Farm Share Week 18

Three weeks remain and I’ve received numerous emails from customers thinking the season is over. This is understandable, as many grocery stores stop carrying Ontario produce at this point because consmers are used to the local options being phased out in early September. Even things like lettuce are being harvested into early October, although a heavy frost could wipe them out. We are still harvesting carrots, beets and kale and still waiting for the Jerusalem artichokes and parsnips to grow a little before harvesting. The brussels sprouts do not mind the frost at all, so I normally wait until the last weeks to harvest them, when I am grateful for a new item to put in your boes. Even sweet peppers and eggplants are living on happily under a frost cover we put up. So, despite the chill that’s in the air, October is still a busy month for harvesting vegetables.

So what’s on the menu this week?

Half Share
-carrots
-red beets (storage tip: cut off leaves one inch from the beets and store seperately to keep beets fresher longer)
-butternut squash
-baby bok choy
-red radish
-red leaf lettuce
-rainbow swiss chard
-sweet peppers
-green onions
-leeks

Whole Share
-carrots
-red beets
-butternut squash
-baby bok choy
-red radish
-red leaf lettuce
-rainbow swiss chard
-sweet peppers
-green onions
-leeks
-celery
-green leaf lettuce
-garlic bulbs
-spinach
-red cabbage

And for the recipes, now is the time for confort-food. And by comfort food, I don’t mean deep-fried! Some homemade soup is one of the best comfort foods in my opinion. I made a nice potato leek soup which I could have done with more of, with a tweak to the original recipe.

Potato Leek Soup (adapted from simplyrecipes.com)
Nice and creamy without all the fatty cream!

Ingredients
1 bunch leeks including green tops, chopped (the original recipe called for no green tops-what a waste!)
2 tbsp. butter
2 cups water
2 cups chicken, vegetable or beef broth
2 lbs. potatoes (also could use leftover potatoes, just don’t cook for as long)
1-2 tsp. dried italian herbs, or fresh herbs to taste (I used a spice mix but the recipe calls for parsley, thyme and marjoram
salt and pepper (if desired- I think I omitted these altogether)
cayenne pepper to taste (great for your immune system)

Directions
1. Cook leeks in butter in soup pot. Cover and cook on low about 10 mins. Check often and do not brown!
2. Add water, broth and potatoes. Bring to a low simmer and cook 20 minutes or until tender. Spoon about 1/2 of the soup into blender, puree and return to pot. Repeat with other half. Add spices. Serves 4-6 as a side.

Roasted Winter Veggies
My favorite way to prepare beets- makes a colourful side and a great-pleaser.

Ingredients
1 bunch beets, peeled and cut into quarters (for mid-sized beets)
1 bunch carrots, peeled and cut into short carrot sticks
1 large delicatta squash or 1/2 large or 1 small butternut squash, peeled and chopped into 1 1/2 inch cubes, seeds and insides discarded
1 onion or leek, coarsely chopped
4 medium potatoes, chopped into quarters
(Any of these vegetables could be omitted or another root vegetable added, although the more colour the better)
2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
Salt, pepper and rosemary or other savory spices like thyme, sage, parsley, etc.
1-2 tbsp. olive oil

Directions
1. Wash, peel and chop vegetables and place in baking dish (Corningware is perfect). Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Add olive oil and spices and mix together lightly. Cover and bake about 40 mins or until vegetables are tender (carrots and beets seem to take the longest so check them).

As the variety of vegetables diminishes a little with the cooler weather, it’s a good time to try out new recipes. You never know when you’ll find your next classic!

Thanks for embarking on your local organic food adventure. It’s people like you that have kept agriculture strong in Ontario. I hope it’s been tasty!

-Jennifer

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