Ride The Red Bull Onions
San Marzano Tomatoes
Red Kuri Winter Squash
Notes from the Farm
Our fields are bare-ass naked... wide open.
I mean, we've got food still, lots of it, but we've also got some wide open spaces. This is the way it always is with us, but somehow, it's still shocking. There is a huge buildup to the farm season, and the way we farm, in the classic analog New England agricultural tradition, the market season is short... the time we market food is short and feels like a runny-mascara, full-volume-screaming, road race over white hot glass... it's intense, it feels intense... but it's fun, so that's a plus.
But as our fields unattire themselves of food, we start to get the questions of what we're going to be doing with all our free time... and I don't really know how to answer succinctly (to be fair, I don't know how to much of anything succinctly).
Our farm, and most farms I would assume, are much like icebergs... big dirty icebergs... and the market season is the up out of the water part. To the drivers-by, it seems like we're only moving from June to September, and we definitely do the bulk of our work, the most intense work, in the warmest 3 or 4 months of the year... but really, June to September are just the glory months.
The year starts on January One. Federal reporting, taxes, seed & supply ordering, field mapping and market outreach. In February the greenhouses are fired up and some of the longest season plants are started... and then on out the daily greenhouse work increases and comes to a head in mid-May. In April and May we prep the fields, work on new infrastructure, fiddle with the perennials, set ourselves up for a (hopefully) successful season. In May we start planting out, and typically are done by June with a few exceptions of smaller lettuce plantings and the like. June, July and August are set aside as the most intense and exciting part of the year, a 7 day a week food foot race... we just hold on tight. September rides the coattails of the summer, but with at least a nap a week scheduled in... and in October we start putting the farm to bed, cleaning up the best we can, fixing everything we broke (we break a lot of stuff... like, a lot) all summer long... October slides into November and we get the last of the cleanup done, the records from the year pulled together and organized. The goal is to be wrapped up in the middle of November... and we almost always hit the goal.
But this time, laid out up above the water, at the top of the iceburg, is wonderful, the last gasp before we slide back down into obscurity for another 8 months.
6 tomatillos (about 13 ounces), husked and halved
1/2 jalapeno with seeds (about 1/4 ounce)
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1 ripe Hass avocado, pitted, peeled, and coarsely chopped
Puree tomatillos, jalapeno, onion, cilantro, and salt in a food processor or blender until smooth. Reserve 1/2 cup salsa; the remaining cup salsa can be served separately. Puree avocado and the reserved salsa until smooth.
Spicy Cold Tomatillo Soup
1 pound tomatillos, hulled and washed
3 garlic cloves
1 concho chile
1 cup cucumber, peeled, seeded, and roughly chopped
1/4 cup roughly chopped onion
1/4 cup roughly chopped cilantro
1/2 cup homemade or low-sodium canned chicken stock, skimmed of fat
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 cup plain nonfat yogurt
1/2 cup water
1 small avocado, peeled, pitted, and cut into 1-inch cubes, for garnish
1. Heat broiler. Place tomatillos, garlic, and concho chile in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet, and roast until tomatillos are soft and browned in spots, about 5 minutes. Turn all items; continue cooking until other side is soft and browned, about 5 minutes more. Remove from heat; let cool slightly.
2. Transfer baking sheet to a wire rack; let cool completely. Peel garlic; place cloves in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Add tomatillos, concho, and any accumulated juices along with cucumber, onion, cilantro, stock, lime juice, and salt; blend until mixture is smooth. Add yogurt and the water; process until they are just combined.
3. Transfer to a large bowl or plastic storage container; cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 2 hours. To serve, ladle into bowls; garnish with avocado.
Spiced Red Kuri Squash Butter
This Squash Butter is great to spread on bread!
1 medium red kuri squash, halved and seeded
1 cup apple cider
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
Pinch of kosher salt
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Roast squash cut-side down until soft, 45 to 50 minutes. Let cool slightly, then scoop flesh into the bowl of a food processor (discarding skins). Process until smooth (if it's too dry, add up to 1/3 cup water).
2. Combine 2 cups squash puree (reserve remainder for another use), cider, maple syrup, spices, and salt. In a medium saucepan, cook over medium heat, stirring often, until thickened, about 20 minutes. Let cool completely. Store in an airtight jar in refrigerator up to 2 weeks.