CSA Newsletter Week #15, August 31st

Farm Notes

We started the week with some heavy rain, and had a few foggy mornings. The very non-typical August weather we’ve been experiencing lately has everyone anticipating Fall, with football games and tailgating right around the corner, as well as all the delicious Fall vegetables that will be coming your way.  Labor Day Weekend is upon us, and that is a perfect excuse to invite friends over and enjoy the bounty of vegetables in this week’s share.

September also brings to us the one-year anniversary of Ben joining our staff here at the farm. Ben has become part of our family here, and we wouldn’t know what to do without him and his sense of humor and fun he brings to the work days. When you see Ben at distribution, be sure to give him a shout-out!

Corn juggle!

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Farm Stand

The CSA Farm Stand (which is for purchasing “extras”) will be set up at both the campus (from 4-6pm) and farm (from 3:30-6:30pm) locations. Items available will be on a first come, first served basis. For the campus location, we will be set up a little differently this year. The Farm Stand will be located all the way to the right of the pick-up line with it’s own tent and table. So please do not go through the regular pick-up line to buy a la carte.  At the farm, the Farm Stand table will also be set up separately from the regular pick-up line. We accept cash or check only please.

Items Available for Purchase this Week:
+ Tomatoes
+ Pickling Cucumber
+ Mixed Sweet and Bell Peppers
+ Green Onions
+ Red Skinned Potatoes
+ Delicata Winter Squash
+ Carrots
+ Shishito Peppers
+ Corn
+ Kale

Last corn harvest of the season!

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What’s In Your Share

For this week, you’ll receive:
+ Tomatoes
+ Pickling Cucumber
+ Mixed Sweet and Bell Peppers
+ Green Onions
+ Red Skinned Potatoes
+ Delicata Winter Squash
+ Carrots
+ Shishito Peppers
+ Corn
+ Kale

It's a little bit muddy in the carrot bed.

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You-Pick
Please review You-Pick guidelines under Member Information.

Items available for you-pick:
+ Flowers
+ Herbs
+ Hot Peppers: There are lots of hot peppers! The numbers on the signs that name the variety are on a heat scale of 1 to 5. The 1 indicates mild peppers while 5 is the hottest of the hot (e.g. habanero).
+ Okra
+ Cherry Tomatoes are coming on heavy… there are a few varieties available for picking. For your convenience, there is a cut-through in the middle of the bed between the T-posts so you can get around more easily.
+ This year we have started a perennial herb bed. It is located next to the road leading out the back gate. The perennial herbs are on the black landscape fabric. Most everything is already in the regular you-pick field, but there are a few plants such as spearmint and a couple of flowers that are not in the regular field.

Please be advised that there is a bed of brussels sprouts on the opposite side of the cherry tomatoes that is NOT for you-pick. Only beds that have a you-pick sign are open for picking, but please ask a farm staff member if you have any questions at all.

The green onions look great!

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Veggie Tips (or Facts)

+ This is the last of the sweet corn for the season. It is definitely sweeter than last week’s corn, but it still has some pests. As always, you can just pick the worms out and cut off any damaged section. We hope you’ve enjoyed the corn this year!

+ The potatoes this week are a variety called Red Pontiac. They are a red skinned variety. Usually they are a good storage potato, but since we got to them a little late, they have something called “scab”. You’ll notice the skin is a little pock-marked or rough. They are still good for eating, but they will not last very long, so we advise you use them sooner rather than later.

+ Be on the look out for some worms in your kale. We tried our hardest to pick them out and we washed the bunches which helps drown some of them. Our fall brassica and kale fields are getting hit a little hard with the pest damage. I see some organic spraying in our future.

+ This will be the last week on the cucumbers. The plants have finally succumbed to pest and disease pressure and there just really isn’t anything left to get out there. We hope you’ve enjoyed the cucumbers and got the right amount this year!

+ This week’s winter squash variety is called Delicata. This is a thinner skinned winter squash that is perfect for stuffing and roasting. You can even eat the skin if it’s been cooked long enough! Check out a stuffed squash recipe below!

Kale harvest!?

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Recipes

For your convenience this week’s recipes in a printable format.

Meal Plan Menu

Thursday:

Here is a recipe that includes both potatoes and corn. Feel absolutely free to substitute different potato and pepper varieties to use what you received in the share!

Poblano, Corn, and Potato Gratin

Ingredients:
3 teaspoons olive oil, divided
2 large fresh poblano chiles, stemmed, seeded, cut into 2×1/4-inch strips
1 1/4 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled, cut into 1/8-inch-thick rounds
1 cup corn kernels
1 cup coarsely grated Oaxaca cheese or whole-milk mozzarella cheese, divided
1 1/2 cups half and half
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400°F. Rub 9 1/2-inch-diameter deep-dish glass pie dish or cast-iron skillet with 2 teaspoons oil. Heat remaining 1 teaspoon oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add poblano strips and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

Arrange 1/3 of potato rounds, overlapping slightly, in prepared pie dish. Sprinkle 1/3 of poblano strips over, then 1/3 of corn and 1/3 of cheese. Repeat with 1/3 of potatoes, 1/3 of poblanos, 1/3 of corn, and 1/3 of cheese. Top with remaining potatoes, poblanos, and corn, reserving remaining 1/3 of cheese. Place pie dish on rimmed baking sheet.

Whisk half and half, flour, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper in small bowl. Pour over potato mixture in pie dish; press potatoes to submerge. Cover dish tightly with foil. Bake 30 minutes. Remove foil; sprinkle remaining cheese over gratin. Continue to bake gratin until potatoes are tender and cheese is golden brown, about 25 minutes longer. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Friday:

Dragon Noodles
Recipe from BudgetBytes

Ingredients:
4 oz. lo mein noodles
2 Tbsp butter
¼ tsp crushed red pepper
1 large egg
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp sriracha (rooster sauce)
1 handful fresh cilantro
1 sliced green onion

Directions:
Begin to boil water for the noodles. Once the water reaches a full boil, add the noodles and cook according to the package directions (boil for 5-7 minutes).
While waiting for the water to boil, prepare the sauce. In a small bowl stir together the brown sugar, soy sauce, and sriracha.
In a large skillet melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium-low heat. Add the red pepper to the butter as it melts. Whisk an egg in a bowl and then add to the melted butter. Stir gently and cook through. Once the egg is done cooking, turn off the heat.
When the noodles are tender, drain the water and then add them to the skillet with the cooked egg. Also add the prepared sauce. Turn the heat on to low to evaporate excess moisture, and stir until everything is coated well with the sauce. Sprinkle the sliced green onions and cilantro leaves (whole) on top and serve!

Saturday:

A nice carrot soup would be great for a projected rainy day!

Glazed Carrot Soup

Ingredients:
1 1/2 pounds carrots, sliced
2 tbsp butter, or 1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp sugar, honey or maple syrup
Salt and freshly ground pepper
6 cups vegetable stock or water
2 tbsp minced parsley, or shoots for garnish

Directions:
1. Put the carrots, butter, 3/4 cup of water and the sugar in a large skillet or saucepan and turn the heat to high. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then bring the mixture to a boil. Cover, turn the heat to medium-low, and cook for about 5 minutes.

2. Uncover and raise the heat a bit. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has evaporated and the carrots are cooking in the butter. Lower the heat and continue to cook, stirring occasinally, until the carrots are very tender, about 10 minutes more. If they start to stick or brown, add a tablepspoon or so of stock.

3. Add the stock and turn the heat to high. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sytrup at the bottom of the pan. Lower the heat so that the stock gently bubbles and cook , stirring occasionally, until it thickens slightly, about 10 minutes more.

4. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup in the pan or cool the mixture slightly and pour into a blender container and carefully puree. Taste and adjust for seasoning, if necessary. If serving cold, place into the refrigerator for several hours to allow it to chill. If serving hot, garnish with parsley or shoots.

Sunday:

Kale and Gruyere Panini

From Eating Well magazine

Ingredients:
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 Tbsps balsamic vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
8 cups chopped kale
1/4 cup water
1/4 tsp salt
8 slices country bread, preferably whole wheat, 1/4 inch thick
Olive oil cooking spray
1 cup shredded Gruyere or fontina cheese
1 medium tomato, cut into 8 thin slices

Directions:
1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, until golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Add vinegar and cook until almost evaporated about 1 minute. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add kale, water, and salt (the pan will be full). Stir, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the kale is wilted and the water has evaporated, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

2. To prepare panini: Preheat panini maker to high. Coat one side of each slice of bread with cooking spray. With the sprayed side down, spread the kale mixture on 4 slices of bread (about 1/2 cup per sandwich). Top each with 1/4 cup cheese and 2 slices tomato. Top with remaining bread, sprayed side up. Press in the panini maker until crispy, 3 to 5 minutes.

No panini maker? To make on stovetop, heat 1 tsp oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Place 2 sandwiches in the pan. Place a medium skillet on top and add four 15-oz cans to weigh it down. Cook the sandwiches, turning once, until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Repeat with the remaining sandwiches.

Serves 4, 1 panini each.

Monday:

Stuffed Delicata Squash

From Eating Well magazine

Ingredients:
2 small delicata squash, about 12 oz each, halved and seeded
6 tsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
1/2 tsp salt, divided
1/2 cup bulgur
1 cup water
1 small onion, chopped
8 oz lean ground beef (90% or more)
2 Tbsp chili powder
1/2 cup nonfat or low fat plain yogurt
4 tsp toasted pepitas

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 425 F.

2. Brush the cut sides of the squash with 2 tsp oil and sprinkle with 1/4 tsp salt. Place facedown on a large baking sheet. Bake until tender and browned on the edges, 25 to 30 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, bring bulgur and water to a boil in a small saucepan. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until tender and most of the liquid is absorbed, about 10 minutes. Drain well.

4. Heat the remaining 4 tsp oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion; cook, stirring, until beginning to brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Add beef, chili powder, and the remaining 1/4 tsp salt; cook, stirring and breaking up with a spoon, until the meat is cooked through, about 5 minutes. Stir in the bulgur and cook 1 minute. Stir in yogurt.

5. Spoon about 3/4 cup filling into each squash half. Serve sprinkled with pepitas.

Serves 4, 1/2 squash each.

Tuesday:

Quick Chicken Fajitas with Peppers

From The Practical Produce Cookbook by Ray and Elsie Hoover

Ingredients:
1 lb. boneless chicken breast
1 tbsp. oil
1 green pepper in 1/4 inch strips
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
salt and pepper to taste
2/3 cup chunky salsa
1 1/2 tsp. chili powder
8 8-inch flour tortillas

Directions:

Cut chicken into thin strips. Heat oil in a large skillet. When hot add chicken, pepper and onion. Stir fry 4 minutes or until chicken is lightly browned. Drain. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Combine salsa and chili powder and add to chicken; cook and stir until thoroughly heated. Warm tortillas. Place about 1/2 cup of the mixture on each tortilla. Fold up bottom; fold in sides and secure with a toothpick, leaving top open. Serve with sour cream if desired.

Wednesday:

Leftovers day! Clean out that fridge for new vegetables coming Thursday.

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