Tuesday, September 10, 2013

CSA Newsletter #14

Week #14
September 10 and 11
2 bunches greens
1 bunch parsley
salad mix
1 pound potatoes
1 pound onions
sweet peppers
hot peppers

In regards to weather, it is pretty to safe to say that this season has been all about the extremes.  It was extremely dry in June, into extremely wet and hot and gross in July, to extremely gorgeous in absolutely every way in August, to extremely whacky and all over the place in ol’ September.  We’ve already had some legitimately frosty mornings, where it is necessary to reactivate the hands in order to function and harvest and bunch things and we’ve had some real humid, thick air kind of episodes, when we start to feel all set with the whole summer and sweating and being fried by the sun thing.  Who knows what the next stretch will hold, but as we roll into fall, we feel extremely blessed for all the food that has come out of the ground, with all the interesting weather twists and turns, resulting in veggie successes, bounty and wonderful goodness, alongside the inevitable misfires, snafus and humbling moments.  

Farmer weather obsession need to over share met, let’s move on to how extremely wonderful it was to host the BKF CSA Appreciation and Friends of the Farm Veggie Pot Luck last Sunday!  Beautiful blue sky, crispy clean air, a breeze on the Kettle bluffs and a great mix of folks.  There were representatives from so many aspects of the farm, from local members, to Portland buddies, to newbie members from the Kennebunk delivery, to one of our favorite chefs, to friends from the Portsmouth farmer’s market and even a former employee.  The extended Kettle family is truly an amazing bunch.  I rush around this farm all the time just seeing weeds and work to be done, things that could be better, but when the good people of the CSA and beyond come to the farm, kick back, breath the beautiful clean air, gaze at the actual kale that they eat, see what we mean by our tomato jungle, or gawk at the freaky pigs, it just straight up warms the farmer heart of mine.  The afternoon of celebration allows me to stop making mental lists and allows me to appreciate the Kettle for it’s beauty and unique, fun spirit and connect with the deeply quality people that orbit this place and energetically contribute to the farm. 

As the farm evolves, the annual party evolves, this year we incorporated a farm photo booth where people really let their freak flag’s fly, posing on the farm’s classic red tractor, the Cub, and finding the prop that best expressed their identity, be it a skate boarding helmet, a gigantic string of pearls, or a jump suit.  The competition was high as party goers also tried their hand at being a Black Kettle farmer by packing the perfect CSA box and guessing the weights of veggies from our harvests, like salad mix, onions and cherry tomatoes.  Although we are all winners at Black Kettle Farm, there were some that were more then others, scoring fabulous prizes like BKF merchandise and garlic to store for the winter.  Lots of good veggie pot luck items were shared and  plaid heavy fall fashions were represented.  As the sun went down, the temps lowered and the remainder of the party people head to the meadow for a yurt side fire and star gazing.  Farm Mom that I am, I did a lot of ssshhhhhhuushing and was pretty much the first one to bed, these things happen, once I was cool.  An extremely successful and fun celebration it was!  Thanks to all those that made it out to the farm, YOUR farm!!!!  Shout it loud and proud!  Hurray for CSA!

.....it’s time to panic, we have 5 weeks left of the season!  If you don’t eat your kale, freeze it!  Boil water, chop kale, submerge in said water for 30 seconds, run under cold water, squeeze out excess, put in plastic bag, freeze, enjoy in February when you are sad.

Potato Hash with Bell Peppers and Onions
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 pound potatoes, peeled and cut into ½” cubes
1 onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 tsp. fresh parsley, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat the oil and butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add potatoes, toss to coat with oil, and place a lid on the pan. Allow the potatoes to cook covered for 10 minutes.
Remove the lid and increase the heat to medium high. Add onion and bell pepper. Cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes and vegetables turn golden brown.
Add the parsley and garlic; cook for 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with Parmesan and serve immediately.
Spicy Garlic Kale With Sauteed Peppers
2 bunches kale
5 tablespoons olive oil
2 onions, diced
5 garlic cloves, minced (or extruded through garlic press)
2-3 peppers, cut into short strips
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
white pepper
Wash kale. Pull greens away from the stalks, discarding stalks. Shred by hand into small pieces.
Place kale in steamer basket, and steam until tender (approximately 10 minutes). Remove immediately from heat.
Heat olive oil in heavy pan over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add onions. Saute until onions are translucent. Add garlic and red pepper flakes, saute for 1-2 more minutes. Add pepper slices, and saute until tender (approximately 4-5 minutes). Remove from heat.
Add kale to pan, and toss ingredients together thoroughly. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot or room temperature.

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