Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Two Farms Newsletter #422

November 14, 2007

Table of Contents:

1) In your box this week

2) A Mysterious Vegetable

3) Last Week of Delivery for 2007! ... and gift certificates are available

4) Yuletide Mystery box

5) Upcoming Habitat Restoration Events at High Ground Organics Farm

6) Redman House Farm Stand Open Weekends Through the Winter

7) Photos
8) Recipes
9) Which Farm?
10) Unsubscribe
11) Two Small Farms Contact Information

1) In your box this week: Potatoes, Butternut Squash, Bok Choy, White Carrots, Orange Carrots, Soup Celery, Leeks, Beets OR Turnips, and a mystery item.

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: all but the butternut squash should go in the fridge in plastic bags. All winter squash should be stored in a dry, cool, and dark place. Both the turnip and beet greens can be used as you might other cooking greens such as chard or kale. They are best if used within a day or two.

Soup Celery, also known as cutting celery, is an herb that in our house we use in many places where celery flavor is sought after: sauteed with onions as a soup base for instance. It's leaves can also be used raw in a salad: a classic lettuce salad, a rice or pasta salad, etc. It has a true celery flavor and as long as that flavor doesn't disrupt the rest of the dish, cutting celery leaves can be used in most places Italian parsley is used.

The white carrots are best for roasting, but the orange can be eaten raw in salads or cooked

2) A Mysterious Vegetable by CSA member Will Juncosa (submitted earlier this summer)

When I opened my bag of Two Small Farms fresh organic delights two weeks ago, right on the top was the weirdest vegetable I have ever seen. Resembling a green cauliflower, instead of a tree like solid canopy, it had curving cones made of opposing logarithmic spirals that would appear undeniably psychedelic to anyone who was young and crazy in the 1960’s. Even my pet cockatiel looked at it apprehensively for a while before cautiously approaching it for a nibble.

My first thought was, "What’s going to happen to me when I eat this thing?" The next thought was, "Where do these guys get these ‘mystery’ vegetables from anyway?" Then, thankfully, reason and the irresistible urge to figure things out kicked in. It’s an Italian heirloom, Broccoli Romanesco, and the 3 dimensional ‘Fibonacci fractal’ style logarithmically spiraling cones have a sound scientific explanation.

The spirals are formed according to the Fibonacci sequence, a numerical series that starts with 1,1 with each subsequent number being formed by the sum of the previous two (1+1=2, 2+1=3, 3+2=5, 5+3=8…yielding the series: 1,1,2,3,5,8,13 etc. ad infinitum). Many plants have leaves that spiral around their branches in proportions corresponding to numbers of this sequence. Scientists have created logarithmic spirals based on the Fibonacci sequence by letting droplets of a magnetized liquid fall in a bowl of silicone oil that was magnetized around the rim. The droplets organized themselves into the same pattern seen in the mystery vegetable as well as in sunflowers, daisies, artichokes pineapples, many other plants and even spiral galaxies.

Apparently, a plant growth hormone called auxin behaves like the magnetized droplets, and creates ‘primordia’ that develop into the plant structures that make up the spirals. If you don’t believe me and think I’m living in a 1960’s psychedelic haze, you can read an article on this subject in Science News, Vol. 172, July 21, 2007. In the meantime, I’ll just be quiet and eat my vegetables, no matter how mysterious they are.


Thanks to Will for writing up this piece. For fans of Andy's writing, be sure to sign up for email alerts of his blog postings, he will continue 2-4 times a month throughout the winter


3) The Last Week of 2007!

Our last week for delivering veggies is THIS WEEK - November 14/15/16. A big thanks to all our members and our hosts! It's been a wonderful year and we thank you for sharing it with us. We will be sending out a newsletter in February with the details and info on the 2008 season. Or check our website.
Gift certificates are available for those who are already in the gift giving mindset! Any increments are available, but the most popular is the 4 week trial - $80 for just the veggies, or $104 includes veggies plus flowers.

To contact us, 831-786-0625 or Two Small Farms, PO Box 2065, Watsonville, CA 95077.


4) Yuletide CSA box

A one time only, "Yuletide" box is being offered for the week before Christmas. The cost is $25 and all boxes must be prepaid by check. We will only be delivering to a few pick up sites. You must be able to pick up the box on the scheduled day and within in the scheduled time frame.

Tuesday, December 18th: Los Gatos (Blossom Hill), and San Jose (downtown)

Wednesday, December 19th: Palo Alto Ross Road, Stanford West Apts., and San Francisco Folsom Street

Thursday, December 20th: Santa Cruz High Street, and Monterey (pick up site Unitarian Church)

The content of the boxes will be "mysteries" but most likely will include winter squash, potatoes, carrots, cooking greens, fennel, leeks, and more. Contact Zelda to confirm: 831-786-0625,; and mail in your check to Two Small Farms, PO Box 2065, Watsonville, CA 95077.

5) Upcoming Habitat Restoration Events at High Ground Organics Farm

As High Ground farm slows down for the winter months to rest and replenish itself, the plants and animals of the wetland and grassland surrounding it are abounding with life. You are invited to continue your connection with the farm by joining in on our volunteer habitat restoration days throughout the winter. Laura K. is planning two volunteer opportunities in November and will have planting days in December, January and February. The November dates and details are listed below. Check your e-newsletters for specific planting days in December, January and February.

Please call Laura Kummerer (831)761-8694 for more details!

SUNDAY NOVEMBER 18, 2007 (10am-1pm)-Come help tend the myriad of native grasses and sedges we planted last year to provide wildlife habitat and a buffer between the farm fields and the wetland. We will work together from 10-12:30 and share a potluck lunch and nature walk after.

SATURDAY NOVEMBER 24, 2007 (9am-2pm)-Come help remove a colony of invasive grasses that are crowding out a healthy stand of native coastal prairie bunch grasses. After the invasive grasses are removed we will spread out a mixture of native grass seeds so that they can germinate in the winter rains and re-colonize their ground. We will work together with a group of Boy Scouts during this event from 9-12 with a pot-luck lunch and bird watching and than return to plant seeds in the afternoon.

6) Redman House Farm Stand Open Weekends Through the Winter

Operated by High Ground Organics in Watsonville, just off of Hwy 1 and the Riverside Drive exit. It will be open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 10 am to 5 pm throughout the winter (closed the Friday after Thanksgiving). They will also be offering some of Mariquita Farm items as well.

7) Photos:

Soup Celery


Butternut Squash

Bok Choy


Photo Gallery


8) Recipes

Spicy Tofu and Greens Soup, Moosewood Restaurant Daily Special

For the Stock...
2 cups (peeled if you like) and sliced carrots
2 cups thinly sliced onions
1 cup coarsely chopped fresh parsley (try substituting some of the soup celery??)
8 garlic cloves, sliced
8 thin slices of fresh ginger root
1 to 2 dried chilies, sliced in half, or use 1/8 to 1/4 tsp of crushed red pepper flakes
8 cups water

For the Soup...
1 cake of firm tofu, about 12 oz
1 TBS grated fresh ginger root
4 garlic cloves, minced and pressed
1 to 2 dried chiles, sliced in half, or use 1/8 to 1/4 tsp of crushed red pepper flakes
1 TBS canola or peanut oil
2 TBS plus 1/4 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup julienned carrots
2 cups shredded greens such as bok choy, beet or turnip greens
A few drops of dark sesame oil
2 scallions, thinly sliced

Preheat oven to 375. Place the stock ingredients in a large soup pot, cover, and bring to a boil on medium heat. Lower the heat and simmer for 45 minutes. Meanwhile, slice the tofu into small, bite-sized cubes and set aside in a baking dish. Combine the ginger, garlic, chiles, oil and 2 Tablespoons of the soy sauce in a heavy skillet, saute for a few seconds, and then add to the tofu. Gently toss the tofu until evenly coated. Bake for 25 minutes, stirring twice to roast evenly. Remove the chili halves if using.

Strain the stock into another soup pot. Add the baked tofu and the carrots and simmer for 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the shredded greens. When the soup returns to a simmer, remove from the heat and add the sesame oil and the remaining 1/4 cup of soy sauce. Serve immediately, scattering freshly sliced scallions into each bowl.

Crystal City Bok Choi, More Recipes from a Kitchen Garden, Renee Shepherd and Fran Raboff

1 large bok choi
2 TBS olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1 tsp dry mustard
1 TBS soy sauce
1tsp rice vinegar
1 TBS sake or dry sherry
3 scallions, finely chopped
2 TBS finely chopped parsley
Sal and pepper to taste
2 TBS toasted sesame seeds for garnish

Cut bok choi stalks into 1 inch lengths. Shred green tops and reserve. In a large skillet, heat oil, add garlic and onions and stir fry until softened. Stir in bok choi stalks, mustard, and soy sauce and stir fry until bok choi is tender, about 10 to 12 minutes. Stir in the shredded green tops, vinegar, sake or sherry, scallions, parsley, and salt and pepper to taste. Cover and cook 2 more minutes. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds and serve immediately.
Butternut Squash with Spicy Cranberry Sauce, Moosewood Restaurant Daily Special, serves 8

1 large butternut squash
1 TBS canola oil
Dash of Salt and black pepper
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
2 celery stalks
1 crisp green apple

For the Dressing....
6 oz fresh cranberries, (or if fresh are unavailable, use frozen. add the still frozen cranberries to the saucepan and stir several times until the dressing comes to a boil; or use canned whole cranberries and their juice, omit the sugar and water in the recipe and simmer uncovered).
1/2 tsp freshly grated orange peel
Juice of 1 orange plus water to make 1 cup
1/4 to 1/3 cup sugar, to taste
1 jalapeno or other chile, stemmed, seeded and minced

Preheat oven to 400. Peel and seed the butternut squash and cut it into 1 inch cubes. Place the cubes in a bowl, drizzle them with the oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss well to coat evenly. Spread the squash on an un-oiled baking sheet and roast for about 45 minutes, stirring twice during roasting. Spread the chopped walnuts on an end of the baking sheet for the last 5 minutes of roasting. The finished squash should be soft and lightly browned and the walnuts fragrant. Reserve the walnuts.

While the squash roasts, rinse the cranberries and discard any that are soft or discolored (if using fresh). Combine all of the dressing ingredients in a partially covered non-reactive sauce pan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and cook at a low boil for 5 minutes. Stir well, mashing any unpopped cranberries. Remove form the heat and set aside. In a large bowl, stir together the roasted squash and the dressing. Refrigerate until cooled to room temperature. Mince the celery, core and dice the apple, and stir them into the salad. Add the reserved walnuts and chill for about 20 minutes before serving.


Just cut them into chunks and roast them with olive oil, S & P until they are tender.

Roasted Beets with Curry Dressing, adapted from Delicious TV, serves 6

6 medium beets roasted
Olive oil
2 cloves garlic crushed
2 TBS yogurt
2 TBS Mayo (regular or vegan)
4 tsp curry powder
3 TBS fresh lemon juice
10 TBS olive oil
4 TBS chopped cutting celery or cilantro

Preheat oven to 375. Wash, trim and wrap beets individually in foil. Place in a shallow pan and roast until tender. A sharp kitchen paring knife should pierce through the foil easily. Set aside to cool. Mix dressing by combining all ingredients except oil. When all ingredients are smooth, whisk in the oil and set aside. Many people don't prepare fresh beets because of the staining juices. Wearing laytex or vinyl gloves will protect your hands and preparing on a covered surface will protect your cutting board. I often roast beets without wrapping and use them skin included. However, this is an alternative method. Whatever method you use, it is well worth the effort! Unwrap the beets, and rub away skin. Slice into wedges and set into your dish. Spoon curry over the beets and serve at room temperature.

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 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.
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.
Baked Squash with Rosemary and Honey, More Recipes from a Kitchen Garden, Renee Shepherd and Fran Raboff

1 medium to large butternut squash, cleaned and cut into 6 pieces
2 TBS softened butter
2 TBS honey
1 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary

Preheat oven to 375. Place squash skin side up in a greased baking pan and bake 35 minutes, until softened. Turn Squash over. Combine butter with honey and
rosemary and spread about 2 teaspoons of the mixture over each squash piece. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes longer, until squash is bubbly.

More Recipes

Bok Choy

Soup Celery

Winter Squash recipes

9) Which Farm?

>From High Ground: Leeks, Bok Choy, Orange Carrots, Beets, Baby Turnips, Mystery
>From Mariquita: Potatoes, Butternut Squash, Soup Celery, White Carrots

10) Unsubscribe/Subscribe From/To This Newsletter

Two Small Farms Blog

BLOG ADVANTAGES: I can change mistakes after I post them. I don't have to subscribe/unsubscribe folks. Old newsletters easily accessed. Links! (I send this newsletter out as plain text so more folks with differently-abled computer systems can easily read it.) You can sign up for email updates to the Two Small Farms Blog on the main blog


11) 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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That is really good and interesting post, loved the way you wrote it, going to share this one with others as well. Thanks for posting it for your readers