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
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
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
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
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.