News from Field Notes Farm
Cool nights have things slowing down on the farm — including the farmers! All of our alliums – leeks, shallots, garlic, & onions – have been harvested, cured, and sorted out for the remainder of our CSA shares. Acorn and delicata squash will be harvested later this week and laid out for curing. Butternut and buttercup squash have another week or two left in the ground.
We have begun the process of preparing the ground for next season. We have 4 plots planted in oats and 6 more to finish plowing and seeding this week. Our goal is to have all plots covered with either oats & clover or oats & rye. We have had our transitional organic acreage covered in rye the entire season. Oren mowed down the 5 foot tall stand. In just a few days, clover was poking through the drying straw. It is incredible to see how long cover crops, seeded the prior year, will continue to regenerate!
Most of our summer crops have slowed to a halt, so savor the last zucchini, green beans, cucumbers and eggplant you have. We hope to still have tomatoes for the next 2-3 weeks.
Our new perennials (asparagus, strawberries, raspberries) have done amazing, despite our complete and utter neglect of them this summer. Ragweed, lamb’s quarter and pigweed have grown up around them, but acted as a nurse crop. Buried beneath the dying weeds, our plants are green and healthy -with plenty of water and just enough sun. We plan to pull back the weeds this week, so they have space for a hearty spurt of growth in the spring. Our fruit trees appear to all be alive and well. Some had a trunk of 1 ½-inch diameter when planted and are now tipping toward 2 ½ inches! We established comfrey around the trees and many perennial herbs (mint, thyme, sage), which also appeared to survive. The trees will get a wrap-around guard to protect them from hungry rodents this winter.
We all do better when we all do better.
— Paul Wellstone
Barley Pilaf with Leeks and Lemon
Adapted from Bon Appetit Magazine
1¼ cups hulled, hull-less, or pearled barley1 tablespoon olive oil
1 leek, thinly sliced into rounds
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
½ cup buttermilk
¼ cup parsley, finely chopped
In a large saucepan, bring 6 cups salted water to a boil. Add barley, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook until barley is tender, 30–40 minutes; drain.
Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
Add leeks and 2 Tbsp. water and season with salt.
Cover and cook until leeks have wilted, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook 30 seconds. Stir in barley, lemon zest, and buttermilk. Cook 5 minutes over medium-low heat. Stir in parsley and adjust seasoning with additional salt, if desired.
Two-Minute Creamy Salad Dressing
Makes enough for 2 side salads
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, or other grainy mustard
1 1/2 tablespoons mayonnaise
Fresh pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon champagne vinegar
Whisk together the mustard, mayonnaise, salt, sugar, and pepper until combined. Add the vinegar and whisk until smooth. Toss with salad greens and serve.
Miso Noodle Soup
As the nights get colder and longer, this soup will warm you up.
It is also great to ward off any colds!
4 – 6 cups thinly sliced vegetables and greens like mizuna turnips, radishes, carrot, cabbage, greens, etc.
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons grated ginger
2 – 4 quarts water
Rice Stir-Fry Noodles
Miso paste, 1 tablespoon per serving
Condiments to serve with including but not limited to, Gluten Free Tamari, Rice Vinegar, Sriracha Hot Sauce, Ume Plum Vinegar, Sesame Seeds
Fill a large stockpot 3/4 of the way with water. Bring to a boil.
While the water is boiling, prep the vegetables. Cut carrots and daikon into long ribbons with a vegetable peeler. Chop turnip in half, then thinly slice both halves. Cut slices into larger triangles. Shred napa cabbage. Cut mizuna into bite size pieces. Mince garlic. Grate ginger.
Once the water is boiling add garlic and ginger, then vegetables in order of cooking times. If using this variety vegetables add turnips and boil 4 minutes. Add rest of veggies then boil 3-4 minutes. Add rice noodles and cook according to package directions. Remove soup from stove.
Place about 1 tablespoon miso paste in each bowl. Ladle some cooking water over the miso paste to dissolve. Once paste is dissolved ladle soup into each bowl. Bring a variety of condiments to the table for serving. Garnish with a lime on top.
Variations. To round this meal out with a protein we love a fried egg on top. You could also add baked tofu, avocado slices, or grilled chicken, shrimp, or steak