CSA Share Weekly Update for September 25th-28th!
Updated: Feb 1, 2018
I hope that this warm weather finds us all well, it looks like this could be the last of the hot days for the year. The cold crops don’t much like the heat, so we would be happy if it cooled off soon!
Welcome to week 15, we are almost through a season of eating “seasonally” together. That means cooking what’s in harvest that week, changing up the ordinary, finding new recipes, and also being sad that it’s almost over!
I am sorry to share that the ground has been too wet for sweet potatoes this season, they are not growing very well. The greens are nice sized but digging the potatoes is about 2 potatoes for every 3 plants. The folks down south tell us it’s because this summer was so cool (with the exception of the last two weeks). In the nature of CSA Shares, if one variety doesn’t do well, we will replace it with another variety that is in harvest at that time. We are sad to share about the sweet potatoes but are thankful for the other plentiful crops.
This week in your CSA Share you can expect: Sunshine Buttercup Squash, Carnival Squash, Cabbage, Sweet pepper mix (Gypsy & Banana), Beets, Turnips, Russet Potatoes & Carrots!
Sunshine squash is a buttercup variety, many of you will recognize that right away because it looks just like the traditional buttercup but is bright orange. Some people mistake them for looking like pumpkins! They are a dry squash, with a texture comparable to sweet potatoes. The flesh has an orange yellow hue. Any squash variety can be used in place of a pie pumpkin. We use sunshine squash to make “pumpkin bread” using cloves and pumpkin spices.
Carnival Squash looks very similar to the sweet dumpling squash that all CSA members got last week. Breed acorn squash and sweet dumpling squash, and you get a carnival squash. It is a beautiful squash, I have had businesses buy bushels of them for decorations because they are so colorful! It is a fairly dry but sweet squash, and can be used in any recipe as a substitute for acorn or butternut squash.
Cabbage is coming again this week. For some of us this may be a challenge, but this week will be very cool and it could be a great opportunity for your first cabbage soup. While it can be plain, there are soup recipes that also call for a squash base, so it’s less of a broth and a little more hearty. You can also add any other root crops like turnips, beets or onions for example to make it a seasonal soup! If soup isn’t for you, try making cabbage rolls or cabbage “pizzas”. If you aren’t ready to use it this week or even next week, it will keep for about a month in the crisper drawer as long as it’s in a bag so it doesn’t dry out. I added a coleslaw recipe this week, it’s at the very end of this blog post.
Sweet peppers will include gypsy peppers and banana peppers. The gypsy peppers are smaller and thicker; they grow light yellow but now they are ripening in the field and turning red. Banana peppers are long and pointy, and can be used fresh or can be cut into rings and pickled to use on sandwiches. Pickling peppers isn’t hard, and can be done without canning at all. Just cut the peppers to desired ring widths, put them in a bowl and make the brine. Usually it is vinegar, sugar, and salt. Combine and put in the fridge for a couple of weeks, comparable to the refrigerator pickle recipe from this spring.
Turnips are one of the most ancient and globally used vegetables. They are a reliable storage crop for areas of the world that have cold climates and short growing seasons. They are a good source of Vitamin C, potassium and calcium. Store turnips unwashed in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for 1-2 weeks. It was interesting to read that for long term storage, pack the turnips in moist sand and keep in a cool but not freezing place & they can keep for months.
Russet potatoes are dug at the end of the season, allowing them to grow as big as they can. They are a staple in cold climates because they hold so well. Their flesh is white, dry, mealy and perfect for baking, French fries, or mashed potatoes.
The variety of the week is Beets!
Beets used to be the center of attention before Kale stole the spotlight. They are truly a super-food! They are very high in Vitamins A & C, and also carotenes. They are versatile and can be used cooked and raw, easily incorporated into many recipes. Store Beets unwashed in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for 1-2 weeks.