What's in the share this week?
There's more than in this picture! See the end of the newsletter for the list of veggies and their storage information.
Season Wind Down
Just like a garden, the farm needs to be put to bed for the winter. Our winterizing tasks include prepping and planting out our greenhouses, removing old plant stalks, and covering the soil either with food crops, cover crops, or our big silage tarps. The soil is the most important part on our farm. The soil gives our plants what they need to grow big and nutrient dense, and so it's in our best interest to take care of it. We want to cover it so that it doesn't erode in the freeze/thaw cycles of winter and spring, washing all of our hard-earned nutrients down into the brook between our two meadows.
Our to-do list before the ground freezes is long and we have a sense of urgency about taking care of our fields, but in the meantime we're still producing vegetables! We have yet to harvest our storage crops that will fill our winter cooler: beets, carrots, daikon radish, turnips, cabbage. And with a little bit of luck and temperatures above 50 degrees, we'll have weeks of hot crops ahead of us including tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, and beans. So even though our CSA is ending next week, we have vegetables in our future.
The cycle of field prep, growing, harvesting, and wind down is something that we haven't gotten tired of yet, ten years into farming. We like learning and experimenting, seeing if we can push the envelope of when crops come in and how to grow healthy plants. Farming is such a neat profession.
Farmer Seth's Field Notes
We started last week with a harvest, picking 300+ pounds of tomatoes first thing Monday to go to The Copper Fox restaurant for their participation in the Everyone Eats program. I felt pretty proud of us for being able to participate and manage such a large order. In the afternoon we did some planting, putting in another succession of storage cabbage that will hopefully size up in time before the ground freezes.
We harvested Tuesday and were quite tired when, at the end of the day, we realized there was a skunk in the barn and it had sprayed Knox the dog. Whoops! We cleaned him off with the miracle formula of hydrogen peroxide, dish soap, and baking soda. I can't believe it worked.
We harvested more throughout the week, some with CSA member Terri's help again, and did a little more field prep. It got cold on Thursday and Friday nights and we were concerned about some of our sensitive crops but they pulled through just fine thanks to the magic of row cover and a bit of luck. Saturday was our last regular Norwich Farmers Market, and from here on out we'll be substitute vendors until the end of October. We were pleased to see that our customers bought the celery we provided -- many people congratulated us on how big and beautiful it was. We had a good market day in some cool weather and returned home feeling like fall is here.
Week 15 Announcements
Please take 3 minutes to answer 6 questions about how you used our CSA's resources over the course of the share. This will help us tailor our CSA offerings for next year. Thank you!
We're selling our Late Fall CSA Share online. There will be one pickup in November the week before Thanksgiving, and one pickup in December the week before Christmas. Pickup dates and times will be flexible to account for people's changing work and travel schedules. To sign up, visit our website here.
Week 15 CSA Recipes
Members can download these recipes as a PDF here. 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!
Ginger Daikon Radish "Rice" with Gochugaru and Fried Egg
Famous Tomato and Egg Breakfast
Celery Salad with Apples
Kale Salad with Carrot Ginger Dressing
Simmered Daikon Radish with Chicken in Yuzu Sauce
Potato Leek Soup
The Best Garlic Baked Pork Tenderloin Recipe Ever
Color-Changing Daikon Radish Gimlet
Vegetable List and Storage Information
BEETS, BABY SIZE - Beets come in many colors -- red, gold, striped. You can eat the green tops too! To store: If your beets still have greens attached, cut them off, leaving an inch of stem. Store the beet roots, with the rootlets (or "tails") attached, unwashed, in a plastic bag in the crisper bin of your refrigerator. They will keep for several weeks. To prep: Just before cooking, scrub beets well and remove any scraggly leaves and rootlets. If your recipe calls for raw beets, peel them with a knife or a veggie peeler, then grate or cut them according to the recipe. To remove the skins, you can roast them in foil or boil them, and the peels will slip right off. To freeze: Boil or bake beets until done. Cool them in ice water or let them come to room temperature. Remove peels. Trim the beets into 1/4 inch slices or keep them whole (if they are small). Place in Ziplock freezer bag and remove as much air as possible. Seal and freeze.
BROADLEAF MESCLUN - A delicious mix of different varieties of lettuces. To store: Store unwashed lettuce in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. To store lettuce that you have already washed and dried with a spinner, place back in a plastic bag with a dry paper towel in the bag, and place the package in the vegetable crisper bin. Use within 4 days. To prep: Wash leaves in a basin of cold water. Dry in a salad spinner. To freeze: Not recommended.
CARROTS - Carrots are sweetest in the fall and winter when they start to store their sugars in the root! To store: Refrigerate these carrots in a plastic bag. You can also store them in a bin of water (like celery) to keep them crisp, hanging out the water every few days. Save the tops in a plastic bag. To prep: Organic carrots don’t need to be peeled. Boil 2-inch cubed carrots in rapidly boiling salt water, uncovered, for 7-10 minutes. To freeze: Blanch cut coins for 3 minutes in boiling salt water, dunk in cold ice water for 3 minutes, drain, let dry, and pack in airtight container.
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.
DAIKON RADISH - 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. Grate radishes into 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. To freeze: Blanch for 3 minutes, then dunk in ice water for 3 minutes. Drain. Pop in a freezer bag and freeze. The radish greens can be blanched as well -- but only for 2 minutes.
GARLIC - To store: Like onions, garlic can be eaten fresh or dried. Dried, cured garlic appears in August and can be kept for several months in a dark, dry, well- ventilated place at a cool room temperature. Warm temperatures will encourage the cured garlic to sprout. To prep: Remove the papery skin and base. Mince or chop as needed. To cook: For garlic aroma, try rubbing a cut clove around the rim of a baking dish. Try roasting garlic: cut tops off garlic to expose cloves, brush with olive oil, and bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees. Squeeze garlic out of its skins and spread on crusty bread. To freeze: Leave the skins on and place individual cloves in a Ziplock bag or Mason jar, then freeze.
KALE - Kale is a member of the brassica family. Kale comes in blue-green, reddish green, and red varieties and may have flat or curly leaves. All types of kale have thick stems. It has a mild cabbage flavor when cooked. To store: Place kale unwashed, wrapped in a sealed plastic bag in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator. Best used very fresh, but may last for a week. To prep: Wash leaves in basin of lukewarm water to remove grit. If your greens have thick stems, you must remove them. Fold each leaf in half and slice out the stem. Then stack the leaves up and slice them diagonally into 1-inch-wide strips. To use: Sauté in olive oil. Use in soups, spaghetti sauce, pesto, quiche, or kale chips. You can also eat the stems. To freeze: Blanch washed greens for 2-3 minutes. Rinse in cold ice water to stop the cooking process, drain, and pack into airtight containers. Stems can also be frozen.
LEEKS - To store: Cut off the green tops (save those greens and put them in your veggie freezer bag to make veggie stock). Loosely wrap unwashed leek bottoms (with roots attached) in a plastic bag and store them in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator where they will keep for 2 weeks. To prep: Cut the leek about 1 inch above the white part, where the leaves begin changing from dark to light green. Save the unused greens; they’ll give great flavor to your next vegetable stock. Slit the leek lengthwise and soak it in lukewarm water for 15 minutes. Fan the leaves under running water to dislodge dirt, then pat dry. chop the white part of the allium finely. To use: Use leeks in salads, casseroles and soups or wherever you'd use onions. They can be braised, boiled grilled, or steamed. To freeze: Cut the white parts of the leek into slices and flash freeze in Ziplock bags.
PARSLEY - 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 leaves and stem before cooking. The stem can be used to flavor soups and stews too. To dry: Place a piece of paper towel on a glass plate. Layer the parsley evenly around the plate being sure not to overlap. Cover with another piece of paper towel. Microwave 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: Chop parsley finely and freeze in ice cube trays with water. Pop out frozen cubes and freeze in a freezer bag.
POTATOES - We have partnered with a neighboring farmer in Springfield to bring you these potatoes, grown using only organic methods. To store: Keep unwashed potatoes in a cool, dark, dry place, such as a loosely closed paper bag in a cupboard. They will keep for two weeks at room temperature. Light turns them green, and proximity to onions causes them to sprout. Don’t put them in the refrigerator, as low temperatures convert the starch to sugars. To prep: Scrub well and cut off any sprouts or green skin. Peeling is a matter of preference. In soups, the skins may separate from the flesh and float in the broth, but when baked, pan- fried or roasted, the skins acquire a crisp, crunchy texture. To cook: Boil potatoes in water for 20-30 minutes until tender. If desired, mash them. Use potatoes in soups, hash browns, and salads. Roast sliced or whole small potatoes with fresh herbs, salt, and olive oil at 400 degrees until tender, about 20 minutes. To freeze: Cool cooked or mashed potatoes and freeze them in a Ziplock bag.
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 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.