This Week you’ll find in Your Share:
• Sweet Potatoes
• Head Lettuce
• Eggplant or Zucchini
• Hot Peppers
• Collard or Mustard
• Sweet Peppers
Next Week You Might Find in Your Share:
• Winter Squash
• Leafy green
• Green Tomatoes
From Your Farmers… It finally happened. A hard frost befell the farm. But we were prepared. Friday was mega harvest, cleaning out summer fruits, and row cover row cover row cover. Row cover is a non-woven fabric that allows light, air and water to pass through, creating a warmer environment for whatever is beneath it. We covered much, but not all. Peppers, eggplant, and most of the tomatoes and squash were let go in honor to the time of year. Some we saved, to keep your bags a little more diverse over the next three weeks. As it is, passing by the garden one may think all the oddly shaped tunnels on the ground look like something for Halloween.
We even picked a few green tomatoes, setting them aside in case the frost broke through the row cover. We’ll have a few green tomato recipes for you when we pass them out.
We are looking for leaves and grass clippings to start out mulch piles for next year! Feel free to drop your lawn bags off when you pick up your share. If the bags contain lots of seeds or any invasive weeds, we’ll let them go to the large scale composters, but we’ll gladly take your clean stuff.
Turnip Greens: Picked small, the bristles are still soft and can be enjoyed fresh or lightly cooked.
Sweet Potatoes: Were a challenge to dig, huge thanks to Jehad who craftily extracted the most of the curvy tubers with minimal breakage and stabbing. We planted enough to offer them for weeks, but soil conditions proved in some places too hard, others too rich. The effect of either can be overly large or oddly shaped potatoes. We had both.
If you happen to receive an extra large spud, there are several options. It can be cut into normal potato size pieces, wrapped in aluminum foil, and baked to perfection. Unwrap and top with a dab of butter.
If you do something creative with your sweet potatoes let us know!
Food for Thought…
Last night I enjoyed some sautéed spinach in the middle of my grilled cheese sandwich. A very tasty way to add some nutrition. In fact, the dark leafy greens you’re getting these days are nutritional powerhouses: packed with vitamins such as A, which keeps eyes and skin healthy and helps to prevent infections, and C, which helps to heal cuts and keeps teeth and gums healthy. You are also benefitting from minerals such as iron and calcium. Green are high in fiber and low in calories. A great online resource, choosemyplate.gov, offers good health information to have in mind. For instance, did you know that “Dietary fiber from vegetables, as part of an overall healthy diet, helps reduce blood cholesterol levels and may lower risk of heart disease. Fiber is important for proper bowel function….Fiber-containing foods such as vegetables help provide a feeling of fullness with fewer calories.”
With a chill in the air, people are talking about how it’s time to cook beans. A bean soup is a great way to serve greens to your family, not to mention an affordable dinner. This week you might add mustard or collards. You can cook them down separately and ladle soup over top, or add them to your bean soup toward the end of cook time. Some chopped celery leaves can impart a great fresh flavor to bean soup. The less cooking time the beans have been through the more nutrition they will retain. You’ll find soups to be more wholesome, with added color, texture, and flavor, when you’ve thrown in some greens.
This Week’s Recipes…
Sweet Potato Patties
Chop up some sweet potatoes to, slice or dice- it doesn’t matter, you’ll be mashing them. Toss in some oil, and bake for a few, until just after they begin to soften.
Slice up some onion and garlic. Maybe a tomato, sweet and hot pepper too. Remove the juice if you opt for a tomato. And tear up a little green stuff. Saute onion, followed by peppers and garlic, leafy green stuff, then tomato. When all is getting pretty soft, check on sweet potatoes. If toward the softer side, pull out and mash in a bowl. Take ingredients from sauté pan and add to mash and mix together, adding cumin and some salt. Spread mix onto a plate and toss in the fridge, or outside to cool. When mix has stiffened enough to make a patty or pseudo patty, pour a generous amount of oil or butter in sauté pan, form mash mix into patties, and lay patties into oil once thoroughly heated. Lightly fry on each side until surface crisps and patties are thoroughly warm. Yum.
From Asparagus to Zucchini: A Guide to Cooking Farm-Fresh Produce is a very useful cookbook perfect for a CSA like out. We’ve adapted a simple recipe from them:
Shelled Cranberry Beans and Mustard Greens
1 ½ cups fresh shelled cranberry beans
1 tsp minced garlic
¾ cup chopped fresh mustards (also works with well with any spicy greens you might find in your share, such as radish, turnip, or arugula)
Salt and pepper
Bring a medium potful of salted water to a boil. Add cranberry beans and garlic; simmer until beans are tender, 12-15 minutes. Drain off nearly all the liquid. Stir in greens. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately. Makes 2-4 servings.
If you have some bags of greens piling up, remember that greens freeze well for long term storage. Blanch them for 2-3 minutes, then immerse in cold water to stop their cooking, then drain and package in airtight freezer bags. They will be great late in the winter when you add them to lasagna, casseroles, or egg dishes like omelets or quiches.