Although the last couple of months have been absolutely hectic at the farm, they’ve also been incredibly exciting.
The doubling of veg box numbers has given us an opportunity to engage new staff in paid work, thereby building the capacity of our existing team to produce and pack for this growing demand. It’s important that you, as the customer understand that your choice to subscribe to our boxes directly results in more opportunities for young people and former refugees to gain meaningful employment at Green Connect, and in the long-term sustainability of our farm.
But the really exciting stuff that’s been happening is the development of our new farm entrance, our new packing shed, an education space, a children’s garden, and a community demonstration garden. It’s been such a blast having a diverse team contributing their ideas and hard work into a space that is going to be a hub for community connection and sustainability into the future.
The countdown is now on for our packing shed to be moved, expanded and jazzed up, and the Thursday morning packers (pictured above) couldn’t be looking forward to it more!
Green Connect Farm Manager
What’s that in my box this week? Jerusalem Artichoke
This is one of my favourites, I got so excited when I saw that these little gems were finally ready for harvest! I love Jerusalem artichokes. Although they look more like a ginger root than an artichoke, they are creamy and earthy in flavour. They are great when roasted, mashed or pureed and will make a great substitute to mash, or added to your mushroom soup.
I recommend soaking them in water for 10 min or so and then giving them a good scrub or peel them before cooking.
If roasting them, I recommend leaving the skin on and mixing them with a couple of unpeeled cloves of garlic, olive oil and season well with salt and pepper. Cut any larger bulbs into halves and roast in the oven at 180C for abut 40-50min. Then squeeze the garlic cloves and toss the roasted garlic with the artichokes.
Please be adventurous and tell us what you made!
Jerusalem artichoke risotto
- Olive oil
- Onion 1, finely chopped
- Celery 1 stick, finely chopped
- Risotto rice 350g
- White wine 250ml
- Chicken or vegetable stock 1.4 litres, at simmering point
- Lemon 1, zested and juiced
- Parmesan 50g, grated
- Jerusalem artichokes 200g
- Hazelnuts chopped to make 2 tbsp
Heat a little oil and butter in a deep frying pan and add the onion and celery, fry gently until tender. Add the rice and stir it around until it is completely coated in oil. Add the white wine and simmer until the wine is absorbed, then use a ladle or large spoon to add the stock slowly, letting each spoonful be absorbed before the next one is added. Keep adding stock until the rice is tender. Season well before topping with the lemon zest and parmesan.
Scrub the artichokes (peel if you prefer) and slice them. Fry them in a little butter, when they are tender and starting to brown, add the hazelnuts and cook for a minute, add a squeeze of lemon. Spoon this over the risotto to serve.