Last Deep Winter (February 7) Share Box

Brrr….It’s a crazy windy day out there.  The upside might be that some of the snow from this past week will be blown off of the low tunnels at Riverland so that there aren’t mountains to dig into come harvest day this week. Remember these photos from last month’s share blog?  Well just imagine what the tunnels look like after last week’s storm! Riverland low tunnel spinach Jan 2015 Riverland low tunnels Jan 2015

Anyways…this weather makes me happy to stand at the warm stove and cook.  I just got Jackie Starr’s Fabulous Menu Suggestions for our share this upcoming week.  Check it out!  There’s even a sweet potato felafel in there and lots of other inspiring ways to enjoy the winter veggies.

Here are the shared contents (and storage/use advice) for this upcoming Saturday, barring any major weather-related difficulties.

Use these within a week or so (or blanch or make a dish for freezing) and store cold and moist in your refrigerator:
Spinach, about 1 1/4 pound , from Riverland

These will keep for many weeks in COLD, MOIST storage (keep moist in bag, with some ventilation

Beets, 2.5 lbs. from Picadilly

Carrots – 5 lbs., from Picadilly
Cabbage (red)from Riverland— sauerkraut or kimchi ideally is made asap, cabbage will store for a while whole, just peel off outer leaves that may have dried a bit or turned brownish/blackish–the rest of the cabbage will still be quite good.

Potatoes – 4 lbs., from Picadilly

Parsnips 2 lbs. from Picadilly (more recipes here)

Optional surplus Rutebagas, Gilfeather Turnips, and possibly Celeriac from Picadilly (Please take what you’d like from the bulk bin at the distribution, these will not be in the share…check out the Recipes in the Storage Tips and Recipes drop down menu.  All of these are fabulous roasted, mashed or even grated into a salad.)

These will keep for many weeks in COOL, DRY conditions (40-55 degrees), like a shelf in your basement or unheated room as long as it doesn’t freeze; store in paper bags:
Garlic ½ lb. (can also be stored in a tightly closed jar in the refrigerator), from Riverland
Onions, yellow, 2 lbs., from Harlow Farm in VT

These will keep for a several weeks in your kitchen or in a cool dry cellar:                

Butternut Squash, 3 pieces, from Riverland

Dried Thyme-bouquet, from Picadilly–great for adding to those hearty winter stews and soups!

These will keep for months at 50-70 degrees—NOT COLD STORAGE:
Sweet potatoes 4 lbs., from Riverland and Picadilly–for a quick and easy snack anytime, make sweet potato fries in the oven (with a little chili powder and cumin!) or sweet potato ice cream!

Dried Beans, (choice of black turtle, light red kidney, cannelini, or sulfur yellow), hand sorted from Baer’s Best Beans will keep for the next year in dry storage, cold or warm.  As they are fresher now, they typically take less time to cook and need minimal soaking.

Tomato Puree (1 jar), Riverland’s summer tomatoes, pureed and canned by local processor, shelf-stable, no salt added.

Three Month Winter CSA: Last Share

Winter is here! The temps are predicted to drop to 19 degrees tonight, and no higher than 32 tomorrow. It will be a chilly day for shareholders. The good news is that this share is really nice, well worth a little shivering. The Picadilly farm crew moved through the fields quickly on Tuesday, harvesting as many leafy greens as they could before the snow hit. We will reap the benefits of their work: head lettuce and a bag of kale & collard greens in the share. Jenny’s sending along some extra spinach (sweet, sweet frost-kissed spinach!), too!

Lots of roots in this CSA share. If you’re looking for new root recipes, check out shareholder’s blogs in the sidebar. I found Moroccan Vegetable Stew on Semi-Sweet and can hardly wait to try it. Roasted Root Vegetables with Rosemary and Bacon and Root Vegetable Stew, both from epicurious.com, are nice root recipes, too.

Here is what you will find in the last winter share: Continue reading

Popcorn

Here are directions from Rob at Riverland about how to pop Riverland’s popcorn.

The popcorn you get in your share has just been picked from the field. The kernels will still need time to dry (At least 3 weeks in warm non-humid environment) before they are ready to pop. You may want to test pop the corn after 3 weeks to see if it pops well. If it does, it is dry enough and ready to pop. The husk has been peeled back to allow the corn to dry. Just hang or store your bouquet in a dry place. In approximately 3-4 weeks get your pan warmed up and toss in a couple kernels. If they pop fully then the rest are ready to pop and eat. If the kernels only half pop let the corn dry a little longer. It is worth the wait.

We have had the best success popping the corn on the stovetop. Some have tried in the microwave. I have yet to find any good tips on popping right off the cob. If anyone has a trick let us know we will put it up on our website!

* 1 ear of pop corn
* 1 tsp olive or vegetable oil (per 1 cup)

Using your hands work the kernels of popcorn off the cob. Start from the tip of the ear of corn and work toward the base. Place the kernels in a 5-6 quart sauce pot (with lid with just enough oil to cover the kernels. Heat corn and oil on medium high heat. After about 3-5 minutes the kernels will begin to pop. Once you hear that the popping has slowed and almost stopped remove from heat and put into bowl and season to taste.

Two Month Winter CSA: Last Share

The mild “winter” weather we’ve been experiencing has resulted in some veggie treats we don’t usually get this time of year in New England. The head lettuce in today’s share is one of those treats. Picadilly is sending more of these treats with the winter share today, and they will be available for purchase. Harvested on Friday (December 4!!!), they include: spinach, red kale, lacinato kale, collards, salad turnips, napa cabbage, and daikon radish.

Lots of roots in the share today. Two of my favorite recipes make use of many of them: Roasted Root Vegetables with Rosemary and Bacon and Root Vegetable Stew.

Here is what you will find in the share today:
Cabbages, 2 small heads of red cabbage, 1 head of green cabbage
Kale, 1 bunch. For something new, and addictive, try these crispy kale chips.
Lettuce, 2 heads
Leeks, 1 bunch
Onions, 2 pounds
Beets, 3 pounds
Carrots, 6 pounds
Celeriac, 2 pounds. New to celeriac? The Seasonal Chef offers five easy recipes, all of which look delicious.
Parsnips, 2 pounds
Popcorn, 1 bouquet. How to pop corn! Meghan and Rob at Riverland Farm grew the popcorn you’ll find in the share.
Potatoes, 5 pounds
Winter radish, 1-2 pieces. The variety in the share is Misato Rose.
Sweet potatoes, 4 pounds
Turnips, 2 pounds
Winter squash, about 7 pounds of butternut
Red Kidney Beans, 2 pounds. My two all time favorite ways to use kidney beans are Red Beans & Rice and Moosewood’s Vegetarian Chili.

In addition to the regular share, shareholders who pre-ordered them will be picking up bulk roots (carrots, celeriac, garlic, onions, parsnips, potatoes, sweet potatoes), dried turtle and navy beans, organic maple syrup and raw honey.

Putting up apples

Eighty bushels of apples from Cider Hill Farm went home with Shared Harvest CSA members on Saturday. Three bushels have been living on my porch, waiting to be eaten or preserved. They are storage variety apples, so if I had a cold place to store them I could eat them ‘fresh’ all winter. Since I’ve limited fridge space my apple storage plan involves canning most of them.

I spent yesterday morning making apple butter. My house still smells of apples, cinnamon and cloves. Today I turned another bushel of apples into applesauce. I’ve a whole shelf in the pantry filled with jars of apple butter and applesauce. These will be a real treat this winter.

If you’re wanting to preserve some of your winter veggies, the National Center for Home Food Preservation has a lot of good information about food storage including how to can, freeze and ferment various veggies

Three Month Winter CSA: Second Veggie Installment

Three month CSA shareholders, are you ready for the next installment of veggies? This month some of the veggies have been left dirty. Potatoes, rutabagas, parsnips, carrots all store better with dirt on them. If you have questions about how to store your vegetables, take a look at these storage tips.

Interested in a few new recipes? You might enjoy some of the recipes from the November 7 share posting. A couple of shareholders told me they’ve posted recipes on the Newton Farm’s Shared Harvest Recipe Wiki. I encourage you to check out this cool resource if you haven’t already. It might also be fun to see how other shareholders are managing their share and what they are cooking up. Check the sidebar for the links.

From Picadilly Farm:
Leeks, a bunch. Leeks can be easily frozen – just wash, dice and put in sealed bag in the freezer.

Potatoes, 5 pounds of white “Salems”, unwashed for better storage. Store them in a cool and dark place, out of the plastic bag, and they should store for months.

Red radishes, a bunch.

Lacinato kale, a bunch. This dark green kale can be used like any other kale.

Rutabagas, 2 pounds unwashed. Compared to the turnip, rutabagas have a yellowier hue in their flesh, and a taste that’s more earthy and warm, without the radishy zing. Store them as other roots, very cold but not freezing.

Salad turnips, a bunch. These “Hakurai” turnips are like a sweet radish, and are delicious raw in salads, grated or chopped. Saute them with greens. Unlike the more traditional fall turnip, these Hakurai are too watery for roasts or stews.

Parsnips, 2 pounds, unwashed for better storage.

Carrots, 5 pounds, unwashed for longer storage. These fall “boleros” are as big as they are sweet. Store in the fridge, or in a very cold (but not freezing) place in your house.

Winter squash, 7 pounds of butternuts, 2-4 pieces. They are best stored at about 50-55 degrees, not much colder – a cool place in your kitchen can work well.

Parsley, a bunch. It’s not the prettiest bunch ever picked. But since we picked the “hearts” out of these plants – the last harvest of the season – the flavor is strong and sweet.

Sweet potatoes, 4 pounds. More of this very nice crop. Keep them in a cool place in your kitchen – they’ll last for months if you have a 50-55 degree spot, with good ventilation.

Spinach, a pound. Actually from Appleton Farms in Ipswich – we needed spinach for the share, after a crop failure in our field; and they needed winter squash for their holiday shares. So, we made a swap. Enjoy!

From Riverland Farm: I made a few corrections to this list after I posted it: more lettuce, fewer onions and broccoli (no bok choy) are in the share.
Lettuce, three small heads. Heads of Boston and Batavian varieties.
Escarole, one head.
Brussels sprouts, two stalks.
Onions, two pounds.
Broccoli, about 1/2 pound.
Napa Cabbage, one head.
Garlic, half a pound.

From Baer’s Best Beans, two pounds of dark red kidney beans.

Beans

There’s a good deal to know about dried beans. Here’s a link to Central Bean Company. The site has information about large scale bean production, as well as tips on how to prepare, store and cook with beans. Check out the bean combine photos on the lower right side of the home page. You won’t see a combine that big in Massachusetts. Our bean production is on a much smaller scale, as are our the combines. (That makes it sound like we might have a lot of small combines in Massachusetts. I don’t think so. I bet there aren’t more than a half dozen bean combines in the state.)

This year I’ve included dried beans in the winter share. I think that since beans are a less expensive (financially and environmentally) source of protein than meat, it just makes sense to eat more of them. And it sure makes sense to support one of the few beans growers in Massachusetts by including his crop in our CSA share.

Shared Harvest shareholders will get two pounds of Baer’s Best dark red kidney beans in the next CSA share. Here are two of my favorite ways to use these beans.
Red Beans and Rice
Moosewood Vegetarian Chili

It’s Kohlrabi!

“What’s the green round thing in the share? Tastes kind of like a cross between broccoli and turnip.” No less than ten shareholders have asked about the kohlrabi in Saturday’s winter CSA share. It tickles me to present folks with this “new” treat.

The Boston Sustainable Food Examiner has a nice recipe for it, along with a couple of your fall apples. The photo below comes from thebittenword.com’s photostream.

Winter Share Contents 11/7

It’s been a bit chilly at Riverland and Picadilly farms this week. The temperature at Picadilly is predicted to fall into the low 20’s tonight. Brrr! In spite of the cold, harvest crews have brought in and packed a really nice share.

Here’s a list of what is in your share from Picadilly Farm this month:

Kohlrabi, a piece. This is truly a “bonus” item in your share – we didn’t have it in the plan, but Jenny just couldn’t resist growing a fall root crop called “Gigante”. If you’ve haven’t tried it yet, prepare for a mild flavor, much like the stem of broccoli with a little turnip tossed in. Peel off the outer layer, use it all at once or just a bit at a time – it will keep well partial or whole in your fridge for a long time. Here are a few recipe from Jenny:

Kohlrabi Sautee, Farmacopeia by Pete Napolitano
Sautee kohlrabi Chinese-style in a little peanut oil with shiitake mushrooms, sweet red pepper, shallots, minced gingerroot and cashew or pine nuts. Season with rice wine, soy sauce, sesame oil and a pinch of sugar. You can also thicken this with a little cornstarch mixed with water.

Braised Kohlrabi, The New Foods by Camille Cusumano
Braise diced or slice kohlrabi in just enough chicken or beef stock to cover it. Add a little butter and some caraway seeds to the stock and simmer until tender, about 12 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley.

Leeks, a bunch. Ever tried braising leeks? Makes for a lovely side dish. Here’s a simple recipe for Braised Leeks with Lemon.

Potatoes, 5 pounds of white “Salems”, unwashed for better storage. Store them in a cool and dark place, out of the plastic bag, and they should store for months.

Radicchio, a small head. This Italian chicory looks like a small red cabbage and has a bitter, peppery taste. It is most commonly used as an ingredient in salad mix, though it loses some of the bitterness when cooked.

Rutabagas, 2 pounds unwashed. Compared to the turnip, rutabagas have a yellower hue in their flesh, and a taste that’s more earthy and warm, without the radishy zing. Store them as other roots, very cold but not freezing.

Spinach, 1 pound. This spinach is from Appleton Farm in Ipswich. When Picadilly’s spinach crop failed, a veggie swap was arranged with Appleton farmer, Jamie Barrett: Picadilly winter squash for Appleton spinach. Enjoy!

Salad turnips, a bunch. These “Hakurai” turnips are like a sweet radish, and are delicious raw in salads, grated or chopped. I also like them sauteed with greens. Unlike the more traditional fall turnip, these Hakurai are too watery for roasts or stews.

Parsnips, 2 pounds, unwashed for better storage. The classic winter root, and we have tender crop this year. Try cooking them a different way – roasting with other roots, cut into “fries”, or cooked and mashed into patties. Store in the fridge, or in very cold (but not freezing) place in your house.

Carrots, 4 pounds. These fall “boleros” are as big as they are sweet. This variety is meant to be big for long storage, but it’s still so sweet! Store in the fridge, or in a very cold (but not freezing) place in your house.

Winter squash, 7 pounds of butternuts, 2-4 pieces. They are best stored at about 50-55 degrees, not much colder – a cool place in your kitchen can work well. Watch for small bruises or rot spots – the squash will deteriorate quickly once they appear. Any winter squash seeds are great for roasting: rinse them well, and let them dry. Oil the pan slightly, and roast in a thin layer. Roast at a low temperature, 300-325, as the seeds can go from brown to burnt quickly. Stir occasionally. Try seasoning halfway through roasting with sugar and cinnamon – yum!

Cilantro, a bunch. One of the more cold-hardy fresh herbs, this crop has stayed tender under some wire hoops and row cover in our field – a mini greenhouse! Store it with the stems in a glass of water, in or out of the fridge; or wash and dry the leaves and store in a sealed container in the refrigerator. Cilantro can also be frozen: blend or chop it in a little oil, and freeze in ice cube-sized portions.

Sweet potatoes, 4 pounds.

Sweet peppers, 6 or 7. These thin-walled, Italia-type “Carmen” peppers were picked on Monday. Jenny says it’s the first time she’s ever harvested sweet peppers from the field in November! Back in late September, when there were a few really cold nights, the farm crew threw some heavy row covers over the loaded pepper rows, not sure what would happen. The tips of the plants, as well as the plants on the edges, got nipped by frost; but the fruits hanging under the canopy of the plants continued to ripen to red. These peppers can be frozen for later cooking – just chop and freeze. Those that are not quite red will ripen more, either on a counter top or in the fridge.

Red radishes, one bunch. Nice with salad, great as a snack.

Riverland Farm’s contribution to the share this week includes:
Lettuce, two heads. This is a sweet, crisp Batavian variety of lettuce that stands up well in cold temperatures.

Escarole, one head. Some folks eat this slightly bitter green raw, in salads. If that’s too much for your taste buds, try it sauteed in olive oil and garlic, sprinkled with balsamic vinegar. Or try this recipe for a nice winter soup: White Bean and Escarole Soup with Garlic.

Brussels’ sprouts, two stalks.

Onions, two pounds.

Baby Bok Choy, about a pound. Lovely with cranberries in Bok Choy Salad, tasty in a colorful stir fry – throw in some radish, carrot, onion, hakurei turnip and a red pepper!

Napa Cabbage, one head. There are so many ways to use napa: in a salad with radishes and buttermilk dressing, stir fried, made into cole slaw, or if your up for an adventure you might try a small batch of saurekraut.

garlic, half a pound.

From Baer’s Best Beans, one pound of dried beans, Jacob’s Cattle, Otebo or Calypso.
Ten pounds of apples from Cider Hill Farm are also included this month. Apples varieties include Empire, Mutsu, Melrouge, Carosel, Braeburn, Gala and Jonagold.