CSA Newsletter-Box 15-September 28, 2011

by jennifer on September 28, 2011


 Today’s Box:
delicata squash
beets or chard
radishes-regular shares only
scarlet queen turnip-small shares only
yellow finn potatoes
Ailsa Craig sweet onion
red cipollini onions
English cucumbers
lemon cucumbers
green zucchini
yellow crookneck
eggplant or green pepper
red slicing tomatoes
green cabbage
dill, cilantro, or basil

I am so glad to have  little bit more sun to finish the fall chores. We got a lot done last week, but there are still a few more things to do. Today the crew is hauling the rest of the winter squash out of the fields and Jim will be prepping the fields for covercropping. The rain really changed things here on the farm. Some of our favorite summer friends like tomatoes, beans, and basil are looking a little worse for the wear. You might notice some black speckles on the shoulders of the tomatoes. They are still as tasty as ever, though. We ended up with a lot of “seconds” tomatoes from this harvest, so if you want to put some up, let me know. We’ll be at the Oympia Farmers Market Thursday through Sunday and can hold a box for you. They are $1.50/lb. Sadly the sungold cherry tomatoes all split in the rain. We probably lost about 10 flats worth. So no sungolds today.

There are a few new guests in your box this week, namely delicata winter squash, celery, and Ailsa Craig onions. The delicata squash is my hands-down favorite. It is the sweetest and creamiest of all the winter squash varieties; no butter or brown sugar needed. The easiest way to prepare any winter squash is to cut it in half, scoop out the seeds and pulp, and bake cut side down in a baking dish with a little water in it to steam. Bake at 350 until you can pierce the skin easily with a fork. You can also cut squash up into chunks and steam it on the stove top, which is quicker (but won’t warm your kitchen up as much!) We often incorporate cubed up squash in our root vegetable roasts.

We grew celery again this year despite all of our previous failures. We are determined to get it right! We have been eyeing the celery for weeks, but there hasn’t been enough room in your boxes so we put off harvesting it. Jim and all were all excited yesterday to finally cut the celery so you can imagine our consternation when we found it had aphids in it. Who knew aphids liked celery? Rather than abandon the patch, we decided to trim the celery in the field, wash it thoroughly, and bunch the stalks. That is why your celery looks the way it does. The flavor is sweet but it is a bit stringy. You may want to use it more in cooking, or cut off the end and de-string it before packing it the kids school lunches!

Ailsa Craig onions are the big sweet onion in your box. For years we have been trying to find a sweet onion other that the Walla Walla variety, partly because even we are allowed to grow them, we cannot call them Walla Wallas (it is a trademark thing.) The Ailsas are a little later, but I am impressed with the size. We’ll try these again next year.

During these last few weeks you will see less and less of the summery things like tomatoes and corn and more of the fall crops like winter squash and leeks. Savor the last few bits of summer in your box. Who knows what the fall will bring!

Don’t forget to comb through the recipe section of the website for new and interesting ways to use your weekly share.


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