Thursday, October 29, 2009

Week Twenty Two: Last Regular Harvest

Here we are at the antipenultimate pick up for the CFK. This season has simply flown by! As the harvests decrease slightly in volume we are able to get ahead on other items we'd fallen behind with during the busier season. Last Friday, as some later pick up folks might know, Jake cleaned the stove and it looks fantastic. I know he's not satisfied yet, but it's really a vast improvement. At the farm, things are winding down. On Tuesday we spent time gathering up more of the infinite irrigation tape that is out in the fields as well as harvesting daikon radishes and eating cookies left over from Saturday's membership meeting. After an early lunch, we workers went home. Wednesday was similarly relaxed as we brought in the final "regular" harvest before Grand Finale. Despite the relaxed atmosphere, there is plenty of food. We picked over 200 heads of napa cabbage from one field, bunches of mizuna and arugula from another, and loads of leeks from a third. We cut down the palm-tree like curly kale plants. It was relatively warm and not wet, despite the rain on Tuesday night. Rainwater had collected in the leaves of the kale, though, causing a beautiful deluge when a plant was cut. What a wet fall we're having! Fortunately, the cauliflower seems to be loving it....
This week's harvest:
Black Spanish radish - 1
Mizuna - 1 bunch
Daikon radish - 1
Arugula - 1 bunch
Choice - Broccoli or Cauliflower - 1 head
Leeks - 2
Kale - 1 plant
Delicata squash - 2
Chinese (napa) cabbage - 3
Pie pumpkin - 2

and the menu:
Napa Cabbage Slaw from From Asparagus to Zucchini p. 61
Barley Risotto with Roasted Squash and Leeks from The Farmer's Market Cookbook p. 197 I bought this cookbook while living in Wales and I don't use it often, but its recipes are always delightful and this one sounds particularly delicious.
White Bean and Kale Stuffed Delicata I found this tasty treat here. After the popularity of a bean-kale-delicata dish from two weeks ago, I feel like this will be another hit.
Cauliflower, Apple, and Coconut Soup from The Boxing Clever Cookbook p. 113 Another tasty seasonal combination. We need soup on these cold rainy days, right? We'll throw the broccoli in here too.
Leaf Fall Salad with arugula and mizuna

Members, make sure you read your reminder email carefully this week for important announcements.

That's all, I think!
Photos: 1. Purple cauliflower! 2. Jake cleaning the stove. I think it looks cool with its top removed--like flowers. 3. Kristin modeling her kale plant. 4. Kristin as jolly green giant. 5. Jason sorting the salad bags.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Week Twenty One: Cool mornings; Sunny days

Oh my, it's hard to believe we only have one "regular" week left--though we've got lots of cooking still ahead of us. It was a lovely week at the farm. On Tuesday we planted four beds of garlic with a big team of workers. Now it's all tucked in for the winter under a mulch of straw--the promise of tasty seasoning in the year to come. We also had a visit from a very special guest: former farm worker Angela brought her 3-month-old baby Ben to visit the farm for the first time. It was so delightful and distracting to play with the baby at lunch and during the afternoon. Ben seemed to enjoy the farm, seeing the sunshine and the cows and being held by doting friends. Life is good when you're an adorable baby. Pictures coming soon, I hope--I never remember my camera when anything exciting is happening at the farm!
Wednesday was another gorgeous, golden fall day. It wasn't even very cold, allowing us to sit outside for a relaxed lunch. Aaron came to help with the harvest once more, which was fun. The harvest has decreased a bit in quantity, but fall veggies are some of my faves and I'm excited to work with these tasty treats. The frost has sweetened the mizuna, arugula, and tatsoi so much that they almost taste like different greens--you'll be surprised.
This week's share:
Turnips - 3
Rosemary - 1 sprig
Daikon radish - 1
Oriental greens - 1 bunch
Kale - 2 plants
Little winter squash -2
Mei qing choi - 1
Garlic - 8 cloves
Parsley - 1 bunch
Pie pumpkin or Jack-o-lantern - 1

Menu - This week I'm reviving some big hits from last fall. These tried-and-true faves were popular with CFK members last year, and I hope you'll enjoy them too.
Turnips with Greens and Raisins from From Asparagus to Zucchini p. 159 - so tasty one CFK member had to re-create the recipe himself.
Pumpkin (and other squash) Sage Soup From Farmer John's Cookbook p. 315
Choi Salad with Fruit and Creamy Dressing From Farmer John's Cookbook p. 78 - one of my absolute favorite choi recipes.
Dressed Grain - from The Community Farm of Ann Arbor Cookbook (2001) p. 37 A classic farm dish from Karen Chalmer. I think we'll do quinoa.
Daikon in Plum Sauce - from Farmer John's Cookbook p. 275 This is a new one, but I'm always looking for a creative way to use daikons and this looks simple and tasty.
Frost-Sweet Salad Mix - Last week saw the last of the lettuce, but we're still getting arugula, mizuna, and tatsoi, and they're SO sweet, you won't believe.
And we're working on another batch of Kristin's popular Hot Pepper Chutney, so there's that to look forward to as well.
Phew, that's everything.
See you Friday!
Photos: 1. Farm workers Kristin, Ricardo, Mary, Helen, and Aaron pose with Bob the cat and pumpkins 2. Beautiful turnips 3. Kristin shows off a masked winter squash 4. Dressing the Spaghetti Squash Salad 5. Pumpkins of all colors

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Week Twenty: Cool Fall Days

It's been another good week here at the CFK. On Monday I went out to the farm to help out with a field trip of first and second graders from Ann Arbor Open School. The kids had so much energy and all seemed to love the farm. They helped with feeding the animals, separating garlic for the garlic planting (while keeping warm at a bonfire), and took a hayride. Anne always asks field trip kids if they might want to be farmers one day, and almost all of these kids responded with an enthusiastic YES. I can't blame them--I love being able to spend time outdoors at the farm. In fact, I was just reminiscing to a friend this week about how I used to stare at the Monet paintings in my calendar during class in highschool--longing to escape the classroom into fields and gardens. On Tuesday Melanie and I got to work on a crock of sauerkraut which will be ready to distribute in a few weeks time. Wednesday was a busy and chilly morning at the farm. Despite frozen fingers, we were able to bring in a bounty of leeks, daikon, kale, and more. Paul tells me that this is officially the Last Hurrah for the lettuce, but that it has been the Best Lettuce Year EVER at the Community Farm, with few crop failures, lots of good rain, and essentially ideal conditions. Hope you've been enjoying the bounty.
So, this week's share:
Choice: 1 spaghetti squash OR 2 delicata squash (we chose both)
Hot peppers - 2
Sage - 2 sprigs
Soup Box (potato, carrot, and broccoli) - 1
Assorted Oriental Greens - 1 bunch
Eggplant - 3
Kale - 3/4 lb
Leeks - 2
Daikon radish - 1
Lettuce - 2
Jack-o-lantern - 1

Delicata Squash with Kale and Cannellini Beans I noticed this recipe in the October Martha Stewart Living while hanging out with former farm worker Angela and her baby Ben yesterday afternoon. Looks perfect!
Thai Eggplant Dip A twist on Baba Ganouj that I found in From Asperagus to Zucchini p. 75
Ginger Miso Soup a vehicle for daikon radish and kale? what more could we ask this week! From Farmer John's Cookbook p. 275
Spaghetti Squash Salad with Citrus Dressing I spotted this recipe last week in Serving Up the Harvest p.452 and am excited to give it a whirl--rather a change of pace!
Karen's Potato Leek Soup a classic favorite from Community Farm of Ann Arbor Cookbook (2001) p.53. Warming and delicious.
Last Hurrah Salad with lettuce and oriental greens.
We'll also finally give out the Pasta with Broccoli we missed last week...sorry about that...hopefully we'll be more on top of things in the future!

I think that's all. Hope you're doing well!
Photos: 1. Still life with kraut ingredients (note purple inside cabbage!) 2. Melanie working on the sauerkraut 3. Adorable soup boxes in distribution area. Yum! 4. Kristin picking up her share.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Week Nineteen: The Frost King is Here!

Wow, what a change a week can make. The season shift into autumn has really happened now, and the effects of the Frost King's visit to our farm are obvious. We're already beginning to focus on the end of the season--which, it is hard to believe, is only a month away! All of the summer crops are really gone, though we're still distributing the last of what we had saved in the barn. Autumn crops are going strong and I have to dust off my memories from last year of what delicious treats there are to make with bok choi and winter squash.
We had a short work day at the farm on Tuesday due to the cold and rain. We spent some time gathering in the irrigation tape from the pepper and basil beds which will be cultivated soon and put to sleep for the winter with cover crops seeded. Wednesday was windy and chilly, but the harvesters spirits as we brought in the veggies. My friend Aaron joined us for the morning and, in addition to picking some gorgeous mizuna and playing with the goats, he serenaded us with an impromptu drum solo on the lids of the honey jars in the barn.....maybe you had to be there.
Anyhow, with this week's bounty I feel that we're returning to the refrain of early spring: "Here, have some (LOTS of) green stuff!"
The share:
Sweet peppers - 4
Spaghetti squash - 1
Daikon radish - 1
Hot pepper - 12
Eggplant - 2
Cauliflower - 1
Broccoli- 2 heads
Bok choi - 16 (!) plants
Kale - 1 lb
Swiss chard - 3 plants
Endive or chickory - 1 head
Garlic - 4 bulbs
Choice: Mizuna, arugula, tatsoi - 1 bunch
Lettuce - 2 heads
Fennel - 1 bulb

Cauliflower Millet Soup - this is a perennial favorite here in the CFK. With tons of protein, what more can we expect from Diet for a Small Planet (p. 290)
Eggplant-Chard Curry - Moosewood Restaurant Cooks for a Crowd p. 355
Spaghetti Squash with Green Sauce - this recipe comes from my head. The green sauce will be a version of Katharina's Green Sauce we enjoyed in the spring.
Pasta with Broccoli - every once in a while the CFK goes posh. This tasty recipe comes from Craig Clairborne's New York Times Cookbook p. 263
Stir Fried Bok Choi with Sweet Tahini Sauce We're going to try something different and stir fry the Bok choi and other veggies and package them seperately from their sauce (from Diet for a Small Planet p. 263).
Frost King Salad with lettuce, endive, chickory, mizuna, tatsoi, and arugula.

Hope you'll enjoy it all!
See you Friday
Photos: 1. Distribution board with Nancy's art--lots of bok choi in the foreground 2. Daikon and spaghetti squash 3. Aaron and the goats, Morgan and Delilah 4. Broccoli and Cauliflower

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Week Eighteen: Birthday Frost

Well, last night the temperatures were low enough to threaten the tender summer veggies we've been enjoying for so long. In anticipation, we had a very busy harvest morning on Wednesday, bringing in all the chard, basil, peppers, and eggplants. A cold wind was blowing and we had to bundle up--fortunately, just when we were frozen to the bone, Paul brought us some delicious warm chai to help us finish the harvest! What a change from the balmy weather we've been enjoying all September! As we raced around bringing in the harvest, a favorite song came to mind, which I hope you'll all enjoy in the above music video. We think the Farmer's Chorus of Helma, Karen, Mary, Kristin, and Rebecca (complete with basil, chard, and clippers as props) are just about ready for the Big Time! (Thanks to Ricardo for such a steady hand with the camera). The song, "Hurry Hurry", is a great favorite with the Steiner School third graders and Karen's daughter Lucilla (now a glamorous teen) helped write the words to the third verse about the pony. :-)
So, this harvest represents essentially the LAST of the summer crops. Deciding what to make was really tough. I hope we'll be able to make Cauliflower Millet Soup (a CFK fave) in a future week because I'm really excited about what I DID decide to make!
Summer's last bounty is:
Eggplant - 2
Green onions - 1 bunch
Cauliflower - 1 large head
Hot peppers - 1 plant
Broccoli - 3 heads (!)
Swiss chard - 7 plants (!!!)
Parsley - 1 bunch
Mizuna - 1 bunch
Fennel - 1 stalk
Lettuce - 3 heads
Basil - 2 plants (!!)
Sweet peppers - 10 (!!!)

Menu--after long deliberation--
Eggplant Mykonos - this stew from Moosewood Restaurant Cooks for a Crowd p. 353 has basically everything we got this week. Yum!
Barley Broccoli Salad from Serving up the Harvest p. 126
Cauliflower Pie Hopefully a new favorite from Farmer John's Cookbook p. 267
Mediterranean Green Sauce from Farmer John's Cookbook p. 86 We had this earlier this summer and it was sooooo good and a great way to use up tons of chard.
Basil Thogaiyal (Chutney) - another Indian specialty from Nitya, it's spicy and tasty and a great way to use up basil
and of course, our classic Pesto ... I hope you're not overwhelmed by having this several weeks in a row. It's so tasty and it keeps in the freezer for a taste of summer all winter long.
Finally, Celebration Salad with lettuce, mizuna, and peppers. Crunch crunch!

See you Friday!
Mary--who turns 25 today!
Photos: 1. Mary making Arugula Potato Salad in a cooking demo at the Ann Arbor Farmer's Market last Saturday. 2. A gorgeous Preying Mantis at the Farm 3. Peppers and Broccoli in this week's share 4. Melanie tubs up last week's roasted veggie salad