Weekly Share November 9th – 15th

Mesclun Salad Mix
Collard Greens
Red Creole Garlic
And Something Special

Well here we are at our last CSA pickup week for 2020. It has been a wild 26 week season with the pandemic throwing our systems into some havoc; but overall an abundant season for vegetables. We are so happy to have had you all join us and to have been given the opportunity to feed you. As a growing season 2020 has seen temperate weather making for both a long Spring and Fall; which is not the normal from our 9 years farming in this region. The summer was very hot and humid; but quick in comparison. Today, in November it is sunny and warm much like a normal day in early October. This year has seen some of our healthiest bunching greens, scallions, herbs, cabbage, fennel, eggplant, and okra we have ever grown. Tomatoes had a lull mid-season but have been very abundant overall. Whereas cucumber, summer squash, onions, broccoli, beans, and peppers were all inundated with disease or pest pressure and we have struggled to get much yield from them. Coming into our cool season crops, we are excited to see one of our best radicchio and chicory crops ever (our personal favorite), some of this is due to mother nature and the temperate weather and some to our timing and management, we are finally learning about this finicky family of greens. Carrots, parsnips, and other winter roots are also poised to be gangbusters as well. One of the joys of growing so much diversity is that even when some crops just are not having a good year, some other crops will produce in abundance.
Our season is far from over, as November and December include large harvest of storage crops for us, moving thousands of pounds of food into our tiny little walk-in cooler. We like being able to feed people year around in some capacity. We will keep going to market to get you food, although January and February only once per month. So do not despair or feel relegated to the produce section of a chain grocery store. There is produce in Virginia year around. If not from us, there are more and more small farm popping up to get you salad greens and other produce throughout the Winter, you just have to look around a little. Much of this week’s share is intended to be storable so you can stretch out your Tomten vegetables; such as the last of this year’s garlic and an assortment of root vegetables. The mesclun mix is transitioning to our winter greens, which includes things like chicories, kale, and cress in addition to lettuces and a few mustards, in our opinion this is when it is at its best. Check out the recipes below and enjoy the share…..Autumn and Brian

Roasted Root Vegetable Hash

Moroccan Carrot Soup

Parsnip Collard Green & Chickpea Curry

Spicy Honey-Glazed Parsnips

Root Vegetable Tarte Tatin

Miso-Glazed Turnips

Carrot Salad with Feta and Anchovies

Hanger Steak with Tahini and Smashed Charred Beets

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Weekly Share November 2nd – 8th

Koginut Squash
Kossak Kohlrabi
Yu Choy or Bok Choy
Red Meat & Korean Purple Radish
Swiss Chard or Lacinato Kale
Escarole, Frisee, or Lettuce
Green Mild Peppers
Misc. Chilies

Meet the New Squash In Town: Robin’s Koginut

Brown butter-roasted winter squash salad with Pecorino Toscano Fresco and toasted pumpkin seeds

Kale and Mushroom Lasagna

Stir-Fried Bok Choy, Daikon, Crisp Tofu

Beef and Radish Soup

Asian Noodle Soup with Winter Vegetables and Tofu

Hot Chile Condiment

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.

Green Pepper Kinpira – Japan The Cookbook Nancy Singleton Hachisu
1 Tbls Gold Sesame Oil
8  small Green Peppers, quartered
1 Tbls Soy sauce
½ Tbls Mirin
1 tsp White Sesame Seeds, warmed in a small dry frying pan
Kinpira sautéed vegetables flavored with soy sauce – are commonly cut into julienne strips, and take some time to prep. Here the piman are quartered, making this dish a bit quicker to prepare.
In a large frying pan, heat the oil over medium heat until shimmering but not smoking. Throw in the piman and then sear, covered, for 1 minute on each side, until the piman are crisp-tender and browned in spots. Add the soy sauce and mirin, stir-fry for another minute to evaporate the liquid, and slide the piman into a medium bowl. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve hot.

 Kohlrabi with Citrus, Arugula, Poppy Seeds, and Crème FraicheSix Seasons by Joshua McFadden – Serves 4
1 lb Kohlrabi, peeled and any gnarly bits cut away
½ cup Crème Fraiche
2 Tbls Poppy Seeds
Kosher Salt and Pepper
4 large handfuls Arugula
3 oranges, tangerines, or other sweet citrus, segmented, juice reserved
2-3 Tbls Citrus Vinaigrette
Cut the kohlrabi into little wedges about the same size as orange segments. Toss with 3 tablespoons of the crème fraiche and the poppy seeds. Season generously with salt and pepper.
Spread a nice swoosh of the remaining crème fraiche onto each plate. Quickly toss the arugula with citrus segments, reserved juices, and citrus vinaigrette. Arrange the arugula and oranges on each plate and top with the kohlrabi.

Citrus Vinaigrette
1 orange, 1 lemon, 1 lime, 1 ½ Tbls honey, 1 Tbls champagne vinegar, ¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper.
Zest all the citrus into a bowl, Halve the fruit and squeeze all the juice into the same bowl, to get 2/3 cup juice (fish out seeds). Whisk in the honey, vinegar, 1tsp salt and several twists of pepper.
Taste and adjust the flavor with any ingredient if needed to make it more vibrant. Whisk in the olive oil a few drops at a time or slowly drizzle the oil into a blender or food processor with other ingredients. Store in the fridge for up to 2-3 weeks.

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Weekly Share October 26th – November 1st

Mesclun Salad Mix
Golden Ball Turnips
Cushaw Squash or Seminole Pumpkin
Lusia, Brente Precoce, or Pallo Rossa Radicchio
Broccoli Raab or Swiss Chard

The farm is still super busy even though we are headed towards Winter, as the days grow shorter we are hustling to get everything done and look forward to the natural slowing of the cool seasons. We have had an actual Fall here in Virginia, with cool and temperate weather although a bit too wet, overall it has meant a lot of our cool season crops have grown well and are more abundant than in other years. The next month means a lot of large harvest days putting up storage crops for the Winter. Most people think of storage crops as root vegetables; but other heading crops store well too. In November and December, we harvest and store cabbage, fennel, radicchio, escarole, frisee, and kohlrabi, as they cannot endure too heavy of a frost but will store for 1-3 months depending on the crop.
We are excited to have radicchio in this week’s share, it is one of our favorite crops to grow, harvest, and eat here at Tomten. The varieties you will receive this week are the quicker growing and more tender types, excellent for salads. If you struggle with bitter, we encourage you to soak the torn or cut leaves in cold water for 20-30 minutes before spinning and drying. Then salt the leaves and toss prior to dressing.  You should use a dressing with both salty (anchovy, hard cheese, olives) and acidic (citrus or vinegar) elements to balance the bitterness. We have a few ideas below. The first of the Winter squash is included this week too. We have added a few savory and sweet options. The rich squash pie recipe is a personal favorite for the Cushaw squash, the custard like filling goes well with the natural cuashw texture.

Pan-Roasted Turnips

Roasted Fennel Salad With Apple And Radicchio

Radicchio and Orange Salad

Swiss Chard, Leek, Herb and Ricotta Crostata from Six Seasons by Joshua McFadden

Roasted Squash With Yogurt, Walnuts, And Spiced Green Sauce from Six Seasons by Joshua McFadden

Seminole Pumpkin Pie

Rich Squash PieThe Fannie Farmer Cookbook
Basic Pastry Dough for a 9” pie shell
1 cup pureed cooked winter squash
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup sugar
3 eggs, slightly beaten
3 Tbls brandy
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
½ tsp powdered ginger
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp mace
Preheat the oven to 425. Line a 9” pie pan with pastry dough. Combine the remaining ingredients in a large bowl and beat until smooth and well blended. Pour into the lined pie pan. Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 300 and bake for 45-60 minutes more or until the filling is firm.

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Weekly Share October 19th – 25th

Yaya Carrots
Famosa Cabbage
Tomatoes or Sweet Peppers
Spigariello or Broccoli Rabe
Red Maria Potatoes
Red Creole Onion
Bibb Lettuce

Red Pepper, Potato, and Peanut Sabzi

What is Broccoli Rabe? (And How Should You Cook It?)

Atakilt Wat – Ethiopian Cabbage Potato Carrots

47 Recipes to Make Anyone Love Cabbage

BA’s Best Stuffed Cabbage

Cabbage and Carrot Slaw with Walnut-Za’atar Pesto

Reginetti with Savoy Cabbage and Pancetta

Escarole with Cannellini Beans

Orange, Escarole And Red Onion Salad

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October 12th – 18th

Napa Cabbage
Winter Radish Mix
Yu Choy or Bok Choy
Japanese Red Mustards
Jalapeno, Lemon Drop, & Aji Dulce

This year we invested more into our ginger production, so we have enough to share with the CSA. Our plan is to save some of the ginger, once it is cured, to use as rhizome seed stock  for the coming growing season, if all goes well we will continue to grow a bit more ginger. You all are getting fresh young ginger; so it will not store indefinitely and basically has no peel, so you can use it all. The smell is divine and the flavor is complex with a soft finish. This week’s share beckons stews, stir-fry’s, and some aromatic sauces. A reminder that the Aji Dulce ( it looks like a habanero) is a seasoning pepper with no heat, so it is delicious for making sauces or to put in a salad for a strong tropical chile flavor. Paired with the lemon drops and jalapeno and you will get some heat and loads of flavor for any sauce or salsa.  If you are looking for a raw veggie option with this week’s share, make an Asian style slaw. Make a dressing with grated ginger, minced cilantro, scallion greens, a little minced chilies, a few drops of sesame oil, sweetened rice wine vinegar, lime juice, and salt. Whisk in some neutral oil for the desired consistency. Thinly shave part of the napa cabbage, grate or julienne winter radishes, and chop scallions, toss together in a bowl with a little salt, then douse with dressing and toss again. You can let it sit for a little bit to marinate and enjoy. Other recipes are below. Enjoy the share……Autumn & Brian

Philippine Sour Shrimp Stew (Sinigang na Hipon) (radish & yu choy)

Radish Scallion Pancakes

Preserved Yu Choy Green Dip (Nam Phrik Nam Phak)

Spicy Shrimp And Napa Cabbage Stir Fry

Sesame-Ginger Daikon Noodle Soup with Bok Choy, Snow Peas and Shiitake Mushrooms

Ají criollo – Ecuadorian hot sauce

Mustard Green Masala

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Weekly Share October 5th – 11th

Arugula or Salad Mix
Milano or Hakurei Turnips
Tomatoes or Sweet Peppers
Spigariello or Russian Kale

We are halfway through our Fall season, with so many new crops coming on every week. October is always our most diverse month of the year. Our fall root crops like winter radishes, turnips, beets, and carrots are growing substantially right now. We are currently harvesting 9 varieties of bunching greens plus a lot of headed crops such as napa cabbage, savoy cabbage, bok choy, escarole, frisee, and soon our early radicchio varieties. All of this in addition to summer crops such as eggplant, peppers, and tomatoes. With the unusually early coolish nights in the 40’s, okra, basil, and beans have pretty much halted any growth; but sometimes we welcome this shift as its difficult to harvest so many different crops at one time. October marks a shift in our direct seeding and transplanting. Everything is basically planted under cover in our high tunnels or for some cold hardy crops (purple sprouting broccoli, overwintering chicories, or fava beans) we plant outside and later cover with some low tunnels, hoops that cover our 4’ beds that are then covered with a greenhouse plastic.  Most of our October planting is for the late Winter and Spring, unless its lettuce, arugula, spinach, hakurei, or radish, these grow a tad bit faster and will be ready for November or December. More or less though our big planting push is over and we are now looking towards keeping weeds in check (it has been so temperate and  wet, they have taken off), managing the pest problems (slugs, aphids, and moth worms love temperate weather), and to our large bulk harvesting for storage.
Overall our fall crops look fabulous and are abundant, especially fennel, tender as we could ever imagine, bunching greens, cilantro, dill, and the big radicchio block. Whereas our large fall broccoli stand is completely diseased, likely from a soil deficiency coupled with the incessant rain and many of our arugula successions are stunted, also an effect from so much moisture. As always some crops do well in certain conditions and others struggle, this is the joy of a large diversified crop plan. We have included a lot of recipes for this week’s share. The only crop that may seem unusual is Spigariello, a green that looks very much like broccoli leaf and tastes somewhere between broccoli and kale, but you can enjoy the stalk, mini floret, and leaf. It is great sautéed on its own with garlic and chile flake, or added as a pizza topping, to a egg scramble, or even in a soup. Some will get Spigariello this week and others in a few weeks. Enjoy the share…..Autumn and Brian

Tomato Fennel Salad

Barley Soup with Greens, Fennel, Lemon, and Dill

Sautéed Spigariello Greens

Sauteed Eggplant with Yogurt and Dill

Roasted Red-Pepper Salad with Anchovy White Beans

Pasta With Prosciutto, Turnips And Greens

Caponata with Fennel, Olives, & Raisins (adapted from Epicurious)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 pounds unpeeled eggplant, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
1 cups coarsely chopped red bell peppers
2/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh fennel bulb (about 1 small)
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
3 tablespoons pitted Kalamata olives, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons golden raisins
½ cup tomato sauce
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add eggplant, bell peppers, fennel, and garlic; sauté until eggplant is tender, about 10 minutes. Add olives and raisins, then mix in tomato sauce and vinegar. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Uncover and simmer until caponata is thick and vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes longer. Mix in parsley. Season caponata to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.) Serve at room temperature.

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Weekly Share September 28th – October 4th

Baby Beets
Bibb Lettuce
Collard Greens
Romano Green Bean
Late Season Tomatoes
German White Garlic
Shishito Peppers
Poblano Peppers

Charred Beet Salad

Creamy Garlic Parmesan Green Beans

Matt’s Four-Pepper Collards

Spaghetti With Charred Tomatoes And Shishito Peppers

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 September 21st – 27th

Bok Choy
Spicy Salad Mix
Asian Eggplant Mix
Hakurei Salad Turnips
Red or Green Mustards
Clemson Spinelesss Okra
Serrano, Thai, & Jyoti Chiles
Thai Basil

Coconut Chicken Curry w. Okra and Eggplant Recipe

Hoisin Eggplant, Prawn and Bok Choy Stir-Fry

Jungle Curry with Pork and Thai Eggplant

Chef Yia Vang’s Isaan Laab with Sauteed Mustard Greens

Thai Basil Noodles With Mushrooms, Bok Choy & Tofu

Japanese Baby Turnips Sautéed in Butter and Soy Sauce

Stir-Fried Hakurei Turnips With Dried Shrimp, Chiles, Garlic And Lime

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Weekly Share September 14th – 20th

Sweet Peppers
Broadleaf Kale
Arugula or Frisee
Romano Green Beans or Tomatoes
Goldrush Russet Potatoes

Assorted Eggplant
Highlander Onion
Genovese Basil

Roasted Eggplant and Crispy Kale with Yogurt

Italian Style Fried Potatoes with Flat Romano Beans and Tomato Paste

Burrata With Romano Beans And Roasted Eggplant

Red Bell Pepper and Kale Stir-Fry

Shakshuka traybake

Breaded Eggplant with Arugula and Parmesan

Peach Frisee Salad with Goat Cheese & Basil

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Weekly Share September 7th – 13th

Lacinato Kale
Spicy Mesclun Salad Mix
Thin Skinned Cucumbers
Romano Beans or Assorted Tomatoes
Clemson Spineless Okra
German White Garlic

Something Extra

Welcome to our Fall CSA season. There is so much diversity of crops, although we are having a very trying season with some of our summer crops, such as squash, cucumbers, beans, and peppers. We discovered that our outdoor peppers have a pretty devastating case of bacterial leaf spot which has been exasperated by the wet and extremely humid conditions in both early June and throughout August. This causes them to defoliate and not produce many flowers, hence little fruit. Our covered peppers look great but were planted 3 weeks late (we always plant on the later side regardless) so we are just beginning to see our sweet peppers ripen. Anyhow there will be very little in the way of chilies and peppers this season (very sad for us). On a positive note though our last successions of beans and cucumbers look wonderful so you will see them this week and probably again one last time. This has got to be one of the best okra and eggplant years we have ever had, so they will be present over the coming weeks and our latter tomato successions look happy and are finally beginning to ripen. We are experimenting with some new small tomato varieties that hold in colder temperatures and ripen slowly off the plant. If you look to Spanish and Italian traditions they use different types of tomatoes throughout the winter and we are seeing how we can incorporate some of these cooking varieties into our crop plan. It is exciting that we have the best and earliest stand of Fall greens we have seen in many years, likely due to the 80 degree temperatures and lots of rain over the past month. Usually we are in a  complete drought through August and struggling to keep plants alive post planting; but this year the struggle has been to get stuff in the ground as the soil has been constantly wet. There is always some weather pattern to contend with. Anyhow we are glad to welcome both salad greens and cooking greens back into the mix, as they pair so nicely with some of our summer crops. Check out the recipes and enjoy the share……Autumn and Brian

Green Beans and Cucumbers with Miso Dressing

Charred Romano Beans with Cherry Tomatoes, Garlic and Preserved Lemon

Kadai Bhindi (Indian style Okra with Bell Peppers)

Speckled Butter Bean, Okra, And Lamb Soup

Okra Summer Salad

Sautéed Kale with Smoked Paprika

Spicy Parmesan Green Beans and Kale

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