CSA Weekly Update for September 4th-7th!
Happy Labor Day weekend, friends! I hope you all have some time to squeeze a little fun into what I know is a busy weekend for all of us. School starting, change of seasons, canning and so many more things to fit in right before school starts!
Labor Day has our schedule a little “wonky” as my kids would say. Since we can’t deliver CSA Shares on Monday, we will be distributing those sites throughout the week. Yes, you will still receive your share this week!
If you are having someone else pick up your share for you, please make sure they know to take the box with YOUR LAST NAME on the label. In the last couple of weeks we have had multiple instances where they just take a box, and unknowingly, take someone else’s CSA Share. While this problem is easily resolved, it would be ideal if they knew to take your box.
If you know you’ll be out of town without someone else to pick up for you, please consider offering your CSA to the food shelf. If you want to donate, just send me an email and we will deliver it alongside our normal produce delivery there. So far this season, we’ve donated over 700 pounds of produce to the food shelf with your help! This is the tally after 11 weeks of donations! :)
Adjusted Schedule for Labor Day:
Monday: Your delivery will be changed to a different day this week. Your pick up time frame will be pushed back by an hour to accommodate for the change in schedule. Zimmerman moves to Tuesday. Creative Kids Academy moves to Tuesday. Blaine, Oak Grove & Brooklyn Park move to Thursday.
If your pick up site is on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday, it will remain on that day although the time frame will be pushed back by an hour. We will work our hardest to be as timely as possible, but as you can imagine we have more produce to harvest every day that week as well, hence the change in pick up time frames.
This is likely our last week offering canning tomatoes, so if you’d like to get in on that deal let me know and we will deliver them alongside your CSA Share. $20 for 25 pounds of tomatoes, either canners or romas.
Did you notice that last week you got produce that wasn’t on the list? It’s because our zucchini and slicer patches are slowing down. We don’t have enough to add them to everyone’s share so we are trying to alternate them between all the sites on a weekly basis. For example, this week you got either zucchini or slicers that weren’t on the list. Next week will likely be the same way, but it all depends on rainfall.
This week in your CSA Share, you can expect to receive: Seedless Watermelon, Butternut Squash, Purple Potatoes, Flowering Dill, Gypsy Peppers, Colored Carrots and Tomatoes!
We will be including seedless watermelon this week. We grow red & yellow seedless melons, and will be including one or the other this week. The reason we are harvesting this way is because they’re not all ripe at the same time. They’re ripening slower than past years due to weird weather patterns lately, so to make sure we have enough we will be splitting the red and yellow seedless melons into two weeks. If you get a red one this week, expect a yellow next week, and vice versa.
Some people favor seeded melons, because of their traditional flavor and texture. Some people favor seedless melons because it provides a faster way to cut the melons and serve them (especially to kids). We are happy to provide both kinds to our members. Some ask, why not grow only the seedless melons because we like those more? The seedless melons can’t pollinate their own flowers. We have to grow seeded melons right next to the seedless melons so the bees cross pollinate the flowers and produce both types of melons. Have you ever noticed that even “seedless” melons usually have small white/ transparent seeds, or even one or two black seeds? It’s because they have the pollen from the seeded melons or their flowers will die and not produce a melon.
We are including purple potatoes again! These are so fun, and seem to be a big hit in our house. We made purple French fries. Now if only I could find some of that purple ketchup from back in the day… Now that the potatoes aren’t so small, their skins are getting thicker and they don’t need to be kept in the fridge. Keep these potatoes in a loose paper bag on the counter or in a cool dry place. They’ll keep for at least a couple weeks like this. Remember, we rinse them off after they are dug, but we don’t wash them or scrub them. Make sure to scrub the eyelets to get all the dirt out before cooking.
Flowering dill is different than the herb dill you had earlier on this season. This is the same plant, but now it’s bigger and in a different form because it has developed the classic dill flowers. These flowers are what you see at the bottom of homemade pickles. Flowering dill combines well with green beans, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, tomatoes, potatoes and spinach to name a few examples. To use, rinse and shake out the excess water.
Every bit of the plant has the dill flavor, but in most dishes it will call for the flowers or the sprigs (the undeveloped dill underneath the flowers). You can also freeze dill, by cutting the sprigs and flowers from the main stem and placing in an airtight zip lock bag. To keep this dill fresh, place in an airtight zip lock baggie and wait to wash it until you’re ready to use it. Notice that this dill is a little heartier, and doesn’t need to sit in the cup of water to stay fresh.
We have a few recipes that you could use the dill with already on the blog, but I will be adding another this week. Keep in mind that if your recipe calls for dried dill, you can always sub it for the fresh dill (and it’s better in my opinion). If it calls for 1 tsp of dried dill, use about 2 tsp of chopped fresh dill.
Creamy Cucumber Salad https://www.brownfamilyproduce.com/blog/creamy-cucumber-salad
Refrigerator Pickles https://www.brownfamilyproduce.com/blog/best-refrigerator-pickles
Lemon Chicken & Dill https://www.brownfamilyproduce.com/blog/lemon-dill-chicken
Gypsy Peppers are so beautiful at this time of year! You’ll notice they’re not the white-yellow color they were the first time you got them. Now they’re ripening and they are exposing a rainbow of color in the field! They range in waves of colors like yellow, orange & red. The process of ripening is the plant pushing as much sugar as it can into the “fruits”, to achieve reproductive success and have a higher germination rate. That’s why red peppers are sweeter than green peppers, and why these gypsy peppers will be sweeter than the ones you got a month ago. They have a thicker flesh than the banana pepper, but not quite as thick as the green bell peppers; which make them my favorite stir-fry pepper!
Colored carrots are coming in our shares this week! They don’t grow as fast as the orange carrots, so that’s why we’ve had to wait until now to offer them. They are orange, purple, yellow, white and red. When we make bunches of carrots, we are mindful to try and get as many colors in a bunch as we can because they’re so beautiful! Classic taste, with a little color just for fun J Remember to take the greens off of the carrots, which helps them last longer. To achieve the best flavor, use them within the week. The greens can also be used in smoothies, or you could try the carrot top pesto recipe from in the blog!
The variety of the week is Butternut Squash! Why did I pick a squash as the variety of the week again? Because I want to make sure you’re confident in your squash-ing before we continue with the remainder of the season & squash varieties! These are the traditional soup squash. It is also good baked, roasted, steamed or even grilled. This squash has a tan skin and it’s shaped like a peanut with bright orange flesh.
Winter squash freezes well. Simply cook squash and mash or puree it. Then pour it into zip lock bags and compress the excess air out. Label with the date and place in the freezer. We make sure to measure our squash when we’re freezing it, because we know we use about 3 cups per family meal (to help avoid waste).
Have a wonderful, safe Labor Day weekend!
~The Farmer's Wife