Winter Farm Life.

Winter’s descent brings snow and rain and cold outside, but it doesn’t mean farm work stops.

So what exactly goes on at the farm in December and January? This is the normal sight around here lately:

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Yes, we are all crammed together in our farm office to work on the farm plans for 2017. We trade scuffle hoes for laptops and harvest checklists for excel spreadsheets. We plan the crops for our CSA in 2017, the crop rotation, and the field maps. We research crop varieties and place seed orders. Sometimes we know what works and we stick with it, but other times we look for something new that might have a better flavor or higher disease resistance or bigger yields. Next we get our calendars in order: the timing for seeding in our greenhouse, transplanting in the fields, as well as when to prep fields by mowing and spading.

Winter is also the time for data collection and summary for 2016. We total our harvests to know how much food was grown. This also helps informs our field plans and whether we had enough of every item or not. We inventory our supplies so we know what to order for the next season. There are lots of activities to keep us busy in winter!

Lastly, we still have plants to tend. What?! With snow on the ground and temps dropping far below freezing? Yes, thanks to our farm’s high tunnels, we grow some food all winter. Beets, carrots, kale, spinach, arugula… we hope that some of these crops will be showing up at our Farm Stand in the near future. However we are still in the “Persephone Period.” The Persephone Period is the time when there are less than 10 hours of sunlight each day. For our latitude, this time usually lasts from around November 18 to January 23. We are nearing the end of the period, after which plants will start to grow more readily.

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I don’t know about you, but fresh greens from our high tunnels sound delicious right about now! We hope to have some on your plate real soon.

Happy Holidays! ~Last Farm Stand of the Year~

We wish you and your family a happy holiday! This will be the last Farm Stand until January (or February, depending on weather and how the veggies in the high tunnels grow). As always, we will communicate via email/blog posts about when the Farm Stand will be back, so check your emails!

The webstore is open from Monday at 2pm until 6am Thursday morning. Place your order at the store to reserve your veggies for this week! Pick up is Thursday from 4pm-6pm as usual on campus, in the parking lot of the E.S. Good Barn.

Click here to visit our webstore!

Here are the items available for purchase this week:
+ Acorn Squash
+ Butternut Squash
+ Delicata Squash
+ Carrots
+ Turnips
+ Curly Kale
+ Lacinato Kale
+ Red Russian Kale
+ Spinach
+ Savoy Cabbage
+ Radicchio
+ Potatoes
+ Sweet Potatoes
+ Beets
+ Bulk Cabbage Box
+ Bulk Potatoes Box
+ Bulk Winter Squash Box
+ Weekly Winter Veggie Bundle

Baby Spinach growing in the tunnels.

Baby beets growing in the tunnels.

If you miss the pre-order window, or can’t decide what you want before Thursday, just pop on by the Farm Stand in person and you can purchase veggies on-site. Cash or check only, please. We strongly encourage pre-orders, however, to guarantee your desired vegetables are available. This is also the easiest way to pay by credit card, if desired.

Keep an eye on email or here at the blog (and Facebook) for announcements of webstore offerings. As we move into the winter months, we may not have a Farm Stand every week.

UK CSA Farm Stand Store is Open!

We are once again taking pre-orders for items at our Farm Stand via our webstore. The webstore is open from Monday at 2pm until 6am Thursday morning. Place your order at the store to reserve your veggies for this week! Pick up is Thursday from 4pm-6pm as usual on campus, in the parking lot of the E.S. Good Barn.

Click here to visit our webstore!

Here are the items available for purchase this week:
+ Acorn Squash
+ Butternut Squash
+ Delicata Squash
+ Carrots
+ Turnips
+ Curly Kale
+ Lacinato Kale
+ Red Russian Kale
+ Spinach
+ Savoy Cabbage
+ Radicchio
+ Potatoes
+ Bulk Cabbage Box
+ Bulk Potatoes Box
+ Bulk Winter Squash Box
+ Weekly Winter Veggie Bundle

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If you miss the pre-order window, or can’t decide what you want before Thursday, just pop on by the Farm Stand in person and you can purchase veggies on-site. Cash or check only, please. We strongly encourage pre-orders, however, to guarantee your desired vegetables are available. This is also the easiest way to pay by credit card, if desired.

Keep an eye on email or here at the blog (and Facebook) for announcements of webstore offerings. As we move into the winter months, we may not have a Farm Stand every week.

Farm Stand Webstore Open for Business

We are once again taking pre-orders for items at our Farm Stand via our webstore. The webstore is open from Monday morning until 6am Thursday morning. Place your order at the store to reserve your veggies for this week! Pick up is Thursday from 4pm-6pm as usual on campus, in the parking lot of the E.S. Good Barn.

Click here to visit our webstore!

If you miss the pre-order window, or can’t decide what you want before Thursday, just pop on by the Farm Stand in person and you can purchase veggies on-site. Cash or check only, please. We strongly encourage pre-orders, however, to guarantee your desired vegetables are available. This is also the easiest way to pay by credit card, if desired.

Keep an eye on email or here at the blog (and Facebook) for announcements of webstore offerings. As we move into the winter months, we may not have a Farm Stand every week.

Thanksgiving Week

Thank you to everyone that has purchased a Thanksgiving box! We greatly appreciate it and we hope that you enjoy a delicious feast with your family and friends. Below you can find some recipes to use with some of your vegetables.

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Acorn Squash with Sausage Bread Stuffing
Recipe from The NY Times

Feel free to use different herbs in the recipe or substitute different winter squash!

Ingredients:
3 large acorn squash, halved crosswise, seeds and fibers scooped out
1 tsp. unsalted butter
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
12 oz. breakfast-style pork sausage
2 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. salt
freshly ground pepper to taste
1/2 cup toasted pecan halves
4 cups of 1/4 inch cubes of lightly toasted sourdough bread
3/4 cup chicken broth
4 tsp. chopped fresh Italian parsley

Directions:
Slice off the bottom of each squash half so that they stand flat, being careful not to cut into the flesh. Place in a large roasting pan and set aside. Melt the butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the sausage and cook, breaking it up with the back of a spoon, until no traces of pink remain. about 8 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and stir in the thyme, salt, pepper, pecans, bread cubes and chicken broth until well mixed. Divide the stuffing mixture among the squash halves. Add enough water to the roasting pan to make a depth of about 1/4 inch. Cover the squash loosely with aluminum foil. Roast until the squash is tender, about 45 minutes. Place 1 squash half on each plate and garnish with parsley. Serve immediately.

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Thanksgiving Beets
Recipe from allrecipes.com

Ingredients:
2 pounds beets, peeled and sliced
3 tbsp. brown sugar
3 tbsp. vinegar
1/4 cup water
1 tbsp. cornstarch
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
2 tbsp. butter

Directions:
Place the beets into a large saucepan. Pour in enough water to cover the beets by 1 inch. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until the beets are easily pierced with a fork, about 10 minutes; drain. Whisk together the brown sugar, vinegar, water, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves in a saucepan. Add the beets and the butter, turn the heat to medium and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture comes to a boil. Cook until the sauce thickens slightly, about a minute or two. The sauce will not be sticky-thick, but will still pour nicely. Serve beets hot or cold.

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Turnip Bake
Recipe from Taste Of Home

Ingredients:
3 medium turnips, peeled and cubed
4 tbsp. butter, divided
2 eggs
3 tbsp. all purpose flour
1 tbsp. brown sugar
3 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
dash ground nutmeg
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs

Directions:
Preheat over to 375º. Place turnips into a small saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 10-12 minutes or until tender. Drain. In a small bowl, combine turnips, 2 tbsp. butter and eggs. Combine flour, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, pepper and nutmeg; add to turnip mixture and mix well. Transfer to a greased 8 inch baking dish. Melt remaining butter; toss with bread crumbs. Sprinkle over top. Bake, uncovered, 25-30 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Serve immediately. Yields about 8 servings.

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Pumpkin Sage Biscuits

Recipe from therunawayspoon.com

You can use any size biscuit cutter you prefer.  For a big meal like Thanksgiving, a small, maybe 1 ½ inch cutter might be right.  I have also used a pumpkin shape cutter for these.

Ingredients:
2 cups all-purpose flour (plus more for rolling)
1 tbsp. light brown sugar
2 ½ tsp. baking powder
1 ½ tsp. kosher salt
½ tsp. baking soda
10 -12 fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
6 tbsp. butter, cold and cut into small cubes
1/3 cup buttermilk, cold and well-shaken
¾ cups pumpkin puree (from a 15 ounce can) or just use your fresh pumpkin from the box!
1 tbsp. butter, melted

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  Line a 9 inch round pan with parchment paper or spray it with cooking spray.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, stir together the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda to combine.  Lightly stir in the chopped sage.  Drop the cubes of cold butter into the flour and with the paddle attachment, blend on low speed until the mixture looks like coarse meal, with a few pieces of butter still visible.

In a small bowl, whisk together the buttermilk and pumpkin puree.  Add to the flour mixture and blend until the dough just comes together.  If the dough is too moist, add a bit more flour.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and pat into a circle about ½ inch thick.  Using a floured biscuit cutter, stamp out biscuits and transfer to the prepared pan, placing the biscuits close together and close to the sides of the pan.  Gently reform the dough and pat out again, and then cut out more biscuits.

Bake the biscuits for 10 minutes; remove from the oven and brush with the melted butter.  Return to the oven for another 2 minutes and bake until risen and lightly golden.

These will keep in an airtight container for 2 days, or you can make the dough, pat it out, wrap it in plastic and refrigerate overnight.  Cut and bake the next day.

Makes 1 dozen 2-inch biscuits

LAST CALL – THANKSGIVING BOXES! and Fall CSA Week #4, November 17th

Last Call on Thanksgiving Boxes

This Friday, November 18th, is the last call for pre-ordering a Thanksgiving box. There are still plenty of boxes available, so tell your friends and family! We will have two different boxes available: a Winter Storage box and a Fall Greens box. Both boxes have some of the same items, but the winter storage box has more items such as potatoes, winter squash and root crops whereas the fall greens box is heavier on the kale, lettuce, collards, etc. Each box is $30 and quantities will be limited. If you would like a Thanksgiving box, you may sign up for one via the Farmigo website here. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask!

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What’s In Your Share

For this week, you’ll receive:
+ Potatoes
+ Beets
+ Garlic
+ Kale/Chard/Collards

Farm Stand Extras

For Sale this week, we’ll have:
+ Turnips
+ Beets
+ Potatoes
+ Radishes
+ Bunching Onions
+ Garlic
+ Kale/Chard/Collards
+ Butterhead Lettuce Heads
+ Kohlrabi
+ 2nds Sweet Potatoes
+ Braising Mix
+ Cauliflower
+ Mustard Greens
+ Popcorn
+ Purple carrots

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Recipes

Baked Beet and Carrot Burgers with Brown Rice, Sunflower Seeds, and Cheddar Cheese

From Farmer John’s Cookbook
If you like veggie burgers, you’ll love this recipe.  Sweet beets and carrots give luscious flavor to these patties—together with pungent onion, snappy Cheddar Cheese, and lots of toasty nuts and seeds.  Additional flour and egg could be substituted for the rice.

Ingredients:
Butter for greasing the baking sheet
1/2 cup sesame seeds
1 cup sunflower seeds
2 cups peeled, grated beets (1-2 medium beets)
2 cups grated carrots (about 4 carrots)
1/2 cup minced onion
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup cooked brown rice
1 cup grated Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
3 Tbs flour
2 Tbs soy sauce or tamari
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
1/8-1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly coat a baking sheet with butter.
2. Place a small, heavy skillet over medium heat.  Add the sesame seeds and stir them on the dry skillet just until lightly browned and fragrant, 3-5 minutes, watching closely to avoid burning them.  Immediately remove from heat and transfer the toasted seeds to a dish to cool.  Repeat with the sunflower seeds.
3. Combine the beets, carrots, and onion in a large bowl.  Stir in the toasted sunflower and sesame seeds, eggs, rice, Cheddar cheese, oil, flour, parsley, soy sauce or tamari, and garlic (using hands works best).  Add cayenne and mix until thoroughly combined.
5. Using your hands, shape mixture into 12 patties and arrange them in rows on the baking sheet.
6. Bake the patties until brown around the edge, about 20 minutes.  Unless they are very large and thick it should not be necessary to turn them.  Serve alone or on buns.

Fall CSA Week #3, November 10th

Farm Notes

Even though the field work is almost done, we are still planting! We’ve seeded several things in the high tunnels that will hopefully be ready later on for the Farm Stand and/or a spring CSA. We will still have veggies for sale at our Farm Stand at the pick-up site on campus. See below for a list of items that will be available for sale!

There are still plenty of Thanksgiving boxes available for sale. Reserve your box now! Anyone is invited to purchase a box, so tell your friends and family! We will have two different boxes available: a Winter Storage box and a Fall Greens box. Both boxes have some of the same items, but the winter storage box has more items such as potatoes, winter squash and root crops whereas the fall greens box is heavier on the kale, lettuce, collards, etc. Each box is $30 and quantities will be limited. If you would like a Thanksgiving box, you may sign up for one via the Farmigo website here.

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What’s In Your Share

For this week, you’ll receive:
+ Acorn Squash
+ Cabbage (Red or Savoy)
+ Braising Mix
+ Carrots

Farm Stand Extras

For Sale this week, we’ll have:
+ Turnips
+ Carrots
+ Broccoli
+ Radishes
+ Green Onions
+ Lettuce Heads
+ Kohlrabi
+ 2nds Sweet Potatoes
+ Pumpkins (large and small)
+ Potatoes
+ Braising Mix
+ Cauliflower
+ Acorn Squash
+ Cabbage
+ Sorrel
+ Popcorn

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Recipes

Fall Vegetable Stir Fry

Submitted by apprentice Cheryl Kastanowski, adapted from Harmony Valley

Ingredients:
5 c. cooked spaghetti or other noodles
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 large onion, or equivalen, minced

(Saute vegetable ingredients are all optional and variable.)
Hard vegetables:
Broccoli, chopped into bite-sized pieces
Carrots, sliced into discs

Greens:
Yukina savoy or other Braising Greens, roughly chopped
Chard, roughly chopped

Protein:
Chicken or fried tofu slices, optional (I used 1/2 pkg. of firm tofu, sliced and fried.)

Stir fry sauce ingredients:
1/4 c. soy sauce
1 1/4 c. water
1 Tbsp. fresh ginger, minced
1 tsp sesame oil
2 Tbsp. dry wine (optional)
3 Tbsp. cornstarch

Directions:
1. Heat 1 Tbsp. oil over medium heat in a large skillet.
2. Once oil is hot, add onion and garlic. Stir-fry for 2 minutes. Meanwhile, combine stir fry sauce ingredients except for cornstarch.
3. Add hard vegetables. Turn heat up to high. Cook until vegetables began to get tender, stirring frequently.
4. Add greens one handful at a time, stirring until they just start to wilt before adding the next handful.
5. Mix 3 Tbsp. cornstarch with 3 Tbsp. water and then add to stir fry sauce. Add sauce to stir-fried veggies and stir to let thicken, about 1 minute.
6. Add cooked spaghetti/noodles and heat through.