Hill and Hollow CSA, Year 14, the grand finale, and grand it has been. Gosh it has been a wonderful season. Not completely without obstacles, but a season which has included triumph after triumph. This year has simply been amazing. Despite incessant unseasonal rains that led to summer flooding, forget having to meet the unmeetable deadline of erecting our second high tunnel in June. We just enjoyed this year so much, thrilled at the pace with which this season unfolded before us and passed with little incident.
Now, it is Thursday evening, the sun is setting crimson in the sky and my three children are playing together out of doors. For hours they have been together, they hauled wood, milked the cow and fed the pigs. They have driven play cars all around and stomped in the leaf pile. Rosey cheeked and happy as this day sets, we are all so content. Somehow, this week, the transition from “on” to “off” that happens when our crew leaves for the season, has been simply flawless and delightful. Deanna was the last to depart and her well timed, slow wrap up of the season was exactly what we needed to conclude. In the days following her departure we have had a most wonderful week of work and family time and knitting and remembering, what a year it has been!
This has been our longest market season ever. Topping our own record set last year, we will have gone to the NFM for 30 consecutive weeks. Proudly displaying our banner for all to see, delivering our first crop of blueberries and ginger, we hit some high notes in these past months. At this moment of conclusion I think of you all. We’re so grateful to each of you for offering us the chance to share our produce and our lives with you weekly. For friends that we have met only this year and those we have known for each of our 14, we thank you. We will do one final delivery next week, so we will see many of you one last time, but for those of you travelling for the holiday, it is with a heart full that I thank you for sharing this season with us. It has been an absolute pleasure. Until next time, have a wonderful week.
How to Make Kimchi
there are many good resources out there, but this one is representative of the process.
Please also try sandor katz’s wild fermentation!
4 Tablespoons of sea salt or kosher salt
4 cups of water
1.5 pounds Napa cabbage
1 daikon radish, thinly sliced in half moons
1 medium yellow onion
4 garlic cloves
2-inch knob of ginger
1 – 2 Tablespoons gochugaru (Korean red chili pepper flakes)
4 green onions, chopped
Mix a brine from the sea salt and water. Stir well to thoroughly dissolve salt. Coarsely chop cabbage, slice radish and carrots and let vegetables soak in brine, covered by a plate or other weight to keep the vegetables submerged. Soak for at least 5 hours, and up to 24 hours. Prepare spices: dice the onion and garlic. Use a food processor to process onion, garlic, and ginger into a paste. Mix in the gochugaru and green onions. Drain brine off of vegetables, reserving brine. Taste vegetables for saltiness. You want them to taste decidedly salt, but not surprisingly so. If they are too salty, rinse them with water. If you cannot taste salt, sprinkle the vegetables with a couple of teaspoons of salt and mix. Mix the vegetables throughly with the spice paste. Pack them tightly into a clean jar, pressing down until the brine rises. If necessary, add a little of the reserved vegetable-soaking brine to submerge the vegetables. Weight the vegetables down with a smaller jar if necessary (fill the smaller jar with liquid to keep everything weighted down). Cover the jar with a towel to keep flies and dust out.
Ferment in your kitchen or other warm place. Taste the kimchi every day and check it to make sure it is still submerged under the brine. Depending on your tastes and the temperature of where it is stored, the kimchi can be ready in as soon as a few days or a few weeks. The fermentation process generally takes longer in cool weather and shorter in warm weather. When your kimchi tastes ripe (sour and tangy), move it to the refrigerator. It can last for several months, if not longer, in the fridge as long as it still has some brine in the jar. Be sure to ferment your kimchi in a glass jar or glazed ceramic crock. Since the brine and vegetables are heavily salted, it is important to avoid using metal or plastic. Do NOT use iodized salt or any product with preservatives in your kimchi. Iodine is antimicrobial and will prevent the kimchi from fermenting. You do NOT want air touching your vegetables. It is vital to keep everything submerged under the brine. As long as everything is submerged under liquid, mold will not develop. After your vegetables have soaked in the brine, they will lose a lot of moisture and will decrease in volume. Depending on the size of your jar, some of the brine might flow over as the kimchi ferments so sometimes it’s helpful to put a glass plate under the jar as it sits.
Fall week 9 in your basket: