Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Tropical Fall

farm sunset

At this point it looks like we won't be able to get our last few trays of transplants that we wanted to overwinter under cover will not be able to get planted. In fact if the rain doesn't stop soon, we'll start to get worried about being able to till beds for planting our garlic in a couple weeks. This time of year, with lower temperatures and less sunlight, the soil takes much longer to dry out enough to cultivate it.

Expected vegetables:
Salad mix
Sweet potatoes
Winter Squash - Delicata, Carnival
Jerusalem Artichokes
Husk Cherries
a few tomatoes
a few raspberries
a few cherry tomatoes

Next week: Acorn Squash, Salad Turnips, Watermelon Radishes (they only look like mini watermelons!)

Savory Bread and Cheese Bake

3 T butter
12 oz. crusty bread (French, Italian, sourdough, rye, pumpernickel, whole wheat)
1C grated cheese
1C chopped scallions (Muddy Fingers Farm suggestion: try with Leeks...mmm...)
6 eggs
2 C milk
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 generous T Dijon mustard

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Put the butter in 2 qt baking dish and place in the oven to melt. When the butter is melted, swirl it around to coat the dish. While the butter melts, cut the bread into 1-inch cubes ( about 6 Cups loosely packed). Place the bread cubes in the buttered baking dish. Sprinkle evenly with cheese and scallions (leek).
Puree the eggs, milk, salt, pepper, and mustard in a blender, or beat the eggs in a bowl and then whisk in other ingredients. Pour the custard over the bread and use a spatula to push the bread down into the custard. Bake covered with aluminum foil for 25 to 30 minutes (depending on the shape and depth of the baking dish). Remove the foil and bake until puffy and golden brown, about 5 minutes.

from Moosewood Simple Suppers

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Almost Autumn

Above: Lettuce transplants for winter harvest.
Liz with the eggplants - taller than her!

Expected vegetables:
Now many of our summer crops are slowing down or done - eggplants, tomatoes, zucchini.
And fall crops are ripening.
This week expect to see potatoes, leeks, onions, garlic, kale, chard, salad mix, carrots, beans, ginger, cilantro, peppers. A few tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini, husk cherries. Possibly some edamame.
New this week: delicata squash and celeriac
Next week expect more of the same plus winter squash, sweet potatoes, Jerusalem artichokes, beets again

It is the time of the CSA season where we try to force you to take and eat celeriac. For those of you who still resist here's another way to eat it.

Creamy Curried Celery Root Soup

Yield 4 servings

Time 45 minutes

Mark Bittman

  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1 1/2 pounds celery root, peeled and cut into 1- to 2-inch chunks
  • 6 cups chicken or vegetable stock or water
  • 1/2 to 1 cup cream, half-and-half, or milk, or to taste
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro or parsley for garnish
  • 1. Put the butter in a large, deep pot over medium-high heat. When it’s melted, add the onion and garlic and cook until they begin to soften, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the curry powder and cumin and a sprinkle of salt and pepper and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
  • 2. Add the celery root and stir just to coat it in the spices, then add the stock and bring the mixture to a boil. Lower the heat so that the stock bubbles gently and cook, stirring occasionally, until the celery root is fully tender, 15 to 20 minutes more.

  • 3. Cool the mixture slightly, pour into a blender, and purée carefully, or use an immersion blender to purée the soup in the pan. Return the soup to the pan and stir in the cream; reheat if necessary. Taste and adjust the seasoning, and serve garnished with the herb.

Source: The New York Times

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Late Summer

The pictures above are from our friends farm in Vermont whom we visited them last weekend. The fields were completely destroyed after the nearby river jumped its bank and actually changed its course. The river now runs through part of what used to be their field. And the flood deposited a field of rocks and sand and toppled trees in the rest of their former fields. Believe it or not, if those pictures had been taken a few weeks ago you would have seen fertile farmland and literally tons of beautiful vegetables.

Muddy Fingers Farm is still busy. We've been busy every other day trying to get all the harvesting done. Sometimes unsuccessfully. And then we've been busy getting our fall plantings done. And certainly some of the tasks we'd like to get done have been falling by the wayside as we run out of time, energy and daylight. But we are enjoying the cooler temperatures, (over)abundant rainfall, the bounty of the harvest and the anticipation of a beautiful autumn.
The other workers here on the farm are also really busy, too. Every sunny day they are purposefully gathering pollen from the showy goldenrod, purple asters (my favorite), and the flowers of the buckwheat which we have planted as cover crop. And the smell of honey is so thick in the air right now that on a sunny afternoon it can be detected from hundreds of feet away from the hives depending on the direction of the wind.

Happy eating!

Expected vegetables:
Mostly the same, except melons are finished. So are the heirloom tomatoes.
We have eggplants again. Husk Cherries are here too.

Muddy Fingers Farm Fall/Winter CSA

This year we are offering an extension of the CSA season into November and December!

Shares will be picked up at the new Watkins Glen Farmers' Market Winter Market at St. James Episcopal Church on 6th St. in Watkins Glen. The market will be open Fridays evenings (hours not confirmed yet; either 3-6pm or 4-7 pm) in November and December.

The share will consist of 5 items/week and will cost $120.

We plan to have the following vegetables available:

Potatoes, Onions, Winter Squash, Garlic, Brussells sprouts, Carrots, Parsnips, Kale, Chard, Cabbage, Turnips, Radishes, Lettuce Mix, Greens Mix, Beets, Rutabagas, Celeriac, Spinach

Please note: The market will be closed the weeks of Thanksgiving and New Years. We will give out an extra share each week before to make up for these closures.

This is the first year for us doing this and so we are only taking 10 shares. So give it some thought and let us know soon if you're interested.

This recipe comes from a CSA member:

Stuffed Chard with Fresh Marinara

1 Lb. lean ground beef (I used 90% lean)
1/2 cup plain dry breadcrumbs (I used crumbs with Italian seasonings)
2 medium shallots
1 1/2 tsp. Italian seasonings (I don't have so used approx. 1/2 dried basil and 1/2 dried oregano, as I write this I'm wondering why I didn't use the fresh herbs I have in my garden)
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
8 large Swiss Chard leaves, stems removed
1 14 oz. can reduced sodium chicken broth
1 Tbl extra virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes (I cut up fresh tomatoes)
1/2 cup freshly shredded parmesan cheese

1. Gently mix beef, breadcrumbs, 1 Tbl minced shallot, 1/2 tsp. Italian seasonings, garlic powder and 1/4 tsp. pepper in large bowl until combined. Divide the mixture into 8 portions (oblong is suggested)
2. Overlap the two sides of a chard leaf where the stem was removed and place a portion of beef there. Tightly roll the chard around the beef. Place each roll, seam-side down, in a large nonstick skillet. Pour in broth, cover
and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until thermometer (in center of roll) reads 165, approx. 8-10 minutes (I cooked longer to get the leaves nice and tender). Discard any remaining broth.
3. Meanwhile, heat oil in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the remaining shallot, 1 tsp. Italian seasoning, 1/4 tsp. paper and crushed red pepper. Cook, stirring often, until the shallot is soft - approx. 1-2 minutes. Stir in tomatoes and cook, until slighted reduced and thickened, about 8 minutes (a bit longer if using fresh tomatoes). Serve the Chard rolls topped with sauce and parmesan cheese.

4 servings, 2 rolls each.

Nutrition per serving: 388 calories; 16 g fat (5 g saturated); 43 mg cholesterol; 32 g carbohydrate

Original recipe came from; you'll see I took some liberties (which I often do).