Hello hello. We miss you so. But while we would love to come see you as soon as possible, we are sorry to say that with the hazardous weather tomorrow, we are going to forgo our foray to the markets tomorrow. Expect us back next week! In the meantime Happy New Year! Welcome to 2020! We made it to the next circulation! We edged through the long sleep and into then new year. We have a lot of fun wintertime projects to tell you about but not yet! In the meantime, one smaller, personal dream for the season is to preserve more of our own food. I'm talking pickles, sauces, and salsas folks.
Our markets this week: JUST STOCKBRIDGE!
Saturday: Expect our produce at the Stockbridge Winter Market tomorrow and expect us back at all our markets next Saturday. It is at the First Presbyterian Church CE Building downtown Stockbridge (just off the East side of the square), 11 am to 3 pm. Luncheon from 11-2 and live music 12 pm to 2 pm.
Pickles are fantastic. I love an eclectic meal with some dipping sauces and a side of anything pickled. As I get ready for a summer of pickling the season's picks, I am going to start with some casual quick pickled root vegetables and ramp up with the season!
Quick Pickled Root Vegetables- I got this adaptable quick-pickling guide fomr the Kitchn.
Quick pickles are also known as refrigerator pickles. They are simply vegetables that are pickled in a vinegar, water, and salt (sometimes sugar, too) solution and stored in the refrigerator. Quick pickles don’t develop the deep flavor that fermented pickles do, but they also only require a few days in the brine before they can be enjoyed. Quick pickles also do not require canning when refrigerated.Pickling is best done with super-fresh vegetables. Save the slightly bruised specimens for soups or other forms of preservation. Almost any vegetable can be pickled, and the shape you choose to pickle in is entirely up to you. For example, carrots can be peeled and sliced into matchsticks or coins. Cherry tomatoes are best preserved whole. Green vegetables, such as green beans or asparagus, can be blanched in boiling water for two to three minutes and then shocked in an ice bath to preserve their color, but this step is purely optional.
Preparing Vegetables for Pickling
- Thinly slice: cucumbers, summer squash, ginger, red onion
- Cut into spears: carrots, cucumbers
- Peel: carrots
- Blanch: green beans (optional, but helps preserve their color)
- 1 pound fresh vegetables, such as cucumbers, carrots, green beans, summer squash, or cherry tomatoes
- 2 sprigs fresh herbs, such as thyme, dill, or rosemary (optional)
- 1 to 2 teaspoons whole spices, such as black peppercorns, coriander, or mustard seeds (optional)
- 1 teaspoon dried herbs or ground spices (optional)
- 2 cloves garlic, smashed or sliced (optional)
- 1 cup vinegar, such as white, apple cider, or rice
- 1 cup water
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt or 2 teaspoons pickling salt
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar (optional)
- Chefs knife ofrmandolin!
- Cutting board
- 2 wide-mouth pint jars with lids
- Canning funnel (optional)
- Prepare the jars. Wash 2 wide-mouth pint jars, lids, and rings in warm, soapy water and rinse well. Set aside to dry, or dry completely by hand.
- Prepare the vegetables. Wash and dry the vegetables. Peel the carrots. Trim the end of beans. Cut vegetables into desired shapes and sizes.
- Add the flavorings. Divide the herbs, spices, or garlic you are using between the jars.
- Add the vegetables. Pack the vegetables into the jars, making sure there is a 1/2 inch of space from the rim of the jar to the tops of the vegetables. Pack them in as tightly as you can without smashing.
- Make the brine. Place the vinegar, water, salt, and sugar (if using) in a small saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the salt and sugar. Pour the brine over the vegetables, filling each jar to within 1/2 inch of the top. You might not use all the brine.
- Remove air bubbles. Gently tap the jars against the counter a few times to remove all the air bubbles. Top off with more brine if necessary.
- Seal the jars. Place the lids on the jars and screw on the rings until tight.
- Cool and refrigerate. Let the jars cool to room temperature. Store the pickles in the refrigerator. The pickles will improve with flavor as they age — try to wait at least 48 hours before cracking them open.
Storage: These pickles are not canned. They can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 months. If you process and can the jars, they can be stored at room temperature unopened.
Food for thought:
A couple big awesome new-es from us:
We got a box truck! It is the coolest and it can fit a lot of produce and 4 buckled in people! We are going to use it to carpool to two of our metro Detroit markets. Which leads me to our other big news:
We got into the Farmington Farmers' Market! Of course it is on Saturday... But even so, We are super-extra-stoked about it! We can't wait to meet a whole new group of locavores, commune with even more fellow farmers, and have even more overlap with some of the farmers that we already love.
Other things on the winter docket:
- We are scheduled for our organic inspection this coming Monday. I have never had a winter inspection but I expect it to go well. I appreciate the motivation to get everything in order.
- This coming week we have 3 working interviews scheduled! We have already hired one awesome crew member. And we have one more working interview scheduled for the beginning of February. I am not counting any chickens but if these work out, we are done hiring for the season. That being said, if you are considering applying, now is the time to put your name in the hat!
- We are ordering the materials to build three more caterpillars. With our awesome winter crew, we will get them up and planted by mid February, hopefully leading to excessive greens this coming April.
- By the end of next week we hope to have our seed order along with our field plans completed! It's all improvements and logistics from there on out!
It is a little clipped but this recounting is mostly what is going on on the farm. On the personal front, Jim and I had a really fulfilling time visiting with family and friends over the break. We ate a lot of really good food, and while we are not fully recharged, we feel like we can see a path to that ultimate goal.
Looking forward to seeing you again,
Helen writing for the Lake Dividers!
Good for the Earth, Good for the Farmers, Good for the People. The Trifecta of sustainability. Good for the earth: Taking care of the natural world is a important, after all, it takes care of us; Good for the farmer: We believe farmers should have livable hours and livable wages; Good for the people: We believe in food equality and bringing our produce to market at an affordable price and keeping it accessible is important to us.
- Looking to join our CSA or renew your membership? Find more details here. The basics? Open an account with us, get a bonus, and use your account to purchase produce with us at any of our markets. If you have any questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to ask.
- We are accepting workshares both on the farm and at market. Please email for details.
Fresh From the Field!
Radicchio- A delicious bitter green.
All manner of deliciousness:
Carrots- Rainbow and regular
Garlic- For me, these juicy cloves go in just about EVERYTHING!
Kohlrabi- petite treats back along with the staple economy-sized.
Onions- All types, sweet and pungent, yellow and red!
Daikon Radish- White- Chinese type and the spiciest of the three, Purple, and green Korean daikon
Rutabaga: Purple and Green! Lovely texture. Great roasted. Great mashed. Great in soups!
Turnabaga: As sweet as a sweet turnip but with the texture of a rutabaga!
Purple top turnips- Excellent for roasting!
Wintersquash- Butternut Squash!
Cilantro and Parsley back on the menu soon!
This weeks Markets- JUST STOCKBRIDGE THIS WEEK!
Saturday: Ann Arbor, Detroit's Eastern Market, and Royal Oak Market
The Ann Arbor Market is located in the Kerrytown District at 315 Detroit St, Ann Arbor, MI. The market runs from May thru December, 7 am to 3 pm and January thru April from 8 am - 3 pm.
The Eastern Market in Detroit is located about a mile northeast of downtown. It covers about 43 acres, bounded by I-75 on the West and Gratiot Avenue on the South. It runs year round from 6am – 4pm
The Royal Oak Market is an indoor market located at 316 E Eleven Mile Rd, Royal Oak, MI 48067. It runs year round from 7am - 1pm.