Tuesday, October 16, 2018

BGF News - October 16, 2018-Vol. XL, No.20

In this week’s box:

Carrots: Mixed bunch
Kale Mix
Lettuce Mix
Napa Cabbage: Rubicon
Onions: Copra
Sweet Peppers: Ace or Revolution (red bells), Islander (purple to orange bell), Quadrato D'Asti 
            Giallo (yellow bell), Golden Marconi (long, pointed yellow) or PASS (flat, yellow)
Turnips: Hakurei
Winter Squash: Butternut, spaghetti or Acorn

 and perhaps one of the following:
Broccoli: side shoots (entire shoot, including leaves, is edible)
Cauliflower: Sicilian Purple (purple, entire shoot, including leaves, is edible)
Spinach: Mix     
For those with the Egg option [full shares]: one dozen free-range eggs (asst. colors)
For those with the Herb option: sage, ginger mint, fennel

Beautiful Napa cabbage harvest
Featured Recipes:  ** indicates a BGF favorite 
Stir-fried Napa Cabbage with Spicy Garlic Dressing
8 Things To Do With Napa Cabbage
Herb Roasted Parmesan Acorn Squash
BGF Squash & Sausage Bake** see recipe below

What’s up on the farm?

Precipitation in the past week: 0.35" rain + snow flurries!

Welcome to the final delivery of the 2018 Summer CSA. It is hard to believe that twenty deliveries have gone by so quickly. And yet again, at the end, it suddenly seems like we are getting all the seasons at once, our tardy summer rains, crisp fall days and freezing weather complete with snow! The freeze Sunday night finished off all the warm season crops including field tomatoes and peppers. We cleared the hot peppers from the field today and will start pulling the rest of the spent summer crops later this week. Luckily we were able to get all of the new fall crops covered before the really cold temps rolled in

We are still trying to get the last of the high tunnel crops finished up. This has been delayed by some moderate high tunnel flooding from the heavy rains. We finally got the last of the peppers cleared and most of the bed prep done in our final bed, but the northern 1/3 of the bed is still too wet to work the soil, so we wait.

Amid finishing up the 2018 season, the work for 2019 is already beginning. The crop mapping for next season is underway. This is an important first step, because we will plant garlic in the next couple of weeks and we have to know where it fits into the rotation. Now that we know the location, we just have to prep the garlic, prep the beds, plant the garlic and mulch it.

Last, but not least, we'd like to introduce the newest member of the BGF farm crew. Meet "Sky." She joined us this past Sunday and is keeping us well entertained. She is a mini Blue Heeler/Aussie Shepherd/Border Collie cross and is already showing a strong leader personality, which is exactly what we were hoping for (heaven help us!) Indigo & Luci aren't at all sure this was a good idea.

Final Delivery Note: Today is the final delivery of the 2018 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 2019 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:  Starting the first week of November 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 Theater 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 (though we are planning to take New Year's Day off). 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. 

If you can't wait until November to get your fresh produce, we hope you'll come visit us at the Downtown Des Moines Farmers Market. We're there every Saturday until the end of October.

Final 2018 CSA delivery: Today! October 16th
VegEmail sales begin: Tuesday, November 6th
Fall  Indoor Farmers Market: November 15-17
Winter Indoor Farmers Market: December 14-15

A little detail on your produce this week:

Carrots: These young carrots are the first of our fall crop. They should be sweet and tasty, perfect for eating fresh or cooking in any recipe. Remove the leafy green tops, leaving about an inch of stems. Refrigerate dry, unwashed carrots in a plastic bag for two weeks or longer. Peel carrots or scrub carrots well with a stiff brush just before using. Trim off any green spots, which can taste bitter. When slicing or chopping carrots for cooking, be sure to make all the pieces relatively the same size; this will ensure an evenly cooked dish. Greens can be added to soup stock for flavor.

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.  

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 & Sky)

3/4 cup canned coconut milk
3 sage leaves (or fresh thyme)
2/3 cup finely grated parmigiano-reggiano
2 links Italian sausage, precooked, cut into rounds

Preheat oven to 400°F with rack in middle.
Toss squash with coconut milk, sage, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a 2-quart shallow baking dish. Bake, covered, 30 minutes.
Stir in half of cheese and sausage. Sprinkle remainder of cheese on top. Roast, uncovered, until squash is tender and beginning to brown, about 20 minutes. Let stand about 5 minutes before serving (cream will thicken).

Recipe Source: Blue Gate Farm, adapted from www.epicurious.com

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