Mighty Microgreens

Microgreens have quickly become one of my new favorite things to grow (and eat!) and will be a frequent component of weekly boxes. Microgreens are quick-growing, miniature versions of regular greens and veggies. They may be small, but they are mighty from a nutritional standpoint; containing higher concentrations of antioxidants, nutrients like potassium, iron and zinc and polyphenols. According to some studies concentrations of vitamins and antioxidants can be up to 40% higher in micronutrients than their mature counter parts. 

These little powerhouses add amazing flavor and texture to salads, sandwiches, wraps or any hot dish. Some varieties you’ll see rotating through boxes are spicy red radishes, mild tiny broccoli,  super sweet pea tendrils (they taste JUST like sweet peas!) and sunflower shoots that are sweet, crunchy and taste like springtime. 

With all these awesome salad fixin’s in weekly boxes, I want to share my new favorite, super easy salad dressing that uses hummus and is lower in calories than oil-based dressings! For a single serving, simply combine 2 tablespoons of your favorite hummus, 1 tablespoon of lemon or lime juice and approximately 2 tablespoons of water. Mix to your desired consistency and drizzle! You can make it in larger batches, will keep in the refrigerator for up to one week. 🥳

Spinach and Mushroom Quiche with Gluten Free Crust

Gluten Free Crust (or use your favorite pie crust recipe): 

  • 2 cups almond flour
  • Pinch of salt and/or pepper
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter or oil coconut oil
  • 1 large egg

Pre-heat oven to 350° Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl or food processor. Knead in butter or oil and egg until it is thoroughly mixed and forms a ball. Let the ball sit for 10 minutes. Grease a pie pan and press dough into the pan with your hands to get an even layer all over the pie pan, evenly covering the entire pie pan. Pre-cook crust in the oven for 10 minutes or until golden. 

Filling: 

  • 3 cups fresh spinach
  • 1-2 cups sliced mushrooms
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ½ onion or 1 shallot
  • 1 cup shredded cheese 
  • 1 cup half and half (unsweetened/unflavored non-dairy milk works fine too)
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper

Cook your veggies: In a skillet on medium heat olive oil, garlic and onions/shallots until they are translucent. Add in mushrooms and stir for 5 minutes or so until mushrooms begin to soften. Add fresh spinach and stir until wilted. You don’t want to completely cook the mushrooms and spinach, rather just cook out some of the water. 

Make custard: In a bowl or food processor the eggs, half and half or other milk alternative, salt and pepper and any other seasoning (rosemary is a great addition!) until thoroughly combined–the longer you mix it the fluffier your quiche will get. 

Take the pie crust out of the oven, sprinkle the bottom with half of the cheese. Add the cooked spinach and mushrooms, spreading evenly through the pie crust. Carefully pour the custard filling over the veggies, almost to the brim. Sprinkle the rest of the cheese on top. 

Carefully transfer to the middle baking rack and bake on 350° for approximately 50 minutes. Remove when top is golden brown and center is almost-firm. Let cool and set for 15 minutes before serving. Keeps in the fridge for a week and freezes beautifully. 

Kale fritters (or any kind of greens!)

One of my favorite ways to eat greens like mustard and kale is in baked fritters. This recipe is super easy and customizable so add in whatever flavoring you prefer — I like them with curry and some spicy peppers!

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees, coat a sheet pan with oil of your choice. 
  • Chop 8 ounces of greens (the whole bag you’ll get in your box).
  • Mix in a separate bowl 3 eggs, 1/2 cup flour or flour alternative, one clove minced garlic, salt, pepper, and 1/4 cup shredded hard cheese like parmesan, aged cheddar. 
  • Combine greens with batter mixture. 
  • Use ice cream scoop or 1/4 cup measuring cup to scoop fritter mixture on to the oiled sheet pan, pat down to flatten. 
  • Cook in oven on 375 degrees for 10-15 minutes, or until you’re able to flip them to finish cooking the other side for 5-10 minutes
  • Take out, let cool and enjoy! They keep in the fridge wonderfully…that is if you don’t eat them all in one sitting like I usually do!

2022 Offerings

This year I’m excited to be growing LOTS of varieties of vegetables, fruits and flowers (not to mention pastured eggs!) Here’s what in the works for Fiddlesticks Farm this year:

  • Salad blend
  • Microgreens
  • Pea shoots
  • Sunflower shoots
  • Radish
  • Kale
  • Mustard greens
  • Pak choi
  • Fennel
  • Napa cabbage
  • Kohlrabi
  • Chard
  • Broccolini
  • Spinach
  • Cucumbers
  • Eggplant
  • Tomatillo
  • Zucchini
  • Patty pan squash
  • Cilantro
  • Tomato
  • Dill
  • Beets
  • Blueberries
  • New potatoes
  • Bell pepper
  • Chilis
  • Edible flowers (violas, nasturtium, calendula)
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Scallions
  • Shallot Fingerling potato
  • Berries
  • Sweet potato
  • Heritage apples
  • Collards
  • Cauliflower

Spring is just around the corner

Back when I was a hobby gardener, winter was a time I dreamed about gardening. I’d pour over seed catalogs and think about which handful of new varieties I might try out, then round about March I’d start prepping beds and await patiently for our last frost date to roll around before putting any baby plants in the ground. But not now, friends! Winter has been full of work, learning and growing. I’m still very much in the phase of building the farm, with a lot of focus this winter on setting up systems and infrastructure to make growing, harvesting, washing, packing and storing the bounty and all the supplies I need so things run smoothly.

I’ve also been learning the ups and downs of growing straight through the winter–production hasn’t stopped all winter, a pretty impressive feat with only one unheated high tunnel. When we had a big snow in January that dumped about 10 inches here on the farm, I was out at down and every hour on the hour sweeping snow off the frost blanket covering kohlrabi, lettuces, spinach, celery, beets, scallions and leeks to keep them from collapsing and killing my early spring harvests. Not great on my back, I’ll tell ya, but it kept the plants alive!

And now, little teeny weeny starts I’ve been nurturing all winter are going in the ground. Flowers like snap dragons, larkspur, old fashioned carnations and anemones that were planted in the high tunnel in October are covered in buds and will be blooming in just a few short weeks! I can’t wait to pull the first of this year’s French breakfast radishes and taste that crunchy goodness. I’m learning how to naturally control pests in the greenhouse (a great safe haven for little beasties, apparently!) that were going after tender baby pak choi and napa cabbage.

Many other big projects are under way to expand my growing space, build nourishing living soil, and most excitingly the start of my Spring-Summer CSA coming up on April 1, weeks before most CSA’s start. I’m so grateful to my returning and new customers who are supporting this farm journey, and we still have a few more spots in our 17 week main season CSA, sign up at http://www.thefiddlesticksfarm.com.

What’s new on the farm?

Summer is winding down but that doesn’t mean there’s not plenty of work to do and bounty to harvest on the farm! October is seeing nice big harvests of napa cabbage, salad greens, fennel, cilantro, spinach, radishes and more. Two weeks ago marked the inaugural weekly farm boxes and first farmer’s market, with lots of excitement about the produce and flowers I’ve been lovingly growing all summer. So good to see folks enjoying and nourishing themselves with this good food!

Spiced Pumpkin Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 cup peeled and cubed sweet potato
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 14-oz cans of nonfat and low-sodium chicken broth or vegetable stock
  • 1 15-oz can of pumpkin
  • 1 cup 1% milk
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh lime juice

Procedure

  1. Melt butter in a Dutch oven or large saucepan over medium-high heat. Saute onion for 3-4 minutes then add flour, curry, cumin and nutmeg and saute for 1 minute.
  2. Add sweet potato, salt, chicken broth and pumpkin and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, partially covered for about 20-25 minutes or until sweet potatoes are cooked through and softened. Remove from heat and let stand for 10 minutes to cool.
  3. Place half of the pumpkin mixture in a blender and process until smooth. Using a strainer, pour soup back into pan. Repeat with rest of soup.
  4. Raise heat to medium then stir in milk and cook for 5 minutes or until soup is heated through.
  5. Remove from heat and add lime juice.

This article uses material from the Wikibooks article “Cookbook:Spiced Pumpkin Soup“, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.