A Hearty Welcome To All Of Our New Members
I want to welcome the handful of new Members that joined the Turner Farm family last week, and, I’d like to thank our existing Members for all of your participation, encouragement, and help in growing the Membership. I look forward to the day – and we aren’t very far off – when the Delivered Subscription Produce Box (CSA) is all that we do at TFF. The joy in this work really comes from seeing happy Members. I know it sounds corny, but it’s true.
Hmmm……..let me amend the above statement by saying that we do enjoy providing greens mixes and some specialty items to local small grocers. Also, in the early Fall before it gets too wet to do any roadbuilding out here on the farm, we will be putting up an “honor stand” out along Wells Town Road made from an old tobacco bulk barn. More on both of these projects in a couple of months.
For the newest Members, we do have a Facebook group, Eating Seasonally With Turner Family Farms, that has really taken off. The Members have posted some extraordinary Culinary Creations. It’s hard to express how gratifying that is for me when I see that someone has made something so beautiful and tasty with the crops we have grown.
Check out some recent pics……………………
TFF Members’ Culinary Creations
For anyone interested in making Jenny’s Chard-Tahini dip, she is a fantastic cook and baker and I highly recommend her blog entry HERE . Please check out the rest of her website as well – jennybowmanbooks.com. If I had known she is a writer and book editor before just now, I think I would have been a bit more conscientious here in these pages!
A Goodie From Last Week – Kelley’s Blueberry&Beet Muffins
I’m just copy and pasting here from her email to me earlier in the week.
From the cookbook Run Fast, Cook Fast, Eat Slow: Beet and Blueberry Muffins *Note– these are definitely a heartier than your average muffin- substitute ½ cup honey for the molasses to make sweeter, and can also sprinkle sugar on top before baking.
2 cups almond meal or whole wheat flour
1 ½ cups rolled oats
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 cup grated, raw beet (about 1 medium- but no reason to skimp on the beets!)
1/3 cup molasses
6 tbsp softened butter
1 cup frozen blueberries
Preheat oven to 350 and line 12 muffin tins with paper.
Combine dry ingredients.
Separately whisk wet ingredients. Add wet to dry. Fold in blueberries.
Spoon into muffin cups and fill to the brim. They will not rise much so don’t be afraid to stuff them.
Bake until center comes out clean with a toothpick, about 25 minutes.
Store airtight in the refrigerator. Taste great when quickly reheated in the microwave!
This Week’s Crops in the Box
In the field, this Brassica looks like it’s cousin the Rutabaga, but not as long in the field and the greens are edible.
This week’s turnips are the plain old workhorse Purple Top White Globe, but, this time of year they are very tender and tasty. Next month we will have our favorite Asian salad turnips to replace these.
In the kitchen, turnips are great roasted (baked,) and honestly, right now, you could slice these thin and use them as you would a Hakurei salad turnip.
For something a bit more upscale, these parmesan breadcrump turnips look amazing.
Beets are in the Amaranthaceae family (sub-family Chenopodiaceae,) which is really just a complicated way to say they are related to spinach and swiss chard. In fact, beet greens are an excellent nutty-tasting addition or substitute to (and for) spinach. In today’s box, though, is the beet roots only.
I’ve got Miss Jean’s beautiful Carrot and Beet Soup recipe above. I’ve tried it and it is fantastic. It’s worth giving a shot. Once you know how to make this base, you can adapt the recipe to many crops. Check next week for turnip soup.
Hail to the Kale Mix
Our current Kale Mix is a blend of baby Winterbor, and Lacinato varieties.
Technically, because these are brassicas and not lettuce type greens, most people would consider this a braising mix, but, these kales are so fresh and so cold-sweet that I would make a salad preparation similar to our Massaged Mustard Greens Salad.
Try this. Pour out whatever amount of Kale Mix you need onto a clean surface like the cutting board in this picture to the left. Take a rolling pin and roll over the greens a few times before tossing them into a bowl . Make yourself a simple red or white wine vinaigrette by whisking a half cup of olive oil into a quarter cup of red wine vinegar mixture (mix has S&P, honey to taste, dijon mustard dollop for emulsifier, and whatever herbs you like.) Just remember the 2:1 ratio of oil to vinegar, don’t forget the emulsifier, and you’re good to go after that with whatever aromatics you choose.
Rainbow Chard is an Amaranth just like spinach. It grows much more vigorously in the field and high tunnel than spinach, but it doesn’t have anywhere near the cold-hardiness. Nonetheless, it’s an excellent crop both full-sized and as baby greens.
Rainbow chard is another MVP crop. It’s easy to grow. It has a long growing season. It’s nutritious and it tastes great. It took a hit in the cold last month, but it bounced back nicely after we put row covers over it for a few weeks.
When I’m in a hurry, I usually just make a wilt (saute) like with spinach, but there are a ton of great ways to use this tasty and nutritious crop. I’ll be doing a video on it in the future, but for now, check out these 13 Creative Swiss Chard Recipes from Bon Appetit.
Southern “Cabbage Collards”
This Southern variety, when grown traditionally, has a very long season. When planted in the early Spring, it isn’t uncommon for the farmer to pull off the outside leaves all Summer long, then allow them to “head up” going through the Fall and into the Winter.
This kale makes an excellent wrap because it’s sturdy. This crop has been the best I’ve ever had, and, they are so tender that they can easily be overcooked.
This preparation from A Fork’s Tale, is the old school, traditional way to make Southern collards. When I do it this way, I like start with some chopped bacon in the bottom of the stock pot. Once it’s renedered out a lot of the fat, I add the green onions (from the box) chopped, and once they are cooked down a bit, I deglaze with either white wine or (even better) vermouth. Then add the collard greens, wilt them, add the water and bring to a boil, reduce the temp and simmer for 45 minutes or so.
Carrots with Tops
Carrots are in the Apiaceae family along with celery, parsnip, dill, fennel, coriander, chervil, cumin and parsley. We will always do our best to have carrots for as many weeks of the year as possible. The carrots are larger now, full-sized, but they are still just so fresh right out of the ground. I am doubling up on bunches as I’ve heard that the Membership children really love them.
These would be great to make Carrot Hummus from our video series, or just a nice carrot salad. These big ones would also store well, so, if you choose to hold them past two or three days, be sure to remove the greens. They will taste better and last longer.
This week are back to orange carrots.
Green Onions (aka Spring Onions)
I have fallen in love with this member of the Alluim family. From a grower’s standpoint, they can be grown several ways. In the past I have cut them small to let them regrow almost like Scallions (which technically are different.) However, what I’m really excited about is seeding them out in paperpot chains and using the paperpot planter to grow a larger version of this same plant that’s known as a “Welsh Onion.” They are similar to leaks in that you grow them larger but bury more of the plant to get more white stalk. Check out this youtube video showing how the Japanese do it.
Culinarily speaking, this crop is so, so versatile. While there are myriad ways to use green onions as a garnish – think salad topper, soup topper, etc. – I love to grill them whole, or, slice lengthwise and pan sear them with olive oil and S&P. I finally found a web article HERE that puts the green onion front and center in the preparation, instead of relegating this MVP to the culinary background.
Also known as “Spring Raab,” this cousin of broccoli has a similar taste but the small buds, leaves and even stems are edible and very, very tasty.
I like to do a simple sautee with the Raab bunches and season them gently. They are so good fresh that you definitely don’t want to overcook them. As of yet, I haven’t come up with a truly unique preparation, but I know the TFF Membership has some ideas.
I did find a decent link, but again, I’d beware of the ones that look over-done. The fresher the better with this crop, especially this time of the year when they are so sweet.
I am currently growing several Asian greens that are closely related to Broccoli Raab that I can’t wait to share with everyone. More info next week.
As always, I look forward to seeing everyone tomorrow on delivery day. If you are reading this and are not a Turner Family Farms CSA Member but would like to become part of the Turner Farm Family, check out our shop page HERE for options and pricing and give me a text or call at 910-552-3467. You can also email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’d love to be your farmer. 🙂