Vegetable List Mokum Carrots Swiss Chard Sweet & Light Kale Parsley Ironman Pumpkins Butterkin Squash Delicata Squash Jester Squash
Notes from the Farm I have this perpetual feeling of learning on the job... and it's my first day. This is the end of my 16th year of growing for a CSA member base... I could tell you May what the shares and season would look like, but when it comes to daily predictions, it's a lot of “I don't know.” It's kind of become a joke... I have no idea what I'm doing... so much so that I've stopped answering questions... every question I get in the stand is met with either “hard tellin', not knowin'” or “a lot depends on a lot.” I get two competing feelings about my psychic agricultural vacancy... it's either that I've seen it enough to know that hanging expectations on a mercurial science is foolish OR somehow I've made it through a third of my life without paying attention and I'm just realizing it (but continuing to not pay attention anyway)... Either way, I guess it doesn't matter, the food came, the food is gone and we made it through another growing year. I loved this one, and will think of 2021 fondly. It was a little weird, and little wet, a little upside-down and a lot productive. We are so thankful that you folks came along for the ride... we hope you have a great winter, and maybe, we'll see you again next year. lots of love from all of us geof RecipesRoasted Carrots with Feta and Parsley 1.5 pounds carrots, cut 1/2 inch thick on the bias '3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Toss carrots with oil on a rimmedbaking sheet, and season with salt and pepper. Roast untilcarrots are caramelized and tender, about 25 minutes. Transfer carrots to a bowl, and toss with feta and parsley
Parsley Sauce for Steak 1 chopped garlic clove 1 cup loosely packed fresh parsley 1/4 cup olive oil 3 tablespoons water coarse salt ground pepper
In a blender, puree 1 chopped garlic clove, 1 cup loosely packed fresh parsley leaves, 1/4 cup olive oil, and 3 tablespoons water until smooth. Season with coarse salt and ground pepper. Makes 1/2 cup.
Delicata Squash Salad with Kale and Cranberry Beans 2 medium delicata squashes (about 2 pounds), halved lengthwise and seeded 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar 2 tablespoons honey 1/2 bunch kale (5 ounces), large stems removed, cut into 1-inch pieces 1 large shallot, finely chopped 1 garlic clove, minced 1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar 1 teaspoon coarse salt Freshly ground pepper 1 can (15 ounces) cranberry or cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut squashes into 1/2-inch-thick semicircles. Toss with 1 teaspoon oil, and spread onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake until just tender, 15 to 18 minutes. Mix together balsamic vinegar and honey. Brush some of the mixture onto squash slices; reserve remaining mixture. Bake for 5 minutes more. Meanwhile, place kale in a large bowl. Heat remaining tablespoon oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add shallot and garlic, and cook until slightly softened, about 4 minutes. Add red-wine vinegar and remaining vinegar-honey mixture to saucepan, and bring to a boil. Immediately pour hot dressing over kale, and sprinkle with salt. Season with pepper. Add squash and beans. Cover with plastic, and let stand for 5 minutes. Toss until kale wilts slightly. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Vegetable List Boro Beets Mokum Carrots Eggplant Fairy Tale Eggplant Bell Peppers Hot Pepper Mix Butterkin Squash Butternut Squash Tomatoes
Notes from the Farm I didn't like squash for more than the first half of my life. We'd only eat it at Thanksgiving, and it'd be the watery, flavorless, mushy dish that was the worse version of mashed potatoes... I gaged it down for nearly 25 years... I had no idea there were other ways of cooking it... Spoiler, there are. Don't boil your squash... or don't boil the squash you get from us... it's forbidden. If you want boiled squash, go get it somewhere else... here, we forbid the boiling (or steaming) of squash. I have yet to find a good reason not to roast your squash. If you cut it in half and roast it in a pan with a little water (which I concede is a form of steaming) it will eventually roast until soft and give you that mashed base to work with. If you peel and cube it before roasting, you'll get sweet firm potoatoey bites. Both ways retain, and condense, the sugars of the squash and start you off on the right foot. Butterkin is a new squash to us... we tried it blind this year, and we've been eating the shit out of it. It's a dry dense buttercup type squash that is wonderful with dried cranberries, sweet & spicy pork or Gorgonzola... it is maybe the best squash we've grown this year, or maybe any year. The butternut is the workhorse. We, Americans, eat more butternut than any other squash. It's more moist than the buttercup and easier to peel. Butternut never dissapoints. Either way, roast your squash, then add it to your dish. Squash pizza, squash tacos, squash on burgers (trust me, and try the butterkin), roasted with carrots and beets, squash fries... squash is good, and doesn't need to be a watery mush.
RecipesRoasted Butternut Squash Pizza Pizza dough 1 1/2 cup ricotta 1 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella 1/2 butternut squash, cubed 1/3 cup dried cranberries, blueberries, raisins, cherries 2 tbs butter 1 tsp garlic, minced Preheat the oven and pizza stone (if using one) to 400-degrees. Roast the butternut squash drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with salt and pepper. Roast for 20 minutes, flipping once while cooking the dough. Spread the pizza dough out and poke a few holes into the dough. Cook the dough for 10-15 minutes until lightly cooked. Remove from the oven and spread ricotta onto the dough. Sprinkle shredded cheese on top. Spoon roasted squash onto the pizza. Return to the oven for 10 minutes, until the cheese melts and the crust browns a bit. In a small pot, melt butter and garlic over medium heat. When it starts to gently bubble, add in the dried berries. Cook for 5 minutes over low heat. Once the pizza is cooked, remove from the oven and spoon the butter/garlic/berry sauce over the top. Let sit about 2 minutes before slicing.
Gingered Butternut Squash Pie For the Crust 24 ginger snaps (6 ounces) 1 tablespoon granulated sugar 4 tablespoons vegetable oil For the Filling 1 1/2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch cubes (about 4 cups) 3 large eggs 3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar 1/2 cup half-and-half 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
For the crust, preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a food processor, combine gingersnaps and sugar; process until finely ground. Add oil and pulse until crumbs are moistened. Transfer mixture to a 9-inch pie plate and press into bottom and up sides. Bake until lightly browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool completely. For the filling, set a steamer basket in a large saucepan, and fill with 1 inch of water; bring to a boil. Place squash in pan, cover, and steam until tender when pierced with the tip of a paring knife, 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool. Place squash in food processor and process until very smooth, about 1 minute. Add eggs, brown sugar, half-and-half, fresh ginger, salt, and nutmeg; process until smooth. Place cooled crust on a rimmed baking sheet and pour filling into crust. Bake until set, 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool 1 hour at room temperature, then refrigerate to cool completely, at least 1 hour. Garnish with crystallized ginger.
Braised Butternut with Bacon Tacos 3 garlic cloves, unpeeled 1 tomato, rinsed and cut in half across the equator 1 to 2 hot peppers, halved, stemmed, seeded, and washed with hot water. 1/2of a small (2-pound) butternut squash peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks (about 3 cups of chunks) 2 to 4ounces (2 to 4 thick strips) bacon, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces Salt ¼ cup fresh goat cheese Generous handful fresh arugula
Roast the Butternut pieces at 425, well coated with olive oil, for 35 minutes or until golden brown. Set a large (10-inch) skillet (nonstick or lined with foil) over medium-high heat and lay in the garlic and tomatoes (cut side down). When the tomatoes are well browned and soft, 5 to 6 minutes, flip everything over and brown the other side. (The garlic should be soft.) Cool, then peel the garlic. In a blender, combine the garlic, tomatoes, hot peppers and 1 cup water. Blend to a coarse puree. Meanwhile, in a large (10-inch) skillet set over medium, cook the bacon, stirring occasionally, until crispy, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the butternut and tomato sauce to the pan, raise the heat to medium-high and bring the sauce to a brisk simmer. Cook until the butternut is fork-tender and the sauce has reduced by about half its volume, about 15 minutes. Taste and season with salt (it will need only about ¼ teaspoon because of the bacon’s saltiness). Scoop into warm tortillas and finish with a generous sprinkling of the goat cheese and arugula.
Vegetable List BEETS! Mokum Carrot Swiss Chard Fairy Tale Eggplant Lacinato Kale New Red Fire Head Lettuce San Marzano Tomatoes Tomatoes Honeynut Squash Jester Squash
Notes from the Farm Fall I guess... tomorrow I guess... one of the least arbitrary of all the arbitrary days we mark in the calendar. Even light, even dark... just even. All of the quarterly daylight extremes mean something, something in their evenness, their abundance (dark or light), something in the symmetry of time. It gets hard to grow food after the fall equinox. It can be done, and we do it, but it's a bit of a struggle. What is easy about the balanced light is knowing when to work and when to rest. In season, we can go hard, we run a little hot and we push every bit of daylight... farming as an addiction. This time of year, while every now and again I'll start harvesting by tractor light, we sleep a little later, because, for us, daylight matters. Night and day, are the same as an exhale and inhale... we inhale for a deep dive all day, and exhale as we come up in the evening to catch our breath. This time of year, the dives aren't nearly as deep, and the time treading with our heads above water, watching the stars, the sky, is longer. It's easy to see the farm is wearing our for 2021... doesn't mean we don't have food, but it does mean that in the near future, it'll be time to plan for our next whack at the attack. RecipesHoneynut Squash, Leek, and Brie Gratin 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for dish 2 medium leeks, sliced into thin rounds, well washed (2 1/2 cups) K osher salt and freshly ground pepper 1/2 cup dry vermouth 1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs 6 no-bake lasagna noodles (4 ounces), broken roughly into thirds 1 honeynut squash or 1/2 butternut squash (10 ounces), peeled, halved, seeded, and cut into 1/4-inch slices 4 ounces Brie, finely chopped (about 1 cup) 1 1/3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth, such as Swanson 1/3 cup heavy cream Salad greens, such as romaine and endive, for serving
Preheat oven to 425 degrees; butter a 10-inch, 1 1/2-quart gratin dish. In a skillet, cook 2 tablespoons butter, leeks, and a pinch of salt over medium-high heat, stirring, until soft, 8 minutes. Add vermouth; cook until mostly evaporated, 1 to 2 minutes. In another pan, melt remaining butter. Toss with panko; season with salt and pepper. Scatter half of pasta, leeks, squash, and cheese in gratin dish. Season with salt and pepper; repeat with remaining half of each. Pour broth and cream evenly over top; cover with parchment-lined foil and bake until squash is tender, 25 minutes. Sprinkle panko mixture over gratin. Bake, uncovered, until golden and bubbly, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes; serve with greens.
Eggplant Meatball Casserole 1 eggplant (1 pound), stemmed and cut in 4 3/4-inch planks Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper 2 1/3 cups fresh breadcrumbs, preferably from a hearty Italian loaf 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (1 1/2 ounces) 1 small garlic clove, minced plus 2 cloves thinly sliced 1 large egg white 1 can (28 ounce) whole plum tomatoes, pulsed in food processor Red pepper flakes 4 ounces mozzarella cheese, sliced into 12 thin squares
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sprinkle the eggplant slices with salt, place in a single layer around a colander set over a bowl, and let stand for 30 minutes. Rinse eggplant, drain, and squeeze dry, pressing out excess moisture and patting with paper towel. Removing excess moisture helps make it easier to roll the balls. Meanwhile, spread 1 1/3 cup breadcrumbs in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until dried and just turning golden, 5 minutes. Let cool. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a 10 inch cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add half the eggplant in a single layer; cook, flipping one time, about 5 minutes. Transfer to colander. Repeat adding another tablespoon of oil and second half of eggplant. If pan gets too hot, adjust heat. Wipe out pan. Let eggplant cool slightly in colander. Transfer eggplant to a food processor, discarding any extra juices that drained out. Add toasted breadcrumbs, Parmesan, and minced garlic. Pulse until mixture is a chunky paste, about 6 pulses. Transfer to a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in egg white. Chill until cold, about 30 minutes. Form mixture into 12 balls, coating the outsides with remaining breadcrumbs to help shape the balls. Chill at least 1 hour until firmer and cold and up to overnight. Best results with an overnight chill. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a 10 inch enameled cast iron casserole or cast iron skillet over medium-high. Add meatballs working in two batches; cook, turning carefully with a spoon to help retain shape, until browned all over, about 6 to 7 minutes. If pan gets too hot, adjust heat. Transfer to a plate. Add remaining tablespoon oil and sliced garlic; stir until fragrant, 30 seconds. Add tomatoes, a large pinch of red pepper flakes, and 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt; bring to a boil. Return meatballs to pan; spooning sauce over to coat. Bake until sauce is slightly thickened, 18 minutes. Remove casserole from oven. Set oven to broil. Top each meatball with a piece of mozzarella; return to oven. Broil until cheese is bubbly and golden in spots, about 3 to 4 minutes.
Vegetable List Fiesta Forever Beets Mokum Carrots Aji Amarillo Hot Pepper Bell Peppers Green Chile Peppers Mini Bell Peppers Poblano Peppers Watermelon Radishes Sungolds Tomatoes Twin Grown Watermelon Honeyboat Winter Squash
Notes from the Farm Squash season is a wonderful turn of the cup. The Fall of the Year has been pressing at our shoulders, but it's still been sunny enough most days to extend out that summer feeling... now, with squash in hand, it's hard not to have to square your feet, unpack the sweaters, spice something pumpkiney and set up some well staged candid photos of the whole family laughing into the middle distance while apple picking. Today we have Honeyboat, tis a delicata style squash. We have three delicata style squashes coming your way this fall... delicata, honeyboat and jester. Delicata type squashes are great for their subtle sweetness, moist fesh and very edible (and delicious) skin. Cooked whole, split lengthwise or cut into rounds, it is one of the easiest squashes to prepare well. It can be cooked stovetop, it can be baked, it can be grilled... it can do just about anything. The other fall treat is the Watermelon Radishes. These are a bit different than regular radishes, more like a turnip really. Their rind is a bit tough, but the center is sweet and spicy. We typically cut them into round and then slice the outer part off (very easy to see and do)... they are one of our favorite seasonal foods and the internet is dying for you to cook with them... just ask, the internet can't wait to tell you what to do. The farm is starting to slow down, there will be fewer and fewer new foods, and honestly we're kind of coasting to a frost. We hope to keep in the tomatoes for a while longer, carrots and squash will be plentiful, and some of the other fall comfort foods are still yet to come. Breathe deep, winter is nearly here...
Recipes Delicata Squash with Hot Pepper Glaze 1/4 cup hot pepper jelly 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 1 garlic clove, minced 2 medium delicata squashes (about 3 pounds total), cut lengthwise into 1-inch-thick wedges, seeds discarded 2 teaspoons coarse salt Freshly ground pepper
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Stir jelly, oil, and garlic in a small bowl. Place squashes in a large bowl; add jelly mixture and salt. Season with pepper, and toss. Divide squashes between 2 rimmed baking sheets. Roast until squashes are tender and bottoms are golden brown, 30 to 35 minutes. Serve immediately.
Roasted Delicata Squashes and Apples 2 delicata squashes (1 1/2 pounds total), cut crosswise into 1/2-inch slices, seeds removed 10 apples (1 1/2 pounds), cut in half 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons light-brown sugar 6 ounces slab bacon, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices, then cut crosswise into lardons (1/2 inch wide) Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss together squashes, apples, oil, sugar, bacon, and 1/2 teaspoon salt; season with pepper. Spread on a rimmed baking sheet, and roast until golden on bottom, about 50 minutes. Flip squashes and apples over, and roast until tender, about 5 minutes more. Sprinkle thyme over mixture, and serve immediately.
Roasted-Carrot-and-Beet Tart 3 medium beets (about 12 ounces), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch slices 1 pound slender carrots (about 12), peeled 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing Kosher salt 10 sheets phyllo (each 12 by 17 inches), thawed if frozen 3/4 cup pesto 1/3 cup sour cream 2 large eggs
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Rub beets and carrots all over with oil. Season with salt. Spread in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet; roast, turning once, until browned in spots and tender, 25 to 30 minutes for beets, 30 to 35 minutes for carrots. (Start checking at low end of range and remove any that are done.) Lightly brush a 10-by-15-inch jelly-roll pan with oil. Brush 1 phyllo sheet with oil; ft into pan, leaving a 1-inch overhang. (Keep remaining phyllo covered with plastic as you work.) Top with a second sheet in a slightly different position; brush with oil. Repeat with remaining phyllo to make a crust with a 1-inch overhang all around. Fold edges under to double thickness. (Don't worry if some pieces crack along edge.) Crumple 6 pieces of foil into a rectangle the size of interior of tart; ft into crust. Bake until edges are golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove foil. Bake until crustis golden all over, 6 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool. Reduce oven to 375 degrees. Meanwhile, in a food processor, blend pesto, sour cream, and eggs. Pour mixture into baked crust; top with carrots and beets. Bake until flling is set, about 15 minutes. Serve warm or room temperature, or store, tented with foil, at room temperature up to 1 day.
Oh Boy! Beets Mokum Carrots Iceberg Onions Bell Peppers Mini Bells San Marzano Tomatoes Sungolds Tomatoes Watermelon
Notes from the Farm
Family as an integrated part of our income changes the way we see our income. We farm for money, we need it for all the dumb stuff we all use money for... honestly, I often feel like the bulkier half of our family budget is just dumb stuff we don't need, and would probably be better without. But we farm for more than money... we farm because it's a great way to live a life. Everyday, we get to look out and see a farm... sometimes it's neat and orderly, sometimes it's an unmitigated disaster, and most of the time it falls somewhere in-between. But it's not lost on us that we're able to exist in a concrete encapsulation of our work, and that our work is ultimately primal, ancient, and echos... And we farm as a family, which means that there is a weaving mandala of our personalities and relationships with each other imprinted on the evolving layout of our farm. All four of us, Gina, the girls and I are all represented... and our imprints fow with the season. Gina brings everything back awake in the winter, fring up the greenhouse and tending the farm to be, layering the successions... and she hands it over to me in late spring to get it in the ground and turn her plans into the growing gardens of the given year. The girls have become the safety net of the farm... like well trained cattle dogs... bringing in the wandering elements back to the herd. It's the coolest... they've grown up farming, and I don't really have to explain anything to them anymore, I just say that the greenhouse tomatoes need to be cleaned up, and they can go and do just that... clean it up. They have become experts at cleaning up the loose ends I create... they bring the whole farm back to the center. If we don't pick the mini bells, or fairy tale, or eggplant, or whatever... I can set them loose on a task, and they get the job done. And it all just kind of happens... like watching a high school basketball weave drill... as a family we are able to make the farm work, because we all work together, trust each other and know that someone will be coming back around to take the ball so that the others can keep weaving... It's the coolest being a part of a family that all works together, for each other, doing something so primal and fun, that it almost feels like we've somehow gotten away with something... I know I keep looking around waiting for someone to tell me to get a job, grow up, be earnest, or some other nonsense... eventually our Peter-Panean existence will fade away, all good things fade, it's kinda what makes them so good... but hopefully it doesn't fade on us too soon.
I could eat this stuff by the bucket load. You spread it on bread, or eat it with crackers... it's crazy good, and I have no idea why you don't see it more often.
1 cup walnuts (I use pecans) 1 Quart Mini Bell Peppers ½ cup fne fresh breadcrumbs 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil 2 Tbsp. red pepper fakes 1 Tbsp. tahini 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice ½ tsp. paprika 2 Tbsp. pomegranate molasses, plus more for drizzling, you can often get it at Hannafords in the Indian food section. I often use honey instead, works super well as an alternative. Kosher salt
Preheat oven to 350°. Toast walnuts on a rimmed baking sheet, tossing halfway through, until golden brown and fragrant, 8–10 minutes. Let cool. Pick out a few walnuts for serving and coarsely chop; set aside. Meanwhile, place a rack in upper third of oven and heat broiler. Broil bell peppers on a rimmed baking sheet, turning occasionally, until skins are charred and fesh is softened, 12–15 minutes. (Alternatively, you can char over a gas burner on medium-high, turning occasionally with tongs, 12–15 minutes.) Transfer bell peppers to a medium bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap so that they steam, 10 minutes (this extends the cooking and also makes it easier to remove the skins). Remove skins from bell peppers (it’s okay if some bits don’t come off); remove and discard ribs and seeds. Pulse bell peppers, breadcrumbs, oil, Aleppo-style pepper, tahini, lemon juice, paprika, toasted walnuts, and 2 Tbsp. pomegranate molasses in a food processor until mostly smooth; season muhammara with salt. Transfer muhammara to a small bowl; drizzle with more pomegranate molasses and top with reserved chopped walnuts.
Glazed Carrots with Ginger and Jalapeno
2 cups water 3 ounces (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter 2 tablespoons honey 1 teaspoon salt 1 pound baby carrots, greens trimmed but left intact 3 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger 1 jalapeno chile, stemmed and thinly sliced 2 tablespoons chopped fresh fat-leaf parsley
Bring water, butter, honey, and salt to a boil in a large saucepan. Add carrots, ginger, and jalapeno. Reduce heat, and simmer, covered, until carrots are tender, about 7 minutes. Transfer carrots and pan juices to a serving dish, and toss with parsley. Serve warm.
Brussels Sprouts Arrowhead Cabbage Mokum Carrots Cucumbers Leeks Iceburg Onion Bell Peppers Mini Bell Peppers Sungolds Tomatoes
Notes from the Farm
I love leeks... I love them. I use a good amount of my winter grocery money on leeks... they are the best version of an onion... and that's just what they are, a long, skinny, onion. Leeks are often coupled with potatoes, which is fne, leeks and potatoes are great together... but you know what else is great with potatoes? Everything... everything is great with potatoes... you don't need leeks to make them good... The leek is the vegetable world's meditation on caramelized alliums... they are a prayer of caramelization... asking, leading, pleading to be slowly cooked, on the stovetop, with some fat until they become a melted, aromatic, perfected form of onion. I shouldn't care... eat leeks however you'd want to eat them... but I do, it matters so much to me. Leeks are great with Pear... they are great in buttered beer bread... as a base for lemon braised scallops... they are great with everything... even potato... but for the love of everything holy, give the leek a chance, free it from the potato... cream it, braise it, caramelize it, fold it into quiche... learn to love leeks... trust me, they'll love you back. Also, shaving your brussels sprouts off the stock with a knife is a handy way to prep them for dinner... we often shave them with a knife and then just add them to the pan with a handy onion type vegetable and whammo... shaved brussels... add dried cranberry and some goat cheese and you're livin'... L. I. V. I. N.'
2 tablespoons butter 3 medium leeks (about 3 pounds), halved lengthwise and cut 1 inch thick crosswise 1/2 cup dry white wine 1/3 cup heavy cream Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
Heat butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add leeks; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 6 to 8 minutes. Add wine and 1 cup water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium-low. Cover skillet and simmer, stirring occasionally, until very tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Uncover skillet; increase heat to medium-high. Cook, stirring, until liquid has evaporated, 2 to 4 minutes. Add cream; simmer until it has thickened and coats leeks, 3 to 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Scalloped Potatoes with Leeks
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for baking dish 2 leeks, trimmed, thinly sliced, and rinsed well (about 1 cup) 6 russet potatoes (2 1/2 pounds), peeled and thinly sliced 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg Freshly ground pepper, to taste 8 ounces Gruyere cheese, shredded (about 3 cups) 1 cup heavy cream 1 cup homemade or low-sodium store-bought chicken stock
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 12-cup baking dish. Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add leeks, and cook until translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Arrange 1/3 of the potatoes in dish, slightly overlapping slices. Sprinkle with 1/2 of the salt, 1/2 of the nutmeg, and pepper, followed by 1/2 of the leeks and 1/3 of the cheese. Repeat. Top with remaining potatoes in a spiral. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Combine cream and stock. Pour over cheese and potatoes. Cover with parchment and foil. (Mixture can be refrigerated overnight.) Bake for 30 minutes. Increase temperature to 425 degrees, uncover, and cook until top is golden brown and potatoes are tender, about 45 minutes. Let rest for 15 to 30 minutes before serving.
1/4 cup slivered almonds 2 tablespoons unsalted butter 2 medium leeks, white and pale-green parts only, thinly sliced 1 sixteen-ounce container sour cream 1 fourteen-ounce log fresh, creamy goat cheese 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread slivered almonds in a rimmed baking sheet; bake until fragrant, about 10 minutes. Set aside to cool. Coarsely chop and set aside. In a medium saute pan, melt butter over medium-low heat, then add leeks. Saute until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool. Place sour cream and goat cheese in a medium bowl, and stir until well combined. Add almonds, leeks, parsley, salt and freshly ground pepper. Keep covered with plastic wrap in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
Mokum Carrots Cucumbers Beatrice Eggplant Iceberg Sweet Onion Bell Peppers New Mexican Green Chiles San Marzano Tomatoes Sungolds Tomatoes Some Kind Of Zucchini and/or Summer Squash
Notes from the Farm
What a summer... I know it's not fall yet, but our summer members are leaving us today, and really, the passing of the summer members might as well mark the passing of the warm months. Predictability and routine are not my favorite things, they are helpful when I'm sleep deprived, but I prefer surprise. This summer was surprising... I was surprised by the weather, the crew, the work, the varieties of veggies... I spent the summer tickled by all the new and surprising elements of our year... now, it's a nuanced kind of surprise... I mean, from the outside, it may have looked or tasted like any other year... but for me, each season, especially this year, is totally different... like comparing oranges and brontosauruses. Time is so warped by this point in the season, I couldn't really tell you what happened, but I can tell you how it felt. And it felt good... hot and productive, then wet and fecund, and now simply bountiful... I'm not sure yet what the fall of the year will bring... we'ven't even got the squash in yet... man... But thank you to you folks who have been with us to this point and are moving on, and we hope you have a great winter, and we hope to see you again next year!
Penne alla Norma
1 pound penne rigate Coarse salt and ground pepper 4 tablespoons olive oil 1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper 1 large eggplant, cut into 3/4-inch chunks 1 1/2 pounds plum tomatoes, cored and cut into 1/2-inch chunks 2 tablespoons tomato paste 1/2 cup torn fresh basil, plus more for garnish 3/4 cup ricotta cheese
Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente, according to package instructions. Drain pasta; return to pot. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, and crushed red pepper; cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add eggplant to skillet; season generously with salt and pepper. Cover, and cook until eggplant begins to release juices, about 5 minutes. Uncover; cook, stirring, until tender, 3 to 4 minutes (if bottom of pan browns too much, add a few tablespoons water, and scrape with spoon). Add tomatoes, tomato paste, and 1/4 cup water to skillet; cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Toss sauce and basil with pasta; gently reheat if necessary. Top each serving with a spoonful of ricotta, and garnish with more basil.
Eggplant Caponata Crostini
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for grilling 1 large onion, finely chopped 2 tablespoons golden raisins 2 tablespoons pine nuts 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red-pepper flakes 1/2 cup tomato paste 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder 2 tablespoons sugar, plus more if needed 1 small eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch cubes 1/3 cup white-wine vinegar Coarse salt 8 1/4-inch-thick diagonal slices baguette Fresh basil leaves, for garnish
In a 5-quart Dutch oven or pot, heat oil over medium-high. Add onion, raisins, pine nuts, garlic, and red-pepper flakes; cook stirring occasionally, until onion has softened, 4 to 6 minutes. Add tomato paste, cocoa powder, and sugar; cook, stirring, until tomato paste is fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Add eggplant, vinegar, and 1/3 cup water. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until eggplant is tender and mixture is thick, 7 to 10 minutes. Season with salt and more sugar (up to 1 tablespoon), as desired. Preheat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Brush both sides bread with olive oil. Grill, turning once, until toasted and grill marks appear, about 2 minutes per side. Top grilled bread with caponata; garnish with basil leaves. Caponata can be refrigerated up to 5 days in an airtight container; let cool completely before storing.
Extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing 2 large eggs 3/4 cup plain dry breadcrumbs 3/4 cup finely grated Parmesan, plus 2 tablespoons for topping 1 teaspoon dried oregano 1/2 teaspoon dried basil Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper 2 large eggplants (2 1/2 pounds total), peeled and sliced into 1/2-inch rounds 6 cups (48 ounces) store-bought chunky tomato sauce or homemade Chunky Tomato Sauce 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Brush 2 baking sheets with oil; set aside. In a wide, shallow bowl, whisk together eggs and 2 tablespoons water. In another bowl, combine breadcrumbs, 3/4 cup Parmesan, oregano, and basil; season with salt and pepper. Dip eggplant slices in egg mixture, letting excess drip off, then dredge in breadcrumb mixture, coating well; place on baking sheets. Bake until golden brown on bottom, 20 to 25 minutes. Turn slices; continue baking until browned on other side, 20 to 25 minutes more. Remove from oven; raise oven heat to 400 degrees. Spread 2 cups sauce in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Arrange half the eggplant in dish; cover with 2 cups sauce, then 1/2 cup mozzarella. Repeat with remaining eggplant, sauce, and mozzarella; sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons Parmesan. Bake until sauce is bubbling and cheese is melted, 15 to 20 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
Mixed Beets Brussels Sprouts Romanesco Caulifower Early Queen Corn Cucumbers Iceberg Sweet Onions Flat Leaf Italian Parsley Mini Bell Peppers Sungolds Tomatoes Zucchini
Notes from the Farm
Just like Climate Change doesn't always mean that it's getting evenly hotter at all times, it's been easier for me to understand Climate Change as Climate Weirding, things are just weirder, typically not in good ways... In farming Season Extension doesn't mean that the season is evenly stretched out over the year, Season Extension is more like Season Weirding. Folks have been trying to stretch out the growing season for hundreds, if not thousands of years... irrigation is ultimately a season extension technology, the French started using the Cloche (worth a quick image search) as mini-individual greenhouses hundreds of years ago, the frst true greenhouses have histories that trace back 2000 years to Rome and the frst modern greenhouses started popping up in the 1800s. These are all mechanical season extension techniques... but they're not the only ones. People have been trying to stretch out the growing season with genetic techniques too... plant breeding is one of the oldest jobs turned hobbies turned political frestorm turned art-forms. Folks have been honing varietal diversity since the beginning of agriculture... carefully selecting plants (seeds) that have desired genes, whether they be color, favor, size, disease resistance, storage abilities or season length. The next step was hybridizing, or mixing two different parent plants to form one desired plant... give it that hybrid vigor... and on and on to the modern cultural conversation about genetically modifying crops in labs. The point being, we've tooled with crops enough over time to open up the possibility of non-historic season presentation... or more simply put, an unfamiliar growing yearly timeline. We can get anything we want at the grocery store, any day of the year... but that wasn't always the way... when I was a boy... But the understanding of New England home garden seasons, of which, parenthetically, we at the HFF essentially are a large version there of, is fairly conservative... First radishes, then (sort of in order) peas, lettuce, carrots, beets, green beans, summer squash, cucumbers, green peppers, tomatoes, on to cabbage, broccoli, potatoes, corn, then winter squash and so on and on... With Season Extension techniques, mechanical and genetic, the growing season has been shaken up... we can get eggplant before radishes, Brussels sprouts in mid-August, tomatoes well into October, broccoli before peas, peas after tomatoes... The point being, season extension techniques have changed our garden culture, our agriculture. They haven't changed us as severely as the advent of the computer phone or reality TV, but they have changed us, and signifcantly, because food, raw food is as close to non-human nature as most of us get most days... vegetables are one of our closest connections to the natural world, and it's signifcant, and it's changing, and it's worth noting... and it defnitely is weird, as a Mainer, to consider eating Brussels sprouts when it's 90 and I haven't unpacked the sweaters yet... it's not bad, but it is weird...
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for baking dish 3 green cardamom pods 3 dried red chiles (optional) 1 tablespoon coriander seeds 1 teaspoon cumin seeds 1/2 teaspoon whole peppercorns 1 head cauliflower (2 1/2 to 3 pounds), cored and cut into medium florets 1 medium red onion, halved and thinly sliced Coarse salt
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Brush a 9-by-13-inch baking dish or other large gratin dish with olive oil and set aside. In a coffee grinder or small food processor, grind together cardamom pods, chiles, coriander, cumin, and whole peppercorns until fine. Mix the spices with oil in a large bowl. Add cauliflower and onion; toss to coat. Transfer vegetables to prepared baking dish and roast until tender, about 1 hour, stirring every 20 minutes. Season with salt and serve immediately.
Caramelized Brussels Sprouts with Lemon
12 ounces Brussels sprouts, halved lengthwise, or quartered if large Coarse salt and ground pepper 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, plus lemon wedges, for serving
In a skillet, combine sprouts and 1/2 cup water; season with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cover; cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the water has evaporated and sprouts are crisp-tender, 5 to 8 minutes (add 1/4 cup more water if skillet becomes dry before sprouts are done). Increase heat to medium-high; add oil to skillet. Continue to cook, uncovered, without stirring, until sprouts are golden brown on underside, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in lemon juice; season with salt and pepper. Serve with lemon wedges.
Shredded Brussels Sprouts with Bacon
1 pound brussels sprouts 3 slices bacon 1 cup water Coarse salt and ground pepper Cider vinegar, optional
Trim brussels sprouts; shred in a food processor fitted with a slicing blade. Set aside. In a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, cook bacon until crisp, 4 to 5 minutes; transfer to paper towels to drain. Discard all but 1 tablespoon rendered fat from skillet. Add brussels sprouts and water; season with coarse salt and ground pepper. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover; cook, stirring occasionally, until sprouts are tender, 20 to 25 minutes (add more water if pan becomes dry). To serve, crumble bacon over sprouts; drizzle with cider vinegar, if desired.
Conehead Cabbage Romanesco Caulifower Cucumborama Fairy Tale Eggplant Lacinato Kale Pint 'o' Peas Bell Peppers Aji Amarillo Hot Pepper Iceberg Onions Sungolds Tomatoes Zucchini
Notes from the Farm
We are consistently inconsistent... and I've come to embrace that. I am an inconsistent farmer, inconsistent community member, inconsistently involved parent, inconsistent partner... and I don't blame it on anything or anyone, but I defnitely can explain it. Seasons, seasonal weather, seasonal day length, seasonally based work... it's the seasons that most greatly explain my inconsistencies. In summer, I can be up, have coffee and breakfast, work a couple hours and be back in the house before anyone else it stirring... in winter, I'm lucky to make it to the bus stop to see my kids off, and when I do, it's often in outfts that don't do them any social favors. It's a yearly mania cycle that I've come to embrace... go hard when I go hard, go light when I go light... and don't mix the two. It can be hard to ramp up in the spring, to get into farming form... and even harder to settle down in the fall of the year, let my adrenal glands come back from the brink of exploding. And that seasonal cycle defnitely carries over to the function of the farm... the food that's available, the food we choose to favor... the farm is a great wagon being rocketed off into the stars by the intensity of our enthusiasm. The hyper-exhausted, pure joy enthusiasm, we power this farm ship with has a way of tunneling our vision... in such a way that we can be surprised by our own well laid plans... Take the Conehead Cabbage... I forgot we even planted it... but what do you know, we did, and it's cooler than I remembered. We forgot to check on the Romanesco Caulifower... just didn't look at it for a month or so... and what do you know... it's amazing, producing better than we could have hoped. In a lot of ways, we're super terrible farmers... we don't keep good records, make decisions based on emotion, grow food no one is asking for... we don't take this all that seriously... but we're having fun, and we're getting some food, and we're surprising ourselves, and we can rely on the comfort of our inconsistencies to carry us through to the next week.
Roasted Cabbage Wedges
1 tablespoon plus 2 more tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 1 medium head green cabbage, cut into 1-inch-thick rounds Coarse salt and ground pepper 1 teaspoon caraway or fennel seeds
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Brush a rimmed baking sheet with 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil. Place 1 medium head green cabbage, cut into 1-inch-thick rounds, in a single layer on sheet and brush with 2 tablespoons oil. Season with coarse salt and ground pepper and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon caraway or fennel seeds. Roast until cabbage is tender and edges are golden, 40 to 45 minutes.
Pan-Roasted Romanesco Caulifower with Peas
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 2 pounds baby Romanesco cauliflower, cut into 1/2-inch slices through the stem Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 1 cup edible pod peas, roughly chopped.
Heat oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Place cauliflower, flat side down, in pan, and cook until golden on underside, about 8 minutes. Flip cauliflower, and season with salt and pepper. Cook until tender and golden brown, about 3 minutes. Add lemon juice and peas, and cook until peas are tender. Serve immediately.
2 cucumbers, cut into chunks 1 quart homemade or store-bought lemonade
Puree cucumbers with 1/2 cup water in a blender. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve; discard solids. Combine cucumber juice and lemonade. Serve over ice.
Zucchini, Bell Pepper, and Curry Paste
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil 1 large zucchini, sliced 1/3 inch thick on the bias 1 bell pepper, sliced into 1/2-inch-thick strips 2 teaspoons Indian curry paste 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
Heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over high heat. Saute zucchini and bell pepper until tender, 5 to 6 minutes. Stir in curry paste and salt. Serve warm, cold, or at room temperature.
Boro Beets Orion Fennel Lacinato Kale Kossak Kohlrabi New Red Fire Head Lettuce Bell Pepper Ring The Red Bell Radishes One Measly Zucchini
Notes from the Farm
This is my 16th year running a farm, and 17th year farming... it's not a lifetime of work, but it's been a good chunk of my life to this point. In the 16 years, the farms have all been in the same kind of mold... They've grown and shrunk in size, and changed marketing philosophies, but ultimately they've all been small organic mixed vegetable operations marketing through a CSA, Farmers' Markets, Wholesale and a Farmstand. Out of the gate somehow talked my way into a farm manager job in South Tamworth New Hampshire. I'd only worked on a farm one season, the year before, and all I'd been trusted to do was hoe... I had to learn by watching the rest of the crew and the farmers... but despite my total lack of experience and knowhow, the good people at the Community School trusted me to run the adjacent 4 acre farm operation... Mixed organic veggies, a good sized CSA, new farmers' market, a farmstand and some wholesale. I worked there for a few years, and then Gina and I started Alma Farm in Porter. We modeled Alma Farm after the Community School Farm... and some of the CSA members and Wholesale accounts followed us. We started small, with a greenhouse, watering can and the Ford 4100... and over 7 years, built it up to a more than serviceable operation, with multiple fields, healthy farmer networks, and a diversified marketing strategy that included a pretty hefty (for our size) pig and beef operation. In the fall of 2014, over in Casco, visiting my folks, we happen to just swing by the Frank Farm (now our farm) to give it a look... not for sale, but not being lived in, and after just a little talking, we struck a deal with the owner and moved our farm from Porter to Casco, and changed our name to the Hancock Family Farm. The first year or two here in Casco were all about getting resituated... again. But in the last 5 years or so we've seen steady growth in the CSA and farmstand, so much so, that last year we dropped a farmers' market and didn't have one wholesale order... everything went to people right here in Casco (and some of it went to the good people of Kennebunk, our last remaining off farm outlet). And that's been the goal (and question) all along... can we grow food for people in our community? And each year, it seems we're getting closer to answering, and fulfilling, that goal. The 17 years don't feel like they're falling in series, in order... they feel like they're all happening in parallel... with each year laying on the last, an overlay image, my farm increasing in complexity with time. When I sit down to write the third week CSA newsletter, I remember and feel all the third week newseltters... and sometimes they repeat themselves, or exist in the same space at the same time, I'm not sure anymore. It's the same with tying tomatoes, or planting corn, or hoeing the carrots... it's all there with me, each year, each pass... and it's just getting better with age.
Fontina, Fennel, and Onion Pizza
This is one of, if not our absolute, favorite recipes... we include it every year... and there is no good reason not to make it.
1/2 cup Caramelized Fennel and Onion 4 ounces shredded fontina cheese fennel fronds Pizza Dough Olive Oil Coarse salt and ground pepper
Heat oven to 525 (or as close as you can get to that). Chop one onion and one fennel bulb (and stalks) into small strips. Heat a pan to high, add some olive oil and the onion & fennel. Reduce heat to medium and cook slowly until they become translucent and caramelized. On a lightly floured work surface, stretch dough into a 10-inch-long oval or other desired shape. Brush one side lightly with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Add the caramelized fennel and onions. Bake for 10 minutes or so until the dough is almost cooked. Top with cheese and fennel fronds; put back in oven. Cook until cheese melts and toppings are heated through, 2 to 5 minutes.
Kohlrabi is excellent raw, just peeled and sliced. It is great shredded and made into fritters. It is wonderful as a slaw. There is no wrong way to eat it... it is very good. One of my favorite things to do is to make it into chips.
Very thinly sliced, peeled kohlrabi Olive oil Coarse salt
Toss kohlrabi with olive oil. Season with salt. Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with a nonstick mat. Bake at 250 degrees, rotating sheet, until crisp and deep golden, 35 minutes to 1 hour; transfer chips as they're done to a paper-towel-lined plate. Season with salt.