Growing the good stuff in Athens, GA since 2006

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

CSA Pickups -- Week 27

Roots Farm CSA Week 27: October 26

This Week:
-Peppers: Carmen, Islander, Green Bells, Cayenne, Jalapeno
-Eggplant: Nadia, Hansel, Gretel, Fairytale, Pingtung Lon
-Okra: Clemson Spineless, Red Burgundy or Mid-East Prolific Cucumbers
-Magda Summer Squash
-Champion Collards, Winterbor Kale, or Broccoli Greens
-Watermelon Radishes
-Cabbage!: Famosa or Red Express
-Lettuce: Jamai, Panisse, Red Cross
-Beans: Red Noodle or Gold of Bacau or Northeaster

On the Farm . . .
The amazing weather continues. We finished planting and mulching garlic last week--over 500 feet of it! We also transplanted kale and lettuces into the hoop houses for later winter harvests. This week finds us transplanting strawberries to overwinter for next spring. Over 800 in the ground now, with another 800 to go. The work continues, as does the food. Lettuce, in particular, is ramping up production and we’re about to step into a time of plentiful salads.

Season Extension -- November CSA
Speaking of salads, if Fall greens and salads are your style, we’ve got the extension for you. Produce is plentiful, so we’re continuing the CSA. Lettuce, arugula, radishes, turnips, peppers, cilantro, collards, kale, chard, cauliflower, bok choi, and more! We’re doing 4 more weeks, same pickups as usual. The price breakdown is: Full Share $112 ($28/week) or Half Share $60 ($15/week). We’re excited to keep going and we’ve got lots of food to send your way, so join us! And tell your friends! Yay! Email me if you’re interested. Membership applications and more details are available on our website Hope to have you with us!

Last Pickup for Fall Season Folks! THANK YOU!
For those of you not extending, this week is your last pickup! Can you believe the 8 weeks of extension have come and gone already? We can’t. THANK YOU so much for making our first foray into Fall CSA a successful one. Our experience this year is pointing us in the direction of future Fall CSA opportunities. Extending into Fall provided us with the financial support to keep Patrick employed through October, which meant he was on hand for big Fall projects like planting garlic and strawberries, not to mention lettuce, kale, chard, and scallion transplants and direct-seeded things. That help has made this Fall the most productive, smoothest, most satisfying transition into Winter ever for us here at Roots. So again, THANK YOU. Your support has been so greatly appreciated.

Patrick’s Last Week Here at Roots
Well, this is it--Patrick’s last week. Say hello and give him a squeeze while the opportunity is available, because that brother is heading back to his native land of California. Yep. Patrick is moving on and we’re going to miss him here on the farm. He’s off to become a fire fighter on the West coast. We wish him the best and are grateful for the good work he’s done this year helping make 2010 our most successful season yet. Thank you, Patrick. I’ve got just one word for you . . . HEART!

Vegetables to Note . . .
We’re excited to have Fall cucumbers in the baskets this week. It’s the first time we’ve ever had cukes at this time of year, and their crunchy goodness has been missed (at least by me). Great to have them back. And great to have beans make a return as well. The last of the Red Noodle beans are appearing this week--there will be no more of those since we pulled their trellis last week to make room for winter cover crops. New beans on the scene are Gold of Bacau and Northeaster Pole Beans. These tender delights are coming from an experimental hoop house planting that I’m calling a success. Tasty. And Watermelon Radishes are also in the basket this week--white on the outside, pink in the middle, they’re a color sensation. They don’t bleed like beets, so I recommend shredding them into salads. Cabbage is also coming out, and it’s our recipe focus this week. It’s the best (i.e. only successful) Fall cabbage I’ve ever produced. Keep it in the hydrator drawer of your refrigerator for 3-6 weeks (wow!), though it tastes the sweetest when it’s fresh. Enjoy!


Red Cabbage Slaw
1 head red cabbage
1 lb carrots
1 bunch cilantro
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp salt
1 Tbsp ancho chili powder

Quarter and core red cabbage. Slice thinly by hand or in food processor. Peel and grate carrots. Chop cilantro. Toss all ingredients. Let stand 1 hour. Toss again. Serve as a garnish for tacos, as a side dish for sandwiches, or as a picnic salad. Makes 3-4 quarts. From the From Asparagus to Zucchini cookbook.

Asian Cabbage Slaw
2 cups shredded cabbage (~1/2 small head)
1/3 cup grated carrot
1/2 cup minced red onion
2 Tbsp minced fresh mint
2 Tbsp minced fresh cilantro
2 Tbsp rice vinegar
2 Tbsp peanut oil
1 Tbsp rice wine (such as mirin or sake)
2 tsp honey
1 tsp toasted sesame oil, plus more to taste
salt & freshly ground black pepper

Combine the cabbage, carrot, onion, mint, and cilantro in a large bowl. Toss well. Mix the vinegar, peanut oil, rice wine, honey, and sesame oil in a small bowl until well combined. Pour the dressing over the cabbage mixture; toss. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate for 1 hour before serving. Makes 2-4 servings. From Farmer John's Cookbook, which also says that this recipe works well with additional vegetables--julienned cucumber is nice--and makes a wonderful bed for grilled food. Enjoy!

Rosy Coleslaw with Apple & Onion
4 cups shredded red cabbage
1/2 cup shredded/chopped carrot
4 Tbsp finely chopped sweet onion
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp sorghum syrup or maple syrup
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 large tart apple, peeled and finely chopped
salt & pepper

Toss all ingredients except salt and pepper. Chill 30 minutes, season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve. Makes 6 servings. From the From Asparagus to Zucchini cookbook.

Haluska: Hungarian Cabbage, Noodles, & Cream
1/4 cup butter
1 medium head cabbage, shredded or very finely sliced
1 large onion, halved and sliced
1 lb egg noodles
1 lb sour cream
salt & fresh ground black pepper

Begin heating a large pot of salted water for the noodles. Melt the butter in a large Dutch over over medium heat. Add the cabbage and onion and sautee, stirring frequently, until the cabbage is limp and completely tender, about 10 minutes. Cook the noodles in the boiling water until tender, 7-9 minutes. Drain well. Add teh noodles to teh cabbage and mix well. Add the sour cream and stir until distributed throughout the dish. Season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately. Makes 6-10 servings. From Serving Up the Harvest.

For more cabbage recipes, click here.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

CSA Pickups -- Week 26

Roots Farm CSA Week 26: October 19

This Week:
-Peppers: Carmen, Islander, Green Bells, Cayenne, Jalapeno
-Eggplant: Nadia, Hansel, Gretel, Fairytale, Pingtung Lon
-Okra: Clemson Spineless, Red Burgundy or Magda Summer Squash
-Champion Collards, Winterbor Kale, or Broccoli Greens
-Hakurei Turnips, Easter Egg Radishes, or Daikon Radish
-Broccoli!: Green Magic
-Lettuce: Jamai,, Panisse, Red Cross

On the Farm . . .
The mornings are chilly and the afternoons quite warm. It’s a layering time of year, and the vegetables are layered, too. A bit of overlap between the summery nightshades (peppers and eggplants) with the fall delights of kale, radishes, turnips, broccoli, lettuce, and such. We’re keeping an eye on the weather, waiting for news of the first freeze, row covers and harvest buckets in hand. And we’re busy planting still--it’s garlic planting time and we’re putting in over 500 feet of it this week (which, theoretically would produce over 2,500 heads of garlic if all went well). We’re also transplanting more lettuces and kale. May the stream of incoming food continue . . .

New to the Basket . . .
This week, I’m pleased to announce that broccoli is finally coming in. Green Magic. And indeed it is. It’s the best looking broccoli I’ve ever grown, and certainly the best I’ve ever produced in the fall. I wish I’d planted 50 more feet of it. Ah well, there’s another variety that’s looking like it might produce, too, a bit later--we’ll see. In the meantime, I’m also pleased to announce the arrival of lettuce heads. We’ve got a lot of lettuce heads planted out in the fields right now--this is just the first coming your way. Red and green oakleafs (jamai, panisse) and red and green butterheads are appearing this week. More in store for later. Now, you’ve got the makings for a real salad--lettuce, arugula, radishes, peppers, broccoli -- oh my!

Season Extension!!!
Speaking of the stream of food continuing, we’re going to continue the CSA for any folks interested. Another 3 weeks of goodies will be available for ya. Yep, it’s a steady train on up until the week before Thanksgiving (which we’re taking off, as should you). So. The pickups will still be Tuesdays (or Saturdays at the Farmers Market for those of you with that option) from 4-7pm here at Roots. And we’ll still offer full shares and half shares. Right now, we’re still figuring what the price should be, but we’ll have that decided soon and I’ll send out some emails, and we’ll have details in the blog next week and at next week’s pickup, which for those of you not extending is the last one of this stretch. NOTE: If you’re not planning to join the extension, please note that NEXT WEEK is the last pickup for you. The extension should be full of veggies such as: kale, collards, lettuces, radishes, arugula, turnips, bok choi, sweet potatoes, cauliflower, cilantro, garlic, and of course eggplants and peppers and more. Hope to have you along with us.

Are in the spotlight this week. It’s best to separate your radishes from their greens and store them separately for greatest longevity. Radish roots will keep for at least a week or two this way, though I recommend eating the greens in the next couple of days. Radishes can be eaten raw or cooked. I know you may not think to cook a radish, but it cuts down considerably on the spice and allows you to add those radishes to lots of dishes you might otherwise overlook--curries, stir-fries, and stews, to name a few. Radishes like the big Asian Daikon are also good grated and added to miso soup, salads, and sandwiches. Radishes and turnips can be used interchangeably in most recipes; here’s a few for you . . .


Sauteed Radishes with Radish Greens and/or Arugula
1/4 c. butter
1 lb radishes
4 c. radish greens or arugula
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice (1 small lemon)
fresh ground black pepper

Radish greens and arugula both have a peppery bitterness that mellows slightly when they are cooked. You can use either radish greens or arugula, or both, for this recipe.

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the radishes; cook, stirring constantly, until tender but still crisp, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl to cook. Return skillet to stove. Put the green or arugula in the skillet with the wash water still clinging to the leaves. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, just until wilting, 2-3 minutes. Turn off heat. Add lemon juice and radishes to the skillet; stir until well combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately. Serves 4. From the From Asparagus to Zucchini cookbook.

Mediterranean Bean & Radish Salad
1 cup dried baby lima beans (1/2 lb)
1 cup peeled diced cucumber
1/2 cup sliced and quartered radishes
2 Tbsp coarsely chopped fresh dill
10-15 kalamata olives
1 medium red onion, coarsely chopped
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp oregano
salt, to taste

Soak and boil lima beans according to package directions (about 30-45 minutes). They should be cooked but firm. In a medium-size serving bowl, combine beans, cucumber, radishes, dill, olives, and onion. In a small jar, shake together olive oil, vinegar, oregano, and salt. Pour over salad and toss. Serve at room temperature or cold. Makes 4 servings. From The Food and Wine of Greece.

Beet & Daikon Slaw
1 yellow beet, peeled and cut into matchsticks (julienne)
1 red beet, peeled and cut into matchsticks (julienne)
1 6-inch daikon radish, peeled and cut into matchsticks (julienne)
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
2 tsp canola oil
1 tsp unsalted rice vinegar
1 tsp sea salt

Combine all ingredients in a non-reactive bowl, cover, and let stand for at least 30 minutes. Season to taste and serve. Makes 2 servings. From the From Asparagus to Zucchini cookbook.

Radish & Potato au Gratin
1 lb potatoes 2 Tbsp flour
1/2 lb radishes 3 oz cheddar cheese
2 cups whole milk 3 oz monterey jack cheese
2 Tbsp butter salt & pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease an 8 cup baking dish (I did 2, 8-inch glass pie dishes). Wash and slice potatoes and radishes into 1/2 inch thick slices. Boil until fork-tender. Drain and set aside. In a small saucepan, melt butter, stir in flour, and cook 2 minutes. Whisk in milk and cook until thick, about 4-6 minutes (sauce will coat the back of the spoon). Add salt and pepper. Take off heat. Toss potatoes and radishes with salt and pepper and fold in cream sauce. Pour into baking dish(es) and sprinkle the top with cheese. Bake until brown and bubbly, about 8-10 minutes. Makes 4-6 servings.

For more radish recipes, click here.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

CSA Pickups -- Week 25

Roots Farm CSA Week 25: October 12

This Week:
-Peppers: Carmen, Lipstick, Islander, Green Bells, Cayenne, Jalapeno
-Eggplant: Nadia, Hansel, Gretel, Fairytale, Pingtung Long
-Okra: Clemson Spineless, Red Burgundy
-Magda Summer Squash
-Winterbor Kale
-Butternut Squash (Backyard Harvest)
-Cilantro or Parsley
-Hakurei Turnips
-Easter Egg Radishes

On the Farm . . .
Fall is well on its way. It’s October already! How’d that happen? This week, turnips and radishes are coming in, as well as kale, arugula, cilantro, and parsley. It’s a lovely thing to see all these greens back on the scene. The broccoli and cabbage are also growing nicely in the field and are the best looking fall broccoli and cabbage crop I’ve ever grown. They should appear towards the end of the month. Before that, you’ll see lettuce--probably next week--so get your salad dressings ready.

Speaking of greens, please WASH YOUR KALE this week. We sowed some clover seeds over the beds where our greens live and the seeds have a clay-ey pink innoculant on them that we couldn’t manage to wash off today when we were processing. None of it will hurt you, but still, I don’t think you want to eat it. At least I don’t want to eat it. So I recommend washing it off yourself. I also recommend boiling those greens in salted water for about 10 minutes and then eating them with vinegar and hot sauce. Or hot vinegar, which you can make yourself by stuffing a jar with the hot peppers we’ve been giving you and then covering them with vinegar and letting them infuse their spiciness for about 2 weeks. Either way, this has been my favorite greens recipe of late. You can also eat your turnip or radish greens. The greens are probably more nutritious than the roots, but both are good and tasty. I especially enjoy the little white hakurei turnips--sweet, tender, and delicious--I often eat them raw. Anyway. Lots of green goodness. Superfoods. Yay.

So I was out of town last week and I thought I’d have access to a computer to upload your weekly newsletter, but alas, that was not the case. So my apologies on the missing newsletter for last week. I’ll try to get it posted sometime soon.

Is in the spotlight this week. Keep your arugula in a sealed plastic bag with a damp rag for maximum freshness and use it soon. Here are some more recipes for you . . .


Arugula and Red Pepper Pesto
1/2 lb. arugula
1 1/2 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon brown sugar or honey
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
4 roasted red peppers
1 cup toasted piƱon nuts (or other nuts will do)
1 cup toasted pumpkin seeds
1 cup olive oil

Blend everything together in a food processor, stopping to scrape sides and processing again. We like the pesto rich, salty and oily. A few cloves of sweet roasted garlic are a nice addition. As a note: older arugula can be bitter, so this pesto can be cut with fresh spinach for milder flavor is your arugula is mature. Serving suggestions: spread on pizza crust, and top with cheese & veggies; toss with hot pasta (ziti is a particularly good vehicle); add to sour cream for a dip. You can also freeze the pesto in greased ice cube trays for easy-access portions. Recipe compliments of the Seasonal Chef (

Spinach Fettuccine with Arugula and Tomatoes
1 lb spinach fettuccine
4 Tbsp olive oil, plus extra virgin to finish
3 garlic cloves, chopped
2 small dried red chiles, broken in half, or several pinches of red pepper flakes
6 or more cups mature arugula leaves, large stems removed, leaves coarsely chopped
4 Roma tomatoes
3 Tbsp chopped parsely
freshly grated Parmesan or pecorino Romano cheese

Drop the pasta into plenty of salted boiling water and cook until al dente. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet, add the garlic and chile, and cook over medium heat until the garlic turns light gold. Add the arugula, season with a few pinches of salt, and saute until wilted. Stir in the tomatoes and parsley and turn off the heat. When the pasta is done, scoop it out and add it directly to the pan. Toss well and serve with a dusting of cheese and extra virgin olive oil drizzled over the top. Makes 4-6 servings. From Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone. Note: as they mature, arugula leaves get large, hot and spicy. They’re too robust for salads, but when cooked, their pungency softens, leaving just enough to add zest to the pasta. Enjoy!

Arugula, Orange and Fennel Salad
1 large fennel bulb
1 red onion, shaved paper thin
2 cup mandarin orange segments
6 bunches fresh arugula
1 cup walnuts
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds (optional)

1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon turbinado or other brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

To prepare the vinaigrette, combine ingredients in a mixing bowl and whisk. Trim off the top off the fennel bulb. Slice the fennel and onion paper thin. Toss the arugula, fennel and onion with vinaigrette, divide among serving plates and top with mandarin orange slices, walnuts and, if desire, pomegranate seeds. Recipe compliments of the Seasonal Chef ( Enjoy!

For more arugula recipes, click here.