Tuesday, September 29, 2020

BGF NEWS - September 29 , 2020 - VOL. XLV, NO. 18

In this week’s box:

Arugula (in the plastic bag)
Baby Choi: Shanghai Green and/or Koji
Jubilee Cherry Tomato Mix (see 7/21 newsletter for details)
Lettuce: Magenta or Muir
Peppers: asst. (see 8/11 newsletter for details)
Spaghetti Squash
Sweet Onions: Candy or Cipollini
Tomato: Slicers (see 7/28 newsletter for details)

and perhaps one of the following: (please see **NOTE  after "A Little Detail...)     
Broccoli: Gypsy
Cauliflower: Goodman
Eggplant: Orient Express
Mini Bell Peppers: bite-sized, sweet red, yellow & orange peppers
Summer Squash: see descriptions in "A little detail"

For those with the Egg option [Full Shares]: one dozen free-range eggs
For those with the Herb option: purple basil, rosemary & garlic chives

What’s up on the farm?


Precipitation in the past week: 0.45" 

Aahhhhh, rain sweet rain! And cooler temperatures to boot. We are starting to see a real change in the scenery as well, more colors in the trees, lower angle of the sunlight, almost a burnished edge to the hills every evening.

This past week we cleared the tomatoes from both high tunnels and the eggplant went along for the ride. Currently the only warm weather crops left in the tunnels are peppers and basil, and we are loath to say farewell to those for the season, though the forecast for later this week might just say it for us. Into the cleared beds we transplanted chard and kale and sowed arugula, turnips, salad mix and spinach. We are now down to the very end of the sowing and transplanting for the season.
In the coming days we will transplant the last two beds of head lettuce in the field and sow a couple of final beds of greens in the high tunnels and that will be it for the 2020 crops. The biggest tasks to follow will be prep and planting the garlic for next season, clearing all the spent field beds and installing all the row cover in the fields and high tunnels for the late fall crops.

Upcoming dates of note:
Tuesday, Oct 13th: final CSA delivery of the 2020 season
Saturday, Oct 31: final weekly VegEmail delivery
Tuesday, Nov 10: bi-weekly VegEmail deliveries begin. We plan to  continue these deliveries on Tuesdays, every 2 weeks until the end of April.

A little detail on your produce this week:

Broccoli & Cauliflower: Wrap loosely in a plastic bag and keep it in the vegetable bin of your refrigerator for up to a week. Immediately before cooking, soak, 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/cauliflower in salt water before storing, it will become too rubbery and too 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 a structural-looking leafy-green 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.

Eggplant: Eggplant prefers to be kept at about 50° F, which is warmer than most refrigerators and cooler than most kitchen counters. Wrap unwashed eggplant in a towel (not in plastic) to absorb any moisture and keep it in the vegetable bin of your refrigerator. Used within a week, it should still be fresh and mild.  The shape of an eggplant determines how it is best prepared. Slice a straight, narrow eggplant into rounds for grilling or broiling, and cut a rounded, bulbous eggplant into cubes for stews and stir-fries.

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.

Spaghetti Squash: A true winter squash, store spaghetti squash like you would an acorn or butternut squash, at room temperature or a bit cooler (basement) with good air circulation. To prepare, bake in the oven or the quicker version is to microwave 5mins/1lb until fork goes through. Cut squash in half and scope out the seeds.  Scoop out seeds, then scoop out the flesh of the squash and flake off “spaghetti” into strands and use as a pasta replacement or as a vegetable side dish.

Summer Squash/Zucchini: Refrigerate unwashed zucchini and summer squash for up to a week and a half in a perforated plastic bag or in a sealed plastic container lined with a kitchen towel. These do not need to be peeled to use, just slice them up and go! Our varieties: 8 Ball (green,round), Golden Glory (bright yellow zucchini),  Patty Pan(scalloped white, green or yellow), Slik Pik (thin, yellow) or Zephyr (green & yellow)


 always store whole tomatoes at room temperature, out of direct sunlight. Once cut, store in a sealed container in the refrigerator.

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)

Indigo, Luci & Sky

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