Monday, August 22, 2011

Good Eats Newsletter - August 17, 2011

This Week's Vegetable Share Contains:

Mesclun; Banana Fingerling Potatoes; Green Baby Pac Choi; Red Onions; Broccoli; Red Onions; French Breakfast Radishes; Eggplant; Cucumbers (pickling); Sage; plus..


6 ears of Sweet Corn
Tomatoes or Melons


(If your site gets melons this week, you will get tomatoes next week, and vice versa)



Localvore Offerings Include:

Red Hen Bread "Snake Mountain Levain"

Pa Pa Doodles Farm Eggs

Honey Gardens Raw Honey



Open Farm Day and Annual Picnic Saturday!


Come out and see us! We are really looking forward to our annual farm picnic this weekend and hope you can join us. I'll be busy working with Elena from the Center for Agriculture and Heather Jarrett from High Mowing Seeds prepping veggies and cooking for the event on Thursday. Meanwhile Craftsbury Outdoor Center is gearing up for their bike tour, and many farms in the area are preparing their open farm days as part of the Kingdom Farm and Food Days. I hope we will see many of you! Details below... ~ Amy


Storage and Use Tips


Banana Fingerlings Potatoes - These beautiful little nuggets are favorites of area chefs. No need to peel, just scrub clean before cooking. Roast whole with some olive oil, salt and pepper or boil until just tender and toss with butter and herbs (sage!). Store in a paper bag in a cool, dry, dark place.

Green Pac Choi - In the brassica family, along with broccoli and kale, pac choi offers most of the same healthful benefits with high scores for vitamins A and C and calcium. Both leaves and stems may be eaten raw or cooked, but leaves, particularly when they are more mature are more often served cooked. To prepare Pac Choi, use a chef's nice to make thin slices across from the bottom of the head up freeing the stalks as you do so. This is Baby pac Choi which is tender enought to use in salads. It's also delicious, brushed with olive oil, sprinkled with salt and given a quick wilt on the grill. Although you can cook chopped leaves and stalks together in a dish it is nice to separate them when chopping so that you may toss them into a dish at seperate times allowing stalks to cook a little longer than leaves so that leaves aren't over cooked. Pac Choi should be stored in a plastic bag in the produce drawer of your fridge.


Melons - some of you will receive melons this week. Those who don't, fear not - you will get tomatoes this week, and your melons next week. There are two types going out this week, both are reknowned for their very sweet flesh. The green fleshed melons are the variety Arava. The orange flesh melons are called Charentais. Your melon should be a wee bit soft to pressure (particularly at the ends) and smell slightly sweet at perfect ripeness.



Kingdom Farm and Food Days is This Weekend!

Saturday August 20
Pete's Greens Annual Farm Party Saturday August 20!



Join us for our annual farm picnic this Saturday! Pete will be giving tours of the farm and our new building. The Mud City Ramblers will be playing music. And we are cooking up some great food (a feast!) for the occasion.


We welcome CSA members, neighbors, friends, and anyone else to visit the farm and learn about what we do, how we grow, where we process and store vegetables. Very much looking forward to connecting with everyone and having some fun. You are welcome to bring a local dish to share too!




The schedule:
 1:00 pm - farm tour
 2:30 pm - farm tour
 3:30 pm music starts 
4:00 - 5:30/6 pm - Picnic and social time


We'll have a volleyball net up and hopefully badminton and bocce ball too for those of you who have a competitive streak (we do!).













Craftsbury Center Cycling Tours August 20

Or how about jumping on your bike for the afternoon and cycling around to visit farms in the area before coming to the farm feast?


The Craftsbury Outdoor Center is guiding cyclists on bike tours - a shorter 15 mile ride, and a longer 30 mile ride. The rides pass by farms and area businesses and both end at Pete's Greens in time for the food and music and a special cyclists tour with Pete. Check out the ride details here.


Special bike tour pricing for CSA members!
Use the code "pgCSA" when registering for the ride and you will get 50% off the registration fee.

Volunteers for the bike tour ride free!


Other Open Farms, Wine Tastings, and Brewery Tours on Saturday

If a bike tour isn't your thing, you can also tour other area farms and businesses on your own. Visit Caledonia Spirits in Hardwick and sample their special honey wines. Visit a worm composting farm. Meet all the fiber animals (sheep, goats, angora rabbits and llamas) and visit the rest of the animals at Agape Hill Farm. Learn how to make sweet maple cream at Echo Hill Farm, or visit Hill Farmstead Brewery in Greeensboro and sample some mighty fine beer.


Visit the Kingdom Farm and Food Days website for details.


And if you still need more entertainment, wrap up with Circus Smirkus!

The final shows of the season are this weekend, with a 7 pm show Saturday and 2 shows on Sunday. Tickets still available for this fabulous Circus featuring amazing and entertaining performances by some a troupe of incredibly talented and hardworking youth. Truly fun for all ages. Tickets still available for these final shows in their own performance barn in Greensboro.

Tix at www.smirkus.org and at 1-877-SMIRKUS (1-877-764-7587)



Sunday August 21

High Mowing Seed Trial Tours, Workshops and NECI Local Foods Showcase



High Mowing Seeds trials garden will be open for self-guided and hour-long guided tours throughout the day. There will be many workshops on seed saving, pest and disease identification, fermenting fresh vegetables, and more!


The New England Culinary Institute (NECI) will present an amazing array of locally produced food in Sunday afternoon’s Local Foods Showcase which will get started at 4pm. This is an extraordinary chance for visitors to taste some of the finest Vermont-made food products and culinary delights prepared by NECI students and chef Ryan O’Malley. The annual farmer mixer and bonfire will begin immediately following dinner.




Visit High Mowing's blog for more info on the High Mowing event.



For more information about Kingdom Farm and Food Days, please visit the KFFD website. 




We hope to see you this weekend!


Changes to Your Delivery?
If you will be away some upcoming week, and need to make changes to your share delivery, let me know at least 1 week before the change. You can have your share donated to the Food Pantry, or I can stop your share delivery and you will retain a credit on your account toward the purchase of your next share.


Localvore Lore


From Randy at Red Hen Baking Co:
We’re calling this week’s Food Hub bread Snake Mountain Levain. Ben Gleason’s farm in Bridport is in the shadow of Snake Mt., so he named his newest flour in its honor. This is a special flour that I have been really excited about. As with all of Ben’s flour, it is stone-milled from wheat grown on his and a few of neighbors’ farms. The difference with the Snake Mt. flour is that after stone-milling it is passed through his recently acquired sifter (or “bolter” as millers call it). This is a very old method for mildly refining flour and, as opposed to roller milling, which is the modern method of removing the germ and bran from wheat flour, stone-milled and sifted flour retains all of the germ. This is particularly attractive to bakers and bread eaters because the germ is highly flavorful and highly nutritious. The bran also adds flavor as well as fiber, but when present in the proportion found in a whole wheat berry, it produces a denser, more strongly flavored bread than people often want in a daily bread. So Ben’s Snake Mt. removes about half of the bran, leaving all of the germ and endosperm (the white part of the wheat berry which contains the starch and protein). I find this level of refinement to be perfect for making a traditional pain au levain (French for “naturally leavened bread). Of course, the Snake Mountain pain au levain is made even more special by the fact that it contains nothing but Vermont-grown wheat, water, and salt. Enjoy!


Eggs again from Pa Pa Doodles Farm this week.

We have raw honey this week from Honey Gardens Apiaries in Ferrisburgh. Unlike the liquid form of honey you generally come across in stores, raw honey has never been heated and so over time it crystalizes to form the creamy spread you will receive (which is also not the same as creamed honey- honey that has been whipped to a creamy texture). This is natural honey, full of the healthful enzymes that raw honey contains.

Someday soon, I hope to be able to supply the CSA share with honey from the farm. Even just once! I have been keeping bees for 10 years now. I purchased my first nuc (small starter box of bees) from Todd Hardie who started Honey Gardens Apiaries years ago (Todd now is making honey wine at Caledonia Spirits). Over the years he has guided me as I learned about working with bees. As I am sure you all have heard or read along the way, bees are struggling these days, many colonies succumbing to stress and disease. Todd always kept his bees organically, and I do the same, sometimes successfully, sometimes not. Last year I got 6 nucs, three of which I placed at the farm, three in my backyard in Waterbury. I cared for all similarly. This spring, I found my home bees struggling to survive, though I tried to nurse them with extra food stores (honey and sugar syrup) through the last of the cold weeks of the year. The bees I kept at Pete's Greens in contrast have been busting out at the seams, I am barely able to keep up with them. We need bees on the farm for pollination of course so it's good to have them there. I don't know why Pete's bees have done so well while mine at home struggle, but I like to think that the good organic crops they pollinate are doing them a lot of good too. I am teaching my kids about bees in hopes they will become beekeepers too.















My daughter Mary and me with the bees at Pete's Greens below. Photo taken by Todd, who was mentoring me in June.


Recipes


Roasted Potatoes With Sage and Garlic



1 1/2 pounds small creamer potatoes, halved

1/3 cup flour

1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil

4 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup chopped sage leaves

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste



Preheat oven to 450 degrees and place a large, heavy skillet or roasting pan in the oven to heat up. Place the potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with cold salted water. Place over high heat and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer 5 minutes.



Drain the potatoes well and place them on paper towels. Place the flour on a plate and when the potatoes are dry, roll them in the flour to coat, shaking off any excess. Remove the hot skillet from the oven and add the oil and potatoes. Roast, shaking the pan occasionally until the potatoes are golden brown all over, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and add the garlic, sage and butter. Return the pan to the oven for one minute. Season generously with salt and pepper and serve.



Cucumber and Red Onion Salad


3 large cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2 inch pieces on a diagonal.


1/2 to 1 red onion, peeled and thinly sliced

1 teaspoon celery seed


4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons white wine vinegar (you could also use lemon juice, champagne vinegar, or apple cider vinegar)


1 teaspoon Dijon style mustard


1 teaspoon sea salt


2-3 garlic cloves, finely minced or put through a garlic press


In a medium size bowl combine your cucumber and red onion slices.
In a small bowl combine the rest of the ingredients. Pour over cucumber and onion mixture and toss to coat. Chill for a few hours for flavors to meld. Mix right before serving and eat
.

Grilled Eggplant



1 large eggplant

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

2 cloves garlic, very finely minced

1 pinch each thyme, basil, dill, and oregano

salt and freshly grated black pepper



Heat grill.

When grill is hot, slice eggplant about 1/2-inch thick. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, herbs, salt, and pepper. Brush both sides of the eggplant slices with the oil and vinegar mixture.

Place eggplant on the hot preheated grill. Grill about 15 to 20 minutes, turning once.




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