Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Two Farms Newsletter #418

October 15, 2007

Table of Contents:

1) In your box this week
2) The Ventana Wilderness
3) Benefit Dinner in Monterey on Nov. 11th for the Ventana Wilderness

4) Photos
5) Recipes
6) Which Farm?
7) Unsubscribe

1) In your box this week: Delicata Winter Squash, Turnips OR Carrots,
Lacinato Kale, Parsley Root, Tomatoes, Cilantro, mystery item from
Stephen, a mystery item from Andy, and avocados from our neighbor/friend
Steve Marsili

The avocados are one of those things we wanted to put in the box as a
fun extra - an early thank you for a great 2007 season!

This week's vegetable list: We try to have it updated by Monday night,
sometimes by Mon. am

How to store this week's bounty: turnips, parsley root, cilantro, kale
and mystery items go in the fridge as soon as you arrive home, in
plastic. The turnip greens can be used as well. The tomatoes and avocados
can be stored on your counter. The delicata winter squash should be
stored in a cool, dry, dark place.

Parsley Root info: Clip greens from root upon receiving the vegetable
and save leaves (bagged) to use as parsley and the root (bagged so as
to not wilt) to be used like a little parsnip. This is a parsley, not a
parsnip, so the flavor of the root isn't parsnipy but the texture is
reminiscent of its bigger, more famous cousin. For cooking grate into
salads, chop into stews, or roast with other vegetables such as beets,
onions, and potato cubes. Mash with mashed potatoes.

2) Two Small Farms is hosting a benefit dinner to honor Jon Libby (our
CSA driver) and the Ventana Wilderness Alliance on November 11th at
Stokes Restaurant and Bar in Monterey.

Ventana means "window" in Spanish. The Ventana Wilderness Area is a
250,000 acre roadless area in the Monterey Division of the Los Padres
National Forest, taking in the rugged heart of the Santa Lucia Mountains.
The Santa Lucia mountains may lack the verdant alpine meadows and
sculptured ski slopes of the Sierra Nevada, but they make up for it with
plenty of loose rocks, precipitous cliffs, spiky yuccas, scratchy brush,
and rattlesnakes. Ironically, when the first Spanish galleons sailed up
the Pacific coast exploring the route that would carry them to Manila,
these mountains were white with snow so the sailors named them la Sierra
Nevada, or "the snowy mountains." I grew up on the northern edge of
the Santa Lucia and these mountains are still my favorite place in the

Five rivers flow from the Ventana-the Carmel, the Little Sur, the Big
Sur, the Arroyo Seco, and the San Antonio. The tallest mountain in the
Santa Lucia Range is 6,000 ft high Junipero Serra peak, but the most
unusually shaped mountain in the wilderness is the Ventana Double Cone.
Before the San Francisco earthquake of 1906, an immense slab of rock
spanned the curious square notch in the ridge line that lies between the
twin peaks of the Double Cone, creating a ventana or "window" on the
horizon. The earthquake caused this gigantic rock to fall into the gap
below and shatter, but the notch and the name remains.

The Spanish left a legend of a fabulous gold strike in the Santa Lucia
Mountains. If you stand on the right spot on the right mountain, so
goes the myth, you can spy the site of the gold deposit by looking through
the ventana as if you were aiming through the sights of a rifle. I
don't want to mine for gold, especially in the middle of these beautiful
mountains, but I like the story. For me, the Santa Lucia mountains are a
window into different world. There's the past to see here, in the
abandoned homestead ranches of the early American settlers and the almost
forgotten village sites of the Esselen Indians. And the quiet that a
person can find here gives me the calm I need to think about the future.
In the modern era quiet is a real treasure.

Jon Libby has worked for us for two seasons, delivering the Two Small
Farms weekly share boxes to San Francisco, the Peninsula, and the
Monterey Bay Area. I can't tell you how grateful Stephen, Jeanne, Zelda,
Julia, and I are for the help he has given us. Jon's enthusiasm, his
consistency, and his attention to detail have made our lives so much easier.
We wanted to do something to show our appreciation for all that he has
done, and it occurred to us that he would like an event that draws
attention to and benefits the Ventana Wilderness Alliance. Jon is past
president of the VWA and a persistent, dedicated activist for wilderness.

The VWA is a volunteer organization that promotes the well being of the
Ventana Wilderness through clean-up projects, back-country trail
maintenance, public outreach and lobbying efforts. The Los Padres National
Forest is like every other public institution-charged with a broad
mandate, but given insufficient funds to get the job done. The VWA does what
it can to fill in the gaps by doing work the Forest Service can't
afford to do. And because the Forest Service is subject to the pressures of
various interest groups, the VWA speaks up on behalf of the public for
wilderness values.

My father, James Griffin, was a botanist who did a lot of research in
the Santa Lucia Mountains. As a kid, I helped him by hauling his tools
and notebooks on lengthy hikes through the Los Padres National Forest. I
have a copy of a letter that my father wrote to Jon Libby, thanking
him for the work that the VWA had done to re-open a trail in the Ventana
that he needed to reach some of his research sites. So before Jon
helped me, he helped my father.

Stokes Restaurant is the obvious place to have a benefit dinner. Chef
Brandon has supported our farm for years, and he bought produce from us
even before we started the CSA. Jon has been delivering produce to
Stokes Restaurant as he's gone about making the CSA deliveries, and he's
struck up a friendship with Brandon. "Every time I go in their kitchen it
always smells so good," he says. When I go, I remember Brandon's
mother, who was a frequent market shopper at our stall at the Ferry Plaza
Farmers Market before she passed away. If she saw vegetables on display
at our booth that she hadn't seen on his menu she'd call him up and chew
him out. Say what you will about marketing strategies, but I'll say
there's no better way to get a chef's business than to get his mother on
your side.

Brandon is used to working with whatever vegetables Stephen and I have
available, so I'm sure the meal will be great. Brandon also does his
own charcuterie, so I've raised two pigs for this meal. I bought two
organic feeder piglets a while ago from Jean and Bob at Deep Roots Ranch.
Bob and Jean have their own milk CSA that Julia and I belong to, and
they raise poultry and pigs too. The pigs are an heirloom breed called
Gloucester Old Spot. I've been fattening them on vegetables and letting
them range over several acres at our home ranch to root and graze. If the
two pigs knew that they were going to "benefit" the Ventana Wilderness
they might not eat all my leftover heirloom tomatoes and
French Fingerling potatoes so fast, but that's life. They do seem to be
enjoying themselves now. Please consider joining us to thank Jon Libby and
The Ventana Wilderness Alliance for all they've done. All proceeds go
to the Ventana Wilderness Alliance.

copyright 2007 Andy Griffin

photos on this webpage

details below:

3) Ventana Wilderness Alliance Benefit Dinner:

VWA is a favorite charity of many of us here at Two Small Farms. The
benefit event is Sunday, November 11th starting at 5:45 pm in Monterey
at Stokes Restaurant and Bar. It is $65 per person which includes tax
and tip but not beverages. For more info, go to our web page. You can
call or email Zelda at the office to make your reservation: 831-786-0625,


4) Photos:

Parsley Root: NO PHOTO, sorry about that! they are small roots with
genuine parsley attached. -julia



Lacinato Kale

Delicata Winter Squash

Photo Gallery


5) Recipes

Parsley Root info:

Clip greens from root upon receiving the vegetable and save leaves
(bagged) to use as parsley and the root (bagged so as to not wilt) to be
used like a little parsnip. This is a parsley, not a parsnip, so the
flavor of the root isn't parsnipy but the texture is reminiscent of its
bigger, more famous cousin. For cooking grate into salads, chop into
stews, or roast with other vegetables such as beets, onions, and potato
cubes. Mash with mashed potatoes.

Potato and Parsley Root Soup, from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone,
Deborah Madison

1 1/2 pounds potatoes, peeled
2 parsley roots, scrubbed
1 1/2 Tbs butter or olive oil
6 shallots or 1 onion, finely chopped
2 bay leaves
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 cups parsley (use the tops of the root, and mix in cilantro if
Salt and pepper
6 cups water or veg or chicken stock
1/3 cup cream or additional water

Quarter the potatoes lengthwise and thinly slice. Grate the parsley
roots. Melt the butter in a soup pot and add the potatoes, parsley
roots, shallots, and bay leaves. Cook over medium heat for 5 to 7 minutes,
stirring occasionally. Raise the heat, add the wine, and let it reduce
until syrupy. Add 1 1/2 cups of the chopped parsley, 1 1/2 tsp salt,
the water or stock, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer,
partially covered, until the potatoes have broken apart, about 30
minutes. Stir in the cream and remaining parsley and heat through. Taste for
salt and season with pepper. Remove the bay leaves and serve.

Greens (Kale) with Tomatoes and Asiago, from Vegetarian Cooking for
Everyone, Deborah Madison

1 large bunch kale, stems removed and leaves cut into large pieces
2 Tbs olive oil
1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
2 tomatoes, peeled and diced
Several pinches dried oregano
Grated Asiago

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add 1 tsp salt per quart of
water. Drop in kale and simmer for about 5 minutes (or longer, depending
on how you like them). Drain and put them in a wide skillet with the
oil, garlic and tomatoes. Season with oregano and cook over high heat
until the tomatoes are heated through. Serve with cheese grated over
the top.

Autumn Minestrone, from Mooswood Restaurant's "Daily Special"

2 tablespoons canola or other vegetable oil
1 cup chopped onions
2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
2 1/2 cups peeled and cubed winter squash
2 celery stalks, diced
1/2 cup peeled and diced carrots
2 1/2 cups cubed potatoes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
6 cups water
4 cups chopped kale
1 1/2 cups cooked or canned cannellini beans (15-ounce can, drained)

Warm the oil in a large soup pot on medium heat. Add the onions and
garlic, and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the squash, celery, carrots,
potatoes, oregano, salt, pepper, and water and cook for 10 minutes or until
the potatoes are almost done. Add the kale and beans and simmer for
another 5 to 7 minutes, until the kale is tender and the beans are hot.
Serve immediately. Serves 6 to 8.

Cannellini Beans and Kale Ragout, from Bon Appetit

6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
4 1 1/2-inch-thick slices Italian bread, crusts removed, each slice
1 teaspoon plus 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme (or try with the
parsley tops of the sparsely root)
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
5 cups (packed) thinly sliced kale (about 1 large bunch)
1 14 1/2-ounce can vegetable broth
6 to 7 paste tomatoes (San Marzano), peeled and chopped
1, 15-ounce can cannellini (white kidney beans), drained

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add
bread and 1 teaspoon thyme; cook until bread is golden on both sides,
turning with tongs, about 2 minutes total. Transfer croutons to bowl;
sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add remaining 4 tablespoons oil, garlic,
and crushed red pepper to same pot; sauté over medium heat 30 seconds.
Add kale and broth; bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover,
and simmer until kale wilts, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes with juice,
beans, and remaining 1 tablespoon thyme. Cover and simmer 15 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper. Ladle ragout into shallow bowls. Top with
croutons and serve.

Delicata Squash with Roasted Mushrooms and Parsley, from Gourmet,
November 2004

6 tablespoons olive oil (based on the reviews of the website, many
cooks used a little less oil and had a great turnout)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley (from the parsley root) or fresh
thyme if you have it
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 lb delicata squash (about 3 medium), halved lengthwise, seeded, and
cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-wide slices
2 lb mixed fresh mushrooms such as cremini, shiitake, and oyster,
trimmed (stems discarded if using shiitakes) and halved (quartered if large)

Stir together oil, fresh herbs, salt, and pepper. Toss squash with 2
tablespoons herb oil in a shallow baking pan (1/2 to 1 inch deep) and
arrange in 1 layer. Toss mushrooms with remaining 1/4 cup herb oil in
another shallow baking pan (1/2 to 1 inch deep) and arrange in 1 layer.
Roast squash and mushrooms, stirring occasionally and switching position
of pans halfway through roasting, until vegetables are tender and liquid
mushrooms give off is evaporated, 25 to 30 minutes.

Delicata Creamy Squash Soup, from AllRecipes.com

3 delicata squash, halved lengthwise and seeded (if you have some of
your Rugosa squash leftover from last week, you can add some of it to
fill out the recipe)
1 onion, chopped
3 cups vegetable broth
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons butter
Salt to taste
Ground black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place the squash, cut sides down, in a
baking dish. Add 1/8 inch water in baking dish, cover with foil and bake
35-40 minutes or until tender. Cool. In a large saucepan, melt butter.
Add onion and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally until onion is
softened but not brown. Scrape the squash out of the flesh and add to
onions. Add the stock and heavy cream. Cook over moderate heat,
stirring occasionally, about 25 minutes. Puree the soup in a blender or food
. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.

Fresh Tomato Soup with Cilantro, from the Cooking Light Cookbook
1 cup sliced onion
1 tsp olive oil
1/4 cup thinly sliced celery
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 to 1/4 tsp black pepper
4 cups peeled and coarsely chopped tomatoes
1/3 cup water (depending on how thick or thin you like your soup)
2 cups chicken or veg broth
2 Tbs chopped fresh cilantro

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, celery
and garlic; saute for 4 minutes or until tender. Add the cumin, salt
and pepper; cook 2 minutes more, stirring constantly. Add tomato, water
and broth, bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 10
minutes. Place 2 1/2 cups of the tomato mixture in a blender and process
until smooth. Return tomato puree to the pan and stir well. Stir in
chopped cilantro. Serve warm or chilled. Yields 6 cups.

Roasted Turnips in Wine, adapted from Peggy's Biodynamic Garden

1 bunch turnips, peeled and cubed, greens reserved for another use
1 cup red wine
1/4 cup honey
2 Tablespoons butter

Place turnips in saucepan; add remaining ingredients and enough water
to barely cover. (You may also add other root vegetables: carrots,
parsnips, etc.) Simmer until tender. Pour into baking dish and bake at 350
degrees 1/2 hour. Serve with rice or chicken. 2-3 servings.

Turnip Greens Meal

3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
3 Garlic cloves, minced
1 cup shitake mushrooms, sliced
1 Tablespoon Red Raspberry vinegar (I would use cider vinegar if no
raspberry is available...)
1 large red onion, sliced
1 can black beans
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
1 large potato, cubed (I would substitute a couple of the turnips...)
Cleaned greens from one bunch of turnips.

Put all ingredients in a large pot, in the order listed. Bring mixture
to boiling point, stir, lower heat to simmer, cover and cook for 15 or
20 minutes, or until potato is tender. Serve with a chilled fruit and
yogurt accompaniment.

Turnip Tips adapted from "From Asparagus to Zucchini"

*Eat turnips raw. Slice or thickly julienne and add to vegetable
platter or eat alone with or without dip.
*Grate raw into salads.
*Bake turnips alone for 30-45 minutes at 350 degrees, basted with oil,
or bake along with other seasonal roots.
*Cook turnips with roasting meats.
*Mash or scallop turnips, just like you would potatoes.
* Dice turnips into soups or stews, and julienne into stir fries.

Chunky Guacamole, from Cook's Illustrated, May/June 1999

3 medium sized avocados
2 TBS minced onion
1medium garlic clove, minced
1 small jalapeno, minced (about 1 tsp)
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, minced
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cumin (optional)
2 Tbs juice from 1 lime

Halve one avocado, remove pit and scoop flesh into medium bowl. Mash
flesh lightly with onion, garlic, jalapeno, cilantro, salt, and cumin
with tines of a fork until just combined. Halve and pit remaining two
avocados and cube up the flesh. Add the cubed avocado to the mashed
mixture. Sprinkle lime juice over the mix entire contents of bowl lightly
with fork until combined but still chunky. Adjust seasoning with salt
if necessary and serve. Can be covered with plastic wrap, pressed
directly onto surface of mixture and refrigerated up to one day. Reurn
guacamole to room temperature before serving. Also, you could add diced
tomato as well.


- Garnish tomato-, carrot- or coconut-milk-based soups with chopped
fresh cilantro.
- Serve iced tea or freshly squeezed juice with a splash of lime juice
and sprigs of cilantro.
- Make a flavorful dip from chopped tomato, cilantro, cucumber, green
chiles, and plain yogurt.
- Try making pesto using cilantro in place of basil.
- Rub chicken or fish with chopped cilantro, ginger, and black pepper
before grilling.
- Sprinkle chopped cilantro and chopped cashews or slivered almonds
over cooked rice or couscous.
- Add cilantro to your favorite gazpacho or salsa recipe.
-- add it to any beans or soup, stems included, then remove as you
would a bay leaf

Bob's Fabulous Yummy Marinade, from a Kitchen Garden
This marinade can be used to marinate tofu and meats, as a sauce for
noodles or rice, and as a dressing for a green salad.

5 TBS vegetable oil
1/3 cup packed fresh cilantro
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup tamari/soy sauce
1 oz. fresh ginger (about an inch?) cut into 6, quarter inch slices
6 large cloves garlic
1 1/2 TBS ground cumin
1 small jalapeno or other chile

Combine and blend all ingredients together in a food processor or
blender until the chile, garlic, ginger and cilantro are finely chopped.

More Recipes at:

Cilantro recipes:

Kale recipes:

Tomato recipes:

Turnip recipes:

Winter Sqash recipes:

6) Which Farm?

>From High Ground: delicata winter squash, turnips, carrots, cilantro,
From Mariquita: Tomatoes, lacinato kale, parsley root, mystery
>From Steve Marsilisi: Avocados


7) Unsubscribe/Subscribe From/To This Newsletter

Two Small Farms Blog

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8) Two Small Farms Contact Information

Two Small Farms
Mariquita Farm/High Ground Organics
Organically Grown Vegetables
P.O. Box 2065
Watsonville, CA 95077

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