CSA Newsletter Week #22, October 22nd

Farm Notes

Wow! What a summer it has been. Firstly, we’d like to thank all of you wonderful shareholders for supporting us and hanging in there this summer! We literally couldn’t do it without you! This week is going to be a big share, so don’t forget your bags this week. With that being said, we have been very busy harvesting and not doing much else besides that in preparation for distribution this week.

There are a couple of other things we’d like to mention. We will probably be selling produce throughout the winter months and we will most likely have thanksgiving boxes to sell as well. We will keep you all updated via email. If you have any thoughts on whether you’d like to buy produce during the winter, you can indicate so on the 2015 survey. (See below.) If you loved the CSA this year and you’d like to sign up for next year, sign ups will probably begin in January. We will let you know by email.

If you have not taken the 2015 survey, this is your last chance to complete it. You can take it here. We appreciate your feedback!

The UK Horticulture club will also be selling apples this week at the campus pick-up site. They will accept cash and check only.

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Note from an Apprentice

This week’s note is from Ellen Green.

Some of my fondest memories of my summer as an apprentice are the fun ones: 70’s and 80’s Hit Rewind 105.5 FM blasting from a small radio while everyone sang along as we worked in the packing shed, cooking and eating lunch as a community on harvest days, and sharing stories and jokes when we worked in the fields.  However, the memory that sticks out most in my mind isn’t from a particularly good day at the farm.  It was a rainy harvest day in July and I had forgotten to bring my good raincoat. By 9 AM I was soaked, covered in dirt from pulling up beets in the mud, and mentally kicking myself for being so ill prepared. As much as I loved learning the basics of farming, working with plants, and getting to be outside, this was one of those times when I doubted myself and my ability.

That afternoon at distribution I was still slightly wet, muddy, and drained both physically and emotionally. Still, I did my best to be friendly to everyone that came down the line. I took up small talk with a woman as she waited to collect her share, and she asked me how I was doing. I said I was good, although a little tired, and quickly apologized for complaining. She smiled and said, “I think a farmer is allowed to complain about being tired now and again.”

I came into the apprentice program having absolutely no prior agricultural experience, and I was self-conscious of this. Before the summer began, I imagined this program could be my “Getting Back to The Land” moment where I truly connected with nature and my food through farming. Now that the summer is over and the CSA is coming to a close, I see this is true. I do feel more aware of myself and of my place in nature.  Sure, it took me a few days to adjust to having perpetual dirt under my nails, I was terrified of driving a tractor, and I was lousy at tying tomatoes, but I did it! I learned things, and I improved myself. I worked hard with good people for good people. I wanted to be a farmer, and here I was, being called just that! It was passive validation, yes, but sometimes that is the best kind.  The greatest gift I received from this summer was a community that helped me grow.  As an apprentice, I conquered fears, made friends, and connected with so many people in the Lexington community- all of which was made possible by the family that the CSA program has cultivated.

I could not find a good picture of Ellen, but here is a profile of her earlier in the season. She is the one in the blue striped shirt.

I could not find a good picture of Ellen facing the camera, but here is a profile of her earlier in the season. She is the one in the blue striped shirt.

What’s In Your Share

For this week, you’ll receive:
+ Winter Squash (of the Butternut variety)
+ Potatoes
+ Salad and Spinach Mix
+ Turnips
+ Beets
+ Cabbage
+ Chard
+ Broccoli
+ Cauliflower
+ Brussels Sprouts
+ Romaine

Romanesco cauliflower

Romanesco cauliflower

Notes about some of your veggies this week:
+ As was mentioned a few weeks ago, some of your potatoes may have a green spot on them. Just peel that off or cut it off when you are using your potatoes.
+ Turnip greens! You can eat them and you should! They are delicious. You can find some recipes to try below.
+ Brussels Sprouts. They don’t look very pretty at all. Which is why you are getting 2 in your share. They are difficult to grow here and every year we try and they are never ready in time for the regular CSA season. Well we got them to you all this year, but they don’t look the best. We are still learning and we’ll try again next year!

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Veggie Tips

How to Can Beets
From The Practical Produce Cookbook by Ray and Elsie Hoover

Cover with boiling water until skins slip easily. Can small beets whole; cut larger ones into uniform slices or dice them. Pack hot. Cover with boiling water, leaving 1 inch headspace. Add 1/2 tsp. salt to pints and 1 tsp. to quarts. Iodized or plain table salt may be used. Process in a pressure canner; pints 30 minutes and quarts 35 minutes. Process at 10 lbs. pressure for elevations up to 1000 feet about sea level.

+++

Pickled Beets

Ingredients:
1 gal. beets
2 qts. vinegar
2 cups water
6 cups sugar
1 tbsp. whole cloves
3 sticks cinnamon
2 tbsp. salt

Directions:
Choose smaller beets if they are to be left whole. Wash beets. Cook, unpeeled, until skins can be easily slipped off. Mix other ingredients and bring to a boil; simmer 15 minutes. Pack hot peeled beets into jars. Pour hot pickling solution over beets and cover with lids. Process in boiling water canner for 30 minutes. Yield: 7-8 pints.

+++

Lebanese Pickled Turnips

Every Middle Eastern market sells jars of crunchy pickled turnips tinted the rosy color of beets. The pickles are easy to duplicate, their garnet hue achieved by adding a slice or two of raw beet to each jar. Serve with sandwiches or hamburgers in place of a store-bought dill pickle, or with sliced salami or pate. OR offer them with olives and toasted nuts as an accompaniment to drinks. The small, thin-skinned Tokyo turnips work well here.

Ingredients:
1 and 3/4 cups water
1 Tbs plus 1 tsp kosher or sea salt
1 clove garlic, halved
1 small dried red chile (optional)
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
3/4-1 pound turnips, preferably no larger than a golf ball, greens removed
1 small red beet, peeled

Directions:
1. To make the pickling mixture, in a small saucepan, combine the water, salt, garlic, and chile. Set over moderate heat and stir until the salt dissolves. Set aside to cool. When cool, stir in the vinegar.
2. If the turnips are small and thin skinned, you do not need to peel them. Simply scrub them well and quarter them through the stem end. If they are larger and thick skinned, peel them thickly and cut each on into 6 wedges. Cut the beet into pieces of approximately the same size as the turnips.
3. Pack the vegetables into a clean 1-quart jar. Pour the pickling mixture over them, tucking the garlic halve and chile down into the jar. You should have just enough pickling mixture to cover the vegetables and fill the jar. Cover and refrigerate for 1 week before tasting. The pickled turnips will keep in the refrigerate for at least 2 weeks longer.

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Recipes

Glazed Hakurei Turnips

Bring out the flavor in these most delicate and delicious Japanese turnips.

Ingredients:
1 bunch hakurei turnips,, trimmed, and quartered, greens reserved
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
3 tablespoons sugar
Kosher salt

Directions:
Place turnips in a large skillet; add water to cover turnips halfway. Add butter, sugar, and a large pinch of salt; bring to a boil. Cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid is syrupy and turnips are tender, about 15 minutes. (If turnips are tender before liquid has reduced, use a slotted spoon to transfer turnips to a plate and reduce liquid until syrupy. Return turnips to pan and stir to coat well.) DO AHEAD: Can be made 4 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature. Rewarm before continuing.

Add turnip greens to skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until just wilted, 2–3 minutes. Season with salt.

+++

Brussels Sprouts with Bacon
From The Practical Produce Cookbook by Ray and Elsie Hoover

Ingredients:
4 cups brussels sprouts
1/4 lb. bacon
1/2 cup finely chopped onions
2 tbsp.  butter
1/2 tsp. salt or to taste
1/8 tsp. pepper

Directions:
Cook sprouts until barely tender. Fry bacon until crisp. Remove bacon and all but 2 tbsp. of drippings. Add onions and cook until lightly browned. Add sprouts and butter. Reheat. Toss with bacon. Add salt and pepper.

+++

Turnip and Turnip Greens Soup
From Chez Panisse Vegetables by Alice Waters

Ingredients:
1 yellow onion
1 clove garlic
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 bunches young turnips with greens
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp chopped thyme leaves
1 small piece prosciutto or bacon
8 cups rich chicken stock
Salt and pepper
Reggiano Parmesan cheese

Directions:
1. Peel and slice the onion and garlic thin. Put in a nonreactive pot with the olive oil and butter and 1 Tbsp water and stew, covered, until they are soft and translucent. Trim off the stems and greens from the turnips and reserve the greens. If the turnips are very young and tender, it is unnecessary to peel them. Trim off their roots, slice the turnips thin and add them to the pot. Stew them for a few minutes, until they begin to soften. Add the bay leaf, thyme, prosciutto or bacon, chicken stock, and salt and pepper. Cover and simmer over low heat for about 1/2 hour.
2. Wash the turnip greens and cut them into 1/2-inch wide strips and stir them into the soup. Simmer the soup for another 10 minutes or so, until the greens are soft and tender. Garnish the soup with a few curls of shaved parmesan.

Note: Vegetable stock can be substituted and prosciutto or bacon omitted for a meatless version.
Also, you may want to halve the recipe to match the turnip bunch size.

+++

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
From The Practical Produce Cookbook by Ray and Elsie Hoover

Ingredients:
1 1/3 cup milk
1/2 cup butter
2 cups cooked, mashed pumpkin
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp. salt
4 eggs
2 pkgs. (2 tbsp.) yeast
8 cups flour
1/4 cup melted butter
1 cup brown sugar
4 tsp. cinnamon

Directions:
Heat milk and 1/2 cup butter just until warm. Combine pumpkin, sugar and salt; add milk. Beat in eggs and yeast. Add flour. Mix, cover and let rise until double in size. Turn out on floured surface and knead until smooth. Roll out into two rectangular shaped pieces of equal size. Brush on melted butter. Mix sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle on dough. Roll dough jelly-roll style, starting with the long end. Slice into 1-inch circles. Place on lightly greased cookie sheets or round cake pans with rolls almost touching each other. Let rise in a warm place until double in size. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes. Frost if desired.

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