This weekend we are blessed with great fall weather. A lot of sunshine and comfortable 70’s, hopefully we are all finding something to do outside to take advantage of the great weather!
This is NOT THE LAST WEEK of CSA Shares! We will be starting week 15 on Monday, and we have 16 total weeks of deliveries. The following week, October 1st-5th, is our last week of CSA Shares for the season.
We will be coming around the following week to collect all the CSA Share boxes you’ve returned. We recycle the boxes from year to year, so all of your returned CSA boxes from this season will be our field boxes for the 2019 season. Of course, every season our CSA Families start with a set of brand new boxes, so this rotation of boxes is efficient! We recommend bringing a reusable bag with you the last week to the pick-up; that way you don’t have to make a second trip back to return the empty CSA box.
We will be including Honey Crisp apples in our CSA Shares for all Members during the last week of the season, October 1st-5th! If you purchased an Apple Share, we will also be delivering your additional apples during the last week of pick up, on October 1st-5th. Please watch for your extra box! :)
Did you get my email about the extra veggies? If you’re interested in preserving produce or keeping produce for the off-season, we have a bounty to share with you! We will deliver the extra produce with your normal CSA this week or next. Options include squash, corn, carrots, potatoes and peppers (sweet & hot available). Pricing is in the email attachment, it’s in a table format so it’s easy to read. Payment options include either check or online invoicing, just send me an email and I will get you everything you need!
We are busy in the fields again. This time of year is a waiting game, and we are doing things like removing the electric fencing to bide our time. We can’t pull the mulch until it’s froze really hard, otherwise it’ll rip and make our job a little harder, so we wait. In about 2 weeks from now, we will be busy tilling up fields, and preparing to plant our winter rye. We plant a cover crop because it holds top soil, and also replenishes nutrients from year to year. In the spring, they’ll sprout again, and then we till them in. Having organic matter in the soil like ripped up plants/ grasses is helpful in keeping the weeds down as well.
We did get some frost overnight from Friday to Saturday, but don't worry, it didn’t affect varieties that we will be harvesting for the remainder of the season. At this time of year, you’ll notice that we are strategic in offering varieties of produce that are frost tolerant, for example, brussel sprouts, cabbages, & cauliflower (coming next week!) to name a few. We plan our season and seeding in the spring, so we don't have to worry about an early frost ending our season early.
This week in your CSA Shares you can expect: Red Cabbage, Brussel Sprouts, Delicata Squash, Carnival Squash, Beets, and Jalapenos!
Red Cabbage is beautiful. It’s a lot different than the traditional green cabbage, and it’s more than just the color difference. Per serving, red cabbage actually has more vitamin C than an orange!! Red cabbage has thick, crisp leaves, and its color will run into other ingredients when cooked. All Cabbage varieties have a remarkable storage capacity. Just stick dry, unwashed cabbage in the vegetable bin. The outer leaves may eventually get floppy or yellowish, but they can be removed and discarded to reveal fresh inner leaves. Once cut, wrap it in a sealed plastic bag and continue to refrigerate; it will keep for several weeks.
Delicata Squash is also called the peanut squash. It’s long and thin and has a white with green or orange speckle coloring. This is one of the tastier winter squashes, with a creamy white pulp that tastes a bit like corn and sweet potatoes. The squash can be baked or steamed and its thin skin is also edible. This squash is most commonly baked, but can also be microwaved, sautéed or steamed, and is terrific stuffed with meat or veggie mixtures!
Carnival Squash looks like the shape of an acorn squash, but has orange and green peeking through in the vertical stripes. This is the one that is most commonly mistaken for a decoration when I am at the market, it’s beautiful!! The sweet yellow meat is comparable to sweet potatoes and butternut squash, and can be baked or steamed. It’s also great in soups!
Beets are a traditional root crop. Can be roasted with many other root crops to provide an easy side to dinner. Natural flavors will prevail if you cook beets, carrots & sweet potatoes together for instance. Just toss in a little olive oil and top with salt and pepper. Store beets in a plastic bag in the crisper bin of your refrigerator. They will keep for several weeks, but their sweetness diminishes with time. So try to use them within a week.
Jalapenos are coming in our shares again. If you recall, last time we added them into the shares we added a LOT. We offered that quantity before because I wanted to make sure our members had enough to make something with them (instead of just using one for seasoning), for example an appetizer. This week, we will be including a lesser amount because we know we have to balance needs from members who like the hot peppers and who aren’t big fans.
If you don’t want to use the jalapenos right away, (save them for winter chili for example!) cut them into the sizes of pieces that you’d like or keep them whole, and put them in a freezer bag. Try to compress the bag to get rid of extra air; I’ve seen some methods that use a straw to actually suck out the air. I’ve never found that to be super successful/ more successful than the squish method.
Brussel Sprouts are the variety of the week!
This cool-weather crop, nick named mini cabbages, produce straight stalks that reach up to 20 inches high. In the field, they have a TON of foliage, you'll see that we snap off the leaves because if we left them in tact, they would barely fit in the Whole Share size CSA. They are high in bioflavonoids that help prevent cancer. They have high levels of vitamin C vitamin A, folate, iron, and potassium. They are often paired with bacon. (You’ll notice the theme with the recipes…)
Brussels sprouts keep longer if they are left attached to the stalk (up to 5 weeks in a cold cellar), but if there's not enough refrigerator room you can snap them off and store them unwashed in a closed plastic bag in the veggie bin for 1-2 days (they will develop a strong flavor). Even on the stalk they should be wrapped in plastic to slow respiration. The flavor is sweetest right after harvest, so try to use them soon.
Simply cut off the tough bottom part of the sprout stem and remove the two outermost leaves. You can eat them raw on a veggie platter (cut in half lengthwise) or they can be cooked. Boil or steam sprouts approximately 5 -8 minutes until tender crisp. Toss with olive oil, lemon juice and dash of salt and pepper. They can also be roasted, or stir-fried.
Have a wonderful week,
~The Farmer’s Wife