Share Notes 11-17-16
CSA Share Notes:
We have a really big week for you! Saturday night is likely to be our first frost, and in anticipation, we’ve harvested everything we can from the summer crops, which means a massive share for you this week! The heat-loving crops like eggplant, peppers, basil, and tomatoes will all die in the cold weather we have coming, so be prepared for that. Now on to your vegetable line-up!
- Arugula—The first fall greens! We served this arugula at our Farm Dinner this weekend, and it was divine. Enjoy with hunks of blue cheese, pomegranate seeds, and balsamic vinegar.
- Eggplant—Large shares received Italian eggplant, and small shares received our long Japanese eggplant. If some of the skin is thick and fibrous, peel it off. The flesh inside is still wonderful. If after this whole fall you’re still unsure if you’ve found a recipe you love for eggplant, try grilling them this week after marinating thick slices in orange juice, olive oil, ground coriander and cardamom. It’s heavenly. We served this last week with stuffed bell peppers. It was fantastic. We’ve also found these can store for a very long time in the fridge if you’re having trouble getting through all this food in time.
- Radishes—The large shares received a bunch of our French Breakfast radishes, a crisp, delicious heirloom variety. To preserve their crispness, chop off the tops and store separately. Also, the tops are edible!
- Pie pumpkin—Each share received one of our pumpkins perfect for baking next week. Most received the traditional orange pie pumpkin, and some received a tan cheese pumpkin, named for its resemblance to a wheel of cheese. Both will make a fabulous pie. And it you’re not interested in all that work on an already busy Thanksgiving day, allow these beautiful gourds to grace your table next week, then prepare them into a pumpkin soup another day.
- Jalapeno peppers—Each share received a big handful of huge jalapenos.
- Cayenne peppers—These pack the heat! Unless you just love spicy food, it may be hard to work your way through all of these so how about you preserve the harvest! They dry and grind so nicely for home made (and potent) crushed red pepper flakes. Simply hang them by some string in a dark, dry place (keep them from light to preserve their lovely color) and in about two weeks they’ll be dry enough to grind up and store in a jar.
- Bell peppers—Each share received a generous number of colorful bell peppers. These pepper plants have totally blown us away this year with their size and quality. I hope you’ve really enjoyed them!
- Slicing tomatoes—Most of what you received today are Celebrity and Better Boy-perfect with eggs and bacon in the morning, or atop your burger. We’ll harvest green tomatoes late this week before the frost arrives, and many of them will continue to ripen off the vine in our temperature controlled walk-in cooler. Hopefully we’ll be sending you a few more!
- Sweet potatoes—We hope we’ve given you plenty for your Thanksgiving baking needs.
- Basil—This is the end of the basil! I suggest drying your basil, or making a batch of pesto to lengthen the summer flavor in your kitchen! Like we mentioned last week, this crop is difficult to transport without it getting pretty wilty. When you get it, trim the stems and place in a glass of water as soon as you can. If you have any that doesn’t perk back up, hang it to dry and it will still provide for you with great flavor this winter.
Veggie Storage tips:
As a general rule, wait to wash any veggies until you’re ready to use them to help retain nutrients and prevent spoilage from excess moisture.
Remember your basil and tomatoes will not tolerate the refrigerator. Keep them cool, but not cold. The bell peppers, jalapenos, eggplant, greens, and radishes will all like to be kept cold. Seal them up in plastic to prevent them from getting rubbery and place in your crisper drawer. Sweet potatoes and pumpkin can stay at room temp. And the cayenne peppers should dehydrate really nicely strung up in a closet somewhere.
Thank you so much for being a part of our CSA at Red Moon Farm! Enjoy your holiday week and we’ll see you on December 1.
Jess & Justin
Large Share (top row): radishes, pie pumpkin, sweet potatoes, (middle row): Italian eggplant, bell peppers, arugula, slicing tomatoes, jalapenos, and Genovese basil, with cayenne peppers across the bottom.
Small share (top row): jalapenos, Japanese eggplant, sweet potatoes, (middle row): Genovese basil, tan cheese pumpkin, bell peppers, arugula, (bottom): tomatoes and cayenne peppers.