Thursday, September 23, 2010

Good Eats Newsletter - September 22, 2010

This Week's Vegetable Share Contains:

Mixed Potatoes; 1 Bunch of Orange Carrots; 1 Bunch of Sweet Salad Turnips; 2 Sweet Dumpling Winter Squash; 2 Torpedo Onions; 2 Shallots; 1 Head of Garlic; Sweet Pepper; Broccoli; 1 Cayenne Pepper, plus...

1 Bag Arugula

Localvore Offerings Include:

Elmore Mountain Bread

Pa Pa Doodles Farm Eggs

Willow Hill Cheese

Pete's Musings
We received a nice grant from USDA NRCS to put in an irrigation system a couple years ago. Never got around to it and now the grant is due Oct. 1. So we are scrambling to order pipe, a traveler (big sprinkler that moves as it sprays), a pump and lots of parts and pieces. It is going to be great to have an easy way to apply water all over our fields, it will really take some stress away.

Potato harvest slowly proceeds. Some days too wet, most days too busy doing everything else. We need to really make it happen the next four days. Wish us luck and no broken equipment.

We have a bed of celery that is growing in one of our winter greenhouses. Have never tried it in the fall before and it is looking really nice. I hear it is much hardier than people think and I hope we can keep it going well into November or later.

I'm heading to Europe next week. Tour of vegetable field trials, farms, and a CSA in Holland and Denmark followed by a few days visiting cheese facilities in France and Switzerland. Looking forward to having my mind blown by all the cool stuff those organized and specialized Europeans have figured out. ~Pete

Sean's Adventures
Sean Garvey has been blogging about his adventures as an intern on the farm this Summer. Sean is invigorated by his work and is excited to share the farm with anyone who is interested. This week he invited any of you who would like to experience life on the farm to come out and spend an afternoon working alongside him. He claims he'll even cook you dinner in exchange for some good IPA. Check out Sean's blog.

Storage and Use Tips

Sweet Dumpling Winter Squash - Wow are these good. Yesterday we tested several squash varieties at the farm to see if they were ready. We baked them and tried all of the varieties and these are just amazing. We ate them plain, right out of the shell for lunch, they are that good, so sweet.

Sweet Salad Turnips - Tender, fresh dug Sweet Salad Turnips can be eaten raw or cooked. Raw they have a texture similar to a radish, but are not so sharp. Or slice, dice, or quarter them and saute with butter or oil. Cook until just tender and still a little crisp. Just a little salt or maybe a little bit of vinegar is all they need. Cooked with butter and given a slight drizzle of honey and even picky little eaters may gobble them up. Don't forget the greens! Turnip greens are tender and flavorful. Chop and saute with the turnips for a side dish, or cook up with other greens, or by themselves. They make a great addition to pasta sauces too.

Fall/Winter Share is Now 4 Weeks Away

There are only 3 more deliveries after this week.

Sign up for the Good Eats Fall/Winter Share to ensure your continued weekly deliveries. The Fall share begins on Oct 20th and continues through Feb 16th.

We continue in our quest to provide the greatest diversity of produce for as much of the year as possible. A great growing season has produced a bounty of storage crops and our greenhouses will be stocked with baby greens, pac choi, napa, celery, fennel, head lettuce and others that we'll harvest into December. In the depths of winter we'll blend the hardiest winter greens from the greenhouses with sunflower, radish and pea shoots grown indoors so that our members receive something fresh and green nearly every week. These green offerings combined with our storage crops (potatoes, carrots, onions, winter squash, turnips, kohlrabi, cabbages, and many more) and frozen summer crops will keep us eating a diverse, healthy, local diet all winter long.

Please visit the Fall/Winter Share page for details and to download a sign up form.

If you have questions about the Fall Share, please email Amy.

Looking for Someone to Split a
Share with?
If you would like to sign up again but feel it may be too much food for you, consider splitting your share with someone. There are already a couple people in Shelburne and Montpelier looking for share partners for the Fall Share listed on our Members Seeking page. If you would like to be added to the list here, send me an email and I'll post a notice there for you.

Order Pete's Pastured Meats - Fill Your Freezer
We are finally able to make a wide variety of our pastured meats available to share members. We have a variety of pork and beef cuts available now. Some we have lots of, some not a lot, so for best variety order soon. Presently you can choose from pork chops, hams and ham steaks, ribs, sausage, ground pork, plus an assortment of beef steaks, ribs, roasts, kabob meat, stew meat, and burger. And of course Pete's Pastured Chicken.

Our pigs are raised on 20 acres of pasture on the farm. They graze and forage all day and their diet is supplemented by huge amounts of vegetables from the farm. Our cows are raised in partnership with friend and neighbor Bruce Urie who pastures them on his fields in Summer, and feeds them his own hay supplemented with beets and soybeans in Winter. Our beef and pork is tender and delicious and has far less fat, and far more omega 3s, CLAs, vita E and beta carotene than non grass fed animals. Our animals have received no hormones or medications either. This is really healthy, very tasty meat.

You may place meat orders for delivery on most weeks that are not designated Meat Shares weeks (the first Wednesday of the month). The first delivery day is next week, Sep 29. After that, we skip Oct 6 (Meat Share week) and then will deliver meats again October 13th. If I receive your order by Wednesday this week, I can get your order out to you next week.

For a short time, orders over $150 in beef and pork and receive a discount of 10%.

Visit our Meat Bulk Order Page to Order.

Pete's Pastured Chicken

All chicken is not created equal. Most chickens live in terribly cramped, foul smelling barns, breathing ammonia fumes most of their lives. "Free range" chickens usually fare better but the only requirement for free range birds is that they have the OPPORTUNITY to go outside. Meaning the barn they live in needs to have a door that connects the birds to the outside. Because all their feed and water is inside the barn, the birds often do not take advantage. And most free range producers do not have lush fields on the other side of that chicken door, often just an overused dirt yard.

At Pete's Greens our chickens lead a pretty charmed life. They begin their days in the greenhouse, and then move outside as soon as they are feathered out. They spend their whole lives eating greens from the farm, and get plenty of fresh air and sunshine.

Our chickens are an important part of the fertility plan on the farm. They are moved from place to place, cleaning up fields and greenhouses before the old crops are tilled under. They provide a valuable service, making use of the greens as feed, and leaving behind nitrogen to replace that which the arugula drew from the soil. This is good for the fields, it's a great, fresh environment for the birds, and it's also great news for those of us who dine on them. The meat from our birds are packed with far more vitamins than non pastured birds.

You can order chickens and have them delivered directly to your pick up site any week (except meat share weeks). Minimum order is 3 chickens, but if you order 5 or more you can take advantage of our special price of $3.50/lb (regular price is $3.75/lb).

For more info about our chickens, and to order, please visit the chicken page. You can also add add chickens to a Meat Bulk Order along with Pork and Beef.

Localvore Lore
Elmore Mountain bread is back this week. Blair just emailed to let me know that she and Andrew are baking Quebec Multi-Grain. This bread features Whole Wheat & Winter Wheat from Meunerie Milanise in Quebec, cracked grains from Michel Gaudreau Golden Crops in Quebec, sea salt, and sourdough. I don't think I have mentioned my little kitchen experiment... Last March my family and I went to FL, and of course while on vacation you end up buying items you normally wouldn't buy. I bought a bag of Thomas whole wheat bagels. We ate several in FL and then they made the journey home in the food tote in the minivan. There were three left. No longer interested in this type of food once back in the land of plenty, the bagels sat in the bread basket. Weeks passed and they were still "fresh". They had not molded, they were still soft. I decided to leave them there to see what would happen. It has now been nearly 6 months since I purchased them, and while now slightly more firm than when first purchased, the bagels are still "fine". One can only imagine the variety of preservatives, conditioners, and who knows what that have been added to these bagels to keep them from resisting natural breakdown. I am thankful for the pure wholesome breads we have available to us, made even better with the knowledge that we also support local farms, bakers, and our own local economy when we buy them.

Pa Pa Doodles eggs are back this week and next week. With the salmonella scare, it sure is nice to have a solid source of good local eggs. Just as I did when I was a kid, my kids eat eggnog each morning made from Deb's eggs, milk, vanilla, and a bit of sugar. It's a great first nutritional boost for them in the AM as each kid takes in 1 egg and a cup of milk. They love them, and so do I, for the ease of them, and the good fresh source.

This is only the second time we have had the opportunity to include one of Willow Hill Farm's award winning cheeses. Willow Smart and husband Dave Phinney raise sheep and cows on their diversified organic farm in Milton. They make their cheeses from milk from their own animals and age their cheeses in their own cave. I wanted to include one of the sheep cheeses they make only in summer, but this has proved challenging because it's hard for them to make enough extra of one particular cheese.

Instead we have two different cheeses for you to choose between. Summertomme is a semi-firm cheese with a rind that is lined with herb. The rind is entirely edible of course, and the the strong flavor of the rind compliments the strong, buttery textured cheese within. The flavors are fresh and floral with a rich, earthy tang and a slightly sweet finish. This cheese has won numerous awards including a silver medal at the World Cheese Awards in 2006. The Vermont Brebis has a soft rind and a mushroom-like, earthy taste that contains hints of herbs. The word "brebis" is pronounced like "bray-bee" and is a French word that means "ewe." Vermont Brebis has received honors from the American Cheese Society in 2003, 2004, and 2005. It was awarded a bronze medal at the World Cheese Awards in 2004, and a silver in 2006. You will have to choose one of these cheeses at your site, but you can't go wrong with either!


Simple Baked Sweet Dumpling Squash

Honestly, this squash needs no treatment at all save for a bit of butter perhaps, or salt & pepper. But if you have anyone in your household that you need to convince that winter squash is delicious, try this. Each half serves 1 person.

Preheat oven to 350ºF.

Cut the squash in half, and remove the seeds and extra bits with a spoon. Turn upside down, and poke some holes in the skin with a fork. Turn it back over, and place each half into a baking dish filled with an inch or so of water. In each squash half, put the following ingredients, sprinkling spices on the top edge, too:

1 tablespoon pure maple syrup

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 tablespoon butter

1 teaspoon brown sugar

Bake uncovered on the middle oven rack for 40-45 minutes, or until tender.

Roasted Potato Salad with Wilted Arugula Two Ways

Two delicious salads to choose from - or make them both on different days. Serves 4.

1.5 lb potatoes
Olive oil
Arugula - 1 to 2 cups or more as you prefer

Heat oven to 400*. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Cut potatoes into 1-2 inch chunks and transfer to baking sheet. Coat the potatoes evenly with olive oil, salt and pepper. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until golden, crispy and fork tender.

Transfer hot potatoes to a large serving bowl, toss with a couple large handfuls or arugula and add either:

Parmesan Olive Combo

1/3 cup parm, grated

1/3 cup olives (spanish pr kalamata)

1 TB capers

2-3 TB chopped torpedo onion

salt & pepper to taste

Lemony Dressing

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

2 teaspoon sherry vinegar

Young Turnip and Apricot Salad with Toasted Nuts

Here's one from the recipe archives. Adapted from Farmer John's Cookbook. Serves 4.

1/2 cup walnut pieces

1 bunch salad turnips, greens washed, spun dry and set aside

1/2 cup finely sliced dried apricots

1/4 cup finely chopped parsley or cilantro

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup cider vinegar

1/4 cup plain yogurt

1/4 cup minced sweet onion

1 small hot pepper, minced, or to taste

1 clove garlic

1 tsp dry mustard

scant tbsp grated horseradish

1 tsp tamari



salad greens (mesclun or arugula would work fine here)

Toast walnuts in a dry heavy skillet stirring constantly until lightly browned and fragrant. Transfer to a dishtowel to cool.

Wash turnips and cut into thin matchsticks. Combine with apricots and walnuts in a large bowl.

Coarsely chop turnip greens. Put the parsley, chopped turnip greens, oils, vinegar and yogurt into a blender; process briefly, until the ingredients are just combined. Add the onion, hot pepper, garlic, mustard, horseradish, and soy sauce; process until thick and creamy.

Pour the dressing over the turnip mixture; toss until well combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

 Line individual plates with a generous amount of salad greens; spoon the turnip salad on top. Serve immediately.

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