Saturday, January 9, 2010

Sweetwater Harvest: Transition to Winter Crops

Here is a picture of my most recent share of produce from Sweetwater Organic Community Farm. Our pick-up included: several types of lettuce (including butterleaf, red romaine, magenta leaf, and arugala), joi choi pac choi, carrots, kale, eggplant, tomatoes, kohlrabi, cabbage, radishes, beets, and curly endive.

I made a hearty vegetable soup using the kale, cabbage, and carrots. We have also enjoyed fried curly endive. It's better than french fries! However, it's a little bit too oily, and I wonder how many nutrients remain in the endive after the frying process. We will also enjoy another week of the best salads I've ever eaten. The arugala and radishes are so delicious! They are like none I've ever had before.

According to the weekly email we receive from the Farm Manager at Sweetwater, we have fully transitioned into winter crops. That means no more salad greens, eggplant, or tomatoes. I really appreciate these weekly emails. They contain a list of the produce they expect to harvest, which makes it easier to plan ahead. I also learn some interesting tid bits about organic gardening. For example, here is an excerpt from last week's email:

"Our next planting of carrots is ready to harvest and should give us sweet tasting 'Nelson' carrots for about a month. First we start by harvesting the baby carrots in bunches as a way of thinning the rows. This gives the remaining carrots space to size up, later on we will harvest in bulk without the tops."

The Sweetwater website also contains a forum for swapping recipes, but there are very few posts on it. I would love to see them send weekly emails with recipes and information about some of the more unusual produce. In the meantime, I've been having fun researching things online and sharing recipes with friends.

Click HERE for my previous posts about Sweetwater. Click HERE to find CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) in your area.
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  1. These look great! I so look forward to Spring planting so that I can enjoy local fresh produce again.

  2. Beet (beetroot in the UK, so excuse me if I mix up the terms) recipes, FINALLY!

    Nabbed this one from Jamie Oliver, but I've used it and I really like it! Thanks to a little restaurant in Alnwick, Northumberland (where the castle the used for filming the Harry Potter movies is, I'm told) for turning me on!

    Beetroot risotto
    ingredients for 2:

    2 beetroots
    2 garlic cloves
    3 sprigs thyme
    1 fennel bulb
    1 onion
    2 cups arborio rice
    1 litre hot vegetable stock
    olive oil
    freshly ground black pepper

    Wash the beetroot and wrap in a big sheet of aluminium foil, together with the thyme and crushed garlic cloves. Bake in the oven on 425F for 40 minutes. When done, unwrap the package. Peel the beetroots and the garlic. Cut the beetroot in small pieces and chop the garlic. Set aside.

    Chop the onion and fennel finely, keep the green of the fennel aside for later. Heat some olive oil in a large frying pan with a thick bottom. Saute the onion and fennel for a minute or 5 on low heat. Add the rice and stir until it's fully covered with oil and looks translucent.

    Now add 2 ladles of stock and slowly boil and stir until most of it is reduced. Add more all the time, until about 10 minutes have passed. Now add the beetroot and garlic. Keep on repeating the process until the rice is nicely done, with a smooth, creamy saucy layer of melted vegetables and flavor. Sprinkle with the fennel greens.

    Another one I remembered from Linda McCartney's book, Linda's Kitchen...

    Vegetarian Borscht
    6 large beets, peeled
    1 peeled potato
    1 large, chopped onion
    2 Tbsp. olive oil
    2.5 cups green cabbage, cut into matchsticks
    1/4 lb. peeled and chopped tomatoes
    5 pints vegetable stock
    2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
    Salt and pepper
    2/3 cup sour cream
    Chopped fresh dill

    Slice the beets and potato very finely, then cut the slices to matchsticks. Brown the onion lightly in oil for 3-4 mins, then add rest of vegetables and stir together for several minutes. Pour in enough stock to cover, bring to boil. Simmer until tender, about 30 minutes.

    Add the rest of the stock and lemon juice. Puree half the soup in a blender/food processor, then return it to the remaining soup in the pan and reheat gently. Season to taste. Put a dollop of sour cream on each bowl of soup and garnish with chopped dill. Serve with warm rye or brown bread.