I can't believe it is already week 11, where is all the time going?!? I'm going to just start calling it the Fall box, because let's be real, it is definitely Fall here on the farm. These last few days on the farm have been quite beautiful and epic–from crazy thunderstorms to gorgeous rainbows and some killer sunsets in between. The moodiness of the weather paired with the bright red of our blueberry crop and the lush green of our annual crops is like no other yet this time of the year for us farmers is always bittersweet. Not only must we say goodbye to the sun, summery vegetables, and days without mud everywhere we also must say the hard goodbye to some of the folks that have been with us all season. Working day-in and day-out with a small crew sharing in the tasks of a farm doubling its production can be a harrowing, rewarding and crazy experience all-in-one. We had an amazing group of folks out here with us this year and through the highs and lows we are all so incredibly grateful for their dedication, hard work, patience and amazing attitudes–we just couldn't have done it without them!! We said goodbye to Martha and Aaron last week, Carl(y)'s last day is Friday and Lewis will be with us a couple weeks more.
PEPPERS: Large gets stocky reds and a cayenne and mini gets some peppers with heat: two jalapeños and a basque. Enjoy these peppers while they last, the end is near!! For the stocky reds this Spanish romesco recipe would be fantastic with all that flavor!
CABBAGE (Mini Only): Most received purple, some received savoy! Cabbage, like most hearty greens, can also be used so many different ways. It can be used for kraut, kimchi, slaw, soups, roasts so on and so forth! Here is a great mason jar kraut how-to. I'm also a huge fan of fried chicken in the winter so slaw is awesome. Especially with those jalapeños we put in the box!
SQUASH (Mini Only): Acorn or Delicata. Both have soft skins that you can eat and are totally beauts! These guys won't last all winter in your pantry so enjoy them now! Acorn squash is super tasty just baked in the oven and cut up, but you can always go a number of different ways from there: adding to pasta, salads, casseroles and soups. Here are great instructions on how to bake the squash in the oven from cutting up the squash to serving it at the table.
BEETS (Large Only): Red or chioggia. They are getting sweeter as the weather chills and boy are they delicious. Use the greens as well! If you don't want the greens or want to store the roots just make sure to compost the greens, the beets will store much better that way. Here is a great recipe using the beets, beet greens and chard (that is also in the box!)
CHARD (Large Only): A nice bunch of young, tender, sweet, green chard. You can use this Verde da Taglia chard with the beet greens and turnip greens and make a delightful braised dish, the recipe above or if you want to just use the chard and beet greens I've listed a simple 20 min recipe below!
- 2 bunches beet greens, stems removed
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, or to taste
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
- salt to taste
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 2 lemons, quartered
- Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the beet greens, and cook uncovered until tender, about 2 minutes. Drain in a colander, then immediately immerse in ice water for several minutes until cold to stop the cooking process. Once the greens are cold, drain well, and coarsely chop.
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in the garlic and red pepper flakes; cook and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in the greens until oil and garlic is evenly distributed. Season with salt and pepper. Cook just until greens are hot; serve with lemon wedges.
BROWN GOLDRING LETTUCE (Large Only): Don't pay attention to the name, or the looks for that matter of this lettuce. JUST TASTE IT!! From Wild Garden Seed where we get the seed for this lettuce: This is our least appreciated, best flavored lettuce. In replicated studies over two years that included blind taste tests by 28 teenage Botany students, 80% rated this (unfortunately named) variety as “sweet,” and less than 10% rated it bitter. None of the other of the 20 tested varieties came close to this ranking. One student suggested renaming the variety “Rocket Shine” to better reflect its pertinent qualities. A tight and pointed cos head from the old Abundant Life Seed collection and one of our favorites for midsummer flavor and crunch-juiciness. Brown wrapper leaves create well-blanched hearts of golden “leaf canoes.” Named for the Goldring family of Bath, England, who introduced it.
CILANTRO (Large Only): So fresh and so green. So great to top fall soups! Tortilla soup with a cilantro pesto on top?
SCARLET QUEEN TURNIPS (Large Only): I am really keen on the queen! Here is a great recipe (from dunkandcrumble.com that another farm I admire from up in Washington) recommended. I'm going to try it tonight. 1 bunch Scarlet Queen Red turnips, washed (not peeled) and sliced into 1/4-inch thick rounds
3 Tbs thinly sliced Leeks
1/4 cup shelled pistachios
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
salt and pepper, to taste
juice of 1 lemon
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oilIn a medium salad bowl, combine the turnips,leek, and pistachios. Sprinkle feta cheese on top, as well as a big pinch each of salt and black pepper. Drizzle lemon juice and olive oil over salad, and toss gently to combine.