CSA Newsletter Week #16, September 7th

Farm Notes

We hope you all enjoyed the Labor Day weekend. Because of the short week, there was no preview post and we apologize. This week’s share will just have to be a surprise! Tuesday was a rainy day, but we’ve enjoyed the sunny, cooler weather the last few days.

In case any of you have been wondering about the eggplant this year…it has not done well. The plants are very susceptible to tiny little bugs called flea beetles. They chew on the leaves and make tiny pin-holes which cripples the plant, stunting it’s growth and prohibiting it from being able to produce fruits well. We have hoped so much to be able to give it out to every member at the same time, but the plants are only producing a few which is why we have been alternating between the farm and campus distributions and often selling it at the Farm Stand. Late this summer, we invested in some netting that is small enough to exclude flea beetles. Right now it is being used on other susceptible crops like the bok choy and arugula, but next spring we will be able to use it on the eggplant and hopefully get this pest under control!

Storms continue at the farm… phew we are tired of the rain!

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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:
+ Peppers
+ Beans (Tongue of Fire variety)
+ Winter Squash
+ White Onions
+ Garlic
+ Chard
+ Collards
+ Basil

We underseeded clover in our fall brassica fields and it's coming up nice!

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What’s In Your Share

For this week, you’ll receive:
+ Tomatoes
+ Peppers
+ Tongue of Fire Beans
+ Winter Squash
+ White Onions
+ Garlic
+ Eggplant
+ Chard OR Collards
+ Basil

Winter squash harvesting!

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

Items available for you-pick:
+ Flowers
+ Herbs
+ 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 just about done. 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.

Haven't seen many hornworms in the tomatoes this year…but here's a parasitized one!

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Veggie Tips (or Facts)

+ As many of you have probably noticed, the tomatoes are definitely on a decline. This will probably be the last week of red (ripe) tomatoes.

+ This week’s beans are a variety called Tongue of Fire. These are a fresh shell bean meaning you will want to pop the beans out of the shell to use. They have a creamy texture with a nutty, slightly sweet flavor. Try eating these beans in a variety of ways: simmered, braised, sauteed, roasted or fried. They would also be excellent in soups, stews or casseroles. *EDIT* The beans are a little bit dirty due to the rain and mud splash. Wash them first!

+ Winter squash varieties for this week include spaghetti squash, delicata and bonbon squash. Bonbon squash is a buttercup variety with a sweet flavor. Winter squash is a great vegetable. It stores really well for long periods of time, so you  don’t have to worry about using it quickly. It is also a wonderful ingredient to bake with! In addition to eating the squash as a main dish, I love to bake with it in the fall and winter; making muffins, bread and cinnamon rolls! Most of the winter squashes are interchangeable in recipes (with the exception of the spaghetti squash).

How to cook or bake winter squash:

Cook: Bring 1 inch of water to boil. Add 3-4 inch pieces of squash and return to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 10-15 minutes or until tender. Drain, cool and peel then mash or puree. Salt to taste.

Bake: Cut the squash in half and place it upside down on a cookie sheet with sides or a cake pan. Add 1/4 inch of water to the pan. Bake at 350-375F for 45 minutes to 1 1/2 hours depending on the size of the squash. The squash should be fork tender.

After cooking or baking, the squash can be frozen for use in baked recipes!

Tongue of Fire beans in the share this week!

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Recipes

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

Meal Plan Menu

Thursday:

Use your basil to make a pesto that can go on pasta.

Fresh Basil Pesto

From Simply Recipes

Ingredients:
2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan-Reggiano or Romano cheese
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup pine nuts or walnuts
3 medium sized garlic cloves, minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions:
1. Combine the basil in with the pine nuts, pulse a few times in a food processor. (If you are using walnuts instead of pine nuts and they are not already chopped, pulse them a few times first, before adding the basil.) Add the garlic, pulse a few times more.

2. Slowly add the olive oil in a constant stream while the food processor is on. Stop to scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula. Add the grated cheese and pulse again until blended. Add a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Serve with pasta, or over baked potatoes, or spread over toasted baguette slices.

Makes about 1 cup.

Friday:

If you picked the collards this week, try this peanut sauce recipe which can be paired with a curry dish. If you picked the chard, try this soup recipe below.

Greens in Peanut Sauce

From Simply in Season

“Works well as a side, with curry meals or over polenta. Use curry powder or italian spices in exchange for the spices given, if desired.”

Ingredients:
1 medium onion, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium tomato, diced (optional)
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp salt or to taste
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1 pound kale or collard greens, chopped
1/2 cup water
2-3 tablespoons chunky peanut butter
1-2 tsp hot water

Directions:
Sauté onion and garlic in large soup pot with 1 Tbs oil. Add tomato and simmer 2-4 minutes. Add coriander, cumin, salt, and cloves. Cook, and stir 2 minutes. Add collard greens and water, and steam until greens are soft but not mushy. Avoid overcooking. Stir occasionally to coat greens with the spices. Combine peanut butter and hot water separately, then add to greens at end of cooking.

+++

Herb, Chard, and Feta Soup

From bon appétit

Ingredients:
SOUP
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 pound Swiss chard leaves (center ribs and stems removed) or spinach, coarsely chopped (about 10 cups)
3 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1 cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
1 tablespoon dried mint
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
GARNISHES
5 ounces plain Greek-style yogurt (about 1/2 cup)
1/2 cup mixed chopped herbs (such as parsley, cilantro, and mint), divided
4 ounces feta, crumbled, divided
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Fresh lemon juice (optional)
Olive oil (optional)

Directions:
SOUP
Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring often, until translucent and soft (do not brown), 7–8 minutes. Stir in chard, broth, parsley, cilantro, fresh and dried mint, and nutmeg. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until chard is tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in lemon juice and season to taste with salt and pepper. Working in batches, purée soup in a blender until smooth. Return to pan. DO AHEAD: Can be made 8 hours ahead. Cover and chill. Rewarm soup before continuing.
GARNISHES
Place 1/3 of yogurt in a medium bowl. Add 1/2 cup warm soup; whisk until smooth. Repeat process twice more, adding a total of 1 cup more soup. Whisk yogurt mixture into soup in saucepan. Stir 1/4 cup herbs and half of feta into soup. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and lemon juice, if desired.
Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with remaining 1/4 cup herbs and 2 oz. feta. Drizzle with oil, if desired.

Saturday:

If you picked the spaghetti squash:

Spaghetti Squash Lasagna
From The Practical Produce Cookbook by Ray and Elsie Hoover

Ingredients:
3 1/2 lb. spaghetti squash
1 lb. ground beef
1 onion, chopped
15 1/2 oz. jar spaghetti squash or 1 pt. homemade sauce
1 tsp. basil
1/2 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1 cup cottage cheese
1 cup mozzarella cheese

Directions:
Pierce squash several places with a knife or carving fork. Boil in 4 qt. of water in a large kettle approximately 25-30 minutes or until fork tender. Drain and cool until easy to handle. Fry ground beef and onion until beef is browned. Stir in sauce, basil, oregano, salt and pepper. Reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes. Combine cottage cheese and cheese. Cut squash in half starting by the stem. Scoop out seeds. Layer 1/3 of the spaghetti strands in a 13×9 baking dish. Top with a third of meat mixture and third of cheese. Repeat twice. Bake covered at 400F for 15 minutes, then uncovered 5 more minutes. Let stand 10 minutes for easier cutting.

If you picked delicata squash:

Roasted Delicata Squash

Ingredients:
2 delicata squash
2 tbsp olive oil
Salt to taste

Directions:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Clean the delicata squash by running under warm water and scrubbing away dirt with your hands. If there are any hard spots on the squash, you can scrape them off with a butter knife.
With a sharp knife, cut delicata in half lengthwise. With a spoon scoop out the seeds and discard. Cut each delicata half into 1/2 inch segments, creating moon-shaped pieces that have slight bumps around the curve.

Arrange the pieces in a single layer in a baking pan and coat in 2 tbsp olive oil Salt gently. Place in oven and roast 10 minutes. Using a spatula flip the squash, and continue roasting, turning every 7-10 minutes until both sides of the squash pieces are golden brown and the texture is creamy to the teeth all the way through, about 25-30 minutes. Adjust salt.

Serve as a side dish.

If you picked the bonbon squash:

Buttercup squash casserole
From http://www.food.com

Ingredients:
1 (2 1/2 lb) buttercup squash
2 tbsp. brown sugar, packed
1⁄4 tsp. salt
1⁄4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1⁄4 tsp. ground nutmeg
2 tbsp. butter or 2 tbsp. margarine
1 tbsp. fresh chives, chopped
1⁄8 tsp. ground nutmeg, if desired

Directions:
Heat oven to 350°F Cut squash into quarters; remove seeds. In ungreased shallow baking pan, place pieces, cut sides down. Bake 45 to 50 minutes or until tender. Cool slightly.
Spray 1-quart casserole with cooking spray. Scoop squash pulp from skin; place in medium bowl. Discard skin. Add brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg and butter to squash. Mix with potato masher or fork until well blended. Spoon into casserole. Sprinkle with chives and 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg.
Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until hot.

Sunday:

ALSO! Check Monday’s recipe as you will want to go ahead and get those tongue of fire beans soaking for dinner Monday night!

Peppers with Tomato Sauce

Submitted by CSA Member Hayriye Cetin Karaca from turkishfoodandrecipes.com

Ingredients:
2-3 green peppers, cut into bite sizes (or whatever peppers you have available)
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tomatoes, crushed or 6-7 tbsp crushed tomato in a can
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
½ tsp salt to taste

Directions:
In a skillet shallow fry peppers with olive oil. Sprinkle half of the salt. When peppers become soft and light brown, place them in a plate. Then place crushed tomatoes, minced garlic and remaining salt in same skillet. The remaining oil in the skillet will be enough for tomatoes. Cook tomatoes over low heat for 3-4 minutes.
Finally pour the tomato sauce on shallow fried peppers. You can garnish with sweet corn pieces.
You can serve Peppers with Tomato Sauce cold or warm with any kind of meat and poultry dishes.

Monday:

Tongue of Fire Beans with Parmesan and Garlic Vinagrette

Ingredients:
3 cups Tongue of Fire beans
2 carrots
2 stalks celery
1 onion peeled and studded with 2-4 cloves
1 bunch fresh herbs of choice tied together in a bouquet
salt to taste
parmesan cheese
parsley chopped
3 cloves garlic minced to a paste
2 Tb lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
6 Tb olive oil

Directions:
Rinse the beans well and place them in a large bowl for soaking. Cover with 12 cups of cold water and soak for about 12 hours. Drain and rinse well.

Put the beans in a large stock pot; add the vegetables and herbs and 12 cups cold water. Bring to a simmer over high heat, and then reduce their heat so they are barely simmering. Cook until the beans are just tender, about 45 minutes to 1 hour depending on how you like them. Remove from heat, season to taste with salt and let cool in the liquid with the vegetables.

Combine the garlic, lemon juice, and salt and pepper in a bowl. Gradually whisk in the olive oil. Taste and adjust the seasoning to your palette.

To serve, drain the beans and place in a large pan over low heat. Add the above vinaigrette and gently warm. Plate on a platter and top with shavings of Parmesan and chopped parsley.

Feel free to experiment with any additions or substitutions you may like. Add some local bacon, caramelized onions, serve over greens. With such a simple recipe, you can take it any way you would like.

Tuesday:

Use your other winter squash today. Try one of the other recipes suggested for Saturday or check out our recipe archive for another recipe to use!

Wednesday:

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

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