What’s in the Box: Acorn squash, butternut squash, pea shoots, purple glazer garlic, yellow storage onion, red storage onion, green pepper, sweet peppers, red radish, dragons tongue beans, radicchio, jalapeño, broccoli (Bi-Weekly Only), leeks, radish, and parsley.
What’s going on at the farm: I’ve got a lot of good crops coming for you folks this week and the fall veggies are coming on strong. The offerings this week include;
Butternut Squash. We have three types of these this year ranging from mini to extra large. This week we will feature the Waltham butternut which is an old heirloom variety with large size. These are long term storage squashes and we have cured them in the greenhouse to toughen up the skins and improve the flavor so they can be stored at room temp and will keep for up to 6 months so no rush on these. My favorite thing to make with them is a butternut squash risotto with sausage and parsley. I bake the squash while making the risotto and brown the ground pork on the side adding the pork, and roasted squash at the end with the fresh parsley. You could follow any risotto recipe to make the base for this.
Acorn Squash. Although slightly shorter term storage then the butternuts these will keep for months as well and are also cured although they do not require it. The yellow flaky flesh is great roasted in the oven either halved or in pieces.
Radicchio. I passed on a recipe for this bitter head green last week and we made it at home. It was good but I think this may be the most challenging vegetable of the season to cook with. If y’all have come up with some good recipes for it please feel free to share and I can send them on to the group.
Pea Shoots. I hope you are all familiar with these by now. This new addition for us this year has been a smash hit and I could go on and on about the sweet flavor and good shelf life we have been experiencing with these but my favorite so far was taco salad with these. Yum!
Broccoli. Broccoli is for bi-weekly members only this week as we were just a little short to make it into every share this week. Please do check under the heads to make sure there is not any green cabbage worms on the stem. We have found a few of them but they are easily picked off by hand or you can submerge it in water for a while too. Not to be gross but we don’t spray chemicals for them and the broccoli itself is still very tasty.
Red Radish. These fresh bunches of roots will be great with your fresh pea shoots or roasted up.
Red and yellow storage onions. The base of many recipes everywhere I think you all know by now that onions are a common theme in our boxes too. All the onions you will receive now are the long term storage types and will hold up to 6 months without refrigeration which will actually make them sprout.
purple stripe garlic. Purple stripe is back this week and a little spicier then the porcelain we’ve been distributing the last few weeks. Keep without refrigerating and if you have a garden maybe plant a few large cloves for yourself around halloween this year.
Jalapeño is our hot pepper this week and a pretty familiar one. We made poppers for the farm party by splitting them and stuffing them with cream cheese after removing the seeds. Please do remember to wear gloves for that job. I then roasted them on a sheet of foil on the grill for about 20 minutes.
Dragons tongue beans are pumping out like crazy this week. Lots of hours of bean picking out there and these are very crisp and juicy beans which will stay fairly crisp even in short high heat cooking. I have been loosely closing the bags so as not to spill them in the shares but they do seem to keep better with a little air flow so try to store them with the bag open a bit when you get them
Parsley. Curly style parsley coming at you this week, remember that parsley is not only a breath freshener but packed with vitamins so mince some up for your dishes and add fresh or near the end of your cooking in most cases.
Sweet peppers. Holy cow, the heat came back this week and we missed a week of weekend markets so we have so many peppers coming your way. Enjoy these sweet fruits and ignore the gossip about the male and female peppers being better for certain things if you’ve heard that somewhere, it’s a real myth.
Green pepper. These are getting bit smaller but still tasty and crisp, we like them on our mini pizzas at home.
Leeks are so mild and creamy and besides making creamed leeks they are a great onion for soups, stews, and slow cooker meals. This may be the last of them for the year and they are a shorter term storage leek.
In other news. It’s been a long and trying week on the farm. One of those times in life where all the hardships seem to come at once so rather then pretend like everything is great sometimes it is necessary to accept the hardships and do the best you can. Alli, my wonderful partner of nearly 2 years of love, life, and work decided to leave on short notice which has been heartbreaking for everyone and we are very sad to see her go. A lot of you met her personally this season and she was very dedicated to the farm for a good portion of the season so I wanted to let you all know about this important change. I would like to give a huge thank you out to Alli for being an incredible employee and wish her the best of luck on her journey. Our other employees have been slowly leaving for other pursuits as well and we say goodbye to Abby this week too who was also a very punctual and hard working employee this year on the farm. So 11 years of farming now almost in the books and it all comes back down to little old me and my two wonderful kids (who do not work much, ha ha). The pain in my back these days is also excruciating lately but tough times can always be overcome with patience and persistence so that is the plan. I will be giving and accepting hugs this week from friends (not required) as I push through this extremely difficult period of loss. Soon there will be more time for rest, healing, adventures, and traveling. Luckily an old employee returned this week from Chicago and is eager to jump in and help finish up the season. Kevin was a workshare from 2012 and he is ready to harvest, weed, and help clean up the fields and I am very happy to have him back. We are also looking for one more part time employee who would be available for 10 hours or so of work a week if ya’ll know anyone who might be a good fit send em our way either now or over winter, or in the early spring when we will be hiring for next season. I am specifically looking to hire a manager for next season which would require that the person has a year of farm experience under their belt but no experience is required for the part time positions. We have some new crops coming over the next few weeks to look forward to as well including fresh batches of pea shoots, garlic chives, potatoes, honey nut squash, arugula, turnips, and hopefully some romanesco cauliflower. Our fields will be cleaned up more every week now and I will be preparing the garlic field for planting soon. We started kale this week for overwintering in the greenhouse too and planting spinach for winter harvest is also on the schedule. Thanks everyone, as always it is a pleasure and a privilege to be your farmer and I hope you all enjoy the veggies!