Monday, September 29, 2014

Letter from John Krueger

Hi Folks, 

We have once again been teased with the promise of rain only to be disappointed. The forecast for last Thursday was for 24 hours of rain, heavy at times, 1 to 2 inches. We got 5 hours of drizzle and a total of 0.14 inches! Total rainfall for September was 1.3 inches. We are doing the best we can with our irrigation system, but we just don’t have the capacity to keep everything well watered. The semi –drought has hurt our bean production and has greatly slowed down the greens and the fall root crops.

We have a final planting of zucchini and other summer squash that is just beginning to produce. I expect that next week we will begin a rotation to give members of all groups a few more of the summer types before settling into distribution of the hard squash for the duration of the season. We have some green cabbage for you this week and this will be the last of the cabbage until the end of the season. We will have kohlrabi next week and will hopefully start with broccoli the following week. We have more bok choy on the way and the Brussel sprout and cauliflower crops look good as well. The sweet potato crop looks good but we will give them another couple of weeks to size up a little more. There are a few large ones in each mound but also many small ones which need a little more time.

I was at the Hudson Valley Garlic festival on Sunday, buying seed garlic to plant for next year’s crop. We had a very poor crop this year due to the bad winter. I normally save a few hundred pounds of my own to replant but we only have enough for one more distribution this week. I don’t even have enough for my markets during the rest of the season.

The share will be: Tomatoes, peppers, eggplant ,lettuce, potatoes, beets or salad turnips, choice of kale or chard (mostly kale), green cabbage, garlic, spinach and choice of an herb (mostly dill or cilantro with some summer savory).          


Farmer John

Farm & Fork Society News -- Trial Share, Demo Recipes, Star Ledger, Greenwood Gardens!

Trial Share

Do you have friends who have been eyeing all the yummy produce you’re bringing home or have you sent them to pick up your share and now they want to join? 

Did you just hear about us at one of our recent events and want to see what it is all about?  

Here is a chance to do a one week trial of a vegetable and fruit share for $40. Trial share includes exactly what our fruit and vegetable share members will get that week -- 10-12 different types of vegetables and 2 different types of fruit.  To see what members received last year at this time click here.  

Pick up date November 7, 2014 from 12pm to 3pm in Downtown Millburn pick up site. Contract MUST be received no later than November 3.  

All instructions and contract can be found on our website click the “Trial Share” tab.

Williams-Sonoma Cooking Demo --Recipes 

We had loads of fun cooking and sampling recipes made with our farmer’s produce at Williams-Sonoma, Mall at Short Hills this Saturday.  Our menu included Spinach Walnut Pesto on Pasta, Food in Jars Pear Vanilla Jam served on Frozen Vanilla Yogurt made with Williams-Sonoma Frozen Yogurt Starter drizzled with Williams-Sonoma Mission Fig Balsamic Vinegar and toasted hazelnuts and Blue Cheese/Roquefort and Triple Cream cheese on a Cracker with the Vanilla Pear Jam and the Mission Fig Balsamic. We also cooked up a batch of Butternut Squash Soup in the slow cooker.  

Star Ledger “In Season” Story on Farm & Fork Society 

If you missed the story on us in the Star Ledger last week, here is the link again.  Rachel Weston, Star Ledger “In Season” columnist stopped by the Farm & Fork Society pick-up site and joined us after for the canning class with Food In Jars Master Canner, Marisa McCellan. Read all about her experience in her latest column entitled In Season: Farm & Fork Society Extends the Season.

Greenwood Garden’s History & Harvest Celebration

On Saturday, October 18th, from 12 - 5 PM, Farm & Fork Society will be at Greenwood Garden’s History & Harvest Celebration. This is a fun day for the entire family with crafts, demonstrations, pony rides, apple hunt and more.  We will be sharing a booth with Sweet Jane’s Granola!

Facebook and Instagram

Show off what you have cooked; please post on Facebook and Instagram (@farmandforksociety) tagging us!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Beets 101

The Beet is the taproot and is the edible portion, as well as the greens, of the Beet plant. Originally from North Africa it is a relative of Swiss Chard. Beets are also a cool weather vegetable crop. The taproot becomes hard in warmer weather. The most common variety is  reddish-purple in color but beets can also be white, golden and even rainbow colored. Sugar Beets account for a third of the worlds sugar supply. To learn more about Beet varieties click here and here. In the Middle Ages the Beetroot was used to treat illnesses of the blood and of digestion and the Victorians used Beets to dye their hair. Pickled Beets are a traditional food in South America and are served on hamburgers in Australia, New Zealand and in the United Arab Emirates. Click here for more fun facts about beets. For more about beets click here

To Store

Beets will stay fresh for a long time if they are stored properly. Never wash beets before storage. Beets will stay fresh for 3 to 5 days with the greens attached. They will last 2 to 4 weeks with the greens removed, as the greens will pull moisture from the root. When cutting the greens from the Beetroot leave one inch of stem to prevent bleedingin the cooking process. The greens will need to be eaten in a few days or they will begin to deteriorate. To learn more about longer storage for root vegetables including Beets click here

To Nourish

Beets are a good source of Vitamin C, Fiber, and Potassium and an excellent source of Manganese and Folate. They are also one of the few sources of Betalains, which are Phytochemicals with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Click here to learn more about the health benefits of Beets. 

To Prepare
Beets can be eaten raw but taste sweeter when cooked. Beets are often pickled. The largest portion of Beets grown are used for pickling in commercial production. Several cooking methods apply to Beets. They can be boiled, steamed, grilled and roasted to name a few. To learn more about cooking with Beets click here

To Try

Caramelized Beetroot Tarte Tatin 

To Use

Everything about this user-friendly OXO V-Blade Mandoline is easy to manage, including your results. Designed for safety, efficiency and ease of use, it produces a variety of popular cuts for cooking and garnishing foods. Makes perfect crinkle and straight cuts in four thicknesses: 1.5mm, 3mm, 4.5mm and 6mm. Four additional blades create two sizes of julienne and cubes. (Williams-Sonoma, $39.95)