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Dec. 2, 2015

Posted 12/6/2015 9:29pm by Don Kretschmann.

Dec. 2, 2015

Greetings from the Kretschmanns,   

Whether it’s global warming, or just an unusual late fall, we’re delighted by the natural extension of our growing season this year. Beautiful red leaf lettuce is right from the field, though floating row covers protected it through the 20 degree dip two weeks ago. There have been many years when lettuce was irretrievably damaged when similarly protected even in early November. Ditto for the Tatsoi, Romanesco, and cauliflower.   

We hope you aren’t overwhelmed by the volume of this box. We felt it best to pick what was in the fields before the weather takes a turn for frigid. If sheer volume cramps your storage space, kale and tatsoi can easily be blanched and frozen for later use. Potatoes, onions, garlic, and beets store very well in a cool location and needn’t take up refrigerator space. Even the apples or carrots will keep well in the bag in a seasonally cool garage.   

In two weeks, we can’t promise lettuce, though there’s lots of perhaps even more beautiful red and green bibb. We are confident we’ll have kale and/or collards, cabbage, leeks (!), and all the roots and fruit we have in the barn coolers.    As 2015 winds down, we are gearing up to do some long anticipated building improvements—a unified packing shed-- which should make our work easier and more sheltered.       

We took a day after Thanksgiving to visit for the first time Malabar Farm of pioneering sustainable innovator and farmer Louis Bromfield (now an Ohio state park). In the 1940’s and ‘50’s he penned many of my favorite wise and pithy quotes. “No force on earth will give such a response and such a reward as nature when you understand her and work with her.” “It is one of the failures of our fundamental American philosophy that we confuse education and intelligence as much as we confuse plumbing and civilization. One ounce of intelligence is worth a pound of education, for where there is intelligence, education will advance and follow on its own, but where education alone exists, the results can be terrifying beyond even the realms of untutored stupidity.”   

Wishing you delicious meals and many blessings of the season,                                             Don, Becky, & the Farm Crew

Winter Box Schedule: Both Standard and Light shares get a box in two weeks, Dec. 16-17 and then Jan. 6-7.

Veggie ID: (If you got a head) Star Warsy coral-cauliflower looking head is Romanesco. It’s in the brassica family. The bunched greens are tatsoi, an oriental green.

Apple Corner: York (larger, firm, and very juicy, excellent for pies), and Goldrush (unique full bodied flavor).  

We’ve been enjoying pansful of roasted roots lately. Very simple to make.

Roasted Root Vegetables: Wash a variety of roots well and towel dry. Cut them up into bite sized chunks slicing those which require a little more time to cook slightly smaller or thinner--typically beets, carrots and potatoes. White turnips take less time to cook. Scrub beets with a good vegetable brush and just cut the shoulders and root off, don’t bother peeling. Toss veggies with vegetable oil until well coated then spread one layer deep on an oiled cookie sheet. Toss the beets separately unless you don’t care that the other things turn red. Onions are great too, but in larger chunks and put in the oven for only about half the time. Bake @350 deg. until tender. With cranberries in season, this was outstanding…

Apples with Cranberries Citrus: Slice the peel of an undyed orange or lemon into thin slivers about 1/2” long. Place in 2 qt saucepan with 1 c. honey or 1 c. sugar and ½ c. water. Bring to boil for 10 min. then add 4 c. Fresh cranberries. Simmer until cranberries begin to pop, then mash them with a potato masher until they are pretty much all popped. Then add 4 c. diced apples and continue to cook for about 15 min longer. Allow to cool. Mmmm… With such a great variety of veggies, it’s hard not to get into some type of stir fry…

Shrimp Tatsoi Stir Fry: Get brown rice cooking—2 c. water 1 c. rice. Cut up 1 large or 2 small carrots into thinner slivers—about 1” long x ¼” square. Cut up stems of tatsoi about ¾” long; keep the leaves separate and chop. Cut up ½ onion into coarse 1/2” thick rings quartered. Mince 2 cloves garlic and about equal amount fresh ginger or turmeric. Saute carrots, garlic and ginger in 2 tbs. coconut oil 5 min. then add the tatsoi stems, ½ # peeled shrimp, and onions stirring constantly for about 3 min. Lastly add the tatsoi leaves and saute until they begin to wilt. Turn down heat and cover 5 min. Season with a little soy sauce. Also can add a little sesame oil in the middle of saute. Or add some curry. Serve over the rice.

Apple pie is good with the Yorks; Whole wheat makes a perfectly great crust too.

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.