Cateto Polenta or Hickory King Cornmeal
Seminole Pumpkin or Sucrine Winter Squash
Purple Top or Golden Turnips
Highlander Yellow Onions
We have come to the last week of our CSA season. Thank you all so much for joining us and partaking in our farm’s bounty over the last 6½ months. During the past six seasons we have learned slowly but surely how to grow a variety of crops more successfully in our particular soil, while improving our land little by little. Each year some crops thrive, others fail and most do well enough while teaching us more about their particular needs. Overall though we are seeing improvement year by year, which is all we can hope for in this farming life. Thanks for giving us your support and taking on the risk with us. Although the CSA weekly shares are coming to an end; Tomten Farm is still in full production mode working on our Winter crop season. We will be bringing lots of delicious produce to Birdhouse Market next week, just in time for Thanksgiving and then in December we will be at South of the James every Saturday until Christmas. Richmond is such an ideal place to buy local food year around, as there are a number of local farms growing produce or raising meat during all four seasons. You can explore the bounty that Winter has to offer; with sweet greens and roots improved by the cold Winter nights plus squash, sweet potatoes, cruciferous crops, delicate young greens grown under cover, and our personal favorite, Winter chicories. Don’t forget your farmers during the Winter months.
In this week’s share we are excited to leave you all with some storage crops, so you can continue using our vegetables through the holiday. We have included winter squash varieties that can be wonderful either in pie or pastry as well as many savory preparations. We are excited to give you all the first milling of this season’s corn. You will receive either Cateto, a yellow Peruvian flint corn, ground as a medium-course polenta or Hickory King, a native white dent corn, ground as a medium-fine cornmeal. If you want to store it away for later we encourage you to put it in the freezer, in an airtight bag or container. We are hoping the first hard frost over the weekend helped sweeten the collard greens, spinach, parsnips, turnips, and carrots a bit. This was a significant first frost though. Our temperatures got into the low 20’s which is very unusual for a first frost in our experience around these parts. We are hoping that our greens were not too shocked, as sometimes the initial cold can damage the cell structure of the leaves, without killing the plants, making the greens or roots a bit mushy and limiting their storage potential. We are optimistic, as we tucked all the crops under row cover, protecting them from the wind and keeping them a few degrees warmer, we will see the effects though during harvest tomorrow. Please check out the assortment of recipes below for ideas with this week’s share. Thank you for joining us for this season, we look forward to another great one in 2018. Enjoy the share…..Autumn and Brian
Berrichon Squash Pastry Adapted from ”The Compleat Squash” by Amy Goldman
Flour, for board
2 frozen puff pastry sheets, thawed
3 cups minced raw winter squash, preferably Sucrine du Berry, turban or butternut
1 small onion, minced
1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup crème fraiche optional.
1. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly flour a work surface. Divide each pastry sheet in half, and place 2 half-sheets on floured board. Mound squash on each, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Top with onion and parsley. Season with salt and pepper.
2. Use rolling pin to flatten and enlarge remaining half-sheets slightly. Place over filling, and seal by brushing with water and pressing together. Cut three slits in each pasty and brush with egg.
3. Transfer to a baking sheet, and bake until golden, about 30 minutes. Serve warm in slices, with crème fraiche if desired.
Yield: 4 to 8 servings.
Silky Coconut-Pumpkin Soup – Hot Sour Salty Sweet by Jeffery Alford & Naomi Duguid
3-4 Shallots unpeeled
1 1/2 lbs of Pumpkin or Squash
2 cups canned Coconut milk
2 cups Pork or Chicken Broth
1 cup loosely packed Cilantro
1/2 teaspoon Salt
2 Tbls. Thai fish sauce
Generous grindings of Black Pepper
¼ cup minced Scallions
In a skillet or on a grill, dry roast the unpeeled shallots until softened and blackened. Peel, cut lengthwise and set aside. Peel the pumpkin and clean off any seeds. Cut into ½-inch cubes. You should have 41/2 – 5 cups cubed pumpkin. Place the coconut milk, broth, pumpkin cubes, shallots, and coriander leaves in a large pot and bring to a boil. Add the salt and simmer over medium heat until the pumpkin is tender, about 10 minutes. **Stir in fish sauce and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Taste for salt and add a little more fish sauce if you wish. (The soup can be served immediately, but has even more flavor if left to stand for up to an hour. Reheat just before serving.) Serve from a large soup bowl or in individual bowls. Grind black pepper over generously, and, if you wish, garnish with a sprinkling of minced scallion greens. Leftovers freeze very well.
**At this point you can strain out about 1/3-1/2 the pumpkin cubes and blend just for a few seconds, return to the pot and the soup will have a slightly more creamy and emulsified texture.