Thursday, January 23, 2014

BGF News 12/17/2013

In this week’s box:
Carrot Mix: Napoli, St Valery, Amarillo &/or Purple Haze
Fingerling Potatoes: Rose Finn
Garlic: hardneck & softneck
Kale Mix: Red Russian, Toscano & Vates
Napa Cabbage (also known as Chinese Cabbage)
Shallots: Ambition (tan) & Prisma (purple)
Storage Onions: Copra
Tapestry Salad Mix
Turnips: Hakurei and/or Scarlet Queen
For those with the Egg option [full]: 18 ct  free-range pullet eggs (assorted colors)

Browned Cabbage with Pork

Precipitation this month: Snow 2.0"

What’s up on the farm?

Well here we are at the tail end of 2013 and the final CSA delivery of the season. Again we want to thank Mother Nature for providing us with a little window of warmer weather in which to harvest and deliver your produce. While it wasn't quite balmy, given some of the temperatures we've been experiencing recently, we are feeling pretty fortunate. Some of our crops aren't feeling nearly so fortunate, even the hearty kale has really suffered under the recent extreme cold. You will notice that the bundles of kale in today's delivery are quite a bit smaller and a little softer than in the past. We were shocked at how much damage the kale sustained in the high tunnels, under row cover. We picked every leaf that wasn't completely destroyed in order to send some out in every box, but we aren't particularly proud of the quantity or quality. We hope that the big, delicious, crazy carrots will distract you from the lack of green bounty.

As 2013 comes to a close we are already deep in planning for the new year. The seed catalogs have all arrived and the garden planning sessions are popping up amidst woodcutting chores. There are still a number of chores left to do this year, (all of the row cover is still in the fields from the fall crops) but we are trying to balance the old and the new amid breaks in the weather.

We hope that you have enjoyed your CSA experience this season. If you would like to join us again in 2014, we will start sending out emails to veteran members (you) in January. But you don't have to wait for next spring to get your fresh produce and eggs. Starting early next month, we plan to resume our custom egg and produce sales on an "as available" basis. We will send out an email listing available products and if you are interested, just respond to the email, requesting the items you would like. Currently we plan to continue to use Ritual Café and Peace Tree Brewing Company for these deliveries, so keep an eye on your email in early January.

Thank you for being a part of the BGF family. We wish you and yours a wonderful holiday season and a new year filled with peace and joy.

Upcoming events:
Prairieland Herbs Sample Sunday, 12/22, Noon-5pm Woodward, IA.
We'll be there (with all our non-perishable products) along with a bunch of other cool craftspeople and artists.

A little detail on your produce this week:
Leafy Greens- these all keep best loosely wrapped in plastic and stored in the crisper drawer.
Napa Cabbage- Store dry, unwashed cabbage in the refrigerator, preferably in the vegetable bin. The outer leaves may eventually get floppy or yellowish, but you can remove and discard them to reveal fresh inner leaves. Cabbage can keep for more than a month. Once it’s cut, seal it in a plastic bag and continue to refrigerate for several weeks. Napa cabbage can be used in nearly any recipe calling for cabbage.
Potatoes- Keep unwashed potatoes in a cool, dark place, such as a loosely closed paper bag in a cupboard or cool basement, and use them within a month. Do not store in the refrigerator; Scrub potatoes gently before cooking. Peeling is a matter of preference.

Is a weekly newsletter not enough for you and you want to read more about our daily adventures or see pictures of the farm?  Follow us at our blog at 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)

This ragout is meant to be a throw-together-fast-on-a-weeknight kind of meal. If you have sweet potatoes instead of turnips, use them. If you have Swiss chard in the fridge but no kale, sub it instead. You may be surprised by how much flavor you can coax, with the help of a well-stocked pantry, out of the ingredients you have on hand.

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 Italian chicken sausages, cut into 1/2-inch slices
2 turnips, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 3 cups)
3 garlic cloves, minced
6 cups de-stemmed, chopped kale (about 1 bunch) or other greens
1/2 cup chicken or mushroom stock
2 16-ounce cans cannellini beans, drained
1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon red chile flakes

Heat oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Saute onion and turnip for 8 minutes, or until bronzed. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and add sausage and garlic to pan. Cook for 2 more minutes, then add kale and remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until kale is tender.

Recipe Source:

Browned Cabbage with Pork

One small head cabbage, coarsely chopped
1 c. chopped onion
4 T. cooking oil of your choice, divided
1 lb. ground pork
¼ c. soy sauce
¼ c. water
1 T. cornstarch

            Heat 2 T. oil in a large skillet.  Brown onion and cabbage in oil with skillet partially covered over medium high heat, reducing to medium heat as moisture cooks off.  Remove to large bowl and reserve.  Add remaining 2 T. oil to skillet, add ground pork, and brown meat.  Remove any oil that remains once meat is browned.  Combine soy sauce and water and cornstarch in a small bowl.  Add to skillet with meat, and stir quickly as it thickens.  Return cabbage and onions to skillet and stir well. Serves 4.

Recipe: Angela Tedesco, Turtle Farm CSA

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