This week your basket contains: potatoes, leeks, celeriac, delicata squash, and salad mix (spinach, arugula, lettuce, endive and cabbage.)SAVE THE DATE: Saturday, March 23rd from 10:00 to 2:00 we are hosting a short WORK PARTY to cover our newest hoop house with plastic. We will enjoy a pot luck lunch and then TOUR THE AREA OF OUR FARM THAT WE HAVE BEEN RE-FORESTING. It has been 7 years since we had our subscribers plant more trees with the help of a grant from the USDA. Come see how our little guys are faring and see what 29 years of restoration has done for our land. All ages welcome. Please wear footwear for wet conditions.
When Polly & I lived at the Aprovecho Research Institute in Cottage Grove in March 1989 (coincidentally the last year when February was as cold as this year’s February) some of the residents decided to experiment with eating only food from the farm itself. Since then we have always referred to March as “the hungry month”. Even in good years it is the time of year when storage crops are running out and new crops are only slowly coming on. This year that pattern is exaggerated leading to a great deal of worry and stress as we work to fill your baskets. Fortunately, we are starting to see signs of progress on our new crops. We have seen the first little buds of Purple Sprouting Broccoli, and we have beets, radish and turnips up in the hoop houses. We keep our fingers crossed for temperatures over 42 degrees (the minimum temp. at which veggies grow) and appreciate the longer days which triggers more growth and the flowering of crops like overwintering cauliflower, raab, and Purple Sprouting Broccoli. Spring is coming.
We are also starting to rotate the garden beds from last year’s crops to our summer items. One of the earliest beds we need to turn over is one of the leek beds, so we have cleared all the small leeks out of it, thus the bunching leeks in today’s basket. These are two great ways to serve them.
Trim the leeks, but keep whole. If you have a particularly long leek, cut into 6-8 inch sections, treating each section as a whole leek. Split down one side to within 1 inch of the base. Rinse under lukewarm water to clean. In a heavy bottomed pan, melt 2-3 Tbs of butter (or use equivalent in olive oil). Roll the leeks around in the butter or oil until they are well coated and cook until slightly browned. Add stock or water to half cover the leeks and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and continue to simmer until the base can be easily pierced with a knife. Drain off any remaining liquid and serve with a cream sauce or tomato sauce (either of which can be made with the left over braising liquid). From The Victory Garden Cookbook.
In this recipe we used sweet peppers that we had frozen last summer.
4 c chicken broth
2 Tbs.. extra virgin olive oil
2 leeks, cleaned and sliced cross-wise
1 yellow bell pepper, diced (optional)
1 ½ c Arborio rice
½ c dry white wine, at room temp.
½ c sun-dried tomatoes, julienned
1 tbsp butter
salt & freshly cracked black pepper to taste
Keep your broth warm and nearby for ladling into the risotto. In a large, heavy bottomed pot or large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Cook leeks and bell pepper until softened. Use a slotted spoon and transfer the veggies to a bowl and keep warm. Add the rice to the same pan and stir until each grain has some oil. If you need to add a bit more, go on ahead. Toast rice for a few minutes and add the wine. Stir until completely absorbed. Add the broth, one cup or ladleful at a time, stirring frequently after adding. Make sure the liquid is totally absorbed before adding the next bit of broth. Never let your rice become dry. After about 20 min, your rice should be tender and creamy. Add the leek mixture and sun-dried tomatoes. Heat through and remove from heat. Stir in the butter and season with salt and pepper to taste. From TheJollyFox.com
Here is another salad dressing appropriate for our winter salad mix.
FLOATING CLOUDS MISO DRESSING
6 Tbs. veg oil
1/4 Tsp. sesame oil
2 Tbs. rice vinegar or lemon juice
2 Tbs. red, barley, or Hatcho miso
1/4 C. water (if needed)
1/2 clove garlic, crushed
dash of powdered ginger
dash of dry mustard (or use a prepared sweet-hot honey mustard)
Combine all ingredients; whisk or shake well. If the dressing seems at all weak, just pump up the miso and garlic. From “The Book of Miso,” by Shurtleff and Aoyagi.