For the last four years our work share members come out on the Sunday when daylight savings time ends and we plant garlic. It is a sign of the end of one season and the beginning of another. In true Virginia fashion, the weather is oscillating between warm weather one day and cool weather the next. It keeps us on our toes. We love having the work share days, as we accomplish large tasks in a short period of time. It is also rewarding to have a group of people who regularly eat our food experience our farm a few times throughout the season and often year after year, as they often pleasantly remind us of the long-term progress we are making on the land, with the soil, and in implementing infrastructure. Farming is such a slow and laborious process, it is important to be reminded of what is actually being accomplished.
This is our second to last share of the season and there is still so much produce happening on the farm. We are being fooled with this warm weather, but soon enough a hard frost will come and with our shortening day lengths, the crop growth is slowing significantly everyday. We have had a wonderful season feeding you all, your families, and friends. We look forward to the coming season and fingers crossed delicious garlic too. We are including celeriac, also known as celery root, as many of you know from previous years, celeriac is a difficult drop to grow in our climate, coupled with our heavy clay soils, so the root is often very small and you all in turn only get a small portion. Progress was made this year though in that we had significantly less rot than in the past, perhaps due to planting it out later than in the past, mid-June instead of early May. Now we have to keep it properly hydrated and weeded for the five months it is in the ground. This week you will see the last of the peppers, as we have cleared all the plants, the potatoes, and the garlic. We hope you have loved every minute of them. Please check out some of the recipes below. Enjoy the share….Autumn and Brian
Escarole and Rice Soup – The Classic Italian Cookbook by Marcella Hazan
1 head escarole (3/4-1 lb)
2 TBL finely chopped yellow onion
¼ cup butter
3 ½ homemade meat broth or 1 cup canned chicken soup mixed with 2 ½ cups water
½ cup rice preferably Arborio
3 TBL fresh grated parmesan
Detach escarole leaves discard any that are bruised and wash the rest in multiple waters until clean. Cut into ½ inch wide stripes In stockpot sauté onion in butter over medium heat until nicely browned. Add escarole and a light sprinkling of salt. Briefly sauté the escarole, stirring once to twice. Add ½ cup of broth and cook over very low heat until escarole is tender (25-45 depending on freshness and tenderness). When escarole is tender add rest of broth, raise heat and bring to a boil. Add rice and cover. Cook rice 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally until just al dente, firm to the bite. Off the heat, mix in the Parmesan cheese. Taste and correct for salt, spoon onto plates and enjoy.