Farm News, September 17, 2019

The late-summer beautiful weather streak keeps on chugging, bringing us warm days, cool nights, and an amazing pile of work to try to get through each week.  September is always a tough month for us, because our “summer crew” folks leave, but the task list actually increases.   

For bitter greens lovers … rejoice! Radicchio is back.

While we still have summer crops like cukes and tomatoes to pick, we tend to nervously rush past the piles of butternut squash and pumpkins still hanging out in the field, the rows of potatoes and sweet potatoes that need to be dug, and the strawberries that needed weeding three weeks ago. It’s a game of triage, trying to patch up what we can now, realizing that as the days get shorter, and the sun peaks lower in the sky, we’ve got just another month of good growth in the field before things slow down a bit.

Selenna and Connor clip the pumpkins to cure the stems.

We’ve also got to get our greenhouses cleaned up so we can plant spinach and lettuce for winter harvest, which means clipping down all the garlic, nicely cured and ready for the table, and packing away the onions which have been drying since early August.  And of course the regular harvests of greens, lettuce, broccoli, cukes and tomatoes continue.

James and Dana load up the fall bounty from the North field.

With so much abundance sitting in the fields, we don’t mind that we’ve had to start irrigating again. You can always add more water. It’s such a pleasure to harvest quality crops without the urgency that a rainy forecast brings that we don’t mind the extra work a bit!

We hope you enjoy the farm and the harvest,

Paul, Rebecca, and Lauren for the Fort Hill Farm crew

Yes, these are two different praying mantis critters that seem to love pumpkins. With so many sightings, we like to call this a “good” bug year.

Featured this week:

Fingerling potatoes: always a popular item, these are La Ratte fingerlings, which is a fancy French way of saying “the rat” … and a not so nice name for a very tasty spud. These are best roasted, steamed with butter and herbs, or made into a delicate potato salad (or see scrumptious the recipe below). Store like all potatoes in a cool (about 50F to 60F), dark place (not the fridge).                                                                                                                               

Collard greens: perhaps one of the most unassuming, overlooked greens that, conversely, has quite the cult following. We love them. Stir fry/braise with slow-cooked leeks for a real treat, try the recipe below, or even better, the Caldo Verde recipe from the 2018 newsletter. You won’t be disappointed! 


Also available:

salad mix, arugula, pea shoots, head lettuce, curly green and lacinato kale, rainbow chard, fresh herbs, Chinese Cabbage, savoy cabbage, red cabbage, garlic, carrots, red and chioggia beets, limited amounts of Classic Italian, Rosa Bianca, and Asian eggplant, leeks, sweet Italian orange and red peppers, sweet red, green, and mixed bell peppers, yellow and red storage onions, jalapeño, cayenne, Serrano, shishito, and poblano hot peppers, cucumbers, zephyr summer squash, Dark Red Norland potatoes, Satina Gold potatoes, Kennebec potatoes, fresh baby ginger, baby boy choy, escarole, celeriac, fennel, sungold, red, and specialty cherry tomatoes, and heirloom and beefsteak tomatoes


Coming Soon:

Butternut Squash!


Pick Your Own:

Sungold Cherry Tomatoes are done for PYO this year. You can still find these sweet treats in the barn.

Flowers 🌸 … I can’t believe the beauties still blooming in the late patch. And they’re STILL ON SALE!

Fresh herbs: parsley, thyme, sage, oregano, marjoram, chives. Cilantro and dill plantings are back!

*** Just like last year, CSA members may take a small (mixed or not) PYO herb bunch for free, one bunch per share per week! Please see sample sizes in the barn.

PYO begins 30 before and goes 30 minutes beyond barn hours.


Recipes, suggested by Rebecca Batchie. For more recipes, check out the Fort Hill Farm Recipe Database


Pan Fried Fingerling Potatoes with Wild Mushroom Sauce

From Allrecipes

Ingredients

2 tablespoons butter

1 1/2 pounds fingerling potatoes, halved lengthwise

2 cups sliced mixed wild mushrooms (small portobella, crimini, shiitake)

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 large shallot, thinly sliced

1 cup chicken broth

1/4 cup dried mixed wild mushrooms

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

3/4 teaspoon herbes de Provence

1/2 cup crème fraiche or heavy cream

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Chopped fresh thyme

Directions

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add potatoes; cook, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes or until potatoes are tender. (Covering will speed up cooking.)

Stir in fresh mushrooms, garlic and shallot; cook for 10 minutes more. Add broth, dried mushrooms, mustard and herbs; cook over high heat for 5 minutes or until most of the broth has cooked off. Stir in crème fraiche and cook for 5 minutes more. Season with pepper and fresh thyme.


Vegetarian “Southern-style” Collard Greens

From Sunny Anderson via the Food Network

Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon butter

1/2 large onion, chopped

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

1 pound collard greens, chopped

3 cups vegetable stock

2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions

In a large pot over medium heat, heat oil and butter. Sauté the onions until slightly softened, about 2 minutes, then add the red pepper flakes and garlic, cook another minute. Add collard greens and cook another minute. Add the vegetable stock, cover and bring to a simmer. Cook until greens are tender, about 40 minutes. Add tomatoes and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

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