Farm News 10/19/16


Important Announcements & Reminders

  • This is a pickup week for members registered for weekly and biweekly fall vegetables.
  • This week we are also delivering meat, eggs and dairy to neighborhood pickup sites and to home delivery members.

The Vegetable Share

  • Spinach
  • Butternut Squash
  • Potatoes
  • Radishes
  • Curly Kale
  • Leeks
  • Dill
  • Beets

The Dairy Share:

  • Chevre (fresh goat cheese) from LaClare Farms
  • 'Big Ed's Gouda from Saxon Creamery
  • 'Pastures' Cheddar from Saxon Creamery
  • Plain Yogurt from Country View Dairy

(Home delivery members who registered for the Dairy and Egg Combo will receive 2 dozen eggs, 2 quarts of yogurt, 2 butters, smoked fontina and Grand Cru gruyere.)

The Meat Share:

This week members will receive 5-6 of the following:
  • whole chicken
  • chicken breast & chicken legs
  • pork shoulder roast
  • bacon
  • pork chops
  • ground pork
  • bratwurst
  • italian sausage links
  • breakfast sausage patties


Farm Photo Journal - 10/19/16

Judging by the looks of things on the front side of the farmhouse, it seems like it could still be summer--pink cosmos are blooming on gigantic stems, and the grass is as green as ever. 

But a quick walk around the house to the backyard reveals a different scene. It's autumn on the farm! The maple tree along the fenceline is putting on a showstopping display this year.

Prairie grasses growing along the field edges at both farms also create a gorgeous display of fall color. In this picture Big Bluestem stands out against a brilliant blue sky.

Even our humble cover crop plantings are doing their best to enhance the view. A mix of field peas, sunflowers, and tillage radish grow together in a vivid green mat of living vegetation that protects the soil from wind and water erosion, while adding vital nutrients at the same time. One interesting note is that buckwheat is also part of this cover crop mix. It's easily identified in the photo by the fact that it has turned a distinct brown color. Why? Because buckwheat is very sensitive to cold temperatures, and the patchy frost that settled in overnight last week was enough to kill it. The other plant species in the mix will continue to grow until we get a hard frost. 

Our pasture grasses will also continue to grow through sporadic light frosts. This fact makes all of our animals very happy...

...including Valentine the cow.

We hope you're happy with your vegetable shares this week.

Our crew has worked hard to bring you a great assortment of fall produce, eggs, dairy and meat. We're lucky to be able do this important work surrounded by the beauty and abundance that nature provides. Thanks for making it all possible. Have a great week. -- Peg

Recipes from the Farm Kitchen

Spiced Butternut Squash & Dill Soup
1 butternut squash
2 tablespoons butter
2 leeks, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 inch ginger, grated
2 green chilis or 1 jalapeño, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
1/3 teaspoon turmeric
1 1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
6 cups water
2 tablespoons dill, chopped
salt to taste
2 teaspoons lemon juice
plain yogurt for serving (optional)

To roast the squash: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut butternut squash in half and remove the seeds. Coat the squash halves with 1-2 tablespoons of vegetable oil and put them face down on a baking sheet. Cook 25-30 minutes, or until soft to the touch.

In a pot, heat butter over medium heat. Add the leeks and cook until translucent and fragrant. Stir in the garlic, ginger and green chills and cook for 2 minutes.

Add the cumin powder, turmeric, coriander powder and stir to combine. Add the butternut squash and stir well. Add the water and salt and stir again. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Cook for 15-20 minutes.

Using an immersion blender or a regular blender, carefully puree the soup. Mix in the dill, lemon juice and salt to taste. Serve with a dollop of yogurt on the

Warm Spinach Salad with Potatoes & A Poached Egg
for the poached eggs:
1 tablespoon white vinegar
4 large eggs
for the salad:
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 medium potatoes, blanched and sliced crosswise 1/2 inch thick
6 ounces spinach
for the dressing:
2 tablespoons minced shallot
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

Poach the eggs: Add vinegar to a large saucepan of simmering water. Crack eggs into water, 1 at a time. Poach eggs until whites are set but yolks are still runny, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate using a slotted spoon.

Make the salad: Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a high-sided skillet over medium heat. Cook potatoes until golden, about 6 minutes per side. Transfer to a large bowl using a slotted spoon. Add spinach and toss.

Make the dressing: Remove skillet from heat. Add shallot, and let cook for 30 seconds. Swirl in vinegar. Pour dressing over salad, season with salt and pepper, and toss to coat. Divide salad among 4 plates. Top each with an egg.

Roast Chicken with Leeks & Potatoes
1 4-lb. whole chicken
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill
2 large leeks, white and light-green parts halved lengthwise, rinsed, then sliced crosswise into
3/8-inch pieces; dark-green parts from 1 leek rinsed and reserved
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 large cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 lbs potatoes, cut crosswise into 1/8-inch-thick rounds
1-1/2 cups chicken broth
2 tablespoons butter, softened

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 450°F.

Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and generously season inside and out with 1 tablespoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Stuff the cavity with the dill and the dark leek greens. 

Set a large ovenproof skillet over medium heat and saute the leeks and garlic in olive oil. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the leeks are soft and translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

In the same pan, arrange half of the potatoes in an even layer, season very lightly with salt and pepper, then scatter the leek mixture over top. Layer the remaining potatoes over the leeks, and season very lightly with salt and pepper. Pour the broth over the vegetables. Rub the softened butter over the bird’s skin, and set it, breast side up, on the vegetables.

Roast the chicken until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 165°F to 170°F, about 1 hour. Transfer the chicken to a platter, remove the dill and leek tops, cover loosely with foil, and let rest for about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, keep the vegetables warm in the turned-off oven. Arrange the vegetables around the chicken and serve.

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  • Margaret Sheaffer