Friday, October 30, 2009

Week 22

Indeed, this is the last week of our CSA season. We don't consider membership to a CSA suited for everyone, but we hope nonetheless that everyone took something positive away from the experience—whether it meant you found yourself eating healthier, were inspired to cook new things, or simply enjoyed having an abundance of produce picked-that-day fresh. We try hard to provide great shares week after week and hope that, in general, we succeeded. It was a hard growing season, as any of you who keep a garden would know.
Expect soon a year-in-review letter from the farm. We'd like to share with you thoughts on how we would have liked to do better (i.e. more winter squash), why we we may have been short on certain things (aka historically disastrous summer weather), as well how we hope to do some things differently next year. We'll also include a short survey so that we can find out from you what you really liked, what you could live without or would like to see us do differently. Your feedback really counts.

Meantime, this week’s share included:
½ pound spinach
2 pounds potatoes
1 quart Brussels sprouts
1 large yellow onion
1 bunch Toscano kale
1 head of read leaf lettuce
1 bunch leeks
1 bunch parsley
3 green bell peppers (see note below)
1 green cabbage (see storage note below)
1 pound garlic (see storage note below)

Bell peppers. Lately, for every pepper we slice or dice for dinner (or for a morning omelet), we chop one or two extra, slip it into a zipper-sealed bag and stash in the freezer. It’s a nice ingredient to have on hand through winter.

Cabbage. Don't feel like you have to use your cabbage this week. Or next week. Or the next. Cabbage has incredible staying power when stored in the fridge. At some point, however, you might want to use it to try Molly Stevens’ recipe for Braised Cabbage with Maple and Ginger (don’t worry that it calls for red cabbage; use your green one). After trying this recipe, you may feel compelled to seek out her book All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking, which includes this recipe. This cookbook was recently included in the Village Voice's list of “Our 10 Best: Cookbooks" and has won awards from the esteemed James Beard Foundation and the International Association of Culinary Professionals.

Garlic. Unlike the garlic you get at the supermarket (often grown in China), our garlic keeps. So tuck it somewhere dark, dry and cool (not in the refrigerator). If you don't use it all beforehand, it will last until next May or even June—around when fresh garlic starts to appear in the following year's shares.

Friday, October 23, 2009


Reminder: One more week left in the CSA season

In this week's share:
2 pounds potatoes
1 quart Brussels sprouts
2 bulbs garlic
1 head of red leaf lettuce
1 large head of bok choy
1 bunch kale
1 onion
1 bunch radish
1 bag mixed peppers
2 delicata or sweet dumpling squash

Re: peppers.
At a farmers' market last week a customer bought half a dozen peppers. Her friend looked stumped, then proceeded to ask what she planned to do with all those peppers. The reply: "I slice them up and eat them for lunch." The friend then grabbed 5 as well. It was a good reminder that these peppers are crispy and sweet enough to enjoy raw; nothing like the thick, leathery peppers with half the bright flavor we often find at the grocery store.
If you haven't been able to make your way through the last 2 weeks' worth of peppers quite so efficiently, chop and freeze them. There's no need to blanch or parcook. Just chop and seal in a freezer bag. Pull them out this winter when making a stir fry, pasta sauce, homemade pizza, among many other possibilities. Or if you've got the time and inclination, roast the peppers and then freeze them.
Week 20

In this week's share:

1 bag of mixed peppers
1 head of lettuce
1 head of escarole (not to be confused with lettuce)
1 pound of green beans
1 bunch radish
1 onion
2 bulbs garlic
1/2 pound spinach
1 bunch collard greens
1 large or 2 small tomatoes (from a late crop planted in our greenhouse)

Friday, October 9, 2009

Week 19

We’ve 3 more weeks to the season (22 in all). That means the last week in october is the final week of the CSA season. :(
We included a number of late-summer type crops with you this week that you are not apt to see again (i.e. eggplant, peppers)—especially if we end up with some snow in the next week. We’ve yet to have a frost on the farm, but last we checked there was snow in the forecast.

We’ve got covers over vulnerable greens hoping that they’ll stay protected. But a lot of our hearty end-of-the-season plantings, such as cauliflower and broccoli, which should hold up to a frost, still very much need some sun to grow. Yes, that ever-elusive thing we call sun…

In this week’s share:
1 head of Romaine lettuce
1 head of bok choy
1 bunch of Swiss chard
2 Beatrice Italian eggplants (see cooking tip below)
Bag of spinach
1 cabbage (don’t feel pressed to use this too soon; it will hold for a few weeks in your refrigerator)
1 bunch carrots
3 green peppers—easy to chop & freeze for the winter!
1 bulb of garlic
1 bag of arugula

Getting your vegetables through a CSA often requires you be able to cook on the fly with what you have been given. That's not always so easy. So we try to help you with that when we can. Take eggplant. That’s not exactly a vegetable most people grab for when they need a quick-fix vegetable side. That is, not unless you’ve roasted eggplant. It’s effortless and delicious. Try this recipe:

Something we often do with eggplant is grill it. To grill: slice the eggplant into ¼- to ½-inch thick discs, brush generously with olive oil, season with Kosher salt and grill over medium heat until golden brown on each side. For a simple dinner, we often then halve or quarter the grilled eggplant slices and toss with pasta, chopped sun-dried tomatoes, chopped olives or capers and a little reserved cooking water from the pasta and some extra-virgin olive oil so that the pasta isn’t too dry. For some protein we sometimes add white beans. A minced fresh herb, such as basil, rosemary, oregano or chives, is terrific but not necessary. Serve with grated parmigiano reggiano or crumbled goat cheese.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Week 18

Let's hope this week's November-like stretch of cold is a precursor to one loooong Indian summer. We've so many beautiful fall crops, but they need sun to grow and come to fruition.

Here is what's in this week’s share:
1 butternut squash
1 bunch radish
1 pound Brussels sprouts
2 pounds potatoes
1 bunch parsley
2 heads lettuce
1 bunch curly-leaf kale
1 bulb garlic
1 pound green beans
1 red onion