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January 18, 2015

Terra Firma Farm pastured raised certified GMO- free eggs are back!  The new hens have commenced laying and we will have them available for the rest of the winter share.

This Week's Share

The crops continue to hold quite well in storage and the warmer week will allow the greenhouse crops to perk up a little after past frosty days.

We are whipping through the January days and lots of hearty meals.  Here is is this week's deep winter meal plan edition.  Don't forget the recipes are hyperlinked (just click on them to see them):

Sunday-  Nothing cozier then a big bowl of Potato and parsnip soup to prepare for the week ahead.  Serve with some rosy colored beet biscuits for dipping and a simple spinach salad.

Monday - Lazy stuffed cabbage stew is easy to throw together at the beginning of your frenetic week.  Serve wth some roasted roots.

Tuesday - Nourishing Middle Eastern Rice and Lentil pilaf is filling enough to serve as an entree or you could roast up some chicken to go with it.  Serve with Morrocan Carrot Salad.

Wednesday - Mulligatawny is a wonderful Indian style soup.

Thursday - Pasta night with Penne with Butternut Squash and Bacon.  Serve with Kale salad.

Friday - Using the filling from the Potato, sweet potato and carrot burritos recipe make enchiladas!  Just drop a spoonfull of it with some cooked beens into a corn tortilla, roll up the tortila and place in a baking dish.  Filll the baking dish with tortilla rolls and cover with an enchilada sauce, top with some more cheese and bake  for 30-45 minutes until cheese is browned.  Serve with chopped cabbage, carrots and watermelon radishes.

Saturday - Its stew night, beef stew with winter roots it is.  Serve it with steamed beets.

Recipe of the Week: 

Triple Chocolate Winter Squash Muffins

Ingredients: 
  • 1 c. all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 c. whole-wheat flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 c. good-quality cocoa powder
  • 3/4 brown sugar
  • 3/4 dark chocolate chips
  • 3/4 milk chocolate chips
  • 3/4 c. buttermilk
  • 1/4  c. melted butter
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 c. cooked pureed winter squash (butternut or hubbard)
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Directions: 

Grease muffin tins or line with paper liners. Heat over to 400 F.
Combine flours, baking soda, cocoa, brown sugar, 1/2 c each of chocolate chips.
In a separate bowl, whisk together buttermilk, oil, egg, squash and vanilla. Add ingredients to wet and mix just until combined.
Scoop into muffin pan wells and sprinkle muffin tops with remaining chocolate chips.
Bake 14-16 minutes until muffins are springy to touch. and toothpick comes out of them clean.

Credit: 
By Christine Burns Rudalavige published in Edibile Pioneer Valley

You can't beet our carrots!

The carrots we are eating now, back in greener days.
The carrots we are eating now, back in greener days.

Dear Friends,

Winter keeps rolling right along, and we are rolling with it. After seeing quite a few real cold nights and some pretty cold days in the past two weeks we’re looking forward to some more mild weather this coming week as we prepare for the fourth winter share distribution. We are continuing to make headway with our crop planning for the coming season. It’s always fun picking new varieties and exciting exotic crops, as we flip through the colorful seed catalogs and dream of spring. It takes a little while after the end of the season before we want to think about farming again. We need a little mental and physical break to reset our clocks and let our bodies heal. The last thing I want to think about in November is planting or growing anything, but right around this time of year every thing changes. The seeds will arrive in the mail, the days get ever so slightly longer, and we start to get a little excited. Not 'wake up at 4am every day and get to work excited', but excited none the less for the coming spring.

I am always amazed at how well the crops keep in storage but this year we have been especially impressed by a few crops in particular. We had a record breaking carrot year this year, not only did we harvest more carrots than we ever have before, but the carrots we did harvest were especially sweet and delicious. Its hard to pin point exactly why the carrots were so good this year. Was it the lack of rain? rain at the right time? cooler temperatures? warmer temperatures? something we did? something we didn’t do? There are so many factors that go into determining the success of a crop, sometimes it’s best to just enjoy the bumper crop while it’s here.

As amazing as the carrots were when we harvested them, these days I am far more excited about how they are now that we’re pulling them out of storage and washing them. They might now shine quite as brightly as they did back in October but they are sweet, so orange and still so incredibly delicious. We love carrots, we snack on them when we’re washing, we will eat a few setting up for the share, while we staff the distribution we’ve been known to eat a couple more, and we will roast em, bake em, eat them raw and juice them. No matter how many carrots we’ve eaten it always seems there’s room for more.

 Rutabagas are great, beets are wonderful, watermelon radishes are always a hit at parties and the mighty storage kohlrabi has a special place in our hearts, but for us, it is truly the fabulous carrot that is the king of the root crops.

Your Farmers,

Max and Kerry

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