fall week 5

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I don’t even know where the week has gone actually, we have been awash in a series of lovely autumn days that have all streamed quickly into each another. The fields started to dry out enough early in the week, that we started focusing on getting our garlic planted. It is a multi stage process that can go rather quickly or slowly depending, as with everything else here on the farm, on how many hands are on deck. It was a family only affair for the 2014 season and we learned that William can plant a clove fairly well and Madeline is the hidden family secret at popping the garlic bulbs. Each bulb must be separated into the individual cloves which are then planted I have to admit with a goal of 6000, by mid week my fingers were aching from the task! We didn’t quite finish the job, but we have just 1000 to go and with the field laid out, the garlic bulbs all popped into cloves, and a fully trained family, I have no doubt we can bang it out in the next day or so. I have spent a fair amount of time in front of the screen these past days trying to settle into a reasonable role carrying out our Indiegogo fund raising campaign. I launched it on Tuesday and it is proving to be an emotional, exciting, time consuming project. I won’t write more in this space, because I really want you all to check it out here:

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/hill-and-hollow-farm-stay/x/8723129
There is a great video on there, for those of you that have never visited the farm, you could get a stunning virtual tour! I hope you all enjoy the basket this week, now, with another hard frost on the farm, we are solidly into the fall eating, squash, roots, greens and with these cool nights and brisk mornings, that is just the kind of eating I want to do!

 

Celeriac Mash

1 celeriac, peeled
olive oil
1 handful fresh thyme, leaves picked
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
3-4 tablespoons water or organic stock

The following is right off of JamieOliver.com
What a surprisingly simple and comforting veg dish. Unfortunately everyone seems to be completely baffled by celeriac, but it’s beautiful in soups or thinly sliced into salads. When roasted it goes sweet and when mixed with potato and mashed it’s a complete joy.
Slice about 1cm/½ inch off the bottom of your celeriac and roll it on to that flat edge, so it’s nice and safe to slice. Slice and dice it all up into 1cm/½ inch-ish cubes. Don’t get your ruler out – they don’t have to be perfect. Put a casserole-type pot on a high heat, add 3 good lugs of olive oil, then add the celeriac, thyme and garlic, with a little seasoning. Stir around to coat and fry quite fast, giving a little colour, for 5 minutes.
Turn the heat down to a simmer, add the water or stock, place a lid on top and cook for around 25 minutes, until tender. Season carefully to taste and stir around with a spoon to smash up the celeriac. Some people like to keep it in cubes, some like to mash it, but I think it looks and tastes much better if you smash it, which is somewhere in the middle. You can serve this with just about any meat you can think of.

And Martha Stewart comes up with the following use of the celery root:
Celery Root and Apple Slaw
1 small celery root (about 12 ounces), trimmed, peeled, and cut into matchsticks (2 cups)
1 Granny Smith apple, cut into matchsticks (2 cups)
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon fresh cider
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Combine all ingredients in a bowl, and toss. Let stand for 30 minutes before serving.

fall week 5 in your basket:
lettuce
salad turnips
celeriac
another green choice
acorn squash
garlic

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fall week 4

The rain has not stopped falling here on the farm for days and days. Normally this can be rather distressing, and in this case it was a little grim, but basically, the family adjusted quite well to the indoor time. There was also another cook at the helm. Yep, in preparation for his post at the Grow Local Kitchen at the Farmers Market Night market event, Paul cooked and cooked and cooked all week long. Testing recipes and finding his culinary groove, I had a much needed, truly appreciated respite from the task of feeding my hard working family. Now, it is dawn on harvest day, we have been up since way before light prepping to execute this jam packed weekend. I will hold down the fort while Paul heads to town for what will surely be history in the making. I have spent quite a bit of time in front of the computer on these rainy dark days, perfect timing really, because next week I am officially launching my Indiegogo crowd funding campaign. I have already written about it here and talked to many of you as well, but I am excited to use the internet and this latest model of fund raising. We are raising funds to renovate the kitchen of the Hill and Hollow Farm Stay. It is an amazing project that will fulfill so many of our dreams for the future of the farm: host more, educate more, share more of the farm life. It is my most sincere hope that you all join us as we open another chapter of our farm’s ever evolving tale. I will send an email out early next week with a link to the crowd funding site. Check it out, there are some great old pictures and long descriptions of our vision for the future. I offer each of you so much thanks for your ongoing support and enthusiasm for our work, it is the truest joy of our days. In anticipation of the next thrilling stage, I thank you again. Have a great week! Oh and potatoes with leeks and celeriac, whew, exciting new foods to explore!

Potato Leek Soup adapted from Pop Sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter or a neutral oil, such as canola
1 pound potatoes peeled and roughly chopped
1 pound leeks, cleaned and thinly sliced
6 cups vegetable stock or light chicken stock
Kosher salt, to taste
1 to 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup crème fraiche
1/3 cup minced parsley or chives
Heat the oil in a large (6-plus quart) stockpot or dutch oven over medium heat. Add the leek and potato. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables have begun to soften and brown slightly, about 8 to 12 minutes.
Add the vegetable stock, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender. Blend until smooth, either using an immersion blender or by carefully transferring to a blender in batches. Add the cream, and season to taste with salt and lemon juice.
Ladle into bowls, and garnish with a dollop of crème fraiche and minced parsley.

Jamie Oliver’s Potato and Celeriac Gratin
1 kg potatoes, peeled and sliced into 1 cm slices
1 large celeriac, peeled and sliced into 1 cm slices
1 onion, peeled and finely sliced
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
75 g Cheddar cheese, grated
6 00 m l double cream
1 small bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley , leaves picked, stalks roughly chopped
Preheat your oven to 400°F . Place the potatoes, celeriac and onion in an earthenware-type baking dish. Sea son generously . Add the garlic, ¾ of the cheese, the cream and the parsley stalks. With a spoon, move everything around to mix all the flavors. Sprinkle over the extra cheese, and bake in the preheated oven for 50minutes, or until tender and golden. Sprinkle over the parsley leaves. I like to leave the gratin in the dish, pop it in the middle of the table and dig in.

fall week 4 in your basket:
potatoes
leeks
celeriac
hot peppers
butternut squash
garlic

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fall week 3

Gosh, what a week it has been. Since last I faced the newsletter and screen we have had our first frost, spotty as it was, it does mark the end of a great summer. OK, I might as well tell you it came last Saturday night. Yep. At the end of our longest day. After our last delivery we were treated to a lovely Asian lunch by some dear shareholder friends, so it was near dusk when we pulled back into the farm’s driveway. The sky was clear, the wind calm and the air chilly. The predicted frost was becoming reality. We looked at each other and said no way. We were simply too tired to head to the fields and cover the frost sensitive crops with reemay (a floating row cover that offers both a physical shield from insect damage and a multi degree protection from frost). I settled into the work waiting me indoors and Paul used the last of the light to be sure the livestock were safe and sound. We met again after william was asleep, perhaps 8:00 pm (15 hours into our day) I knew this would happen, once we both had a breather, a moment to calm and return to our farm life, we knew we had to cover some crops out there. We had to. So, out we went adorned with our headlamps, and did what we could to protect a few precious rows in the gardens. We couldn’t quite let go of the beans and the zinnias. We slept soundly that night knowing we did do what we could. As Sunday dawned the temperatures had in fact dropped below freezing. Damage was spotty and our row cover helped. As we sipped our coffee slowly on the gorgeous frost sprinkled morning, we felt so pleased, so ready to end a great summer’s season and welcome in the next. We sincerely hope you enjoy these beans, the final taste of summer for sure. The flowers too, really, this could be the last of it, when the frosts get harder, even the extra blanket can’t help, summer simply comes to an end. In summer’s wake lie of course fall and winter, some of my favorite times with great eating too.
Never a dull moment around here, not even when we might want one. Andy returned from a week long trip to Illinois and shared with us his desire to return home to live closer to his family. With a heart full of thankfulness for his time spent here, once again, we urged him to follow his heart and move back home. After all, I hope one of my children will want to live near me when they have the choice! After this morning’s rainy harvest, we bid Andy a farewell and are now officially simply a family living and working together..for the next few months anyway. I wish you all a great week ahead offering you a basket full of appreciation with greens on top!

 

Simple Dragon Lingerie Beans
Adapted from Whatcom Locavore
2-1/2 cups Dragon’s Tongue beans
2 tbsp butter
1 Tbsp fresh basil
Salt to taste
Tiny pinch of hot pepper powder or chopped fresh hot peppers
Put one inch of water in a saucepan and bring to a full boil. Put the beans in a steaming basket over the boiling water and steam for 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat. Toss quickly with the remaining ingredients. Serve immediately.
Garlicky Sauteed Swiss Chard
from Food Network
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, smashed
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 large bunch Swiss chard, ribs removed and chopped, leaves roughly chopped
Kosher salt
Splash red wine vinegar
Add the oil to a large saute pan with the garlic and red pepper flakes. Cook over medium heat until the garlic turns golden. Remove the garlic and discard. Add the chopped Swiss chard ribs and saute until soft, about 4 minutes. Add the Swiss chard leaves and season with salt, to taste. Cook until the leaves are wilted. Stir in a splash of red wine vinegar. Serve immediately.

Fall week 3 in your basket:
butternut squash
dragon lingerie beans
greens choice
peppers
garlic

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