Category Archives: What’s going on on the Farm

Weather conditions affect harvest

Weather challenges greet us toward the end of this season’s CSA. Infrequent temperatures changes have affected a few crops, and some were completely lost (tomatoes, cucumbers and squash). We will completely harvest crops like spinach and salad mix to have as much to offer as possible in the CSA boxes in the final week. Some of the crops like collards, carrots, and beets have winter hardiness and are able to withstand temperatures below 20 ° F. We will see.

Post by Shaquannah Faison

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Whats going on down on the farm?

CSA boxes are packed on Wed. Mornings,  but not this week due to theThanksgiving Holiday. Big boxes were packed last week to hold members through.

Lately,  we’ve been focusing on getting ready for winter.  We harvested the last of the crops in summer blocks, (including sweet potatoes), built beds to be ready for spring,  and sow cover crops. More and more Fall crops have been maturing, as well as those in our late summer high tunnel,  so there is more diversity of produce available.
We also got the North and Eastern sides of the pack shed mulched-and have inoculated the wood chips with Wine cap mushroom spawn.
 We are getting in a new Delaware rooster this week as well,  and have found a good home for “Ranger”, who has been doing a very good job of taking care of the flock in the meantime.
From this point on, we will have plenty of harvests left to do,  but most of the other time sensitive duties are winding down quickly.
Sherry Carroll

10/11 What’s in this Week’s CSA Box?

There are a couple of new items in this weeks CSA! You will see a mix of mustards, arugula, and asian greens (to be enjoyed as a micro-green salad), as well as a daikon radish included your share this week.

(Pictured left: harvested Asian Greens, known as Te You, Mebuna, and Hon Tsa Tai. Pictured right: Farmhand Ashley unearthing the first Daikon Radish of the season. Could be a State Fair Winner!) 

The Daikon radish is also known as the ‘Chinese Turnip’ or ‘Japenese Horseradish’, but despite this last moniker, this radish tends to have less of a ‘bite’ than the more familiar pink Cherry Belle. It is crisp and juicy in texture, and can be used either raw or cooked. See below the CSA pack list for a ideas on how to prepare this giant-ly healthful root crop!

This week’s CSA box also includes:

  • Shishito Peppers
  • Garlic
  • Eggplant
  • Potatoes
  • Sweet Potato Greens
  • Jalapenos
  • Sweet Peppers
  • Daikon Radish
  • Microgreens (Mix of Arugula, Garnet Mustard Greens, + Asian Greens)
  • Beet Greens

Daikon Recipe Ideas

  • Radish-Slaw (with carrots, apples, fennel, whatever you want to use! finish with vinaigrette)
  • Glazed with greens (butter and water and cubed pieces in pan, 2-3 TB sugar, cook until water evaporates+add greens, yum!)
  • Add to Stir-fry!
  • Quick Pickle ’em and keep them in your fridge!
  • Make Daikon Chips via the broiler! Add olive oil, salt, pepper, and whatever seasoning you’d like– garlic powder, paprika, etc)

For the serious home-chef I’ve included here is a youtube video about how to prepare a vegan version of Lo Bak Go. Ingredients needed are your daikon radish, rice flour, dried shiitake, scallions, shallots, garlic, salt, pepper, and frying oil.

 

Happy eating!

Post written by Laura Maule

What came first, the popcorn or the grit?

Long before the New World was ‘discovered’, corn was known to many civilizations as maize. The Zuni Indians of New Mexico called it tawa. When translated, tawa means ‘old’. The term accurately expresses how old this cereal grain is, OLD! Throughout history corn was made into cakes, porridge and even beer. The Iroquois are given credit for popcorn, maize was mixed in receptacles that held hot sand and cooked slowly until the kernels burst. Thanks to the tenacity of our ancestors we are able to craft many of the corn dishes we love today.

And even still we are finding new ways to elevate corn in the kitchen. Creating grits from popcorn is not entirely a new concept. Many chefs have recreated popcorn grits. But I thought it creatively simple enough to share.

What type of popping corn can you use?

Any popping corn will do. This recipe will use the Dakota Black and Tom Thumb to highlight the varieties included in the CSA box. If you’re interested, the seeds for both varieties are available through High Mowing Seeds. I initially thought that the purple black seeds of the Dakota Black would impart their deep hue to the grits. Not quite, the color transfers only slightly. But there are interesting bits of purple shell visible throughout the finished product.

Why take perfectly good popping corn and make grits?

The corn flavor is intensified with the corn broth, created by boiling the popped kernels in water with butter. This dish is excellent because it avoids a major pitfall,  getting popcorn stuck in your teeth.

Final notes

The recipe does not yield a large amount of grits compared to the amount of popcorn used. A corn sheller would make removing the kernels easier but it’s possible to remove them by hand. When popping the corn, avoid the temptation to use high heat. The burnt popcorn taste will transfer to the finished bowl of grits. Low and slow is the best way to go.

Here is a link to a recipe with easy to follow instructions.

popcorn grits

Two book sources used for this article are:

A History of Food by Maguelonne Toussaint-Samat

The Flavor Bible by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg

 

Post by Shaquannah Faison

Out With Summer Favorites, In With Fall Seedlings

This week, enjoy some of the season’s last week of summer favorites as we move towards planning and planting fall crops.

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Here is what you will find in your CSA box this week:

Okra

Assorted eggplant

Sweet peppers

Purslane

Shishitos

Sweet potato greens

Holy basil

Parsley

Pinto Gold potatoes

Red Ichilleum garlic

Gladstone onions

Please note that red shishito peppers can take on a spicy, hot taste unlike the green version of the pepper.

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The Gladstone onions should also be consumed soon to preserve desired freshness.

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Boxes are ready for pickup

We begin the 3rd season with remnants of summer, place holding for the anticipated Fall Brassica bunches. The boxes include 14 items, all for your enjoyment and well being.

Please note: Yellow Cipollini (Chip-oh-lee-nee), meaning “little onions” are not great storage onions and will not keep for long. Johnny’s Selected Seeds recommends roasting these tiny treasures whole, in butter or oil.

Here is a list of the CSA produce:

Bananas

Holy Basil

Beets

Carrots

Eggplant

German Stiffneck Garlic

Hungarian wax peppers

Jalapeños

Okra

Parsley (flat leaf or curly)

Potatoes (huckleberry)

Red chilies

Sweet peppers

Yellow Cipollini Onions

Tomatoes Galore

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We are in the middle of North Carolina tomato season. Look for Cherokee Purple and Cherokee Green tomatoes for a variation on the more common red tomatoes. 

The CSA box this week has:

Rattlesnake Pole beans

Sweet peppers

Shishitos

Jalapeños 

Cucumbers 

Garlic 

Beets

Carrots 

Potatoes 

Sweet corn

Parsley 

Italian Basil

Don’t forget to take a purple cabbage and some cherry and sliced tomatoes.

 

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Shaquannah and Jaime clean sweet corn in the Pack Shed.