From the Garden This Week
From the Garden this Week…
Brussels Sprouts, Celery Root, Cauliflower, Turnips, Rutabagas, Cabbage, Kale, Broccoli, Carrots, Kohlrabi, Flowering Broccoli Shoots, Lettuce Heads, Garlic
Using your produce… by Julie Moreno
This week we have celery root coming, and this vegetable unfortunately has an image problem and it starts with its ugly exterior. The bad news is that you will want to peel this off and you will want to use a knife to do it. Wash off the exterior, so that you remove any remaining dirt that might have been left, then using your biggest and sharpest knife, carefully cut the root in half and then with the nice flat surfaces on flat on the cutting board, you can carve away at the outer skin, leaving the white flesh. The good news is that this is a wonderful vegetable that has a subtle sweet celery flavor. You can eat it raw or cooked. To use it raw, I would shred it with a box grater or use a mandolin or spiralizer. Toss the raw celery root with a little lemon juice to keep it from becoming discolored (it will brown a little) then you can use it like cabbage in coleslaw. The French make a classic celeriac salad, but you don’t need to use mayo, a lemon vinaigrette tossed with carrots and our lettuce would work well too. I like to cook it and included a recipe today for a celery root mash. I added a potato or two, but you could also use our other root vegetables, rutabagas and turnips, if you didn’t have potatoes available.
Celery Root Mash
1 large celery root, peeled and cubed
1-2 russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter (with more butter for serving)
1/2 cup half-n-half or cream
1-2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs, such as dill or parsley
Put the celery root and potatoes in a medium pot and cover with cold water by at least an inch. Add 1 tablespoon of salt, and bring to a boil. Boil until the vegetables are fork tender (15 to 20 minutes). Drain in a colander and return to the pot with the butter and cream. Mash with a potato masher and add salt to taste and serve hot garnished with the herbs.
Thank You to Covenant Grove Church and Wellspring Charitable Garden Volunteers
What a wonderful and productive day we had out at the Farm last Saturday. It is amazing what a group of humble, good-natured, and hardworking volunteers can accomplish together in four hours. We literally finished each of the items on our list including some chicken coop clean-up, tent repair, chicken house roof replacement, tree branch removal, heavy duty weed eating and the good old fashioned hand weeding of our garden rows. You know who you are!! Thank you for coming out and giving up a part of your Saturday to serve our community!! You are greatly appreciated!
Brussels Sprouts are here…
We have finally learned how to enjoy what used to be everyone’s least favorite vegetable. Thankfully, gone are the days of overcooked, drab, olive colored, sulfur smelling sprouts. The central valley isn’t the most hospitable place to grow these, but with a little care and a lot of timing, our Market Gardeners have done it! Brussels sprouts have a longer growing time and like the cool weather. Unfortunately, our warm summer and fall are like kryptonite to the sprouts. The aphids love them too, so in order to avoid an unhealthy dose of pesticides, we have patiently waited until now -- late January/February to enjoy these tasty baby cabbages. Because we don’t size the sprouts, you will want to cut the bigger ones into quarters and the smaller ones into halves for the sautéed Brussels Sprouts recipe below. I like to use my cast iron pan, to get good carmelization. You can also roast them in the oven and I also suggest shredding the sprouts. You can eat them raw or give the shredded sprouts a very light sauté, to minimize overcooking.
Sautéed Brussels Sprouts
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound Brussels sprouts, halved or quartered lengthwise though the core
¼ cup water
salt and pepper
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
In a large skillet, heat oil over medium. Add Brussels sprouts, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring frequently, until caramelized, 7-8 minutes. Add water and cook until evaporated, about 2 minutes. Add lemon juice and toss to coat. Serve immediately.
Metaphors from Soil to Soul…
During our Garden Work Day this weekend, I was reminded of the importance of composting. One of our team members spent time turning the large compost pile with the help of a tractor. Other team members scraped and raked away chicken manure by hand in the coops, shoveled it into wheelbarrows, and dumped it on top of the existing compost piles. Yet others gathered stinky decaying leaves of cauliflower, broccoli and cabbage. How does stinky, rotting, manure and dead, decomposing plant refuse become the most amazing and rich soil for the sowing and growing of seeds? As I pondered that question, the thought occurred to me again that God wants to take the manure of my life – even the dead and rotting things that I want to hide from myself and others – and transform it into an environment for beautiful new life and growth…growth that can even feed and nurture others! But I must first be willing to tolerate the time and tasks involved. Lord Jesus, give us the grace to invite you into those painful, stinky, messy places…Amen.