Tuesday, September 18, 2018

BGF News - September 18, 2018-Vol. XL, No.16

In this week’s box:

Baby Turnips: Hakurei
Basil: Sweet
Beans: Mix: Carson (yellow) & Empress (green)
Cherry Tomato Mix
Head Lettuce: Kiribatis (bright green), Magenta (reddish green  ) or Rutilai (dark red)
Pumpkins: Cannonball (ornamental)
Sweet Onions: Ailsa Craig
Sweet Peppers: Ace or Revolution (red bells), Islander (purple to orange bell), Quadrato D'Asti 
            Giallo (yellow bell), Golden Marconi (long, pointed yellow) or PASS (flat, yellow)
Tomatoes: asst varieties, see descriptions on the 7/24 post

 and at least one of the following:
Broccoli: side shoots (entire shoot, including leaves, is edible)
Cantaloupe: Rocky Ford (green interior)
Cauliflower: Sicilian Purple (purple) or Goodman (white)
Okra: Burgundy & Candle Fire
Watermelon: Sugar Baby (dk green stripe w/ red interior) or Cream of Saskatchewan (lt green,
                         striped with white interior)
For those with the Egg option [full shares]: one dozen free-range eggs (asst. colors)
For those with the Herb option: Thai Magic basil, mountain mint, lemon balm

Featured Recipes:  ** indicates a BGF favorite 
BGF Confetti Pasta** see below
Chicken Parmesan Sausage with Chard and Beans** see below

What’s up on the farm?

Precipitation in the past week: 0.00"

Well, so much for it feeling like fall! But the activities of the farm definitely reflect the time of year, even if it feels like July out there.  We turned over most of the summer crops in the big tunnel this week, saying farewell to the tomatoes and melons and welcoming in the beets, turnips, choi and napa cabbage. It doesn't take long for things to look entirely different in there. Already the newly seeded crops are germinating and starting to make visible rows of green in the newly cleared beds.
Wednesday, September 12, 8:15am
Wednesday, September 12, 9:29am
This past Thursday, the currant state drought monitor was posted and we are officially out of all drought/dry ratings and now listed as normal moisture levels. That is awesome news, but it hasn't rained in  a week and a half, and we are ready for a good soaking.
Other activities this past week in the fields included lots of cultivating/weeding, sowing tatsoi, arugula and beets, transplanting fennel and head lettuce and harvesting all the remaining winter squash. Unfortunately, it was a rough year for the winter squash. We've got enough for everyone to get squash at least one more time, but not much more than that. We did try something new this year, a small ornamental pumpkin, which did ok, well enough for everyone to get one of those as well. So we are sending those out today to help you get into the seasonal spirit! They are edible, all winter squash are, but they just aren't a very high quality eating squash. So we hope you can just enjoy their cheery personalities.

Harvesting pumpkins

The okra harvest is getting more challenging

We also hosted a class from the Scattergood Friends School for a tour and a talk on farm enterprises. Before they left, they helped us start harvesting this year's popcorn crop. We thank them for their good questions and willing help! The farm crew took over the harvesting later in the week and we have about 90% of the popcorn crop crated up and drying in the barn.

Upcoming events:

Farm Crawl is Sunday, October 7th from 11am-5pm.  Details can be found at www.farmcrawl.com.  Every year we invite CSA members not only to come out and tour the farms, but also to be part of the BGF team. So here is your chance for 2018. In the past, individuals/families have helped out with greeting visitors, sharing information, helping out at the chickens, parking and other various tasks. And, even better, you can still "Do the Crawl"! We are asking for volunteers to come for a 2 hour shift, so there is still time to visit the other farms. If you (and/or your family) would be interested in helping out at the farm please let us know. If you join us, we will set you up with some very fine BGF gear.

Final 2018 CSA delivery: Our final delivery of the season will be Tuesday, October 16th

VegEmail sales begin: Tuesday, November 6th

A little detail on your produce this week:

Basil hates the cold and will turn black with exposure. Keep long stemmed basil in a glass/vase of water on your counter top (out of direct sunlight). Stems that are too short (trimmings/tops) should be placed in a plastic bag, with a dry paper towel. Then put inside of a paper bag (for insulation) and put in the warmest part of your refrigerator (usually the door) or on the top shelf towards the front.

Cantaloupe:  If your cantaloupe seems a bit short of ripe, keep it at room temperature for a few days or until there is a sweet smell coming from the stem end. Once the melon ripens, store it in the refrigerator. It is best not to cut a cantaloupe until you are ready to eat it. If you need to return cut melon to the refrigerator, do not remove the seeds from the remaining sections as they keep the flesh from drying out. Use within 3-5 days.

Okra: These lovely, dark red, horn-shaped vegetables are a warm weather treat. Extremely cold sensitive, store in their plastic bag in the warmest part of your fridge, or place the plastic bag in a small paper sack and store in the crisper drawer and use within the week. Traditional southerners will cut into rounds, bread in cornmeal and fry, but our favorite version is our dear friend Annie's method, "All I do is rinse off the pods and lay them in a saucepan with a little water in the bottom. Ten to fifteen minutes is all it takes...twenty if the pods are really big and "woody" feeling. I put salt on them and eat as finger food. It reminds me of young sweet corn."

Peppers: Place whole, unwashed peppers in a plastic bag, seal, and refrigerate for a week or more. Rinse peppers just before use. For sweet peppers, cut around the stem with a small knife and lift out the core. Slice down the side to open it up and then cut out the inner membranes. Store unused portions in a sealed bag or container in the refrigerator.

Tomatoes: prefer to reside on your counter and not in the refrigerator unless they have been sliced. A light "squeeze" is the best test for ripeness. 

Watermelon: Handle watermelons carefully. When harvested at their peak ripeness, they can crack or split easily if bumped or roughly handled. Refrigerate watermelons right away. (Watermelons do not ripen off the vine and do not emanate a ripe smell.) Cut melon should be covered in plastic wrap, chunks or slices should be kept in an airtight container, and both should be refrigerated. Eat all melons within a week.  

A few other details: All of your GREENS will keep best if stored in a plastic bag, with the top folded over and placed in the produce drawer of your refrigerator.  

** NOTE: You will notice over the course of the season that some box contents listed above say "Perhaps one of the following..."  These are items that we can’t harvest in sufficient quantities for the whole CSA to receive at one time.  We do track who gets what and we will do our best to ensure that everyone eventually receives each item.  On some items this may take several weeks, so please be patient.

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 on Facebook at Blue Gate Farm and/or share your recipes, experiences and questions with other BGF members at Blue Gate Farm Community.

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 Luci & Indigo)

Blue Gate Farm Confetti Pasta
1 lb pasta (we like penne rigate, or other bite-sized hardy pasta)
½ lb swiss chard leaves, washed (can substitute most greens)
1 tbs olive oil
1 tbs minced garlic or garlic scapes (more or less to taste)
Pasta sauce (we like a simple red sauce with garlic and herb with this recipe)
Feta Cheese, crumbled

Cook pasta to package instructions or to taste. As pasta is cooking, start warming sauce. Cut chard or spinach leaves into thin strips, chiffonade-style (stack leaves and roll into a tight roll, then cut crossways into thin strips.) Pour olive oil into a skillet and heat over medium-high, add garlic and sauté, being careful not to allow garlic to brown. Add greens and sauté lightly, ensuring that garlic is distributed throughout leaves (2-3 minutes.) Remove from heat and cover to retain warmth.

When pasta is ready, assemble in a serving bowl or in individual pasta bowls. Place pasta in bowl, sprinkle with garlic and greens mixture and top with red sauce, garnishing with feta cheese (if using a serving bowl, you can toss all ingredients together.)

This recipe is also good topped or tossed with grilled or herb-roasted chicken or a medium spice sausage.

Chicken Parmesan Sausage with Chard and Beans

1 pound Chicken Parmesan Sausage (or other sausage, we like chicken with artichoke)
1 bunch of  Swiss Chard~ rough chopped
1 can of Cannellini Beans
1/4 cup white wine
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons olive oil

Saute in olive oil the Chicken Sausage for 10-12 minutes
Remove from pan and let rest
De glaze pan with white wine
Add Swiss Chard until wilted
Add Cannellini Beans and Parmesan Cheese
Slice Chicken Sausage and return to pan
Let simmer for 2-3 minutes to allow flavors to blend.
Serve in a bowl topped with Parmesan cheese

Recipe Source: olivehillmanor.com 

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