Farm News for the week of October 3
Reminders & Announcements
- Last week of Late Summer Shares. This week, we deliver to weekly Late Summer Vegetable and Fruit Share members. Thank you to our Late Summer Share members!
- Fall Shares start next week (week of October 9). We look forward to delivering your first share of the fall harvest! Please check our CSA Delivery Calendar for the delivery schedule. We will also send a Fall CSA email later this week sharing details on your CSA share pickup.
This Week's Vegetable Harvest
- Delicata Squash
- Fresh Ginger
- Japanese Salad Turnips
- Salad Mix
- Gem Lettuce
- Italian Frying peppers
- Cortland Apples
- Empire Apples
- Mutsu Apples
- Honeycrisp Apples
- Concord Grapes
Good morning from the farm!
This week, we've cherished the beautiful sunshine and temperate autumn weather as we transition from summer to fall. Similar to the spring time, autumn is a time of varied projects and change around the farm.
We continue to bring in our large fall storage harvests. Last week, the crew harvested from a successful carrot crop and brought in a literal ton of carrots for winter storage! We're storing these carrots unwashed, well covered and at a storage temperature that will maintain their color, flavor and nutrients for distribution throughout the winter.
We are busy seeding and transplanting crops into our hoophouse for winter growing. Jeff seeds our most insulated hoophouse with delicate Italian and Asian greens, while our crew helps to transplant lettuces and hearty cooking greens into the same space.
Jeff checks on the crops daily to monitor growth and provide to their needs. He wants the plants to reach a hearty state in which they can withstand cooler temperatures and continue to grow, albeit more slowly, with a shorter day length.
We're also preserving our summer bounty in the commercial kitchen once again. We've harvested and frozen our late summer vegetables at their peak of freshness -- sometimes roasting them to add a natural richness -- which means there will be plenty of summer flavors in your Winter Shares!
Finally, we've been enjoying the stunning autumn sunsets watching hues change from minute to minute. We sit around the dinner table, discuss which is the most beautiful combination of pastels and realize how lucky we are to enjoy our beautiful evening sky.
Enjoy the autumn season and all of the delicious food fall provides!
Jeff, Jen and the farm crew
Making the most of your share
Ginger is a tropical plant that we grow in our hoophouses throughout the summer, which the most tropical environment on the farm! The seed comes from the Hawaii in late winter. We plant the ginger in early March in our greenhouse and by early summer, the plants are large enough to transfer into the hoophouse beds. Throughout the summer we tend to the crop by weeding, adding compost, watering, and we hill the beds to keep the ginger bulbs protected. When the plants are nearly waist-high, we gingerly (sorry) dig an experimental patch to see the size of the treasure beneath. We were pleased to see the results and we hope you'll enjoy the fresh flavor of this week's ginger!
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 share include a variety of late summer apples. The picture shows the four varieties, from left to right: empire, cortland, mutsu and honeycrisp. Each varies in its flavor and texture, though all are delicious! Apples don't last long in our house, so when we have a variety on hand, I love to make a traditional apple crumble (recipe below) to combine the contrasting flavors.
As we transition to fall, we're seeing the first of this season's winter squashes and this week, members will receive delicata squash in vegetable shares. Delicata squash is a family favorite because we find the texture of the inner flesh to be similar to butternut however the flavor to be richer and slightly sweeter. I think the best part about delicata is that its easy to prepare and versatile in its uses! Simply scrape out the center and slice, as the skin is edible and softens when cooked.
Fresh & Frozen Pastured Turkeys Available
Fresh or frozen turkeys are available from our friends at All Grass Farms. All Grass Farms is a diversified family farm located in Dundee, IL. Cliff and Konda farm on 150 acres of pastureland and using a historic dairy barn (built in 1905) located at the Brunner Family Forest Preserve on IL Rt. 31.
Cliff raises Broad Breasted Bronze turkeys which are moved to pasture at 3 weeks of age. They are free range in and around portable shelters with their shelters being moved daily. They are fed certified organic feed mixture from day one with no antibiotics or growth hormones. They are processed at 17-19 weeks for maximum flavor and they are humanely processed at local, family-owned USDA inspected facility.
Turkeys will be available for pickup here at Prairie Wind on Friday, November 17th from 5-7pm. To reserve your turkey ($35 deposit), please email Cliff at email@example.com.
Farm Kitchen Recipes
Maple-Roasted Delicata Squash - When I made this, I placed the squash on top of my salad with a sprinkle of walnuts.
2 medium Delicata squash (about 2 pounds), halved lengthwise, seeded, and cut into 1/4-inch thick slices
1 medium red onions, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/2-inch rings
4 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
3 fresh thyme sprigs
1/4 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoons maple syrup
freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 425°F degrees. Place the squash, red onion, garlic, thyme, and red pepper flakes in a large bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and maple syrup, and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper; toss to coat. Spread vegetables evenly onto one large, rimmed baking sheet. Bake the squash, rotating the pan position half way through cooking, until tender and browned, 25 to 30 minutes. Taste and season again with more salt and pepper, if desired. Serves 2-3.
2 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
1 1/2 cups (packed) golden brown sugar
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup (2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
4 pounds large mixed apples, peeled, halved, cored, each half cut into 6 slices
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
Mix oats, 1 cup sugar, and flour in bowl. Add butter; rub in with fingertips until topping comes together in moist clumps. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover; chill.)
Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish with nonstick spray. Mix apples, lemon juice, cinnamon, and 1/2 cup brown sugar in bowl. Transfer to dish. Sprinkle topping over.
Bake crumble until apples are tender and topping is brown and crisp, about 55 minutes. Cool slightly. Spoon warm crumble into bowls. Serve with ice cream. Serves 6.
Roasted Hakurei Turnips with Israeli Couscous Salad - if you plan to make this recipe later, make sure you remove the turnip tops from your turnips so the turnips remain crispy and fresh. Use the tops as you would other cooking greens, for example in your favorite soup.
1 bunch hakurei turnips
1 cup Israeli couscous
pinch of optional red chili flakes
1/4 cup chopped garlic chives
juice from half a lemon
4-5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Trim turnips from greens leaving a small stub of the stems attached. Wash both well to remove dirt. Halve each turnip, keeping the long tails intact. Finely chop the greens.
Toss the turnips with 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil, pinches of salt and pepper, and the optional chili flakes. Place flat side-down on a roasting pan. Roast for 5-10 minutes, or just until the bottoms are lightly browned. Toss around in the pan with tongs, and continue roasting another 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
Meanwhile, bring a pot of 3 cups water to a bowl and add the couscous. Continue to boil for 8-10 minutes until couscous is tender. Drain.
Heat 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high flame. Toss in the leaves and a pinch of salt and pepper. Sautee until just wilted, 1-2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and let cool.
Combine the chopped garlic chives with the cooled couscous and greens. Add fresh lemon juice, an extra tablespoon or so of olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Serve with the roasted turnips on top. from www.
Next Week's Harvest (our best guess)... carrots, fresh ginger, lettuce, bok choy, kale and more!