Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Good Eats Newsletter August 29th

Pete’s Greens Newsletter Wed., Aug. 29, 2007
This week’s share includes: savoy cabbage, tomatillas, eggplant, Alisa Craig onions, radishes, pac choi, braising greens, beans, Mossend Blue Cheese from Bonnieview Farm, and cream from Butterworks Farm
Tough week down on the old farm. Last Saturday evening we got hit with a powerful thunderstorm. I was watching from the house and I don’t think I have ever seen stronger wind in Vermont. The big gust lasted only about 7 seconds, but it was enough to blow in the end wall on our ½ acre greenhouse. One of the vertical posts snapped, and that caused several rafters to break and blow off. One quarter of the greenhouse plastic was ruined and we’ve got a big job to rebuild the it. The greenhouse is 42 feet wide and the peak is 23 feet tall so it’s not so easy to work on. It is an experimental structure made from local wood poles so it’s not a complete surprise that we had a structural failure.
The storm also brought heavy, heavy downpours. For the second time this summer we had to skip a baby greens harvest (this has only happened one other time in the 10 years we’ve been in business). Very hard rain flattens greens and shreds them much as hail would.
So instead of the planned mesclun, we had to pick braising greens for your share. We have some great greens coming along for next week and there is awesome weather coming. Our Oct.-Feb. share period signup will be ready by Monday the 3rd, so be sure to check the website if you are interested and look for an email with details on the share. -Pete

Notes about this week's Localvore Products:
Bonnieview Farm is run by Neil and Kristen Urie in South Albany. Good friends of Pete's, they sell their cheeses in many stores, at the Craftsbury Common Market on Saturdays and the Stowe Farmer's Market on Sundays. We included Mossend Blue in your shares, a cheese that they recently won an award for. It's a great addition to a fancy cheese plate, but makes a good cheese for melting or adding to dishes and salads.

Butterworks Farm is familiar to many of you. Their herd of jersey cows produce a fine, delectable cream that I use in much of my cooking. For the Farm Event in July, we used it to make homemade maple ice cream and it was the best stuff i've had in a long time. -Elena

Storage Hints and Recipe Ideas:
Savoy Cabbage: Tender and sweet with a great cabbage-ey taste, store this in the crisper of your fridge away from other veggies. Try shredding and tossing with julienned kohlrabi (how many of you still have those?), carrots, bell peppers and radish for a crunchy, munchy coleslaw. This cabbage also makes a very nice salad with other vegetables.
Eggplant: Store unwashed in the fridge. Use in about a week. A meaty vegetable that soaks up marinades and loves to be grilled. The aubergine skin is full with nutrients, so if you don't mind it, try cooking it with the skin on. On cold evenings, when i'm too wimpy to grill outside, I like to slice and broil under a flame in the oven, brushing with olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper.
Tomatillas: Store in the fridge or on the counter, but use them quickly if you do that. I've been making salsa verde (green sauce) with mine, adding parsley, cilantro, onion and roasted chili peppers. Yum!
Alisa Craig Onions: Sweet and perfect for sandwiches and salads. Use them soon, but can be stored in a dry, dark place if they won't be used right away.
Radishes: Store in the fridge please. Apparently, in France, they slice radishes very thinly and eat them between slices of quality bread smeared with a soft, rind cheese. Sounds pretty good to me.
Braising Greens: I know Pete made it sound kind of sad that we had to give you these this week, but I absolutely love these greens. You won't find a mix like this anywhere else and I am not exaggerating or kissing any bottoms when i say that. Pardon my coarseness. Store in the crisper, dry and in a plastic bag. Saute or put in a casserole, on top of a pizza, make creamy greens, etc. etc. etc. Good stuff.
Pac Choi: Store in the crisper, unwashed and dry. Where I come from, it's known as Bok Choy. An Asian vegetable with a nice sweet cabbage flavor, try breaking off the leaves and use in stir-fry. A good combination would be pac choi, red bell peppers, onions, broccoli, squash and eggplant. Try a sweet, gingery soy marinade (combine honey, rice vinegar, fresh grated ginger, garlic, a splash of soy sauce) and serve over rice, polenta or barley.

Pac Choi and Warm Scallop Salad with Toasted Pecans-
adapted from Gourmet June 96

1/3 cup pecans, chopped
1/2 tsp salt
cayenne to taste
3/4 pound sea scallops
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 large firm-ripe avocado
7 cups pac choi leaves (can substitute with tatsoi or baby spinach), washed well and spun dry

In a heavy, iron skillet over medium heat, mix pecans, salt and cayenne, stirring until toasted and fragrent.
Remove from heat and set aside.

Remove tough muscle from side of each scallop if necessary and halve any large scallops. On a sheet of wax
paper combine flour, salt, cumin, and cayenne and dip flat sides of each scallop into mixture to coat, knocking
off excess. In a skillet heat butter and olive oil over moderately high heat until foam subsides and sauté
scallops, flat sides down, until golden and just cooked through, about 2 minutes on each flat side. Remove
skillet from heat and cool scallops slightly.

In a large bowl whisk together lemon juice , extra-virgin olive oil, mustard, and salt and pepper to taste until
emulsified. Peel and pit avocado and cut into 1/2-inch-thick wedges. Cut wedges in half crosswise and add to
dressing. Add scallops with any liquid remaining in skillet, tatsoi or spinach, and pecans and gently toss to
coat. Serves 4 to 6.


Creamy Braising Greens
I made this one up all by myself, so please excuse the not-so-precise measurements. I'm an absolute sucker for creamed spinach, so i serve this along side roasted chicken legs and whipped root vegetables in the fall.

2 T butter
1/4 cup of finely chopped alisa craig onions
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 T flour
3/4 cup (or more) of cream or half n half, room temp or even warmed up (helps prevent lumpiness)
a generous pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
a generous pinch of freshly ground black pepper
a generous pinch of salt
Bag of Pete's Braising Mix (of course!), blanched and roughly chopped

Over medium heat, melt the butter and saute the onions and garlic until just soft and fragrant.
Lower the heat! With a whisk, add the flour and cook/stir for 2 minutes. All the while whisking, add the cream, getting out all the lumps before they can cook hard, and continue to whisk and cook over low heat until the cream gets thick, about 2 to 3 minutes. Turn off the heat, stir in the seasonings to taste and then stir in the greens. Serves 2 or 3 grown ups.

Sauteed Braising Greens with Mossend Blue Cheese and Pan Roasted Garlic
Another one i like that was made up and expanded upon by several crew members, including Pete. I'll take credit for the fancy, schmancy recipe name.

2 T sunflower oil
handful of minced onions
4 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced in halves
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
Bag of Braising Greens, rinsed
Mossend blue cheese to taste

Heat oil in a large skillet over a medium high flame. Add garlic halves, tossing and cooking for several minutes. Add minced onions and continue to toss until the onions are fragrant and the cloves are soft. With the water still clinging to the leaves, toss in the greens in 2 or 3 parts, cooking until just wilted. Add blue cheese and serve. Serves about 2 or 3 folks.

Variation: Add oven or pan roasted potatoes and/or eggs for a hearty breakfast or supper.

Coming next week! Eggs! Honey! Yay!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Good Eats Newsletter August 22

Pete’s Greens Newsletter 8/22/07
This week’s share contains sweet corn, edamame (edible soybeans), garlic, potatoes, broccoli, peppers, kale, carrots, Alisa Craig onions, beans, paula red apples from Champlain Orchards, and our very own eggs.
No baby greens this week! We got nailed by severe thunderstorms Thursday evening the 16th and for the first time in 6 years didn’t wholesale any greens late last week. The rain came down so hard that it severely bruised greens and shredded several other varieties in a similar way as to what happens when we get the H-word. (What? The H-word? I don't get it.-elena) The H-word is the most feared event in the life of a vegetable farmer-we try not to jinx ourselves by uttering the word, (Oh, yeah. The H-word. Shudder.-elena) Anyway, we thought a break from greens might be nice anyway and allow everyone to fully appreciate the bounty of summer.
Edamame is new this week and makes a great snack or addition to your dinner plate. Immerse in boiling water for 1 to 2 minutes tops, drain and toss with sea salt. Shell the beans as you eat them and try them as a snack for the kids.
We are excited for the return of Champlain Orchard apples. We think the world of Bill Suhr and his farming operation and it is a pleasure to offer his products. Although his apples are not organic, they are grown using Integrated Pest Management systems. Read more about his farm and growing practices at http://www.champlainorchards.com
I feel the need to write a disclaimer about our eggs. We have 135 hens and they are laying really well (we are talking 100 eggs a day-elena). Our intention was to have them roaming outside in a fenced enclosure but we found them impossible to keep in. For a couple weeks there were hens scattered nearly from one end of the farm to the other. I knew we had to do something when I was eating dinner one evening at my neighbors 100 yards down the road from the farm and one of the hens came strolling by. They are now living in a historic chicken house on the farm. This is an open sided structure (lots of fresh air and sunlight) and we give them plentiful vegetable scraps daily. We have given up on having them outside until next year, (we have a better fencing plan for next season). Unfortunately their yolks won’t develop the deep orange color that great eggs are known by unless the chickens spend all their time ranging on pasture, so for the remainder of this year our eggs will not be the best possible. Still good eggs, much better than the average, but next year’s will be superb.
We are planning a big new greenhouse addition for the farm. Stay tuned the next couple weeks for updates. -Pete

Updates:
Hello all! I wanted to give a brief update about the next share period, slyly called the October-February Share. We are getting the details for the next share period figured out and plan to have the details out by the end of next week. Here is what I do know: The share will start October 17 and run until February 13th (17 weeks). We are increasing the ratio of Localvore food, so will bump up the price to roughly $45 a week which works out to $765. We know that this is a good size chunk of money to come up with all at once, so we are doing our typical payment plan but breaking it up into 4 payments instead of three. Details will follow when we send out the official "sign up" email. Look for more information from me by the end of next week. -Elena

Storage Hints and Recipe Ideas:
A few members have sent me recipes and thoughts, which i really love to get and share. Pass them on and I'll post them to our blog and eventually to the website. Also, let me know if you don't want your name posted too. -Elena

Sweet Corn: My advice is to not bother storing and eat it for dinner tonight. But, if you really need to store it for a day or two, pop it in the fridge, husks and all. Boil in a large pot of unsalted water for 2 minutes or less. If you are grilling, peel back the husks without removing them completely, remove the silk and "re-husk" the corn. Because I'm paranoid about losing my food to fire, I like to spray or dip the husked corn with water. Grill for about 5 or 10 minutes over an open flame, slather with butter and salt and enjoy. As for corn recipes, I see no reason to taint the sweet goodness of corn on the cob with a lot of other fussy ingredients.
Edamame (ay-duh-ma-may): Who knows if that's right, but I like to spell phonetically since I regularly clobber the English language when I speak aloud. Store this in the fridge in a sealed bag (i.e. Ziploc) if possible. Boil briefly and eat as described above or shell them and add to other dishes and the like.
Garlic: Store on the counter. Easy. Here's a recipe idea for oven roasted garlic on one of these late August nights. Peel off any really loose, dry papery stuff and put the whole head in an oven proof pan. Pop into an oven heated to 425 and roast for 40 to 45 minutes. The result is creamy, sweet garlic that is a complete mess to eat, but well worth the effort. Remove and eat by squeezing the garlic out of the clove onto a bit of fresh baked bread and favorite cheese. Pure heaven.
Alisa Craig Onions: Sweet onion that is mild and perfect for sandwiches or my favorite summer stand-by, macaroni salad. Store on the counter or dice and freeze for adding to soups later. Try caramelizing with some diced garlic and you have a stand by for adding to a late night supper of pasta. Ooo! Just had a recipe flash that I'll add to the end of the newsletter.
Potatoes: Okay, here's the deal. I store mine in the fridge, but i keep hearing that's a bad place for them. What do you folks think? My way is in a paper bag in the fridge. Someone else's way would be in a paper bag in a cool, dry spot like a pantry or drawer. You decide what works for you. Let me know if you need advice on how to cook potatoes, but I figure if Pete can cook a potato, then everyone else can too.
Broccoli, Peppers, Carrots and Beans: Store in the fridge, unwashed. Crisper is a great place for them. This is an impressive share of food this week, so don't overcook your veggies. Try blanching the broccoli for a scant 1 to 2 minutes in boiling water or steam for about 2 minutes. Same goes for the carrots. Peppers are wonderful eaten raw, especially the colored ones, but you can grill or saute them too. Don't over cook the beans either. A quick boil for 3 minutes ought to do it.

Paula Red Apples: I'm very excited about this early fall variety. This is a sweet, crisp apple. I plan to include them in my kids' lunch boxes, but try them in salad (maybe next week though) or make a sweet sauce out of them.
Eggs: I'm trying to include these in your shares every 2 weeks or so until the hens molt and stop laying. Jen Linck, our animal manager, collects and washes them, putting them into the cartons (we'll try to peel off the weirdly Disney-esque label too). Scramble with a pat of butter and a splash of cream over low heat. Salt and pepper to taste and eat with veggies. How can you go wrong with that?

My Favorite Indulgent Pasta:
I adapted this from a recipe out of Improvisational Cooking and it needs good quality ingredients. It is by no means low fat, but it's wonderful to eat with a friend or two and a good glass of wine.
Break the yolk of the egg just before eating and stir everything up. It creates a creamy, rich sauce that coats everything beautifully. -elena

Serves 3 to 4

1 lb pasta, preferably penne or farfalle
Carmelized onions and garlic
Roasted bell peppers
Broccoli, chopped stems and florets
Kale, rinsed and chopped
Pancetta or bacon, cooked until crisp but chewy
2 T unsalted butter
1/4 C cream (yes, cream)
Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
1/4 C hard cheese like parmesan or Bonnieview's Ben Nevis
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Sea salt, to taste
2 to 3 farm fresh eggs

In the meantime, in a medium pan with just a sprinkle of water, cook the chopped kale until just starting to wilt, but still chewy. About 3 minutes. Remove and set aside. Add the broccoli and cook in the same manner, until just green, about 1 minute. Remove and set aside with the kale. Bring a large pot of water to boil and add a generous helping of salt just before adding the pasta. Cook until al dente, about 7 to 10 minutes. In the same pan you used for the vegetables, melt the butter, add the cream and nutmeg and heat over low heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the cheese and carmelized onions, stirring constantly until the cheese is melted and the sauce is thick. Add the roasted peppers, broccoli and kale, heat briefly. In a separate pan, melt butter and fry up 2 to 3 eggs, sunny side up, until the white is set, but the yolk is still runny.

By now, your pasta should be done or really close. Drain and toss with the creamy vegetable sauce. Top with an egg and lay a serving of pancetta or bacon on top. Season with salt and pepper.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Claire's is about New Vermont Cooking

A restaurant that we are anxiously waiting to open, Claire's will be a place for gathering community and local food in Hardwick, VT.

Opening in the Bemis Block building in February 2008, check out their blog in our Links You Will Like or here at http://www.newvermontcooking.blogspot.com

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Wheat In Vermont? Times Argus Article



Article published Aug 13, 2007
Wheat is poised for a comeback, driven by demand from bakers and localvores

SHELBURNE - Only 15 Vermont farms grow wheat today. That's a far cry from the 1850s, when 40,000 acres of cropland from the Champlain Valley to Orleans County produced wheat. The shocks of grain on the state's seal attest to its one-time importance to Vermont's economy.

But according to Heather Darby, the University of Vermont Extension's field crops specialist, wheat is poised for a comeback, driven by demand from artisan bakers and the localvore movement.

This spring, Darby won a sustainable agriculture grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to work on reintroducing heritage wheat varieties that were grown in Vermont in the 1800s. She plans to use three cultivars bred by Vermont's premier botanist, Cyrus Pringle, to develop new varieties suited to the state's growing conditions.

Read the rest of the article by clicking here

Newsletter August 15th

Pete's Greens
Good Eats August 15th

In your shares this week: arugula, walla walla onion, radish, tomato, tomatillas, broccoli, bell peppers, thai basil, zucchini

NOTES:
For our Burlington pick ups on Adams Ct. Don't forget that you are now picking up your shares at 25 Adams Ct.

Happy farmer writing this week. We have a great crew right now and it makes all the difference in the world. Nick handles all sales, manages harvest and packing, and is becoming more involved in crop planning and production. He is efficient and loves to start very early and work long hours. Melissa picks, washes, and packs produce and has a good eye for quality control. Laura is our only student. She will soon be starting her fall semester at Lyndon State College. We will miss her hard work and quiet (but slowly becoming more assertive!) demeanor. Steve is our equipment guy and mechanic. He has excellent common sense and judgment and I am always confident when he is operating an expensive piece of equipment that he is treating it as well as I would. Dan started this past May. He has extensive landscaping experience and has become an all around tractor operator, harvester, weeder, basically whatever needs to be done. Tim has been with us five years. He is handling most of the delivery this year, is my partner at farmers market, and helps in the washhouse. You all know about Elena’s work on Good Eats. She also built and manages the website, does the books, and takes care of lots of odds and ends. Jen is our new animal manager She comes in daily and takes great care of the meat and egg chickens and the lambs. Sally and Heather manage our farm stand, making a beautiful display. Santiago, Elena, and Maria Rosa came to us from Mexico via the H2A program. They are incredible workers and people of great integrity and gentleness. They live in the farmhouse and are a complete pleasure to have on the farm.
August is a nice time on the farm because everyone who has worked here has done their job dozens of times already. There is little training, people are fast at their tasks, and we click off projects. This frees me up to leave early to go on long bike rides and enjoy the remainder of the summer. April, May, and half of June are so busy, time is always short, weather delays are a bear, and there is never any free time so I revel in the second half of the summer and the fall.
If you are near Craftsbury Village stop by and check out our farm stand roof. It is a sod roof, but instead of grass we are growing, sunflowers, nastursiums, draping beans and bright red amaranth. It is quite a site and will become more beautiful through September. -Pete

RECIPES:

Vegetable Tacos with Roasted Tom Tom Sauce

Once the prep work is done, this can be a quick, casual supper for a late summer night. The portions are approximate, so adjust according to your family's needs. This recipe is geared towards what you have in your share this week, but it's open to suggestion. Add lemon or lime to the tom tom sauce to cut some of the sweetness that the roasting brings out of the tomatoes and tomatillos. You can add some heat with roasted poblano chiles or add chopped cucumber to cool it down and create a bit more crunch. -elena
Serves 3 or 4

Roasted Tom Tom Sauce
1/2 lb tomatillos
1/2 lb tomatoes
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup Walla Walla onion, minced
Handful of fresh arugula, chopped fine
salt and pepper to taste

Vegetable Tacos
12 corn tortillas
4 T sunflower oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 Walla Walla Onion, sliced into thin rings
1 medium bell pepper, sliced into 1/2" thick strips
1 cup broccoli florets and stem, chopped
1/2 cup zucchini, sliced into 1/2" rounds
Salt and Pepper to taste

For the Sauce:
1.Set your broiler to high. Wash and rinse tomatoes and tomatillos. Line a cookie sheet with foil, lightly brushing it with oil. Broil the tomatoes and tomatillos for several minutes, turning occasionally, until the skin turns black. Pull out and let cool until easy to handle.
2. Roughly chop the tomatoes and tomatillos, mixing with the garlic, onion and fresh arugula. Salt and pepper to taste.
For the Tacos:
1. Heat the sunflower oil in a cast iron or non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.
Saute the minced garlic and onion for 3 minutes until fragrant. Add the bell pepper and saute another 2 minutes. add the broccoli and zucchini, cooking until
bright green but still crunchy, about 2 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste.
4. Heat the tortillas over a low flame on the stove or in the oven at 325F for until soft and hot. Serve immediately, spooning the Roasted Tom Tom Sauce over the vegetables.

SUMMER VEGETABLE FRITTATA
Works best with a well seasoned, cast iron skillet, but any oven proof skillet will do. Eat this with a fresh salad for a healthy mid-day meal. -elena
Serves 4 comfortably

8 farm fresh eggs
1/4 C milk or cream
Generous pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon sunflower oil
1 medium Walla Walla onion, roughly chopped
1 lb zucchini, sliced into 1/2 inch rounds
1 medium bell pepper, sliced into strips
1 C of broccoli florets and stems, roughly chopped
1 cup arugula, leaves whole and any thick stems removed
1 cup Bonnieview's Ben Nevis, shredded or sliced thin
1 large tomato, sliced into rounds

Preheat broiler.

Whisk together eggs, milk or cream, salt, and pepper in a bowl.

Heat sunflower oil in a 12 inch cast iron or oven proof skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook until just fragrant. Add zucchini and bell pepper, cooking just until tender, about 2 minutes. Add broccoli and arugula, cooking for 2 minutes more. Pour egg mixture into skillet and cook, lifting up cooked egg around edge using a spatula to let as much raw egg as possible flow underneath, until edge is set, about 2 minutes (top and center will still be very loose). Sprinkle evenly with cheese and then lay tomato slices on top in a decorative manner.

Broil frittata about 6 inches from heat until set, slightly puffed, and golden, 2 to 2 1/2 minutes.

Cool frittata 5 minutes, then loosen edge with a clean spatula and slide onto a large plate. Cut into wedges.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Food That Travels Well-A NY Times Article by James E. McWilliams

Below, we posted what we think is a nice follow up to the previous article we posted "The Localvore's Dilemma". Thanks to Robin P. for sending us the link!-elena


FOOD THAT TRAVELS WELL-James E. McWilliams

THE term “food miles” — how far food has traveled before you buy it — has entered the enlightened lexicon. Environmental groups, especially in Europe, are pushing for labels that show how far food has traveled to get to the market, and books like Barbara Kingsolver’s “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life” contemplate the damage wrought by trucking, shipping and flying food from distant parts of the globe.

There are many good reasons for eating local — freshness, purity, taste, community cohesion and preserving open space — but none of these benefits compares to the much-touted claim that eating local reduces fossil fuel consumption. In this respect eating local joins recycling, biking to work and driving a hybrid as a realistic way that we can, as individuals, shrink our carbon footprint and be good stewards of the environment.

On its face, the connection between lowering food miles and decreasing greenhouse gas emissions is a no-brainer. In Iowa, the typical carrot has traveled 1,600 miles from California, a potato 1,200 miles from Idaho and a chuck roast 600 miles from Colorado. Seventy-five percent of the apples sold in New York City come from the West Coast or overseas, the writer Bill McKibben says, even though the state produces far more apples than city residents consume. These examples just scratch the surface of the problem. In light of this market redundancy, the only reasonable reaction, it seems, is to count food miles the way a dieter counts calories.

But is reducing food miles necessarily good for the environment? Researchers at Lincoln University in New Zealand, no doubt responding to Europe’s push for “food miles labeling,” recently published a study challenging the premise that more food miles automatically mean greater fossil fuel consumption. Other scientific studies have undertaken similar investigations. According to this peer-reviewed research, compelling evidence suggests that there is more — or less — to food miles than meets the eye.

Read the rest of the article here

Local Foods and the End of Hunger

Hi Folks,
Consider coming to this discussion in Montpelier next Wednesday. For those of you who
pick up in Montpelier, this is just down the road! -elena

Wednesday, August 15th

Panel & Discussion: 5:30 - 7:00 pm

Come learn about, and discuss, the role of a strong local food system in fighting hunger in
Vermont
. Panelists include representatives from Food Works at Two Rivers Center, the Vermont
Foodbank, and Salvation Farms. The event takes place at Food Works farm off of Rte 2. Coming
from Montpelier, the turn is after the branch to Rte 302 and before Agway, on your right. You'll see
the Cabot sign. Event is free and open to the public. Donations accepted in the form of a
100% local dish for the snacks table

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Newsletter August 8, 2007

Pete's Greens
Newsletter Aug. 8, 2007
This week’s share includes: cauliflower, tomatoes, garlic, oat flour, flax seed, kale, potatoes, beans, head lettuce, mesclun, zucchini, bell peppers
Nice summer share this week. At least some of you are receiving a head of iceberg lettuce. Don’t be put off just because it’s iceberg. Farm fresh iceberg makes a great salad with a wedge of blue cheese. Cauliflower debuts this week. We have white, orange, purple and romanesca. The orange variety is called cheddar and the purple, graffiti. The romanesca is one of the most beautiful garden vegetables. If you didn’t get a romanesca this time around don’t worry, there’s a lot more coming.
The Oat Flour and Flax Seed came from just over the border in Quebec. Oat flour has a heavenly fragrance and can be used in everything from brownies to bread to pizza dough. The flax seed should be refrigerated and ground to get the most benefit. It can be used whole in granola or breads or try adding it to a blueberry smoothie one of these mornings.
Big rain on Monday. Forecasted 50% chance of showers turned into a 4 hour downpour. We got nearly 3 inches but thankfully not the flooding of a few weeks back.
We have had some feedback about the quantities of individual types of produce we include in our share. Sometimes there is a small amount of something because it is just ripening and a small amount is all we have. We expend a lot of time and effort producing vegetables early and we want you to get at least a taste as soon as we have them. We realize that one eggplant can be an awkward amount to include in a dish but still think it is worth it to get you some early. -Pete

Storage Hints and Recipe Ideas:

Cauliflower: Store unwashed, head down in a sealed bag inside the fridge. Eat in a day or two. Steamed, lightly sauteed, but I wouldn't recommend boiling.
Zucchini: Store unwashed in the crisper. Use in a few days. Try grating it, sauteed lightly in butter.
Garlic: I store mine in a bowl on the counter. Easy.
Bell Peppers: Store unwashed in the crisper. When ready to use, slice open, take out the seeds and eat raw. Another idea is to roast them under the broiler until the skin turns black, pop into a paper bag for a few minutes, rub off the skin and slice. Store the roasted peppers in a jar of oil in the fridge to add to frittatas, salad, veggies, etc.
Potatoes: I store mine in a paper bag in the fridge. Some folks keep potatoes out of the fridge. Up to you. Just keep them in a dark, cool place for best storage and flavor.
Kale, Mesclun, Head Lettuce: Store dry in the crisper.




Roasted Tomato Basil Pesto
(adapted from the Seed Savers Calendar, 1998).
Serves 2
2 pre-roasted tomatoes or 1 largefresh tomato
2–3 cloves garlic, peeled, halved
3 tablespoons pine nuts
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 cup fresh whole basil leaves
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons butter, softened
salt
freshly ground black pepper
1. Combine the tomatoes, garlic, pine nuts, and oil in a blenderand process until just combined. Add a handful of basil and process again briefly; continue adding the basil in small amounts until all is combined.
2. Stir in the Parmesan cheese and butter and season with salt and pepper to taste.

ZUCCHINI MELON SALAD

In this perfect no-cook dish you can substitute crumbled bacon for the chicken or just omit the
meat altogether.


2 medium zucchini (3/4 lb total)
1 teaspoon salt
2 (3-inch-wide) wedges honeydew melon, seeded and rind removed
1 whole smoked chicken breast (1 lb), skinned and thinly sliced crosswise with a knife
1 (1/2-lb) piece Parmigiano-Reggiano
1/4 cup packed fresh mint leaves, cut crosswise into thin shreds
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lime juice

Special equipment: an adjustable-blade slicer
If you don't have the special equipment, just use a very sharp knife and carefully cut thin slices.

Cut zucchini crosswise diagonally into 1/8-inch-thick slices using slicer and transfer to a
colander set over a bowl. Sprinkle with salt, tossing to coat, and let stand 5 minutes, then rinse
under cold water. Arrange in 1 layer on paper towels and pat dry.

Cut melon wedges lengthwise into 1/8-inch-thick slices using slicer.

Divide melon, zucchini, and chicken among 4 plates. Shave about one fourth of cheese into
curls with a vegetable peeler and divide curls and mint among the 4 plates. Drizzle each plate
with oil and lime juice. Season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

Makes 4 main-course servings.
Gourmet
August 2005

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

The Localvore's Dilemma- Boston Globe Article

A great article from Drake Bennett in the Boston Globe a couple of weeks ago. Discusses the environmental concerns and challenges of eating locally in a northern climate, with emphasis on the importance of eating seasonally. -elena
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AT VARIOUS POINTS in the coming months, a few hundred of Vermont's most ethical eaters will take the "Localvore Challenge." The actual dates of the challenge vary from town to town, but the idea is that, for a single meal, or a day, or an entire week, participants will eat only food that was grown or raised within 100 miles of where they live.

Vermont's localvores (also known as "locavores" or "locatarians") and their counterparts around the country are part of a burgeoning movement. In recent years, as large companies with globe-straddling supply networks have come to dominate organic agriculture, "local" has emerged as the new watchword of conscientious consumption. Over the past year and a half, the interest in local food has been fueled by best-selling memoirs and manifestos about local eating and dietary self-sufficiency, such as Barbara Kingsolver's "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle," Bill McKibben's "Deep Economy," and Michael Pollan's "The Omnivore's Dilemma."

The case for local food is several-fold: It tastes better, its proponents argue, and preserves species biodiversity. It shores up small-scale economies and communities in the face of globalization and cultural homogenization. It even, some of its advocates claim, protects against terrorism: a decentralized food system could limit the impact of a virus or other bio-agent introduced into the food supply.

One of the arguments most often heard, however, is about energy. And at a time of rising concern about climate change, the great distances that most of our food travels are a potent symbol of the system's profligacy and cost in greenhouse gases. For local-food activists, "food miles" have become a favored measure of environmental impact. Food activists in the US and especially in Western Europe have pushed to put the term on menus and grocery-store labels.

"[T]he typical item of food on an American's plate travels some fifteen hundred miles to get there," Michael Pollan writes in "The Omnivore's Dilemma," "and is frequently better traveled and more worldly than its eater."

But a gathering body of evidence suggests that local food can sometimes consume more energy -- and produce more greenhouse gases -- than food imported from great distances. Moving food by train or ship is quite efficient, pound for pound, and transportation can often be a relatively small part of the total energy "footprint" of food compared with growing, packaging, or, for that matter, cooking it. A head of lettuce grown in Vermont may have less of an energy impact than one shipped up from Chile. But grow that Vermont lettuce late in the season in a heated greenhouse and its energy impact leapfrogs the imported option. So while local food may have its benefits, helping with climate change is not always one of them.

"All things being equal, it's better if food only travels 10 miles," says Peter Tyedmers, an ecological economist at Nova Scotia's Dalhousie University. "Sometimes all things are equal; many times they aren't."

Read the rest of the article here


Monday, August 6, 2007

Newsletter August 1, 2007

In your shares this week: mesclun, broccoli, japanese eggplant, potatoes, walla walla onions, celery, green beans, radishes, yogurt and sunflower oil

Oooo...So very sorry for the late newsletter this week. I had sick children on Tuesday and didn't have a chance to write this one up before right now.

It's been another busy week at the farm. Pete has been planting and the crew has been busy with harvesting, washing and packing. The farm stand is looking beautiful as the amaranth grows in on the sod roof and the landscaping in front fills things out. Our laying hens are happily roaming the farm, not that we really want them to do that, but they are too smart for their own good and a few of them routinely manage to get themselves over, under and through their fence. As a result, the neighborhood kids often come over to do some egg hunting in the grass and in the barn where a few of the hens have taken a liking to the boxes.

This week we included the yogurt from Butterworks that was accidentally left out of your shares last week. We've also included some fragrant, handcrafted sunflower oil from a small farm in Quebec. This pesticide and herbicide free product, is naturally cold pressed which preserves the nutritional quality of the oil. It's tough to get this stuff and I'm not sure when we can get it again, so I hope all of you thoroughly enjoy it. Store in the refrigerator and use it as you would any quality, virgin olive oil. It also has a good capacity for heating at high temperatures. Last night, I used it in a homemade bar-b-que sauce for chicken and it was delicious. -Elena
OF NOTE:
CHICKENS-Just want to remind all of you that we still have our free range, frozen whole chickens for sale. Send me an email if you'd like one, or two or three. The feedback we are getting is that they are delicious.

PLASTIC BAGS-Please bring back your plastic bags, if you find you are not using or recycling them at home. We always find uses for them at the farm, so leave them next time you pick up your share.

Storage and Recipe Ideas:
Japanese Eggplant is a small, tender eggplant that takes well to being grilled or broiled. Perfect for the summer grill. Store in the veggie bin of your cooler and use within the week.
Walla Walla Onions are sweet and great eaten raw on sandwiches or in salads. Best to use quickly as they don't keep very well. Try caramelizing the onions if you don't get a chance to eat them soon. Then store the yummy sweetness in the fridge or freezer to add to other dishes.
Green Beans: Store unwashed pods in the fridge. Wash in cold water just before using. See a recipe below.

Pungent Green Beans and Tomatoes with Cumin, Garlic, and Ginger
[Thanks to Angelic Organics for this recipe-esg]
If you love cumin, this dish will delight you. Like many recipes from
India, this one strives to bring out maximum flavor in the spices—so it
contains both ground and whole cumin seeds, one dry-toasted and
the other cooked in oil. Serve over couscous or quinoa, with the delicious
juicy sauce sopped up by the grain. Friend of the Farm.
Serves 4
10 cloves garlic, smashed
1 piece ginger (about 1 inch long), peeled, chopped
1 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable stock, divided
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 cup mild-flavored vegetable oil
2 teaspoons whole cumin seeds
1 whole dried red chile pepper (optional)
2–4 fresh tomatoes, stems removed, peeled, finely chopped
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 1/2 pounds green beans, cut in half (about 8 cups)
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
freshly ground black pepper
1. Put the garlic, ginger, and 1/2 cup of the stock in a blender or a
food processor; process until a smooth paste forms.
2. Place a large wok (or pot) over medium heat. When the wok is hot,
add the ground cumin and toast it just until it is fragrant. (This will take
only a few seconds—be very careful not to overtoast it, as it can burn
quickly). Immediately scrape the cumin onto a small dish and set aside.
3. Quickly wipe the wok with a damp cloth or paper towel to remove
any remaining spice. Return the wok to the heat; add the oil, let it
heat up for about 20 seconds and then add the whole cumin seeds.
After 5 seconds, add the dried chile pepper. After another 25 seconds
(30 seconds total for the seeds, with or without the chile), add the
ginger-garlic paste. Cook and stir the ingredients for 2 minutes. Stir
in the tomatoes and coriander. Cook, stirring, for 3 minutes.
4. Add the green beans, salt, and the remaining stock. Stir the ingredients
until they come to a gentle boil. Reduce the heat to low and
cover. Simmer, stirring once or twice, until the beans are tender, 6 to
8 minutes (or even less time for just-picked green beans).
5. Remove the cover from the wok. Stir in the lemon juice and the
toasted ground cumin. Increase the heat and bring the mixture to a
boil. Boil, stirring occasionally, until all the liquid has been cooked
off. Remove the wok from the heat.
6. Remove the chile pepper. Season with plenty of freshly ground

Polenta and Vegetable Bake
[Passed on by one of our Craftsbury members and the original recipe came from Eating Well magazine. Her substitutions are in parenthesis.-esg]
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped (this is my addition)
1 medium eggplant, diced (I used the patty pan squash)
I small zucchini, finely diced
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup water (I didn't use any)
1 10-oz bag baby spinach (I used the cress instead)
1 1/2 cups marinara sauce (I used a few chopped tomatoes instead, that's
why I didn't use water)
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
1 14 or 16 oz tube prepared polenta, sliced lengthwise into 6 thin
slices
1 1/2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella, divided

1. Preheat oven to 450 and coat a 9x13 inch baking dish with cooking
spray.
2. Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add
onion, eggplant, zucchini, salt and pepper and cook, stirring
occasionally, until the vegetables are tender and just beginning to
brown, 4 to 6 minutes. Add water (or tomatoes) and spinach (or other
greens); cover and cook until wilted, stirring once, about 3 minutes.
Stir marinara sauce into the vegetables and heat through, 1 to 2
minutes. Remove from heat and stir in basil.
3. Place polenta slices in a single layer in the prepared baking dish,
trimming to fit. Sprinkle with 3/4 cup cheese, top with the veggie
mixture and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake until bubbling and the
cheese is melted, 12 to 15 minutes. Let stand for about 5 minutes
before serving.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Who We Are

Pete's Greens of Craftsbury Village Farm is a certified organic vegetable farm in Craftsbury. With a crew of hardworking folks, a few good tractors and a dog that doesn't do much more than sleep on the porch, we plant weed, harvest, wash, pack and deliver the vegetables we grow to stores and restaurants throughout New England and for a year-round CSA called Pete's Greens Good Eats. We also have a roadside farmstand and sell at the Montpelier's Captital Market on Saturdays from May to October, but you can visit our website at www.petesgreens.com to get a few more details about us. In the meantime, we'll use this handy dandy blog to post our newsletters, musings, recipes and any thing else that seems the least bit interesting. Thanks for reading!




Wednesday, August 1, 2007

To Blog or Not to Blog?

Yup, that's the question. We've really struggled to find a way to keep a presence on the web that is up to date and relevant to the farm, yet easy for us to do. Our CSA members and wholesale accounts are always curious about what we do here, but communicating with everyone gets harder and harder as the season gets busier and busier. Not that winter slows us down either, because that's when all the "housework" that is put off during the growing season gets done.

For those of you who have visited us on our group site, let us know what you think of the blog.