Farm Prep for 2014

Spring has finally sprung and we are busy getting ready for another great year of growing organic vegetables for our UK CSA members!

Starting in February, plants have been getting a head start in our greenhouse. We’ve filled trays with seeds,
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and gave some of our onion plants a haircut.
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The fields have thawed out after our long winter. The first two of many fields were spaded to till in the cover crop and get them ready for planting. Compost was added to these fields as a fertility source for the plants.
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In the beginning of April, we transplanted the first batch of our little greenhouse seedlings into our ready and waiting fields. Seedlings that went in the ground first included: Kohlrabi, Broccoli, Cabbage, Kale, and Lettuce. We also sowed seed for Carrots, Beets, and Spinach.
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Meanwhile, many more seedlings are still waiting patiently in our greenhouse for warmer temperatures before moving outside into our fields: peppers, tomatoes, eggplant, herbs, okra, leeks, flowers, and more.
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In addition, we’ve done some house-cleaning.
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Our tools and equipment are undergoing routine maintenance, and we even put a fresh coat of paint, so-to-speak, on our blog! We hope you enjoy the new look to this site. Don’t forget to take advantage of our growing recipe archive, where you can find tasty recipes for nearly any of the vegetables you will be receiving in your CSA share.

Thanksgiving Boxes, coming soon!

UK-CSA Thanksgiving vegetable boxes are almost here!  Next Tuesday, November 26th from 4-6pm at the E.S. Good Barn we will be delivering pre-packed boxes in two different types for $30 each: Winter Storage Box and Fall Greens Box.  The box contents are below, although we cannot guarantee every box will have each of the items listed.  We will also still be offering herbs, popcorn, and all the various potatoes as additional options.  To order, visit our CSA Flex Share webstore (http://www.farmigo.com/store/ukcsa) which will be open starting this Friday, November 22nd at noon and will close on Monday, November 25th at midnight.  This is your LAST chance to order vegetables from us this year.

WINTER STORAGE BOX

sweet potatoes, red skin and kennebec potatoes, butternut squash, popcorn, beets, turnips, savoy cabbage, and carrots

FALL GREENS BOX

kale, collards, chard, spinach, lettuce heads, salad mix, bok choi or napa cabbage, cauliflower, savoy cabbage, brussels sprouts, braising mix

ALSO AVAILABLE:
Herb Bunches (Thyme, Oregano, Sage, Parsley, Rosemary)
Popcorn
Bulk Sweet Potatoes
Bulk Potatoes
3# orders of Sweet Potatoes, Red-Skin Potatoes, and Kennebec Potatoes

If you haven’t ordered from the CSA Flex Share this November, you may be asked to reselect your pick-up location: simply reselect the E.S. Good Barn and you should be set-up to order your items.  If you have never ordered from the CSA Flex Share webstore in the past, please visit our website (http://sustainableag.ca.uky.edu/csa) to learn more about the CSA program—and then simply go to the webstore (http://www.farmigo.com/store/ukcsa) and you will be prompted to create an account with us when selecting items.  If you need any assistance during the ordering process, please don’t hesitate to contact me directly for help at tiffany.thompson@uky.edu.

The CSA crew looks forward to providing the ingredients to your locally-sourced Thanksgiving feast!  Thanks for your continued support!

Happy eating!
Tiffany Thompson
CSA Manager
tiffany.thompson@uky.edu

CSA Newsletter Week #22 October 24th

Farm Notes
We had a small crowd who braved the cold last Saturday for our end of the year CSA Potluck! Thanks to everyone who came out and for all of the delicious food that was shared.

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We have been covering up our baby strawberry plants with remay to keep them cozy for the cold. It feels like we’re tucking in our fields for a long, winter nap. One of our farm apprentices, Patrick, has written a nice closing piece on the season for our blog, so check it out.

While this marks the end of our regular CSA season, there will still be items to purchase on the Flex Share Store. We plan to also have boxes of produce to sell for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Thank you for letting us be your primary local source of produce this past year!

Tiffany, Kristi, Katie, Aaron and Luke
CSA Farm Crew 2013

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What’s In Your Share

For October 24th, you’ll find:

+ Mixed Greens
+ Cauliflower
+ Spinach
+ Arugula
+ Sweet Potatoes
+ Kennebec Potatoes
+ Autumn Crown Squash
+ Dry Beans
+ Popcorn

Our U-Pick fields are closed for the year! We hope you enjoyed coming to the farm for some harvests this year.

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Veggie Tips
+ There are a couple of new, fun items to your last week’s share! Dry Beans is one of those items. There are two varieties: Calypso is a black and white bean (on left in photo) and Jacob’s Cattle is a brown and white speckled bean (on right in photo). Both beans are great as soup beans. When cooked, Calypso has a smooth, creamy texture, with a nutty but mellow flavor. Jacob’s Cattle has a dense, meaty texture with a rich, nutty flavor; it is also similar to a pinto bean, and would go well in chili.
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You won’t need to soak them as long as most dry beans. While you can soak them overnight, they may only need 1-2 hours of soaking before cooking. We are including a couple of extra bean recipes, below, to enjoy over this winter.

+ Yes, everyone is getting Popcorn in their share today! The popcorn is still on the cob. We advise breaking the kernels off of the cob, and then letting them dry another 1-2 weeks in a bowl on your counter before popping them. These kernels can be made in an air popper. But they can also be made on the stovetop (recipe below), or in the microwave. To make in the microwave, put about 1/4 cup of kernels in a brown paper bag, add 1 Tablespoon of oil, close bag and shake to coat the kernels in the oil. Then simply put the closed bag in the microwave and cook for 2-4 minutes. Once popping slows, be sure to remove the bag so the popcorn doesn’t burn.
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+ For the second week in a row, Mixed Greens for the share is “choose your own adventure.” Choose 1 of either Collards, Lacinato Kale, Red Russian Kale, Curly Kale, or a new addition to this week, Swiss Chard.

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Recipes

Roasted Garlic Cauliflower
Submitted by Cheryl Kastanowski

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons minced garlic
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large head cauliflower, separated into florets
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
salt and black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F (220 degrees C). Grease a large casserole dish.
Place the olive oil and garlic in a large resealable bag. Add cauliflower, and shake to mix. Pour into the prepared casserole dish, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Bake for 25 minutes, stirring halfway through. Top with Parmesan cheese and parsley, and broil for 3 to 5 minutes, until golden brown.

Spinach Garlic Soup
Submitted by Cheryl Kastanowski

Ingredients:
10 ounces fresh spinach, trimmed and coarsely chopped
4 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1/2 cup chopped onion
8 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup butter or margarine
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Directions:
In a 5-qt. Dutch oven, bring spinach, broth and carrots to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; cool to lukewarm.

Meanwhile, in skillet, saute onion and garlic in butter until onion is soft, about 5-10 minutes. Add flour; cook and stir over low heat for 3-5 minutes. Add to spinach mixture. Puree in small batches in a blender or food processor until finely chopped. Place in a large saucepan. Add cream, milk, pepper and nutmeg; heat through but do not boil.

Stovetop Popcorn

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons neutral oil, such as grapeseed or refined canola oil
1/2 cup unpopped popcorn kernels

Directions:
Add the oil and popcorn kernels to a heavy 3- to 4-quart saucepan with a lid. Shake the pan to coat the kernels with oil. The kernels should cover the bottom of the pan in a single layer.

Cover the pan and place it over medium high heat, shaking the pan occasionally until you begin to hear popping.

When the corn begins to pop, lift it slightly from the heat and shake the pan continually, holding the lid in place, until the popping begins to slow, about 3 to 4 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat. Leave the lid on for 1 minute — some kernels will continue to pop. When the popping stops, pour the popcorn into a large bowl.

Enjoy plain, or season as desired with olive oil, butter, salt, or spices.

Beans with Skillet-Toasted Corn and Tomatoes
from Whole Living

Ingredients:
2 cups (12 ounces) dried beans, such as Jacob’s cattle (americanspice.com), kidney, or pinto, soaked, liquid reserved
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
3 1/2 cups fresh corn kernels (from 3 ears)
1 garlic clove, sliced
2 tablespoons
3 plum tomatoes, cut lengthwise into eighths
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon red-pepper flakes, plus more to taste
8 romaine lettuce leaves
3 ounces smoked cheese, such as Gouda or cheddar, cut into 1/4-inch cubes

Directions:
Place beans, soaking liquid, and 1 teaspoon salt in a large pot. Liquid should cover by 2 inches; adjust as necessary. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer gently. Cook, stirring occasionally, until beans are tender, about 1 hour. Drain, and transfer to a bowl. (Makes 5 cups beans.)

Heat a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat, and add corn. Cook, stirring occasionally, until corn begins to brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Add garlic, and cook, stirring frequently, until corn is browned and begins to pop, 3 to 4 minutes. Add to beans. Wipe skillet, return to medium-high heat, and add 1 teaspoon oil. Add tomatoes, in a single layer, and thyme. Cook, turning occasionally, until soft and beginning to char, 6 to 7 minutes.

Coarsely chop tomatoes, and add to beans. Whisk vinegar, red-pepper flakes, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 2 tablespoons oil in a small bowl. Pour over beans, stirring gently. Spoon over lettuce, and top with cheese.

Calypso Bean Minestrone
from Local Kitchen

Ingredients:
½ lb dried calypso beans (to yield 3 cups cooked beans with broth)
1 medium yellow or white onion, divided
5 cloves garlic, divided
2 tbsp bacon grease or olive oil
½ to 1 tsp fennel seeds (or one medium bulb fresh fennel, chopped)
3 cups chopped kale (frozen)
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
½ lb green beans, sliced to 2-inch lengths (fresh or frozen)
2 tsp Kosher salt, or to taste
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
goat cheese or brie-style soft cheese for garnish

Directions:
Soak and cook the beans. I soaked the beans for about 6 hours, then simmered over low heat, in the soaking water, with ¼ of the onion and 2 smashed garlic cloves, for about 1 and ½ hours. Add 1 tsp of salt about halfway through the cooking time. When the beans are tender but still a bit al dente, turn off the heat and allow them to sit in the bean broth.

Chop the remaining onion to ¼-inch dice and mince the remaining garlic cloves. Heat the grease or oil over medium flame in a soup pot or Dutch oven. Add the onion, garlic, ½ tsp fennel seed (or chopped fresh fennel) and a pinch of salt and saute over medium-low heat until vegetables are translucent, about 7 minutes. Add the chopped kale and saute until wilted and fragrant, about 2-3 minutes (longer if using fresh kale). Add the stock and another pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes.

Drain the calypso beans, reserving the bean broth. Add calypso and green beans to the soup along with 2 cups of the bean broth (or more, if the soup is very thick). Simmer for 15 minutes.

Taste and add black pepper, salt and more fennel as needed. Add additional bean broth to round out flavor and/or if the soup is very thick. Serve garnished with a dollop of fresh goat cheese, or a thin slice of brie.

A Final Note from an Apprentice

Patrick Mooney, one of student apprentices this summer, leaves us with a few words of reflection on the past summer.

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There is a season for everything, as the proverbial passage in Ecclesiastes states. A time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to harvest; there is a time for everything under the sun. Well harvest we did this season- I think I personally lifted about 2000 pounds of tomatoes over the summer weeks when all was said and done. From planting in April to sweating in August, the season has been sweet and bountiful with many crops planted, harvested, and hopefully eaten as well. Alas, our season has come to an end, the full summer share has wrapped up, and as we head into the cold nights of winter I’ll remember all the fun times I had this summer while thawing some homemade marinara sauce from the Roma tomatoes this summer. I’ll remember the little sweet potato shoots we transplanted with our Thai interns Gym and Pim while preparing them for Thanksgiving. Overall, I’ll remember how much of a harvest came from what seemed like a small space for a farm!

For me, this is also the end of a season. In just a few weeks, I’ll be graduating with my B.S. in Sustainable Agriculture (Ind. Curriculum). The season of my education is coming to its own winter, and I begin the process of looking for my next season in life. A spring with new possibilities awaits, and I look forward to it and the opportunity to plant seeds for the rest of my future. Although, the feeling is bittersweet, just like the autumn season. The bright sunny days and turning leaves lead to the freezing chill of winter, and ending education is exciting yet saddening from having to leave friends and fun experiences behind to be a real adult. I have my own bountiful harvest of knowledge to reap and experience now for the rest of my life, and hopefully it’s a process that never stops.

What this summer has shown me is that tireless work pays off. Even though I was often ill, tired, and complained a lot about this or that- I wouldn’t trade my apprenticeship experience for anything. I never thought I would be doing or even could do some of the things I did this summer and I am so happy to have had this experience. I could do something most people never could and that to me is priceless; it is the crown of the season, the best harvest possible. So to all who bought from us this season, we thank you, and from us apprentices to you all, it has been our pleasure- our sweaty, dirty pleasure! To all a good harvest, and to the land that provides, may it be bountiful always!

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