Saturday, November 24, 2012

End of Fall CSA: The Beginning of Winter

We send out a very big THANK YOU to all of our Fall CSA participants!  We couldn't have done it without you!  Last week was our last Fall CSA delivery, we wholly hope you enjoyed it.  We also hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving feast, whether it be with family or loved ones!  A handful of our Echollective farmers departed for the holidays to spend with family, but a few of us remained behind to create our own feast: bottom round beef roast, a medley of roasted Echollective veggies, mashed potatoes and turkey gravy, apple-cranberry stuffing, light and fluffy biscuits and a homemade chocolate-marble cheesecake dessert.  Needless to say....we were cooking for a long time, and we were STUFFED!  And we haven't really had to prepare lunch for the last couple of days, we have so many leftovers!

On farm-happenings have been spare and steady.  We are still crackin' away at our seed garlic, with a bit left to plant, and all our fields are yet to be mulched.  We already have way more garlic in the ground this fall than we did last year!  Next year's garlic harvest is going to be epic, who knows how much larger our garlic business will expand, but all we know is that it grows slowly bigger and bigger by the season.  We are also implementing a couple new garlic varieties this year!

Fall CSA may be over, but this doesn't mark the end of being able to get some of our produce! Come check us out at the New Bo Market out in Cedar Rapids, where we have been every Saturday all day, and we've even been the "featured" guest vendor for the past couple of weeks!  We also plan on having our market stand at the Trumpet Blossom Cafe every Saturday from 11:00 AM 'til 2:00 PM in Iowa City, please come visit us there!  It's been a bit slow our first few weeks being there but we sure do hope it picks up.   

Now also begins the time for our "Weekly Boxes," our sort of "unofficial" CSA or "Winter CSA."  It's our only CSA option in the wintertime and it works as follows: contact us for a CSA box and we'll make you one up of whatever we have!  We'll send it either to our Trumpet Blossom Market or the NewBo in Cedar Rapids, whichever is most convenient for you, and you will pay us there in exchange for receiving your box.   

You can get a CSA box by getting a hold of Derek Roller, via Email, Phone, or Facebook.  Visit our Contact Us page for contact info on our website; for more CSA Info on our "Winter Weekly Boxes" also visit our website and look at "CSA Info."

Otherwise...we'll see you for our next CSA season, Spring 2013!  Electronic sign-up thru Small Farm Central will open soon.

Stay warm-- don't get too cold!  Hope to see you at market sometime.


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 Please tell us if you can't identify something on the market table, don't know what to do with a particular item, have a food allergy we should know about, or if you have other questions or comments. We love to hear from you! 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Cold, Cold, Cold!

Hello everyone!  Not too much to report except that it has been incredibly cold, dipping down into the coldest temps we've seen yet!  From what I've heard, it got down to 16 degrees last night, and it's been pretty brutal other nights this week, too.  We ran out into the fields the day before with our raincoats to pull in as much produce as we could in the middle of that marvelous storm.  The storm was wonderful, but later that night, the plants really felt it.  We never know the extent of the damage until a few days later, when the worst of the bruises and "freezer burn"/frostbite start to appear on leaves and stalks.  For that reason, we are kinda unsure of what this week's CSA will consist of exactly because some stuff may look good and then look incredibly crappy in only a matter of days.  And we can tell you right now.....a lot of our vegetables look really sad, hurt, and unhappy, so we're going to have to give them some time to recuperate, or pronounce them dead.  However, we've fixed up solid list of delicious organic, local fare ready for you to use at your Thanksgiving dinner next week!  That's right: Thanksgiving CSA shares will be this week!  We've still got lots of yummy stuff that we know we can give to our loyal members for sure.

CSA Pickups will be a little different this week than from the previous pickup!  So listen up.  We will still have pickups Friday at Tim's/Kirkwood School for Children, but it will be a bit later.  CSA boxes will be dropped off there around 5:15 or later, but not too much later, and you can head there and pick them up then.  Our Saturday pickup will be at the Trumpet Blossom Cafe in Iowa City at our little market stand we'll have set up there (we were there this last Saturday!) from 11:00 AM-2:00 PM.  Those times may vary.  We will have more official information later in the week, and once again, we will email you with the official news.  Oh yeah...come visit us at the Trumpet Blossom Market this Saturday! 

With that, I will bid you adieu.  Don't forget to check out the following yummy Thanksgiving recipes!  We'll have more for you next week!  Stay warm everybody, and we hope to see you this weekend!


Thanksgiving CSA this week:
  • Spinach
  • Bok Choi
  • Daikon Radishes
  • Winter Radishes
  • Turnips
  • Winter Squash
  • Rosemary
  • ....doubtlessly more!  It'll be a surprise.

Recipes

Puréed Roasted Squash and Yams With Citrus (www.nytimes.com)

This aromatic dish is inspired by a recipe in Lynne Rossetto Kasper’s wonderful book “The Splendid Table.” The dish was traditional at Yom Kippur among the Italian Jews of Emilia-Romagna. Ms. Kasper says that in Italy the dish is often served with poached turkey, which says to me that it’s perfect for Thanksgiving.

  • 1 good-size butternut squash, about 3 pounds
  • 1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes (or yams, the kind with the dark orange flesh)
  • 3 tablespoons mixed finely chopped orange and lemon zest
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
 
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cover a large baking sheet with foil and brush the foil with olive oil. Cut the squash in half lengthwise (see below) and scoop out the seeds and fibers. Lay on the baking sheet, cut side down. Pierce the sweet potatoes in several places with the tip of a paring knife and place them on the baking sheet. Place in the oven and bake 1 hour, or until the potatoes and squash are thoroughly tender when pierced with a knife. Turn the oven down to 350 degrees.
2. Bring 1 quart of water to a boil in a saucepan and add the zests. Boil for 3 minutes and drain.
3. When the squash and sweet potatoes are tender, remove the skins and mash the rest with a fork, potato masher or standing mixer fitted with the paddle, or put it through a food mill. (A food processor makes the mixture too watery, Ms. Kasper says.) Stir in the citrus zest, the cinnamon, olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste.
4. Scrape the mixture into a heavy skillet or saucepan and cook, stirring, over medium heat, stirring, for 10 to 15 minutes, until it is thick and steamy. Serve hot.
 
Yield: 6 to 8 servings.
 
Advance preparation: You can bake the squash and sweet potatoes up to 2 days ahead and reheat in a medium oven or on top of the stove.
Note: I find that the easiest way to cut a big butternut squash in half is to slice off  the very top and bottom, then stand it on its now-flat bottom and cut down from the top using a sturdy chef’s knife.
Nutritional information per serving (6 servings): 170 calories; 0 grams saturated fat; 0 grams polyunsaturated fat; 2 grams monounsaturated fat; 0 milligrams cholesterol; 37 grams carbohydrates; 9 grams dietary fiber; 53 milligrams sodium (does not include salt to taste); 3 grams protein.
Nutritional information per serving (8 servings): 128 calories; 0 grams saturated fat; 0 grams polyunsaturated fat; 1 gram monounsaturated fat; 0 milligrams cholesterol; 28 grams carbohydrates; 7 grams dietary fiber; 40 milligrams sodium (does not include salt to taste); 2 grams protein.


Creamed Spinach Gratin (www.myrecipes.com)

Ingredients
  • 1/2 teaspoon butter
  • 5 packages (10 oz. each) frozen chopped spinach, defrosted
  • 2 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs

Preparation

1. Butter a shallow 1 1/2- to 2-quart baking dish. Squeeze out as much water as possible from the spinach (use your hands or a clean kitchen towel). Set aside.
2. Heat spinach and cream in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low and stir in cheese to melt. Stir in salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Adjust seasoning to taste.
3. Transfer spinach mixture to buttered baking dish and sprinkle with bread crumbs. Just before serving, place dish in the oven 5 to 6 in. below a broiler set to high; broil until top is golden and crunchy, about 3 minutes.


Rosemary Broasted Turkey (allrecipes.com)

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • sat to taste
  • 1 (12 pound) whole turkey

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
  2. In a small bowl, mix the olive oil, garlic, rosemary, basil, Italian seasoning, black pepper and salt. Set aside.
  3. Wash the turkey inside and out; pat dry. Remove any large fat deposits. Loosen the skin from the breast. This is done by slowly working your fingers between the breast and the skin. Work it loose to the end of the drumstick, being careful not to tear the skin.
  4. Using your hand, spread a generous amount of the rosemary mixture under the breast skin and down the thigh and leg. Rub the remainder of the rosemary mixture over the outside of the breast. Use toothpicks to seal skin over any exposed breast meat.
  5. Place the turkey on a rack in a roasting pan. Add about 1/4 inch of water to the bottom of the pan. Roast in the preheated oven 3 to 4 hours, or until the internal temperature of the bird reaches 180 degrees F (80 degrees C).

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 Please tell us if you can't identify something on the market table, don't know what to do with a particular item, have a food allergy we should know about, or if you have other questions or comments. We love to hear from you!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Fall CSA Week 5!

Wow, we're already at week 5 of our Fall CSA!  My how time flies.  This means there's only one week left!

Speaking of which, we have some important news in regards to Fall CSA: the fact that it WON'T be happening this week!  Some of you may be like "huh?!" but let me do a bit of explaining.  Since we originally planned on distributing CSA's at the Grant Wood Market, which was to occur every other week until it was abruptly cancelled, we did not originally plan to deliver this week because Grant Wood wouldn't have occurred and we're sticking with that plan.  We would have planned on skipping this week anyway, being that there would be no Grant Wood to drop them off at.  "But why?" you might ask.  Why couldn't we just deliver this week and have Fall CSA end a bit early?

The answer: because next week we will be featuring a Special Thanksgiving Share!  Yep, we'll be giving you some extra goodies that could be of big help or a lovely addition to your holiday dinner!  And if we gave them to you a week early, they wouldn't be as fresh or delightful as when we would give them to you the week of Thanksgiving!  So be prepared....and stay tuned!  Next week we'll give you a list of what to expect and some Thanksgiving-oriented recipes!  Once again CSA pickups may be a bit shifty next week, but we will inform you if there are any big, important changes.

We'll be sad to see Fall CSA come and go so quickly, it seems.  It's been fun tending, handling, and packing all these new fall veggies for you all.  But don't worry- Fall CSA doesn't mean the end of CSA possibilities this year.  We will start our "Weekly Boxes" CSA, which basically means: call us when you want a box at any point, and we will pack one for you!  20$ for a Couple Share, 30$ for Families!  This will be our arrangement until our next official CSA season, which will be our 2013 Spring CSA.

This past weekend was an interesting experiment with the new Saturday farmer's markets we tried out, in absence of our Iowa City Market and the Grant Wood Market we were depending on.  New Bo market was quite a success!  Apparently 10,000 patrons showed up that day?  Wow, that's like a small town right there.  It was also 12 hours long!  Our market worker had to be relieved for at least an hour to make it through.  We brought almost 4 times the usual amount of produce and all in all we thought it was worth it!  Derek was at his house selling veggies that day too, and it seemed to do well.  

Next week we'll be trying out a new market stand place in Iowa City: The Trumpet Blossom Cafe!  That is, we might be there, we'll have to double check and make sure it's ok we're slinging organic food by their place.  We'll find out soon and let you all know!

In other news...yikes, it's been getting dark EARLY now!  Sun down by 5:30?  It gets dark, we stop working, and it'll take a while to get used to the fact that there are still hours yet to do things.  On the other hand, getting up in the morning feels great because you feel like you're getting up super early, when you're really just getting up at the same time you used to!

Besides packing our stuff for CSA, resaurants, Co-ops and markets, we've been prepping, cracking, planting, and obsessing over our garlic!  We're glad to be done with watering, it seems like good ol' Mother Sky has been doing it for us.  This morning was a pleasantly long rain and fortunately we even left some of the plants' covers open.  Oh yeah....that has been another job to take up our time, covering our plants with reemay and plastic on the coldest of nights.  We haven't got plastic up on our cold-frames quite yet, the temps haven't dropped low enough for that to be our biggest priority.  But we're basically set up and ready.

Well...with no CSA this week, we don't have much of a list to offer, of course.  But just for kicks, we'll send a couple recipes your way!

See you at market...wherever that ends up being!


Recipes

Yukina Savoy Quiche with Spicy Pepper, Cherry and Pine Nut Relish (www.fatandhappyblog.com)

Yukina Savoy Quiche:
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 heaping Tbls of Greek yogurt (plus some for topping)
  • 1 large garlic clove, finely diced
  • 2 cups of yukina savoy
  • 1 Tbls shredded Parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • olive oil   
Heat a saute pan over medium heat, add a drizzle of olive oil. Chop the stems of the yukina savoy into small pieces, add the stems and the garlic to the saute pan; cook for few minutes. Add the rest of the yukina savoy, toss and cook for a about 4 minutes until the leaves begin to wilt. Remove from heat.

Whisk together the eggs and the Greek yogurt with a pinch of salt and fresh black pepper.  Pour the egg mixture into a small casserole dish.  Add the sauteed yukina savoy and cheese to the eggs, pushing the  savoy into the egg.

Place in a pan in a preheated 400 degree oven until the middle is set. The eggs will become quite puffed up, and if you shake the pan, the eggs will not appear runny.  It's easy to overcook the eggs so check them often or they will become dry.  The eggs will deflate quickly after removing from the oven, serve immediately with the pine nut relish (recipe below) and a scoop of Greek yogurt (optional).


Spicy Pepper, Cherry and Pine Nut Relish:

  • 1 heaping tbls dried cherries (or craisins), finely diced
  • 1/2 cup finely diced red pepper
  • 1 large garlic clove, finely diced
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 3 tbls olive oil
  • 1 green onion, diced
  • 3 tbls toasted pine nuts, lightly chopped

Place the dried cherries and green onions into a small bowl, set aside.
Drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil in saute pan, heat over medium-high heat.  Add the diced red peppers, cook for 1 minute.  Add in the diced garlic and cook for about 3 minutes until the garlic begins to soften and releases its' flavor (toss often).  Pour over the cherries.

In the same pan (do not wipe out) add the red pepper flakes and the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil.  Simmer the flakes over medium heat for about 3 minutes to season the oil.  Pour the oil in the peppers and cherry bowl.  Top with the toasted pine nuts, set aside until ready to use. 


Clean Eating Garlic Baby Kale with Crushed Red Peppers (www.thegraciouspantry.com)
(Makes 2 servings)

Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth, no sugar added
  • 4 generous cups, tightly packed baby kale
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder OR 6 cloves, chopped
  • 1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp. low sodium soy sauce

Directions
Step 1 – Sauté the garlic in the olive oil in a large pan.
Step 2 – Pour the chicken broth into the pan and add the kale, garlic powder, red pepper flakes and soy sauce. Cook until kale is wilted and cooked to your liking.

Eat and Enjoy!


Easy Daikon Salad (www.sarahsbellacucina.com)
serves 4

Ingredients:
  • 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

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.
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).
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.
This can store for up to a few days in the fridge, if it lasts that long. If desired, serve topped with crushed peanuts.


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