Our Local Farmers on Immigration Policy

By Julie Pottier-Brown

On Saturday, April 8th, I attended a meeting in Hadley, MA hosted by Wally Czajkowski at Plainville Farm. The purpose of this meeting was to discuss the current administration’s handling of our country’s immigration policy.

Cars and trucks lined the drive to the packing shed. A hum filled the barn as neighbors and friends greeted each other. Attendees were asked to sign in and note on a card the amount of their business’s gross income. With nearly 75 people in attendance, glancing around, I saw many familiar faces. Participants showed up because they are concerned about the immigrant community that lives and works nearby.

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Sauteed Fiddlehead Ferns

My first season with FDC, I showed up for an early Spring pickup to find ferns on the menu. Being, as my son would say, a “newb” I turned my nose up and moved on to the safe asparagus.

Fresh Fiddlehead Ferns

Fresh Fiddlehead Ferns

Fast forward to another year, another pickup, this time with a sample of Pickled Fiddleheads.

Ok, it’s a sample. Clearly it’s not going to kill to me… I fished out a little, curled frond and to the dismay of the same son, ate the plant. And it was GOOD! A total convert for all things fiddleheads I look back in amusement wishing I had the gall to try them sooner. For those of you who’ve yet to try them or just want to refresh with a simple recipe, I offer you Sauteed Fiddlehead Ferns, adapted from the queen of home-ec herself.

Sauteed Fiddlehead Ferns

Ingredients
24 fresh picked fiddlehead ferns
1 tsp coarse Salt
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest
3 tbsp grass-fed, unsalted butter or ghee (I’m originally from the south, this is not optional)
Salt and pepper, to taste and optional (I don’t use pepper)

Directions
Prep the fiddleheads! Sometimes this is done already but if there’s a papery (almost tomatillo-like but less sticky) skin on your fiddleheads, take it off. You have no interest in eating that, trust me. Then swoosh your fiddleheads around in a salt water and lemon juice bath. Just put the coarse salt and tbsp of lemon juice in cool water and repeatedly, gently submerge your fiddleheads. Remove from water and let drain.

Steam fiddleheads using any method or tool of choice for about 5 minutes or until tender. Not limp, tender. Then melt butter in a skillet large enough to cook fiddleheads in a single layer for 2 minutes per side or until golden. Remove from pan and season with salt, pepper, and lemon zest if desired.

I hope you too enjoy this fresh spring taste. It’s one of my favorite markers to track the arrival of spring.

Riverland Farm Potluck Noodle Salad

At this year’s annual meeting and potluck, our primary growers from Riverland Farm brought a delicious noodle dish that was quickly pronounced the night’s favorite. We reached out for the recipe and Meghan was happy to oblige. The recipe, shown below, is one part vat-of-sauce that can be used on many dishes. I particularly love that the recipe is well suited for whatever you have on hand. Enjoy!
Riverland Farm Potluck Noodle Salad
Meghan Arquin

I am so happy to hear this was a favorite!! Here is the recipe. It is a large quantity recipe that will keep in your fridge easily for 3-4 weeks. For the potluck I probably used 1/3 of the sauce made here, maybe a tad more. It really goes a long way and is one of my favorite recipes.

I have adapted from the Black Dog Summer cookbook:

1 cup tahini mixed well before measuring
1 cup canola oil
1 cup tamari or soy sauce
1/2 cup sugar – I usually use maple syrup
1/2 cup vinegar (rice, cider, or red wine)
1/4-1/2 cup chili oil or sriracha…hot as you like it anyhow
2 Tbsp. dark sesame oil
5 garlic cloves, chopped
A knob of ginger, minced

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl till well mixed. Add water to thin consistency, if preferred. I used fresh noodles for the potluck dish but will often use udon or spaghetti if I am desperate. Cook noodles and add as much sauce as you like to coat the noodles.
Top with carrots, cucumbers, beets, cilantro, cabbage, scallions… really whatever you want.

I got fancy for the potluck and made roasted beet noodles since I recently bought a spiralizer.

I am so glad it was enjoyed so much, and that what Rob left behind found a home.

Meghan