|Rutabaga -This root is a cross between a cabbage & a turnip. It is sweet, starchy flavor is great among a medley of roasted root. From Whitefeather Organics in Custer, WI..
Brussel Sprouts – These tender buds are basically mini cabbages! They are great roasted or shredded raw. From our friend Brian Wickert, certified organic and biodynamic. Brian is our resource for biodynamic practices.
Acorn Squash – Also from our friend Brian Wickert, we have another round of these fall delights.
Polling on Field Notes Farm
Well, it’s election day. There is, of course, non-stop coverage of result predictions, turn out stats, and commentary about what this election means for the state of our country. We hope you don’t mind, but I also thought I would add my views as an organic farmer, entrepreneur, millennial, and former elected official.
Lacking from discussion this election season is the root of our economic system — agriculture.
International trade agreements are slated to be voted on before the end of this congressional session, the latest Farm Bill is on the agenda for congress this winter, and in our own state water rights and water supply are topics of concern as more producers scale up and seek to establish high capacity wells.
Few candidates lay out or even mention their views of farm policy. None of the presidential candidates have said more than a few words about agriculture and food. We are living through the continuing consolidation of our food system throughout this country. Hundreds of small family farms have gone under this year in Wisconsin while out of state businesses have pushed through approval of 5000 cow operations. The amount of milk being produced in Wisconsin does not go down, but the number of farms and farmers continue to plummet.
At the federal level, the agricultural administration, programs, and projects, appear too big and too mundane to have any affect on your average citizen. Many claim that the bills setting in place the programs and funding are stuffed with individualized pork for select states and producer groups. These policies and the leaders of the agricultural department play a large role in the priorities and resources available at the local level. They affect access to rural broadband (critical for providing modern communication, business and education options to rural residents), availability of farm financing, and efforts to transition agricultural practices and to rebuild our land by funding conservation investments.
These programs are not perfect, but they do serve as resources for residents who are taking action and starting new farms. The development of more farms may be the key to solving the swift and vast takeover of our agricultural lands by corporate farms with little interest in preserving our natural resources and the health and vitality of our communities.
We applied for an Farm Service Agency (FSA) Beginning Farmer loan in the fall of 2014 to begin our farm. We had access to $50,000 at a low interest rate and a reasonable payback schedule (7 years) for a new enterprise, especially a new farm. Without these programs, it can be an overwhelming burden for aspiring new farmers without family land or money to commit fully to a new enterprise.
The results of today will impact priorities for the future. But, we are also privileged to be able pursue our own priorities and vision in our local and regional communities, so no matter what, there is still work to do!
Roasted Radish & Grape Salad
1 cup dried quinoa
1 large shallot, sliced
4 large black radishes, trimmed and peeled
2 cups sliced black globe grapes
5+ tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt, divided
zest of 1 lemon, divided
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, minced
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Prepare rinsed quinoa in salted water according to instructions.
Add a generous drizzle olive oil to a small skillet and heat over medium heat. Add the sliced shallot and a pinch of salt and cook for 2 minutes. Turn heat to low and allow the shallots to caramelize while you prepare the other components. Stir occasionally.
Trim the radishes, halve, and cut into approximately 1/4 inch thick half moon slices. Place in a book and coat with 3 tablespoon olive oil and 1 teaspoon sea salt. Divide slices between two rimmed baking sheets, and roast. After 15 minutes, remove from oven and flip the slices. Roast for another 10 – 15 minutes or until the edges have crisped and the radish flesh is tender.
Meanwhile, toss the grapes with a drizzle of olive oil and a teaspoon of lemon zest, and spread on a smaller rimmed baking sheet. Roast grapes for 10 minutes.
Whisk together the lemon juice, remaining zest, Dijon, and a pinch of sea salt. Whisk in 3 tablespoons olive oil until emulsified.
Toss two-thirds of the dressing with the quinoa, shallots, and parsley. Fold in the roasted black radishes and grapes. Taste, adjust dressing or salt levels as needed, and serve.
Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese
You can substitute pumpkin or acorn/delicata squash also
8 ounces organic whole wheat rotini
½ cup fat-free milk
½ pound butternut squash,, peeled and chopped
1 cup cheddar cheese
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon dry mustard
Pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese, freshly shredded
1 tablespoon bread crumbs
Prepare rotini according to package directions.
In medium saucepan, simmer milk with squash until combined.
Remove from heat. Add cheddar cheese, salt, dry mustard, and pepper to taste. Mix to combine.
Pour drained pasta into 8-inch square baking dish or deep-dish cast iron skillet, stir in cheese mixture, and top with Parmesan and bread crumbs.
Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes.
Serve as part of an antipasto plate or mix into salad dressings. Use the pickling liquid as you would flavored vinegar. Garlic is great for soothing a sinus cold.
Makes 1 pint
2 Tbsp. sugar
1¼ tsp. kosher salt
¼ cup white or red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
1 cup garlic cloves, peeled; halved if large
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
½ teaspoon coriander seeds
1 small chile pepper, such as Thai bird or cherry pepper
Measure sugar and salt into a medium saucepan. Add ⅔ cup water and vinegar and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve. Meanwhile, place garlic, peppercorns, coriander seeds, and chile pepper in a sanitized pint jar. Carefully pour the boiling liquid into jar, close loosely, and let come to room temperature. Seal tightly and refrigerate for up to 1 month