Growing the good stuff in Athens, GA since 2006

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Join us at the Saturday Farmers Market!

Roots Farm Farmers Market: Saturday, December 3

This Week at the Market:
-Lettuce!: Sylvesta Green Butterheads & Red Cross Red Butterheads
-Green Savoy Cabbage
-Kale: Red Russian, Winterbor (Curly Green)
-Bright Lights Swiss Chard
-Easter Egg Radishes
-Sweet Potatoes: Beauregard, Georgia Jets
-Mixed Peppers

It’s frosty out there! Georgia is doing its usual weather flip flop of balmy-chilly, balmy-chilly. Last week I got a sunburn on Tuesday. Today, I’m watching ice melt off the kale. So it goes. The great thing about the ice is that is makes winter hardy veggies SWEET. Why is that? I’m not entirely sure, but somehow, some plants produce more sugar in reaction to the cold as a kind of anti-freeze. Plants regularly produce sugars as a part of their photosynthesis process, but the cold weather seems to trigger even greater sugar production. Sugar water has a lower freezing point that just plain water, so it acts as a natural anti-freeze. Ice crystals may form on the edges of the leaves, but the cells themselves will not freeze and burst (resulting in frost damage). Magic, I tell you, magic. Or really intelligent design. Smart nature? You choose. Either way, ice = sweet in the realm of winter veggies.

Are you missing your weekly supply? Never fear--we're still providing. Come see us at the Saturday Morning Athens Farmers Market! 9am-noon through December 17th! That’s 3 more weeks of farm-fresh produce for you! So come out and see us! Tender and delicious butterhead lettuce, crisp and sweet winter carrots and greens, sweet potatoes, broccoli, oh my! Surprisingly enough, early winter is one of the best times for fresh veggies in the Southeast. Come see us!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

CSA Pickups -- Week 7 -- Kale

Roots Farm CSA Week 7: November 15 & 18

This Week:
-Lettuce!: Sylvesta Green Butterheads & Red Cross Red Butterheads
-Kale: Red Russian, Winterbor (Curly Green)
-Peppers: Green Bells
-Sweet Potatoes: Beauregard, Georgia Jets

Last Week of CSA Pickups!!
Can you believe it? 7 weeks have come and gone. Welcome to your last week of CSA pickups. We’re excited to have a loaded basket of lettuces, broccoli, kale, and sweet potatoes to send your way. Wondering what you’ll do for veggies for the rest of the year? Come get them from us! We’ll be at the Saturday Morning Athens Farmers Market at Bishop Park until Saturday, December 17! The market runs from 9am-noon. You can also find us online at Athens Locally Grown where we’ll be offering all our veggies individually, as well as CSA-style baskets. We also sometimes sell to the Daily Grocery Co-Op on Prince Avenue--last week they had our kale and lettuce mix. So never fear--Roots still has plentiful produce for you. Come and get it!

You’re Invited! Roots Farm Thanksgiving Feast!
Sunday, November 20th at 1pm here at Roots! It’s a vegetarian potluck dinner, so bring yourself, your friends, a dish to share and preferably your own plates/cups/spoon/etc. We’ll be feasting it up, so come join us for our annual celebration of community and vegetables.

On the Farm . . .
It’s cleanup time, so we’re pulling trellises, weeding, mowing, and making it all look nice. That’s one thing I like about winter--everything slows down and looks so well kept and orderly. We keep clearing out the rows, tilling them up and planting them into winter rye and crimson clover. I love the rye and clover mix--so green through the winter! Then the rye gets tall and blows in the breeze and the clover blooms a red carpet underneath it in the spring . . . wow! Winter seems so peaceful compared to the rush and bustle of spring and summer. Hope you enjoy your winter time this year. Get some rest.

This brassica is back in the spotlight. Winter is absolutely the best time for kale. The frosty nights prompt the plants to make more sugars to keep from freezing (sugar has a lower freezing point). So even though there’s ice on the leaves, the cell walls don’t burst, the leaves thaw, and they taste sweet from their anti-freeze sugary protection. Delicious! Storage: Keep your kale wrapped in a plastic bag. The leaves respire and if you leave them exposed to the air, they do get wilty. If wilting occurs, just soak them in cold water for a while and they will revive some. Usage: kale is good raw, steamed, boiled, baked, in soups, salads, stews, and more! Kale chips anyone? Here are some recipe suggestions for you . . .

Kale Chips
1 bunch kale (de-stemmed)
2 Tbsp olive oil
salt to taste

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease a cookie sheet or pan with a light layer of olive oil. Place kale leaves in a single layer on the pan and drizzle with a little more oil. Bake for 12 minutes. Salt to taste and enjoy! Makes 2-3 servings. Jane tells us these are as good as potato chips. I've had them and I'd have to agree that they're pretty yummy. As well as an easy way to use up a bunch of greens in a pinch. Yum!

Sesame Kale Salad
1 lb. fresh kale (or other greens)
2 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
1 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tsp honey (or other sweetner)
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
dash of black or ground red pepper

Separate kale leaves from stems. Chop stems and greens. Steam stems a couple of minutes, then add the greens and steam until just tender. Drain; let kale cool enough to handle it. Squeeze out as much water as possible. Place in serving bowl. Mix the remaining ingredients in another bowl; add to greens. Mix, chill, and serve. Makes 4-6 servings. I also like to make this recipe RAW--omit the soy sauce, add a little more vinegar or lemon juice, shake the salad or massage it, chill for 1 hour or more, and serve. Enjoy!

Kale & Potato Tarragon Salad
2 lbs small potatoes, scrubbed
7 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 bunch kale, large stems removed, leaves chopped into 1-inch pieces
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Tbsp white vinegar
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1/4— 1/2 tsp dried tarragon
salt & pepper to taste

Steam or boil potatoes until fork-tender. Drain, cut into large bite-size pieces, place in large bowl, and cover to keep warm. Meanwhile, heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a wide skillet over medium heat. Add onions; saute until translucent. Add kale and garlic; cook until kale is tender, about 5 minutes more (you can cover pan to help wilt kale). Combine vinegar, lemon juice, 1/4 tsp tarragon, remaining 6 Tbsp olive oil, and salt and pepper. Add kale mixture to potatoes and pour dressing over everything. (It’s important to toss the dressing while the mixture is hot, to soak in the flavors.) Add more salt, pepper, or tarragon if necessary. Serve warm or at room temperature. Makes 6 servings.

1 1/2 lbs medium potatoes (~ 3 taters)
2 tsp salt, divided, plus more to taste
1 1/2-2 lbs kale (15-20 large leaves)
1 cup chopped leeks or scallions
1 cup half-and-half or milk
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup butter, melted

Put the whole potatoes in a large pot, cover with water, and bring to boil. Add 1 tsp of the salt and boil until the potatoes are tender, 15-20 minutes. Drain the potatoes and mash. Put in a heatproof dish and keep warm in a 200 degree oven. Meanwhile, put the kale in a pot, cover with water, and bring to boil. Add the remaining 1 tsp salt and cook until the kale is tender, 15-20 minutes. Drain and finely chop the kale. Place the leeks or scallions in a small pot, cover with the half-and-half, and cook over low heat until very soft, 15-20 minutes. Add the kale to the warm potatoes and mix well. Ad the half-and-half with leeks or scallions. Add the pepper; season with salt to taste. Spoon a little of the melted butter over each serving and serve hot. Makes 6 servings. (from Farmer John’s Cookbook)

Simple Greens Soup

2 Tbsp butter or oil

1 small yellow onion, diced

1 lb peeled root vegetables, diced

4 cups water or vegetable stock

1 bunch kale, chopped

salt & pepper

1/2 cup heavy cream (optional)

Heat butter or oil in saucepan over medium heat. Add onions; cook slowly, stirring occasionally, until they are translucent (don't let them brown). Add the root vegetables and water or stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook until the vegetables are soft when pierced with a fork, approximately 15 minutes. Add the greens and cook them until they wilt, about 5 minutes. Puree the soup with an immersion blender (or in batches in a blender or food processor) until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. For a creamy version, add heavy cream at the end and heat through. Makes 4 servings. From the From Asparagus to Zucchini cookbook. Patrick has made this soup twice now and it's actually really good. We recommend it. Farmer approved.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

CSA Pickups -- Week 6 -- Sweet Potatoes

Roots Farm CSA Week 6: November 8 & 11

This Week:
-Lettuce!: Ermosa Green Butterheads & Red Cross Red Butterheads
-Kale: Red Russian, Winterbor (Curly Green)
-Peppers: Red, Yellow, Purple, & Green Bells, Carmen, Lipstick
-Sweet Potatoes: Beauregard, Georgia Jet (GIANTS)

On the Farm . . .
We’re beginning the process of breaking down old summer crops. This week, we’re clearing out bean trellises, old cukes, and summer squash. We’re also still planting. Onion plants should be arriving sometime in the next couple of weeks--over 2000 of them! Then we’ll be transplanting sweet onions for the Spring. In the meantime, we’ve got salad mix, arugula, maybe radishes, maybe some mixed greens, perhaps some more cilantro and dill to plant in the hoop house for winter production. It’s nice to feel things slowing down a bit. The shadows are long now, days ending early. We’re moving into the shortest days of the year. Time to turn inwards, reflect, rest, and rejuvenate. Spring will come again, but for now we welcome Winter at our doorstep.

In Your Basket
Broccoli! Yay! The second round of broccoli is finally here. I’ve been watching the 2 rows in our lower garden for weeks now, wondering when they would be ready. They’re the same transplants as the broccoli that you got a few weeks ago, and transplanted at the same time. The garden location was different, though, and our lower garden is bordered by trees on the West side, so it’s getting shade now by 1or 2pm. Less sunshine for the plants. There are also some old tomato plants on the East side of those rows, so the sunshine has really been limited. Hard to believe that those factors would make that broccoli more than 2 weeks behind its fellow transplants in the full sun, but that is indeed the case. Enjoy these later season treats!

Also, GIANT sweet potatoes. Even though we dug our taters earlier than ever, we still produced a large percentage of really large roots. So we’re sending them your way. Don’t be intimidated by these gentle giants--they’re sweet and delicious. I recommend making soups, stews, souffles, pies, and fries with these big guys. They’re our featured veggie of the week, so check below for recipe suggestions.

Lettuce! The flow of butterhead lettuce continues. It’s come to my attention that you may be encountering insects tucked in the leaves of your lettuce. Aphids! Yes, they’ve infiltrated the ranks of lettuce and have set up camp in the rows. Never fear! A good steady stream of water from your sink faucet as you wash the leaves will send them down the drain. And if you happen to mistakenly eat a few, just consider them supplemental free protein--they won’t hurt you.

Sweet Potatoes!
Thought to have originated in Central or South America, sweet potatoes have been cultivated for a long, long time--some say over 5,000 years! Rich in complex carbohydrates, vitamins A, C, and B6, sweet potatoes have long been a dietary staple in the Southeastern US. Sweet potatoes and greens have fed many a folk through hard times, and in the last hundred years or so have fallen out of favor with the upper class because of their association with poor folks and as a survival food. Thankfully, the sweet tater is making a comeback. Now even the fancy restaurants have been know to offer sweet potato fries as a specialty item. And so we offer them to you. Enjoy! Storage: keep your sweet potatoes in a cool, dark place. In optimum conditions, they should keep for 1-2 months. Usage: fried, baked, sauteed, stewed, in pies, muffins, breads, and sauces. The possibilities are endless. Have fun!

Indonesian Sweet Potato & Kale Soup
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp turmeric
2 small dried chiles
15 almonds (opt. blanched)
1 large onion, diced
2 large garlic cloves, minced
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 tsp grated peeled fresh ginger
1 tsp salt
2 cups veggie stock or water
14-oz can of coconut milk (not sweetened)
4 cups peeled & cubed sweet potatoes
6 small handfuls fresh spinach or chard or kale, coarsely chopped (or chiffonaded)
fresh lime or lemon juice

Grind the coriander, cumin, turmeric, chiles, and nuts in a small spice grinder, with a mortar and pestle, or with about 1/2 cup water in a blender. (I like to grind the spices and just chop the dry nuts with a knife so I get little bits of almond to crunch in my stew.) In a soup pot, briefly saute the onion and garlic in the oil. Add the ginger and salt and continue to saute until the onions are translucent. Add the stock and the ground spice mixture to the pot and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the coconut milk and the sweet potatoes and gently simmer, uncovered, for about 40 minutes, until the sweet potatoes are tender. Stir in the chopped spinach/chard/kale and allow it to just wilt. Remove the pot from the heat, squeeze in lemon juice or lime juice to taste, and serve at once. Makes 6 servings. From Sundays at Moosewood Restaurant.

Spicy African Kale and Yams
1 large bunch kale, 4 cups chopped, pressed firm
4 cups yams or sweet potatoes, rinsed well, chopped
1 ½ Tbsp olive oil
2 cups cabbage, sliced
1 ½ cups onion, chopped
3 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp salt, or to taste
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 Tbsp ginger, peeled and minced
1 tsp serrano chile, seeded and diced
Hot Sauce, to taste

Rinse and drain kale well. Steam kale and yams. Kale should still be colorful and yams should still have some firmness. While kale and yams are steaming, place oil in a large sauté pan and heat on medium high. Add onion, garlic, ginger and chili pepper, cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add cabbage and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add small amounts of water if necessary to prevent sticking. Place in a large mixing bowl with remaining ingredients, add kale, and mix well. Add yams and gently mix well. From

Sweet Potatoes, Apples, and Braising Greens
4 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/8-inch slices
5 Tbsp unsalted butter, plus 3 tablespoons melted
1 Tbsp fine sea salt
2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
3 medium baking apples, peeled, cored, and cut into quarters
6 cups loosely packed braising greens (kale, chard, collards), stems removed, torn into 2-inch strips
1/4 cup loosely packed fresh parsley leaves, coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 400°F. On foil-lined baking sheet, toss potato slices with 3 tablespoons melted butter, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Bake until cooked through and slightly caramelized, about 20 minutes. Keep warm. In heavy medium skillet over moderate heat, melt 3 tablespoons butter. Add apples and sauté until tender and golden brown, about 15 minutes. Keep warm. In heavy large pot over moderate heat, combine remaining 2 tablespoons butter and 3 tablespoons water. Add greens and sauté, stirring occasionally, until wilted, about 5 minutes. Lower heat to moderately low and add sweet potatoes and apples. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until warmed through, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in parsley, remaining 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper. Makes 10 servings. Serve hot. From

Oven Baked Sweet Potato Fries
2 pounds sweet potatoes
1/4 cup olive or other vegetable oil
1-2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp salt
1-2 Tbsp spice or spice combination of your choice: chipotle powder, smoked paprika, Chinese five-spice, pumpkin pie spice, garam masala, Cajun seasoning, etc.

Preheat oven to 450°F. (For more crispiness, preheat your oven to 500°F.) Peel the sweet potatoes (optional) and cut off the ends. Cut the potatoes in half lengthwise and then, if they are very long, in half crosswise. Cut each piece into wedges. Alternately, you can slice the peeled sweet potato into disks either with a mandoline or a sharp knife. Try to cut them evenly so they all cook at about the same rate. Put the sweet potatoes into a large bowl and add the oil. Mix well to combine. Sprinkle with salt, sugar and spices of your choice. Use your hands to mix well, so all pieces are coated with oil and spices. Spread the sweet potatoes out in a single layer on a baking sheet; the oil they are coated with should keep them from sticking to the pan. If you are trying to cut fat, reduce the oil to 2 Tbsp and use a non-stick coating on the baking sheet. Bake for a total of 25 to 30 minutes. After the first 15 minutes, remove the baking sheet from the oven and turn over all of the sweet potato pieces. Return to the oven and bake for another 10-15 minutes, or until they are well browned. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving. Makes 4-6 servings as a side dish. From The baking times are approximate; it depends on how thick you cut the wedges or rounds of sweet potatoes. For best browning results bake only one sheet at a time. Why the sugar? To help with the caramelization and to intensify the sweetness of the fries, but you can easily leave it out if you want. I recommend making a creamy dipping sauce for these tasty treats.

Sweet Potato Pie
1 cup mashed cooked sweet potatoes
1 ½ cups milk
½ cup sugar
1 egg
1/3 tsp ginger
1/3 tsp allspice
1/3 tsp salt
½ tsp cinnamon

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Mix all ingredients. Bake for 30 minutes. Makes 1 pie. I’m not sure where I got this recipe from. My grandmother used to like to make a sweet potato “pie” in a casserole dish with no crust. She also liked to add raisins and shredded coconut. I think pecans might be a nice addition, too.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

CSA Pickups -- Week 5 -- Peppers

Roots Farm CSA Week 5: November 1 & 4

This Week:
-Lettuce!: Ermosa Green Butterheads & Red Cross Red Butterheads
-Rainbow Swiss Chard
-Kale: Red Russian, Winterbor (Curly Green)
-Eggplant: Nadia, Nubia, Pingtung Long
-Peppers: Red, Yellow, Purple, & Green Bells, Carmen, Lipstick

On the Farm . . .
Well, we finally got the killing freeze. Over Halloween weekend, the temperatures dipped down into the low 30’s, ice formed, and plant cells froze and burst. What’s that mean? The last of the summer plants have finally bit the dust. Blackened, wilty tomato, pepper, eggplant, squash, cucumber, and bean plants grace our fields now, done with their production for the year. So enjoy the eggplant and peppers while they last. This is the last week for eggplant. We’ve got some peppers protected in the hoop house that will continue until it gets REALLY cold, but eggplant are done.

It was amazing out in the fields this morning--34 degrees F at dawn--frost covered the grass, ice crystals laced the edges of leaves, frozen drops of dew scattered off the kale leaves as we picked them. Our more winter hardy plants like kale, cabbage, and broccoli can stand up to a bit of frost. In fact, they even get sweeter. The cold temperatures make them concentrate their sugars to keep from freezing. Makes for some of the best, tastiest greens of the season. Enjoy!

In Your Box
The last of the eggplant are appearing. Peppers continue to represent. The radishes are absent for a change. Arugula is back. And there is an ABUNDANCE of greens. We’ve got both kale and chard for you this week,
and we’ve included 2 heads of lettuce! Both are butterheads--one red, one green. Lettuce is in abundance for us right now, and if you’re like me, you can probably handle 2 heads in one week. Heck, I can eat one head in 2 days. Delicious. It’s a salad-y time of year.

Our spotlighted veggie this week is the amazing and delicious pepper! Yay! Peppers are nutritionally significant and most contain high levels of vitamins A, C, and E, as well as the minerals iron and potassium. Native to Central and South America, pepper seeds have been found in Mexico from before 5000 B.C.! Following Columbus’s voyage, peppers spread quickly through Europe and all the way to India, where they were rapidly assimilated into the native diet. How will you assimilate peppers into your diet?

Storage: keep your peppers in the hydrator drawer of your refrigerator for 1-2 weeks. Peppers will get wilty and dehydrated-looking if left out in the open air, so keep them in a drawer or bag in the cool. Cut peppers deteriorate quickly, so use em if you cut em. They also freeze well--I like to dice them and freeze them on a cookie sheet, then scoop them off into a freezer bag for easy later usage. Usage: raw, in salads, sandwiches, soups, stews, sauces, omelets, stir-fires, casseroles, on the grill, and more!

Roasted Bell Peppers
4 bell peppers (red, orange, yellow, green, or purple)
olive oil

Turn your gas burner on high (electric will work, but gas is better) and place the peppers directly on the flame. Use any number of available burners to accommodate the peppers, or if the peppers are small you can place two on one burner. Using tongs, turn the peppers as their skins blacken; you want to end up with a pepper that is completely black (the amount of time for this depends on the size of the pepper, how hot the flame is, and how often you turn the peppers). Once they’re blackened, place the peppers in a paper bag and seal the bag tightly. Let them sit for about 10 minutes. Remove the peppers from the bag, cut them in half, remove the stem and seeds, and flatten each half on your cutting board. Use a knife or your fingers to scrape away the skin. The peppers are now ready to use (keep refrigerated and use within the week). To store your roasted peppers longer, place them in a container, cover with olive oil, and seal tightly (then they will keep for several weeks). From Farmer John’s Cookbook. These are great on sandwiches, pizza, pasta, in omelets, with hummus, and more! Enjoy!

Vegetarian Chili
1 cup carrots, chopped
1 cup red bell pepper, chopped
1 cup green bell pepper, chopped
1 cup onion, chopped
2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
2 Tbsp olive oil
3 Tbsp chili powder
1 Tbsp ground cumin
1-2 fresh jalapeno peppers, seeded & finely chopped (opt)
1, 28oz can tomatoes, with juice, chopped OR 1 quart stewed tomatoes OR 4 cups fresh
1, 16oz can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained OR 2 cups cooked (1/2 cup dried)
1, 16oz can black beans, rinsed and drained OR 2 cups cooked (1/2 cup dried)
1 cup tomato juice
salt & pepper

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add carrots, peppers, onions, and garlic. Saute until onions are golden, 12-15 minutes. Add chili powder, cumin, and jalapenos. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, beans, tomato juice, and salt & pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook for about 45 minutes. Makes a lot of food. I’m guessing 6-8 servings.

Escalivada Sandwiches
1 red onion
1 medium zucchini
1 medium eggplant, peeled
2 red bell peppers, roasted
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp kosher salt
4 sandwich rolls, preferably ciabatta
4 oz fresh goat cheese
4 oz arugula
Herb Sauce:
½ cup basil leaves
½ cup parsley leaves
¼ cup mint leaves
juice from ½ lemon
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
½ cup olive oil
1 tsp salt, or to taste

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Slice onion, zucchini, eggplant, and bell peppers into ¼-inch rings. Toss the vegetable slices with olive oil and salt. Place the vegetables in a roasting pan in a single layer, and place the pan in the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender but still maintain their shapes. Meanwhile, toast rolls. Divide cooked vegetables among the 4 rolls. Top vegetables with goat cheese and arugula. Place all herb sauce ingredients in a blender; puree. Spoon over arugula. Serve sandwiches warm. Makes 4 servings. From Peter Dale, chef of The National restaurant in Athens, GA.

Stuffed Peppers
a little oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 onion, chopped
1 1/2 cups raw brown rice
3 cups water, vegetable stock, or tomato juice
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 cup almonds, chopped
1/2 cup tomatoes, chopped
1/3 lb cheddar cheese, grated
salt & pepper
4 large peppers, tops cut off, seeds removed

Heat oil in large skillet; add and saute garlic and onions. Add rice and brown for about 5 minutes. Add desired liquid and allspice. Cover and cook until rice is done, about 40 minutes. Toast almonds in dry skillet or hot oven for several minutes, tossing often. Stir in tomatoes, cheese, almonds, and salt and pepper to taste. Cook peppers in boiling water for 2 minutes. Drain and stuff peppers with rice mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Makes 4 servings. From the From Asparagus to Zucchini cookbook.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

CSA Pickups -- Week 4 -- Chard

Roots Farm CSA Week 4: October 25 & 28

This Week:
-Lettuce!: Green Butterheads
-Rainbow Swiss Chard
-Sweet Potatoes: Beauragard, Georgia Jet, Vardaman
-Tomatoes: Arkansas Traveller, Pink Beauty, Sunny Goliath, Whopper, Big Beef, Trust, Sungold cherry
-Eggplant: Nadia, Nubia, Pingtung Long
-Peppers: Red, Yellow, Purple, & Green Bells, Carmen, Lipstick, Mellow Star, Habanero, Ahi Dulche
-Radishes: Easter Egg, French Breakfast
-Garlic: Persian Star, Siberian

On the Farm . . .
It’s Becky’s last full week on the job and we’re sure gonna miss her around here. She’ll still be around from time to time, but for now, she’s heading off to the beach for a long-deserved vacation. Yay for Becky! I’m sure she’s gonna be sad she missed thinning all the carrots with us, but I think she’ll survive. In the meantime, Fall marches on, and so does October. In the last month, we’ve transplanted over 400 feet of strawberry plants, planted and mulched over 500 feet of garlic, transplanted a couple hundred more feet of lettuce, and seeded goodness only knows how many feet of arugula and radishes. October is a busy month, full of all our Fall planting projects. November finds us coming into a little less to plant, a little less to do. Once our first big fall freeze happens, we’ll have summer plantings to remove. Until then, it’s mostly maintenance--weeding, mulching, picking and selling produce. We’ll be planting onions next month, but the days of large transplanting jobs are over. Yay! Cruising into Fall.

In Your Basket!
Lettuce! Gorgeous big green heads of butterhead lettuce are here! They look just beautiful and taste the same. It’s salad time. I recommend giving them a second wash since it’s dirty and sandy out there in the fields. Also, Chard! Our fall chard plantings are finally big enough to pick, so our first pickings are coming your way. The recipes this week are all about chard. Enjoy! And, Sweet Potatoes! Seems like the curing process has gone pretty well and the taters are finally coming out this week. I know many of you were excited about having them appear in your shares this season, and the time has finally come. Sweet potatoes are here. Please pardon their superficial imperfections--cracks, dark colors, and odd shapes do not impair their flavor. Hope you enjoy them! And we’re saying goodbye to pole beans, cucumbers, summer squash, and okra. The cooler Fall weather is not to their liking. Seems as if the peppers and eggplant will still be with us until it freezes hard (sometime in the next few weeks), so enjoy them while they last!

Facts: Chard (Beta vulgaris) is a close relative of the beet that has been cultivated for its leaves instead of its roots. The leaves are big and tender and often substituted for spinach in recipes (which it’s also related to). Indigenous to the Mediterranean, chard is often referred to as Swiss chard due to its initial description by a Swiss botanist in the 16th century. Chard is high in vitamins A, E, and C, and minerals like iron and calcium.
Storage: Keep your chard in a closed plastic bag--air is your enemy and will cause this delicate green to wilt quite quickly (though you can revive it by soaking it in cold water for a while). Chard will keep for a week or more in good conditions. Cooking: Most often, folks like to de-stem chard and cook the stems for longer than the leaves. It’s a texture issue that I’ll leave to your personal preferences. You can use chard as you would any leafy green. Chard is good in salads, on sandwiches, in casseroles, stews, and more! Try it massaged! Bake it into lasagne! Enjoy!

Quick and Easy Chard
1 bunch Swiss chard, chopped
2-3 small to medium cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp. lemon juice
2-3 Tbsp. olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Optional: Olives, ½ cup feta cheese, 1 tsp. soy sauce

1. Chop the garlic, and let sit.
2. Chop chard, stems can be included unless they are too tough
3. Bring a large pot of water to a rapid boil. Add chard and cook for 3 minutes without a lid.
4. Pour chard in a colander to drain, and press the chard to remove excess water.
5. Put chard in a bowl and toss with oil, garlic, lemon, salt, pepper, and optional ingredients.

Spicy Vegetable Tart
¾ c. sunflower seeds
¾ c. walnuts
2 Tbsp. sesame seeds
2 Tbsp. Flax seeds (soaked in ¼ c. water for 10 min.)
1/8 tsp. salt
4 cups Swiss chard, chopped (any kind of greens or a mix will work)
1 Tbsp. Vegetable broth
2 cups sliced mushrooms
1 Small onion, chopped
3-5 small or medium cloves garlic, minced
1 ½ tsp. dried Italian seasoning
1pinch red chili flakes
1 small tomato, chopped and seeded
5 oz. silken tofu
5 egg whites
1/8 tsp. turmeric
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. pepper

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. While flax seeds are soaking, put crust ingredients in food processor and grind finely. Add soaked flax seeds with water to ingredients in processor and process for another 30 seconds.
3. Press crust mix evenly in a 9 inch tart or pie dish. It should come up to the top edge, and be an even thickness all the way around. Bake the crust for 15 min.
4. While crust is baking, chop onion and garlic, and let sit.
5. Bring lightly salted water to a boil, and add chopped chard. Cook for about 3 minutes.
6. Heat 1 Tbsp. broth in a medium skillet. Add onion, garlic, and mushrooms. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
7. Add herbs, tomatoes, salt, pepper to skillet and sauté for another 2 minutes.
8. Press excess water from chard and add chard to the mix.
9. Spread veggie mix evenly in tart shell.
10. Blend egg whites, tofu, turmeric, salt and pepper. Pour evenly over vegetable mix.
11. Bake for approximately 25 minutes, or until tart has set.

Swiss Chard Quesadillas
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 minced hot pepper
¼ tsp. cumin seed
1/8 tsp. oregano
¼ c. tequila
12 oz. swiss chard, chopped
8 6 in. corn tortillas
1 c. Monterey jack cheese, grated

1. Heat oil over medium heat, add onion and sauté until golden.
2. Stir in garlic, hot pepper, cumin, oregano, and sauté about 2 minutes.
3. Add tequila and simmer 1 minute, or until liquid has evaporated.
4. Stir in chard, cover, and reduce heat to medium-low. Let steam for 5 minutes, or until chard is tender.
5. Uncover and cook until liquid has evaporated.
6. Heat tortillas one at a time. After heating, sprinkle cheese on tortilla, then add chard mixture, and top with a second tortilla.
7. Cook about 2 minutes on each side, or until browned.