Warm and Wooly Festival guests enjoying the farm...
Box 9. Wow. This is when we start to panic every morning on the farm walk – how will we get everything to you that we still have in the gardens?? We are just going to try and do our best! This week’s boxes are full and heavy with winter crops like potatoes and squash and carrots. Next week we have to fit in beets and cabbage and Beauty Hearts and Brussels Sprouts. Abundance is a good problem to have.
Thanks so much to all of you who came out to celebrate the year with us at the Warm and Wooly Fall Farm Festival. What a blast! We saw a ton of new faces, re-connected with lots of good old friends and really, really enjoyed the mini-friends brought to us by our neighbors at The Downs Mini-Donkey Farm. Who knew such tiny animals could pull carts with adult passengers? As usual, Potluck Dinner was amazing. Thanks for bringing such great dishes, and wonderful wines! We’re passing on some of the favorite recipes we made over on the Recipe Blog for Box 9.
Of course, it's harvest party time all over our beautiful countryside, and I'd like you invite you back out to Blanchardville for the town's Holiday Happenings Celebration on Saturday, October 18. If you can find your way to Main Street downtown, you'll find yourself in the middle of lots of fun activities for adults and kids. Start out by getting a cappuchino at the Pecatonica Grapevine at 8am, then work your way across the street for the Women's Club Bake Sale and town holiday craft bazaar. At 10am, MooGrass will be playing there. At noon, you should hit Lady Dawn's for a burger or Husie's for Pizza. At 2pm, there are hayrides for kids, pumpkin carving and snacks and at 5pm, a storyteller by the fire in Ryan Park. Of course, come out and see us if you are driving by!
Here’s what’s in the box:
Salad Mix – Everything spring is back again! Enjoy this last hurrah of tender garden greens!
Salad Turnips – A favorite of mine! These tender and sweet white turnips are not the tough, purple-topped monsters you might remember from your grandma’s kitchen. They are tender enough to eat raw, and have a sweet cabbage taste with no bitterness. Eat raw, dip in a nice dressing, or dice and sautee with butter and bacon. USE THE GREENS as you would spinach or kale – very very tasty and nutritious. My favorite way to enjoy the greens is to sauté in a tiny bit of bacon grease and season with a shake of malt vinegar. Best turnip root dish this week was Diced Turnips braised in the mustard/grape juice sauce I had left from cooking the ham for Warm and Wooly. Amazing!
Sage – SO so so yummy with winter squash, potatoes or sweet potatoes. And absolute MUST for fall cooking.
Carrots – So sweet and crisp, now that they’ve been sugared-up by the cold nights. Nothing compares to a fall carrot.
All Blue Potatoes – These terrific waxy potatoes are stunning in a soup, and just in time for a Halloween Mash!
Sweet Potatoes – These sweet potatoes should be eaten in a few weeks. They are very sweet – we’ve been eating them for breakfast along with mashed winter squash. A little salt and cinnamon is all they need, but almond milk or half-and-half splashed on top is pretty terrific, too.
Winter Squash – Full Share folks, you have butternuts. Shorties have delicata or small acorns. Both are sweet and delicious, easy to cook by simply cutting in half, removing the seeds and placing cut-side down on a baking tray in a 350-degree oven until tender. Enjoy scooped right out of the shell, with a little butter, salt and spices.
Broccoli – Side shoots still coming on strong. Sweeter than ever, stems included.
Edamame Soybeans - The bushes in your box are soybeans for fresh eating. In Asia, these are served salty as bar snacks. And YUM! That’s how we like them, too. Remove the full pods from the bushes (leave the flat pods, they won’t have any bean formed inside), wash in a colander, and boil in very salted water (like two tablespoons in a small sauce pan) for 5 to 10 minutes. Pluck one out at 5 and squeeze out the beans to check for tenderness. These can also be added to salads, sautees, soups. But we like them so much we just eat them as snacks!
Radishes – These pretty yellow radishes are lovely sliced into your salad mix, but also terrific braised in butter! Save the greens to chop into soup or sautees, or combine with the turnip greens and cook in stock with some diced ham.
Tennessee Dancing Gourds – We found more! These cute little decorations should liven up your fall dinner tables. Our house kittens are certainly enjoying batting them around!