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Oct. 27, 2015

Posted 10/28/2015 2:17pm by Don Kretschmann.

Oct.27, 2015 Greetings from the Kretschmanns,   

After the frost last week, we’ve been scrambling to harvest with the reduced daylight hours.  Cold morns make it a little slower on that end. Brilliant and beautiful autumnal afternoons end quickly as the chill returns.  But it also makes for suppers more to Becky’s preferred timing.    

Seems like nearly every cropped field has been greening with the cover crops planted and taking over.  They contrast with the remaining brassicas.  And we’ve even got cover crops peaking up through the mesclun greens, dill, radishes, and turnips.  It’s always nice to know while we are taking out, we’re putting back as well.   

Though we’ve been digging carrots to beat the band, the crazy weather this week prevents us from having the time to bag them up.  Finishing the harvest is more important-- before the heavy rains predicted Tuesday and Wednesday night.  They are accumulating in the cooler!   

Apologies to those who said they didn’t want radishes.  We were overcome with how nice they are.  See the recipe below.  It could be a change of heart.   

In Autumnal Tints, Thoreau imagines that if the earth itself were seen as a fruit on a stem, it would ripen with a rosy blush as it faces the sun.  He writes that while we make a big show of produce and fruits at our harvest fairs, “…we are wont to forget that an immense harvest which we do not eat, hardly use at all, is annually ripened by Nature…and around about and within our towns there is annually another show of fruits, on and infinitely grander scale, fruits which address our taste for beauty alone.”      With you, enjoying the spectacular colorful fair,                                               Don, Becky, & the Farm Crew

FYI: Winter season signup! We’d like to not have to deal with lots of last minute signups. Please let us know early, by sending us a note with subject line: Winter (and indicate size).  Boxes are available either every two weeks or once a month (S or L) from December until March.  It surprises many (including us sometimes!) the variety of local produce which one can have even after freezing temperatures predominate.  It’s often more than is available in the early summer.  We’re excited to have some of our own canned tomato products for off-season use.  See the website for more info.  Also, we’re always in need of good dropoff sites for winter pickup.  Let us know if you’d like to offer, or know of a business which would fit.

Of Interest:  On Sat. Nov. 7, we will host a workshop on the farm: Adapting to Climate Change by Building Healthy Soil.  This is sponsored by Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture.  Though primarily for farmers, this is an opportunity to see our farm and come to understand our commitment to constant environmental improvement and long term investment in our soil. There is a charge, and includes a wonderful lunch by Burghers’.  

Quick Pickled Radishes: Slice 1 bunch of radishes into thin rounds with a knife or mandolin. Place in pint mason jar.  Add ½ tsp. mustard seeds, 1 tsp. minced jalapenos (or not, depending on taste). Bring ¾ c. water, ¾ c. cider vinegar, 3 tbs. honey (or sugar), 2 tsp salt to a boil in small saucepan.  Pour over pickles.  Allow to cool and refrigerate.  Can be used immediately.  They keep for a few weeks.

Twice Baked Spinach Potatoes: Bake 3 large potatoes until tender and cool. cut each potato lengthwise and scoop out all but 1/4 " thick shell. Mash pulp with potato masher add 1/2 c. milk, 1/2 c. cream cheese, 1 c. shredded sharp cheddar cheese, 1/4 c. finely chopped onion, 1/4 tsp. salt, pepper and 10 oz. steamed, chopped spinach (Or other greens).  Stir well and spoon mixture into shells.  Sprinkle top of each half potato with cheese.  Place on a baking sheet, bake @ 400 deg. 15 min. or until thoroughly heated.

Fennel Quinoa Pilaf: Cook ½ c minced onion, 1/2 c. diced chard or beet stems or celery, ½ c diced carrots, and 1 c. diced fennel bulb, in 1 tbs butter in a 3-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until veggies are softened, 5 to 6 minutes. Add 1 c. quinoa and sauté over moderately high heat, stirring, until lightly toasted, 2 to 3 minutes. Add 1 ½ c. water and salt and pepper to taste and cook over moderately low heat, covered, until quinoa is tender and liquid is absorbed, 12 to 15 minutes. Couscous could also be used but add the water before the couscous and when it begins to boil, add the couscous, turn heat off, and cover for 5 min until the couscous is cooked.

Pasta with Beets & Greens: Roast 2 large or 5 smaller beets and chop.  Heat 1/2 c. olive oil add tsp garlic.  Add juice of 1 orange and 1 lime, salt and pepper, and boil until volume is halved.  Add 1# chopped greens (Chard, beet greens, kale) and cook.  Cook 1 # linguini or other pasta, add beets, greens, 4 oz. crumbled gorgonzola or feta, and a few nuts if desired.