CSA Newsletter Week #22 (LAST WEEK!!), October 20th

Farm Notes

This is the last week of the regular season CSA! Thank you all so so much for the support that you’ve given us by joining our CSA. We hope that you have enjoyed it as much as we have enjoyed harvesting and delivering it to you. I, personally, hope that each one of you was exposed to something new, whether it be a vegetable you’ve never seen or eaten before, a new recipe you’ve never tried, or even just fixing a vegetable in a non-traditional way. I hope that this challenged you to try new things and eat healthier! Be on the look out for the 2016 CSA Survey at the end of this week or early next week. Your feedback is important to us! We are always striving to make things better. So again, thank you so much for your support, we literally couldn’t do it without you!

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Thank you to everyone that signed up for our Fall CSA. All of the spots are full! However, we are still taking pre-orders for the Thanksgiving boxes. 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.

We will have our Farm Stand set up at both the campus and farm locations. We will have extra share items in case you need any additional veggies. This will be first come, first serve, as we have limited quantities of extras. Also for sale: NEW SAG totebags! They are $10 each and made with organic cotton. We accept cash or check only. However, if you are already a member of the CSA, we can charge your credit card on file.

The UK Horticulture Club will be set up along side the CSA pick up site ON CAMPUS ONLY to sell apples again this year. Apples are 50 cents each. All money from their sales goes to the club to fund various educational activities for the students. They accept cash or check only please.

Laying plastic for 2017 garlic!

Laying plastic for 2017 garlic!

Note from an Apprentice

This week’s note is from Toraleah Sowders.

As the summer slows down we find ourselves looking back on all the memories made out here on the farm. We had the opportunity to meet and acquaint ourselves with so many different personalities and genuinely nice people. We look around at the changing season admiring the beauty we’ve been blessed with. The farm is shining bright with a variety of fall colors, and scents. The fall crops are finishing up their growing season as we prepare for a few final harvests.

Looking back on the experience I had working on the horticulture farm, I think about spring onions. You ask what’s special about spring onions? Well spring onions are one of the first crops I got to help harvest. I can honestly say this was the memory that stands out the most to me. Not because I just think they’re an awesome vegetable, but because I had to smell those strong scented onions on my skin for about a week after harvest. Even though I wasn’t fond of the onion smell it made me realize just what our professors and Kristi were trying to teach us. The life of a farmer isn’t a glorious job, its hard work, long hours and bad smells. It’s not a suit and tie; its old jeans and thin clothing to stay cool. Farming is a noble profession. Farmers connect to their land, their animals and the people they feed. Being a farmer is being a servant to others and in my eyes there’s no greater profession.

Being able to obtain insight to farmer’s daily lives has given me a greater perspective on the importance of farmers in our society. I see farmers as the good ole boys, just growing and doing for others. As a college student who had the chance to work on a farm this summer and see the ins and outs of farming life. I encourage everyone to take the time to appreciate their farmers. I sure do thank all farmers who put in so much hard work to feed our world!

Toraleah in the red and white hat making turnip bunches earlier this season.

Toraleah in the red and white hat making turnip bunches earlier this season.

What’s In Your Share

For this week, you’ll receive:
+ Butternut Squash
+ Sweet Potatoes (of the Covington and Murasaki ~Japanese~ variety)
+ Broccoli
+ Popcorn
+ Beets
+ Baby Carrots
+ Kale

Planting garlic with a GEN 100 class.

Planting garlic with a GEN 100 class.

Veggie Tips (or Facts)

+ The popcorn that you will be receiving this week has already been dried for several weeks. Even though the kernels look ready to pop, they need to continue to dry off the cob. It is recommended that once or twice a week, shell a few kernels and try popping them. When the test kernels are popping well and tasting good, shell and store the rest of the kernels. If the popcorn is “chewy” or the popped kernels are jagged, it is too wet and needs to continue drying. See recipes below for how to cook popcorn on the stove/microwave!

+ Included in your sweet potatoes this week is a sweet potato of the Murasaki variety. This is a Japanese variety that has a purple exterior with a white interior. It has a sweet, nutty flavor with a dry texture. If you are looking for different recipes to use your Japanese sweet potatoes in, check out bestlivingjapan.com for several different recipes including caramelized Japanese sweet potatoes and sweet potato fries!

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Preservation

How to freeze broccoli:

Wash; soak heads down 1/2 hour in salted water (1/4 cup salt per gallon water) to drive out insects. Rinse in fresh water and drain. For uniformity in blanching, split stalks lengthwise; leaving heads about 1 to 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Blanch in water for 3 minutes. Cool immediately in cold water; drain and put in freezer containers.

How to freeze beets:

Remove tops, leaving 1/2 inch stem. Wash; cook until tender: small, 25-30 minutes; medium, 45-50 minutes. Cool, peel, slice or cube.

How to freeze beet greens:

Pick young, tender leaves. Wash thoroughly, cutting off woody stems. Blanch 2 minutes; avoid matting of leaves. Cool immediately in cold water, drain, package and freeze.

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Recipes

For your convenience this week’s recipes in a printable format.

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.

+++

Microwave Popcorn

Directions from Kristi Durbin

Take 1/4 cup of kernels, 1 tbsp. olive oil or other oil and put in a brown paper sandwich bag. Close and shake until kernels are coated with oil. Keep bag folded closed and microwave about 2 minutes.

+++

Easy Butternut Squash Ravioli
Recipe from allrecipes.com

*These would be great to make a big batch and freeze for later!*

Ingredients:
1 cup mashed, cooked butternut squash
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 pinch cayenne pepper
1/2 cup mascarpone cheese
1 egg yolk
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 16 oz. package round wonton wrappers
2 tbsp. butter
1 clove garlic, peeled
chopped fresh sage to taste
1 tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese, or to taste

Directions:
Place cooked squash into a mixing bowl. Add salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper. Stir in mascarpone cheese, egg yolk and 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, mixing until the filling is smoothly combined. Place a wonton wrapper onto a working surface. Wet the tip of a finger in water and run it all along the other edge of the wonton skin to moisten. Place about 1 tsp. of filling in the center of the wonton. Fold the wonton in half to make a half moon shape and press the edges to seal. Repeat with the remain wonton wrappers. Place a deep skillet over medium-low heat. Stir in butter and unpeeled clove of garlic. Meanwhile, bring a saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil. Drop the filled raviolis into the boiling water, a few at a time and cook until they float to the top, about 2 minutes. Drain the raviolis and transfer them to the skillet. Turn the heat under the skillet up to medium-high and cook until the raviolis are infused with garlic flavor, about 2 or 3 more minutes. Sprinkle with chopped sage, more black pepper and extra Parmesan cheese to taste.

+++

Japanese Sweet Potato Soup with Rosemary and Thyme

Ingredients:
2 tsp. ghee, or 1 tbsp. each ghee and light sesame oil
1 onion, sliced
1/8 tsp. asafetida, if available
1 heaping tsp. minced rosemary
leaves from 1 large thyme sprig, a scant tsp.
1 lb. sweet potatoes
sea salt
4 cups water
freshly ground pepper

Directions:
Heat the ghee in a soup pot over medium heat. When the ghee is hot, add the onion, asafetida, rosemary and thyme and give a stir. While the seasonings are cooking, peel the sweet potatoes, slice them into rounds and add them directly to the pot as you work. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until you see some coloring on the sweet potatoes. They will caramelize as they cook, which not only lends flavor but tempers their sweetness, so give them a good 15 to 20 minutes. Once they’ve colored up a bit, add 1 tsp. salt and 4 cups water and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer, then cover and cook until the sweet potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.

Let cool slightly, then transfer soup to a food processor and puree, leaving a little texture if you like or making it super smooth. Taste for salt and add more salt if need be. Season with pepper, then ladle into bowls and finish with one of the suggested options.

Suggested Options:
+ Brown small cubes of bread in ghee with minced rosemary until crisp, then add them at the last minute for crunch and contrast.
+ Stir a spoonful of sour cream or creme fraiche into each serving to temper the sweetness, then drizzle over with a few drops of tamari.
+ Finish each serving with chopped parsley as a bracing counterpoint to the sweetness.
+ Drizzle a little balsamic vinegar or sprinkle smoked salt over each serving.

+++

Beet Raviolis
Adapted from Michael Symon’s Goat Cheese and Beet Ravioli

*Sorry for all the ravioli recipes, but another great one to make a big batch of and freeze for later!*

Ingredients:
1 large red beet (6-8 oz), scrubbed
1/4 cup fresh goat cheese
1 small egg, lightly beaten
1 tbsp. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
salt and freshly ground pepper
1 pound wonton wrappers

Directions:
For the Filling: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.   Wrap the beet in heavy-duty aluminum foil, place in a shallow pan, and roast until fork-tender, 45 minutes. Remove and let cool. Peel the beet, cut it into small chunks, and puree in food processor along with the goat cheese, egg, and Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Spoon the filling into a pastry bag.

For the ravioli: Lay a wonton wrapper on work service. Brush edge of wonton wrapper with water, then top with 1 tablespoon beet filling.  Place another wonton wrapper on top of filling, then press the edges together with a fork.  Set aside.  Repeat with remaining wonton wrappers.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Drop in the ravioli, quickly return to a boil, and cook until tender yet firm, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain the pasta. Serve with your favorite pasta sauce, butter or olive oil.

 

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