Melissa's Farm Update
I am ankle deep in potting mix and early spring starts. Starting with tomatoes on January 8th we have been sowing seeds daily. Some of the earliest and most abundant seeds to be sown are the many different types of onions that we grow. We grow 14 different varieties of onions that each have a different shape, size, or flavor and different timing to maturity so that we can stretch the onion season as long as possible. Plus this year we are doing some seed trials with High Mowing Seeds to find the best storage onion variety and nicest leeks out there. Today, we finished seeding everything that will be our early greenhouse crop of tende r bunching and head veggies. This batch includes mustards, kales, bunching beets, chard, dill and a lot more.
This week we will start grafting our tomatoes. We are fusing the root stock of a vigorous grower to a top plant (scion) which bears a desirable fruit. Thus making a plant that has the qualities we need to have tomatoes that produce more in a smaller amount of space and still taste as delicious as a vine ripened tomato can. This process and the week to follow involves a lot of careful care in the tomato nursery to keep plants misted and then to gradually reintroduce them to their sunny greenhouse environment.
This is my third year working on seeding and caring for the starts. I have learned many techniques along the way to improve their germination and survival until transplant time. However, there is always the challenge of growing in an environment that is under a thin plastic roof with bitter cold on the other side. Winter seems to fly by as I pass most of my days in the toasty greenhouse planting, watering, and caring for all these tender young plants. It is amazing to think that it is 15 degrees out and there is so much to plant. Spring is by far my favorite season, as I get to watch all the new greenery taking hold and start to fill our bellies! ~ Melissa
Iris demanding another ride on the pallet jack. Iris hangs out with Melissa while she seeds and does many other tasks on the farm. Pallet jacks (pushing and riding) are her newfound joy.
Our Weekly Good Eats Newsletter
We write the weekly Good Eats newsletter that you will receive every Tuesday evening with farm updates, the week's share contents, storage and use tips, localvore information and recipes and anything else we think you might find interesting or useful. Pete will often chime in with farm updates, thoughts and pleas for feedback.
The picking for the weekly share begins on Monday and the packing of shares is finished late Tuesday afternoon. Although we try to get the newsletter out just as early as we can, we do like to wait until the share is finalized. Sometimes there are last minute changes to the contents and we want to make sure that you've got the right information to accompany your pick-up.? If there are changes to the sharethat occur after the newsletter has been sent (which happens occasionally), you may receive a follow-up email Tuesday night or Wednesday.
If you have any feedback on the newsletter, recipe contributions or just general questions about the CSA, feel free to email us. ?We also post each newsletter on our blog. It generally gets posted sometime on Wednesday or Thursday. There's a good history there for recipes, farm stories and share contents. ?
to your address book to limit the possibility of having newsletters filtered as spam.
Feel free to contact us anytime with questions or comments about Good Eats. ~ Amy & Sara
Picking Up Your ShareIf you are unsure of your pick-up times or site location, please visit our website's Delivery page. If you have any questions about your pick-up please email us. The quickest way to reach us is always by email, but if you must, you may leave a message on voice mail at 802.586.2882 x2.
Share Pick-Up Instructions! Please review.
Whether you are a seasoned CSA share member or new to Good Eats, it's important to review the pick-up instructions before you head out to pick up your share!
•Clipboard #1, Names List - Check off your Name! - Find your name on the pick-up list and check it off. The first clipboard contains a list of all share members at your site. Note that only one name is listed for each share. If you can't find your name on the list, look for your share partner's name (only one of you is listed). Checking off your name lets us know who has picked up and is extremely helpful in solving any mysteries at the end of the day. If you can't find your name or your share partner's name, please don't take a share! Call or email us and we'll figure it out.
• Check your share type on the list. Share types are Localvore, Localvore Vegetarian, Veggie Only, Small Veggie Only, Pete's Pantry. If you are listed incorrectly or have questions, let us know.
• Clipboard #2, Pick-up Instructions - Select your items by following the Pick-up Instructions. These are posted on the second clipboard. Follow the specific item list/instructions to assemble your share.
Small Veggie only Members select their yellow bag and (occasionally there may be a second item to select that will be out of the bag and it will be listed in same section).
Regular Veggie Only Members pick up the larger tan/green bag and any other veggies listed for that share type.
Localvore and Pantry members both select the items listed on the bottom section of pick up instructions (the non -vegetable items).
We pack whole shares only! If you are sharing a share with someone - coordinate with your share-mate to split your share and DON'T take double the amount of any items.
Taking more than your share WILL leave other members short so please be careful selecting your items.
THANKS FOR PICKING UP CAREFULLY!
Please note that the first Meat Share pick up is not this week, it is March 6th.
What To Do If You Have a Problem at Pick Up?
Although we do our best to make sure that every delivery and pick-up goes smoothly, there are the occasional shortages and disappointments. Should you arrive at your pick-up site to find that your name (or share partner's name) is not on the list, one or more of your items are missing or that some of your produce is in unsatisfactory condition, please let us know right away!
Our goal is 100% satisfaction. If you email us (or call if you can't email) as soon as you discover the problem, we may be able to resolve it the same day or the following day. If you would like to receive an item that you missed at pick-up, you must contact us by Thursday morning.
If we have not heard from anyone, by Thursday afternoon our site hosts are instructed to donate leftover food, ensuring that they do not end up with bad food on their hands.
If we can not resolve your issue right away, email us to arrange a replacement or substitution the following week.
Changes to Your Delivery?
If you will be away some upcoming week, and need to make changes to your share delivery, let us know at least 1 week before the change. You can have your share donated to the Food Pantry, or I can stop your share delivery and you will retain a credit on your account toward the purchase of your next share.
Storage and Use Tips
Your greens this week are a mix of Spinach and sunflower shoots and radish. According to Annie who works in the washhouse says the spinach is "ridiculously sweet." Photo at right of our crew washing this week's spinach. Store this in the crisper drawer in your refrigerator.
Ferono Beets - These beautiful beets are unusually shaped - long and slender rather than round. Their shape makes them easy to peel, and good for slicing into uniform discs. They taste just like regular red beets! My favorite way to eat beets is to roast them- peel and chop them into quarters, coat with olive oil, salt and pepper, and roast in an oven pre-heated to 450 for about 40-50 minutes.
Napa Cabbage has a more delicate flavor than regular cabbage. It's crispy crunch makes it great in a salad, slaw or Chinese stir fry.
The Sweet Corn that we grew on the farm last summer was so far and away better than any corn we had eaten we decided to put away as much as we could for the winter and spring shares. We harvested, blanched and cut off the kernels ear by ear, bagged and then into the freezer to preserve its sweet, buttery deliciousness for the long winter ahead. Tested against other frozen corns available in the grocery store we were pleased by the freshness, quality and flavor of our own. You will receive corn 2 to 3 more times over the course of the share. Corn has already been blanched and only really needs a quick reheat, just bring some water to a boil in a pot and throw in a handful of corn, heat for 2-4 minutes and then drain and serve. If you have kids they will be especially pleased!
For those of you who are not familiar with Elmore Mountain Bread, they are regular contributors to the share. Located in Elmore, VT, Blair and Andrew bake bread in their "bread studio" built into the side of their home. They have a wood fired oven and use the best flours and grains available. This week they are making a Maple Oat Bread with VT maple syrup from Butternut Mountain Farm in Hyde Park and the same steel cut oats from Golden Crops that you are receiving in the share this week. The bread also contains two organic flours - Milanaise Winter Wheat & Milanaise Whole Wheat from Quebec, Sea Salt and yeast.
Harbison Cheese from Jasper Hill Farm in Greensboro, VT is a bark-wrapped bloomy-rind cheese with woodsy, sweet, herbal, and bright flavors. It is made with pasteurized cow's milk and aged 3-6 weeks and the cheeses this week are ripened to perfection. This cheese just won Super Gold at the 2012 World Cheese Awards in November! The cheese just was named hey named their newest cheese after Anne Harbison, seen by many to be the grandmother of Greensboro, VT. She's active in the community, runs a bed and breakfast, and volunteers at the public library, and has known the Kehler brothers since they were children. The bark, cut from Jasper Hill Farm's woodlands holds the delicate cheese together, provides flavor to the creamy paste, and allows for an ideal presentation as the centerpiece of a cheese plate
The Organic Steel Cut Oats in the share today come from just across the border in Quebec, little more than an hour's drive from the farm. At Golden Crops, Michel Gaudreau farms several hundred acres of organic grains, and in his mill he processes and then stores the grains from other organic grain farmers in his area. Once each share period we drive to his mill to pick up grains for Good Eats. Michel is an avid member of the organic movement. The existence of his mill makes it possible for a couple thousand neighboring acres to be farmed organically. His products are beautiful and we are grateful to have such an excellent source or oats, barley, flax, spelt and rye. Steel cut oat make for a pretty fab weekend morning meal. These are oats that require long cooking, but you are rewarded with a nutty, creamy beautiful breakfast. These are the oats I cook when it's a special breakfast day.
Roasted Beet Hummus
A friend of mine brought this hummus to a party and it was a huge hit! Serve it with bread, crackers, or carrot sticks.
2 small or 1 medium sized red beet, roasted, peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup tahini
juice and zest of 1 lemon
1/2 tsp salt, or extra if desired
1 tsp ground cumin
1 cup cooked chickpeas
1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for thinning the hummus needed
Place all ingredients except for the chickpeas and olive oil in a blender or food processor. Pulse until well blended. Add the chickpeas and olive oil and pulse just until incorporated. Add more olive oil as necessary for blending the chickpeas into a paste or to thin out the hummus to a thinner consistency.
Steel Cut Oats with Apples and Raisins
This recipe takes some time to prepare so it may be better suited to a weekend breakfast. I tried it this morning and my three year old and I both loved it!
3 cups water
1 cup milk - 1% or 2% is fine; I used almond milk
1 tbs unsalted butter
1 cup steel cut oats
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 apple, peeled and grated
1/3 c. raisins
1/4 c. maple syrup
Combine the milk and water in a saucepan; bring to a simmer. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a skillet. Add the oats and toast until golden and fragrant, about 2 minutes.
Stir the oats into the simmering liquid. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer gently until the mixture is very thick, about 20 minutes. Stir in the salt, cinnamon, apple, raisins and maple syrup. Continue to simmer, stirring occassionally, until the all of the liquid has been absorbed and the oatmeal is creamy, about 10 more minutes. Remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes until serving.
Kicked Up Cajun Corn Maque Choux
Pronounced "mock shoe", this is a traditional dish from southern Louisiana. It is thought to be a mix of Cajun and American Indian cultural influence, and the name is likely derived from the French interpretation of the Native American name. It is usually served as an accompaniment but it can also act as a base for a main meal by adding rice, chicken, shrimp etc.
2 Tbs unsalted butter or bacon drippings
2 c corn
1/2 c yellow onions, chopped
1/2 c red or green bell peppers, chopped
1 Tbs jalapeno pepper, minced (optional)
1/2 c heavy cream
dash of the following spices:
Melt the butter in a large skillet or saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the corn, onions, bell peppers, jalapeno, spices, and cook, stirring, until soft, for 10 minutes. Add the cream and cook for 2 minutes.
Swiss Chard and Garlic Saute
1 tbs oil
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 bag frozen swiss chard, thawed
Preheat oil in a saucepan; add garlic and cook until just turning brown. Add the chard to pan and toss it with the oil and garlic. Season the chard to taste with your choice of herbs and spices, such as salt and pepper, or Italian seasoning. Stir the chard and cook for about 5 minutes until wilted. Serve with lemon juice.