Eat the elephant one bite at a time

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Hello Folks,

Whether this week marks October or Rocktober for you, it is hard to believe we are here!  As much as it feels like we should be winding down, we are pushing harder than ever to get our ever-growing list of things done before that unknown weather deadline.  I won't lie, I had a slight moment of panic when looking at the calendar and comparing the days left in October to how much food we needed to get out of the ground before the weather changes.  And of course, there is not only food to get out but also tunnels to move, garlic to plant, plastic to replace from the spring windstorm, and fall cover crops to plant...but we just have to eat the elephant one bite at a time.  

The transition to fall food continues this week as we say hello to new hardy greens and good bye to summer staples.  This will be the last week for eggplant, cucumbers, tomatoes, and peppers...but we will make room for tat soi and baby bok choy.  Both are in the mustard family and are wonderful when added to a miso soup, curry, or stir fry.  They can also stand on their own if sautéed with leeks, garlic, and some type of spicy, ginger tamari sauce.  Hakurei turnips are back for the fall and they go well with cold weather cooking.  A hot noodle bowl with turnips and turnip greens is one of my favorite things on a frosty fall evening but if you are feeling more decadent, try a twist on a classic French dish Pomme D'Anna.   The traditional version uses potatoes, but you can substitute the hakurei turnips for similar results.  

Looking forward to seeing many of you real soon!
Katie


This Week's Harvest

  • Kale

  • Collard

  • Chard

  • Head Lettuce

  • Spinach 

  • Tat Soi

  • Spicy Mix 

  • Radishes

  • Turnips

  • Baby Bok Choi

  • Cucumbers

  • Eggplant

  • Bell Peppers

  • Cherry and Roma Tomatoes

  • Leeks

  • Potatoes (Strohaur Farm)

  • Beets

  • Carrots

  • Broccoli

  • Cauliflower

  • Cabbage

Farm Land Expansion Update

 A rendering of the ag-centered Montava development, which will include a 40-acre farm. (Photo: Montava)

A rendering of the ag-centered Montava development, which will include a 40-acre farm. (Photo: Montava)

Hello Folks,

Please excuse an extra email this week, but I wanted to give y'all an update about our farm expansion and let you know how you can get involved if you are available. 

As many of you know in the spring of 2017, after several years of working on purchasing land for a much needed permanent home for the farm we had an eleventh hour issue with the new farm land and the deal fell through. Since then, we have been actively working on plan B and have decided to work with a company that is planning to build a new community development in the last large tract of farm land in the City of Fort Collins.  The planned community is called Montava and they are currently working toward a sustainable development that is centered around a working farm.  They have agreed to sell Poudre Valley Community Farms 40 acres of prime farm land in order to create an ag-centered, sustainable community.  There are many other innovative and exciting things about this planned community such as energy conserving homes, affordable housing, raw water irrigation, planned natural areas and parks.  You can learn more about the concept on their website here.

We are excited about this new opportunity to be a part of a forward thinking, sustainable, planned community and hope that we will be able to take the next steps towards acquiring the land.  Montava is working diligently with the city and its now time for preliminary plans to be approved by City Council. 

As always, thank you all for your support for the farm and if you can't make this opportunity, we anticipate other important meetings to follow so you can make your voice heard then. 

Warmly,

Katie and Nic and the Native Hill Farm Crew

P.S. In case anyone is worried, we will still be Native Hill Farm and we will still continue to serve the larger community of Fort Collins (aka those of you who have made the farm what it is today)...we will just have secure access to farm land and water and be better, more sustainable farmers by doing so.

Frost kissed roots and shoots

Good Morning Folks!

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Hope you can find a nice cozy place to curl up with a cup of tea and some comfort food some time today...even if it is just a nice warm fuzzy thought in your brain, that can go a long way.  Week 20 of the farm means we are heading into the uncertainty of fall now and I anticipate having quite a few more chilly and dreary days ahead.  We had our first light frost on the farm on Tuesday and we may be looking at another one tonight.  This means that this week we will be saying good-bye to some summer things that don't do well when the temperatures get cold.  It will be a bit of a slow slide since many of our summer plants are protected by tunnels but regardless the slide has begun.  The good news is that many of our fall things just get better with cooler temps and we look forward to the sweetness of frost kissed roots and shoots in the next few weeks.

Brassicaes are one type of veg that loves this sort of weather.  Whether its giant broccoli or dark green kale, its time to celebrate them all fully.  The abundance of cabbage marks sauerkraut time for many of us of German decent.  The basic recipe is actually silly easy...just salt and cabbage... but it can get much more elaborate as you start adding more flavors or spices.  The trickier part is the fermentation process...most the patience to waiting for the project to be done.  I have a hard time because I love the instant gratification of a kitchen sorrier, but its worth the wait.  According to our local fermenting expert, it will take 6-8 weeks for your kraut to be done.  Two weeks at 60-70 degrees and 4-6 weeks at around 45.  But its nice to think about having kraut in the fridge ready for winter when you want it.  

We are starting to see some cauliflower peaking their heads out of their leafy foliage.  I'm happy to report our fall crop is looking much better than the spring and am excited for it to be back at the market.  I am planning to take advantage of the overlap of brassicae and summer crops as there are so many fun kitchen combos that only come around once a year. Maybe its the weather, but a nice tomato, fennel, and cauliflower soup with crusty bread sounds like just ticket on a dreary fall afternoon.  Or maybe you make some stewed eggplant and broccoli in a nice tomato based sauce and serve it over hot polenta.  I feel a nap coming on...

Or maybe you are  more in the mood for pork green chili...which is what we will have at the Odell event tonight from 5-8pm.  Kevin Grossi and his staff will be at the pop up event to get the word out about their new restaurant, The Regional, that will be opening in less than a month.  I just got a sneak peak tour and the place looks awesome.  Native Hill will be there with our chili roaster and will be roasting until we run out of peppers.  We will be chatting with folks about the farm expansion and educating folks about Poudre Valley Community Farms, a Land Co-Op.  Aaron Rice from Jodar Farms will also be there to update folks on his new farm project and of course to provide the pork for the chili.  Hope some of you can make it!


This Week's Harvest

  • Kale

  • Collards

  • Swiss Chard

  • Head Lettuce

  • Arugula

  • Spinach

  • Carrots

  • Beets

  • Radishes

  • Hakurei Salad Turnips

  • Leeks

  • Red and Yellow Onions

  • Broccoli

  • Cauliflower

  • Cabbage

  • Heirloom and Cherry tomatoes

  • Hot and Sweet Peppers

  • Italian Eggplant

  • Red and Yellow Potatoes (strohaur farms)

  • Fennel

  • Cucumbers

The 7th inning stretch

 photo by Jimena Peck

photo by Jimena Peck

Hi-Ya Folks!

Weeks are flying by as we enter 7th inning stretch here at the farm and we are starting to scurry around not unlike squirrels, fortifying our dens and stashing food away for the long winter.  Week 18 has the farm changing from late summer to early fall food, and while there will still be some summer fruits trickling in for the next few weeks, we are seeing a huge slow down from these plants that have been working hard all summer to provide us with their bounty. But not to fear, we have lots of great fall veggies that are rising to the occasion to take their place.  Week 18 has also brought along some less than ideal storms for this time of year and last Wednesday's storm left the farm a bit of a mess.  The torrential rains and hail damaged some of the more delicate crops like the salad mix that we were planning to have for y'all at the market this week.  Please be patient with us while we wait for things to bounce back a bit from the storm.

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Broccoli is back for the fall and as Bill and Ted would say, it is most triumphant.  There is something so satisfying for a farmer about a big, beautiful head of broccoli and we are looking forward to sharing it with you all.  Try roasting some with leeks, fennel and cherry tomatoes serve it over some creamy polenta and white beans. It also does well in soup or in quiche.  Spinach is big and abundant right now...perfect for a big pot of saag paneer.  Served with some curried eggplant and warm naan, it will be great for those nights that are starting to dip into the 40s.   Red cabbage is here and is lovely for braising.  Dust off your dutch oven and slow cook it with some sliced fennel and onion.  Top with some apple cider vinegar and serve with some good pork tenderloin.

The chili roasting date has been set!  We will be hauling the roaster down to the Odell's patio on Friday, September 28th for a collaboration event with The Regional, a new restaurant that is opening in Fort Collins in October.  Chef Kevin Grossi will be cooking veggies from our farm and pork from Jodar farm over an open flame to get the word out about his new shop and we will be roasting chilies for folks that would like to take some home.  The event starts at 5 and goes til close, so come down, get a beer, some chilies (you can put them on your account) and some food if you'd like and enjoy a beautiful autumn evening with your community.  Poudre Valley Community Farms will also be at the event, so if you would like to learn more about the Land Cooperative, it is a great opportunity to chat with board members and see how you can get involved.  I have attached a flyer to the end of this email with some more details.

Looking forward to seeing many of you soon!

Katie


This Week's Harvest

Kale

Collard Greens

Swiss Chard

Red Butter Lettuce 

Arugula

Spinach

Spicy Mix

Leeks

Beets

Carrots

Eggplant

Sweet and Hot Peppers

Beans 

Radishes

Red and Green Cabbage

Broccoli

Red and Yellow Onions

Cherry Tomatoes

Heirloom Tomatoes

Yukon Gold Potatoes (Strohour Farms)

Cucumbers

One more week of Summer

 The cabbage is looking beautiful these days!

The cabbage is looking beautiful these days!

Welcome to week 18 of our summer CSA program....and its back folks!  Summer that is, and there is only one "person" to blame.  The front that is stalling Hurricane Florance over the Carolinas is also stalling this hot weather front over Fort Collins and we are trying hard to frame "one more week of summer" with an exclamation point.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed that many of our fall crops will see this as just a hot blip rather than a signal to start bolting for summer as you never know what next week's weather will bring.  Regardless of the heat, we are still cranking out veggies as we add to our expanded list of September offerings.  We did our final round of chile roasting for the winter farm share and still have more on the plants so we are planning to have a chile roasting afternoon for CSA members to come by and get some fresh roasted goodies.  We are tentatively planning this toward the end of the month, so keep a look out for a date coming soon.

We have good news for the spinach loving folks, its back from its summer vacation and should stay with us until the end of March.  Cooked or eaten raw, spinach is one of the more versatile crops on the farm.  It pairs well with just about anything, so be sure to grab a bag or two this week to scratch that itch you've had since June.   

Fall fennel is such a treat and its time to take advantage.  One of my favorite things to do with fennel is a savory tart.  Make a nice flakey tart crust and fill it with caramelized leeks, fennel, apples, mushrooms and blue cheese.  You can also just fold over the tart crust and make little hand pies for a fun weekend project.  I love pizza with caramelized fennel, eggplant, and beets.  Fennel and cherry tomato risotto is another one of my fennel favorites.  The mild flavor of bulb fennel combines so well with the silky texture of the rice and the sweetness of the cherry tomatoes, it is something kids and adults alike can agree on at the table.  

Some of you may have discovered the Frise at the market last weekend.  When it comes to chicories, I am a connoisseur, appreciating there addictive bitter flavor when paired with something sweet and something acidic.  We stopped growing them last year after what I would call a perceived public phobia surrounding the trickier vegetable, but we brought it back after a working member told me it was her favorite vegetable that we grew on the farm.   Apparently all I needed was one more "frizzy" fan (her words not mine), to bring it back and trust me, its nothing to be afraid of.  Lightly saute it with some salt and lemon juice and drape it with some caramelized leeks and mushrooms and perhaps a poached egg.  Or grill it and serve with a honey lemon dressing, goat cheese, currents, and slivered almonds.  It is one of the more benign vegetables in the chicory family and a good place to start your own addiction.

Wondering your accounts balance?  If you are getting receipts from the farm, you can find your balance at the bottom of your most recent receipt.  If you are not getting receipts from the farm, please let me know and I will check the email address that is attached to the account.  Also, we did a little training session over the week about adding more money to accounts, so all staff should be able to make that happen for you at the market.  My apologies for overlooking this important detail before last week's market.  

Finally, don't forget about winter CSA.  Shares sell out by the end of September EVERY YEAR so don't delay...I'm not great at saying no to people, so relieve some anxiety from your farmer and sign up now.  Pick ups just keep getting better as we are hoping to add some live music to the party this year.  Stay tuned as this idea becomes a reality. 


Looking forward to seeing you all soon!
katie


This Week's Harvest...phew!

Kale

Chard

Collard Greens

Head Lettuce

Spinach

Frise

Leeks

Carrots

Beets

Eggplant

Cucumbers

Sweet and Hot Peppers

Cherry and Heirloom Tomatoes

Yukon Gold Potatoes (strohaur farms)

Red and Yellow Onions

Fennel Bulbs

Cabbage

Flowers and Herbs

Green and Yellow Beans

Radishes

Probably something else I missed because there is so much food!