Weekly Weed Archive

Week Two

November 3, 2010

What’s In Your Basket This Week?

  • Beets, Cylindra
  • Carrots, Sweet Nantes and Fingerlings
  • Onions
  • Lettuce,Baby Red Romain and Oak Leaf
  • Peppers,Yellow,red,purple and green bells
  • Big Jims and,Sweet Italian
  • Tomatoes
  • Melons,Ananas,Casaba,Crenshaw,and Canary
  • Herbs:Mint and Oregeno

Ideas for Eating,Cutting,Cooking and Keeping:

Beets :Cylindra is what it is ,not round.First thing’s first with beets: don’t throw away the tops!They are not WEEDS! Beet greens are a sister to Swiss chard (they are, in fact, almost the same plant except beets are bred to develop a fat storage root, whereas chard is bred to produce leaves). Beet greens can be enjoyed a million ways, just like chard, kale, or any other cooking green.Do not forget to make that green smoothie. There’s a great recipe – – that uses both your beet greens and your beets in a risotto.I will put that one on the exchange!

Like other roots, the root of the beet will last the longest in the fridge if you cut the greens off and store them separately in plastic bag. If you don’t get around to eating your beets right away, never fear: they’ll hold up for weeks in the fridge. “If you’ve ever read Tom Robbins Jitterbug Perfume, you know the magical powers of beets.”I know I love beets especially roasted! But I am yet to read the book.

Carrots: Bunched carrots will store best if you cut the tops off and put the roots in a plastic bag. Like other root crops, the tops transpire and suck all of the moisture out of the root in the refrigerator, leaving you with sad, limp carrots.

The tops are not just compost or pet food (Our goats love them).Use them, they’re rich in potassium and vitamin K. Like parsley, they’re packed full of chlorophyll,shown to combat bad breath—some have even suggested juicing carrot greens and making homemade mouthwash, though some opt for chewing on a sprig, country-style. They taste very similar to parsley, a little sweeter with a slightly bitter finish.Pick them off of the woody stalk.

Chop and mix into coucous or rice dishes.
Garnish soups with a few hand-picked leaves.There is a recipe for carrot top soup on the exchange.
Fry and scatter over your protein for a beautiful and delicate splash of green.
Add to finely chopped tarragon, dill, parsley, and thyme in an herb vinaigrette before dressing a salad.
Juice and add to other fruit and veggie juices for some extra potassium (balance out the bitterness with honey).
Simmer them in broth.

Onions: Yellow & white with and without green tops, which you can enjoy just like green onions. As for the onion bulb itself, it’s fairly mild – wonderful raw or cooked. Slice some up and grill( in the oven on a broiler pan or our St George shares can still grill on the bar b q) them with olive oil and salt – alongside some beets and carrots. Yummers. They will store for a week or two with tops in a plastic bag in the fridge.

Lettuce:Just the begining of greens! Stores best in a plastic bag in the fridge. We suggest not letting your greens get soggy as that has been my experience.However a share holder said”last year I waited and my lettuce wilted.I put it in ice and water and it crisped up and lasted a week!” Maybe it depends on the green or lettuce? Go figure.

If you are a meat eater put it in a salad.Make your own dressing.These are so fresh just olive oil,balsamic vinegar and a little fresh garlic.Yum  Yes, they are good in that green smoothie.

Peppers and Tomatoes:These will not appear again in your basket.They are the last of our summer harvest and blessed to have them this late in the season because of an unusually warm fall.These were lovingly harvested in a hail storm last week at sunrise before the night temperatures dropped to freezing.

All belles start out green and become sweeter with the turning of their color and are a mild pepper.We love roasted peppers.Throw them on the BBQ and blacken the skins peel or eat just like that.Under a brolier works too. Put in a brown bag while hot and the skin will come off.

Bananas and Big Jims flavor are mild to moderately hot (0–500 Scoville units), Yellow peppers are generally served pickled and tend to have a flavor similar to a vinegary sweet pickle.Good in salsa.

There has been a learning curve to growing peppers around here.The old timers in the area said “tires”. We tried that a few years and finally have decided that black plastic works best.They need heat/warmth.Take hot peppers, for instance. A pepper aficionado said” hot peppers which hail from hot tropical climates with poor soils – lose their spiciness if grown in rich soils. The stress of growing in poorer soil is part of what imparts piquancy to a pepper.” So, next year I am planting peppers in the worst soil I can find for good hot peppers!

Hot peppers belong to the same family as sweet peppers, but differ in the amount of capsaicin they contain – the chemical compound that causes the burning sensation in your mouth. Sweet peppers have a zero rating on the Scoville scale (the pepper pungency scale that measures the amount of capsaicin present in a pepper, developed in 1912 by an American chemist). The hottest chilis, such as habaneros, have a Scoville rating of 200,000 or more. Jalapeños come in at around 5,000; Serranos at around 15,000. Law enforcement grade pepper sprays register about 5,000,000.

Most mammals – besides most humans – find the heat in a hot pepper unpleasant, but birds are unaffected by it . Biologists assume , and that the presence of capsaicin in peppers is an evolutionary adaptation to protect the fruit from consumption by mammals while the bright colors attract birds that will spread the seeds.Believers think there maker did it by design.

Melons, Casaba is the real yellow one , Ananas are the Cantaloupe ,Canary is the light yellow,and the Crenshaws are the dark green ones.These are from our dear friends and mentors at http://quailhallowfarm.com/ . We went to their annual fall event, a treat for us every year.She has not blogged about this year yet but take a look at last year. http://quailhollowfarmcsa.blogspot.com/ Thursday, October 29, 2009 Potluck, Pigs and Pumpkins .We do a lot with these folks and they wanted to share their abundance with us.Enjoy!

Herbs, Mint,leave on the stem and put in water.Pour hot water over the leaves for an excellent herbal drink.Great in many dishes.You can dry it and save it for later.The most unique use I know of is putting it in your shower head!

Oregeno, The warm and aromatic flavor of oregano makes it the perfect addition to Mediterranean and Mexican cuisines.The leaves can be brewed for an herbal drink or steeped in oil for topical use. It is called wild marjoram in many parts of Europe since it is closely related to the herb that we know as sweet marjoram. The name means “mountain joy” Dries well too.

This feels like the first week and is for some of you. We hope you enjoy filling,eating,cooking or just looking at your share.Thank You, for supporting,organic local,sustainable small farming.

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