Thursday, October 29, 2009

CSA Update :: Rain, Satisfaction Surveys and a Request for Help

Hello Everyone,

Several of you forgot to pick up your containers or perhaps those of you made of sugar didn't want to go out in the rain. [grin] It sure was wet on Tuesday. We got more than 2" of rain at the farm. If you did forget please don't be shy about coming out to the farm and picking up your containers today or tomorrow. Give us a call to make sure someone will be there.

Eric Williamson 704/796.7795

Brad Hinckley 828/406.0849

Aaron Newton 704/305.6654

Your veggies are in a walk in cooler which will keep your food in as good a shape as your refrigerator. Anything not picked up by Saturday will be donated.

This week there were customer surveys in your containers. Several of you mentioned your surveys were soggy. Attached to this email is a PDF copy of the survey. You can print it out and return it next week or mail it to us:

Cold Water Creek Farms

P.O. Box 936

Concord, NC 28026

Finally, this message is from David Goforth at the Cabarrus COUnty Cooperative Extension Office. All of you, CSA members and others are invited to help.

If the weather cooperates we will be covering the high tunnel next Tuesday November 3. This will be a group effort and the more hands we have holding the plastic, the easier life will be. If you have been looking for an excuse to come visit the incubator farm and meet some of the people who are farming out there, this would be a good one. It has been a beautiful week out at the farm with some of the best color I have ever seen on sassafras trees. We will probably be doing some of the preliminary work by 8:15 am if you are wanting to learn the whole process but hope to have hands on the plastic by 8:30. Of course all plans can be shot if the weather doesn’t cooperate. Right now the forecast looks okay but Tuesday is a long way off.


Nov 03

Mostly SunnyMostly Sunny

Hi: 65° Lo: 38°

Mostly Sunny. High 65F and low 38F. Winds N at 6 mph. Air Quality: NA, UV Index: NA


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

FRESH the movie screening in Charlotte @ CPCC

Please join us for a screening of Fresh the movie at Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte, NC on November 5, 7:30 p.m. in Tate Hall, CPCC Central Campus.

Check out the trailer.

More info here.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Nineteenth Pick Up Is Today 10.27.2009

Hello Everyone,

I'm sorry for last week's lack of full update. It was a busy one. On Sunday night/Monday morning we got freezing temperatures at the farm. Those temps killed the okra, the green beans, the peppers and the sweet potato vines. We picked all the peppers on Sunday afternoon and evening so we'll have some for the last two weeks. And while the vines died, the sweet potatoes themselves were not damaged. We did have to get them all out of the ground between the freeze on Monday morning and the rain we got this past weekend.

Now that the sweet potatoes are dug we have to cure them. This entails keeping them in a dry space heated to about 80 degrees F for a week or so. During this time their stored starches turns to the sugars that give them their sweet taste. Lucky for you we dug some a few weeks ago and have already cured them. You'll get some of those potatoes this week in your container.

Just so we're clear, we have two more weeks. You will pick up a container of vegetables today, October 27th between 4:30 and 6:30 at your regular pick up location. You will pick up your last container next Tuesday, November 3rd at your regular location. That will be the official end of the Cold Water Creek Farms 2009 CSA season.

You should see a survey to fill out this week which will help us to make improvements for next season. Please be candid with us as it's the only way we can get better at providing high quality produce to you. You can fill it out and return it next week at our pick up or you can mail it(especially if you'd rather fill it out anonymously)to:

Cold Water Creek Farms

P.O. Box 936

Concord, NC 28026

Aaron will do some postponed traveling in November and December. *BUT* Eric and Brad will continue to grow both field crops and greenhouse vegetables throughout the winter. Be sure to talk to them about how to purchase this food for those of you looking to eat local this winter.

Eric Williamson 704/796.7795
Brad Hinckley 828/406.0849

Information about our 2010 CSA season will go out in January.

Much thanks to Keaton and Salem for help last week in assembling the containers. A picture is attached. Also thanks to Mark & Ethan, Karen, Eric & Sarah, and also to Beth for help getting Shittake mushroom logs inoculated this past Saturday. We'll do more of this in the future for those of you interested.

This week the full share containers will get baby Pac Choi and Tatsoi. These are relatively new vegetables for us and we didn't grow enough to provide everyone with a taste this week. However we will have enough next week to make sure the half share members get to try them. The Pac Choi is like celery without the celery taste and the Tatsoi is like a cross between spinach and a very mild mustard. Both are excellent in stir fry.

This week:

Sweet Potatoes
Sweet Peppers
Mild Peppers
Mizuna (Full Shares)
Mizuna/Turnip Green Mix (Half Shares - for cooking)
Lettuce (Full Shares)
Baby Pac Choi & Tatsoi (Full Shares - next week for half shares!)




From Barbara

Quick White Bean Stew with Swiss Chard and Tomatoes


2 lb Swiss Chard (any green will do), large stems discarded and cut crosswise into 2 inch strips
1/4 C EVOO
3 Garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
1 C Canned tomatoes, chopped
One 16 oz can drained cannellini beans, drained and rinsed


Bring pot of water to boil. Add greens and simmer over moderate heat until tender-approx 8 minutes. Drain and press out excess water

Heat oil. Add garlic and red pepper and cook until garlic is golden, 1 minute.
Add tomatoes and bring to boil. Add beans and simmer over moderate heat for 3 minutes. Add chard and simmer until flavors meld-approx 5 minutes. Season with salt and serve. (Food & Wine, Oct)

Maple-Glazed Sweet Potatoes and Apples

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 sweet potatoes (2 1/4 pounds), peeled and sliced 1/4-inch thick
3 large Granny Smith apples (3 pounds)--peeled, halved, cored, and sliced 1/4- inch thick
1 cups pure maple syrup
3/4 cup apple cider
1/2 stick (2 ounces) unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease 2 very large, shallow baking dishes. Alternating the sweet potato and apple slices, arrange the slices in the baking dishes in a single layer of concentric circles.

In a medium saucepan, combine the maple syrup, cider, butter, and salt. Simmer over moderate heat for 5 minutes. Pour half of the mixture over the slices in each of the baking dishes and cover the dishes securely with foil.

Bake in the center of the oven for 40 minutes, or until the apples release their liquid. Remove the dishes from the oven, uncover and baste the apples and sweet potatoes with the pan juices. Increase the oven temperature to 450° and place the dishes in the upper third of the oven. Continue baking for about 35 minutes longer, basting a few more times, until the sweet potatoes are tender and nicely glazed. Serve hot.

Make Ahead:
The recipe can be prepared up to 1 day in advance and refrigerated. Reheat, covered, in a 400° oven for 25 minutes.

Chilled Wilted Tatsoi Salad with Sesame-Ginger Dressing (link)
(Makes about 2 servings, recipe adapted from Big Oven, who got it from the New York Times.)

10-12 ounces Tatsoi leaves
sesame seeds, for garnish (I used a mix of black and white sesame seeds, but you can use whichever type you have)

2 T soy sauce
1 T rice vinegar (not seasoned)
1 tsp. grated ginger root
1 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. hot chile sauce
fresh ground black pepper to taste

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, and fill another bowl with cold water and a handful of ice cubes. Wash Tatsoi leaves (I used a salad spinner) and cut into thick strips. Dump Tatsoi into boiling water, time for exactly one minutes, then drain immediately into colander and dump into bowl with ice water. (I used used the salad spinner again for the ice water.)

While Tatsoi is cooling in ice water, get a plastic bowl with a tight fitting lid that's large enough to hold all the Tatsoi. Mix dressing ingredients in this bowl, then drain Tatsoi well and add to dressing. Chill in the refrigerator an hour or more, turning bowl over a few times so Tatsoi remains coated with the dressing.

To serve, use tongs or a slotted spoon to remove Tatsoi from bowl and arrange on serving plates. Toast sesame seeds for 1-2 minutes in a dry pan and sprinkle over salad. (If using a mixture, the black seeds burn more quickly than the white ones.) Serve immediately.

18th Pick Update

I have three items of which I'd like to make you aware.

1. Please be careful carrying your full containers today. There are lots of different types of items inside. We have contained some of them in separate bags but some of them are loose and we don't want them to get damaged.

2. Please unpack your containers as soon as possible. Condensation from chilled items means there is moisture in the containers. Full shares have beans and half shares have garlic and neither of those items like water. Also everyone has peppers that should be kept dry. Which leads to number 3...

3. We packed the tubs and then realized that the sweet & mild peppers were mixed up with the hot peppers. This could cause problems so I have attached important pictures so please take a look at them.

Best Wishes,


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Eighteenth Pick Up Is Today 10.20.2009

Hello Everyone,

The full update will have to wait until this evening.

Be sure to pick up today between 4:30 and 6:00pm. I will be leaving promptly at 6pm today so if you can't get there by then please call me and we'll make other arrangements.

aaron = 704/305.6654

Also be sure to bring any containers you have.



Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Seventeenth Pick Up is Today 10.13.2009

Hello Everyone,

One big, foggy cloud outside this morning. We had just enough rain yesterday to keep us wet throughout the day. It was a nice day though, the kind that reminds me that fall is serious and winter is right around the corner. Once, in the middle of the afternoon, I suddenly thought about Thanksgiving. It's only 6 weeks away. It's suppose to be warm and sunny today and then maybe more rain. No complaining about rain.

We're taking care of the last crops to come in for the CSA. We picked a few more apples but missed the better part of the harvest of the late season apples; can't do it all. We still have sweet potatoes in the ground. We'll dig the first of those this week- maybe some of them today. Then they have to cure for about a week to turn the stored starches into the sugars that make them sweet.

With all the rain the collards have exploded. Kale will be ready soon and the lettuce is big enough to pick. It (the lettuce that is) isn't very sweet yet. The cooler weather will make it sweeter but at the moment it's better described as semi-sweet or almost sweet. We're including some this week.

Alright, I've held off telling you as long as I can stand. We have a surprise for you this week. It was an accident as great surprises tend to be. Earlier this year we finished picking 2 rows of green beans and then mowed them and tilled them into the soil. We never planted anything else in that area and eventually, beans from those plants sprouted and began to grow. We never thought the beans would actually produce fruit before the cold weather got to them. Last week however we discovered that those beans are over achievers! They have indeed produced loads of great green beans. This week everyone gets two pounds of late season green beans and boy are they sweet. They are big and I've found they take a little more time to steam but they are very tasty. Enjoy.

On Saturday, October 24th we'll be inoculating oak logs with Shiitake mushroom spawn. What's that you say? You haven't yet completed your on farm project for the year? What a great opportunity. Everyone is welcome. We'll be cutting logs to length, drilling holes in them, putting in the spawn plugs and then sealing the logs with wax. There's a job for all age groups and skill sets. Please let me know though if you'd like to participate so I can plan accordingly with tools and equipment.

This week:

Green Beans!
Mixed Greens (go for strong salads or saute)
Green and Red Sweet Peppers
Mild Peppers (the peppers formerly know as hot)
Swiss Chard
Apples (just a few)

I need some recipes people!




Roasted Radishes with Soy Sauce and Toasted Sesame Seed

(Makes 3-4 servings, recipe only slightly adapted from Vegetables Every Day by Jack Bishop.)


5 large radishes, trimmed and cut into thumbnail-sized pieces
1 1/2 T roasted peanut oil
1-2 T soy sauce (I used about 1 1/2 T)
2 green onions (scallions) sliced thin
1 T sesame seeds, toasted in a dry pan


Preheat oven to 425 F. Wash radishes, trim ends, peel if needed, and cut into same size pieces. Cut green onions into thin slices.

Toss radishes with peanut oil, then roast about 20 minutes, stirring one or two times. When radishes are tender and starting to brown, remove from oven, toss with soy sauce to coat and mix in green onion slices. Put back in oven and roast about 5 minutes more.

During final five minutes roasting time, put the sesame seed in a dry pan and toast over hot stove for about 2 minutes, or until starting to brown. Remove radishes from oven, place in serving bowl and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds. Serve hot.

Aaron's Rather Lazy But Yummy Steamed Collards Recipe


Collard Greens
1 Tablespoon Butter
Salt and Pepper


Remove stem and rib from collard leaf. Cut up into 2 inch squares. Steam for about 8 minutes or until very tender. Put in a bowl with butter. Salt and pepper to taste.

Hot Wilted Greens


1 thick slice smoky bacon
½ T olive oil
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 medium sweet red onion
3 T chicken stock
2 T balsamic vinegar
1 quart mixed piquant leafy greens (such as arugula, endive or mustard greens)
¼ cup toasted pecans


In a large, deep skillet or wok over medium heat, cook bacon until crispy. Remove and drain on paper towels. Crumble and reserve. Add olive oil to bacon drippings in skillet, heat and add garlic and onions.
Sauté for 3-4 minutes, until onions and garlic are softened. Stir in chicken stock and vinegar.
Add greens and mix. Stir-fry for 2-3 minutes, until leaves are coated. Cover and cook several minutes more, until leaves are wilted and cooked tender-crisp.
Top with bacon and chopped pecans. Serve hot.

Serves 4.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Sixteenth Pick Up is Today 10.6.2009

"The best thing one can do when it's raining is to let it rain."
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Hello Everyone,

First let me address a misunderstanding. When I floated the idea of picking up at the farm for our last couple of weeks, I did not mean that those last couple of weeks were upon us. We are in our 16th week of 20 weeks. The last pick up will occur on November 3rd. You will continue to pick up at your prearranged location for the duration of the season. See you today between 4:30 and 6:30pm. Please bring your container.

The idea of a potluck dinner is still under consideration. Currently the most suggested evening is Saturday, November 7th. Sunday, Nov. 8th is in second place. Please let me know what you think. We're working on the logistics but this seems doable and would be a great way to end the season, to eat together.

This cool weather has canceled our subscription to okra magazine. The other hot weather vegetables have given up as well. The cherry tomatoes no longer taste like anything. There is no more squash, no more zucchini. The sweet peppers are hanging on for dear life. But...

The cool weather crops are coming into there own. This is one of the things I most like about where I live, a season, with its weather, changes for you at just about the time when you're bored or tired or frustrated with it. I've had people comment that eating locally is about giving up choices like fresh tomatoes on any particular Tuesday in December. I would argue that's not true. Sure December tomatoes from California taste like cardboard but I'm talking about a rhythmic pattern of eating that replaces out-of-season tomatoes with something else just as you've had more tomatoes than you could care to eat. The seasons, with their change, are meant to be enjoyed one at at time and then another enters in. The same is true for their food.

So as we get into cool weather crops some identification might be in order.

These are our radishes.

I am proud of these radishes.

These are our Collard Greens.

Everyone gets some this week. If you have never tried Collards or you can't remember the last time you tried them (they might have been canned!) you are obligated to try them. If you aren't from the South and have never tried Collards you are required to by NC State Law Article 43 of Chapter 125C, sections 239-243. Don't make me turn you in. There are recipes below.

These are turnips.

You can eat both the root and the greens. Recipes for both are below. Don't think of me as your mother, imploring you to try a new vegetable, think of me as your hip foodie friend who's telling you that all the kool kids are eating turnips and that if you don't at least give them a try you're not getting invite to the next dinner party.

This is our Swiss Chard.

I know, it's back. Chard gets really bitter in the summer but as the cool weather returns it gets sweet again. It's one of the few greens you can grow from spring until fall. By the way, the bitter part (if it is still a bit bitter) is right along the rib of the leaf. You can cut that section out.

A note about the "hot" peppers. Typically you have to dry these small, red peppers to get them to get hot. Earlier this season I bit into one while standing in the field. I burned my mouth. It had apparently dried on the plant and gotten hot. On this past Saturday however, I tried one while at the farmers market and it wasn't really hot at all. So I'm going to call these peppers "mild" from now on. My guess is that if you string them up and dry them that they will get hot. Try it.

This week:

Green Sweet Peppers
Red Sweet Peppers
Red "Mild" Peppers
Mizuna (enough to saute' or stir fry)
Swiss Chard (for some)
Turnips (for others)

Enjoy the rain.



Cool and Crunchy Radish and Turnip Salad


12 small radishes, thinly sliced
3 small salad/spring turnips, thinly sliced
1/4 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon rice vinegar
juice of half a lime
1 tablespoon chopped chives
coarse kosher or sea salt, to taste


Combine all ingredients in a bowl, and stir gently but thoroughly to combine and coat all the slices. Taste and season with salt (you'll need salt -- start with a little pinch and gradually add it until the flavors "pop" as much as you like.)

Serves 2.

Mashed Potato and Turnip Gratin


2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes (about 5 medium - you got 2 lbs this week)
1 1/4 pounds turnips (about 3 medium)
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1/2 cup grated pecorino Romano cheese, divided
Pinch of ground nutmeg


Butter 11x7x2-inch glass or ceramic baking dish. Cook potatoes and turnips in heavy large pot of boiling salted water until tender, about 35 minutes. Drain. Cool vegetables slightly and peel. Cut into large chunks; place in food processor. Add butter and process until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl occasionally. Add 1/4 cup cheese and pinch of ground nutmeg; blend briefly. Season puree to taste with salt and pepper. Spoon into prepared dish. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup cheese. (Gratin can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.)

Preheat oven to 425°F. Bake gratin uncovered until vegetables are hot and top is golden, about 25 minutes.

Radish Dip

Radishes aren't just for salads. Their peppery bite makes them ideal partner for creamy dips, like this one. Serve this radish dip recipe with crackers, chips or fresh raw vegetables.


5-6 radishes, washed and trimmed
3 oz. cream cheese
3 cloves garlic2 Tbsp. apple juice
kosher salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste


Place radishes in the work bowl of a food processor
fitted with a metal blade. Add
remaining ingredients.
Puree until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings.

White Turnip Soup

This recipe is adapted from the classic French frenseuse, a turnip and potato soup enriched with egg yolks and heavy cream. Select turnips with firm, unblemished flesh.


6 tbsp unsalted butter
2 leeks, white part only, chopped
1 lb Idaho potatoes, peeled and diced
1 1/2 lb turnips, peeled & diced
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
3 qt Chicken Stock
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup heavy cream
4 large egg yolks
Croutons, for garnish (optional)


Melt 4 tablespoons butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add leeks, and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add potatoes and turnips, stirring to combine. Cover, and cook for about 10 minutes. Sprinkle flour over vegetables, stir to cover evenly, and cook for 1 minute. Add stock, season with salt and pepper to taste, and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 20 to 30 minutes.

With a slotted spoon, remove vegetables from pot, and place them in a food mill. Puree vegetables, and return them to pot. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together

Sweet Pepper Pesto


2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/4 cup tightly packed basil leaves
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
ground black pepper to taste


Place the Parmesan cheese and olive oil in a blender or food processor; blend until smooth.
Add the red bell pepper, basil, red pepper flakes, and black pepper; blend again until smooth.Turnips and Apples

2 pounds fresh turnips
1 fresh apple
3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon sugar
Salt and pepper to taste

First peel the turnips with a vegetable peeler. Peel the apple too if you like, but it isn't necessary, unless the skin is really ugly. Chop or slice the turnips and the apple into the chunks the right size for eating. Fill a big pot half full of water. Add the turnips, apple, the butter, sugar and salt and pepper as you like. Cover the pot and simmer on the back of the stove for about 20 minutes, or until the turnip chunks are tender to your preference. Serve hot.

Crispy Turnip 'Fries'


3 pounds turnips
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon onion powder


Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with a piece of aluminum foil and lightly grease.
Peel the turnips, and cut into French fry-sized sticks, about 1/3 by 4 inches. Place into a large bowl, and toss with the vegetable oil to coat. Place the Parmesan cheese, garlic salt, paprika, onion powder in a resealable plastic bag, and shake to mix. Place the oiled turnips into the bag, and shake until evenly coated with the spices. Spread out onto the prepared baking sheet.
Bake in preheated oven until the outside is crispy, and the inside is tender, about 20 minutes. Serve immediately.

Mess o' Greens


2 tablespoons olive oil
5 medium leeks, white and light-green parts only, cut into 1/4-inch rounds
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 teaspoon crushed red-pepper flakes
1 smoked turkey wing (4 to 6 ounces), cut into 3-inch pieces
3 pounds greens, such as collard, mustard, turnip, and kale, washed thoroughly, trimmed, and torn into pieces
1/4 cup dry white wine
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Heat olive oil in a large stockpot or casserole over medium-high heat until hot, 2 to 3 minutes. Add leeks and garlic; stir to coat. Cook, stirring, until leeks are softened but not brown, about 3 minutes. Add red-pepper flakes, smoked turkey wing, and greens; if necessary add greens in several batches.

Add wine; cover. Steam greens, turning occasionally, 8 to 10 minutes. Uncover, add salt and pepper, and cook, tossing occasionally, 3 minutes more. Discard turkey and garlic, and serve.

Southern-Style Turnip Greens


4 to 4 1/2 pounds turnip greens
1 pound salt pork, rinsed and diced
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon sugar, optional
a dash of crushed red pepper, optional


Cut off and discard tough stems and discolored leaves from greens. Wash greens thoroughly and drain well. Cook salt pork in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat until crisp and brown. Add the turnip greens, water, onion, sugar, pepper, and crushed red pepper; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer 40 to 45 minutes or until greens are tender. Taste and adjust seasonings.

Serve with vinegar or pepper sauce and cornbread.

Sauteed Mizuna




Over medium-high heat add a tablespoon of quality extra virgin olive oil to wok or skillet
Once heated add minced garlic (2 small cloves) and cooked for about 15 seconds, just long enough to release the flavor.
Then add the greens and cooked until wilted, about 2-3 minutes.