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 App├ętit 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.

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