Wow! We have one week and a half left in this farm share (the full season Tuesday folks go into November). Hopefully we will have October weather instead of the mid November weather we have "enjoyed" the past week. The prediction is for warm clear weather for the next 3 days than rain Friday and Saturday. This mens if you are picking up food you might want to give yourself an extra 30 minutes and take a walk around the farm. If you do so the entry is the red gate between the store and the barn. If there are dogs about they are friendly and like you (and your kids) already. The big guy is Nate and the smaller long haired dog is Danny.
We got our first freeze, finally. All the tomatoes, peppers and other summer produce that was not protected is done for the year. So now we have a market garden full of sorry looking dead plants. Over the next several weeks we will remove the plants and either burn them or compost them (some things got diseased and need to be burned and not composted.) Than we take up the ground covers and drip tapes and plant winter rye as a cover crop in some beds if it is not too late and other beds will be left open for late winter/ early spring plantings of things like spring mix, leeks, onions, scallions, parsnips, spinach, arugula, etc..
The freeze means it is finally time to plant garlic. We started the process yesterday by doing the final prep (raking for 4 and tilling for 3) on the 6 to 7 beds where the garlic will be planted. Than we counted just how many seed corms we have (okay, I did this several weeks ago. After all the garlic had been cleaned I than separated the big ones from the smaller ones) and than figured out how many cloves of each kind we should have. It turns out we have enough garlic to do 11 50' x 4' beds (450 garlic plants per bed). But we will do only 7 beds at most and 6 beds are more likely. The rest we sell as seed garlic at $3.50 a corm.
Okay, back to garlic planting prep. The next step is to separate the garlic cloves, thousands of them. Than when that is done it is planting time. Hopefully by mid afternoon today we will have several hundred garlics in the ground and by the end of the month we will have our 3000 or so cloves all tucked into the soil. than we wait for the greens to poke above the soil surface this fall. than they will die back over winter and in early spring the greens will reemerge and by late June we will start pulling green garlic and in July will harvest the crop, cure it and sell it all summer, fall and winter as we have done every year for the past 13 or so years.
Pear Ginger Cobbler
(I take this from the New Basics Cookbook. If you do not have this cook book buy it!)
8 ripe pears, peeled and cut into 1/4" slices
11/2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons white sugar (I accidently used a cup of sugar the last time i made this and it was just fine-and i generally cut 1/3 to 1/2 the sugar in recipes)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (i.e 1 medium lemon)
finely grated zest of 1/2 lemon
pinch of salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup vegetable shortening (I use organic lard from Morning Sun farms in W. Alexandria, OH. Crisco and all other vegetable shortenings are the dreaded hydrogenated fats so avoid. Since I am out of the loop as far as vegetable fats perhaps there is a non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening out there if not use all butter)
1/3 cup milk
Preheat the oven to 425F. Butter a large (14" long) baking dish or casserole or a 21/2 to 3 quart souffle dish
Combine pears, ginger, lemon juice, lemon zest and the sugar (except the the 3 tablespoons) in a large bowl and toss well to combine. Put this into the prepared baking vessel
In another bowl combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and 1 TBL of the sugar. That add the butter/shortening and start cutting the fat into the flour mixture with either 2 forks or a pastry cutter until the mixture resembles corse crumbs-do not over do this. Lightly beat the egg and milk together and slowly add this to the dry ingredients. Lightly kneed the dough adding more flour if needed to make a smooth not sticky dough
break off portions and place them on top of the fruit pressing lightly and flattening the dough. Cover entire surface with dough pieces to give a "cobbled" effect
Sprinkle the remaining sugar over the dough and bake until well browned 35 to 45 minutes (set your timer to 35 mins as 45 mins is usually way too long)
What's in the Share this Week
Beets-mainly red beets but you might get some golden beets in your bunch as well. the beets are on the small size but tender and sweet
Radishes-a nice bunch of either Easter Egg or D'Avignon radishes
Garlic-2 corms of garlic
Carrots-a pound or so of orange carrots. These will be much nicer that previous carrots as we are now harvesting the fall carrots and they are the best carrots of the year for us.
Celery-more celery this week. I was going to do celeriac this week but since we had to harvest all the celery before the freeze we have a lot and it will not keep for weeks and weeks like the celeriac. So into the shares it goes
Spring Mix-a 6 oz bag of our spring mix. Make a salad this week
Kale-a half pound or more of kale. Since we have had a freeze this should be really sweet and yummy
Ginger-yes ginger! We tried to see if we could grow it and had some success. This is the tropical looking item with the skinny greens and the knobby roots. You can do one of two things with this-eat it (remove the leaves and peel and use as you would any ginger) or plant it and get more ginger next summer (it takes 10 to 12 months to get a crop. The plant wants temps above 60, full sun in the winter and morning sun in the summer. Put it in a larger pot that you think it needs so it has room to expand)
Pears-2 pounds of our Kieffer pears
Winter Squash-2 to 3 pounds of squash, probably a mix like last week. Acorn is dark green, butternut is beige and delicata is yellowish with green or orange stripes. All cook the same way-350F over. Cut in half, remove the seeds and cook face down on a cookie sheet 20 to 35 minutes.
Peppers-several red/orange/yellow/green peppers from the great pepper stash
Shares will be ready for pick-up after 4pm Tuesday and Thursday and any time Friday. We will likely be gone after 4pm Tuesday (today) to run errands so if you need us that will be a problem. The shares will be on the table by the refrigerator as they usually are.
Boulder Belt Eco-Farm