Christmas 2015

Hello and Happy Holidays!

We have been blessed with a beautiful fall and I was able to do some canning of leftover tomatoes from the CSA season so that was enjoyable to make some salsa and vegetable soup!

When the growing season arrives in the spring  my  house cleaning gets put on the bottom of the to do list and these  last few weeks it has been productive with reorganizing and simplifying things.  I think the older I get, I put the knick knacks away( I know, I should just sell them and be done, but I can’t emotionally detach yet) because I just can’t keep up with the dusting and something about living simple is satisfying.

Even though our growing season is done, we still have lots to do behind the scenes with the farm.  We are working on totaling up the pounds produced for our crop insurance reports and we will share those with you.  In Jan, we will be starting to make plans for the new season.  We did not send out a survey for the 2015 season but we welcome your ideas and suggestions anytime.

We wish you and your families a very Merry Christmas and encourage you to click on the link below to see our Christmas letter.  It does take a moment to load, pdf format.

Thanks!

Theresa K.

Christmas 2015

Sweet Corn

IMG_20150816_213709019

Greetings!

These 8 and 9th weeks of the 2015 CSA season means summer will be winding down and we are starting to move into the sweet corn, tomatoes, onions, squashes and more.

Kraig and I harvested sweet corn Fri after 5 in the hot humid weather as we were not sure we would be able to do it on Sat or Sun because of the chances of rain showers.  So we teamed up together and I agreed to share my experience of harvesting corn.  Kraig is the DKHF guy(Double K Hobby Farm)who does the heavy picking, (like digging potatoes with a shovel).  I have a whole new appreciation of his job at the farm and all those young teens working in corn fields detassling in the summer months.

As you all know, cornstalks are usually taller than you and they are planted closely in rows together.  To see the field driving by and actually standing in the field, it is a completely different feeling.  The cornstalks can create a claustrophobic feeling especially when the wind is not moving.  So as I start out, I am refreshed and excited just looking at all those cobs of corn.  I proudly position my bushel basket on my shoulders and march down the row to my spot and set it gently at the base of the stalks.   My 360 view is that of all cornstalks unless I look up to that beautiful blue sky with a hot blazing sun scorching my skin.  My adrenaline is high and I am ready to fill for the DKHF families.  Time to work.

If you have not picked a cob from a stalk, there is a skill set to it.  It takes a couple of runs to get the hang of picking it quickly and effectively.  Grab ahold of the cob, snap it down, twist off, and place in the basket.  The first 3 dozen or so that I pick is probably emotionally equivalent to a child gathering candy at a parade. Excitement and the need for more and to get it quicker than the girl or boy next to you right?  Well, eventually, (maybe in 15 min) our bodies are pure sweat and I know my heart is pounding fiercely (I am not going to admit that to my working partner though) and I have to slow down before I keel over.  I am thinking that to do this at this time of day is crazy.  Maybe I should have waited till 5:30 am. Naw,  the cornstalks would be  wet, it has been foggy and my fear of running into raccoons, deer, skunk, and yes, even a silly old bullfrog makes me jump out of my skin.  I must persevere.  I have a service to perform and must get those baskets filled.

As I make progress filling the basket, I found that I would have to walk back and forth in my row because I can no longer carry this heavy basket above my head or even at waist level now.  Hmm… When I did have the picked bundles of corn stacked in my arms ready for transport, I prayed I wouldn’t lose one out of my arms.   I don’t think at this point I could even balance myself to lower to the ground, pick up the cob, and move forward with out the worry of tripping over a fallen stalk.  I am a strong independent woman but I had to ask for help.  I yelled out over the cornstalks hoping Kraig could hear me because I know he could not see me.  It did not take long and he was there to finish up with me.  Back in the shade of the garage, we repacked ears of corn into pop crate trays and stacked in the commercial fridge for cooling.

It was a great feeling to push beyond what you think you are  capable of doing and to succeed and meet your goal.

We hope you enjoy the sweet corn!

Zucchini

I Love it when I feel inspired in the kitchen  by simply having  a new gadget to prepare foods.  Last season, CSA member, Beth, told me about zucchini noodles and how much her family likes to eat them.  When I spotted this tool, the veggetti pro, I thought I would give it a try.  I washed up a yellow zuc and cut into size for the veggetti pro.

IMG_20150803_204614308_HDR

Then I used the thick spiral cut.

IMG_20150803_204710305IMG_20150803_205724947Then I sauteed it in a little olive oil for a few minutes. While that was cooking, I quickly opened a jar of spaghetti sauce and simmered it.

IMG_20150803_210512188The whole process took less than 10 min and I admit I was a little nervous of what Kraig’s response was going to be about his meal.  He came in from working the gardens and I explained it to him what I just tried to do in the  kitchen and to keep an open mind.  Two bites in and  he said he thought it was really good.  He even liked it better than spaghetti squash!  Success!  This will be a great tool to have because we have lots more zucs coming and we need to eat better than zuc breads!

We would love to hear how you are using your zucchini. We invite you to leave a comment.

Freezing Sugar Snap Peas

IMG_20150708_210001407The sugar snap peas have done really well this year!  If you feel you have extra,they are super easy to freeze.  I usually do one pound at a time.  Bring your large stock pot to a full rolling boil.  Load your sugar snaps into another pot or container basket and immerse into the boiling water.

IMG_20150708_215747593

Blanch for 90 seconds.  Quickly remove and immerse into ice-cold water. Chill until they feel cold. Usually a few minutes. Remove and dry quickly with paper towels and put them in your freezer bags.  I personally like the food saver bags.
IMG_20150708_210650104 Do you have a great recipe to share on how to use the sugar snap peas in the winter months?

IMG_20150706_205629882Did you know that Kale is a very nutritious food and low in calories!  I think it adds a great texture to a salad and I like to mix mine with buttercrunch lettuce, sugar snap peas, sunflower seeds, and some croutons.  To prepare, simply wash again, remember anything coming from a farm, needs to be washed.  We triple wash but there may be a bug so please, wash one more time.  The smaller leafed kale, I just tear up and add to the salad.  The larger leaf, for example, larger than your hand, tear the leaf off of the rib.  Some people like to cook it, others use in salad.  I love to hear your stories of how you use your produce.

I am going to try a recipe by Bobby Flay.  I am discovering I like the cooking shows during the winter Saturdays and I am learning who all these chefs are!  Who is your favorite chef?

This recipe looked interesting because it is typically all the things I would have in my pantry.  I am going to make it tomorrow eve and I will let you know how it goes.  I will need to reduce the recipe size down though.

Directions

Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook until soft, but not colored. Raise heat to high, add the stock and kale and toss to combine. Cover and cook for 5 minutes. Remove cover and continue to cook, stirring until all the liquid has evaporated. Season with salt and pepper to taste and add vinegar.

Bobby Flay via Foodnetwork.com

Kale