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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fall week 2

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I would be lying to you if I said that harvest day wasn’t a little tense. Managing our moods on Fridays doesn’t always work. Much less the first harvest day that is without the helpful hands of our apprentices. A family only harvest day, yep, you can probably only imagine how that can go. Not this year, the perfect year, today is unfolding so well. Leading up to this day, we have had a super calm productive week easing into an off season schedule. The combination of not having my morning milking chores and the absence of a team of apprentices that paul has to guide through the daily activity, has made for a relaxed enjoyable series of days. We began each day lingering over the espresso and cream. As I stopped milking Addie, I stowed away a few dairy delights to defrost during the winter months, but quarts of cream piling up, that won’t happen again until she has a calf next spring. Today, however, we didn’t linger. When this harvest day dawned, the predicted rains arrived (the first in weeks) offering not only a much needed drenching to the fields, but eased any pressure of quickly harvesting the sun sensitive greens. Paul and I began the greens harvest with William at first light while the older children slept. Madeline, notoriously slow in the morning, had the house cleaned, her chores completed and was ready to take photos of the rest of us finishing the tatsoi and salad turnip harvest an hour and a half later. Wow. Sasha made breakfast for everyone, it is almost too good to be true. Now, with the most sensitive crops stored in the root cellar, we can work on the other items that will fill your baskets this week and ready the farm for the predicted cold weather following these rains. We are anticipating a frost to greet us this weekend, this is always a welcome moment as we see summer weeds perish with the below freezing temperatures. Usually we can bid almost any crop farewell at this point…except…maybe…the flowers… so I think we will head out there and spread some protective row cover around here and there. Have a great week friends, hope everyone gets a little cozy with the chilly temperatures over the weekend and enjoys some squash bisque!

Butternut Squash and Roasted-Garlic Bisque
here is the original squash bisque recipe that we just love, originally found in
Bon Apetit it is all over the internet now, I have doubled, quadrupled and halved
this recipe,with great success each time. When I make this recipe, I always
roast at least half of the volume of butternut in the oven while I roast the garlic.
This bisque is awesome if you do not do that, but it definitely adds incredible
depth of flavor! Fall is here, enjoy!

2 heads garlic, halved
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/4 cup butter
3 cups onions, chopped
1/2 cup celery, chopped
3/4 cup carrot, chopped
4 lbs butternut squash, peeled, seeded, 1-inch pieces
6 cups chicken or vegetable broth
3 tablespoons fresh sage, chopped
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 tablespoon whipping cream
Preheat oven to 350°F. Rub cut surfaces of garlic with oil. Put halves back together to reassemble heads.
Wrap each tightly in foil; bake until tender, about 40 minutes. Cool garlic in foil. Meanwhile, melt butter in heavy large pot over medium heat, add onions, carrots and celery; sauté until onions are beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Add squash, broth and 2 tablespoons sage. Bring to boil. Reduce heat; simmer uncovered until squash is tender, about 25 minutes. Meanwhile, unwrap garlic and squeeze from skin into small bowl. Discard skin. Mash garlic with fork until smooth. Stir garlic into soup. Use an immersion blender to puree or you can work in batches, in blender until smooth. Return to pot. Stir in 1/2 cup cream. Season to taste with salt and pepper. To serve, drizzle with remaining 1 tablespoon cream and sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon sage.

Fall week 2 in your basket:
salad turnips
tat soi
green beans
butternut squash
hot peppers
garlic

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