future depends on reconnecting with the natural world: knowing
our food, regenerating our land, and strengthening our communities.
We cannot isolate one aspect of our life from another.”
- Wendell Berry
What’s in the box this week: (content differences between Family
and Small Shares are underlined and italicized; items with a “+” in
Family Shares are more in quantity than in Small)
Basil (bagged; last of the season)
Green beans +
Kale or collard greens
Lettuce (butter and romaine) +
Sweet peppers +
Dry-farmed tomatoes +
Winter squash (Delicata or butternut)
Basil (bagged; last of the season)
Lettuce (butter and romaine)
Winter squash (Delicata or butternut)
Extra Fruit Option:
Apples, pears, and either strawberries or pineapple guavas
Last shares of the season!
First Winter Share delivery
Saturday was a glorious day... clear, sunny and warm. Starting at 10
o'clock the first eager pumpkin hunters showed up, and while I was still
getting things ready, more cars started arriving, and it didn't take
long until the farm was alive. Pumpkins were being carried, heaved and
rolled out of the field. As usual the straw bale structure was buzzing
with children and the apple press was center stage, with children (of
all ages) continuously crushing and pressing apples into fresh cider.
The cider just kept flowing as fast as it was being consumed. The cider
press never stopped until the end of the day when we ran out of apples;
the children must have crushed at least 16 crates weighing 40 pounds
each! Toastie, our faithful wood-fired cob oven, was put into action
once again, and baked some delicious raisin bread. Thank you Jonathan
for preparing the dough and shaping the loaves! Thank you Debbie and
Ken for carving pumpkins, and thanks also to the many hands that shelled
the dry beans which we will save as seed to plant next year. There
are still enough pumpkins left for anyone who would like to pick theirs
up during the week. I always enjoy the opportunity to meet so many
of you during our annual events, and I hope you don't hesitate to visit
and bring the kids to the farm outside of the regularly scheduled events.
The above words by Wendell Berry come alive when I see so many people
together on the farm, reconnecting with nature, discovering where their
food comes from, and most importantly sharing this experience together
as a community. From all of us here at the Farm, we wish you a "boooooootiful" Halloween! – Tom
“Jerusalem artichoke is a type of sunflower that is grown for
its edible tuberous roots as well as its pretty yellow flowers. This is a
large, gangly, multi-branched perennial with rough, sandpapery leaves and
stems, and numerous yellow flower heads. It can get 10 ft (3 m) tall and
its branches can spread to nearly as much. Jerusalem artichoke grows wild
in North America from Saskatchewan east to Ontario and south to Arkansas,
Georgia and Tennessee. Its original distribution is not clear because it
was widely spread by Native Americans who cultivated it for the edible tubers.
The original range probably was the northern Great Plains of Canada and the
U.S. The edible tubers produced by Jerusalem artichokes are delicious and
nutritious. The tubers can be harvested anytime starting about two weeks
after the flowers have faded. Expect 2 to 5 pounds of tubers per plant. Jerusalem
artichokes can be stored fresh in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for several
weeks, but it's better to leave them in the ground until you need them. Jerusalem
artichokes are a pain to clean. They must be brushed and scrubbed under running
water to remove the sand and dirt that hides among the knobs and folds, but
they do not need to be peeled. Raw Jerusalem artichokes have a sweet nutty
taste which has been likened to Brazil nuts. They are especially good grated
into fresh salads, and are a perfect snack for dieters. Boiled and mashed
they are rather similar to potatoes, and can be used like potatoes in most
recipes. Jerusalem artichokes make delicious French fries. The British make
a creamy soup from them. They are excellent pickled. Roast Jerusalem artichokes
as you would potatoes with fowl or meat. Bake with cream and cheese for a
delicious (and decadent!) scalloped au gratin. Be careful not to overcook;
Jerusalem artichokes will collapse and turn mushy within just a few minutes
after they are fully cooked through.”
Field Notes from Farmer
Carrots are slowly starting to size up; this week only the Family shares will
get them, but next week everyone again can count on a regular bunch of these
tender crunchy treats. We started planting our first strawberries last week.
The Camarosas (which are the more elongated conical shaped strawberries) are
the first to produce in the spring, and we're hoping they will do so even earlier
if we plant them now. We are finishing up harvesting our winter squash – and
by the way, they are to be eaten; they’re not meant to just decorate your
dinner table over the winter holidays! Someone was surprised, when I introduced
them to the Delicata and Sweet Dumplings stored in our barn this weekend (the
creamy colored ones with blue-green stripes), that they were actually to be eaten!
Check out the pictures on Debbie's recipe database on our website, as well as
great recipes for how to cook them. In the fields we are incorporating compost
and sowing cover crops, and the crops we’ve already planted for the winter
are all growing nicely in this wonderful weather. We'll be ready for our winter
shares come December!
Tom's Crop Notes
New in your share this week: Native American Jerusalem Artichoke. The
name is somewhat of an oxymoron, it grows wild in parts of this country
and has a name that has nothing to do with either Jerusalem or artichokes.
If you were a member last year, you will probably remember these knobby,
ginger root-looking tubers. They are also known as sunchokes, and are
a real treat; easy to cook, and of course very nutritious. Here is a
description I got off the internet:
from Debbies Kitchen . . . . .
. . . Have a recipe youd like to share? Contact
was fun Saturday to meet and put more faces to names of members I’ve
talked with and emailed over the years; thanks for finding me and introducing
yourselves! Since Jerusalem artichokes (sunchokes) are new in the box
this week, I’ll focus on them, and add other
recipes if I have room. - Debbie
Sunchokes storage, handling,
Farmer John’s Cookbook (see last week) with minor
additions by Debbie
Sunchokes ... store poorly after they’ve been harvested because
of their delicate skins. If you can’t eat them right away, keep
unwashed tubers in a perforated plastic bag in your refrigerator crisper
drawer for up to two weeks. If the skin looks shriveled after you take
them out of storage, rehydrate them in cold water.
If tuber is multiply-knobby, you may need to break the knobs apart in
order to clean any dirt out of the interstices. Rinse them and scrub
gently to get out any dirt [you don’t want to scrub off the delicate
but nutritious/tasty skin!]. The skin also retains nutrients and holds
the tubers together during cooking. If you want to remove the skin, you’ll
find it relatively easy to slip off after cooking [kinda like beets and
carrots]. Remember that contact with the air causes the flesh of raw
sunchokes to discolor, so soak sliced or skinned raw tubers briefly in
a mixture of 2 tbsp. lemon juice and 1 qt. water.
Here’s an important bit: be careful not to leave them unattended
when cooking, because they can abruptly go from firm and tender to mushy!
Also, don’t cook cut or peeled sunchokes in aluminum or iron cookware,
as it can discolor the flesh. And remember that residual heat will continue
to cook them a little, so take that into consideration when preparing
Farmer John’s Cookbook suggests:
• Use raw, sliced, or julienned sunchokes in salads or on a tray
with other raw vegetables.
• Steam, boil, bake, or mash then with butter or olive oil and
lemon just as you would potatoes.
• Disguise them by mashing them and using to thicken soups or stews
• Make sunchoke french fries!
• Slice them ¼” thick and sauté in oil with
salt until lightly browned, or stir-fry them.
• Roast whole sunchokes alone or with other root vegetables in
a 425 degree oven until tender, 30 – 40 minutes.
• Heck, I bet you could grill them too! I’d clean them well,
coat them lightly with olive oil and pat with salt that was ground in
a mortar and pestle with a little fennel seed or thyme. Not sure how
long they’d take... maybe I’d parboil them first, then season
and grill for a couple minutes per side along with some other veggies,
like the sweet peppers and summer squash!
from Farmer John’s Cookbook, serves 4
(adapted from the Victory Garden Cookbook)
“This is a great alternative to potatoes on the dinner plate,
and just as versatile. You’ll surely be asked, ‘What do to
your potatoes? They’re so good.’”
3 tbsp. butter
1 ½ tsp. vegetable oil [I’d use olive oil]
1 lb. sunchokes, sliced into ¼” rounds
2 tbsp. minced fresh parsley, divided
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat butter and oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add sunchokes
and 1 tbsp. of the parsley; cook, turning frequently, until the sunchokes
are lightly browned on the outside and tender inside, 4 to 6 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper to taste and garnish with remaining parsley.
Kale with orange and walnuts
I made this up last week, and it was good! Serve it alongside baked
winter squash and rice*, or maybe rice and lentils, or some nice, grilled
grassfed beef (if you’re an omnivore).
1 or 2 bunches of kale [or collards]
a few tbsp. minced onion or shallot
butter, olive oil (say, 1 tbsp. each)
coarsely chopped or broken up walnuts
juice of 1 orange
a splash of balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. honey
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
Cook the kale ‘my usual way’ (strip leaves from stems, boil
2 minutes in salted water [or 4 to 5 minutes if you’re using collards],
drain, squeeze and chop) and have standing by. Sauté onion and
walnuts in oil/butter until onions are translucent and nuts fragrant;
add OJ, vinegar, mustard, honey and a little salt. Simmer maybe 5 minutes
or so, until sauce is reduced, then add chopped cooked kale and stir
to mix. Cook a few more minutes or as necessary until excess liquid has
*I often make what I call ‘tandoori rice’ – my husband
made this up actually: he just introduced a dab of tandoori marinade
to the rice cooker and voila! Spicy, colorful, flavorful seasoned rice!
for a link to a comprehensive listing of recipes from Live Earth Farm's
newsletters going back as far as our 1998 season! You can search for recipes
by key ingredient. Recipe site is updated weekly during the season.