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Eureka Organic Farm CSA Week 13 Newsletter, September 27, 2023 2-6pm

What's in the share this week?

See the end of the newsletter for the full list of veggies and their storage information.


Farmer Christine's Field Notes

We've reached the point in the farm season where we're now preparing for the end of the year and reviewing what worked this year and what we'd like to change for next year. We've begun covering some of our plants in preparation for the cold nights that are coming. Because we took a two week break and extended the share by two weeks, we're hoping to keep some of these warm weather crops going through the start of October. We fertilized and covered the Swiss chard, which is really a frost sensitive plant even though it looks cold hardy, and we're prepping for planting things in the greenhouses in our fields so that Seth and I can overwinter vegetables for ourselves and for an early start next spring.


The market this weekend was a beautiful day. We sell our giant zucchinis for $1 each because they're a great conversation starter, and we sold out of three crates of them as well as all our remaining zucchinis. The cold weather has really slowed these plants down, and I know other farmers are seeing these results too. I've heard several times that we have been one of the only farmers with zucchini at the market for a few weeks running.


I had a wholesome interaction with a farmers market customer who was reading the ingredients on our green tomato salsa verde. I asked him if he was all right and he explained, with a British accent, that he was interested in the salsa verde because he has lots of green tomatoes himself at home. He said he didn't think it was a good idea to pack a glass jar into his luggage for his flight back overseas and I agreed, but I told him the recipe was good enough to be worth looking up when he got home. He wandered away, and then came back a few minutes later to take pictures of the salsa. At that point, I offered to email him the recipe since it's so good. He was flabbergasted! But he agreed, and gave me his email address. In exchange I hope to receive his recipe for green tomato marmalade. As he walked away I wished him a safe flight, and he responded with a confused smile and said, "Thank you, and have a nice life!"


Week 13 Announcements

  • As you may know, we adopted a second adult rescue dog in May of this year named Hazel. She's finally settled into our home life, and now we're hoping to help her overcome her fear of strangers by socializing her at the CSA pickup. We intend to have the dogs out for several hours on Wednesday afternoon. Hazel is friendly once you know her, but wary of strangers and responds by barking. We'll have some toys available to help her overcome her fear, and if you feel inclined please throw a toy or a stick for her as she is very toy driven. Thank you for helping us help this skittish dog!


Week 13 CSA Recipes

These recipes are designed to inspire you to use your share this week. Please check inside our private Facebook group to find your fellow members sharing ideas for what to make with their veggies!


Vegetable List and Storage Information

Arugula - Arugula has a peppery, slightly bitter flavor. It is stronger than most lettuces, so it’s often paired with other greens. Mature arugula has sturdy leaves, whereas baby arugula tends to be more tender and milder in flavor. Hotter weather makes for spicier leaves. To store: Arugula is highly perishable. Store in the fridge inside a perforated plastic bag. If you decide to wash it first, be sure to spin the leaves dry before placing them loosely into a Green Bag with a dry paper towel to absorb the moisture. To freeze: Blanch leaves in boiling water or steam for two minutes, followed by soaking in ice water. Remove from ice water and drain well. Freeze "balls" of arugula on a cookie sheet in individual portions. When frozen, pop them into a Ziploc bag.


Baby Kale Iron Man Mix - This is a blend of three different types of kale, all of them tiny, tender, and delicious. Treat this like you would arugula. To store: Spin water out of leaves and store in a plastic Ziploc bag with a dry paper towel inside to absorb moisture. To prep: chop or mince leaves and stems together. To cook: Add uncooked kale to to a mixed green salad, or use in place of lettuce when you want a heartier flavor in a dish. Mix with other milder greens and sauté until tender in a covered pot or large sauté pan with olive oil, a pinch of salt, and garlic or onion. Baby kale is done once wilted, which should only take a minute or two.


Beans - There are many varieties of string bean -- green, purple, yellow, or speckled. To store: Store unwashed beans in a Green bag in the veggie bin of your fridge for up to 1 week. If you don't have a Green Bag, store them in a vented plastic bag or a brown paper bag so the beans can breathe. Rejuvenate limp beans by soaking them in ice water for 30 minutes. To prep: Wash beans. Cut off the tips and remove strings. Cook whole or chop. These beans do not need to be shelled. To freeze: Remove tips. Blanch in boiling water for 2 minutes, rinse in cold ice water for 2 minutes, drain, dry well, and pack into airtight containers.


Basil - To store: Basil is very sensitive to cold. Keep basil in its plastic bag in the warmest part of your fridge (typically in the door). If basil gets too cold, it will turn black. To prep: Mince well. Add to butter, cream cheese, or your favorite pasta sauce. Make a batch of pesto with pine nuts, Parmesan, olive oil, salt, and garlic. To dehydrate: Remove leaves from stem and place on a piece of paper towel on a glass plate. Cover with another piece of paper towel. Microwave plate on high for 1 minute. Leaves will be dry. Crinkle them with your finger and place them in a dry container, such as a Mason jar with a lid. To freeze: Basil does not freeze well. Instead, make a batch of pesto and freeze it flat in Ziploc bags.


Celery - Farm-fresh celery often includes skinnier stalks than what you'd find at the grocery stores. They are celery flavor bombs! To store: You can wrap your celery tightly in foil and place it in the fridge. This will keep it crisp for weeks. If you don't want to use foil, try chopping the celery into smaller stalks and putting them in a bowl of water in the fridge. To prep: Rinse well. Cut a half-inch off the base. Cut the tops off the celery. Save these for your freezer scrap bag and make broth later! You can also save the tops and use them for salads, for dried herbs, or DIY celery salt. To freeze: Freezing celery is not recommended. But if you do so, you'll need to use it for soups as it will lose its crispness. Chop celery to desired size. Blanch in boiling hot water for 3 minutes. Plunge into ice water for 3 minutes. Drain. Lay celery on a cookie sheet and flash freeze in a freezer. Place frozen celery into a Ziplock container.


Cilantro - Cilantro looks like parsley, but has a strong smell and flavor. It is used in ethnic cuisine — Asian, Indian, and Mexican (especially salsa). Since it doesn’t stand up to much heat, it is usually added to a dish right before serving. This plant grows in cool weather conditions, so you won’t see it in the heat of the summer months. To store: For short-term storage, stand upright in a container with an inch of water. Then cover the herbs loosely with a plastic bag and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks. To prep: Chop the stem and leaves with a butcher knife. The stems and flowers can be eaten too. To freeze: Mince well. Place Ziploc freezer bag and remove as much air as possible. Seal and freeze.


Fennel, baby size - Both the fronds and the bulb are edible. Fennel has a distinct licorice taste. To store: Cut off the stalks where they emerge from the bulb, and if you want to use the feathery foliage as an herb, place the dry stalks upright in a glass filled with two inches of water. Cover the glass loosely with a plastic bag and store in the refrigerator for few days. The unwashed bulb may be kept in a plastic bag in the refrigerator drawer for 2 weeks.

To prep: Remove the tip base of the white bulb. Cut off the stalks. Chop or mince the stems and leaves for garnish or seasoning. To use: Try fennel raw: brush raw slices with olive oil and lemon juice, sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve as an appetizer. Use the fernlike tops as a licorice-flavored herb or garnish. Use the stems in soup stocks in place of celery. Grill, braise, or roast fennel. The feathery leaves are great on baked or broiled fish with butter and lemon. To freeze: Cut bulb into quarters and blanch in boiling water for 1 minute. Then plunge into ice water for 1 minute. Drain and freeze in Ziplock bags.


Melons - Watermelon has dark green skin. Some varieties have speckles or light green stripes on the outside, and the inside can be pink or yellow but it always crisp, tender, sweet, and hydrating. To store: Refrigerate watermelon right away. They do not ripen off the vine or emanate a ripe smell. Cut melon should be covered in plastic wrap, and chunks or slices should be kept in an air-tight container. Eat melons within a week. To prep: Using a big knife, cut melon in half, then cut into quarters or slices. To use: Use in salads or eat it raw in slices. Blend watermelon, water, and sugar or honey for a refreshing aqua fresca.


Radishes - (Save the greens to eat too!) To store: Remove radish leaves if they are still attached. Store the unwashed greens in a loosely wrapped plastic bag in the crisper bin of your refrigerator. Store radish roots unwashed in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for 1 week. To prep: Scrub radishes well. Trim off the stem and rootlets. To use: Eat radishes raw with a sprinkle of salt. Slice radishes into matchsticks or grate them and add to slaws and salads. Try small young radish leaves in salads or scrambled eggs. Blanch whole radishes in boiling salt water for 5-10 minutes, or steam them until just tender, 8-12 minutes. Top with butter, salt, and pepper or with a vinaigrette. They’re also great grilled and pickled. Radish greens are slightly hairy and are best cooked or blanched.


Salad Turnips - (Save the greens to eat too!) Turnips are a root vegetable, related to arugula and radishes, which are members of the mustard family. Large or old turnips can be unpleasantly “hot” if not cooked properly or combined with the proper vegetables (like potatoes), but younger and salad turnips add great zip to dishes. They are best in the fall or spring, when they are small and sweet. To store: Remove the greens from the turnips and store in a plastic bag to use within 3 days. The turnip roots should be stored in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer of your fridge for up to a week. To prep: Cut off the green tops (which can be eaten as well). Wash and cut the white roots into wedges or slices. To cook: Serve raw with dip in a veggie tray. Or grate and add them to a salad. Turnips are delicious when roasted with other root vegetables (like carrot, potatoes, rutabaga, garlic). Add a turnip or two to your favorite mashed potato recipe. Or add them into soups and stews. To freeze: Blanch for 3 minutes in hot boiling water. Cool in ice water for 3 minutes, drain and pack into freezer containers or freezer bags.


Scallions - To store: Chop off the top inch of the tender green tips and stand the scallions in an inch of water in a tall container covered loosely with a Ziplock bag, refreshing the water every 3 days. To prep: Remove roots. Chop the leaves and stem before cooking. To use: You can eat the entire scallion. Rinse scallions in cold water and snip off anything that’s floppy. Use chopped scallions as a garnish; they are less pungent. The minced greens of scallions are a good substitute for chives. Use them in stir-fry. Use scallions in almost any recipe calling for onions, raw or cooked. They are excellent in soups and stew. To freeze: Chop into desired size and place on cookie sheet and freeze. Then pop into a Ziplock baggie and store in the freezer. You can even freeze the green tops!


Summer Squash/Zucchini - Summer squash is a general term for 70 different types of fast- growing, tender-skinned, soft-fleshed squash. Zucchini is the most famous, followed by yellow squash (either straight or crookneck), and scallops (or patty pan) which look like flying saucers. If you get a giant-sized zucchini, use it for making zucchini bread. It will be too tough and seedy for other recipes. To store: Store squash unwashed in a perforated plastic bag in the vegetable bin. In the refrigerator they keep for about a week. To prep: Rinse under water to remove the dirt or prickles, and slice off the stem and blossom ends. Then slice or chop. Scrape out seeds from baseball bat sized zucchinis before using them to bake. To use: Slice tender, young summer squash raw into salads. Try them in stir-fry or with pasta. Lightly steam (4-5 minutes) and dress them with fresh herbs or pesto. Or coat squash lightly in oil and roast at 350 degrees whole or sliced in half for 15-45 minutes. Stuff whole squash with your favorite stuffings. Bread them and make zuke fries. To freeze: You can freeze grated zucchini for use in breads and muffins. Squeeze as much liquid out as possible before adding to the freezer bag.


Tomatoes - To store: Do not refrigerate tomatoes. Store them at room temperature out of the sun stem side down. Putting them in a paper bag will accelerate the ripening process. Heirloom tomatoes will have different colors, strange shapes, and cracks. These are highly perishable and should be eaten within 1-2 days. To prep: If you’ll be cooking tomatoes, consider removing the skins so they don’t float around in your dish. To do so, score the end of the tomato with an “X,” dunk whole tomatoes in boiling water for 30 seconds, lift out with slotted spoon, plunge into ice water, and the skins will slide off. To freeze: Tomatoes can be frozen whole with the skin on. The skins will slide right off when they thaw. Simply pop the washed tomatoes whole into a Ziplock bag. Thawed tomatoes are appropriate only for cooking sauces, salsas, or purees.


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