Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Good Eats Newsletter - April 25th, 2012

This Week's Vegetable Share Contains:
 Baby Spinach; Ruby Red Chard; Mizuna; Cilantro; Mixed Carrots; Mixed Potatoes; Onions plus...
Frozen Watermelon Juice
Localvore Offerings Include:
Red Hen Bread
Lazy Lady Cheese
Tullochgorum Farm Popcorn
Good Eats
Summer Share
Share starts in just 8 weeks.  Have you sent in
your sign up yet?
More information below
Add-On Localvore
& Meat Orders
Order your favorite localvore, pantry, bulk vegetables or meats any week and have them delivered to your pick-up location.
Pete's Musings
Oh amigas! It's so nice to see our friends from Mexico when they return in the spring. We've been working with the Reyes family for 5 years. Top quality people, great integrity, hard workers and very smart farmers. The skills that they have acquired running their tomato and tomatilla farm 3 hours SW of Mexico City translate nicely to what we do here. They are great at precision work with their hands and really understand what plants need.  It's also fun to watch them come downstairs in the morning when it has snowed a couple inches overnight and see the wonder and terror in their eyes. They are not big fans of snow. Unfortunately the H2A visa program that allows them to come work seasonally gets more burdensome every year and our government has a terrible habit of changing the rules part way through the spring. But Amy navigates it skillfully with the great help of Alyson in Shoreham, whose business is based on helping apple farmers bring in Jamaicans for the harvest on the same program.
Hopefully getting the onions in the ground this week, hoping for no more rain.~ Pete
The harvest crew picking Ruby Red Chard in the greenhouse yesterday.
Back Row: Elena, Annie, Alejandra & Deb
Front Row: Our new intern Ellen & Socorro
Capitol City Farmers Market Update
Pete's Greens has been a member at the Capitol City Farmers Market for 10 years.  About this time of year we look forward to announcing that we'll be returning to the market as the Market returns to its spot on State Street.  But due to an unfortunate situation, we are uncertain whether we will be there next week. 
The Market has a rule that says that the owner of a farm must personally attend 50% of the markets. This is a great rule, it builds customer trust and appreciation when they meet their farmers.  Last year, when the Market opened, we were frantically rebuilding after the fire, trying to get a roof on, then getting coolers installed, in a race against time to become a functioning farm again with a place to wash and store our crops.  Pete's market attendance was light in these early weeks, we built the barn ourselves and he was overseeing that process along with the farming end of things.  But he was keeping track of his season long market attendance (we keep a market log) and in the end, he attended more than 50% of summer markets, meeting the rule. 
In late February, the CCFM Board sent Pete a letter informing him that Pete's Greens would not have its space at  market this year because of "consistent rule violations". The 50% rule.  But in fact, the CCFM manager had not kept attendance records throughout the season and the Board's decision was based in large part on complaints and observations that Pete was not at some of the markets or not there throughout the whole sales period of some market days.  We have presented the Board with our original Market log, that clearly shows Pete attended the requisite number of markets. Their decision to not renew our spot this year was based on perception rather than fact. Presented with our proof, we are hoping that they will reconsider their position and allow us to return to our old space. 
Melissa and Iris's Seeding Report
The bulk of the leafy greens that we seeded early on have gone out into the field.  I continue to seed anything that is transplanted in successions throughout the season such as cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower. 
The next big seeding will be for winter squash and pumpkins.  We are hoping for a bumper crop this year.  Bunches are coming out of the field and salad greens have been gracing our plates at our farm lunches.  That means it is time to start making the preparations to open the farm stand.  The Farmstand stand will be opening May 16!
Melissa and Iris filling seed trays for more starts on Monday.
Storage and Use Tips
Spinach - You will receive a bag of tender baby green spinach, the first of the season this week. Woohoo!  This is spinach that deserves to be a beautiful spring salad.
Mizuna - Also know as spider mustard, mizuna is a Japanese mustard green with tender leaves and a pleasant, peppery flavor. You could substitute it, chopped, in a salad calling for arugula. It adds a nice zest to a stir-fry or saute so you have lots of options.  Store mizuna, unwashed, loosely wrapped in a plastic bag in your crisper drawer.
Frozen Watermelon Juice - We have another round of pure sweet High Mowing Seed grown Orange-glo watermelon juice for you this week.  The juice comes to you frozen and you should keep it frozen until you plan to use it.  It won't have a long shelf life, a few days in the fridge at most.  It's delicious on its own and terrific in seltzer.  Kids love frozen watermelon ice cubes.
Cilantro - A member of the carrot family and related to parsley, cilantro is the leaves and stems of the coriander plant (the seeds of the same plant are the spice known as coriander). Cilantro has a very pungent odor and is widely used in Mexican, Caribbean and Asian cooking. The leaves and stems can be chopped and added to salads, soups and sauces, and can garnish many meals. I toss cilantro into any Mexican dish I am making, and love it in summer when I have tomatoes to make salsa. This past week I was delighted that I was able to add it to the Vietnamese cabbage salad I posted a while ago. If you can't use all your cilantro just yet and wish to save it for a future dish, you can freeze it. Wash and gently dry your cilantro with paper towels. Then either put sprigs loosely in a plastic bag and freeze them. Or lightly chop cilantro, measure by the tablespoon into ice trays, fill remaining space in ice tray with water, and then after cubes are frozen, store in a plastic bag. You can take one out and thaw anytime you need to use it.  Do this sooner than later!  Cilantro is a particularly tender green and doesn't have a long shelf life.  If using in next 4 or 5 days, store loosely wrappen in a plastic bag in your crisper drawer.
Please share your comments about the veggie info you DON'T find, but wish was there!
Reserve Your Good Eats Summer Share Now!
June 20th - October 10th, 2012
Summer share begins in just two months.  If you haven't signed up yet, it's time!  Our Summer Share spans three seasons of vegetable production on the farm.  In June we will start out with tender salad greens, fresh basil, European cucumbers, tomatoes, fresh picked zucchini, spring salad turnips, Napa Cabbage, Asian greens, chard and lots more spring vegetables.  And then come all your summer favorites like peas, beans, carrots, sweet peppers, heirloom tomatoes, eggplant, sweet corn and much more!  During the summer growing season we'll provide you with over seventy varieties of locally grown vegetables with unique flavors, colors and shapes as well as all the summer staples you are familiar with.
Four Share Types for Summer:
Veggie Only - delivers a weekly delivery of fresh, organic veggies from the farm.
Localvore Share delivers the same fresh vegetables and wonderful local staples and artisan products to fill your pantry. 
Pete's Pantry Share - just the localvore products, no veggies
Meat Share - delivers a monthly selection of local, pastured meats
Join now and be rewarded with a healthy, local and delicious season of Good Eats!
NOFA-VT Farm Share Program
If you are on a limited income and wish to join Good Eats this Summer, visit the NOFA-VT website to learn more about the Farm Share Program.  You may be eligible for assistance.  Assistance is limited and already around half of the the available assistance has been used.  Don't delay getting an application into NOFA if this is a program you are interested in!
Changes to Your Delivery?
If you will be away some upcoming week, and need to make changes to your share delivery, let us know at least 1 week before the change. You can have your share donated to the Food Pantry, or you can skip your share delivery and you will retain a credit on your account toward the purchase of your next share.
Localvore Lore
At Red Hen Baking Co. Randy is busy preparing to bake this week's bread, their Mad River Grain. This bread features whole wheat flour from Gleason Grains, cracked flax from Quebec and a cornmeal made from Wahpsie Valley heirloom corn grown on Aurora Farms in Charlotte. This bread makes great toast and sandwiches and is one of my personal favorites. I love its nutty depth of flavor.
A couple times a year, Lorraine and Steve Lalonde load up their truck and bring us their organically grown White Lightning Popcorn from Tullochgorum Farm in Ormstown, Quebec. Because popcorn requires a longer growing season than most types of corn, Steve and Loraine consider their area to be at the northern limit of successfully producing this crop. To their knowledge, they are the only commercial producers of certified organic popcorn in Quebec. Once popped, White Lightning possesses a delicate, crispy texture, and a slightly nutty flavor, vastly different from the more common yellow popcorn varieties with which most people are familiar with, and a world away from microwave popcorn. Once you try it you you’ll get hooked.
It's been too long since we have had Lazy Lady Farm cheese in the share!  In Westfield, VT Laini Fondillar makes small batches of some pretty fantastic cheese from her herd of Alpine goats. The farm is named after her pampered herd, not Laini.  Laini herself is a force to be reckoned with as she works her off-the-grid farm and cares for the goats and other animals, and makes all sorts of cheeses.  In the last bunch of years she has been on mission to improve the milking average of her herd, and to that end she has been improving her herd with stellar individuals, superior bucks that she has brough in, etc.  These udders (at right) prove that she is making great headway.  Lucky for us as her cheese in fantastic and more is better. 
This week you can choose between Barick Obama - a dense, very herbal and aromatic aged cow’s milk washed rind cheese or Sweet Emotion - "a small disc of absolutely sinful cheese, with an interior texture that smacks of mousse-like, buttery silk" (quote from Anne Saxelby, a reknowned cheesemonger).

Potato Curry
With this colder weather this week, I have made soup (Italian bread soup using last week's bread and leftover frozen tomatoes) and curried dishes.  I found this recipe online and liked that it suggested the slow cooker.  The potatoes become so tender in the slow cooker, yum. 

2 Tbsp oil or clarified butter
1 lb small new potatoes, about 10 new potatoes (see Cook's Note)
2 onions, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
½ tsp salt
½ tsp cracked black peppercorns
½ cup water or vegetable or chicken broth
1 tsp curry powder, preferably Madras
2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
¼ cup finely chopped cilantro leaves

In a skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add potatoes and cook just until they begin to brown. Transfer to slow cooker stoneware.

Reduce heat to medium. Add onions and cook, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add garlic, salt and peppercorns. Stir and cook for 1 minute. Add water or broth, bring to a boil and pour over potatoes.
Cover and cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 4 hours, until potatoes are tender. In a small bowl, dissolve curry powder in lemon juice. Add to stoneware and stir well. Cover and cook on high for 10 minutes to meld flavors. Garnish with cilantro.
Carrots with Curry and Cilantro
I realize not everyone has a slow cooker or wants to wait.  Here's cilantro and curry based recipe for this week's share.  This one's a four star from Bon Appetit.

3 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon minced peeled fresh ginger
1 garlic clove, minced
3/4 teaspoon curry powder
1/4 cup canned low-salt chicken broth
2 tablespoons apricot preserves (OK, you might not have these, how about a half of an apple, diced?)
1 pound medium carrots, peeled, cut diagonally into 1/4-inch-thick slices (about 3 cups)
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Melt butter in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add ginger, garlic and curry; sauté 30 seconds. Stir in broth and preserves. Add carrots; cover and simmer until carrots are crisp-tender and coated with sauce, about 6 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Mix in cilantro.
Asian Greens with Miso Ginger Dressing
It's the Mizuna that's got me thinking along these lines. 
For the Salad
Baby pinach
Mizuna - chopped
carrot- grated
onion - sliced thin
optional - grated or thinky sliced beets if you have then, grated or finely sliced cabbage, scallions would be great.

Mark Bittman's Ginger Miso Dressing
1/4 cup peanut oil or neutral oil, like grapeseed or corn
1/4 cup rice vinegar
3 tablespoons mild or sweet miso, like yellow or white
1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
2 medium carrots, roughly chopped
1 inchlong piece fresh ginger, cut into coins
Salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Put all ingredients except salt and pepper into a food processor and pulse a few times to mince carrots. Then let machine run for a minute or so, until mixture is chunky-smooth. (If you want it smoother, use a blender.) Taste and add salt and pepper to taste.

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