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Nov. 10, 2015

Posted 11/21/2015 7:09am by Don Kretschmann.

Nov. 10, 2015

Greetings from the Kretschmanns,

   Wool socks and heavier jackets are starting to become the norm.  Frost precludes early morning fieldwork; after fueling up with hot coffee, bagging produce in the barn has been the start of our days. Though normally picked first, this week’s lettuce was picked last, so we’d have something to do in the morning waiting for frost to melt.  Ice is very hard on the fingers, so afternoon work hours are most precious.

   A big surprise this fall has been how well the lettuces have grown.  We’ve been somewhat short of this green since sometime in early August with a prolonged dry spell.  We were so busy picking the avalanche of tomatoes and the hot dusty conditions didn’t seem very condusive to planting a succulent crop like lettuce.  We missed seeding one batch of plugs entirely.  We thought we could make up time by seeding in the tiniest plugs where the roots would fill out the plug quicker, then put them in the ground by hand rather than with the machine.  In early September, it was make-or-break time.  It would be too late to mature if we didn’t get it planted.  So into the ground it went “with a hope and a prayer”.  We drip irrigated it several times and when cooler weather came, put on thin row covers to add warmth and speed it up.  Nip and tuck all the way to the finish line, but we trust you’ll agree the result has been some remarkably nice salad fixings.

  Among next week’s offerings we should have potatoes, sage-thyme&rosemary (for that stuffing), turnips, greens, and Goldrush apples.      

      Wishing you blessings of the harvest season,

                                            Don, Becky, & the Farm Crew

FYI: Next week is the last box of the regular summer 2015 season! Return all wooden crates to the pickup location. Winter Season begins Dec. 2 with boxes either every two weeks or once a month until March.  There’s a variety of produce even after freezing temperatures predominate: carrots, onions, beets, potatoes; brassicas: cabbage, kale, collards; winter squash; apples; arugula; greens from the greenhouse… See the website for more info. Let us know by sending a note with subject: Winter boxes (and indicate size). We’re always in need of good dropoff sites for winter pickup.


R&D came up with this simple sweet…With whole grains, it’s lots more wholesome than the pastry puff recipe it was taken from. Also, it’s very easy to whip up.

Applebutter & Apple Slice Shortbread:  Fill a 2 qt. saucepan about half full with coarsely diced apples (don’t bother peeling them).  Add about ¼ c. water, cover and boil about 10 min. or until very tender.  Drain liquid & add 1 tsp. cinnamon ½ c. coarse cane sugar and mash with potato masher until it’s smooth.  Put back on low heat uncovered.  Meanwhile, sift 1 c. whole wheat, 1 c. white whole wheat, 3 tsp. baking powder, ½ tsp salt, 4 tbs. sugar.  Melt ½ c. butter and pour into flour.  Mix well until crumbly then mix in 5/8 c. milk.  Mix & form a nice dough.  Spread out in buttered 9x13 pan patting with rubber spatula until it’s even in the bottom.  Spread hot apple butter on top evenly, then arrange slices of unpeeled apple in rows on the top.  (I like to quarter, pare, and then slice each quarter into about three curved pieces) sprinkle top with cinnamon and about 2 tbs. sugar. Bake @ 350 deg. 40 min. or until apples are tender. Serve warm or cool.

Butternut Soup:  Chop coarsely 1 large onion. Coarsely cube 6 c. butternut (you needn’t peel it).  Saute onion in 2 tbs butter, add squash and add 6 c. water or stock, ½ tsp dried oregano, ¼ tsp black pepper, and simmer until butternut is tender.  Then puree in blender in small batches with 8 oz. cream cheese.  Reheat slightly but don’t boil. 

Carrot Soup With Dill Pesto: Saute 4 large carrots, 1 onion and and 1 tsp dill seeds in 2 tbs butter until tender, about 10 minutes. Add 4 cups broth and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer until carrots are very tender, about 35 minutes. Transfer soup to blender in batches and puree. Thin with more broth if desired. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Combine 1 c. fresh dill and 2 tbs pine nuts or sunflower seeds in processor and chop finely using on/off turns. Then  slowly add 2 tbs olive oil and process until well blended. Season to taste with salt and pepper.. Ladle into bowls. Swirl pesto into soupbowls.

Arugula, with Beets, Gorgonzola, and Sweet Walnuts: Cook beets until tender, slip off  the skins and slice. Toss with the 1 T olive oil, 1 T wine or herbed vinegar, 1/4 tsp salt, and 1/8 tsp pepper. Mix 1 c.chopped walnuts well with ¼ c. corn syrup and ¼ c brown sugar.  Spread on cookie sheet and bake @ 350 deg. about 10 min. until crisped. Cool.  Serve beets atop small portion of arugula greens, sprinkling crumbled gorgonzola and walnuts.

Another great salad is mesclun greens topped with apple slices and candied walnuts. Fruited vinegrette?

Stuffed Cabbage- Filling:1 c. minced onion, 1# ground meat, 2 c. cooked brown rice, 1 egg, salt and pepper. (Some people use ground pork, a mix, or hot sausage as well) Mix well with the hands.  While mixing filling, bring really large pot ½ full of water to boiling.  With a large meat fork stab the cabbage in the butt end so you can lift the cabbage with the fork.  Then Then emerse cabbage in boiling water long enough to partially cook and soften the outer layer of leaves.   Remove to a plate and cut the outer few leaves which have been cooked at the base and remove keeping them whole.  Roll up filling in cabbage leaves and place in large pot with a little tomato sauce on the bottom.  Repeat the process cooking the cabbage a few minutes at a time and removing each layer of leaves.  When filling is used up, you can fill in the top layer with chunks of remaining cabbage or saurkraut and add enough tomato sauce to cover.  Simmer until meat is cooked.