Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Fingerling Potatoes

Fingerling potatoes are a family of heritage potatoes which naturally grow much smaller than conventional potatoes. They also tend to be elongated and slightly knobbly, making them very finger-like in shape. The unusual looking, flavorfulpotatoes can be used just like regular potatoes in an assortment of roasted, broiled, baked, grilled, or boiled dishes.

'French Fingerling': FRENCH FINGERLING MINI-TUBER * ORGANICSilky-smooth, cranberry-red skin covers moist yellow flesh marbled with red, especially just under the skin. The 11/2- by 3-inch-long tubers look as good as they taste. Best steamed or roasted.

'Russian Banana':Fingerling PotatoesYellow-skinned, yellow-fleshed, and medium-sized tubers produced in a quantity rivaling Austrian Crescent's make this one of the most popular fingerlings. Russian Banana tubers measure 1 inch by 3 inches. Along with perhaps French Fingerling, this variety is the one you'll most likely find served in restaurants. Best baked, steamed, or in salads.

'Purple Peruvian':
See full size image
Uniquely purple skin and flesh are perhaps this fingerling's best features. The tubers measure 3/4 by 2 inches. The plant is less productive than most fingerlings. Best mashed or baked.


Celeriac is also known as celery root, knob celery and turnip-rooted celery

Celeriac is a vegetable that is a member of the celery family. However, only its root is used for cooking purposes. It has a taste that is similar to a blend of celery and parsley. I planted the seed in February, transplanted it into the garden in May and it is just now ready for harvest!

You can safely store it in your refrigerator for a couple of weeks.

Because celeriac can be used in recipes that call for celery, its use is limitless. It needs to be peeled with a paring knife, and then can be used raw or cooked in many ways.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

To our CSA members

Please get your herbs this next week, or let me know what you want and stop by Sweetwater Market on a Saturday. We have a lot of cilantro and basil right now.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Russet Potatoes

Russet Potato russet potatoes

Usage: Baking, frying, mashing, roasting, boiling. Russets are often used to make french fries

Selection: Good-quality Russet potatoes will be firm, have a net-like texture to the skin and russet-brown coloring. They should have few eyes, and those few eyes should be shallow.

Store Russet Potatoes in a cool (40 - 50° F), dry, well ventilated, dark place to protect them from light exposure and to inhibit quick sprouts from growing. If your potatoes do begin to sprout or grow, cut off the sprouts. If you don't have good storage available, buy in smaller quantities and more often.

Kale Chips! Recipe from a friend

Kale Chips is what you do when you have kale here, kale there kale EVERYWHERE!

I thought I may have a better chance of my family embracing kale in chip form. Everyone in my house loves chips. Green chips, do you think they bought it? Um, no. But I am in love.

So being that I am not a recipe person most of the time here is how I did it.

1. Wash kale and check for bugs n' stuff. Spin or pat it dry.

2. Remove the leaves from the center stem.

3. Tear up into pieces about the size of a chip, like a tortilla chip not a Frito or chocolate chip.

4. Toss them in a big bowl with a enough olive oil to lightly cover (less than you think so be careful) and a dash of salt or garlic salt. You can get creative with cumin, or chili powder as you get used to making it.

5. Lay out one layer on a cookie sheet.

6. Place in a 350 degree preheated oven for about 10 minutes or so. Until the edges are just starting to turn brown. Be aware that if you pull it out too early it will be soggy and not chippy.

7. Remove from sheet onto paper towel to soak up some of the excess oil.

8. Present on a colorful complimentary plate and EAT UP!

Winter Squash

Heart of GoldHeart of Gold Squash
An early winter squash that combines a sweet dumpling with an acorn squash to produce a small acorn shaped vegetable. The outer skin is cream colored with dark green stripes covering a fine-grained inner flesh that is orange when ripe. This squash has a sweet rich flavor and can be baked, mashed or steamed. Store in a cool dry place for up to 6 months.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Garden and veggie update

  • Two more weeks of CSA veggies after today. A few of you are having an extended season because of time out of town. We'll get together with you to figure out the specifics of that.
  • Pickles are almost done producing and certainly aren't as nice-looking any more!
  • Beans are producing lots! In fact, we have extra for canning or freezing for $2 per lb, $1.50 per lb for CSA members. They are picked young and tender.
  • Peppers are finally turning red! S l o w l y...
  • It's the last week for sweet corn and melons.
  • There are very few pumpkins.
  • Some animal went through the melon patch and pulled up most of the sunflowers! They were just about to bloom.
  • Potatoes are all ready to dig - lots of them. New kinds coming still: Russet, French Fingerling and Peruvian Purple Fingerling.
  • Winter squash looks plentiful for shares. Acorn, Butternut, Buttercup, Delicata.
  • Lettuces look good - they like the cooler nights.
  • We should have enough carrots ready for them to go out in shares 1 more time.
  • Onions should all be harvested this week. You will get more, plus scallions, plus leeks.
  • You will get celeriac and parsnips the last share days (first week in October).

Friday, September 11, 2009

CSA Poem

This was written by a friend (and beef and pork customer) who belongs to the CSA at MSU.

It's Wednesday Again
The week has flown by, with its hustle and bustle,
My body's so tired, I can't move a muscle,
I glance at my calendar, thinking, and then
break out in a smile--it's Wednesday again.
Wednesday--the day I pick up from the farm
home-grown veggies, herbs, flowers, grown pure without harm,
Twice blessed--by the ground and the students who grow them,
and pick them, and sort them, and love them, and know them.
I pick up my bundle, a colorful treasure,
The bounty and beauty a gift beyond measure.
I take in the shapes and the textures and sizes,
And think of the flavorful meal surprises
we'll enjoy through the week, as we try out new dishes.
All organic and locally grown, as our wishes
to live more sustainably, purely, have shown us,
so I thank you for all the good stuff you have grown us!
by Patti Kenney

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Tomatillo Salsa recipe from Gail Smythe

I found a new recipe for tomatillo salsa that's excellent! Made it today with peppers from the garden and some of Patrice's fantastic tomatillos, onions, & garlic. (Note from Patrice: The recipe can be halved or quartered)

Roasted Tomatillo Salsa (It's hot!)

2 pounds fresh tomatillos, whole, husks removed, and rinsed
2 medium (or one large) red onion, cut in to large slices (width-wise), approximately 3/4 inch thick - Imagine onion rings, but not separated.
2 habanero peppers
2 jalapeno (or 3 serrano) peppers
4 cloves garlic, unpeeled
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

Preheat a grill on indirect high heat. Cook the tomatillos, onion slices, peppers, and garlic all on indirect heat for 10 minutes on one side, flip, and then 10 minutes on the other. Time may need to be adjusted. You want the tomatillos to be slightly charred and a little soft. They'll turn from bright green to a yellowish-green when ready. You also want the garlic and onion to soften up. The peppers will char slightly and get very soft.

Let everything cool to handling temperature. Using a food processor, chop the peppers finely (removing the stems first). Peel the garlic. Chop the onions coarsely. Throw the onions and garlic into the food processor with the peppers and chop finely. Put the onion mixture into a bowl. Puree the tomatillos and add to the onion mixture along with the salt & coriander.

Refrigerate and eat within 2-3 days.


Roasted Tomatillo & Cream Cheese Dip

In a mixer, or by hand, cream an 8 ounce block of cream cheese. Gradually add 1 cup of the above salsa, mixing well. Beat it until it's light and well combined. Refrigerate for 1 hour before serving. Eat with tortilla chips. Or use it as a sandwich spread. Or Try mixing it with shredded chicken for an enchilada filling. Mmmmmmmm......

Monday, September 7, 2009

Weather and veggies

I think this is the hardest growing season we've ever experienced. The weather the past week has been what we needed a month ago! We disconnected most of the irrigation since things were so wet, and now we are getting dry again.

The Winter Squash looks like it's made a decent crop. There are 4 or 5 kinds growing. The melons have not done well - normally we have lots of whole melons for everyone, but we are having to cut them in halves and quarters to have enough. They are ripening inconsistently because of the weather, and again, don't have the flavor they normally do with a hot summer.

Sweet corn is still coming on. Silver Queen is next - it's an old fashioned white corn.

We aren't even trying for tomatoes for shares this week - even the little tomatoes are affected and look terrible. I picked some green tomatoes that didn't have rot to see if they would ripen off the vine. So far, they just develop the blight spots.

Red and yellow peppers - still green. We will have to start picking them green soon and just give up on colored ones. They are supposed to turn red or yellow about 3 weeks after they are mature green. It's been at least a month now!

It takes us about 40-50 hours to pick, wash and pack veggies for shares every Monday and Thursday this time of year. It gets hard to find the time to keep up with the weeding, tending, planting. We did quit early today (6:30pm) and met our daughter and family for dinner before the kids go back to school tomorrow.

I hope you all have had a great Labor Day weekend!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Roasting Chickens for sale

$3 per lb. They are available at the Farm fresh tomorrow. After that, they will be frozen either here or in storage at The Starting Block in Hart. They range from about 4.5# to 6#. Think 'small turkeys'. Yum.

Long Days

Mike and I were commenting about how we don't know when we would have time to pick tomatoes if we had some! It's usually a couple of hours every other day. Instead, we've started pulling out the plants. They won't make enough to leave them in, and it's starting to smell quite unpleasant! I have some canned and frozen tomatoes left from last year - good thing.