Weekly Share October 8th – 14th

Fennel
Escarole
Savoy Cabbage
Misato Rose Winter Radish
Bunching Greens (Broccoli Raab, Kale, Swiss Chard)
Italian & Middle Eastern Eggplant
Okra or Sweet Peppers
Dill

The Warmth Of A Winter Radish (Check out the 4 recipes in this article)
Escarole and Fresh Herb Salad with Apples and Pomegranates
Indian Crispy Bhindi (Okra) Raita
Escarole and Bell Peppers With Olive Oil
Eggplant Mash-Up
Eggplant Salad with Dill and Garlic
Steamed fish in parchment with chard, baby fennel and lemon dill sauce

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Weekly Share October 1st – 7th

Asian Mix
San Fan Bok Choy
Baby Daikon Radish
Hakurei Salad Turnips
Yu Choy or Mustard Greens
Nicola Potatoes
Assorted Chiles
Cilantro
Garlic

It has been a few weeks since we have provided any updates and in that interim we have experienced some of the most extreme and bizarre weather in our seven seasons of farming here in Green Bay Virginia. Early September bounced between grey and cool conditions and extremely hot and humid conditions. Then we waited with anticipation to see what Hurricane Florence would do. Over the weekend it was grey, wet, and a bit windy; but overall pretty mild with only 1.5” of rain. On Monday though, the aftermath of the storm hit our farm, as well as many others throughout the region, pretty hard. It was a harvest day, we worked outside for 12 hours, trying to get our orders together while receiving a whopping 4” with occasional strong winds and tornado warnings. In hindsight we should have not been out in the fields, as it was not helpful for the soil or crops, not to mention unpleasant and slow for us. Walking in the pathways and messing with the soil, while it is so wet compacts the soil in a way that is difficult to reverse. But we are so habitual about harvest days and always attending every scheduled market that we always work regardless of weather. Plus we had already had our previous Saturday market cancelled, so we needed to get to market and move some produce. Overall though, we were really lucky that the storm was not more harmful and our thoughts go out to all the lowland farmers in North Carolina as well as all those in the continued path of the storm that got hit really hard. These unpredictable storms can make or break a farms season, meaning peoples livelihood. It should be recognized that this is a risk farmers have to take, we have no way around the weather, all we can do is try to prepare and mitigate whatever risk we can.
In our seven seasons we have never received more than 2” of rain in a day, so managing 4” with our extremely heavy clay soil was beyond nerve racking. We had spent some time the previous week readying our farm; but there is only so much we can do. Over the past three years we have been making long-term adjustments to our tillage systems, soil health, and drainage capabilities; because we experienced a storm one October that destroyed a large portion of our Fall crops and left standing water for over a week. This storm also exposed how much soil loss we were seeing with heavy rains, so it woke us up to needing to make some serious changes. Perhaps some of these methods have paid off as we are definitely seeing some damage to Fall plantings; but not in such an extreme way as we expected. It takes weeks to truly understand all the damage though and last week’s continued rain and grey did not help the plants take off. We look forward to this coming week though, some beautiful weather that will help the fields dry out and perhaps let the crops breathe.
Prior to the big storm, we were looking at one of the best Fall stands we have ever had, meaning even with being hard it, we are still in an ok spot with oncoming successions of crops; but it is meaning that we have less flexibility with our produce. Right now our Summer stuff is not really producing (too much grey and wet), the last of the beans and tomatoes just petered out to nothing. We hope to see more Okra; but it stood dorment for the past two weeks. Our fall crops also got a beating and stagnated a bit, so our choice of crops in the shares has become pretty limited. Hence the condensed amount of radishes and turnips, lack of cut greens (we lost three successions of Arugula and are seeing bolting in all our lettuces), late oncoming of broccoli (first heads are rotting from the rain) and less variation with the bunching greens (we lost a succession of broccoli raab and the Russian kale was devastated). All of this may mean smaller shares or less variety coming later in October; but overall we feel pretty good about our prospects. We hope you do too. Enjoy the share……Brian and Autumn
Learn to make turnip cakes from Suzy Siu’s Baos
Mustard Greens with Mooli | Daikon Radish with Mustard Greens
Stir-Fried Baby Bok Choy
Yu Choy Sum
Thai Ground Chicken With Lime And Cilantro
Spicy Thai Potato Salad
New Potato Tempura – Japanese Farm Food by Nancy Singleton Hachisu
(Try this recipe with Yu Choy, Daikon, or Mustard Greens as well)
½ lb medium-sized potatoes
Best quality rapeseed or peanut oil
½ cup unbleached cake flour
½ cup cold sparkling water1
8 tsp fine white sea salt
3 ice cubes
organic soy sauce for dipping
Cut the potatoes into ½” wedges (measured on the thick side). Drop the potato pieces into a small pot of salted cold water. The potatoes should be covered by about 1”. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook until the centers still have some give but the outsides are soft. Drain and cool.
Line a cookie sheet with a thick layer of newspaper and top with a layer of paper towels. Set next to the stove. Over low heat, warm 4” of oil in a medium-sized heavy, stainless steel saucepan. Whisk the flour with the sparkling water and salt in a medium-sized bowl. Take out two pairs of long cooking chopsticks or tongs. Use one pair to dip in the batter and one pair to remove the tempura from the oil. Increase the heat on the oil to about medium-high; the oil should not be smoking. Test the oil with a drop of batter before starting. It should sizzle and immediately form a small ball as it hits the oil; but should not brown. Adjust the oil temperature as needed.
When the oil is hot, drop the ice cubes into the batter and stir once. Add 5 or 6 pieces of potatoes at a time to the batter. Pick up one piece at a time, let the excess batter drip off, and slip into the hot oil. Roll the tempura pieces gently as the batter turns a pale (slightly) golden color. When all sides are cooked, remove to the prepared cookie sheet. Continue cooking until all pieces have been fried, but (if possible) serve each batch immediately. Dip in fine white sea salt or soy sauce before eating.
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Weekly Share September 24th – 30th

Frisee
Lettuce Mix
Arkansas Black Apples
Red Round Radish
Red Ace Beets
Yaya Carrots
Dancer Eggplant
Pepper Mix (Cubanelle, Anahiem, & Poblano)
Bunching Greens (chard, collards or the like)

Frisee Salad with Blue Cheese, Bacon and Hazelnuts
Frisée Salad with Roasted Beets & Orange Vinaigrette
Matt’s Four-Pepper Collards
Grilled Eggplant And Greens With Spiced Yogurt
Mediterranean Eggplant with Cubanelle Chermoula and Apricot Couscous
Rustic Shaved Beetroot, Carrot, & Radish Salad
Baked Apples

 

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Weekly Share September 17th – 23rd

Lettuce (Bibb & Panisse Oakleaf)
Japanese Red or Southern Giant Mustard Greens
San Fan or Black Summer Bok Choy
Thai and Asian Long Eggplant
Scarlett Queen Salad Turnips
Jalapeno or Serrano Chiles
Sweet Red Peppers
Thai Basil
Garlic

Eggplant with Thai Basil
1 lb eggplant, cut into ½-inch slices
4-5 cloves garlic
1-2 medium sized fresh red or green chilies (or sweet bell pepper for the meek)
1 Tbsp light soy sauce or tamari
2 Tbsp dark soy sauce
2 Tbsp palm sugar or dark brown sugar
1 bunch Thai basil
Slice the eggplant into ½ inch rounds and fry them over medium high in a wide skillet with ¼ inch of canola or other frying oil. When things get going, the eggplant slices will absorb the oil and you will gradually see it penetrate through to the top.  Make sure that they don’t get too brown on the bottom before this happens.  If the eggplant slices absorb all the oil and still don’t look wet, you must add more—but don’t worry, because they will release much of it as they cook.  When they look like they have absorbed enough oil and they start to get nice and brown on the bottom, flip them over and brown them on the other side.  If the pan is dry at this point, don’t add more oil because the slices have absorbed enough to fry themselves.  When they’re done, drain the slices on paper towels
Meanwhile, cut the garlic into slices and the chilies into diagonal rings.  When the eggplant is ready, remove it and add 2 Tbsp of fresh oil to the pan, add the garlic and half the chilies, and stir-fry until the garlic is golden.  Add the soy sauces and sugar, stir for about 30 seconds until the sugar starts to bubble, and return the eggplant to the pan.  Add torn basil leaves, stir and serve, garnished with the rest of the chilies (if you dare!)
Thai Red Curry Eggplant and Mustard Greens
Stir-Fried Chinese Mustard Greens (Xuelihong)
Stir-Fried Rainbow Peppers, Eggplant and Tofu
Sesame Sheet Pan Salmon with Turnips and Bok Choy
Rice Vermicelli with Chicken and Nuoc Cham
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Weekly Share September 10th – 16th

Nicola Potatoes
Lacinato or Russian Kale
Salad Greens, Bibb, or Butterhead Lettuce
Romano Beans or Okra
Sweet or Shishito Peppers
Leutschauer Paprika Peppers
Highlander Yellow Onions
Basil

Welcome to our Fall CSA season. We get really excited this time of year, as there is so much diversity of crops. This cool front and shortening days really makes it seem like Fall, although we still have 2 weeks until it is officially here. While we appreciate the weather shift, we are a bit apprehensive of the potential storm later in the week; but all we can do is wait and watch. The weather has a strong hold on us and learning to work with it is the most we can do.
As you can see this week’s share includes more greens, the first of our lettuces and kale as well as some of our paprika peppers. Although these are traditionally dried and used as a flake or powder, they are also delicious when fresh, quite spicy and sweet, with some stone fruit and earthy qualities. We have included a recipe for smoking them, if you crave the smoked paprika flavor; but feel free to use them as they are in any sauté or saucy dish. Once again we had a pretty lame onion yield; but we did get some and although small in size they pack a lot of flavor. These are cured and will hold for a few months either in a pantry or in cold storage. Same goes for the potatoes. Enjoy the share…..Brian and Autumn
How to Make Smoked Paprika
Sautéed Kale with Smoked Paprika
Red Potato and Shishito Pepper Hash
Zesty Citrus-Basil Potatoes
Farro Salad with Heirloom Tomatoes and Romano Beans
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Weekly Share September 3rd – 9th

Arugula
Flat Leaf Parsley
Crimson Spineless Okra
Dancer & Italian Eggplant
Celebrity & Salad Tomatoes
Sweet Italian & Peruvian Aji Peppers
Red Round or French Breakfast Radishes

It’s our last Spring/Summer share, signifying a slow seasonal shift into Fall. Mainly marked by the shortening day lengths and sometimes cooler nighttime temperatures, by no means are the Summer days over though. Here in Virginia many of the Summer heat loving crops thrive into October; but we also see the return of more temperate and cool season crops beginning in September. This year they are coming on fast and furious. This is our favorite season as we have the most diversity of crops at one time. Meaning extremely challenging harvest days and wonderful times in the kitchen. Although this coming week is looking quite hot and humid, we are looking forward to some cooling off in the coming weeks, as our workdays are more full than at any other point in the season. We are on a specific weekly planting schedule through the first week of October, in order to sustain successions of various crops through next Spring. We cross our fingers for adequate moisture (not too much rain), so we can direct seed when needed and have to be diligent about keeping weeds in check and pest management in order to have healthy crops. Cover cropping is also a crucial part of our September schedule. We get cropland cleaned up, beds shaped and various cover crops seeded for over the winter, to protect from run off and build soil health; while being ready for early Spring plantings. In addition we are raising two flocks of meat birds throughout the fall; our broiler chickens and Muscovy ducks, so we have to dedicate time to moving these flocks throughout our pastures twice a week. Fall is a busy time, the last big push to get us through the season, with a focus on the coming season and the myriad of projects to do through the Winter to keep the farm in good health.
This week’s share is bringing back some greens and radishes after a big hiatus; paired with the best of summer. The Peruvian Aji dulce peppers, look like little pumpkins and are fabulous thinly sliced in a salad or paired with fresh tomatoes. They are thin skinned and delicate compared to the other sweet peppers. Okra is back, the planting is putting off huge amounts, like many of the warm season crops this summer, we are getting huge amounts at one time and then the crops dwindle a little bit. Fried okra is always fabulous; but you can also try it braised with some tomatoes and sweet peppers for a delicious simple dish. The arugula and radishes have some spice, as always when grown in the heat; but they go great with the sweetness of the tomatoes and peppers. If you make pizza, this here share has some great options. Check out the recipes below and enjoy the share……Autumn and Brian
Shrimp And Okra Gumbo
Roasted Eggplant, Green Pepper & Tomato Dip
Turkish eggplant and beef stew (musakka) recipe
Tomato, Smoked Mozzarella and Arugula Salad

 

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Weekly Share August 20th – 26th

Lemon Drop & Khmer Thai Chiles
Shishito Peppers
Clemson Spineless Okra
Asian Long or Romano Beans
Nevada Summer Crisp Lettuce
Suyo Long Cucumber
Zephyr Squash
Yaya Carrots
Shiso (Perilla)
Thai Basil

Sichuan Style Stir-Fried Chinese Long Beans

Spicy Okra Carrot Stir Fry (Bhindi Gajar Sabzi)

Spicy Thai Chicken Coconut Soup with Okra and Mushrooms

Cucumber & Carrot Noodle Thai Salad

Thai Basil Summer Squash

Tomato, Onion and Green Pepper Salad with Shiso

Bento Recipe: Pork Shiso Rolls

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Weekly Share August 13th – 19th

Asian Long or Romano Beans
Crimson Sweet Watermelon
Heirloom Tomatoes
Assorted Eggplant
Diva Israeli Cucumber
Seyrek Green Peppers
Sweet Peppers
Genovese Basil
German White Garlic

Watermelon Juice With Basil and Lime
Watermelon Salad With Feta And Basil
Spiced Peppers and Eggplant
Eggplant in a Spicy Honey SauceThe New Book of Middle Eastern Food by Claudia Roden
The sauce is a splendid example of the hot, spicy, and sweet combinations; which are a thrilling feature of North African cooking. Serve it cold with bread.
2 medium-large eggplants
olive oil
salt
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 inches fresh gingerroot, grated, or cut into pieces
1 ½ tsp ground cumin
large pinch cayenne or ground chili pepper, to taste
4-6 Tbls honey
juice of 1 lemon
2/3 cup water
Cut the eggplants into rounds about 1/3” thick. Do not peel them. Dip them in olive oil, turning them over, and cook on a griddle or under a broiler, turning them over once, until they are lightly browned. They do not need to be soft, as they will cook further in the sauce. In a wide saucepan or skillet, fry the garlic in 2 Tbls of the oil for seconds only, stirring, then take off the heat. Add the ginger, cumin, and cayenne or gorund chili pepper, honey, lemon juice, and water. Put in the eggplant slices and cook over low heat –either in batches, so they are in one layer, or together, rearranging them so that each slice gets some time in the sauce –for about 10 minutes, or until the slices are soft and have absorbed the sauce. Add a little water if necessary.
Caponata from The Kitchen Garden
Lots and lots of olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 head garlic, chopped
1/2 tsp chili flakes or fresh hot peppers, to taste
1 pound peppers, cut into large chunks
1 pound eggplant, cut into large chunks
1 or 2 ripe plum tomatoes, chopped
salt & pepper
1 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp capers
3 Tbsp chopped Kalamata olives
Few sprigs chopped basil and parsley
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Heat about 4 Tbsp olive oil in a heavy pot or Dutch oven with a lid that can go in the oven. Sauté the onion and garlic until soft.  Add the pepper flakes and peppers and sauté over medium heat 5-10 minutes.  Add eggplant and sauté another several minutes. You may want to add more oil to make sure everything is generously anointed.  Add the tomatoes.  Cover the pot and put it in the oven to bake for 20-30 minutes.  Everything should be very, very soft.  Season with salt, pepper and the other seasonings.  Adjust sweetness, salt and acidity to taste.  Serve it warm on fresh crusty bread or at room temperature the next day.  Makes a great pasta sauce, too. (The original version contains chunks of celery, too.  If you like celery, you can add it when you add the tomatoes.)
Green Beans in Tomato SauceThe New Book of Middle Eastern Cooking by Claudia Roden
1/2 onion, coarsely chopped
2 Tbls olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
½ lb ripe tomatoes, chopped
½ lb green beans, topped and talied and cut into 2-3 pieces
salt and pepper
1/2 tsp sugar
juice of ¼ lemon
Fry the onion in oil till soft and golden. Add the garlic, and when the aroma arises, add the tomatoes and beans. Season with salt, pepper, and sugar, add water as necessary to cover the beans, and lemon juice, simmering 15-20 minutes, or until the beans are tender and the sauce reduced a little.
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Weekly Share August 6th – 12th

Long Beans or Eggplant
Tomatillos or Tomatoes
Anaheim, Poblano, & Cubanelle Peppers
Maules Red Hot or Aji Dulce Chiles
Suyo Long or Diva Cucumbers
Highlander Yellow Onions
Zephyr Summer Squash
Nicola Potatoes

Around here we are in a bit of a holding pattern, reminds me of the Spring, as we wait for our land to dry out enough to shape beds so we can plant our fall crops. We have an extremely full greenhouse with thousands of plants hardening off outside in the elements. They are actually holding up well with all these heavy rains and stormy weather. We are itching to plant, as August is traditionally filled with a weekly to-do list longer than we can handle; but right now we are stuck cleaning up fields, clearing garlic out of the barn, foliar feeding our tunnel crops of tomatoes, peppers, and basil and sorting through 1500 lbs of potatoes. Don’t get me wrong; it is great to get all these tasks done; but we need our transplants to get into the ground before they tire of the available nutrients in the cell trays. Simultaneously we need to get direct seeded crops germinating, as our fall successions are all very time dependent; but going onto our fields or shaping beds when its too wet is the worst possible option. It creates compressed soil; which will crust when it dries and lacks the breathability necessary to germinate many seeds and this compressed soil holds together like bricks for many months. So we take the best option and we wait. We listen to mother nature and wait for the correct conditions so all our plants can thrive in a healthy soil environment. The hardest part is learning to be patient and realizing that coming weeks may be long. Enjoy the share…..Autumn & Brian
Squash and Green Chile Casserole
Poblano, Potato, and Corn Gratin
Roasted Tomatillo-Poblano-Avocado Salsa
Long Bean, Cucumber, and Tomato Salad
Jicama Salad With Mango, Cucumber, Avocado, Lime And Aleppo
Use aji dulces or the maules red hot, thinly minced, instead of the Aleppo pepper in this recipe.
Aloo Baingan Recipe – Potato Eggplant Curry 
Zaalouk (Spicy Eggplant Salad) The New Book of Middle Eastern Food by Claudia Roden
1 ½ lb eggplant, peeled and cubed
5 cloves garlic, peeled
salt
3 large tomatoes (about 1 ½ lbs)
4 Tbls argan oil or mild extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbls wine vinegar
½ tsp harissa or a mixture paprika &ground chili pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
½ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
Boil the eggplants with the garlic in plenty of salted water, in a pan covered with a lid, for about 30 minutes or until they are very soft. Drain and chop the eggplants and garlic in a colander, then mash them with a fork, pressing all the water out.
Put the tomatoes in the emptied pan and cook over low heat for about 20 minutes, or until reduced to a thick sauce, stirring occasionally. Mix with the mashed eggplants and the rest of the ingredients and add salt.
Variation: Add the juice of 1 lemon (instead of the vinegar) and 1 tsp ground caraway or coriander.
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Weekly Share July 30th – August 5th

Cucumbers
Shishito Peppers
Carrots & Turnips
Sugar Baby Watermelon
Long Beans or Thai Eggplant
Arugula or Asian Mix
German White Garlic
Serrano Chile
Thai Basil
Shiso

Tam Taeng Kwaa (Thai Cucumber Salad)Pok Pok by Andy Ricker
Cucumber-Watermelon Salad
Stir-Fried Szechuan Eggplant
Thai Basil Minced Pork – Pad Kra Pa
Vietnamese Salad Rolls (Gỏi cuốn)

When we make these we let everyone prepare their own and it makes for a really fun meal activity. As the recipe states, you can substitute various herbs’ we particularly like thai basil, shiso, and mint together. We will add julienned pieces of hakurei turnips, daikon, or even sweet peppers and sometimes substitute shredded pork or shrimp for tofu. For dipping sauces we use a traditional Nuoc Cham and peanut sauce (recipes below).

Nuoc ChamHot Sour Salty Sweet by Jeffery Alford and Naomi Duguid
1/4cup fresh lime juice
¼ cup fish sauce
¼ cup water
2 tsp rice or cider vinegar
1 Tbls sugar
1 small clove garlic, minced
1 bird chile, minces
several shreds of carrot (optional)
Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and stir to dissolve the sugar completely. Serve in small condiment bowls. Store in a tightly sealed glass container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days (after that, the garlic starts to taste tired).
Vietnamese Peanut Sauce –Hot Sour Salty Sweet by Jeffery Alford and Naomi Duguid
¼ cup dry roasted peanuts
2 scant Tbls tamarind pulp, dissolved in 2 Tbls warm water or substitute 2 Tbls tomato paste
2 tsp peanut oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tbls fermented soybean paste (tuong in Vietnamese; dao jiao in Thai)
1 cup water
1 ½ tsp sugar
1-2 bird chiles, minced
Generous squeeze of fresh lime juice
Place the peanuts in a food processor or large mortar and process or pound to a coarse powder; set aside. If using tamarind, press it through a sieve; reserve the liquid and discard the solids. Heat the oil in a wok or skillet over high heat. Add the garlic and stir-fry until it is starting to change color, about 15 seconds. Add the soybean paste and the tamarind or tomato paste and stir to blend. Stir in ½ cup water, then stir in most of the ground peanuts, reserving about 1 Tbls for the garnish. Stir in the sugar and chiles. Add up to ½ cup more water, until you have the desired texture: a thick liquid, pourable but not watery. Serve in small condiment bowls, warm or at room temperature, squeezing on the lime and sprinkling on the reserved peanuts just before serving. The sauce will keep in the refrigerator for 3 days or in the freezer for 1 month. Reheat it in a small pan and simmer briefly before serving.
Shiso GranitaJapanese Farm Food by Nancy Singleton Hachisu
15 green shiso leaves
¼ cup granulated sugar
Place the shiso leaves in a medium-sized bowl or 4-cup Pyrex measuring cup. Heat the sugar and 3 cups water to boiling in a medium saucepan, stirring the sugar to dissolve. Pour the boiling sugar water over the leaves and steep until cool. Set a strainer over a plastic container large enough to hold 3 cups and strain out the leaves. Cover and transfer the shiso-flavored sugar water to a freezer shelf. Let sit, undisturbed, in the freezer for 1 hour. Remove to the countertop, open the lid, and gently stir in the crystals that have formed on the perimeter. Repeat this operation every 30 minutes, breaking up any larger crystals as you go. The finished granita should be flaky. Serve alone in a glass bowl or goblet. This is also wonderful served alongside Fig Ice Cream and Plum Sorbet. Keeps frozen for several weeks.
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