Farm News for the week of October 17 Announcements:
- This week, weekly Fall Vegetable Share members pick-up.
- Next week, all Fall Vegetable and Egg Share members pick-up.
- Eat locally this winter! Winter Egg and Winter Produce Shares begin theweek of December 5th. Sign up soon us to make sure we save your spot to receive fresh & frozen produce and eggs until spring. We look forward to continuing to farm for you this winter!
- Thanksgiving Turkeys available. For more information, please refer to our earlier newsletter.
- Renewing member discounts available until November 20th. We are offering 5% off discount to all members through November 20th on 2018 vegetable and fruit package shares. Please use discount code renew at checkout. Thank you for joining the farm.
This Week's Vegetable Harvest
Green Head Lettuce
Jester Squash - from Kingshill Farm, Mineral Point, Wisconsin
Good morning from the farm! This past week's rain on the farm was much needed and welcomed. We love a gentle, slow rain like the one we received earlier in the week, and while Saturday's rain was not as slow and gentle, this plants appreciated the moisture.
After the rain, the autumn colors really began to appear around the farm. Our asparagus stalks are drying and changing a beautiful array of golden yellow hues. Soon it will be time to mow them to provide this perennial crop a protective mulch blanket for the winter.
Spinach is making a strong showing this autumn with plenty with some moderate temperatures for seeds to germinate, cool weather to allowing to grow slowly, and plenty of water and sunlight to develop its deep green color. I was struck by the brilliant green leaves I could see even on a dark evening walk. I had to take a moment to shine a flashlight down and snap a fun nighttime crop photo.
After going through a few old fall pictures, I found a sweet seasonal pattern. In the fall time, we spend a little extra time in the field, meticulously checking crops with our little farmers. This is because when winter comes, our field walks lesson so our sons relish the extra time they can spend together with dad observing fall changes in the field. When our kids were little, they loved getting hidden amongst the large green leaves of broccoli and rutabaga (pictured above). As they get older, they love the importance of helping to bring in a large harvest just before the snow. We're thankful for their help in the field, and we hope you're enjoying your own fall traditions as well!
Have a great week,
Jen & Jeff
Making the most of your share
Celery, also known as celeriac, is a funny-looking but delicious relative of celery. It is prized in Europe, especially in France, where it features prominently in the classic Celeriac Remoulade, a salad composed of shredded celeriac, mayonniase and Dijon mustard. Use a sharp kitchen knife to trim the outside layer from the bulb before chopping it. Because celery root has a mild celery flavor, we use in place of celery in soups, stews and roasted vegetable medleys. The bulb will store for weeks to months in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.
Jester Squash are similar to a delicata squash in their appearance, but are more similar to acorn squash in their flavor, as they are sometimes called a striped acorn. Jester do not need to be peeled as their skin is tender enough to be consumed along with the flesh and its nutritious to boot! To prepare, simply cut the squash in half with a sharp knife and scoop out the seeds. You can stuff or cut the squash into slices to roast or sauté. The jester and delicata don't have the storage ability that other winter squash (e.g., buttternut) offer so we'd encourage you to enjoy this autumn.
Started in the greenhouse this summer, we're now harvesting fall fennel from the field. Raw fennel has a distinct anise flavor, which may be off putting to some however the flavor is made more subtle by cooking the fennel. Sauteed or braised fennel is excellent paired with baked fish and a touch of butter and lemon. I also love combining fennel with other root vegetables, as in the recipe below where I find the distinct fennel flavor makes the carrots taste sweeter.
Farm Kitchen Recipes
Lemon Caper Celery Root Salad - This is our go-to winter salad. With a nice, refreshing flavor, it pairs well with savoy meats or serves as a fresh lunch salad.
1 lemon, juiced
1 head celery root, peeled
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons flavored oil (we like walnut, garlic or tarragon)
1/4 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons honey
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/3 cup juicy capers, rinsed
Generous handful Italian parsley, chopped
Peel the celery root and shred it. Stop halfway through and sprinkle with a tablespoon of the lemon juice to keep the root from turning brown. Shred the other half and toss with another tablespoon of lemon juice. Salt and pepper liberally and toss.
Whisk the remaining lemon juice with the walnut oil, olive oil, sugar, and vinegar. Taste and adjust. Toss with the celery root, capers, and chopped parsley. Serves 4.
Roasted Fennel and Carrots - This makes a great side dish for pork chops.
8 carrots, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
2 medium fennel bulbs, stalks discarded and bulbs cut into 1/2-inch-thick wedges
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Preheat oven to 450°F and put oven rack in middle position. Toss carrots and fennel with olive oil, water, fennel seeds, salt, and pepper and arrange in 1 layer in a 17- by 11-inch shallow baking pan. Cover pan with foil and roast vegetables in lower third of oven 10 minutes, then uncover and roast, turning occasionally, 10 minutes more. Switch pan to upper third of oven and roast until vegetables are tender and browned, about 10 minutes more. Serves 6.
Jester Squash, Spinach & Beans Soup
½ tablespoon butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 carrots, chopped
½ medium onion, chopped
3 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
1.5 pounds jester squash, peeled and diced (about 3 cups)
½ plum tomato, chopped
⅛ teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 15-ounce cans pinto or other brown beans, rinsed
5 ounces spinach, stemmed and coarsely chopped
1 lime, cut into wedges
Salt & Pepper to taste
Melt butter in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add garlic, carrots and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender and lightly browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Add broth and scrape up any browned bits with a wooden spoon. Add squash, tomato, crushed red pepper, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the squash is very soft and almost breaking apart, about 20 minutes. Transfer soup to a blender and puree until smooth. Return the pureed soup to the pot. Stir in beans and spinach and cook over medium heat until the beans are heated through and the spinach is wilted, about 5 minutes. Serve with lime wedges. Serves 4.
Spinach and White Bean Pizza - This recipe is shared by our site hosts at the Cancer Wellness Center in Northbrook.
"This recipe takes advantage of pizza’s ability to seamlessly meld unique ingredients. Here, a white bean puree (reminiscent of hummus spread) is combined with rich sun dried tomatoes and nutrient-packed spinach. If you can find a whole-wheat pizza dough or pre-baked crust, you’ll enjoy added fiber as well. Garlic, a member of the onion family, lends its intense flavor to this dish. In addition, scientists point to the many health benefits of garlic, including its likely role in offering protection from colorectal cancer."
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes (not packed in oil)
1 package pre-baked thin Italian pizza crust, preferably whole wheat
1 (15 oz.) can navy beans, drained and rinsed
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup spinach or Swiss chard leaves, torn into small pieces
Fresh basil, torn as desired
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1 tsp. dried Italian seasoning
- Set oven rack in lowest position and pre-heat oven to 425 degrees.
- Cover sun dried tomatoes with boiling water, let stand for about 12 minutes.
- Drain tomatoes and cut into thin strips, set aside.
- Place beans and garlic in food processor and blend until smooth.
- Place pizza crust directly on oven rack and crisp for 10 minutes. Remove crust and place on un-greased cookie sheet. Spread bean mixture evenly over pizza crust. Top with spinach and sun dried tomatoes. Sprinkle with cheese and seasoning.
- Bake 10 minutes. Slice and serve.
Next Week's Harvest (our best guess)... radishes, cabbage, salad mix, shallots, potatoes and more!