DIGGING DEEPER

Farm NewsLetter 01/08/07

Tues. SE Newsletter
Wed LF Newsletter
Thurs Land Flyer
Apprentice Application

Week of Jan 8th, 2007

PICKUP DATES- Twice a month is similar to but not the same as every other week- please make a note of the exact dates: 1/9, 1/23, 2/6, 2/20, 3/6, 3/20, 4/3, 4/17

Sarah & Tigre

New Apprentices

Carrots

Your share this week may include:

Carrots This variety is a new one called Bolero.
Kale Winterbor this week is ruffled and sweet.
Copra Yellow Onions A great yellow storage onion
Big Red Beets A coarse white cousin to the carrot, the parsnip is greatly underappreciated in my estimation. These roots can be chopped into small dice or grated and eaten raw, but their flavor really shines when they are cooked. They make a great addition to soups and stews adding a subtle sweetness and depth of flavor. They are also a terrific addition to root roasts.
Potatoes A different yellow potato this week, this one is aptly named Butterball.
Garlic
Rosemary Use this with roasted potatoes, parsnips, carrots, turnips and/or onions.
Shallots I really like these Dutch Yellow shallots. This is the first year we’ve had enough to give out and I think you’ll appreciate their versatility. In the allium family- cousin to onions and garlic- they can be used in a similar way, but they add their own distinct flavor.
Assorted BIG Squash Choose from lots of different kinds
Delicata & Carnival Squash Tasty little single serving size squash are great just cut in half and baked. They’re also really good when sliced super thin onto pizza
Turnips, Rutabgas & Spanish Black Radish

Turnip & Potato Gratin, based on a recipe from Vegetables, by James Peterson

Bread crumbs or croutons in 1/2” dice
2 med onions or 4 med leeks thinly sliced
3 Tblsp butter
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
3/4 lbs turnips, peeled and sliced into 1/8th” thick rounds
3/4 lb waxy potatoes, peeled and sliced into 1/8th” thick rounds
salt & pepper to taste

Optional: 2 oz bacon or prosciutto cut into 1/4” dice
Preheat oven to 350
Cook onions or leeks in butter in a large heavy bottomed pot over med heat until they turn pale brown. If you’re using bacon, cook the cubes in a small pan over med heat until they start to turn crispy. Drain off the fat and add bacon cubes, chicken broth, and cream to leek mixture. Boil down the mixture over med heat until only about 1 1/2 cups remail. Season the sauce with salt until it tastes almost too salty- this is the gratins only seasoning.
Spoon a forth of the onion sauce over the bottom of a medium oval gratin dish or baking dish. Spread half the turnip slices in an over an even layer over the bottom. Spoon over another forth of the leek sauce and then half the potatoes in a thin layer. Alternate onion sauce, potatoes, and turnips in thin layers finishing with the sauce. Cover the gratin with an even layer of bread crumbs. Bake for 1 to 1 1/2 hrs, or until the potatoes and turnips are easily penetrated with a knife and most of the liquid in the gratin has been absorbed. Grind fresh pepper over the gratin and serve.

The original recipe calls for shallots, but I really like this best with shallots…
The Mustard-Caper Butter
2 cloves shallots 3/4 cup drained sm capers
sea salt and fresh ground pepper grated zest of 1 lemon
6 T butter at room temp 3 T chopped marjoram
2 t Dijon-style mustard
Pound shallots with 1/2 teaspoon salt in a mortar until smooth then stir into the butter with mustard, capers, lemon zest and marjoram. Season with pepper. Butter can be made a day ahead and refrigerated. Bring to room temp before serving.

Sunday: Winter Weather Warning
Newsletter
Sunday: Kris Scrapbook
Land Flyer
Apprentice Application

As many of you know, our farm has been struggling with the issue of land tenure since its inception. I had hoped that our partnership with the City of Lake Oswego at Luscher Farm would prove successful and allow us to secure the long-term land security that the farm needs to be successful. This has not proved to be the case.

I’ve attached a letter to the newsletter that outlines our options for the farm in some detail. I have been working on these issues for several months and have finally realized that I am not going to be able to do it alone. (What was I thinking?!) So I am here finally asking for help. Please read the letter, do what you can and pass it along. And Thank You!

Welcome everyone to the winter share!! Hope you enjoyed your veggies from the first pickup. We had a bumper crop of storage crops this season. Co you will continue to see a wide variety of winter squash, potatoes and garlic in your share. Onions were quite successful this season as well, though we were not been able to find seed for our favorite red storage onion this season, so there will be only yellow ones from now on. Shallots are a new addition to the share this year. We grew one called Yellow Dutch in the summer and the yields were quite good. We had enough to give it out a few times over the winter and also to save some for seed.

Last week we finished planting the shallots and garlic for next season. A few variety of shallots can be grown from seed in the spring, but most are planted like garlic as a bulb in the fall. Garlic seed is quite expensive and the last few years, I have not been happy with the quality- even when we pay top dollar- so we have begun to save some out our own heads for seed. Selection…

Thanks Brandon!!
After almost two years on the farm Brandon Damitz is heading off to Costa Rica. Brandon started in the spring of 2005 as an apprentice and stayed on become an extremely valuable member of the farm team. His specialties included cheerful tilling, patience with all sorts of finicky equipment, and great food when it was his turn to make lunch. In addition, he was always ready to pose for the camera with a strategically placed vegetable. We will miss his earnest questions and contagious enthusiasm. This will be his last pickup so please let him know how much you have appreciated his help over the seasons J

Newsletter Topics
Beets
Onions: no more red
Carrots: you asked for it!
Onions in storage
Planting garlic & shallots w/ youthbuild

As many folks know, the cold winter weather is one of the reasons your veggies taste so good this time of year. Starches in the leaves, stems and roots turn to sugar in response to the cold, this acts as a kind of antifreeze for the plants. The same varieties of kale and collards that were succulent and tender in the spring and fall, have a hardier leaf and sweeter flavor now. If only we could come up with such an ingenious mechanism to keep our fingers and toes from freezing!

We grew these large flat yellow onions from sets rather than seeds this year. We start most onions from seed in the greenhouse in February, plant them out in April, weed them A LOT, then harvest in late July. This variety comes to us as a baby onion “set” rather than a seed. This allows us to plant it outside much earlier in the season and to flame the beds, thus eliminating a few rounds of weeding. I guess

She got a rousing thank you from everyone at the end of the summer party, and she’ll be at the next pickup too so please thank her again if you have the chance. to her. the day to day field operations experience allowed us to bring on more staff

The Weather: Much nicer this week- chilly with some sunshine
A Big Thank You to Farmer Kris for her years of dedicated service and to the rest of the farm

Thurs/Luscher Farm 12/7, 12/21, 1/11, 1/25, 2/8, 2/22, 3/8, 3/22, 4/5, 4/19
crew too