Weekly news from the farm!!!



Greetings Everyone,

A few weeks ago we had the nicest email appear in our inbox from a guest who stayed with us during the summer that made us so happy! It was from Suzanne, who stayed in the Swallows Nest, and while here she purchased food from the farm then took that food home and made delicious meals and preserves for her family.  Be sure to read on to find her recipes.

Suzanne felt right at home here at Mountain Harvest Organics because she grew up on a 300 acre farm in South Carolina. During the peach picking season, her grandmother used to make lunches for the workers; biscuits, fried chicken and pies were favorites. We understand, after working out in the blazing sun and carrying heavy loads of boxes, pies are a nice way to replenish ones energy. Her Aunt Mary and Uncle Glenn managed the dairy farm portion of the agribusiness. Aunt Mary was known for her potato salad and delicious chow-chow made from a secret recipe up until Uncle Glenn died a few months ago and Aunt Mary just went to a nursing home. Suzanne’s life took her around the world but about 5 years ago she visited them and asked about that secret chow-chow recipe. “Uncle Glenn got up from his rocker and after an extended absence, he returned with the original recipe along with paper and pencil to copy it. He thought I was crazy to just take a picture of it with my phone. I feel sure he never thought I’d do anything with it and was quite surprised when I returned a few weeks later to gift them with a jar of their family famous chow-chow. When we saw all the wonderful veggies at Mountain Organics on our visit this summer, I just had to make some chow-chow.” Suzanne thinks this recipe is too good to keep secret and had shared it with us.

She and hubby will be back in a couple of weeks to get more veggies to make chow-chow for Christmas gifts. Suzanne also learned her grandmother’s pie skills. “We entertain a lot and meat pies like quiche and frittatas are a favorite. I love chorizo and knew I had to try Carl and Julie’s. I hope you will enjoy the chorizo pie recipe. I have Celiac’s so make most of my quiches and meat pies without the crust, but you can always use a crust.”

Your Farmers (and cleaning staff),
Carl and Julie

NOTE: Your’re receiving this eNewsletter because you’ve either been a subscriber to MHO in the past OR if you’ve registered for our newsletters from our website.  Feel free to unsubscribe if you no longer wish to receive this eNewsletter!

CSA Shareholders: You can access our online store using this link, if using a desktop you will log in by clicking the icon of the person in the top right hand side of the web page, if you are using a phone click on the menu icon and choose the login option. All orders need to be placed by Tuesday at 8 AM so that we will know what to harvest for your share! Please return your boxes because we re-use them.  Orders will be ready each Wednesday after 8 AM. 

What is new and abundant this week!

Green Cabbage is making a reappearance! This is among a favorite fall crop for us because it can store in the walk-in cooler for nearly the entire winter, or we can make sauerkraut by fermenting it for added probiotics to boost our imune system during flu season.  Be sure to find Suzanne’s Chow-Chow recipe that is a southern classic because her family recipe may inspire you to make some preserves. This variety has very thin and tender leaves that make it great for cole slaw, either creamy or with a vinaigrette. We love this cabbage and polenta recipe because it is so filling. A simple way to prepare cabbage is by roasting or grilling it. We highly recommend that you try this recipe that Jess made us for lunch last season which was both delicious and beautiful, called Okonomiyaki, a dish that she had frequently while living and teaching in Japan. While the dish may be a little complicated the first time you make it, we trust once you have it down, it will become one of those dishes you have each year to celebrate cabbage season. If you find that you are accumulating cabbage in your refrigerator because it does store a long time, consider making sauerkraut, because it is loaded with probiotics and so healthy!

We’re trying a new Kohlrabi!!! The past several years, it seems that kohlrabi hasn’t performed well, so we’re trialing a new variety and we wish we planted more of it because it is BEAUTIFUL!!! The claim to fame for this new variety, is that it will retain it’s sweetness and flavor as it grows into a large, crisp and tasty veggie. It is also known for retaining it’s quality in storage.  We’re thinking we’d like a little more diversity with our winter meals, so if we could store this into the winter, it would be a great addition to our salads and stir-fries.  This underrated vegetable, has a texture much like broccoli stems, but an incredible flavor of a both cabbage and broccoli in one vegetable. It is delicious simply peeled and sliced onto salads, sliced into spring rolls; or included in stir -fries.  While we eat the skin, keep in mind  it is considered too tough for many people,  Here is a salad that we frequently make, and it is excellent in slaws. Occasionally, due to weather, the crop may be too fibrous for eating raw so consider a few of these recipes:  These are great and one can’t go wrong roasting them with other veggies.

Cilantro is our herb of the week We seed cilantro periodicaly throughout the season because we use it to season our salads, in cilantro, and fresh cilantro along with Thai basil gives such a freshness to our stir-fries and curries.  A new crop is maturing this week, and because summer kept hanging on, we seeded a late crop of cilantro hoping it will germinate and grow for our winter use.  Most people perceive the taste of coriander as a tart, lemon/lime taste, but a smaller group, of about 4%-14% of people tested, think cilantro tastes like bath soap, as linked to a gene which detects aldehyde chemicals also present in soap.  During the summer, when tomatoes and tomatillos are in season, this salsa is a staple that we make weekly. We love this Chimichurri (cilantro pesto) as a dip for toasted bread, tortillas or cut veggies. We also love including chopped cilantro in our lettuce salads for added flavor. We also enjoy this Green Tomato Curry that is delicious served over rice or on tacos.

This Weeks Farmer’s Choice Shares

This past week google notified us that it was “National Taco Day” so we celebrated with homemade tacos. Here are the toppings that we used on our tacos: pork chorizo sausage and ground beef with onions and Italian peppers,  cilantro, shredded radishes and turnips, roasted poblanos, chopped tomatoes, and minced serrano peppers!!! 

This week’s Farmer’s Choice Share includes: (share contents are subject to change based on our actual harvest.)

We’re offering both a Farmer’s Choice Veggie and Farmers’ Choice Veggie & Meat Share.  Items common in both shares are listed first, followed by items specific to the veggie share the finally the veggie/meat share. The Farmer’s Choice Veggie & Meat share normally has smaller portions of vegetables. )

The following are included only in the veggie share:

  • Onions – Mixed Candy and Red: Either the Candy or Red are great caramelized or simply sliced in slaws and salads.
  • Jester Squash:  Similar to Delicata.  Let us know your favorite if you happen to compare them!
  • Green Cabbage:  Super crisp and tender.  Grilling season is still here – consider cutting into wedges, grilling them and serving with a spicy mustard sauce!

The following are included only in the meat share

What’s Happening on the Farm

Above is Suzannes Chow Chow (also spelled chowchow or chow-chow) and check out our jar label!!!. Here is a link to Suzanne’s Chow Chow on our website.  Let us know if you decide to make a batch and what ingredients you choose to use. For those not familiar with this delicacy, it is a North American pickled relish. Its ingredients vary considerably, depending on whether and what’s in season when making this tasty relish, and food historian Luis W. Fernandez  claims to have traced it’s origin to China although other historians may have a differing opinion as the term “chow-chow” is obscure. The most commonly made versions are thought to be “Northern” which is primarily the Pennsylvania region, and also  or “Southern” variety. There is a “Northern” version, which is primarily the Pennsylvania region, and is typically made from a combination of vegetables, mainly green and red tomatoes, onions, carrots, beans of various types, asparagus, cauliflower and peas. A “Southern” version is almost entirely cabbage. The recipes vary greatly; some varieties are sweeter than others. Pennsylvania chow-chow, known by the Wos-Wit brand, is generally much sweeter than the southern varieties. 

Above are the ingredients that Suzanne sourced from MHO.  As you can see, her chow-chow uses cabbage, onions, sweet peppers, green tomatoes, green peppers.  The point of chow-chow is to preserve seasonal ingredients for winter consumption!!!

Here her ingredients are prepped.  As you can see, there is a lot of chopping, but as CSA Member Frieda claims chopping is mediatative and a great way to relax!

Suzanne will salt her chow-chow ingredients to remove as much water as possible before canning the relish.

After salting the chow chow, Suzanne will ice the ingredients, then she allows the salt to draw the moisture out by letting it set a minimum of 3 hours, but has let it set in the refrigerator for  7 days.  Once drained, she boils it with a spice mix for 10 minutes, then fills sterilized jars, and processes in a hot water bath for 5 minutes.  We’re thankful that Suzanne has inspired us to preserve a batch of chow chow for our winter stash and hope she has inspired you as well!!! 

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