Share Notes 10-19-17
CSA Share Notes:
Welcome to your second CSA share of the fall season!
We had a lovely cool front come through this past week that I hope you all enjoyed. It’s been perfect weather for our long days of working outdoors.
For the Red Moon Farm garden, though, cooler weather signifies that the growing season for heat-loving crops (eggplant, peppers, basil, jalapeños, okra, cherry tomatoes) will be ending before we know it.
Most of our summer crops are still producing quite well for you, but they will be slowing down in how many new leaves, flowers and fruits they grow, and also in how quickly they recover from a harvest. We always have to wait and see how the plants do, but we may be taking more of a break from harvesting the summer crops next week and focusing on bringing you some more of the new fall crops (roots and greens and such).
Here’s the vegetable line up this week:
- Eggplant—Small shares received Japanese eggplant, and Large shares the Italian varieties, Black Beauty and Listada Di Gandia. Our eggplant tips: The Japanese types don’t need to be peeled or sweated, but the Italian types often do. Chop and salt, then allow to drain in a colander for an hour. High heat is wonderful for eggplant, sweetening it without it becoming mushy. Roast it in the oven or lightly char it on a hot griddle or grill. We’ve been making my favorite Summer Veggie Green Curry almost weekly from the abundance of peppers and eggplant.
- Tender Kale—everyone received another bunch of our young, tender kale. We’ve got a great recipe for kale pesto potato salad, and a lovely fall kale salad that would be great with roasted sweet potatoes.
- Onion—Everyone received a couple of our petite, but super sweet yellow onions. They’re nearing the end of their season, so some have developed a fine black dust just under the skin. To remove, just peel down one more layer, and they’re fantastic.
- Radish—Daikon. This radish is a long-storing variety, so if you can’t get through all of it right away, don’t worry! Simply chop off the tops, and place the root in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer. They will store for a couple of months and you can use them gradually, grated like horseradish, or sliced for salads and snacking. This radish is also a key ingredient in kimchee if you’re up for fermenting.
- Bell Peppers—Nearing the end of their season, we were still able to harvest a few for you!
- Italian Peppers—Like a bell pepper, these are another type of sweet pepper, but they grow long, slender, and pointed. That’s how you’ll distinguish them from the bells. These have thinner walled flesh, and a few of them have a very gentle heat.
- Sweet potatoes—A staple crop from our friends a few miles up the road at Jose Gomez Sweet Potatoes.
- Basil—Large shares. This is Genovese basil, excellent in Italian dishes, and perfect for a batch of pesto.
- Swiss Chard—Small shares. Colorful, bright lights chard is excellent in a fresh salad or served wilted with a beef roast.
- Sungolds—We have a few sung olds coming out of the garden and we couldn’t be happier! Just enough to stretch to all of the large shares this week, but we hope the small shares will also receive them before frost.
- Cucumber—Large shares. This late planting is juuust beginning to produce, so we gave all large shares one single cuke this week. We hope to have many more in another week or two.
- Cayenne—Small shares received a couple of curly, spicy cayenne peppers. These should be one or two ticks hotter than a jalapeño, but not as hot as habaneros.
- Jalapeño—Large shares received a large handful of jalapeños. Enjoy!
Veggie Storage tips:
Basil does not like to be cold, so just place in a glass of water on the counter, out of direct light. Snip the stems every few days so they can keep slurping up that water to keep the leaves fresh. Onions, sweet potatoes, hot peppers, and sungolds will prefer to stay at room temp. The sweet peppers can also be stored at room temp for a few days, or they’ll last at least a week in the fridge. Eggplant will keep longest stored in the fridge sealed up in a bag. This variety of eggplant doesn’t last long, so plan to use it up soon. The Kale and Chard will want that cold storage. Make sure they’re sealed up so they don’t get wilty. Radishes should be severed from their tops to keep the roots from getting rubbery, then sealed up in the fridge to stay crisp. Did you know radish greens are edible? And right now they’re super tender and delicious. The radish tops can be stored like other greens. Everything will need a gentle washing before cooking, but leave the dirt on until you’re ready to use them to prevent faster spoilage.
We’d love to hear stories and recipes of your culinary adventures this week. Send us a note or post a comment of how you’ve used your CSA share.
Jess & Justin