Around the Farm
We wanted to share this note that Pete wrote for the Vermont Farm Fund newsletter (read the original newsletter here). We think it's great to hear about the progress Vermont has made on the local food front, and how we've carried this reputation beyond state borders. It feels good to be part of the movement!
I recently returned from a conference in CA in which 15 Organic Elders (early leaders in the organic farming movement) invited 15 younger farmers to come and share for a week. We covered a host of topics including no till organic production, farm succession, the new genetic engineering technology CRISPR, marketing, and how to reinvigorate yourself from burnout.
It was a real honor to glean wisdom from the Elders and youngsters alike and to be inspired by everyone’s great ideas. Interestingly, several times during the week when I shared experiences I was told “Well that’s Vermont” or “Of course that’s how it works for you but that isn’t our reality”. I realized that our agricultural revolution here is so impressive to leaders from other parts of the country that they don’t even want to compare their regions to what has been achieved here!
You are part of this success. By eating local food, getting to know your farmers, and supporting the VFF you are building our local food economy. This revolution is just getting going-at VFF we continue to be excited by the local food niche filling ideas proposed by our borrowers. Thanks for supporting your farmers.
The Vermont Farm Fund is a revolving loan fund that helps Vermont farm and food businesses grow enterprises, recovery from disasters, and innovate new solutions to increase their impact on the community.
Storage and Use Tips
Mesclun - This week's salad greens are a mix of spinach, shoots, cress, and chickweed (an edible weed!). We're starting to have the opportunity to work more diversity into our greens mixes as spring nears. This mix is great for salads or topping sandwiches.
Fingerling Potatoes - Fingerling potatoes are a family of heritage potatoes that naturally grow much smaller than conventional potatoes. They tend to be elongated and slightly knobbly, making them very finger-like in shape. The unusual-looking, flavorful potatoes can be used just like regular potatoes in an assortment of roasted, broiled, baked, grilled, or boiled dishes. This week's potatoes are a mix of white karate and red amarosa potatoes (with a bright pink flesh!). Store in a paper bag in a cool, dry place. No need to peel, just scrub clean before cooking.
Carrots - Multiple varieties of sweet winter carrots provide the rainbow of colors found in these roots. If you don't use your carrots right away, store them in your crisper drawer to make sure they retain needed moisture.
Beets - The red beets in your share this week are delicious roasted and can be used in a variety of recipes. I love adding roasted beets to my shoots salads and adding a crumble of goat cheese and a splash of balsamic vinegar. Roast your beets with onions or shallots for an extra level of flavor. Store in a loose plastic bag in your fridge.
Parsnips - Related to the carrot, the parsnip has grown wild in Europe for millennia and was considered a delicacy by the Roman aristocracy. Though parsnips are usually eaten cooked, they can also be eaten raw like carrots. They have a sweet nutty flavor and lend themselves well to cooking with honey, maple syrup and butter. They are a very flexible starch. Try them sauteed, baked, roasted and mashed, as well as in soups and stews. Store parsnips as you would carrots, loosely wrapped in a plastic bag in your crisper drawer.
Cress - Cress is here! It will be bunched in your veggie bag. This upland cress has a deep pungency with a unique twist between arugula and horseradish, pledging its allegience to the mustard family. Below the Mason Dixon line, upland cress is known as "creasy greens" and when stewed with ham hocks, is a beloved mild dish that can be served with cornbread. Cress is rich in vitamin C, vitamin A, iron, and calcium.
Garlic - Garlic is great roasted or enjoyed raw in small quantities. Be careful not to burn it, as burnt garlic takes on a distint, bitter flavor. Once you've broken the head and used the first clove, try keeping the remainder in a small, open bowl in your deli drawer. To remove the paper skin from cloves, try trimming the ends, then giving the clove a whack with the side of your butcher's knife.
Frozen Shredded Zucchini - When you thaw your frozen zucchini, it will lose a lot of water. This is actually perfect for baking and for many other recipes as well. Let it thaw, and then squeeze out all the excess water and then add the zucchini to your recipe.
Frozen Kale - The frozen green kale in the full veggie shares was lightly blanched at the peak of freshness. You can use frozen kale pretty much anywhere you'd use frozen spinach: in casseroles, quiches, or sautes. Since kale is a bit hardier than spinach, it also stands up well in a soup.
Veggie Storage and Use Tips are on our website too, so please bookmark the recipe and storage tip section. I am sure you will find it useful.
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 Shelf, or you can skip your share delivery and you will retain a credit on your account toward the purchase of your next share.
This week's share includes Jasper Hill Landaff Cheese, Pete's Greens Pesto, and Nitty Gritty Grain Co. Cornbread Mix.
Jasper Hill's Landaff Cheese is a hard cheese made by Deb and Doug Erb that is styled after a Welsh cheese. It has a beautiful natural rind and a rich flavor that lingers on your taste buds. It goes well with berry preserves or smoked meats, but it is also a great melting cheese for a variety of kitchen uses.
Our Basil Pesto contains our organic basil to which we add lots of garlic, parm and romano cheeses, lemon, and olive oil. Some of our pesto may be slightly oxidized on the top (which darkens it), but mix it up and it will regain its vibrant green color.
Nitty Gritty Grain Co. is a family business run by Tom Kenyon in Charlotte, VT. They grow organic wheat and corn. The cornmeal used for this Cornbread Mix comes from heirloom and organic hybrid varieties that give this mix a robust flavor and texture. It's also great for pancakes and muffins!
Kale, Sausage and Potato Soup
A hearty soup to warm up these last cold days of winter. This could be made vegetarian by skipping the sausage and swapping chicken broth for veggie broth.
2-3 links Italian sausage
1 package frozen kale, thawed
1 tsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 medium carrot, sliced
4 cloves garlic, chopped
8 cups chicken or veggie broth
2 cups water
3 medium potatoes, peeled and diced into 1/4 inch pieces
1 pinch dried red pepper flakes
salt to taste
1/4 tsp ground pepper
In a large dutch oven or soup pot, cook sausage over medium-low heat. Turn and cook until brown, about 10 minutes. Remove from pot, let cool and cut into thin slices.
Add oil to pot, add onions and carrots; cook on medium heat until transluscent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for one minute more.
Add broth, water and black pepper, bring to a boil and cook 5 minutes. Add cooked sausage, potatoes, red pepper flakes and bring back to a simmer. Cook covered for about 4 minutes. Add kale and bring back to a simmer. Cook partially covered until the potatoes and kale are cooked, about 5-6 minutes.
Easy Braised Creasy Greens
This beloved southern dish is packed with the nutrients inherent in your upland cress, including vitamin C! Serve with cornbread or corn muffins.
1-2 tablespoons olive oil, coconut oil or meat drippings (bacon, sausage, steak etc)
1 bunch fresh cress, about 4 cups, washed, de-spined and coarsely chopped. You can also sub kale, collards, mustard or turnip greens, or a mixture of winter greens.
1 clove garlic, chopped and/or 1 Tbs ginger, julienned
1/2 onion, diced
1/8 cup water or vegetable or chicken broth or stock
Sea salt and coarse grind pepper
Optional seasonings: add a shake of Sesame oil, apple cider vinegar, tamari, Braggs Liquid Aminos, Chinese 5 spice, or cayenne pepper
Optional toppings: toasted sesame seeds, chopped almonds or walnuts, toasted pumpkin seeds
Heat oil or drippings in a large skillet over medium-high heat and add greens and garlic/ginger and onion, stirring to coat with oil. Stir occasionally until greens are barely wilted and still have a green color, just a few minutes.
Add vegetable broth or water and stir, allowing greens to steam until barely tender. Salt to taste.
Add seasonings and toppings as desired and serve.
Roasted Fingerling Potatoes with Cheese
This mouth-watering potato recipe is also easy and accessible for the whole family.
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1.5-2 pounds fingerling potatoes or small red-skinned potatoes, cut diagonally into halves
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh thyme leaves (or 1 tsp dried thyme leaves)
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon fresh nutmeg
1 cup shredded hard cheese (gruyere or Landaff)
Preheat oven to 425F. Grease a 15 x 10-inch baking pan with oil.
Combine potatoes, cream, thyme, salt, pepper and nutmeg in a large bowl. With a slotted spoon, transfer potatoes to a pan, spreading them in a single layer. Reserve cream mixture. Bake about 30 minutes, until largest potato is easily pierced with a fork.
Remove from oven. With a spatula, slide potatoes together. Drizzle with remaining cream mixture. Sprinkle with cheese. Return pan to oven on top rack until cheese is melted and begins to brown. Transfer to a platter and serve immediately.
Adapted from Richard Swearinger, photo by Mark Boughton
Carrot Zucchini Bread
You've heard of zucchini bread, and carrot cake, but this recipe combines these two concepts into a moist, slightly sweet loaf that is great for breakfast or dessert. Make sure to squeeze out any excess water from your thawed zucchini before using in this recipe.
1 large egg
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/3 cup liquid-state coconut oil (canola or vegetable may be substituted)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup cup sour cream (or Greek yogurt)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
pinch salt, optional and to taste
1 cup grated carrots, laid loosely in cup and not packed (about 1 large/2 medium peeled and trimmed carrots)
1 cup grated zucchini, laid loosely in cup and not packed(about 1 medium/large trimmed zucchini)
1/2 cup walnuts, raisins, etc., optional
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and flour one 9x5-inch loaf pan; set aside.
In a large bowl, add the the first seven ingredients, through cinnamon, and whisk to combine.
Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, optional salt, and fold with spatula or stir gently with a spoon until just combined; don't overmix.
Add the carrots, zucchini, optional walnuts or raisins, and fold gently to combine.
Turn batter out into the prepared pan (it's quite thick, this is what you want), smoothing the top lightly with a spatula.
Bake for about 50 to 60 minutes or until the top is golden, the center is set, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, or with a few moist crumbs, but no batter.
Allow bread to cool in pan for about 15 minutes before turning out on a wire rack to cool completely before slicing and serving. Bread will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 6 months. Serve sliced with cultured butter or on its own.
Roasted Beets and Carrots with Rosemary Garlic Butter
You can make a big bach of this recipe and use the leftovers to add color and flavor to a green salad, or serve with eggs for a healthy breakfast!
3 cups cubed peeled red beets
2 cups cubed peeled carrots
3 tablespoons butter or ghee
3 garlic cloves, mashed
½ teaspoon dried rosemary
Sea salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Place the beets in a large mixing bowl, and the carrots in a 9 inch by 13 inch glass baking dish. (Mixing the roots separately keeps the carrots from turning pink from beet juice.)
Place the butter or ghee in a microwave-safe coffee mug and add the garlic. Microwave until the butter is melted. Stir in the dried rosemary.
Pour half of the melted butter mixture over the beets, and pour half over the carrots. Sprinkle generously with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Toss each of the root vegetables to coat them with the butter mixture.
Transfer the beets into the baking dish with the carrots.
Roast for 55 minutes, stirring halfway through. Allow to cool slightly before serving.
Pesto-Coated Carrot and Parsnip Fettuccine
This recipe uses carrots and parsnips as noodles, but you can also combine with fettuccine or linguine for a more filling dish.
3 large carrots, peeled
3 large parsnips, peeled
1 tablespoon cold-pressed (extra-virgin) olive oil
4 tablespoons basil pesto
Using a vegetable peeler, peel the carrots and parsnips into long, thin strips, dropping them into a bowl as completed. If desired, blanch vegetables in a pot of boiling water for 1-2 minutes. Add the olive oil and pesto, toss to combine before serving.
Additional photo credits: 1
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!
Find your name on the Names List - 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 Names List. Share types are Localvore, Localvore Vegetarian, Half Veggie with Pantry, Half Veggie with Pantry Vegetarian, Veggie Only, Half Veggie Only, Pete's Pantry, Pete's Pantry Vegetarian, or Meat Share. If you are listed incorrectly or have questions, let us know.Step #2:
Pick-Up Instructions - Select your items by following the Pick-Up Instructions. These are posted on a second clipboard or on an attached sheet. Follow the specific item list/instructions to assemble your share. The top section of the pick up list describes what to select for the vegetable only shares. The bottom section of the Pick-Up Instructions lists the localvore (non-vegetable) items that Localvore and Pantry members should select.
If you are sharing a share with someone - coordinate with your share-mate to make sure that you DON'T take double the amount of any items. All shares are packed and delivered to the sites are whole shares.
Please note that the first Meat Share pick up is this week!
If you have a meat share, you'll take a bright red bag after checking off your
name on the meat checklist.
Which color bag do I take?
If you are a Half share member (with or without pantry) take a bright yellow bag shown in the picture of Erick, on the left.
If you are a Localvore or Veggie Only member take a tan / light green bag shown in the picture of Kat, on the right.
You will also look for "out of bag" items (like frozen goods). Localvore/Pantry items will need to be gathered from their respective bins/containers.