Share Notes Oct 19, 2023
CSA Share Notes:
Back again for another round of fresh, ultra-nutritious veggies in your kitchen, friends!
Here’s this week’s vegetable line-up:
- Squash – These are slowing down a little bit with the cool nights we’re getting, but are still giving us a generous harvest. Enjoy our heirloom zephyr (Large and Regular shares), along with our more standard yellow summer squash (All shares). This crop and zucchini freeze well for use in soups later in the year. Chop and flash-freeze on a sheet pan before moving to sealed storage bags.
- Zucchini – Everyone received at least one zucchini this week, with the largest ones going to the large shares, etc. Some of you got lucky and received an Italian heirloom. Our zucchini became zoodles this week for a low-carb alternative on our pasta night. After spinning them into noodles, I like to pan sear them in a very hot, buttery cast iron. The texture is wonderful. Then top with a home made meaty Bolognese or pesto made from your fresh basil
- Shishito Peppers – These are a sweet-ish pepper as well, although you’ll occasionally find a hot one, about 1 out of 10. These peppers are having a culinary moment right now in the foodie world and for good reason. Their flavor is wonderful! 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. Sky’s the limit, friends. Please share with us on Instagram stories what flare you give you Shishitos! All our members will benefit from the knowledge-share
- Hot peppers:
- Poblanos –
- Jalapenos –
- Beans – Beautiful Burgundy beans and Dragons Tongue beans this week. These are fantastic right now and will be gone before we know it. We hope you relish them.
- Eggplant – Our Large and Mini shares received the lovely Italian eggplant (some pale purple or white heirlooms went to the Large shares). Regular shares received Long Japanese eggplant. The 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.
- We suggest roasting eggplant at high heat to bring out its sweetness and get the yummiest texture. 400+ degrees in a hot oven, a grill, or a smokin-hot cast iron. A little bit of char on them is a very delicious thing.
We have items for you this week which were not grown by Red Moon Farm:
- Sweet Potatoes from Tony Phillips, Grand Saline, TX.
This year we actually tried for the first time to produce sweet potatoes for you, but we had labor shortage and a huge spike in the heat index right around planting time, which made all but the most critical tasks un-attainable for us physically. Result? Our sweet potato planting ended up not succeeding this year. We learned a few lessons from our initial trial, though and hope to have better success next year.
In the meantime, we’ve got the same wonderful sweet potato producer just a couple of miles from Red Moon Farm, Tony Phillips. He’s been in Sweet Potato cultivation for decades and uses no synthetic herbicides or pesticides. Additionally, he never uses post-harvest growth-inhibitors (endocrine disruptors!) which you’ll find in regular grocery store potatoes. One thing we want to mention: these potatoes are TINY! This is due to the crazy summer heat index and drought conditions while the plants were maturing throughout July-Sept. Also, Tony mentioned to us that he is beginning his annual harvesting nearly 2 months later than a typical year. All of this feels like additional proof and confirmation that this summer was as nuts as we felt it to be. Enjoy Tony’s teeny-tiny-taters!
- Baby Okra from Zillmer Farm, Lindale, TX. For Large shares. Our okra plantings at Red Moon Farm ended up becoming a food source for our native deer population in the intense summer drought. We’re not too mad at them, deer gotta eat too, and we love having a few around. So it’s Victor Zillmer to the rescue.
If you’ve been a member for a while, this name will sound familiar. Victor Zillmer also provides us with the best in pesticide-free fruit jams and jellies in our online store. (They are fantastic. Snag a jar next week) But he also grows a few veggies each year, too. While he 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 about the best compromise one can get. **Be warned** 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.
- Sweet potatoes prefer room temperature, dry conditions.
- 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.
- Squash, zucchini, eggplant, hot and sweet peppers, and beans all want to be sealed up in plastic and stored in the fridge.
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