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  • In the share this week: 4 lbs sweet potatoes 1 head napa cabbage 1/4 lb ginger root 1 bag baby salad kale 1 lb watermelon radishes Bonus: 1 lb salad turnips Thoughts from Farmer Anna: It feels very fitting that we have our first snowfall on the ground this morning as I sit to write the last newsletter of the 2019 season. It seems as though Mother Nature has put a hard end to our harvest for the year. The snow makes most folks feel a bit peaceful and cozy, and I think this effect is magnified for farmers. Cole and I spent some time yesterday making sure the beds of spinach and kale seedlings in our hoophouses were cozy and tucked in under row covers and that the sides and ends of the houses were as tight and tucked in as they can be. We harvested a few last things out of the fields that had survived the cold temperatures of this weekend. The crates of roots pictured above were part of our harvest from last week - from left to right there are salad turnips, scarlet turnips and watermelon radishes. We have probably a couple hundred pounds of salad turnips in our cooler for the winter. Usually we sell quite a few of these to restaurants through the Ohio Valley Food Connection, but for some reason they weren't as popular this year. It's hard to imagine why, these are such a delicious root vegetable. Maybe so many farmers grew them this year and there is just a glut of supply. This highlights a major issue for farmers of all types and sizes - trying to plan for the demands of the market a year or two ahead of time while considering what other farmers might also be planting as well. We see this problem play out on a large scale with major commodity crops like corn and soybeans. Prices and demand go up one year, prompting farmers to plant even more the following year, but since so many farmers planted more you end up with a glut of product at the end of the next year and the price for that crop goes way down. Or an unexpected tariff gets thrown into the mix causing you to lose international buyers for a crop. For us, the problem is a very minor one and only affects 1 out of the 40 or so crops we grow. (And is a cooler full of delicious turnips really a problem?) That is the strength of a diversified, direct market farm. Our resilience is largely due to our very best customers - you. Our CSA program gives us a predictable demand for so much of what we grow and this makes us stronger as a farm and a local business. We can't thank you enough for your support this year! We literally could not do this work without you. As a thanks, we are giving everyone a share of the extra turnips we harvested this fall. They'll stay good in your fridge for awhile if you have lots from previous weeks. Then you can think of us in the winter as you continue to eat up the local veggies you helped support this year :) Ginger is back again this week, along with napa cabbage and baby kale. The kale is actually a little bigger than baby size, and just a little cold damaged, but would still be good for eating raw in salads if you chop it. Otherwise, it would work well cooked in any number of recipes, including the pot pie recipe Maria has below. We'll be giving many of our extra, extra large sweet potatoes this week, so you might get one 4 lb potato. These are awesome to use in your Thanksgiving recipes and you can brag to your guests that you used a single potato to make your casserole or multiple pies. You can also steam cubed sweet potato and freeze what you don't use right away for later use. Happy cooking! Recipes from Maria: Turnip Green Dip Ingredients 1 bunch chopped turnip greens (would also work well with your napa cabbage) 3 finely chopped turnips 3 slices thick cut bacon, cut crosswise 1 small onion, chopped 2 garlic cloves, chopped 1/4 cup, plus 2 T dry white wine 12 oz. low-fat cream cheese (Neufchatel), cut into chunks 4 oz. low-fat sour cream 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes 1/2 tsp. salt 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese Assorted crackers and tortilla chips Instructions Preheat the oven to broil. Cook bacon in a large, deep pan or Dutch oven over medium heat for 5 to 6 minutes or until crisp. Remove the bacon to a paper-towel lined plate to drain. Discard all but one tablespoon of the bacon drippings, leaving it in the pan. To the hot drippings, add the onion, turnips and garlic and sauté for about 4 minutes or until onions begin to appear translucent. Add the turnip greens. Add wine and cook an additional 2 minutes while stirring to loosen any particles from the bottom of the pan. Stir in the cream cheese, sour cream, red pepper flakes, salt, ground pepper and 1/2 cup of the Parmesan cheese. Cook, stirring frequently until the cream cheese is completely melted and the mixture is heated through, about 6-7 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a lightly greased 8x8 baking dish. Sprinkle the top with the remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Broil for 4 to 5 minutes or until the Parmesan cheese is very lightly browned. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the reserved bacon. Serve with assorted crackers and tortilla chips. Roasted Root Vegetable Pot Pie Roasted Vegetables: 3 T olive oil 2 lbs peeled and cubed root vegetables of your choice (I used turnips, carrots, potatoes and sweet potatoes) 3 cloves garlic salt pepper thyme Heat the oven to 375˚F. Place the prepared root vegetables in a bowl and toss with olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, and thyme to coat. Pour them out onto a foil-lined baking sheet and spread out in a single layer. Roast all vegetables for 45 minutes, stirring once or twice for even browning. On the stove top: 1 T olive oil 1 T unsalted butter 1 medium onion, peeled and diced 1 T wholegrain mustard 1.5 T all-purpose flour 1 cup vegetable broth 1 bunch Swiss chard or dark leafy green of choice (baby kale) Heat oil and butter in a skillet and sauté onion until softened and translucent. Add mustard and flour and cook for a minute or two, stirring often. Then add vegetable broth and mix well, scraping the bottom of the pan thoroughly. Once the sauce has thickened (about 10 minutes), pile the greens on top of the cooking gravy, cover, and allow them to wilt for a few minutes. Stir occasionally until greens have cooked down. Stir in the roasted root vegetables, then pour the entire mixture into a pie plate with a store bought pie crust on bottom. Top with a second store bought pie crust. Place pie plate on a baking sheet and slide it back into the 375˚F oven. Bake for 40 minutes, until pie is golden. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 15 minutes before slicing.
  • In the share this week: 4 lbs sweet potatoes 1 bunch salad turnips 1 lb scarlet cooking turnips (pictured below) 1 bunch carrots 1 bunch red radishes 1 bunch green onions Thoughts from Farmer Anna: November was ushered in with our first freeze of the year. Most folks are a bit surprised at how many vegetables can tolerate freezing temperatures. All of our root crops (carrots, turnips, radishes) are fairly well protected since they are close to the warmer soil and because they have built up sugars that keep them from freezing solid until the temps get much colder. Many of the greens can tolerate freezing too. Spinach is the beast when it comes to cold weather. Our fall planting unfortunately didn't come up well and so we have just a bit of this crop available, but what we do have looks perfect, totally uncovered after multiple nights of freezing. The only rule you have to follow with these cold-weather crops, is that you must wait until they thaw to harvest the leaves. Spinach, kale, cabbage are fine without any cover. Many lettuces, asian greens, the turnip and radish greens can tolerate temperatures down to 26-28 degrees if they are under a lightweight, woven row cover. That being said, it looks like our lows may dip lower than that later this week. So we are in full-on harvest mode for the next few days, getting in as much veg as we can store well in the cooler for the next couple of weeks. It seems just a bit earlier for these sub-26 degree temps than the past couple of years. Last year we didn't even get our first frost until November. You certainly can't predict exactly what will happen with weather, but we can typically be fairly confident that we can have enough awesome stuff for shares until mid-November. When the weather finally closes us down for the season there is always a mixture of sadness and relief for me. The slow down of the late fall and winter is certainly much needed so that we can rejuvenate for the busy months to come next spring and summer. But I will miss harvesting fresh crops. We have a lot in storage and preserved for ourselves so there isn't much in the way of veggies that we need to buy from the store during winter. I would really love to be able to provide more of these storage crops mixed in with some greens from our hoophouses to other folks too. In fact, I'm tossing around the idea of offering a limited winter CSA next winter (2020/2021). If I get my plan together we should have enough unheated hoophouse space along with plenty of root and storage crops to do 8 weeks of shares over the winter. These would all be traditional, every-other-week shares due to the limited nature of crops available at that time. Let me know what you think and if you may be interested in something like this. This is a major root crop share this week. All of these crops (except sweet potatoes) can store for a month or longer in your fridge, so don't feel too overwhelmed by them all. The sweet potatoes store better at basement temperatures and those can keep for a very long time. For crops with the greens attached, remove the greens and use those up within if you like to cook with them or compost them if you don't. Then store roots in a sealed container or bag in your crisper drawer. We've cooked with turnips that were stored for several months this way. The scarlet turnips are a new crop for you this week. These are a beautiful storage turnip with bright pink skin, similar to a radish. Also radish-like is a mild spicy heat from the skin. They can be eaten raw if sliced thinly, but the texture isn't quite as lovely as the salad turnips. Tossing these in with a mix of other roots veggies for roasting would be beautiful. Or you could save them and mix them with thinly sliced watermelon radishes (coming next week again) for pickling. Maria has some great ideas for using all of the roots in the share this week. For the stew recipe, you can definitely substitute turnips or radishes or more carrots for the rutabaga and parsnip. Hope you all have a great week! Recipes from Maria: Turnip Shepherd’s Pie Ingredients Topping: 2 large turnips, peeled and chopped (~4 cups chopped) 1/3 cup whole milk 1/2 teaspoon salt Meat Base: 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 2 pounds ground beef 1 sweet onion, chopped 4 carrots, diced 4 cloves garlic, minced 8 oz. white mushrooms, diced 6 oz. tomato paste 1 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper Instructions In a large pot, cover turnips with water at least covering by 1 inch. Bring to a boil and boil for 15 minutes or until fork tender. Remove from heat, strain turnips and return turnips back to the pot, add milk and 1/2 teaspoon salt and mash with a fork or a potato masher until one consistent texture. Preheat oven to 425°F. In a large skillet heat oil over medium heat, add onions and carrots and saute for 3 minutes or until onions begin to become translucent. Add meat and saute until pink is almost gone, add garlic and mushrooms, saute for 2-3 minutes until mushrooms start to sweat. Add tomato paste, salt and pepper until well combined. Remove from heat and transfer meat base to an 8"x8" baking dish, top evenly with turnip topping and bake in the oven for 15 minutes. French Beef Stew with Root Vegetables Ingredients For the Marinade: 2 pounds beef chuck, cut into 1-inch cubes 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped 2 medium yellow onions, chopped 3 cups full-bodied red wine (eg, Bordeaux like cabernet sauvignon or merlot) ¾ cup red wine vinegar 1 bunch chopped parsley 1tsp ground thyme 2 bay leaves For the Stew: 3 tablespoons oil 1 medium yellow onion, chopped 3 cloves garlic, minced 1 14.5 ounce can plain tomato sauce 4 whole cloves 2 medium carrots, cut into bite-sized chunks 3 turnips, cut into bite-sized chunks 2 medium rutabagas, cut into bite-sized chunks 2 medium parsnips, cut into bite-sized chunks 2 medium Yukon gold potatoes, cut into bite-sized chunks 2 teaspoons salt ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper Instructions Cut up the meat into 1-inch chunks. The meat is going to simmer for two hours, so that will be enough to tenderize it, but generally you want to cut it against the grains for optimal tenderness. Place the beef in the dutch oven with the onions and carrots and and herbs. Add red wine and the red wine vinegar. Cover and let marinate in the fridge for 24 hours. After it has fully marinated, remove the beef and pat it with paper towels to remove the excess moisture. This will enable it to brown properly and get that brown crust that is essential for the flavor of the stew. Heat the oil in the dutch oven over medium-high heat once the oil is hot add the beef, a few pieces at a time. Be sure not to overcrowd the pot otherwise the beef won't brown, it will simply steam. Generously brown the pieces on all sides. Transfer them to a plate and set aside. The browned crust that develops on the bottom of you pot - keep it! Don't throw it out, that's going to make your stew taste heavenly. Later when you add the liquid you’re going to do what's known as "deglazing" the pot. That's when you scrape up those luscious browned bits and incorporate them into the stew. Add the onions and cook until golden brown. Add garlic and cook for another minute. Strain the contents of the marinade into a sieve over the dutch oven. You want all of the original marinade in the dutch oven. Discard the onions and carrots from the marinade. Return the beef to the Dutch oven with the whole cloves. (Note: You can choose to wrap the cloves in a bit of cheesecloth or muslin so that you don't have to fish them out later from the serving on your plate.) Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 1 hour. Towards the end of the hour, chop up the vegetables. For contrast and variety, I like to chop each of the vegetables into different shapes and sizes. Add the vegetables along with the tomato sauce, salt and pepper. Stir a bit to combine. Return everything to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for another hour or until vegetables are soft. Add salt and pepper to taste. *If you think the beef can handle further cooking without falling apart, go ahead and simmer it for another 30 or more minutes, it will only get better! Serve with some crusty bread. This stew is even better the next day after the flavors have had time to meld.
  • In the share this week: 1 butternut squash 1 bunch french breakfast radishes 1 bunch salad turnips 1 lb mixed onions 1 bag tatsoi greens 1 bag salad mix 1 fennel bulb Thoughts from Farmer Anna: These have truly been the glory days of fall lately. The light falling across the farm is just magical. Cole took the photo above one morning last week. In the beds straight ahead you can see the rows of cover crops popping up. Further to the right you see a bed of greens under row cover and some more mature greens past that. Way to the right you can see our high tunnels. It really is a lovely workplace. I know that many of you weren't able to attend our open house in August, and while it can be tough to plan multiple events like this each year, I want CSA members to know that you would be welcome to visit the farm at any time. Just shoot me an email and we'll set up a time for you to come out! Cole and I just finished seeding winter greens in the hoophouses yesterday. If all goes well we should have lots of spinach and baby kale starting in late January or early February. While most of this production is slated for restaurants during the winter, we should have plenty to offer to you all as well. So watch your email this winter for greens opportunities! Today the plan is to get next year's garlic planted. We will plant cloves of some of the garlic we grew this year plus some that we ordered from an organic farm in Wisconsin. Late October or early November is the perfect time to plant garlic. The cloves have just enough time to start sending out roots, but not enough time to send up shoots. We'll cover the beds with three layers of row cover for insulation during the winter and start checking on them in February or March (whenever we start getting some warmer days). We discovered last year that row cover is vastly superior to straw as a garlic covering in our climate. It's much easier to install and you can keep some layers on each after the garlic sprouts since it lets light through and won't let the young garlic rot. We are hoping to grow more of this crop and increase our quality so that we can give it more often in shares. New share crops to highlight this week are the tatsoi and french breakfast radishes. Tatsoi is a mild asian green with a texture and shape very similar to spinach. In fact, it is a great substitute for spinach, which Maria points out below in her first recipe. It has some tasty crunchy stems that make it perfect for both raw and cooked applications. I hope you like it! We did give some french breakfast radishes in an early spring share, but their quality wasn't nearly so good as those you'll be getting this week. These are perfection and fall radishes are very sweet with not as much spice as those you get in the heat of May. They would be really great sliced into your salads this week, or if you want to prepare them in the traditional French way, slice them longways and top with a little butter. It sounds like a really weird combination, but I swear it's quite good! Recipes from Maria: Tatsoi and Hoison Salmon Stir Fry Ingredients 2 filets of salmon 1 bunch broccoli 1 bunch tatsoi (fresh) 1 medium-large pepper (red) 2 tsp hoisin sauce 1 pinch salt pepper (to taste) 2 tsp Sesame oil 1 red chili (Asian, optional) 1 clove garlic (crushed) 1 tbsp soy sauce 1 tsp ginger (freshly grated) 1 tsp honey 2 tbsp teriyaki sauce 1 tbsp Sesame seeds 5-6 pieces shiitake mushrooms (optional) Instructions Mix the garlic with ginger, 1/2 soy sauce, 1/2 of the hoisin sauce, 1/2 teriyaki sauce and honey. Pour over the salmon pieces and leave aside for at least 20-30 min or even longer if possible. In a frying pan just cook marinated salmon on a low heat. Turn occasionally. Depending on the size of the fish, cook until nicely browned. Simultaneously but separately, in a deeper frying pan add the sesame oil. Cook initially the mushrooms and pepper for a 2-4 min. Then add the chopped greeneries (broccoli and tatsoi) stirring occasionally. Add the remainder of the soy, teriyaki and hoisin sauces. Toss around and cook for around 5 minutes. Add the sliced red chili. To finish off the cooking, add the salmon broken into bigger chunks and sprinkle some sesame seeds. **I sometimes mix some balsamic vinegar 1 or 2 tbsp and 1/2 tbsp cider vinegar 1/2 tsp honey with 1/4 freshly grated ginger and one or two cloves of freshly ground/smashed or chopped garlic and sprinkle all over it. It's simply delicious! Tatsoi can be used anywhere where spinach could go. Sweet Potato, Turnip, and Chickpea Hash Ingredients 1 bag dried chickpeas, soaked overnight then cooked until just tender, about 1 hour, and drained 1 onion, chopped 2 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into pieces 1 bunch turnips, peeled and cut into pieces 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped ½ tsp smoked paprika ½ tsp dried oregano ½ tsp sea salt 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil juice of half a lemon 1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped Instructions 1. Pour olive oil into a skillet or large frying pan which has a lid, and place the pan over a medium heat. When the oil is hot add the onion. Cook for 5 minutes or so, stirring, until the onion is soft and translucent. 2. Add the turnip, sweet potato, garlic and chilli, along with two tablespoons of water. Stir to combine, then reduce the heat to its lowest setting and place the lid over the pan. Cook for a further 20 to 25 minutes, lifting the lid and stirring every so often, until vegetables are tender and starting to brown slightly. 3. Remove the lid, add cooked chickpeas, salt, smoked paprika and oregano and cook, stirring for another 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and squeeze over the lemon juice. Scatter with the chopped parsley.

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