Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Last Extended Share of 2017

This is the last installment of the extended share for 2017.  We hope you liked it!  This has been a good fall in terms of crops and rainfall.  Good eatin'!
Share contents:  2 butternut squash, 2 stalks of brussel sprouts, 1 1/2 pounds of broccoli, 1 head of red bibb lettuce, 1 head of red radicchio, 1 bunch of carrots, 2 rutabagas and 1 scarlet turnip, 3 heads of garlic, 1 pound of spinach.

The brussel sprouts can be removed from the stalk using a paring knife.  To prepare them, peel off outer leaves that have little spots on them and give them a rinse.  You can cook them whole or cut them in half.  We like them tossed in olive oil and salt and roasted in a 425 degree oven until tender (15-25 minutes).  Or steamed and then sauteed in a little butter and salt n pepper.  There are loads of more complicated recipes but they taste so good that simple preparation lets their true flavor shine.

The rutabagas and turnip are great combined with potatoes in a mash or scalloped.  If you want to save them for a few weeks, remove the leaves and store them in a bag with the air squeezed out. 

The spinach is getting sweeter with cooler temperatures.  It is great raw in salad.  It is also great lightly sauteed with some garlic and lemon juice.

Thank you for being a part of our CSA this year!  The extended share is our favorite part of the season, perhaps because we are nearing a quieter time on the farm where we can relax a little.  We hope you have a good end to your year and we see you again next year,
Anne, Aaron, Addiebelle and Cyril Grier

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

November 1 or 4 Extended Share 4 out of 5

Share contents:  1 bunch of parsnips, 1 red cabbage, 1 head of sugarloaf radicchio, 1 large kohlrabi, 1 bunch of carrots, 1 bunch of lacinato kale, 4 pounds of carolina ruby sweet potatoes, 1 head of redventure celery, 3 yellow onions, 1 1/2 pounds of masquerade potatoes.

The parsnips are the crazy looking white roots.  We transplant them because we have poor results from direct seeding them but the end product is this crazy multi-root thing instead of the typical, more carrot-like roots you see in the store.  You can use all parts of the roots and do not need to peel them if you use them in the next week or 2.  They just need to be broken apart so you can clean all the soil out from the crevices.

Sugarloaf Radicchio is the light green, oblong head.  It is milder than red radicchio but still in the bitter family.  We love it as a substitute for romaine lettuce in a Caesar salad.

The kohlrabi is tasting really sweet since the frosty nights have happened.  We like to peel it and slice into thin "chips" and eat with hummus, pesto, or quacamole.

Parsnip Soup
Make a broth using all parts of the head of celery.  (You can reserve a few stalks to cook with the onions later.)  To make the broth, roughly chop the celery and put in a large pot.  Cover with water, add a bay leaf and some salt and black pepper.  Bring to a boil and then let simmer for an hour or so.  Strain, reserving all the liquid for your soup.

Boil 1 1/2 pounds of potatoes and 1 pound of parsnips until soft enough to puree.

Saute 2-3 yellow onions in coconut oil.  Add a pinch of nutmeg.

Puree potatoes, parsnips, and onions.  Add enough celery broth to make it possible to puree.

Return puree to pot, add stock to desired consistency.  Salt and pepper to taste.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

October 25 or 28 Extended Share CSA

This weeks' contents:
1 head of cabbage, 1 bunch of collards or kale, 1 bunch of carrots, 1 bunch of hakurei turnips, 2 pounds red onions, 1/2 pound garlic, 3 pounds potato mix, 1 bunch of fresh fennel seed, 1 head of romaine lettuce, 1 head of mini red bibb.

Store everything but the garlic in the refrigerator.  You can dry the fennel seed for later use.  It makes a great little treat just to chew on fresh.  Also makes great tea.

Mashed potatoes with garlic.
Kale or collard and garlic pesto to dip carrots and hakurei turnips in.
Sauteed cabbage and red onions with a little cider vinegar.
Mashed potatoes rolled up in fresh romaine leaves and dipped in vinaigrette.
Caramelized garlic tossed with pasta.
Fresh fennel seed tea.
Cabbage, carrot, and turnip slaw.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

October 18 or 21 extended share

Contents:  3 large golden beets, 1 head of napa cabbage, 1 daikon radish, 1 bunch of carrots, 1 pound of spinach, 2 pounds of purple sweet potatoes, 2 pounds of japanese sweet potatoes, 2 celeriac, 1/2 pound of shallots, 1 small head of romanesco and cauliflower.
Storage: Sweet potatoes will keep best on your counter or in a cabinet.  All else will store best in refrigerator.

You have the ingredients in this weeks' share to make kimchi if you desire.  Daikon, napa, carrots, and shallots.  There are recipes on line or in Sandor Katz' book "Wild Fermentation".

Celery Root Puree
from Root to Leaf by Steven Satterfield

1 medium (or 2 small) celery root
About 4 cups whole milk

Peel the celery root until it is smooth.  Cut into 1 inch pieces and place in a medium saucepan.  Pour the milk into the pan, just up to the level of the celery root pieces.  Cook on low heat for 40 to 50 minutes or until tender.  Transfer the solids to a blender and blend in batches.  Add just enough of the cooking liquid to allow the solids to move around freely and puree until smooth.

This creamy puree can be used as a pasta filling or as a sauce underneath roasted winter vegetables, or served with fish, meat, or fowl.  Because this root has a savory quality, I usually do not add salt.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

October 11 or 14 first extended share

Contents:  1 1/2 pounds green snap beans, 1 1/2 pounds of broccoli florets, 1 pint of sugar snap peas, 1 bunch of carrots, 1 bunch of mixed radish, 2 kohlrabi, 1 head of green bibb lettuce, 1 head of radicchio, 2 pounds of russet potatoes.

Storage:  all things in refrigerator.  remove tops from carrots and radishes if you're keeping them more than a few days.

These beans in your share this week are quite possibly the prettiest beans we have ever grown.  Certainly the prettiest of 2017.  They taste good too!
Radicchio is the small red head in your share.  It is in the chicory family and so is bitter.  It is good grilled with olive oil, salt and pepper drizzled on it.  It is also great raw in a salad with apple or pear, toasted walnuts, blue cheese, and balsamic vinegar dressing.

Peeled and shredded kohlrabi, thinly sliced radishes and radish greens, and sugar snap peas cut on the diagonal or julienned are all great combined and dressed with a vinaigrette or mayonnaise slaw dressing.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

October 4 or 7 Last Box of the Season

This weeks' share includes:  3 pounds of Carolina Ruby sweet potatoes, 1 Long Island Cheese pumpkin, 1 bunch of carrots, 1 bunch of purple radishes, 1 pound of broccoli, 1 bunch of collard greens, 1 head of garlic, 2 red onions.

Storage:  The sweet potatoes need another week to "cure" until they taste sweet so leave them in a dry, not so cool spot (a corner of your counter or the cabinet beside your fridge or dish washer) to finish converting their starches to sugars.  The pumpkin can be eaten now or allowed to continue its "curing" process.  If kept in a dry, coolish spot it will continue to sweeten over the next month.  It can be eaten now though if you want.  Garlic can be kept out.  All else in the refrigerator.

The pumpkin makes great soup or pie.  The texture seems a bit stringy when you scoop it from the baked skin but when pureed it becomes smooth.
The garlic in your share this week is a different variety than you've been getting.  It is German White and should be easier to peel.
The purple radishes are mild and the greens are nice.  Try making a salad using both.  If you cut the greens into thin ribbons and let them sit a few minutes with a sprinkling of salt and then massage them a little, the spines on the leaves will go away.
The lemon vinaigrette from last weeks' blog entry makes a fine dressing on lightly steamed broccoli.  Our kids gobbled it up.

Recipe for Sweet Potato and Black Bean Stew with Collards
This recipe is a good guideline.  You can omit and add on some of the ingredients they call for.  I add collard greens that are cut into thin ribbons and let cook in the simmering stew for the last 20 minutes or so.

So, we've made it thru another year with you as our weekly anchor.  There have been some real challenges as usual and some real losses as usual.  But we managed to bring you and you to pick up from us 22 weeks of vegetables.  Thank you!  It has been a pleasure to grow food for you.  Your participation in our CSA gives meaning to our work.  If you have credit left, you can spend it up until December 16 at the NATM on UNCA's campus.  After this week, Gaining Ground will be only at that market for the rest of 2017.  Again, Thank You!  We hope you have a beautiful Autumn!

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

September 27 or 30

This weeks' share:  1 pound broccoli, 1 bunch baby carrots, 1 bunch turnips, 1 watermelon radish, 1 head of green bibb lettuce, 1 pound braising greens, 1 kohlrabi, 1 pound onions, 2 heads of garlic.

Storage:  All things except garlic and onions in the refrigerator, in bags with air squeezed out.

The turnip bunch includes 1 scarlet turnip and several japanese white turnips that are quite mild.  These are great for eating raw in salads or dipped in pesto.  They are also good in soup or roasted or braised.

The braising greens are mustards, tatsoi, leaf napa, arugula, baby bok choy.  The mix would be good sauteed with a little (or a lot) of garlic.  Also would be a good addition to soup.  The baby bok choy heads will need to be cut into individual leaves.

Watermelon radishes are a bit stronger in flavor than the french breakfast radishes.  They are good sliced very thin or shredded into salads.

Watermelon radish, Baby turnip, And Kohlrabi Slaw
Remove the greens from 1 watermelon radish, wash the radish, and thinly slice into coins
Remove the greens from the turnips and wash the tops and set aside.
Wash the turnips and thinly slice into coins.
Shake excess water from the turnip greens and slice into thin ribbons.
Remove the greens from the kohlrabi, peel, and shred.
Combine all the vegetables in a bowl.
Thinly slice 1 small red onion and add to bowl.

Make a dressing of Lemon Vinaigrette from Root to Leaf
Makes 1 1/2 cups (more than enough for this salad)
zest of 1 lemon
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon
1 garlic clove
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1 teaspoon champagne vinegar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
In a blender, combine the lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, mustard, vinegar, salt and pepper.  Cover and blend at medium speed until all the ingredients are smooth.  With the motor running, slowly add the olive oil in a steady stream until the dressing emulsifies- it will be a lemony yellow and a little creamy.  Taste for seasoning.

Pour desired amount of dressing over the vegetables and combine well.  Extra dressing can be stored in an airtight jar for a week and used on other salads!

Next week is the last share of the regular season CSA.