Happy Labor Day Weekend! I hope everyone has a chance to get out and enjoy the wonderful weather we have for this weekend!
CSA Share deliveries will remain the same for the most part. If your delivery site is scheduled to pick-up Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday your delivery will remain the same for this week. If your delivery is scheduled for Monday, you will receive an email from me shortly detailing your delivery changes (yes of course everyone gets their share this week!).
If you will be gone this week, you are more than welcome to find someone else to take your share. If you would like to donate your share to the food shelf, please send me an email as soon as you can. We work with the Big Lake Food Shelf; we have an arrangement to get all of the donated shares for the week to the food shelf on Wednesdays (coordinating with the pick up days/times that they offer their participating families).
This week we will have another winter squash variety, and will continue to introduce new winter squash varieties through the remainder of the season. And don’t forget about the pie pumpkins that are coming in a few weeks! Maybe we can all collaborate with some good “pumpkin spice” recipes, it’s the new thing!
On a year to year basis, we always have at least one variety that produces a “bumper crop”. This year our bumper crop is peppers. We will be continuing to add at least one type of pepper each week until the end of the season of the first freeze. We do offer bushels of peppers as well, they are easily processed for the winter. Freezing peppers is as easy as cutting them up into the desired sizes and putting them in a freezer bag. Unlike most other varieties of produce, it doesn’t need to get blanched before being frozen, just washed and deseeded. A bushel of bell peppers is $25, and a bushel of any other sweet or hot pepper is $30.
This is the end of tomatoes, we will have our last harvest sometime this week. The foliage on the plants is wilting and dying, as it always does at this time of year. If you would like canning tomatoes, this could be the last week we have to offer them, send me an email to add to your normal CSA Share delivery. Half Bushel Baskets are $15 for CSA Share members; we currently selling them for $25 at the local farmer’s market so make sure to let me know if you are a CSA Share member for the discount!
The varieties of produce you can expect this week: Delicata Squash, Broccoli, Zucchini/ Summer Squash, Gypsy Peppers (Sweet), Kale, Grape Tomatoes, Tomatoes and Watermelon!
Winter Squash is a staple variety in all cold climate regions. Its excellent storability and nutritive value make winter squash an important fall and winter vegetable for the season eaters. Winter Squash has 10X the vitamin A content of its summer squash relatives, and it’s an excellent source of potassium.
Through the remainder of the season you will see many different types of winter squash. While they may all look differently in color, shape or size, most winter squash (except for the unique Spaghetti Squash) are very similar on the inside with yellow to orange flesh on the inside. The seeds can be salted and roasted like pumpkin seeds too! Winter squash will store at room temperature for at least a month. Store for several months in a dry and cool (~50 degrees) but not cold location.
Delicata is known for its thin flesh. When cooking certain varieties of squash it may be beneficial to peel and cube them before baking, delicata is not one of those varieties. To bake, simply cut in half, remove seeds and wrap in tin foil. If you try to peel the delicata you will see that there won’t be much left to cook because they are so long and thin, with thin flesh. Try to remember to compare this to the butternut squash coming this fall.
Broccoli is grown without any supplemental products, and no pesticides. There is a risk of broccoli worms, despite the name they are more like little green caterpillars. We soak the broccoli for an hour after harvest to remove the worms naturally. It would be wise to soak it at your house as well, by adding a small amount of salt to a clean sink full of water; soak for at least 10 minutes. I hope everyone is on board with us, I’d rather find a worm than use products/ pesticides on the broccoli.
It is best eaten within a few days of harvest, but can be stored in a plastic bag in the hydrator drawer of the fridge for a week. It can also be frozen, cut the broccoli into desirable sized pieces, blanch for 2-3 minutes, and place in a freezer bag.
Zucchini and Summer Squash are in the boxes again this week. The end of the last zucchini patch is coming soon, the season is transitioning again to fall varieties
Gypsy peppers are a sweet pepper, so they will be loose in the box (if they were hot they would be in a bag). These are smaller than bell peppers but have a great light coloring that makes them fun to cook with. Sometimes they get purple or green streaks from cross pollination. The bees will go from plant to plant and carry pollen back and forth from varieties. It can’t change what they taste like or what shape they grow, but it can influence the color! I tell my kids it is because the bees kiss the flowers 🙂
We will have grape tomatoes and larger tomatoes again! Please leave them out of the fridge, even the grape tomatoes will lose flavor if you refrigerate them. It’s so sad that the tomato season has come and almost gone. The bright side is that the transition in seasons also brings a lot of new varieties into harvest as well. Some that we haven’t had at all this year yet.