CSA Newsletter: Week 19

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IN YOUR BOX THIS WEEK

Lettuce Mix (Half Shares Only) // Store loosely in a plastic bag until ready to use. Should last up to a week.

Colored Bell or Italian Frying Pepper (Full Shares Only) // Refrigerate peppers, unwashed, in the vegetable drawer. Moisture makes them spoil faster so don’t store in a plastic bag.

Beans // Refrigerate in a plastic bag and use as soon as possible. They are quite perishable.

Brussels Sprouts // Take out of plastic bag and store in a bowl or open container in the fridge. Do not trim or discard outer leaves before storage. Brussels sprouts should last up to a month this way. The outer leaves might get a little shriveled but you typically remove them anyway.

Kohlrabi // The kohlrabi bulb will last up to a month in the fridge. Use within a couple weeks if you plan to eat it raw.

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.

Carrots (with greens) //Separate roots from greens. Wash greens and wrap in a paper towel and place in the crisper drawer of your fridge. They should last up to 5 days. Refrigerate carrot roots in a plastic bag. They will easily keep for 2-4 weeks this way.

Sweet Potatoes // These sweet potatoes have been cured and can be stored much like regular potatoes: in a cool, dry place. A semi-dark spot in the basement or pantry will work best.

Watermelon Radish //Store in the crisper drawer of the fridge and store up to a month.

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Rain, rain, and more rain. How are you all feeling with this recent weather? I bet it’s not far off from how we feel. We feel like hibernating— like it’s already November and time to bunker down even though we’ve still got two CSA boxes, a farm party, a storage share, $5000 of wholesale to sell, and a mountain of clean up to do. But the weather is signaling something else. The weather is telling us to stay inside not only because it’s so dang miserable outside but also because it’s truly too wet to even be out in the fields let alone get much of anything done.

Honestly, it’s a rather fitting ending to a year that didn’t want to give us a break. Not in April when it was snowing. Not in April when it was hailing. Not in June when it rained excessively every day that our crew was out to help, not in August when we somehow got 22 inches of rain in ONE month, and not now. Everything is telling us to stop, to let this season go, to write it off and start planning for the next one. So we’ve been doing what we can and not a whole lot more, leaning into the rain. We’ve stopped fighting it. We’re spending more time at home. We’re using our energy to plan a ridiculously fun fall party, catch up with friends and family, and clean our basement. 

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And we’re leaving for Hawaii in 10 days— less than 48 hours after the delivery of the last regular season CSA box. We had so much we thought we’d get done before we left but there’s only so much the weather will allow. We can’t mow. We can’t seed cover crop. We can’t plant garlic and we can’t roll up landscape fabric. We can’t get our cement poured or our water lines dug. It’s ok. We just won’t. And then we’ll come home to what has just got to be better weather and we’ll finish the season- full of more spirit, joy and determination than we could possibly muster in the midst of this rain. 

If there is anything farming has taught me, it’s that you have to learn to lean in. When the sun won’t stop shining, you work and you work hard. You take care of your body so you can put even more into this thing. You seize the opportunities that are there and then when the rain comes, when the winds come, when the weather demands you stop working, you listen. You do the bare minimum and then you go home and you do the things you wish you had energy for back when the sun wouldn’t stop shining. We never asked for such a dramatic lesson but it’s here. So we’ll listen. 

Despite the rain and the call for rest and projects at home, we’ll be spending today and tomorrow harvesting because there are still orders to fill. We will also be preparing the fields for the frost predicted on Thursday night (and what we expect to be an absolute in the impending weeks: cold that has the potential to damage our crops). Getting all this row cover laid now protects things from the cold but also gives them a boost, helping the vegetables that remain grow faster through these dark and cool days. It’s a lovely end of season balance: hard work and rest, celebration and sadness, sunshine and mud. And somehow it’s almost done. We so hope you’ve enjoyed this ride.  

-L&K

P.S. Did you see that we’re having one more fabulous party at the farm?! Come join us!

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IN YOUR BOX NEXT WEEK

You can expect 9-11 of these items in your box next week

Peppers

Bok Choy

Lettuce or Lettuce Mix

Arugula

Beans

Broccoli or Cauliflower

Brussels Sprouts

Kohlrabi

Rutabaga

Celeriac

Potatoes

Fennel

Onion

Garlic

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veggie id: celeriac ↓

Celeriac is not the prettiest vegetable you will ever encounter and because of that fact, folks often think they're not gong to like it. But celeriac is a wonderful fall veggie with loads of flavor. It's also a long-season crop (meaning it takes over 100 days to grow) with tiny seeds and for that reason, this is our first time actually growing it successfully. It's a hard crop to grow and we have often lose ours to the weeds. This year we transplanted the delicate crop in late May and kept it in a low field with lots of shade and lots of moisture. It did very well here! We're so excited to have celeriac for our members for two weeks!

What does it taste like?

Some people call it celery root as it is essentially a celery plant bred to grow large roots instead of large stems and leaves. It tastes much like celery but with a more nutty, sweet flavor.  It's also rather starchy and potato-like.

How do I eat it?

First and most importantly, you are going to need to peel the celeriac and you will want to do so aggressively. I cut off both ends and then peel it with a knife rather than a vegetable peeler. I'll lose a little bit of flesh this way but its a much faster and easier way to peel it. Then the options are limitless! I love celeriac mashed with potatoes. It's great in soups to impart a little creaminess and celery flavor (you can always sub it for celery in soups). Even just roasted with a bunch of other root veggies, celeriac really shines. But if you want to find some more creative ways to use this interesting veggies, head over to Rodale's Organic Life. They have some really awesome ideas for how to use your celeriac!

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VEGGIE ID: Kohlrabi ↓

Kohlrabi is a member of the cabbage or brassica family. It is directly translated as cabbage turnip in German and that really alludes to the flavor. This vegetables has a strong brassica flavor. Once you remove the green or purple skin (more on that below), it essentially looks like a turnip, but tastes like cabbage. Kohlrabi retains a lot of water so it's crisp but softens when you cook with it. It is especially happy growing in cooler temperatures which is why you see them a lot in late spring or fall, but they are easy to grow year-round. The leaves are edible and can be compared to collards, but because you're already receiving so many greens this week (and because we weren't sure they'd fit in the box), we removed the greens.

So how do I use it?

You just want to eat the white interior part of the kohlrabi, not the green or purple skin. You will need to peel it before cooking with it (but leave the skin on while it's in the fridge for best storage). I do this with a knife not a vegetable peeler.  You want to remove both the peel and the fibrous tough skin beneath the peel. To do this, I cut off the top and bottom first so the kohlrabi can sit flat on my cutting board and then move down the sides with my knife, following the curve of the kohlrabi and letting the skin fall away. Once you are left with the semi-round peeled vegetable, you can cut into into chunks, matchsticks or slice it thinly depending on the recipe.

What is the best way to prepare kohlrabi?

You can eat kohlrabi a lot of different ways. You can just cut it into sticks and eat it raw with some veggie dip for a quick snack. You can use it raw in practically any salad (I added it to my favorite broccoli salad and it was amazing!) or make a salad that is all about highlighting the unique veggie. Cookie & Kate's Crispy Apple & Kohlrabi Slaw is delicious. I also love Wisconsin from Scratch's Spicy Thai Kohlrabi Salad. If you are nervous about eating it raw, you can also cook with it. I love it just simmered in some milk and then mashed like potatoes (especially if you throw in some of that green garlic!). You can roast it with other veggies just like you would a turnip. Things I Made Today turned them into gnocchi with kale. I've even seen it grated and turned into fritters! Try a few different methods and figure out which way you like kohlrabi best!

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KATHY'S RECIPE CORNER

Early on, Lauren's mom instilled in her a great love of cooking. She's always had a garden and knows what to do with abundant produce better than anyone. We hope you enjoy her classic Wisconsin preparations of summer abundance. 

Dill Glazed Carrots // Carrots

1 pound carrots, peeled or well scrubbed, sliced ¼” thick

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons water

½ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon dill seeds (can substitute dill weed if you have to)

Place carrots, butter, water and salt in small heavy saucepan. Bring quickly to a boil, cover pan, reduce heat. Simmer for 10 – 12 minutes or until carrots are crisp tender. Remove cover, continue to simmer until water is almost gone. Gently stir in dill.

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box inspiration:

Every week I'll share the links to some of my favorite recipes for the produce in your box from my own blog as well as my favorite bloggers and chefs. I am a master recipe substituter so be sure to read my notes before clicking through to see what vegetables I am swapping for others and how I adapt favorite recipes time and time again with whatever is in season! Though some of the recipes I share may look complicated, I also love sharing tips for streamlining or suggesting other preparation suggestions in the notes of the recipes.

 photo by: Half Baked Harvest

photo by: Half Baked Harvest

Pan Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon, Date & Halloumi // Brussels Sprouts // Brussels Sprouts for everyone!!! Let’s celebrate by tossing them with literally all my favorite things: bacon, bread cheese (this is available all around Madison and a great substitute for halloumi) and dates!!!! Man I love fall!

Gluten-Free

 photo by: Bon Appetit

photo by: Bon Appetit

Celery Root & Carrot Soup // Celeriac, Carrot // Celery Root or Celeriac is a beautiful fall vegetable with the flavor of celery, but the creaminess of a potato. It’s delicious roasted, but I think it shines best in soups. With accents of apple and ginger, this soup is everything I love about warm fall flavors all in one lovely bowl and I just adore it.

Vegetarian, Gluten-Free

 photo by: Dining In Cookbook

photo by: Dining In Cookbook

Blistered Green Beans with Creamy Tahini & Fresh Hot Sauce // Green Beans, leftover Jalapeno or other hot pepper // I discovered this recipe weeks ago now and have been waiting impatiently for us to have green beans again so I could share it with you. If you got sick of green beans this summer (like I did), trust me when I say you will be able to easily devour them in this delicious recipe. The heat, the creamy sauce, the char on the beans. It’s perfection. I did blanch my beans for 5 minutes first to ensure they got properly blistered while still being cooked through.

Vegetarian, Gluten-Free

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Crock Pot Pork Carnitas with Roasted Vegetables // Brussels Sprouts, Celeriac, Sweet Potato, leave out the Parsnips or substitute Carrots, leave out the Broccoli (and maybe put in more Brussels) // Slow cooker + sheet pan and a boat load of vegetables. My favorite kind of cooking. Simple, healthy, quick to pull together, delicious. What’s not to love?

Gluten-Free

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Slow Cooker Beef & Sweet Potato Chili // Sweet Potato, Sweet Pepper, feel free to add some carrots too // With this cool, dreary weather, a giant batch of chili is definitely in order. I pretty much always add sweet potato or butternut squash to my batches of chili now. It is just the bit of sweet complexity regular old chili always needed.

Gluten-Free

 photo by: New York Times

photo by: New York Times

Radishes with Buratta // Watermelon Radish // You may think you aren’t a big radish person but let me just tell you that you are WRONG and that watermelon radish will change your mind. My all time favorite watermelon radish recipe is just sliced watermelon radish, sliced carrot, an avocado and a ton of garlic, olive oil and lemon, but I couldn’t find that recipe so instead you get my second favorite. It’s a bit fancier with the expensive cheese but a beautiful, delicate way to appreciate radishes and let them be center stage. Yum!

Vegetarian, Gluten-Free

 photo by: Smitten Kitchen

photo by: Smitten Kitchen

Miso, Sweet Potato & Broccoli Bowl // Sub Brussels for Broccoli, Sweet Potato, toss some roasted Carrot & Celeriac in there too if you feel like it // The first time I made this dish I actually found it quite boring. Can you even imagine? Since then I’ve realized a grain + some roasted veggies + a killer sauce is the key to using up loads of vegetables in one healthy bowl of goodness. This recipe is super simple with one exception: finding white miso if you don’t already have some on hand. Head to the co-op and pick up a jar. You won’t regret it!

Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten-Free

 photo by: Dishing up the Dirt

photo by: Dishing up the Dirt

Kohlrabi Carrot Slaw with Smoked Tuna // Carrots, Kohlrabi // I recommended this recipe next week and told you to substitute the daikon for the kohlrabi. Well if you didn’t do that, then here is another opportunity (but this time you can use that lovely kohlrabi!). If you’d prefer something pickled, check out this great recipe for Sesame Noodle Bowls with Lemongrass Meatballs and Picked Carrots & Daikon and substitute kohlrabi for the daikon. Yum!

Gluten-Free

 photo by: Dishing up the Dirt

photo by: Dishing up the Dirt

Kohlrabi Fritters with Garlic & Herb Cashew Cream // Kohlrabi // Kohlrabi doesn’t need much work. You can just peel it, cut it up and nibble it raw like an apple. It’s the snackiest vegetable you’ve got in this box after the carrots. But in case you want to make something with it anyways, let me introduce you to a totally simple work of art: kohlrabi fritters. Yum!

Vegetarian

 photo by: Food & Wine

photo by: Food & Wine

Tempura Green Beans with Old Bay & Lemon // Green Beans // Anyone in need of a project on one of these gray dreary days? Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. Tempura-ed green beans are one of my all-time favorite treats but I would never suggest them in summer when life is busy and food projects are the last thing you want. Well now that you are nearing the end of the CSA season it is time to savor every morsel in fun and creative ways. Tempura green beans here we come!

Vegetarian, Vegan

 photo by: Molly Yeh

photo by: Molly Yeh

Sweet Potato Curly Fries with Yogurt, Sriracha & Cilantro // Sweet Potatoes // Zoodling is the trick to perfect curly fries. Every damn time. I’m just full of rainy day activities to keep you all occupied.

Vegetarian, Gluten-Free