After a season of weather that seemed to work against our every plan, we have been graced with the perfect autumn. Well, OK, we have been dealt a good couple of weeks. Over the last weeks we hussled to get our fall gardens in shape, ready for and plant our garlic, haul in all of our storage crops and wait for the rain. And rain it did, slow and steady we were delighted with the 2 ½ inches that watered in all of our hard work on Sunday. If that alone was not enough, to top it off, the cold front that followed said rain has thrilled us all with cool nights and warm sunny days. Often this event brings with it our first frost, but this year, this early October, not so. Another weather related gift as the cold sensitive crops like basil and flowers and tomatoes are still making food and beauty all around the farm. Shrinking days and cold nights do make it a little harder to roll out of bed in the morning, dawn coming later and later and the comfort of our woolen blankets just too great. To address this difficulty Paul and I have switched from tea to coffee for our morning ritual, and changed the start time for the work day to a very decent 7 am. Subtle changes that can make all the difference I say. The high tunnels have all but completed their transition from summer to winter. This week saw Paul and the crew removing the last of the peppers and planting kale, spinach, beets and lettuce in their space to feed us all winter long. The new high tunnel (remember it was just this June that we erected this structure!) has roll up sides, a feature that our first tunnel does not have. This offers us a bit more flexibility in using that space, the cooler temperatures reminded us it was time to roll down those sides, and prepare to tighten things up to protect those foods from the frosts that we know are just around the corner. Now, the final weeks of our season loom ahead and we have big plans. The garden work is slowing down and we can look big construction projects in the eye again, we have a barn to finish and a root cellar to build after all, so we breathe deeply and plunge into fall. The foods will start to look like autumn too, roots and winter squash appear in the basket, I hope you all can cozy up with a warm meal of goodness from our farm to you. Enjoy!
Roasted Radishes with Greens
3 bunches small radishes with greens attached
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Preheat the oven to 500°. Trim the radishes and wash the greens; pat dry.
In a large ovenproof skillet, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the radishes, season with salt and pepper and cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned in spots, about 2 minutes. Transfer the skillet to the oven and roast the radishes for 15 minutes, until crisp-tender. Return the skillet to the burner and stir in the butter to coat the radishes. Add the radish greens and cook over moderate heat until they are wilted, about 2 minutes. Add the lemon juice and season with salt. Serve the radishes right away.
Roasted Acorn Squash and Leek Soup
from the white house
2 acorn squash1 large leek1 qt chicken stock
½ cup toasted chopped pecans1 tbl butter2 tbls chopped chives
Cut acorn squash in half and bake in a 350° oven for 30-45 minutes or until tender. Remove from the oven and cool. Scoop out the seeds and discard them. Scoop out the flesh from the skin. Dice the leek into small pieces and wash. Sautee the leek in butter until tender, then add squash and about 2/3 of the chicken stock. Stir everything together and cook. Add additional chicken stock if too thick. Put the soup in a blender and mix until smooth. Again, add more chicken stock if too thick. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish hot soup with chopped toasted pecans and chives.
Beets, Roasted w/Leeks
2 bunches of beets, trimmed, washed, and scrubbed well1 bunch leeks split in half, trimmed, and cleaned of sandOlive oil1 head garlic (optional)Salt and pepper to taste
Quarter or chunk theclean beets. Trim and clean the leeks by splitting in half and then washing out all of the sand. Cut the leeks into 2″ pieces. Peel the garlic and separate into cloves. On a cookie sheet with sides toss the beets, leeks, and garlic cloves with olive oil. Roast in a 375°F oven for 30 minutes, stirring the mixture once. Continue to roast a little longer until the beets are cooked through. Everything will caramelize.
fall week 4 in your basket: