Mixed Heirloom Tomatoes
Sweet Italian Peppers
Winter farming in the northern latitudes has received a lot of attention in the last few years.
As new local small farms and farmers markets pop up across the country, the next step to sustainability is to provide as much produce year round as possible without relying on California or Mexico. A huge pioneer and leader in the year round small farm movement is Eliot Coleman of Four Seasons Farm in Maine. We have been following his lead and research while working on our own winter production since we started Tani Creek, trying to figure out what works and what doesn't at our latitude and specific climate. Essential to winter production and high value summer crop production are what are known as high tunnels. We fabricated and built all of ours, except for our latest one called "obama", which we received a grant for through the USDA. The USDA has helped fund thousands of high tunnels across the country for small farmers in the last few years. USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is conducting a three-year trial with farmers to determine the effectiveness of high tunnels in conserving water, reducing pesticide use, maintaining vital soil nutrients, and increasing crop yields. High tunnels are very simple structures that are unheated and rely on sunlight to grow plants, different from Greenhouses which often have elaborate automated heating, lighting, and ventilation systems. This means with careful planning and no additional energy expenses we can have peppers, tomatoes, and eggplant Jun-Oct. We can also have numerous different greens year round. We agree with Coleman's sentiment that trying to have local tomatoes at Christmas in the north is battling nature too much. This would require some form of heat and artificial lighting, which would be rather costly and inefficient. We like simple lo-tech solutions that are more in harmony with the natural seasons. It also makes the tomato that much more enjoyable when you can't have it year round, but only at it's highest nutritional level and peak flavor, truly vine ripened by real sunlight. Enjoy this weeks harvest.
They are loaded with antioxidant plant compounds known to offer protection again breast, colon and prostate cancers. Also a good source of vitamin C and other essential vitamins and a natural source of electrolytes and other minerals such as calcium and potassium.
Napa Cabbage in Honey
1 lb Napa cabbage
1 tbsp peanut oil
1 tsp grated fresh ginger root
2 garlic cloves crushed
1 tbsp Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
4 1/2 tsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp clear honey
1/2 cup orange juice
1 tbsp sesame oil
2 tsp sesame seeds
Separate Napa and shred leaves finely. Heat peanut oil in a preheated wok. Add ginger and garlic and cook for about 30 seconds. Add Napa, Chinese rice wine, soy sauce, honey and orange juice. Reduce heat and let simmer for 5 minutes. Add sesame oil to the wok, sprinkle sesame seeds on top and mix to combine. Transfer to a warm serving dish and serve immediately.
( from 1000 Vegetarian Recipes)
1 medium head broccoli
1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
3 tbsp peanut oil
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil
1/2 tsp hot chili oil (optional)
Separate florets or leave if smaller sized shoots and cut stalks into matchstick size stripes.
Steam broccoli for 5 minutes and transfer to a bowl.
Combine remaining ingredients in a small bowl. Pour dressing over broccoli and mix well.
(from Farmer John's Cookbook)
Cauliflower Pasta with Tomato, Cheese, and Basil
1/4 cup olive oil, divided
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium head cauliflower, broken into bite-sized florets
1 tsp salt
3 tbsp water
2 cups tomato puree
2 tsp chopped parsley
1 tsp chopped thyme or 1/2 tsp dried thyme
freshly ground pepper
1 pound uncooked pasta
2 tbsp butter
1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
2 tsp finely sliced basil
Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a large skillet over low heat. Add the garlic, saute for 1 minute.
Add cauliflower and sprinkle with 1 tsp of salt. Turn up the heat to medium-high and saute for 5 minutes. Add 3 tbsp of water to skillet, cover, and cook for 5 minutes.
Stir in tomato puree, parsley, thyme; bring to a simmer, and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with pepper to taste.
Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain. Transfer the pasta to a large bowl. Pour cauliflower sauce over the pasta and toss to coat. Stir in the remaining oil and the butter, cheeses, and basil; toss until everything is well combined. Garnish with more parmesan cheese if desired. Serve hot.
(We would also recommend adding sweet peppers to give this dish even more flavor and color)