Good late summer morning! This first day of October certainly feels like the summer with its heat and humidity. We're taking advantage of remaining warm days to prepare for the upcoming transition into fall.
Last week, the team worked to repair our hen house. This structure provides nightly protection for our chickens from predators in the summer and a warm, water-resistant home for them in the winter.
We removed and replaced damaged wood and gutters, pest-proofed ceilings and walls, re-insulated doorways and gave the whole structure a coat of fresh paint.
Jeff installed winter-ready watering tanks to provide the chickens with flowing, fresh water throughout the winter (instead of frozen pipes, which is no fun for chickens or people!). We also prepared the chicken yard to allow the chickens to spend time outdoors in the winter, too.
Thank you to those who signed up (quickly!) for our Winter Shares. We sold out in record time. Our Winter Shares are limited by the amount of fresh produce we can grow under protected spaces and freeze for winter storage. We will be sure to let you know via these farm newsletter if we have a surplus of winter spinach or eggs available this winter.
Beyond preparing for winter in the fields and in the kitchen, we are busy planning the winter preparations necessary for our young food forest, conducting our last tomato harvests before the next rainfall and planning for increased hoophouse production next season.
Thank you for your membership and ongoing support. We're glad to be farming for you!
Your farmers, Jeff, Jen and our farm crew
Notes from the Farm Kitchen
Finally, thecarrotsare back! We've had a difficult time growing carrots this season, as they are a crop best seeded, cultivated and harvested with a tractor. With the wet, heavy soils this spring and fall, we were unable to get tractors into the fields as we normally would. That said, we've finally had a successful harvest and we plan to share carrots more next week as well. Enjoy carrots in everything from salads to snacking!
Gingeris making another appearance in shares this week. We've had a nice crop, so we'd like to make sure you have plenty on hand to use today, or freeze and store for winter.
We store ginger in a paper bag in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator. However if you won't use all of it within a week, we encourage freezing it in a zip-lock bag. When you are ready to cook with it, simply use a knife to shave the peel away, and then grate to your desired amount.
This week's fruit shares includes one half gallon of Mick Klug's apple cider. This year's cider is a unique blend of sweet and tart apples, starting with Honeycrisp, for the perfect, not-too-sweet, can-drink-by-the-gallon sip. Nothing but apples, and UV treated for safety, this cider can be enjoyed fresh, heated, mulled, spritzed or spiked as you like! We plan to share this cider again with members next week to ensure all members can enjoy.
This week's apples include (from left to right) cortland, honeycrisp and empire apples. Cortland and empire are great for baking or eating fresh, while honeycrisp are best enjoyed fresh.
Recipes Ideas from the Farm Kitchen
Cabbage Salad with Apples and Walnuts 1 small green cabbage 1/3 cup walnuts 2 tablespoons cider vinegar 1 tablespoon lemon juice Salt and pepper 1/2 cup olive oil 2 tablespoons creme fraiche or sour cream 2 apples (sweet apples like Fuji) 1/3 cup crumbled blue cheese (optional)
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
Tear off and discard the tough outer leaves of the cabbage. Cut it in half and cut out its core. Slice the halves crosswise into a fine chiffonade.
Toast the walnuts in the oven for 8 minutes. While they are still warm, first rub them in a clean dishtowel to remove some of the skins, then chop or coarsely crumble them.
To prepare the dressing, mix the vinegar with the lemon juice, some salt, and a generous amount of pepper.
Whisk in the olive oil and then the cream. Taste and adjust the acid and salt as desired.
Quarter, peel, and core the apples. Slice the quarters lengthwise fairly thin and cut these slices lengthwise into a julienne. Toss the cabbage, apples, and walnuts (and blue cheese, if you’re using it) with the dressing and an extra pinch of salt. Let the salad sit for 5 minutes, taste again, adjust the seasoning as needed, and serve. (slightly adapted from SmittenKitchen.com)
Green Beans with Orange and Toasted Maple Pecans 1/2 c pecans 3 T unsalted butter 2 T maple syrup 1 medium onion 1/2 t grated orange zest and 1/3 cup juice from 1 large orange pinch cayenne 2 t all-purpose flour 1.5 lbs green beans, stem ends trimmed 2/3 c chicken broth 1 t minced fresh sage ground pepper
Toast pecans in skilled over medium high heat, stirring occasionally until fragrant about 3 minutes. Off heat, stir in 1 T butter, syrup, and 1/8 salt. Return to medium heat and cook, stirring constantly until nuts are dry and glossy about 45 seconds. Transfer to plate and set aside.
Wipe out skillet. Heat remaining 2 T butter in skilled over medium heat; once foaming subsides, add onion, zest, cayenne and cooked, stirring, until onions are soft, about 2 minutes. Stir in flour until combined, and then toss in green beans. Add broth and orange juice, increase heat to medium high , cover and cook beans until crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Uncover and cook for another 4 minutes. Off heat, add salt and pepper. Transfer to serving dish, sprinkle with pecans and serve.
Next Week's Harvest (our best guess)... apple cider, carrots, apples, rainbow swiss chard, radishes, bok choy and more!