Tuesday, November 8, 2011

BGF News 11/08/2011

 Blue Gate Farm News – Volume XVI, Number 1 – November 8, 2011

In this week’s box:
Chinese Cabbage
Choi: Win-win
Garlic (hardneck): Northern White or Music
Kohlrabi: Winner (green) and Kolibri (purple)
Potatoes: Banana (yellow fingerling) or Red Gold (red skin)
Spinach Mix: Bordeaux (red stems), Olympia, Space & Tyee
Sweet Peppers: asst
Tapestry Salad Mix
Turnips: Hakurei and/or Scarlet

For those with the Egg option: one dozen free-range eggs (assorted colors)
For those with the Cheese option: Cranberry-Pecan Chevre and Classic Feta

Featured Recipe(s) (see below): Sesame Stir Fried Chinese Greens
Pasta with Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Feta and Arugula
Slow-Roasted Red Peppers in Balsamic Garlic Glaze
Easy Daikon Salad 
Vietnamese Pickled Carrots and Daikon
Precipitation last month: .6
Precipitation to date this month: 1.5” (and counting)

What’s up on the farm?

Welcome to the first delivery of the 2011 Winter CSA season!  We hope you are looking forward to bountiful fresh, chemical-free produce for the next two months.  Just a reminder that the Winter CSA delivers every other week, so if you show up next week, you might be able to enjoy a nice cup of coffee, but we won’t be there.

We have been celebrating the mild fall that nature has been sharing with us for the past couple of months.  It seems like we have more produce available now than we have had all year and we are putting as much as we can into your boxes this week, because you never know when this lovely weather trend will end.  I heard the word snow in the forecast for later this week, so we packed the boxes extra full to protect you from an extra trip to the grocery store in ugly weather.  Regardless, we have been celebrating the fine weather by getting a good start on our chores for the winter.  The third week in October, we started putting row cover on all our remaining field crops, and there are a lot of them!  That complete, we moved to clearing the tomato beds, which is a significant task with all of the trellising and plant matter.  Once the tomatoes were out of the way we were able to get to our ultimate fall task, the planting of the garlic!  Given our bumper garlic crop this year, we were feeling enthusiastic, so we planted an extra 25 pounds over last year’s numbers, for a total of a little more than 100 pounds of seed garlic in the ground, around 1,500 row feet.  Hopefully they will do as well next year! Garlic prepped, planted and mulched, we then moved over to clearing all of the irrigation lines from all of the fields.  Given how dry our late summer and fall were, we had more irrigation tape out than ever before, so that was a more significant task than in the past.  We were really pleased to get to do this on a 70° day, as one tends to get a bit wet during this task, so it wasn’t nearly so arduous a chore as in some years.
In addition to the regular seasonal goings on, we have had a few special achievements in the past month. Progress has continued on the new barn and we are now fully enclosed, just in time for inclement weather and Jill’s dad (our contractor/builder/designer extraordinaire) has been splitting his time between that and moving our wood-fired boiler from the old packing shed location to its own, custom-designed boiler shed.  This entailed re-purposing an old metal roof that had once protected Jill’s great-grandfather’s buggy from the elements, to top our new little building, moving the boiler itself and then locating and moving the underground water lines.  It was quite the process.

Our other new acquisition was adding 80 new 6 month-old laying hens to our flock.  They came from a farm that raises their chickens like we do and they will replace our retiring birds that were past their productive years and keep us in better egg-counts through the winter and into next season.  The “new girls” are settling in very nicely here at BGF.  Look for messages later this week about purchasing our eggs during the winter.
So that’s about it around here, recently.

Special note: Lois, our favorite cheese-maker and the owner of Reichert’s Dairy Air, the supplier of our Cheese Share had a surplus of a couple varieties of her chevre cheese that are about to go “out of date”. So she sent them along with us for anyone who wants to try some of her excellent product. While they are still good now, you will want to use them sooner than later. These are on a first-come, first-serve basis, so you might want to try to get to the pick-up a little earlier today, so take advantage of her generosity! (However, I won’t be there before 4:45, so don’t get too ahead of yourselves). (Farm pick-ups, we left cheese in your box).

A few details on new stuff in the box:
Everything except the garlic, potatoes and rosemary can go into plastic bags and store in your produce drawers.
Chinese (napa) cabbage: keep outer leaves intact (to preserve moisture) until ready to use and store in the crisper drawer for up to two weeks. Mild, and tender with a fresh, cabbage-y flavor.
Daikon: The large, white single root with a crisp, mild flavor used raw or cooked in many Asian cuisines. Store up to two weeks in a damp-wrapped towel or plastic bag in the produce drawer, or for up to two months packed in damp sand in a cool location.
Kohlrabi: The alien-looking green and purple globes topped with green/purple-shaded leaves. Excellent, mild-cabbage flavor that can be used raw or cooked, we like them best sliced raw and sprinkled with salt. Store globes in a plastic bag for up to one month. Store leaves in a damp towel or plastic bag in the produce drawer and use as soon as possible.
Rosemary: put in a sealed plastic bag in your produce drawer, or hang it up in a clean, airy place to dry

Upcoming Events:
Downtown Farmers Harvest Market: Friday & Saturday, November 18th & 19th, Capitol Square
Next CSA Delivery: Tuesday, November 22

Is a weekly newsletter not enough for you and you want to read more about our daily adventures?  Follow us at our blog at http://beyondthebluegate.blogspot.com and on Facebook (just search Blue Gate Farm) and “Like” us.

That’s about it this week, if you have any questions or comments be sure to let us know. 

Best from the farm,
Jill & Sean (and Blue & Luci)

Sesame Stir Fried Chinese Greens
I would also add a clove or 2 of garlic, some fresh ginger and a dash of Sriracha sauce to take this recipe over the top!
2 teaspoons canola oil
2 pounds baby bok choy and/or
Napa cabbage, sliced thin
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
In a wok or large frying pan heat the oil over high heat until very hot. Add the bok choy and stir-fry until they begin to soften slightly, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the soy sauce, vinegar and sesame oil and cook until just done, 1 to 2 minutes longer. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve.
Recipe by Ellie Krieger

Pasta with Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Feta and Arugula
1 1/2 lb sweet potatoes, diced
2 tbsp olive oil
4 leeks, chopped
1 tbsp rosemary, chopped
1 lb whole wheat pasta
6 oz feta cheese (I used Trader Joe's Mediterranean herb blend)
8 oz arugula
cracked black pepper

1. Toss the sweet potatoes with 1 tbsp oil, salt and pepper.  Spread on a baking sheet and roast at 400 for 30 minutes or until soft and browned.

2. Place 1 tbsp oil in a small skillet.  Add the leeks and rosemary and cook for 7 minutes, or until soft and golden.

3. Cook pasta in boiling, salted water.  Drain and place in a large bowl.  Toss with sweet potatoes, arugula, leeks and feta.

Recipe Source: www.joanne-eatswellwithothers.com

Slow-Roasted Red Peppers in Balsamic Garlic Glaze
3 red (or any ripe-colored) peppers, sliced into generous bite-size pieces
6 garlic cloves, sliced
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp soy sauce
Sea salt & cracked pepper

Heat oven to 300 F

In a small bowl, combine olive oil, balsamic vinegar and soy sauce.

Meanwhile, place sliced peppers in an oven proof dish.  Sprinkle with garlic slices and top with well whisked balsamic glaze.  Add a sprinkle of sea salt and cracked pepper.

Roast peppers for 1 hour, turning on occasion.  Turn oven up to 375 and roast for another 10 minutes or until peppers are sizzling and just beginning to char.  Remove peppers from oven and allow them to cool slightly before serving warm.

Recipe Source: www.inspirededibles.ca

Easy Daikon Salad
2 cups julienne cut daikon radish (I used my food processor to cut it)
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tbsp seasoned rice vinegar
2 tsp granulated sugar
1 tsp sweet rice wine (mirin)
OPTIONAL crushed peanuts
  1. Place the daikon in a colander/mesh strainer over a bowl or the sink and sprinkle with salt. Mix well. Let sit for 30 minutes. Squeeze out excess water and then rinse well with cold water. Drain.
  2. In a small saucepan, combine the seasoned rice vinegar, sugar and rice wine. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar dissolves (this will only take a few minutes).
  3. Transfer the daikon to an airtight container and pour the rice vinegar mixture over. Shake or stir well to combine. Chill for 20 minutes before serving.
  4. This can store for up to a few days in the fridge, if it lasts that long. If desired, serve topped with crushed peanuts.


Vietnamese Pickled Carrots and Daikon

makes 2 cups, can just use daikon
1 cup warm water
1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 pound carrots (peeled and cut to match stick size)
1/2 pound daikon radish (peeled and cut to match stick size)

1. Mix the water, vinegar, sugar and salt until the sugar and salt dissolves.
2. Place the carrots and radish in a container and cover with the pickling liquid.
3. Let pickle for at least and hour and store in the fridge for up to a week.

Recipe Source: www.closetcooking.com/
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