Weekly Share Sept 30th – Oct 6th

chilesAsian Salad Mix (mizuna, tatsoi, arugula, baby turnip & mustard greens)
Thai and Asian Eggplants
Napa Cabbage
Southern Mustard Greens
Red Leaf or Butterhead Lettuce
Chiles (Datil (super spice, yellow), Cuban Hat (med spicy, red), Aji Dulce (mild, orange))
We hope everyone enjoyed the first week of the fall share. The weather has helped our greens grow big and beautiful, so they were a pleasure to harvest. When the season starts shifting we get renewed energy as do the fall crops, which enjoy the cold nights and mild days. Its as if the whole farm relaxes just a bit. This past week we also processed a small batch of our meat chickens and they look wonderful. So after a two month hiatus we have chicken available again. Each year we process poultry 8-10 times and it seems after almost two seasons we are starting to get a rhythm, which makes the whole experience more smooth, pleasant, and quick. Having a diverse farm operation is central to our ideas about healthy and sustainable land management, but it also means we switch focus throughout each week between these different enterprises. One of our greatest challenges as a small diverse farm with two workers is to put systems in place which help us efficiently manage our time. This past week for example left little time for our crop management or deer fencing needs (we are being inundated with deer eating our crops); because we were processing poultry (1 full day), harvesting (2 full days), planting overwintered crops (1.5 day), and going to market (1.5 days). So this week we will be switching gears and focusing on protecting and tending to our crops.
 This week’s share has a definite Asian focus, with a lot of different green vegetables. We are excited that the napa cabbages and mustard greens are ready. The latter has a very spicy quality that is delicious sauteed with chiles, onions, and then braised in a little broth. The Asian salad mix is sweet, tender, and has a little kick. Excellent for making a simple green salad with a touch of rice wine vinegar and sesame oil. The cold nights are slowing down our chile production, so we wanted to make sure everyone got another taste of our tropical habanero family chiles. The yellow chile (Datil) is extremely hot, so use sparingly; but the orange (Aji Dulce) is sweet and mild and the red (Cuban Hat) is about as hot as a jalapeno. For anyone not familiar with the Thai Eggplants (small and round), they are commonly used in green curry recipes, although we think they work well in most curries. There are a number of recipes from our blog post ‘Weekly Share Sept 2 – 8’ that can be helpful or check out the eggplant salad recipe below. The other two recipes come highly recommended from our friends at the Kitchen Garden. Enjoy the share…..Autumn and Brian.
Northern Thai Eggplant Salad Recipe http://www.thaitable.com/thai/recipe/northern-thai-eggplant-salad
Asian Cabbage Slaw from The Kitchen Garden
This recipe is an adaptation for cabbage of Thai green papaya salad (som tam) and makes a refreshing and fat-free alternative to mayonnaise-based salads (not that there’s anything wrong with mayonnaise!).
1/2 to 1 head cabbage, shredded
1 carrot, grated
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 small hot red or green chili, minced
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
Thai basil, spearmint (optional)
1-2 scallions, chopped
¼ cup roasted shelled peanuts, ground or chopped fine
Juice of 1 lime
2 Tbsp light colored vinegar
2 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp fish sauce (optional)
Mixed thinly sliced cabbage and grated carrot in a large bowl with the garlic, chili, cilantro and other herbs if using.  Add the lime juice, salt, sugar, vinegar and fish sauce and stir well (the volume of salad should decrease within minutes as the cabbage sheds its liquid).  Refrigerate until needed.  Just before serving garnish with the ground peanuts and chopped scallion.
Asian Chicken Soup with Greens 
For the broth:
1 whole chicken
1 head garlic, peeled and smashed
2-3 scallions, cut into large pieces
½ bunch cilantro, leaves, stems and roots, washed
2 inches ginger root, cut into thick slices
1 Tbsp salt & pepper to taste
For the soup:
4 oz. cellophane rice noodles or egg noodles
½ lb greens (bok choy, mustard greens, pea shoots, spinach)
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp sweet rice cooking wine or mirin
1 Tbsp chopped cilantro, for garnish
Rinse the chicken thoroughly, remove giblet bag and place in a large pot with cold water to cover by 2 inches (around 2 ½ quarts of water).  Add garlic, cilantro, scallions, ginger, salt & pepper.  Bring to a boil and simmer very gently for 1 ½ hours, or until the meat falls off the bone.  Remove chicken carefully to a colander and allow it to cool.  Strain the stock and skim the fat that rises to the surface.  (If you make the stock in advance, refrigerate it overnight and remove the congealed fat the next day.  You can also use a special device for separating fat that looks like a big measuring cup with a spout that pours from the bottom).  When the chicken is cool enough to handle, pull off all the meat and shred it with your fingers.  Use a nice handful of the meat for the soup and save the rest for another use (Vietnamese chicken salad, perhaps?).
Meanwhile soak the rice noodles in warm tap water for 15-20 minutes, drain and set aside. If using egg noodles, cook them in boiling water until al dente, drain, rinse with cold water, and set aside.  Wash greens and cut into fairly large pieces.  Bring the stock to a boil and season with the soy sauce and wine.  Taste and adjust salt if necessary.  Add greens and chicken and cook for 2 minutes. Place a handful of noodles in each soup bowl.  Pour soup over noodles and serve garnished with chopped cilantro.
Variations: This soup can easily be made into wonton soup.  Get some wonton wrappers from the store (usually sold next to the tofu).  For the filling mix together ½ lb ground pork, 2 finely chopped scallions, 1 tsp sesame oil, 1 tsp rice wine, salt & pepper.  Follow directions on the package to fill them.  Boil with the greens in the hot stock until they float.
You can save yourself the trouble of dealing with a whole chicken by using ready-made broth and boneless chicken.
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