Around the Farm The tomatoes are out of the hoophouse and lettuce has started going in! These rainy days don't mean stopped work then either, there is always something to do inside our unheated hoophouses.
As we prep for winter we also plan for next year and look to make improvements. Recently, Justin (my partner) acquired a G tractor (see a pic below), to help with in-row cultivation around the farm. It needs some work but, this is a good opportunity to get a little greasy and explore the mechanically-inclined side of our personalities over the winter. We really can't wait to play with it (and basically rip it apart and put it back together).
Please Choose 8
Regular Red or Heirloom Tomatoes
The recent rains have caused end-of-season diseases to catch up with us. Tomatoes are slowing so, enjoy them this week- it might be the last :(
without tops but, tasty red and yellow roots! Finally!
FYI we will have garlic for you until the end of the season!
Red or Yellow Storage Onions
No sign of slowing down here! Get ready to make some pepper jelly or, freeze some to pop into dishes throughout the winter.
Sweet Bell Peppers and Carmen/Escamillo
Same as Hot Peppers --> prepare for some easy washing and freezing if you've got a pepper buildup!
It's looking rough... this may be the last week for it.
Red Russian Kale
Tops are off and they are crispy and tasty, even when huge. Eat raw or roast, pickle, stir-fry.
Green (Unripe) Tomatoes!
I'm pretty sure they'll be enough for everyone but, injuries and sickness have yet again depleted our already skeleton harvest crew.
Acorn or Spaghetti is our goal!
Recipe Ideas: Beets
We usually have plenty of beets, almost year-round so, we've had to get a little creative with beet recipes in the past.
This year was a bit of a disappointment in terms of our beet crop (but, we know what we need to fix for next year). So, we'll be savoring these beets as long as they'll last.
Roasted beets are an easy and lovely way to start.
Roast either peeled and thinly sliced (or in chunks) or, unpeeled, wrapped in foil.
Roast them peeled if you just want to be able to eat them with a little salt and oil. The caramelization takes a while but, it's worth it. Lovely with your favorite vinegar or citrus.
We often opt for roasting whole, in foil, to simply cook them and use them for something later in the week. I often just stick them in with other things I'm roasting, at whatever temperature. You can roast them at a fairly low temp (325) or a high temp (425-450?) but, obviously be aware of how temp differences mean longer cooking times.
Foil in the oven or foil in the Instant Pot is preferred around here to prevent the bloody (looking) mess!
I used this source when experimenting with beets in the instant pot: https://www.pressurecookrecipes.com/instant-pot-beets/
While not "instant" it is certainly hands off and has taken some of the stress out of cooking beets.
Now you've got cooked beets! What to do?
Beets + Vinegar + Goat Cheese
A classic combo- for a start, try this Balsamic Roasted Beet Salad from Barefoot Contessa. I keep trying different variations, some with a citrus dressing but, this is a good start.
For something a little more involved, we came across this Roasted Beet and Kale Salad with Maple Candied Walnuts for Thanksgiving last year. I used Instant Pot beets and it was divine.
Pickled Beets are a staple in our pantry for winter. While this is not the recipe we follow because... well... there is no recipe... I trust Alton Brown and enjoy refrigerator pickles far more. Alton Brown's Pickled Beets.
If you've still got raw beets:
Beet burgers are a must when we have a BBQ, since I happen to know a lot of vegetarians! I actually really like this Quinoa Beet Burger from Minimalist Baker. It was meaty and flavorful and not too beet-y.
If you have cooked beets in your fridge and are not sure what to do... freeze them!
Frozen beets have been hit or miss for us... nice for beet-based dips and for throwing into salads but, they definitely lose texture. Just throw the chunks into a ziploc and squeeze as much air out as possible.
So, just beet it!