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Monthly Archives: September 2011

Expected Harvest

arugula
beans, provider and French
bok choy
eggplant
fennel
garlic
mesclun – a mix of young, colorful and flavorful Asian and mustard greens
okra
peppers – green and purple bell
potatoes – purple majesty (purple inside and out) and dark red norland (white interior and red skin)
radishes – french breakfast
scallions
tomatoes – cherry, heirloom, paste and red varieties
turnips, hakurei – a sweet, white turnip
winter squash – sweet dumpling

Bonus Items:
chives
sage
hot peppers: anaheim, cayenne, fish, jalapeno, and poblano

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Fall seems to be a popular time to celebrate local food with films, dinners and festivals.  Several events are coming up in the next few weeks which we are involved with and wanted to encourage you to attend: “Cafeteria Man” film and local food tasting at the Prince Theater on Sunday, September 25th, Taste of the Sassafras at Molly’s Inn in Galena on Friday, September 30th, St. Brigid’s Field to Fork Dinner on October 1st, and Turner’s Creek Fall Festival on October 1st.  Please see below for more information about some of these events.

Come check out Cafeteria Man

with a tasting of food prepared with local ingredients prepared by the Kent County Culinary Arts Program.

Tickets:

$10 adults, $8 students, $5 for 13 years and under

Part of the proceeds of ticket sales will help support Colchester Farm CSA food and education programs.

Tickets can either be purchased at the event or pre-purchased online.

 

For more information about this event:
Chesapeake Film Festival
Cafeteria Man
The Chestertown Spy – “Cafeteria Man Film Takes on School Lunches”

Taste of the Sassafras

7 – 9 pm Friday, September 30th

Molly’s Inn at 105 North Main Street, Galena, MD

The event will showcase the best our local restaurants and caterers have to offer. Some of the featured vendors will be Sisters By Chance Catering, Galena’s Kitchen, Twinney’s Place, Sassafras Harbor Cafe, Molly Masons, Crow Farm, Maryland’s Herb Basket, with others still to come.

As an added bonus there will be TWO $100 CASH GIVEAWAYS during the event and many raffles and door prizes donated by our member businesses.

Tickets are $25 individual and $45 couple

Click here for more information.

 

Turner’s Creek Fall Festival

11am-4pm

Saturday, October 1

Location: Turner’s Creek/Knock’s Folly
Contact: John L. Ohler
Phone: 410-820-1668
Email: johler@dnr.state.md.us

Come out and enjoy a day of family fun at Turner’s Creek. Activities include pumpkin decorating, scarecrow making, fishing derby, hayrides, Scales & Tales, Apple Butter making, games, demonstration, food and more.

Sponsored by the Maryland Park Service, Kent County Parks and Recreation and the Kent Museum.

by Zoë Abram

This past week you began to see more of our fall greens in the share … lettuce mix as usual, but also arugula and the mesclun mix. The cooler weather is perfect for fast growing, direct seeded greens. We plant five varieties of mustards and asian greens for the mesclun mix, a diversity of tastes that leads to an interesting mix of fresh and spicy. Each week we harvest the greens from their separate rows, and then mix them together after we wash them and spin them dry.

Here’s the breakdown.

Early Mizuna – High in beta carotene and other nutrients, mizuna is a cold tolerant mustard grown for eating raw or sautéed. Your salads will benefit from mizuna’s crisp stalks and beautiful green frond-like leaves. In the salad mix, it has a mild flavor that grows peppery as the plant matures. The word “mizuna” means “water greens” in Japanese. Mizuna is primarily cultivated in Japan, but is native to China.

Garnet Giant – Garnet giant is a dark red mustard, with leaves that are almost maroon. It develops spice as it grows, but is relatively mild until it’s largest size.

Ruby streaks – These are the deeply serrated, almost lacy leaves in the mix. It is both spirited and tender, adding texture and variety to salads.

Suehlihung – Though this mustard is similar to mizuna in appearance, it tastes quite different. Suehlihung tolerates a wide range of temperatures; it does well when the weather is cold but it also is slow to bolt if we get some hotter weeks unexpectedly.

Tatsoi – Similar to pak choi, tatsoi is a mild and delicious green. It is small and tender, perfect for salad. The appearance of the tatsoi in the field is a record of the weather. When it is warmer, tatsoi grows more erectly, and when temperatures drop close to freezing, it forms flat rosettes. In this first succession of greens planted for mesclun, the tatsoi did not germinate as well as some of the others. But hopefully it will be a bigger proportion of some of the mixes to come!

As described in the Garnet Giant section above, many mustards develop heat as they grow. Because of this change in flavor over time, our mesclun mix may be spicier or less spicy each week depending the stage of growth of the mustard greens. Unlike the lettuce, the arugula and mesclun can be eaten raw or cooked. If, on any given week, either option is ever too spicy for you to eat raw, simply sauté and the greens taste more mild.

Expected Harvest

arugula
beans, provider and French
eggplant
fennel
garlic
lettuce mix
mesclun – a mix of young, colorful and flavorful Asian and mustard greens
okra
onions, red
peppers – red- and orange-ripe sweet bell and some purple bell
potatoes – purple viking, a purple and pink skinned potato with white interior and yellow finn (yellow interior)
radishes – french breakfast
scallions
tomatoes – cherry, heirloom, paste and red varieties
winter squash – sweet dumpling

Bonus Items:
basil
lemon grass
hot peppers: anaheim, cayenne, fish, jalapeno, and poblano

Our eggplants have gotten a second wind.  They always seem to thrive in the cooler weather of September, and we have a good crop ready to harvest at the moment.  With this change of weather, perhaps many of you are ready to move on to some fall veggies, but I have two delicious recipes to share which I hope you will give a try.  They are well-suited to fall weather and make great use of this wonderful vegetable.

Roasted eggplant with tomatoes and mint” is a dish I just had the pleasure of eating this evening.  It was recently posted on Smitten Kitchen and can be found here.

Spicy Lebanese Stew

from The Tomato Cookbook by Christine France

Serves four as a main course

Ingredients
3 large eggplants, cubed
200g/7oz/1 cup dried chickpeas, soaked
4 T. olive oil
3 garlic cloves, chopped
2 large onions, chopped
½ t. ground cumin
½ t. ground cinnamon
½ t. ground coriander
3 x 14 oz cans chopped tomatoes
7 oz fresh tomatoes, chopped
salt and ground black pepper
cooked rice, to serve

For the garnish
2 T. olive oil
1 onion, sliced
1 garlic cloves, sliced
fresh cilantro sprigs

Drain the chickpeas and put in a pan with enough water to cover.   Bring to a boil and simmer for about 1 hour or until tender.  Drain.

Heat the oil in a large pan.  Add the garlic and onions; cook gently, until soft.  Add the spices and cook, stirring, for a few seconds.  Stir in the eggplant and stir to coat with the spices and onion.  Cook for 5 minutes.  Add the tomatoes and chickpeas, and season with salt and pepper.  Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

To make the garnish, heat the oil in a frying pan and, when very hot, add the sliced onion and garlic.  Fry until golden and crisp.  Serve the stew with rice, topped with the onion and garlic, and garnished with coriander.

Cook’s Tips:

  • While we still have some fresh, flavorsome tomatoes in season, use them instead of canned tomatoes.  You will need about 6 large tomatoes.
  • If you are in a hurry, substitute 2 – 14 oz cans of chickpeas for dried.  Rinse and drain before adding to the tomato mixture, and cook for about 15 minutes.

 

(and, we hope, the volunteers!)
by Zoë Abram

Welcome back, sunshine and shadows! It feels so good to emerge from the extended wetness of the past month and the winds of the stormier periods. We were far enough East to miss most of the storms; crop loss and damage reports from farms in Pennsylvania, New York and Vermont make us so grateful to see minimal damage in our fields.

Farming during that string of rainy days was a challenge. The washer did many loads of muddy work clothes, and we tried to stay focused and positive, getting the harvests in when we needed to, and finding non-fieldwork tasks when we could.  You kept going too! Thank you for braving the rainstorms for pick-ups, for the help setting up the tent and loading and unloading the truck, and for the words of support and questions about how we were doing.

We had to make decisions about what tasks were okay to do in the rain and which would do more harm than good. We felt the sadness of knowing we were potentially spreading disease through wet tomato leaves, but we would waste so many tomatoes if we left the vines alone, and everybody loves tomatoes, so we harvested anyway. There is a buckwheat summer cover crop in several fields, and the rainy period came just when we needed to mow it to prevent it from going to seed in the field. But mowing was impossible; the tractor might get stuck, and worse, the tires compact the soil when wet. We might see some buckwheat growing as a weed in the future as a result. There were many days it was better for us not even to walk in the fields. So, we cut and stored all the garlic that was hanging up to cure.

Walking the fields today, I notice that things look unexpectedly beautiful. The asian greens and mustards are growing quickly in this cooler weather. The thrips that eat at the growing point of the scallions have drowned (or something) so the greens look better than ever. But it’s the craziest thing – to walk around the farm now and see how wild it looks with a few weeks of soil too wet to weed. As the sun dries out the soil, we hope to catch up on some of the field work. Today, with the sun on our backs, we were finally able to weed some of the lettuce mix that is coming in. Even so, it was still too damp to think the weeds might dry out and die in the sun. We carted them in buckets out of the field so they would not re-root and keep growing. Soon it will be dry enough for wheel-hoeing, but for now we hand-weed right around the plants.

There is so much to do and sun brings a new energy! If you are feeling that energy too, or if you want to save the little lettuce and baby broccoli from the big bad grasses that out compete them in the wetness, come join us one day! Weeding is good for mindfulness and clearing stress, for uninterrupted conversations, and for your vitamin D absorption. We would love to have you. We will welcome volunteers in these days of weeding. We work from 7 – 12 and from 1 – 4. (Feel free to come for all or part of the day.) To help with weeding, please come on Monday, Wednesday or Thursday. E-mail me before you come to let me know when you’d like to come out.

Expected Harvest

arugula
beans, provider and French
eggplant
fennel
garlic
mesclun – a mix of young, colorful and flavorful Asian and mustard greens
okra
onions, red
peppers – red- and orange-ripe sweet bell and some purple bell
potatoes – purple viking, a purple and pink skinned potato with white interior
radishes – french breakfast
scallions
tomatoes – cherry, heirloom, paste and red varieties
winter squash – spaghetti

Bonus Items:
basil
lemon grass
hot peppers: anaheim, cayenne, fish, jalapeno, and poblano