Embarrassing, but I am just getting this up, 4 days after our drop. I got so busy with canning lots of good things to eat, that I forgot! Now that I’ve got the apples turned into preserves and apples for crisps, peaches jammed with basil and another batch of cucumbers pickled, I’ve remembered to post what our members took home on Friday.
With our strange growing year, I’m lucky to be able to supplement shares with produce from my mother’s market garden from time to time. This week, there were quite a few additions: kohlrabi, cucumbers, tomatoes, green onions and green peppers. The summer squash, carrots, shallots, green beans and spaghetti squash are from the farm.
A few notes on the produce that you might not be very familiar with: the kohlrabi is a member of the cabbage family. My sister likes to peel and slice it and eat it with ranch dressing. They are supposed to be quite a tasty addition to soups and can be roasted or steamed and served most any way you like: butter or cream and salt and pepper might be nice. You can also shred them and turn them into coleslaw.
Spaghetti squash is a winter squash and one of the toughest veggies to get into. You’ll need a sharp, strong knife and a little patience. To prepare, cut in half lengthwise, scoop the seeds out and roast in the oven, flesh side down at 350 degrees. Check for done-ness after about 20 minutes. When it’s cooked carefully turn it cut-side up and let cool a bit – it will be steamy. Then just scrape out the insides with a fork and top with your favorite pasta sauce. It has a stringy flesh, like spaghetti and has a nice sweetness that balances out a tomato based sauce.
For the record, I try to debut a vegetable in our CSA box rather than at farmers’ market, whenever possible. So, when you stop at our table and we have only peas, green beans and a few herbs, it’s because we fill CSA shares and our own pantry first. Anything above that goes to market!
Today is the season debut of carrots! My favorite way to eat them is simple, steamed then served with butter and dill. This may be the last time peas will be in the box till later in the year, here’s a pound. Again, we have a pound and a half of green beans, for which, there is no end in sight! Still just one small zucchini per share. Also, one cabbage and some red onions. That will be the last cabbage till later in the season, but carrots and onions are still coming.
If you are looking for some new ways to use some of your produce, check us out on Pinterest. We’ve got lots for you to look through!
Things are starting fill out in the garden! That’s good news for our CSA customers and for the farmer’s market that starts next week. This week’s share features only garden items, a first for this season!
Dry edible beans are from last season. They’re a beautiful variety called Trout bean, Appaloosa or Jacob’s Cattle. Originating from Prince Edward Island, the legend is that it was a gift from Maine’s Passamaquoddy Indians to Joseph Clark, the first white child born in Lubec, Maine. I really like these in a stew.
Some of the cauliflower in the hoop house is maturing much slower than others, since snow peas have just started and didn’t yield many in the first picking, there is a choice between the two.
The cabbage, so far, is looking beautiful. These are a variety called Farao. They are not a storage variety, and have tender leaves, so should be used relatively soon. Great for a stir fry or making egg rolls!
Last, but not least, the lettuce. It won’t be long before it’s too hot for the greens. Make those summer salads while you can! Try this vinaigrette to top yours.
The end of last week, into the weekend, was very busy. So busy, that I didn’t get a chance to put together a blog post for our CSA folks. Oops! Turkey poults arrived Thursday and we were prepping for Grafton’s Summerfest Parade through Friday night.
I think we got a great float together for the Grafton Farmer’s Market! Farm to Table was our theme. Since we have lots of baked goods at the market, it seemed like a good idea to share doughnut holes and chocolate chip cookies from some of our vendors. That was a hit! Laura, one of the FM board members even dressed as a carrot, and yes, those are real plants on our float! Thanks to Bless My Bloomers, True North Equipment, Bob Meyer, Jeannette Shambaugh, Kathy Gudajtes and Kim Koehn for helping to make our float awesome.
The rest of the weekend was spent taking in the festivities around town. Now it’s back to business, and you’re wondering what was in the CSA box last week!
We had a jar of bruschetta from last year’s tomato crop and a baguette to go with it. I love this baguette recipe, they even have a video if you are new to making bread by hand. Mint made an appearance, I would recommend this yummy Iced Green Tea Mojito or try a traditional mojito or a mint julep. A spring CSA share wouldn’t be complete without greens, most members got a lettuce mix with just a few getting spinach.
The peas have pods and LOTS of flowers, green beans are flowering, we picked our first summer squash and there are even some tiny little tomatoes in the garden! Think dry thoughts and we should have a great season.
Today’s share is a base box of a small sugar pumpkin, a spaghetti squash, bell pepper, carrots, tomatoes and dry edible beans. At pick up, members can choose another store-able squash: a Spaghetti squash, Small Sugar pumpkin or Cinderella pumpkin. Both of the pumpkins are great for eating! If you are looking for different ways to use the spaghetti squash, here are 25 different ways to serve it up! Just scroll through the photos on that link. It’s easy to preserve the pumpkin for later. You can wash it down with a 10:1 water to bleach ratio and keep them cool, but not cold for several months. You can also very easily freeze, dehydrate or can them. Please note that a pressure canner is needed to can pumpkin and any non-acid food. You should NOT can pureed pumpkin only cubed. Freezing is the best method for pureed pumpkin.
Members can also choose 2 peppers: a basket of chili peppers, habaneros, jalapenos or another bell pepper. The red jalapenos are more mature than the green, therefore hotter, but also a sweeter taste. Any of the peppers can be chopped to your desired size, put into a freezer safe container and will last you several months. We used the last of our 2012 peppers this July and they held up quite well.
The dry beans are a variety called Jacob’s Cattle. So pretty! We haven’t tried these yet, but they are supposed to be very tasty. I just finished winnowing these today, so I was happy for the wind to help.
This is the last CSA box for the 2013 season. We’ve learned a lot from this way of marketing and we hope to learn more from our members in the near future. A one page survey will be included, we hope you’ll fill it out and send it in so that we can make any necessary changes for next season. That said, there are already things that we plan on doing differently next year if we choose to continue the program! Thanks to all who participated, and to those who have shown interest in purchasing shares in the future. Look for information on Facebook, here on the blog, or in your mailbox this winter.
In the box today: this will be the last of the corn, bell peppers are still going strong, as are the summer squash and tomatoes for now. You’ve also got a good amount of carrots and a few small onions. Our onions didn’t get very big this year, I’ve heard from one other gardener that had poor luck this year too, not sure what the problem was with those.
Here is the first of the pumpkins! This is called ‘Small Sugar’ and is a great one for baking pies with it’s sweet flesh. If you aren’t into pumpkin pies how about Roasted Pumpkin Soup or Pumpkin Pancakes? Pumpkin bread made into french toast is one of our favorites! The recipe for the pumpkin soup has a run down on how to cook and make a puree from your whole pumpkin.
A good mix this week! Corn, green beans, carrots, beets and tomatoes. Tomatoes are a favorite at this house, we usually have at least 5 varieties planted in various colors. Pictured are a ‘Black Trifle’ which looks more purple to me a red and yellow that I couldn’t find tags for, probably ‘Beaverlodge’ and ‘Lemon Boy’ and the ‘Green Zebra.’ The green is my personal favorite. When they are ripe they take on a more yellow hue than the unripe ones.
Not pictured is the mint, but I am going to send it this week, promise. See CSA week 10 for recipes for the mint.
Here is an interactive Farmer’s Market Recipe Generator to help you out with using this weeks produce. It has some very tasty looking recipes!
Almost all of this week’s share was picked after the rain, either last night or this morning. I only washed the root crops. Veggies store best when they are unwashed. With everyone’s varied cooking and eating habits, I want your produce to last as long as possible if it isn’t eaten immediately!
Have a great Labor Day weekend!
Now this is how I envision a CSA share! It’s been a slow summer till now, but things are finally starting to come in. This weeks share includes: beets, summer squash (here’s are recipe for Parmesan Garlic Roasted Summer Squash), kale, a few tomatoes, green beans, corn and a green pepper.
I was surprised to find corn ready, since I was just telling folks at the farmers’ market that it would be 2 weeks at least. We had just enough to send 4 ears to each of our members and try a couple ourselves. Our favorite way to cook is on the grill INSIDE the husk! Here‘s a like to the directions.
You’ll notice peas are missing from this box. There are absolutely peas in the garden, but we’ve heard from a few members that peas are getting tiresome. We’ll get our fill in the freezer this week and go from there. On that note, feedback is ALWAYS appreciated. We may have much different tastes and ideas than you. Let us know what you love and what you don’t so we can try to accommodate! This may also be a good reminder that when you find you have too much produce left over from the share, you may want to freeze it to save for some cold winter’s night when you are 3 months from your next share. I will try to find some recipes to use peas before I send more your way.
There is something different going on with the green beans. We use a lot of disposable plastic. By we, I mean Dave and I and the culture as a whole. So, I am trying something a little different to get away from all the little one-use plastic bags. I loaded up on food baskets, the kind that you get your burger and fries in at some joints. It seems to me that things like peas and green beans need to be contained in some way so that I don’t just had you a box or bag with them all mixed together at the bottom. This is also an easy way to designate the portion that will be given. I’m going to give this a try at the farmers’ market as well. I’ll have several baskets of beans or peas ready and when purchased the lot will go into the customers bag and the tray will get refilled. We’ll see how that works, we’re straying quite a ways from the box. I am going to sweeten this new deal with a giveaway at market, in keeping with the plastic reduction theme, customers can enter our drawing each time that they use a re-usable shopping bag at our table. Stay tuned for what the prize will be, I suppose I’ll have it figured out by Tuesday!
P.S. I will reuse these new baskets and any boxes that I send your produce in, save ’em and bring ’em next Thursday. Thanks!
Things are getting a little more exciting and a little more varied around here! This is the first week we have included green beans in the share. They would be great steamed or boiled with some salt and pepper, or you could add them to this recipe: Summer Squash Sizzle which will help to use the first yellow squash of the year!
We’ve had loads of snow peas, but this will be the first time that everyone receives shelling peas. We do our best to pick them young enough to eat them out of hand. Instead of grabbing a bag of chips to snack on, try fresh peas.
The green pepper that is included is probably a bit smaller than I would usually pick them, but I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to include one! Give it a chop and add it to your scrambled eggs or make a Denver Omelet or Denver Hashbrowns. Or slice it up and dip into some hummus or homemade ranch dressing.
Last, but not least, I should mention this weeks herb: thyme. If you like mushrooms, I’ve got the recipe for you! If you don’t, try substituting the summer squash (steamed first) or even some chopped cooked chicken. Linguine with Lemon, Garlic, Thyme Mushrooms is a favorite at our house, bonus if you can find fresh morel mushrooms!
I’m a bit bummed that I forgot to take a photo of this weeks share, I ended up leaving the camera in the cash box when we went to the first farmers’ market of the season in Grafton. That’s another photo opportunity that was missed, but I digress.
This weeks share included snow peas and lettuce. The plan was to include a loaf of sourdough bread, but only 2 of the 6 loaves turned out. I think it has to do with the crazy humidity we’ve been having. We also had a small quantity of shelling peas and one summer squash and one green pepper ready so it was first come first serve between bread, shelling peas, summer squash and the pepper. The abundance is just around the corner, I swear!
At this point it has become a waiting game, our spring broccoli and cauliflower has been eaten. It is too hot for spinach and the lettuce is having trouble too. Snow peas are in abundance but it’s too hot for the shelling peas and they are coming very slowly. We expect the first tomato any day now, we’ve picked 2 peppers and 2 yellow summer squash!