this week in your csa share {november 13}

Welcome to week 24 of the P&C CSA!

Here’s what’s in the box:

  • Brussels Sprouts – we’ve pre-popped them to conserve space in your fridge
  • 2 Heads of Garlic
  • Yellow Storage Onions
  • Leeks
  • Fennel
  • Sweet Peppers
  • Fingerling Potatoes
  • Butternut Squash
  • Carrots
  • Cooking Greens Mix – a mix of 2 kales, chard, collards, spinach, and radicchio leaves
  • Black Turtle & Jacob’s Cattle Dry Beans

First off, thanks to everyone for finding the new pick-up location last week!  The confusion was minimal and the vegetables were plentiful, which is the best scenario we could expect.  It looks like this week’s pick-up will be a bit wetter than last week’s, but at least you don’t have to meander through the Saturday Market first.

The past couple of weeks we’ve been using spare moments to clean up the dry beans so we could include them in the share.  In October we pulled the bean plants from the field and piled them in a greenhouse and in the barn at the new farm.  After letting them dry out completely we threshed the plants by beating them on the interior walls of a (clean) garbage can.  The threshing helped to open up the majority of the dry bean pods, resulting in the beans dropping to the bottom of the can.  After the initial beating, we gleaned the remaining beans from the pods that hadn’t opened.

Once the threshing was finished there was still a lot of dry plant material mixed with the beans.  We then began to winnow out the beans from the extra leaves and stems.  To accomplish the winnowing we set up a fan blowing over a screen.  The fan would blow away the lighter plant material and the heavier beans fell towards the bottom of the screen.  Small dirt clods, dust, and pebbles fell through the screen and we were left with a mix of beans and some heavier clods and there was some sorting to be done after the winnowing was finished.  The bags of clean dry beans that are making an appearance in this week’s share are the final result.

We grew four types of dry beans this first year as an experiment.  This week we’re including the Black Turtle and Jacob’s Cattle varieties.  Next week we’ll be including Light Red Kidney and Tiger Eye beans.

Here are some basic descriptions of each of these varieties from the High Mowing seed catalog:

Black Turtle Dry Bean – HEIRLOOM Believed to have originated in southern Mexico and Central America over 7,000 years ago, Black Turtle beans are one of the tastiest beans we know. They have a deep, rich flavor that works superbly in soups, frijoles, refritos, chili, and as refried beans.

Jacob’s Cattle Dry Bean – HEIRLOOM A kidney shaped, white and red speckled dry bean with a larger red eye. It is full-flavored, holds its shape under long cooking, stands up well to plenty of seasoning, and possesses a rich aroma. The name Jacob’s Cattle is the oldest name to be given to this incredible heirloom but it is also known as Trout bean or Appaloosa bean. Hailing from Prince Edward Island, legend has it that it was a gift from Maine’s Passamaquoddy Indians to Joseph Clark, the first white child born in Lubec, Maine.

Light Red Kidney Bean – Exceptional culinary quality, with a silky texture and thin skin. Mild flavor and dry flaky texture is best baked or in soups

Tiger’s Eye Dry Bean – Truly one of the prettiest heirloom beans you’ll find, but the real prize is the taste! Similar to a Pinto but with a richer flavor and a tendency to break apart sooner, making it ideal for refried beans and soups.   (this description from the Rancho Gordo website)

We’re excited to share these dry beans with you and we’re already planning to increase the growing space for these fantastic little gems next year.

Enjoy the veggies this week!

Your farmers,
Jeff Bramlett and Carri Heisler

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Recipe inspiration for this week’s vegetables:

For some excellent dry bean recipes, check out the Rancho Gordo website: http://www.ranchogordo.com/html/rg_cook_index.htm

Three-Bean Vegetarian Chili

2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped
2 bell peppers or a mix of fresh anaheim and poblano chiles, chopped (about 2 cups)
4 cups pinto beans, slightly undercooked (try substituting Jacob’s Cattle for the pinto beans here)
2 cups black beans, slightly undercooked
2 cups raw lentils
1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
5 cups cooking liquid from beans
1 Tbsp. dried oregano
1 Tbsp. ground cumin
2 Tbsp. chili powder
2 tsp. salt
1 cup dry textured vegetable protein (TVP), optional
1½ cups frozen corn kernels or canned hominy
1 Tbsp. cocoa powder

  1. Place large, heavy stockpot over medium-high heat. When pan is hot, add olive oil. Add onions and peppers to hot oil. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook until vegetables are tender and onion is lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Reduce heat if vegetables begin to brown too quickly.
  2. Add beans, tomatoes, bean-cooking liquid, and seasonings to pot. Stir to combine. Add textured vegetable protein if using. Increase heat to high to bring chili to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer chili, uncovered, until mixture is very thick, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  3. Add corn or hominy to pot and simmer another 10 minutes. Add cocoa and simmer another 5 minutes. Serve warm with grated cheese, cilantro sprigs, chopped onion, and sour cream as garnishes.

From culinate.com via Liz Biro, http://www.culinate.com/recipes/collections/Contributors/Liz+Biro/Three-Bean+Vegetarian+Chili

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Dad’s Baked Beans

1 lb. dried pinto beans, rinsed (try substituting Jacob’s Cattle for the pinto beans here)
1 cup dried black beans
1 yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 smoked ham hocks
2 Tbsp. peeled, chopped fresh ginger
1 canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce, chopped
1 tsp. dry mustard
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 cup brown sugar
⅔ cup molasses
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
~ Salt
~ Freshly ground black pepper

  1. Place the pinto and black beans in a large stockpot and add cold water to cover. Bring to a boil over medium heat and cook until the beans are tender, about 1’/2 hours. Drain the beans and place them in a large bowl. Add the onion, garlic, ham hocks, ginger, chipotle pepper, dry mustard, cumin, brown sugar, molasses, and soy sauce, and mix well. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  2. Preheat the oven to 275°. Place the beans in a Dutch oven or roasting pan, cover, and bake for 4 hours, or until thick and flavorful. Serve warm.

From culinate.com via Caprial Pence, http://www.culinate.com/content/1642/Dad*27s+Baked+Beans

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