December 12, 2018
Winter Solstice Reflections
By Charis Lindrooth
A murder of crows covered the fields this morning. Since the end of the growing season, it’s been mighty quiet around here so I was happy for some company. I imagine they were gleaning the leftovers, maybe a sprig of kale or a shoot of broccoli for their holiday feast. With a sudden unanimous swoosh they left me alone again, meditating on the soft brown hues of the winter farm. The daylight is so short by late afternoon I’m thinking of supper and tucking in early and I can hardly imagine the hard summer push until 8 or 9pm. In honor of the approaching solstice I have been observing the sun, noticing where and when it pops up in the morning and wishing it a fond farewell when it disappears at 4:30pm. I am trying to remember that in nature this time of year calls for stillness and slowness.
In many ways the abrupt end of the season feels like jumping off a fast-moving train and it’s almost impossible to stand still at first. A deep inner longing for quiet and “less” is competing with the demands of the holiday season. The Farmer and I are getting old enough, however, to opt for less. Maybe we can turn down the “should” dial for a few weeks, share some warm home-made meals, read a book together and, best of all, take some time to cuddle.
We have been quiet about next season, but don’t be fooled. We are busy making plans and a few changes are afoot. We will be hiring a new field supervisor, someone with a well-rounded background in vegetable production. This will be a huge help to the Farmer who is finally ready to share the responsibility. We are also checking out a new software program that allows customers to rate their vegetables preferences so that their order is automatically created for them each week, with the option to edit their box as needed. This will ensure that your box contains produce you can use, even if you do not have time to order.
At this point we expect to open registration mid January. Please let us know if you have any ideas you would like us to consider for the 2019 season.
October 14, 2018
By Charis Lindrooth
CSAs have what some might consider a bad reputation, others might argue good, for sending a lot of kale to their customers. If you are a kale lover, you can probably stop reading here, since you likely know all your favorite ways to consume large amounts of the nutrition-packed green. But if your taste buds balk at a big green pile of mushy brassica, you might want to read on.
Here are some tips on preparing a tasty feast out of your kale bonanza:
- First, be aware that kale, if undercooked, it often remains on the dinner plate.
- Second, the bitterness of this green can deter some palates which proper seasoning can overcome.
Let’s look at three recipes that are simple and tasty for those who have been intimidated by kale in the past. Mind you, I’m often a hurried cook, and work in the kitchen from the seat of my pants, more than from a recipe book. I’m also partial to using seasonal, local veggies whenever possible, so if I use a recipe, I often adapt it to suit what’s in my CSA box. At the end of each recipe, I offer a link to a “real” more formal version, for those who want more detailed instructions.
1. Portuguese Kale Soup
Ingredients:2 large yellow onions diced fine, or chopped as you wish!
2 TBS butter or olive oil
8 cups chicken or vegetable stock
2-4 potatoes sliced 1/8 inch thick, or peeled and cubed if you prefer
1 bunch, or bag of kale, stripped from the stems, torn or chopped into bite size, and steamed for 10 minutes.
1/2 lb of chorizo, or mild sausage if spiciness is an issue for your crowd. Feel free to sub a vegan sausage.
Cannellini beans, 16 oz can, drained and rinsed
1-2 sprig rosemary, or 2 tsp dried
1-2 sprig thyme, of 1 tsp dried
Salt, pepper to taste
A dash of turmeric and paprika (optional)
Fresh basil for garnish, or sliced of lemon
In bottom of sturdy soup kettle, saute onions in butter, on medium heat, just until clear. Add stock and bring to a simmer. Add potatoes and simmer 5-10 minutes. I often take a potato masher and loosely crush the potatoes into smaller pieces. Add kale and sausage. Simmer 15-20 minutes. Add beans, rosemary and thyme and seasoning to taste. Simmer 5-10 minutes. Serve with garnish. Double the recipe for fantastic leftovers. Kale Soup with Rachel Ray
2. Kale Pesto
This is a fabulous way to increase the nutrient density of homemade pizza. Spread the pesto on a prepared crust (preferably homemade) and top with your favorites: cheese, artichokes, sun-dried tomatoes and garlic top my list. 5 Minute Kale Pesto Recipe
3. Kale Salad with Hemp Seeds
The key to a successful kale salad is to massage it and let it marinate. This tenderizes it and gives it time to soak up some great flavor to counteract it’s bitterness. Take 1 bunch of kale, stripped from the stems and torn into bite size pieces and place it in a large salad bowl. Drizzle olive oil, the juice of 1 lemon, salt to taste and add crushed garlic. Massage until the leaves turn oil and darker green. Let sit for at least an hour if possible. Add dried cranberries, hemp seeds, grapefruit and radishes. Drizzle a small amount of date balsamic vinegar, toss and enjoy. Massaged Kale Salad
Did you know that kale gets sweeter and more flavorful after the first frost? Join the Fall Share and find out for yourself!