From the Land 11.14

announcements

Beef shares will be distributed today. Please make sure you pick up your share, as we don’t have extra freezer room to store them! If you missed the sign-up, we’ll have another beef distribution in the spring – let me know if you’re interested!

We have these things available:

  • GMO-free turkeys from Ridgeview Farms in Paulden: $3.75/lb, 18-22 lbs.
  • soup CSA from Thyme and Again Catering in Cottonwood: $10/wk for 2 lb. container

Remember – CSA distribution will happen on Tuesday next week – we’ll be closed the rest of the week for Thanksgiving!

food for thought
full share: garlic, cherry tomatoes, butternut squash, onions, lettuce, sweet potatoes, beets, and roasted peppers!

partial share: garlic, butternut squash, onions, and lettuce!

veg of the week

veg of the week
beets: Beta vulgaris

Beets are a member of the Chenopodiaceae, or Goosefoot family, along with spinach, chard, sugar beets and quinoa (this family also contains many salt and drought-tolerant weeds, and is now included in the Amarathaceae family). The sea beet, the ancestor of all these species, is found throughout the Mediterranean, the Atlantic coast of Europe, the Near East, and India. The beet has been cultivated since the second millennium BC, and though the leafy varieties were more common in early times, they later lost popularity with the introduction of spinach.

 

Uses: Beet greens can be eaten lightly steamed or stir-fried, and the beetroot is usually eaten boiled or roasted, either hot, pickled, or cooled and sliced onto a salad. They are often peeled, steamed and eaten warm with butter, cooked, pickled and eaten cold, shredded raw onto salads, or chopped into a beet soup like borscht. 

NutritionBeetroot juice is used to enhance athletic performance, presumably because of the abundance of nitrates. The red pigment contains antioxidants that help prevent heart disease and stroke and lower cholesterol; they contain the phytochemical compound Glycine betaine, which lowers levels of homocysteine, a highly toxic metabolite that promotes platelet clot and atherosclerotic-plaque formation. Beets are also an excellent source of folates (necessary for DNA synthesis in the cells), vitamin C (a powerful antioxidant), niacin, iron, manganese, magnesium, and potassium, which lowers heart rate and regulates cellular metabolism.

To store: Cut the greens off and store separately. Beet greens, as other root vegetables, will continue to try to get their nutrients and water from their roots, which in this case is the most delicious part! This results in wilted greens and soft roots. Best to separate and store both in plastic in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator.

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Amazing Close-ups

These alien-looking things are actually seeds: larkspur and oriental skullcap among them, and the other two with no common name (that I could find). These pictures from the Millennium Seed Bank are magnified tens and hundreds of times with a scanning electron microscope, then the photos are boosted with color. No, the scientists and artist admit, the colors are not those of the seeds themselves, but rather of the plants that grow from them. The artist, Rob Kesseler, says that “plants use color to attract an audience of insect collaborators. I use it to attract an audience of humans”.

The goal is to bring the scientific importance of saving our genetic pool of seeds to the public. “If you want to achieve any change in the public, science alone can’t achieve that. You can tell people a lot about climate change; rationally, they can grasp it. But, hardly anyone does anything,” says Wolfgang Stuppy, the MSB’s seed morphologist. “Science goes for the head. The real change has to come from the heart. Art goes for the heart.”

For more info: Amazing Closeups of Seeds

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slow cooker butternut squash turkey chili (thanks Amy!)
adapted from allrecipes.com
serves 6

  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 lbs diced tomatoes
  • 2 C cubed fresh butternut squash or pumpkin
  • 1 (15 ounce) can chili beans or 1 C cooked red beans seasoned with chili seasoning
  • 1 (15 ounce) can seasoned black beans or 1 C cooked black beans seasoned with garlic, onion, Mexican oregano and cumin
  • 3 T brown sugar
  • 1 T pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 T chili powder
Heat olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat; brown turkey, stirring often, until crumbly and no longer, pink, about 10 minutes. Drain and discard any fat.
Transfer turkey to a slow cooker and stir in diced tomatoes, pumpkin/squash, chili beans, black beans, brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice, and chili powder. Set cooker to low, cover, and cook until squash/pumpkin is tender and has started to break apart, at least 3 hours.
roasted beets ‘n’ sweets
adapted from all recipes
serves 6

  • 6 medium beets, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 2 1/2 T olive oil, divided
  • 1 t garlic powder
  • 1 t kosher salt
  • 1 t ground black pepper
  • 1 t sugar
  • 3 medium sweet potatoes, cut into chunks
  • 1 large sweet onion, chopped
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
In a bowl, toss the beets with 1/2 tablespoon olive oil to coat. Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet.
Mix the remaining 2 T olive oil, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and sugar in a large resealable plastic bag. Place the sweet potatoes and onion in the bag. Seal bag, and shake to coat vegetables with the oil mixture.
Bake beets 15 minutes in the preheated oven. Mix sweet potato mixture with the beets on the baking sheet. Continue baking 45 minutes, stirring after 20 minutes, until all vegetables are tender.

beet and tomato salad
adapted from martha stewart
serves 4-6

  • 6 red beets, trimmed, halved lengthwise
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  • 1/2 t coarse salt
  • 1 container cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/4 t freshly ground pepper
  • 1/3 C small mint leaves

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place beets, cut sides up, on parchment-lined foil on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with oil, and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Fold foil over beets to enclose, and crimp edges to seal. Bake until tender, about 35 minutes. Let cool.

Peel, and cut into wedges. (Beets can be refrigerated in an airtight container overnight.)
Arrange beets and tomatoes on a serving platter. Drizzle with oil and lemon juice, and season with remaining 1/4 t salt and the pepper. Scatter mint over top, and serve.
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