THE FARM NEWS Volume 3; Issue 18R/24E October 24, 2011
Dan says that there aren’t enough daylight hours in the day to do all of the things he needs to get done! He thinks the best solution is to have the sun stay up longer…I told him that was called “summer”…he was not amused. On a serious note, we were able to get the wind damage from the July 1st storm fixed on the high tunnel. Yeah! Mmmmm, July 1st, think we have been a little busy?
We also made a deal with another farmer to purchase material to build another greenhouse. Now the challenge is to get it done before the snow flies or the ground freezes – whichever comes first. The next project is to complete the chicken house expansion – for the “new” chickens we raised this summer. We will be adding more chickens as the “farmer’s wife” is complaining that she never has any eggs in her kitchen. Seems they keep “leaving” the farm…
The pumpkins and squash are leaving the farm in exponential fashion. We have already delivered half of the winery’s order, although at this point, Donna is not sure that there is any missing yet… The other half should be heading out next week. We have another large order of pumpkins and squash to deliver to the cities this week.
Donna made it home safe and sound from visiting her aunt and mom inIllinois. It was a short visit, but she had a great time. It was nice to get away for a few days, but it was also nice to come home.
Have a blessed week!
From our home to yours,
Dan & Donna Moe
ITEM OF THE WEEK – MUSTARD
This week you have two types of mustard in your boxes. The first type is Red Giant Mustard. They are best known for their gorgeous combination of green and purple veined leaves. The second is Mizuna mustard. These dark green mustard leaves are fairly narrow, deeply serrated and fringed at the edges. Both of these mustard leaves have a great mustard flavor and are a great additive to any recipe that calls for mustard.
Mustard greens are members of the Brassica family of vegetables. Over the years these vegetables have received a great deal of attention for their unique health promoting properties. In addition to the extensive vitamins and minerals found in mustard greens, they also contain phytonutrients called glucosinolates. Glucosinolates react with an enzyme that converts them into compounds that appear to reduce the potential of carcinogens through their ability to beneficially modulate liver detoxification enzymes. They inhibit certain enzymes that normally activate carcinogens and also induce other enzymes that help to dismantle active carcinogens.
Some studies have indicated that vitamin C-rich foods, such as mustard greens, provide humans with protection against inflammatory polyarthritis, a form of rheumatoid arthritis. They found that those who consumed the lowest amounts of vitamin C-rich foods were more than three times more likely to develop arthritis than those who consumed the highest amounts.
One of the benefits of eating just three servings of green leafy, yellow and cruciferous vegetables each day is that it has been shown to slow the decline of mental function by 40% – which is the equivalent to about five years of younger age. This consumption appears to decrease the brains cognitive decline. Of the different types of vegetables, green leafy vegetables have the strongest association with this decrease.
Mustard greens may also be good for women going through menopause. They provide nutrients that are supportive of bone health. They are an excellent source of calcium, a higher intake of which can help to prevent bone loss that usually occurs at this stage of life. Women with osteoporosis also have low bone magnesium content and other signs of magnesium deficiency, so mustard greens would once again be helpful since they also provide concentrated amounts of this mineral. In addition, as noted above, the vitamin B6 and folic acid in mustard greens help to reduce the buildup of homocysteine. This plays an important role in promoting bone health, since homocysteine can obstruct collagen cross-linking, resulting in poor bone matrix and osteoporosis.
The vitamin E supplied by mustard greens is instrumental to a host of different mechanisms that reduce the development of atherosclerosis, including protecting LDL (“bad”) cholesterol particles from oxidation and decreasing platelet clumping. Dietary intake of vitamin E and vitamin C is thought to be associated with a compound called paraoxonase, an enzyme that inhibits LDL and HDL oxidation. In addition, mustard greens also feature concentrated amounts of other nutrients that can keep your heart healthy. Included among them are vitamin B6, folic acid and magnesium. Mustard greens are a very good source of vitamin B6, which has been shown in studies to decrease platelet clumping and thereby decrease risk of thrombosis (clot formation). Blood vitamin B6 levels tend to be lower in coronary artery disease and myocardial infarction patients, and some believe that low blood vitamin B6 levels may actually be useful as an indicator of risk for myocardial infarction.
One reason for this belief is that vitamin B6 along with folic acid, another nutrient of which mustard greens are an excellent source, is instrumental for preventing the buildup of homocysteine, which contributes to atherosclerosis through its ability to damage the blood vessels. In fact, folic acid is so important for cardiovascular function that a major 1995 study concluded that consumption of 400 micrograms per day of folic acid could prevent 28,000 cardiovascular deaths per year in theUnited States. Magnesium is necessary for normal blood vessel tone and function. Since mustard greens are also a very good source of magnesium, they may be able to help lower high blood pressure and may even decrease the risk of heart attack.
Need any more reasons to eat mustard greens? Well, here are a few more. One cup of mustard greens contains the following nutrients: Vitamin K – 419 mcg; Vitamin A – 4243 IU; Vitamin C – 35 mg; Folate – 102 mcg; Manganese – 0.38mg; Vitamin E – 2.81 mg; Calcium – 103.6 mg; Potassium – 282.8 mg; Phosphorus – 57.4 mg; and Magnesium – 21 mg. That same cup also contains very good amounts of Vitamin B6, protein, copper, iron, and vitamin B2.
A Few Quick Serving Ideas:
Young mustard greens make great additions to salads.
Serve healthy sautéed mustard greens with walnuts and lemon juice.
Adding chopped mustard greens to a pasta salad gives it a little kick. One of our favorite combinations is chopped tomatoes, pine nuts, goat cheese, pasta and mustard greens tossed with a little olive oil.
For a simple meal with a southern flair, serve cooked mustard greens with beans and rice.
Mustard Greens with Chipotle and Bacon
- 1 bunch of curly mustard greens, stems and coarse ribs discarded
- 2-3 bacon slices, cut crosswise into ½ inch pieces
- 2-3 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
- 1 teaspoon minced chipotle chiles
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Coarsely chop greens.
- Cook in a 6-8 quart pot of boiling salted water, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until wilted and tender. About 5 minutes.
- Transfer with a slotted spoon to a large bowl of cold water to stop cooking.
- Drain greens in a colander, pressing gently to release excess moisture.
- Cook bacon in a 12 inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring until crisp. Approximately 4 to 5 minutes.
- Transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain, reserving fat in skillet.
- Add oil, chipotle, greens and salt to fat and cook. Stirring occasionally, until heated through. Approximately 2-3 minutes
- Transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle with bacon and serve.
Balsamic-Glazed Chickpeas and Mustard Greens
- 1 bunch mustard greens
- ½ large red onion, thinly sliced
- 4-6 Tablespoons vegetable broth, divided
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 pinch of red pepper flakes
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- ½ teaspoon soy sauce
- ¼ teaspoon agave nectar or sugar
- 1 cup cooked chickpeas, rinsed and drained.
- Remove any large stems from the greens and discard them. Tear the leaves into bite-sized pieces.
- In a deep pot or wok, sauté the onion in a tablespoon or two of vegetable broth until mostly faded to pink, about 4 minutes.
- Add the chopped garlic and red pepper, along with another tablespoon of broth and cook, stirring for another minute.
- Add the mustard greens, 2 tablespoons of broth and cook, stirring until greens are wilted, but still bright green. About 3-5 minutes.
- Stir in that salt.
- Remove greens and onions from pan with a slotted spoon and place in a serving dish, leaving any liquid in the cooking pan.
- Add the balsamic vinegar, soy sauce and agave or sugar to the liquid in the pan. If there is no liquid, add 2 tablespoons of broth.
- Add the chickpeas and cook, stirring over medium heat until the liquid is reduced by about half.
- Spoon the chickpeas over the greens and drizzle the sauce over all.
- Serve warm, with additional balsamic vinegar at the table.
This Week’s Items – Extended:
- Sunflower Seed Head
- Jalapeno Peppers
- Sweet Peppers
- Red Giant Mustard
- Mizuna Mustard
- Red Fire Lettuce