Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Final Market and Finally COLD!

“October extinguished itself in a rush of howling winds and driving rain and November arrived, cold as frozen iron, with hard frosts every morning and icy drafts that bit at exposed hands and faces.” 

~ J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix





Oh, how the winds have been howling!  The past couple of nights I have had whistling and blustering winds outside my bedroom window, fore telling of the cold weather to come.  The past couple of weeks have been a dance of covering and uncovering plants as we work to keep them producing.  So far, things are still looking really good.  We ARE expecting lows in the twenties this weekend, which marks the end of our farmers market season this week and may mark the end of some of our plantings.  We will see. 

Wednesday is the final market of the year for us and the final four weeks of CSA boxes can now be picked up at Tim's on Thursdays, after 5pm.  Again, if you miss your pick up on Thursday your box will sit and you can still get it on Friday.  Otherwise, you can always donate it to the Kirkwood School for Children if you miss your box for a week.  It will not go to waste! 

Boxes will include:

Braising Greens
Parsley
Red Onions
Yellow Onions
Garlic
Leeks
Rosemary
Diakon
Winter Squash
Bunched Spinach
Bok Choi
Turnip
Watermelon Radish
Black Radish
Rapini
Carrots

It has been a surprise this year as a lot of market goers have revealed to me that they had no idea you could cook radishes!  Radishes are a smashing hit cooked and here is a recipe with which you can use your radishes/turnips and carrots from your box.  The ones in your box will NOT have greens on them but we will be selling some at Wednesday's market so you can grab one with greens if you would like to include them with this recipe.  Otherwise, you can easily substitute the braising greens that come in your box for the green tops in the following recipe.

Roasted Radishes and Carrots with Radish Greens and Lime


  • 2 bunches of radishes, cleaned and trimmed
  • 2 cups chopped carrots 1
  • 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • coarse sea salt
  • handful of cleaned, chopped radish greens
  • 2 teaspoons fresh limes juice

Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees. Clean and cut radishes lengthwise (save some greens for later). In a medium bowl toss radishes, carrots, olive oil and salt. Spread on a sheet pan and roast for 15-20 minutes. Radishes should be tender to the touch. Put vegetables on a serving platter, toss with radish greens and lime juice.

Serves 4

Super easy and compliments of: http://www.theflamingvegan.com/view-post/Roasted-Radishes-and-Carrots-with-Radish-Greens-and-Lime

As always, thank you so much for farming and eating locally grown food with us.  Your support and participation is why we do what we do!  We look forward to bringing you more goodness from Iowa soil as the holiday season approaches.

Root down,
Your Echo Team

 


Saturday, October 25, 2014

Solar Eclipse and Recognizable Food

"Don't eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn't recognize as food."

~ Michael Pollan




The solar eclipse was gorgeous out here on the farm this week.  It eluded us all day, as we were surrounded by clouds and rain but at sunset, it peeked out from under the cover and wowed us into the evening.  We have been mucking it in the mud to get stuff picked due to to all the rain!  And now the fog comes in as a prelude to some supposedly very warm weather for a couple days.  We roll with it.  The sungolds will be happy and so will pretty much everything else!  

We have gotten a good start on planting garlic and look forward to seeing those who show up this week to pitch in and give it a go.

This Saturday market is the last Saturday selling of the season and then Wednesday will be the final market of the year.  For those of you who know the drill, it is time to pick up at Tim's again.  For those of you who do not, we start doing prepacked boxes that can be picked up at Kirkwood School for Children in Iowa City.  They actually use a lot of our produce for the children's meals and will gratefully accept anything you might not want from your box.  The pick up is Thursdays but if you cannot make it, your box will still be there on Fridays.  It will not be available on Saturdays though, as the school will be closed.

This week, CSA choice is:

Red Onion
Yellow Onion
Garlic
Potatoes
Sungolds
Leeks
Winter Squash
Bunched Spinach
Bok Choy
Rapini

What to do with rapini? Here is a great, simple example:


  • 2 medium garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp butter* (or oil)
  • 2 bunches rapini (broccoli rabe)
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon juice

Wash the rapini. Peel the stems and discard any bad leaves.

Emince the garlic. Heat a large frying pan that has a lid over medium-high heat and add the water, salt, pepper, sugar, butter and garlic together. 

*Note: For plant-based, use a non-dairy butter such as Earth Balance. 

Once the water just begins to boil and the butter has melted, add rapini and cover. Let steam for about 2 minutes. Toss the rapini to fully coat it with the butter and garlic. Replace the lid and let steam for another 2 to 3 minutes.

Once the rapini has just cooked through, squeeze the lemon into the pan and toss one final time. Serve immediately.

Compliments of: http://rouxbe.com/recipes/48-lemon-garlic-rapini-broccoli-rabe/preview

The boxes and table have been full this year!  Let us keep this going for the next four weeks of CSA.  Thank you for farming with us.

Your Echo Team

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Elements and Garlic

"There are five elements: earth, air, fire, water and garlic."

~ Louis Diat




Once you have had our fresh local garlic, store bought is simply no longer an option.  You just can't go back to bland.  We still have plenty for sale at market and are preparing to get cracking on our seed saved for planting.  When you folks come out to the farm it makes us smile. We love bridging the gap between farm and fork but we also love connecting farm and folk.  Sooo....

We are inviting you to come to the farm on the weekend of October 25th and 26th to celebrate garlic with us, do a little planting and potlucking, talk farm and food and more.  Bring kids if you've got them as there will be activities.  The campgrounds will be open to any who want to pitch a tent, weather permitting.  If you are interested, please let us know.  We'd love to have you out.

Garlic is widely known for its amazing flavor and maybe a little bit less known for its amazing healing properties.  

Joseph and Amy Alton of Backwoods Home write, "Unlike most herbs, studies have shown garlic to have a direct effectiveness against viruses. There are no known antibiotics that will destroy a viral infection. Colds and influenzas can cause miserable symptoms, and some flu cases can be fatal. Garlic probably works in a two-pronged attack on viruses, both directly and by stimulating your own immune defenses to fight harder. Ingesting fresh garlic may decrease the duration of a viral illness. It is thought that taking garlic before exposure to a virus will lessen your chance of getting the infection in the first place. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."

We all have notions of the healing potentials of garlic but may not really know what to do with it, other than cook it.  Cooking with it is a great start and regular use is intelligent use.  The Altons also recommend a few tips with garlic that are really easy to follow:

"The best garlic remedy uses fresh, uncooked, crushed, organic cloves — used in a warm tea or mixed with raw, unprocessed honey."

I love to do this and also fresh press raw garlic with beets, carrots and lemon for a powerful immune system. The more you play with garlic on a regular basis, the more prevention you put in the bank.

Another recommendation of the topical variety suggests, "For prevention or treatment of wound infections, you can use cool compresses of garlic tea, honey garlic syrup, fresh minced garlic, or garlic oil in place of a triple antibiotic ointment. Cover the wound or laceration with sterile gauze dressing. Change the covering and reapply the garlic remedy once or twice daily."

For more details and recommendations you can access their article with the following link:


And for food fun, here is a great way to use it in a recipe!


GARLIC AND THYME QUINOA PATTIES

Preparation Time – 20 minutes
Cooking Time – 20 minutes 
Makes – 20

Ingredients

 

2 and 1/2 cups cooked quinoa
5 organic eggs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3 whole meal bread slices, processed into breadcrumbs
1/4 cup chives, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 large Spanish onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoons fresh thyme, finely chopped
1 teaspoon mild paprika
sea salt flakes to taste
olive oil to pan fry

Method  

 

Put all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well with a large wooden spoon until thoroughly combined. 
Scoop some mixture in the palm of your hands to shape a patties approximately 5cm in diameter and 1cm thick. This size will yield approximately 20 patties with the mixture you have. (You can make them smaller and thicker or large and flatter as per your preference.)
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large frying pan on medium heat. Gently place 4-5 patties in the pan and shallow fry, cooking each side for 2 minutes before gently flipping over with a small spatula to cook the other side. Repeat till all patties are cooked. Use a tablespoon of oil each time you start cooking a new batch of patties.
Serve hot or cold with ketchup and salad greens.

Notes

 

These are delicate patties and a tad tricky to shape as they may stick to your hands or fall apart in the pan. Gently handling will prevent them from falling apart. once one side is cooked, they become easier to manage and even flatten nicely for even browning.
If you find it impossible to work with them or shape them, try adding 1 tablespoon of plain flour to make them hold their shape. 

Via  http://www.cookrepublic.com/recipe-archive/garlic-and-thyme-quinoa-patties/

GARLIC AND THYME QUINOA PATTIES

Preparation Time – 20 minutes
Cooking Time – 20 minutes 
Makes – 20

Ingredients

2 and 1/2 cups cooked quinoa
5 organic eggs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3 whole meal bread slices, processed into breadcrumbs
1/4 cup chives, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 large Spanish onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoons fresh thyme, finely chopped
1 teaspoon mild paprika
sea salt flakes to taste
olive oil to pan fry

Method

Put all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well with a large wooden spoon until thoroughly combined. 
Scoop some mixture in the palm of your hands to shape a patties approximately 5cm in diameter and 1cm thick. This size will yield approximately 20 patties with the mixture you have. (You can make them smaller and thicker or large and flatter as per your preference.)
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large frying pan on medium heat. Gently place 4-5 patties in the pan and shallow fry, cooking each side for 2 minutes before gently flipping over with a small spatula to cook the other side. Repeat till all patties are cooked. Use a tablespoon of oil each time you start cooking a new batch of patties.
Serve hot or cold with ketchup and salad greens.

Notes

These are delicate patties and a tad tricky to shape as they may stick to your hands or fall apart in the pan. Gently handling will prevent them from falling apart. once one side is cooked, they become easier to manage and even flatten nicely for even browning.
If you find it impossible to work with them or shape them, try adding 1 tablespoon of plain flour to make them hold their shape.
- See more at: http://www.cookrepublic.com/recipe-archive/garlic-and-thyme-quinoa-patties/#sthash.MNkabByP.dpuf

This week's CSA box will include:

Red and Yellow Onions
Shallots
Garlic
Potatoes
Sungold Tomatoes
Zucchini (last week)
Leeks
Diakon Radish
Winter Squash (acorn, delicata, sunshine, bon bon and butternut options)
Green Varietals (still working on just what we will be putting in but we do have a lot of great greens!)

Also... the ever present element of surprise. :)

We sure hope to see you out at the farm for the garlic event!  More info to come...

Your Echo Team

"No cook who has attained mastery over her craft ever apologizes for the presence of garlic in her productions."

~ Ruth Gottfried: The Questing Cook


GARLIC AND THYME QUINOA PATTIES

Preparation Time – 20 minutes
Cooking Time – 20 minutes 
Makes – 20

Ingredients

2 and 1/2 cups cooked quinoa
5 organic eggs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3 whole meal bread slices, processed into breadcrumbs
1/4 cup chives, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 large Spanish onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoons fresh thyme, finely chopped
1 teaspoon mild paprika
sea salt flakes to taste
olive oil to pan fry

Method

Put all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well with a large wooden spoon until thoroughly combined. 
Scoop some mixture in the palm of your hands to shape a patties approximately 5cm in diameter and 1cm thick. This size will yield approximately 20 patties with the mixture you have. (You can make them smaller and thicker or large and flatter as per your preference.)
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large frying pan on medium heat. Gently place 4-5 patties in the pan and shallow fry, cooking each side for 2 minutes before gently flipping over with a small spatula to cook the other side. Repeat till all patties are cooked. Use a tablespoon of oil each time you start cooking a new batch of patties.
Serve hot or cold with ketchup and salad greens.

Notes

These are delicate patties and a tad tricky to shape as they may stick to your hands or fall apart in the pan. Gently handling will prevent them from falling apart. once one side is cooked, they become easier to manage and even flatten nicely for even browning.
If you find it impossible to work with them or shape them, try adding 1 tablespoon of plain flour to make them hold their shape.
- See more at: http://www.cookrepublic.com/recipe-archive/garlic-and-thyme-quinoa-patties/#sthash.MNkabByP.dpuf


Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Hello Frost

"I cannot endure to waste anything as precious as autumn sunshine by staying in the house. 
So I spend almost all the daylight hours in the open air.
 
~ Nathaniel Hawthorne


(!Watermelon Radish!) 

This week has been a wacky one, adjusting to the new season and rolling with a powerful full moon eclipse.  Cosmic shifts bring adjustments to life here on earth.  The deer are chasing the cats and the plants are jousting the frost, with a little human intervention of course.  Our root vegetables are looking and tasting great.  The spinach took a really strong stand and has been producing beautifully.  Although the slugs have been prevailing this year, the bok choy is coming out big and hardy.

And the dish ran away with the spoon.

This week's fall CSA box will include:

Parsley
Red Onion
Shallots
Garlic
Potatoes
Sungold Tomatoes
Zucchini
Winter Squash
Bok Choy
Spinach
(And the element of surprise)

Delicata Squash with Rosemary, Sage, and Cider Glaze

"You peel, and slice it, then cook it in a skillet with cider and winter herbs. When most of the liquid boils away, the cider forms a tart-sweet glaze around the now-tender squash.
 
Delicata is a wonderfully firm-textured squash that's not too sweet and almost like a potato. Other varieties like acorn, turban, or kabocha will make good substitutes, but they may not hold their shape quite as well through the braising."

  • 2 medium delicata squash (about 2 pounds) or other firm winter squash
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup very coarsely chopped fresh sage
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh unfiltered apple cider or juice
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons sherry vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

1. Squash. If using delicata squash, peel it with a vegetable peeler, cut it lengthwise in half, and scrape out the seeds with a spoon. Cut each piece lengthwise in half again, then crosswise into 1/2-inch -thick slices. Other types of squash should be peeled with a chef's knife, seeded, cut into 1-inch wedges, then sliced 1/2-inch thick. 

2. Herb Butter. Melt the butter in a large (12-inch) skillet over low heat. Add the sage and rosemary and cook, stirring, until the butter just begins to turn golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Do not brown the herbs. Cooking the herbs in butter mellows their flavor and improves their texture. 

3. Cooking the squash. Add the squash to the skillet, then the apple cider, water, vinegar, and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, over medium heat at an even boil until the cider has boiled down to a glaze and the squash is tender, 20 to 30 minutes. Taste and season with pepper, and additional salt if needed. 

Compliments of http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Delicata-Squash-with-Rosemary-Sage-and-Cider-Glaze-104125

* Just a friendly reminder that there is no longer a Wednesday CSA pick-up for the remainder of this season. *

Please let us know if you have any questions.

Kindly,
Your Echo Team




Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Fall CSA Begins!

"I'm strong to the finish, 'cause I eats me Spinach, I'm Popeye the sailor man! (toot, toot)" 

~ Popeye (from theme song)




We are having a beautiful start to the fall harvest as we have had a week of nice warm weather and fairly easy patterns to work with.  The grasshoppers and slugs have been throwing us some curve balls, as well as neighboring properties who use farming practices that don't exactly meet our preferences or rhythms with the earth.  So we are grateful for the shining blessings this week.

For this week's first fall CSA box, you will find:

Spinach!
Salad Greens
Bok Choy
Zucchini
Leeks
Sungold Tomatoes
Kennebec Potatoes
Red Onions
Yellow Onions
Garlic
Shallots
(and some hopefuls)

Here is a great recipe for your fall start:

Fall Harvest Spinach Salad

  • 4 cups fresh baby spinach, chopped
  • 1½ cups cooked quinoa (cooked according to package directions)
  • ¾ cup butternut squash, chopped
  • 1 medium apple, peeled and chopped
  • ⅓ cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • 3 Tablespoons dried cranberries
  • 2 Tablespoons tahini
  • 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar (or water)
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 Tablespoons Bragg’s liquid aminos (tamari or soy sauce would work too)
  • 4 Tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic (1 – 2 cloves of garlic)
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  1. Prepare the squash by peeling it, cutting it in half and scraping out the seeds.
  2. Cut the squash into ½ inch cubes, place on a lightly oiled baking sheet and roast at 400° for 30-40 minutes, turning once or twice, until all the pieces are tender and have a few small brown spots.
  3. While roasting the squash, toss together spinach, cooked quinoa, apple, pepitas and cranberries in a large salad bowl.
  4. Prepare dressing by placing all remaining ingredients (tahini through maple syrup) in a blender and blend until smooth.
  5. Once the butternut squash is done roasting, allow it to cool and then place into the salad bowl with the other ingredients. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to coat. Serve immediately.
Compliments of:  http://www.eatingbirdfood.com/2012/10/fall-harvest-spinach-salad/

Thank you all for farming with us!