Weekly Weed Archive

Week 17 & 18

October 13, 2010

What’s In Your Last Harvest Basket?

A plethora of “new” stuff!

  • Winter Squash:
  • Pumpkins ,Sugar Pie and minis
  • Spaghetti
  • Buttercup
  • Butternut
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Salsify
  • Sunflower Heads (seeds)
  • Cabbage, Chinese , Cone, and  Dutch Late
  • Potatoes, Purple Majesty, Yukon Gold and Lakotas
  • Spinach
  • Onions, Yellow
  • Tomatoes, A variety of heirlooms
  • Peppers:
    • Big Jim
    • Banana Peppers
    • Bells: yellow, purple, red and orange
    • Jalapenos
  • Celery
  • Carrots
  • Beets: Red and Gold
  • Rainbow Swiss Chard
  • Dill

Ideas for Eating, Cutting, Cooking and Keeping all the new stuff:

Pumpkins these are organic . Bake( the little ones too) steam,or  use the filling in a pie,muffin or bread recipe. Don’t be limited by pie, however. Pumpkins make a great ingredient in savory recipes as well, including curries, salads, and soups. The possibilities are too numerous to post recipes for, so I’ll leave it to you to get creative with your cookbooks and the internet.

Don’t forget that you can roast the seeds and make your own pepitas: scoop out the seeds, rinse them clean, toss with olive oil and salt on a roasting pan, and roast at 350 in your oven until lightly browned. Yum. I know it is tempting to use them for a decoration or Jack o Lantern! (get one of those at the PotLuck) but I challenge you to eat them !

Spaghetti squash when baked or boiled has fibers that separate into long noodles,resembling spaghetti.A fun treat and kid friendly. Fork out and serve with your favorite sauce.

Store your squash on the counter, not in the fridge. It will keep for months if conditions are cool (about 50 degrees) and dry.

Buttercup Buttercup squash are in the Kabocha family. It has a corky stem, leathery skin, and dry sweet flesh. They are notorious for the grey “button” on the bottom of the squash – some barely show a trace of it, but others have a large button that bulges out as much as three inches.

Store your Buttercup on the counter, not in the fridge. It will keep for months if conditions are cool (about 50 degrees) and dry.

Or consider baking your squash (cut in half, cut sides down on a baking sheet with a little water) until soft, scooping it out of its skin, and then mashing it like a potatoe

Butternuts are the quintessential soup squash: thin-skinned, easy to peel, incredibly meaty, golden-hued, and sweet. If you’re in the mood for some winter comfort food that you can eat with a spoon, this is your squash. Not that Butternuts can’t play a main role in lots of other dishes as well: curries, root roasts, braised or glazed. They are easy to handle, delicious to eat, and impressive to behold.

And if you want to do something simple, try roasting your Butternut: Heat the oven to 400. Peel your butternut and slice into ¼ inch rounds. Douse a roasting pan with some olive oil or melted butter. Arrange the rounds on the pan, sprinkle with salt, pepper and/or herbs like sage, thyme or rosemary, and drizzle with a little more oil/butter. Roast for about 20-30 minutes without turning until the squash is tender.

Store your Butternut on the counter, not in the fridge. It will keep for months if conditions are cool (about 50 degrees) and dry.

Brussels Sprouts should  not be harvested until after a frost. No problem.

You can cook them up in a number of ways. One of the best things you can do, especially if you are eyeing them dubiously and reliving “eat your vegetables” childhood nightmares, is to roast them.  Toss them with some olive oil and salt, and put them in the oven at 400 until they are tender and a little crispy-browned. They get sweeter and saltier. So good that you might just like them. And maybe, just maybe, you’ll love them.

Refrigerate loose sprouts in an open bag.

Salsify has been popular in Europe since the 16th century.Salsify must be peeled, blanched and sauteed or roasted and has a taste akin to oysters; hence its name oyster plant. Salsify grows wild in Europe and requires a long warm season for full maturation.

Steam salsify and serve with your favorite vinaigrette as a side dish.  Add sliced salsify to  soups and stews. Serve mashed salsify instead of mashed potatoes.

In San Francisco’s historic Westin Hotel, a central entree is highlighted with a trio of diverse accompaniments. Something standard like fish and chips becomes potato crusted dover sole surrounded by cauliflower puree, roasted sweet onion puree and truffle salisify. The objective? Turn the ordinary into the extraordinary.

Sunflower Heads These were planted by  Share Holder Ben Fawson  and family.On one of our “Work Days” after everyone had left it was getting late and here this family came back to offer more help. If it were not for them these would never have gotten planted.These huge ,happy flowers brought us much joy and served as a wind break as well. They really made the farm look good and having  so many visitors and events this season looking good was appreciated. It really does take a community.

As long the sunflowers are kept warm, dry and sheltered, you’ll be able to successfully harvest the seeds .Simply run your hand over the sunflower head and the seeds will pop right out. If they are still “green” or soft you can let them dry in or out of the flower.Put them on a cookie sheet in the oven and roast in the shell. Whole sunflower seed heads are a natural way to help the birds make it through the winter.  Fill the empty seed heads with peanut butter for an extra treat ..

Cabbage it has been in your basket before store and use the same way. However Napa or Chinese cabbage combines the thin crisp texture of lettuce with the flavor of cabbage.

Potatoes have been in your basket before but not purple ones ! Not all potatoes are for mashing and I have not yet tried this one.We made sure there was some dill for your potatoes too.

“But wait,” you’re saying, “I thought we were supposed to get 18 weeks of produce from Red Acre……”It’s true, (we did not promise we said”16 to 18 weeks”) which is why this week you’ll be getting a double share. Two baskets in one. or rather one big bag In other words, a mother lode of food.

We’re ending the season with abundance for several reasons:

It is freezing  here now(below 32) every night and we have to cover the entire field.Winter Shares need to get started  and we are looking forward to a week off.

WINTER SHARES

Not yet available on our website. You can pay anytime.

WINTER SHARE: 10 weeks October 27th NO baskets December 15,22,29 and Ending on January12th. $100. for a Pair Share.$200. For a Family Share.Same size baskets as last season.

The green houses and cold frames are beautiful and more importantly so is the food! Carrots, lettuce, beets, peas, winter squash, spinach ,basil and greens you have never known of before! This is for the real fresh vegetable eater. I am thinking Smoothies, salads, stir fry and soup! http://greenforlife.com/ It will be the healthiest winter of your life! I bet you do not get sick. Unless you make your smoothies with ice cream from Wall Mart.

Egg Share $25. Milk Share $40. Cheese $45.

EGG and MILK SHARES THIS season: You get 18 weeks. We are taking one week off. So please come the 27th  and receive your last egg,milk and or cheese share.If you buy a winter share it will be one week longer . Anyone else that is still owed for anything. Please tell me NOW!

Terrified there would never be a first week. A frost June 15th and then one August 30th!When in early September it took us 3 hours in the dark to cover the entire field It seemed impossible at times.Yet, Mother Nature was good to us. What a blessing to have such a warm   late September/October. We have never had anything left in the field this late in the season that was not frozen  the first weekend in October. We DID It! And it would not have been possible without you. What a bitter sweet day today is. The last day of the harvest, literally .Grateful we were successful and that it is over. Sad to think our paths might not ever cross again. You have become friends to us.

At a time when a lot of the news is grim, we feel blessed to be part of this great experiment in eating with you. We know full well there were days when you pulled that bunch of kale out of your basket and wondered, “what in the world am I going to do with it this time?” We know that some of you have pushed yourself to your culinary limits with things like celery that doesn’t look like celery , onion scapes,radish beans and yes more odd greens! And we know that some of you have juggled your schedules and figured out complicated veggie carpools just to be able to pick up your share each week. We know all this takes commitment and we are deeply grateful to you for your partnership – for saying to us, and the world, “Local food matters. Family farms matter. Sustainable agriculture matters. And eating well, eating seasonally, eating as part of a community, matters.”

Thanks for all that you eat.

Red Acre Sara, Lynn and Symbria

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