Tuesday, September 30, 2008

First week of October, (and last day of september)

Well how could i have forgotten to say it last week? Happy first day of autumn! It is looking like and beginning to feel like fall, too. We have been noticing how early it is getting dark, and the amount of clothing we leave the house wearing in the morning and how much we come in wearing at night. The maples and locusts lately have been putting on a lovely show and i've noticed the burning bushes beginning to burn. We have begun to talk about when our first fire of the year will be, but i don't think it will be very soon. In the last week, we've started to see the veese of geese heading south following the lake.

Lately lots of people have been asking when the last week of the CSA is, what are people getting tired of us already? But really, it is a good question. The CSA runs until the end of October, so there will be four more pickups after this week's, with the last saturday pickup (and the last pickup of the year) actually on november first.

We hosted a dinner this week to say thank you to our three working share groups, and we wanted to publicly thank them as well, if it were not for their hard work and generous help we would not have been able to manage everything this season. It was uplifting to see smiles on their faces even when picking beans and tomatoes for what seemed like hours at a time. The cheerful and very helpful mood each friday morning made it one of our very best days of the week. Our deepest gratitude to Harold, Mark and Pat, Terri, Lydia, and Reeder--thanks guys!

If you are interested in becoming an extremely appreciated person next year, please think about it over the fall and winter and let us know next spring. We will certainly want at least three working shares for harvesting on friday's next year, we will also be looking for someone to help us set up our thursday market in Corning, and may be looking for someone to help us setup at one other market of the week as well. The ideal candidates seem to be self employed, retired, parenting children, or teachers. If you have free time during the week or know someone else who does and may be interested in a working share, spread the word for the 2009 season.

The pierogi making day was a great success and quite fun, too! Pierogies were made and filled and eaten. Folks took walks out to the gorge and sat and appreciated the pond. It is always so meaningful to us to see other people appreciate our land and take time to sit and absorb what is going on here, from the swimming of fish, to the calls of the turkeys in the woods, it makes us glad to see other people have a chance to watch the large and small of our little ecosystem go by. And it made me especially glad to see the ecosytem of our kitchen return to equilibrium before the last guest left, as it is daunting to have 20 some guests in the kitchen, and my heartfelt thanks go out to those who did the dishes and scraped the dough off of our counters. What a nice event! For those who missed it, and for those who didn't- below is the "Classic pierogi" recipe that i have always used. Several other people brought other doughs, as for filling variations, the possibilities are almost endless, we had lots of types of fillings ranging from mushroom, to potatoes, to sweet potato, to grape. I'd be glad to post the dough and filling recipes too, just send the recipes along in an email and they'll go up here for all to see.

This week's share:
Winter squash

next week's share:
broccoli, potatoes, garlic, leeks, celeriac?

Classic pierogi
Dough: combine
3 cups all purpose flour
2 eggs slightly beaten
1 cup sour cream
1/2 tsp salt
dash of pepper

let stand 20 minutes, roll out thinly (1/8-1/4 inch thick) on a floured board. Cut with a biscuit cutter or the top of a large mug. Place a rounded teaspoon of filling in center, fold edges over and pinch to seal them completely (a little water may help). Boil 3-5 minutes, may be browned in a little butter and then served.

Potato Filling:
combine 3 cups mashed potatoes with 1/2 cup finely shredded cheddar cheese.

cabbage filling:
finely chop cabbage, cook in boiling salted water about 10 minutes, saute one onion in butter and then add cabbage, toss with salt and pepper.

Let your imagination run wild with ideas for fillings. Samosa or ravioli fillings work just fine.

rolling the dough and boiling the pierogies

filling the pierogies Butternut squash soup (works with other squash, too.):
1 large squash
6 cloves
2 Cinnamon sticks
6 allspice berries
1/4 cup maple syrup
ground Cinnamon
ground nutmeg

Peel, seed, and cube squash, cover with water and boil, tie non ground spices in a cheese cloth and add to pot, boil and simmer over low for 40 minutes. Remove spices, drain squash and keep liquid, return to pot and mash (puree for smoother soup), add maple syrup, and ground up spices if desired, thin with liquid if needed.

OR cut squash in half and scoop out seeds (save them and bake them at 200 degrees for 10-15 minutes, salt and enjoy a delicious snack), put face down in a tray with a little water, bake at 350 until very tender (about 40 minutes), allow to cool and scoop the flesh out of the skin, mash and add cooking water as needed to make desired consistency, add spices as desired.

have a tremendous week, and eat lots of soup! Liz and Matthew

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Fourth week of September

Snake season again!
This weekend there is a lot going on....Of Course there is a chance to come on up to the farm for our peirogi making day and tomato tasting time. That will take place on sunday, there is also a fund raising dance for a local low income CSA program taking place on saturday night, details on both below.

Pierogis are basically dough rounds made of sour cream and flour that are then filled with potatoes and/or cheese, cabbage, or other fillings. They are tasty treats of polish origin. All attendees will go home with pierogis to freeze (or eat fresh). All attendees are asked to bring one or more pierogi fillings, and a sense of adventure. (Don’t have a recipe, check your older cook books, or a quick Internet search will net you plenty.)

Once all together here, we form the pierogis, fill them with the various fillings, mix them up so every one gets some of every kind, cook them, and put them into freezer bags. In the past we have had fillings made with blue, yellow, red, and sweet potatoes, as well as cheese fillings, cabbage and mushroom fillings, and samosa fillings. It is quite fun to cut into the little pockets and see what is inside as you eat them at a later date! An RSVP is essential to attend this event so we know how many to shop for and how much dough to make. The event will take place Sunday September 28th at 2 PM. People have asked for a tomato tasting event and alas, we can not fit an official taste test in this year, but we will make sure to have our remaining types of tomatoes (some have begun to peeter out) cut up for sampling at the pierogi event. Email or call to rsvp by Friday evening please.
Also going on....
The 4th Annual Farmers Ball will kick off at 6 p.m. Saturday. Sept. 27 at the Ithaca Farmers Market Pavilion. The dish-to-pass dinner starts at 6 p.m., followed by old time dance tunes with Steve Selin, Ritchie Stearns and friends. Special guest Nancy Spero will call dances. Come show off your local food dishes, enjoy what other people have to share, socialize and dance. Please bring a place setting. This event is free and open to the public and will take place rain or shine.

Donations will be accepted to benefit Healthy Food For All which served local low-income families with 60 subsidized CSA shares this year. The Farmers Ball is put on by the Tompkins Area Community Supported Agriculture Coalition. For more information contact: Katie Church, coordiantor Full Plate Farm Collective342-7632 and info@fullplatefarms.org. (suggested donation is $5.)

This week's share:

PYO green beans and cherry tomatoes

Seasonal recipes:
Potato Soup with Apple:
1 Tb butter
1Cup sliced leeks
1 cup celery, celery root or fennel chopped
½ cup tart apple, chopped
3 cups broth
1 cup potatoes, chopped
¼ tsp dried tarragon (opt)
¼ tsp pepper
Salt to taste

Sauté the first four ingredients for 3-5 minutes. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Add the potatoes, reduce heat and simmer until the potatoes are soft. Add herbs and puree. Soup should be rich and creamy.

Potato Leek Soup:
½ tsp Salt
1 pound Potatoes, cubed (about 3 cups)
1 pound Leeks, thinly sliced
¼ cup fresh parsley, optional
1 Tablespoon Butter, optional

Bring 8 cups water to a boil in a pot. Add salt potatoes and leeks; cover and reduce heat
Cook until potatoes are soft, about 30 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly. Transfer to a food processor or blender and puree. Do not over-blend or potatoes will become sticky. Return to pot, stir in parsley and butter and reheat. Six servings. Recipe from the Vegetarian Gourmet

Eat well, see you sunday! liz and matthew

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Third week of september

Picking all those tomatoes has finally made us flip!
But, this is one of the coolest tomatoes we picked this year!

There is a chance of frost on Thursday night. If that were to happen, it would be the shortest frost-free growing season that we have had since we started farming. This spring we had our latest frost ever --and if it were to freeze tomorrow night, then in addition it would be our earliest frost ever! Neither event is outside of our traditional first and last freeze dates, its just unusual have an late freeze and an early one in the same season. We'll see what happens.

Even if it doesn't freeze, the summer crops are fading away gradually. The cool nights and short days are not what the warm season crops like, and we've noticed them, too. We are inside a little earlier each day, (and are eating dinner a little earlier each night, too!) but as we come in, I've been noticing more clothing on the back of the chair where i tend to dispose of my farming clothes at the end of the day. There also tends to be a trail of warm layers laying around the edge of the fields where we shed them as the day warms and don't always remember them at the end of the day. Soon enough we'll need them in the evenings, too and all our laundry will be where it is meant to be.

Peirogi making day is coming up fast, don’t miss the fun! Join us on the 28th to make and take some peirogies home with you. You bring a filling and we’ll make them and fill them here.

This week’s share:
Chard or Kale
Pick your own Cherry tomatoes and Green Beans!

Mixed Greens Frittata
from Moosewood Restaurant New Classics cookbook
2 cups chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup chopped basil
1 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup grated feta, parm, or cheddar cheese

In a 10 inch ovenproof skillet, stir fry the greens, parsley, and basil in 1 teaspoon of the oil until wilted and tender. Transfer the greens to a bowl. Rinse the skillet and set aside. In separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, water and salt and stir in 1/4 cup of the cheese. Lightly oil the skillet with the remaining oil and place it on medium-high heat. Stir the egg/cheese mix into the greens and pour into the hot skillet. Sprinkle the top with the rest of the cheese. Lower the heat to medium-low and cook, without stirring, until the edges are firm and pulling away from the sides of the pan, about 5 minutes. The frittata should be mostly cooked, but with the top still slightly undercooked. Place the skillet under the broiler for 3-5 minutes, until the top is firm and beginning to turn golden brown. Cut into wedges and serve.

Make your own applesauce with those ugly apples!:
1 quart Apples cut into chunks, peeled or not
1 cup Water
1/2 cup Sugar
1 tsp. Lemon Juice
Cinnamon (optional)

Put all the ingredients in a sauce pan and cook until tender, about 20 minutes. Mash the mixture using a potato masher or an electric mixer until it is smooth. Top with cinnamon, enjoy!

have a nice week, folks!
liz and matthew

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

second week of september

starting to be this time of year....
This week the weather has started to seem even more fall-like. The air has become drier, the few trees are still turning red and the golden rod has come into full flower. And for us, the smell of honey as we walk out into the field is intense. It seems like if we walked out with a piece of buttered toast, it would be sweetened by the time we got out to the tomatoes, that is sure sign of fall's coming into swing. And of course, the winter squash are starting to make demands on us that they haven't up to this point, they are getting ready to be picked!

No news yet on Matthew's ticker. Thanks to all for the expressions of concern.

Don't forget this month's CSA event! September 28th we will be making perogies! Please RSVP by Friday the 26th so that we can buy what we need in advance. I'd like a volunteer or two to help mix up the dough an hour or so before the event. An email will go out closer to the event with full details. It will be an afternoon event.

This week's share:


Pick your own Green Beans and Cherry Tomatoes

Grilled Tomatillo Salsa:
fresh tomatillos
garlic clove, unpeeled
1/2 cup fresh cilantro (can be skipped)
onion, coarsely chopped
lemon or lime juice
Hot Pepper
2 teaspoons coarse salt

Preheat broiler. Broil chile, garlic, and tomatillos on rack of a broiler pan 1 to 2 inches from heat, turning once, until tomatillos are softened and slightly charred, about 7 minutes (or can be rolled around covered in a dry cast iron skillet on the stove top). Peel garlic and tomatillos pull off tops of chiles. Purée all ingredients in a blender. • Salsa can be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered. Makes about 3 cups. Freezes well.
Have a great week, sorry this is a late posting again, its been a busy week! liz and matthew

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

First week of September

This week has not been the best week in the life of muddy fingers farm. Not only has it been a busy week of harvesting, planting, and weeding, but Matthew has also have been having trouble with his heart, so there have been some doctor's appointments, some times when it has been beating a little crazy and some worry on both of our parts about what it could mean for us and for our farm business. On Tuesday he is scheduled for a visit with the Cardiologist and so far all we know is that he has a murmur, which apparently is very common.

It will be good to get in to the specialist as soon as possible, but it makes for a crazy day for me, since I'll be doing market again as well as the delivery on Tuesday. So, sorry folks, i may be a few minutes late again, if at all possible, plan to pick up after 4:15, since it is quite difficult to get packed up from the market and off to Elmira in good time.

A change to announce, the CSA event scheduled for the 27th will be held on the 28th instead. We just learned of a concert by one of our very favorite local musicians will be held on the 27th at Valley Folk and its an event that we don't want to miss! I hope that this doesn't mess people up too much who have put the date on the schedule, if nothing else, you are now free to go to the concert yourself!
This week's share:
Lettuce mix
Edamame soy beans
Pick your own, green beans and cherry tomatoes!
Have a good week!
liz and matthew