No professional chefs around here, but we are in this business of farming in large part because we love food. Real food. (and “Really Local” – if you’ve seen the back of our t-shirts. Which are for sale by the way. Organic cotton. Practical brown. $20.)
Back to food – We eat it. We cook it. We love it. (See how happy Dan looks cutting that salad?) Mostly, we love it fresh and simple. Our meals aren’t fancy, but we revel in their deliciousness. And, being farmers, we eat well.
We hear from our fabulous customers that they often aren’t sure how to use these incredible vegetables. Most people know that they should be incorporating more of this into their diets but just don’t know how. So we’re pledging from here on out to include more recipe links in these posts. Plus more pictures of handsome farmers. (Please don’t tell Dan I wrote this – he will be so embarrassed.)
Salad: No real recipes needed here, but a meal planning tip: Make every meal include salad. Pile it high on your plate, topped with other seasonal veggies (like raw turnips right now) and some homemade dressing (it’s so much yummier and healthier than store bought).
Intimidated by the idea of making your own dressing? Check out this article from the Times Dispatch this past summer for which I was interviewed (and am quoted, sounding less than terribly intelligent) about making a variety of vinaigrettes. It’s easy and delicious and quite worth it – I promise.
Next: all these greens we grow!
I know, I know…what are all these crazy things? This is why we wish we could have folks out for a tour every other weekend. We really want to show you what this stuff looks like in the field…walk you around…let you taste a nibble of this here…and that there. It is all fabulous, and even more so when you are standing in the midst of 300 row feet of it in the sunshine. (I can wax poetic on veggies, can’t I?)
Above left is Broccoli Raab. (Or Rabe, some people say. Both are correct.) Use the little florets, the flowers, and the greens. Stir fry it with fat of your choice (oil, butter, lard…) and seasonings (garlic, ginger and soy sauce, anyone?). Most folks are more familiar with Kale, and I treat Raab like kale. Other specific recipe suggestions:
::Broccoli Raab with Carmelized Onions. ::Simply Sauteed Broccoli Raab. ::Pasta with Garlicky Broccoli Raab. (NOTE: You really can substitute any of our greens in these recipes – use them as a starting point for your culinary creativity!)
Above right and below left is Hon Tsai Tai. We know this is an unfamiliar one. But it is so good! It is very sweet right now, and all is edible: Flowers, tender stems, and leaves. Great raw or cooked. Comparable to this is our Tender Tatsoi or Senposai (Asian Collards). Use any of those in these recipes:
Above right (being harvested by our high school mentee, Nemo, who will wreck her back harvesting like that her whole life. But she says she’s on to a respectable career in the medical field after she’s done with us. We’ll see…) is Tokyo Bekana. It’s awesome. In the mustard family so it’s highly nutritious but it’s super mild. Eat it raw or cooked. Ideas:
Essentially – make these dark, leafy greens be part of every dinner. We often simply sautee up a couple bunches of different greens with protein every night of the week.
Turnips: (white and red varieties shown in the second photo up top) These unsung heroes are wonderful. Sliced raw on salad. Sliced in sticks with dip. Or – our new favorite this week: Turnip Puff. Weird name, delicious product. You must make it and revel in it’s deliciousness.
A note about Broccoli: Most folks are familiar with this, but have you tried it roasted? Mouth watering. That link includes the author talking about how wonderful it is. S/he is right. Our 3 year old (Joren) steals mine off my plate.
That’s all I will subject you to this week. Try some things and let us know.
Markets this week: We’re taking orders for delivery to Market Square on Saturday morning (details below) and we’ll be at the South of the James market (Forest Hill Park).
Dan and I will be participating in a Farm Business workshop on Saturday (to help ensure that we will still be around in a few years to grow these great things for you all) so two other wonderful faces (Michelle and Teresa) will be behind our booth in Forest Hill park. We will not, unfortunately, be at the Millworks market. We will see you the following Saturday, Dec 8th!
(that’s the top of Michelle’s head)
Harvest this week includes:
Beets ($4), Broccoli ($1 per stalk), Broccoli Raab (also called Broccoli Rabe – $3), Bunched Greens (Tender Tatsoi, Kale, Chard, Senposai/Collards, Hon Tsai Tai, or Tokyo Bekana – $4), Red or Green Head Lettuce ($2), Hearty Greens Mix ($3), Kohlrabi (small and tender, $1.50 each), Baby Leeks ($3), Napa Cabbage (small heads, super sweet and yummy – $2 each), Salad Mix ($3), Scallions ($2), Spinach (limited amts this week – $4), Turnips (red, white, or the best purple tops you’ve ever tasted $3)…and our own Pepper Jelly (mild, medium, & hot – $5) and Multigrain Bread ($7).
If you wish to order for delivery to Market Square (Brandermill): Please email your order to BroadforkFarm@yahoo.com by 10:00 am on Friday, and pick up between 9 and 12:30 on Saturday at Good Health Herbs.