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October 29, 2017
Final Week of the Main Season!
By Charis Lindrooth
Just for fun, the Farmer and his daughter set up a tent on a sunny afternoon - a perfect way to savor the last few warm days.
These October days have been downright balmy. In fact, this is the longest pepper season on record for the farm. For those of you keeping tabs on the First Frost Bet between the Farmer and the Farmer’s Wife, it might end up as a tie. That’s because we have had a tiny bit of frost, but not a hard frost. The only thing damaged so far is the dahlias, which do not tolerate it a bit. Of course, I plan to make the Farmer his chicken and dumplings regardless - he has earned a favorite meal!
As I sit here writing this post, the sky is grey and a gentle Sunday rain only makes the blue-green stripes of kale, cabbage and broccoli in the fields below more striking. The autumn leaves are more muted this season, perhaps due to the warmer temperatures. Crickets are still chirping at night and we are enjoying many migratory bird sightings, as the farm is positioned right under their journey path.
The Main Season flew by as quickly as these birds in flight. One more box, and then we turn to the Fall Share. We are grateful to all who have joined the Fall Share; your participation makes all the difference to us as we wind up our year. We couldn’t do it without you.
October 15, 2017
By Charis Lindrooth
Pretty enough to paint, the savoy cabbage is a specialty variety that adds texture to the meal.
Packed with nutritional goodness, we all know that we should all be eating more cabbage. (In case you want more inspiration go here
). Even so, when a good-sized head arrives in the CSA box, creativity beyond coleslaw might be lacking. Here are 3 cabbage recipes to inspire you to use that entire nutrition-packed member of the cole family before your next box arrives:
Perfect for gluten-free diets, and delicious enough for all palates, try this alternative to a noodle based lasagna
Preheat oven to 350. Grease lasagna pan. Assemble 1 head cabbage, 1 lb ricotta cheese, 1 egg, pesto, 2 cups grated sharp cheddar, grated romano cheese, 1 quart pasta sauce or meat sauce ( brown ground sausage or beef and then mix with tomato sauce)
Slice your head of cabbage lengthwise, though the stem. Carefully make 4 or 5 one inch slices.
Arrange these in the bottom of a greased casserole pan.
Spoon 2/3 tomato sauce over the cabbage layer
Place ricotta cheese in food processor with egg and 1/4 cup of pesto, and 3/4 cup cheddar. Blend well. Gentle spread on top of tomato sauce layer.
Place another layer of cabbage rounds on top of ricotta layer. Top with remaining tomato sauce, and then remaining cheddar. Sprinkle top with romano cheese. Cover loosely with foil and bake 1 hour. Remove foil and bake an additional 10 minutes. Remove pan from oven and let sit 15 minutes before serving. This makes marvelous leftovers.
Full of beneficial bacteria for a healthy gut, sauerkraut is a favorite served with pork and applesauce. I like it even better as a salad topping. If you use a super fresh cabbage, you won’t believe how much better home-made is vs the stuff you buy in a bag.
Stuffed Cabbage Leaves
The first time I made this I used the recipe in Moosewood Cookbook. There are lots of variations out there. The dish is fabulously delicious, although it does take a little time. Steaming your cabbage leaves in advance helps.
October 7, 2017
Changing Season: Changing Perspective
By Charis Lindrooth
Drawing of the last Red Earth Farm heirloom tomato by Kerry Burniston
Life on the farm whirls past us. Our summer days demand a tremendous effort, both physical and mental. It seems as though our noses are right up against the work to be done, rows upon rows of young seedlings, thousands upon thousands of baby plants get planted not just in spring, but throughout the summer and early fall. Every single row requires manual weed control, via hand, hoe or tractor cultivation. And every single plant yields a harvest, as long as we have the strength to pick it, wash it and pack it. Some crops like tomatoes need special care, staking and trellising to keep precious fruit off the ground, or summer squash which needs special covers placed over hoops to protect it from insect pressure. Of course ground gets “worked" over and over, which means the tractor rolls back and forth along the beds, tilling, spreading compost, laying irrigation tape and cultivating seedlings. Cool spring melds into hot summer, transforms into chilly autumn seamlessly. When the daylight lengthens we use every bit of light for work, and often drop into a deep exhausted sleep almost as soon as the supper dishes are washed up. We barely notice time go by until that first hard frost hits and our entire landscape changes overnight. The night time chill fills the fall crops with a sweetness unsurpassed by any summer crop, except maybe the sungold tomatoes. Carrots and kale lose their bitterness as they condense their sugars into their root and leaf.
We are still expecting that first frost any day now. The tomato vines are shriveled and brown, dotted with bright red, or golden fruit that looks tempting until you get up close. Rows of spruce green colored kale, and bright green and burgundy lettuces draw one’s attention, and ease the loss of the summer bounty. With only four weeks left of our Main Season the Farmer says we have far more Fall Share crops than we can ever sell. Abundance.
Today I took a few hours to visit with my dear childhood friend. She lives in Great Britain now, and when she comes home for a visit I always carve a sacred bit of time out of this busy-ness to just be with her. She is a fantastic artist, with quite a following in Oxfordshire, so I decided that today we would spend our time together drawing. She always travels with a sketch book and a few key tools so she can draw wherever she goes. Today I supplied colored pencils and a selection of the last picking of tomatoes and together we sat a drew for hours. The exercise of creativity gradually relaxed me and when I finally looked up from my page the farm looked suddenly different. Beautiful and peaceful. Like home instead of work. And then I thought, maybe drawing vegetables is as health promoting as eating them!