Tuesday, November 1, 2011

CSA Share Week 22

Snow in October? Even here in Upstate New York, it’s just about unheard of.
     In the last week, we had not one but two snow events here. Neither accumulated more than an inch or so. More significantly, with the snow came overnight temps dropping into the 20s. Not many plants will survive that kind of cold. Some do: hearty greens like collards, kale, escarole (in pic) and even some lettuce.
     Fortunately, we harvested like mad before the first storm to get everything in that we knew wouldn’t tolerate the cold. Better said, Ken and our two remaining employees—Armando and Ariel Leal (cousins)—did the work, in the rain and in 30-degree temperatures, harvesting, washing and packing the produce. Talk about numb fingers.
     It’s a relatively large share, but many of the items will hold. So there’s no need to feel like you have to eat it all in one week. Store the garlic on your countertop. It will hold there for weeks. The onions can do the same. Potatoes are best kept in a dark, cool but not cold location (don’t refrigerate). Many of the greens will hold up in your crisper. Just store in produce bags.
     It was quite a growing season. We’ve never experienced anything quite like it. So you may be wondering if we’re glad it’s over. The truth is…nah. We love what we do and regret seeing another season come to an end. We are so very grateful for all of you who took a chance on us for yet another season or for the first time. We didn’t get all the crops we’d hoped or planted for, we were lucky that we never came up short overall.

1 bunch carrots
1 bunch kale
1 bunch cilantro
2 heads lettuce
1 bunch leeks
1 head escarole
1 bunch collards
5.6 ounces arugula (.35#)
Garlic *
3 pound bag potatoes
Onions (red and/or yellow)*

*Amounts vary at distribution sites based on onion and garlic size
Potatoes, Leeks…. Need we say more. It’s time to make soup!

Similarly, escarole is a classic and tasty green in a chicken soup. For a quick fix, stir-fry it. It’s great with an orange-soy sauce (orange juice, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, honey, Vietnamese hot sauce). Every year we recommend this Escarole and White Bean Stew with Rustic Croutons. A number of CSA member have tried it and loved it, so we keep recommending it. (It’s perfectly delicious without the pancetta).

This side dish of Sauteed Escarole with Raisins, Pine Nuts and Capers developed by Maryellen’s friend Jennifer Armentrout of Fine Cooking is equally delicious and quick too.

Collards also make a nutritious and simple weeknight side dish, such as in this recipe by Susie Middleton for Quick Sauteed Collard Ribbons.
We also stumbled over this recipe—Mama Nava’s Ye’abesha Gomen (Collard Greens). The ingredients are a bit unexpected, but it sounds as if it's a hit.

Lastly, if you still have butternut squash left over from last week and are not saving it for Thanksgiving, it can be used with this week's cilantro in a quick side dish for Butternut Squash with Ginger and Cilantro.
The CSA structure truly helps to buttress our farm so we can better focus on what we are passionate about—growing great organic food. Thank you for your support.