2016 CSA – Week 2: Storing Produce

CSA Week 2 Graphic

CSA Newsletter – Week 2


Storing Produce

Storing produce is not only important for you to make the most of your box, but it is also an essential part of our farming operation. Throughout the season and especially during fall, we will harvest large quantities of a crop that matures at the same time such as cabbage, winter squash, beets, carrots, and other root vegetables. These crops are stored in large totes, cardboard boxes, or wooden crates. Some produce does best stored just above freezing while other produce keeps best at warmer temperatures.

Proper storage is so critical for our farming operation because we often harvest more produce than we can sell immediately. Proper storage techniques help us hold our harvest so that we can sell it gradually, over time. On the farm, we have two walk in coolers where space is at a premium, especially during fall harvest. But we also have to get creative when space is limited. In the fall we convert our propagation houses into winter squash storage and the shelves in our packing shed fill up with bins of onions.

This week is all about proper produce storage so that you can make the most of your CSA. So don’t feel overwhelmed if you have more potatoes or carrots than you can eat this week. Store them properly and you can eat them several weeks from now!  The backside of the newsletter has a storage guide that we have compiled over the years. If you have any storage tips or tricks that you would like to share, we would love to hear from you!

– Lily Walton, CSA Coordinator

 

Table of Box Contents:

☐ 1½ lbs Potatoes ($4.50)

☐ Swiss Chard ($3.00) separate the stems from the leaves for cooking. Great sautéed and cooks a bit quicker than kale.

☐ Bunch Beets ($3.50) roast or boil the beats and use the greens for sautéing. Balsamic vinegar and goat chèvre with beets is a personal favorite.

☐ Arugula ($3.00) Use as a salad green, in sandwiches, pasta salad, or even make pesto!

☐ Baby Onions ($2.50) Onions with a bonus! Use the greens as you would scallions.

☐ 2 Zucchini ($1.50)

☐ Kohlrabi ($1.25) Delicious fresh or dressed in salads

☐ 2 cucumbers ($2.00)

☐ Dry Garlic ($1.50) Bend this up with some arugula or basil for fresh pesto

☐ Storage Onion ($1.50)

☐ Bunch Basil ($3.00) trim the stems and place them in a glass or jar of water, just like cut flowers. Loosely cover it with a plastic bag and leave it on the counter.

☐ 1 Siletz Tomato ($2.50)

☐ 1 Pint of peas ($4.00) great for eating fresh, in salads, or in stir-fry.

☐ Lettuce ($2.00)

Box value at the farmers’ market: $35.75

 

Storage Tips:

VEGETABLE & storage time HOW TO STORE LONG TERM STORAGE TIPS (The big four: Freezing, Canning, Pickling, Dehydrating)
GREENS AND HERBS: Tender greens last about1 week; hardy greens 2 weeks. Store wrapped in a paper towel (or a mesh greens-bag if you have one) inside of a container or bag in the fridge.  Greens with their roots still attached keep well in a bowl of water. * Many types of herbs can be dried by hanging upside down with twine in a dry, sunny place.

* Many greens can be blanched and frozen. Or, make greens-pesto and freeze it.

* Hardier greens like kale can be coated with oil, salt & pepper, and baked to make chips.

DRY ROOTS

like potatoes, onions, garlic:

1-2 months

Keep them cool and dry. Keep potatoes in the dark lest the sunshine turn them green. * Potatoes do NOT freeze well.

* Make vegetable stock! Throw in almost any veggies and herbs, bring to a boil, simmer 30 min, strain, and freeze until you need it.

FRESH ROOTS like beets, carrots, radishes, onions:
1-2 months
Break off tops so the greens don’t continue to draw sugar out of the roots. Store in a closed container in fridge. Don’t scrub or peel until you’re ready to eat them, or they will get soft faster. * Many roots make good refrigerator pickles. Slice and cover with a mixture of your favorite vinegar, a spoonful of salt and sugar, and spices (like mustard seed, dill, coriander, etc.). After about 3 weeks the flavors will start to meld.

* Slice, coat with oil and dehydrate for chips.

TOMATOES

1-2 weeks

Store at room temperature. Don’t put them in the fridge or they will get watery and weird! Keep them dry. Tomatoes are superstars for canning or dehydrating. Sauce can also be frozen, but the texture and flavor will not be quite the same.
MISCELLANEOUS VEGGIES  (broccoli, fennel, cabbage, etc.) and FRUITS (any “vegetable” with seeds inside, like zucchini, pepper, cucumber, etc.):
1-2 weeks
Most veggies like to be kept dry in the fridge with limited air exposure. DO NOT GET FRUITS WET. Plastic or glass containers are great; plastic bags are not quite as good because they limit air circulation too much.

Melons, eggplant, tomatillos, and peppers can stay at room temp a few days, but they prefer it cooler for longer storing.

* Many veggies can be blanched and frozen.

* Grate carrots or zucchini into muffins, and freeze to pull out for breakfast later.

* Refrigerator pickles (see above). Pickled peppers and cucumbers are especially popular, but there’s no reason not to get creative with veggies like broccoli, green beans or fennel!

* Make sauerkraut out of extra cabbage by slicing and keeping it immersed in salt water.

* Brush thinly-sliced veggies like squash, beets, parsnips, etc. with oil and salt. Dehydrate for chips.

* With tomatillos, make salsa verde for canning or blanch and freeze.

 

May 21st Market Recipes- featuring Fava Beans

We were all grateful for the sunshine yesterday down at the waterfront. Our market crew finished breaking down the booth just before the rain set in, we couldn’t have planned it better. Many veggies made their debut in the sunlight, including fava beans and zucchini. Here’s what we sampled:20160521_103209 (2) resized

FAVA BEANS WITH GARLIC SCAPES:

Fava beans are rich in protein and have a nutty, buttery flavor. Sadly, they are often overlooked as they can be timely to prepare. To some extent, this can’t be avoided and joy must be found in the shelling process itself. However there are certain ways to simplify things. Most often, I shell the beans by snapping the pods in half and popping the beans out with my thumbs. After that, I never remove the skins from the individual beans as is traditionally done. They’re delicious with or without their skins, and these beans are sold by weight, so why take the time to remove valuable nutrients? Another approach is to cook whole pods, either via steaming or grilling, sort of like edamame. This way you can simply remove the beans by hand as you eat them. 20160521_084146 resized (2)

  • 1 Willamette Sweet Onion, sliced thinly
  • 1 bunch Garlic Scapes, roughly chopped
  • 3 lbs. Fava Bean pods (~3 cups shelled beans)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Directions:

  1. Coat the bottom of the pan in olive oil and heat up to medium.
  2. Once up to temperature, add in sliced onion. Sauté about 10 minutes until translucent, stirring occasionally.
  3. Stir in 2-3 pinches salt and pepper.
  4. Add in chopped garlic scapes and fava beans. If the pan is getting dry, add in a bit more oil to prevent burning. Sauté about 7 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Remove a bean from the pan and eat it. If you think it needs more time, sauté a few more minutes. If it’s just about perfect, turn off the pan and they beans will finish off cooking a bit as they cool. Add more salt and pepper to taste if need be.20160521_113305 (2)

 

CSA 2011 – Week 20: This Land is Your Land

As many of you know, we have added on small chunks of land here and there for the past few years now. One of our newest additions is right across the street from our main production greenhouse. This past spring, the owners of the property had the hybrid tulip poplars removed and we transplanted our fall brassicas into the field in July. Those brassicas are now thriving and that is where your past few week’s of kales and collards were planted.

This next year is going to be a whole new story for us. We are taking over the lease of a 70– acre plot of land formerly farmed by a transitional organic grain farmer. Much of this land is 3 years away from being certified organic, so we are coming up with what to do with it until then. For now, Dan and John are in the process of moving the whole compost operation and equipment over there right now. We may lease some of the land to livestock raising, or maybe grow some transitional organic sweet corn there.

The main goal and excitement behind this huge chunk of land is not to actually grow more vegetables, but to be able to give large parcels of land a rest. We could then grow cover crops for longer, while cutting disease pressure at the same time. This is still in the works, but there’s no doubt it leaves a lot of possibilities for the future at GTF.

Parsnip Puree
1 pound parsnips, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces.
2-3 medium baked potatoes
1/2 cup cream or sour cream
4 tablespoons butter, softened
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger (optional)
Pinch nutmeg
Salt and pepper to taste

Cook parsnips in boiling salted water about 20 minutes or until tender. Drain and puree in a food processor along with scooped out potato flesh. Add cream, butter and ginger and process until well blended. Season to taste. *Parsnips have a wonderful sweet flavor, and go great with carrots too. Try using them in soup, or roasted!

Squash Towels! Have any old large bath towels laying around the house that need a new home? Bring them down to GTF! We have been enjoying a wonderful squash washing season and are in need of old towel donations for drying them. We’ll gladly take them off your hands!

What’s in the Box?

1.5 lb Red Potatoes (Colorado rose or Rose gold) – Steam, roast, fry, mash, these are versatile.

Carrots, bulk (~1 lb) – Shred them on salad, sauté in butter with salt, or eat plain.

3 onions (2 yellow, 1 red)– Caramelize, eat raw sliced thin on sandwiches, or add to a slaw or potato salad.

1 bunch beets– Cut beets off greens. Boil, roast or fry beets. Try grating them raw. Use the greens too! Sautee with olive oil or butter, salt, and pepper.

1 ambercup squash– Cut in half, remove seeds, place on a sheet pan, flesh side down. You may oil the pan a bit so it does not stick. Add a couple cups of water too, so the squash steams slightly. Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes-1 hour. You can use this squash in place of pumpkin in any recipe, or make a soup with it! Ambercup tends to be a bit on the dry side so it may need more moisture.

Bok Choy– Sauté in butter or olive oil and salt. It goes great with fish. Add chile flakes for a kick.

1 red Italian pepper, 1 red bell—Grill, roast, or just eat raw; they are sweet.

2 Leeks– Use in soups or sautés. Chop them, then rinse them a bit. Dirt gets inside leek layers easily.

Parsnip-Chop into small pieces and use in soups or roast with other vegetables.

1 tomato– Chop and put in soup or salad. Add to sandwiches or wraps.

Balsamic Carrot Salad
1 pound carrots, peeled and julienne small (thinly sliced pieces)
2-3 celery stalks, chopped fine
2 red peppers, seeded and cut into small slices
2 bunches green onions, chopped
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
1 1/2 cups balsamic dressing

For the dressing:
2 teaspoons Dijon-type mustard
1/4 cup plus 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1 cup extra virgin olive oil

Mix the mustard and vinegar. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil while whisking or mixing the vinegar. Add salt and honey to taste.

For the salad, combine all the ingredients and serve. You may use grated kohlrabi in place of the celery. Try adding some finely chopped red onion, or grated beets!

Beet Soup
6 medium beets
4 tablespoons butter
1 quart filtered water
Sea salt or fish sauce and pepper
2 tablespoons finely chopped green onions or parsley for garnish
crème fraiche or sour cream

Peel beets, chop coarsely and sauté very gently in butter for about 1/2 hour or until tender. Add water, bring to a boil and skim. Simmer about 15 minutes. Puree soup with a handheld blender, or food processor. Season to taste. Garnish with chopped green onions and sour cream or creme fraiche.

Ambercup Leek Soup
1 ambercup squash
2 leeks
2 tablespoons butter
6 cups water, or stock
1 cup milk or cream
Salt and pepper

Chop the leeks into small slices. Heat a large pot up with the butter. Once the butter is melted, add the leeks. Meanwhile, cut the rind off of the squash; either a knife or a peeler may work. Cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Cut the squash up into 1-inch size cubes. Once the leeks are soft and cooked, add the squash and continue cooking for another 15 minutes or so. Add the water/ stock and milk. Bring to a boil and then turn down to low and cover. Simmer for about 30 minutes or until the squash is cooked all the way. Puree with a handheld or standup blender. Season to taste and serve.

CSA 2011 – Week 17: More on Storing Vegetables!

It’s hard to believe, but melons are gone and squash is here! There will most likely be a winter squash in each box for the rest of the season. Provided below is more information on storing and keeping vegetables. These are storing tips from Johnny’s Seed catalog.

Vegetables that last…

1-2 months: Brussels sprouts, Chinese cabbage, kohlrabi, parsley, turnips, winter squash (acorn and delicata).
2-4 months: Leeks, pumpkins, radishes, winter squash (buttercup, hubbard, kabocha, and Spaghetti).
4 months plus: Beets, cabbage, carrots, celeriac, garlic, Jerusalem artichoke, onions, parsnips, dried hot peppers, potatoes, rutabagas, butternut squash.

Temperature and humidity play a big role in a vegetable’s ability to store. Here are some tips on how these vegetables store best below:

Cold and Humid: Beets, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celeriac, leeks, parsley, radishes, rutabagas, and turnips.
Cool and Humid: Potatoes.
Cold and Dry: Garlic and Onions (this is why these are best stored when dry in a paper bag, or a bag with holes; not plastic).
Cool and Dry: Pumpkins, winter squash.

Winter Squash Information:
Acorn: Last up to 3 months
Spaghetti Squash: Lasts up to 3 months
Delicata and similar types: Stores up to 4 months
Buttercup: Sweeter after storing for a few weeks; keeps up to 4 months
Kabocha: Gets sweeter when stored for a few weeks; green varieties keep from 4-5 months. Grey varieties will keep up to 6 months.
Butternut and Hubbard: Best a few weeks after harvest; will store up to 6 months.
All Squash stores best if it’s stem is still intact.

Squash Towels! Have any old towels laying around the house that need a new home? Bring them down to GTF! We are at the brink of a wonderful squash washing season and are in need of old towel donations for drying them. We’ll gladly take them off your hands!

What’s in the Box?

1.5 lb Potatoes (nicola)– Steam, roast, fry, mash; you can do just about anything with these!

Carrots, bunched – Shred them on salad, sauté in butter with salt, or eat plain.

2 onions (wallas)– Caramelize, eat raw sliced thin on sandwiches, or add to a slaw or potato salad.

1 bunch of scallions– Chop raw for salad, mix chopped green tops with cheese or eggs.

2 delicata squash– Roast with olive oil and salt, add onions, scallions, or even chopped peppers if you’d like.

1 bunch of red kale– Sauté in butter or olive oil and salt. (See recipe)

2 colored peppers- Grill, roast, or just eat raw; they are sweet.

1 bag baby onions – Cut them into quarters and add to vegetable roasts or sautés.

1 Cauliflower or Romanesco– Roast with olive oil and salt, top with cheese and scallions.

Red oak, cardinal, red Leaf, or green leaf lettuce- Make a salad, or add to sandwiches. Use to make lettuce wraps.

Tomatoes (approximately 2 lbs) – Chop raw on salad or sandwiches.

Roasted Cauliflower with cheese
1 large head or 2 small heads of cauliflower or Romanesco, cut into quarter size or larger pieces.
4 tablespoons of melted butter
Handful of baby onions(6 or so), cut in half and then sliced into quarters
1/2 cup of shredded parmesan cheese
1/4 cup finely chopped green onion tops
Pinch of salt
1 cup of sourdough or whole grain bread crumbs (optional)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Mix the cauliflower, onions, scallion tops, butter and salt together. Place in a baking pan or dish and in the oven for about 20 minutes or until the cauliflower is mostly cooked but not brown yet. Add the shredded cheese on top and continue roasting until the cheese melts and starts to bubble and turn a light shade of brown. Add the bread crumbs in with the cheese if you want bread crumbs. This dish is versatile and a variety of seasonings can be used in it, such as chile flakes, chopped peppers, tomatoes, or even parsley. Mix it up! Try new things!

Roasted Delicata Squash
Cut the squash in half. Remove the seeds (you can save these seeds and roast them for eating or dry them for planting). Cut the squash up into 1/2 inch pieces. Place in a baking pan or casserole dish with olive oil, some pieces of butter and salt. Bake at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes, checking the squash and mixing it every 10 minutes or so. For a crispier, more caramelized flavor turn the oven on broil for about 3-5 minutes at the end. Keep a close eye on it, the squash will brown fast. I like to eat the skins of the delicata, they are not tough and have a good flavor. Try seasonings with minced garlic if you want! But it’s wonderful plain as well.

Dan the Man’s Red Kale Specialty
1 bunch red kale
1 tablespoon soy sauce
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 c rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1/3 c extra virgin olive oil

Cut the leaves of the kale off where they end. You can remove the stem part if it’s too thick for your liking. Chiffonade (cut very thinly) the leaves and combine all the ingredients into one bowl. Mix thoroughly and serve. You can let it sit for 15-20 minutes before serving if you like, the kale will seem more cooked if you do. Dan says this recipe is a great way to eat any type of kale and the two acids in the recipe are what actually cook the kale. It is also great leftover the next day, the kale is tender as if it had been lightly cooked. Adjust the ingredients to your liking. If you like more soy sauce and less rice vinegar try that, or add some raw minced garlic if you want.

Enjoy!

CSA 2011 – Week 10: Cold Preparation Ideas

It’s official, it’s August and the heat is finally on. I think that everyone is feeling the pressure. We were able to harvest some of our first planting of melons that the crows attacked a few weeks ago. Meanwhile, we have been swimming in tomatoes, and yes, peppers are here! Hopefully soon we will be getting enough red and orange ones to give you all some of those!

This time of year I try to remind myself that it is normal to be stressed, and also that I am not the only one feeling it. I also tend to enjoy colder foods instead of hot prepared items. So here I will provide some cold preparation ideas for this week’s box. With a little innovation, you can pretty much prepare any vegetable in a cold manner, which is a nice relief in this hot weather. It’s sure hard to eat hot soup in the summer! More on cold soups next week.

Carrot/ Beet Slaw:
1 bunch of carrots, shredded
1 bunch of beets, shredded
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
This slaw would make a great addition to a sandwich
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
or wrap, or just eat it plain as a side dish.
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 Tablespoons stone ground mustard
2 Tablespoons honey
Salt to taste
1/2 cup chopped parsley

*Combine all ingredients and season to taste.

Bean and Potato salad
1 lb bag of green beans
1 lb or so of purple potatoes
1/2 red onion, finely chopped

Dressing:
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon stone ground mustard
1 tablespoon honey
Pinch of salt

Cut or snap tough ends of beans off. Blanch them in boiling water for about 2-3 minutes. Chill , set aside.

Boil potatoes whole for 20-30 minutes, or until cooked all the way. Cool and then chop into 1-inch cubes.

Combine beans with potatoes, onions, and the dressing. Serve cold.
Note: You may add more or less dressing to your liking, or use more or less vinegar or olive oil depending on how acidic you like your dressing.

If anyone has a recipe they would like to share with everyone else, feel free to e-mail it to me, and I will try to include it in a future newsletter.

*Reminder: CSA tour, melon and tomato tasting this weekend! August 28th, 2-5pm Be there or be square!*

What’s in the box?

1.5 lb Potatoes (purple majesty)– Steam, roast, or mash. These are versatile. (see recipe)

Carrots, bunched – They are great raw, on salad, slaw or stir fried.

2 Onions (1 Big Alsea craig white onion, 1 red) – Chop the onions and eat raw on salads
or soups. (see recipe)

1 Bunch Beets– Shred raw on salad, boil or roast and marinate. (see recipe)

1 Purple or Green Pepper—Grill, roast, or just eat raw. (see recipe)

1 Anaheim Pepper– Chop raw, and add to salsa, salad, or sauté with summer squash.

Assorted Summer Squash – Try them sautéed, grilled, in a soup, sautéed in butter, grated for fritters, or make muffins!

1 lb Green Beans– Blanch them and then sauté with olive oil, salt, garlic and herbs.

1 Bunch Fresh Shallots – chop and sauté in olive oil or butter, use in place of garlic with beans. Try roasted with potatoes, they have a wonderful flavor.

Red Leaf Lettuce – Make a salad, or add to sandwiches, make lettuce wraps.

Tomatoes (approximately 2 lbs)– Chop raw on salad, or sandwiches.

4 ears of Corn– First corn of the season! Grill in husk or steam for a few minutes. Eat plain or add salt and butter.

Recipes:

Peppers and Onions

1 large onion ( add shallots for more flavor), sliced
2 peppers (Anaheim and green or purple would work fine)
1 tablespoon butter
1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon dried fine herbs (oregano, thyme, or sage work well)
2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1/2 cup finely shredded basil leaves
Sea salt and pepper

  • Sauté onions and peppers gently in butter and olive oil for about 45 minutes until soft.
  • Add herbs, crushed garlic and basil and cook another few minutes, stirring constantly. The consistency should be like marmalade. Season to taste.
  • Serve as a side dish or as an appetizer on triangle croutons.

    Variation: Add cooked sausage to the mix and eat all together, on top of some smashed potatoes, or just on a roll with some mustard. Even add some chopped tomatoes towards the end for more flavor!

Stuffed Tomatoes

3 large tomatoes
Sea salt and pepper
2 slices whole grain bread
2 tablespoons butter, softened
2 tablespoons parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 teaspoon fine herbs

  • Slice tomatoes in half around the equator, remove the seeds and place cut side up in a buttered baking dish.
  • Sprinkle with a little sea salt and pepper. Process bread in a food processor to make fine crumbs.
  • Add butter, cheeseand herbs and pulse a few times until well blended.
  • Spread a spoonful of stuffing over each tomato half.
  • Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.

    Variation: Try using sautéed summer squash in place of bread crumbs, or sauté shallots and add them in as well. A soft cheese goes well in this too.