by Kristi Durbin, CSA Manager
This morning the sun began to crest over the horizon, just as our farm crew got busy in our packing shed. The dim light and cold spread a blanket of quiet over us as our hands got busy for this good day.
I was reminded this week that I started on my path into farming out of a desire to work with my hands; caring for plants and tending the earth was one way I fulfilled this desire. What I could not have foreseen was the way this labor would shape me years later. Two of those ways are a keen appreciation for the food we savor every day, and for the people who produce it and purchase it.
I hope you’ve had a chance to savor this food we have grown and harvested, and perhaps this food adventure has shaped you just as farming has shaped me: in unexpected ways. We’d love to hear about those ways! Every year we have done a CSA member survey. This year our survey is slightly different; there are fewer questions and more chances to share. We all need to hear the stories of why this work and this food matters. We need to tell this story to our neighbors, our schools, our government, our kids… Then hopefully, as our farm has shaped each of us, we can draw inspiration to shape our local food economy. Will you take a moment to share with us?
We hope this last week is only a temporary goodbye. We will be happy to see many of you again next week to launch our Fall CSA program. Our Thanksgiving Box delivery will be on Tuesday November 20th and give us another opportunity to connect with our CSA friends. In addition, our Farm Stand will run intermittently in winter and early spring… so stay in touch via email, our blog, Instagram, and Facebook. We’ll be sharing with you all of our new developments: on-farm improvements, plans for the future, and our 2019 CSA Season.
Don’t forget to sign up for our Fall CSA and/or a Thanksgiving box! You can sign up for either via this google docs form. Also, if you are interested in signing up for either, you may do so at the CAMPUS pick-up today from 4-6pm.
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.
What’s In Your Share
For this week, you’ll receive:
+ Sweet Potatoes
+ Butternut Squash
+ Savoy Cabbage
+ Lettuce Head
+ Baby Ginger
+ Spinach (CAMPUS)
+ Kohlrabi OR Bok Choy (FARM)
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:
+ Sweet Potatoes: $10/bag
+ Butternut Squash: $2 each
+ Savoy Cabbage: $3/head
+ Lettuce Head: $3 each
+ Garlic: $1.50/bulb
+ Popcorn: $0.50 per ear
+ Baby Ginger: $10/lb.
+ Broccoli: $2/head
+ Spinach: $3.50/bag (CAMPUS ONLY)
+ Bok Choy: $2 each (FARM ONLY)
+ Storage Kohlrabi: $3 each (FARM ONLY)
Veggie Tips (or Facts)
+ Popcorn! This is a fun crop for the whole family! You can store your popcorn on the cob, as it comes, or you can shell the kernels and store in an airtight jar. You can also pop the whole cob as-is in the microwave in a paper bag if you don’t want to shell the kernels.
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.
2 tablespoons neutral oil, such as grapeseed or refined canola oil
1/2 cup unpopped popcorn kernels
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.
+ The ginger that you are getting today is actually classified as “baby ginger” because it is still immature and has not formed the tough outer skin that you see on ginger in the grocery store. Because it is baby, the skin is tender and there’s no need to peel before using. Baby ginger can be sliced, grated or pureed for use. Because it doesn’t have the tough outer skin, it will not store for as long as the grocery store ginger. Store baby ginger at room temperature for a couple of weeks and in the crisper drawer of the fridge for up to 3 weeks. However, once refrigerated, baby ginger needs to stay refrigerated. You can also freeze baby ginger and keep it for up to a year, frozen. To freeze: freeze whole pieces in a bag, slice or grate or you can even puree it and freeze it into ice cube trays. If you’ve frozen a whole piece, you can grate what you need and then return the piece back to the freezer. It’s important to keep frozen ginger frozen, otherwise it will get mushy.
+ 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.
+ Sweet potatoes store very similar to potatoes. Store them in a cool, dry and dark place. Avoid storing them in the fridge or any place cooler than 50F. Sweet potatoes will store anywhere from 4-6 months.
+ Savoy cabbage is a crinkly head cabbage that can be used in a variety of ways. Shred it for coleslaws or salads or try it grilled, cooked, stir fried, roasted or made into sauerkraut. The possibilities are endless! Cabbage will store in the crisper drawer, with wrapper leaves intact, for about 3-4 weeks. Sometimes they will store for up to a few months, as well.
+ Most of the lettuce choice varieties for the week are Lovelock (green with red tips), however, we were a little short, so you may see a Ruby Sky (red lettuce) as an option. Lettuce stores best in the crisper drawer of the fridge in a plastic bag. Lettuce will store for about a week, possibly two.
+ 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.
+ Broccoli stores best in the crisper drawer of the fridge. Wrap the cauliflower in a damp towel before putting in the crisper drawer. Broccoli is best used within the week, while cauliflower will store for a couple of weeks or longer.
+ (FARM) Bok Choy is another type of Chinese cabbage that is also great for stir fries. Store your bok choy like you would the Napa cabbage: in the crisper drawer of the fridge. It should keep for about the same amount of time.
+ (CAMPUS) Spinach stores best in the bag you received it in and in the crisper drawer of the fridge. It will keep for about a week.
For your convenience this week’s recipes in a printable format.
Meal Plan Menu
From The Practical Produce Cookbook by Ray and Elsie Hoover
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup mayonnaise or salad dressing
1 tbsp. fresh dill or 1 tsp. dried dill
1 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
1/2 tsp. basil
1/4 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
1/8 tsp. onion powder
Whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate at least 12 hours to blend flavors.
Variation: Whisk together 1 cup buttermilk, 1/2 cup mayonnaise or salad dressing, 1/4-1/2 cup sugar and 1/4 cup vinegar.
Vegetarian Black Bean Sweet Potato Enchiladas
For the filling:
1 1/4 lbs. sweet potatoes (about 2 small-medium)
1 can (15 oz.) black beans, rinsed and drained or 1 1/2 cups cooked black beans
4 oz. (1 cup) grated Monterey Jack cheese
2 oz. (1/2 cup) crumbled feta cheese
2 small cans (4 oz. each) diced green chiles
1 medium jalapeno, seeded and minced
2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
2 tbsp. lime juice
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. cayenne powder (optional)
1/4 tsp. salt (more to taste)
fresh ground black pepper
2 cups (16 oz.) mild salsa verde, either homemade or store bought
10 corn tortillas
4 oz. (1 cup) grated Monterey Jack cheese
2 tbsp. sour cream
1 tbsp. water
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Preheat the oven to 400F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper for easy cleanup. Slice the sweet potatoes in half lengthwise and coat the flat sides lightly with olive oil. Place the sweet potatoes flat-side down on the baking sheet. Bake them until they are tender and cooked through, about 30-35 minutes.
Meanwhile, pour enough salsa verde into a 9×13 inch baking dish to lightly cover the bottom (about 1/2 cup). In a medium mixing bowl, combine all the remaining filling ingredients.
Once the sweet potatoes are cooked through and cool enough to handle, scoop out the insides with a spoon. Discard the potato skins and mash up the sweet potato a bit.
Stir the mashed sweet potato into the bowl of filling and season to taste with additional salt (I added 1/4 tsp.) and pepper.
Warm up your tortillas, one by one in a skilled or all at once in the microwave so they don’t break when you bend them. Wrap them in a tea towel so they stay warm.
Working with one tortilla at a time, spread about 1/2 cup filling down the center of each tortilla, then wrap both sides over the filling and place it in your baking dish. Repeat for all of the tortillas.
Top with the remaining salsa verde and cheese. Bake for 25-35 minutes, until sauce is bubbling and the cheese is lightly golden.
Let the enchiladas cool for about 5 minutes. Whisk the sour cream and water together to make a drizzly sour cream sauce. Drizzle it back and forth over the enchiladas, then top with cilantro and red onion. Serve.
Vegetarian Stuffed Cabbage
From Eating Well magazine
To make ahead: Prepare through step 10, cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day. Let stand at room temperature for about 30 minutes before baking.
Cabbage and Filling —
1 cup water
1/2 cup short grain brown rice
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil plus 2 Tbsp, divided
1 large Savoy cabbage, 2-3 pounds
1 lb baby bella mushrooms, finely chopped
1 large onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp dried rubbed sage
1/2 tsp crumbled dried rosemary
1/2 tsp salt, divided
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper plus 1/8 tsp, divided
1/2 cup red wine
1/4 cup dried currants
1/3 cup toasted pine nuts, chopped
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 28-oz can no salt added crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup red wine
1. To prepare cabbage and filling: Combine water, rice, and 1 tsp oil in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to maintain the barest simmer, cover and cook until the water is absorbed and the rice is just tender, 40-50 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and set aside.
2. Meanwhile, half fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Line a baking sheet with a clean kitchen towel and place near the stove.
3. Using a small, sharp knife, remove the core from the bottom of the cabbage. Add the cabbage to the boiling water and cook for 5 minutes. As the leaves soften, use tongs to gently remove 8 large outer leaves. Transfer the leaves to the baking sheet and pat with more towels to thoroughly dry. Set aside.
4. Drain the remaining cabbage in a colander for a few minutes. Finely chop enough to get about 3 cups. (Save any remaining cabbage for another use.)
5. Heat 1 and 1/2 Tbsp oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms, onion, garlic, sage, rosemary, and 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper; cook, stirring, until the mushrooms have released their juices and the pan is fairly dry, 8 to 10 minutes. Add wine and cook, stirring, until evaporated, about 3 minutes more. Add the mixture to the cooked rice along with currants and pine nuts.
6. Heat the remaining 1/2 Tbsp oil in the skillet over medium-high. Add the chopped cabbage, the remaining 1/4 tsp salt and 1/8 tsp pepper; cook, stirring, until the cabbage is wilted and just beginning to brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Add to the rice mixture.
7. To prepare sauce: Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, salt and pepper and cook, stirring, until starting to soften, 2 to 4 minutes. Add tomatoes and wine; bring to a simmer and cook until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes.
8. Preheat oven to 375 F.
9. To stuff cabbage: Place a reserved cabbage leaf on your work surface; cut out the thick stem in the center, keeping the leaf intact. Place about 3/4 cup filling in the center. Fold both sides over the filling and roll up. Repeat with the remaining 7 leaves and filling.
10. Spread 1 cup of the tomato sauce in a 9×13 inch baking dish. Place the stuffed cabbage rolls, seam side down, on the sauce. Pour the remaining sauce over the rolls and drizzle with the remaining 1 Tbsp oil.
11. Bake, uncovered, basting twice with the sauce, until hot, about 45 minutes.
Serves 4, 2 rolls each.
Butternut Squash and Sage Lasagna
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tbsp. minced fresh ginger
8 cups chopped, fresh bok choy
2 tbsp. reduced-sodium soy sauce
salt and ground black pepper
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and ginger and cook 1 minute. Add bok choy and soy sauce cook 3 to 5 minutes, until greens are wilted and stalks are crisp-tender. Season, to taste, with salt and black pepper.
Spinach Braised with Soy and Ginger
2 Tbsp sesame oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp ginger, grated
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 bunch spinach
Skip the butter. Put 2 tablespoons sesame oil in a large saucepan, along with 2 cloves minced garlic, 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger and 1 tablespoon soy sauce. Add spinach and braise until completely wilted and soft, about 10 minutes.
Pureed Sweet Potato Soup
Submitted by Zach Davis
5 medium orange-fleshed sweet potatoes
3 tbsp. olive oil
1 large yellow onion, peeled and chopped
1 large leek, white part only, trimmed, cleaned, and chopped
2 medium carrots, peeled, trimmed, and chopped
1 rib celery, trimmed and chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1 cup dry white wine
10 cups chicken stock
1 cup heavy cream
Freshly ground white pepper
1/4 cup Cranberry Oil, optional
1. Put sweet potatoes into a large pot and cover with cold water. Add 2 large pinches salt and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until soft when pierced with the tip of a knife, 30–40 minutes. Drain and set aside until cool enough to handle. Peel and quarter sweet potatoes, then set aside.
2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Add onions, leeks, carrots, celery, and garlic and cook, stirring often with a wooden spoon, until vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add wine, scraping any browned bits stuck to bottom of pot, and cook until alcohol has evaporated, about 2 minutes.
3. Add stock and reserved sweet potatoes to pot, increase heat to high, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until vegetables are very soft, about 30 minutes.
4. Working in batches, put vegetables and stock into a food processor or blender and purée until smooth, then return soup to pot. Stir in cream, season to taste with salt and pepper, and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Drizzle some of the cranberry oil, if using, over each serving.
From The Vegetable Dishes I Can’t Live Without by Mollie Katzen
1/3 cup roasted walnut oil
1 Tbs Chinese-style dark sesame oil
1 Tbs soy sauce
1 tsp salt
1 Tbs finely minced fresh garlic
1 Tbs finely minced fresh ginger
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Pinch of cayenne
2 pounds broccoli, cut into 2-inch spears
1/3 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
1 ½ cups walnut halves, lightly toasted
1. Combine the oils, soy sauce, salt, garlic, ginger, and black and cayenne peppers in a large bowl.
2. Steam the broccoli until just tender and bright green. Refresh under cold running water, then drain thoroughly and pat dry with paper towels. Add to the marinade and stir gently until well coated. Cover tightly and allow to marinate at room temperature for at least 2 hours. If marinating longer, refrigerate.
3. Stir in the vinegar within 15 minutes of serving. Sprinkle on the walnuts at the very last minute. This recipe can be served cold or at room temperature.