What’s in the Box: Honeynut squash, butternut squash, red storage onion, green peppers, purple stripe garlic, habanero pepper, pablano pepper, pea shoots, arugula, sweet peppers, edamame (bi-weekly only), and swiss chard.
What’s going on at the farm: This week marks the final week of deliveries for bi-weekly members who will receive their tenth share of the season this week. Full season members still have one week remaining next week for delivery #20 of 20. It has been a long and bountiful season and I am proud to say I think we did the best job we possibly could. That being said we are not holding back and going all out as usual this week and next bringing on as much as possible into each share with as much variety as possible.
Garlic. We are loading everybody up with garlic this week because it is the last delivery for some members and it goes good with everything. Who can really have enough garlic? Garlic is good for your cholesterol and also helpful as an an medicinal to keep you healthy in the winter. It even combats dementia and helps to lower blood pressure. What an amazing bulb! These dry bulbs will store until spring if it takes that long to use them at room temperature. Do not refrigerate your garlic and then take it out for long as it will sprout. Keep it dry and room temp and out of direct sunlight. Here is a link to the many health benefits of garlic. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/11-proven-health-benefits-of-garlic#section1
Storage Onions Our red storage onions are back but we are down to our last case of yellow so we will have reds for the rest of the season. These will store up to 6 months the same as the garlic out of direct sunlight and at room temperature.
Honeynut Squash These interesting mini-butternuts are a new crop for us this year and were bred at Cornell and our new employee Emily even had a hand in assisting with the work when she was there getting her bachelors of science degree In Ithaca. They are bred to have a personal serving size and high fructose content giving them a suburb sweetness unmatched by larger butternuts. Ours have cured to a nice golden hue but they do not store well long term so try to eat these as soon as possible. Some green coloration is normal on the skin as they start that way and quickly ripen to a golden hue during the curing process.
Butternut Squash In contrast to the honey nut we are giving you these Waltham butternuts this week which are a large heirloom variety of butternut squash. unlike the honey nut hybrid these are open pollinated and remain unchanged over the years going back to the 1940’s. Here is a link on them. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butternut_squash
Pea Shoots These have been a great new crop for us this year and the cooler weather is keeping them sweet and shorter this week. People really have been enjoying them everywhere we take them to market and hopefully you all have too. They have quickly become my favorite for salads and would go well with the arugula this week for a sweet and spicy salad mix.
Arugula Our Fresh arugula that has been grown with good fertility and well watered through the warm periods we had keeping it from getting too spicy. This is one of my personal favorites to compliment fish like salmon or cod as the mild sweet flavors go with the spicy greens. You can serve warm fish, chicken, or veggies over it and the arugula will wilt down a tad on its own 0r eat it in your salads with your sweet peppers, and onions.
Sweet Peppers Are one of my favorite crops to grow and they have been abundant lately mostly because of that super hot week we had last week. They are slowing back down this week and the result will be a few less but still plenty of types we will be mixing in the shares randomly.
Pablano is one of our hot peppers this week and they are mild and so good stuffed with rice, cheese, and beef. I like to make the mix and then roast them at 450 for 30 minutes flipping them halfway through. I do not go through the trouble of pre-roasting and removing the skins under cold water as is traditionally done because I don’t feel its necessary.
Habanero is our actually hot, hot pepper this week and these are pretty hot so be careful with them when you cut them up. The oils can get on things so rinse them away off your knife, cutting board, etc…. The flavor is very fruity and compliments the heat well.
Swiss chard A fantastic sauté green you can use in place of spinach, it goes well with eggs, pasta, and anywhere you would use spinach. One last bunch for the year which was definitely our best year for chard ever.
Edamame (Bi-Weeekly Only) These fresh soy beans are just boiled or steamed for 5 minutes and then tossed with your favorite salt. They have an excellent umami flavor and good proteins unless you have a sensitive thyroid then they are not the best choice. Our first crop of these ever this year and a very sweet tasting bean.
This is our last week for Bi-Weekly members so thank you to everyone who joined us for a 1/2 season (Bi-weekly share) this year! Hopefully you found your experience to be a tasty one and found value in your share of organic produce with us and enjoyed the fruits of our labor. I hope we will see you returning when sign ups open this winter for another season of fresh veggies in 2017! While we are talking about wrapping up the season I will remind you one more time that full season basic and standard members still have one week remaining! For Tuesday folks the last delivery is Oct. 10th and for Thursday folks it is Oct. 12th. We will be shelling garlic for planting over the next week here and prepping our fields for planting it. It was a very good garlic year and we have a lot of some very large seed garlic which should make for another good year for it next season. Garlic also adapts to its soil slowly over the years and our stock has definitely progressed into noticeable larger bulbs every year. To prep for planting we break all the bulbs up into individual cloves which will be hand planted one by one with the water wheel planter in a few weeks. We still have two more solid months of work here before we can cozy in a bit and let the achy bones rest for a month or two while planning for and dreaming of another season to come. I am looking forward to some vacation time myself and I will be attending some winter markets as well if you would like to support us and find our produce through the winter months. Madison East Side Farmers Market winter market sessions will be at the Wil-mar Community Center and we will likely only attend one or two holiday sessions, and possibly some Dane County Farmers Market holiday indoors are on the agenda for winter from mid November until Christmas and there will be some excellent frost sweetened kale, turnips, spinach, and garlic to be had among other things. We will also be downtown on the square through mid November and at our E. Side Market location through October 31st in Madison. I will likely be wrapping it up in Fitchburg by the last delivery on October 12th. Thanks again to all our bi-weekly members this year for your participation and support! We will be in touch regarding sign-up opening for next season around the turn of the new year. Until next week then for the rest of our members. Enjoy the produce folks!