Well this is it- the last pick up of the first CSA season for Cold Water Creek Farms. Congratulations. You just spent all summer and most of autumn eating local vegetables and helping to support three people working to grow great tasting food for you in a more sustainable manner. We've had some bumps along the way of course but I'm going to stamp it a success. And I'm going to finish up this last email so I can go and cut lettuce for the half share members and maybe help stretch plastic over the high tunnel. Truth is, this really isn't the end. Speaking of ends...
Loose Ends ::
Containers: Hopefully you will bring last week's container to the pick up this afternoon. You'll probably leave with a container that needs to be returned to Cold Water Creek Farms. Or you can bring your own container or bag and transfer this week's vegetables like Colleen and Sue do. If you are coming to the end-of-season dinner this Saturday evening you can return your last container at that time. If not, you can drop it off at the farm some time next week. Click here for directions. If you don't return it, we will dream up some terrible fate for you. I'd dream one up right now but I seem to have misplaced my creative cap. I'm already thinking about my upcoming break. Seriously though, bring your containers back. If you're not going to get by the farm soon send me an email and we'll work something out. Most of you live close to my house. Email me by just clicking here.
More Food Please: For everyone who gets this email you should know that we will continue to have food for sale through the fall and winter. An email will go out from Brad or Eric at the beginning of each week with a list of what will be available. Then those of you interested can stop by the farm on Tuesday and buy whatever it is you want. If you like collards you can by 1 bunch or you can buy 20. Or you can buy apples. Or you can buy nothing at all. Look for those emails starting next week. This is open to everyone, not just CSA members.
Next Year: Speaking of non-CSA members, many of you have been patiently following along with us, following our progress all year and are asking yourself, "Are we ever going to get our chance to participate?" Meanwhile, current CSA members have been asking, "When will Cold Water Creek Farms get started next year?" The answers to these and all your questions regarding next season will be answered in early January 2010. We will ask existing CSA members if they'd like to return and then we'll be asking for new members to join. We'll be expanding and I doubt if we can't find room for everyone so hold tight, more info on next year's CSA program is forthcoming.
Surveys: Please return a copy of your survey so we can do an even better job next year. If you didn't get one or if yours was soggy there is a copy at the end of this post. There are two pages.
Speaking of the future, I have a little bad news. The main harvest of sweet potatoes isn't finished curing and probably won't be done in time for this last pick up. This is a bummer for everybody because not only will you probably not get sweet potatoes for your last pick up but very shortly, we're going to be stuck with a lot of sweet potatoes. Keep us in mind over the next few weeks if you need sweet potatoes, especially for the holidays. If you're planning a Thanksgiving dish of sweet potato casserole you can do it with local sweet potatoes, you'll just have to come see us in a few weeks out at the farm.
The same thing almost happened to the broccoli because of all these cloudy days. We have lots of broccoli planted and we were worried that it might not be ready for this last pick up but everyone will get some broccoli this week! We just made it- yesterday's sun actually made it happen. Please enjoy.
This week some combination of:
Baby Pac Choi
Well that's it. Thank you, thank you, thank you. This has been fun. Let's do it again.
Your hands are dirty at the end of the day,
But your hands are clean.
- Clayton Brascoupe
Pac Choi, Carrot, and Apple Slaw
3 heads baby pac choi
1 t. coarse salt (divided)
1 apple, peeled and cut into matchstick pieces
1 carrot, peeled and cut into matchstick pieces
1 ½ T fresh lemon juice
½ t. freshly grated ginger
1 ½ t canola oil pepper
Cut pac choi stems in half lengthwise. Cut stem off as well as any bruised leafy tops. Rinse each half thoroughly to remove grit. Slice each half crosswise into thin strips. Place all in a colander. Rinse lightly and shake until most of the water has drained. Coat top with ½ tsp. salt, and cover with a plate that fits inside the colander. Place a can of food on top of the plate to weigh it down. Meanwhile place apple and carrot matchstick pieces in a medium bowl. Add lemon juice, canola oil and ginger. Add pac choi to the bowl with the apple and carrot. Add ½ t. coarse salt and some freshly grated pepper to taste. Stir and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes before serving. Comments: I’m sorry to say we haven’t had a chance to test recipes yet this year. However, this one comes on good recommendation, and I’m intrigued by it. First of all, it’s very simple to prepare – a priority for us lazy cooks. It is also a cold dish and, while my tastes don’t naturally gravitate toward cold dishes, I think this one might work. For one thing, carrots and apples are good uncooked, and I think the sweetness of both of those would complement the slight bitterness of the pac choi. Ginger sounds fine (and you could use ½ t. of powdered ginger if you don’t have fresh), but you could probably play around with the herbs and spices a little bit. I might also want to try lightly cooking the vegetables in a pan beforehand, just to tenderize them. The recipe also isn’t very clear on what to do with the leaves. It also doesn’t say how long the pac choi strips should be. Seems like a whole stem would be too long, so you could cut them into matchstick pieces the same size as the carrots and apples, and tear up the leaves before adding them.
1 pac-choi (or two baby)
2tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, sliced
1 large potato, diced
1 large carrot, diced
2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1” piece of ginger root, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 cups vegetable or chicken stock (I used homemade turkey stock)
1 can coconut milk
1 tbsp thai fish sauce
½ cup fresh coriander leaves
Wash the pac-choi and separate the leaves from the stalks. Tear the leaves into pieces and cut the stalks into 1” squares.
Heat the olive oil in a large pan and cook the onions until soft.
Add the potato and carrot and cook for a few minutes.
Add the garlic and ginger and cook for a few more minutes.
Add the stock and coconut milk and bring to a boil, then turn down heat and simmer for about 10-15 mins.
Add the fish sauce, coriander leaves and pac-choi leaves and let simmer for another 10-15 mins or until everything is nicely cooked.
At this stage I used a steamer basket containing the pac-choi stalks, suspended over the soup mix and covered the pan. I steamed the stalks, over the soup, for about 10-15 minutes until they were slightly soft, but still had a bit of crunch to them. Alternatively, you could steam the stalks separately, or stir-fry them, or cook them for a few minutes in the microwave until tender.
Blend the soup mix (not the pac-choi stalks) in a liquidizer until smooth.
Add the pac-choi stalks to the soup.
Steamed Broccoli (just trying to be thorough)
1 bunch of broccoli
Method: Many options here
Olive oil, butter, flax seed oil, or mayonnaise
Lemon zest or juice, balsamic vinegar
Toasted almonds, toasted sesame seeds
Rinse out well your broccoli, and break into large, bite-sized florets. Cut off the stem and peel off the thick skin around the stem. Quarter or halve the stem lengthwise.
Bring 3/4 to 1 inch of water to a boil in a saucepan with a steamer. (Note that is you don't have a steamer, you can simply put the broccoli directly into an inch of boiling water.) Add the broccoli to the steamer and cover; reduce heat to medium and let cook for 6-7 minutes. The broccoli is done when you can pierce it with a fork. But be careful not to overcook the broccoli. As soon as it is pierce-able, remove from heat, place in serving dish.
Dress to taste with butter, olive oil, flax seed oil, mayonnaise, lemon zest or juice, balsamic vinegar, toasted almonds, or sesame seeds.
Serves 2-4, depending on how much broccoli people like to eat.