Wednesday, March 27, 2013

March 27, 2013 - Welcome Mer Folk!

Welcome to all you folks from the Presentation Pool!

Today on the farm
So here's some quick things you should know:

1.  Wash your veges and eggs "Before" you use them, not before you put them in the fridge.
2.  Asparagus are like flowers, cut the stems and plunk them in water to store in the fridge. 
3.  The little plastic bag is freshly ground corn meal from our own corn.  Use it fast, or freeze it.  There's exactly one cup there.

What's in the March Madness Bag:
Last year's garlic,  there's just a small amount left, and it's about to leaf out.  Purple Passion Asparagus, Chioggia Beets, Joan Rutabagas, Florence Fennel, and Corn Meal.  This week's special gift is Salsa.

MacGregor's Favorite Beets (coming along)


Please, don't eat them raw.  Some people get a reaction like throat closing.  It only lasts for a few seconds, but unless you've eaten them raw before, just skip it!  The greens are wonderful braised.  The beets are terrific roasted.  But most nights I serve them like this:

Salad Beets
Cover beets with water by 1 inch in a 2- to 3-quart saucepan and simmer until tender when pierced in center with a fork, about 30 minutes. Drain in a colander and rinse under cold running water. Let stand until cool enough to handle, then slip off and discard skins. Cut beets into 1/4-inch-thick slices.  Whip up your favorite vinegrette and olive oil and put the warm beets in it and let them stand for a few minutes while you make the rest of the salad.  Put in a jar in the fridge, they are even better the next day.  It's really important to leave about an inch of stem on the beets before boiling; it keeps them from bleeding.

Tonight for supper we are having roasted fennel, rutabagas and beets.

Rutabagas can be made anyway that you make potatoes and the tops are edible too.

Creamed Rutabaga Greens
Wisteria Blooming in the driveway
1 T. of Olive Oil and 1 T. of Butter
a “mess” of rutabaga greens 
1 medium onion, diced
several garlic cloves, minced 
1 cup heavy cream

1. Rinse greens thoroughly and remove stems. Cut leaves into ribbons (layer leaves and roll them up to make this go faster, using knife to cut)
2. Heat cooking fat in deep pot; over medium high heat, add onion and garlic and lightly brown.
3. Once lightly browned, added cut greens a few handfuls at a time until gently wilted. Using tongs, mix greens with onion/garlic and add remaining greens in batches until all are wilted. Toss with tongs to prevent burning.
4. Add cream and toss mixture; reduce heat to low and cover for 15-20 minutes, allowing greens to soak up cream.
5.  If you like, throw the whole mess into your food processor and whirl away.  

Save the jars!  Return them when empty.  Have a great week, see you in April

Monday, March 18, 2013

Spring at Foothill Farm 2013

Spring Sprang Sprung

2013 CSA and it looks to be a hot one!

March came in like a lamb, actually in came in like April.  For the first time in years, all the winter planted veges came too early.   So teaser boxes will be coming your way. 

All around me Broccoli, Cauliflower, Kale, Cabbage are all bolting.  The Asparagus is here and will flower if we don't pick it.

So for the next week or two I will get asparagus and whatever I can salvage out of the field and get it to you.

Although the cabbage and kale are bolting, the flavor is still excellent.  It doesn't have the nice tight heads that I like it's still great.

So, Lacinato Kale, and Cabbage San Michelle coming your way along with, Romanesco Cauliflower,  Florence Fennel, Moro Blood Oranges, Dancy Tangerines, and Purple Passion Asparagus.

Why purple asparagus?  It contains more anthocyanins.  More is better, so I will always select purple strains if they taste as good or better.  I think many of you will find that this is the sweetest asparagus you have ever had.    Beets are also in and the Chioggias are just as sweet as can be.  I recommend roasting them!

Fire on the Farm
On March 7, we suffered a fire on the farm, a new chicken coop caught on fire, and a passing good samaritan saw the smoke and stopped to help.  I was just putting my pants on, when I spotted the commotion.  My sister-in-law, myself and this unknown hero battled the blaze and got it contained before the fire department arrived.  This shed was across from the barn and very near both farm houses.  If you know this fellow, or recognize this sweatshirt, give us a head's up.  We'd like to thank him.  We are very grateful.  It could have gone much worse.

If this is your first time as a CSA member:


Remember I don't wash veges.  They keep longer if you don't wash them till you use them.  I pick all veges the night before and the morning of.  Any fresher than that, and they'd rise up and slap me when I harvest them.  WASH eggs before using.  Washing eggs leads to forcing bacteria through the shells, so don't wash them till you're going to use them.  Please wash and return all canning jars when they are empty.  


So what's up?

What's been planted:  Potatoes, garlic, onions, leeks, radishes, turnips, parsnips, lettuce, swiss chard, rutabagas,  favas, faro, beets, carrots, peas and beans.   Awaiting transplant, tomatoes, cabbage, broccoli, peppers, lettuce, more greens and eggplant.  This year in addition to the regular tomato trials and bean trials, we also have some new peas, garbanzo beans and vignas - black eyed peas.  Right now the snow peas and edible pod peas are up.  There's also a row of shelly peas up, and one more that's just starting to peek.  I know we are still 1 month from the last frost, but I'm taking a chance and planting some other things early.  I got my first sunburn of the season.  Gee, I don't normally do that until June. 

St. Joseph of Paradise sends a box of seeds

Future Planting:

Cukes, zukes, squash, melons, corn.  We have received seed from all over the world.  Well, okay I also sent seeds all over the world.  We're really excited about some Italian tomatoes that have come in that arrive very late, and you just hang in your garage and pick them off the vine when you need them.  Boy, how many times have I wanted tomatoes at Thanksgiving!  (Every year).  We also got some cool new seeds from Turkey, Spain, New Zealand and Oz!  Lieven, a plant breeder from Belgium has promised to send us some new seeds as well.  Each year on the farm we enjoy Lieven's Leeks! 

What's the schedule look like for April?  Like a typical early spring, we will be on the every other week schedule.  I will send you each an individual e-mail of the schedule.

Have a great week, and welcome back!