Where did all the time go? Did we really eat all that kale? Did we really have that many gorgeous sunny days this season? Have we worked through the crop list and gone from bok choi to beans to brussels? Parsley to potatoes, tomatoes to turnips, carrots to cabbage and all the rest in between? YES, it’s true! We have done it! We, the BKF community of veggie lovin’ souls, have been in-it-to-win-it for the last 19 weeks, which is in fact 4 months, a third of a year. That is no small amount of time to all be connected to this little farm perched on a ridge, with it’s rockstar crew, flock of whacky pigs, thrill seeking cats, and insect and vehicular related dramas. The true unifying factor of this widespread community, from good ol’Lyman to the big city of Portland, is no doubt, the glorious, ever abundant, and straight up delicious Kettle food that we have all been enjoying, savoring and sharing.
From the highs, like the Pep, Pep, Peppers!!!! To the lows, winter squash got seriously squashed. We have had some wildcards, like the ultra-funky purple kohlrabi, some glory moments, like the fall arugula, and tons of quality standbys, like lettuce and onions galore, bumping summer cukes, and broccoli to carry us from into the fall. I am not afraid to say it dear friends, this has been a truly fantastic growing season.
The Kettle absolutely runneth over and the farm was able to meet it’s long standing goal of supplying CSA members with 10% more produce then the price of the share. Because you got the farm through the scarce times, it gets you back when it can, in these raging abundant times. CSA is about collaboration between a farm and dedicated eaters for a harmonious, simplified and a mutually beneficial relationship for all. As the Black Kettle Farm CSA evolves and amplifies, I truly feel this through the community of members (YOU!) that partner with the farm. Your energetic contributions of spirit and positivity are as significant to this great growing season as all the sunshine, and clear days, and as all the hard work of squishing bugs, whacking weeds, bunching chard and scrubbing spuds. The proof of this quality connection is in the sparkling produce, the beauty of the farm, and the the Kettle glow that illuminates each and everyone of you. Thank you for everything, it has been an honor to grow your food.
Let’s keep the good times and great veggies rollin’! See you all in 2013!
One Love and Many Blessings.
PLEASE COMPLETE THE CSA SURVEY!
It’s never to early to plan for 2013, RENEW!
Shredded Brussels Sprouts & Apples
1 large, crisp apple, cut into bite-sized wedges
1 lemon, juice only 4 ounces extra-firm tofu cut into tiny-inch cubes****a couple pinches of fine-grain sea salta couple
splashes of olive oil2 medium cloves garlic, minceda scant tablespoon of maple syrup
1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted and chopped
12 ounces (3/4 pound). brussels sprouts, washed and cut into 1/8-inch wide ribbons
***Author’s note:Feel free to leave out the tofu if you like - I add it to make this a one skillet meal.
Soak the apples in a bowl filled with water and the juice of one lemon.
Cook the tofu in large hot skillet with a bit of salt and a splash of oil. Saute until golden, about 4 minutes. Stir in the garlic, wait a few seconds, now stir in the maple syrup, and cook another 30 seconds or so. Drain the apples, and add them to the skillet, cooking for another minute. Scrape the apple and tofu mixture out onto a plate and set aside while you cook the brussels sprouts.
In the same pan (no need to wash), add a touch more oil, another pinch of salt, and dial the heat up to medium-high. When the pan is nice and hot stir in the shredded brussels sprouts. Cook for 2 - 3 minutes, stirring a couple times (but not too often) until you get some golden bits, and the rest of the sprouts are bright and delicious.
Preheat the oven to 500°F. On a lightly floured surface roll out the dough into a 12-inch circle and transfer it to an oiled baking sheet (preferably black steel), sprinkled lightly with the cornmeal. Sprinkle dry sage evenly over the dough.Scatter the Fontina and the blue cheese evenly over the dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border, and arrange the onion rings and add more sage leaves over the cheese. Sprinkle the pizza with the Parmesan and bake it on the bottom rack of the oven for 10 minutes, or until the crust is golden and the cheese is bubbling.
There’s a storm a brewin’ at Black Kettle Farm! Gray skies, witchy winds and grumbling clouds hang over head. Long gone are the days of tank tops, tomatoes and short shorts. Fall has absolutely fallen at the farm, where long johns and plenty of layers are required, and there is constant talk about how good the brussels are, how empty the field looks, how dark it is in the morning, and how it seems completely impossible that there is only one more week left of the CSA.
As if we didn’t have enough to do with harvesting and putting the farm to bed for the winter, the major task at hand has been the construction of a 30 by 96 foot structure, know as a high tunnel, through funding through the National Resource and Conservation Service (NRCS). We are currently in hardcore building mode, from pounding ground posts to raising big, huge steel bows, gaining crazy confidence with the socket wrench, and like any professional construction site, cranking class rock tunes all the while.
The high tunnel is intended for season extension and will provide the opportunity to have fresh produce earlier in the spring, and then later into the fall and winter. The high tunnel will look just like a typical greenhouse, but will be unheated, and will be constructed with two layers of heavy duty plastic for insulation. It will simulate a warmer environment then what Maine can offer, and will be a protected space to actually grow in the ground, the actual soil that is, but without the use of non-renewable resources, like propane, for heat.
The farm is thrilled to be the recipient of this funding for the opportunity to provide more local, Kettle fresh food. Without the NRCS, there is no way we could foot the bill. Envision vibrant arugula in April before the ground has fully thawed and luscious salad mix in December when the days only seem to about four hours long. The possibilities are endless in the high tunnel, such as heirloom tomatoes, that are typically low yielding in the field, being better managed and more productive, to spinach that has low germination rates outside to maybe even fresh (and super exotic!!!!) ginger root. Just another reason to always keep BKF on your radar screen, the farm is in constant evolution and is always scheming up more ways to get the veggies to the people! Thanks NRCS for the tunnel! Now we just gotta build it!
Braised Red Cabbage
Joy of Cooking
1 medium red cabbage - quartered, cored and shredded
2 tablespoons butter or vegetable oil
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 large apple, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
1/4 cup red wine or cider vinegar
2 tablespoons honey or sugar 3/4 teaspoon salt
Place the cabbage in a large bowl and cover with cold water.
In a large skillet, over low heat, place the butter/oil and onion. Stir and cook until golden.
Remove the cabbage from water and add it to the pan with remaining ingredients.
Cover and cook over low heat until the cabbage is soft, stirring occasionally, about 1 to 1 and a half hours, adding boiling water if mixture becomes dry during cooking.
**This is my absolute favorite thing to do with red cabbage and is present and at every single Thanksgiving!**
5 cups (or more) low-salt chicken broth or vegetable broth
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
Plain yogurt (for garnish)
Grind coriander and mustard seeds in spice mill to fine powder. Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add ground seeds and curry powder; stir 1 minute. Add ginger; stir 1 minute. Add next 3 ingredients. Sprinkle with salt and pepper; sauté until onions begin to soften, about 3 minutes. Add 5 cups broth; bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer uncovered until carrots are tender, about 30 minutes. Cool slightly. Working in batches, puree in blender until smooth. Return soup to pot. Add more broth by 1/4 cupfuls if too thick. Stir in lime juice; season with salt and pepper.