CSA Newsletter Week #20, October 8th

Farm Notes

This week we had some help from a couple of GEN 100 classes. They got a short tour of the organic section and then the first group helped with harvesting potatoes and the second group helped us harvest the carrots. With their help, we finished harvesting the rest of the potatoes that were in the field and now we can prepare the field for sowing cover crops.

As another reminder, next week’s distribution will be on a different day due to the Thursday night football game. Distribution will be Wednesday, October 14th. We will still set up outside of the E.S. Good Barn for those that pick up on campus and of course at the farm for those that pick up at the farm.

As we are nearing the end of our CSA season, we have a survey that we would like you all to complete. Its an anonymous survey and we’d just like to get your feedback on how we did and any thoughts or comments you have for us next year. Click here to take our 2015 Survey. We appreciate you!

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What’s In Your Share

For this week, you’ll receive:
+ Winter Squash (of the Carnival variety)
+ Potatoes*
+ Cauliflower
+ Broccoli
+ Savoy Cabbage
+ Kale
+ Spinach
+ Carrots
+ Red Meat Radishes (also known as Watermelon radishes)

* A note about our potatoes this week:
Some of your potatoes may have a green spot on them. You should not eat that spot. It forms when it is exposed to light (which sometimes happens when the potato grows too close to the surface of the soil). When it turns green, it produces a toxin called solanine. The rest of the potato is still safe to eat. You can just peel off the skin that has the green spot or simply cut that area off. We tried to take out any of the potatoes that had a lot of green spots on them, but we may have missed some or the potato may have just a small spot. We just wanted to make you all aware of your potatoes.

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You-Pick

Items that are still available for you-pick this week include the following:
+ green beans (there is less than half a row of green beans in the you-pick field that still has some beans on it)
+ hot peppers
+ Herbs: onion chives, garlic chives, some flat parsley, thyme, marjoram, savory, lavender, chamomile, sage, oregano, rosemary and basil
+ flowers

Please remember to bring your own pruners or scissors for harvesting U-Pick items!

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Veggie Tips

+ The carnival squash is very similar in shape to the acorn squash. The taste is similar to butternut squash and sweet potatoes and is an excellent source of vitamin A. You can store this squash in a cool, dry area.

Carnival squash

Carnival squash

Preservation

How to make saurekraut:
From The Practical Produce Cookbook by Ray and Elsie Hoover

Remove defective and coarse outer leaves from the cabbage. Cut away any spoiled or damaged spots. Rinse heads in cold water to remove dust or visible dirt particles. The bacteria needed to ferment the cabbage are found on the cabbage leaves.

Cut heads into halves or quarters and slice or shred the cabbage so that the shred is long and thin as possible. If you use a food processor, you may not get this characteristically desirable shred, but it will not affect the fermentation.

Weigh the cabbage. Place it in the container (crock or food grade plastic pail). For every 5 lbs. of cabbage, sprinkle with 3 tbsp. pure canning/pickling salt (use a non-iodized salt because iodine will prevent the bacterial fermentation necessary to change cabbage into sauerkraut). Mix well to distribute the salt uniformly. Allow the salted cabbage to stand a few minutes to wilt slightly. Then pound the cabbage firmly with a wooden tamper until enough juices are drawn out to cover the cabbage. Repeat this procedure, layer by layer, until the container is filled to the desired depth and the cabbage is completely covered with juice. Leave at least 4-5 inches between the cabbage and the top of the container.

A water-filled plastic bag is one of the easiest and best ways to both cover and weight down the cabbage. Be sure that you use a heavy-duty, watertight plastic bag that is intended for food use and is not colored. Fill the bag with water to a depth of 3-4 inches, allow the bag to completely cover the cabbage and tie securely.

As an alternative method, cover the cabbage with a clean cloth or clear plastic, fitting the covering snugly against the sides of the container. Then cover it with a wooden, china or other nonmetallic disc and place a weight on top. It is absolutely essential that you cover the cabbage and liquid to exclude air, since the fermentation process requires anaerobic conditions (without air).

Place the container of cabbage in a well-ventilated place with a relatively constant temperature. If kept at room temperature (68-72ºF), the kraut should be ready in three to four weeks. At higher temperatures, fermentation will proceed more rapidly and the kraut will be ready sooner. Similarly, if kept at temperatures lower than 68ºF, a slow fermentation will occur, but may be incomplete if the temperature drops below 60º. It is desirable to provide 68-72ºF temperature during the first several days in order to begin production of the acid which will preserve the cabbage. Then, if desired, the container could be stored in a cooler area (basement, unheated garage, etc.) if you want a slower fermentation. If the temperature drops below freezing, fermentation will stop, but will start again when the temperature rises into a favorable range.

Check the container daily. During the fermentation, film yeasts or molds may form on the surface of the liquid. If they appear, skim them off. If any discoloration appears within the top inch of kraut, remove it. If you are using a cloth covering, rinse or replace it each time you remove scum or spoiled cabbage.

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Recipes

Carrot bread with lemon glaze
From The Practical Produce Cookbook by Ray and Elsie Hoover

Ingredients:
1 cup shredded raw carrots
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 1/2 cup flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup chopped nuts for
1/2 cup raisins (optional)

Directions:
Beat carrots, sugar, oil and eggs 1 minute. Add flour, soda, cinnamon and salt; beat another minute. Stir in nuts and raisins. Pour into a greased 9×15 inch loaf pan. Bake at 350º for 50-60 minutes.
Variation: Replace grated carrots with mashed carrots. Leftover carrots work fine.

Lemon Glaze:

Ingredients:
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp. grated lemon peel
1 tbsp. lemon juice

Directions:
Blend until smooth. Drizzle over loaf.

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Savoy Cabbage on Toast
From Vegetable Literacy by Deborah Madison

Ingredients:
1/2 lb. Savoy Cabbage (1/2 small cabbage)
2 Tbsp butter
Sea salt
1/4 cup cream or half and half
Freshly ground pepper
2 slices ciabatta or whole wheat bread
Paper thin slices of aged Gouda cheese

Directions:
Slice the cabbage into ribbons a generous 1/4 inch wide. Rinse but do not dry them.
Melt the butter in a wide skillet over medium heat. When the butter begins to foam, add the cabbage, season with 1/2 tsp salt, and turn it in the butter. Pour in the cream mixture, turn down the heat to medium low, cover partially, and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Taste for salt and season with pepper. There should be a little liquid in the pan.

While the cabbage is cooking, toast the bread, then set a slice on each of 2 plates and cover with the cheese. When the cabbage is done, spoon it over the toasts, allowing some of the juices to puddle on the plates. Serve right away and eat with a knife and fork. If you eat slowly, the bread will soften and absorb the delicious juices.

Serves 2.

Variation: Season with herbs. Cabbage goes well with parsley and dill, but also cumin, rosemary, and thyme. Add fresh herbs at the end of cooking.

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Potato Dumplings
From The Practical Produce Cookbook by Ray and Elsie Hoover

Ingredients:
1 qt. water
1 tsp. salt
5 cups mashed potatoes
1 1/2 cups flour
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt

Directions:
In saucepan, bring water and 1 tsp. salt to a boil. In bowl, combine remaining ingredients; mix until fluffy. Roll into 1-inch balls; drop into gently boiling water. Cook about 7 minutes. Drain; serve warm. Serve with roast beef or gravy.

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