IN YOUR BOX THIS WEEK:
Lovelock Lettuce // Store loosely in a plastic bag (ideally) or in the crisper drawer of your fridge. Keep unused leaves on head. Use within a week, but may store for up to two weeks.
Red Cabbage // Cabbage is one of the best storage vegetables. It can easily last three weeks to two months. You don’t need to do much to it. Keep it in the fridge in the crisper drawer. A plastic bag can help retain moisture, but it doesn’t matter much. The two outside leaves are used as storage leaves. Remove them before eating.
Beans // Refrigerate in a plastic bag and use as soon as possible. They are quite perishable.
Colored Italian Peppers (Red & Yellow) or Oranos (Orange) // Refrigerate peppers, unwashed, in the vegetable drawer. Moisture makes them spoil faster so don’t store in a plastic bag.
Poblanos (Green) // Hot peppers keep well in the fridge, especially in the crisper drawer. I often keep hot peppers in a plastic bag so that they don’t spread their heat or flavor to other fridge items.
Carrots // Refrigerate carrots in a plastic bag. They will easily keep for 2-4 weeks this way.
Watermelon Radish // Store in the crisper drawer of your fridge for several weeks. If you cut into one, store in a bag or plastic container and use within a week.
Celeriac // Store in the crisper drawer of your fridge with the skin (and dirt) left on. Root vegetables store much better before they are washed. You can also store in a plastic bag or plastic wrap to help it keep longer. It should last 4-6 weeks with no issues. After that it will soften but still have great flavor.
Butterball (Full) or All Blue (Half) Potatoes // Store just like you’d store any bag of potatoes from the grocery store: in a cool, dark place. Out of the light, they should keep for at least a month.
Yellow Onion // Store along with your potatoes in a cool dark place and try to use within a couple weeks.
How are we here already? At the close of another CSA season?
This season went fast. Faster than ever before. And yes, I know I say that every year, and in fact they all have gone by quite quickly. But each year, we grow our business a little more and each year it seems to fly past with more speed than the year prior.
We’re happy to say it’s the most successful CSA program we’ve ever run: the increase in members we made with the greatest ease. There honestly wasn’t a box we didn’t love. Moving elegantly and quickly from asparagus, rhubarb, and loads of spring greens to beets, zucchini, cucumbers, and more broccoli than anyone had ever seen. Then on to tomatoes, peppers, beans, fennel and eggplant. A dreary tomato crop turned much better over time and lingered nearly to the very end. We finished strong with heavy amounts of storage potatoes and onions, statuesque leeks, and a handful of winter squash balanced with a whole bunch of root veggies.
We look back through the photos and can hardly believe we built the CSA we always wanted to build. Lots of variety, lots of color, loads of abundance (but balanced abundance) and boxes that are easy to cook with. We hope you enjoyed eating the bounty as much as we enjoyed bringing it to you.
It was a year of growth and we tried loads of new things (and made plenty of mistakes along the way). There were things that fared well, and others that didn’t. It was a year that so much happened, we didn’t even have enough time to tell you everything. We tried to fit the big things into newsletters and the smaller things into social media, but there was so much to share.
We grew vegetable seedlings for home gardeners, celeriac, shishito peppers, fingerling potatoes, napa cabbage, and daikon radish for the first time. We had our first successful cantaloupe crop (and it was a tremendous hit among CSA members!), our first darling crop of green garlic (still hilarious to us that it was an accident), and the best stand of rainbow chard we’ve ever grown. We had stunning onions, an overload of potatoes and nearly three hundred pounds of gorgeous pink pearly shallots. The celery loved its home in a low, wet part of our fields. We learned that scallions and parsley are real hits when it comes to selling to restaurants. We fought off an early pepper disease and intense insect pressure in the tomato field.
We tried our hand at succession crops of cucurbits. The first and second cucumbers and zucchini plantings fared well as did the first melon crop, but the last planting of each were pretty disappointing. We didn’t row cover the winter squash, got it in the ground too late right before an intense bout of rain, and skimped out on buying new landscape fabric for this field (thus planting them closer together than we wanted) ultimately leading to a massive crop failure. We also lost five beds of lettuce to intense September heat. We had our first issue of deer going crazy for our beets. Most of our Brussels Sprouts rotted.
I guess what I’m saying is we did a lot right this year. And we also had a lot go wrong. And despite a few venting sessions, we rolled with the punches better than we ever have. We accepted the fact that some things go well and some things go badly. We over-planned, over-prepared and pivoted quickly when we needed to. We’re coming out the other side of a six month sprint (or marathon? We can never quite decide what to call our rapid CSA season) feeling proud, smart, and strong.
As usual, we have learned more in the last six months than we thought possible. Yes, about growing things, building more efficient systems, what it means to really invest in ourselves, and what crops have the real possibility of being highly profitable in the long-term, but most importantly, we are beginning to learn what we want to build together. And what we don’t.
This was the year that we realized some of our dreams might not happen. And there was a brief bittersweet sadness as we let old visions go, but we learned (I learned) that some dreams are idealistic and fanciful and better in their vision than they are in their reality. This was the year I learned that some dreams belong on a shelf.
We grew up a lot. We learned big differences between running a business that looks good, and running a business that is good (and sustainable and strategic and pragmatic and capable of lasting twenty more years). It was a season where we took things very seriously. And there were times it wasn’t fun. It was the year I realized that beautiful and romantic and perfect as farming can be, it is still a job. And there are days, weeks and even months that can be a real struggle.
It was a growing year, a thoughtful year, a year with some real ups and downs. But it was also a year of great food, beautiful friendships, incredible events and partnerships, amazing teamwork and infinite possibility.
Thanks for spending your spring, summer and fall with us. We couldn’t do what we do, be who we are, or live how we live without each and every one of you. Thanks for making our life possible and believing in our local food system. We’re so excited to be building something beautiful with you, and look forward to the future and all the new adventures we have in store.
L & K
Veggie ID: Watermelon Radish ↑
Like so many vegetables, watermelon radishes were a thing I’d barely ever tasted before I started farming. They certainly weren’t something I would choose myself on a trip to the grocery store. But after three years of growing them, I have fall completely in love.
They do not in fact taste like a watermelon; instead their name comes from their appearance (green on the outside, pink on the inside). They are a hybrid of a daikon so they have that sweeter, less spicy, more robust flavor similar to a daikon.
Cooking them is quite simple. You do not have to peel them before use and they taste best raw and thinly sliced. Instead of throwing the slices on a salad as an afterthought, I prefer to use watermelon radish as the main ingredient. My all time favorite way to eat them is with sliced carrots, avocado and a garlicky vinaigrette (see below) and I’ve got another recipe for sliced radishes and burrata, but this Watermelon Salad with Oranges and Goat Cheese from Alexandra’s Kitchen looks quite remarkable as well.
Veggie ID: Celeriac ↓
Lentil Vegetable Shepherd’s Pie // Onion, Carrot, Potatoes (use for both potatoes and rutabaga), Sub Celeriac, leftover Turnips or extra Carrots for Parsnip //A vegan shepherd’s pie?! This is just the thing for this suddenly cool weather we’ve been launched into. I’m immediately wanting all the soups and casseroles, and shepherd’s pie is one of my faves! Vegetables, lentils and mushrooms simmer gently into a velvety base of rich flavor and then get topped with piles of mashed potatoes. Veggies on veggies for dinner, what’s not to like?!
Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten Free (if you skip the flour for thickening)
Green Bean Salad with Feta & Walnuts // Green Beans, Lettuce, Yellow Onion (or leftover Red Onion or Shallot if you’ve got it) // This salad feels more summery than fall, but if the fields are going to keep producing summer delights like green beans, then it’s salad we’ll be eating. Blanched beans, crunchy lettuce, creamy feta, nutty walnuts and the bite of raw onion all in one lovely bright bowl of veggies. Toss in some cherry tomatoes if you still have them laying around. It’s a perfect simple dinner.
Vegetarian, Vegan (if you leave off the feta), Gluten Free
Radishes with Burrata // Watermelon Radishes // It isn’t always easy to find burrata, but if you can, make this recipe immediately. Watermelon radishes are still a little spicy like a regular radish but more sweet and flavorful. They don’t take much to make them tasty, but tossing them with oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper, and throwing them on a bed of creamy cheese is one really great way to go about it.
Vegetarian, Gluten Free
Carrot Cake with Cider & Olive Oil // Carrots // I love when I can take my veggies and make a dessert out of them! And I just happen to have loads of apple cider in my fridge leftover from the harvest party that didn’t happen. This cake is delicious and even better with extra cider cut into the cream cheese frosting. Hello fall!
Caramelized Onion Dip // Onions // We gave you loads of onions this week so you could have some for storing, but then I couldn’t resist sharing a couple of my favorite recipes that use lots of onions. French onion dip is a favorite in our household and making it from scratch is simpler and tastier than you could ever imagine. I often use Greek yogurt instead of the sour cream (and sometimes even part of the cream cheese) to lighten it up and love the bright, acidity Greek yogurt brings.
Vegetarian, Gluten Free
Carrot Ginger Miso Dressing // Carrots, leftover Shallot if you’ve got it, Poblano or Jalapeno // With that lovely head of lettuce in this week’s box, you can certainly use up a beautiful bottle of homemade salad dressing in a hurry. I adore this dressing. It’s a little sweet, a little spicy, super savory from all the yummy umami ingredients, and good on everything (especially on salads with avocado or tossed with roasted veggies).
Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten Free (with the right soy sauce)
French Onion Soup // Yellow Onions // Have you ever made french onion soup from scratch?! Probably not because everyone always thinks I’m nuts for doing it, but you know what, it’s super simple. It takes a while so its a great meal to make on a lazy Saturday or Sunday. But I promise you that following these instructions it will be so incredibly easy. It’s one of the first recipes I mastered as a young twenty-something learning to cook. I’m pretty sure it’s also the key to Kyle’s heart and a large part of why we’re married so there’s that.
Vegetarian (with the right broth)
Date, Feta and Red Cabbage Salad // Red Cabbage // Red Cabbage is so under appreciated. Over my years as a CSA farmer, I’ve really learned to love it. It’s tough enough to stand up to some pretty heavy dressings and it’s stunningly beautiful. Most days I just toss it with some green cabbage for a simple coleslaw, put it in my favorite cabbage patch soup (my mom’s recipe from last week), or grill it up, but when I’m feeling fancy I turn it into a bright, elegant salad like this one.
Vegetarian, Gluten Free
Avocado with Radish, Carrot & Pickled Onion // Watermelon Radish, Carrot, Sub Yellow Onion for red if you don’t have any leftover Red Onions or Shallots lying around // I don’t know what it is about thinly sliced carrots, thinly sliced radishes (especially tender, crispy, sweet watermelon radishes) and avocados, but I just love the combination. It doesn’t need much to spruce it up. I usually skip the chimichurri when I make this recipe opting instead for a simple vinaigrette of oil, vinegar, mustard, lots of minced garlic and honey.
Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten-Free
Green Bean Salad with Fried Almonds // Green Beans, Sub Yellow Onion for Red Onion, Sub Half Bulb of Celeriac for Celery, Use leftover Fennel if you’ve got it (skip it if you don’t) // If you have a mandolin you have got to make this recipe. I love the thin tender veggies paired with blanched green beans, and crisp crunchy almonds. It’s a fresh take on my usual green beans sauteed with beans and almonds.
Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten-Free
MOM’S RECIPE CORNER
Italian Country Supper Omelet // Potatoes, Onions, Sweet Peppers or Poblanos
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
4-5 Italian style sausages – hot or sweet, your preference
1 pound+ potatoes, peeled if necessary and thinly sliced
2 medium onions, diced, about 1 ½ cups
2 peppers, mild or poblano, cut into ¼” strips
1 garlic clove, minced
8 large eggs
1/2 cup water
Prick each sausage in a few places. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large skillet with ovenproof handle. Cook sausages until browned on all sides and cooked through, 10 – 15 minutes. Remove from skillet, let cool slightly. Slice into ¼” slices when cool enough to handle.
Meanwhile, add remaining tablespoon oil to drippings in skillet. Add potatoes, onions, peppers and garlic. Cook over medium heat, about 12 minutes, stirring frequently, until potatoes are almost tender.
Whisk together eggs, water and salt. Return sausages to skillet, stirring gently to distribute evenly. Pour in egg mixture, cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes until egg is set on bottom and sides.
Heat broiler. Place skillet about 5-6” under broiler. Broil about 3 minutes until top is puffy and egg is just set.