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NS CSA Newsletter Week 5

News from the farm

The past week of sunshine has been a welcomed change for us farmers. In rapid succession we have pulled our stellar crop of garlic, spaded in spent crops making way for new beds in both Beverly and Ipswich, transplanted crops such as summer squash, lettuce, collards, and kale out of the greenhouse, and direct seeded carrots, cilantro, dill, green beans, and lettuce mix.

We have been hard at work making contingency plans to help cover shortfalls caused by our waterlogged Ipswich land. In addition to supplementing shares with vegetables from our farm in Lynn, we are working with a local farm to get tree fruit (hopefully peaches and apples) for the shares, which will start appearing in your box as it becomes available.

If you want to get an idea of our day to day work in the fields, please check out my updates at www.twitter.com/tfptim.

Vegetable of the Week: Carrots

The wild ancestors of the carrot are likely to have come from Afghanistan. In early use, carrots were grown for their aromatic leaves and seeds, not their roots. Some relatives of the carrot are still grown for these, such as parsley, dill, fennel or cumin. The modern carrot appears to have been introduced to Europe somewhere in the 8th to 10th centuries.

Interestingly, the city of Holtville, California promotes itself as "Carrot Capital of the World", and holds an annual festival devoted entirely to the carrot.

Carrots are a source of vitamin A and lack of Vitamin A can cause poor vision, including night vision, and vision can be restored by adding Vitamin A back into the diet. The urban legend that says eating large amounts of carrots will allow one to see in the dark developed from stories of British gunners in World War II who were able to shoot down German planes in the darkness of night. The legend arose during the Battle of Britain when the RAF circulated a story about their pilots' carrot consumption as an attempt to cover up the discovery and effective use of radar technologies in engaging enemy planes. It reinforced existing German folklore and helped to encourage Britons—looking to improve their night vision during the blackouts—to grow and eat the vegetable.

Carrots fresh from our farms generally don't need to be peeled--but should you decide to peel them, the nutrient loss is negligible. Peel carrots or scrub them well with a stiff brush just before using. Trim off any green spots, which can taste bitter.

North Carolina Cole Slaw

3/4 cup coarsely grated onion (grated on large holes of box grater)
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup ketchup
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons celery seeds
1 medium head of green cabbage, cored, thinly sliced (about 10 cups)
2 cups coarsely grated peeled carrots (about 3 large)

Preparation

Whisk first 6 ingredients in large bowl. Add cabbage and carrots; toss. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and chill at least 2 hours. DO AHEAD: can be made 6 hours ahead. Keep chilled, tossing occasionally. Serve chilled.

from Bon Appetit, July, 2008

Carrots Glazed with Balsamic Vinegar and Butter

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
3 1/2 pounds peeled carrots, peeled, cut into 2-inch pieces, halved lengthwise
6 tablespoons sugar
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives

Preparation

Melt butter in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add carrots and sauté 5 minutes. Cover and cook until carrots are crisp-tender, stirring occasionally, about 7 minutes. Stir in sugar and vinegar. Cook uncovered until carrots are tender and glazed, stirring frequently, about 12 minutes longer. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add chives and toss to blend. Transfer to bowl and serve.

from Bon Appetit, December 2000

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