The Farmstand is open today from 2 – 6:30 PM (PYO Hours: 1:30 – 7)
This Week’s Farm News:
After last week’s much needed rain, cool, clear air swept down from Canada, and the leaves responded with a noticeable tinge of yellow (and to be honest, a lot of drought induced “brown.” Just par for the year 2020….). Our lettuce, kale, and chard crops really appreciate this kind of weather and have some very brilliant colors of their own. We also have some of the nicest spinach we’ve grown to cut, with three more successions on the way.
As the days shorten and the mornings become chilly, farm crews often slow the pace a bit, but this year’s Fort Hill Farmers are keeping the pedal down and knocking the tasks off the list. In between harvest sessions to bring in the veg for the farmstand and the farmers markets, they cleaned out all the old tomato vines: watered, forked, and fertilized the soil. We have it all ready for the final sowings of lettuce and spinach, which we hope will keep us happy with greens through the end of the year. Dana, Connor, and James chipped away at last year’s huge leaf piles, loading them into a spreader to hasten their transition into next season’s compost. And after the rains brought some much needed moisture to the fields, James continued sowing vetch and rye to cover all the fields in a nice green blanket for winter.
On Saturday, we busted out the bed lifter and brought in the last of the fall carrots, which were already quite large, still intent on growing, and in danger of becoming Paul Bunyan-sized. We also brought in the last of the beets, which had got a bit weedy and need a cleanup right away, so we can keep those weed seeds out of next year’s crops (and preserve the successive weeding we’ve already done there). The winter squash and sweet potatoes are warm and snug in the small greenhouse by our house, so now we can turn our attention to digging the last of the potatoes and ginger before the big freeze comes that’s looming out there sometime in November. But for now, bring on the colors and flavors of autumn.
We hope you enjoy the farm and the harvest,
Paul, Rebecca, Lauren, and the Fort Hill Farm Crew
Featured this week:
Fresh young turmeric: This symbol of health and the tropics is a sticky wicket for us, because of the long, long growing season it requires. Although we start the growing process in February, the shoots don’t emerge until July, and we barely get a crop by the first frost in October! It’s not a money-maker for us in CT, but it sure does keep things interesting. Aside from healthful teas, elixirs, and turmeric milk, folks love to grate it into yogurt, shave onto baked fish, and add to sautés and light sauces. Store in the fridge in a waxed paper bag or a plastic container for 10 days, then freeze whole in a freezer bag. (Do not thaw entire piece, but rather, shave frozen and return piece to the freezer asap.)
Radicchio: perhaps the most misspelled word in the vegetable world is also one of the most healthful things you could put on your plate. (We just need to figure out a way to combine turmeric with radicchio …). Exactly two-thirds of our household loves this green, whose outer, bitter maroon leaves are countered with a crunchy sweetness of the inner white parts. Drizzle with a high quality balsamic and toss with apple slices for a sweet-bittery good treat. Store in the fridge like you would a head of lettuce. A somewhat difficult crop to grow, we are thrilled to see these beauties in their autumn glory.
salad mix, arugula, pea shoots, head lettuce, curly green and lacinato kale, rainbow chard, escarole, Senposai (Japanese Collards), Brussels sprout GREENS, parsley, cilantro, chives, oregano, sage, and thyme, red and French Breakfast radishes, red beets, Chioggia and gold beets, fresh fall carrots, garlic, storage onions (at the farmstand), sungold cherry tomatoes, heirlooms and beefsteak tomatoes, sweet Italian red peppers, orange snacking peppers (limited), red bell peppers, green bell peppers, Jalapeño, poblano, cayenne, and shishito peppers, Classic Italian, Rosa Bianca, and mixed Asian eggplant, Dark Red Norland, Blue Gold, and Satina Gold, and Kennebec, and gold fingerling potatoes, Carnival, Koginut, and Butternut squash, pie and Jack O’ lantern pumpkins, sweet potatoes, fresh leeks, fresh baby ginger
parsnips, Brussels sprouts
Pick Your Own:
Flowers – open for picking!
Perennial herbs – for your fresh summer salads and grilling:
Chives– clip a few stems at the base
Oregano, Sage and Thyme – Trim the tops 4 ” down
PYO begins 30 minutes before and goes 30 minutes beyond barn hours.
Recipes, suggested by Rebecca Batchie. For more recipes, check out the Fort Hill Farm Recipe Database
To mix things up, I’m going to try to feature one classic farm recipe and one new one this year …
From Eating Well
1 cup unsweetened almond milk or coconut milk beverage
1 tablespoon grated fresh turmeric
2 teaspoons pure maple syrup or honey
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 pinch Pinch of ground pepper
1 pinch Ground cinnamon for garnish
Combine milk, turmeric, maple syrup (or honey), ginger and pepper in a blender. Process on high until very smooth, about 1 minute. Pour into a small saucepan and heat over medium-high heat until steaming hot but not boiling. Transfer to a mug. Garnish with a sprinkle of cinnamon, if desired.
GRILLED RADICCHIO & (VEGGIES OF CHOICE)
You can add peppers, eggplant, mushrooms, and onions to the marinade before grilling. Serve this hot or chilled.
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped 1⁄4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary leaf
1 teaspoon chopped sage
1 teaspoon chopped thyme
1⁄4 cup balsamic vinegar
kosher salt, to taste
1⁄2 teaspoon black pepper
4 heads radicchio, halved through the root
grated parmesan cheese, for garnish (optional)
Place the garlic, olive oil, rosemary, sage, thyme, vinegar, salt, and pepper in a large bowl and mix well.
Add the radicchio and gently toss so that it is well coated. Cover and let marinate at room temperature for at least 1 hour. Preheat grill.
Place the radicchio on hot grill and baste the marinade on top.
Grill turning with tongs till edges of the radicchio are crisp and almost beginning to look burnt, about 15 minutes.
Serve immediately, with grated Parmesan cheese. SERVES: 4