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Farm Share Week 21 (Oct 23-25, 2013)

This is the second-last week of farm share, and the last week for some of you with biweekly boxes. It’s hard to believe another season is over, but admittedly my motivation go harvest out in the fields cools off with my frozen toes. On a warmer note, this week’s bin is just crying out for some good soups. I believe everything in your box would be delightful in one of 3 soup ideas listed below. This week there are some back to back frosts happening, so the fields are pretty much empty now, save a few frost-hardy crops. Delightfully, there are still many different items available and I didn’t have a need to desperately hoard things to have enough for your last few boxes. This time of year I get very possessive of everything grown on the farm that’s in limited quantity. I don’t want to end up giving you 3 types of kale in your box at once, and I won’t need to. Phew!

Perhaps you are eager to pick out your own comfort food staples from the grocery store after a season of creatively cooking the farm-fresh variety we sent your way. For those faced with a limited organic selection (especially in Durham), one of the farm’s owners, Ted has opened up Teddy’s Organic Market in downtown Uxbridge, (www.teddysorganicmarket.com). Those of you from urban areas still wanting home delivery and as much of local produce as you can get through the winter and spring may wish to check out https://toronto.greenearthorganics.com . I have long wanted to create a winter share myself, but desiring to put my best into both home and work life means keeping farm share seasonal for now.

 

Half Shares

  • red swiss chard
  • green kale
  • jerusalem artichokes (not sure about this new tuber? Learn to love it for all the good stuff in it- see a nutrition profile here on this iron and potassium powerhouse http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2456/2 ). Mash it together with mashed potatoes for an easy nutrition boost. No need to peel the skin, just wash well). I’ve even eaten mine in a twist on shepherd’s pie.
  • Buttercup, butternut or delicata squash
  • carrots
  • red beets
  • garlic chives
  • red radish
  • celery
  • green peppers

Whole Share

  • red swiss chard
  • green kale
  • jerusalem artichokes (not sure about this new tuber? Learn to love it for all the good stuff in it- see a nutrition profile here on this iron and potassium powerhouse http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2456/2 ). Mash it together with mashed potatoes for an easy nutrition boost. No need to peel the skin, just wash well). I’ve even eaten mine in a twist on shepherd’s pie.
  • Buttercup, butternut or delicata squash
  • carrots
  • red beets
  • garlic chives
  • red radish
  • celery
  • green peppers
  • red cabbage
  • leeks
  • baby bokchoy
  • eggplant
  • coloured peppers

 

Recipes

This one’s been circulating around facebook and it made me happy to see a recipe with in-season produce! From www.mindbodygreen.com

Harvest Minestrone With Quinoa and Kale

Ingredients

  • 1 sweet onion (or sub one leek- save greens of leek and add later in cooking)
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 3 carrots, finely diced
  • 2 tbsp. Olive oil (or enough to cover the bottom of the pot)
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 cups fresh zucchini (sub for chopped radish)
  • 2 cups green beans- cut in 1 in. pieces
  • 1 bell pepper- medium diced
  • 1 28oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 28oz cans water
  • 1 15oz can chickpeas
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups kale, stems removed
  • 1 tsp. Turmeric (or to taste)
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • garnish with parmesan to taste and chopped garlic chives

Directions

1. Place a large stockpot over medium heat heat and add onions, carrot and celery. Cook for about 5 mins or until softened. Add the garlic and a pinch of red pepper flakes and cook for about 1 min or until garlic begins to colour.

2. Add the zucchini and green beans, season with salt and pepper, add the turmeric, stir and cook for about 3 mins. Add the tomatoes and water, raise heat to high and bring to a boil.

3. Lower the heat to medium-low and allow the soup to gently boil uncovered for 20 mins. Add quinoa and cover for 15 mins. Remove the cover, add kale and canned beans (more water if needed), bring back to a gentle boil and cook for another 5 minutes or until the kale is tender.

  1. Grate the parmesan, add garlic chives and serve (or do in individual servings).

 

Creamy Dairy-Free Jerusalem Artichoke and Leek Soup

An easy and amicable soup that eats a potato soup’s heart out nutrition-wise.

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp. Coconut oil
  • 2 tsp. Chopped garlic
  • 1 medium leek, chopped with greens separated from whites
  • 1 lb. Jerusalem artichokes (scrubbed, not peeled, sliced ΒΌ in. thick)
  • 3 cups chicken stock (or 2 cups chicken stock and 1 cup plain unsweetened milk alternative)
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp. Chopped garlic chives

Directions

  1. Melt the oil in a medium-sized saucepan over high heat, add garlic and leek whites and cook until soft, about 2 mins. Add jerusalem artichokes and sautee about 2 mins. Add stock and leeks and simmer until chokes are tender. Add milk substitute (if using) and bring back to a boil. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Puree in blender until smooth. Strain through a fine sieve (I never remembered doing this and it tasted fine to me). Keep warm. Sprinkle with chive and serve.

 

Enjoy your last (or almost last) taste of this year’s harvest!

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Farm Share Week 18

Three weeks remain and I’ve received numerous emails from customers thinking the season is over. This is understandable, as many grocery stores stop carrying Ontario produce at this point because consmers are used to the local options being phased out in early September. Even things like lettuce are being harvested into early October, although a heavy frost could wipe them out. We are still harvesting carrots, beets and kale and still waiting for the Jerusalem artichokes and parsnips to grow a little before harvesting. The brussels sprouts do not mind the frost at all, so I normally wait until the last weeks to harvest them, when I am grateful for a new item to put in your boes. Even sweet peppers and eggplants are living on happily under a frost cover we put up. So, despite the chill that’s in the air, October is still a busy month for harvesting vegetables.

So what’s on the menu this week?

Half Share
-carrots
-red beets (storage tip: cut off leaves one inch from the beets and store seperately to keep beets fresher longer)
-butternut squash
-baby bok choy
-red radish
-red leaf lettuce
-rainbow swiss chard
-sweet peppers
-green onions
-leeks

Whole Share
-carrots
-red beets
-butternut squash
-baby bok choy
-red radish
-red leaf lettuce
-rainbow swiss chard
-sweet peppers
-green onions
-leeks
-celery
-green leaf lettuce
-garlic bulbs
-spinach
-red cabbage

And for the recipes, now is the time for confort-food. And by comfort food, I don’t mean deep-fried! Some homemade soup is one of the best comfort foods in my opinion. I made a nice potato leek soup which I could have done with more of, with a tweak to the original recipe.

Potato Leek Soup (adapted from simplyrecipes.com)
Nice and creamy without all the fatty cream!

Ingredients
1 bunch leeks including green tops, chopped (the original recipe called for no green tops-what a waste!)
2 tbsp. butter
2 cups water
2 cups chicken, vegetable or beef broth
2 lbs. potatoes (also could use leftover potatoes, just don’t cook for as long)
1-2 tsp. dried italian herbs, or fresh herbs to taste (I used a spice mix but the recipe calls for parsley, thyme and marjoram
salt and pepper (if desired- I think I omitted these altogether)
cayenne pepper to taste (great for your immune system)

Directions
1. Cook leeks in butter in soup pot. Cover and cook on low about 10 mins. Check often and do not brown!
2. Add water, broth and potatoes. Bring to a low simmer and cook 20 minutes or until tender. Spoon about 1/2 of the soup into blender, puree and return to pot. Repeat with other half. Add spices. Serves 4-6 as a side.

Roasted Winter Veggies
My favorite way to prepare beets- makes a colourful side and a great-pleaser.

Ingredients
1 bunch beets, peeled and cut into quarters (for mid-sized beets)
1 bunch carrots, peeled and cut into short carrot sticks
1 large delicatta squash or 1/2 large or 1 small butternut squash, peeled and chopped into 1 1/2 inch cubes, seeds and insides discarded
1 onion or leek, coarsely chopped
4 medium potatoes, chopped into quarters
(Any of these vegetables could be omitted or another root vegetable added, although the more colour the better)
2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
Salt, pepper and rosemary or other savory spices like thyme, sage, parsley, etc.
1-2 tbsp. olive oil

Directions
1. Wash, peel and chop vegetables and place in baking dish (Corningware is perfect). Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Add olive oil and spices and mix together lightly. Cover and bake about 40 mins or until vegetables are tender (carrots and beets seem to take the longest so check them).

As the variety of vegetables diminishes a little with the cooler weather, it’s a good time to try out new recipes. You never know when you’ll find your next classic!

Thanks for embarking on your local organic food adventure. It’s people like you that have kept agriculture strong in Ontario. I hope it’s been tasty!

-Jennifer