Thank You Winter CSA Members!

Kai and Jenny getting your CSA shares packed up for this afternoon.

Kai and Jenny getting your CSA shares packed up for this afternoon.

Thank you so much to everybody who joined us for our first ever Winter CSA! We think it was a huge success and I hope you agree with us! Our greens did great in our greenhouses and caterpillar tunnels and we were able to continue harvesting some of the heartier vegetables like carrots and radishes.

We decided to do a Winter CSA this year mainly because of the pandemic. We usually finish our CSA season at the end of October but continue to sell vegetables to restaurants until the end of the year. However, most restaurants are struggling so much right now that we knew we couldn’t count on that income for the farm. I also decided that I was not comfortable having our (crowded!) pumpkin patch this year so the farm lost that income as well. A Winter CSA was the obvious choice for us to distribute all the late-season produce in our fields and also replace some of the lost income for the farm. We are so happy we made this choice and look forward to having a Winter CSA in future years!

One of the big challenges of having a vegetable farm in Colorado is that we do not have year-round work for our farm crew. That means we start with a (mostly) new crew every season. Imaging training a whole new work force every year! The Winter CSA extended our work season by about 6 weeks which means that Kai (CSA manager) and Jenny (harvest manager) had a little more work and won’t have as much time off before full-time work starts again in mid-March. That means we have a better chance of keeping these awesome people for a few years!

The pandemic has been so hard on all of us. But one positive is that has forced a lot of us to try things outside our comfort zones. And thus the birth of our Winter CSA!

Wyatt and I hope you all have a safe winter and that we’ll see you again with some fresh veggies in May!

Amy

Posted in 2020, Farm, Newsletter | 3 Comments

Mache and Claytonia

This week you will have a choice of getting a mix of claytonia and mache in your CSA share. You probably have never heard of these greens unless you have grown them yourself. I have never seen them for sale anywhere. They are a winter green that grow, very slowly in cool and cold weather. These are really young, you can see how tender and delicate they are.

They taste a little sweet and have a texture like a mix between very young lettuce and spinach, you can use them like you would baby lettuce or spinach. They don’t have a strong taste but the delicate freshness and texture is certainly a welcome addition to heavier winter meals. I have been adding them to top just about everything I eat, to add a bit of  green vegetable freshness to my meals. We made pizza the other night and usually top it with arugula but I used claytonia and mache, yum.

I have also made some really simple salads. I  dressed the greens with a little olive oil and wine vinegar and let the mache and claytonia stand out on their own. I wouldn’t use a heavy dressing on these greens.

Claytonia and mache are a delightful winter treat to get in our last CSA. I have had this bag of claytonia and mache for 5 days and it is fine. I think it will be fine for a few more days. So, I would say it lasts about as long as arugula.

Thanks for hanging with us this crazy 2020 year. Happy Holiday’s.  Be well and hopefully you will join us next year and we will be back to normal and we can see your smiles.

With love and gratitude.

Mo

Posted in 2020, Greens, Recipes, Salads | 1 Comment

Winter CSA Week 7

Hello CSA Members!

Here is what we *hope* to bring you for Week 7 of our Winter CSA (Our last week of the season!):

REGULAR SHARE
Beets
Potatoes
CHOICE: Cabbage OR Winter Radishes
Onions
Garlic
Lettuce
Greens CHOICE: (Possibly Claytonia/Mache Mix, Bok Choi, OR Baby Romaine)
Acorn Squash

LARGE SHARE ADDITIONS
None for Winter CSA

FRUIT SHARE
Apples

Lastly, Chloe from Sky Pilot will be at pick up selling a variety of meats for you to purchase if you’d like!

Posted in 2020, Farm, Newsletter | Comments Off on Winter CSA Week 7

Aphid Alert!

Lettuce in greenhouse

You will get a little something extra when you pick up your CSA share this week – aphids! We are growing some gorgeous lettuce in our greenhouses right now. The heads are tucked under a toasty blanket of row cover. Unfortunately aphids like to be kept warm and toasty, too. Of course we don’t spray any pesticides on the lettuce, which means the aphids get to go home with you.

Aphids on lettuce

 

 

The good news is that it’s relatively easy to get rid of the aphids at home. You just have to soak the lettuce to wash the aphids away. Start by soaking the lettuce in a salad spinner–or a large bowl. (Wyatt says it’s mandatory to have a salad spinner as a CSA member!) Fill the bowl all the way to the top with cold water and swish the lettuce around a bit. This will make the aphids float to the top of the bowl where you can just skim them off with your hand. If there are a lot of aphids you may have to change the water a few times. I like to spin the lettuce each time I change the water to help fling the aphids off the leaves. If the aphids are really bad, it might take me four rinses to get rid of all the aphids but I’m usually successful in removing all of them.

It’s a little extra work to deal with the aphids. But I think it’s worth it to get such beautiful local greens in December!

Scooping aphids

 

Posted in 2020, Farm, Newsletter | Comments Off on Aphid Alert!

Marcella Hazen’s Cabbage and Rice Soup

If you aren’t familiar with Marcella Hazen’s recipes you should sit down and give her a Google. Her recipes are simple and use everyday ingredients and the dishes you create are almost always more than a sum of their parts.

This soup is no exception. It cooks for at least 1 1/2 to 2 hours and it becomes almost like risotto-but it’s soup. The cabbage collapses and is sort of silky sweet.

You will get all the vegetables you need to make this in your share this week. You’ll also need some broth or stock and rice.

Here is a list of what you need and the amounts. I forgot to take a picture of the olive oil and vinegar. You probably have everything you need in your pantry.

Marcella Hazan’s Rice & Cabbage Soup

1 cabbage about 2 lbs, shredded or sliced very thin into bite size shreds (I used about 3/4 of this cabbage)
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup olive oil (yes, 1/2 cup)
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar (I only had cider vinegar)
4 – 6 cups vegetable or beef stock (I had 4 cups chicken broth in the freezer so I used that)
2/3 cup rice
2 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup fresh grated parmesan, plus more for serving
Salt and pepper

Start with 1/2 cup of olive oil and diced onions in a large pan with a tight fitting lid. It seems like a lot of oil but that is part of the magic of this dish. The oil cooks down differently than water or broth.

Cook that until the onions are translucent.

Add the shredded cabbage and toss it until the oil covers everything evenly. I forgot to take a picture of that. It filled up the pot but quickly collapsed down to look like this.

Now add the vinegar and some salt and pepper and cover it and simmer it on your lowest setting for 1 to 1 1 /2 hours. You should see and hear a little liquid simmering. If you don’t think it is enough add a couple tablespoons of water. I had to move my pan a little off my burner because it was simmering a little more than I liked.

Check and stir it every 15 minutes or so and see if you need to add a few tablespoons of water. I had to add water a couple of times. I think late season cabbages are a little more dry that early and mid season cabbage so you will probably have to add a little water.

This is how it looks after an hour.

Add the stock and rice. Make sure you taste this and add some salt or pepper or more vinegar if you need to, I added a little more vinegar. Remember you add some butter and parmesan cheese at the end so don’t worry if you taste and think it needs something, it does. Simmer this for at least 20 minutes or until the rice is done.

NOW add the butter and parmesan cheese and taste.

This is a nice light warming meal. If you try it I hope you like it.

Have a great week.

Mo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in 2020, Cabbage, Recipes, Soups | Comments Off on Marcella Hazen’s Cabbage and Rice Soup

Winter CSA Week 6

Hello CSA Members!

Salanova Lettuce

Here is what we *hope* to bring you for Week 6 of our Winter CSA:

REGULAR SHARE
CHOICE: Beets OR Rutabaga
Winter Radishes
Onions
Garlic
Cabbage
Lettuce
Greens CHOICE (Possibly Bok Choi OR Baby Chard OR Other!)
Winter Squash

LARGE SHARE ADDITIONS
None for Winter CSA

FRUIT SHARE
Apples

Posted in 2020, Farm, Newsletter | Comments Off on Winter CSA Week 6

Skillet Apple Crisp

This tastes like a hug. I prefer apple crisp to apple pie. I love everything going on in a crisp: nuts, crunchy bits, chewy oats, tart apples and sweet syrupy juices. Pie always disappoints me, crisps never do.

I think it’s been super fun to have apples in our winter CSA shares.

There are literally millions of apple crisp recipes out there. I really like this one because you dump all the filling ingredients in the skillet and cook it until the apples are done.

At our altitude, when making apple pie it is really hard to cook the apples until they are done. If you add flour or any thickener it often isn’t cooked all the way. This apple crisp solves those problems. Also, you can taste the filling and adjust it if you want  the filling sweeter or more lemon or spices. I was happy with my filling cooked down to this point.

I topped it with the crumble and baked it until it was crisp. I don’t know why I always leave a hole in the middle of my crisps, but I do. Maybe my mom did it? You can cover the whole thing if you want.

I also don’t know where I got this recipe but I’ve used it for decades. It’s got the perfect amount of apples to topping for me. If you make it I hope you like it as much as I do.

My Apple Crisp Recipe

Topping

 3/4 cup flour, any kind. I used whole wheat. Gluten free works fine.

 3/4 cup chopped nuts (optional)

 3/4 cup old-fashioned rolled outs

 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

 1/4 cup granulated sugar

 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

 1/2 teaspoon table salt

 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter melted

 

Filling

 3 pounds apples, peeled, cored, cut into chunks

 1/4 cup granulated sugar

 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)

 1 cup apple cider or juice

 2 teaspoons juice from 1 lemon

 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

 

Preparation

Make the topping: Adjust the oven rack to the middle position and heat oven to 450 degrees. Combine flour, nuts, oats, brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a medium bowl. Stir in butter until mixture is thoroughly moistened and crumbly. Set aside while preparing the fruit filling.

Make the filling: Put all the filling ingredients into a skillet (mine was an 8 inch skillet) and carefully mix everything over a medium heat on the stove. It will slowly collapse and cook down. When the apples are cooked to your liking sprinkle the topping evenly over fruit, breaking up any large chunks. Place skillet on baking sheet (incase it spills over) and bake topping is deep golden brown, 20 – 25 minutes. Cool at least 15 minutes before you eat.

Happy thanksgiving. Stay warm and well.

Mo

Posted in 2020, Apples, Recipes | 1 Comment

Winter CSA Week 5

Hello CSA Members!

Tuscan Kale

Here is what we *hope* to bring you for Week 5 of our Winter CSA:

REGULAR SHARE
Carrots
Potatoes
CHOICE: Winter Radish OR Kohlrabi
Onions
Garlic
Turnips
Greens CHOICE (Possibly Kale OR Spinach)
Butternut Squash

LARGE SHARE ADDITIONS
None for Winter CSA

FRUIT SHARE
Apples

Posted in 2020, Farm, Newsletter | Comments Off on Winter CSA Week 5

Winter CSA Week 4

Hello CSA Members!

Here is what we *hope* to bring you for Week 4 of our Winter CSA:

REGULAR SHARE
Carrots
Potatoes
CHOICE: Cabbage OR Kohlrabi
Onions
Garlic
Spinach
Kale
New England Pie Pumpkin

LARGE SHARE ADDITIONS
None for Winter CSA

FRUIT SHARE
Apples

Posted in 2020, Farm, Newsletter | Comments Off on Winter CSA Week 4

Cheesy Roasted Pepper Mashed Potatoes

This is one of my favorite Thanksgiving dishes. I’ve never shared any holiday food with you on the blog. Now, with the winter CSA I’ll get to! Roasted chilies added to mashed potatoes are so good with turkey and dressing and cheese makes everything better.

We had a ton of peppers this summer didn’t we? I hope you stashed a few of the roasted chilies away in the freezer to enjoy this winter.  You can use any of the roasted peppers we gave you in mashed potatoes. I used some mild Anaheim. Poblano are great in mashed potatoes if that is what you have.

Cheesy Roasted Pepper Mashed Potatoes

Serves 1…just kidding. This serves at least 4 and probably more like 6.

  • 1 1/2 pounds potatoes
  • 4 or 5 roasted chilies cleaned and diced
  • 1 cup milk/cream/1/2 & 1/2
  • 1/2 to 1 cup cheese to taste
  • sour cream to taste
  • salt and pepper

Put potatoes in a large pot and cover with salted water. Cook the potatoes over medium-heat until fork tender, about 15  to 25 minutes start checking them after 15 minutes. When tender, drain and return the potatoes to the pot. Add the sour cream, milk, butter, cheese, salt, pepper. Mash by hand with a potato masher  and add the roasted peppers at the end of mashing and adjust seasoning, if needed.

This is after they are fork tender and before mashing, you can’t see the milk in the pan, but it’s there.

Add the peppers when you are done mashing, just stir them in.

That’s it. Of course these are great anytime, not just Thanksgiving. If you have leftovers they make delicious potato pancakes or to die for potato croquettes .

Have a great week. Enjoy this gorgeous weather.

Mo

Posted in 2020, Peppers, Potatoes, Recipes | Comments Off on Cheesy Roasted Pepper Mashed Potatoes