Week #40 (2/21 & 24)

This week your basket contains: potatoes, Delicata squash, leeks, carrots, rutabaga OR celeriac, salad mix (arugula, lettuce, miner’s lettuce, spinach, endive, corn salad, fennel fronds and kale) and cilantro microgreens

OUR HENS ARE STARTING TO LAY AGAIN!  However, feed costs have almost doubled (from $12/bag to $20/bag) and so we need to raise prices to $7.20/doz.  If you have been on our standing order list, we will start getting eggs to you as we can unless you tell us you no longer want to get eggs from us.

We were talking the other day about the fact that for much of our 30+ years of farming it seemed low temperatures would dip into the teens once every few years but of late it has been changing.  This year since the winter solstice it has happened 3 time (including later this week).  Needless to say that makes winter harvests more difficult.  Partly in response to changing conditions and partly to find ways to create more variety in winter baskets we’ve been experimenting with overwintering different crops in our passive solar hoop houses.  This fall we planted Florence fennel in a hoop house hoping for nice bulbs this time of year.  Despite using frost protection fabric on them, the fennel bulbs have been hit hard in the cold snaps.  They do keep making new fronds, though and we added some to the salad mix this week.  Most of them we kept fairly long.  That way you can choose how much to break up for each salad depending on how much you like the flavor.  We hope you like it!


2 medium delicata squash (about 2 pounds) or other firm winter squash

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/4 cup very coarsely chopped fresh sage

1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh rosemary

1 1/2 cups fresh unfiltered apple cider or juice

1 cup water

2 teaspoons sherry vinegar

1 teaspoon salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Squash. If using delicata squash, peel it with a vegetable peeler, cut it lengthwise in half, and scrape out the seeds with a spoon. Cut each piece lengthwise in half again, then crosswise into 1/2-inch -thick slices. Other types of squash should be peeled with a chef’s knife, seeded, cut into 1-inch wedges, then sliced 1/2-inch thick.

Herb Butter. Melt the butter in a large (12-inch) skillet over low heat. Add the sage and rosemary and cook, stirring, until the butter just begins to turn golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Do not brown the herbs. Cooking the herbs in butter mellows their flavor and improves their texture.

Cooking the squash. Add the squash to the skillet, then the apple cider, water, vinegar, and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, over medium heat at an even boil until the cider has boiled down to a glaze and the squash is tender, 20 to 30 minutes. Taste and season with pepper, and additional salt if needed.   From Epicurious.com


1 cup polenta

1 scant teaspoon salt

4 cups water

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1/4 to 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan (optional)

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 small onion, finely chopped

1/2 pound rutabaga, diced

1/2 pound carrots, diced

1 medium parsnip, diced

1 large or 2 medium garlic cloves, minced

1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice

Pinch of sugar

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter or oil a 2-quart baking dish. Combine the polenta, salt and water in the baking dish. Place in the oven on a baking sheet. Bake 50 minutes. Stir in the butter, and bake for another 10 to 15 minutes until the polenta is soft and all of the liquid has been absorbed. Stir in the cheese, if using. While the polenta is baking, cook the vegetables. Heat the oil in a large, heavy nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until it begins to soften, about 3 minutes. Add the carrots, kohlrabi and parsnip, and then season with salt. Cook, stirring often, until tender, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic, and stir together for about a minute until fragrant. Stir in the tomatoes with their liquid, a pinch of sugar and salt to taste. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, for 15 minutes until the tomatoes are cooked down and fragrant. Add lots of freshly ground pepper, taste and adjust salt, and remove from the heat. Serve the polenta with the vegetables spooned on top.