Tuesday, October 9, 2012

CSA Week 18

baby lettuce mix
red cabbage
1 bunch carrots
1 bunch radishes
2 stalks brussels sprouts
red onion
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!**

Indian Spiced Carrot Soup with Ginger
Bon Appétit  | April 2008
by Molly Stevens

1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
3 tablespoons peanut oil
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
2 cups chopped onions
1 1/2 pounds carrots, peeled, thinly sliced into rounds (about 4 cups)
1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated lime peel
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.

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