I hope everyone has stayed safe and dry over these past few days of rain! Hopefully today will stay nice and cool
AND dry. Just kidding, as I’m updating the newsletter, it’s begun to rain again. Maybe it will hold off for pick-up this afternoon….
It really is starting to feel like fall out at the farm. Fields are getting cleaned up, summer crops are ending. And the cool season crops are starting to roll in. Last Friday, we started harvesting sweet potatoes. So far, the sizes seem much more reasonable, as opposed to our notoriously monstrous sizes in the past. Be sure to keep reading the rest of the newsletter….we’ve got a note from an apprentice this week!
The University of Kentucky Horticulture Club will be on CAMPUS during distribution time (4-6pm) selling apples. They have a wide array of varieties. Please note that these apples are NOT organic; they were grown on the conventional side of UK South Farm. Apples are $0.50 each, or $10 for a 1/4 bushel. I believe the Hort Club accepts cash, check or Venmo.
The UK Winery will be set up on campus this Thursday from 4-6pm, with the CSA. They will also be at the Farm pick-up location from 3:30-6:30pm. You may also purchase wine from them on Fridays at the farm in the classroom building from 2-6pm. Check out their blog site, ukywine.com for more information on wine varieties and prices.
Note from an Apprentice
This week’s note is from Josh LeCompte.
Hey UK CSA, my name is Joshua LeCompte and I’m currently a senior majoring in Sustainable Agriculture here at the University of Kentucky. I was born in Frankfort, Kentucky and have lived around KY my whole life. As a kid I was commonly fed processed meals and fast food as my mother was a single mom with little time and a lack of education on the value of quality food. When we did have prepared meals, meat was the main staple and the foods consisted of lower quality, high fat and greasy options. Soda was a common staple as the drink of choice. As I grew and began sports, I transitioned over to water first and noticed quite a difference in how I felt. I also grew leaner and less lethargic. Then, as a college student I had a dear friend who was a devout vegetarian. As we shared more meals I naturally began to eat more as they did and noticed a drastic difference in how I felt. Cutting out red meat and high fat/processed foods (for the most part) eliminated a good share of fatigue and felt like it brought higher mental clarity and better general health.
Through this friend I also gained a deeper interest into what I was consuming and how it not only impacted myself but also the environment around me. I began to broadly explore the impacts of conventional/organic practices, the importance of understanding seasonality when it comes to produce and how supporting local farmers helps the economy and the environment by reducing emissions. I would occasionally help this friend with her garden sparking a deeper appreciation for what it takes to actually produce food and bringing to light how skewed supermarkets can make our understanding of what we’re actually eating. Until this point I would have never realized just how many resources these items took to grow.
As a sustainable agriculture student here at UK, I have had the opportunity to work on a few local organic farms. For the past two summers my job at SaladDays has doubled as a grocery store and during these times I’ve never felt better. Food equals health and the value of sustainable locally grown seasonal produce is invaluable. My experience at SaladDays has vastly expanded my understanding of the many hats a farmer must wear to be successful, as a farmer’s job is never done. There are always records to be kept, markets to investigate, planning of rotations, seeding and preparation for ensuing seasons. As a part of this crew I also glimpsed the aspects of community that growing food with others naturally brings and have been able to practically apply knowledge I’ve gained throughout my coursework.
This past summer I had the privilege to be an apprentice at South Farm. Working with the UK crew was a great way to examine how scale and modes of efficiency could differ from my previous farming experience. Getting to experience the different transplanters, the conveyor, harvesters and various weeding methods expanded how I saw SaladDays and allowed me to firsthand develop and apply ways to integrate them there. I also gained more outside knowledge that will lend itself to my future farming experiences with how to operate multiple tractors, beekeeping and honey extraction, plant pathology and irrigation being a few. This apprenticeship lengthened my understanding of community through the many people I managed to meet and share stories, food and hard work alongside. Payment comes in many forms and experiences such as these shared with others is one of the highest rewards.
Josh is in the forefront of the photo.
What’s In Your Share
For this week, you’ll receive:
+ Butternut Squash
+ Lettuce Head
+ Purple Potatoes
+ Kale OR Collards
+ Green Tomatoes
+ Mixed Sweet Peppers
The CSA Farm Stand (which is for purchasing “extras”) will be set up at both the campus (from 4-6pm) and farm (from 3:30-6:30pm) locations. Items available will be on a first come, first served basis. For the campus location, we will be set up a little differently this year. The Farm Stand will be located all the way to the right of the pick-up line with it’s own tent and table. So please do not go through the regular pick-up line to buy a la carte. At the farm, the Farm Stand table will also be set up separately from the regular pick-up line. We accept cash, check and *NEW* this year, credit cards.
Items Available for Purchase this Week:
+ Butternut Squash: $3 each
+ Lettuce Head: $3 each
+ Arugula: $5/bag
+ Purple Potatoes: $4.50/bag
+ Garlic: $1.50/bulb
+ Kale: $3/bunch
+ Collards: $3/bunch
+ Beets: $3/bunch
+ Sweet Peppers: $1 each
+ Every week that there is you-pick available we will list what is available in the weekly newsletter. The first time you come to the farm we ask that you find one of the organic team (in the organic shed or out in the fields) for a you-pick orientation.
+ You will need to bring your own harvest containers and – if you are interested in okra or flowers – your own pruners or scissors. All you-pick crops will also be marked in the field with a “you-pick” sign. In 2018 the main you-pick field is located south of the parking lot towards Waveland Museum Road, but close to the farm’s access road.
+ We ask that you park your vehicle in the parking lot and walk to the you-pick area to keep vehicles out of our fields. However, if you require assistance to get to our fields or if there is an issue of accessibility, we can make exceptions but please talk to a staff member first for guidelines.
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday – 7:30am until 4pm
Thursday – 7am until 6:30pm
We are closed on all major holidays including Memorial Day, 4th of July, and Labor Day.
+ Please only pick from the beds that have a sign saying “You-Pick”. Not everything is ready or available to pick at this time.
+ Hot Peppers
+ Cherry Tomatoes are slowing down
+ We have a perennial herb bed, right to the west of the You-Pick field. Most of the herbs are the same as what is in You-Pick, however many are more mature, such as the sage, chives and oregano. There is also spearmint in the perennial bed.
Veggie Tips (or Facts)
+ Butternut Squash should be stored in a single layer on a kitchen counter or someplace cool. Room temperature is also fine. You can expect your squash to last about a month, but if you wish to prolong it’s shelf-stability, you can wipe the skin with a damp cloth and dish soap or a 1 part bleach in 10 parts water to prevent decay. Make sure to fully dry the squash. Most all winter squashes are interchangeable in recipes.
How to bake your winter squash: Place each side, cut side down, in an oven-proof dish filled with about an inch of water. Bake in the oven at 350F for 30 minutes or until the flesh is tender when pierced with a fork. After cooling, you can scoop the flesh out and freeze it for later use or use it in soups, stews or baking.
+ The variety of potatoes this week are called Purple Majesty. These potatoes have both a purple skin and flesh that remains firm and moist after cooking. As the purple color suggests, these potatoes have high levels of antioxidants in them. Use these potatoes for chips, salads, roasting, baking, mashing or microwaving. You can store potatoes in a cool, dark and dry area for a couple of weeks, even up to several months.
+ Lettuce and other greens like arugula, kale and collards store best in the crisper drawer of the fridge in a plastic bag. Expect the more delicate greens, like the lettuce and arugula, to last about a week and the hardier greens, like kale and collards, to last about a couple of weeks.
+ The garlic has already been processed. Store it in a mesh bag or dish on the kitchen counter. It will last for several weeks, up to several months.
+ The beets this week come with their greens attached! Be sure to check the recipe section below for a recipe including the greens. While beets store best as roots without their greens, you can still keep the greens as you would any other green like kale, lettuce or collards. Store the roots in a perforated plastic bag in the crisper drawer of the fridge for a week, up to a few months. Store the greens separate, wrapped in a towel in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer of the fridge. You can expect the greens to last about 2-5 days.
+ Green Tomatoes can be stored like ripe, red tomatoes. Tomatoes store best in a single layer, shoulder side down on the kitchen counter. If you choose to keep your tomatoes in the hopes of ripening them, you do not need to change your storage conditions. The most rapid ripening conditions occur between 60F and 70F. It will take several days to ripen.
+ All peppers can either be stored in a cool place in the kitchen, or in the crisper drawer of the fridge. Peppers may last up to 2 weeks.
For your convenience this week’s recipes in a printable format.
Meal Plan Menu
If you’ve got fennel left from last week, add that to a salad, plus you could chop peppers, or shred beets for added flavor and color.
Tiffany’s Dressing Recipe
50% olive oil (1/3 cup usually)
50% apple cider vinegar (1/3 cup usually)
~1-2 T soy sauce
~1-2 T tahini
Garlic (1-2 cloves?) and lemon juice (1 T?) to taste
—the official bottle calls for toasted sesame seeds, parsley, and chives which I usually don’t add…but would be excellent additions
No time? Just buy a frozen pie crust instead of making the crust from scratch. Also, feel free to modify the ingredients. You don’t have to include the bacon and you can add other veggies if you like.
Arugula and Bacon Quiche
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3 tablespoons chilled solid vegetable shortening, cut into small pieces
4 tablespoons ice water
6 bacon slices, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup chopped shallots
8 ounces arugula, stems trimmed, leaves coarsely chopped (about 5 1/2 cups)
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1 cup whipping cream
3 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
3/4 cup shredded Gruyere cheese (about 2 1/2 ounces)
For crust: Blend flour and salt in processor. Add butter and shortening. Using on/off turns, process until mixture resembles coarse meal. Mix in enough ice water to form moist clumps. Gather dough into ball; flatten into disk. Wrap in plastic and chill until dough is firm enough to roll out, about 30 minutes. Roll out dough on floured surface to 12-inch round. Transfer to 9-inch-diameter tart pan with removable bottom. Trim dough overhang to 1 inch. Fold overhang in and press, forming double-thick high-standing sides. Pierce crust all over with fork. Freeze crust 30 minutes. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and keep frozen.)
Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 400°F. Bake crust until golden brown, piercing with fork if crust bubbles, about 20 minutes. Transfer crust to rack. Reduce temperature to 375°F.
For filling: Cook bacon in heavy medium skillet over medium-high heat until crisp, about 5 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels and drain. Add shallots to same skillet and saute until tender, about 2 minutes. Add arugula and saute until just wilted, about 1 minute. Remove from heat. Add balsamic vinegar; toss to combine.
Sprinkle arugula mixture, then bacon over crust. Whisk cream, eggs, salt and pepper in large bowl to blend. Stir in cheese. Pour mixture into crust.
Bake quiche until filling is slightly puffed and golden, about 35 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes. Cut in wedges.
Roasted Beets and Sauteed Greens with Hazelnuts and Goat Cheese
4-6 small beets, or 2-3 larger betters, tops on
1/4 cup chopped hazelnuts
2-3 large cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons Herb Butter or olive oil
1/2 cup water, stock or white wine, optional
3 tablespoons very cold goat cheese, broken into small pieces
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Preheat the oven to 350° F.
Remove the beet greens just above where they connect with the beet. Rinse the beets and greens thoroughly. Wrap each beet loosely in foil. Roast for about an hour, until beets are barely soft to touch. When cool enough, remove skin and slice into quarters or eights, depending on size (small bite-sized pieces).
Toast the hazelnuts in a medium sauté pan over medium-high flame, turning constantly, until brown, about 5 minutes. Set nuts aside.
In the same pan over medium flame, melt the butter and sauté the garlic until turning color, about 2-3 minutes. Add the beet greens, stems intact, and sauté until wilted, about 3-5 minutes. If pan gets too dry, add a splash of water, stock, or white wine.
Remove from flame and toss in roasted beet pieces, nuts, salt and pepper. Empty onto serving platter or individual plates and top with bits of cold goat cheese.
Fried Green Tomatoes
From The Practical Produce Cookbook by Ray and Elsie Hoover
6 medium green tomatoes
1/4 cup milk
1 cup cornmeal, bread crumbs or flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/8 tsp. pepper
2 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
Slice tomatoes into 1/4 to 1/2 inch slices. Beat together eggs and milk. Combine corn meal, salt, oregano and pepper. Heat butter and oil in a skillet. Dip tomato slices in egg mixture then in cornmeal mixture. Fry tomato slices, turning once, until golden brown on both sides.
Green Tomato Chutney
From Simply Recipes
These instructions include instructions for canning the chutney. If you plan on storing in the refrigerator and using up within a few months, you can skip the sterilization and canning steps (steps 1 and 4).
2 1/2 pounds firm green tomatoes, about 7 cups, cored and chopped
1 1/4 cups brown sugar, packed
1 cup chopped red onion
1 cup golden raisins
1 cup cider vinegar
2 Tbsp chopped candied ginger
1 Tbsp mustard seeds
1 teaspoon chili pepper flakes
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cinnamon stick
Pinch of ground nutmeg
3 pint jars or 6 8-ounce jars for canning
1. Sterilize the jars and lids. Place a steamer rack in a large (16 quart) pot, and place the jars on the rack. Fill the jars and the pot with water up to the rim of the jars. If you don’t have a rack you can place a clean dish towel at the base of the pot. You want to prevent the glass jars from touching the bottom of the pot which can get quite hot and cause the glass to crack. Put the burner on high and heat until a rolling boil. Boil for 10 minutes. To sterilize the lids, place them in a bowl and pour boiling water over them.
2. Place all of the ingredients in a medium sized (about 4 qt) thick-bottomed pot. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook for 45 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings.
3. Remove the jars from the pot of hot water (reserving the water if you plan to can for shelf storage.). Scoop the green tomato chutney into the jars, filling them to 1/4 of an inch from the rim. Wipe the rims with a clean wet paper towel. Place sterilized lids on the jars. Secure with canning rings.
4. Place the filled jars back in the pot of hot water. Make sure the jars are covered with an inch of water. Bring to a boil and process for 15 minutes, or 20 minutes if you are at altitudes between 1000 and 6000 feet. Remove the jars from the pot and place on a dish towel spread out on your counter. Allow the jars to cool completely. The jar lids should make a popping sound as they seal. If a lid doesn’t seal for some reason, store the jar in the refrigerator.
Makes 3 Pint-sized jars.
Roasted Purple Potatoes with Cilantro and Garlic
2 1/2 pounds purple potatoes
3 cloves garlic (minced)
Optional: 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 teaspoons fresh leaf thyme (or a generous 1/2 teaspoon dried leaf thyme)
Heat oven to 400 F (200 C/Gas 6).
Brush a large rimmed baking pan or roasting pan with olive oil or spray the pan with nonstick cooking spray.
Scrub the potatoes well and peel, if desired. Cut the potatoes into 1-inch pieces.
Toss them in a bowl with the minced garlic, fresh chopped cilantro (if using), olive oil, salt, pepper, and thyme.
Arrange the potatoes in a single layer in the prepared pan.
Roast the potatoes for 20 to 25 minutes, or until browned and tender, occasionally turning.
Try the recipe below with the butternut squash instead. Collards would also work great if you chose that instead of the kale.
Acorn Squash with Kale and Apple
From Farmer John’s Cookbook
Butter or oil for greasing the pan
3 acorn squash (or similar)
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
½ tsp salt, divided
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 ½ Tbsp olive oil
1 large leek, chopped (about 2 cups)
4 cups coarsely chopped kale
1 cup vegetable or chicken stock
½ red bell pepper, cored, seeded, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp butter
1 apple (or pear) peeled, halved, cored, cut in ½ inch pieces
Preheat oven to 375 F. Lightly grease a 13”x9” pan with butter or oil. Cut squash in half, scoop out seeds and put the squash halves cut-side down on a baking sheet. Bake until tender (30-45 minutes). Turn the squash halves over and sprinkle with ¼ cup Parmesan, ¼ tsp salt and ¼ tsp pepper. Bake for 5 more minutes. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the leeks, sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the kale, stock, bell pepper, garlic and remaining ¼ tsp salt and ¼ tsp pepper. Bring to boil, cover and cook for 5 minutes. Remove cover and increase heat to medium-high. Cook, stirring frequently, until kale is tender and the liquid evaporates (8-10 minutes). Transfer mixture to a bowl and set aside. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the apple, sauté until lightly browned and tender but not mushy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the apple to kale mixture and stir well. Spoon the kale and apple mixture into the squash halves. Top with the remaining ½ cup Parmesan. Bake for 10 minutes.
Winter Squash and Apple Bake
Author, Tomese Buthod, originally published in Edible Louisville & The Bluegrass Region, November-December 2011 issue.
Topped with a sweetened oatmeal crumb, this can become a dessert.
2.5-2.75 pound Butternut squash, peeled and seeded, cut into 1/4 inch thick slices or 3/4-inch diced (about 6 cups)
2.25 pound medium-size tart green apples, cored and cut into 1/4-inch thick slices or 3/4-inch diced (about 6 cups)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
3/4 cup mixed raisins and dried cranberries
1/4-1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
3/4 cup real maple syrup
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, cut into pieces
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Preheat oven to 350°F. Cook squash in large pot of boiling salted water until almost tender, 3-5 minutes. Drain well.
Combine squash and apples in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Season generously with salt and pepper.
Combine maple syrup, butter, raisins and cranberries, nutmeg and lemon juice in heavy small saucepan. Whisk over low heat until butter melts. Pour syrup over squash mixture and toss to coat evenly.
Bake until squash and apples are very tender, stirring occasionally, about 1 hour. Cool 5 minutes. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover with foil; chill. Let come to room temperature before re-warming, covered, in 350°F. oven about 30 minutes.) Serves 12.
Leftovers day! Clean out that fridge for new vegetables coming Thursday.