CSA Newsletter: Week 18

IN YOUR BOX THIS WEEK

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.

Sweet Peppers // Refrigerate peppers, unwashed, in the vegetable drawer. Moisture makes them spoil faster so don’t store in a plastic bag.

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.

Cauliflower (Large Shares & Most Small Shares) // Cauliflower does not store well. Keep in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer of your fridge, but try to eat within 5 days. It takes on strange flavors after that. Also, soak the head upside down in cool, salty water before use. Garden bests love to hide out in organic cauliflower.

Broccoli (Large Shares & Small Shares who do not receive Cauliflower) // Store in the crisper drawer of the fridge. The colder the better for broccoli. Try to use within a few days.

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.

Purple Top Turnips (Small Shares Only) // Store loose in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator. You can also store them in an open plastic bag to best retain moisture but they may mold faster. Either way, turnips can store weeks.

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.

Lettuce (Small Shares Only) // Store loosely in a plastic bag (ideally) or in the crisper drawer of your fridge. Keep unused leaves on the head. Use within a week, but likely will store up to two weeks.

Leeks // Store in the fridge and try to use within a week. Store in a plastic bag for best storage.

Chives (Large 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.

Thyme (Small Shares Only) // Lay on a damp paper towel and wrap tightly. For long term storage and drying instructions, see here.

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 We made it friends! We’ve made it through eighteen weeks of glorious vegetables together and after a season like this, it’s so bittersweet to say goodbye. You have been the most incredible group of CSA members we ever could have dreamed up. It has been an absolute joy to grow food for you all.

You’ve shared feedback throughout the season, called with your questions, attended events and made new friends, sent photos and notes of your kids getting giddy over our vegetables, participated in our Climate Change Challenge, and you’ve shared great recipes in the Facebook group. So many of you have been incredible collaborators and partners. You have all been such a big part of our year and we’re just so grateful to be able to be a part of all your families each summer and fall. We seriously feel like we have the best CSA members of any farm and we are so filled with gratitude that you feel just as committed to us as we are to you!

For once, there is no giant sigh of release as we pack our last box. This season has been, in so many ways, easy. We’ve changed a lot of things each year we’ve been farming (in large part due to all your great feedback and wisdom over the past six years) and this year has certainly been no exception. It feels great to keep dialing in this little business.

2019 was our first season with many new pieces of infrastructure—pieces of infrastructure that made formerly difficult aspects of our CSA effortless. Washing, bagging and packing CSA boxes inside a shed with a larger walk-in cooler, dolly and mini pallets has been an absolute joy. Sending our packed boxes off with a local courier service every Wednesday has changed the flow of our week completely. Working with an expanded crew of both paid employees and worker shares while further defining Kyle and my roles on farm during CSA harvest and pack has made everything run smoother. It’s been a beautiful year of expansion for us with so many simple but mind-blowing changes.

This season went fast though. And a bit faster than usual as we enjoyed our first CSA season of 18 weeks instead of 20. We’re thrilled with the decision to eliminate a week at the beginning and end of the season while expanding our fall storage shares. We hope you also found the 18-week season a bit more manageable for your family. If you have thoughts about this or anything else related to our CSA (quality, quantity, value, events, communication), please take 10 minutes to fill out the annual CSA survey. It means the world to us and we really take every comment seriously.

And even though the CSA is winding down, there is still plenty of farming to do. We’ll be harvesting through October for our restaurants and storage shares. In November, we’ll plant the garlic for next year and continue our clean up of the fields. We’ve got a lot of hemp left to harvest and hopefully we’ll be e-mailing you all later this fall with beautiful dried hemp flower available for you to purchase. We’ll balance the end of season work with little trips we’ve been dreaming of all summer long. We’ll go camping up north in celebration of our anniversary. We’ll head to Door County in a month for my birthday. We’ll host one more lovely Women’s Wellness event. It’s going to be a beautiful fall wind down filled with preparations and excitement for next year.

We’re heading into October with more joy, enthusiasm and energy for the future than ever before and we’ve already got a plan for next year. We know how much more land we’re going to need and have already set next year’s new fields into cover crop. We’ve talked to our site hosts, evaluated which shares were working (and which ones weren’t), and we’re already ready to kick off the sign up period for 2020!

It’s a perfect way to close a perfect season with you all. We hope you have a lovely fall and winter—a beautiful season of warmth, hibernation and regrowth. We cannot wait to connect with you all again come springtime.

-L&K

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VEGGIE ID: LEEKS

Leeks are the super tall vegetables in your box this week that look almost like a giant green onion. These are one of my all time favorite veggies and I hope you learn to love them too!

They are in the allium (onion, garlic, shallots, etc) family so have that delicious allium flavor. They can be used any place where you would use an onion but I LOVE them in potato leek soup! To use them, you want to cut a tiny bit of the bottom off (the fringy part that was in the ground) as well as the leaves (use the parts that are white and pale green, skip the parts that are dark green- though they can be used for soup stock) and you can then cut them into rings or slice the leek in half and slice it much as you would an onion.

For more info on leeks and how to cut them, head over here!

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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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IN YOUR BOX NEXT WEEK

The regular CSA season is a wrap! But if you aren’t ready to say goodbye to veggies, be sure to check out our Fall Storage Share.

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. 

Holiday Cauliflower Deluxe

 1 large head of cauliflower, cut into florets

2 cups sour cream (16oz)

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, could substitute other flavorful cheeses

3 teaspoon chicken soup base dissolved/mixed into 1/4 cup milk or cream

1 ½ teaspoon dry mustard

Topping:

1/4 cup butter

1 cup stuffing crumbles

¾ cup chopped walnuts (optional)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  2. Steam cauliflower until almost tender. Drain well. In large bowl, mix sour cream, cheese, milk & chicken base and mustard. Gently stir in cauliflower. Transfer to a greased 13” X 9” baking dish.

  3. For topping, melt butter, add stuffing and walnuts. Cook and stir until toasted. Sprinkle over casserole. Bake uncovered 25 – 30 minutes.

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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: Dishing up the Dirt

photo by: Dishing up the Dirt

Roasted Roots with Turmeric Tahini Sauce // Uses Turnip, Sweet Potato, add in Celeriac if you like and skip the carrots, rutabaga, and parsnips if you don’t have any around // This box is just begging to be roasted. All those root veggies will taste swell together, especially if covered in a delectable sauce. This simple turmeric tahini sauce is rich, vibrant, healthy and hearty at once. It’s sure to be a new favorite.

Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten-Free

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Leek & Apple Cornbread // Uses Leeks // My favorite holiday recipe, my favorite cold day recipe, my favorite fall/winter breakfast, snack or side dish. I love this cornbread heaped full of fruit and veggies and really believe corn bread should perhaps never exist any other way.

Vegetarian

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Crock Pot Pork Carnitas with Roasted Vegetables // Uses Sweet Potatoes, Celeriac (add some more in place of the parsnips), Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, sub Turnips for carrots // Slow cooker + sheet pan and a boat load of vegetables. My favorite kind of cooking. Simple, healthy, quick to pull together, delicious.

Gluten-Free

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Spicy Brussels Sprouts with Peanuts & Apples // Uses Brussels Sprouts // There is so much one can do with Brussels Sprouts. You can always roast them for the world’s simplest, tastiest side dish, but I love to go a bit further, cut them small and eat them raw in a salad— especially when I can pair them with fresh fall apples.

Vegetarian, Vegan (without fish sauce), Gluten-Free

photo by: Smitten Kitchen

photo by: Smitten Kitchen

Silky Cauliflower Soup // Uses Cauliflower, sub Leek for onion and garlic // A handful of ingredients, a simple recipe, and the most elegantly beautiful bowl of soup. It’s chilly this week. Whip up some soup and enjoy this lovely October.

Vegetarian, Gluten-Free

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Spicy Chickpea & Sweet Potato Salad // Uses Sweet Potatoes, Lettuce, sub shredded raw Turnip for the daikon, skip the scallions (or sub Leeks) // I fell in love with this recipe late last winter. I would make it on repeat every Sunday and bring it to work, on hikes, to meetings, pretty much anywhere I had to go. This is a very batchable, very portable fall salad. Hope you enjoy it!

Vegetarian, Vegan (depending on dressing), Gluten-Free

photo by; Smitten Kitchen

photo by; Smitten Kitchen

Miso, Sweet Potato & Broccoli Bowl // Uses Broccoli (sub Brussels if you didn’t get any), Sweet Potato, toss some roasted 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

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Sheet Pan Chicken with Cabbage & Leeks // Uses Cabbage, Leeks // I need more recipes like this: recipes that come together on ONE PAN and require next to no dishes but are still absolutely delicious. This recipe is a sure winner!

Gluten-Free (sub tamari for soy sauce)

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Pork Chops with Celeriac & Potato Mash + Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Maple Apples and Brown Butter Hazelnuts // Uses Celeriac and Brussels Sprouts // I made this celeriac and potato mash and these pork chops (yes, I brined them the day ahead of time and it was the right decision) then just added some simple roasted Brussels sprouts (halved and roasted for 30-40 minutes at 400 degrees). You could leave those off or include them. Same goes for the maple apples (cubed apples sauted in maple syrup for five minutes) and brown butter hazelnuts (two tablespoons of butter just beginning to brown combined with 1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts over medium low heat until it all smells toasty and nutty).

Gluten-Free

photo by: The Recipe Critic

photo by: The Recipe Critic

Autumn Chopped Salad with Creamy Poppyseed Dressing // Uses Lettuce // This recipe really elevates a simple head of lettuce by turning it into a dreamy fall dish. Apples, pears, bacon, dried cranberries, pecans and feta cheese— no better way to eat your greens.

Gluten-Free

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Hummus with Curried Cauliflower // Uses Cauliflower // Yes, this is a theme of mine. Hummus piled with vegetables with store-bought pitas for dinner. And most of the time, I wind up buying the hummus too. What a quick and easy hack to make a vegetarian dinner in a snap!

Vegetarian, Gluten-Free

photo by: Smitten Kitchen

photo by: Smitten Kitchen

Root Vegetable Gratin // Uses Sweet Potatoes, Celeriac (also known as celery root), Thyme, Sub Leeks for onion, skip the Potatoes or sub Turnips, use Fennel if you still have some from last week (just skip if you don’t) // All the root vegetables you’re receiving this week can totally stand alone, but you might be catching onto a little bit of a theme. Yes, I LOVE them all together.

Vegetarian

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Cabbage, Leek & Pepper Runza // Uses Cabbage, Leek, Peppers, sub fresh Thyme, skip the sage // What the heck is runza you ask? Well, officially, it is the state dish of Nebraska. But closer to home, it is a dish I grew up with when my mom had extra cabbage in her garden. It’s essentially a German-style calzone packed full of ground meat (traditionally beef, but here I used pork because it’s what I had on hand), cabbage, and onions. Peppers are a fun addition and leeks also take it up a notch! I know making your own dough can seem intimidating but give it a try. It’s easier than you think.