CSA Newsletter – Week 17
Come to the Pumpkin Patch!
It’s crazy to think that it’s already week 17 of our CSA! We only have four weeks to go for a total of 21 weeks of produce. Sally wants to let everyone know that you are all invited to come out to our pumpkin patch so that each person in your family can pick out a pumpkin! From now through October 14th, Tuesday–Saturday 9-5, come out to the Farmstand and ask where the pumpkin patch is. Our lovely staff will give each of you a doughnut and point you in the right direction.
Also, this year the Moreland and Shemanski Wednesday markets will be ending on October 25th, a week shy of our last CSA box. To those of you who pick up at either of those markets, make sure to let Will know as soon as possible which alternate pick-up location you would like to grab your 21st box from.
Alright, enough business! What’s really exciting is the fact that watermelon radishes are back in season!!! We started growing watermelon radishes about five years ago when our farming business partner in crime at that time, Wild Garden Seed, was working on breeding them on some of our land. I remember the process vividly, as I had no idea what was required to breed any vegetable. When you’re selecting watermelon radishes for seed, you want to make sure you’re only collecting seed from the best, most flavorful, pinkest radishes in the field. But how do you do that if you can’t see the radish under the ground? Apparently, they harvest the radishes and wash them just like normal. Then they sort the radishes by color. Right at the base of the root where it tapers down to a little tail, they look to see if there is a pink blush. The brightness of that spot is an indicator of how bright the radish is on the inside. Finally, they take all the brightest pink radishes to be re-planted, now called stecklings, and plant them back in the field to let them flower and go to seed. Then we buy that seed and grow them up to become radishes once again.
-Laura Bennett, firstname.lastname@example.org
Table of Box Contents
- Butternut Squash—As the name suggests, this squash is creamy like butter, with a nice sweet flavor.
- Celery—Our celery is looking beautiful out in the field. The plants are nearly quadruple the size of the celery bunch that you end up receiving, which is only the very center of the floret of stalks.
- Watermelon Radishes—To those of you who have yet to experience their magic, these radishes are extremely beautiful and delicious. They are white-green on the outside and have a burst of pink in the center, perfect sliced into thin discs into a salad. They’ve got a crisp, juicy texture and a well-rounded combination of sweetness and heat!
- Sweet Bell Pepper
- Sweet Jimmy Nardello Pepper
- Yellow Potatoes
- Chioggia Beets—Beets come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, and colors. These chioggias are striped with concentric circles of red and white inside, and have a milder flavor than red beets. They also don’t turn everything pink, and instead can be bright color accents in a salad.
- Collards—Collard greens are similar to kale with a lovely sweet broccoli-like flavor. Cooked down they become quite tender.
- Sweet Onion—This time of year I love making grilled cheese sandwiches with a layer of caramelized sweet onions inside.
- Red Onion—High in acid, great raw in salads, sandwiches, and slaws.
Celery, Apple, Watermelon Radish, & Sweet Pepper Slaw
- 1/4 cup cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp minced chives
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 tart apple, cored and cut into matchsticks
- 2 celery ribs, with leaves, thinly sliced on the diagonal
- 1/2 red cabbage, thinly sliced
- 1 watermelon radish, thinly sliced into disks and then matchsticks
- 1 sweet pepper, sliced into very thin strips
- fresh herb: finely-chopped basil, parsley, cilantro, etc.
To make the dressing, stir together the vinegar, chives, salt, pepper, lemon zest, and lemon juice in a small bowl. Whisk in the oil until well blended and set aside.
Combine the apple, celery, cabbage, radish, and pepper in a large serving bowl and toss with the dressing (which you should feel free to elaborate on with your own spice concoction; personally, I love adding sesame oil and crushed peanuts to slaws).
Refrigerate for a few hours before serving to let the slaw soak up all the flavors. It’s even better the next day! Serve chilled.
Coconut Butternut Squash Soup w/ Collards
“Once you’ve got the squash baked, this soup comes together quickly. The mellow flavors of squash, collards and red onions synergize delectably and look gorgeous together as well.”
- 1 large butternut squash (about 1 1/2 pounds)
- 2 tbsp olive oil or other vegetable oil
- 1 large yellow or sweet onion, chopped
- 1 medium apple, any variety, peeled and diced
- 2 cups prepared vegetable broth (or 2 cups water with 1 vegetable bouillon cube)
- 2 tsp good-quality curry powder
- 2 tsp grated fresh or jarred ginger, or more to taste
- pinch ground nutmeg or allspice
- salt to taste
- freshly ground pepper to taste
- 2 medium red onions, quartered and thinly sliced
- 1 good-sized bunch collards (about 10 to 12 ounces)
Heat about half the oil in a soup pot. Add the onion and sauté over medium-low heat until golden, about 8 to 10 minutes.
Add the apple, squash, broth and spices. Bring to a steady simmer, then cover and simmer gently until the apples are tender, about 10 minutes.
Transfer the solids to a food processor with a slotted spoon, in batches if need be, and process until smoothly pureed, then transfer back to the soup pot. Or better yet, simply insert an immersion blender into the pot and process until smoothly pureed.
Stir in the coconut milk and return the soup to a gentle simmer. Cook over low heat for 5 to 10 minutes, until well heated through. Season with salt and pepper. If time allows, let the soup stand off the heat for an hour or two, then heat through as needed before serving.
Just before serving, heat the remaining oil in a large skillet. Add the red onions and sauté over low heat until golden and soft.
Meanwhile, strip the kale leaves off the stems and cut into thin shreds. Stir together with the onions in the skillet, adding just enough water to moisten the surface. Cover and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the kale is bright green and just tender, about 5 minutes.
To serve, ladle soup into each bowl, then place a small mound of kale and onion mixture in the center.