October 27, 2020

What’s in this Week’s VEGGIE BOX:  Lettuce, Escarol, Braising Mix, Chard, Beets, Turnips, Pomegranate,

Bread this week:-your choice of one Whole Wheat OR Barbari

 

NEW QUARTER STARTING NOVEMBER 17TH

 

Payment due November 3rd

We will be delivering Saturday November 28th boxes on Tuesday November 24th

We will be delivering Saturday December 26th boxes on Tuesday December 22nd

 

No deliveries December 26, 29 January 2, 5, & 9

 

Fall Quarter November 17th – February 16th

 

This Week on the Farm

Yesterday I woke to the sounds of the north wind, as I was lying in bed thinking I hate the wind! These days when I hear the winds blowing I feel a sense of fear, wondering where it is fanning yet another fire in our burned California. In the past, the north winds were an element to persevere as we went through our daily work, a wind that we knew would last about three days, and to just baton down the hatches as she blows. This morning I thought, you know everything has a reason, a purpose and there must be a more positive view of wind. I was on the search for that answer.

 

The Wind

The pessimist complains about the wind,

The optimist expects it to change;

The realist adjusts the sails

William Arthur Ward

 

Yesterday I woke up the pessimist; I lingered at the breakfast table, drinking yet another cup of tea, not wanting to go out the door. Ali was the first to step out in the blasts, and was out the door no more than a minute and before returning. She said not only is it windy, but it is cold and found another layer of clothing and headed out again. My grandson Nolie asked me one of the other windy days if I would stay in the house, as they were heading out for a walk; he wanted me to make sure that the house didn’t blow away. Maybe I will do that today, someone has to “hold down the fort”!  Needless to say I was slow to find all the layers necessary, a fleece, a vest, a hat and gloves before I put clippers in my pocket and went out to find those bent over flowers. I felt like the vest was my protection, my mail to guard me from the blasts of the day. The crew were all out working already, with their own hoodies covering their heads as they were bent down, heads to the earth harvesting beets for the Tuesday box. Francisco comes up from his protected position and greets me with Muy malo dia, muy malo el viento muy malo indeed! It is a challenge to harvest greens or flowers for that matter of any sort on a windy day, as they desiccate really quickly. The produce that is harvested needs to be taken back to the shop, washed and tucked away in the cooler as fast as possible, not leaving it out to continue wilting.  Or if there is a lineup of veggies that need to be washed the boxes are covered with a large plastic bag until its turn in the wash tub. The more delicate greens would need to be harvested first, and the more hearty ones that are tougher can be cut later.

The Dakota Native People believe that these north winds brings the cold, and the changing of the seasons. These winds are cleansing. They cause the leaves to fall and the earth to rest under a blanket of organic mulch. If someone has the ability to face these winds like the buffalo with its head into the storm, they have learned patience and endurance. Generally, the north wind stands for hardships and discomfort. Therefore, it represents the trials people must endure and the cleansing they must undergo….

As I found my way to the flower garden and started cutting alongside Celia the optimist came out and thought this too will pass, the news says it will be gone by noon. Ok there is hope on the horizon, and I found myself immersed in cutting flowers as quickly as I could. It is not so bad, although I noticed my continued lip licking, and the feeling of chapped lips and face-later my friend, I will deal with that later. With the farm surrounded by our tall casuarina trees the plants are more protected from the north winds of the Central Valley making it less damaging to the crops. I hear that when kids are indoors they run circles around the house, full of energy, driving parents and teachers crazy, but once let outside that energy goes with the wind, or at least helps to dissipate the intensity. I felt similar, my fear, anger and hate of the wind went with it, and I was out there doing my Monday chore of foraging flowers for the Tuesday Flower deliveries.

But what is it about the wind that riles us up, and creates bad hair days, those hot dry winds that come down through the mountain passes and curl your hair and make your nerves jump and your skin itch. Is there something to the negative/positive ions that are talked about-do winds bring in negative ions?  I did some googling and was surprised to find that positive ions are the ones that are not a plus, as they can adversely affect our mental and emotional well-being. Positive ions are always around, but in blustery conditions, especially if humidity is low and temperatures moderate to high, they become over-abundant. The wind’s energy can apparently strip away a negatively-charged electron from charge-neutral molecules such as nitrogen, carbon dioxide, oxygen and others, thus changing them into positive ions. These charged particles can do odd things. The negative ions are found in abundance at the seashore, in forests, near waterfalls and on mountains and are good for us! Negative ions are known to stimulate plant growth, purify air, kill bacteria, relieve hay fever, dispel fatigue, lift depression, increase productivity and promote a general sense of well being.

This morning’s dawn brought not stillness as I had hoped, but a continued blowing, definitely the intensity has lowered, and it is not as harsh as yesterday and I am not as reluctant to go out the door. But I do know that in these times you can hear in this wind a yearning, and a hope and a possibility and a sadness and sometimes a triumphal proclamation of determination. In American popular mythology the word wind suggests the collective consciousness of the culture, moving invisible but moving so that you can feel it. No one is sure where it comes from, where it is going, what it brings, or how to control it, but deep inside we all know what these winds are bringing on…. “These times are a changing” and the answer is “blowin' in the wind”, and we will find the answer, it’s just a matter of interpretation and how we adjust our sails. Have a great week-and yes remember to VOTE! Annie

 

Sweet Potatoes, Apples, and Braising Greens

4 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut lengthwise into quarters, then cut crosswise into 1/8-inch slices

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus 3 tablespoons melted

1 tablespoon fine sea salt

2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

3 medium baking apples, such as Sierra Beauty or Granny Smith, peeled, cored, and cut into quarters

6 cups loosely packed braising greens stems removed and torn into 2-inch strips

1/4 cup loosely packed fresh parsley leaves, coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 400°F. On foil-lined baking sheet, toss potato slices with 3 tablespoons melted butter, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Bake until cooked through and slightly caramelized, about 20 minutes. Keep warm. In heavy medium skillet over moderate heat, melt 3 tablespoons butter. Add apples and sauté until tender and golden brown, about 15 minutes. Keep warm. In heavy large pot over moderate heat, combine remaining 2 tablespoons butter and 3 tablespoons water. Add greens and sauté, stirring occasionally, until wilted, about 5 minutes. Lower heat to moderately low and add sweet potatoes and apples. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until warmed through, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in parsley, remaining 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper. Serve hot.

 

Beet and Turnip Gratin

9 Tbs. unsalted butter

3/4 cup finely chopped shallots

2 tsp. minced garlic

2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

4 1/2 lb assorted beets and turnips, peeled and sliced crosswise into rounds 1/16 inch thick

3/4 cup chicken stock

1 Tbs. finely chopped fresh chives

Preheat an oven to 400°FGrease a gratin dish with 1 Tbs. of the butter. In a fry pan over medium heat, melt 3 Tbs. of the butter. Add the shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and thyme and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat, add the remaining 5 Tbs. butter and stir until melted. Season with salt and pepper. Arrange the beet and turnip slices in overlapping rows in the prepared dish, and season with salt and pepper. Pour the butter mixture evenly on top, followed by the stock. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking until the vegetables are tender and just starting to brown, about 30 minutes more. Let the gratin cool for 30 minutes, then sprinkle with the chives and serve. Serves 8.

 

Escarole Salad With Walnuts and Parmesan

1 cup walnuts, roughly chopped

1 large head escarole, torn into pieces (about 12 cups)

1 small red onion, thinly sliced

2 ounces Parmesan, shaved (about 1/2 cup)

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

kosher salt and black pepper

⅓ cup olive oil

Heat oven to 375° F. Spread the walnuts on a rimmed baking sheet and toast, tossing occasionally, until fragrant, 8 to 10 minutes. In a large bowl, combine the escarole, onion, Parmesan, and toasted walnuts. In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, mustard, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Whisking constantly, gradually add the oil. Toss with the salad.

 

Swiss Chard Salad with Lemon, Parmesan & Bread Crumbs

1 bunch Swiss chard, about 12 ounces

½ cup extra virgin olive oil, divided

1½ cups fresh bread crumbs, see notes above

1 clove garlic, minced

sea salt to taste

crushed red pepper flakes, optional

1 lemon

¾ cups grated Parmesan, Grana Padano or Pecorino

Wash and dry the chard and remove the stems from the leaves. Stack a few of the leaves on top of each other, roll them like a cigar and cut the cigar into thin (1/8-inch) ribbons. Repeat until all the leaves are shredded. Put the leaves into a large salad bowl. Warm ¼ cup olive oil in a small, heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the bread crumbs and cook, stirring frequently, until they are crisp and golden brown (about 5 minutes). Be careful not to burn them! Stir in the garlic, a pinch of salt and pepper flakes, and let them toast for another minute, then remove from the heat.  Zest the lemon into the bowl of chard. Juice the lemon into a small mixing bowl. Add a few generous pinches of salt. Slowly whisk in ¼ cup of the olive oil. Add the Parmesan and about ⅔ of the lemon dressing to the bowl. Toss until nicely coated. Taste and add more dressing if you like. Toss in the toasted bread crumbs and serve immediately.

 

Escarole Butternut & Turnip Soup

Dry white beans
ham bone (optional)
bay leaves
pepper corns
onion
garlic
escarole
butternut squash
turnips

Begin by soaking the beans overnight, or to quick blanch: Add the beans to a pot of boiling water and allow to boil for 1-2 minutes. Turn the heat off and let sit for 10 mins. Then drain and return the beans to the pot. Add new water to cover the beans with chopped onion and garlic, the hambone (if using) a couple bay leaves, and 5 or so pepper corns. Bring to a boil and then turn to the lowest heat. Cover, but leave the lid ajar and allow to cook for a few hours, until the beans are tender. Check every once and a while and top up with water if it gets too low (you want to keep them just covered with water the whole time) Trim the escarole, roughly chop and then wash thoroughly to remove sand (tip: soak in water and agitate. Drain and continue that until there isn't anymore sand at the bottom of the bowl) When the beans are tender, remove the ham bone and add the escarole. Allow that to get a head start while you peel and cube the butternut and turnips. Add those to the soup and return the lid ajar. Allow the veggies to cook until tender. Taste and adjust the seasoning and serve.