Farm News 10/11/16

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Important Announcements & Reminders

  • This is a pickup week for members registered for weekly vegetables.
  • If you registered for biweekly vegetables, you will pick up next week.
  • Next week we will also deliver eggs, dairy and meat to neighborhood pickup sites and to home delivery members.
  • Please make note of these important dates:
    • October 18-20  First fall meat, egg & dairy deliveries
    • November 15-17  Final fall season deliveries
  • Northfield members-- For this week only, our normal pickup time will shift from Wednesday to Thursdayfrom 2pm-6pm.  Please contact Jenif you need to make any alternate arrangements for your pickup.

    This Week's Vegetable Share

    • Sweet Potatoes
    • Bok Choy
    • Sweet Peppers 
    • Leafy Asian Cabbage
    • Shallots
    • Swiss Chard
    • Red Cabbage
    • Chives
    • White Salad Turnips
     

    It's the first week of the fall season and we're so happy to be sharing the harvest with you! Although the season is winding down and  there are only six delivery weeks left, there is still an impressive amount of food yet to be harvested.
     

    In addition to keeping up with the regular CSA harvest, crews on both farms are busy filling large pallet bins with crops that will go into our walk-in coolers where they will stay chilled and fresh until the final weeks of the fall share. Most years we experience a hard frost by the end of October, and harvesting all of our cabbage, parsnips, potatoes, carrots, beets and squash now, before frost, ensures that we will have plenty of tasty vegetables in November.

    Food Notes: Making the Most of your Share
    We finished digging our sweet potatoes a couple of weeks ago. It was a great year for sweet potatoes, and we ended up with about 3,000 lbs. Sweet potatoes have the reputation of being a southern crop, but they actually grow quite well in this climate provided the soil they're grown in isn't too heavy. Instead of growing them from seed, we buy little tiny plants, called "slips", in May. Slips are green shoots from mature sweet potatoes that are typically purchased from suppliers in southern states and planted in spring once the chance of frost has passed.
     

    Over the course of the summer, the slips grow into a tangle of vines covered in deep-green heart-shaped leaves. If it is kept free of weeds (not an easy task) a field of weed-free sweet potatoes is a beautiful sight indeed! 
     

    Each member will receive 4 pounds of sweet potatoes this week. We recommend storing them outside of the refrigerator. A cool, dry place works best. As far as recipe recommendations, we encourage you to try them in both sweet and savory dishes. They work especially well in spicy Indian and Mexican-inspired recipes. We'd be curious to hear about your favorite sweet potato recipes, so drop us a line if you've got a recipe that you think we should share with other members. Have a great week!
     
    Recipes from the Farm Kitchen

    Chicken & Chard Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
    3 medium size sweet potatoes
    2 teaspoons olive oil
    4 large swiss chard leaves (including stems), chopped
    2 tablespoons lime juice
    1 small can enchilada sauce
    1 pound cooked shredded chicken
    salt and pepper to taste
    3/4 cup aged white cheddar cheese, grated

    Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil. Prick sweet potatoes with a fork. Place potatoes on baking sheet and bake for 1 hour or until tender.

    In a medium skillet, sauté chard in olive oil until tender. Take off heat and set aside.

    In a bowl, combine the lime juice, enchilada sauce, chard and shredded chicken. Add 1/4 cup of the shredded cheese to this mixture and stir to combine.

    When the sweet potatoes are done, remove from oven and cut in half.  Scoop out the center of each sweet potato half. Leave some sweet potato in the shells so they stay sturdy. Add the scooped-out sweet potato to the chicken and spinach mixture and mix throughly. Fill sweet potato shells with the mixture. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top. Return to oven for 10-15 mintues more.

    Sweet Potato Pecan Muffins
    2 cups mashed cooked sweet potatoes
    1-1/2 cups sugar
    1/2 cup vegetable oil
    1/2 cup water
    3 cups whole wheat flour
    1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1 teaspoon cinnamon
    1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
    1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    2 cups chopped pecans

    Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease muffin cups. In a large bowl, combine sweet potatoes, sugar, oil, and water; mix well. In another bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and salt; mix well. Gradually stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until well blended. Stir in pecans.

    Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups. Bake at 400 degrees for about 15 to 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the muffins comes out dry. 

    Lemon Ricotta Pasta with Swiss Chard
    4 cups Swiss chard, sliced (including stems)
    8 ounces uncooked spaghetti
    1 large shallot, minced
    1 tablespoon olive oil
    1/3 cup ricotta cheese
    Zest from 1/2 lemon
    1/4 teaspoon salt, to taste
    1 pinch dried red pepper flakes
    1/4 cup chopped chives

    Bring a pot of well-salted water to a boil over high heat. Blanch the Swiss chard for 5 minutes. Remove chard from water using slotted spoon, squeezing out as much of the water as possible. Chop again and set aside.

    Keep the pot of water boiling, and add the spaghetti noodles. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside, retaining about 1 cup of liquid from cooking the noodles.

    Saute shallot in olive oil until soft. Add the Swiss chard and toss well to break up the chard clumps.

    Combine the ricotta and Parmesan cheeses in a small bowl, and add the lemon zest, salt, and red pepper flakes. Add to the Swiss chard mixture in the saute pan and mix well. Add cooked spaghetti, and some of the pasta water as needed. Garnish with chives and serve warm.

    Roasted Red Cabbage with Balsamic Vinegar
    1 red cabbage, (about 3 pounds)
    2 tablespoons olive oil
    Coarse salt and ground pepper
    2 to 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

    Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Cut cabbage into 12 wedges; remove thick core and discard. Pull wedges apart; toss on a large rimmed baking sheet with oil, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

    Cover sheet tightly with foil. Bake until cabbage is crisp-tender, about 20 minutes.

    Remove foil; continue cooking, tossing occasionally, until tender and browned in spots, 20 to 25 minutes more. Toss with vinegar and serve.

    Thai Crunch Salad with Peanut Dressing
    for the dressing:
    1/4 cup peanut butter
    2 tablespoons rice vinegar
    2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, from one lime
    3 tablespoons vegetable oil
    1 tablespoon soy sauce
    2 tablespoons honey
    2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
    1-inch square piece fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
    1 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
    2 tablespoons chopped chives
    for the salad:
    3 cups leafy Asian cabbage, chopped
    3 cups Bok Choy (including stems), chopped
    3 unpeeled white turnips, cut into sticks (slightly bigger than matchsticks)
    1 cup shredded carrots
    1 sweet pepper, thinly sliced 

    For the dressing, combine all of the ingredients in a blender and process until completely smooth. Add the chives and blend for a few seconds. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

    For the salad, combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl and toss to combine. If serving right away, drizzle the peanut dressing over top and toss; otherwise, serve the dressing on the side so the salad doesn't get soggy.

     

    Next Week's Harvest (our best guess)... potatoes, radishes, leeks, fresh herbs, lettuce, parsnips, squash, kale and more!

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    • Margaret Sheaffer