>THIS WEEK’S SUBSCRIBER MENU:
• Pie Pumpkins or Various Squashes
• “Russian Blue” Potatoes
• Japanese Turnips
• Swiss Chard
• Tatsoi or Kohlrabi
U-PICK THIS WEEK:
While we do have a pumpkin “patch”, it’s pretty muddy after all the rain lately, so we have put together a smaller patch up by the farm stand. You are welcome to make the trek to the big patch, but you do have the option of sticking close to your car. 🙂
WINTER SHARES start next week. This is the end of our summer season. Thank you for being with us through the last five months!
There are no eggs. It has nothing to do with their mood, or the number of roosters we have living with them, or their food. It’s all about the daylength. Our days are getting shorter, and the chicken egg-laying cycle is dictated by the amount of daylight they see. They gear down in the fall, stop making eggs so they can exchange their feathers for a new suit, and rest up for spring, when the daylength and food supply is increasing, and the conditions are better for raising children. There’s a reason why Easter is about eggs. Right now the hens are looking terrible. They look like they’ve been through a plucking machine, and there are feathers everywhere. They really need their new plumage soon. In the past, we’ve hung lights in the chicken house, just to add a few hours at the beginning and end of the day. Last year the chickens never molted because we tricked them too well. They did continue laying eggs for us, but they are weary now and need a rest. It takes a lot of protein to grow new feathers AND make an egg every day. So, we feel like giving them their rest this year and they will reward us with more nutritious eggs in the spring. If you have an egg card, you can keep it until next year and start using it again in the spring.
There is something glorious about fall for me. I love the colors, especially the vivid reds and golds against looming dark thunderclouds. It makes me joyful. I love harvesting winter squashes, filling bins with all the different shapes and colors, knowing that each one is delicious in it’s own way, dreaming of soups, casseroles, or just salt and pepper on that little one. Wondering what all the new varieties we planted will taste like. Then tucking the bins all away, saving them for the winter, like squirrels burying the chestnuts in our front yard.
The pole beans are molten vines now, the leaves yellow and in beatiful long lines. The radicchio has turned bright red with the change in daylength, and the greens are sweeter now that there’s a chill in the air. And once everything is touched by frost, it will all be even sweeter.
All in all, this has been a good year for us. Mike and I learned again how to do much of the work ourselves, and it brought us closer together. We haven’t done so much work together since before the babies were born. Every year the kids get a little older, and everything seems to get a little easier as they become more self sufficient. We had farm help that wasn’t helpful over the stretch of summer, but we did figure out which jobs to hire out next year, and which to change so that we wouldn’t need to rely on so much help. I will elaborate on the changes we’re making when I send out the new summer flyers and invitations to spring shares.
But, we feel like we did a good job providing food for you. Even if we had to let the flower garden go (which I feel terrible about, especially since it was so great last year) we did manage to grow pumpkins, even though the big ones didn’t make it. And there was plenty to eat, with plenty more to come in the next few months. We feel so fortunate to be able to provide for all of you, and nourish your families with these delicious, healthy vegetables. And we are fortunate to have all of you supporting us throughout the year(s).
Thank you so much.
Shelley, Mike, Della, and Cosmo
See the separate post on cooking greens for more ideas on those.
CITRUS GLAZED TURNIPS
1 pound Turnips (about 2 pounds with greens attached)
Juice of one Whole Orange (about 1/3 cup)
1 1/2 tablespoons Butter
1/2 teaspoon Sugar
Salt and Pepper
1. Trim baby turnips, leaving about 1/2-inch stems if greens were attached, and peel if desired. In a steamer set over boiling water steam turnips, covered, until just tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Vegetables may be prepared up to this point 1 day in advance and kept covered and chilled.
2. Melt the butter, add sugar and juice into a large heavy skillet on medium heat. Stir sauce until reduced slightly, then lower heat slightly. Add vegetables and cook until heated through and glazed, about 4 minutes.
ARUGULA AND OLIVE SALAD
About 14 ounces Arugula
20 oil-cured Black Olives (Kalamata olives are tasty too)
2 slices firm-textured White Bread
1-1/2 tsp. Virgin Olive Oil
1-1/2 tbsp. Lemon Juice
2 tbsp. Virgin Olive Oil
1/4 tsp. Salt
1/8 tsp. freshly-ground Black Pepper
1. Preheat oven to 400°.
2. Wash the arugula, removing and discarding the tough outer leaves and stems. Dry it thoroughly, taking care not to bruise the leaves.
3. Pit the olives and cut them into 1/2-inch pieces.
4. Trim the crusts from the bread slices, and cut the bread into 1/2-inch cubes. Place the bread cubes in a bowl, add the 1-1/2 tsp. of olive oil, and toss to coat them well. Arrange the cubes on a baking tray, and bake them at 400° for 8 minutes, until they are well browned. Set aside.
5. In a bowl large enough to hold the arugula, mix dressing ingredients. Add the arugula to the bowl containing the dressing, and toss well to combine. Divide the arugula among four plates, and sprinkle the olives and croutons on top and around the greens. Serve immediately.
TEN MINUTE PASTA DINNER WITH ARUGULA (OR SPINACH)
3/4 Pasta, any shape
1 to 2 tbsp. Olive Oil
1 tbsp. Minced Garlic
Chopped Fresh Arugula or Spinach (a few handfuls)
1/3 cup Grated Pecorino or Parmesan Cheese (or more, to taste)
Red Pepper Flakes
1. Put a pot of water on to boil, and when it does, add the pasta.
2. Drain the pasta, transfer it to a bowl, and drizzle with olive oil to taste. Toss with a long-handled fork or with tongs, adding the
garlic and greens, and sprinkling in the cheese and pepper flakes as you toss.
3. Serve hot, possibly accompanied by leftover cooked vegetables, straight from the refrigerator or heated in the microwave.