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web_share 9-30_3IN YOUR SHARE:

  • Purple-Top Turnips
  • Spaghetti Squash
  • Broccoli
  • Fall Greens
  • Fennel
  • Cucumbers
  • Eggplant
  • Poblano Peppers (mild)
  • Padron Peppers (variable/mild)
  • Leeks
  • Inchelium Red Garlic
  • Steel Cut Oats from Bob’s Red Mill

FIELD NOTES: Spotlight on Brussels Sprouts

The botanical name Brassica oleracea, belong to the Brassicaceae family. The Brassicaceae is an economically important food plant family also known as the mustard plants, crucifers and cabbages. Brussels Sprouts will be ready for harvest in a month or so. Pictured below, buds that resemble small cabbages are just beginning to swell where each stem meets the center stalk. The buds are the part of the plant that is most commonly eaten.

Brussels Sprouts

Brussels Sprouts

At this stage of development it is beneficial to harvest the top most leaves of the brussels sprouts in order to divert remaining energy of the plant in to sizing up the sprouts rather than creating new and upward leaf growth. The leaves of Brussels Sprouts are an underutilized part of the plant but are actually quite tasty.

The flavor of the leaves is mild, similar to kale and if harvested young, remarkably sweet, void of the more bitter cruciferous flavor that is apparent in the plant’s sprouts. Brussels sprouts leaves can essentially replace cabbage, collard greens, or even kale in any recipes that call for these greens; they will simply offer a sweeter flavor and more tender texture. Brussels sprouts leaves can be used to make coleslaw, kimchi, added to fish tacos and lend texture to mixed green salads. Some of our members will be getting Brussels Sprout tops (leaves) in their shares this week as your “Fall Greens”, we hope you enjoy this unique treat!

IN THE KITCHEN: Share Notes and Recipe Ideas, from Leigh

SHARE NOTES:

Leigh proudly presents..purple-top turnips!

Leigh proudly presents..purple-top turnips!

Purple-Top Turnips: The purple-top is a variety of turnip (Brassica raps). The part of the tuber that grows below the ground is white, while the upper part that sticks out is purple.  The greens, which are also edible, grow from the purple part.  Purple-top turnips grow larger than many varieties of turnip and they can be stored longer if kept in a cool, moist location – simply leaving them in the fields in the damp Fall soil, for example, or in a cellar or the root drawer of your refrigerator.

Poblano Peppers: These peppers are a mild variety of chili pepper used in Mexican and Southwestern cooking.  They are named poblano peppers because they are said to originate from the state of Puebla in central Mexico.  They have a thick, dark-green skin and a wide base.  They register between 1,000-2,000 Scoville heat units. When fully ripe, bright red in color, they can be dried for later use. When dried, they are referred to as Ancho Peppers. When green, they are great for roasting, stuffing, and even frying!

*If you missed it, check out last week’s blog post describing all of the Zenger Farm peppers of 2014.

Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti Squash: The first Winter Squash of the season! The unique, stringy texture of spaghetti squash distinguishes it from the rest of the winter squash clan. As the name implies, a common use for this squash is as a substitute for noodles under your favorite spaghetti sauces. Especially when paired with a rich meat or cream sauce, the texture and light flavor of the squash offers a perfect balance. Spaghetti Squash is also high in Vitamin C! For cooking instructions, see the recipe below for a simple tomato sauce over spaghetti squash.

RECIPES:

Click any title below for live links to recipes suggestions.

Spaghetti Squash with Tomato Sauce

Stuffed Poblanos

Sautéed Brussels Sprout Tops/Collard Greens

Glazed Turnips and Carrots

Winterbor

Winterbor Kale

IN YOUR SHARE:

  • Kohlrabi
  • Winterbor Kale
  • Cucumbers
  • Mix of Tomatoes
  • Mix of Hot Peppers
  • Red Roaster Sweet Peppers
  • Jimmy Nardello Sweet Peppers
  • Red Norland Potatoes
  • Yellow Onion
  • Inchelium Red Garlic
  • Popcorn from Bob’s Red Mill

IN THE KITCHEN: Share Notes and Recipe Ideas, from Sara

SHARE NOTES:

Kohlrabi: The round, purple vegetable in your share this week is a cousin of broccoli, turnips, radishes…all vegetables that it resembles in flavor and texture, if not shape and size. Excellent eaten fresh in salads or a slaw. Great with other firm vegetables and fruit such as fennel, apple, and cabbage. We have yet to experiment with cooked kohlrabi recipes. If you find a good one, let us know! Though I haven’t tried it yet, the recipe below looks great.

All About Peppers: This week in your share, we’ve included a mix of hot peppers for you to try out, as well as two of our sweet pepper varieties: Jimmy Nardello and Stocky Red Roaster. In an attempt to keep them all straight, below are brief descriptions of each of the peppers growing on the farm this year.

Pepper Line-Up. Hot on top, sweet below.

Pepper Line-Up: Hot on top, sweet below.

Hot Peppers (Top Row. Descriptions below are left to right in picture)

In order to give you a sense of how hot these hot peppers actually are, we have provided their score on the Scoville Scale below. The Scoville scale is the measurement of heat in chili peppers, which is due to the concentration of capsaicin – primarily found in the seeds of the fruit.

  • Poblano: Scoville Score=1000-1500. Though typically mild in spice, they can sometimes be quite hot. These large chili peppers originated in Puebla, Mexico. When dried, they are called Ancho. Red when ripe.
  • Mild Habanero: Scoville Score=100. This mild-mannered cousin of the insanely hot Habanero (Scoville Score=300,000), is actually almost sweet. It has the same distinct fruity aroma as the traditional Habanero, but with none of the pain.
  • Padron: Scoville Score=500-2,500. This Spanish frying pepper has a very wide range of spice. Some are very mild, some quite hot.
  • Czech Black: Scoville Score=1000. Similar to Jalapeno, but not as hot. Starts green, then shades to black, and finally red when ripe.
  • Serrano: Scoville Score=10,000-25,000. Also from the Puebla region of Mexico, this slender, thick-walled pepper is much hotter than Jalapeno. Commonly used in salsa. Red when ripe.
  • Fireball: Sweet and very hot cherry pepper. I could not find the Scoville units for this pepper, but it is undeniably our hottest pepper. Red when ripe. Excellent pickled, or used to turn up the heat on your favorite savory dishes.

Sweet Peppers (Bottom Row. Descriptions below are left to right in picture.)

  • Jimmy Nardello: Sweet Italian pepper. Long and slender. Red when ripe.
  • Gatherer’s Gold: Sweet pepper. Thick-walled and juicy. Yellow when ripe.
  • Stocky Red Roaster: Sweet pepper. Red when ripe.

RECIPES:

Kohlrabi Salad: Adapted from Jerusalem, by Yotam Ottolenghi

Looks like an alien, but it tastes great!

Looks like an alien, but it tastes great!

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound Kohlrabi
  • 1/3 cup yogurt
  • 5 Tbs sour cream
  • 3 Tbs Mascarpone cheese
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1.5 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 2 Tbs fresh mint, finely shredded
  • 1/4 tsp sumac
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Peel kohlrabi and cut into bite-sized chunks. Put in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Mix dressing: Put all other ingredients, except sumac, into a separate bowl and whisk until smooth.
  3. Cover kohlrabi with dressing and stir to coat well. Salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with sumac and serve.

 

 

Justin Moran as....Tomato Man!

Justin Moran as….Tomato Man!

IN YOUR SHARE:

  • Italian Prune Plums
  • Nicola Potatoes
  • Red Beets
  • Fennel
  • Collard Greens
  • Rainbow Chard
  • Cucumbers
  • Calliope Asian Eggplant
  • Padron Peppers (some hot, some not)
  • Leeks
  • Spanish Roja Garlic
  • Rosemary
  • Split Peas from Bob’s Red Mill

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

Ulrich Zenger Jr. and Sr. in front of the barn.

Ulrich Zenger Jr. and Sr. in front of the barn.

Eat at OMSI on September 23rd and help us win a grant to update the historic Zenger Farm barn!

We love our barn, a relic of the Zenger family dairy that operated on this land from 1913 through the mid-80’s. In the early days of the Mount Scott Dairy, as it was called, the Zengers delivered milk by horse and buggy along what is now the busy 4-lane Foster Road, and Zenger Farm was one of many farms in this area. Find out more about the history of Zenger Farm.

Today, the barn is a bustling hub for visiting school groups; it is the wash, pack and storage depot for thousands of pounds of vegetables harvested from the fields each year; it is one of the pick-up sites for Zenger Farm Shares; and it is home to our turkeys. We ask a lot of this hard-working barn, and after nearly a century of wear and tear, it’s time for a bit of an upgrade.

Whaddya say...vote for Zenger Farm's barn?

Whaddya say…vote for Zenger Farm’s barn?

On September 23rd, eat at Bon Appétit Management Company cafes: Bauccio Commons at University of Portland or the Theory Eatery at OMSI and cast your vote for us! Learn more: http://www.bamco.com/forktofarm/

web_pickupIN YOUR SHARE:

  • Roma Tomatoes
  • Winterbor Kale
  • Italian Parsley
  • Marketmore Cucumbers
  • Green Beans
  • Ukrainian Eggplant
  • Serrano Peppers (hot)
  • Poblano Peppers (mild)
  • Onion
  • Spanish Roja Garlic
  • Italian Prune Plums
  • Farro from Bob’s Red Mill

NOTES FROM THE FIELDS:

In addition to growing as many vegetables as we can squeeze out of three acres of urban farmland, Zenger Farm also raises chickens and turkeys, and hosts honey bees, which are tended by the Portland Urban Beekeepers. The Zenger Farm flock of hens, and one rooster, provide primary mowing and tillage in the fields, nutrient-rich manure to feed the soil for next season’s crops, and eggs, which go to the Zenger Farm Egg Co-op members in return for their care of the flock.

Young turkeys in July, curious to explore the world.

Turkeys at 1 month, ready to explore

The turkeys at Zenger Farm are raised here from early May until Thanksgiving. At present, they seem to be growing taller and more wild by the day. This year the flock is a mix of Bourbon Red and Standard Bronze turkeys. Both of these are heritage breeds, which means that they are more closely related to wild turkeys in body type, growth habit, and behavior than the broad-breasted breeds, which have become the standard for meat production in the US since the 1950’s. We have raised various breeds of broad-breasted and heritage turkeys over the years and can see that there are pros and cons to both.

Turkeys at 3.5 months, grazing, flapping, gobbling

This year’s flock of heritage birds is healthy and thriving. It is always fun, and sometimes challenging to observe their wild nature and tend to their needs in this domesticated setting. They easily and often swoop over their fencing and have been found in the blueberries, the tall grass of the wetland, the eggplant…! They have an amazing flock mentality and hyper-vigilant awareness of perceived or real dangers: a new tarp erected to offer them shade, a hawk gliding overhead, or a farm crew member arriving with food and water. And the chorus of gobbling is constant entertainment. They will gobble to the rooster’s crow, or in response to a hearty laugh nearby, or for some other turkey reason that only a turkey would understand.

If you are interested in learning more about the turkeys, or potentially reserving one for your Thanksgiving table, please contact sara@zengerfarm.org.

IN THE KITCHEN: Share notes and recipe ideas

SHARE NOTES
Poblano Peppers: Poblano peppers are the large, dark green peppers in your share this week. They have a great flavor with only a mild heat to them. They are great for stuffing with your favorite fillings: cheese, meat, grains, other vegetables, or a mix of the above. They can also be chopped up and used in salsas, sauteed with other veggies, roasted, or thrown onto the grill.

web_corn 2IN YOUR SHARE:

  • Sweet Corn: Silver Queen
  • Lemon Cucumbers
  • Diva Cucumbers
  • Garlic
  • Fennel
  • Red Beets
  • Purple Potatoes
  • Red & Green Lettuce
  • Rainbow Chard
  • Tomatoes: Mix
  • Padron Peppers (mild)
  • Fireball Peppers (HOT)
  • Rosemary
  • Pinto Beans from Bob’s Red Mill

MEET JUSTIN MORAN:

web_turnips

Justin is really good at posing with vegetables.

For the next six weeks, Farm Intern Justin Moran, will be assisting Farm Share members at the on-farm pick-up site, and will be staffing the Zenger Farm booth at the Lents International Farmers Market on Sundays.

Justin grew up in the rolling green hills of Devon in the UK, a beautiful area surrounded by farmland yet dependent on tourism. During a year living in a mountain village in North-West Turkey, he discovered a deep connection with nature, farming, and a community rooted in land-based livelihoods during. Returning to the UK to continue that journey, he lived in a pioneering ecovillage in Wales, practicing woodland management, permaculture design, and low-impact building skills.

A jack-of-all-trades, Justin has a background in sustainable event management, volunteer coordination, and helped to run a successful green business in London. Justin recently emigrated to settle in Portland, Oregon, and pursue his passions for farming and community with his wife, Teagan. They are growing their first garden together at Kailash ecovillage in SE Portland.

IN THE KITCHEN: Share notes and recipe ideas

SHARE NOTES
web_fireball

Fireball Peppers: These round red fireballs are sweet and hot. The flavor is fantastic, with a zip that is great in salsa, or any other dish that needs some heat.

Purple Potatoes: Purple potatoes are striking in appearance, but are quite similar in flavor and texture to their traditional white/yellow potato relatives. As a general rule, however, fruits and vegetables with deeper and richer colors tend to have higher nutritional value, and this is true of the purple potato, which contains higher levels of antioxidants than other potatoes.

RECIPES

Roasted Beet and Fennel Salad

Corn on the Cob with Cotija and Lime

Astiana Sauce Tomatoes

Astiana Sauce Tomatoes

IN YOUR SHARE:

  • Astiana Sauce Tomatoes
  • Padron Frying Peppers
  • Czech Black Hot Peppers
  • Green Peppers
  • Diamond Eggplant
  • Slicing Cucumbers
  • Carrots
  • Red Ursa Kale
  • Green Leaf Lettuce
  • Red Crisp Lettuce
  • Basil
  • Red Onion
  • Garlic
  • Pumpkin Seeds from Bob’s Red Mill

NOTES FROM THE FIELDS:

Holding up in the heat - Simpson Elite

Holding up in the heat – Simpson Elite

As the late summer bounty requires nearly daily harvest to keep up with the ripening pace of cucumbers, tomatoes, eggplant and peppers, even lettuce, it is tricky to find time for the long list of other tasks that must be done as well: Irrigation, trellising peppers, transplanting the very last starts of the season, tilling and seeding cover crop for winter, and ever-present on the list, weeding, weeding, weeding.

The Farm Interns are nearly five months into their farm season, with only two months to go. Leigh, Lauren, and Justin have each excelled on the farm since their arrival in April. They have become proficient in many farm tasks, constantly working on increasing efficiency, speed, and quality of work in the fields. And now, they have an opportunity to connect the dots and put their practice to the test. Over the next six weeks, each of them will step into the role of Farm Manager for two weeks. During this time, they are responsible for managing the crew through harvest, setting priorities for daily and weekly projects, and learning to delegate efficiently and effectively. Also during this time, Bryan and I will try our best to step back and take orders.

IN THE KITCHEN: Share notes and recipe ideas

SHARE NOTES

Padron Frying Peppers

Padron Frying Peppers

Astiana Sauce Tomatoes: This pink beauty is not best for fresh-eating.  But when cooked – roasted or stove-top simmered – the depth and sweetness that emerges in this tomato is remarkable. The variety was discovered by local farmers Anthony and Carol Boutard in the city of Asti, in the Piedmont region of Northwestern Italy. Try your Astiana tomatoes in the Basic Tomato Sauce recipe, below, recommended by Leigh.

Padron Peppers: Named after the Spanish town where they originated, these small green peppers are best sautéed whole in olive oil and sprinkled with salt – a great starter to snack on, or a side for your meal. They are very flavorful and most have only a very mild spice to them, but be warned, roughly 1 in 10 is quite hot. Surprise!

RECIPES

Basic Tomato Sauce: Jamie Oliver (The Naked Chef), Australian Table, July 2000

Ingredients:

  • 1 large clove garlic, chopped finely
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small dried red chilli
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 lbs sauce tomatoes, chopped (or other if sauce tomatoes are not available)
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 handful of basil or marjoram (or both), roughly chopped
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Instructions:

  1. In a thick-bottomed pan, gently fry the garlic with the olive oil, and then add the chilli, oregano and tomatoes.
  2. Bring to a boil and simmer gently for an hour. Add the vinegar and stir.
  3. Add basil or marjoram (or both), season well to taste, and add 2-3 tablespoons of your best extra virgin olive oil.

Quick Pickles – Rachel Ray

12 Recipes for Grilled Eggplant

"Calliope" in the field

“Calliope” in the field

IN YOUR SHARE:

  • Collard Greens
  • “Magenta” Lettuce
  • “Temptation” Sweet Corn
  • Italian Parsley
  • Carrots
  • “Keuka Gold” Potatoes
  • Slicing Tomatoes
  • Serrano Hot Peppers
  • “Diva” Cucumbers
  • “Calliope” Asian Eggplant
  • Brown Rice from Bob’s Red Mill

IN THE KITCHEN: Share notes and recipe ideas

SHARE NOTES


Collard Greens: When people think of collard greens, long and slow-cooking on rainy fall evenings may come to mind. While the days and even nights are still warm, try your collards minimally cooked or even raw. They don’t actually need the hours of boiling to be tasty. With less cooking time they also retain more of their nutritional value. Experiment with a light saute or steam with other veggies or on their own, or massage raw collards with olive oil and a sprinkle of salt to tenderize, then add vinegar and other veggies to make a great salad!

Garden snake perched at harvester-eye level in the peppers.

Garden snake perched at harvester-eye level in the peppers.

Serrano Peppers: These hot peppers are green now, but will eventually ripen to a bright red. They are tasty at any stage of ripeness. They are a bit hotter than a jalapeno. Perfect for use in fresh or cooked salsa, great pan-fried alongside a plate of tacos, or a good addition of spice to any dish.

“Temptation” Sweet Corn: This exceptionally sweet bi-color sweet corn has an outstanding flavor which makes it ideal for corn on the cob. It can also be cut off the cobs and added to salads or stir fries, even frozen for a taste of summer in the winter months.

“Keuka Gold” Potatoes: These yellow spuds are similar to Yukon Golds. They are versatile and have earned high marks for flavor in trials. This is our first year growing the Keuka Gold. Let us know what you think!

“Calliope” Eggplant: This Asian-style eggplant would do very well in a variety of uses. As with all eggplant, thorough cooking is the key to transforming this fruit from spongy to creamy and caramelizing those sugars. It’s magical really. Try Calliope in a stir fry or curry!

 

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