Tuesday, October 24, 2017

BGF News - October 24, 2017-Vol. XXXIII, No.20

A "little" cold weather collard harvest to finish out the season

In this week’s box:

Arugula
Carrot Mix
Collards: Champion
Garlic: Music
Hot Peppers: Wenk's (orange, jalapeno-like) & Helios (orange habanero) (in the sm. plastic bag)
Kohlrabi: Vienna Purple &/or Vienna White
Napa Cabbage 
Onions: Patterson
Sweet Peppers: asst.
Winter Squash: Butternut
 And perhaps one of the following:     
Broccoli: Belstar or Gypsy
Cauliflower: Goodman
Spinach Mix 


For those with the Egg option [full & half shares]: one dozen free-range eggs (assorted colors)
For those with the Herb option: chives, peppermint & lemon thyme

 
Featured Recipes:  ** indicates a BGF favorite 
Asian Kohlrabi Leaves
Kickin Collard Greens
Napa Cabbage & Carrots with Rice Wine-Oyster Sauce
Curried Butternut Squash Soup with Coconut Milk
Garlic Soup

What’s up on the farm?

Precipitation in the past week: 1.40"
 
Welcome to the final delivery of the 2017 Summer CSA. It is hard to believe that twenty deliveries have gone by so quickly. And now at the end, suddenly it seems like we are getting all the seasons at once, our tardy summer rains, crisp fall days and freezing winter winds! I believe this is the latest first frost/freeze that I can remember since moving to the farm in 2005 and given the fall we've had, the delay is MUCH appreciated! We still have a significant number of crops growing in the fields so now we are in a push to either harvest it or protect it with row cover for later harvest.  The crew has been busy the past few work days setting up the hardware for the row cover supports, now we just need a couple of days with  little to no wind to get the fabric installed. I'm sure you can imagine the excitement of wrangling 5' x 100'  pieces of fabric in a stiff breeze. It makes you really appreciate a still day!
Washing carrots after 1.40" of rain, "What a difference a spray makes..."
In addition to row cover prep, we've been clearing more spent crops including the summer squashes, basil, sweet peppers and okra. In the high tunnel, the basil has been replaced with chard for cool weather harvesting.
We had a special treat mid last week when the staff of Practical Farmers of Iowa spent the day with us, helping out on a number of seasonal tasks including weeding the new strawberry plot, harvesting winter squash, caging fruit trees and prepping 140 pounds of seed garlic for planting. WE can't thank them enough for all their help, humor and friendship!
PFI staff "cloving out" seed garlic
Final Delivery Note: Today is the final delivery of the 2017 CSA season. Thank you for joining us on this Veggie Adventure. We hope you have enjoyed the journey! Starting in November, we will publish a monthly newsletter updating you on the current goings-on around the farm. We will start sign-ups for the 2018 CSA season in January. Special thanks to our delivery hosts, Peace Tree Brewing Co. and the Grand Theater for giving us a home away from home.

VegEmail Sales: This year instead of a Winter CSA, we are trying something new. We tested out this system late last winter and it worked well, so this fall we are rolling it out for the whole "backside of the calendar." Starting the week of Nov 7th we will send out an email with a link to an order form that lists all of the produce/products that we have available for sale that week. If you see things you would like to purchase, just fill out the order form and then meet us that following Tuesday at Peace Tree in DM or the Grand in Knox. Payment is due at the pickup. We will do it (nearly) every 2 weeks from Nov to the start of market in May. If you were a member of the CSA in the past year or ordered during the Jan-May VegEmail season earlier this year then you are on the email list.
 
  Upcoming events:


Final outdoor Farmers Market: This Saturday, October 28th
VegEmail sales begin: Tuesday, November 7th 
Fall indoor farmers market: November 17-18, at Capitol Square in DM
Winter indoor farmers market: December 15-16, at Capitol Square in DM
 

A little detail on your produce this week:



Broccoli: Wrap broccoli loosely in a plastic bag and keep it in the vegetable bin of your refrigerator for up to a week. Immediately before cooking, soak broccoli, head down, in cold, salted water (1 teaspoon salt to a 8 cups of water) for 5 minutes. Any [organic] critters will float to the top where you can rescue them or allow them to suffer a salty death. (Note: If you soak broccoli in salt water before storing, it will become too rubbery and wilted to enjoy.) Slice the juicy, edible stems and use them wherever florets are called for. Peel particularly thick skin before using


Kohlrabi: If you plan to use it soon, wrap the whole unwashed kohlrabi—stem, stalks, leaves, and all—in a plastic bag and keep it in the refrigerator. Otherwise, remove the stalks and greens from the bulb and use them within a week. Store the bulb in another plastic bag in the fridge and use it within two weeks. Rinse kohlrabi under cold running water just before use. Unless the skin seems particularly tough, kohlrabi does not have to be
peeled. Just trim off the remains of the stalks and root. Grate, slice, or chop kohlrabi as desired. There are lots of great kohlrabi recipes out there, but our favorite is the most simple, just slice and serve chilled with a sprinkle of sea salt.


Napa Cabbage: Store Napa cabbage whole in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. To prepare the entire head at once, cut it in half lengthwise, remove the core, and chop as desired. Or, separate and wash individual leaves as needed.  

Peppers: Place whole, unwashed peppers in a plastic bag, seal, and refrigerate for a week or more. Rinse peppers just before use. For sweet peppers, cut around the stem with a small knife and lift out the core. Slice down the side to open it up and then cut out the inner membranes. Store unused portions in a sealed bag or container in the refrigerator.

 

Winter Squash:  Store winter squash in a cool, dry, dark place with good ventilation for up to a month, depending on the variety. Once squash has been cut, you can wrap the pieces in plastic and refrigerate them for five to seven days. To make it easier to prep winter squash for your recipe, try the prebaking method: pierce the squash to allow heat to escape while it is in the oven, then bake the squash whole at 350° F until it is just barely tender to the poke of the finger, 20 to 30 minutes. This softens the shell and makes cutting and peeling much easier.

 

A few other details: All of your GREENS will keep best if stored in a plastic bag, with the top folded over and placed in the produce drawer of your refrigerator.  

* NOTE: You will notice over the course of the season that some box contents listed above say "Perhaps one of the following..."  These are items that we can’t harvest in sufficient quantities for the whole CSA to receive at one time.  We do track who gets what and we will do our best to ensure that everyone eventually receives each item.  On some items this may take several weeks, so please be patient.

Is a weekly newsletter not enough for you and you want to read more about our daily adventures or see pictures of the farm?  Follow us on Facebook at Blue Gate Farm and/or share your recipes, experiences and questions with other BGF members at Blue Gate Farm Community.
That’s about it this week, if you have any questions or comments be sure to let us know. 
 Best from the farm,
Jill & Sean (and Luci & Indigo)
Labels:

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

BGF News - October 17, 2017-Vol. XXXIII, No.19

In this week’s box:

Basil
Long Island Cheese winter squash
Choi: Shanghai Green
Head Lettuce Bouquets
Kale mix
Leeks
Potatoes: Carola and/or Kennebec
Radish Mix
Sweet Pepper: asst
Winter Squash: Long Island Cheese
And perhaps one of the following:     
Broccoli: Belstar or Gypsy
Cucumber: Lemon
Spinach Mix 
Summer Squash: asst
           
For those with the Egg option [full shares]: one dozen free-range eggs (assorted colors)
For those with the Herb option: Thai Magic Basil, sorrel, lemongrass
Kind of a "leek-y" harvest.
Featured Recipes:  ** indicates a BGF favorite 
Long Island Cheese Pumpkin Soup
Stir Fried Bok Choy with Basil Lemon Sauce
Kale & Potato Gratin
Lemon, Leek & Basil Cream Sauce
Sauteed Radishes with Greens

 

What’s up on the farm?

Precipitation in the past week: 1.60"


Note: Half-Egg Share folks, in my post-surgical haze last week, I mistakenly switched up your egg delivery week and sent them out a week early. Ugh! Hope this didn't cause anyone an egg-jam in the fridge. So now we'll just roll with the "new schedule" and you will get eggs again next week and the #'s will all work out evenly. Sorry for the mix-up!
 
This past week has been much calmer than the previous one. Some rain, no emergencies, some harvesting, some cultivating and yes, even just a bit of planting. We cleared the final summer crop from the high tunnel, amended that bed and resowed (almost) the last of the fall seeds. We still have two successions of arugula and salad mix to go, but then we are truly done sowing seeds for 2017. The serious business of clearing spent crops is also underway with the tomatoes and their trellis all done. We've started pulling and storing the irrigation lines as well, which is an undeniably sign that this season's growing time is mostly past, though if this warm weather and rains keep up, things will just keep growing, albeit slowly. We thought for sure that last week was the final harvest of the summer squash, but before we could pull the nearly dead plants out, they flowered and fruited again. In 13 seasons of growing, we've never had summer squash this late, so we will send what we have of them out in some boxes this week. Same story goes for the last of the lemon cucumbers. Speaking of stories, you will require one for the radishes in this week's delivery. Yes, that crazy, bunch of big, weird-shaped, multicolored roots are indeed radishes. We grow heirloom varieties that, while not as "picture-perfect" as those you find in the grocery store, they tend to stay tasty even when large. We taste-tested several before harvesting to be sure the quality was still good, and they were. So carve 'em up like a thanksgiving turkey and enjoy! 
An additional heads-up on today's potatoes. These have been stored in our walk-in to keep them in best condition for long term storage, so please let them sit out at room temperature for at least 24 hours before using, or they will taste very sweet.

Final Delivery Note: as next week is our final delivery of the 2017 CSA season we want to give you a couple of bits of information that will make everyone's lives easier. First, please do your best to remember your empty box, that way you won't be stuck with an empty box sitting around your house all winter. We will pack your produce for the final delivery into plastic bags so you won't have to worry about returning that box either.

VegEmail Sales: This year instead of a Winter CSA, we are trying something new. We tested out this system late last winter and it worked well, so this fall we are rolling it out for the whole "backside of the calendar." Starting the week of Nov 7th we will send out an email with a link to an order form that lists all of the produce/products that we have available for sale that week. If you see things you would like to purchase, just fill out the order form and then meet us that following Tuesday at Peace Tree in DM or the Grand in Knox. Payment is due at the pickup. We will do it (nearly) every 2 weeks from Nov to the start of market in May. If you were a member of the CSA in the past year or ordered during the Jan-May VegEmail season earlier this year then you are on the email list.
 
Upcoming events:

Final Summer CSA delivery:
Our final delivery of the 2017 summer season will be Tuesday, October 24th

VegEmail sales begin: Tuesday, November 7th

A little detail on your produce this week:


Broccoli: Wrap broccoli loosely in a plastic bag and keep it in the vegetable bin of your refrigerator for up to a week. Immediately before cooking, soak broccoli, head down, in cold, salted water (1 teaspoon salt to a 8 cups of water) for 5 minutes. Any [organic] critters will float to the top where you can rescue them or allow them to suffer a salty death. (Note: If you soak broccoli in salt water before storing, it will become too rubbery and wilted to enjoy.) Slice the juicy, edible stems and use them wherever florets are called for. Peel particularly thick skin before using

 

Choi (a.k.a. - pac choi, bok choy or pok choy) is the large, structural-looking vegetable.  It is a member of the cabbage family and is a traditional Asian stir-fry vegetable.  Both the stems and leaves of choi can be used and are especially tasty in cooked recipes.  If cooking them, separate the leaves and stems, and begin cooking stems first to avoid overcooking the more tender greens. You can also use the leaves like any green-leafy vegetable and the stems like celery.  We tend to use choi leaves as a sandwich wrap, or just roughly chop the whole thing and sauté with garlic and/or onion.  Cook until stems are tender and dress with a little seasoned rice vinegar. Store choi loosely wrapped in a plastic bag in your produce drawer.


Leeks: Loosely wrap unwashed leeks in a plastic bag and store them in the vegetable bin of your refrigerator. They will keep for a couple of weeks. To use- Cut the leek about 1 inch above the white part, where the leaves begin changing from dark to light green. (Save the unused greens; they’ll give great flavor to your next vegetable stock.) Fan the leaves under running water to dislodge any dirt collected there, then pat thoroughly dry. You can julienne a leek by cutting it lengthwise, or slice it crosswise. If you want to clean a leek that you will be cooking whole, make a slit down one side to within an inch or two of the root end. Then spread the leaves under running lukewarm water to clean the leek. During cooking the leek will stay whole. When serving, arrange the leek with the cut side down.

Peppers: Place whole, unwashed peppers in a plastic bag, seal, and refrigerate for a week or more. Rinse peppers just before use. For sweet peppers, cut around the stem with a small knife and lift out the core. Slice down the side to open it up and then cut out the inner membranes. Store unused portions in a sealed bag or container in the refrigerator.

 

Potatoes: Keep unwashed potatoes in a cool, dark, dry place, such as a loosely closed paper bag in a cupboard. They will keep for weeks at room temperature, longer if you can provide their ideal temperature of 40 to 50 degrees. Beware: the low temperature of your refrigerator will convert the starch to sugars. Moisture causes potatoes to spoil, light turns them green, and proximity to onions causes them to sprout. (You can still use a potato that has sprouted, however; simply cut off the “eyes” before use.) Potatoes store best if they haven't been washed, so we send them out in their "dust jackets". Just before using, scrub potatoes well and cut off any sprouts or green skin. (Clean delicate new potatoes gently.) Peeling is a matter of preference.

Winter Squash:  Store winter squash in a cool, dry, dark place with good ventilation for up to a month, depending on the variety. Once squash has been cut, you can wrap the pieces in plastic and refrigerate them for five to seven days. To make it easier to prep winter squash for your recipe, try the prebaking method: pierce the squash to allow heat to escape while it is in the oven, then bake the squash whole at 350° F until it is just barely tender to the poke of the finger, 20 to 30 minutes. This softens the shell and makes cutting and peeling much easier.


A few other details: All of your GREENS will keep best if stored in a plastic bag, with the top folded over and placed in the produce drawer of your refrigerator.  

* NOTE: You will notice over the course of the season that some box contents listed above say "Perhaps one of the following..."  These are items that we can’t harvest in sufficient quantities for the whole CSA to receive at one time.  We do track who gets what and we will do our best to ensure that everyone eventually receives each item.  On some items this may take several weeks, so please be patient.
Is a weekly newsletter not enough for you and you want to read more about our daily adventures or see pictures of the farm?  Follow us on Facebook at Blue Gate Farm and/or share your recipes, experiences and questions with other BGF members at Blue Gate Farm Community.
That’s about it this week, if you have any questions or comments be sure to let us know. 
Best from the farm,
Jill & Sean (and Blue, Luci & Indigo)
Labels:

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

BGF News - October 10, 2017-Vol. XXXIII, No.18

In this week’s box:

Cabbage: Super Red or Golden Acre
Chard
Fennel
Garlic: Northern White
Head Lettuce bouquets
Summer Squash: asst.
Sweet Peppers: asst.
Tomatoes: asst.
Turnips: Hakurei
 
And perhaps one of the following:     
Broccoli: Belstar or Gypsy
Cucumber: Lemon
Okra: Bowling Red
Spinach Mix
           
For those with the Egg option [full & half shares]: one dozen free-range eggs (assorted colors)
For those with the Herb option: sweet basil, rosemary, salad burnet
 
Featured Recipes:  ** indicates a BGF favorite 
Cabbage and Fennel Saute
Roasted Haruki Turnips with Israeli Couscous Salad
Swiss Chard, Fennel & White Bean Gratin

What’s up on the farm?

Precipitation in the past week:  3.88" and counting
 
Well, it has been a rather eventful week for the BGF folks. Not too many hours after last week's delivery Jill was in emergency surgery for a twisted colon at our area hospital and spent the next five days receiving their excellent care and attention. Sean, the crew and Jill's family all rallied to get all the things taken care of at the hospital and on the farm amid the rain and general excitement. We can't thank everyone enough for all their support and kindness. This begins a new chapter for the farm as Jill is now on "no lifting" restrictions for the next 6 weeks. So what does that mean for CSA members? Likely nothing other than seeing different faces at the final three deliveries of the season. We hope you enjoy the diversity, we wouldn't any of us to get bored.
 
There are other big changes happening around the farm as well, the summer crops are truly wrapping up with the persistent cooler weather. This is likely the final week for summer squash and possibly for tomatoes as well. We hope to get in at least one more delivery of basil so you can bulk up your winter pesto stock. But never fear, there are fresh crops of radishes, broccoli, napa cabbage, kohlrabi and more still to come!
 
Upcoming events:

Final Summer CSA delivery:
Our final delivery of the 2017 summer season will be Tuesday, October 24th

VegEmail sales begin: Tuesday, November 7th

A little detail on your produce this week:


Broccoli: Wrap broccoli loosely in a plastic bag and keep it in the vegetable bin of your refrigerator for up to a week. Immediately before cooking, soak broccoli, head down, in cold, salted water (1 teaspoon salt to a 8 cups of water) for 5 minutes. Any [organic] critters will float to the top where you can rescue them or allow them to suffer a salty death. (Note: If you soak broccoli in salt water before storing, it will become too rubbery and wilted to enjoy.) Slice the juicy, edible stems and use them wherever florets are called for. Peel particularly thick skin before using.

 

Fennel: Cut off the stalks where they emerge from the bulb. To use the feathery foliage as an herb, place the dry stalks upright in a glass filled with two inches of water, cover the glass loosely with a plastic bag, and store in the refrigerator for up to five days. The unwashed bulb will keep in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for at least a week. To use: Remove any damaged spots or layers. Cut the bulb in half lengthwise and check the inner core. If it’s tough, remove it with a paring knife. Fennel should be washed carefully, because dirt can lodge between the layers of the bulb. Chop or mince the leaves.

 

Okra: These lovely, dark red, horn-shaped vegetables are a warm weather treat. Extremely cold sensitive, store in their plastic bag in the warmest part of your fridge, or place the plastic bag in a small paper sack and store in the crisper drawer and use within the week. Traditional southerners will cut into rounds, bread in cornmeal and fry, but our favorite version is our dear friend Annie's method, "All I do is rinse off the pods and lay them in a saucepan with a little water in the bottom. Ten to fifteen minutes is all it takes...twenty if the pods are really big and "woody" feeling. I put salt on them and eat as finger food. It reminds me of young sweet corn."

Peppers: Place whole, unwashed peppers in a plastic bag, seal, and refrigerate for a week or more. Rinse peppers just before use. For sweet peppers, cut around the stem with a small knife and lift out the core. Slice down the side to open it up and then cut out the inner membranes. Store unused portions in a sealed bag or container in the refrigerator.


Turnips: keep best if separated from their greens.  Greens are stored in a plastic bag and can be cooked like mustard or collard greens (you can add them in with your Braising Greens Mix).  Trimmed roots can go into a lidded container or zip-close bag. These aren't your grandma's turnips. These are a sweet, Japanese salad variety that is particularly tasty for fresh eating. They will still work great in cooked dishes, but we love to eat them raw, often right out of hand, like an apple. One of the farm crew's favorite mid-field snacks.
A few other details: 

All of your GREENS will keep best if stored in a plastic bag, with the top folded over and placed in the produce drawer of your refrigerator.  

* NOTE: You will notice over the course of the season that some box contents listed above say "Perhaps one of the following..."  These are items that we can’t harvest in sufficient quantities for the whole CSA to receive at one time.  We do track who gets what and we will do our best to ensure that everyone eventually receives each item.  On some items this may take several weeks, so please be patient.

Is a weekly newsletter not enough for you and you want to read more about our daily adventures or see pictures of the farm?  Follow us on Facebook at Blue Gate Farm and/or share your recipes, experiences and questions with other BGF members at Blue Gate Farm Community.

That’s about it this week, if you have any questions or comments be sure to let us know. 

Best from the farm,
Jill & Sean (and Blue, Luci & Indigo)
Labels:

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

BGF News - October 3, 2017-Vol. XXXIII, No.17

"Vivid" Choi

In this week’s box:

Basil
Carrots: asst
Cherry Tomato Mix
Collards
Onions: Red Carpet
Scallions
Summer Squash: asst.
Sweet Peppers: asst.
Tapestry Salad Mix 
Tomatoes: asst.
"Vivid" Choi
Winter Squash: Thelma Sanders (white acorn squash)
And at least one of the following:     
Broccoli: Belstar
Cucumber: Lemon
Eggplant: Orient Express or Orient Charm   
Mini Cauliflower: Pusa Megna and/or Giant Purple of Sicily
Okra: Bowling Red
      
For those with the Egg option [full & half shares]: one dozen free-range eggs (assorted colors)
For those with the Herb option: lemon basil, par-cel & sorrel

 
Featured Recipes:  ** indicates a BGF favorite 
Sweet and Spicy Acorn Squash
Sopa de Fuba Collard Greens Cornmeal and Sausage Soup
Sauteed Summer Squash with Red Pepper and Onion

What’s up on the farm?

Precipitation in the past week: 0.00"
 
What a whirlwind week it has been! Crops cleared, beds renovated, more crops sown, weeding and cultivating and transplanting...and then host more than 1,400 people at the farm for Farm Crawl 2017! I'm sure there were many more things that happened (like cleaning and sprucing-up) but truly, that is all I can remember as it is rather a blur of activity. I know we saw a number of CSA members "Crawling" on Sunday, thanks so much for coming out and spending time with us! Did you Crawl and take photos? We'd love it if you'd share your favorites with us. A special thanks to the Archers (CSA family) for taking on a volunteer spot during the Crawl, as well as to our other volunteer corps, family and farm crew, very much appreciated!

We bid farewell to one of our crew members this week. Thanks, Jen for your hard work and willing attitude this summer. We'll miss you!

Upcoming events:

Final Summer CSA delivery:
Our final delivery of the 2017 summer season will be Tuesday, October 24th

VegEmail sales begin: Tuesday, November 7th

A little detail on your produce this week:


Broccoli: Wrap broccoli loosely in a plastic bag and keep it in the vegetable bin of your refrigerator for up to a week. Immediately before cooking, soak broccoli, head down, in cold, salted water (1 teaspoon salt to a 8 cups of water) for 5 minutes. Any [organic] critters will float to the top where you can rescue them or allow them to suffer a salty death. (Note: If you soak broccoli in salt water before storing, it will become too rubbery and wilted to enjoy.) Slice the juicy, edible stems and use them wherever florets are called for. Peel particularly thick skin before using.


Okra: These lovely, dark red, horn-shaped vegetables are a warm weather treat. Extremely cold sensitive, store in their plastic bag in the warmest part of your fridge, or place the plastic bag in a small paper sack and store in the crisper drawer and use within the week. Traditional southerners will cut into rounds, bread in cornmeal and fry, but our favorite version is our dear friend Annie's method, "All I do is rinse off the pods and lay them in a saucepan with a little water in the bottom. Ten to fifteen minutes is all it takes...twenty if the pods are really big and "woody" feeling. I put salt on them and eat as finger food. It reminds me of young sweet corn."

  
Peppers: Place whole, unwashed peppers in a plastic bag, seal, and refrigerate for a week or more. Rinse peppers just before use. For sweet peppers, cut around the stem with a small knife and lift out the core. Slice down the side to open it up and then cut out the inner membranes. Store unused portions in a sealed bag or container in the refrigerator.

Scallions (green onions)- are best kept upright in a glass with about 1" of water in it, more like flowers than vegetables. Loosely cover the tops with plastic and you will be amazed at how long they will keep. We like to throw a handful of chopped scallions into nearly any savory dish, right near the end of the cooking time.

Winter Squash:  Store winter squash in a cool, dry, dark place with good ventilation for up to a month, depending on the variety. Once squash has been cut, you can wrap the pieces in plastic and refrigerate them for five to seven days. To make it easier to prep winter squash for your recipe, try the prebaking method: pierce the squash to allow heat to escape while it is in the oven, then bake the squash whole at 350° F until it is just barely tender to the poke of the finger, 20 to 30 minutes. This softens the shell and makes cutting and peeling much easier.

.
A few other details: All of your GREENS will keep best if stored in a plastic bag, with the top folded over and placed in the produce drawer of your refrigerator.  
* NOTE: You will notice over the course of the season that some box contents listed above say "Perhaps one of the following..."  These are items that we can’t harvest in sufficient quantities for the whole CSA to receive at one time.  We do track who gets what and we will do our best to ensure that everyone eventually receives each item.  On some items this may take several weeks, so please be patient.
Is a weekly newsletter not enough for you and you want to read more about our daily adventures or see pictures of the farm?  Follow us on Facebook at Blue Gate Farm and/or share your recipes, experiences and questions with other BGF members at Blue Gate Farm Community.
That’s about it this week, if you have any questions or comments be sure to let us know. 
Best from the farm,
Jill & Sean (and Blue, Luci & Indigo)
Labels:

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

BGF News - September 26, 2017-Vol. XXXIII, No.16

In this week’s box:

Choi: Shanghai Green or Joi
Head Lettuce: asst.
Kale Mix
Onions:Ailsa Craig
Potatoes: Kennebec and/or Carola
Summer Squash: asst.
Sweet Peppers: asst.
Tapestry Salad Mix 
Tomatoes: asst.
And at least one of the following:     
Broccoli: Belstar
Cucumber: Lemon
Eggplant: Orient Express or Orient Charm   
Mini Cauliflower: Pusa Megna and/or Giant Purple of Sicily
Okra: Bowling Red
Spinach Mix

For those with the Egg option [full shares]: one dozen free-range eggs (assorted colors)
For those with the Herb option: sweet basil, ginger mint, orange thyme

 
Featured Recipes:  ** indicates a BGF favorite 
Irish Colcannon
Fried Potatoes, Peppers and Onions
Gingered Kale and Bok Choy

What’s up on the farm?

Precipitation in the past week:  2.75"
 
It happened again this past week...it rained...a lot! There were actually puddles on the lane and in the gardens. It was glorious! The crew got to spend most of Thursday morning tucked into the nice dry barn trimming and cleaning garlic, so there wasn't much complaining about the weather. Then we got just a bit more this morning, again, no complaining. We are still behind for the year, but this rain was another big help for the fall crops. Even with all the irrigation water, crops were still growing more slowly than normal, until this week. Add some unseasonable high temps to the rain and suddenly our different plantings of salad mix are all putting on huge growth and are all ready for harvesting at the same time...about 3 days ago. So you may find the salad mix contains leaves that are a little larger than in the past. We are trying to get caught up so that we don't lose those crops. You should still find them tender and tasty. The head lettuce was also unimpressed with the temperature spikes after the cool weather we were all enjoying earlier in the month. I think the 90° temps have brought an early end to our summer head lettuce trial, but it was fun while it lasted. We have continued clearing spent crops and weeding the fall vegetables. The rest of the week will likely be dedicated to prepping the farm for our biggest event of the year, Farm Crawl! We hope to see you there!

Upcoming events:
Farm Crawl is this Sunday (10/1) from 11am-5pm.  Details can be found at www.farmcrawl.com.  Every year we invite CSA members not only to come out and tour the farms, but also to be part of the BGF team. So here is your chance for 2017. In the past, individuals/families have helped out with greeting visitors, sharing information, helping out at the chickens, parking and other various tasks. And, even better, you can still "Do the Crawl"! We are asking for volunteers to come for a 2 hour shift, so there is still time to visit the other farms. If you (and/or your family) would be interested in helping out at the farm please let us know. If you join us, we will set you up with some very fine BGF gear.
Final Summer CSA delivery:
Our final delivery of the 2017 summer season will be Tuesday, October 24th

VegEmail sales begin: Tuesday, November 7th

A little detail on your produce this week:



Broccoli: Wrap broccoli loosely in a plastic bag and keep it in the vegetable bin of your refrigerator for up to a week. Immediately before cooking, soak broccoli, head down, in cold, salted water (1 teaspoon salt to a 8 cups of water) for 5 minutes. Any [organic] critters will float to the top where you can rescue them or allow them to suffer a salty death. (Note: If you soak broccoli in salt water before storing, it will become too rubbery and wilted to enjoy.) Slice the juicy, edible stems and use them wherever florets are called for. Peel particularly thick skin before using.



Choi (a.k.a. - pac choi, bok choy or pok choy) is the large, structural-looking vegetable.  It is a member of the cabbage family and is a traditional Asian stir-fry vegetable.  Both the stems and leaves of choi can be used and are especially tasty in cooked recipes.  If cooking them, separate the leaves and stems, and begin cooking stems first to avoid overcooking the more tender greens. You can also use the leaves like any green-leafy vegetable and the stems like celery.  We tend to use choi leaves as a sandwich wrap, or just roughly chop the whole thing and sauté with garlic and/or onion.  Cook until stems are tender and dress with a little seasoned rice vinegar. Store choi loosely wrapped in a plastic bag in your produce drawer.

Okra: These lovely, dark red, horn-shaped vegetables are a warm weather treat. Extremely cold sensitive, store in their plastic bag in the warmest part of your fridge, or place the plastic bag in a small paper sack and store in the crisper drawer and use within the week. Traditional southerners will cut into rounds, bread in cornmeal and fry, but our favorite version is our dear friend Annie's method, "All I do is rinse off the pods and lay them in a saucepan with a little water in the bottom. Ten to fifteen minutes is all it takes...twenty if the pods are really big and "woody" feeling. I put salt on them and eat as finger food. It reminds me of young sweet corn."
 
 Peppers: Place whole, unwashed peppers in a plastic bag, seal, and refrigerate for a week or more. Rinse peppers just before use. For sweet peppers, cut around the stem with a small knife and lift out the core. Slice down the side to open it up and then cut out the inner membranes. Store unused portions in a sealed bag or container in the refrigerator.
 

Potatoes: Keep unwashed potatoes in a cool, dark, dry place, such as a loosely closed paper bag in a cupboard. They will keep for weeks at room temperature, longer if you can provide their ideal temperature of 40 to 50 degrees. Beware: the low temperature of your refrigerator will convert the starch to sugars. Moisture causes potatoes to spoil, light turns them green, and proximity to onions causes them to sprout. (You can still use a potato that has sprouted, however; simply cut off the “eyes” before use.) Potatoes store best if they haven't been washed, so we send them out in their "dust jackets". Just before using, scrub potatoes well and cut off any sprouts or green skin. (Clean delicate new potatoes gently.) Peeling is a matter of preference.

A few other details: All of your GREENS will keep best if stored in a plastic bag, with the top folded over and placed in the produce drawer of your refrigerator.  

* NOTE: You will notice over the course of the season that some box contents listed above say "Perhaps one of the following..."  These are items that we can’t harvest in sufficient quantities for the whole CSA to receive at one time.  We do track who gets what and we will do our best to ensure that everyone eventually receives each item.  On some items this may take several weeks, so please be patient.

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That’s about it this week, if you have any questions or comments be sure to let us know. 
Best from the farm,
Jill & Sean (and Blue, Luci & Indigo)
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