Tuesday, October 6, 2020

BGF NEWS - October 6 , 2020 - VOL. XLV, NO. 19

In this week’s box:

Head Lettuce: asst.
Jubilee Cherry Tomato Mix (see 7/21 newsletter for details)
Kale Bouquet: Mix
Leeks: Bandit
Peppers: asst. (see 8/11 newsletter for details)
Potatoes: Mix
Tomato: Slicers (see 7/28 newsletter for details)
Winter Density Squash

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 & Half Shares]: one dozen free-range eggs
For those with the Herb option: lemon basil, orange thyme & chocolate mint

What’s up on the farm?


Precipitation in the past week: 0.25" 
First frost of the season

Last week's frost plus the chilly, drizzly weather on
Saturday really put me in the soup zone. It was all I wanted to eat. So that was my mindset when I started looking for recipes for this week's newsletter, can you tell? Then this week rolls in with 70°-80° temps forecast for every day! What?? Alright, so I added in a kale salad recipe that would be great for warmer weather OR for serving alongside a hearty bowl of soup. 
We did have our first frost of the season Thursday night and then patchy frost again on Saturday night, but no one told the crops that it had frosted, so mostly they didn't seem to notice. That was a pleasant surprise and we plan to take full advantage of it. So be sure to enjoy those peppers and tomatoes because they are definitely on borrowed time at this point. We did clear most of the field sweet basil last week as it really was done, but we still have some in the big high tunnel so Herb Share members get one last taste of summer there as well. 
Now that we've had a bit of rain, the cool weather weeds are feeling spunky and germinating like crazy, so we spent quite a bit of time in the past week cultivating the fall crops and trying to stay ahead of the weed game. So far, things are looking pretty good on that front. 
Beautiful and tasty Winter Density Squash
Since we are now in October, we decided to help you celebrate in style so we are sending out the last of your winter squash in this week's boxes. The Winter Density Squash is one of our favorites as it is a delicious heirloom variety for making pies and baked goods, but is also tasty as a vegetable squash in any recipe AND it can be used as a decorative pumpkin if eating squash isn't your thing. Do note though, that with our vines dying prematurely this year, I am afraid that these squash won't have the storage capacity that they normally do. I would plan to use them in the next couple of weeks if possible. We hope you enjoy them, they really are very tasty!

Finally, we had posted earlier about the amphibian "supervisor" who had taken up residence in our packing barn. Well, a couple days ago he acquired an "assistant" who seemed quite content with his new position hanging out between our sink and our storage rack. And today, we found a similar "squatter" living under our sink. That's it! I've reached my "Frog Capacity" in the packing barn. So we organized a rescue party and returned them outside where they can eat up and then tuck up someplace safe and warm (and not the packing barn) for the winter.

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.

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.

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)

Tomatoes: always store whole tomatoes at room temperature, out of direct sunlight. Once cut, store in a sealed 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 & Sky)

Indigo, Luci & Sky

Sorrel Soup

2 C. Chopped Sorrel Leaves
3 Tbs. Butter
1 Med. Onion (or leek) -chopped
1 Qt. Chicken Stock
½ lb Potatoes-peeled and cubed
1 Tsp. Salt
1 C. Milk
2 Tbs. Flour
1 Egg Yolk
1/8 Tsp. Nutmeg

In a medium saucepan, heat butter over medium heat. Add onion and cook for 4-5 minutes or until softened. Add chicken stock and sorrel and cook, stirring for 10 min.  Add potatoes and salt. Bring to a boil.  Cover and simmer for 30 min. Combine egg yolk and flour, then add to milk and mix well. Add egg mixture and nutmeg to soup, stirring to combine. Heat through, do not boil.  Delicious served with French bread.

No comments: