Spring is happening! Tilling in the greenhouses today to plant some greens, tomato seedlings are an inch tall, Melissa is busy seeding all sorts of starts. Mel and Isaac's 15 month old Iris comes to the farm most days and usually is very happy wandering between the offices or helping her mom with some seeding. But today Iris got left with Pete and she is not happy about it. Not happy at all. Usually after a few minutes of fussing we settle into a routine but not today. Even sexy photos of tomatoes in seed catalogs are not entertaining Iris today.
Attended a great Vermont Vegetable and Berry's Growers Association meeting in Montpelier yesterday. There is so much interesting growing going on in the State and fun to see all the new young folks and some of the classics who have been real leaders for decades. And our extension specialists keep getting better and provide us with top notch information. And it's nice to hear from Secretary of Agriculture Chuck Ross that we are a vibrant and important part of the Vermont ag scene.
It was nice to get some real winter the past couple weeks. Keeps us honest. I hope that we still have winter in Craftsbury in 20 years. ~Pete
Spring Share Sign-up Has Begun
17 weeks - February 20th thru June 12th
Early Birds get 2012 Pricing - Sign up by Feb 1st!
The Spring Share begins in just 3 weeks! Sign-up now to secure your weekly deliveries of fresh, organic Vermont grown goodness and the localvore staples that the share brings.
PAYMENT CHECKS MUST BE RECEIVED AT THE FARM BY VALENTINES DAY (FEB 14TH)
TO START SHARE ON FEB 20!
We will continue to grow shoots and and winter salad greens through the early months of the share while also providing you with the diversity of storage crops you have come to expect. By April you can expect a wide variety of fresh spring greens, from mesclun and baby spinach and arugula to pac choi, chard and various varieties of Asian greens. Also in April, winter storage crops give way to fresh spring onions, baby beets, scallions, spring turnips and by May and June, many more vegetables are added to the list. We'll continue to supply you with our frozen summer veggies too until the variety of crops increase later on in the shares. As always, we will continue to bring you a variety of localvore items.
Please visit the Spring Share page for more info.
The Spring Share is limited in space so sign up early! If you sign up by Feb 1st, you will receive 2012 pricing!
Around the Farm
Here's where I found them yesterday afternoon, prepping food for Good Eats. For a few hours around the washtank Todd, Dan, Molly, Andrew and Greg were washing bin after bin of shoots and then claytonia. The greens look amazing this week.
Meanwhile in the kitchen, Deb spent the first half of her day shredding cabbage and then carrots. Then in the afternoon (after Deb made us a fabulous lunch for us all) Deb and Cori mixed and bagged the coleslaw. Enjoy!
Storage and Use Tips
Greens Mix - This week the salad blend is made up of claytonia and sunflower shoots with a bit of radish shoots (the little ones).
In your bag this week - Rutabagas! These are in the Brassica family of plants and provide a packed full punch of vitamins and minerals to get you through the last of the cold season. Rutabagas are really a cross between a turnip and a cabbage and are large bulbs sometimes with a hint of purple on the top. They have a cream color inside. Terrific mashed, roasted, in soups, stews etc. Store in a plastic bag in your crisper drawer indefinitely.
This week we also have a shredded Coleslaw Mix for you. It is made with our shredded arrowhead cabbage, carrots and a bit of red cabbage for good measure. All you need to do is just add your favorite dressing! I have included a few suggestions below.
This week's Frozen Jalapenos should warm you up a little. To use your peppers thaw in the fridge overnight, remove from package and rinse. Or if you just need a pepper to spice up a dish, just take a single frozen pepper from the bag and chop it while just off frozen and add in to whatever you are making. The seeds and the inner ribs where the seed attaches are the hottest part of the pepper. For a rich and earthy jalapeno flavor without intense heat simply cut peppers open and remove inner ribs and seeds with a pairing knife. This may still give you a bit of spice but not nearly as much as before. My best advice when working with hot peppers of any sort is to wear gloves while preparing them. Make sure to wash your hands thoroughly before touching any part of your body to avoid being burned.
Frozen Corn - We froze a lot of our beautiful organic corn this year. I love the photo from this summer of the impromptu crew below husking corn headed to the kitchen. To reheat your corn, just bring some water to a boil in a pot (salted if you wish) and throw in a handful of corn. Heat for 2-4 minutes and then drain and serve, with a bit of butter. If you have kids they will be especially pleased! This corn is also great in soups, chowders (recipe below) and casseroles etc.
Husking corn headed for the kitchen to be frozen for Good Eats.
From left to right: Todd, Hector, Pete, Baby Iris (daughter of farm employees Isaac and Melissa) Annie and Axel (son of farm employee Amy)
This week our bread is being baked at Red Hen Baking Co. You will be receiving a special loaf made with Vermont flours, two of which - the Aurora white flour and Gleason Grains sifted you have received in the share. From Randy today:
We're making Cyrus Pringle this week-- the original loaf made entirely with VT-grown wheat. 85% of the wheat in this bread is milled at Champlain Valley Mills from wheat grown on Aurora Farms in Charlotte. The other 15% is a stone ground and lightly sifted flour from Gleason Grains in Bridport. We're making the loaves for this week's share in a long, narrow shape (the French refer to this as a "batard") that you can't find in stores. This shape makes it nicer for sandwiches and toast.
A couple times a year, Lorraine and Steve Lalonde load up their truck and bring us their organically grown White Lightening Popcorn from Tullochgorum Farm which is in Ormstown, Quebec, situated in the beautiful Chateauguay Valley of South-western Quebec. Because popcorn requires a longer growing season than most types of corn, Steve and Loraine consider their area to be at the northern limit of successfully producing this crop. To their knowledge, they are the only commercial producers of certified organic popcorn in Quebec. Once popped, White Lightning possesses a delicate, crispy texture, and a slightly nutty flavor, vastly different from the more common yellow popcorn varieties with which most people are familiar with, and a world away from microwave popcorn! We invite you to try this unique, organically grown treat and hope that you’ll get hooked on White Lightning, too!
This week is a Pa Pa Doodles Farm Fresh Eggs 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.
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 Friday 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.
Here's a good old fashioned slaw recipe for you. This recipe makes 2 pounds of cole slaw and is a standard recipe that begs for improvisation. Feel free to use less mayo, and less sugar. Substitute honey for the sugar (using a bit less, honey is sweeter by volume). Cider vinegar will be great, and balsamic delicious too. Take or leave horseradish depending on how you like it.
2 lbs of shredded slaw
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 tsp yellow mustard
1 tsp celery seeds
1 TB prepared creamy horseradish
Pour your shredded slaw into a very large bowl and set aside.
In a separate, medium sized bowl, combine sugar, mayo, oil, vinegar, mustard, celery seed and horseradish with a wire whisk until the sugar is dissolved.
Toss mayo mixture with bagged slaw mixture until completely coated and refrigerate for four hours making sure to stir ever couple of hours or so. This recipe makes 2 pounds of cole slaw.
Curried Apple Slaw
Apples are a great way to liven up your slaw. If you do not have apples on hand try to substitute with something else that has a sweet flavor like raisins.
1-2 apples, shredded
1/4 c sour cream
1/4 c mayonnaise (sub yogurt or more sour cream)
1/4 c apple cider vinegar
2 tsp curry powder
ginger, shredded or minced
salt and pepper to taste
Asian Coleslaw Dressing
1 bag Pete’s slaw mix
½ head Napa cabbage, sliced thinly (can be omitted)
1 onion or 2-3 scallions, thinly sliced
½ bunch cilantro, roughly chopped
¼ cup tamari
¼ cup lemon juice
¼ cup vegetable oil
3 tbsp. grated fresh ginger
3 tbsp. white vinegar
2 tbsp. dark brown sugar
2 tsp. sesame oil
3 tbsp. sesame seeds, optional
Place all ingredients in large bowl and whisk until well incorporated. Add slaw mix, onion and Napa cabbage and toss until well coated. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. This slaw is best served within 15 minutes of making.
Cumin Mixed Vegetable Potato Salad
A seasonal version of the all American potato salad.
4 c potatoes, raw sliced into 1/4" slices and chopped
1 lg parsnip, raw sliced in 1/4" slices and chopped
1 c Rutabaga, raw sliced into 1/4" slices and chopped
red onions, minced
2 hard boiled eggs
1/2 c mayonnaise or sour cream
1 tbs mustard
salt and black pepper to taste
In large pot boil potatoes, parsnip and rutabaga until soft. Tip: heat water on stove till just about boiling and then add vegetables rather than adding veggies to cold water. Once soft, drain veggies add to pan and cover with cold water to cool throughout. Drain again and dry in strainer. Chop hard boil eggs and add to vegetables. Mix mayonaise, mustard, cumin, salt and pepper then add to veggies and mix well so that egg yolk mixes well with yolk making a pasty sauce. Cool and let sit overnight for best results, or it's OK to eat right away.
Mexican Corn and Jalapeno Soup
This is a perfect soup to warm you up on these cold days! Feel free to leave the jalapenos out.
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 jalapenos, thawed and diced into small pieces
1 bag frozen corn, thawed and drained, divided
2 tsp salt
4 cups plus 3 tbs water, divided
2 tbs fine cornmeal or masa harina
Crumbled queso fresco or shredded cheese plus fresh cilantro for serving
Divide the white and green parts of the scallions - save the green parts for later use. Combine the white scallions and onions in a large saucepan or cast iron skillet. Cook over medium heat until soft. Add cooked onions, 2 1/2 cups of corn, salt, and 2 cups of water into a blender. Blend until smooth or leave chunkier for a thicker soup. Transfer the puree to the skillet and place over medium-high heat. Stir in the remaining corn and up to 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and let boil until slightly reduced, about 8 minutes. In a bowl, combine the 3 tbs of water and cornmeal or masa. Whisk until smooth. Blend into the soup in the skillet and add the jalapenos. Simmer, stirring occasionally until the soup has thickened. Serve topped with cheese, green scallions, and cilantro as desired.
Coconut-Carrot Morning Glory Muffins
I sometimes forget that carrots aren't just a savory food and also make a wonderful addition to muffins, cakes or cookies. Here's a great recipe for a healthy start to your day. From Eating Well, February 2013.
1 cup whole-wheat or white whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup old fashioned rolled oats, plus 2 tbs for garnish
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp allspice
2 large eggs
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/3 cup honey
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted (could also subsitute canola oil)
2 cups shredded carrots
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut, plus 2 tbs for garnish
1/2 cup raisins
Preheat oven to 350F. Coat a 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray. Whisk whole-wheat flour, 1/2 cup oats, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and allspice in a medium bowl. In a separate bowl whisk eggs, applesauce, honey and vanilla. Whisk in coconut oil. Gently stir in the flour mixture just until moistened. Fold in carrots, 1/2 cup coconut and raisins. Divide the batter among the muffin cups. Sprinkle with the remaining 2 tbs each oats and coconut. Bake the muffins until they spring back when lightly touched, about 30-35 minutes. Let stand in the pan for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack.