Friday, October 31, 2008

Beautiful Garlic Photo

Good Day All! I wanted to give credit to the great photographer Sandee McGee of Oh My Gato Farm for the wonderful image she took of the garlic I am holding on our blog. Thanks Sandee~!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

CSA Harvest #25

Hi Everyone!! I hope this new blog format works out for all of you. I was feeling uninspired after 24 weeks of using the email. Whew! We have been hitting it hard since we looked at the weather forecast for the next week and it just showed rain, rain, rain- oh yeah, I was forgetting I lived in Oregon!
We have completed our garlic beds, mulched them heavily in newspaper (to keep weeds down) and then on top of the newspaper straw so they will keep warm thru the upcoming winter. Straw also helps to conserve soil moisture and block the weeds from growing as well.
Tuesday we had the wonderful help from our youthful and energetic volunteers the Burkhert kids. They helped us to pull out frost damaged plants and add to our ever growing compost mountain, pull up weed mat, roll weed mat and help to clear beds to plant cover crop. Michael is our oldest volunteer at 16 with a keen interest in photography. Hopefully each week that he comes out we will get new photos to add to our new blog!
Thank you to all of you who responded to my email from yesterday. We would like to know if you will join us again next year as we will need to know how much recruiting to do. If you have friends, family or co-workers whom you think may be interested please pass along our blog address or my email so they can contact us. I have found that word of mouth is the best form of advertising!
I must admit there are days farming (for me) when the weather is uncooperative, my back or knees hurt, I worry if my debit card will clear when I go to purchase something and I wonder why I chose farming to make a tough living. But then there are those days that are perfect, the sun is warm on my back, the geese come flying thru the canyon, and very thankful CSA members greet us with smiles every Thursday and I remember why all the discomfort is worth it! So thank you again for all your words of encouragement and friendship- it has been great getting to know each of you!

Suzie, Asinete, M.A. , Robin, Violet and the Burkhert Kids!!

This Week's Harvest Will Include:


Braeburn Apples

Butternut Winter Squash

Golden Acorn Winter Squash

Turnips (they have done great!)




Green Tomatoes (we included some more recipes!)

Baby Greens

Daikon Radish (long white taproot)

The Daikon Radish is delicious sliced into your salad and use just as you would any other type of radish.

Braised Daikon

1 1/2 pounds fresh daikon peeled and diced

2 TBSPS light cooking oil

1 tsp sugar

1 1/2 TBSPS soy sauce

Put daikon in saucepan, cover with water, and boil for 5 minutes. Drain well. Heat skillet, add oil, and stir-fry daikon 2 minutes. Add sugar and soy sauce, stir-fry another minute. Add 1/4 cup water, cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and cook, stirring occasionally, until daikon is tender but not mushy, about 30 minutes. Serve hot. 4 servings

Curried Green Tomatoes (recipe courtesy of CSA member Renee- thank you!!)

one onion
garlic (how much depends on how much you love garlic)
olive oil (enough to saute the onion and garlic)
green tomatoes
curry (couple tablespoons)
salt/pep to taste
parsley (if you want)
turkey sausage (if you want)
can of garbanzo beans (if you want)

saute garlic, onion, curry in olive oil. cut up the green tomatoes and add all of them. cook for a while. if you want, add the garbanzos or turkey sausage. serve over brown rice or quinoa. yum,

Roasted Butternut Squash, Rosemary and Garlic Lasagna from (sounds labor intensive but well worth it!)
This dish is easy to divide into make-ahead steps. Roast squash and prepare white sauce the night before, then layer lasagna up to six hours before the party. Just before guests arrive, top with cream and the last layering of Parmesan cheese, then bake.
8 servings
8 1/4 cups (1/2-inch) cubed peeled butternut squash (about 3 pounds)
Cooking spray
4 cups fat-free milk, divided
2 tablespoons dried rosemary
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 (8-ounce) package precooked lasagna noodles
3/4 cup (3 ounces) grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano, divided
1/2 cup whipping cream
Preheat oven to 450°.
Arrange butternut squash in a single layer in a large roasting pan coated with cooking spray. Coat squash with cooking spray. Bake at 450° for 25 minutes or until squash is just tender, stirring once. Set aside.
Lower oven temperature to 350°.
Combine 3 1/2 cups milk and rosemary in a 1-quart glass measuring cup, and microwave at high 5 minutes or until mixture begins to boil. Let stand 10 minutes. Strain milk through a fine sieve into a bowl; discard rosemary.
Lightly spoon all-purpose flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour and remaining 1/2 cup milk, stirring flour mixture with a whisk until well blended to form a slurry.
Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic; cook 1 minute or until tender, stirring constantly. Stir in steeped milk, and increase heat to medium-high. Gradually add slurry to pan, stirring constantly with a whisk. Cook 15 minutes or until thick, stirring frequently. Remove from heat; stir in 3/4 teaspoon salt and pepper. Combine milk mixture and squash, tossing gently.
Spread about 1 1/2 cups squash mixture into the bottom of an 11 x 7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Arrange 3 noodles over squash mixture; top with 2 cups squash mixture and 1/4 cup cheese. Repeat layers once with 3 noodles, 2 cups of squash, and 1/4 cup of cheese. Top with 3 noodles.
Beat whipping cream and remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt with mixer at high speed until soft peaks form. Spread the whipping cream mixture over noodles; sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup cheese. Cover with foil coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 15 minutes or until golden. Let stand 10 minutes.

Pasta with Roasted Butternut Squash and Shallots from

4 servings (serving size: 3/4 cup pasta, 3/4 cup squash mixture, and 1 tablespoon cheese)
3 cups (1-inch) cubed peeled butternut squash
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
8 shallots, peeled and halved lengthwise (about 1/2 pound)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh or 1 teaspoon dried rubbed sage
4 ounces uncooked pappardelle (wide ribbon pasta) or fettuccine
1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 475°.
Combine the squash, sugar, 2 1/2 teaspoons oil, salt, pepper, and shallots in a jelly roll pan; toss well. Bake at 475° for 20 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in sage.
While the squash mixture bakes, cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain. Place cooked pasta in a bowl. Add 2 teaspoons oil; toss well. Serve the squash mixture over pasta. Sprinkle with cheese.
Nutritional Information
248 (29% from fat)
7.9g (sat 2g,mono 4.5g,poly 0.8g)
Cooking Light, OCTOBER 2001

Tomatillos (in case you forgot!)

Storage tips: Store at room temp, with husk on, for up to 2 weeks (do not store in plastic bag)

Salsa Verde (Green Tomatillo Salsa) adapted from Rick Bayless's "Mexico- One Plate at a Time"
8 ounces (5-6 medium) tomatillos, husked and rinsed
Fresh, hot green chilies to taste (rooughly 2 serrano peppers or 1 jalapeno) stemmed
5-6 sprigs cilantro (thick stems removed) roughly chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped white onion

Roast the tomatillos and chiles on a baking sheet 4 inches below a very hot broiler until darkly roasted, even blackened in spots for about 5 minutes. Flip them over and roast the other side- 4 to 5 minutes more will give you splotchy- black and blistered tomatillos and chiles that are soft and cooked thru. Cool and then transfer everything to a blender including all the delicious juice that has run out onto the baking sheet. Add the cilantro and 1/4 cup water, blend to a coarse puree and scrape into a serving dish. Rinse the onion under cold water, then shake to remove the excess moisture. Stir into the salsa and season with salt (1/4 tsp). Enjoy with your favorite tortilla chips!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Fall Clean-Up with Some Great Helpers!

Asinete and Baby Greens

Hi there everyone! I wanted to showcase some of Michael Burkert's photos here on our new blog. The Burkhert kids are a great asset to the farm coming out to help every Tuesday. In these photos you can see the fall clean-up at the farm.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

CSA Harvest #23

Hi farm friends! I've spent a few late night hours trying to find something to use as a makeshift website.. hopefully this will work for awhile! As many of you know we hit the first frost mark last Friday and Saturday mornings and awoke to find our tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, eggplant, beans, corn and basil done in. One row of tomatoes survived the frost and hopefully each of you will get another ripe one or two- the rest of the tomatoes we picked green and will be including green tomato recipes from here on out. The frost came much earlier than we had hoped for or anticipated and we are not yet sure if we will be able to meet our deadline. We will take the CSA season as long as we can of course but want to make sure you are still receiving enough food. One idea I would like to throw out is credit for next year if we are unable to go past Thanksgiving (so you receive X amount of weeks free next season to recoup the shortened season this year). We are still at least hopeful to make it until Thanksgiving but just wanted to give you all a heads up in case we fall short of our goal.

The end of every year farming is a bittersweet one, all the crops you carefully tended at the end of the season get pulled out, and thrown in a big compost heap. Our tomatoes that we lived with in our trailer and formed a close bond with have joined their fallen comrades in the compost. But their branches, leaves and over ripe fruit will decompose and help to form the rich soil for next year's crop so their legacy will continue. The crops that managed to survive the cold were the rainbow chard (hip hip hooray!), the Italian flat leaved parsley, a new crop of broccoli, turnips, baby greens, corn mache (still too small to include), beets, carrots, cilantro, daikon radish. We still have boxes and boxes of potatoes, recently harvested winter squash, apples, kiwi fruit, garlic and onions.

I spent yesterday at a Think Local Umpqua meeting run by a group called AMIBA. AMIBA helps to facsilitate alliances with local, independent businesses in communities around the USA. When we spend our dollar with a local, independent business in our community that dollar recirculates several times (the business owner lives here ,they own a house here, they pay taxes here, they shop here). I am excited about the energy that Think Local Umpqua has been bringing to our county. If any of you would like to learn more about the alliance for local, independent businesses in our county please contact Lily Brislen at the Umpqua Comm Dev. Co 673-4909. Also I still have tickets for the Think Local Umpqua Benefit Dinner for this Friday. If you are interested please remind me tomorrow for a ticket!

Today I wanted to give an introduction to one of Big Lick Farm's key helpers and that is M.A Hansen! Many of you met M.A during the potluck but for those of you who did not I wanted to include some information about the dynamic, tireless, awesome volunteer who orchestrates the washing, packaging and packing of each of your shares!

1. Why is it important to you to eat locally AND organically??
It is important to me to eat locally and organically for several reasons :
A-I want to know what the eco-system of my food source is. (where does the water come from, what has been done to
the soil, does anyone in the area use herbicides or pesticides, where did the seeds come from, etc.)
B-Eating locally grown foods saves and enormous amount of energy and lowers the carbon foot print. If everyone
ate locally the energy savings would include: reduced manufacturing of food transportation systems (trucks, trailers,
railroad cars, etc), reduced road building and maintenance (tractor-trailer trucks cause a lot of wear and tear on the
roads they travel) , reduced supermarket and parking lot building and maintenance, reduction of canning, bottling
and packaging of food, reduction of transportation fuel use, reduction of building and maintaining the vehicles
people use to get to and from supermarkets, reduction of electricity,(lighting, air conditioning, refrigeration, heating
etc. to keep the doors of the supermarkets open, etc.
C-Supporting organic foods eliminates use of GMO (genetically modified foods and organisms-(Monsanto's quest
to control the food supplies of the world)) food from our meals.
2. What other programs are you involved in or do you volunteer for in our community? Umpqua Bio-Alternative Co-op
(UBAC Treasurer), Native Plant Society (Treasurer), Douglas County Global Warming,(Advisory), Partnership
of the Umpqua Rivers, (water monitoring of the Umpqua Rivers and their tributaries for healthy fish survival),
Oregon Citizens Against the Pipeline(No LNG-foreign liquid natural gas), Zero Waste, Sustainable Living,
Children's Creek Week ,Myrtle Creek,(educate children on how to care for the fish habitats in the local creeks)

3. Why did you decide to devote your Thursday's being a volunteer at Big Lick Farm?
I believe in the CSA program. I feel privileged to be involved in such a good program to promote local and
organic food for everyone, rich or not so rich (also known as the have and the have not's)

4. What is your favorite part of the CSA day? Arriving in the morning and seeing what goodies we are going to fill the
boxes and bags with, planning how to do it and working with Suzie, Asinete, Violet , Robin, Jeanne , boss
Sally dog, and 3 righteous geese(couldn't have a better more devoted crew).

Thank You M.A for all your hard work!!

Next week we will hopefully be hearing from Asinete (who is too shy to ever do the newsletter!) and hopefully our other two key volunteers husband and wife duo Robin and Violet!

I will post this now before putting up the recipes just to make sure this is going to go thru and that you will all be able to access it! Yikes! I feel very exposed at the moment!