Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Good Eats Newsletter - January 22, 2014

Brrrrr - COLD!  Members whose pick ups are outside -
try to get to your sites on the early side of pick up hours to save
veggies from cold temps!  Pick up hours can be viewed here.

Localvore Members 
& Regular Veggie Only Share Members

This week your bag will contain:
Mesclun; Sweet Potatoes; Red Beets; Red Onions; Cabbage; Valentine Radish OR Celeriac

And OUT of the bag:
Frozen Whole Tomatoes
Frozen Parsley

Localvore and Pantry Offerings Include:
North Derby Berry Farm Raspberries
Butterworks Farm Non-Fat Vanilla or Honey Yogurt
Tangletown Farm Eggs

Half Veggie Only Members
Mesclun; Sweet Potatoes; Red Beets; Red Onions

And OUT of the bag:
Frozen Shredded Zuchhini

Roots Cellar Share take an ORANGE BAG containing:
Sweet Potatoes; Red Beets; Red Onions

And OUT of the bag:
Frozen Shredded Zucchini

 Have you signed up  yet for your spring share?  After this week there are only 3 more deliveries of the fall share.

Sign-up now to reserve  your weekly deliveries of fresh, organic Vermont grown goodness and the localvore staples that the share brings.  This is the most exciting share as all the new veggies become available.

Please visit the Spring Share page for more info.

Maple Wind Farm Fire update

Beth and Bruce are working on a plan to rebuild after their barn fire last week.  Their web site is updated with information on how to donate to their re-building efforts.  Please take a moment to find out how you can assist Maple Wind Farm get back on their feet.  Thank you!

Staff Bios - meet Derek

Derek Zember is one of our newest crew members - he just started his fourth week with us!

What's your position?  I don't have an "official" title but I'm sort of an assistant farmer and/or grower.  Currently I am managing our shoots growing program and working with the rest of the crew in the wash house.

What's your background?  Before coming to Pete's Greens I was in Pennsylvania for 4 years working at an organic farm that grew mixed veggies.  It was about half the size of Pete's Greens and I was involved in production management.  I handled things like soil testing, disease control, and crop rotation planning.  Prior to that I worked in Plainfield, VT, at Littlewood Farm.

Why do you like farming?  I like seeing the yearly progression of everything - the land, the production, and seeing how things change from year to year.  Farming is very rewarding work - it's great to work hard and then see things grow from that.  I like the problem solving aspect of farming when it comes to diseases and pests, and trying to figure out how to solve an issue.

Working on the shoots has been really interesting.  It takes a lot of coordination and the correct timing to be sure we have a steady supply of shoots when we need it. 

Why do you work at Pete's Greens?   I wanted to move back to VT because I really like it here.  It's neat to work at a larger farm and see all the efficiencies that are gained at this scale.  I love that we are serving a bigger
purpose here and providing food to so many people.

What do you like to do in your spare time?  I'm an avid rock climber, and also like to cross country ski, jog, and get out with my wife and dog for hikes.                      

What's your favorite vegetable?  My favorite veggie to eat is broccoli, my favorite veggies to grow are tomatoes  and carrots.

Thanks Derek!
Here's Derek with yesterday's shoot harvest.

Vermont Food and Farm Sector adds 2,200 new food system jobs

This was a great article published last week in the International News Magazine.  I feel so honored to have our little state be a national model in initiating and supporting changes in our local and regional food systems. 

    Food entrepreneurs have added at least 2,220 new jobs and at least 199 new                         businesses to the Vermont economy since the 2009 launch of the Farm to Plate                     Investment Program. Over the same time period, total employment across all                         economic sectors grew by 7,654 new jobs.

Click here to check out the whole article.

Spring Share Sign-up!
Share Period: February 19th thru June 11th, 2014

Join now for 17 weeks of fresh,organic,
Vermont grown goodness and the localvore staples you love.

Spring is an exciting time at Pete's Greens!

The Spring Share begins with weekly deliveries of winter greens from our greenhouses and shoots house, lots of staples like potatoes, carrots, onions, beets and cabbage, plus frozen summer goodies like corn, sweet peppers, spinach and winter squash that round out the diversity. Although it is very much winter it is our intention to provide something fresh and green every week even in the early weeks of this share!

By the end of March and into early April, with increased daylight, crops begin to vigorously grow and winter greens and flavorful herbs are in abundance.  Mesclun, baby spinach and arugula, chard, pac choi and various varieties of Asian greens begin to appear in shares.  From late April into May you can expect a wide variety of these greens plus spring vegetables like salad turnips, baby beets, scallions and hardy herbs like dill and parsley.  Each week of new veggie bounty is like Christmas!

In late May and into June warm season vegetables like European cucumbers, basil, and spring onions make their way into the share along with tender greens harvested from the field. Throughout the spring months we will continue to include preserved and frozen items to keep things interesting. 

The Spring Share is a celebratory share as each new vegetable makes its way from greenhouse and field into your weekly share. 

Experience the difference
eating great local, organic produce can make on your health and well being!

Visit our Spring Share page for more info.

Please visit our delivery page for a listing of Spring Share delivery sites.

Have questions about the Spring share?  Visit our FAQ page or send us an email

Storage and Use Tips

This week's greens is a mix of spinach, sunflower shoots, radish shoots, and pea shoots.

We didn't have much luck with our sweet potatoes this year so the sweet potatoes in this week's share were grown at Juniper Hill Farm just across the lake in Wadhams, NY.  They are grown using organic practices but aren't certified organic.  They are tasty and full of vitamins B6, C, and D, iron and magnesium.  I love baking sweet potatoes and adding some maple syrup and cinnamon; they also cook up great in soups and stews, or mashed a' la the classic sweeet potato casserole often seen at Thanksgiving.

** Large share members will get either valentine radishes or celeriac. **

Valentine radishes - these Asian radishes are also known as Beauty Heart or Watermelon. The exterior of this radish is quite nondescript, they look just like a plain greenish whitish turnip. And they can also be quite large, even softball size which is not what comes to mind when one imagines a radish. But cut into one, and they reveal a distinctive bright pink interior . Sweet, with just a hint of a radish bite, valentines are great in salads, slaw, or as crudites. You can also add to soups, or saute thinly sliced or shredded radish in butter with a pinch of salt. Cook lightly without browning. A stunning bright pink addition to any meal! Store valentine radishes loosely wrapped in a plastic bag in your crisper drawer.

Celeriac has a creamy, delicious inside with a mild celery flavor that adds depth and character to ordinary dishes.  It's excellent storage ability makes celeriac a popular vegetable for winter dishes.  Excellent mashed, as a roasted vegetable, in soups, or raw in salads.  The easiest way to prepare celeriac is to cut it into 1 inch thick slices.  Lay the slices flat and cut off the exterior without cutting away too much of the creamy flesh.  Store loosely wrapped in plastic in the fridge for 1-2 weeks or longer.

Green cabbage is considered one of the world's healthiest foods.  Wrapped loosely in a plastic bag, cabbage will keep in the crisper drawer for several weeks. Discard any exterior leaves that may have begun to tear and/or discolor before using.

Frozen tomatoes - we freeze tomatoes in the peak of summer when they are sweet and abundant.  They freeze very well, and are best used when they are frozen or just off frozen as they are easier to handle this way.  If you run a frozen tomato under warmish water in your hand, the skin will separate and come right off and you can pinch the top and bit of core out at the same time.  Then toss the fleshy tomato into the pan you are cooking in.  If you are looking for chopped tomatoes, just let them thaw a bit and chop away before they completely thaw and are to soft to handle.

Frozen parsley- this parsley was picked in the summer and frozen shortly after to preserve the nutrients.  This parsley is well used in something like a soup or stew and not as a garnish as parsley is so often used. 

Half share members will get frozen shredded zucchini this week.  What a treat to have this summery goodness in the middle of winter!  A pile of our zucchini harvest was squirreled away in the freezer this past fall.  When you thaw the zucchini, it will lose a lot of water.  This is actually perfect for baking and for many other recipes as well. Let it thaw, and then squeeze out all the excess water and then add the zucchini to your recipe.
Veggie Storage and Use Tips are on our website too, so please bookmark the recipe and storage tip section.  I am sure you will find it useful.

Localvore Lore

We've got a special treat for you this week - frozen raspberries from North Derby Organic Berry Farm.  Greg and Sharon Smith grow around 5 acres of raspberries, blueberries and blackberries on their farm in Newport.  They grow using ultra organic methods, but choose not to certify their farm because of the expense of doing so.  These raspberries are frozen so you can enjoy them right away or throw back in your freezer to use at a later date.  They are great added to baked goods like the muffin recipe below, smoothies, or in yogurt.

We also have Butterworks Farm Organic yogurt for you this week.  Butterworks Farm is a completely self-sufficient organic farm with a closed herd of their own cows (they were all born on the farm) from which they make their yogurt and other products.  Butterworks also grows quite a variety of grains and beans both for animals and human consumption.  All sites will receive a mix of their full fat Honey and Non-Fat Vanilla Yogurt.  The vanilla is flavored with natural vanilla and the honey is made with Northwoods Apiaries’ honey.   The non-fat yogurt is unique among other non-fat brands in that no thickeners are used in the making of the yogurt.  The structure of the Lazor's jersey milk allows them to make non-fat yogurt thickener free.   Both yogurts make great smoothies and are an excellent and complimentary accompaniment to fruit.

The girls at Tangletown Farm have been laying lots of eggs for you! 


I think the weather and this week's veggies call for a good amount of soup!

Lemon Roasted Cabbage
The lemon in this recipe can be switched up with any kind of vinegar, sherry or even salad dressing right out of the bottle. I even throw some bits of salt pork, panchetta or ham on top for flavor too!

1 head cabbage, cut into wedges and core removed
2 Tbs cooking oil, I like sunflower oil for a nutty flavor
2-3 Tbs lemon juice (sub vinegar if preferred)
Coarse salt and fresh ground pepper

Preheat oven to 450F. Arrange wedges in a single layer on the roasting pan (leaving space around each wedge).

Whisk together the oil and lemon juice. Using a pastry brush, generously brush the top sides of each cabbage wedge with the mixture and season generously with salt and fresh ground black pepper. Turn cabbage wedges carefully and repeat.

Roast cabbage for about 30-40 minutes turning wedges over half way through when the side touching the pan is nicely browned. Cabbage is done when it is nicely browned and cooked through with a bit of chewiness remaining. Serve hot, with additional lemon slices to squeeze lemon juice on at the table if desired.

Sweet and Sour Radish Salad
The colors alone in this recipe make it worth making, but of course it's tastes great too.

2 cups thinly shredded watermelon radish (about 2 medium)
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbs white vinegar
1 tbs sugar

Peel the radishes and shred into 1/8'' thickness.  Put into a bowl and add the rest of the ingredients.  Mix well and marinate in refrigerator for about 20 minutes or so.  Enjoy!

Fast Tomato Sauce
This recipe comes  from Mark Bittman's great book. The recipe calls for canned tomatoes but you can use the frozen ones in your share. Just run each frozen tomato under hot water and the skins will slip from them. Core the tomatoes as needed and then follow the recipe below.

3 Tbs olive oil or butter
1 med onion, chopped
1 24-32 oz can tomatoes drained and chopped
salt and fresh ground pepper
Freshly grated parmesan or other cheese

Heat olive oil in 12" skillet over med-high heat. Add onions and stir 2-3 minutes or until soft. Add tomatoes and salt and pepper to taste.

Cook, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes break up and the mixture comes together, thickening about 10-15 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Immediately toss with your hot just cooked pasta, garnish with cheese as you desire.

Celeriac Remoulade (Celery Root Salad)
This salad is a refreshing cool coleslaw-like salad. A food processor makes the job of grating the celeriac much faster.
* see tips for preparing celeriac in Storage and Use in the first part of this newsletter

1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp chopped parsley
1 lb celery root - quartered, peeled, and coarsely grated just before mixing
1/2 tart apple, peeled, cored, julienned
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Combine the mayonnaise, mustard, lemon juice and parsley in a medium-sized bowl. Fold in the celery root and apple and season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, at least 1 hour.

Celeriac Soup
There are many variations one could use to turn out a lovely soup using the ingredients in this share. The recipe below is just a suggestion. Soup is a great place to experiment. If you don’t have an ingredient omit it and/or substitute something similar. Try adding other herbs if you'd like. A bit of sage or thyme would be nice in this soup.

2 TB Oil (or butter or combo)
1 medium onion, or 2 leeks, or 2 shallots (peeled and sliced thinly)
2 garlic cloves (peeled and sliced thinly, or minced)
1.5 lb celeriac (peeled and chopped into chunks)
2 stalks celery (peeled and chopped, use peeler to remove tough outer strings)
2 potatoes  – scrubbed and chopped
2 carrots – peeled or scrubbed and chopped
1 quart of chicken stock (or vegetable broth)
1 Bay leaf
salt & pepper to taste
1 cup water (as needed)

Heat butter/oil in Dutch oven or soup pot. Add onions, cover and simmer until tender. For more flavor, remove cover and simmer until onions have browned slightly. Add garlic and celery and simmer 2-3 minutes more. Add the other vegetables and let cook for about 5 mins. Add the chicken stock and bay leaf and water if needed, enough to cover the vegetables. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce and simmer covered for about 20 mins, until the vegetables are tender. Puree in batches in a blender or use a hand mixer to puree the vegetables. If you think your soup is too thick, add some water or more stock. Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking.

For garnish consider a dollop of crème fraiche or yogurt or cream, (especially if you used veg stock). Crumbled bacon or some crumbled/grated cheddar on the top of each bowl would be delicious and make a very hearty meal with a hunk of bread.

I saw a recipe for a very similar celeriac soup in which the vegetables and broth were all thrown together in a Dutch oven, simmered on stove top for 5 minutes, then simmered in the oven covered for 3 hours. Not a quick dinner solution but this method would sweeten and deepen the flavors and would be lovely.

Delicious lemon raspberry muffins.
Easy, fast, and they taste amazing!

1.5 cups flour
¾ cup white sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
⅓ cup canola oil
1 egg
⅔ cup yogurt
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 cup raspberries (if using them frozen thaw for 5-10 minutes before adding into batter)
¼ cup turbinado sugar

Preheat oven to 425. Line and spray a 12 cup muffin tin.

Combine dry ingredients and mix well with a whisk. Combine oil, egg, yogurt, and lemon zest in another bowl. Whisk until combined. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix gently JUST until combined. Fold in raspberries.

Spoon batter into prepped muffin tins. Sprinkle tops with turbinado sugar. Bake for 15 minutes at 425, then reduce heat to 350 for remaining 10-15 minutes. Bake until tops are golden brown. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then remove and cool the rest of the way on a wire rack.

Beet Soup with Sweet Potatoes
I thought this sounded like a great soup. 

2 medium uncooked beets, peeled and shredded
2-3 Tbsp. butter
1 medium onion, sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
1 small sweet potato, peeled and diced
1 bay leaf
1 large fresh parsley sprig
2 cloves
4 whole peppercorns
5-6 cups meat or chicken stock
salt and freshly ground pepper
sour cream, fresh herbs to serve

Melt the butter in a large pan and cook the onions and garlic over a low heat for few minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the beets, tomato paste, vinegar, salt, pinch of sugar and one cup of the stock. Cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Place the bay leaf, parsley, cloves and peppercorns in a piece of cheesecloth and tie with string. Add the muslin bag to the pan, add rest of the stock. Bring to the boil, add sweet potato, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer until the vegetables are almost tender. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until vegetables are very tender, about 15 minutes.

Discard the bag, taste and adjust the seasoning. Ladle into bowls and serve hot with sour cream or cream and your favorite fresh herbs.

Mama's Potato Soup
This is one of Amy's favorite soups. It's a simple Mexican style soup that uses a pretty basic assortment of vegetables, but they come together beautifully and it's delicious. And spicy, read below!  The recipe comes from the Garlic Lovers Cookbook put out by Gilroy Garlic Festival Association. (Gilroy, CA is the self proclaimed garlic capitol of the world). Makes 4-6 servings.

2 TB sunflower oil
4 cloves garlic
1 cup finely chopped onion
3 medium sized tomatoes (perfect place to use your frozen tomatoes - or 1.5 to 2 cups canned)
*1/2 cup green chilies (or just 2 jalapenos or chili peppers or crushed red pepper to taste or what have you - see below!)
1 TB flour
2 quarts chicken broth (or turkey or veggie broth is great too)
2.5 cups peeled raw potatoes, cut into small cubes
2 tsp salt (or to taste)
1 tsp black pepper
2 medium-sized carrorts, peeled and thinly sliced
1 medium zucchini (or half a bag frozen)

Garnish with handful of grated cheddar for each bowl of soup.
*Optional - a dollop of sour cream in the bowls
*Optional - Cilantro - if you have fresh or frozen cilantro, toss it in!

*Hot peppers - I once actually put the amount of peppers specified in the recipe, using jalapenos and served it at a party. Holy Moly. I would come across people who'd been sitting for half an hour or more at the table, teary eyed and sweating, trying to get through a bowl of soup, having downed a couple beers in the process just to cool it down. I find that just a couple peppers is plenty spice. In the summer I can hot peppers so I have them around to use in winter. I used 2 canned green chile peppers in my most recent batch.

Heat oil in a 3-Quart saucepan and add garlic, onions, tomatoes and green chilies; saute for 3 mins. Stir in flour and cook for 2 more. Continue stirring as you pour in the hot broth. Add potatoes, salt and pepper. Cover pan and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes. Add carrots and zucchini and cook for 15 minutes longer or until potatoes are tender. Top dress with a handful of grated cheddar and add a dollop of sour cream if it suits you.


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