Friday, February 24, 2017

Good Eats Weekly Newsletter - February 15, 2017

Welcome to the Pete's Greens Good Eats Spring CSA!

Localvore Members 
& Regular Veggie Only Share Members

This week your bag contains:

Mesclun, Yellow Onions, Orange Carrots, Gilfeather Turnips, Fingerling Potatoes, and

and OUT of the bag:
Frozen Stir Fry Mix
Frozen Corn

Half Veggie Members
take a YELLOW BAG containing:

Mesclun, Yellow Onions, Orange Carrots, Gilfeather Turnips, Fingerling Potatoes

and OUT of the bag:
Frozen Stir Fry Mix

Localvore Offerings Include:

Slowfire Bakery (M)alt-Country Bread
Bonnieview Farm Bonnie Bleu Cheese
Champlain Orchard Jonagold Apples

Share Pick-Up Instructions! Please review!

Whether you are a seasoned CSA member or new to Good Eats, it's important to review the pick-up instructions before you head out to pick up your share!

Step #1:
Find your name on the Names List and check it off. The clipboard contains a list of all share members at your site. Checking off your name helps us know who has picked up and is extremely helpful in solving any mysteries at the end of the day. 

If you can't find your name or your share partner's name, please don't take a share! Call or email us and we'll figure it out.

Step #2:
Take the correct items - Select your items by taking what is listed next to your name on the Names List. Follow the specific item list/instructions to assemble your share. Some items are delivered OUT of the bag. Localvore/ pantry items are not bagged.

If you are sharing with someone: coordinate with your share-mate to make sure that you DON'T take double the amount of any items. All shares are packed and delivered to the sites are whole shares. Only one name is listed for each share, so if you don't see yours, check for your share partner's name. 

If you're receiving something special, it is labeled separately. Please, take all of your items and only your items.

The first Spring CSA pickup is tomorrow!

Each week, you'll receive this newsletter with information about what's in your share, storage tips, use tips, recipes, and other items of interest.

Above: The green bags that Full Vegetable and Localvore Members will receive.

Below: Erick is holding the yellow bags that Half Vegetable members should pick up.

Please note that the first Meat Share pick up is not this week, it is the first Wednesday of every month starting March 1.
Pete's Musings

​Welcome to our Spring Share!  Around the farm we're starting seeds (tomatoes are 2 inches tall), fixing equipment, making crop plans, and washing and packing mountains of stored carrots. After years of growth and expansion we've spent the winter planning how to hold steady for a bit to focus on improving and streamlining current operations.

It's been cloudy and the greenhouses need some light in order to wake up and start growing. It looks like there will be more sun in the coming week fortunately. I was lucky to be at the Women's March in Montpelier and was so proud of the energy and fierceness displayed by our little State despite the clouds. It's going to be an interesting four years and we're all going to have to do our best to stand up and counter damaging ideas and attitudes that will be more on display than in the recent past. The sunlight is needed now more than ever.

Thanks for joining our CSA and supporting local food and farmers.

~ Pete

Around the Farm 

We're thrilled you're a part of our farm community! This spring promises to be exciting around Pete's Greens. This morning I checked in on Melissa and Isaac (our farm lovebirds); they are busy in our "headhouse" greenhouse seeding and working on indoor climate control. Some pictures are below. Isaac is installing a netting-type material to lower the "ceiling" of the greenhouse and keep in hot air. Rather than rising to the top of the greenhouse, the hot air will be trapped low AND lower the energy costs of this greenhouse by up to 40%!

From past surveys, we know that our members really appreciate the convenience of our pickup schedule, so if you ever have any issues picking up your weekly goodies, please let me know. We can't improve if we don't know what needs improving! Likewise, please share any of the good and bad about your shares. We are working on some exciting changes over the next few weeks that we'll hope to roll out.

And, I'm thinking ahead to things we can do this summer to keep our Good Eats members engaged. In the meantime, if you're ever interested in taking a tour of our facilities, let me know! We are happy to host groups interested in seeing how our farm operates. 

We still have room in the Spring share so please spread the word! 
                                                                                                                                                                                                        Melissa seeding onions. This vacuum preps the seeds  ~ Taylar                                                                                   for easy insertion into the trays of dirt.

Storage and Use Tips 
Your bag of greens is a mesclun mix. Each week, you can expect to find a different bag of greens in your share. This mix is perfect for salads. It includes radish and sunflower shoots, claytonia (the long stringy green thing), and spinach. The greens are pre-washed and ready to eat.
Gilfeather Turnips:  The Gilfeather turnip was born here in Vermont. Here is an excerpt from the Slow Food site about Gilfeathers: "The Gilfeather is an egg-shaped, rough-skinned root, but unlike its cousins, it has a mild taste that becomes sweet and a creamy white color after the first frost. While the hardy Gilfeather turnip does well in nearly any climate, this touch of frost contributes to its unusual taste and texture. Developed and named after John Gilfeather from Wardsboro, Vermont, this turnip is one of the state's unique contributions to cold weather agriculture. Mr. Gilfeather carefully guarded his stock to ensure that no one else could propagate the vegetable. However, some seeds slipped by and a few folks have continued to grow the Gilfeather Turnip after Mr. Gilfeather died." These turnips are truly unique, and we are fortunate that the seeds made their way to other Vermont farmers. Try boiling and mashing the gilfeathers with potatoes. Turnips can be kept for a couple of weeks loosely wrapped in a plastic bag in your crisper drawer.
Fingerling potatoes are a family of heritage potatoes that naturally grow much smaller than conventional potatoes. They tend to be elongated and slightly knobbly, making them very finger-like in shape. This variety, larat, is a little bit bigger than a traditional fingerling. The unusual-looking, flavorful potatoes can be used just like regular potatoes in an assortment of roasted, broiled, baked, grilled, or boiled dishes.  Store in a paper bag in a cool, dry place. No need to peel, just scrub clean before cooking.
Carrots can keep in the refrigerator for up to three months if properly prepared for storage. Do not wash until ready to use carrot. Always a crowd pleaser, carrots can be eaten raw whole, sliced, or shredded, steamed, glazed (maple syrup is lovely!), baked, roasted, juiced... so versatile! Keep in your crisper drawer.
Onions: These are small and medium sized yellow onions - an essential staple to almost all cooking! Store onions in a cool place, perhaps even the fridge if you don't intend to use them right away.
Frozen corn (large shares only): This is a real treat! Frozen at peak harvest, this corn can be used for any number of dishes. To use, let thaw and drain, or throw it frozen into your dish, like a soup or chili. It may be watery so let it drain if your recipe requires it. Each bag is 10 ounces.
Frozen Stir Fry: Full and half share members will both receive our frozen stir fry mix this week! Frozen in the peak of summer, this mix contains broccoli, cauliflower, peppers, onions, and carrots. It is great in sautees or soups. Or thaw, drain, and use as a stir fry.
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. And, if you make something that uses a lot of items from your share, please send us the recipe! We'll happily test it out and share it!
Need to miss a week?

If you're ever not able to pick up your share, please let us know at least one week in advance. We can either skip your share and give you credit, send it the next week, or donate it to the food pantry. It's up to you!

Sorry, we cannot skip a share or change pick-up sites after Monday.
Localvore Lore

The bread this week comes from Slowfire Bakery in Jeffersonville. Scott Medellin bakes this bread in a woodfired stove. This bread, a variation on his country sourdough, is made especially for our CSA share. The (M)alt-Country is made with heirloom wheats (Marquis and Turkey Red) and whole buckwheat from Maine Grains, and VT-grown malted wheat, barley, and rye from Peterson Quality Malt. To store the bread, here's what Scott suggests:
The best way to preserve bread is highly subjective and subject to ambient conditions - even after baking, each loaf retains significant mutability and individuality!  The best way to preserve the character of the bread is to just store it cut side down on the cutting board - this should give 1-3 days of fresh eating, and 2-4 more days of toast/french toast/etc.  Keeping it inside its bag will keep it softer for a bit longer, but you'll lose a bit of the contrast between crust and crumb.  Placing the bread in its paper bag within a partially open gallon-sized Ziploc bag will keep the bread softer for fresh eating/toasting even longer - some customers report this method working for over a week!  The method that, in my experience, strikes the best balance between preserving the loaf's character and maintaining its versatility for different applications over an extended time is anticlimactically old-fashioned:  a bread box.
Bonnieview Farm is based in Albany, VT - about 15 minutes from our farm. Neil and Kristen Urie run this sheep and cow farm and churn out award-winning cheeses (as well as wool and other sheep products!). Bonnieview has been a farm since 1890, with Neil at the helm since 1995. Animals are on pasture spring through fall. Bonnie Bleu is an unpasteurized cow's milk cheese - creamy in texture and totally snackable! I tried some last night and had a hard time putting it away! It's not as pungent a bleu as others, so if you're not typically a bleu cheese eater, give this one a go.
 Bonnieview Farm
Jonagold apples round out a lovely appetizer plate with your cheese and bread. Champlain Orchards in Shoreham is one of the oldest continuously operating orchards in Vermont, a family-run operation that uses ecological principles and is run entirely off of solar energy. The Jonagold is popular in Europe. It's a cross between Jonathan and Golden delicious. It has a sweet-tart taste and a touch of spice. Great for fresh eating and baking. Store apples in the refrigerator.


Cider Scalloped Gilfeather Turnips                  

2 tablespoons flour                                                                     
1 cup apple cider or juice                     
½ teaspoon salt                                             
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg, ground                             
½ cup Jarlsberg cheese, shredded     
1 cup milk
½ cup chicken broth                                                                                         
¼ teaspoon black pepper, ground
½ cup Vermont cheddar cheese, shredded
2 lbs. Gilfeather turnips, peeled and thinly sliced

Heat oven to 425 degrees F.  Put oven rack in center position.  Grease 10 x 2
round baking dish or an 8 x 10 rectangular baking dish; set aside.

Place flour in a medium heavy saucepan; gradually add milk, whisking until
smooth.  Whisk in cider, broth, salt, pepper and nutmeg.  Bring mixture to a
boil over high heat, whisking constantly.  Cook one minute more, remove from
heat and set aside.

Combine cheeses.  Arrange half of the sliced turnips (slightly overlapping) in
prepared baking dish.  Sprinkle half of cheeses on half of the turnips.  Arrange
another layer of turnips on top of cheese.  Pour cider mixture over turnips.

Bake 25 minutes.  Remove baking dish from oven.  Using a metal spatula, press
down on the turnips.  Sprinkle with remaining cheese and return to oven.  Bake
until turnips are fork-tender and the top is crusted and lightly browned – about
20 minutes more.  Let stand 20 minutes before serving.

Mexican Corn and Jalapeno Soup
This is a perfect soup to warm you up on these cold days!  Feel free to leave the jalapenos out.

3 scallions
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 jalapenos, thawed and diced into small pieces
1 bag frozen corn, thawed and drained, divided
2 tsp salt
4 cups plus 3 tbs water, divided
2 tbs fine cornmeal  or masa harina

Crumbled queso fresco or shredded cheese plus fresh cilantro for serving

Divide the white and green parts of the scallions - save the green parts for later use.  Combine the white scallions and onions in a large saucepan or cast iron skillet.  Cook over medium heat until soft.  Add cooked onions, 2 1/2 cups of corn, salt, and 2 cups of water into a blender.  Blend until smooth or leave chunkier for a thicker soup.  Transfer the puree to the skillet and place over medium-high heat.  Stir in the remaining corn and up to 2 cups of water.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce
heat to a simmer and let boil until slightly reduced, about 8 minutes.  In a bowl, combine the 3 tbs of water and cornmeal or masa.  Whisk until smooth.  Blend into the soup in the skillet and add the jalapenos.  Simmer, stirring occasionally until the soup has thickened.  Serve topped with cheese, green scallions, and cilantro as desired. 

Nearly-Instant Thai Coconut Corn Soup 
Good Eats member Magge Stone sent us this recipe awhile back. Amy attests to the flavor and the fast cooking time. Adapted from Vegan Express: Featuring 160 Recipes for Quick, Delicious, and Healthy Meals, by Nava Atlas.

1 Tbs olive oil
1 large shallot, minced
4 to 5 scallions, thinly sliced, separate white and green parts (leeks work too)
1-2 roasted red peppers, cut into thin strips (sub sweet red peppers)
1 13oz cans coconut milk
1½ c rice milk (sub regular milk or water)
1 bag frozen corn
2 tsp curry powder
¼ tsp Thai red curry paste, more or less  to taste 
1 tsp salt
½ cup minced fresh cilantro (if available)

Heat the oil in a soup pot. Add the garlic, the white parts of the scallions, and the pepper. Saut√© over medium-low heat until garlic has softened and turned golden, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the coconut milk, rice milk, corn, curry powder, the green parts of the scallions. If using the curry paste, dissolve it in a small amount of water before adding to the soup. Bring to a rapid simmer, then lower the heat. Cover and simmer gently for 5 minutes. Season with salt and remove from the heat. Serve, passing around the cilantro for topping.

Chinese Stir Fry
This recipe is easy and versatile. You can use your frozen stir fry mix, carrots, and even top with sunflower shoots. If you bake up a whole chicken beforehand, you can use any leftover meat in this dish.

300g vegetables, finely shredded e.g. cabbage, carrots, mushrooms, peppers
2 tablespoons vegetable oil 
350g lean pork, turkey or chicken, shredded
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons Chinese 5 spice 
2 onions, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
½ red chilli or pinch chili flakes or cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons water

Prepare all the vegetables and set aside.

Heat a wok or large frying pan over high heat and add 1 tablespoon of the oil. Once hot, add the pork and stir-fry for 3-4 minutes. Remove the pork from the wok and put into a bowl, then add the soy sauce, sprinkle with the Chinese 5 spice, mix well and set aside.

Heat the remaining oil in the wok and add the onions. Stir-fry for 2 minutes then add the garlic and chili and stir 1 minute.

Add the mixed vegetables and return the pork to the wok, stir for 2 minutes, add 2tbsp water, cover with a lid and cook for a further 1 minute. Mix well and serve immediately with rice or noodles.

Carrots and Turnips Au Gratin
This is a delicious variation on au gratin that features something besides potatoes.  I sometimes substitute rutabaga for the turnips or parnips for the carrots.

1-1/2 lbs carrots, peeled and sliced
1-1/4 lbs turnips, peeled and sliced
1 can (10-3/4oz) cream of celery soup, undiluted
1 cup milk
1/2 tsp pepper
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1 tbs butter, melted

Place carrots and turnips in a large saucepan; cover with water.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered for 5-7 minutes or until crisp-tender. 

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine the soup, milk, and pepper.  Bring to a boil; remove from the heat.  Stir in cheese until melted.  Drain vegetables; transfer to an 11-in x 7-in baking dish coated with cooking spray.  Pour sauce over the vegetables.

Combine bread crumbs and butter; sprinkle over top.  Bake, uncovered, at 400 for 15-20 minutes or until vegetables are tender and crumbs are golden brown.

Honey Roasted Carrots
Simple, easy and delicious.

6-8 carrots, peeled
3tbs olive oil
1/4 cup honey
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350.  Place the whole carrots into a baking dish, and drizzle with olive oil.  Mix until the carrots are completely covered with oil.  Pour on the honey, then season to taste with salt and pepper; mix until evenly coated.

Bake in the oven until just tender, or to your desired tenderness, 40  minutes to 1 hour.

Roasted Fingerling Potatoes with Cheese
This mouth-watering potato recipe is also easy and accessible for the whole family.

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1.5-2 pounds fingerling potatoes or small red-skinned potatoes, cut diagonally into halves
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh thyme leaves (or 1 tsp dried thyme leaves)
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon fresh nutmeg
1 cup shredded hard cheese (gruyere or Landaff)

Preheat oven to 425F. Grease a 15 x 10-inch baking pan with oil.

Combine potatoes, cream, thyme, salt, pepper and nutmeg in a large bowl. With a slotted spoon, transfer potatoes to a pan, spreading them in a single layer. Reserve cream mixture. Bake about 30 minutes, until largest potato is easily pierced with a fork.

Remove from oven. With a spatula, slide potatoes together. Drizzle with remaining cream mixture. Sprinkle with cheese. Return pan to oven on top rack until cheese is melted and begins to brown. Transfer to a platter and serve immediately.

Adapted from Richard Swearinger

Warm Fingerling Potato Salad
Already looking for a good alternative to roasting roots?  Tossing boiled roots with flavorful herbs and oil while they're still hot is the next-best thing.  The warm vegetables soak in the flavors of the herbs beautifully, and the salad only gets better after a few days in the fridge.

2 pounds fingerling potatoes
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, smashed
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon salt-packed capers, rinsed and coarsely chopped
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1/2 medium red onion, coarsely chopped (1/2 cup)
1 celery stalk, thinly sliced crosswise on bias
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
Salt to taste

Place potatoes in a medium-sized saucepan covered 2 inches by salted water. Bring to a boil and cook until tender, about 10 minutes.  Meanwhile in a small saucepan, combine olive oil, garlic, red pepper flakes, capers, lemon, and red onion. Bring to a simmer and remove from the heat.  Drain the potatoes, halve lengthwise, and toss with warm dressing, celery, and parsley. Salt to taste and serve warm.

Inside the "headhouse". Those bit sheets of netting are what Isaac is installing to help reduce energy costs and improve efficiency during this critical time of seed growth.

Below, onion seeds from the vacuum sorter!

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