve while still warm.

Dill seeds add a pleasant and unusual flavor to these flaky biscuits, which get their richness from both butter and heavy cream. Quick to make and to bake, the biscuits are best served warm with butter.

September 9, 2020

Notes From The Farm

We spent Monday steadily harvesting as many frost sensitive vegetables as we could.  The weather report, depending on what you looked, predicted anywhere from 27 – 31 degrees Fahrenheit, and we usually run a few degrees colder than Hamilton.  What we couldn’t harvest we irrigated or covered and hoped for the best.  It was a killing frost, but we are pretty happy with what we accomplished.  This week and probably next you will get some tomatillos and peppers for oh so good salsa verde.  You will also start to see some fall crops, such as celery root this week.

This Week’s Veggie Feast

Celery Root, Pepper mix, Summer Squash, Sweet Onions, Kale, Tomatillos, Lettuce Mix

New This Week

Celeriac Root

Celeriac, also known as celery root is an odd looking plant with heaps of flavor.  The whole vegetable can be used top to bottom.  The bulbous root has a mild flavor, and can be stewed, roasted or blanched.  You can clip the long roots off (save these if you are thrifty) to get to the main bulb.  You may want to use a paring knife to get off any hidden debris.  Some people peel it, but that seems like such a waste, and since it’s only been out of the ground for a couple of days there is no need.  It is an excellent addition to soups, either standing alone or added with carrots (of which you will get next week), or potatoes.   The stalks and leaves have a strong celery flavor and can also be used in soups, or as a seasoning.  We often dry some stalks and leaves, either in a food dehydrator (quick option), or on a screen someplace with plenty of air flow (slow option), and store the completely dried greens in a jar.  If they are not completely dried, but almost, (and you are tired of tripping over the screen of celeriac greens) you can put them in a paper bag with the top open.  Below are a couple of recipes to get you started.

Recipes

Source: Bon Appetit

Celery Root and Carrot Soup

INGREDIENTS

½ large celery root (celeriac), peeled, chopped
½ pound carrots, peeled, chopped
¼ cup plain whole-milk yogurt
2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon finely grated peeled ginger
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
Celery leaves and chopped Granny Smith apple (for serving)

RECIPE PREPARATION

Place celery root and carrots in a large pot; add 6 cups water. Bring to a simmer over medium heat; cook until tender, 30–35 minutes. Let cool slightly. Purée in a blender with yogurt, honey, coriander, and ginger until smooth; season with salt and pepper.

Serve soup topped with celery leaves and apple.

Celery Root Steaks with Tomatillo Salsa Verde

Source:  Bon Appetit

INGREDIENTS

4 medium tomatillos, husks removed, rinsed, chopped
1 serrano chile, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely grated
½ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
¼ cup finely chopped onion
¼ cup olive oil
Kosher salt
1 large celery root (celeriac), peeled
Freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Combine tomatillos, chile, garlic, cilantro, onion, and olive oil in a small bowl. Season salsa verde with salt and let sit at room temperature 30 minutes to let flavors come together.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400°. Slice celery root into four 1″-thick slices; season liberally with salt and pepper. Heat vegetable oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high and cook celery root steaks until golden brown, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer skillet to oven and roast celery root until tender (a paring knife should easily pierce the center), 8–10 minutes.

Serve celery root steaks with salsa verde spooned over.

September 2, 2020 Veggie Feast

Notes From The Farm

Sorry this week’s newsletter is late, short, and pretty much useless in terms of information.  But we have been busy with our new puppy!  Some of you heard that our beautiful doggie-love, Nali died from cancer this June.  We were heartbroken.  To be honest farming has pretty much been a bummer since she got sick.  When the life of the party goes away, well, there is no party.  While we still miss her terribly we felt it was time for a bit of new light and love.

Lulu is a 7 month old, curious, friendly, big pup.  We are not sure how she is around vehicles so, as always, please be careful driving onto the farm.

This Week’s Veggie Feast

New This Week

Poblano Pepper

Poblano peppers are mild, and beautifully dark green.

Red Onions

The red onions look beautiful this year.  They have a bit more zip than the sweet whites and a festive color!  They are still fresh and uncured.

Cherry tomatoes

We are trying to get everyone some tomatoes over the next couple of weeks.  It’s been  sloooooooow progress for the plants, but they are finally starting to ripen.  We have also had a really surprising pest, California quail!  Who knew they like tomatoes?!  We have caught them in our greenhouses several times munching on ripe slicing tomatoes.

August 26, 2020 Veggie Feast

Notes From The Farm

This week we planted the last lettuce crop of the summer, and seeded a fall crop of spinach and radishes.  At this point we are able to see some of the highs and lows of the growing season.  This spring started off unseasonably cool, which was great for onions, lettuce and other greens, but not to the liking of tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and summer squash.  The leafy greens thrived while others plants were just waiting for a bit of heat.  The peppers in our greenhouses did okay, and we will start putting a few in the shares over the next few weeks.  The tomatoes are still deciding what they are going to do, it depends on how warm the next couple weeks are.  Our first crop of cucumbers are downright pathetic, but we planted a few in mid-July (a first!) and those plants are big and healthier than the cucumber plants we started in May….sheesh, go figure.  We hope for a nice crop of fall cucumbers!  The zucchini/summer squash seems to be getting this weird blossom end rot, blooming but not doing much after that.  We planted more zucs in mid-July and again with some heat, those plants may outproduce the ones started in May.

Our sweet corn produced, but we are noticing an odd correlation between smoky summers and bird’s chomping on the corn.  Thus we are harvesting it early.  There may be a few nibbles taken out of the top, consider it your contribution to migratory birds.

On the positive note the onions, beets, and carrots are out of this world!  And we had phenomenal crops of romanesco, cauliflower, beans and cabbage.  As we head toward fall you will a bountiful box/bag of produce each week.  Thank you for your continued support.

This Week’s Veggie Feast

 

Sweet Corn, Anaheim Pepper, Purple Carrots, Sweet Onion, Parsley, Swiss Chard, Salad Mix, Beans (they missed the photo shoot)

New This Week

Sweet corn

Sweet and slightly-nibbled (see above).

Anaheims

Anaheim Peppers are generally mild and good for roasting, or dicing into some salsa or eggs.  But be warned!!! A few of our pepper plants are not what they appear to be!  We are not sure if the seed company accidentally slipped a few oddball seeds into the packet or if some of our own seeds cross-pollinated.  We have found a couple of crazy HOT peppers.  Test a tiny bit first before taking a big bite (like Leon did-oops!).

Purple Carrots

Leon has been working on this variety of purple carrots since I first met him in 1999.  He was going to call it Purple Haze, but another breeder took the name for their carrots.  So we have just called it “purple carrot”, yep, real imaginative.  For a while it looked like we were going to lose “purple carrot”; we couldn’t get an early enough jump on the season for the carrots to produce seeds.  Leon was persistent, and last year we finally got an abundance of seeds.  These carrots have purplish-reddish skins and an orange interior.  They generally get better as the weather cools but we were excited to harvest some of these pretties for your plate this week.