Thursday, November 20, 2008

Season Retrospective

Well, we're finally done with the cooking for this year. It's time to look back over the season and look ahead to next year. It's been a fabulous season: thank you, everyone, for all your support and love. I'm going to post some pictures from the last two weeks of cooking and transcribe this message from Farmers Anne and Paul about how the season went out at the farm.

Some Sums of the Year
One of the most frequently asked questions this time of year is "How was the year?" so here are a few condensed summations of our 2008 growing season at the farm.
1. Our cows turned 10 and 12 years old and were again praised by the vets on the good care and homes we provide them, and the other farm animals.
2. Milkweed patches were saved and we saw monarch butterflies emerge.
3. Bumper crops outnumbered weak ones.
4. Drip irrigation (a great water saving system) was a must and was responsible for many of the successful crops.
5. Our praying mantis population has increased as we spotted them and new insects. This is a good sign (diversity). As well, we had a good frog year on the farm (a good insect control).
6. The bees swarmed a number of times, helping to assure their sustainability. This means new bee queens began new families on the Farm.
7. We hosted about a dozen school field trips, teaching children farm chores and exciting them about the prospect for them to become future farmers.
8. The solar tractor project was completed: the tractor was built, the solar panels were erected, the wires hooked up, and the tractor pulled hay wagons, cultivated the fields, and helped harvest fall crops.
9. As a farm we published our second book, an inspiring outreach tool (and a happy true story!).
10. Hope was born. Mama chicken Jessica hatched our first home-grown chicken in 21 years, who we now call Hope.


Thank you. Thank you all for your support in keeping this farm going. Your financial support brings one level of this farm vitality, but the deeper level, one that comes from our hearts and returns to the heart of the farm, that is the most important. There are so many hidden chores that you all do that keep this farm vibrant. Whether you've cleaned sheets, baked goodies, brought in boxes, carried wagon loads of weedy feasts to the chickens, recorded share payments, moved rocks from the new picnic area, repaired hay wagons, or weekly cleaned the composting toilet, we thank you for the work you have done. Thank you.

Reserving your Spot
For the first time in a while, this year we had more people who wanted to join than who we could serve, so we formed a waiting list. Now openings for next year are available to the entire public. We have not had this situation for a while so you may not be used to needing to do this. So for now, if you want to ensure a place in the farm for next year, you can fill out a reservation form. This actually helps us plan for the upcoming growing season.

Don't Say Goodbye!
With the trees as our walls, the sky as our ceiling, touching the earth as our daily task, that we will miss. The smiles on the children's faces as they pop fresh berries (chemically-free) into their mouths or the fascinations of folks as they stare into the eyes of our cows, that we will miss. The stories, the recipes, the updates of your lives, that we will miss. But every morning, no matter how much snow falls or how tired we are, animal chores must be done. That is the pattern of our life. Every morning and every evening we will be at the farm. But there is more to our lives. Every Wednesday and Saturday until January 1 we will be at the Ann Arbor Farmer's Market selling wares. When January 2 comes we mend clothes, read books, take walks, and give love to our neglected friends. In February this year, Paul will go to California for a month of meditation work. When he returns he will present a meditation program at Friends Meeting House in Ann Arbor. To learn more about that, visit
I hope to help out at a Thereputic Retreat at the Rudolf Steiner Theraputic Center in Ann Arbor. Then it will be warm, at least in our greenhouse. Seeds will arrive and be sown by the 10th of March. And all begins another year of joy, excitement, learning, and sweat. Much the same, a lot new and if we are lucky, we'll see each other again. So we say, not goodbye, but "See you later!"
With much love and peace to you all,
Anne Elder and Paul Bantle, farmers at the Community Farm of Ann Arbor

Photo explanatiosn: 1. Romanesque cauliflower 2. Colorful cauliflower and broccoli 3. Claire, Michelle, and Amanda processing rutabagas 4. Rutabagas: peel and chop! 5. CFK Employee Appreciation Day: a Carrie Newcomer concert!! 6. Grand Finale Share pt. 1!! 7. Claire bags up the stuffed squash 8. Claire, Becky, and Michelle with vibrantly colored butternut squash and beet salad. 8. Grand Finale Share pt. 2!!
I hope these pictures give you a sense of the joyful spirit in which all of the Kitchen food is processed. Thanks for a good year.... reserve your spot for next year TODAY!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Grand Finale!

What a day! Saturday was absolutely gorgeous--balmy and sunny. We spent the morning bringing in the last of the greens--kale and oriental greens that are best harvested fresh. At 11 am the members started to arrive and the festival atmosphere kicked in. Amanda, Michelle, Becky, and Cynthia all came out to help me gather the 14 CFK shares, which was so great. As you're about to see, we got a LOT of food. We basically filled the back of my minivan and Michelle's SUV. It would've taken me all day to pick it all up by myself. I'm so lucky to have such dedicated folks working for me! Anyhow, there were tons of people at the farm: children running around, people carrying squash hither and thither, everyone eating cookies and ice cream and swapping recipe ideas and pre-winter hugs. It's hard to say goodbye to a beautiful year, but here at the CFK it feels like the work is just beginning!

The Final share was:
Radishes (black or daikon) - 1
Beets - 1 lb
Rutabaga - 6 lbs (!!)
Garlic - 10 bulbs
baby Leeks - 8
Mei qing choi - 2
Kale - 5 plants
Assorted oriental greens - 1 bunch
Broccoli or cauliflower - 1
Parsley - 2 plants
Brussels sprouts -2 stems
Napa cabbage - 4
Bok choi - 1
Big leeks - 4
Butternut squash - 6
Green or orange squash - 2
Acorn squash - 2

The Grand Finale menu will be split up over the next two weeks. This is just an initial menu; there will be some extras (hot sauce, dried hot peppers, garlic, etc) that we'll figure out at the very end. This menu contains a lot of old favorites as well as food ready for storing through the winter. Enjoy! :-)

Katharina's Green Sauce (house recipe)
Tabouli from Moosewood Restaurant Cooks for a Crowd p. 104
White Bean Kale Soup from Greens, Glorious Greens p. 172
Miso Soup from Sundays at Moosewood p. 408
Choi Salad with fruit and creamy poppyseed dressing from Farmer John's Cookbook p. 78
Pumpkin Bread from Simply in Season
Stuffed Acorn Squash from Simply in Season p. 208
Mashed Rutabagas (house recipe)
Beet dish TBA
Marinated Radish Salad from Simply in Season p. 48
Potato Leek Soup from The Community Farm of Ann Arbor Cookbook p. 53
Golden Stew from The Community Farm of Ann Arbor Cookbook p. 60
Rutaloaf from The Community Farm of Ann Arbor Cookbook p. 35
Napa and Choi with peanut sauce from Simply in Season
Creamies from The Community Farm of Ann Arbor Cookbook p. 39
Kim Chee from Anne Elder's recipe
Kale for the freezer
Broccoli and Cauliflower for the freezer
Parsley cubes (frozen parsley suitable for use in sauce and soup)
Fresh Brussels sprouts
Butternut squash
Green Salad Mix

phew. we're going to be busy this week!!
See you Friday!

Photo explanations: 1. CFK workers and the final harvest!! 2. Michelle's car full of veggies 3. Mary's car full of veggies 4. A mountain of Napa cabbage 5. Goth caterpillar

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Harvest time!

Hello everyone,
As most of you should know, there's NO pick up this week because Grand Finale, the final harvest of the year, is Saturday. However, I didn't want to leave everyone hanging with no post, so here I am. Besides, I have all these adorable pictures of Napa cabbage from last Friday that I thought I should share.
It's been a very busy week out at the Farm as we prepare for Saturday's distribution. We've been harvesting everything that will keep for a few days. On Monday they brought in the leeks--though I missed it, leek harvest holds a special place in my heart because it was two years ago during the leek harvest that, in conversation, we came up with the idea that eventually became the Community Farm Kitchen. On Tuesday we got incredibly cold while harvesting root vegetables. It's a wonderful harvest of rutabagas, which are one of my favorites, so I'm looking forward to making some delicious dishes with these sweet roots. We also got some gorgeous beets and plenty of monster daikon radishes! After pulling the roots we have to chop off the leaves and bag and weigh the roots and box up the leaves to be fed to the cows and goats. Rebecca developed a game where we each try to guess what the final share amount of a given vegetable is going to be. 5 pounds of rutabaga each, anyone? We'll know the winners on Saturday. Yesterday was another cold day at the Farm, but we kept warm with a lunch of hot soup and a busy job of picking Brussels sprouts (and yes, chopping off the leaves--a favorite treat for the goats and cows!). Anne says this might be the best Brussels sprouts harvest ever--we have a lot to look forward to in these sweet treats. Other tasks at the Farm this week have been tidying up and putting things away for the winter. We got to wrestle with hoses, put away chairs, and mulch the garlic we planted. Soon the Farm will be resting quietly for another season.
In the mean time, I'm off to pickle last week's daikons and clean out the refridgerator at the kitchen, ready for a huge influx of vegetables on Saturday. Hope you're as excited as I am!
Photo notes: 1. Chopping up the lovely napa cabbage. 2. The inside of a napa 3. Cynthia looks undaunted by the amount of cabbage she has to chop.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Week twenty: Dancing with the Frost King!

Well, there is no doubt it is the end of the season. This Wednesday morning was very frosty: I found ice in the chicken's water bucket and the hose was so frozen we had to leave it in the sun for a few hours before we could use it to rinse the veggies. Despite starting harvest much later than we have through the season, frost was still visible on the ground and the collards were essentially frozen as we harvested them. It was beautiful, of course, with each leaf and blade of grass beautifully outlined with delicate white. I'm sorry to say I didn't have my camera out at the farm, but I'll try to get some good frost photos in the next weeks. It was also cold, but the farm workers put on plenty of layers. I pulled off my usual winter look of a cross between Ronald McDonald and the Abominable Snowman in my bright yellow winter coat, bright yellow rain trousers, red wool hat, and black wellies. Farm Angel Karen brought us hot coffee cake and a thermos of hot chai to keep us going through the chilly morning. Farm cat Bob was spotted belly-up in a sunny spot trying to gather some warmth and succeeding in looking very silly. :-)
These pictures show some of the food from last week. Here are before and after photos of your "Tennessee Sweet Potato" pie pumpkins and the squash that went into that Carribbean curried vegetable dish. They are so beautiful! (Amanda is trying to look gleeful about cutting them up).
So, this is the penultimate harvest --
choice of Broccoli or Cauliflower - 1 head
Bok choi - 1
Collards - 1 plant
Mei qing choi - 1
Turnips - 1
Napa (Chinese) cabbage - 1 beautiful head
Assorted oriental greens - 1 bunch
Cilantro - 1 bunch
(positively the last) Eggplant - 1
choice of root vegetables (daikon radishes or rutabagas) - 2

This week's menu:
Millet-Cauliflower-Broccoli Soup from Diet for a Small Planet p. 290
Swede (Rutabaga) with Greens and Coriander from The Boxing Clever Cookbook p. 70
Napa cabbage with Ginger and Cilantro from Greens, Glorious Greens p. 107
Sweet and Sour Bok Choi and Eggplant from Diet for a Small Planet p. 262
Frost King's Salad Mix with Arugula, Mizuna, and Tatsoi

and we're going to make pickled daikon for making Kim Chee in a few weeks' time. I got the recipe from Anne--it comes from Paul's time in Korea. I'm excited to try Kim Chee again this year, this time with a little help from a real expert. Sound good?

Enjoy the autumn weather!

Photo explanations: 1. Amanda gleefully prepares to chop up these lovely winter squash and pie pumpkins. 2. Beautiful pumpkin pie filling 3. Choi Salad not yet tossed, looking crisp and bright. 4. Michelle and Becky tossing the Choi Salad--up to their elbows in veggies!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Week Nineteen: Flavors of Fall

Hello everyone!
What a lovely week. We're enjoying the unseasonably warm weather, even as the shorter days and rains let us know that we're firmly into fall. At the Farm this week we had a field trip from the 3rd graders at the Detroit Waldorf School. These kids were live wires, bringing a lot of energy and laughter to the Farm as they helped out with chores, met the animals, and went for a hay ride on the solar-powered tractor. In the afternoon we began the garlic planting. There's something very satisfying about the garlic--it's a connection from one year to the next. It gets planted and mulched at the very end of the season in preparation for the following year. In the spring, we enjoy the garlic flowers and in the summer we dig the bulbs. Then it seems like no time before we're dividing bulbs into cloves to plant for the next year. On Wednesday the rain kindly held off until we'd finished the harvest and were sitting down to enjoy our lunch.
So, without getting TOO wet and cold, the workers were able to bring in this bounty for you:
Turnips (with yummy tops!) - 2
Hot peppers - 3
Small eggplant - 1
Mei qing choi - 1
Bok choi - 1
Big eggplant - 1
Garlic - 1
Broccoli OR Cauliflower - 1
Mizuna OR Arugula - 1 bunch
Cilantro - 1 bunch
Parsley - 1 plant
Winter squash - 1

And the menu will be:
- Turnips with Greens and Raisins from From Asparagus to Zucchini p. 159 - Had this for dinner last night and I think the recipe's a keeper! ;-)
- Choi salad with Fruit and Creamy Poppyseed Dressing from Farmer John's Cookbook p. 78 - Look! I found something other than a stir fry to do with the choi!
- Baba ganouj from Moosewood Restaurant Cooks for a Crowd p. 71
- Caribbean Curried Vegetables (Colombo de Giromon) from Sundays at Moosewood p. 131
- Baked Pumpkin - suitable for making into a pumpkin pie. We got these gorgeous "Tennessee Sweet Potato" Pumpkins in the share this week (I'll take a pic before we bake them up). Anne says they make excellent pumpkin pie, so I'm going to send home the pulp in quantities suitable for making into a pie (along with a favorite recipe). The pumpkin will keep for ages in the freezer and can be used in pies, breads, and soups all winter long!
- Snappy Fall Salad Mix

Sound good?? See you Friday!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Week Eighteen: Rainy Harvest Morning

I've been saying that Fall is coming/here for about a month now, but there can really be no doubt this week. The Frost King has arrived, putting an end to basil, eggplants, peppers, and turning weeds and tomato plants brown in the fields. Karen and I spent a lot of time on Wednesday pulling the irrigation tape from the field where these summer crops grew in preparation for ploughing the field under for the winter. The morning was wet but not too cold--good harvest weather. We cleared the Swiss chard field, bringing in a bounty of FOUR PLANTS per share. We're planning to make a delicious green soup to capture the sunshine in the Swiss chard for the cold winter days ahead. Tuesday was a bright day at the farm. We did the last of the clean up from the Fall Festival and headed to the "hay field" to harvest diakon radishes and bok choi and mei qing choi. Going back to the weekend, the Fall Festival was really fabulous--I was thrilled to see many CFK members and families at the farm enjoying the potluck, bonfire, solar-powered hay rides, and music.
Also, here's a picture of the lovely birthday cake the CFK workers brought me in the Kitchen on Friday--thanks, ladies!
Anyhow: this week's share:
Sweet potatoes - 2 lbs
Hot peppers - 2
Swiss chard - 4 plants (!!)
Bok choi - 1 plant
Stevia - 1 sprig
Mei qing choi (baby bok choi) - 1 plant
Broccoli - 1 head
Radish - 1
Choice - 1 broccoli OR 1 cauliflower
Eggplant - 1
Sweet peppers - 20 small ones (!)

And the menu:
New Favorite Green Soup from Laurel's Kitchen p. 156
Chinese Peppers and Choi from Laurel's Kitchen p. 204
Helen's Polenta with Eggplant from Laurel's Kitchen p. 287 (guess which cookbook I had open today?)
Oriental Broccoli and Cauliflower from The Community Farm of Ann Arbor Cookbook p. 46
Mashed Sweet Potatoes from Serving the Harvest p. 293

That's all! See you Friday!

Photo explanations: 1. Pans of Biryani--so colorful--on their way into the oven. 2. Claire stirs up the dressing for last week's Asian slaw 3. Birthday cake (from Big City/Small World bakery--yum!!) in the thick of the action at the CFK 4. The bottoms of the bok choi look like flowers on the window sill!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Week Seventeen: Fall Festival this Weekend!

Well, Fall's been creeping up on us for weeks, but it really seems to be upon us now. Suddenly. Tuesday at the Farm was pleasantly warm for the most part. We got a little chilly when it started raining later in the day, but nothing putting a raincoat on didn't fix. Wednesday was another story! As soon as I arrived at the farm I realized it was a day for two sweatshirts, my rain pants and my rain coat. Being dry helped a lot as Karen and I waded into the wet kale field to harvest. Even so our fingers were frozen by the time we were done. However, cheerful conversation and singing with our visitor Moira kept us happy. We celebrated the arrival of fall by singing a very cute fall song: "Hurry hurry hurry hurry, we must all get fat and furry! Not a moment to be lost, I can see old Jackie Frost!" Each verse describes a different woodland animal hurrying off to prepare for winter. Wednesday was also my birthday, so we had lots of delicious breakfast treats during the harvest time. At lunch time we warmed up with hot tea. It was a good way to start my birthday!
Everyone at the farm is looking forward to the Fall Festival this weekend--farm members should plan to come for music and dancing and potluck fare.
This week's huge harvest:
Sweet potatoes - 2 lbs
Choice of broccoli or cabbage - 1
large eggplant - 1
Oriental greens - 1 bunch
Kale - 3/4 lb
Hot peppers - 1 branch
small eggplant - 1
Sweet peppers - 6
Bok choi - 1
Swiss chard - 1 plant
Radish - 1
Hubbard squash - 1
Basil - 1 plant

And the menu:
Pesto (again!) from Moosewood Restaurant Cooks for a Crowd p. 267. Everyone seems to be enjoying this and Cynthia's becoming quite the pesto-making expert!!
Blue Hubbard soup from Farmer John's Cookbook p. 315
Chard (and Kale) with Sweet and Savory Spices from Greens Glorious Greens p. 81
Eggplant Biryani from Sundays at Moosewood p. 306 and The Best-ever Vegetarian Cookbook p. 170
Roasted Sweet Potatoes with summer savory- house recipe
Crazy Spicy Asian Cabbage and Greens Salad - I'm going to make this up taking clues from various recipes. Should be delicious!

See you Friday!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Week Sixteen: Time for Fall crops!

Hello everyone!
I'm back from Sacramento (great wedding, fun times with family, etc) and it looks like all the CFK workers did an amazing job with last week's ambitious menu. I hope you're all doing well and enjoying the gradual change of seasons. This Wednesday harvest morning was still summer-y warm, but you could sense the change of season in the crops and the feel of the morning. We were talking a lot about the Fall Festival (coming up on Oct 4) and the Grand Finale harvest (scheduled for Nov 1)--fall is here; winter is coming. We haven't had a frost yet, so we're still enjoying summer crops in abundance--basil, eggplants, and pepper, but we're beginning to clear the fields of those kinds of things. The fall crop of kale is beginning to come in and I think we'll be having broccoli and cabbage very soon. At the same time, new things are in evidence-- a broody chicken has hatched an egg and the farm now has a sweet baby chick. While washing the basil I rescued a gorgeous praying mantis--she's probably just getting ready to lay her eggs. On the whole it's great to be back after my break.
Here's the harvest for the week:
Choice of 1/2 lb potatoes or 1 eggplant
Hot peppers - 1 plant (!) (more hot sauce...)
Oriental greens (arugula, mizuna, or tatsoi) - 1 bunch
Choice of 1 bok choi or 1 bunch of turnip greens
Kale - 1/2 lb
Winter squash - 1
Basil - 1 plant (!)
the last Lettuce - 1 head
Garlic - 1 head
Eggplant - 1
Sweet peppers - 6
Jack-o'lantern pumpkin

Vegetarian Groundnut (peanut) Stew from Simply in Season p. 207
Turnip Greens with Misa sauce from Farmer John's Cookbook p. 91
Eggplant Nicoise from Moosewood Restaurant Cooks for a Crowd p. 405
Pesto from Moosewood Restaurant Cooks for a Crowd p. 267
**hey guys, I don't usually do the same recipe week after week (or even more than once, if you haven't noticed) but pesto is so great, it keeps really well in the freezer, and makes for a delicious taste of summer all winter long, so I thought no one could have too much. Plus it's by far the best thing I've ever heard of to do with huge amounts of basil, so I hope you'll forgive me. Enjoy!**
The End of the Summer Salad with the last of this year's lettuce and oriental greens
Folks who didn't get a pumpkin last week will get one this week! :-)

See you Friday!
Photo explanations: 1. Mary visiting the Golden Gate bridge in San Francisco 2. Baby chick! 3. Bug-found-on-food-of-the-week: praying mantis 4. Beautiful Kristin shares beautiful raspberries 5. Freshly extracted honey is available for sale at the farm. 6. My car is full of vegetables

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Week Fifteen: Green harvest

This week is a HUGE harvest of green things, so look forward to so many different ways to prepare greens. I'm actually writing from a coffee shop in Sacramento, California where I'm visiting family for my cousin's wedding (yes, I always go away for weddings!) but I've left the CFK work for this week in the capable hands of Claire, Cynthia, Michelle, and our newest workers, Julie and Becky. They've got their work cut out for them but I'm sure they'll do a great job.
It's been a good week at the Farm. The fall crops are thriving after a rainy weekend. Despite the heavy rains, the crops were not damaged and though some fields are too wet to work in, the Farm is doing well. On Tuesday we began digging the sweet potatoes as well as picking hundreds of sweet peppers and eggplants. Wednesday was a glorious morning--the perfect temperature for a harvest. The great thing about working at the Farm is seeing the seasons change gradually: summer doesn't shift abruptly to fall. It's more like gradual shading. With the last harvest of melons and the beginnings of the Asian green crops it's finally beginning to feel like fall to me. And it should be a good one!
This week's (green-heavy) share is:
Potatoes (sweet and white) - 2 lbs
Summer savory - 1 stem
Turnip greens - 1 bunch
Basil - 1 big branch
Bok choi - 1
Oriental greens (arugula, mizuna, tatsoi) - 1 bunch
Swiss chard - 1 lb
Sweet peppers - 6 (!)
Eggplant - 1
Lettuce - 2 heads
Diakon radish - 1
iffy Melon -1
baby Jack o'lantern - 1

And the menu will be:
Pesto from Moosewood Restaurant Cooks for a Crowd p. 267 (Same as last week, but who could have enough of this basil-y treat??)
Saag Aloo (Potato and turnip green curry) from Gaia's Kitchen p. 58
Eggplant Salad from Farmer John's Cookbook p. 178
Chard Cheese Bake from Laurel's Kitchen p. 192
Crunchy Bok Choi Salad from From Asperagus to Zucchini p. 33
Equinox Salad with lettuce, arugula, mizuna, and tatsoi
your choice of the LAST little melon or a baby jack-o-lantern!

Enjoy and have a good week!

Photo explanations: 1. Winter squash and Chard being prepped at the CFK last week. 2. Flowers for wreath making and a beautiful harvest of eggplants and peppers share the barn space 3. Jack-o-lanterns arranged for pick-up 4. Mark your calendar for the Fall Festival, Oct 4! 5. Monarch chrysallis found on a turnip green. Note the gold speckles. 5. Sunflowers outside the barn 6. Farmer Paul shares a moment with Maeve, one of the youngest farm members. :-)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Week Fourteen: Falling into Autumn

Well, ready or not, Fall seems to be upon us. I hear it's going to be hot again in the next week, but we can't avoid the fact that it's already mid-September! Somehow the summer has slipped away again and we're back to chilly harvest mornings and fall crops. This Monday we did one of my favorite farm tasks--harvesting winter squash! This job is a bit scratchy and hard on the hands, but it's also great fun tossing the squash from hand to hand out of the field and into the wagon. It's like a game! Farmer Anne says my throw has improved from last year :-). One fun aspect of the task this time around was getting to use our new solar-powered tractor to pull the wagon we loaded the squash onto. It's so quiet and pleasant to be around with its electric motor. Wednesday's harvest morning started off quite chilly but we gradually took off our outer layers and by afternoon it seemed positively hot in the fields.
This week's harvest was:
Choice of 1 lb tomatoes or 2 summer squash
Pears - 1 box
Swiss chard - 1 lb
Bok choi - 1 lb
Eggplant - 1
Melon - 1
Hot peppers - 3
Sweet peppers - 4
Garlic - 1 bulb
Basil - 1 (large) branch
Damaged winter squash - 1
Plus, I spent some time in the u-pick tomato patch picking tomatoes to be used in recipes in the coming weeks!

And the menu will be:
Pesto from Moosewood Restaurant Cooks for a Crowd p. 267
Ratatoille from Moosewood p. 119
Creamy Choi Soup from Farmer John's Cookbook p. 80
Winter squash and chard and sweet pepper curry from Sundays at Moosewood p. 303 (Thanks to Suzanne for the gift of the cookbook!)

We're beginning to develop rather a backlog of hot peppers, so I'm planning to try making our own CFK Louisiana Hot Sauce. Hopefully this will be nice and spicy!

That's it for now. See you Friday!
ps. sorry, no pics this week. We'll try for next week!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Week Thirteen: Back to School

Well, this week was back to school for students from kindergarten through grad school. At the CFK, though, it's just another week of summer with crops rolling in. We had Labor day off on Monday, but were at the farm for another busy harvest morning on Wednesday. While picking basil, chard, and tomatoes we talked about how much we need rain.... hopefully some of the rain we got in Ann Arbor on Wednesday also fell on the Farm! Anne the farmer says the drought has meant that the weeds have also not been growing as much, which is good because it means that when it's too hot and we can't work in the fields, there's also not as much work to do!
This week's beautiful share is:
Potatoes - 1 1/4 lb
Sweet peppers - 5
Eggplant - 1
Yellow cherry tomatoes - 11
Hot peppers - 3
Chard - 1 1/4 lb
Summer squash - 2
Corn - 2 ears
Melon - 1
Parsley - 1 bunch
Summer savory - 1 sprig
Rosemary - 1 sprig
Basil - 8 tips
Tomatoes - 5 lbs

And the menu will be:
Georgian Chard with corn and peanuts from Greens Glorious Greens p. 124
Tomato Sauce (house recipe)
Roasted eggplant and pepper salad from
Courgette (zucchini), Potato and Coriander pie from The Boxing Clever Cookbook p. 116

That's about it!
See you on Friday!
Photo info: 1. Bob the farm cat is ready for his close up 2. Beautiful ingredients for last week's stew 3. Red and yellow tomatoes

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Week Twelve: Happy Labor Day!

Well, we finally got some rain at the Farm, which is a great relief. We could certainly use some more, but the farmers and plants are relaxing a bit after the tension of the drought!
It's been a good week. On Monday my friend Emily came out to help us dig potatoes in the morning and regaled us with tales of her CSA on St Croix in the Virgin Islands! We're in the midst of a long-term project weeding the fall brassicas (cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, and kale) in the farm's most remote field. The rain has softened the soil and made that project a lot easier. Harvest this week is incredibly bountiful and varied. You're going to enjoy your first (and possibly only for this year) taste of sweet corn. Farmer Paul tells me that it's been a disasterous year for the corn, meaning that circumstances just came together in the worst way for corn (wet spring delayed planting and impacted germination, dry summer caused the plants to not create as many ears). So enjoy these ears as a reminder of how sweet corn can be and look forward to getting more another year. On the other hand, Farmer Paul says this is the best lettuce we've had at this time of year in a long time, so enjoy even more bountiful, sweet, crispy lettuce! Also, we've begun to harvest the main crop tomatoes, so look forward to enjoying the juicy tastes of summer even as many folks head back to school.
This week's harvest:
Potatoes - 2 lbs
Hot peppers - 4
Basil - 7 tips
Parsley - 1 bunch
Sweet peppers - 2
Yellow tomatoes - 3
Eggplant - 1
Swiss chard - 3 leaves
Summer squash - 3
Lettuce - 2 heads
Corn - 6 ears
Melon - 1
Tomatoes - 5 lbs

And the menu:
Zucchini Basil soup from Gourmet Magazine, July 2008 (thanks to Elaine!)
Potatoes with Coconut Milk and Basil from The Boxing Clever Cookbook p. 120
Baba Ganouj (Eggplant spread) from Moosewood Restaurant Cooks for a Crowd p. 71
Spicy Summer Vegetable Stew mostly made up by me based on Moosewood p. 118
Fresh melon
Fresh sweet corn
Solidarity Forever Lettuce Salad (in honor of Labor day)


Photo explanations: 1. Sunflowers by the barn 2. luscious lettuce 3. Rainbow chard 4. CFK's share of peppers and summer squash 5. Melons! 6. Angela shows off the gorgeous eggplants.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Week Eleven: Drought Continues

Hello everyone! I'm back from a very relaxing vacation with my family. We had a great time in Ontario, including "Inviting Ontario Home for Dinner" at a local farmer's market and of course relaxing on the beach.
I hope everyone's been enjoying the wonderful food that the CFK workers prepared in my absence. It looks like it was really a fabulous menu and I really appreciate having such great workers that I can go off and relax for a week in high season!
At the farm, things are going well but we're still desperately needing some rain. It's very interesting because it looks like this year's harvest will have exactly the opposite strengths and weaknesses from last year, when we had a drought in July. This year's drought is having a bad impact on summer fruit crops such as sweet corn, tomatoes, and melons. Although we'll be getting some of those crops, we'll won't see the abundance of previous years. Instead, thanks to plenty of rain during germination in July and ongoing irrigation, the fall root crops (carrots, beets, turnips, etc.) and brassicas (Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, etc.) are looking really good. This is all part of being in a CSA, of course, and I hope you'll enjoy all the veggies we get!
With that in mind, this week's harvest is:
Yellow cherry tomatoes - 2
Baby Oriental greens - 1 lb
Swiss chard - 3/4 lb
Parsley - 1 bunch
Sweet peppers - 2
Summer squash - 2
Lettuce - 2 heads
Cucumber - 3
Hot peppers - 2
Baby squash - 1
Basil - 13 tips
Melon - 1 piece
Tomatoes - 1 1/4 lb
Radish - 1

Gazpacho (house recipe)
Gold Medal Chinese greens with carrots and radishes stir-fry from Greens Glorious Greens p. 112 (renamed in honor of the Olympics!)
Gratin of Greens from
Sarah Haggett's Zucchini Orzo salad (recipe learned at Pendle Hill)
Lighting Bolt Salad with lettuce and radishes and whatever else is still around at the end of the day--cucumber? green pepper?
Fresh tomato

Photo explanations: 1. Mary and sisters sailing on the Georgian Bay. 2. Good harvest at an Ontario farmer's market 3. Mary relaxing while CFK workers work overtime! 4. Community Farm tomatoes getting washed at the Kitchen