Strawberries - Garlic Scapes - Dill - Arugula- Lettuce -
Radishes - Fennel - Green Tomato - Cucumbers
Returning CSAers- this week’s newsletter is an absolute repeat to last-year-at-this-time’s newsletter, but it is still relevant, so forgive me….
Today I’d like to remember the old days of Edgewater Farm- The days when fruit at the grocery store was not available all year round. Or if it was available it was incredibly expensive. Today we can go to almost any chain grocery store in January and buy a quart of California strawberries no matter the season.
Forty years ago, there was no category of “locavore”, because everyone was a locavore. No one looked too far from their region for food. Everyone picked their own strawberries because frozen or canned berries and stored apples were more or less, the Upper Valley’s only winter fruit.
Now that we have the luxury of imported food items, PYO berries is not necessary to fulfill that need of winter fruit, however for those that prioritize shopping local or knowing your food down to the farmer that grows it, there is a need to head into the fields right now and Pick Your Own Berries by the pound while the picking is good.
I farm to eat the food we grow all year long- I know it’s origin, it’s grown with a lot of heart- and that feels good. I am forever ecstatic in January to open up the chest freezer and pull out the Summer’s harvest and remember that we grew and picked and processed these strawberries. To the folks that leave our strawberry field with containers and containers filled of fruit to store throughout the winter, I see you, and I totally get you. I also thank you for choosing our farm to help you get through the colder darker months, making December- January- February- March- and even April a little sweeter and a little brighter.
As for you- the CSAers- come winter you will be ecstatic about your freezer or pantry! Like a strawberry, your weekly share is best enjoyed fresh, but for those of you that need a little pick-me-up-taste-of-summer during winter months, there are plenty of recipes headed your way for freezing, canning, fermenting and preserving (ahem, see Garlic Scape recipe from last week- when made in bulk, freezes beautifully).
And for the CSAer that is inspired by the season to PYO and get in on the winter-berry challenge… (or if you just want to pick some quarts and call it good) In your CSA share this week you will find a pass to pick 2#’s of berries out of our PYO patch in Cornish- you can OF COURSE pick more, but the first 2 pounds are on us. The picking right now is insanely good! Head to the strawberry patch during picking hours: 7-noon, and again in the afternoon 4-7pm, for your own opportunity to pick and take part in one of New England’s best past times.
Address to pick: 949 NH Route 12A/ Cornish, NH
SEE WEBSITE’S PYO PAGE FOR MORE INFO:
TIPS - TRICKS - RECIPES:
recipe serves: 4-6
notes: I soak quinoa for about 15 minutes before I strain and cook it, just to get some of the bitterness off. Also, you’re just grilling the fennel to soften it up a bit and get some char happening. Roasting would achieve the same thing more or less.
3/4 cup quinoa, soaked and strained (any colour)
1 small bulb of fennel, trimmed, cut in half + core removed (save some of the fronds for garnish)
4 radishes, halved and sliced thin 1 cucumber, diced small
3 sprigs of dill or 1/4 cup chopped 2 green onions, sliced thin
2 tsp dijon mustard juice of 1 lemon
3 tbsp olive oil + extra for grilling/roasting handful of chopped, toasted nuts/seeds (optional)
salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F if you’re roasting the fennel, and line a baking sheet with parchment and set aside. Preheat a gas grill to high if you’re grilling the fennel.
Cook the quinoa: combine quinoa with 1.5 cups of water and 1 teaspoon of salt in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and simmer until all of the liquid is absorbed, about 10-15 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Grill the fennel: brush the fennel with 2 teaspoons of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place onto a grill heated to high, cut side down. Grill until char marks are achieved on both sides and fennel feels a bit soft. Remove and cut into a rough small dice once cool. I do this by placing the flat side of the fennel down, cutting into lengthwise slices and then cutting those slices into smaller pieces.
Or roast the fennel: slice the halves of fennel and toss them in a bit of oil, salt, and pepper. Spread them out on the lined baking sheet and roast in the oven for about 15 minutes, or until soft and there are golden, caramelized edges.
Fluff the cooled quinoa with a fork and place into a large bowl. Add fennel, radishes, cucumber, dill and green onions. Add dijon, lemon juice and remaining olive oil on top. Season with salt and pepper and mix until thoroughly combined. Plate as you wish, garnished with the fennel fronds.
makes about 1.5 cups of dressing
notes: I would only recommend doing this with the scapes if you’re making the dressing in a blender. Otherwise, stick with a finely minced clove of garlic. Depending on how long they’ve been around, garlic scapes can be quite fibrous so just use the more tender parts. Also, I use grapeseed oil here because its neutral flavour doesn’t overpower the scapes.
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup filtered water
1 tsp salt
ground black pepper to taste
1/2 tbsp dijon mustard
1/2 tbsp light agave (or honey)
2 garlic scapes, roughly chopped
3/4 – 1 cup grapeseed oil (I tend to like dressing more on the acidic side so I lean to the 3/4 cup measure)
Combine the vinegar, water, salt and pepper in the blender pitcher. I like to add the salt with the vinegar so that it gets a head start on dissolving. Then, add the dijon, agave and garlic scapes. Blend the contents until the scapes are more or less pureed.
Put the blender on a low speed, remove the top feeding lid and slowly drizzle in the oil with the motor running until the dressing is thoroughly combined and creamy. Store in the fridge for up to 1 week.