We have raised pork for a bunch of years and always love having pigs around. Great personalities and they are excellent at cleaning up seconds veggies. We’re entering into a partnership with Jasper Hill Farm, our Greensboro cheesehead neighbors. Jasper Hill Farm produces several thousand gallons a week of whey which is great pig food. We produce several thousand pounds a week of second produce, also great pig food. We purchased the Ryan farm across Route 14 from our farm a couple springs ago and there is a huge, rambling barn there that has been searching for a use. And we have many acres of pasture between our farm and the Ryan farm that is ideal for grazing pigs. So the sows will farrow in the barn and all the pigs will graze during the growing season. We’ll be rotating pigs onto vegetable land, perhaps growing hay for 2 years, allowing pigs to root up the field, then plant vegetables the following season. This sort of rotation really starts to hone in on the “sustainable” farming - building soil and frequently changing the use of the land so that weeds, pests, and diseases don’t have a chance to build up.
Our first piglets were born 2 weeks ago, you’ll see the perfect litter of 10 with a very gentle mama in the photos. They don’t get much cuter than this!
And yes we are getting ready for spring! Another tough winter following on last winter; things are a bit behind in the greenhouses but warmer temps and sunshine this week will help. ~Pete
Storage and Use Tips
The bagged greens are a mix of our shoots and is made up of sunflower and radish shoots.
Russet potatoes are a great all around potato. Also known as Idaho or baking potatoes, Russets are in the class of starchy potatoes, as opposed to waxy varieties like red and fingerling. They are high in vitamin C and B6, as well as natural sugars. Russets make great baking potatoes, and are ideal for mashing and making fries. Store potatoes in a cool dark place. Storing your potatoes in the refrigerator can make their starch turn to sugar and therefore should be avoided as doing so can give the russet potato an unpleasant, sweet taste.
Our carrots are crunchy and sweet. Store them loosely wrapped in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer, where they will keep for a couple of weeks. Store them away from apples, pears and other produce that create ethylene gas, which causes them to become bitter.
Celeriac won't win any beauty contests, but it's a tasty veggie. Also called celery root, celeriac is a vegetable that cleans up well. Once you peel away its gnarled outer layer, you find a creamy interior with a clean taste that has wide appeal. Store unwashed celeriac in a plastic bag in the refrigerator where it will keep for several weeks. Here's how to cut this veggie: I like to take a thin slice off the top so that I can lay it flat. Then I cut the whole thing into 1" wide strips and trim the edges off. It's tough to peel because it's so uneven so this method works well for me. Like apples, celeriac will darken if exposed to the air for too long. If you don’t plan to cook it immediately, submerge the celeriac in a bowl of water with lemon juice squeezed in.
What do you do with celeriac? You can peel it and cut into cubes to roast it (cover with oil, salt and pepper), or boil it with potatoes to make a unique mashed potato dish. My favorite way to eat it is to turn it into a cold salad or slaw - it's fresh and crispy and makes an excellent addition to coleslaw.
Though very similar in taste to green cabbage, red cabbage can have slightly more pronounced peppery notes. In my opinion, it can also tolerate longer cooking cycles without becoming too acidic and "stinky." If alkaline ingredients like eggs are present in your pan when cooking red cabbage, it can turn blue on you (red cabbage works great to color Easter eggs!). To stop this from happening, add a bit of acid to the pan in the form of lemon juice, vinegar or wine. Classic braising red cabbage preparations often call for adding a little red wine, cider vinegar or both to the pan during cooking. Apples also make a perfect match with red cabbage. Cabbage can be stored loosely wrapped in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for weeks. If the outer leaves wilt or turn spotted, just remove them and use the good leaves below. Once cut, keep the remaining cabbage in a sealed plastic bag in the crisper drawer.
Frozen spinach is great for casseroles, lasagnas, quiches etc. Thaw it, squeeze out the excess liquid and add it in. Or let it thaw on counter til it softens up enough to saw with a knife, and saw off section to use a lesser amount in a dish. You can put the remainder back in freezer. This is really great in pasta or even added to smoothies.
Large share members will also receive frozen stir fry mix. This is a great mix of our veggies!
We start with Elmore Mountain Foagies. This is their version of rolls made from focaccia dough. Grill it like a panini, make an egg breakfast sandwich, or stack it with cold cuts. This would be excellent paired with this week's veggie burger and/or eggs! We have a new addition to the CSA this week - VT Goldburgers made by Earth, Sky, Time Farm.They're a certified organic vegetable farm and wood fired bakery in Manchester Vermont. Their VT Goldburgers are made from organic VT grown carrots and potatoes and organic almonds, sunflower, flax, and sesame seeds, brown rice and oats. They are seasoned with curry spices and wood fired in our brick oven. They are soy free, wheat free, vegan and delicious. These are tasty burgers!
Their favorite way to prepare them is to heat them in a skillet with a little olive oil but they also do well in the toaster or on a grill.
If you're ever travelling through southern Vermont you can stop by the farm and visit the bakery. We hope you enjoy the burgers!
We also have eggs from Tangletown Farm. Tangletown Farm owned by our good friends
Dave and Lila and kids Sam, Gov and Willa is right around the corner in West Glover. They run a small Vermont family farm committed to producing high quality meat with plenty of hand on personal attention to detail. All of their animals are 100% free of hormones and antibiotics. The hens producing our eggs love being outside, roaming, pecking, finding things to cluck about. These eggs are rich and delicious. They are also fed many left over veggie scraps from neighboring vegetable farms, which adds even more quality, flavor and color to the eggs.
We have some great meat for you this month! You'll get one of our own chickens, country style ribs and a ham steak from our own pigs, and burger from McKnight Farm.
The animals we raise at the farm have a great life. Our pigs and chickens enjoy lots of grazing in our fields and many veggie scraps. All of our meat is super high quality due to a fabulous veggie diet that ensures that the meat is vitamin packed.
Here's another shot of our new mama pig and her piglets.
You can see and taste the difference in pastured meats. These meats have less fat, and have far more omega 3s, CLAs, vita E and beta carotene than non grass fed animals. Our animals receive no hormones or medications. This is very healthy, tasty meat.??
The ham is cut from the hind leg of the pig. It is is leaner and a bit tougher than the meat from the shoulder of the pig (called the picnic ham or the boston butt). The ham steak you will receive is naturally cured with celery juice powder, maple syrup, and salt. Though ham steaks are partially cooked, they should be brought back up to 160F before serving.
Country style ribs are pork ribs cut from the loin end of the rib. They are the meatiest "ribs" although they are not really ribs they are from the loin. Country-style ribs are more like pork chops, more meaty and less fatty than real ribs. This is a cut that needs slow cooking, see recipe below for a suggestion.
The organic burger comes from our friend, Seth Gardner and partner Kim from McKnight Organic Dairy. Seth is a long time organic dairy farmer and he also raises beef. This organic grass-fed burger is loaded with healthy fats such as Omega 3's and CLA's (conjugated linoleic acid - a very potent defense against cancer), Vitamin E, and is lower in fat than store bought meat.
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 you can skip your share delivery and you will retain a credit on your account toward the purchase of your next share.
Celeriac Remoulade (Celery Root Salad)
This salad is a refreshing cool coleslaw-like salad. A food processor makes the job of grating the celeriac much faster.
* see tips for preparing celeriac in Storage and Use in the first part of this newsletter
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp chopped parsley
1 lb celery root - quartered, peeled, and coarsely grated just before mixing
1/2 tart apple, peeled, cored, julienned
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Combine the mayonnaise, mustard, lemon juice and parsley in a medium-sized bowl. Fold in the celery root and apple and season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, at least 1 hour.
"Chiffonade" means little ribbons in French, referring to the little ribbons you create while cutting. Cut into long, thin strips by stacking leaves, rolling them tightly, then slicing the leaves perpendicular to the roll.
1 head red cabbage
Bag of shoots mix
5- or so carrots
3/4 - 1 cup of mayo or plain yogurt
2-3 Tbsp maple syrup
3-4 Tbsp cigar vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
Chiffonade cabbage and shred the carrots. Remove any seed casings from shoot mix. Combine with dressing, toss and enjoy.
Coconut-Carrot Morning Glory Muffins
I pulled this recipe from the archives since it's so good. Muffins are a huge staple in my house. I'll bake a double batch with the kids, keep a few out for their morning snacks, and throw the rest in the freezer for a rushed morning. Easy! 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.
Flat Roast Chicken
This is the quickest way I've ever found to cook a whole chicken. You just simply cut the backbone, lay the whole bird flat, season it with salt and pepper, and cook it in under an hour. My husband found this recipe on the Splendid Table website.
1 whole chicken, 3 to 4 pounds, backbone removed
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
2 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled (optional)
Roasting pan method: Follow Step 1, then place the chicken in a large, shallow roasting pan, skin side up, and put in the oven. Proceed to Step 3 and complete.
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Using kitchen shears, cut along both sides of the backbone to remove. Reserve it for broth. Open the chicken's legs and spread the bird down flat, skin side up. Press down firmly on the breastbone to flatten it. Pat it dry with paper towels. Salt and pepper generously on both sides.
2. Heat a large ovenproof skillet such as cast iron on high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and 1 tablespoon of the butter. Immediately add the chicken, skin side down. Allow to brown (without moving) for 3 minutes. Turn the chicken over, careful not to break the skin, and transfer the skillet to the oven.
3. The chicken is done when it is golden brown and cooked through, 40 to 45 minutes. An instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part, not touching bone, should read 165°F. Remove the chicken to a cutting board to rest for 10 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice and the remaining tablespoon of butter to the pan drippings and swirl around.
4. Meanwhile, if you want to make the lemon sauce, whisk together the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil, 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice, the red pepper flakes, garlic, and a pinch of salt. Cut the chicken into pieces, drizzle with the pan sauce and the optional fresh lemon sauce, and serve immediately.
Ham, Egg and Shoot Salad
The shoots add a nice crunch and texture to the dish - feel free to improvise with the amounts.
4 slices Ham
1 handful shoots, or more if desired
1 tsp Lemon Juice
1 tsp Dijon Mustard
3 tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Boil a large pan of water. Place the eggs into the boiling water for 7-8 minutes for a soft boiled egg, 10 minutes for a hard boiled egg.
Remove from the pan and leave to cool. Once you can handle them, remove the shells and cut in half. Make the dressing by thoroughly mixing the lemon juice, Dijon mustard and olive oil. Season to taste. Arrange the shoots, slices of ham and halved eggs on a platter and drizzle with the dressing.
BBQ Country Style Ribs
?Country style ribs require long slow cooking and deserve to be cooked to the meat is nearly falling from the bone. You can do this in a slow cooker in about 6-8 hours, or you can go the oven route and get there in a shorter amount of time. Either way, the results should be delicious. Not surprising as the method is perfect for this cut of meat and the lemon slices on top help tenderize the meat while it cooks. You could use any BBQ sauce for this, or just serve the ribs plain if you have picky kids in the house. They'll be yummy regardless. Some reviewers covered the ribs with foil for the first 2 hours to keep the more moist. ??
10 country style pork ribs
?2 teaspoons minced garlic
?1 lemon, thinly sliced?
1 (18 ounce) bottle barbeque sauce??
Preheat oven to 250 degrees F (120 degrees C).?
In a shallow baking pan or roaster, place ribs in a single layer; salt if desired. Spread the garlic on the ribs, then place the lemon slices on top. Bake in a preheated oven for 2 hours - the ribs should be tender. Drain any grease and liquid. Pour BBQ sauce over the ribs. Return to oven and bake one more hour at 200 to 250 degrees F.