Wednesday, September 7, 2016

2016 CSA Share 15

2016 CSA Share 15

Cool weather and rain are coming, and the first day of Fall is only two weeks away. The summer squash and cucumbers are start to slow down, plants withering and shriveling. Tomatoes, peppers, tomatillos and green beans are still going strong though, and there is corn and winter squash and watermelon and more still to come. 

Special goodies this week are more cabbages, more okra, a new this week Anaheim peppers, a mild chili pepper great for salsa or sauces. Also lots of snacking tomatoes this week, with five different varieties in each bag. Tell us which is your favorite! We are liking the black cherry and orange cherry varieties the best here. 



Things have been quiet on the farm this week, we've been waiting and watching our sow Buffy who is getting close to farrowing and giving birth to piglets. We've got the piglet birthing kit ready, and are just waiting for the telltale signs before it starts. The biggest sign is that her udders will become engorged and you can actually milk them with ease. Piglet watch soon to commence!  This will be Buffy's second birth, her first this Spring did not go well and resulted in three dead piglets. We're hopeful for her this time around, she is the better behaved and friendlier of our two sows, and we'd prefer her to be a good mother and breeder than sausage in the freezer. 

But that's farm life. 


Large Share Pictured: 4 summer squash, 2 heads of cabbage, 6 okra, 4 lemon cucumbers, 2 long green cucumbers, 2 heirloom slicing tomatoes, 8 red paste tomatoes, 2 lbs snacking tomatoes, 2 lbs green beans, 2 lbs tomatillos, 1 eggplant (optional), 4 anaheim peppers, 4 cubanelle peppers, 4 jalapeño peppers, 4 bell peppers, 2 bunch herbs. 


Small Share pictured: 1 lb tomatillo, 1 lb green beans, 1 lb snacking tomatoes, 1 cabbage head, 1 eggplant (optional) 2 summer squash, 1 long green cucumber, 2 lemon cucumbers, 3 okra, 1 heirloom slicing tomato, 4 red paste tomatoes, 2 bell peppers, 2 cubanelle peppers, 2 jalapeño peppers, 2 anaheim peppers, 1 bunch herbs.

Cabbage

New this week is cabbage! Cook up an old favorite recipe or try something new with these recipe ideas, or just freeze it for use this winter. 

Okra


More okra this week. We like to use our Okra by slicing it and dicing a jalapeno and adding them to a cornbread recipe.  Okra can also be grilled, sauteed, fried, stir-fried, or added to soup.  


Eggplant (optional)

Not everyone's favorite, we don't have quite enough for everyone this week, so please only take one if you want one! Also known as aubergine, brinjal or garden egg, the fruit is widely used in cooking and is related to both the tomato and potato. The raw fruit can have a somewhat bitter taste, but become tender when cooked and develops a rich, complex flavor. The great is capable of absorbing large amounts of cooking fats and sauces, making for very rich dishes. Try is roasted, skinned, mashed, mixed with onions, tomatoes and spices and then slow cooked. It is often stewed, as in the French ratatouille or deep fried for eggplant parmesan. A simple way to try it is sliced and grilled with cumin, salt and pepper seasoning. 

Easy Eggplant recipes


Cucumbers


More lemon and long green cucumbers this week, maybe we can eek out one more week of harvest, but the plants are calling it quits soon to the downy mildew. Resembling a lemon, these cucumbers originated in the Middle East and have a mild  pleasant taste complemented by a cool, crisp texture. The flavor is more delicately sweet and less acidic than the common green cucumber. The tiny bristles are edible but may be easily removed. These are both dual purpose cucumbers, great for enjoying fresh or pickling. Try adding them to a sandwich, wrap, or pasta salad or making a cucumber salad.


Tomatillos

Also known as the Mexican husk tomato, this plant is in the nightshade family along with tomatoes, peppers, and potatoes. It bears small, spherical green, yellow, or green-purple fruit inside paper-like husks. They are the central ingredient in Mexican and Central-American green sauces. They keep longer with the husks removed and refrigerated in plastic bags and can be frozen whole or sliced. 


Tomatoes

The greenhouse tomatoes are slowing down, but just as our field tomatoes are kicking in. We have a different heirloom tomato slicer this week, one that was given to us by another farmer and so we can't remember the variety's name. Also lots of red paste tomatoes for bruschetta or salsa or caprese salad this week and lots of snacking tomatoesas well with five different varieties in each bag! 


Peppers

Cubanelle, bell peppers, jalapeño, and Anaheim peppers this week! Enjoy some fresh salsa with this mix of hot and sweet peppers. Cubanelle peppers have sweet, mild flesh with rich flavor great for cooking and frying. It is thinner-walled, best suited for quick cooking. Popular in spanish, italian and slavic dishes, many cooks prefer it to bell types. Anaheim peppers are a mild variety, and are used most as diced chiles or in a sauce as in enchiladas, burritos, burgers, with rice or french fries. Try making a green salsa with your tomatillos! 


Summer Squash 

Try these sautéed or grilled with our carbonara recipe or in a cooling summer pasta salad. The larger zucchini are great shredded and then made into muffins or bread. Summer squash are starting to slow down, so enjoy them while we still have them. 



Green Beans

More green beans this week. The yellow beans are yellow throughout, and will keep their color when cooked, the purple beans however are only purple on the exterior and will change to green when cooked. 


Herbs

For herbs this week we have Italian Basil, garlic chives and catnip. Italian basil goes well with tomatoes, summer squash, cubanelle peppers, chicken, beef, and fish. Try it in caprese salad or the mothership tomato salad! This is an heirloom variety called Lettuce Leaf because its leaves are that large.

Garlic Chives have a mild garlic flavor and pair well with potatoes, chicken, fish, eggs, in dips, soups, sauces, risottos and rice. 


Catnip, also known as catmint, is popular for its effects on cats, which will react to the leaves dried or fresh. Its lesser known uses are for medicinal purposes for humans. It has a calming effect on the mind, body, and even stomach and has been used to treat anxiety and insomnia. It also has digestive uses for treating upset stomach, diarrhea and gas. Tea is one of the more common ways catmint is taken. Bring the water to a boil and remove from heat for a minute before beginning the steeping process with the dried leaves of the plant. Fresh leaves and the flowering top can be made into a tincture or essential oil. 

To preserve your herbs you can hang them to dry out of the sun and rain where there is good air flow until dry, then crumble into a paper bag and transfer to a storage container. Tarragon leaves can be frozen or dried. If left to dry for too long though, the leaves lose their flavor, so make sure to store them in airtight containers as soon as the leaves are dry. 



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