Share Notes Oct 26, 2023
CSA Share Notes:
Back again for another round of fresh, ultra-nutritious veggies in your kitchen, friends! The fall crops are growing really well and are nearly ready. We think we’ll be harvesting our first few leafy greens for you next week, and then the first root crops the following week. It’s all happening, finally!
This week we’re feeling like y’all might be tiring of the same-ol, same-ol. Things are really repetitious lately without our fall crops ready yet, so we’ve connected with a farm near us to help us mix things up a little.
Colin Hendee at Stout Creek Farm of Saltillo, TX (up on I-30) is a small-scale, ultra clean, beyond-organic farm like we are. We haven’t found anyone out here in ETX doing things as closely to the way we do them until him. His fall crops were started under large shade houses a full month before ours so some of them are ready right now. He and I connected last week about his current surplus of beautiful head lettuce and radishes that need to find good homes. He’s helping us out, we’re helping him out, and YOU get to benefit.
We’ve been admiring his work for some time and this week we finally have a chance to support one another tangibly! Farm partnerships are sometimes difficult- farmers can be a quirky bunch of ultra-independent, system-bucking odd-balls with very high ideals and interesting interpersonal skills from too much time spent alone with plants. (But not us, no certainly not us!) Colin has been great to get to know and work with, and we think this is the start of a long-term, supportive connection, and we couldn’t be more delighted to introduce you to him and to offer you his truly beautiful lettuce and radishes this week.
Here’s this week’s vegetable line-up:
- Squash –This crop -and zucchini- freezes well for use in soups later in the year. It may not feel like it now when we’ve been giving you so much, but I promise you’re gonna miss them a month or two from now! Chop and flash-freeze on a sheet pan before moving to sealed storage bags. Enjoy our heirloom zephyr (Large and Regular shares), along with our more standard yellow summer squash (All shares).
- Zucchini – Everyone received some this week. Our zucchini went into a fantastic creole stew we whipped up Tuesday night.
Here’s my “recipe” (I’m sorry, some of y’all are gonna hate that I’m a “wing it” cook. But I promise this turned out delicious) We browned some andouille sausage, then in the drippings sauteed the holy trinity (peppers-we used Shishitos and Italian peppers- onions, celery) plus garlic. Next added 2 chopped tomatoes, and a ton of large chopped zucchini to form the base of the soup. A couple Tbs of homemade creole seasoning, bay leaves, the browned sausage and enough chicken stock to cover, then a 5 min, simmer. Next we added in defrosted gulf shrimp and gave it another 6-8 min simmer till the shrimp were done. Vioala! 30 min, super low-carb meal. Also, in the bowl for those not afraid of calories, we added a splash of heavy cream and it was total heaven. Crusty sourdough would be a perfect compliment, or served over rice, or even a pan of cornbread.
- Cucumbers – Large shares received a couple of slicers and one long “Seedless” although, they aren’t true to their name- They’re an english type cucumber with very very small seeds. Regular shares received a couple of our “pickling” cucumbers, although they are great for just slicing and eating, and the Mini shares received a seedless cucumber as well.
- Italian Peppers – Carmen peppers for the large shares, and Goddess peppers for the Regular shares. Sweet and juicy, these are a great swap-in for bell peppers.
- Shishito Peppers – These are a sweet pepper as well, although you’ll occasionally find a hot one, about 1 out of 10. They’re perfect as-is for snacking, but they are excellent blistered in a hot cast iron and then dressed up with whatever dip that compliments your meal: A Pesto-y dip, an Asian miso something, an eggplant baba-ganoush, a goat cheese something, or a Mediterranean hummus.
- Cayenne Peppers – Did you catch my pepper-vinegar tip a few weeks back. This is the very best thing to do with these scorchers! It’s an old-timey southern trick and is delicious atop cooked greens, ham and peas, barbecue, and all other sorts of southern fare. If you can’t personally take the heat, gift someone a bottle of pepper vinegar from your favorite local organic farm and delight them. Remember to wear gloves when handling them, or use two grocery sacks as cheap “gloves”, and scrub your hands afterwards.
- Jalapenos – For the mini shares this week. Enough for a lovely batch of bacon-wrapped poppers
- Beans – Beautiful Burgundy beans and Dragons Tongue beans this week for the Large and Regular shares. These are fantastic right now and will be gone before we know it. We hope you relish them.
- Eggplant – Our Large shares received Italian, our Regular shares received Japanese, and Mini shares received Fairy Tale eggplant. The Fairy Tale and long Japanese types are really excellent in Asian dishes- Thai or Indian Curries, or this amazing Korean marinated eggplant I can’t get enough of this season (I use Japanese miso in place of the doenjang, as miso is much easier to find locally). The Italian eggplant would be fantastic in a veggie lasagna, especially with some of your fresh basil. But you have plenty this week- try making baba ganoush and freezing it for a fast and easy pre-made hors d’oeuvre for a holiday gathering you host this season!
- We suggest roasting eggplant at high heat to bring out its sweetness and get the yummiest texture. A little bit of char on them is a very delicious thing. 400+ degrees in a hot oven, a grill, or a smokin-hot cast iron.
Below are all the items we’re sharing with you today that were not grown by Red Moon Farm:
- Lettuce and Radishes from Salt Marsh Farm, Saltillo, TX.
Large, green Muir lettuce heads for all the shares, and additional Red Cherokee heads for the Large shares. These are varieties we grow every spring, so if you’ve been around for a while with us, you’ll be familiar with them. They are wonderful summer-crisp types that are versatile for salads or burgers or lettuce wraps. Enjoy!
Crunchy red radishes for all. In our family, Billie the 2 yr old would have these all eaten before we reached home. Perhaps you’ve got a little snacker in your family who will relish these! We love our radishes on a well-buttered slice of toasted sourdough with good salt.
- Baby Okra from Zillmer Farm, Lindale, TX.
Victor Zillmer doesn’t strive in *all* ways to be organic like we do at Red Moon Farm, he is committed to no chemical pesticides or herbicides. His synthetic use is limited to the fertilizers he uses on his soil before planting. We feel like this is a pretty good compromise. Okra has a short shelf-life, which is why you don’t see much of it on the grocery store shelves. Refrigerate it and eat it up on day 1 or 2 after you receive yours for best quality.
Veggie Storage tips:
- Everything wants to be washed well before cooking, but keep the dirt on till then, to prevent faster spoilage.
- Okra prefers to be around 45 degrees which can be tricky in modern refrigerators. If it goes below about 38, it’ll turn black so be forewarned not to put it in the coldest part of your fridge.
- Lettuce, radishes, squash, zucchini, cucumbers, eggplant, hot and sweet peppers, and beans all want to be sealed up in plastic and stored in the fridge. Your hot peppers can remain out on the counter for a week or more if you want them to continue to turn red.
We’d love to hear stories and recipes of your culinary adventures this week. Tag us on Instagram or Facebook, showing us how you’ve used your CSA share.
Your farmers, Jess & Justin