From the Land 2.20

food for thought

full share: grapefruit, salad mix, carrots, wildflower honey, potatoes, butternut squash, onions, and garlic!

partial share: grapefruit, salad mix, carrots, and honey!

veg of the week

Ozette fingerling potatoes: Solanum tuberosum subsp. Andigena

Fingerlings are the general name for any heritage variety of potatoes that are harvested as small, stubby tubers. The variety we are receiving this week is called Ozette: it is commonly regarded as the oldest North American variety and has been grown by the Makah Nation people for generations, but only came available to small farmers in the US in the 1980’s. They are on Slow Food’s Arc of Taste for delicious foods in danger of extinction. Ozettes have an earthy, nutty flavor that gives them a reputation as the “best tasting fingerling”. They are most commonly found in home gardens for personal use, at farmers markets and through CSAs, as the commercial potato industry has decreed them as having a “very poor grade out”, meaning that an Ozette plant will produce tubers of very different shapes and sizes. Unfortunately, the commercial market does not appreciate vegetables’ naturally occurring diversity!

These potatoes are easy to save for your own garden. Save a few in a cool dry place (where they won’t freeze). In the spring, cut the wrinkled potatoes into 1 inch pieces, each with an “eye” or sprout. Plant them in full sun in compost-enriched soil and each piece will grow into a potato plant that will produce many pounds of potatoes!

Uses: Ozettes are most commonly served boiled, fried or roasted, and they develop a smooth buttery flavor. Toss with olive oil and roast with other root vegetables and winter squash; boil for a potato salad, or cut lengthwise, roast and dip in your favorite creamy sauce – or just sprinkle with salt and pepper because these delicious potatoes can hold their own! PS: not that you would anyway, but the skin is thin enough that you don’t need to peel these potatoes.

Nutrition: Potatoes are actually fairly nutritious before we laden them with fatty sauces. Fingerlings are fat-, cholesterol-, and sodium-free, and are an excellent source of vitamin C.

To store: Keep these tender potatoes in the refrigerator or root cellar and they’ll last at least a month.

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Lactofermentation update

This week you’ll notice the “lactofermentation experiment” out for display on top of the cooler. While I wish my son would have thought of this for his science fair experiment, instead we get to reap the benefits of comparing three different methods of lactofermentation: saltwater brine, whey, and fermentation culture. Vegetables naturally contain lactobacillus, and our main priority when fermenting is to promote the growth of that good bacteria while limiting the growth of the “bad” bacteria. We do this by adding salt (a preservative), more lactobacillus (optional, but this is what the culture and whey are for), and capping with an airlock to keep out the oxygen that feeds the bad bacteria that would result in mold.

washing veggies

Because we had plenty of Valentine radishes leftover from last week, these became our vegetable of choice. I began by washing and then chopping them. I could have also sliced them, but was missing part of my food processor. I didn’t peel them, just cut off the stem and root ends and then chopped them into rough 1-1 1/2″ pieces.

chopping veggies

I stuffed the radish pieces into half gallon jars, with layers of chopped green onion and garlic. You can see the beautiful green, white and pink colors of the radishes.

filling jars

I topped them with saltwater liquid, roughly 1 tablespoon of salt for each cup of tepid water, let dissolve and poured over the veggies, leaving an inch of head-space. To one of the jars’ liquid was added the packet of fermentation culture; to another was added four tablespoons of whey.finished product

You can see that the jar with whey is a little milky, which is how my whey turned out. My internet research this morning verified that it’s completely usable, but could be run through a dishtowel (I used cheesecloth) to reduce the presence of milk solids, which will therefore help the whey last longer in the fridge. I’ll do this final step later, as whey is useful for soaking grains, beans, and making fermented sauces and dressings.

Finally, I topped the jars with Pickle Pros, a brand of airlock produced in Chino Valley by Homesteader Supply. These kind folks also supplied the fermentation culture. You should buy stuff from them.

Now we wait until next week, when we’ll be able to sample and compare our batches of lactofermented radishes!

For more info on the difference between these methods of lactofermentation, check out

 Cultures for Health.

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India Adventures
by Alex Deck

Hello PCCSAers!

I just got back from an amazing block coarse I did for school in India. Below is a section of a blog post I did for the course. If you’re still interested after reading please follow the link to read the entire post.

About three years ago I heard about a festival in India called the Kumbha Mela. This festival happens once every three years, each year at one of four different cities along the Ganga River. The Maha (great) Kumbh Mela happens every twelve years near the city of Allahabad. Here the three great holy rivers of India come to a meeting place: the Yamuna, Ganga and Saraswati. Indian legend goes that one of the Devas (demigods) was flying through the air on the way back to heaven with a pot of the nectar of immortality, Amrita. He was attacked mid flight by demons and ended up spilling a few drops of amrita. A few of these drops fell in the water at the confluence of these three rivers, called the Sangam. Some believe that by bathing in the water at the Sangam they will attain freedom from the necessity of reincarnation.

Others view this meeting point as a representation of the spiritual eye and the three rivers as a representation of the three spiritual pathways in the spine. These pathways are called the Ida, Pingala and Sushumna. Ida and Pingala on either side of the Sushumna represent the Ganga and Yamuna. These two pathways are less subtle and easier to concentrate on. The meditator focuses on these currents in order to find the more subtle Sushumna, represented by Saraswati. The Saraswati river makes it’s appearance at the Sangam by bubbling up from the ground. Legend has it that Saraswati was cursed to flow underground because she was making too much noise. When one jumps in the Sangam he could say that he is swimming in the Spiritual Eye of the World.

http://lokispcadventure.blogspot.com/

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fingerling potatoes with aioli
adapted from the food network
serves 6

  • 2 1/2 pounds fingerling potatoes, unpeeled
  • kosher salt

For the Aioli:

  • 1 slice bread, crust removed
  • 2 T Champagne or white wine vinegar
  • 6 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 egg yolks, at room temperature
  • 1/2 t grated lemon zest
  • 3 T freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 t saffron threads
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 C good olive oil
  • chives, chopped

Rinse the potatoes and put them in a large saucepan. Cover them with cold water, add 1 tablespoon of salt, and bring to a boil. Simmer uncovered for 15 to 20 minutes, until they are just tender. Drain the potatoes in a colander and place a kitchen towel on top, allowing them to steam for 5 to 10 minutes.

For the aioli, tear the slice of bread into pieces and place in a bowl. Pour the vinegar over the bread, and set aside for 5 minutes.

Place the garlic cloves, egg yolks, zest, juice, saffron, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Add the bread, and puree into a paste. With the processor running, slowly pour the oil into the bowl through the feed tube and process until it is the consistency of thick sour cream. Place in a serving bowl.

Slice the potatoes in half and place them on a serving plate. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and decorate with the chopped chives. Serve with the aioli.

bacon and fingerling potato phylo pizza
adapted from ross sveback
makes 6 pizzas

    • 1 – 16 oz package phyllo dough thawed in refrigerator
    • 1 stick unsalted butter
    • 1 lb thick-cut bacon
    • 1 lb fingerling potatoes – cooked and sliced
    • 1/4 C minced onion
    • 1 T fresh thyme
    • 5 oz shredded Asiago, Parmesan & Romano cheeses
    • fresh ground sea salt & pepper to taste

Dice bacon and fry until crisp, removing bacon and placing onto paper towels to drain.  In a medium bowl, combine red onion, thyme, cheese and bacon, then set aside.

Melt butter in a liquid measuring cup.  Unroll phyllo dough and using a salad plate place on the phyllo dough and cut around it with a knife – discard extra.  Pull one round sheet of phyllo dough off and place onto a slice of parchment paper, brush with butter using a basting brush. Place another phyllo round on top and brush again with butter repeating until you have seven layers brushing top layer with butter.  You will get six pizzas out of one package.
Place fingerling potato slices on top of pizza rounds, divided evenly between the six. Divide topping between six pizzas sprinkling even over the tops and bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes depending on your oven.  Remove from oven and sprinkle with fresh ground sea salt and pepper.  Cut into six with a knive and serve.  Crust will harden up if allowed to rest for five minutes.

warm winter salad with roasted butternut squash and fingerling potatoes
adapted from gluten free goddess
serves 4

  • 1 1/2 to 2 lbs fingerlings, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • olive oil
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • Sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
  • half a butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
  • another drizzle of olive oil
  • drizzle of balsamic vinegar
Preheat the oven to 400ºF.In a roasting pan combine potatoes, olive oil, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper. Stir the potatoes to distribute the olive oil and seasonings. Roast for 15-20 minutes, until tender but not quite done.

Stir the winter squash and potatoes together and coat the squash with the olive oil and seasonings. Place the roasting pan back into the hot oven and roast until the potatoes and squash are fork tender and the squash is caramelized – about 15 to 20 minutes.
When the potatoes and squash are done, remove the pan from the oven and cool it on a rack while you prepare the salad greens.
Plate a mix of baby spinach and mizuna, arugula or other salad mix.
Spoon the warm roasted squash and potatoes onto the greens. Dress lightly with a dab of
extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Top with fresh ground pepper.
Add a sprinkle of fresh organic goat cheese or a shaving of Parmesan.
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From the Land 1.23

food for thought

full share: kabocha squash, carrots, onions, romaine, pinto beans, fingerling potatoes, swiss chard, and dill!

partial share: kabocha squash, carrots, garlic, and romaine

veg of the week

romaine lettuce: Lactuca sativa

Romaine lettuce – the slightly bitter and hearty salad green with the thick milky stalk down the middle of each leaf – originated in Greece and reached the West through Rome, where it is called lattuga romana. Unlike most other salad greens, romaine is heat tolerant, making it the perfect salad to be grown at our Phoenix farm, Crooked Sky.

Uses: Romaine is the lettuce most commonly used in Caesar salads. It is also common in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine.

Nutrition: According to the American Institute for Cancer Research, like other darker greens, the antioxidants in romaine lettuce are believed to help prevent cancer. The chlorophyll pigment in dark greens may reduce levels of colon and liver cancer carcinogens. It is an excellent source of vitamins A, C and K, folate, manganese, and chromium. It’s also a great source of dietary fiber, maintaining digestive system health.

To store: Wash and dry thoroughly before wrapping in plastic and storing in the crisper drawer. You can also wrap the leaves in damp paper towels in the crisper, keeping the lettuce humid but not wet.

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romaine salad with butternut squash “croutons” and pumpkin seeds
adapted from high ground organics
serves 4

romaine salad:

  • 1-2 heads romaine lettuce, quartered lengthwise and cut into 1 inch lengths
  • 2 C Butternut Squash Croutons (see recipe below)
  • ½ C “pepitas” (hulled roasted pumpkin seeds)
  • 1 C Cilantro Cinnamon Vinaigrette (see recipe below), or as needed
  • 1-2 T roasted pumpkin seed oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Place the lettuce in a large bowl and drizzle with just enough oil to moisten evenly. Toss well.

Distribute lettuces on 4 chilled plates.

Sprinkle “croutons” evenly over the lettuces.

Scatter pepitas over salads, and hit salads with a few small droplets of pumpkin seed oil.

Sprinkle a few grains of salt on the salads and lightly pepper.

butternut squash croutons:

  • 1 butternut squash, peeled and cut into ½ inch dice
  • grapeseed or light flavored olive oil, as needed
  • ½ t fresh thyme, chopped
  • 4 fresh sage leaves
  • 1/8 t garlic powder, or as needed
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 T cake flour (optional)

Bring a pot of water to a boil that is twice the volume of the squash, and salt it liberally. Once boiling, add the squash cubes and blanch just long enough to take away the raw quality of the squash, 1-2 minutes. Immediately drain the squash, dunk in cold water to slow the cooking, and immediately drain well. Place on a kitchen towel and blot dry.

Place the squash into a non-reactive bowl (stainless steel, plastic, glass or ceramic) and drizzle with enough oil to coat the squash well. Toss to evenly coat. Season with enough garlic powder to get some on all the cubes and season with salt and pepper. Add the thyme and toss to evenly distribute the seasonings.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. When hot, add 2-3 T oil. When the oil is hot, add the sage leaves and fry them to flavor the oil. Turn them when they color on the bottom side and then when they are done, put them on a paper towel to dry.

While the sage fries, dust the squash lightly with the cake flour and toss to evenly coat. Toss into a strainer to remove the excess.

When the sage leaves are removed from pan, add the “croutons”. Spread them out. They should have plenty of room, and not be piled up at all or crowding each other. If they do, they will steam and become mushy. If needed, sauté the squash in batches.

Toss and gently stir the cubes over medium heat until they lightly brown and get a little crispy on all sides. If they seem to be getting soft faster than they are browning, turn up the heat to medium-high. Cook until the cubes are tender and golden with crispy edges and sides.

Remove from the pan when done and dry on paper towels.

cilantro cinnamon vinaigrette:

  • 1/3 C rice vinegar
  • 1/8 t cinnamon
  • 1/3 C cilantro stems, chopped
  • 1/4 t coriander seeds, powdered
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 t honey, or as needed
  • 1 C mild tasting olive oil or grapeseed oil

Place the vinegar and cinnamon into a blender. Start on low, and work up to high. Blend on high for 1 minute.

Add the rest of the ingredients, except the oil, and blend on high until cilantro in liquefied, 1-2 minutes.

Through the center of the cap, slowly drizzle in the oil in a steady stream with the motor running. Proceed until the oil is used up or the “whirlpool” in the center fills in.

Taste for balance and adjust as needed. If there are a lot of chunks of stem or coriander seed, run the dressing through a strainer so it is smooth.

Yield: 1 cup

grilled pinto bean burgers
adapted from taste of home
serves 8
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 medium carrot, shredded
  • 1 to 2 t chili powder
  • 1 t ground cumin
  • 4 C pinto and/or black beans, cooked
  • 1 1/2 C quick-cooking oats
  • 2 T Dijon mustard
  • 2 T soy sauce, tamari or Braggs
  • 1 T ketchup
  • 1/4 t pepper
  • 8 whole wheat hamburger buns, split
  • 8 romaine lettuce leaves
  • 8 T salsa

In a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray, saute onion in oil for 2 minutes. Add garlic; cook for 1 minute. Stir in the carrot, chili powder and cumin; cook 2 minutes longer or until carrot is tender. Remove from the heat; set aside.

In a large bowl, mash the pinto beans and/or black beans. Stir in oats. Add the mustard, soy sauce, ketchup, pepper and carrot mixture; mix well. Shape into eight 3-1/2-in. patties.
Using long-handled tongs, moisten a paper towel with cooking oil and lightly coat the grill rack. Grill patties, covered, over medium heat or broil 4 in. from the heat for 4-5 minutes on each side or until heated through. Serve on buns with romaine and salsa.
swiss chard and romaine soup
adapted from ny times
serves 6-8
  • 2 T extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 6 C water
  • 1/2 C rice
  • 1 carrot, coarsely chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, coarsely chopped
  • 1 bunch Swiss chard, stemmed, both leaves and stems washed and coarsely chopped (keep separately)
  • 4 leaves romaine lettuce (use the large, tougher outer leaves)
  • a handful of arugula or spinach leaves
  • 1 T chopped fresh tarragon
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • fresh tarragon or croutons for garnish (optional)

Heat the oil over medium heat in a large, heavy soup pot or Dutch oven, and add the onion. Cook, stirring, until tender, about five minutes, and add the water, rice, carrot, celery, the chopped chard stems and salt to taste. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer 15 minutes until the carrots and celery are tender. Add the Swiss chard, romaine lettuce and spinach or arugula, and continue to simmer for 10 to 15 minutes until the Swiss chard stems are tender and rice is cooked.

Puree with the tarragon in 1 1/2-cup batches. Don’t cover the blender tightly with the lid, which will cause the hot liquid to spill out. Instead, remove the center stopper from the lid, and cover the top of the blender with a towel to prevent hot splashes. Return the soup to the pot and heat through. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. If you wish, garnish with croutons or with fresh tarragon.

From the Land 12.12

announcements

Students/PC members: are you signed up for the Spring Share? If you’re not sure, please ask and we’ll check your contract. This is your last day of Fall Share!

food for thought

full share: cucumbers, potatoes, roasted ancho chiles, cabbage, garlic, sweet onions, butternut squash, and carrots

partial share: cucumbers, potatoes, roasted ancho chiles, and cabbage

veg of the week

cabbage: Brassica oleracea var. Capitata

Descending from the wild cabbage, as do broccoli, turnips, and most cooking greens, cabbage is now found in a variety of colors and varieties, and found throughout the world. It is a staple of Asian cooking, and though half of the world’s brassicas are grown in China, the cabbage is thought to have been domesticated in Europe around 1000 BC, becoming widely popular throughout Europe by the Middle Ages. And they range in size, with the largest recorded at 138.25 lbs! (Don’t worry, ours will be closer to 2 lbs!)

Uses: Fermenting for sauerkraut or kimchi, slicing thin and mixing with mayonnaise for coleslaw, or stir-frying with other vegetables are all simple and common ways to eat cabbage. Short steaming is the most effective nutrient-preserving cooking technique.

Nutrition: Cabbage is rich in vitamins A and C (antioxidants, strengthen immune system), anthocyanins (anti-inflammatory nutrients), and glucosinolates (help prevent cancer). In addition, cabbage provides digestive tract support and cardiovascular support.

To store: Put the whole head in a plastic bag and store in your refrigerator’s crisper drawer – it will keep here for 1-2 weeks. Keep the outside leaves on during storing. Once cut, it starts to lose nutrients, so chop only just before using! 

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Chino Valley Farm
by Alex Deck

Sixteen years ago Mike and Kate O’Conner started farming tomatoes. Back then “growing food was a business” says Kate. Today, she says “it’s turned into more of a lifestyle…. Growing people’s food is a kind of sacred trust.” The farm has grown to include more than fifty different products, not including thirty-five types of tomatoes. Food grown on their farm ranges from asparagus and zucchini to berries and fruit. Most of the fruit is stone fruit, peaches etc.

The farm is eleven acres with two to three acres in production, plus an acre of greenhouses. There are two barns and two greenhouses. It’s run by the family, Mike, Kate and two daughters, a few employees and about four to five interns at a time totaling between ten and fifteen people. The interns find the farm via WWOOFing or GrowFood.org. Besides the PCCSA, they sell at half a dozen farmers markets during the growing season, including the Prescott and Prescott Valley Farmers Markets, and through the YC Grown Farming Co-op. They provide the PCCSA with about half of our items during our season, ranging from tomatoes and strawberries to winter squash, onions, and potatoes.

Looking to the future, their eldest daughter is showing increasing interest in the farm and starting to can tomatoes in their commercial kitchen. Mike and Kate are very excited about this and thinking about future business opportunities. Recent successful canning endeavors have included strawberry preserves, vinegar and prickly pear syrup.

Visit their Facebook page here.

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gingered cabbage
adapted from World’s Healthiest Foods
serves 4

  • 6 C thinly sliced cabbage
  • 1/2 C chopped scallions (or sub sweet onion)
  • 1 T minced garlic
  • 1 T minced fresh ginger
  • 1 T chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1-1/2 T soy sauce
  • 1/2 T rice vinegar
  • salt and white pepper to taste

Slice cabbage and mince garlic and let them sit for 5 minutes to bring out their health-promoting properties.

Heat 1 T broth in a large stainless steel skillet. Sauté cabbage, scallion, garlic, and ginger over medium heat for 3-4 minutes stirring frequently.
Add soy sauce and rice vinegar, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
roasted winter squash with cabbage and onions
adapted from farmer dave’s
serves 6
  • 1 small butternut squash
  • 1-3 T extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 t coarse sea salt
  • 3 T balsamic vinegar
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cabbage, chopped

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Leaving the skin on, cut squash in half, remove seeds and chop into bite-size pieces. In large bowl, combine squash with onions, vinegar, 1-2 tablespoons olive oil, and salt. Spread out onto cookie sheet and roast 30 minutes or until soft. Remove from oven and set aside.

Heat remaining tablespoon of oil in large sauté pan over medium heat. (For an oil-free version, heat a quarter cup of water in a sauté pan until it boils). Saute garlic until fragrant (about 2 minutes). Fold in cabbage a little at a time until it all fits in pot and cook until tender, adding water or broth as needed to prevent burning. Remove from heat, add roasted squash, toss to evenly distribute and serve.

balsamic-molassis roasted potatoes, cabbage, carrots, and onions
adapted from big mike’s eats
serves 4 as side dish
  • 1 cabbage, sliced into 1/3 inch strips
  • 1 onion, sliced into thin half rings
  • 4-5 fingerling potatoes, sliced into 1/4 rings
  • 6 carrots, sliced on the diagonal into big bites
  • 1 T molasses
  • 3 T balsamic vinegar
  • 3 T stone ground mustard
  • 1 1/2 t dried thyme
  • 3 t sea salt

Preheat your oven to 450˚

Prep your vegetables. Toss the carrots, potatoes, and leeks into a high-heat safe baking vessel with a lid, like a casserole dish or dutch oven. Separate the onion rings from each other. Add the molasses, balsamic, mustard, thyme, and salt, then mix well.

Add the cabbage, making sure to pull the pieces apart a little bit. Stir well to get coated in the dressing, then put the lid on the container and pop it into the preheated 450˚ oven for 45 minutes or until the potatoes are tender and all vegetables are golden brown and fragrant.

Author’s tip: extra great with fresh made applesauce! Enjoy!