It has been a wonderful week here on the farm as we begin in earnest our final push of the season. The transition from summer to fall to winter is a complicated dance. The summer fruit crops are still producing, but they need to be moved out of the way to make room for our late season plantings. It is hard to rip out a plant still loaded with eggplant or sweet peppers or tomatoes, but it has to be done to make room for beets and carrots and cabbage and berries!! Last year we grew strawberries in the high tunnel for the first time. We planted in fall and were able to harvest amazing fruits the following spring. (sadly they ripened before we started our market season so you all tasted the fruits of our labor in the form of strawberry jam which I hope you loved!) We made a pinky promise to ourselves to not only do the crop again but to plan to be marketing at the time they ripen so you can taste the sweetness. Two different local growers offered us strawberry plants and honestly we said yes to both of them. Four hundred plants went immediately into the old tomato bed in a high tunnel and the next thousand will go into the field for hopefully a slightly later crop. I figure you all can bid farewell to the tomatoes with the hope of a fresh berry next spring, right?
Fast forward, hours later, those thousand berry plants are safely in the ground, we have welcomed a lovely couple of WWOOFers to the farm for a week, the sun is setting and I am cooking the biggest bunch of kale EVER for dinner. These Fridays are long days indeed but now, this one feels just perfect. The cool evening air is soothing, the new friends are rather entertained by William’s detailed description of everything, and I can honestly say it has been a lovely week gone by. I look ahead to a work week with these guests from North Carolina, perhaps our last big one of the season. For now, I am happy to eat kale and look at a long bed of strawberry plants safely in the ground. I hope you all have a wonderful week. Remember, eat your greens……
Fall week 2 in your basket:
Browned “Butter” Pasta with Tatsoi
An old favorite, almost always the first thing to do with tatsoi!!
1 pound pasta of choice, preferable curved or with ridges.
½ stick unsalted butter.
Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
Leaves of a large bunch of Tatsoi, rinsed
½ cup of chopped fresh sage
Freshly grated Parmesan.
Cook pasta to al dente in salted water. Drain well.
While the pasta drains, melt butter in a skillet. Swirl the butter in the pan as it foams. When the butter begins to brown, toss in pasta & mix to coat with butter. Salt & pepper to taste.
Add Tatsoi & sage & cook until lightly wilted, about 1 – 2 minutes. Plate & serve immediately with grated Parmesan & lemon wedges on the side.
Gina’s Turnip Greens
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 shallot, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 1/2 pounds turnip greens, washed, stemmed, and chopped
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted
Heat olive oil in Dutch oven over medium heat. Add shallot, garlic and red pepper flakes and saute until tender and fragrant. Add the washed and cleaned turnip greens. Mix together. Cook until they have wilted down, about 3 minutes. Add pepper to taste.In a small bowl, whisk the Dijon mustard with the chicken stock. Add to the wilted greens and cook until the liquid has all but evaporated. Add the toasted pecans and serve immediately.