Week 16; September 20, 2012

What’s in the box?

FULL SHARE

bagged spinach

heirloom tomatoes

red and green bell peppers

red or orange sweet peppers

garlic

sweet potatoes

red onions

broccoli

sage

rainbow chard

mini Long Island Cheese Pumpkin

Black Futsu Winter Squash

SINGLE SHARE

bagged spinach

green and red bell peppers

red sweet peppers

garlic

onions

heirloom tomatoes

mini Long Island Cheese Pumpkin

BlackFutsu Winter Squash

Rainbow Chard

Sage

Broccoli (we ran out during packing, so a couple of drop sites got no broccoli, but more tomatoes and winter squash)

Notes on the box…

Winter Squash, onions, garlic, and sweet potatoes should be stored at room temperature and will keep for a minimum of 1 month, but likely longer.  Also keep your tomatoes out of the fridge.  The chard and broccoli will keep longer in a plastic bag (or wrapped in a damp towel in your fridge if you are avoiding plastic)  and should last for about a week.  Greens tend to get a little limp as they wait in the fridge, but will perk back up if you soak them in a sink with cold water for a few minutes.

The pumpkins and black futsu squash are both heirloom varieties.  The Long Island Cheese Pumpkin can be roasted and used in pies, or it can be seeded, peeled, and cubed to be used like butternut squash.  It is really pretty, so you can keep it around to look at for a while if you can resist eating it right away.  The Black Futsu (the bumpy one) is one that we grew a trial of last season.  We really liked it, so we grew enough for all members to get some this season.  Wash the outside of it well, then cut it in half and seed it, then cut along the ribs so that you have several half moons of squash.  Toss with olive oil and salt (you can add spices of your choice such as Indian spices or Chili, but the taste of the squash is amazing even without seasoning) and roast in a 400 degree oven for about a half hour, stirring half way during cooking.  You can eat the skin of this squash and the Long Island Cheese Pumpkin when they are roasted this way.  It has a nice nutty and sweet flavor.  You can let it cool and serve it on top of a raw spinach, diced red pepper,and onion salad with vinaigrette.

Black Futsu cut along ridges for roasting.           

Long Island Cheese Pumpkin and Black Futsu after roasting.

The spinach is tender and sweet and we suggest you eat it as you would salad greens.

The Rainbow Chard is looking particularly lovely!  All the greens are really bouncing back since the weather is cooled down and we’ve gotten some rain.  Yay!  Remember that the beautiful stems are edible.  I add them to any recipe for chard by chopping them and adding them in the beginning of the recipe (like at the same time as the onions) so that they get a chance to cook a bit.  They take longer to cook and the leaves cook down in a flash, so just plan the cook time so that the stems will get tender and the leaves won’t be over-done.

Last season we grew sweet potatoes, it was a decent yield, we had good feedback on them, and so this season we said, hey lets grow triple the amount, we liked growing them, yields were decent and people like em. Well… we tripled them and got enough for one delivery to the full shares. Half of them died in a cold snap in the spring, and then being as dry as it was out here we didn’t see much size development.  Win some, lose some. We will keep at it and grow them again next season!

We had our first frost Mon. (light, 31 degrees) but that brings the peppers to an end.  The greens will sweeten up. Broccoli the same, but it will be slower to develop. Heirloom tomatoes are in the greenhouse, so they will keep puttering along even in the cold, but you can tell they are wanting to quit and the texture will be a little mealy, as if they had been stored in a refrigerator.

With just two weeks left we will be diving into the leeks, brussel sprouts, more spinach, and hopefully carrots. Because of our multiple attempts at planting because of poor germination in the heat, they got in the ground quite late and are barely half the size of a finger so it will be a race to the finish. They are covered with row cover, hopefully that will help them along!

Recipes…

 Spinach Salad.  This sounds like a nice hearty onion,bacon and egg addition to your spinach. with a nice bacon dressing recipe.

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Mushroom and Spinach (or Chard) Stuffed Peppers  from Farmer John’s Cookbook (I usually adapt the recipes for the blog to reflect what is in the CSA box, but this is just as printed in the cookbook.  Feel free to improvise, add, and substitute as you wish!  I’m sure you are getting to be great at “cooking off the cuff” at this point in the season!)

 4 Quarts Water                                                4 Bell Peppers, any color, tops sliced off,

1 TBSP salt, plus more to taste                             seeds removed (reserve and chop the

¼ cup butter, divided                                            flesh around the stems)

1 onion, minced, (about 1 cup), divided       1 ½ cups uncooked rice

½ lb. mushrooms, chopped                               1 cup finely diced celery

¼ cup finely diced carrots                                 ¼ cup fresh or frozen corn

1 handful spinach or chard, chopped          1 tsp fresh minced ginger (optional)

2 cloves garlic, minced                                      dash cayenne pepper

1 Tomato, peeled, seeded, diced                ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided

fresh ground black pepper                                    plus more to taste

Preheat oven to 350.  Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil in a large soup pot; add the peppers and 1 TBSP of salt.  Cook the peppers until almost soft, 3-4 minutes.  Remove the peppers from the water and set in a colander to drain (reserve the cooking water in the pot).  Transfer the peppers to a rack, cut sides up and let cool.

Heat 2 TBSP of butter in a medium skillet over medium heat.  Add half the onions, sauté until translucent and soft, about 5 minutes.  Add the rice and continue cooking, stirring frequently, until the rice begins to turn golden, about 10 minutes.  Add 3 cups of the peppers cooking water and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until the liquid is completely absorbed, 12 to 15 minutes.

Melt the remaining butter in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the chopped pepper tops, the remaining onions, mushrooms, celery, corn, spinach or chard, ginger if using, garlic, and cayenne; sauté until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.  Add salt to taste.

Combine the rice and sautéed vegetables in a large bowl, stir in the tomato and half the Parmesan cheese.  Season with pepper to taste.  Fill each pepper case with the filling and arrange them in a 9-inch square baking dish.  Garnish with the remaining cheese; add more if desired.  Spread any extra filling around the peppers.  Bake until heated through, about 20 minutes.

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Sweet Potatoes mash with pecans

  • 2 lbs of peeled sweet potatoes;
  • ½ cup soft butter or olive oil
  • 2 green onions, chopped;
  • 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon;
  • ¼ cup toasted pecans;
  1. In a large pot, bring water to a boil and cook potatoes until soft enough to mash.
  2. Strain the potatoes and return them to pot. Add the butter and mash until all butter is melted and potatoes are smooth.
  3. Add onions and cinnamon and mix thoroughly to ensure the cinnamon is dispersed evenly.
  4. In a small skillet over medium heat, toast pecans. Once finished, add to the potatoes.

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Sweet Potato, Broccoli, and Tomato Stew from Farmer John’s CookBook

2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 large onion, sliced
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1- 28 oz. jar stewed tomatoes (or 3 to 4 cups cut up fresh ones)
2 cups cooked or canned garbanzo beans, drained
1 ½ cups chicken or vegetable stock or water
3 medium sweet potatoes (about 1 pound, cubed)
1 medium head broccoli, cut into large chunks (about 2 cups)
Freshly ground pepper
Salt

Heat the oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion; cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, garbanzo beans, stock, and sweet potatoes. Simmer, partially covered, for 15 minutes. Add the broccoli, cover, and simmer until the sweet potatoes and broccoli are tender, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

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Sauteed Swiss Chard Stem with Cream and Pasta  

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Chard and Sweet Potato Gratin 

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Swiss Chard soup . It’s an italian soup that calls for anchovy filet and rosemary.. but maybe chicken stock and some sage would be a good sub.

On the Farm…..

The harvest party was a great time!  It’s always a real pleasure to meet our members and see people that we might only see once per year at the party.  It’s amazing to see kids that have been members for several years and how much they grow from year to year.  We love sharing food with our members and we love it when our farm crew tries to embarrass us by eating Doritoes at the harvest party!  Thanks so much for coming out!  Hope to see you all again next season or before then!

So about those Doritoes…. We are Organic farmers, but we aren’t purists. We have indulged in fun things like “junk food Friday” and “two-for-one burgers at the local bar on Mondays” over the seasons.  We daily try to reach “peak-caffine” with our coffee intake and have been urged by the farm crew to “keep the sweets train rolling!”  But we also eat a ton of vegetables!  It’s all about balance, right?  So you guys will be happy to know that in celebration of the cold wet weather, we kept our Turnip Rock tradition.  It goes like this…  It’s a cold, wet, windy, miserable day.  Everyone suits up and goes to work in the miserable weather with sniffling noses and VERY cold fingers.  Everyone is happy when the 10 hour day is over.  The next morning, the same thing happens. But at lunch we get to make a special announcement…  “Mandatory field trip to Action City”  Everyone finishes lunch, gets changed, and piles into the car for a trip to Eau Claire where we play video games, drive go-carts, and play Lazer-Tag.  Our crew works so hard in every type of weather with great positive attitudes.  It’s really nice to be relaxed, care-free (and warm and dry) for an afternoon!

Lauren, our (guitar) hero!

Josh and Craig shooting alien robots.

Craig is a proto-human and can shoot alien robots with two hands.

Derek, usually seen racing the farm Gator.

Otto experiences sensory overload.

***Not Pictured – Cassandra getting down on the Dance Dance Revolution and Rama alternating Street Fighter, Motorcycle Racing, and toddler chasing.

Back to work!

A whole lotta love, your momma will be proud of this one!

Derek washing chard

spinach

hoophouse tomatoes still kickin after the frost

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