We have reached the peak of the season and are headed down the mountain now. We ripped out our squash, zucchini, and cucumber plants this week. We have mowed our potatoes in preparation for harvest, and the fall seeding is complete. Planning now begins as to when we pull the onions, winter squash, pie pumpkins, and potatoes. Despite the incredibly warm temperatures this past week, we feel fall all around us as we start to say good night to parts of the gardens. Fall is also the time when we invite all of you and other friends and family to the farm for a Fall Harvest Festival! This year we will have our farm gathering on Sunday October 2nd starting at 3:00 pm. It is a potluck party so please bring a dish to share. Wow us with something fantastic made out of veggies you find in your share basket that week! We will have plenty of beverages available including our milk and local apple cider. We will also offer a tour to anyone interested in seeing around our place at 4:00 pm. In the past we have offered a rain date the following Sunday, however, this year with baby #3 due any time in mid October we have decided against that. So, if it rains the festivities will have to wait until 2012. Let me know if you have any questions.
This week in your share basket you will find: potatoes, leeks, edamame, carrots, and tomatoes. It is a nice blend of summer and fall crops! I see some potato and leek soup in your future. There are likely to be pears available at market this week. Pick some of those up and try the caramelized leek salad recipe that you will find under “leeks” on our recipes page. Leeks are a mild, sweet allium (the onion family). They are delicious in soup or stir fry. I love to saute some up in the morning before adding some beaten eggs to the pan and a dash of cheese at the end of cooking. You can substitute leeks in for onions or shallots in any recipe. You will use about 3/4 of it for these recipes. The dark green tops make great soup stock. Here at the farm we like to save all of our vegetable “scraps” such as leek tops or carrot peelings. We put the scraps in a one gallon bag and keep it in the freezer. We keep adding to it until the bag is packed full. This veggie scrap blend makes excellent soup stock either simmered with meat bones such as a chicken carcass or beef soup bones or simply the veggies themselves. Homemade soup stock freezes incredibly well and is MUCH more flavorful than anything you can buy in the store. Try adding some of your favorite herbs, salts, peppers, and more. Be creative!
The most interesting vegetable in your share basket this week is the edamame, also known as soybeans. Edamame are immature soybeans used traditionally in Asian and Hawaiian cooking. The easiest way to prepare your edamame are to steam (15 minutes) or boil (10 minutes). After draining away the water, sprinkle the bean pods with salt and serve in the pod. You use your teeth to pop the succulent and buttery bean out of the pod, which is tough and not good to eat. These are a delicious snack or appetizer for any meal. You can also get more fancy and make roasted edamame salad with your beans, tomatoes, and leeks. You can find this recipe under “edamame” at our recipes page. You will need to pick up a couple ears of corn and some fresh basil while you are at the market. These are a favorite around the farm both with our kids and the adults!
Enjoy your week!