Monday, August 31, 2009

Week Thirteen

In the Bag
~Edamame (fresh soy beans)
~Cherry Tomatoes (Black Cherries and Sungolds)
~Tomatoes of varying sizes and colors.
~Green Peppers
~Summer Squash
~Sweet Corn

Farm Report

The weather has begun slipping toward fall here on the farm. Temperatures at night are slipping below forty degrees, and I am purposely writing this before checking to see if it really frosted last night, so I don’t have to tell you about the dead vegetables. We covered what we could, but the squash field is just too immense to tackle. If it did frost, we will get what we can from it, and say “better luck next year!”

We had a disappointing few hours digging potatoes yesterday…the bed we dug just didn’t yield as many as the last three. Either we were digging the wrong spots, or these varieties just didn’t do that well.

You may have noticed your delivery driver has changed. Matt has taken over the Monday deliveries for the rest of the season, as I have secured a teaching job at UW-Stout that doesn’t allow me to drive on Mondays. Looks like Thursdays are out for me too and our esteemed helper Britta is off to new adventures, so my brother, Louis, will be taking over the Thursday drops.

We have a new volunteer arriving today who will be here the rest of September helping out around the farm.
If you have never eaten edamame, you will be in for a treat…but it’s important to cook it right! Steam the entire shells for about five minutes, drain the water, sprinkle with sea salt if you have it. To eat, pull the beans from the shell with your teeth…the pods just break open to let you do this.

Then discard the pod, don’t eat them. You could, but they are chewy and not very good. These are just a one-time treat for you to try. Enjoy.

Harvest Party September 19th

Don’t forget our farm harvest party will be September 19th…we hope you can make it. Festivities will start mid-afternoon sometime with pumpkin and squash harvesting and hay ride, then followed by potluck and cider pressing. Maybe our friend, Nick will even bring his potato-gun. It’s sure to be a good time.

It may be almost be too late for chilled soup, but try this one: Chilled Dill Soup (begin four hours in advance so it can cook then chill thoroughly)

1 cup chopped onion
4 cups sliced raw potato
3 cups water
2 cups milk
1 cup sour cream
1 medium cucumber
1 ½ tsp salt
fresh black pepper
2-3 Tbs fresh dill, chopped
freshly chopped chives or scallions

Place onion, potatoes, water and salt in a saucepan. Simmer until potatoes are soft.
Cool above mixture to room temperature. Puree in a blender until very smooth, adding pieces of cucumber as you puree. Whisk in milk.
Whisk in sour cream until uniformly blended. Add dill and pepper. Chill until very cold.
Taste to correct salt and pepper. Serve topped with chives or scallions.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Week Eleven


It's been another lively and productive week out here on the farm. Erin has
been away working on writing her opus, and so here the rest of us are trying
to figure out how she works her magic with the plants. Erin where did you
put the fairy dust...? Turns out that we can manage just fine, we had he
help of two great WWOOFers (willing workers on organic farms) who were
willing to spend many hours in the gardens weeding and harvesting. With the
house full of workers we have also been eating like kings. We made up a
splendid pasta sauce using fresh tomatoes, onions, basil, and zucs from the
garden, give it a try with the goodies in your bag this week.

It has been a hot week out here, and hotter still in the cities I'm sure. We
have been getting up early to avoid the mid afternoon humidity, and calling
it a day when the sweat in our eyes begins to burn. We have made a couple of
trips to a nearby lake and some folks (not me) made their way up some tall
white pines leaning out over a deep spot in the lake and took a running
leap. Everyone managed to clear all the branches and land with a plop in the
cool water.

Last Thursday I had the pleasure of attending a local foods dinner at the
Campus Club in Minneapolis. One salad on the menu was a mix of blanched
beans, with a simple vinaigrette with a hint of fresh tarragon. Which
reminded me that with all the fresh herbs this week, try thinking outside the
box when cooking. When traveling in Thailand I was surprised to find basil
in many of the stir fry veggie dishes, and even sprinkled on top of fresh
berries. There are all sorts of fun things to do with fresh basil and
cilantro. Try turning some plain white rice into fried rice by adding some
soy sauce, sauteed zucchini or eggplant, some of the spicy purple celery,
onions and then hit it with some fresh chopped basil right at the end. Throw
in a scrambled egg for some added protein if you like.

Here is a list of what you will find in your share this week
Swiss chard
Green and White cooking beans
some eggplant
Green peppers
Basil and Cilantro