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.
Last Pickup of the Season
Our final CSA pickup of the summer season is here, and we are so glad you came with us on this journey! As you know, it was our first season on this land. Thank you for supporting us in year one of growing as we got our feet under us and figured out what was possible for two people to accomplish while starting a business, managing 50 acres, and raising two small kids. We grew an astonishing amount of food: by our estimates, enough to feed 60 families a varied diet, with tons of extras from certain crops (cucumbers and tomatoes, I'm looking at you). We had a few crop failures and a lot of learning experiences. But best of all, we found YOU, an awesome community of people who care about eating local food and helping local farmers. Thank you for believing in us! We hope you'll share in our gratitude by joining us for a potluck on Sunday, October 9 at 2 pm here on the farm.
The season is ending for summer CSA, but not for farm work. We'll be working over the fall and winter to upgrade our wash station and cooler area, get our greenhouses planted with cold weather crops so we can attend winter farmers markets, and prep all we can for next spring. There are seeds to be ordered and fields to be planned. We'll make our formal request to the town to open our farm stand to the public. And we're looking forward to seeing you next spring!
Farmer Christine's Field Notes
Last week we focused on harvest and winter prep, making for a fairly slow week farmwork-wise. We did a bit more preserving, putting up beet pickles, carrot pickles, and salsa. We worked on getting heat up and running to the house with all of those chill rainy days that made working in the fields uncomfortable. We cleaned out the cooler, mowed down a bed of kale and fed it to the goats, and made some more wreath bases. We also did quite a bit of administrative work, putting our books in order in preparation for the end of farmers market season. It was a slow, contemplative week perfect for quietly celebrating the autumnal equinox and ringing in the changing of the seasons.
We went to the Norwich Farmers Market on Saturday, where we are now a substitute vendor for the last 6 weeks of market. Our booth was in a different location but our regulars seemed to have no trouble finding us. The day turned warm and we sold out of carrots, celery, and parsley. Looks like everyone was making soup!
Week 16 Announcements
We'll be at the Vermont Apple Festival and Craft Show on Saturday, October 8 from 9-4 at Riverside School on Fairground Road in Springfield. Stop by and get your veggie fix!
We're hosting a gratitude potluck on Sunday, October 9 at 2 pm here on the farm. Please bring a dish to share, and we can play volleyball, feed the goats, and relax around the campfire.
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. We know of at least one CSA member who is interested in splitting this share, so if you think you'd like to to participate but you're not sure how to use all the veggies, let us know and we can connect you.
Week 16 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!
Vegetarian Leek and Mushroom Breakfast Hash
Irish Potato Cakes
Kale Salad with Blueberries
Fresh Tomato Tart
Baby Bok Choy with Cashews
Buttery Garlic Green Beans
Easy Fried Cabbage
Chicken with Radishes
The Best Classic Shepherd's Pie
Carrot Christmas Loaf Cake
Vegetable List and Storage Information
BEANS (RATTLESNAKE VARIETY) - 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.
BOK CHOY, BABY SIZE - Bok choy, which may be written as bok choi, bok choy, or pac choi, is a traditional stir-fry vegetable from China. Choy grows in elongated, upright heads of dark green leaves with large, white stems. The leaves can be cooked and eaten like spinach, while the crisp stems can be used like celery or asparagus. To store: Cut off any yellow leaves. Store wrapped loosely in plastic bag (or a Green bag) in the refrigerator. To prep: Wash and removed any damaged yellowing leaves. Cut off the root tip — about an inch worth. If the stems are thick, cut the leaves from the stems and cook them separately a few minutes before you add the leaves. To freeze: Cut the stems from the leaves and chop to desired size. Store those separately. Cut the leaves into ribbons or squares or keep whole. Store separately from stems. Bring salted pot of water to a boil. Boil the leaves in boiling pot of water for 90 seconds. Douse in ice water to stop the cooking process. Drain the leaves and squeeze out moisture. Place in Ziploc freezer bags, removing as much air as possible. Put in freezer. Blanch the stems separately for 2 minutes. Douse in ice water and drain before packing into separate Ziplocs.
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.
CABBAGE - To store: Place dry, unwashed cabbage heads in the refrigerator, preferably 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. Store for up to 3 months! To prep: Rinse the cabbage under cold water before use. Cut cabbage head first into quarters, then diagonally across the wedge. Be sure to remove the stem end and triangular core near the base. To use: Eat raw in salads, steamed, braised or fried. Turn raw cabbage into coleslaw or sauerkraut. Roast cabbage steaks/slices at 400 F drizzled with olive oil and salt. Or try stir-frying shredded cabbage in olive oil until wilted with a little bit of minced garlic. To freeze: Choose how to cut your heads based on your end use. Cook in boiling pot of water for 90 seconds. Douse in ice water to stop the cooking process. Drain the cabbage and dry as much as possible. Place in Ziplock freezer bags based on your portions you plan to use, and remove as much air as possible. Put in freezer.
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.
SWISS CHARD - Swiss chard has expansive, pocketed leaves with stems in a spectrum of colors: red, white, green, yellow. It is actually in the beet family but doesn't develop a bulb. Its leaves are more tender and delicate than other greens. Eat small leaves raw in salads and blanch or steam larger leaves. You can freeze chard for recipes later To store: Keep dry, unwashed greens in a sealed plastic bag in the refrigerator up to 2 weeks. To prep: Wash leaves in basin of lukewarm water to remove grit. Remove the thicker stems by folding the leaves down the center and cutting out the stem. Stack several leaves on top of each other and slice into 1-inch wide ribbons. To use: Add uncooked greens to a mixed green salad. Steam stem pieces 8-10 minutes, and leaves 4-6 minutes. Or sauté greens until tender in a large sauté pan with olive oil, a pinch of salt, and garlic or onion. Watch for color to brighten as this signals they are done. Serve cooked chard alone as a side dish or use them in soup or with pasta, beans, rice, or potatoes. Chard also goes great in stir-fries or in any recipe calling for spinach. To freeze: Blanch washed greens for 2-3 minutes. Rinse in cold ice water to stop the cooking. Drain and freeze.
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.