CSA Newsletter: Week 13

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IN YOUR BOX THIS WEEK

Yellow or Red Watermelon // Store in the fridge. Once cut open, store leftover melon in the fridge wrapped with a  plastic wrap. The flesh will dry out if left exposed. Use them quickly. 

Celery // Celery releases a gas known as ethylene. It therefore should not be stored in plastic — This will trap the gas and cause quick spoilage. For best storage, wrap in aluminum foil and store in the fridge.

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

Heirloom & Slicer Tomatoes // Store at room temperature for up to a week. Do not refrigerate. Use heirlooms or blemished tomatoes much more quickly, within a day or two if you can.

Cherry Tomatoes // Most tomatoes should be kept out on the counter at room temperature, but cherry tomatoes need to be stored in the fridge or they over-ripen quickly.

Cucumbers // Store in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator. Try to use within one week.

Jalapenos // 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.

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

Carrots // Refrigerate carrots in a plastic bag. They will easily keep for 2-4 weeks this way.

Beets (half shares who do not receive carrots) // Beet roots will easily last a couple of weeks. They’ll get soft after that but can still be used. Store the roots loose in the crisper drawer of your fridge.

Yellow Onions // Fresh onions, which are freshly harvested and have not been cured, should be stored in the crisper drawer of your fridge until ready to use. They will last a couple weeks in there.

Garlic // Store in a cool drafty place, preferably out of direct sunlight. Use within a couple weeks.

Chives (full shares only) // Store in the fridge in a small glass with about an inch of water, stem side down (like flowers in a vase) for best storage.

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This week looks like a lot of the same. The rain is still frustrating, unyielding, and making it extremely difficult to keep up. The pack shed is still not finished. The tomatoes are diseased but the harvest is still heavy and full. The last of the onions are curing in the greenhouse—the rest have been bagged and moved to storage in our basement! We’re still short on labor, but our crew is amazing and keeping our Tuesdays light and our CSA harvest days joyous. We’re getting the last few rounds of fall transplants into the ground—mostly intended for a fall storage share and November restaurant sales.  We’re still focused on weeding because the soil is staying so wet. We need to trellis the second planting of tomatoes. We’re grateful that there are still tomatoes to trellis.

The only significant changes are that the watermelons may finally be wrapped up after over a month of heavy, beautiful harvests, (We have A LOT in the cooler so we’re still hoping to give melons both this week and next!), the summer squash quality has gone down and is no longer worth harvesting (hard to believe we got nearly three months of summer squash this year!), and the winter squash appears to be approaching its first harvest. We’re predicting acorn squash in your boxes next week! We harvested the first of the leeks for an event this weekend and those aren’t far off either.

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We’re definitely feeling the transition into fall complete with messy fields, waning physical energy, and big dreams about all the fun we’re going to try and pack into the next couple months while the weather is still good but our to do list is a little less full. We’re also already strategizing what the next year should look like and what changes need to be made. After a year that has often felt unmanageable, it feels so good to think about how we could do things differently. Our first several years of farming were just us running around trying to figure out what the heck we were doing. I’m happy to say that isn’t the struggle of today. We feel confident in the growing, harvesting and maintaining of most vegetables. Now the challenge is figuring out how to farm in a way that is smart, purposeful and focused on a slim degree of balance. In other words, work to build a profitable and sustainable business.

I’m also transitioning from 100% of my free time spent in the fields to about 50% farm work, 25% relaxation and 25% time spent preserving the harvest. I’ve got 10 pounds of beans blanched and stashed in the freezer alongside ten (yes, ten) gallon bags of cubed cantaloupe; there was a lot of next to rotting cantaloupe in our life last week and I just didn’t know what else to do with it! I froze 20 pints of roasted tomatoes (which will make great pasta sauce and/or chili come this winter) and another 3 pints of roasted poblano and tomato soup. I cubed and roasted the last of the marginal summer squash and stashed that in the freezer as well. It’s destined for soups and winter curries. All this along with the 300 pounds of blueberries we bought from a farm in Michigan is keeping our deep freezer packed, but I know there are still pockets of space for diced peppers and more tomatoes. I’ve also borrowed a dehydrator and am stashing away some hot peppers. Our favorite charred salsa is next on the docket.  

I’m sure you all are having your own transitions into fall and I’m sure they look a lot different than ours, but I hope they are met with just as much joy and excitement.

-L&K

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IN YOUR BOX NEXT WEEK

You can expect 10-12 of these items in your box next week

Melons

Tomatillos

Cherry Tomatoes

Tomatoes

Beans

Eggplant

Sweet Pepper

Hot Pepper

Kohlrabi

Beets

Acorn Squash

Potatoes

Onions

Garlic

Mixed Herbs (Mint, Parsley, Basil)

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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. 

Cucumber Carrot “Slaw” // Cucumbers, Carrots, Onion

I hope you have some cucumbers left from the last couple weeks to make this refreshing salad!

 

3 cucumbers, peeled, halved, seeded and sliced  (they will look like apple slices)

2 carrots (1 if very large), shredded

½ yellow onion, thinly sliced into rings

Dressing:

¼ cup  + 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

3 tablespoons sugar

1 ¼ teaspoon ground coriander

1 ½ teaspoon kosher salt

¼ - ½ teaspoon ground black pepper

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together dressing ingredients until sugar is dissolved. Add vegetables, toss gently until well coated and combined. Ideally this would sit for an hour or 2 before serving.

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.

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Mason Jar Caprese // Tomatoes (slicers or heirlooms), Cherry Tomatoes, Chives (sub Basil if you have some, that's more traditional!) // May I take this moment to not link to any particular recipe and instead simply remind you that it's summer and the eating is so easy. This has been my lunch the past week. Sliced tomatoes (1 or 2) + halved or quartered cherry tomatoes (about a half pint) + 2-3 ounces of sliced fresh mozzarella + some chives, olive oil, balsamic, salt and pepper all thrown into a mason jar for easy packing into my backpack without any spillage.

Vegetarian, Gluten-Free

 photo by: Smitten Kitchen

photo by: Smitten Kitchen

Roasted Carrots with Avocado & Yogurt // Carrots (or substitute Beets), Garlic, Sub Chives for Sprouts if you have them or just skip the sprouts altogether // I love a good sheet pan meal: a meal that comes together on one pan and can be paired with perhaps some grilled sausages or grilled steaks. Voila! Your Labor Day dinner is done!

Vegetarian, Gluten-Free

 photo by: Bon Appetit

photo by: Bon Appetit

 

Roasted Red Peppers with Cherry Tomatoes and Ricotta // Colored Peppers, Garlic, Sub Chives for Basil if you've got it (skip the Basil if you don't), Cherry Tomatoes // For the full shares who received a whole bunch of colored peppers this week, I know that knowing what to do with peppers when you keep getting them week after week may be overwhelming. I have a solution: stuffed peppers! You can stuff any pepper, regardless of size or color, this recipe just happens to talk specifically about red bells. Substitute whatever you have lying around. But whatever you do, just don't substitute anchovy paste for anchovies. It doesn't work or taste good. Best to just leave them out if you can't find (or don't feel like using) fresh anchovies.

Vegetarian (without anchovies), Gluten-Free

 photo by: Health

photo by: Health

Tomato, Cucumber & Green Bean Salad // Cherry Tomatoes, Cucumber, Green Beans, sub Yellow Onion for Red, skip the herbs unless you happen to have some on hand // I never would have thought cucumbers, cherry tomatoes and blanched green beans could taste so good together, but there's something about tossing them with a walnut dressing that completely transforms them. I love this simple salad for a quick way to get a lot of veggies into my dinner fast.

Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten-Free

 photo by: Bon Appetit

photo by: Bon Appetit

Pork Chops with Celery & Almond Salad // Celery, sub Celery leaves for parsley, sub Onion for Shallot // In case you can't tell just by looking at it, fresh celery is NOTHING like store bought celery. The stems are thinner, the leaves are bigger, the green is more vibrant. Fresh, local celery doesn't need to be buried in soups or stocks (though I do use it for soup in the next recipe). It is worthy of starring as the main event on your dinner table. This simple salad from Bon Appetit is lovely and tender and delicate. It feels a little like fall thanks to the dried cranberries, but with the great cool weather we're having today, I'm feeling like fall anyways.

Vegetarian (if just making the salad), Gluten-Free

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Tomato Soup with Carrots & Celery // Tomatoes, Carrots, Celery, Onion // I know this lovely cool spell likely won't last long so I'm relishing in it eating all the delicious hearty, tomato-y soups I can. And I'm thinking to the future with them too! I actually just made a bunch of this tomato soup and froze the majority of it in freezer-safe mason jars. I can't wait to pull a jar of soup out of the freezer on a busy fall or winter day when I don't know what to bring for lunch and be met with amazing summer flavors!

Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten-Free

 photo by: Smitten Kitchen

photo by: Smitten Kitchen

Scalloped Tomatoes with Croutons // Tomatoes // SCALLOPED TOMATOES WITH CROUTONS?! This is essentially one of my favorite winter Midwest recipes (scalloped potatoes) lightened up and made fresh with tomatoes instead of potatoes, basil instead of the usual pounds of cheese and a beautiful array of freshly=made breadcrumbs. This dish is tasty. Make it now and serve it up with poached eggs. 

Vegetarian

 photo by: Bon Appetit

photo by: Bon Appetit

Celery, Apple & Peanut Salad // Celery, sub Yellow Onion for scallions, sub Jalapeno for fresno chili, sub Celery leaves for parsley // In case you didn't get the hint above, here's another one: I really want you to make salad with your fresh celery. This one pairs salty peanuts, spicy peppers, sweet apples and a bunch of lemon juice for a light, bright perfect for late summer salad.

Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten-Free

 photo by: Heartbeet Kitchen

photo by: Heartbeet Kitchen

Cucumber Avocado Watermelon Salad // Watermelon, Cucumber, consider adding Tomatoes or Jalapeno // We're finally on the home-stretch when it comes to watermelon. There is likely only one more week for most of you. It could be the last week for some of you, but only time will tell. Either way, I'm guessing that you may be getting a little tired of fresh melon (if that's possible). If you are, give this salad a whirl. Feel free to add diced tomato and/or jalapeno to make things a little extra interesting.

Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten-Free

 photo by: Six Seasons (Joshua McFadden)

photo by: Six Seasons (Joshua McFadden)

Grilled Carrots, Steak, and Onion with Fish Sauce Sauce // Carrots, Sub Yellow Onion for red onion, Jalapeno (for chili used in sauce), Garlic, Chives or other herbs (whatever you've got on hand) // I've wanted to share so many recipes from this fabulous cookbook with you but can't always find the recipes online. I'm so glad that this one is because it's unbelievably simple, inspiring, surprising and delicious. Give it a go and if you love it, think about purchasing this awesome cookbook packed full of vegetable recipes!

Gluten-Free

 photo by: Better Homes & Gardens

photo by: Better Homes & Gardens

Freezing Green Beans // Green Beans // I know we are giving you a lot of green beans this week and it will likely continue into the next week so in case you are beaned out from earlier in the summer. Here is my quick and easy guide to freezing! Having green beans in your freezer will help make winter soups a breeze or make this Thanksgiving's green bean casserole extra special!

Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten-Free