After an extraordinary, albeit chilly, farm dinner on Sunday night, I have spent time this week touring AP environmental sciences classes from Ridgefield High School. My yearly walks with these bright young people are always illuminating for me.
Their questions inevitably bend toward the main-stream rhetoric about farming: "is your job so hard and tedious?", "how are we going to feed the world?" and "don't you get depressed thinking about climate change all the time?" After years of giving tours, I lay my answers on pretty thickly with students. I love my job; I find that farming provides me to a happiness and hopefulness for the future that I have come to depend on, and I know we all better start rowing in the same direction if we plan on turning the direction of the planet around - so let's get to it. Working with young chefs like Dan Sabia, young farmers like Jaci and Laura, it affirms for me that I would rather bind myself to people who put their whole heart into their work - that I would rather stand and shiver at a farm dinner with a guy who is striving for something new - than sit warm and comfy with people who think they have it all figured out.
And speaking of striving, this week's share: get out the vegetable roasting pan!
- brussels sprouts
- sunchokes (also known as Jerusalem artichokes) - these are great for roasting and eating as you would potatoes. There is an endless amount to learn about them, for example they convert their starch to inulin not glucose so they are diabetic friendly.
- butternut squash
- turnips/radishes - eat them raw or roast them with the other veggies
- napa cabbage
- swiss chard
- salsa - green tomato salsa (spicy)
- extras: peppinos melons!?! It has been years searching for viable seed and then years growing and overwintering these Ecuadorian treats. But why not - they remind me of a cross between a melon, a cucumber, and a tomato (they are in the nightshade family). Eat them raw (skin on or skin off). We were reaching a bit beyond our grasp with this crop as it has been years in the growing, but it's a fun new subtle flavor to meet. Enjoy.