Archive | October, 2008

Ending BIG with Brussels Sprouts

11 Oct

It’s hard to believe this is the last share of the season.  Though the start of the season felt slow with cool weather and little rain, in general our expectations of a productive garden were exceeded.  We were also pleased with the West Slope fruit crop.  We had good variety and due to favorable weather conditions in their orchard, more fruit directly from Austin Family Farms than last year.  The Austin’s were once again a pleasure to work with and we were proud to make their product available over here.

We hope everyone enjoyed the season.  We are very interested in your experience this season and will send out an evaluation survey soon.  We really appreciate the feedback and hope to continue to have the opportunity to provide you with local food.  We will also keep in touch regarding sign-ups for next season.

Upcoming Events

If you have enjoyed the harvest and feel like celebrating there are two events coming up that you will not want to miss.

This Saturday, October 11th from 6-9pm, Celebrate Our Foodshed!, the annual event sponsored by the Central Colorado Foodshed Alliance, celebrating local food production, will be held at the Salida Steamplant Ballroom at 220 West Sackett Street, Salida.  Admission to the event is $5. and members and children under 5 are free.

The event features guest speaker Susan J. Tweit, Salida author and naturalist who will share her insight on teh benefits of consuming local foods.  There will also be a delicious dinner of local foods, samples from local growers and old time music and contra dancing after the presentation.

2nd Annual Farmhands Benefit Pumpkin Patch Festival

Join community, friends and family to celerate harvest time!  On October 18th and 19th and 25th and 26th from 10am-5pm on Saturdays and 12pm-4pm on Sundays come out to the farm.  Admission is $5, 2 and under free.  The event will feature horse drawn wagon rides, hay bale maze, farm games, pumpkin patch, silent auction, bake sale, and Colorado Grown Bratwurst BBQ.  The event is sponsored by:  Guidestone, Cottonwood Meadows, Weathervane Farm, Cottonwood Creek Dairy, Colorado Grown, Channelbv.net and Landmark Surveying.

Weathervane House Concert Series

With winter comes more time for music.  The Weathervane House Concert series will resume in November.  We will let you know of upcoming events as they are scheduled.

Garden Share

Broccoli

Brussels Sprouts

Carrots

Cucumber

Kale

Onion

Garlic

Scallions

Leeks

Potatoes

Turnips

Acorn Squash

Pie Pumpkin

Lacto-fermented Kimchi

Fruit Share

1 bag fuji apples

1 bag pears

Fuji Apples

If you are sad this is the last fruit share these will last several weeks.  Keep them in the fridge or other cold storage and eat them fresh to savor the apple-y flavor.

Brussels Sprouts

Suprise! If you  haven’t seen them before this is how Brussels Sprouts grow.  We removed the leaves leaving a stalk of sprouts.  To remove the sprouts just use a paring knife.  You may need to trim them up a little bit before using.  We love these cut in half and coated in butter and roasted alone or with a veggie combination as mentioned in previous editions.

Lacto-Fermented Kimchi

In early September we made this batch of Kimchi.  Eric, Amy, Seth and I (Caitlin) got together on a Sunday afternoon to chop and shred many harvest bins full of cabbage, carrots, pac choi, turnips, onions and garlic.  We added minced ginger, siracha, red pepper flakes and salt to the mix and pounded it all down in a barrel to ferment.  It has been fermenting in our cool basement since.   Lacto fermenation is an old world preservation technique employed by many cultures across the globe.  Kimchi is a Korean recipe and sauerkraut is a german recipe of this same process of preservation.  This batch is not very spicy, but has a nice sour flavor.  In my opinion, it could be called Sauerchi or KimKraut.

We are especially interested in lacto-fermation to aid in the extension of our season.  Fermented veggies can last up to six months, creating a live food source through the winter months.   While in Vermont, our friend Amy worked at Flack Family Farm doing small scale lacto-fermentation.  She has been very helpful in coaching us on the basics of the art of lacto-fermentation.  We will also make a batch of Sauerkraut this season with our big Bravo cabbages out in the garden.  We hope to have both the kimchi and the sauerkraut available at Colorado Grown through the winter months.

Good Uses for Kimchi

Kimchi and other fermented foods are not generally the centerpiece of a meal.  They are best as condiments and should be eaten in smaller portions with a meal.  Beneficial bacteria present in lacto-fermented foods aid in digestion.   I like kimchi added to soups.  It is a great tangy addition to chicken broth soups with meat and other vegetables.  I also like it as a condiment on my plate with stirfry or rice dishes.  I start to crave just a little bit with almost anything I eat in the winter time.  It is an energizing food.

For further reading including information on the processes and the health benefits related to lact-fermented foods, check out these links.

Sally Fallon, Author of Nourishing Tradition discussing lacto-fermentation.

http://www.westonaprice.org/foodfeatures/lacto.html

Sarah Flack of Flack Family Farm – PDF On Lacto Fermentation

www.sarahflackconsulting.com/articles/lactic-veggie-fermentation.doc

Vote Yes on 2H on November 4th

This is an issue that could drastically affect the future of the current Weathervane Farm operation located on Cottonwood Meadows Property.  Currently we are here by the generous invitation of John Cogwell, the Cottonwood Meadows land owner.   In a culture where housing developments pave over productive farm land, The Cottonwood Meadows plan sees farming as a benefit to development.  This development project seeks to involve several farm businesses as one of the many facets featured in a plan to build community and provide new amenities to the residents of the area.  If 2H is voted down in November, John will likely be forced to sell and it is unlikely that a new buyer would be interested in keeping us on the property.  To learn more about the issues and many benefits of the development there are several meetings scheduled in October.

Oct 13, League of Women Voters, Community Center, 7PM

Oct 13, 20, 27 and Nov 3 at the Evergreen, 6:30pm

Oct 21 – Delta Kappa Gamma (retired teachers) Sangre de Cristo community room 7 PM

Pick up a yard sign by the walk-in cooler to show your support.  They will also be available, next door at Colorado Grown now that this is the last week for pick-up in the cooler.

The final harvest day of the season called for something special and the team answered 13 crates high, another new record.  We will be training hard over winter for next season.  Keep an eye out for the Weathervane All Stars at next years Farm Olympics.

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Chilly Nights and Hot Soup

4 Oct

The wind blew hard on Thursday afternoon bringing down a storm of yellow cottonwood leaves.  It was so majestic in the garden with the cool air blowing down from the mighty mountain peaks.  Plants in the garden have pretty much stopped growing and our plot is just a holding ground until we harvest.  It is also the season for gleaning the last of some of crops.  You will notice the bagged chard and lettuce leaves in the share this week.  These are the last of those crops and so we picked smaller leaves that cannot be bundled but are still super tasty.

The share season is sadly drawing to a close.  The last week for shares is coming next week.  Shares as always will be here at the farm until Tuesday evening.

Though the veggie season is almost over, there will be more opportunities to visit the farm in October.  Bring the whole family to the 2nd Annual Farmhands benefit Pumpkin Patch Festival.  For more information on Farmhands an education program of the non-profit Guidestone check out http://guidestonecolorado.org/GigPage.aspx?PageID=1737 The Festival will run weekends, October 18th and 19th and 25th and 26th on Saturdays from 10 am – 5pm and Sundays from 12 pm – 4pm.  Admission to the event is $5, 2 and under free.  There will be lots of fun events including horse drawn wagon rides, hay bale maze, farm games, pumpkin patch, silent auction, bake sale and Colorado Grown Bratwurst BBQ.

Garden Share

Beets

Cabbage

Carrots

Chard Leaves

Leeks

Mixture of Lettuce Leaves

Red Onions

Sangre and Yukon Gold Potatoes

Fennel

Butternut Squash (From Mattic’s Orchard in Olathe)

Eggplant (From Mattic’s)

Fruit Share

All from Austin Family Farms

1 bag honey crisp apples

1 bag peaches, pears and plums


Eggplant and Red Chili

This is a dish of Seth’s that is great with eggs and tortillas or poured over rice.

Peel 1 large eggplant.  Cut into pieces 1/2 inch wide by an 1 1/2 long.  Saute in oil with a little bit of garlic.

Make one recipe of red chili.  Chili powder can be found in the Hispanic Foods section at your grocery store and usually comes in mild, medium and hot. Buy the large package that is probably more than a cup of ground chili not the small quantity that comes in a spice jar.  The recipe on the package is the one we generally follow.  Or if you are feeling ambitious you can rehydrate red chili pods and try the method explained here   http://www.zianet.com/focus/chile/chile3.htm adding salt and garlic and a roux to thicken of necessary.

Add red chili to the eggplant and simmer 5 minutes or so to thicken the mixture.

Butternut Squash and Apple Soup

Here is a simple recipe that includes some fruit, too.

http://www.elise.com/recipes/archives/000051butternut_squash_apple_soup.php

Seth’s Green Squash Soup

This makes a lot of soup.  Cut the recipe in 1/2 for a smaller quantity.

4 c winter squash

1 1/2 c. carrot cut into chunks

4 c. potatoes cubed

5 c. kale, chopped or other green

1 large onion, chopped

4-5 garlic cloves chopped

1 T. salt

1 tsp pepper

1/4 tsp. cayenne

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp cinnamon

2 T dried tarragon

Add 2 c. potatoes to small pot and boil until they are soft but do not fall apart.  Add everything else to a large pot with enough water to cover 2 inches.  Cook until tender.

Blend the mixture in a blender or food processor in batches and return to the pot.  Add cooked potatoes as you blend.  Add more spices as you like.  Simmer 10 minutes more and serve.

Potato Leek Soup

Potato leek soup is a fantastically simple and satisfying soup to make.  I liked the story behind this soup even though we are entering winter rather than coming to the end of winter.  With lows going down into the high 20s this week winter is on its way.  Potato Leek Soup is a hearty comfort food.

http://pinchmysalt.com/2008/03/19/a-hearty-potato-leek-soup-recipe-for-the-last-days-of-winter/

Celebrate Our Foodshed

The Central Colorado Foodshed Alliance, sponsers of the Salida Farmers Market, are holding their annual celebration on Saturday October 11th from 6-9pm at the Salida Steamplant Ballroom, 220 West Sackett St. in Salida.  The event will feature local author, Susan J. Tweit speaking about the benefits of consuming local food.  There will also be a delicious dinner of local foods, samples from local growers and music and dancing after the presentation.  Admission is $5 and children under 5 and CCFA members will be admitted free.  Come join in and Celebrate Our Foodshed!