With an overnight low of 28 degrees here on the farm, several growing blocks are covered in frost cloth, particularly the sensitive lettuces/mizunas and newer transplants. Today we picked strawberries, turnips and carrots (thankful for their frost hardiness), washed tubs of lettuce, cleaned sweet potatoes and started prepping orders for tomorrow’s deliveries and the Union Street Farmers’ market in Gainesville. After an unseasonably warm December, the cold here now demands our attention and reminds us that work on the farm is always contingent upon nature; a fact that teaches adaptability and patience. We are very grateful to have the opportunity to bring quality produce grown with this awareness to the seasons in mind.
In your share this week will be:
Sweet Potatoes: If you have leftover sweet potatoes, try these sweet potato biscuits. This recipe was share with us by some original CSA members and farm volunteers from when Frog Song was first started in 2011.
Tokyo Turnips: Tokyos carry a crunchy, juicy bitter-sweet flavor when eaten raw and a buttery-sweet delicate flavor when roasted or steamed. You can also cook them in vegetable or miso soups, or throw them in a stir fry! Note: Any root vegetable like turnips or carrots will store better if you remove the leaves from the roots. Store both greens and turnip roots in a moist towel/cloth bag or a plastic bag in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator.
Fennel: Try it finely sliced and caramelized with onions and plenty of butter. Season with salt and pepper, a few diced olives, and spread atop bruschetta or some ravioli.
Mizuna: High in vitamin C, folate and iron, these “Japanese mustard” packs a mild peppery kick to any salad preparation. The spice here is a great counterbalance to any milder green or can help neutralize an arugula dominant dish. Another recommendation I heard recently was to chop mizuna roughly and toss it with boiled new potatoes, olive oil, salt and pepper.
Carrots: These slender, early bunches could really qualify as some sort of guilty pleasure with their high sugar content and impeccable crispness. Packed with fiber, Vitamin A and beta carotene, we hope you don’t get too thrown off trying to comprehend how something so sweet can be so healthy.
Romaine Lettuce: Valued for its hardiness and its sturdy ribs and leaves, Romaine is perhaps the most heat-tolerant of the lettuces, which is why we have been able to get our members romaine through the late summer/early fall window the past month or so. Braised, included in soups or used in a Caesar, the tenderness of these leafy greens will keep you away from the supermarket.
Fava Shoots: The olive-green leaves have a consistency and texture like spinach. The tenderest of leaves may be tossed into a salad. Fava shoots can be processed in a variety of ways: made into a pesto, steamed, folded into an omelette, baked atop a pizza or used in a soup. We tried growing fava beans last fall, and found that we got a much better result harvesting the greens than waiting for the beans. Try these nutty and sweet greens on a sandwich, or in this Fava, Citrus and Feta salad. You can also cook these greens, they pair well with fish and citrus in this recipe for Salmon, Lemon Cream and Wilted Shoots.
Daikon Radish: These bulbs carry a crisp, semi-sweet, slightly spicy flavor and can be shaved into stir-frys, pickled, or fermented in a Kimchi batch. (We have a new Kimchi batch of our own with Daikon included for sale at our farmers’ markets). For more info and tips on using daikon, follow the link here.
Lemon: This citrus comes from a tree planted the first spring of the farm. Dedicated attention (winter frost protection and careful pruning) have given us a great yield and we want to share it with you! Lemon fruit is antibiotic, antioxidizing, cooling, and is very dense in vitamins C, B6, A, E, and in minerals like magnesium, potassium, and zinc. Enjoy fresh squeezes in your morning glass of water!