Tuesday, October 9, 2012

30 Days On My Small Farm Day-Day 12 (Fall CSA Week 1)

There's lots of vegetables in them thar' fields.
This is a very, very good dilemma to have.
The way I planned my planting (and I do use the term "planned loosely), I felt quite sure that frost would have devastated the tender crops such as tomatoes and peppers by now. I planted more greens, such as mustard greens, turnips and radishes to take up the slack in the Fall baskets which began today.
Here we sit however at October 9th and no frost. 
This time of year I am very overly zealous about keeping track of the weather, particularly when it concerns a possible frost.
It may change of course, but at this point it doesn't seem like frost is in the long term forecast here. Wow.

So lots of peppers in the baskets today and some tomatoes, but they have not fared as well in the cold.
Here's some "did you know" pepper facts.
Did you know that a green pepper has an entire days worth of Vitamin C, as well as a good dose of lutein and Vitamin K?
My peppers, as all my produce, are grown without any chemicals, including pesticides. 
 If you purchase Canadian peppers, grown conventionally they have a Dietary Risk Index (DRI) of 53 as assessed by the USDA because of  pesticide residue. (The DRI scale takes into consideration average pesticide levels in an edible portion of the food, the toxicity of each pesticide and how frequently residues are present.)
Imported peppers from the US have a DRI of 90, while peppers imported from Mexico have a rating of 608. A rating of 100 is considered acceptable.
Mexican produce though is far from the worst though. In fact Mexican carrots are virtually pesticide free, having a DRI of 0, whereas carrots from Canada have a DRI of 12, US carrots 3.
Typically Canada and the US have more stringent pesticide laws than other countries, but produce from those countries can still come in.
If pesticide use on your food is a concern of yours, where your food comes from is very important.
Food for thought.

Todays baskets also had broccoli in one form or another. Some of the broccoli was Piricicaba with a nice long stem, some was Spigiarello without a head, and some was good old broccoli side shoots.
There were also onions, carrots, radishes, greens for braising (mustards and chard), lettuces and likely something else I can't remember.

Here's an idea for those carrots...and tops!

Carrot Top Soup
(Adapted from Deborah Madison's Local Flavors)

1 bunch of carrots, tops included (about six 6-inch carrots)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter 
2 large leeks or onions
2 tablespoons fresh thyme
2 tablespoons fresh dill 
3 tablespoons rice
6 cups vegetable stock 
) Salt and pepper to taste

Pull or pluck the lacy leaves of the carrots greens off their stems. (You should have between 2 and 3 cups, loosely packed.)
Finely chop the carrots, carrot tops, leeks, thyme, and dill in a food processor. Melt the butter in a soup pot.
Add the vegetable and herb mixture. Cook for several minutes stirring a few times to prevent sticking, then season with 11⁄2 teaspoons salt. Add the rice and stock to the pot.
Bring to a boil and simmer until the rice is cooked, 16 to 18 minutes. Taste for salt and season with pepper. Serve immediately.

For a totally creamy version: Remove soup from the heat and use an immersion blender to puree the soup. This creamy version is good at room temperature.

For a creamy/chunky version: Remove the soup from the heat and place half of it in a heat safe bowl. Puree the remaining soup in the pot with an immersion blender and then add back the soup reserved in the bowl. This is best served warm.
Makes about 2 quarts of soup.


colette said...

Oh we had a killing frost in Schomberg Linda. Killed everything except the brassicas and peppers under cover.

k2 said...

Those peppers (on the picture) as well as your other produce look so organic, pesticide-free, and healthy. You do have a green thumb, Linda! :)