January 17, 2023
What’s in this Week’s VEGGIE BOX: Carrots, Bok Choy, Tangelos, Lettuce, Broccoli and Turnips
Bread this week: Sourdough Baguette OR Whole Wheat your choice of one
PLEASE REMEMBER, IF YOU ARE HAVING SOMEONE ELSE PICK UP YOUR BOX TO DOUBLE CHECK THEY KNOW THE ITEMS THEY ARE SUPPOSED TO GRAB
This week on the farm
Water is Life-art work by Richard Flavin Japan 1997
What’s happening on the farm these days? Glad you asked, but it is still all about water, to the extent that we are wondering how to say yet again: “It’s wet and raining here on the farm.” I think we have had several newsletters lately that that talk about rain, and now it is my turn, Annie just couldn’t muster the excitement to say it again, but she contributed this drawing by an expatriate American artist and papermaker she stayed with for a few days during a 1997 trip to Japan. The caption is his. Wet it is. On the farm, Rogelio and I took the opportunity provided by two days of steady rain to go out to the back field to our last planting of seeds for spring flowers. As we bent and pulled the weeds from among the stock and flax, conversation popped up. How much is this row worth when we sell the flowers? About 1000 dollars as a part of mixed bouquets. How important is it that we do this now, in the rain? If the rain keeps up and we can’t plant our early spring vegetables, these few rows may save the farm, flowers are our biggest income maker for the year and spring is the best time for flower sales and the hardest tie for vegetables. Aren’t we lucky to have these good rainsuits? Very lucky to be ready, because in the field there is no bad weather, only bad clothing. And finally, it feels good to be out in the rain, slopping in the muddy furrows, feeling the first trickles of water down my back, bending over without stopping for a couple of hours because of 50 years of bending over, saving our farm. Rogelio is a great conversationalist, in the field it makes uninterrupted work go faster. At noon we go in for lunch and find out our afternoon is not to be in the weeds, but picking 44 cases of tangelos for an order. Still, we are able to come back for a last hour and another half bed before the end of the day. It is a lesson to both of us about how much can be done with good clothing.
At last Saturday’s Farmer’s Market we were hit by a 15 minute deluge that we won’t forget. We all stood round under the roof covers, afraid to step out from them to race to cars or to adjust the cascades of water. Anxiety crept into our enjoyment of the nearly unprecedented intensity, conversation slowed as we watched, and I was aware of the increasingly nervous nature of my enjoyment. Suddenly, it was very, very quiet. No pounding, no waterfalls, no conversation, no cars, no shopping. The storm passed, the sun shone weakly. Cell phones ran around the market with people attached, letting us know that our experience was over for now. The shoppers ran to their cars, going home with a story. We stayed to listen to the strange quiet and wait to see if shoppers were done for the day. In a half an hour, the market was buzzing again, and we practically sold out.
And the farm itself? In extreme weather like this winter many people question us to show their interest in and concern for the farm. Some perhaps hope to hear a little good news amid all the media chatter. Some have weathered real catastrophe, and hope to hear that all are suffering with them. Some want face-to-face interaction. However the question is posed, it is difficult for me to find an answer. Farms are resilient and we spend our lives weathering drought, flood, heat, and frost, financial and social events. For rain events, after nearly 50 years, we have our good rain clothes on, valuables are stacked on pallets and covered with plastic, buckets are set out under the roof leaks, hay bale and plastic dams are set across downhill roads, planted beds run across the contour, and cover crops cover the earth. So the farm is fine, it always is. Catastrophes come and go, the earth never stops its process. A farm, ephemeral as it is, is only an enhancement and in the best of cases a symbiotic enhancement of the natural process. As long as human beings don’t quit the process, as long as a farm echoes the eternal process, the farm survives. We’re still ok out here- Have a great week ~Jeff
Ginger Garlic Noodle Soup with Bok Choy
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 shallots - diced
1 bunch green onions - chopped, green and white divided
4 cloves garlic - minced
2 tablespoon ginger - fresh, minced
5.5 cups low sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoon soy sauce - or Tamari for a Gluten Free option
10 oz crimini mushrooms - sliced
6 oz rice noodles
1.5 heads bok choy - roughly chopped
sesame seeds - for topping
red pepper flakes - for topping
Heat 1-2 tablespoons olive oil in a medium-sized stockpot over medium heat. To the oil add the diced shallots and mix well. Cook over medium heat for 4-5 minutes, or until the shallots turn translucent and start to soften. Stir often. Chop the end off of each green onion- dividing the white part from the green part. Chop and set aside the green part for topping. Meanwhile, finely chop the white part of each green onion. Add the white part of the green onions, minced garlic, and ginger to the shallots and mix. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 1-2 minutes or until garlic and ginger is fragrant. Carefully pour the chicken stock or water (or mix) into the pot and bring to a simmer. To the pot add the star anise and soy sauce. Cover and continue to simmer for 10 minutes. Remove lid from the pot and carefully remove and discard each star anise from the soup. Add the sliced mushrooms, uncooked noodles, and bok choy to the pot and simmer for 5-8 minutes, or until noodles and bok choy are tender. Season to taste. Divide soup between bowls and garnish with sesame seeds, the green parts of green onions and red pepper flakes (if desired).
MASON JAR MINNEOLA TANGELO-LEMON VINAIGRETTE
2 cups fresh tangelo juice (about 2 tangelos)
1/4 cup fresh Meyer lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 cup olive oil
1 small, finely minced shallot
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
Combine tangelo and Meyer lemon juices, Dijon mustard, olive oil, minced shallot, salt, and pepper in a mason jar.
Close tightly, and then shake vigorously to blend dressing.
Store leftover vinaigrette in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 7 days. Shake well before each use.
Variations: Try adding a touch of local honey or freshly chopped herb, such as basil, thyme or rosemary.
BROCCOLI PARMESAN CHICKEN SOUP
2 heads of broccoli, or broccoli crowns
2 Tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
32 ounce carton of chicken broth
3 large handfuls of baby spinach
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese; you could substitute sharp white cheddar
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup cream
1 cooked chicken breast; I used a rotisserie chicken shredded
Set a pot of water to boil on the stove for blanching the broccoli. Meanwhile cut the broccoli into small florets, and thinly slice the tender, upper stems. Heat the oil in a large soup pot and sauté the stems, onion and garlic for about 8 minutes, stirring often. Plunge the florets into the pot of boiling water for about 30-45 seconds, then immediately drain and rinse briefly with cold water before proceeding with the recipe. I love how it sets the bright green of the broccoli. Add the chicken broth to the soup pot, and bring up to a simmer. Add the broccoli florets (reserving about 2 cups for garnish) along with the spinach. Bring the soup back to a boil, then gently simmer for 5-10 minutes. Stir in the cheese and lemon juice. Puree the soup, in batches, in a food processor. You can also use an immersion blender, but it will take longer. Return the soup to the pot, add the cream, and bring up to a simmer, then taste to adjust the salt or add extra cheese if you like. Ladle the soup into bowls garnished with the reserved broccoli florets and shredded chicken. Give each bowl a shower or Parmesan cheese and fresh cracked black pepper and dig in.
Mashed Carrots and Turnips
2 pounds Carrots, Peeled and sliced, about 4 1/2 cups
1 pound Turnips (Or rutabagas) peeled and cubed, about 3 cups
1/4 cup Brown Sugar
2 tablespoons Butter
1/2 teaspoon Salt
Ground Black Pepper, To taste
Place the carrots and turnips in a large stockpot and cover them with water.
Bring the water to a boil and boil for 40-45 minutes or until the vegetables are very tender.
Drain the vegetables thoroughly. If you want the final mixture to be a bit thicker, mash them a little bit and then let them sit in a fine mesh strainer for about 5 minutes to drain some of the excess liquid.
Move the vegetables back to the pot, or into a large bowl, and add the brown sugar, butter, salt, and pepper.
Mash the vegetables with a potato masher, and then whip them with an electric mixer until they're nice and fluffy.
Serve garnished with fresh parsley, if desired.