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Want another reason to join a CSA? From the Farm Aid website:

“When the food is sold directly from the farmer to you, you can be sure more of your dollar benefits the farmer who actually raised or grew your food. Through traditional food markets, only 19 cents of every food dollar goes to the farmer, while the remaining 81 cents goes to suppliers, processors, transportation costs, middlemen and marketers.”

http://www.farmaid.org/site/c.qlI5IhNVJsE/b.2723731/k.3F72/Take_Action_Ensure_that_your_food_dollars_support_family_farmers.htm

President’s Day is around the corner and President Obama stated in the most recent State of the Union address that our goal should be using 80% of clean power by 2035. It may seen a far ways off, but we can start today with Organic Foods.

Though they might not be the most economical choice, they are by far the healthier and “greener” choice. Locally grown vegetables and fruits where you know the farmer and the soil where he grows them. These should be the easy choices, eat clean and healthy foods and your body will thank you.

How does organic food help the environment? With organic farming you are no longer contaminating the land with harmful chemicals. Farmers take measures to produce foods without hazardous chemicals and grow crops that are indigenous to the area. This sustainable farming practices preserve and save the land for future generations.

By joining CSA’s that support organic farmers, you are supporting the movement towards a “greener” world and getting delicious vegetables and fruits without all those harmful chemicals.

Enjoy your organic veggies. Make a small change for a healthier environment and an even healthier you!

– Wende

If you’ve had the experience of having certain vegetables pile up in your fridge, it is important to pay attention to the best ways to store those veggies. Here’s a few tips:

  • Don’t wash the dirt off the vegetables—they keep better that way.
  • Check your vegetables periodically for little bad spots. It doesn’t mean you have to toss the vegetables, but make sure to cut those spots out before the rot spreads…and then use that vegetable sooner than later.
  • When you store vegetables in plastic bags (good for carrots, turnips, rutabaga, cabbage, etc.) make sure to remove as much air as possible from the bag. Then close tightly.
  • For veggies that you aren’t storing in the fridge, make sure they are covered. Light is not good for storage—potatoes will turn green, garlic and onions will start to sprout faster if they are in the light, etc.
  • Chop off the tops (such as carrots, beets)—the greens rot faster and that rot can spread to the rest of the veggie.
  • Aside from the fridge, a good place to store vegetables is a dry, cool (around 50 degrees), dark place, although some people recommend damp, not dry for potatoes and sweet potatoes.

If you are like me, then you are still not sure what to do with all the Jerusalem Artichokes we have been getting since late in the summer CSA season. For the most part I have just been adding a couple of them to anything I make with a variety of root veggies as well as dicing them to top tossed salads. This is an effective, tasty and very slow way to consume them. I highly recommend it to anyone who is attempting to savor their share for as long as possible. If you are like me at this point – searching for a way to gobble them down ASAP – then let me suggest this bastardized version of a recipe from Serving Up the Harvest by Andrea Chesman

Ingredients:
– However many Jerusalem Artichokes you want to use up (I did about 1lb)
– A liberal splash of Olive Oil
– A couple cloves of garlic minced
– Zest of half a lemon
– A sprig of basil torn up (I used about 6 leaves from some I had frozen)
– Sea Salt to taste

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 450
2. Scrub the artichokes then dice them into pieces (I made them about 1″)
3. In a large bowl mix oil, garlic, lemon & basil. Toss in the chokes and make sure they are coated
4. Put in a baking pan single layer
5. Bake about 20 min shaking/stirring occasionally (don’t brush your arm on the oven door when you do this. It hurts!)
6. Sprinkle with a bit of salt & serve up hot

Alternate Plan – In the original recipe the garlic, lemon & basil are blended together in a mini food processor then added about half way through the baking time. I suspect that it would give the dish a little more of a zip.

Peace, Love & Veggies!

~ Angel

Another month has gone by and it is (again?!) distribution day. The share includes plenty of root vegetables, a mystery value item and milk! If you don’t drink milk, worry not—you can easily make your own yogurt. Angel shared her recipe earlier this year.

February share includes:
– Turnip or Radish
– Cabbage
– Garlic & Shallots (instead of the winter squash)
– Carrots
– Rutabaga
– Red Jerusalem Artichoke
– Red Onions
– Beets Mixed
– Milk 1/2 Gallon
– Pickled Peppers
– Chicken (for those with the omnivore share) or Value added

P.S.: Got an earthy recipe you want to share? Tips on storing veggies? Send ’em our way!

I’m back from my trip for about a week now. It is good to be home; with one exception and that is the 1.5′ of snow on the ground here.

The farm is under its winter cover and it has not been warm enough to harvest any greens. We hope by March to have some greens in the share. We thank all those who took advantage of the discount and sent in payments. (We also want to thank both old and new members for signing up earlier.) That will pave the way for getting up and running smoothly.

In our travels to find workers we went to Turkey and Bulgaria and found some candidates but none with the experience of the Egyptians. There are possibilities but much more needs to be done for recruiting. Our last stop was in Egypt and we were there during the first two days of the revolution. It was exciting to witness history unfolding and see first hand what happened on the ground. We hope there fervor becomes contagious and affects all people to pay more attention to what their governments are up to—because almost none has the best interest of the average person at heart.

Our deepest concern this time is for the people of Egypt and for their aspirations to be free from dictators. Please contact your representative and urge them not to support Mid East dictators. In the long run this will only create hatred and animosity towards America.

As you know our farm relies on the guys from Egypt. We had a scare earlier in the year when Immigration asked for more information for the application to bring them back. We had to hire a lawyer and finally received notice last Friday that the case was approved! However, the uncertainty lies in whether they can get interviews at the US consulate in Cairo.

Last but not least, mark March 5th on your calendar for the Just Food event. Hope to see you there!

Note: We’ll be posting info on the Just Foods conference very soon.

– Zaid

Did you know that rutabaga is a cross between turnip and cabbage? They have less than a third of the carbs and less than half of the calories of potatoes. If you’ve never had rutabaga before, you might be wondering what to do with them. I had mine like mashed potatoes—with a little butter and nutmeg. They were yummy.

Here are a few other ideas:

  • Cube, boil and serve rutabaga mixed with cubed, boiled carrots.
  • Make oven-baked rutabaga fries. Slice rutabaga into 1/4″ thick rounds or fries (strips). Toss in olive oil, salt, pepper and put them on a baking sheet. Cook for 12 minutes making sure to turn them. When they are golden brown, take them out. You can sprinkle them with garlic powder or paprika if you like.
  • Peel and cube rutabaga and boil in water. Add a tablespoon of olive oil and a dash of salt and pepper. Add some curry powder and a little brown sugar. Boil, then simmer until tender.
  • Mash boiled rutabaga into your mashed potatoes for a little kick!

Hope you enjoy this tasty little root vegetable.

Jenny

Who says you need to have a backyard to grow your own food? Well, not anymore. Most of you have likely came across hydroponic tomatoes at the supermarket. (Yes. Those perfect-picture, packed in a cello bag).

We just found out you can grow these beauties and much more in your little window. So, ready to become a “Windowfarmer”? Read on!

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