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November 13th, 2012 Newsletter

Posted 11/13/2012 11:26am by Don Kretschmann.

Greetings from the Kretschmanns,

Last Sunday was an unusual day for mid-November but it lent itself to what we often do on a Sunday afternoon--look around the farm and see what's happening. I often think of that seventh day of Genesis. The restfulness of our seventh day is when we have the time to see "how good it is." But this Sunday there was everywhere little bittersweetnesses: The beautiful blue sky and warm air, but only rare reminders of the leaves which recently graced the trees; Crunching through the woods, hoping to spot a mushroom or two where only a month ago we were astonished at the fungal spectacle, only to see mere decaying logs. But yet, while more overt life and crop are resting in remission, surely there's something alive in the soil suddenly so springy with autumn rainfall and wildly green cover crops. And for these farmers, the fat fruit buds visible while leaves swirl downward stir a deep consciousness that life is always about change and nascence. How good this is.

As usual, we still have a few "experiments" in the field. Some are just repeats because we sense there's a rule--like golden ball turnips and kale, which seem not to be bothered by freezing weather. Others trials are new--like a late planted small field of carrots. We're hoping to be able to harvest these, "With a little help from our friends...." We've also got lettuce growing under a floating row cover--hoping to nurse it into December. Parsley, likewise. Then there's the disappearing radicchio experiment--waiting to find out if deer really do have Italian surnames.

Hoping you've enjoyed the season with us and have a scrumptious & Happy Thanksgiving,

--Don, Becky, & the Farm Crew

ID: Slender white roots are daikon radishes. Herbs: Sage, rosemary, and thyme. These are great seasoning for turkey stuffing, and poultry in general.

Tips: Be sure to note the yellow Goldrush apples. Amazing taste! Our friends, the Oylers, finally came through with this latest of apples to add to our own Goldrushes. They are barely ripe even now and get tastier through the winter. (we'll have these for winter boxes) Even when partially damaged, they don't deteriorate, so be sure to pare those with spots and not just toss them. That would be such a pity. There might be aphids on some kale leaves. The experienced greens eaters (usually with heavy Southern accents) who frequented farmers' markets when we first started out advised to simply soak these greens in sink of saltwater to wash off the bugs.

Brunch with Becky&Don at Burgher's in Zelienople: Chefs Fiore Moletz & Jeremy are putting together a delicious brunch made with our autumn veggies, Sun. 12/2, 11:30-1:30. It's a quick 45 min. shot from the 'burgh and the chefs will let those creative juices flow. They are putting together the menu and we'll post it on our website under the newsletters by week's end. We'd love to meet you there. Cost will be $35 for 7 courses. Seating is limited, reserve with us or burghers@me.net

Carrot Pick? In July we thought there was a poor germination on the fall carrots and planted another small field. They have yet to be harvested and now the ground is likely not to dry out sufficiently to do it with our digger and tractor. They are generally medium sized and sweet, but will likely need to be pulled by hand. If you'd be interested in helping out on a Saturday in early December when weather looks good, let us know, and we'll make sure you go home with plenty to taste.

Haluske: Saute a shredded cabbage and several sliced onions in oil or butter. Add a pound or so of your favorite pasta. Noodles or spaghetti work well. Salt to taste.

Moroccan Stew-- First mix together--Berber Spice Mixture--2T. cumin seeds, 1/2 T. fennel seeds, 1 T. peppercorns, 1T. whole allspice, 3 whole cloves, 1/2 T.coriander seeds, 1 T grated fresh ginger, pinch saffron, 2 T. sweet paprika, 1/2 tsp.cinnamon, 1/2 tsp. Tumeric. Chop stew sized- 1 1/2 c. onions, 3 c. potatoes, 2 c. carrots, 1 small butternut, 1 green and one red pepper, and 3 cloves garlic. Saute vegetables and garlic in 2 T. olive oil 3-5 min. add 4 c. veggie stock and 2 c. chopped tomatoes and simmer with Berber spice mixture until veggies are tender, 20 to 25 min. Salt to taste and garnish with 1/4 c. chopped fresh parsley. (We substitute anise for fennel and put all the Berber spice mixture in a teaball to steep in the stew. You can also use 1 qt of canned plain tomato sauce instead of the stock & forget the tomatoes.)

Carrots with Cranberries: Combine 1 grated apple, 4 c. grated carrots, 1 c. cranberries, 4 tbs brown sugar, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/2 c. cider. Place in buttered cassarole dish and dot with butter. Cover, and bake in @350 deg. for 40 min., stirring once.

Winter Beef: We'll also offer 20# lots of grass fed ground beef from our neighbors, the Lewis's, as an add-on to the winter shares the week of 12/19. It is great lean beef, non organic only because it's expensive to certify. Frozen in 1.5# packages.