Week No. 1 – 2011 Season

Welcome back to lifelong endeavor restoring health to land and people

A long way off down the avenue, I see Ellen and Rich coming. Umbrella and canvass bags in hand, faces smiling and encouraging as always, they’re coming to support my family and our farm as they have nearly 10 years. I’m trying to sign up new vegetable subscribers and selling products for our organic farm. These dear ones always seem to show up right when someone new at my table needs reassurance about who we are, what we do. Days later and miles from that neighborhood, their faces come to me as I round a field, raking hay. It is as if they’re with me on the John Deere tractor, enjoying it all. I pass double rows of sweet potatoes, cabbage, broccoli, tomatoes, okra – football-field-length beds we’ve transplanted. More prepared beds await so many more varieties to be transplanted in the next few days. I see the maxi-belle and dragon tongue beans rising, the blocks of winter wheat and rye fast maturing. I think about the rotations of different plant varieties, each taking or contributing something to the soil. I watch the grasses, alfalfa, clove and native plants fall to the haybine. I see the birds and insects, returned to more diverse plantings in this field rescued from intensive chemical applications and mono-cropping 7 years ago. Ellen and Rich did this, as much as Tony or Dela, our children or farm interns, as much as the committed owners of this land we rent. They, and so many other subscribers, new and longstanding, helped restore the Natural system, the balanced, healthful, nurturing system of life, that once thrived everywhere about the Earth. They restored a new standard, a new focus. It favors health and quality over volume. Think about this with each bite you take of this food we all raise together. Accept our heartfelt thanks for supporting Scotch Hill Farm and the good Earth.

 

This Week’s Vegetables are:

  • Bok Choy
  • Oregano
  • Cress – a relative of kale (this we’ve planted and harvested for you is a Curly, Crinkled, Crumpled variety)- peppery tang for salads, sandwiches or mixed vegetables
  • Asparagus
  • Spinach (planted in high tunnel last September)
  • Onions (grown over winter in high tunnel)
  • Turnips – Considered a starch, yet with one-third the calories of potatoes, this root crop lends more nutrients to health if you leave its skin in tack when cooking or slicing into salads;  the greens supply many times the nutrients of roots (Vitamins A, E, C, plus folic acid, and excellent  fiber)
  • Radishes (try them in stir fry; greens can be washed and incorporated into dishes, too)
  • Leaf lettuce – the darker the shade of lettuce, the higher its nutrient content; unlike iceberg lettuce, ours is a good source of Vitamins K, A, C, B1, B2, folic acid, magnesium and chromium micro nutrients

Cooking Tips for the Week

“From Aspargus to Zucchini” – We’ve purchased two boxes of our Madison Area CSA Coalition’s “Asparagus to Zucchini” cookbook so our subscribers can enjoy a 25 percent discount off its retail price. Dela’s serves on the coalition’s board and has contributed recipes to the book. We can obtain additional copies for you, always at the $15 price. Simply email or call us to arrange delivery with your produce or to pick up from the farm. This quick-reference, easy-to-follow instructions on cooking tips, preservation and recipes, advises you on almost every vegetable we grow. It is arranged dictionary-style and helps you identify most items in your delivery list each week with a sketch of each vegetable or herb. You’ll get the most out of your subscription if you obtain this CSA survival skill book. (cell 608 354-3243 / farm 608 897-4288 / tony@scotchhillfarm.com ) Below are two recipes from present and previous editions of the food book. You can also find them at our website www.scotchhillfarm.com under “Cooking on the Farm” in the site’s menu of options. Our daughter Holly has helped us revamp the website, and Dela will try to include more recipes on the site through the growing season. Communicate with our community of support through the new forum provided.

Spicy Bok Choy Ginger Salad (adapted from MACSAC's From Aspargus to Zucchini p. 33)

  • 4 cups thinly sliced bok choy leaves & stems
  • 1 cup grated radishes
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion (use green tops if you have them)
  • 1 inch knob of grated ginger root
  • 2 tablespoons chopped mint &/or cilantro
  • 3 TBSP balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp honey
  • pepper to taste

Toss together and chill before serving.  Makes 6 servings.

Rhubarb Bread (adapted from previous edition of “A to Z Foodbood”)

  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 1/2 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2/3 cup oil 
  • 1 tsp salt 
  • 1 egg 
  • 1 1/2 cup chopped rhubarb
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup sugar & 1 TBSP butter w/ cinnamon for topping

Heat oven to 325. Butter 2 loaf pans.  Mix all ingredients except topping. Divide evenly into 2 bread pans.Mix topping ingredients and sprinkle on loaves. Bake 50 minutes. This bread freezes well and tastes great in December!