Thursday, May 10, 2012

Good Eats Newsletter - May 9, 2012

The Localvore Vegetable Share
is in the TAN BAG
and contains:
Head of Panisse Lettuce; Red Russian or Italian Kale; Dandelion Greens; Mixed Potatoes; 
plus (seperate from bag)...
Mesclun Greens
Frozen Onions
Frozen Squash Puree
Localvore Offerings Include:
Elmore Mountain Bread
Pearled Barley
Chicken OR Vegetable Broth
Champlain Orchards Red Delicious Apples
Please only take the Vegetarian Stock if you have signed up for a Vegetarian Share. We pack by site based on your sign-up status. The Vegetarian stock is labeled with a Pete's Greens Vegetable Stock sticker.  The Chicken stock does not have a label at all. Thanks for your cooperation
The Spring Veggie Only Share
is in the YELLOW BAG
and contains:
Braising Greens; Head of Panisse Lettuce, Napa Cabbage; Green Wave Mustard Greens; Dandelion Greens; Basil; European Cucumber; Yellow Onions

VEGGIE ONLY SHARE MEMBERS - The Yellow Bag is the only item you should pick up tomorrow.
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
You know how most of the time things take longer than you expect? The other day we transplanted onions with our new setup and it took a lot less time than I thought it would. That was great because in past years onions have been a project that have dragged on for at least a couple weeks.  In fact as recently as 4 years ago we spent every spare minute for a month of the spring transplanting onions. Last week we did 4 acres in two 5 hour sessions and it was awesome. Good hard work but nothing too stressful. They went into some beautiful land we are renting from Tom Stearns of High Mowing Seeds on the Lamoille River just west of Hardwick. I really enjoy farming plots a ways from home. While there are logistical challenges it's fun to learn about different soils, notice variations in climate, and meet new neighbors. I was down there towards dusk Saturday night and a man came walking along the abandoned railroad track that runs through the field. I said it's a beautiful day, he said it's going to be a beautiful night and he'd be walking to St. Johnsbury.  Wonder if he made it. ~ Pete
Yesterday our team planted a 1/2 acre of leeks on a piece of land that we are renting from High Mowing Seeds.  Pete manned the tractor that punched and watered the hole for each plant.  Pete's brother Andrew wielded the crow bar to deepen & widen the holes.  Noah, Jackson, Adan, Hector and Juan Carlos planted each leek by hand.  It's slow, steady work but gratifying when the harvest comes in.  
Meanwhile Back at the Farm Yesterday
And while the boys planted, the girls harvested.  Elena, Annie and Ellen, Alejandra, Socorro and Molly harvested all of our greens from various greenhouses.  It was hot in the greenhouses yesterday so the harvest is a timing dance in order to preserve the freshness of the greens.  Greens are picked and bunched, and then either cooled right out in the field or brought quickly to the washhouse to be dunked in the cold water tank before going into the cooler.

HUG YOUR FARMER - FRIDAY MAY 18th at Higher Ground
Come out for a great night of music and support VT farmers at the same time!
Many of the fantastic musicians who banded together for the Hug Your Farmer concert last year, the benefit concert that helped raise money for our farm after our fire, will perform together again in just a couple weeks.  This time the show will be in tribute to Levon Helm, with 100% of the proceeds to benefit NOFA VT's Farmer Emergency Fund.  This fund helps farms in Vermont when they have suffered a disaster like fire, flood, or barn collapse.
An all-star house band (Bob Wagner, Ray Paczkowski, Clint Bierman, Peter Day, Steve Hadeka, Ron Rost) with guests that include (once again) Jon Fishman (Phish), Will Evans (Barefoot Truth), The Sweet Remains, Stephen Kellogg, Ryan Miller (Guster), Josh Panda and more.
This show was a blast last year.  The mix of musicicans was amazing and the show energy was awesome.  We hope to see many of you there.  Will be a really fun night for a great cause.

Hug Your Farmer: A Tribute to Levon Helm

100% of proceeds support NOFA VT's Farmer Emergency Fund
Jon Fishman, Ryan Miller (Guster), The Sweet Remains and more...

Friday, May 18th, 9pm
Higher Ground
1214 Williston Rd
South Burlington, VT

Storage and Use Tips
Dandelion Greens - (All Members)These nutrition packed greens can be eaten raw in salads, braised or sauteed, or tossed into dishes calling for greens. The level of bitterness in the greens depends on several factors from the age of the greens to amounts of rainfall and sunlight they have received while they have grown. How to tell? Try a piece! Bitter greens will mellow in flavor with more time in the skillet and are great accompanied by minced onion and garlic, and/or stock or water. Some recipes call for bitter greens to be cooked over low heat for as much as 20 minutes.  Because they grow in pretty optimal conditions on our farm, they don't tend to be very bitter.
Panisse Lettuce Heads - (All Members) We have gorgeous fresh new heads of Panisse lettuce for you this week.  This is very tender mild lettuce perfect for sandwiches and salads.  
Kale - (Localvore members) We grow many varieties of kale at Pete's including the Red Russian and the Italian you will receive this week.  Kale is in the super veggie club and is just about the healthiest vegetable you can eat. 1 cup packs 1300% of your daily requirements for Vita K, 200% of your Vita A, and nearly 100% of vita C, along with lots and lots more vitas and minerals.  Over 45 different flavonoids have been identified in kale that combine to provide both anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. It is now believed that kale offers risk-lowering benefits for five types of cancer including bladder, breast, colon, ovary and prostate cancer. It also has the ability to lower cholesterol (and for this purpose steaming is best). It is also now recognized that kale provides much support for your body's own detox system. We are lucky that it is also one of the longest season northern vegetables.  And what's more, it's tasty, so eat lots.  Keep kale loosely wrapped in a plastic bag in your crisper drawer. Strip the leaves from the stems and wash them well before chopping and cooking.
Mustard Greens - (Veggie Only Members) Related to kale, cabbage, and collard greens, mustard greens are the peppery leafy greens of the mustard plant. This week everyone will receive either Mizuna or Ruby Steaks Mustard. Mizuna is a Japanese mustard green with dandelion-like jagged edge green leaves with a mild, sweet earthy flavor. It has long been culitaved in Japan, but most likely originated in China. Mizuna makes an excellent salad green, and is frequently found in Mesclun. Ruby Streaks Mustard has a delicate texture and mild, sweet yet mildly pungent mustard flavor. Both greens are tender enough to liven up salads, and stout enough to stand on their own in steamed or stir-fried dishes.
Braising Greens - (Veggie Only Members) will receive our braising greens this week.  We grow this mix intending it to be used as a cooked green.  But the mix is often tender enough, espcecially this early in the season, to stand in as a heartier salad mix.  
Pete's Kitchen Coleslaw Mix - (Localvore members) we have included another round of our shredded slaw mix this week. This is a simple slaw mix of our own shredded carrots and cabbage. The blend makes a delicious slaw but don't hesitate to use it in a stir fry or other saute if you would prefer.  We had a plentiful cabbage crop last Fall, and rather than give everyone so many whole cabbages and to make use of seconds carrots, we have tried to mix it up this year with the slaw offering every few weeks.  All you need to do is add dressing! See recipes below for variations of coleslaw dressings.
Frozen Squash Puree  - (Localvore members) In the Fall we put up our year's worth of frozen squash puree from the flesh of butternut squash grown at High Mowing Seeds who grow the crops for the seed. This is just pure frozen winter squash goodness. Use this in recipes calling for pureed winter squash or pumpkin - particularly soups, pie, baked items like pumpkin bread, muffins or cookies, or for casseroles or rice dishes. Also fantastic just on its own sweetened with a bit of maple syrup, enriched with some cream and served as a side (for a side you may want to drain some of the water that separates from the squash when you thaw it. Your puree will then be a bit thicker). 
 If your frozen squash puree has thawed a bit when you receive it, no worries. Just pop it back in freezer until you are ready to use.
Frozen Onions - (Localvore members) We are reaching the end of our Fall harvest of storage onions.  Knowing that this day would come we started freezing onions several weeks ago.  The bagged frozen onions you will receive today may be used in any saute or soup you are making.  They are great to have on hand.  Just take bag from freezer and saw off a chunk of the thin sliced onion in the amount you need for your recipe and toss in your pan or pot just like you would fresh onion and simmer til soft. If you don't need the whole bag of sliced onion, return the remainder to the freezer.
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 seven weeks.  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
Today at Elmore Mountain Bakery Andrew and Blair are working on this loaves of Quebec Flax Seed Bread, made with organic Milanaise Winter Wheat, Milanaise Rye, Ben Gleasons Wheat, Quebec Flax, Sea Salt and Sourdough.
This week we have organic pearled barley from Michel Gaudreau's Quebec farm and grain mill Golden Crops.  Michel is just 60 miles from the farm.  He grows a variety of organic grains and beans and we visit him several times a year to stock up on grains that we can't get from nearby VT growers.  Michel is very involved in the local organic movement, and the existence of his organic mill has enabled many of his neighbor farmers to grow organically.  I use pearled barley in place of rice quite often.  My favorite way to cook it is in broth, like risotto.  I'll cook up a big pot and then use it as a base for a big plate of greens and barley, or I'll put it in the kids chicken broth soup, or I'll use it in place of rice in burritos, etc. 
Also for this week, Deb has prepared both chicken broth and veggie broth.  If you are NOT signed up as a Vegetarian please DO NOT take veggie broth.  There is only enough veg broth at each site for the number of vegetarians there.
From Champlain Orchards we have red delicious apples this week.  At Champlain Orchards as with our onions, supply is not unlimited.  Each time I call for apples they have fewer varieties to choose from.  Those that remain at this time of year are those that have been selected to do well through months of storage and this year we sure haven't been disappointed.  Each batch of apples we have received have been crisp and delicious. 

Spring Greens and Barley Risotto
Any quick cooking spring greens will work nicely in this dish. Try a braising green mix, kale, dandelion greens, mustard greens etc. Just don't leave it in to cook too long.  And if you are a new Spring Veggie only share member and don't happen to have pearled barley, you can substitute arborio rice. Serves 4.

2 TB sunflower oil
2 large shallots, minced (or 1 med or large onion or frozen onions)
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups barley, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup white wine
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp freshly grated black pepper
1 bunch of spring greens, washed, spun dry and chopped
4 oz. grated sharp, hard local cheese, such as Green Mountain Gruyere or Prima Caciotta from Dancing Ewe Farm
2 TB chopped fresh basil or parsley
2 TB chives if you have on hand

Heat oil over medium heat in a 10 frying pan with 2 deep sides. Add shallots and salt; cook, stirring frequently for about 5 minutes. Do not let shallots begin to brown. Add barley and cook stirring frequently for about 1 minute. Add wine and stir until the liquid is absorbed by the barley, about 1-2 minutes. Add the broth, nutmeg and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for about 1 hr. 15 minutes. Begin checking for doneness after 50 minutes. The liquid should be absorbed, the grains softened and gluteness, yet still have just a bit of chew. Stir in greens, cover until just wilted. Reduce heat to very low. Stir in cheese and herbs. Serve warm.

Dandelion Greens Salad
This recipe is from Mad River localvore Robin McDermott and came to us from a 2009 issue of Edible Green Mountains.

Three strips of bacon

1-2 TB, finely minced shallots (or onion and a small clove garlic)

2 TB good vinegar (cider preferred)

A touch of maple syrup

A little olive oil

dandelion greens chopped

toasted pine nuts

Chop the bacon and cook in a medium sized skillet over medium heat until they releast their fat and become crispy. Add the shallots and cook 5 mins or so until they begin to soften. Next, add 2 TB of vinegar and cook for a few minutes. Add a bit of maple syrup and olive oil. Pour hot dressing over fresh washed greens, toss and garnish with some toasted pine nuts.
Dandelion Greens, Apples and Cabbage Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette
I ran across this one today though it actually called for yams instead of apples. It looks mighty tasty.  Adapted from Gourmet

1 to 2 apples cut into half-inch pieces

1 bunch dandelion greens, coarse stems discarded, leaves washed well and coarsely chopped

1/4 head of green cabbage, outer leaves removed and coarsely chopped

2 tablespoons Dijon-style mustard

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1/4-cup olive oil

3 tablespoons scallion, thinly sliced

Salt and pepper to taste

In a saucepan bring water to a boil, add a bit of salt if desired.  Add the dandelion greens and cabbage and boil, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Remove and drain in a sieve or colander, run cold water over them to refresh, and allow them to drain well.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the mustard, vinegar, and add salt and pepper to taste. Add the olive oil in a stream, whisking constantly until the dressing emulsifies. Add the apples to the dressing and stir together gently. Add the greens, cabbage, and scallions. Toss the salad well and enjoy. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Green Soup
This is a basic modifiable soup that can take all kinds of variation.   You can liberally substitute pretty much any of our greens here including braising, mustards, kale, spinach, dandelion, etc. Serves 8.

2 lbs. spinach

1 bunch mizuna (about 1/2 lb.)

1 cup loosely packed cilantro

5 cups water

1 tsp salt, plus more to taste

1 large potato, peeled and chopped in large pieces

1 TB, + 1 tsp olive or sunflower oil

2 onions, chopped

1 TB sherry or Madiera, optional

2-3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

1 TB lemon juice

freshly ground black pepper

Wash and roughly chop the greens. Place greens, cilantro, water, salt and potato in a large pot over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer for about 30 minutes. While greens are simmering, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat. Add onions and a sprinkling of of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally until onions are golden brown and soft, up to 45 minutes or more. When nicely browned, add liqueur or a bit of water and stir to bring up any remaining bits in the bottom of the pan. Add cooked onions to the pot with greens. Back in the skillet, heat remaining 1 tsp of oil and garlic. Saute for a minute or two until soft. Add to the pot. Add broth and red pepper flakes and simmer for another 10 minutes. Working in batches puree soup in a blender, or use an immersion blender in the pot. Process just until smooth, but do not over blend or the potato can make the soup gummy.

Back in the pot, return soup to a simmer. Add pepper, a dash more salt and lemon juice. Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve garnished with yogurt, feta or goat cheese.

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