Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Good Eats Newsletter - October 13, 2010

This Week's Vegetable Share Contains:

Sweet Potatoes!; Purple Top Turnips; Green Tomatoes; Yellow Onions; Delicata Squash; Small Head Lettuce; Garlic; Broccoli or Romanesca Cauliflower; Sweet (Hot?) Peppers; 1 Bunch of Swiss Chard; plus....

1 Bag of Frozen Corn

Localvore Offerings Include:

Elmore Mountain Baguette
Pa Pa Doodles Farm Eggs
Blue Ledge Lake's Edge Cheese
Amir Hebib's Mushrooms


Pete's Musings
Thanks for joining us for the summer share. We hope you enjoyed it and will consider joining for the next share period. Our fall and winter greenhouse crops are looking great as are the root and other storage crops coming in from the fields. We're really enjoying this respite of sun after last week's deluge.

I had a great trip to Europe visiting 2 seed companies in Holland, several veggie farms in Holland and Denmark, and touring 2 cheese aging operations in France. Learned alot. Minimum wage in Denmark is $22 per hour and to compensate they tend to have larger farms than ours (around 200 acres) and to grow only 4-8 crops so that they can afford to be really well mechanized for each crop. I lusted over many exciting pieces of equipment such as automatic transplanters, mini greenhouse installers, fancy cultivation rigs and harvesters. Most are too expensive for our scale of production but still fun to study.

When I was gone we got 6 inches of rain in 2 days which produced the worst flooding we have had since I've owned the farm (7 years). All I heard about it was a brief email message that said it was raining alot so it was hard to harvest greens. Turns out all the crops that went under water are fine and I am glad I didn't have to hear about it as I couldn't do anything about it. ~Pete

Fall/Winter Share Sign Up

The Fall/Winter Share is not yet full and there is still time to get signed up before the start of that share period next week. I need to receive your sign-up by this Friday Oct 15th (or at least an email by Saturday) to get you into the database in time to receive the first share delivery Oct 20th.

If you miss this deadline, I can start you the following week, Oct 27th, provided there is still room in the share. We pro-rate remaining weeks for folks who start late.

Last year we were still harvesting greens and kale from the fields right up until the end of December. In January and February we never missed a week providing share members with salad mix that we grew in the greenhouses (photo at left is of Deb harvesting on Jan 25th last year!). And every week of the Fall/Winter share you can expect a high level of veggie diversity as we choose among our stores of potatoes, turnips, beets, carrots, cabbages, onions, winter squash and other storage crops combined with frozen summer crops. Don't miss out!

We offer flexible payment plans too. See the sign up sheet for details, or contact me if you have special payment needs.

We have four different Good Eats shares available for the Fall/Winter:

Vegetable Only Share - a bountiful selection of Pete's organic veggies
Localvore Share - a bountiful selection of Pete's organic veggies, plus s selction of great localy grown and mostly organic local staples, like bread, eggs, flours, grains, cheeses etc
Localvore Products Only Share - Same localvore products as in the Localvore Share, without the veggies
Meat Share - a selection of pastured, sustainably grown Vermont meats delivered once a month

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 me.

Sharing Your Share
If you would like to sign up again but feel it may be too much food for you, consider splitting your share with someone. Right now there are people from Burlington and Hardwick listed on our Members Seeking page, both of whom wish to connect with someone to share their CSA share.

If you are interested in sharing with someone, send me an email. I might be able to connect you to someone quickly, or I'll post something on the members seeking page for you.

Storage and Use Tips
Pepper Warning! In cleaning out our pepper greenhouses a few mildly hot long tapered peppers got mixed in with the sweet peppers. They are not knock you over hot - just a little spicy. They look the same as the sweet pepper Carmen so we are not able to pick them out. Be a little careful if you are averse to spicy peppers.

Sweet Potatoes - enjoy the sweet potatoes this week! It has taken several years to grow a successful crop and we are so excited to be able to finally provide you all with some! They are coming to you dirt on, because washing them makes them spoil faster. The best way to cook them (in my opinion) is to bake them in the oven at 400 until they pierce easily with a fork. And then add just a bit of butter. They are superbly sweet.

Green Tomatoes - If you have never made fried green tomatoes, please use the recipe below and go for it. They are sooo yummy. Alternatively, you can leave these tomatoes on the counter to ripen up.

Purple Top Turnips - These are the round white globes with a bit of purple color near the top. The white fine-grained flesh is mild and sweet tasting. They are great pickled, sliced in match sticks and added to a stir-fry, in soups and stews or with mashed potatoes. Store loosely wrapped in a plastic bag in your crisper drawer..

Frozen Corn - I know, frozen corn when the growing season is not yet over? We couldn't help ourselves this year and froze a lot of our beautiful organic corn. The thing is, the corn that we froze and tested ourselves was so far and away better than frozen corn we have bought in stores that we resolved not to let any of our corn go to waste. With this being the last week of this share period we wanted to make sure everyone got a taste so we are sending some out. To reheat, just bring some water to a boil in a pot and throw in a handful of corn. heat for 2-4 minutes and then drain and serve. If you have kids they will be especially pleased!

Summer Share Survey
This is the very last delivery of the Summer share period. Many thanks to all of you for being part of our farm and Good Eats this summer, I hope you all have enjoyed it. I have thoroughly enjoyed filling the localvore portion of the share, writing the newsletters, and exchanging emails with all of you!

Later this week you will receive the Summer Share Survey via email. We would be very grateful if you could all take a few minutes to rate our veggie and localvore item selection and quality, and share with us any comments you might have about being part of Good Eats. These surveys are invaluable to us as we move forward planning future shares, plantings, and purchases of localvore products. The survey doesn't take long. Most questions only require ranking on a scale of 1 to 5. But there is space for you to share your own personal feedback as well, and we would love to hear it. The survey is anonymous of course. Please share with us your thoughts and help us improve!

Next Meat Order Delivery Date is Oct 27th
We have a variety of pork and beef cuts available. Though a few cuts of beef are now gone, the selection is still excellent. Presently you can choose from an assortment of beef steaks, ribs, roasts, kabob meat, stew meat, and burger, plus pork chops, hams and ham steaks, ribs, sausage, ground pork. And for a short time, orders over $150 in beef and pork will receive a discount of 10%. You can also add Pete's Pastured Chicken to your order.

If you have not joined the Fall Share, you CAN still order meats and have them delivered to your nearby pick up site.

You may place meat orders for delivery on most weeks that are not designated Meat Shares weeks (the first Wednesday of the month). We will also not deliver meats on Oct 20th, the first delivery of the Fall/Winter Share.

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.

The order deadline for the Oct 27th delivery is Tuesday Oct 19.

Visit our Meat Bulk Order Page to Order.

Pete's Pastured TURKEYS
We have a small flock of turkeys this year too and they'll be available in the next couple of weeks.

Our turkeys have been pastured on the farm grazing to their hearts delight on our fresh greens fields (turkeys are excellent grazers). Unlike many "free range" turkeys out there on the market, ours have actually lived outside not just loose in a barn. We expect the turkeys to finish between 15 and 25 lbs and we will be selling them frozen.

Last year, many of our customers commented that ours were the best turkeys they had ever tasted!

Send an email to pre-order your turkey.

Localvore Lore
I feel like we have scored this week. Amir Hebib's mushrooms came through and he picked them and dropped them at the farm this morning (nice and fresh!). The thing with mushrooms is that you never really know if it's all going to work out. Though I order them weeks in advance, and Amir starts the spores with intention to produce enough, it's really up to the weather conditions. Even at the end of the week last week it was too early to say whether there would be enough yield for Good Eats. So I was excited to hear from him yesterday afternoon whjen he called to tell me it looked like there would be enough. I am glad. I had hoped to be able to send you all one more round before the share was through. There will be a mix of shiitakes and oysters going out to sites.

Elmore Mountain Bread is sending baguettes this week, for the first time in a while. They will be lovely in conjunction with the cheese this week.

We have another award winning cheese for you this week from Salisbury, VT. Blue Ledge Farm's Lake's Edge is a mold ripened goat cheese that was named one of 100 Best Cheeses by Wine Spectator and was awarded a 2nd place ribbon by the American Cheese Society. It is wonderfully tart and creamy with a distinctive streak of vegetable ash running through it. Greg Burnhardt and Hannah Sessions milk a mixed herd of Nubian, Alpine and Lamancha goats and milk on average 75 goats 10 months a year. The goats' access to grasses, leaves and fresh air help to produce a milk which is clean and sweet tasting and that comes through in the cheeses the farm produces. I really love this cheese.

And last but not least, we have a dozen of Deb's eggs for you to round out the final share of the Summer season.


Turnip Gratin Recipe
This recipe serves four, but it can easily be doubled. If you double it, use a 9x13 casserole dish.

2 medium sized turnips (about 1/2 pound total), peeled, and sliced 1/8-1/4 inch thick

Olive oil
3-4 slices bread (enough to make two single layers in the pan), crusts removed
A few slices of onion, very thinly sliced, enough to cover the pan in one layer
4 ounces Gruyere cheese
Salt and pepper

8x5 baking pan or casserole dish

Preheat oven to 325°F. Blanch the raw turnip slices in salted boiling water for 3 minutes. Remove from water and drain.

Coat the inside of the casserole dish with olive oil. Place a layer of bread on the bottom of the casserole dish. Layer on half of the turnip slices in a single layer, season with salt and pepper. Layer on all of the onions. Sprinkle with half of the cheese. Add another layer of bread, turnips, and cheese. Sprinkle again with salt and pepper.

Place casserole on top rack of oven. Cook for 25 minutes. For the last few minutes, if you want, and you are using a pan (metal or ceramic) that can safely handle broiling temperatures, broil for a couple minutes to brown the top.

Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Fried Green Tomatoes
This is a great recipe I have used many times. It originally came from
Southern Living (but I may have adapted in somewhat along the way). Serves 4 - 6.

1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup buttermilk (or use the substitute of 1 tsp lemon juice in a 1/2 cup of milk)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour, divided
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3 medium-size green tomatoes, cut into 1/3-inch slices
vegetable oil
Salt to taste

Combine egg and buttermilk; set aside. Combine 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, cornmeal, 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper in a shallow bowl or pan. Dredge tomato slices in remaining 1/4 cup flour; dip in egg mixture, and dredge in cornmeal mixture.

Pour oil to a depth of 1/4 to 1/2 inch in a large cast-iron skillet; heat to 375°. Drop tomatoes, in batches, into hot oil, and cook 2 minutes on each side or until golden. Drain on paper towels or a rack. Sprinkle hot tomatoes with salt.

Quinoa with Chard and Mushrooms

If you haven't tried quinoa yet, this is a great place to begin. Other grains would work here too... pearled barley, a nice brown rice. Sweet red peppers would be a nice addition too. Another take on this recipe would be a mushroom and chard risotto or polenta (using the cornmeal you received in the share). Serves 4.

1 cup quinoa
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 bunch Swiss chard, chopped
Small pinch red pepper flakes (to taste)
1 clove garlic, sliced
1/2 lb oyster or shiitake mushrooms
1 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1/2 ounce Parmesan shavings (or more to taste)

Combine the quinoa is a saucepan with 2 cups water with a good pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer 10-15 minutes until the quinoa is fluffy and tender.

In the meantime, heat 1 teaspoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the chard and red pepper flakes and cook until wilted and tender, about 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and remove to a plate.

Add the remaining oil into the skillet and add the garlic over medium heat. When it is slightly golden, add the mushrooms. When they release their moisture, about 3 minutes, season with a pinch of salt and pepper. When they are tender, about 5 minutes, stir in the reserved chard and the thyme and heat through. Stir in the quinoa and divide among 4 bowls or plates. Top with shaved Parmesan.

Winter Vegetable Tart
This recipe was sent by a share member who made it over and over again last fall and winter using lots of different combinations of roots and other veggies. It's very adaptable, you could use really any root veg combo, you could throw in some frozen red corn and experiment with different cheeses. It's from the Edible Green Mountains website. If you haven't got a go to recipe for pie crust, try this one posted to the blog archives. It's pretty dependable.

1 pound butternut squash (1 small), peeled, seeded and diced into 1/2-inch cubes

beets, peeled and diced into 1/2-inch cubes
2 cups sliced mushrooms
1 onion, halved and cut into slivers
1 red bell pepper, diced (optional)
6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
pie crust for one 9- or 10-inch pie
1/2 pound Fontina cheese, grated

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Lightly oil a large shallow roast- ing pan or half sheet pan.

In a large bowl, combine the squash, beets, mushrooms, onion, bell pepper, if using, and garlic. Add the olive oil, rosemary and salt and pepper to taste. Toss to coat well. Transfer to the pan and arrange in a shallow (preferably single) layer.

Roast for 35 to 45 minutes, until the vegetables are tender and lightly browned, stirring or shaking the pan occasionally for even cooking. Remove the vegetables from the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 375°F.

Line a baking sheet with foil. Place the pastry on the bak- ing sheet. Sprinkle the cheese over the pastry, leaving a 2-inch border around the edge. Arrange the roasted vegetables on top of the cheese. Fold the dough up to partially cover the filling and crimp to seal the edges.

Bake for about 25 minutes, until the crust is golden. Cut into wedges and serve warm.

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