Posts Tagged ‘recipes’


2015 Harvest Fest



Common questions I get at the Lake Superior Harvest Festival (this Saturday at Bayfront Park in Duluth, 10 am – 4 pm) include “What is celeriac?” “What do you do with eggplant?” “What are poblano peppers?” and so forth. To make things easier this year, I thought I’d post a few recommended recipes here to point folks to.

Creamy Celeriac Soup

Roasted Celery Root, Red Onions, Mushrooms, and Sage

Creamy Baked Leeks

Roasted Poblano Salsa

Roasted Jalapeno Poppers

Baba Ganouj (Eggplant Dip)

Roasted Beet Pesto

Cayenne Pepper Recipe Collection

momcarrotsNormally, my parents would be helping me get ready for the Fest, but my mom is recovering from a recent surgery, so they’re at home in western Iowa. I’m happy to report that she’s doing great.

I have very good help here, but I’ve just been thinking of all the bunching, bagging, and washing my mom has done for me in the past — thanks, Mom!

See the rest of you at the Fest.

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AutumnSaladBehold a beautiful autumn salad made up almost entirely of vegetables included in our final Stone’s Throw Farm summer share box of the season, way back in mid-October. Salad artist:  friend and farm member Alisa DeRider. Looks good enough to eat!

I love it when farm members send me photos or stories of what they did with their veggies — otherwise I have no idea what happens to them when they leave the farm. For example, after she got her canning tomatoes, Jane sent me a photo of her Stone’s Throw Farm tomato sauce simmering on the stove (as well as enthusiastic & encouraging notes on a regular basis — not that she’s the only one to do so!). I’m happy to receive any and all recipes that people have tried and liked, and I really appreciate it when farm members respond to questions I’ve posed in the weekly newsletter (e.g., how do you like this new variety of ___?)

stoveOnce a year, I get to see and taste what the professionals would do with some of our produce at Farmers Take the Stove. Your friendly neighborhood chefs cook up the best local foods dinner around using ingredients donated by local food producers. Some of us amateurs bring our best dishes, too. This year’s meal is coming up on Thursday, November 14, at Peace Church in Duluth. Get all the details (or contribute to the cause if you can’t make it) at lssfa.org.

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I’ve been sitting here with my laptop in a post-CSA-delivery glow (every single share box was picked up by 7:30 p.m. — who are these wonderful farm members and how can I clone them?) and trying to decide what to do with the less-than-perfect eggplant I brought home. The reality is, I’ll probably not do anything with it tonight because I’m too busy reading and admiring the eggplant archives at the smitten kitchen blog. I love this blog. I love reading it, I love looking at it, and I love thinking about trying a bunch of the recipes . . . which is why I probably won’t make a one of them tonight. Oh, well. grilled eggplant and olive pizza (more…)

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Thanksgiving Table

For once I rememberd to take a photo of our food before we devoured it. I’m sure no one is surprised to see Stone’s Throw Farm ham as the main course of our Thanksgiving dinner. Also, I made Wild Rice, Apple, and Dried-Cranberry Stuffing — really yummy. Happy eating to you all!

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A yellow swallowtail butterfly that was hanging out in the hoophouse one day. This is totally unrelated to the post!

As a CSA farmer, I really have no idea what my farm members do with the veggies they receive in their share boxes every week. Of course, I hope they enjoy every last morsel that they receive, but do they try the recipes I suggest in the newsletter? Find their own favorites? Throw in the towel and toss half of it in the compost because they can’t find a good way to prepare it? Your guess is as good as mine. So it’s been nice to hear from several shareholders this past week, who in response to a question I posed in the newsletter about how they liked the Napa cabbage I grew (and ate) for the first time this year, let me know just exactly what they did with said veggie. One farm member, Luke, sent a detailed accounting of several ways he and his family prepared the Napa, and another member, Rachel, was kind enough to write out a recipe for a dish she invented. Susan sent me a nice message sharing not just her thoughts on the Napa, but also how she prepared several veggies she’s received this spring (as far as I know, she’s retired and in no way affiliated with the Food Network or Olive Garden! just a fan):

I have had so much fun discovering new flavors and recipes using the ‘surprise’ ingredients. I often turn to the Food Network for inspiration.  We all loved the Napa Cabbage.   I used it in Shrimp and Egg Fried Rice with Napa Cabbage.  Yum!  And with Braised Napa Cabbage with Bacon, Red Wine Vinegar and Mint.

The Bok Choy was another favorite … Spicy Shrimp and Bok Choy Noodle Bowl.  Very good!

The kale found it’s way to a family favorite … Olive Garden Toscana Soup.

And I used the Collard Greens to make Old Fashioned Cabbage Rolls.  I cut off the stem and froze the leaves in a stack.   When thawed, they easily wrapped around the filling.   And when slowly baked in the tomato sauce, they were delicious.

It’s great to get this feedback and some recipe ideas. I think only one farm member was brave and told me she didn’t care for the Napa cabbage. I don’t mind hearing about what people don’t like — I don’t really care for lettuce myself, so I understand that you’re not going to love every veggie. I’d hate to overload our members with veggies that many of them don’t like, UNLESS there are a bunch of other people clamoring for that same veggie. So, keep the comments coming, please!

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You know your doctor, but you might only visit him/her once a year. You eat every day. Do you know your farmer?

Knowing your farmer is just one of the many benefits of CSA. The Wild Things CSA website has a great summary of the benefits for both farmers and consumers:

Advantages for farmers: 

  • Get to spend time marketing the food early in the year, before their 16 hour days in the field begin
  • Receive payment early in the season, which helps with the farm’s cash flow
  • Have an opportunity to get to know the people who eat the food they grow

Advantages for consumers:

  • Eat ultra-fresh food, with all the flavor and vitamin benefits
  • Get exposed to new vegetables and new ways of cooking
  • Usually get to visit the farm at least once a season
  • Find that kids typically favor food from “their” farm – even veggies they’ve never been known to eat
  • Develop a relationship with the farmer who grows their food and learn more about how food is grown

I hope to meet all of the Stone’s Throw Farm members in person at some point during the season. All members will be welcome to visit the farm, and I’ll probably see many of you at the drop-off site(s) on the day you pick up your share. We might host some events for members at the farm, too — it will depend on the amount of interest from farm members.

Yesterday I sauteed these veggies for Vegetable Chowder, a Moosewood Cookbook recipe. Everything was fresh from the Food Farm root cellar or frozen last summer by yours truly!

Will you really be “exposed to new vegetables?” Many of the vegetables I plan to grow at Stone’s Throw Farm will be very familiar to you:  carrots, potatoes, brocolli, beans, peas, tomatoes, squash, etc. But there may be a few you haven’t used before, such as celeriac, collards, fennel, parsnips … sound familiar? If not, don’t worry! I’ve collected dozens of great recipes, and I’ll share many of those recipes with Stone’s Throw Farm members throughout the season. I’ll invite members to submit their favorite recipes as well.

What about new ways of cooking? Besides trying new recipes, you might find yourself planning your meals a little differently after joining a CSA — I know I did when I started working at a farm. Instead of deciding what you want to cook and then shopping for the ingredients, what seems to work well for many people is to wait and see what’s in your share box that week, then plan your meals around those items. If you decide you don’t like something or can’t use it all, there’s no shame in composting. I might even figure out a way for you to send your compost to the farm!

CSA isn’t for everyone, but if you eat a lot of vegetables (or want to eat a lot!), are concerned about how your food is grown, and want very fresh produce without having to do the gardening yourself, consider signing up for a CSA share.

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