Posted on

Sugar Sticks

img_4702

Hey y’all, can you believe it’s December?! As it stands now, this will be our last pickup of the season. Mostly on account of childcare, as there’s still lots of good eats left out there…but I do see 21 degrees in the forecast, so it’s probably just as well.

So much to say, so little space to do it. First off, Jeff’s coming down from NH with meat. If you’re new to this list or never tried his meats, he has a truly special product. They not only raise pastured pigs like they’re meant to be raised, they make their own sausages from these humanely-raised pigs. Take a look at the ingredients of the sausage you may have in your fridge. Then take a look at his ingredients. Nothing you can’t pronounce in there! You need to email him directly to make an order.

In addition to the meats, you can order cheese from Couet’s Farm and chocolates a la Anna Banana’s Homemade Goodness. Try some adelisca cheese on the baby beets (below) to add some decadence to a very simple dish. And Sarah added a bunch of new gift and seasonal items to the chocolate selection, so be sure to stock up for the holidays. And eggs! I sold off my ladies for the winter (to return in the spring), but the same local farm as last week has some for sale that I’m happy to offer up for sale.

The veggie list isn’t as long as it used to be, but the flavor has never been better. Much of what we have left available actually gets sweeter with frosts, and we’ve had plenty of those at this point. It’s a fascinating natural physiological response to freezing temperatures – root crops like carrots, rutabaga, and celeriac convert starches to sugars as a natural anti-freeze to prevent damage to the crop. Some non-roots in the brassica family like kale and tatsoi also get sweeter with the cold via a similar process of sugar accumulation for frost protection.

Other crops aren’t so lucky – the celery has finally succumbed to the cold. Fortunately you can swap celeriac in any recipe calling for celery (other than ants on a log). And it’s objectively significantly more delicious. Roast it, put it in soup, mash it with potatoes. It’s all good.

I put in a way too late planting of beets just to see what would happen. Predictably, we have a row of little tiny gorgeous beets that will never reach full-size. Roast them whole, no need to peel. Halving them will make them cook quicker, but I left them whole in a 400 degree oven for an hour, stirring them halfway through, and they were little balls of sugar.

We had a bumper crop of acorn and butternut squash – stock up before it’s too late! The easiest way to eat these are to roast them cut them in half. I had been roasting them face down so they steam and cook quicker, but last time I roasted them face up in a covered pan. They still cooked quicker but retained all the sugars that previously ran out. In an attempt to re-create Tower Hill’s famous butternut squash flatbread (made with our butternut), we made a pizza using butternut squash as the sauce with cranberries, caramelized onions, and a drizzle of barbecue sauce. Sooo good. If you want the real deal, stop in to Tower Hill and be sure to let them know you appreciate their dedication to local agriculture and your favorite organic farm in particular! I’ll be there Saturday making another delivery – maybe I’ll see you there?

Pickup Procedures:
Put your orders in online before 8am Monday. We’ll pick all orders fresh Monday morning and have it available for you to pick-up from 4-7pm Monday right on the farm at 64 Potter Hill Rd in Grafton. Pickups are in the big red barn on the right at the crest of the hill. Take advantage of this short window of time when the best produce around is grown in Grafton’s backyard!