Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Good Eats Newsletter - January 27, 2010

This Week's Vegetable Share Contains:
2 lbs Banana Fingerling Potatoes; 2 lbs Sugarsnax and Chanteney Carrots; 2 lbs Parsnips; 2 lbs Yellow Onions plus.....

Shoot/Claytonia Mix
1 Bag Frozen Zucchini


Localvore Offerings Include:
Elmore Mountain Country French Bread
1 Dozen Pa Pa Doodles or Gopher Broke Farm Eggs
Vt Soy Tofu Scramble
2 lbs Frozen Elderberries

Pete's Farm Update
What a wild and windy January day! We lost almost all our snow - don't worry we'll probably be buried in April. Two springs ago our fields were not clear of snow until April 18. I expect them to be clear most years right around April 1 and plan accordingly. I just about went crazy that snowy spring as I have so much pent up energy that time of year and it was really hard to know that every day we were getting further behind. But like most things, it turned out fine.

Things on the farm are great! Our soil grown sprouts are doing better than ever - this is a tricky crop that is fast paced and prone to problems. Meg has learned alot and worked out a lot of kinks the past couple years. Claytonia (the spade shaped mild green in the mix) is being harvested from unheated greenhouses. This plant continues to amaze with its ability to not only survive but actually grow in January. On Feb. 1 we start tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, billions of onions, and other greenery such as napa cabbage, scallions, and chard. These plants will be started in the heated greenhouse on a warm concrete slab. They'll grow rapidly and be transplanted in a month or more to their final growing spot somewhere in the greenhouses.

Steve is just about wrapped up getting equipment prepared for the new season and I'm just about finished buying stuff for the new season. Large amounts of seeds and other supplies have been ordered and are arriving daily. Yesterday I finished making the years supply of potting mix. I mix very nice well aged compost, peat moss, perlite, vermiculite, and several organic fertilizers with the manure spreader, running it through a couple times until it it thoroughly blended. It feels good to have a huge pile waiting to receive seeds.

Later this week Meg and I are traveling to Syracuse to speak at a conference and then on to Guelph, Ontario to speak at another conference. We are driving a pickup pulling a huge trailer full of equipment. We're trading some greens washing equipment that we don't use and a couple other items for a root sizing machine that will make us a lot more efficient in the washhouse. We're excited to visit Willsie Equipment, a true vegetable equipment dealership. Wish us luck getting across the border and back. ~Pete

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Harvesting Claytonia Jan 25, 2009
In an unheated greemhouse Deb and Danika pull the layers of row cover off of the Claytonia and then harvest by hand using harvest knives. The greens are carried back to the wash-house in totes where they are washed and bagged with the sprouts and shoots for share members.


Spring Share Sign-up Forms due by February 10th
There's only two weeks left to get your sign up sheet in before the start of the Spring share. To ensure delivery the first week, February 17th, I need to have your forms and payment by February 10th.

Don't miss out on weekly deliveries of fresh, organic Vermont grown goodness and the wide variety of localvore staples and artisan products that the share brings. We will continue to grow shoots and sprouts and some winter salad greens through the early months of the share but by April you can expect a wide variety of fresh spring greens, from mesclun and baby spinach and arugula to pac choi, chard and a variety of Asian greens. Also in April, winter storage crops give way to fresh spring onions, baby beets, scallions, spring turnips and by May and June, many more vegetables are added to the list. As always, we will continue to bring you a variety of localvore items. This share we'll be able to supply eggs every other week, bread most weeks, local flours and grains regularly, and we'll continue to bring a selection of new cheeses, sweeteners, cooking oils and vinegars, and other local staples each week.

Sign-up for the Spring Localvore Share (Feb 17th - Jun 9th)
Sign-up for the Spring Meat Share (4 Deliveries: Mar 3, Apr 7, May 5, June 2)

Job Openings at Pete's Greens
We are looking for two people with unique skills to fill important positions on the farm. Complete job descriptions for these positions may be found on on our site on our job postings page.

Interested applicants should email cover letter and resume to me:
amy@petesgreens.com
Please put the job title in the subject line of the email.

Or send cover letter and resume by mail to:
Job Openings
Pete's Greens
266 S. Craftsbury Rd
Craftsbury, VT 05826


Wash-House Manager
The wash house manager is a key position at Pete's Greens as this person oversees all handling of produce on the farm and communicates with all other members of our team. The wash house manager is involved in the harvest of vegetables from the fields, and oversees the cleaning, grading and packing of our produce. The wash house manager oversees 2-6 people working at different stations ensuring that a high level of quality control is maintained by all and processing is handled in an efficient manner. This is a physically and mentally demanding job requiring great organizational skills, ample energy, attention to detail, ability to manage and motivate people, clear written and verbal communication skills, and a positive attitude. This is a year round position with a 4 day work week. Benefits include produce and partial health insurance. Pay is commensurate with abilities with potential for excellent pay.

Kitchen Manager
We are looking for an energetic and highly motivated individual to manage our commercial kitchen. The kitchen manager is responsible for preserving a portion of the farm's harvest by means of freezing, canning, or incorporation into lacto-fermented products. The kitchen manager will help bring value added products to our growing Good Eats CSA, a year round farmers' market in Montpelier and our popular farmstand in Craftsbury Village. The position requires an individual who is creative, focused and organized; is able to work independently and efficiently; can work well in a team environment; and can train and supervise kitchen staff. Knowledge of food, food preservation techniques, food safety is critical with proven ability to create and standardize large volume recipes a plus. Full time flexible hours. Longer hours may be required during the harvest months with fewer hours in the winter months. Pay is dependent on experience.

Pete's Pastured Chicken
Our chickens live(d) a fabulous life roaming around the fields in the good company of their friends the pigs. From an early age they dined on our sprouts and shoots before they were able to move out onto organic pasture land. It is a documented fact that the meat of pastured poultry is packed with a higher vitamin content and is lower in fat than birds raised in the standard barn environment. Most free range birds aren't pastured and may never eat grass, they just have more room to roam in their barns and yards than factory birds. Pastured meats are the healthiest for you and for the environment.

Get your birds now! We deliver orders weekly to pick up sites. Click here to go directly to the chicken page where you can download an order form.



Localvore Lore
This week Andrew and Blair have baked Elmore Mountain Country French loaves. This is made with Milanaise organic winter wheat flour, Ben Gleason's organic whole wheat flour, Milanaise whole rye flour, sea salt, and Elmore's sourdough yeast. This bread is one of my favorite loaves.

Late last Summer, Todd Hardie of Honey Gardens Apiaries worked hard to pick and bag enough elderberries to include in the share. It was not an easy task to accumulate the quantity we needed but we were both determined to make it happen. A number of years ago, I tried Todd's Elderberry Syrup plant medicine and discovered how incredibly well it kept a sore throat from turning into a cold. Time and again, I am able to avert getting sick if I start with the elderberries as soon as I feel a cold coming on. I keep a bag in my freezer now and I regularly add elderberries to smoothies, yogurt, and bowls of granola and oatmeal. The berries do have small seeds but I don't mind. A recipe below gives a simple method for extracting this special juice from the berries so you can have your own plant medicine on hand plus I have included a recipe for elderberry muffins. More elderberry recipes can be found at Honey Gardens website on the recipe page. From Todd:

Elderberries have long been used for healing by Native peoples and in the Vermont farm kitchen. Elderberries are rich in vitamin C and traditionally have been used to treat colds and the flu. Modern research has found that elderberries are extremely high in anthocyanins which give the elderberry its distinct purple color. These specific anthocyanins are thought to be responsible for the elderberries potent antiviral and anti-inflammatory actions. This in turn helps the body build up the immune system and fight off some viruses that chemical medicines do not work on.

Honey Gardens Apiaries’ relationship with elderberries began with Lewis Hill in Greensboro, Vermont. His commitment to elderberries included breeding a stock that was winter hardy and the production of a larger berry. We raise organic berries at our honey house on Route 7 in Ferrisburgh from this stock of Lewis Hill and also get them from our partner organic farm nearby.
'
The elderberry has been helpful in support of the prevention and cure of the virus in swine flu virus and the common cold.

The berries in your CSA share may be used in warm or cold cereal (with raw honey, yum !), made into a syrup and frozen into ice trays and then made into “cocktails” to mix throughout the winter and year with orange juice (thank you, Lewis), used in pies, or topping for ice cream.

The folks at Vermont Soy have been working on a new product and we are among the first to be able to try it. Tofu Scramble is made with Vermont Soy tofu, garlic, ginger, turmeric for flavor and color. It is great in a breakfast burrito or served as an alternative to egg salad. Also great in a stir fry of course, and a recipe from VT Soy is included below. They are very interested to hear responses from you all on how you enjoy this new product, so please email your comments.

And finally, we have eggs for you all again, fresh from Pa Pa Doodles Farm and from Gopher Broke Farm.

Storage and Use Tips
Cornmeal - There is not cornmeal in this week's share. We sent it out last week and I wanted to mention that what you received was freshly ground cornmeal and as such it will oxidize over time as it sits unrefrigerated. If you don't use cornmeal often and if your bag will last you a couple of months or more, it's best to store in either the fridge or the freezer to maintain freshness. I keep mine in a container in the freezer.

Frozen Zucchini! - How nice is it to have a little zucchini this week? Ubiquitous in summer, when the zucchini and summer squash go away in the fall it's always a bit sad. I have been comforted to know that a pile of our harvest was squirreled away in the freezer. When you thaw the zucchini, it will lose a lot of water. This is perfect for baking actually and for many other recipes as well. Let it thaw, and then squeeze out all the excess water and then add the zucchini to your recipe.


David and Renee Wahler's meal plan for the week

David and Renee Wahler live in nearby Wolcott and joined the CSA in 2008. I have heard David mention that he plans his week around the share ingredients and he and Pete had a chat about this last week when he stopped by the farm. I asked if they would be willing to share their strategy and meal plan with all of you. I'll be interested to hear how all of you enjoy this segment. If any of you would like to share your meal planning for future shares, please email me to let me know.

For the past two years, we have subscribed to Pete’s Greens localvore CSA Shares. This most recent year included also the meat share program. By trial and error, we arrived at a workable process for ourselves that has helped us to make full use of the shares each week, with no waste or spoilage. As a result of proactively planning our menus, we have saved money along with eating great, healthy food being produced mainly by our neighbors. We compliment our CSA shares with other necessary food shopping done, primarily, at the Buffalo Mountain Co-op. We no longer do compulsive food purchasing, as each week we receive, with interest and enthusiasm, our new allotment of shares along with many great recipes included in the newsletter. Not only has the program introduced us to such varied recipes, it has stimulated our interest in researching others on the internet, adding to our enjoyment of the CSA program.

Generally, we start out each week by trying to prepare a base meal, usually on Wednesdays, often using a slow cooker. This meal may be a whole chicken, a pot of chili, or meat loaf. It becomes the base for several meals during the week to which we, in turn, add the vegetable shares and other localvore products we receive.


Another helpful tool we use is to keep a running log of the staples we get from the shares, such as flour, grains, honey, frozen fruits and vegetables (i.e., frozen tomatoes). We don’t lose track of what we have and we’ve become quite inventive in using the products before we receive another round of staples! ~ Dave and Renee







Recipes

Mama's Potato Soup
I made a pot of this soup last night and savored every bite, again. I have been making this soup for 12 years or more and it never lets me down. It's a simple Mexican style soup that uses a pretty basic assortment of vegetables, but they come together beautifully and it's delicious. And spicy! The recipe comes from the Garlic Lovers Cookbook put out by Gilroy Garlic Festival Association. (Gilroy, CA is the self proclaimed garlic capitol of the world). Makes 4-6 servings.

2 TB sunflower oil
4 cloves garlic
1 cup finely chopped onion
3 medium sized tomatoes (perfect place to use your frozen tomatoes - I used 2 cups of tomatoes I had canned)
1/2 cup green chilies (or just 2 jalapenos or chili peppers or what have you - see below!)
1 TB flour
2 Quarts chicken broth (I used turkey this time and veggie broth is great too)
2.5 cups peeled raw potatoes, cut into small cubes
2 tsp salt (or to taste)
1 tsp black pepper
2 medium-sized carrorts, peeled and thinly sliced
1 medium zucchini (or half a bag frozen)

Garnish with handful of grated cheddar for each bowl of soup.
*Optional - a dollop of sour cream in the bowls
*Optional - Cilantro - if you have fresh or frozen cilantro, toss it in!

*Hot peppers - I once actually put the amount of peppers specified in the recipe, using jalapenos and served it at a party. Holy Moly. I would come across people who'd been sitting for half an hour or more at the table, teary eyed and sweating, trying to get through a bowl of soup, having downed a couple beers in the process just to cool it down. I find that just a couple peppers is plenty spice. In the summer I can hot peppers so I have them around to use in winter. I used 2 canned green chile peppers in my most recent batch.

Heat oil in a 3-Quart saucepan and add garlic, onions, tomatoes and green chilies; saute for 3 mins. Stir in flour and cook for 2 more. Continue stirring as you pour in the hot broth. Add potatoes, salt and pepper. Cover pan and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes. Add carrots and zucchini and cook for 15 minutes longer or until potatoes are tender. Top dress with a handful of grated cheddar and add a dollop of sour cream if it suits you.

Elderberry Juice
This is a simple method for juice extraction allowing you to store the elderberry juice in a way that may make it easier for you to incorporate into your daily diet.

Prepare the berries as for jelly, by removing large stems from ripe elderberries. Crush them in a saucepan and place over low heat until the juice begins to flow. Simmer gently for about 15 minutes. (Add a small amount of water if you want a less concentrated juice.) Strain it through a jelly bag. If you wish, add honey to taste, and perhaps a bit of lemon juice. Chill, and either use right away or squirrel into the freezer. Freezing into ice cube trays and then transferring to a bag makes for easy retrieval.

Elderberry Muffins
Todd supplied this recipe. It's one that Nancy & Lewis Hill developed. Lewis had a lifetime relationship with elderberries and patiently waited for Todd to catch on to their benefits for health.

2/3 cup honey

2.5 tablespoons shortening

3 cups flour

2 tsp. baking powder

pinch of salt

1 egg
1 cup milk
1 cup elderberries

Cream together shortening and honey. Sift together flour and baking powder and salt and set aside. Add egg to creamed mixture. Add flour mixture to creamed mixture in 3 parts alternating with milk mixture in 2 parts. Fold in elderberries. Pour into greased muffin tins (yield 12 muffins), and bake in 350 degree oven approximately 20 minutes.

Zucchini-Potato Frittata
Frittatas are so adaptable and this one would be happy to have the addition of some of the peppers from a couple weeks ago if you still have them left. The addition of herbs can change the tune of a frittata as will the type of cheese used so lots of room to be creative. This one is perfect for the share this week. The recipe has been adapted from Andrea Chessman's Serving up the Harvest. Serves 4-6.

1 medium zucchini (or half a bag of frozen)
4-5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (or sunflower)
1.5 lbs potatoes
1 large onion
1/4 lb bacon or some ham, diced
6 eggs
1 cup grated cheddar

Thaw zucchini. Squeeze out extra juice and set aside.

Heat 3 TB oil over medium-high heat in a large well-seasoned cast iron skillet or ovenproof nonstick skillet. Add the potatoes and onion, reduce the heat to med-low, and cook, flipping and stirring occasionally until the potatoes are soft, about 20 mins (you can cover to speed the process and hold in moisture). Increase the heat to medium-high and continue cooking, tossing occasionally, until potatoes are brown, about 5 minutes. Remove the potatoes with a slotted spoon but keep the skillet on the burner.

Add the zucchini and bacon to the skillet and saute over medium high heat, until the bacon/ham is cooked. Remove zucchini and bacon. Keep the skillet over the heat.

Beat the eggs and pepper to taste in a medium bowl until well blended. Fold in the potatoes, zucchini and bacon, and cheese.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Add 1-2 TB oil to the skillet as needed to lightly coat the bottom. Pour in the egg mixture, reduce heat to med-low, and cook without stirring until the bottom is set about 10 minutes. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake until the top is set, 5 to 15 minutes, checking every 5 mins.

Place a serving plate on top of the skillet and carefully invert. The frittata should fall out of the pan. Cut into wedges and serve.

Vermont Soy Tofu Scramble Stir Fry
This recipe is adapted from a large one created by Connor Graham for Vermont Soy. Connor is a 2009 NECI grad and has recently joined the team at Vermont Soy.

1 TB oil
1 small red onion
thumb sized piece of ginger, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 oz frozen zucchini (or cabbage!)
1 medium carrot
1 10-14 oz package tofu scramble
2 oz OJ
2 TB tamari
2 TB rice wine vinegar

Heat a large skillet on medium high w/ oil and add sliced red onions. Cook the onions, stirring occasionally for about 2-3 minutes. Add the ginger and garlic to the onions and stir until evenly distributed. After about 1 minute, add the shredded carrots and zucchini to the stir fry mixture. Cook and stir for a several minutes. Add the tofu scramble to the veggies and stir until the mixture is well blended. Increase your heat slightly just before adding the OJ, tamari, and rice wine vinegar. Allow the juices to reduce slightly until nearly all liquid is incorprated into the stir fry. Remove from heat and serve.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Good Eats Newsletter - January 20, 2010

This Week's Vegetable Share Contains: 3 lbs Mixed Potatoes; 2 lbs Mixed Onions; 2 Bulbs Garlic; 2 lbs Gilfeather Turnip; 3-4 lbs Green Cabbage plus.....

Sunflower & Radish Shoot/Salad Mix
3 lbs frozen Mixed Tomatoes


Localvore Offerings Include:
On the Rise Pizza Dough
Vermont Butter and Cheese Fresh Goat Cheese

Pete's Pickles (a mix of Sour and Dills at Sites)

2 lbs Butterworks Cornmeal

**THIS IS A BULK ORDER DELIVERY WEEK**
FOR THOSE WHO PLACED ORDERS



Meg's Musings - More Mexico Tales
On our trip in Mexico, Pete and I had the pleasure of
many different animal experiences. One was the release of hundreds of newly hatched sea turtles in Zihuatanejo. Each year sea turtles return to the exact same beach where they were born to bury their eggs in the sand. All along the beach employers of different hotels and restaurants dig up newly laid eggs early in the morning and re-bury them in one of the many protected areas on the beach. The nests are marked with a date and about 1 week later the eggs hatch and out come all the sweet little babies. They are put into a crate and later in the evening released into the sea. The release happens at night because the fish that enjoy munching on these little turtles go to sleep at this time. So the turtles have the night to make it out into deeper waters and possibly safer territory. Only a small percentage will make it back to lay their eggs someday. We were blessed to be able to experience this release not once, but twice.


As we ventured into the mountains Pete and I encountered many pigs, male turkeys, and stray dogs. There were also horses that looked incredibly hungry, Brahma cows that
reminded Pete of Texas longhorns, and burros laden with firewood, food, and children who seemed somewhat content (except for the sweet and lonely burro missing a foot, ankle, and another 4 inches of its leg).

The pigs we saw were oh so sad. They were almost all tied up to trees with a very short ropes. The ropes had been put on when the pigs were small so that as these pigs grew, the neck ropes became tighter and tighter and
eventually the pigs' neck skin enveloped the rope. This was very sad for both of us as we had just left our farm where we had been raising our 6 incredibly happy pigs all summer and enjoying the pleasure that is so evident in pigs when they can root and run around and be silly piggies. In addition to tight leads, the pigs were so hungry. I have never seen skinny pigs but here I was, trying to sneak little pieces of food and candy to the pigs. I had been saving leftovers and tid-bits along our trip so that I could feed the hungry animals. However, Mami caught me sneaking over to the pigs and took my food away from me. I was trying to get a little treat to the white pig in the picture because the black one was favored and always got the food. It seemed like maybe one pig gets fattened up at a time, and the other hangs out surviving on very little scraps. The pigs at Mami's and Papi's were taken care of better than any of the other pigs I came across. They had a little sun shelter built and flat ground to lay on, and their neck ties were not as tight as other pigs in the village. Sun burn is a common among all the pigs unless they have a little tree or something to lie under for protection.















The male turkeys were a riot and they were everywhere. How ridiculous these creatures can be... and wonderful. I couldn't help laughing and bugging them just to see them ruffle their feathers. All of the birds are free-range and each family knows how many they have. When it comes time to slaughter, each person catches the number of birds that are theirs without a lot of worry as to which bird they are getting. Most of the male turkeys were to be slaughtered for Christmas.

There were lots and lots and lots of dogs and I wanted to rescue them all. The dogs steal food from the pigs....not very nice but everyone is hungry and doing what they can to survive. I snuck food to the dogs on numerous occasions. However, they are really hungry and don't have much in the way of manners around fingers so I had to be careful. Mami and Papi's family had adopted at least 7 dogs and after each meal would throw out some of the leftovers (usually tortillas and
gristle) for the dogs. On the next to final day of our trip, I sat down and finally had 5 or 6 of the dogs crowd around me. I gave them lots of love and hugs and pats. They were all so sweet and playing with one another and competing for my attention. Pete watched from and said that I looked liked a dog whisperer totally engulfed in puppy love. It's amazing how much dogs respond to a little attention. Pete and I agreed our 2 dogs at home, Squirt and Carole Bean, really have the good life. Lots of love and beets and turnips to chew on. ~ Meg










Spring Share Sign-up

The Spring Share begins in just 4 weeks! Sign-up soon to secur
e your weekly deliveries of fresh, organic Vermont grown goodness and the wide variety of localvore staples and artisan products that the share brings. We will continue to grow shoots and sprouts and some winter salad greens through the early months of the share but by April you can expect a wide variety of fresh spring greens, from mesclun and baby spinach and arugula to pac choi, chard and a variety of Asian greens. Also in April, winter storage crops give way to fresh spring onions, baby beets, scallions, spring turnips and by May and June, many more vegetables are added to the list. As always, we will continue to bring you a variety of localvore items. This share we'll be able to supply eggs every other week, bread most weeks, local flours and grains regularly, and we'll continue to bring a selection of new cheeses, sweeteners, cooking oils and vinegars, and other local staples each week.
Sign-up for the Spring Localvore Share (Feb 17th - Jun 9th)

Sign-up for the Spring Meat Share (4 Deliveries: Mar 3, Apr 7, May 5, June 2)














April and May Greens and Produce




Bulk Orders January 20 Bulk Orders will be delivered this week. If you placed a bulk order remember to look for yours at your site.

Our next bulk order will go out February 10th (the last week of the Spring share). We must receive your order form by mail by Wednesday January 27th if you'd like to be part of this next bulk order. Click here to download the order form.


Pete's Pastured Chicken
Our chickens live(d) a fabulous life roaming around the fields in the good company of their friends the pigs. From an early age they dined on our sprouts and shoots before they were able to move out onto organic pasture land. Most free range birds aren't pastured and may never eat grass, they just have more room to roam in their barns and yards than factory birds. Pastured meats are the healthiest for you and for the environment. It is a documented fact that the meat of pastured poultry is packed with a higher vitamin content and is lower in fat than birds raised in the standard barn environment.



Get your birds now! We deliver orders weekly to pick up sites. Click here to go directly to the chicken page where you can download an order form.


Localvore Lore
For the second time this share period, Ben & Rachel from On the Rise Bakery in Richmond have made us pizza dough. The dough is made with VT sunflower oil, Milanaise unbleached white flour, Ben Gleason's whole wheat flour, local honey and sea salt. Ben created cards with baking instructions last time he made the doughs for the pizza dough and this time they really will be at the pick up sites for you. Look for them when you pick up! In addition, Ben posted the instructions on line along with some instructional videos that you can watch for technique and inspiration. If you make a great looking or great tasting pizza that you are pleased with, email a photo along to Ben or post it to the On the Rise Facebook page.


In keeping with the pizza theme, we have Vermont Butter and Cheese Fresh Chevre. I love this cheese and it has become a staple in our fridge. I use it to spruce up pastas, pizzas and salads, veggie and grain combos, and I spread it on sandwiches and crackers.


We also have two varieties of pickles for you to choose from this week - there will be a mix of Pete's Sour Pickles and Pete's Dills at sites this week so head to your site early if you favor the pucker over the salt (or vice versa).

And finally, we have cornmeal in the share again! You may remember that Jack Lazor of Butterworks Farm lost his entire 15 acres of Early Riser corn. Fortunately, Jack was able to buy corn from another organic farmer, and we are the lucky recipients of some of this crop.


Storage and Use Tips
Shoots/Salad Mix - We have the first shoots of the year this week. You'll find sunflower shoots, radish shoots and the now familiar Claytonia greens in your bags this week. This should be a great salad mix with the sunflower shoots bringing an earthy nutty flavor, the radish shoots adding some spice, and both shoots adding some nice crunch to the soft and mild flavored Claytonia. Topped with a nice dressing and some crumbled fresh chevre, these first shoots will be a treat this week. There may be an occasional sunflower hull in your bags. Though we try to get each one, invariably we miss a few here and there.

Gilfeather Turnip - In the late 1800's Wardboro, VT native John Gilfeather either developed or discovered an unusually sweet and creamy turnip with the ability to reach a very large size without becoming woody and while retaining its sweet flavor. Fully realizing how special his turnips were, he sold them at markets throughout his lifetime - with the tops and bottoms cut off. Turnips and rutabagas both have the same seed generating ability... You can store a turnip with tap root and tops intact in a root cellar for the winter, plant it in early spring, and it will immediately go to seed, producing enough seed quickly enough to generate another crop the same season. By cutting off the tops and taproots, John assured that he was the sole marketer of the superior "turnip" and prevented it from being altered by breeding. When John died, his turnips seed made it into the hands of several of his neighbors who began to grow them. One of these folks eventually trademarked the name and registered the vegetable as an heirloom with the Vt Agency of Agriculture. In Wardsboro, an annual festival celebrates the special turnip serving up dozens of dishes featuring it. It may be roasted (delicious), used in soups and stewed, mashed with or without potatoes, and it is even good raw sliced thinly into a salad. This "turnip" may actually be a rutabaga though, as its large size (8 lb roots have been recorded) and wide taproot suggest. Turnip or rutabaga, it is truly the cream of the crop.

Frozen Tomatoes
- Your frozen tomatoes are a mix of heirlooms and beefsteaks. For best results, start by holding the tomatoes under hot water and their skins will easily peel off. They will be watery but they have a wonderful fresh tomato flavor. Use them in a dish that allows for cooking some of the water off.


Recipes


Chevre & Roasted Veggie Pizza:
This is an adaptation of one of the most popular pizzas at On the Rise. You can roast the frozen peppers from last week's share, and carmelize some onions from this share. If you would like some fresh tomato sauce on this pizza, take some of the frozen tomatoes , hold them under hot water to remove skins, chop them and then simmer them in a wide pan to thicken the sauce while onions are carmelizing and peppers are roasting.

1 pizza crust
Shredded mozzarella cheese
fresh chevre
roasted red peppers (fresh diced frozen peppers are good too)
carmelized onions
herbs - fresh or dried oregano and basil and perhaps a bit of thyme too

Roasting the peppers - Slightly oil the peppers with olive oil using your fingers and then place them under the broiler for 6-10 minutes until browned,

Carmelized onions - using 2-3 TB olive oil for each 2 or 3 onions, sauté onions in a hot pan, stirring often, for 10-20 minutes until browned.


Ben's new simplified instructions on how to use and bake your pizza go like this:
1. Thaw dough completely (don't wait for it to rise)
2. roll it & stretch it
3. top it
4. bake it on a stone or pan at a high temp (450°F)
5. take it out (cool it for a few minutes) and eat it!

Potato Gratin with Goat Cheese and Garlic
OK, so not exactly a low calorie dish, but this one from Bon Appétit/February 2001 was top rated by over 150 cooks. Many suggested 4-8 cloves of garlic and adding even more goat cheese. Pair it with a lightly dressed salad and enjoy!

1 cup whole milk
1 cup whipping cream
1 cup crumbled soft fresh goat cheese (about 5 oz)
1 garlic clove, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 pounds potatoes, peeled, thinly sliced


Preheat oven to 400°F. Generously butter 11x7x2-inch glass baking dish. Whisk first 7 ingredients in medium bowl to blend. Arrange 1/3 of potatoes in bottom of prepared dish, overlapping slightly and covering completely. Pour 1/3 of cream mixture over. Repeat layering potatoes and cream mixture 2 more times. Bake uncovered until potatoes are tender and top is golden brown in spots, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Serve hot.

Gilfeather Turnip Soup
Adapted from a recipe created by Greg Parks, Chef at Newfane's Four Columns Inn.

5-6 TB butter
3 large onions, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
5-6 cups unsalted chicken stock
2 lbs. Gilfeather turnips, peeled and chopped
2/3 cup half and half
scant ¼ teaspoon nutmeg, ground
salt and pepper to taste

A few handfuls of fresh spinach (or some shoots perhaps?)

Melt butter in 5 quart kettle and sauté chopped onion and garlic until soft but not browned. Add stock and chopped turnips and cook until tender. Drain and reserve some of the liquid. Purée mixture in food processor until smooth. Put through a food mill or sieve and return to kettle. Add seasonings and half and half. Mix well. Taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary. Add reserved cooking liquid if soup is too thick. Sauté spinach in a small amount of olive oil until just wilted. Use spinach as a garnish on top of the soup before serving.

Fluffy Gilfeather Turnip Souffle
This recipe comes from the Gilfeather Turnip Cookbook published by the Friends of the Wardsboro Library.

2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon onion, chopped
3 cups Gilfeather turnips, cooked and mashed
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon sugar
pinch of cayenne pepper
2 egg yolks, beaten
2 egg whites, stiffly beaten

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Melt butter in a large pan. Add onion and sauté until a delicate brown. Add turnips, salt, sugar, pepper, and cayenne pepper. Mix well. Add the beaten egg yolks. Fold in the stiffly beaten egg whites. Put in greased baking dish or soufflé dish. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until solid in middle.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Good Eats Newsletter - January 13, 2010

This Week's Vegetable Share Contains:
Napa Cabbage; 1 lb Valentine Radishes; 2 lbs Orange Carrots; 2 lbs Celeriac; 2 lbs Mixed Beets (White and Red Ferona); Frozen Braising Greens; Frozen Mixed Peppers

Localvore Offerings Include:
Elmore Mountain Flax Bread
Butterworks Yogurt (a mix of fat and flavors will be available)
Champlain Orchards Empire Apples
Honey Gardens Raw Apitherapy Honey


Meg's Musings and Farm Update
After returning from two weeks in Mexico, Pete and I only spent a week and a half here before zipping off to Springfield, Illinois where we attended a vegetable and fruit growers conference. We spent a couple days visiting friends in Milwaukee and then returned home to the farm. When we returned, things on the farm were still on track.

We have a great group of people on the farm who work together and take on so much responsibility when Pete and I leave. We are thankful for Deb, Stevie, Tim, Amy, and Steve - for the commitment they all have to this farm, their positive energy, excitement, work ethic, and
honesty. It's nice to be able to leave the farm and trust that what needs to get done will be done.

The crew here at the farm is a great group of strong-willed and intelligent people who care very much about what we are doing here. At least 3 times a day the conversation revolves around what we personally have eaten, are about to eat, or are looking forward to eating. Our conversations also revolve around the seasons changing and the next things that must happen on the farm. From growing sprouts (which I will write about in next weeks newsletter), to starting seeds, preparing greenhouses and soil, transplanting, and some of the new and different techniques we will use to grow veggies this year....it seems like we all just can't get enough! (Breaks are good once in a while though :))

A little bit about what everyone is doing these days...

Pete has been working diligently on tidying up our headhouse, getting the veggie oil furnace and boiler going which has just started heating our sprouting room today and in a couple of weeks will heat the slab and soil in our heated greenhouse. He is also getting prepared for the coming season by researching and purchasing new equipment. This his always fun for me as I get to learn new facts while visiting equipment lots and viewing really cool and different implements, tractors, and trucks. Equipment also makes excellent dinner conversation!

Steve has been working on all of the equipment and doing general and not so general maintenence. He has also been plugging away at different jobs all over the farm so that this place runs a little more smoothly. Steve also works with Deb to maintain appropriate storage crop temperatures in our storage facilities...and he made sure our house didn't freeze while we were
away.

Tim runs around here like a busy beaver. He makes sales calls, works with Stevie to pack wholesale veggies, packs localvore products, jumps in to help with packing of Good Eats, works the winter farmer's market, and does most deliveries on Wednesdays, including delivery to wholesale accounts, Good Eats drop sites, picking up used veggie oil along the way.

Deb presides over the washhouse keeping things spiffy. She manages the coolers and makes sure our crops have the right storage conditions and are holding up well. She makes sure all the washing for wholesale and Good Eats gets done...which means lately she's been washing lots and lots of roots. Deb also cuts most of the greens from the moveable greenhouses when we are not cutting by hand. She uses a hand saw that Johnny's sells and that Pete helped to design years back.

Stevie is so helpful, flowing from one project into the next. Stevie has been managing our trailer size freezer...which is no easy task considering it's almost completely full, stacked high with crates of farm produce. He organizes, receives in goods, packs meat shares, and pulls and packs anything needed for the veggie or localvore part of the share - including the braising greens and peppers you all receive this week. Stevie also washes and packs veggies for wholesale and Good Eats... including your veggie shares. He also does delivery on Wednesdays with Tim, or if needed will do the whole route by himself to give Tim a break. Stevie does summer farmer's markets with me, and some winter markets too!

Amy has been a real gift for us here and I greatly appreciate her technical assitance. She is our bookkeeper in addition to our CSA manager so her plate is loaded. Amy carries out all of the responsiblities that come along with her job, including seeking out new and delicious localvore goodies, and she also helps Pete and I on additional research, and handles tricky questions and
confusing technical problems. She is a great people person and has created amazing relationships with our local producers and people in the community.

This farm is very blessed to have such special people be a part of the business. So much thanks and gratitude to everyone involved. I just have to say it wouldn't be the same with out all of them here. ~Meg

Spring Share Sign-up
Spring share sign-up continues and the share is nearing half full. Please get yours sign up form in as soon as you can to secure your weekly deliveries of produce and localvore goodies and monthly deliveries of local, pasture raised meats. Checks will not be cashed until the start of Feb.

Sign-up for the Spring Localvore Share (Feb 17th - Jun 9th)
Sign-up for the Spring Meat Share (4 Deliveries: Mar 3, Apr 7, May 5, June 2)

Site News
Newport - We are hopeful that we will be able to continue to serve people in Newport but as of yet, we have not yet found a way to get shares to Newport for the Spring share period. If you are interested in picking up shares in Craftsbury and transporting them to Newport, please contact me to explore.

Highfields Center for Composting Compost Share Program

Join the first CSC! Highfields Center for Composting is launching a Community Supported Compost program. Just like a CSA, members buy a share up front, reserving for themselves
high quality compost for their farm or garden at discounted prices. Every share helps to support the work of the Highfields Center for Composting, a nonprofit in Hardwick. Highfields’ mission is to Close the Loop on Vermont’s food and agricultural systems. Folks at Highfields work statewide designing and implementing community-based food scrap recycling programs, diverting food “waste” from landfills to compost sites to be turned back into soil to grow more food—closing the loop on the food system. They also provide the agricultural community technical services in on-farm composting. Please support the important work Highfields is doing!


A CSC membership will:
• Guarantee you an annual supply of high quality compost at member prices
• Support Highfields’ programs
• Invest in your local food system and economy
• Invest in composting infrastructure in the Hardwick area for years to come

Highfields compost has been properly cured in order to kill weed seeds and pathogens while leaving all the good bugs intact to continue their work. High quality compost improves soil structure and moisture management resulting in greater nutrient retention and delivery to your plants. This compost is also suitable for organic production.

For more information, please visit the Highfields website or email tom@highfieldscomposting.org or call 802-472-5138 x 205

We'll be dropping Highfields Composting flyers off at share sites this week. Look for them at Craftsbury, Newport, Johnson, Laughing Moon and Concept 2.




Bulk Orders
The January 20 bulk order is now closed. Our next bulk order will go out February 10th (the last week of the Spring share). We must receive your order form by mail by Wednesday January 27th if you'd like to be part of this next bulk order. The February 10th bulk order form will be available on line on our bulk order page by Thursday afternoon this week.


Pete's Pastured Chicken

We will continue to deliver chicken orders to Good Eats members through the Spring months. You can order chickens any week that is not a meat delivery week. Click here to go directly to the chicken page where you can download an order form.

Pastured Chickens and Turkeys
We have lowered the price on the Gopher Broke turkeys to move the last of them. The standards are now $4.00/lb and the heritage birds are $5.95/lb. These turkeys are delicious, and spent their lives on pasture at Gopher Broke Farm. If you'd like a turkey delivered to your pick up site, email me and I'll send along the current list of available birds.

Localvore Lore
We have Elmore Mountain's Flax Bread this week made with organic brown flax from Michel Gaudreau, Milanaise Winter Blend and Rye Flours, Ben Gleason's Whole Wheat Flour, sourdough and sea salt.

I finally had the pleasure to meet Jack Lazor when he delivered Butterworks Farm yogurt to us yesterday. Each time I talk with Jack I learn something new, about grains, or cows, or milk. I appreciate the many years of experience he has and his willingness to share this. Jack and Annie started homesteading in 1975 and their organic farm has steadily grown through the years. They milk a small herd of Jerseys, all of whom are born on the farm and are fed entirely feed grown on the farm. Milk from Jersey cows is rich, with a high protein count and fat content. Yogurt made from this milk is richer than others. The non fat yogurt produced by Butterworks is the only non fat yogurt on the market that does not contain milk thickeners like whey protein or dry milk. And the whole milk yogurt is made from just that, whole jersey milk straight from the cows, so the yogurt comes with cream on top and a butterfat content of 5%, the highest on the market. There will be a mix of yogurts at the sites - non fat plain and vanilla, and whole milk plain and maple.

Champlain Orchards have sent us some Empire Apples this week. Empire's are a cross between Red Delicious & Macintosh. These are a great apple for snacking on, and their crisp texture make them great for salads too.

And from Todd Hardie, we have Honey Gardens Apiaries Raw Apitherapy Honey. This is unpasteurized honey, complete with all the vital enzymes that are destroyed when honey is treated. Enzymes in raw honey help our bodies to digest foods we eat. Raw honey is also very helpful in treating coughs and colds and we use it in our household whenever anyone has a bit of a sore throat or worse, taking spoonfuls several times a day. Thus my kids thoroughly enjoy getting a good sore throat and gloat when they have to "take their medicine".


Storage and Use Tips
Frozen Peppers - At the height of the season this summer, we stowed away lots of fresh peppers for Good Eats. In most bags, you will receive a mix of pepper varieties, some sweet green peppers, some sweet red peppers and there may very well be some mildly spicy peppers as well. We promise we haven't snuck any habaneros in there, but there might be a little heat in the bags. If you are concerned with that, taking the seeds out of your peppers will go a long way toward minimizing the spiciness in your dish. Leave peppers in the freezer til you are ready to use them. Then take out the peppers you will use for the dish you are making, and cut them as required for your recipe while they are still frozen. As they thaw they will soften and become harder to chop. These peppers can be used in any recipe that calls for cooking peppers. Chop them and toss them onto a pizza, or into a pasta dish, in a casserole, or alongside onions when grilling your meats.

Frozen Braising Greens Mix - We also froze braising greens when there was a surplus in the field. I use frozen greens all the time. I toss them into smoothies in the am, I put them into pasta dishes, burritos, soups etc - as with the peppers, any dish that calls for cooked greens. Use only what you need and toss the rest back into the freezer for another use.

Recipes

Red and Napa Cabbage Salad with Empire Apples and Spiced Nuts
I have been in a salad mood lately. I think it's a knee-jerk reaction to all the holiday indulgence and lately I can't get enough raw food. This one calls for Napa and red cabbage but you could get away with just the Napa. Adapted from a January 2007 Bon Appétit recipe.

1 teaspoons butter
1 cup pecan halves (or walnuts)
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/8 teaspoon (scant) cayenne pepper

2 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup olive oil

2 medium unpeeled Empire apples (or other crisp apple), quartered, cored, thinly sliced crosswise
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 cups thinly sliced red cabbage
2 cups thinly sliced Napa cabbage
3/4 cup dried cranberries (about 5 ounces)

Melt butter in nonstick medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add pecans and stir 1 minute. Add brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, and cayenne; stir until nuts are coated, about 1 minute. Transfer nuts to foil sheet and cool.

Whisk both vinegars and mustard in small bowl. Gradually whisk in oil. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper.

Toss apples with lemon juice in large bowl. Add cabbage and dried crans. Add dressing and toss. Stir in pecans and season salad with salt and pepper.

Do ahead: Spiced pecans and dressing can be made 1 day ahead. Store pecans airtight at room temperature. Cover and chill dressing; bring to room temperature and rewhisk before using.

Apple and Raw Beet Slaw

1 teaspoon grated ginger
1 pound beets, peeled
1 large Granny Smith apple, or similar flavored and textured apple
3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1/2 teaspoon coarse grain salt
1/8 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1 to 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

In a medium sized salad bowl, using your microplane grater (or the smallest holes of a cheese grater) grate fresh ginger directly into bowl, about one teaspoon. Grate beets and apples, add them to the bowl with the ginger, and toss until ginger is evenly distributed. Add sherry vinegar, salt, and pepper to bowl and toss to coat evenly. Add olive oil, stir to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve immediately or keep refrigerated.

Raw Beet, Carrot, Apple &/or Radish Salad
I chose this recipe out of the myriad available, because it's basic. 1 pound of whatever veggies you choose to use, dressed with a bit of olive oil, honey, and whatever acidic juice you'd like to add - it could be lemon juice, orange juice, cider vinegar, raspberry vinegar, etc etc. Just grate the vegetables and dress it with whatever suits your mood or meal today.

1 generous pound total of beets, carrot, apples or radishes trimmed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon honey
Zest and juice of a lemon
Fresh dill, chopped
Few drops of Tabasco

Grate the beet. (There's no need to peel, the grater will just push the skins back.)
Grate or chop the carrot (or use a mandoline)
Grate or chop the radishes
Slice the apples

Toss with the remaining ingredients.

Celeriac, Carrot and Yoghurt Smoothness with Salt-Crusted Potatoes
I thought this would combine well with the salad theme for a simple but yummy veggie meal. In this recipe, potatoes are topped with a smooth veggie yogurt cream sauce for a healthy delicious treat. It calls for large baking potatoes, but you could roast potatoes, or make mashed potatoes or use any kind of potato you want and they would be delicious with this topping. From the website www.luculliandelights.com.

6 oz celeriac peeled
3 oz carrots, peeled
1/2 cup creamy natural yoghurt
1/2 cup fresh cream
1 abundant tsp parsley, finely chopped
5-6 potatoes, big ones good baking and all about the same size
salt
extra-virgin olive oil

Clean but do not peel the potatoes. Boil them until half-cooked, about 10-15 minutes depending on the size.

Drain the potatoes before brushing them with olive oil and then roll them in salt. Put them in a oven-proof form and bake in a pre-heated oven 400°F for about 20 minutes.

While the potatoes are in the oven, dice the vegetables and steam until soft.
Blend until smooth with a hand blender or mixer and let it cool down a bit before adding yoghurt, cream and parsley to it, mix well and check salt.

Cut the baked potatoes open and top with the cream. Serve warm or cold.

Good Eats Newsletter - January 6, 2010

This Week's Vegetable Share Contains:
Mesclun mix of Claytonia and Spinach; 3 lbs Nicola Potatoes; 2 lbs Rutabagas; 2 lbs Red Onions; 1 Large Bunch of Leeks; Large Head of Green Cabbage; 1 Quart Frozen Pumpkin Puree

Localvore Offerings Include:
Red Hen Bread:
Either Cyrus Pringle -or- Localvore Mad River

Les Aliments Massawippi Soya and Oats Miso
Willow Hill La Fleurie Cheese
1 Dozen Eggs

Laughing Moon will receive replacement eggs
(an egg double header for you folks!).

Meat Share People!
This is a Meat Share Week!

Pete's Musings
The Reyes Vargas clan who work on our farm in the summer are affectionately known as the "amigos". I've never really asked them if they enjoy this description but it has been a handy catchall name for us. I'd long been curious about the amigo's farm in Mexico. I'd spent many hours listening to descriptions of cows, horses, fields of tomatoes, tomatillas and corn. The work ethic they demonstrate while working on our farm is truly incredible and so ingrained into their being that it is obvious that they don't just put it on for their trip to the States. So I was prepared to be wowed.

Unfortunately it's more complicated than just working hard. It is very dry in their area and getting worse every year. They can no longer farm a prime field that they used to grow on as there is no more water. Instead they have to walk 20 minutes down a very steep path to a field that has gravity flow water. Erosion and overgrazing are a real problem and I suspect the water issues are at least partially related to that.

Their climate is ideal for most vegetable and fruit crops-warm sunny days and cool dry nights. There are virtually no gardens in their town, just corn for tortillas and larger scale commercial crops such as tomatoes and tomatillas. This is puzzling as they seem to enjoy eating a wide variety of vegetables and fruits and while they are fairly inexpensive to buy they did not seem inexpensive compared to the average wage in the area which is $10 per day.

The economics of commercial production is really tough. They grow 2 acres of tomatillas which are about 1/3 golf ball in size and miserably time consuming to harvest. They fill burlap bags with 70 lbs. of tomatillas and haul them the 20 minutes back up the steep path to the road. Then they drive them nearly 2 hours over several mountain passes to the market. The market is huge - perhaps the equivalent of 15 times the Montpelier farmers market. There is no regulation of who shows up to sell food - free market at it's best, or worst. When they go to market they have no idea what the tomatilla price is going to be - it all depends on how many other folks have tomatillas that day. The price is never great, averaging about $15 per 70 lb bag. When there are gluts the price can be a lot worse.

We visited a 1/2 acre greenhouse tomato operation. Techniques and equipment are very similar to what we do in Vermont. They had been getting a good price of .50 cents per lb. all fall but the previous week the price fell to .10 cents per lb. They were discouraged by this but still harvesting and packing the tomatoes. ~Pete

Tune in next week: Mexican farm animals and pets

Spring Share Sign-up

Summer share sign-up is rolling along now with the envelopes arriving daily. Please get yours in as soon as you can to secure your weekly deliveries of produce and localvore goodies and monthly deliveries of local, pasture raised meats. Checks will not be cashed until the start of Feb.

Sign-up for the Spring Localvore Share (Feb 17th - Jun 9th)
Sign-up for the Spring Meat Share (4 Deliveries: Mar 3, Apr 7, May 5, June 2)


Site News
Montpelier - Montpelier Mud will be open for pick up from 8am to 9pm this week and through the end of January. In February we anticipate the hours changing to 8am to 6pm, but I'll update you all as we get closer.

Adams Court - Kate has asked me to remind members to PLEASE CLOSE THE DOOR at Adams when you come to pick up. The door really needs to be shut tightly. Also, do try to pick up as early as possible, especially on super cold days to get food before it begins to freeze.

Grove St - Like Adams Court, food at this site is at risk of exposure so try to pick up early.

Newport - We are still working on a plan to allow for the continuation of a Newport site. Stay tuned.

Please Consider a Donation to Farm Share

Each share period, donations from our members enable some number of limited income families to join NOFA's Farm Share program and gain access to fresh local produce through a Pete's Greens Good Eats share. Eligible Farm Share recipients pay only 50% of the cost of the share. The other 50% comes from donations - 25% from Pete's Greens member donations and 25% from NOFA. (NOFA's funds are raised from their annual September Share the Harvest Event in which participating restaurants pledge a portion of the day's sales to the program.) The number of Farm Share grants Pete's is able to offer each share period depends entirely on the number of donations we receive from our members. Please consider a donation to the Farm Share program when you sign up for your own share. Your donation will directly fund a portion of a share for someone, and lots of small donations really add to make the difference.

Bulk Orders
The next bulk order will go out January 20. We must receive your order form by mail by this Friday January 9th if you'd like to be part of this next bulk order. The January 20th bulk order is available on line on our bulk order page.


Pete's Pastured Chicken
We will continue to deliver chicken orders to Good Eats members through the Spring months. You can order chickens any week that is not a meat delivery week. Click here to go directly to the chicken page where you can download an order form.

Pastured Chickens and Turkeys

We have lowered the price on the Gopher Broke turkeys to move the last of them. The standards are now $4.00/lb and the heritage birds are $5.95/lb. These turkeys are delicious, and spent their lives on pasture at Gopher Broke Farm. If you'd like a turkey delivered to your pick up site, email me and I'll send along the current list of available birds.

Localvore Lore

At Red Hen Baking Co. this week, Randy George was all set to make us some of their Cyrus Pringle Batard, made with organic Aurora Farms Vt unbleached white. While we were corresponding about quantity I mentioned that I'd really been enjoying Red Hen's Mad River bread lately. Randy replied, "why don't we do both?". And so this week, he has created a localvore version of their Mad River bread, made with Aurora Farms cornmeal and white flour, Gleason’s whole wheat flour, and Quebecois flax, oats and rye. There will be a mix of these breads at the sites, with a bit more than Mad River than Cyrus Pringle.

Eggs again this week for everyone from Pa Pa Doodles and Gopher Broke Farm. We are scheduled to have eggs 2 more times this share, if the hens keep up... January 27th and Feb 3rd.

For the first time we have cheese from Willow Hill Farm in the share! The La Fleurie cheese hails from Milton, where husband and wife team run a small certified organic seasonal grass-fed dairy. They make both cow and sheep cheeses with milk from their own animals and age their cheeses on the farm in their own cave. Their cheeses have won numerous awards at the World Cheese Awards. Willow made a special batch of this cheese to accommodate our CSA. It is normally shipped out younger than this so that it has a longer shelf life in stores. But she aged this cheese further for us so that you all could receive it at its peak. We hope to bring you more of their cheeses in the future. A description of the La Fleurie from their website:

This little morsel is like a mini-Camembert! Disc-shaped, bloomy rind cow's milk cheese from our own rich Brown Swiss cows' milk. It begins young like a richer Chaource then ripens to a mushroomy and buttery round.

To follow the tamari in last week's share, we have beautiful organic traditionally made unpasteurized Soya and Oats Miso made by Gilbert and Suzanne of Les Aliments Massawippi. Suzanne started making miso nearly 10 years ago. She adheres to the ancient method of making miso using nothing but organic soy beans, cereal grains like rice and barley, water and salt. It's a cool process.

She starts by rinsing the soy and then soaking and boiling them until they reach the right texture. Meanwhile she cleans and then steams the grains until they reach the optimal moisture level and then they are allowed to cool. At this point she innoculates the grains with both a fungal culture (Aspergillus oryzae) and lactobacilli. The grains are left to ferment for 45 hours at a specific temperature until each grain is coated with a white mycelium and yields what is known as koji. At this point the koji covered grain is combined with the soy beans, salt and water and the whole batch is crushed and prepared for a second fermentation. The process to this point takes three days. Now the miso goes into an anaerobic environment for the second fermentation which can last from one week up to two or three years depending on the type of miso that is being made.

Miso is a fermented product which enhances the effect of the lactic intestinal flora and as such it is easy on the body. The enzymes it contains further aids digestion. Commercial packaged miso has been pasteurized and is no longer a living food so always choose unpasteurized miso. This miso will keep in your fridge for a very long time.

Meat Share
For the first time ever, we have three of our own meats this week! Several years ago, we started raising chickens as a means of increasing the fertility on the farm. We started small and have increased the flock numbers each year as we have learned to do things better. This year, we put up lots of fencing appropriate for cows, pigs and sheep and got just a few animals to start. A long range fertility program is slowly taking shape so that we can completely close the loop on the farm, no longer depending on outside compost sources to feed the vegetable fields. We don't have many animals at this point, and it will be a while before we have enough to provide, say, Porterhouse steaks for the whole share, but hopefully we'll be able to provide ground beef and stew meat and items we get in larger quantity with some regularity. We will be selling the other cuts separately though, and should have a price list for all available meats in the next few weeks.

Pete's Chicken - we have pulled some larger birds from the freezer this week. These are our pastured chickens, delicious tender birds that spent their lives eating as much green food and vegetation as you can convince a meat bird to eat. We start our chicks in the greenhouse and then move them outside as soon as they are feathered out enough. Then they live outside, pastured in green fields, with large moveable shelters for lounging in.

Bonnieview Lamb Shanks - Neil and Kristin Urie live nearby the farm and make great cheeses from their dairy sheep. We bought a lot of Neil's male lambs in the spring and he raised them over at his place for us. The lamb shanks in the share today should be delicious.

Pete's Pastured Ground Beef - Our beef are raised at our farm and at Bruce Urie's farm nearby. They are pastured continuously, and those that spend time at our farm get to feast on vegetables, pumpkins and roots that cows love. Though the meat is not certified organic, the forage and hay they eat has never been treated with anything, and the pastures on our farm are certified. We give the animals no medications or chemical dewormers so you can feel great about this meat.

Maplewind Farm Summer Sausage - Once again we have a great product from Maplewind Farm in Huntington. Up on top of a ridge with the Long Trail running by, Beth and Bruce raise beef, poultry, pigs, and poultry while also growing vegetables for their CSA down on the valley floor. Their pigs are all born on the farm and pastured throughout their lives. The Summer Sausage in the share today is great on crackers or with a cheese plate. It is completely cured so though it is coming to you frozen it could actually be kept on the kitchen counter until it is opened (after which it does need to be refrigerated). But it needs no cooking. Just slice up and enjoy. It is mild flavored summer sausage and also makes great sandwich meat!

Recipes

Unstuffed Sweet-and-Sour Cabbage
This recipe mimics the time consuming Stuffed Cabbage classic, without all the extra time. Great reviews from lots of home cooks who took some liberties with the recipe. As is, it gets a 4 fork rating from epicurious. But cooks substituted sausage or bacon for the pork, others substituted tofu or Boca meat for some or all of the meats. Some made it meat and meat substitute-less. Others left out the cranberries or added more garlic. Lots of room to play here. From Gourmet November 2008. Serves 4.

1 (2-pound) head green cabbage, quartered lengthwise and cored
1/2 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced, divided
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 pound ground beef chuck
1/2 pound ground pork
1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes in juice
1/3 cup dried cranberries
3 tablespoon red-wine vinegar
1 tablespoon packed dark brown sugar
2 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley

Accompaniment: steamed rice

Place cabbage in a deep 12-inch heavy skillet with broth, 1 garlic clove (sliced), and a rounded 1/4 teaspoon salt. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, then cook, covered, turning cabbage occasionally, until very tender, about 20-30 minutes. (Add more broth or water if necessary.)

Meanwhile, cook onion and remaining garlic in oil in a heavy medium pot over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 8 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high and stir in ground meats along with 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring and breaking up lumps with a wooden spoon, until no longer pink, about 3 minutes.
Stir in tomatoes with their juice, cranberries, vinegar, and brown sugar and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally and breaking up tomatoes with spoon, until slightly thickened, about 20 minutes. Season with salt.

Pour sauce into skillet with cabbage and simmer, uncovered, 5 minutes. Serve sprinkled with parsley.

Thai Butternut Squash Soup
Share member Melissa Pasanen sent this recipe along a couple weeks ago after receiving the last round of pumpkin puree in the share. The puree makes soups like this a breeze! Assuming you want keep your precious mesclun for salad, you can skip the greens if you don't have anything appropriate in your fridge. But if you don't think you will make salad this week, you could add a few handfuls of your spinach/claytonia mix. This one has been adapted from Simple Suppers from Moosewood.

1 cup coconut milk (or 1 whole can)
1/2 teaspoon Thai red curry paste, or to taste
4 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups vegetable broth
24 ounces cooked winter squash (the whole 32 oz bag will be fine!)
1 lime
2 cups fresh baby spinach or bok choy leaves, thinly slivered
chopped fresh cilantro

Whisk coconut milk, curry paste, sugar, salt, broth, squash together in a large pot. Cover and bring to simmer and cook 10 minutes or so until heated through. Lightly grate lime and add 1 teaspoon zest and juice of lime. Add spinach or bok choy and cook just until wilted. Adjust seasoning to taste. Serve with cilantro as desired. Serves 4.

Vichyssoise (Cream of Leek Soup)
I am including this recipe not just because we have the potatoes and leeks but because this recipe uses miso too. From the cookbook Miso More than Food:Life by Suzanne Dionne, maker of your miso, this is a nice adaptation of the French classic. For a carrot soup, you can substitute 2 cups of grated carrots for the leeks.

2 TB butter
4 medium leeks, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
4 medium potatoes peeled and cubed
2 stalks of celery, cut into strips
1/2 tsp chervil
1/2 tsp marjoram
2 cups water

1 cup milk
3 TB miso diluted in 1/4 cup hot water
2 TB chives or green onions, finely chopped
a few garlic croutons

In a pot, melt the butter and cook the leeks, onions, and garlic together for 5 minutes stirring frequently. Do not brown. Add the potatoes, celery, chervil, marjoram, and half the water. Cover and let simmer for 25 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Let cool for 15 minutes.

Place the mixture in a food processor and puree. Before serving, pour the mixture back into the cooking pan and add the milk and the remaining water. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat and add the miso.

Pour into bowls and top with a few croutons and the chives or green onions, and serve hot.

Chicken Curry with Cashews
This is one of my favorite chicken recipes that a friend gave me years ago and one that I make over and over. It calls for adding the chicken to the dish raw and cooking it, but I always have whole chickens to deal with and since I can't be bothered cutting them up before cooking, I used cooked meat. Usually I roast the whole bird on the day prior, eat one meal from the bird, and the following day I throw the rest into this dish. Honestly this dish is so good it's like dessert. You can't stop eating it.

1/4 c butter
2 medium onions, finely chopped
2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 TB finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
3 TB curry powder
2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp cayenne

1 chicken, cut into pieces
14-16 oz diced tomatoes
1/4 c chopped fresh cilantro (this is nice but not essential)
3/4 c cashews (this I suppose is not essential but is what makes the dish dessert like)
3/4 c. whole milk plain yogurt

Heat butter over moderately low heat until foam subsided, then cook onions, garlic, and ginger, stirring until softened, about 5 minutes. Add curry powder, salt, cumin, and cayenne and cook, stirring, 2 mins. Add chicken and cook stirring to coat, 3 minutes. Add tomatoes and their juice, and cilantro and bring to a simmer, then cover and simmer gently, stirring occasionally until chicken is cooked through, about 40 minutes.

*If making with cooked chicken, add the tomatoes and cilantro after cooking the spices for 2 mins, and let simmer for a few minutes to allow the flavors to come together. Then add the cooked chicken and heat through. Then move to the steps below.

Just before serving (or heating up- the above can be cooked well in advance):
pulse cashews in a food processor until very finely ground, then add to curry along with yogurt and simmer gently, uncovered, stirring, until sauce is thickened, about 5 minutes.

Serve with basmati rice.


Braised Lamb Shanks with Potato Root Vegetable Mash
There are many recipes for lamb shanks and they all call for long, slow cooking to tenderize the meat. But you are rewarded with tender, velvety meat in beautiful rich sauce. This recipe source is a combo. The Braised Lamb part comes from seriouslygood.com and the Potato Root Veg Mash comes from Bon Appetit Jan 1996 by way of epicurious.com.

2 Lamb Shanks -- closely trimmed of fat
2 tbsp olive oil
2 medium onions -- cut into eighths
3 medium carrots -- peeled and cut into 1" chunks
1 ea celery stalk -- cut into 1/4" pieces
2 cloves garlic -- sliced
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 TB dried Herbes de Provence
1 TB juniper berries -- smashed (optional, but good)
2 c red wine
1 - 2 c beef stock
salt and pepper to taste

Heat oven to 325F.

Generously season lamb shanks with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in a dutch oven over medium high heat. Add lamb shanks and brown on all sides, including end. Remove to a plate.

Reduce heat to medium and add onions, carrots, and celery to pot. Cook, stirring occasionally, until ingredients begin to brown. Add tomato paste, juniper, herbs, and garlic. add salt and pepper to taste. Cook an addition 1 1/2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add wine, deglaze pan, and reduce by half. Return shanks to the pot and add enough beef stock to come halfway up the sides of the shanks.

Cover and place in the center of the oven, and cook for 3 hours, turning shanks over about halfway through the cooking time. The meat should be just about falling from the bone when done.


Potato and Root vegetable mash
1-2 large russet potatoes, peeled, cut into 2-inch pieces
1-2 rutabagas, peeled, halved, thinly sliced
3 small parsnips, peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces

1.5 tablespoons olive oil
Bring large pot of salted water to boil. Add potatoes, rutabagas and parsnips. Boil until vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes. Drain well.

Return vegetables to same pot. Mash until coarse puree forms. Mix in 3 tablespoons olive oil. Season vegetables to taste with salt and pepper. (Vegetable mash can be prepared 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature. Rewarm over low heat, stirring frequently.) Transfer vegetables to bowl and serve.

Spoon Potato and Root Vegetable Mash onto plates. Top vegetables with lamb shanks and sauce.