Newsletter – October 4, 2012

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The Alleged Farm News
Issue Number 16 | October 4, 2012

This Week’s Share
Arugula, Beets, Daikon, Endive, Garlic
Kohlrabi, Lettuce, Onions, Parsley, Hot peppers
Potatoes, Autumn Crown pumpkin, Tomato


 2012 Fall Harvest Festival and Pie Contest
Sunday, October 14th
I trust that by now you are hard at work on your pie ideas, testing fillings, try out pastry folding techniques, pouring through cookbooks to find the thing that will give your creation a decisive edge in the Pie Contest. Be sure, though, to leave a little time to check on your boots and work pants so you will also be ready to walk through our fields and harvest potatoes. 

If I did not have my annual catering job on Friday (I make the food for the Landscapes for Landsake preview party) I would probably be sitting here right now trying to think how best to convey why the Presidential Debates irritate me so much. Or I would be writing about how little I care that the super rich feel unloved when anyone dares talk about the outrageous and destructive level of income inequality in this country. Or I would be pondering what my seething anger at the deer eating the carrots says about my relationship with nature. Or I would be wondering why we so often talk of nature as if it were something apart from–even opposed to–us when surely we are as natural as emus or fungus. Or I might be composing a pseudolyrical piece on newts. Or explaining at great length why all of my recipes involve olive oil and garlic. Or explaining at great length why old farmers drive so slowly. Or speculating on why, contrary to what you would expect and to what other root vegetables do, beets grow so large when there’s no moisture in the soil (and grow so poorly in a wet year). Or complaining for the umpteenth time about carrot weeding. Or about slugs. Or thistles. 

Vegetable notes

Cheese pumpkins are known for their eating quality, but the basic variety that has been available for years is just too large to put in a CSA box. Somebody must have realized this and bred Autumn Crown to deal with the problem. It may not be the prettiest pumpkin ever, but it does taste good. Chris and Stefani have been trying all the varieties of squash and pumpkins, and give Autumn Crown high marks. 

This may be the end of tomato season. We started cleaning up the main patch the other day, and late blight got the final planting (well, mostly got it; Chris finished it off with the flame weeder to make sure the blight does not stick around). I am sorry to see the tomatoes go. But then I remember that it is October and that we have all sorts of fall crops that actually prosper in this weather and taste better after a really cold night and the end of tomato season does not seem so terrible.

But I have to make appetizers for 150 people so I will leave the fatalistic, dispeptic philosophizing to you and get back to rolling out tiny tart shells and piping out tiny choux pastry puffs and rolling up pickled root vegetable spring rolls, which are a nice thing to make if you happen to have any daikon and kohlrabi on hand. Should that be the case, you could julienne the vegetables and mix them a tablespoon or so of salt and let them sit overnight. Drain and rinse the vegetables and pat them dry. Put enough vinegar to cover the vegetables in a pot along with a thinly sliced clove of garlic, peppercorns, perhaps some hot pepper, perhaps a piece of ginger,and spices of your choosing such as cloves or bay leaf or allspice. Bring the vinegar slowly to a boil and turn off the heat. Let the vinegar sit until it has cooled and pour it over the vegetables. Let this sit for at least a few hours. You can just wrap up the pickled vegetables in spring roll wrappers as they are, or you could mix them with soy sauce and sesame oil and maybe some crushed peanuts or sliced scallion or diced hot pepper or some chopped herb such as cilantro or mint or parsley or all of those (that is what I recommend) and then wrap that mixture in your wrappers. Or even better, let the people eating the spring rolls  wrap their own, which, sadly, I will not be able to get away with for the Friday event. 

Saturday, October 6th, 3-6 pm, 172 State Route 372, Coila NY