Week #21, Gleaning party, vicariously

We are thrilled with how many of you came to the gleaning u-pick this year!

This is an unusually nice pumpkin crop.  It was not difficult to find a favorite to take home.  The pumpkins are thick-walled!  Sharpen your knives when it’s time to carve your jack-o-lantern.

Did you quote my email to your children, “Be cautious about wading into the largest puddles – some are very deep.”?  They took it as a challenge.  I think every child waded into every puddle and overflowed their boots.

As usual the carrots were a highlight.  The kids (and grownups) loved pulling them out of the ground.  So exciting.

On the other hand, the tomatoes were so sparse and the field was pretty gross by the time the u-pick came around.  Too much rain.  Kathy was a brave gleaner!

This photo should help you understand gleaning.  As kale grows taller, we harvest the bottommost leaves.  Look how much we harvested from this plant over the summer.  You were finishing the job for us.

Screen-printing t-shirts was a hit, as usual.  Many of you wore previous years’ t-shirts to the farm!

Grad student Solveig Hanson brought cooked beets for tasting and evaluation.  This is really special.  This is the fourth time she’s conducted a tasting survey at our gleaning party.  By now, she is asking us to compare beet lines that she selected with your input over the last three years.  That is so cool.

Karen and Monika did a great job clipping and lining up the pumpkins before everyone arrived.  We take the time to sort out the icky pumpkins, to give everyone a better chance of taking home nice ones.  Photo credits to Ari, me, and various families.  Beth

Veggie List and Veggie Notes
Week #21, October 10/11, 2019
– Weekly shares
– EOW/ purple
– Sampler/ moon

Sweet potatoes, ~3 lb
Green beans, 0.85 lb
Fennel with fronds, 1 or 2 bulbs
‘Carnival’ or ‘Jester’ acorn squash, 1
Carrots, 2 lb
Red/green frying or bell peppers, ~3
Orano snack pepper, 1 (orange)
Poblano chiles, 3 (green)
Yellow onion
Some sites get 2 cauliflower.
Some sites get cauliflower + broccoli.
Some sites get cauliflower + extra acorn squash.

Next week’s box will probably contain cabbage, carrots, winter squash, and more.

‘Beauregard’ sweet potatoes – Here are a few things we’ve learned about sweet potatoes:
– For best flavor, cook your sweet potatoes so they brown and caramelize.  We have a simple, favorite way to roast sweet potatoes.  We used to prepare sweet potato fries in the oven.  Now we just quarter the potatoes, rub with olive oil, dust with salt and place cut-side-down on a cookie sheet.  Roast in a 450 F oven without turning until soft.  The flavors will caramelize (like sweet potato fries) but preparation is simpler and the cooking time less exacting.  Slender sweet potato fries go from undercooked to overcooked in the blink of an eye.  Larger slices are less exacting, and therefore are easier.  Small sweet potatoes can be cut just in half.  Jumbos will need to be chopped into pieces.  Otherwise, they take a long time to cook.
– Store your sweet potatoes at room temperature.  They suffer chilling injury below 50 F.
– The sweet potatoes we grow require slightly longer cooking than ones from the supermarket, perhaps because they contain higher moisture so soon after harvest.
– Sweet potatoes are good at any size. We have cooked everything from tiny to jumbo and consistently find that all sizes taste good.

Fennel (large vegetable with a fat bulb and lacy fronds) – Fennel is a ‘swing vegetable’; it can be used raw or cooked.  Clean well and slice as thinly as possible for use in raw salads.  It is good simply prepared with olive oil, lime or lemon juice, salt and shaved parmesan cheese.  Cooking softens and sweetens fennel, and mellows its anise flavor.  Both the bulb and leaves are edible.  Here are ideas from Alice Water of Chez Panisse about how to use fennel:  ‘It’s strong anise characteristic seems to suit fish particularly well.  … We use fennel all the time.  We add the feathery leaves to marinades for fish and to numerous salads, sauces and soups and we use them as a garnish, too. … The bulbs are sliced and served raw in salads in various combinations with other vegetables, parboiled for pastas; caramelized and served as a side dish; braised whole; or cooked in vegetable broths & fish stocks.”

Poblano chiles (triangular, shiny; green or brown; MEDIUM HEAT) –  Poblanos are the creme de la creme of chiles.  They have lots of great flavor in combination with manageable heat.  Roast and add to soup or casseroles.  To reduce heat, remove the seeds and midveins.

We packed your poblano chiles in the bag of green beans, for easy identification.


Visit our 2019 Recipe Log or our 2018 Recipe Log or join our Facebook discussion group.

LOCAL THYME/ Comforting Classics or Cooking 101
Carrot Winter Squash Puree with Sage Butter
Simmered Veggies in Green Curry Sauce
Teriyaki Noodle Stir Fry with Peppers, Green Beans and Garlic
Chili Stuffed Poblano and Sweet Pepper
Chicken Fennel and Onion Roast

LOCAL THYME/ Outside the Box or Cooking 202
Apple Cranberry Stuffed Acorn Squash Rings
Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Baked Sweet Potato
Green Beans with Olives and Mint
Roasted Poblano Buttermilk Dressing
Sausage and Fennel Hoagies

LOCAL THYME/ Quick & Easy Meal
Sweet Potato Poblano Posole with Pork



You definitely got the goods this week to make a double (if not TRIPLE) batch of this favorite pizza. I suggest you throw a party and scale this recipe up big time!

Takes 1 hour (not including time to make pulled pork), add an additional hour if you plan to make the dough from scratch
Makes 14-inch pizza that serves 4-6

1 batch pizza dough (your favorite or use my recipe below!)
2 cups peeled and cubed sweet potato
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup favorite BBQ sauce (I always use Sweet Baby Ray’s Original)
1 cup pulled pork (here’s one of my favorite super easy slow-cooker pulled pork recipes!)
1 red bell pepper (or red Italian fryer), seeded and diced
1 poblano pepper, seeded and diced
1/2 yellow onion, diced
2 cups smoked cheddar cheese, shredded
For the pizza dough:
1-1/2 cups warm water
2 teaspoons active yeast
2 tablespoons honey
4 cups flour
2 teaspoons Kosher salt

  1. If you are making the dough from scratch, begin here. If not, skip to step 2. Combine warm water (but not hot!) with yeast and honey in a small bowl or measuring cup. Whisk to combine and let sit for 5 minutes. Combine flour and salt together in a large bowl. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in water with yeast. Stir to combine but do not work the dough at all, just stir until all the ingredients are incorporated together. Let dough rest for 15 minutes. Turn out onto a well-floured counter and knead for 3-5 minutes until smooth and uniform dough forms. Grease or oil a large clean bowl. Add dough, cover with plastic wrap or a towel and let rest in a warm place for an hour or until dough has doubled in size.
  2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  3. Combine sweet potatoes, olive oil, salt and pepper in a small bowl to evenly coat. Add to a large baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes. Once finished remove from oven and add back to small bowl. Set aside.
  4. Preheat oven to 525 degrees.
  5. Once dough is risen. Roll it out on a well-floured counter until it’s about the size of the baking sheet you used for roasting the squash. Transfer the dough to the baking sheet.
  6. Top dough with BBQ sauce leaving an inch border on all the edges. Add pork followed by butternut squash, peppers, onions and smoked cheddar.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is bubbly.


Serves 2 (as a meal) or 4 (as a side)
Takes 1 hour

1 head broccoli, cut into florets
15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt, plus more to taste
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
3/4 pound green beans
1 fennel bulb, cored and very thinly sliced
1/4 cup finely chopped fennel fronds
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley, optional
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1/2 tablespoon maple syrup
2 tablespoons sesame seeds (white, black or a combo)

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. On a baking sheet, combine broccoli and chickpeas with garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper and rosemary. Toss with your hands to evenly coat. Roast for 20 minutes, use a spatula to scrape pan and move everything around a bit. Roast 15-20 minutes more until chickpeas are crispy and broccoli is browned in spots.
  3. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil on the stove. Add beans and blanch for 5 minutes. Rinse under cold water until cool to the touch. Cut into bite-size pieces and toss with fennel and parsley in a large bowl. Sprinkle with a few pinches of salt and pepper.
  4. Allow broccoli and chickpeas to cool for 10 minutes then add to bowl. Drizzle with olive oil, vinegar and syrup. Sprinkle with a bit more pinches salt and pepper then the sesame seeds. Stir it all together, taste and adjust seasonings as desired.


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