Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Harvest Newsletter

Greetings from the Garden!  This week's CSA box has greens - salad, braising, and fresh herbs - parsley, cilantro and some arugula, winter tomatoes, leeks, garlic, pie pumpkin, carrot and or beets or parsnips, a rutabaga, and potatoes.

Field Notes.  The news is that winter arrived on Monday this year!  Even though I hear complaints about snow, I am so glad we got that insulating blanket of snow before the temperatures drop.  That snow will insulate the ground and slow down the drop of frost - this might save the greens in the green houses.  We shall see.  Even if those greens go, that snow will also add gradual moisture.  The slower drop of frost, increased microbial action nearer the surface and the gradual moisture could make spring easier and earlier.  Again, we shall see.  As a friend says, "I can work magic, but not miracles."  So too with growing produce - even with greenhouses!

Ken has been moving things - the egg mobile to its winter site; geese are also in their winter location, and he has new roofs on the four out of four buildings.  He has secured hay for mulching, but will wait for some warmer weather to pick it up.  The perennial crops can take the cold, but the mulch will prevent early growth if we get warm weather mid winter.  

Now we take stock and offer thanks for what we have.  Even when one or another crop does not do so well, we always seem to have vegetables.  After next week, we will take our first harvest break since April.  And then we move forward to more great boxes.  Thank you for your support.  Please get those preference lists back to me so we can wrap up plans for next season.

From the Kitchen.  Well, we have moved into bake, braise and stew mode with this weather change.  Monday I took a shoulder and browned it with minced celery root, and leeks.  I then simmered it for a few hours in stock.  Then I served part of the meat with rice, pumpkin and wilted greens topped with cream.  

After lunch I took out the meat and simmered root vegetables in the stock - chopped rutabagas, salad turnips, carrots, more leeks, and added more herbs and spices - some smoky powdered pepper, garlic, and savory.  Then I chopped and added the cooked meat back into the pot just before serving.  Often I place chopped greens in a bowl and add the hot soup over the greens to wilt them - this is one of Ken's favorite ways to have braising greens.

Winter tomatoes are a different variety - they are a storage, late eating variety.  They are not the same as summer juicy tomatoes that turn bright red, but they have good flavor.  I store them wrapped in newspaper.  They get a red blush - at that point they are red inside and have a delightful flavor.

And Ken has started making rutabaga "pancakes" for breakfast.  He grates rutabagas and adds salt, pepper, an egg and some hot pepper.  They are great!

"Til Next Week, Judith

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