Notes from farmer, Cheryl Rogowski

Fall Share Week #5
What a crazy weather day yesterday – but I think you had it worse in the city than we did up on the farm. So often we are asked where IS the farm? We are located in Pine Island, NY, a tiny hamlet in the Town of Warwick. Dad always said we are about 60 miles Northwest of the GW Bridge and that’s pretty accurate. What is so cool about the area we live and farm in is our soil. We farm on what we call black dirt, essentially a giant bowl of compost formed when the dinosaurs roamed the area. Because of the ingredients that makeup our soil it is naturally higher in sulphur and nitrogen. As long as we properly care for the land via crop rotations, minimal tillage, replenishing the nutrients used by the growing plants with organic high quality amendments like chicken poop and sea kelp, minimal compaction of the soil from mechanical tilling, basically loving the land, it pays us back tenfold. Our potato harvest was so good this year. Benito and Lupe finished gleaning the potato patch this past weekend and there are now thousands of pounds of potatoes in storage for the winter.

In my opinion cabbage is often an under-appreciated vegetable. Of course my Polish heritage plays a big part in this growing up with traditional dishes like kapusta with noodles (cabbage and noodles), golombki (stuffed cabbage) and the inevitable sauerkraut and kielbasa and of course my Moms most excellent coleslaw. Cabbage was a common but not so common tasting vegetable in our daily lives. Mom would make a massive pan of golombki and while seemingly outraged, inwardly was very pleased at how Dad would eat almost half the pan in one sitting leaving not very much for leftovers!! Golombki is one of those time consuming, labor of love dishes that you gather some family and friends and make a lot of at once. It freezes well and is another one of those dishes that the flavor gets better with time.

Here is a link to a pretty good you-tube video on how to make Stuffed Cabbage or as she calls them cabbage rolls, She says hello in Polish so give it 2-3 seconds the video is in English.

Instead of meat you can do a barley or brown rice stuffing to fill the cabbage leaves!!!

Cabbage Salad
· 1 small head cabbage, shredded
· 1/2 cup chopped green pepper
· 1/2 cup chopped onion
· 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
· 2 tablespoons white vinegar
· 1 tablespoon sugar
· 1/4 teaspoon salt
· 4 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled

In a large bowl, combine cabbage, green pepper and onion. In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar and salt. Pour over cabbage mixture and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Stir in bacon just before serving.

Nutrition Facts
3/4 cup: 90 calories, 6g fat (1g saturated fat), 5mg cholesterol, 169mg sodium, 8g carbohydrate (5g sugars, 2g fiber), 2g protein.

Notes from Cheryl: Options for the salad in addition to or instead of the green peppers if you don’t have any home or are looking for something different you can add shredded carrots, or minced jalapeño for some spice. Instead of mayonnaise you can use yogurt or sour cream or a blend of any of these. I use cider vinegar instead of white.

Recipe Source: https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/favorite-cabbage-salad/
Some other recipe links:

For more recipes check out our farm recipe blog: https://blackdirtrecipes.wordpress.com/

Fall Share Week #4
So now begins the fall cleanup, while we’re still harvesting from the fields we have to take down the trellising and stakes from the tomato vines, clean up stalks from the corn and sunflowers, and dig the gladiola bulbs, any the deer haven’t eaten that is. This was the first year they ate the gladiola flowers – unfreakin' believable!!!!! But as I chat with other farmers in the area they too have suffered the ravages of those giant goats. At least they left our squashes alone, other farmers weren’t so lucky and lost their entire planting of winter squashes to the freeloaders. It’s a shame because they are really lovely creatures to watch and see roaming about in the woods and open pastures. But I digress — another very important job especially now is culling seeds from the crops that matured enough to bear them for us. We are saving seeds from basil, callaloo, amaranth, lettuces, onions, sunflowers, peppers, tomatoes and more. We were able to save some white carrot seed this year too. Carrots are a bit trickier being biennial – which means they must grow a full season, produce the root then continue growing, flower and then produce the seeds. So with the length of time involved it’s not always practical for us to save seeds from certain vegetables.

Everyone loves our carrots, they are so sweet. Partially due to the varieties I choose to grow, and also due to our soil and it’s mineral content. I think because we let them grow at a natural pace and don’t push them full of synthetic fertilizers also helps. Here’s a fun link to the world carrot museum, it has tons of information on carrots. For the younger folks there’s a link to a page where you can “create” a carrot character, kind of like Mr. Potato Head. http://www.carrotmuseum.co.uk/

Carrot "Spaghetti" with Lemon Thyme Butter Sauce
serves two
Like a good man, a good peeler is hard to find. I've had the same vegetable peeler (and man) for about 15 years now, and neither show any sign of becoming dull.

3 medium carrots (about 3.5 ounces/105 grams), scrubbed clean or outer layer peeled
few sprigs of fresh lemon thyme – you can substitute regular thyme and lemon zest if you don’t have lemon thyme
1 teaspoon unsalted butter
sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Using a vegetable peeler, peel thin lengthwise strands from each carrot, stopping just before the core. Place in a glass microwave-safe bowl, add a few tablespoons of water, cover and cook on HIGH for 3 minutes, or until tender, but still toothsome (see Note).

Meanwhile, remove the leaves from the lemon thyme, discarding the stems, and roughly chop. Set aside.
Drain the water from the bowl, toss with butter and lemon thyme. Season with salt and pepper and serve.
Note: You can alternately cook the carrot strands in a pot of boiling water until "al dente".

Recipe source: https://www.injennieskitchen.com/2010/09/carrot-fettucine-with-lemon-thyme-butter-sauce/
Check out this link for some creative carrot recipes - http://www.carrotmuseum.co.uk/recipes.html
For more recipes check out our farm recipe blog: https://blackdirtrecipes.wordpress.com/

Fall Share Week #3
So sweet corn didn’t last as long as I thought it would so hopefully you had your fill of it.  Still had some peppers hanging on and we started to pull other root crops like carrots.  Greens are slowly starting to come in and the rainy showers have been a most welcome change from the dry dusty conditions we’ve been enduring.  The whole scenery of the valley is changing, from lush full fields of green to empty black carcasses being put to bed for a well-deserved winters rest. 

French Fingerling
Potatoes are great but fingerlings are even better and these French ones are pretty special.   A red-rose skin and a marbled flesh, French fingerlings stay firm when cooked and possess an almost nutty flavor, the texture is referred to as waxy. These cuties originated in France back in the 1950’s as a result of crossing two types of potatoes a rose and val – giving the name roseval , also called nosebag because they were supposedly smuggled into this country in a horse’s nosebag.  While I have a number of folks telling me they boil them, I prefer roasting but that is most definitely a personal preference.  Like most of my vegetables I also do not peel them, just give a good scrub under running water.  The smaller ones I rub together like marbles. 

As per www.specialtyproduce.com, French fingerling potatoes pair well with garlic, shallots, tomato, red onions, cucumber, lemon, cilantro, chives, chervil, rosemary, sage, thyme, fennel, leeks, vinegar, Dijon mustard, hazelnut oil, bacon, roast chicken, wild game, liver pate, and light bodied red wines. So you can see they are pretty diverse!!!

This recipe for oven Roasted Fingerling Potatoes gives you a perfectly crispy and delicious result. It's easy enough to make on a busy weeknight, and stunning enough to serve guests!

Store these potatoes in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days. Reheat them in the oven at 400F in a skillet or on a sheet pan covered with foil. Bake for 5-10 minutes, then remove the foil and cook for another 5 minutes.

These potatoes will last 10-12 months in the freezer. Bake in a skillet or sheet pan covered in foil at 400F for 15 minutes, then remove the foil and cook for another 5 minutes.

1 1/2 lbs fingerling potatoes sliced in half lengthwise
2 tbsp butter unsalted, melted
3 cloves garlic minced
1 tbsp Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp parsley fresh, chopped, for garnish

1. Preheat your oven to 425 F degrees.
2. Toss the potatoes with the butter, garlic, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. Add the olive oil to a large skillet, then spread the potatoes evenly in a large cast iron skillet.
3. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until crispy. Garnish with parsley and serve

Fall Share Week #2
This is the last hurrah for the tomatoes and I think the sweet peppers as well. Sweet corn should still be available for another week or two.  We’ve been busy putting produce away for the winter CSA and for our own use too. So far we put over 50 pounds of corn in the freezer, 50+ pounds of tomatoes and around 20 pounds of sweet peppers. The hot peppers we will put out to dry and cure. Benito is busily harvesting seeds from lettuce, broccoli raab, cilantro, basil, calaloo, amaranth and a bunch of other plants as well. We hope to finish harvesting the potatoes this weekend and then will have to begin sorting and grading them. Between the crates and burlap sacks there’s thousands of pounds going into storage. Winter squashes are drying and curing in the greenhouse we’ll have different varieties available as the season goes on. 

Folks still seem to have a love hate relationship with kale – either love, hate or are tired of it.  Still though a good sized portion has minimal calories – 100 grams raw has about 49 calories and loads of other nutrients!! With the weather shifting gears, although we’re supposed to hit high 80’s next week, I lean toward one-pot stews and casserole-type dishes now.  Here’s a recipe for a dish called:

3 lbs potatoes
2 onions
1 bay leaf
1 lb kale
1 pinch salt
1 pinch ground pepper
1 lb smoked sausage
1⁄2 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter

Peel and dice potatoes and onions. Clean, trim and slice kale. Add the potatoes, onion, kale, a bay leaf, a pinch of salt and just enough water to cover all in a 3 quart pan. Cover and boil gently for about 25 minutes. Meanwhile steam the smoked sausage for the same amount of time and slice. Remove the bay leaf, drain the vegetables, and mash them. Add milk and butter. Stir in the hot, sliced smoked sausage, add salt and pepper to taste and serve.
Recipe source: https://www.food.com/recipe/boerenkool-stamppot-kale-hash-33269

 I make something like this and will use kielbasa or chorizo.  I like to add beans to the dish as well!!


Fall Share Week #1
The last couple nights have certainly been chilly. This morning when I went into the fields I could see that the more tender weeds and herbs were frozen. There was no “warning” sign – no notice on the news of frost, no seriously cold days leading up to cooler nights. But somehow you knew it was coming, maybe not exactly when, but there’s a “feel” in the air, you can sense it, almost taste and smell it. As soon as I heard on the news that we were going to be in the low 40s I started to worry – how much longer could we harvest tomatoes and peppers, corn will keep coming till hard frost, have to get all the winter squashes in, finish digging potatoes, start prepping for winter. In some ways feels like we only just started harvesting summer crops and now they will become a fond memory relegated to conversations of remember how good the tomatoes were last year and how sweet the corn was and oh the herbs how aromatic.

Acorn Squash

Aptly named because of its acorn like shape, this is a favorite fall squash. Dark green skin and yellow flesh, this is one of the better squashes for stuffing and roasting. Native to North and Central America, acorn squash is a great source of Vitamin C and is also high in fiber and potassium.

Nutrition sources: https://theforkedspoon.com/how-to-roast-an-acorn-squash/

The simplest way to prepare an acorn squash is roasting in the oven. Wash, cut in half, scoop out the seeds from the cavity with a spoon. I usually place the halves face down on a sheet pan, this way the excess moisture can drain away and the flesh will be a drier texture. I like to roast at high heat so my oven will be at 400 degrees. Cover with foil or not – I usually don’t – let bake until fork tender. Season to taste with salt and pepper, now is where the fun begins you can sweeten it to taste with honey, maple syrup, brown sugar, or whatever sweetener you prefer. I am often asked if you can eat the skin - it’s all up to you, no judgement! A little bit of salted butter and it’s kind of like eating potato skins but tastes like squash! This is also one of my favorite squashes for stuffing – after you scoop out the seeds fill the cavity with your favorite stuffing – could be rice, meat, tomatoes and beans, bread, whatever you choose. Let roast till fork tender and voila dinner in a bowl!!!

Here are some links to our farm recipe blog:

One for the spaghetti squash and another for a squash apple soup. There is a search engine feature on the blog to help you find recipes.


And here are some links to a couple other places with some good suggestions: