Share Notes 11-5-15
CSA Share Notes:
Rain, rain, go away! With all the soggy weather the past two weeks (and in the next 48 hours) our Autumn Potluck Picnic that was scheduled for this Saturday, has been put on hold until next spring. Our farm road is just too wet and slippery for any of you to get out here for a shin-dig this year. Our 4×4 truck can barely make it in and out these days, and we don’t want any of you getting stuck.
If any of you would like to come for a walking tour in a week or two when it dries out (fingers crossed), please get in touch! We’d be so happy to have you out here.
Speaking of rain: too much is not a good thing in the garden either! (Remember this spring?) It has really dampened the growth of some of our crops. A few rows of our youngest transplants were wiped out by the rain, and some of the crops are still sitting with their roots in water, with a little more rain expected the next few days. We’ll have some losses of a few things like our youngest arugula and mixed Asian greens, and some of the more established root crops as well (they rot in too much water) but don’t fear for your share in the harvest! We still have so, so many beautiful crops growing that are doing really well in spite of the rain. We are hoping for sunshine and dry conditions so everything can thrive.
This week we have for you some new items and some repeats. I hope you savor each one.
Here’s your vegetable line up:
- Napa Cabbage—This beautiful, huge vegetable is in the same family as Mizuna, and Tatsoi (some of our Asian greens from last week). It is great in a soup with chicken and potatoes, or as fresh salad or slaw. Every tried kimchi? This would be a great week to try it. Enjoy!
- Pak Choi— sometimes called bok choy. This is another type of Asian cabbage, this one from China. Pak choi is great in a stir fry or curry or in this excellent Sesame Noodle with Bok Choy recipe.
- Sweet Potato—These sweet potatoes were grown by our friend Jose Gomez in some amazingly sandy soil just a few miles from Red Moon Farm. He’s the best sweet potato farmer around. They’re a little small this year from the lack of rain all summer, but they are every bit as tasty as last year. This week try out my favorite winter soup: Spicy Sweet Potato Soup with Greens.
- Kale—Almost everyone received Red Russian, the smooth leaved, ultra tender variety, and a few received winterbor, the curly leaved classic. Try either variety in one of our many kale recipes found in our kitchen.
- Eggplant—Large shares received a few Japanese eggplant. The skin is nice and tender so you don’t have to peel these varieties other than the little areas with sun scars. Try roasting these in bite sized chunks with the sweet potatoes until browned and sweet.
- Basil—Genovese Basil is a large leaved Italian variety that is great in pasta, pesto, or salads. It will probably be very wilty when you get it, but do not refrigerate (it’ll turn black below 50 degrees). Store in a glass of cool water on the counter, and trim the stems every day for fresh up-take of water and a really long vase-life. Or you can hang it upside down to dry and extend the harvest.
- Hot Peppers—Cayenne for the large, and baby poblano for the small. Do you have a hard time figuring out what to do with hot peppers? Try a small batch of cayenne infused honey using Harmony Hollow Apiaries’ honey (in the web store!). Mince 3 cayennes and warm it into a cup of honey in a double boiler for 30 minuets then strain and bottle. It is really amazing. I can’t wait to pour it over biscuits, fried chicken, apple pie, baked salmon, you name it.
- Sweet Peppers—Colorful bells of a wide variety. Our color variations range quite literally across the whole spectrum, from red, to orange, yellow, green, and purple! Some of these are really small, but still loaded with flavor. Be careful not to mistake a red poblano for a red sweet pepper. You’ll be in for a shock! Check those red peppers with a sniff to see if they are spicy or sweet.
- Radish—Large shares received Easter Egg, a multi-colored variety, and small shares received French Breakfast radish, a french heirloom, and my favorite variety for fresh eating. With the large amount of rainfall, the heat has been rinsed out of them and they are crisp and mild. These are wonderful just sliced with lemon and salt. And the tops are edible too! They’re a bit like turnip greens.
Veggie Storage tips:
Everything will need a gentle washing before cooking, but leave the dirt on until you’re ready to use them. 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. Any bruised or nicked produce should be eaten quickly as it will begin to spoil faster. Peppers can be stored in the fridge or on the counter. Sweet potatoes, at room temperature, and everything else prefers to be sealed up and in the fridge. Remove root crops from their tops so they remain crisp, and store both in the fridge.
We’d love to hear stories and recipes of your culinary adventures this week. Post a comment of how you’ve used your CSA share, or tag us in your facebook and instagram posts! Show us how you’re using your share of the harvest.
Jess & Justin
Large, from top left: Japanese eggplant (some received Italian), Napa cabbage, Red Russian kale (some received winterbor, a curly leaf variety), Genovese basil, sweet potatoes, Easter Egg radishes, pak choi, sweet bell peppers, and cayenne peppers.
Small share from left: Genovese basil, French Breakfast radishes, Red Russian kale, Napa cabbage, sweet bell peppers, sweet potatoes, baby poblanos (both red and green are very spicy!) and pak choi.