Tuesday, September 13, 2011

CSA Week 14

today’s harvest

1 head baby romaine lettuce

1 head savoy cabbage

1 bunch carrots

1 pound heirloom turnip

2 pounds Kennebec potato

2 heads garlic

sweet peppers



CSA is all about KNOW YOUR FOOD, KNOW YOUR FARMER, right? Well at this point you all seem pretty familiar with kale and you have no doubt made acquaintance with good ol’ carrots, lettuce, and onions. But, just who is this Laura person? It’s week 14, we have come a long way together, at this point I am ready to over share.

So, I am Laura Higgins Neale, I was born on January 21st 1977 during a raging blizzard in NYC and I am a triple Aquarius. I grew up in suburban New York and went to public high school and graduated in 1995. Even in my haze of being an 18 year old, I had some sense of clarity and came to college in Maine. I had my first farming apprenticeship in the summer of 1996 on a farm in Woolwich and graduated from Colby in 1995. Degree in Anthropology, random, yes. During college I worked on farms in the northeast, studied abroad in Bolivia, had good times with good friends (a few current CSA members in fact) and wore a whole lot of corduroy. Post college lent itself to many globe trots and traveling tendencies. I lived in Wyoming, Portland, Puerto Rico, and New Mexico and traveled in Central America and Cuba, when that got old I touched down in good ol’ San Francisco and had my time to shine. The Bay Area lead me to nothing but goodness. I worked for a few urban gardening, food justice based non-profit organizations, rode my bike a lot, fought the power, and met the most wonderful proactive, creative and inspiring people. Then when that got old, I hightailed it to Southeast Asia and on to India where I volunteered on an aloe and date farm, drank an insane amount of chai and bopped about until I found myself in Nepal where I trekked, ate an insane amount of lentils and bopped about until it was time to come on back to California where I had been accepted in the UC Santa Cruz Agro-Ecology Apprenticeship program. Six months of living on the farm at the University and receiving a formal training in agriculture, honed the skills acquired after being a lackey on several farms across the globe and made me realize that for sure, no doubt, let’s do this - growing food is my absolute passion. From then on, all I can do is farm the veggies without any interruption. Two great friends and I started Sol Food Farm in Sonoma County, California. After two years the over abundance of grapes and the lack of water and farmland in general there started to get to me, so I headed east and worked on a huge 400 member CSA in Connecticut. One thing lead to another, the universe stepped in, Maine took hold yet again and I got a job managing a farm (Wolf Pine) in Alfred. It only took one season to know that although I am still whole heartedly bi-coastal, my travelin’ days are over and Black Kettle Farm, an entity that had been with me over time, if only as just a twinkle in eye,has emerged. Three seasons deep and the tale continues to progress, transform and evolve. To be continued....

My favorite color is blue (but also sometimes brown and purple) I only listen to reggae music, I am a total beach person and I am obsessed with Mexican food.

Cabbage with Indian Spices

Farmer John’s Cookbook, The Real Dirt on Vegetables

3 TBLS vegetable oil or ghee

2 cups minced onions

1 1/2 tsps minced ginger

1 hot pepper (optional) or red pepper flakes

1 pound cabbage, shredded

1 tsp ground coriander

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

pinch tumeric

3 TBLS water

1/2 tsp salt

Heat the oil or ghee in a skillet over medium heat and add the onions, ginger, hot pepper and sauté until the onion is soft, about 10 minutes.

Stir in the cabbage, add coriander, cayenne and tumeric and mix well. Add the water and salt and reduce the heat to simmer. Cover and cook for 10 minutes. Adjust spices to taste.

Skillet Turnips and Potatoes with Bacon

Bon Appétit | October 2010

* 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

* 1 tablespoon sugar

* 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

* 8 ounces thick-cut bacon slices, cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces – if you’re vegetarian, just skip this or substitute with tempeh

* 1 medium onion, thinly sliced

* 4 large garlic cloves, peeled, crushed

* 1 1/2 pounds turnips, peeled, cut into 1-inch chunks

* 1 1/2 pounds white-skinned potatoes, peeled, cut into 1-inch chunks

* 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt

* 1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley

Mix 1/4 cup water, vinegar, and sugar in small bowl. Combine oil and bacon in heavy large skillet; sauté over medium-high heat until fat is rendered, 3 to 4 minutes. Add onion and garlic; sauté until onion is golden, about 5 minutes. Add turnips and potatoes; sprinkle with 1 teaspoon sea salt and toss 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium/low, cover, and cook until vegetables are almost tender, stirring and turning vegetables occasionally, about 15 minutes.

Push vegetables to 1 side of skillet. Pour vinegar mixture into cleared space. Toss vegetables with vinegar mixture. Spread vegetables in even layer in skillet; cook until golden and slightly crisp on bottom, about 4 minutes. Turn vegetables over; spread in even layer and cook until browned and slightly crisp on bottom, about 4 minutes. Continue to turn, spread, and cook vegetables until tender, golden, and crisp around edges, 7 to 8 minutes longer. Season with more sea salt and black pepper. Transfer to bowl. Sprinkle with parsley.

ALERT : Shannon Gilpatrick, farm assistant manager, is in the market for a reliable, and inexpensive automobile. Any input is greatly appreciated!

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