CSA Newsletter Week #17, September 14th

Farm Notes

Once again, cooler temperatures and excessive moisture marked our second week of September.  Following a frenzied Monday spent prepping fields for cover crops, harvesting the last of the potatoes, and transplanting fall lettuce and cauliflower, we retreated into the relative comfort of the packing shed to process the remaining yellow onions, and to wash and sort the acorn squash.  Our summer shades and sun hats gave way to beanies and thick rain jackets.  Likewise, the shares will continue to pivot towards fall, with the inclusion of winter squash and two freshly harvested Brassicas.  As mentioned in the preview, the cooler temps have tempered the ripening of our tomatoes, but hopefully the sunnier, hotter weather approaching us this weekend will give us one more good harvest next week.

Getting some field work done on Monday before the rain came!

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Farm Stand

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 or check only please.

Items Available for Purchase this Week:
+ Acorn Squash
+ Potatoes
+ Kohlrabi
+ Bok Choi
+ Yellow Onion
+ Peppers
+ Eggplant
+ Green Onions

Emily's first kohlrabi harvest.

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Note From An Apprentice

This week’s note is from Emily Tanski.

Hi everyone,

My name is Emily Tanski, and I am a senior at UK studying Food Science.  I recently decided to add sustainable agriculture on as a minor after taking a few of the courses that the program offers.  I was unsure about what to expect when I realized I would be starting as an apprentice on UK’s South Farm.  At the time, I had no experience working on a farm but was up for the challenge.  Although I was away for most of the summer, I was still able to learn and have a lot of fun working later in the season.

When reflecting on my time as an apprentice at South Farm, one of my favorite experiences has been harvesting carrots.  During one of the carrot harvests, Diane explained to me how some of the carrots that are split in two at the bottoms make it look like they have legs.  She talked about how she had found dozens of carrots that looked like they were dancing, kicking, or hugging.  She would even narrate what she assumed the carrots would be saying.  We decided that these four carrots we found the other day looked like a family, where the two bigger carrots were the parents carrying their little kids.  Conversations like these always made the harvests or other activities even more enjoyable.

Working at South Farm has really made me appreciate where our food comes from and how it is produced.  It has allowed me to discover what it really means to be sustainable in regard to food and agriculture.  Now, when I walk through the farmer’s market or the grocery store, I am able to make more conscious decisions about the food that I pick up. Oddly enough, I think I accidentally turned myself into a vegetarian, because I can’t get enough of all of these fresh veggies!  My time as an apprentice has been such a meaningful experience for me and has opened up the doors for a new, wide range of opportunities after I finish my degree. I am very thankful that I had the opportunity to be a part of the UK CSA.

Last of the yellow onion processing. Hopefully we will finish that today!

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What’s In Your Share

For this week, you’ll receive:
+ Acorn Squash
+ Potatoes
+ Kohlrabi
+ Bok Choi
+ Yellow Onion
+ Mixed Peppers
+ Banana Peppers
+ Eggplant
+ Roma Green Beans (these are wet, so make sure you use them sooner rather than later so they don’t mold)

You-Pick
Please review You-Pick guidelines under Member Information.

Items available:
+ Herbs
+ Hot Peppers: The numbers on the signs that name the variety are on a heat scale of 1 to 5. The 1 indicates mild peppers while 5 is the hottest of the hot (e.g. habanero).
+ Okra
+ Cherry Tomatoes are just about done. For your convenience, there is a cut-through in the middle of the bed between the T-posts so you can get around more easily.
+ This year we have started a perennial herb bed. It is located next to the road leading out the back gate. The perennial herbs are on the black landscape fabric. Most everything is already in the regular you-pick field, but there are a few plants such as spearmint and a couple of flowers that are not in the regular field.

Giant bell pepper!

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Veggie Tips (or Facts)

+ Each year, we trial new or unusual varieties of crops.  Sometimes, we are searching for certain flavor characteristics (such as sweeter corn), or cool visual appearance (fractal cauliflower).  One of the potato varieties most of you will be receiving, however, was bred (via traditional techniques) for a different purpose: to be more resistant to insect pressure! King Harry potatoes sport tiny hairs on their leaves, thwarting the best efforts of troublesome pests like Colorado Potato Beetles, Potato leafhoppers, and flea beetles.  The practical upshot of this trait is less pesticide use, leaving us with more beneficial insects in place, and more time for the staff for other fun activities, like weeding!

+ Kohlrabi, amazingly, is a low, stout cultivar of wild cabbage.  It will store for several weeks in the fridge, and can be eaten both raw (perfect for slaw) or cooked.

+ For practical purposes, Acorn squash is considered a winter squash, since it is harvested once the seeds have matured and the rind has hardened, and because of its storage capabilities.  However, it actually belongs to the same species (Cucurbita pepo) as the summer squashes.

Giant onion!

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Recipes

Meal Plan Menu

Thursday: 

Bok choy will give this dish a pleasant crunchiness.

Sesame Noodles with Baby Bok Choy and Roasted Chicken

From Eating Locally by Janet Fletcher
One of the most popular vegetables in the Chinese kitchen, bok choy resembles Swiss Chard, with wide white ribs and large, dark green leaves.  A petite variety of bok choy with spoon-shaped leaves, marketed as baby bok choy, can be cut in half lengthwise and braised.  Its flavor is mild and sweet, like a young Savoy cabbage.  In this recipe chopped and braised baby bok choy is tossed with Chinese noodles, peanuts, and chicken to make a dish worthy of an Asian noodle house.

Ingredients:
1 pound baby bok choy
1/3 cup peanut oil
Kosher or sea salt
1 pound fresh Chinese egg noodles or dried udon (Japanese wheat noodles)
2 Tbsp fish sauce
2 tsp Chinese chile oil, or to taste
1 cup thinly sliced green onions (white and green parts)
1 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
½ cup coarsely chopped dry-roasted peanuts
1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
2 cups hand-shredded roast chicken or duck, with or without skin

Directions:
1. Separate the bok choy leaves, with ribs intact, from the central core.  Discard the core.  With a paring knife, separate the leaves from their ribs.  (You can leave the smallest inner leaves with ribs whole)  Tear large leaves in half lengthwise.  Cut the ribs crosswise into 1-inch pieces.  Pat the leaves and ribs dry.

2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat.

3.  Heat the peanut oil in a large skillet over moderate heat.  Add the bok choy, season with salt, then stir to coate with the oil.  Cover and cook until just tender, about 3 minutes.

4.  Meanwhile, add the noodles to the boiling water and cook, stirring occasionally with tongs, until al dente.  In a small bowl, stir together the fish sauce and the chile oil.

5. Drain the noodles in a sieve or colander and return them to the hot pot.  Add the bok choy, green onion cilantro, peanuts, sesame oil, chicken, and fish sauce-chile oil mixture.  Toss well with tongs and serve immediately.

Friday:

I often wonder if I was capable of true happiness prior to my first encounter with a  Kohlrabi.

Butter-Braised Kohlrabi

Ingredients:
2 kohlrabi, trimmed but unpeeled and cut into 1″ cubes
1/2 cup chicken stock
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, cubed
1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Directions:
Put kohlrabi, chicken stock, 2 tbsp. butter, and thyme into a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Season with salt and pepper and cover with a parchment-paper circle cut to fit inside rim of skillet. Cook, stirring occasionally, until kohlrabi is tender, about 15 minutes. Uncover, remove pan from heat, and add the remaining butter, swirling skillet until butter melts. Serve warm.

Saturday:

Bullhorn or Bells will work with this gem.

Sweet Pepper Soup

Ingredients:
2 large garlic cloves, unpeeled
1/4 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
3 red bell peppers
1 cup fat-free chicken broth
1 tablespoon reduced-fat sour cream
1 teaspoon 1% milk or water
1 tablespoon minced fresh chives or parsley

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350°F.

Cut off and discard root ends of garlic cloves. On a 10-inch piece of foil, drizzle garlic with oil. Crimp foil to seal and bake in middle of oven until garlic is tender, about 30 minutes. Cool, then peel.

While garlic is baking, lay bell peppers on their sides on racks of gas burners and turn flames on high. (Or put peppers on rack of broiler pan about 2 inches from heat.) Roast peppers, turning with tongs, until skins are blackened, 5 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and let stand, covered, until cool enough to handle. Peel peppers and discard stems and seeds. Coarsely chop peppers and purée in a blender with roasted garlic and chicken broth.

Transfer purée to a saucepan. Heat over moderate heat, stirring, until warm, then season with salt and pepper.

Stir together sour cream and milk. Drizzle 1 teaspoon sour-cream mixture over each serving of soup and sprinkle with chives.

Sunday:

We’ve had plenty of dumpling weather lately.

Potato Dumplings

From The Practical Produce Cookbook by Ray and Elsie Hoover

Ingredients:
1 qt. water
1 tsp. salt
5 cups mashed potatoes
1 1/2 cups flour
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt

Directions:
In saucepan, bring water and 1 tsp. salt to a boil. In bowl, combine remaining ingredients; mix until fluffy. Roll into 1-inch balls; drop into gently boiling water. Cook about 7 minutes. Drain; serve warm. Serve with roast beef or gravy.

Monday:

Although the recipe calls for white onions, yellow onions will substitute wonderfully.

Fried Onions

Submitted by CSA Member Hayriye Cetin Karaca from turkishfoodandrecipes.com

Ingredients:
2 medium white onions, sliced in 1/10 inch thick rounds
1/3 cup canola oil
A pinch of salt to taste
A pinch of black pepper (optional)
Fresh parsley to garnish

Directions:
Sprinkle salt over onion slices. Sizzle oil in frying pan and add onion slices. Fry both sides of onions till they become caramelized. Then place them over a papel towel to soak the excess oil.
Then transfer them to a serving plate, sprinkle some black pepper (optional) and garnish with parsley.

 

Tuesday:

If you’re unable to justify a visit to the northern African country of Morocco this week, at least treat your taste buds to this culinary treat!

Moroccan-Style Stuffed Acorn Squash

Recommended by a CSA member, this recipe comes from allrecipes.com

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon butter, melted
2 large acorn squash, halved and seeded
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 cup garbanzo beans, drained
1/2 cup raisins
1 1/2 tablespoons ground cumin
Salt and pepper to taste
1 (14 ounce) can chicken broth
1 cup uncooked couscous

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Arrange squash halves cut side down on a baking sheet. Bake 30 minutes, or until tender. Dissolve the sugar in the melted butter. Brush squash with the butter mixture, and keep squash warm while preparing the stuffing.
Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in the garlic, celery, and carrots, and cook 5 minutes. Mix in the garbanzo beans and raisins. Season with cumin, salt, and pepper, and continue to cook and stir until vegetables are tender.
Pour the chicken broth into the skillet, and mix in the couscous. Cover skillet, and turn off heat. Allow couscous to absorb liquid for 5 minutes. Stuff squash halves with the skillet mixture to serve.

Wednesday:

Leftovers day! Clean out that fridge for new vegetables coming Thursday.

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