Tag Archives: csa

Celery Root and Apple Bisque

9 Dec
by Deanne

Photo of Celery Root and Apple SoupPhoto of Plant Powered Diet BookHere is a recipe I found in The Plant-Powered Diet by Sharon Palmer, RD.  This is the book that I mentioned in the  Phytos First post. When I looked in the CSA box, and saw celery root, I remembered this soup Francine made back when she taught me about celeriac for the first time.  Then I saw the apples in the box and decided to try a recipe from the new book I purchased.  According to Ms. Palmer, the phytochemicals in celery root have been linked to brain protection.

Celery Root and Apple Bisque

(makes about 7 cups)

1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil

1 cup, sliced, well rinsed leeks

1 medium potato, peeled and diced

3 medium celery stalks, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)

1 small apple, peeled and chopped

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

3 cups reduced-sodium vegetable broth

1 and 1/2 cup water

1/2 cup unsweetened plain plant-based milk  (I used almond milk)

Heat olive oil in a heavy pot.  Add leeks, potato, celery root, celery stalk, apple, thyme, and black pepper and saute for 10 minutes.

Add broth and water and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer for an additional 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Transfer mixture to a blender and puree until smooth.  Add the milk and process until blended and serve immediately.

Mixed Up Kimchi

20 Nov
by Deanne

Now that we are not running a restaurant and not living near our garden, we signed up for four weeks of a late season community supported agriculture (CSA) membership.  photo of CSA box

It is a great way to challenge our cooking and preparation skills. Steve wanted to see if he could get creative with the ingredients from our CSA box and make kimchi. Instead of using napa cabbage, this version has turnips cut into matchsticks, kohlrabi shredded, a head of regular cabbage course chopped. Our recipe is “mixed up” because we used more than just cabbage. 

Our family first learned about kimchi when Francine was in college and became friends with several people from South Korea. If you haven’t tried kimchi before it is is a traditional Korean dish of fermented chilli peppers with cabbage. The dish is as large of a part of Korean culture as cheese is to the culture which we were raised.  While it is mostly served as a side dish, it can also be used as a basis for other meals such as fried rice, broths and stews.

I didn’t think I was a fan of Kimchi. I have tried to experience the appeal in the past but didn’t think I had acquired a taste for the dish. This batch convinced me otherwise.  I love the ginger that lingers and I appreciate that it is not quite as hot as other versions I have sampled. The very day Steve  made it, I saw a blogger (Teacup Chronicles) who used kimchi  to make tacos.  For the last week I have been eating just a bit for breakfast or lunch as an easy was to add more veggies when ever possible.

Photo of Kimchi

Mixed Up Kimchi

(makes about 3 quarts)

1 head regular cabbage

1 kohlrabi

8 turnips

1/2 cup salt

4 quarts water

1 lb scallions

Kimchi Sauce

5 inches of ginger

6 cloves garlic

2 tablespoons sugar

1/4 cup fish sauce

1/4 cup red Korean chili paste

1/2 cup rice vinegar

2 tablespoons sweet rice flour

1/2 cup water

Find a container to dissolve the 1/2 cup salt in 4 quarts of water.  After chopping the cabbage, kohlrabi, and turnips, toss and let soak in the water/salt mixture for an hour or two. It goes against our intuition but this process actually takes the extra water out of the veggies. Save the scallions until you combine everything at the end of the process.

Photo of Kimchi Tacos

To make the sauce you will begin by heating rice vinegar, sweet glutinous rice flour or (1/2 cup cooked rice liquified in a blender) and 1/2 cup water.  Heat until the sauce is thickened and then add ginger, garlic, Korean paste, fish sauce and sugar.  Combine all and set aside while you finish preparing the greens (cabbage, kohlrabi, and turnips).

Drain, rinse and dry the greens in a salad spinner. Add sauce and one bunch of scallions diced, mix together and put in container that allows you to press the mixture down and leave on counter for a couple days till it bubbles nicely and then place in fridge

We added a little pork and some salad greens on two white corn tortillas to make kimchi tacos. Here is the blog post that inspired us but we topped ours with sesame seeds and added sesame oil, rice vinegar, and lime to the salad greens.

Let us know if you like kimchi or if you are willing to try it.  Keep in mind, it could take awhile to get used to it.  Once you do, you will crave its fermented goodness.

Bats, Berries, and Burdock Root

25 Feb
by Deanne

Yesterday I returned from my first MOSES Conference. While it might sound like a religious gathering, MOSES is a conference about organic farming. For the last 24 years this conference, held in February in La Crosse, Wisconsin has become an event that many organic farmers set aside as their time to learn and socialize. Francine and I first heard about the conference last year from some of our neighbors who are organic farmers.


A reflection of what makes organic farming unique, the conference has two elements not easily found in other gatherings: real food and happy people. The food selections included wholesome organic yogurt, juice, fair-trade coffee and chocolate, veggies, meats, cheeses, fresh baked muffins, bars, and breads. I think the people are happy because they work toward a passionate cause:  contributing to a healthy planet.  Many come as families which is a refreshing change from most professional conferences I have attended in the past.  The meals are as enlightening as the workshops due to the conversations that take place.   I heard stories about health epiphanies that brought people to organics and met young people eager to get access to some land so they can farm.

As I buzzed through the trade show on Friday afternoon I encountered a lady wearing a black cape with a plastic bat glued to her cheek. At first I was confused because I thought bats were pests not something essential to a healthy sustainable watershed.Photo of Bat House

 Me: Do you capture bats? (Bats are bad, right?)

Bat Lady: (Pointing to a slim black rectangle) These are bat houses and I make them.

Me: (Catching on to the fact that she thinks bats are beneficial) So you attract bats?

Bat Lady: Bats are an essential part of a healthy environment. They can be an important part of insect-control strategies aimed at reducing pesticide use, thus reducing pesticide contamination of our watersheds. One little brown bat can catch 1,000 mosquito-size insects in an hour!

In a few short minutes I was impressed enough to check out her  website and there I learned more:

Unfortunately, many bat species are declining in numbers at an alarming rate. They are slow to reproduce; most bat species have only one “pup” per year. Bats suffer from habitat loss and human fear based on myths. I have three (3) bat house models, all of which are certified by Bat Conservation International (BCI) — meaning they have passed all the criteria years of research by BCI has determined goes into the success of a bat house.

Would I buy a bat house and should everyone have a bat house? These are worthy questions to be pondered. However, at a conference, things happen fast and pondering comes later.honeyberry

Moving along, I stumbled upon a guy with an open jar of jam giving taste tests of honeyberry jam. He sells the plants and I wondered if growing some on the side of our lot might be possible. Again I was impressed enough to check out his website.  It seems that it is possible to grow these berries in our area.  Should we plant some?  Another point to ponder.

On Saturday, the last day of the conference, I must have been thinking about my self-imposed job of marketing and promoting our business venture. I stopped at Fairshare CSA Coalition’s booth and learned about how they collaboratively market community supported agriculture farms.   I am venturing into a similar project in our area soon. I bought their cookbook and turned to page 40 to find a description of an unusual vegetable called Burdock Root. The book explains:

Gobo (Burdock Root) has been an important vegetable in Japan, cultivated there since the tenth century. The Japanese believe gobo to be a strong blood purifier, a support to healthy liver function, a tonic after sickness, and an aid to arthritis and skin diseases.

It went on to explain that in our culture we see this plant as a weed because it creates those burrs that attach themselves like Velcro to our clothing and our pet’s fur.


Burdock root stood out to me in much the same way the bat information stood out: We tend to dismiss things that might actually be beneficial and in this case, tasty. There are several recipes that I might need to try after a trip to an Asian market to pick up this interesting root.

How about you…Would you ever buy a bat house? Has anyone out there heard of honeyberries or burdock root?

Getting to Know our Neighbors: Part I

15 Mar

Ever notice how once you set your mind to something, you see opportunity all around?   We decided to look around and see what other like-minded local farmer/foodies live in this part of Southwest Minnesota.  Look what we found…

Just south of us in Mt. Lake, Minnesota  is a kind and conscious family who is growing food for their CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) customers.  We went to have a chat on a cold winter Monday and learned about the many good things Jubliee Fruits and Vegetables is up to in our neck of the prairie. This wagon shows what their customers can expect during the summer.A photo of the CSA harvest

A photo of Camelina oilJust west of us and south of the town of Lamberton, we met Kathleen and her one year old daughter Amana.  Their family farm grows camelina, the seeds of which are harvested and turned into a tasty oil, rich in omega-3’s, that can be used for cooking and baking.  They even use camelina oil as a wood finish on their handmade wooden toys. Visit their toyshop.A photo of the toys

Kathleen introduced us to her sister who grows wheat south of Mankato in Good Thunder, MN; the whole wheat is used at River Rock Coffee in St. Peter. We  made a tasty granola treat using camelina oil and whole wheat flour from Good Earth Mill and Grains.

We look forward to getting to know our neighbors and meeting new neighbors in Southwest MN!