2016 CSA – Week 18: After the Harvest

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CSA Newsletter – Week 18


After the Harvest

I said my goodbyes to a house of heirloom tomatoes as I helped clear it out for the next planting. It is another reminder of the changing seasons and another reminder that a farmer’s work is never done!

When we harvest many of our crops, such as beets, turnips, potatoes, more often than not, the whole plant is harvested and the field is pretty much cleared and ready to be turned over to the next crop in the rotation. Sometimes, we add an amendment or two and then we turn over the soil and prep it to receive the next planting.

However, some crops require more work before the ground is ready for the next planting. Crops such as tomatoes, eggplant, and cucumbers that are harvested continuously often require trellising infrastructure. Once the crop is done producing, the plant matter, up to 10 ft. tall, must be uprooted and hauled away. This can be a messy job as there are inevitably some rotting vegetables in the houses as well. The trellising setup must be dis-assembled and any drip irrigation must be removed. Only then can the soil be prepared for the next planting.

It’s a lot of work but I think that we can agree that the delicious results are worth the extra effort!

 

Table of Box Contents

☐  Lettuce ($2.00)

☐  1½ lbs Huckleberry Gold Potatoes ($3.00) – Beautiful purple potatoes with yellow flesh that is creamy and buttery. Great as mashed potatoes, roasted, or baked.

☐  Scarlet Kabocha Squash ($4.50)

☐  1 lb Sunchokes ($4.00) – These knobby tubers caramelize beautifully when roasted. See recipe.

☐  Bok Choy ($3.00) – This beautiful, Asian vegetable is delicious in stir-fries and soups.

☐  2 Colored Peppers ($1.25)

☐  1 Bunch Colored Carrots ($3.50)- This bunch of carrots not only beautiful but they are just as delicious as they look!

   Romanesco ($6.25) – This fractal vegetable is beautiful and delicious! It is in the brassica family and is related to broccoli and cauliflower. Blanch it in boiling water and then shock it under cold water or in an ice bath. Us it in stir-fries, salads, or grill it!

☐  1 Dried Sweet Onion ($0.75)- Sweet onions don’t store as well as other varieties. It is delicious raw in salad, sautéed with greens, or in soup. 

  1 Dried Red Onion ($0.75)

☐  3 Roma Tomatoes ($3.00) – These tomatoes are great for sauce, soups, or roasting. They have firm flesh and are less juicy which lends itself to cooking but they are also delicious in salsa. If you want to save them for soups or sauces for winter, you can freeze the tomatoes whole.

 Box Market Value: $32.00

 

Recipes

Creamy Kabocha Squash Polenta

 I tend to roast squash and eat with a little butter and salt, but if you wanted to incorporate it in a dish, polenta is a perfect base.

 Ingredients

  • 1 Kabocha Squash
  • ½ cup cream
  • 2 cups polenta
  • 2 oz parmesan, grated
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  1. Remove stem from squash. Halve, scoop seeds, and bake face down in 1/2″ water at 400 F until tender, 20-30 minutes. Allow to sit for about 10 minutes. Scoop flesh into bowl with an immersion blender or blender. Add the cream and blend to get a thick and very smooth purée. Season with salt.
  2. Bring 3 cups water to a boil with 1 t salt. Stir in polenta and stir until your arm wants to fall off – about 30 minutes. Try to stir as much as possible as it makes it creamier. At around the 20-minute mark, stir in the kabocha and cheese. Season with nutmeg and white pepper and salt to taste.

Read More: Food52

 

Roasted Sunchokes

This knobby tuber caramelizes wonderfully when roasted.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb Sunchokes, scrubbed
  • ½ tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped Italian or curled parsley (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees
  2. Scrub the Sunchokes with a potato brush and chop into 1 inch bite-size chunks
  3. Toss in a medium sized bowl with olive oil, salt and pepper until coated
  4. Place onto a baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes, turning once, until the skin is slightly browned
  5. Sprinkle with fresh parsley. Serve plain or with a side of ketchup.

Read More: OliveandHerb

 

Sautéed Romanesco with Garlic

Any fresh vegetable sautéed is bound to be delicious. I find that with most things, getting them a little color or even char greatly enhances their flavor and texture. In addition to sautéed garlic, try incorporating caramelized onions or shallots into this recipe.

Ingredients

  •  1 head of Broccoli Romanesco, cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 good pinch of salt
  • 2 cloves of garlic, pressed and mixed with 1 tbs water
  • Parmesan or Romano cheese to taste

  Directions

  1. Bring some well-salted water to a boil.
  2. Cook the Romanesco pieces until just tender, about 3 or 4 minutes
  3. Drain the broccoli pieces and run under cold water until they are cool.
  4. Heat the oil in a pan until it is a hot and begins to shimmer
  5. Add the garlic and for 30 seconds. It should start to smell good and garlicky.
  6. Now add the Romanesco and a pinch of salt and sauté for 2-3 minutes.
  7. Grate cheese over warm Romanesco and enjoy!

 

2016 CSA – Week 17: Celeriac

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CSA Newsletter – Week 17


Celeriac: a very delicious, underrated vegetable

The bizarre-looking ball of root in your box this week is actually one of the most delicious flavors of fall. Don’t be deterred by its gnarly, knobby exterior, this fall crop is incredibly delicious when roasted, braised, made into soup, or even raw. If you can get past the unusual exterior and its somewhat cumbersome shape, I promise that celeriac won’t disappoint.

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Celeriac

Celeriac is a bit of a an exotic vegetable in that it is very slow growing and takes most of the growing season to mature. While plantings of such things as lettuce, cilantro, and spinach come and go, celeriac is seeded in late March and is in the ground from June to October. It is somewhat challenging to harvest because of its gnarly root system and it is a bit of a bear to wash because of all those crevices that the roots create.

If you want to sample this truly special vegetable, make it into soup with such things as leeks, apples, and potatoes or a gratin with potatoes. However, my favorite way to prepare celeriac is a bit more indulgent: celeriac fries with homemade mayonnaise. I find that the best way to appreciate its subtle flavor and creamy texture is to eat it on its own. No matter how you prepare celeriac, I hope that eating it is a pleasure!

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Kohlrabi

 

Table of Box Contents

Lettuce ($2.00)

☐  1½ lbs Potatoes ($2.25)

☐  Celeriac ($3.00) – Peal or cut off the outer skin of the celeriac and add to soups, mashed potatoes, or make fries. See recipe.

☐  1 Jester Squash ($2.25) – This squash is a cross between a delicata and an acorn squash. The flesh is most and sweet when cooked and the seeds are delicious roasted as well.

☐  1 Gil’s Golden Pippin Squash ($1.00) – This little acorn squash is delicious and sweet. The skin is thin enough to eat if you like and it is delicious roasted or sautéed.

  Savoy Cabbage ($2.75) – This beautiful cabbage can be used in any cabbage recipe and the leaves are particularly good for stuffing.

☐  2 Colored Peppers ($1.25)

☐  1 Bunch Golden Beets ($3.50) – Eat the beats and the greens too! Golden beets are delicious on their own or incorporated into a salad.  

☐  1 Bunch Arugula ($3.00) – Arugula is such a versatile green. It is delicious in salads, with eggs, on sandwiches, or even as pesto. See Recipe.

  2 Dried Sweet Onions ($1.50)

  1 Kohlrabi ($1.25) – Kohlrabi is delicious raw and cooked. Peal the outer skin and eat the crunchy, mild inside in salad, dips, or roasted. See Recipe.

☐  Cilantro ($2.00)

☐  1 Tomato ($2.00)

Box Market Value: $27.75

 

Recipes

Garlic & Herb Celeriac Fries

Use any herb combination you like or even just a little salt. For a delicious dip make some aioli or mix pesto with mayonnaise. For a simpler version, skip the boiling step and stick the celeriac fries strait in the oven.

Ingredients

  • 1 celeriac
  • 2 tbsp oil (olive oil or coconut oil works best)
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 stalks of rosemary

Preparation

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F.
  2. Peel and cut the celeriac in wedges or fries. Fill a pan with cold water and add the celeriac. Bring to the boil, drain the fries and allow them to steam dry. Add the oregano, garlic, salt and pepper and mix well.
  3. Heat the oil on a baking tray in the oven. When the oil is hot, remove from the oven and add the fries to the tray. Top with the rosemary stalks and return the tray to the oven for 35-40 minutes.

Read More: MyFussyEater

 

Kohlrabi

This may be another unfamiliar vegetable in your box this week. Kohlrabi is in the brassica family along with kale, broccoli, and cabbage. It is delicious raw in salads or slaws, sliced and eaten with hummus or other dips, or roasted. The possibilities are endless!

Roasted Kohlrabi with Parmesan

Ingredients

  • 6 kohlrabi
  • 2 table spoons olive oil
  • ¾ tsp kosher salt
  • a pinch of cayenne (optional)
  • 3 Tbsp. parmesan cheese
  • 1 Tbsp. parsley

Preparation

Peel kohlrabi and cut into 1-inch wedges; toss with olive oil, kosher salt and a pinch of cayenne on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast at 450 F, stirring every 10 minutes, until tender and golden, about 30 minutes. Toss with parmesan and 1 tablespoon chopped parsley.

Read More: FoodNetwork

For more information about Kohlrabi and for a list of kohlrabi recipes, visit SimplyRecipes.

 

Arugula Pesto

Pesto is a great way to preserve the flavors of herbs or greens for later use. Pest is delicious on pasta but also on roasted veggies or mixed with mayonnaise aioli for a delicious dip or dressing.

 Ingredients

  • 2 cups of packed arugula leaves, stems removed
  • 1/2 cup of shelled walnuts
  • 1/2 cup fresh Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 1/2 garlic clove peeled and minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Preparation

  1. Brown the garlic: Brown 6 garlic cloves with their peels on in a skillet over medium high heat until the garlic is lightly browned in places, about 10 minutes. Remove the garlic from the pan, cool, and remove the skins.
  2. Toast the nuts: Toast the nuts in a pan over medium heat until lightly brown, or heat in a microwave on high heat for a minute or two until you get that roasted flavor. In our microwave it takes 2 minutes.
  3. Process in food processor: (the fast way) Combine the arugula, salt, walnuts, roasted and raw garlic into a food processor. Pulse while drizzling the olive oil into the processor. Remove the mixture from the processor and put it into a bowl. Stir in the Parmesan cheese.

Adjust to taste: Because the pesto is so dependent on the individual ingredients, and the strength of the ingredients depends on the season or variety, test it and add more of the ingredients to taste.

Read More: SimplyRecipes

2016 CSA – Week 16: Root Cellar Farm Style

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CSA Newsletter – Week 16


Root Cellar Farm Style

It’s also that time of year that our coolers start to fill up with bins (25 to 60 ft2 ) of cabbage, carrots, potatoes, and beets. Soon, they will be joined by bins of parsnips, sunchokes, salsify, scorzanera, burdock, celeriac, and parsley root.

We have two walk-in coolers on the farm that we do store some of these root crops in, however, these coolers also hold all of the refrigerated produce that we send to market, all of the restaurant orders before they are delivered, and some CSA boxes too! Needless to say, it starts to get cozy in the coolers around this time of year.

We also have a shipping container that is modified to be a cold storage unit. It has a refrigeration system hooked up to it, and it is insulated with straw bales on the top and sides. We are able to store up to 36 bins of storage crops in this space but it is still not enough! As a result, throughout the season we store up to 60 bins of various crops every season at a cold storage facility nearby.

Root crops that are stored at their optimum temperature can last through the winter; on a small scale you would use a root cellar. We wash or clean one bin at a time and with so much variety, it is very important that we are able to keep the additional harvest fresh until it is ready to be washed and enjoyed.

Thanks in part to cold storage techniques, we are able to have a larger variety of produce in the winter months for folks like you and me to enjoy!

 

Table of Box Contents

  Lettuce ($2.00)

☐  1½ lbs Potatoes ($2.25) – Try them sautéed with kale, see recipe.

☐  1 Buttercup Squash ($4.00) – Buttercup squash has a smooth, dry texture and a lightly nutty flavor. It is delicious any way you cook it. Halved and baked, cubed or sliced and roasted, or in pie!

☐  2 Colored Peppers ($2.00)

☐  Bunch Radishes ($2.50) – Radishes are delicious raw in salads but they are equally delicious cooked. Try the recipe for braised radishes with shallots.

  Lacinato Kale ($3.00) – Fall kale is a bit bitter before the frost so I prefer to sauté or blanch it before eating.

  2 Dried Yellow Onions ($1.25)

  1 Dried Shallot ($1.00) – Shallots taste somewhere between garlic and onion and are delicious raw in salads as well as caramelized with just about anything.

☐  Broccoli ($3.50)

☐  4 Ears Corn ($4.00) – If you don’t eat the corn straight off the cob, try making grilled corn guacamole. See recipe.

☐   ̴ 1 lb Big Beef Tomatoes ($3.00)

 Box Market Value: $28.50
Recipes

Grilled Corn Guacamole

  • 3 ears Corn, Shucked
  • 6 whole Avocados, Diced
  • 1 whole Large Tomato, Diced
  • 1/3 cup Onion, Finely Diced
  • 2 cloves Garlic, Finely Minced
  • 2 Tablespoons Diced Fresh Jalapeno
  • 1 whole Lime, Juiced
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Ground Cumin
  • 1/2 cup Cilantro Leaves

Preparation

  1. Grill corn until nice and golden, with good grill marks on the kernels. Allow to cool a bit, then cut the kernels off the cobs. Set aside.
  2. Halve avocados and remove pit. Cut avocado into a dice inside the skin, then scoop out with a spoon.
  3. In a bowl, combine corn kernels, diced avocados, diced tomato, jalapenos, minced garlic, lime juice, salt, and cumin. Stir gently to combine. Add cilantro and stir in.

Read More: The Pioneer Woman

 

Radishes Braised with Shallots and Vinegar

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 slices bacon, diced
  • 2 large shallots, finely sliced
  • 1 pound radishes, about 2 bunches, tops trimmed and radishes sliced in half
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2/3 cup finely chopped Italian parsley
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

 Preparation

  1. Heat the butter and bacon over medium-high heat in a wide, heavy skillet — preferably cast iron. Cook for about 5 minutes. When the bacon is cooked through and getting crispy, place the radishes cut-side down in the pan and cook undisturbed for 2 to 3 minutes or until the bottoms begin to brown. Add the shallots and cook, stirring, for another minute.
  2. Add the balsamic vinegar and the water — the water should just come up around the sides of the radishes. Cover, lower the heat, and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the radishes are tender.
  3. Remove the lid and continue to simmer for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the liquid has reduced into a syrupy sauce. Add the the parsley and stir to wilt.
  4. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Read More: The Kitchn

 

Sautéed Potatoes with Black Kale and Nigella

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch black kale (about 1/2 pound), stemmed, leaves washed in 2 changes water
  • Salt
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 ½ pounds potatoes, such as yellow potatoes or Yukon golds, cut in small dice (about ½ inch)
  • 1 teaspoon nigella seeds
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 2 shallots, minced

Preparation

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. When water comes to a boil, salt generously and add kale. Blanch 2 to 3 minutes, until just tender. Transfer to a bowl of cold water, drain and squeeze out excess water. Cut squeezed bunches of kale into slivers and set aside.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over high heat in a heavy, preferably nonstick, 12-inch skillet and add potatoes. Turn heat down to medium-high and sear without stirring for 5 minutes, then shake and toss in pan for another 5 to 8 minutes, or until just tender and lightly browned. Add salt and continue to toss in pan for another minute or two, until tender. Add remaining teaspoon oil, shallots and nigella seeds and cook, stirring until shallots are tender and fragrant, about 3 minutes. Stir in kale and additional salt if desired and cook, stirring or tossing in the pan for another 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat, taste and adjust seasonings, and serve.