Monthly Archives: October 2020

Week #24, Final weekly & purple & moon; Thank you!

Good-bye … for now.

Tipi CSA members, thank you so much for joining our CSA adventure this season.  We greatly appreciate your patience and your support.  Your trust in us and messages of support carried us through some very difficult times.  It meant so much to us.

In the midst of a complicated year, it was a pretty good growing season.  Some things did well, some did poorly (that’s to be expected) but we did not struggle to fill your boxes.  I asked our farmhands how they felt about work this year.  Here are some of their responses:
“We all learned something about perseverance.  The world was scary and sad but we just plodded on and dealt with it every day.”
“Making our COVID systems work was easier than I expected.  I am proud of that,” from Karen, our Assistant Food Safety Manager.
“Really good crop year.”
“This was our best crew ever!”
“We are lucky to have a community to work with, in a safe way.  I feel bad for people who have to work in isolation at home.”

What we saw was a team of workers who knit themselves together in a way that we have not seen in the past.  There have always been strong friendships among our crew but this year people were more patient, more gentle with each other.  Our time together became a respite.  In the midst of a complicated and tense world, our work remained meaningful and ‘normal.’  As one crew member told me, “the farm rhythms gave me a sense of normalcy in the midst of everything else.  Planting, seeding, transplanting – these jobs were the same as any year.  It was comforting.”

We are grateful that our farmwork could proceed, that no workers got sick, and that we were able to feed all of you without interruption.  We feel great relief as each storage crop is harvested and tucked away for winter.  Wow, we are relieved that this season is almost over.  Thank you again for your faith in us.
Beth & Steve

2021 CSA registration

We need to complete and analyze the season, then we will be ready to open registration for next season.  I expect to do this earlier than other years, probably in November or December.  Folks, I will be honest.  We expect demand to be very high for CSA shares in 2021.  If you want to join us again next year in the Madison to Janesville areas (please do!) then I advise you to register promptly.  Our CSA shares sold out early this year, and we are getting unprecedented interest for next season.  
1.  I will open registration first for all returning members, so you have first dibs.  Please watch for emails from us.
2.  After one week, we’ll open to our waiting list.  
3.  After that, I’ll open registration to the public.

Winter sales

As usual, you can find our storage crops for sale through the winter at the Willy Street Coops, Basics Coop, and Outpost Natural Foods.  We’ve got nice supplies of carrots, cabbage, parsnips, beets, celeriac, radishes, and rutabaga.  We expect deliveries to last through March.

Final harvests

We are working hard to bring in our final root harvests.  Carrots, parsnips, and some cabbages are still in the field.  The weather forecast is excellent for the next ten days.  We plan to have everything harvested by the end of that ten days.  We will have to hustle but will make it happen.  Our coolers will be filled to the brim and we will relax for winter.

Veggie List & Veggie Notes
Week #24, October 29/30, 2020
– Weekly shares
– EOW/ purple
– Sampler/ moon

Red cabbage
Sweet potatoes, ~2.5 lb
Winter squash (Autumn Frost or a butternut)
Satina yellow potatoes, 3.5 lb
Brussels sprouts, ~1 lb
Japanese daikon radish
Snack peppers or a green bell pepper
Roulette chiles (not-hot habanero), a few
Poblano chiles (low or medium heat), 2
Yellow onion
Shallots, a few
Most sites get a bag of tender Amara kale.  One or two sites get cauliflower or broccoli.

Red cabbage – Refrigerate.  Stores well.  Wonderful for colorful slaws.

Sweet potatoes – Store at room temperature.  Sweet potatoes will suffer chilling injury in the fridge.  It’s OK to either store in a paper bag, or out on your kitchen counter.  Do not store in plastic.  Sweet potatoes will store for a long time.
This week, some folks get our ‘Beauregard’ variety, some get ‘Orleans’.  Both are orange-skinned.
– 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.
– This first batch of sweet potatoes will need 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.

Winter squash – Store at room temperature, or above 55 degrees.  Do not cover.  You want good air movement to prevent spoilage.
This week, you will receive a small frosted squash (‘Autumn Frost’ or ‘Koginut’) or ‘Nutterbutter’ butternut.  
The beautiful frosted squash have both pumpkin and butternut squash breeding in them.  They cook and taste like an unusually good butternut.  The seed companies tell us that they store very well, but I encourage you to eat them within a few weeks.  These are new for us, so we don’t really know how well they will store.
‘Nutterbutter’ is our best-tasting butternut squash at this time of year.  These are not intended for long storage.  Eat within two weeks.

Satina yellow potatoes – These are from our friends Brad and Brian Igl’s farm near Antigo.  Store dry at room temperature, in the paper bag to protect from light.  These are good all-purpose potatoes.  They roast very nicely.

Brussels sprouts – Refrigerate in the plastic bag.  Eat within two or three weeks.  They store well but the outer leaves will turn yellow.  Don’t let them get too wet in the fridge.

Celeriac (knobby, round, bizarre-looking vegetable which smells like celery) – Refrigerate. Celeriac will store in your refrigerator for months.  Cut off chunks as you need them.  Peel before using.  Flavorful celeriac is good raw or cooked.  It is excellent in mixed roasted veggies or in soup.  It’s especially good in cream soups, alone or mixed with potatoes.  Grated raw celeriac is a great starting point for winter salads.

Japanese daikon radishes (long, white, freckled)
– Refrigerate.  Slice thinly and add to salads, cook lightly in mixed vegetable medleys or cut into matchsticks and add to pasta salads.  Three weeks ago, we packed Korean radishes.  While somewhat different, you can largely interchange Japanese and Korean daikon in recipes.  Visit the Maangchi website (my favorite!) for many recipes for both Japanese radish and for Korean radish.

Green bell or snack peppers – Refrigerate.  Eat soon.  These were protected under row cover but exposed to cold nights, which shortens their storage life.  Eat within 5 days.

‘Roulette’ chiles (small, orange or red) – This chile has been bred to have the aromatic taste of habanero chiles, with almost no heat.   Snack on them to enjoy their flavor, or add them to any dish.  To reduce all chances of spiciness, remove the seeds and midveins.  

Poblano (dark green or red, shiny, triangular) – Refrigerate.  Eat soon.  These were protected under row cover but exposed to cold nights, which shortens their storage life.  Eat within 10 days.  These chiles have mild heat and lots of flavor.

Shallots (look like small red onions) – Store at room temperature.   Shallots store for a long time.  Excellent minced for salad dressing.  They will sweeten considerably when fried.  
Fried shallots – Thinly slice shallots.  Heat 2 Tbsp peanut oil in a small skillet over medium-low heat.  Add shallots and fry gently, mixing occasionally, until golden brown.  When done, use the shallots and oil to top any dish, eg turkey salad.

Amara kale (tender, ruffled kale in bag) – Cover and refrigerate.  This harvest is quite young and tender.  Should be good for one week.
We’ve grown this variety just a few times.  Here’s the seed catalog description: “While technically a mustard, Amara is known by several different names including Ethiopian kale, highland kale, Abyssinian mustard, and Texsel greens. The attractive, dark green leaves are tender, slightly savoyed with a wavy margin, and have an excellent rich flavor. Good in salads or as a cooked green.”  This stuff is pretty interesting. It has the texture of kale but the spiciness of mustard.  I’d say it’s about half as spicy as mustard greens.

‘Autumn Frost’ or ‘Koginut’ squash.

Pepper ID.  You will receive some (but not all of these types).  Clockwise from left,
Poblano chiles (dark green or red, shiny, triangular) – medium heat
Roulette (small, bright red or orange) – sweet and flavorful
Green bell pepper – sweet
Orano snack peppers (orange, red, yellow or green) – sweet



Visit our 2020 Recipe Log or our 2019 Recipe Log or join our Facebook discussion group.

LOCAL THYME/ Cooking 101
Brussels Sprout Red Cabbage Slaw with Honey Poppy Seed Dressing
Irish White Bean and Root Vegetable Stew
Pot Roast over Egg Noodles

LOCAL THYME/ Cooking 202
Braised Red Cabbage With Apples, Bacon and Wine
Dijon Braised Brussels Sprouts
Celeriac Potato Hash Browns with Jalapeño and Cheddar

LOCAL THYME/ Quick & Easy Meal
Fusilli with Brussels Sprouts in Cheese Sauce


Serves 6-8 as a side
Takes 45 minutes (excluding pickling the shallots)
1 pound Brussels Sprouts, halved or quartered based on size
2 tablespoons olive oil
1-1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
2 tablespoons harissa
1/2 tablespoon tahini
1/2 tablespoon honey
1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
Pinch cayenne pepper
Pickled Shallots, as much as you like
Diced cilantro, optional
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Toss Brussels Sprouts with olive oil, ½ teaspoon of salt and black pepper before spreading out on a large baking sheet in a single layer. Roast for 30-35 minutes until charred in places, removing the pan once or twice and stirring the Brussels sprouts for even browning.
3. If you forgot to make your pickled shallots ahead of time, you could start them now (recipe below) though they will be a little less bright and acidic than if you made them in advance.
4. Prepare your sauce by combining remaining ingredients with remaining 1 teaspoon salt in a small bowl. Stir until well combined and uniform. It will be lumpy because harissa has a lot of texture.
5. To serve, spread the harissa sauce on a large platter. Cover with roasted Brussels Sprouts and top with pickled shallots and cilantro, if using.
Pickled Shallots
Adapted from Food & Wine
Makes 1/2 pint
Takes 15 minutes but should chill at least two hours for best flavor
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1/2 tablespoon salt
1/2 tablespoon honey (or sugar)
2 large shallots, sliced
1. Combine water, vinegars, salt and honey in a small saucepan and stir to combine. Heat over high heat. Once it comes to a boil, reduce to a simmer and stir frequently. Cook until sugar dissolves.
2. Put the shallots in a mason jar and cover with liquid leaving about a 1/2-inch of head space. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. The shallots will float to the top– this is normal. Sometimes I store the jar upside down for the first couple days so I know everything is fully submerged.
3. These will store well in the fridge for a couple weeks.

Takes 40 minutes
Serves 4-6
2 tablespoon butter (substitute oil of your choosing if vegan)
1 pound sweet potato, peeled and diced
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1 celeriac, peeled and diced
1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons minced ginger
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 cup white rice
3 cups chicken broth (or vegetable broth if vegetarian or vegan)
1 can coconut milk
1 bunch kale (6-8 leaves), stems removed, leaves roughly chopped
1 teaspoon fish sauce
Lime wedges, to serve
1. In a large stock pot or Dutch oven, melt butter. Add sweet potato, onion, celeriac, jalapeno, garlic and ginger. Saute for 5 minutes until fragrant. Add turmeric and salt and saute 5 minutes longer.
2. Add rice. Stir for about a minute to combine rice and toast it gently. Add chicken broth, bring mixture to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Simmer until rice is cooked, about 15 minutes. Add coconut milk, kale and fish sauce. Simmer gently until kale is wilted, about 5 minutes.
3. Serve with lime wedges.


Serves 4-6
Takes 20 minutes (but tastes better if the dressing can soak into the cabbage for an hour)
1 cabbage (red or green), shredded
1 daikon, cut into matchsticks
1/2 yellow onion, thinly sliced
5 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil 
3 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
3 tablespoons packed brown sugar
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 dry roasted peanuts, roughly chopped
1. Combine cabbage, daikon and onion in a large bowl. 
2. Whisk together peanut butter, vinegar, oil, soy sauce, brown sugar, and garlic in a small bowl until smooth. If too thick, use water to thin to dressing-like consistency. Pour over cabbage mixture. Toss to combine. 
3. Top with roasted peanuts just before serving.
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Week #23; Farm walk, Final EOW/green

Our farm walk worked out quite well, despite the chilly weather.  The rain stopped just before members began arriving.  Whew.  I’d like to share a little of the day, for those who couldn’t attend.

I distributed a map and list of tour stops before the farm walk, so people could print a copy at home, or view it on their phone.

Tour stop #3.  During the summer, Steve plants cover crops as we finish harvests from each field.  By this time of year, many fields are planted to cover crops.  Top; young rye (grass) and hairy vetch (tendrils).  These seem fragile but will overwinter and explode into growth in spring.  Bottom, a lush field of ryegrass.  This cover crop should die over the winter, leaving the field ready for next year’s crop.

Tour stop #4. Our storage carrot fields are looking good. We’ll harvest these from now until early November, sooner if the weather hurries us. Carrots can handle some frost.

Tour stop #7.  It’s worth the effort!

Tour stop #8.  The golden flowers frosted on Thursday night but new blossoms opened by Sunday morning.

Tour stop #9.  The brassica fields look great.  These crops shrug off cold weather.

Tour stop #14.  We opened our first kale & collards field for gleaning.  We stopped harvesting from this field once our second planting was ready.  The field is weedy but there’s good greens to be found.

Tour stop #15.  We posted the sign at top but then strong winds on Saturday ripped and blew about the row covers.  We replaced them on Monday.  It’s not unusual for weather to undo our efforts.

That’s it!  I hope you enjoyed the tour, whether in person or remotely.  Beth

Veggie List & Veggie Notes
Week #23, October 22/23, 2020
– Weekly shares
– EOW/ green

Sweet potatoes, ~2 lb
Brussels sprouts, ~1 lb
Koji greens
Leeks, about 1.25 lb
Carrots, ~2 lb
Parsnips, ~1.5 lb
Green peppers, 1 bell + 1 or 2 frying
Anaheim chiles, 2 (medium heat, in bag with carrots)
Scallions, 1 small bunch
– Some sites get broccoli.
– Some sites get cauliflower.
– Some sites get a butternut squash.

Next week’s box will probably contain red cabbage, winter squash, sweet potatoes, yellow potatoes, Brussels sprouts, celeriac, onions, and more.

Sweet potatoes – Store at room temperature.  Sweet potatoes will suffer chilling injury in the fridge.
Some folks get our ‘Beauregard’ variety (orange skin).  Some get ‘Bayou Belle’ (purple skin, long roots)
– 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.
– This first batch of sweet potatoes will need 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.

Brussels sprouts – If you are a new CSA member, please approach Brussels sprouts with an open mind.  Many of us grew up eating awful, overcooked Brussels sprouts.  These Brussels sprouts are completely different. 
Here is our method to cook Brussels sprouts: Wash the sprouts and trim the cut ends. Cut an X in the stem end of large sprouts.  Cut a single slit in small or medium sprouts.  This does two things. It helps the Brussels sprouts cook evenly, plus it allows them to soak up any marinade or dressing.  Place sprouts in a pot with one inch of water in the bottom and steam until tender, 7 to 10 minutes.  If the sprouts are uneven in size, then set aside the smallest ones and add to the pot after the larger ones have cooked for a few minutes.  Don’t overcook them!  You can also oven-roast Brussels sprouts.  
Here are a few dressing ideas for cooked sprouts:  
– Sherry vinegar/olive oil/Dijon mustard/garlic/white wine/salt and pepper.  This is our favorite, especially when you combine the Brussels sprouts with slivered peppers and thinly sliced onions.  Delicious warm, cold, or at room temperature.
– Balsamic vinegar/olive oil/garlic/salt and pepper
– Lemon juice and zest/melted brown butter/poppy seeds/white wine/garlic/salt

Koji greens (head of dark green leaves) – Refrigerate.
 Koji greens are a lot like Yukina if you know that one; dark green with a nice balance of bitter flavor but not too strong.  Like tat soi but with larger, lusher leaves and not so many leaf stalks.  Recipes that use mustard greens or bok choy will work with Koji.  In a contest for my favorite fall green, Koji runs neck and neck with bok choy.

Leeks (look like big scallions) – These alliums have a milder flavor than onions.  Nonetheless, they can be used in recipes that call for onions.  To wash, split the leek lengthwise, from the green tops about halfway to the base, leaving the base intact.  Rinse well under running water, separating the layers to flush.  If necessary, split the leek further if soil has penetrated more than halfway down the leek.  Shake dry.  Leeks are generally eaten cooked.  They can be sauteed, steamed or roasted.  Intact leeks will store 2 to 3 weeks if covered loosely and refrigerated.  The outer leaves will yellow.  Just peel them off and discard.  The inner leek layers will be fine.

Carrots – Refrigerate in a plastic bag.

Parsnips (These look like large white carrots) – Those long, white roots are not carrots, they are parsnips. The two vegetables are related.  When cooked, parsnips are sweet and starchy.  For the best flavor, brown them to caramelize the sugars.  Here are a few ideas for parsnip preparation:
– Caramelize the parsnips by roasting them in a vegetable medley.
– Parsnip fries are delicious: cut like French fries, oil lightly, place on a cookie sheet and roast in a hot oven until brown and cooked through.
– Try substituting grated parsnips in a potato pancake recipe. They brown beautifully and are very tasty.
– Steve loves pan-fried parsnips with onions and garlic.

Peppers – Refrigerate.  Eat soon.  These were protected under row cover but exposed to cold nights, which shortens their storage life.

Anaheim chiles (long, slender, red or green; pack in carrot bag) – Refrigerate.  Eat soon.  These were protected under row cover but exposed to cold nights.  That shortens their storage life.
These flavorful chiles have medium heat, although we find that these late-harvested ones seem to be pretty mild.   They look deceptively like frying peppers, so we packed your Anaheims in the carrot bag, to make them easy to recognize.

Scallions – Refrigerate in a plastic bag.

Cauliflower or broccoli – Cover and refrigerate.  

Beautiful, beautiful Koji greens


Visit our 2020 Recipe Log or our 2019 Recipe Log or join our Facebook discussion group.

LOCAL THYME/ Cooking 101
Veggie Pot Pie
Brussels Sprout and Sweet Potato Dressing
Koji Greens and Scallions Frittata

LOCAL THYME/ Cooking 202
Moroccan Lamb and Vegetable Tagine
Brussels Sprout Salad with Craisins, Pecans and Creamy Maple Balsamic Dressing
Quinoa, Koji Greens and Egg Breakfast Bake

LOCAL THYME/ Quick & Easy Meal
Rice Noodle Stir Fry with Carrots and Peppers


Takes 10 minutes
Makes 3 cups
Serves a crowd

8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
1 large leek, quartered and sliced
1 green pepper, seeded and diced very small
2-3 anaheim peppers, seeded and diced very small
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt

In a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add leek, peppers, mayonnaise and salt. Stir to combine until uniformly mixed. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.
Serve immediately or chilled with pretzels. Dip lasts about a week.

Takes 1 hours
Serves 4-6 (as a main dish)

1-2 large carrot, shredded
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1 pound peeled and cubed sweet potato (about 2 cups)
1 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved (about 2 cups)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon Kosher salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
2 tablespoons butter, thinly sliced
1/2 pound cremini, shiitake or oyster mushrooms, sliced
1 cup millet (or other favorite grain)
2 cups water
1 tablespoon chicken (or vegetable) bouillon
1 bunch Koji greens, stems removed and leaves finely chopped
1 bunch scallions, sliced
1/2 cup toasted pepitas (or other favorite seed or nut)

Lime Maple Dressing:
1/4 cup walnut or hazelnut oil (or other neutral oil)
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1/2 fresh lime, juiced
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2. In a small bowl, combine carrots with vinegar and sugar. Toss to combine and let sit while you prepare the rest of your meal.
3. On a large rimmed baking sheet, combine sweet potatoes and brussels sprouts with oil, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Place in oven and roast for 30-35 minutes, until Brussels are crisp and sweet potatoes are tender. Rotate pan at least once while cooking.
4. On a second large rimmed baking sheet, scatter butter slices across. Sprinkle mushrooms across the pan and finish with the remaining salt and pepper. Roast for 15 minutes until mushrooms are softened (but not dried out) and butter is browned.
5. While the veggies and mushrooms roast, prepare your millet. Toast dry grains in a medium saucepan for 5 minutes over medium heat, being careful not to burn. Add water and stock, and give it a good stir. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat, cover and reduce to low. Cook for 15 minutes then turn off the burner, but leave the millet covered for 5 minutes to finish absorbing the liquid.
6. In a small bowl, prepare your dressing by whisking all ingredients together until smooth.
7. To serve, top millet with roasted vegetables and mushrooms. Add grains, scallions, and dressing and toss to combine. Serve warm or at room temperature. Add pepitas right before eating.


Serves 6-8
Takes 8 hours inactive time, 30 minutes active time

3 to 4 pound pork shoulder
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black peppers
1/3 cup salsa
1/4 cup Worcestershire
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 shallots, diced
3/4 cup water
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon Rosemary
Roasted Veggies:
4 cups cubed sweet potato
1-2 large carrots, peeled and cubed
1-2 large parsnips, peeled and cubed
1 large head broccoli or cauliflower (about 2 cups), cut into florets, optional
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon thyme

1. In the morning before you head to work*, place pork shoulder roast on a cutting board and generously pat with salt and pepper. Turning and pressing onto any excess that falls onto the cutting board.
2. Place roast in crock pot. Add salsa, Worcestershire, brown sugar, and shallots all around the edges of the pork. Pour water over this mixture. Sprinkle pork with spices, cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours.
3. When you get home (or on Sunday when you have plenty of time), flip the pork over and turn your crock pot to keep warm then preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
4. In a very large bowl, combine sweet potatoes, carrot, parsnip, and broccoli or cauliflower with oil, salt, pepper and thyme. Stir until everything is evenly coated with oil and spices. Pour out onto two baking sheets or roasting pans. If you don’t have a very large bowl, just combine all ingredients on baking sheets as evenly as you can.
5. Roast for 40-50 minutes until veggies are tender and browned in places being sure to rotate pans at least once during baking for even cooking.
6. While the veggies roast, shred your pork with two forks and let soak in the delicious juices.
7. Serve pork with roasted veggies and a generous amount of that sauce remaining in the bottom of the crockpot.

*I also like to do the legwork of a crockpot overnight from time to time since I know I’ll be around in 6-8 hours whereas sometimes my work day can be longer than that. This means prepping the pork the night before and then just throwing it in a tupperware or pyrex and into your fridge in the morning.

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Week #22; Our favorite COVID innovation

2017 CSA pack, prepandemic.  From left, Kelsie, Kristin, Kerry, Jory, Rebecca, me, and John gather to fill CSA boxes.  We can’t work in close quarters like this any more.

Back in April, Steve and I brainstormed how to safely pack CSA boxes during the pandemic.  We thought “We’ll wear masks and hang sneeze guards and barrier curtains” to separate the team of people.  One night, I realized that was not good enough.  COVID-19 outbreaks were spreading in meat packing and vegetable processing facilities.  Our scale is much smaller but the similarities are strong; we work inside, in a large team, and at close proximity.  It was like a bolt of lightning once I recognized the risk, and the challenge of changing our system.

It was late at night and suddenly I couldn’t sleep.  I put on my boots and went out to the barn to look at the situation with fresh eyes.  Here’s what I figured out and Steve’s reaction the next morning.

Me: “We need to cut a hole in the pack shed wall.”  
Steve: “Wait, what??”
Me: “We need to cut a hole in the wall.  Then we can work in two rooms and pass boxes through the wall.”
Steve: “Wait, what???”
Me: “A hole in the wall, darn it.”
Steve, after a long pause, “Ahh.”  I watched the light bulb go on.

Fortunately, there was an old, never-used door in just the right place.  Blocked from opening by an essential post, it was unusable.  We took the door off its hinges, shimmied it out from behind the post, and re-attached it on the other side of the wall.  Voila, a new doorway.

In past years, we packed your CSA boxes along a ten-foot length of roller track.  See the photo above.  I rummaged in the barn loft and found an extra 40 feet of roller track.  (We have a lot of useful stuff laying around the farm, mostly accumulated by Steve at farm auctions.)  Now we pack your boxes along 50 feet of track, allowing us to spread out and maintain social distancing.  The rooms we work in are well-ventilated with large doors open to the east and west, so we set up strong fans to keep the air moving along with the prevailing wind.

We can only talk to our nearest neighbors so now I’m a social director too.  When possible, I try to cluster the high school and college-age workers in one room.  In the adjacent room, all we can hear are shouts of “Tame Impala” or “Beach House!”  Apparently they have raging debates about music.

The change has been unexpectedly helpful in other ways.  Now we place our stacks of produce next to us.  Space was so limited in the old system that the stacks had to be behind us, meaning you had to spin a full 180 degrees to pick up the produce.  Midway through each pack, I’d remind everyone to reverse their spin direction.  Otherwise, you get very, very dizzy.  Between that and the lowered noise levels, we all feel better at the end of the job.

We’ve had to make numerous changes because of the pandemic but this one feels like a success: simple, effective and very inexpensive.

Starting at right, Mike puts a liner bag in each box, then sends it down the line to Janson and Chris (red shirt).

From the adjacent room, you can see Chris (red shirt) in the distance, as well as the new doorway to accommodate the extended roller track.  Kristin, Chance and Raul complete the boxes.

Open all the doors, work with the prevailing winds, …

… and use powerful fans.

This week/ Napa harvest

Maggie harvests the perfect napa cabbage while John photobombs to show off his guns.  Note the rolled up sleeve.

Incoming!  Maggie tosses to Mike who packs the napa into bins.

Veggie List & Veggie Notes
Week #22, October 15/16, 2020
– Weekly shares
– EOW/ purple
– Sampler/ sun

Napa cabbage (purple or green)
Butternut squash
Beets, ~2 lb
Carrots, ~2 lb
Peppers, 4 or 5 small green frying peppers
Poblano chiles (medium heat, in bag with beets), 3
Yellow or red or white onion
– Most sites get broccoli.
– Some sites get cauliflower.

Next week’s box will probably contain Brussels sprouts, winter squash or sweet potatoes, carrots, celeriac, broccoli or cauliflower, some kind of greens and more.

Napa cabbage (large, pale green cabbage with crinkled leaves) – Storage:  Napa stores very well.  When refrigerated, it will keep for several weeks.  Peel off the outer layer and it will be ready to use. 
Napa cabbage is an interesting vegetable, useful for both fresh, raw salads and for cooking.  Its most famous use is fermented kimchi.  I like to prepare a fresh, unfermented kimchi.  Same seasonings, but it’s ready to eat right away.  You will be amazed at how much shredded napa cabbage shrinks when prepared this way.  See here for an example, but cut the salt in half (or even less): Grilled Flank Steak with Kimchi-style Coleslaw.
Here are a few preparation ideas from the ‘Asparagus to Zucchini’ cookbook.
– Chop raw napa into green salads.
– Substitute napa in traditional coleslaw.
– Chinese cabbage cooks quickly.  Steam 3-5 minutes, or until leaves are wilted down but remain slightly crisp.
– Substitute napa cabbage for common cabbage in recipes, but reduce the cooking time by 2 minutes.
– Napa cabbage is the main ingredient in egg rolls.  Try making an egg roll mixture to eat as a cooked side dish instead of preparing time-consuming egg rolls.

Butternut squashStorage:  Winter squash store best at room temperature with good air circulation.  No cooler than 50 degrees.  On your kitchen counter works well.  Keep an eye on your squash and cook promptly if any flaws develop.  This batch of butternuts should be good for at least one month.
Hint:  To make squash easier to cut, microwave on high for 30 to 60 seconds, depending on size of the squash.  This will soften the rind and flesh, making it much easier to cut.

Beets – Storage:  Cover and refrigerate.  Beet roots will store for months.  Wash well to remove leaf fragments.  For all the cooking methods below, wash and scrub the beets but do not peel.  The skins slip off easily once the beets are cooked and cooled.
Cooking beet roots on the stovetop:  Slice or quarter, cover with water in a pot, and simmer until tender.  This will take from 25 to 45 minutes depending on how large the beet pieces are.  Drain.
Roasting beets in oven:  Wash beets, but do not peel.  On a sheet of aluminum foil, put beets (halved or quartered if large), salt, pepper and a few sprinklings of water.  Seal the foil packet, and roast at 400 oF until tender, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.  Slip off skins once cool.
Microwave:  Slice beets in half and place in a large microwave-proof bowl.  Add ¾ inch water and cover with a plate.  Microwave on high until tender, about 9-20 minutes, depending on your microwave’s power.  Drain and slip off skins.
Uses:  Use cooked beets in cold salads, or dress simply with vinaigrette, onions, salt and pepper.  Beets are also good tossed with sour cream, minced onion, fresh herbs and walnuts.  

Carrots – Refrigerate in a plastic bag.

Peppers – Refrigerate.  Eat soon.  These were protected under row cover but exposed to cold nights.  That shortens their storage life.

Poblano chiles  (green or red, in bag with the beets) – Refrigerate.  These should have medium heat but have been quite mild this year.

Red or white or yellow onion – Refrigerate the red or white onions.  Yellow can be stored at room temperature.

Cilantro – Refrigerate in a sealed container.  It wilts easily.

Scallions – Refrigerate in a bag or other container.

Broccoli or cauiflower – Refrigerate.  The broccoli should be fine for one week.  Cauliflower stores longer and these heads should remain good for two weeks.  Wrap or cover in some way so they don’t wilt in your fridge.


Visit our 2020 Recipe Log or our 2019 Recipe Log or join our Facebook discussion group.

LOCAL THYME/ Cooking 101
Napa Cabbage and Chicken Salad with Carrot Ginger Dressing
Butternut, Beef and Wild Rice Soup
Mom’s Pickled Beets

LOCAL THYME/ Cooking 202
Chicken, Brassica, Pepper and Carrot Stir Fry
Roasted Butternut Squash and Onion with Tahini and Za’atar
Beet and Carrot Crisps

LOCAL THYME/ Quick & Easy Meal
Black Bean and Veggie Burritos



Takes 20 minutes (active time) + 4-8 hours (in slow cooker)
Serves 8-12

1/4 cup olive oil
1 onion (any color), diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 poblanos, diced
2 green peppers, diced
4 cups water
2 28-ounce cans diced tomatoes
5 cups chopped butternut squash
1 can (15-ounce) spicy chili beans
1 can (15-ounce) black beans, rinsed
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup chili powder
2 tablespoons Kosher salt
2 tablespoons cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne powder
Pinch cinnamon

1. Add olive oil to crock pot or slow cooker along with onion, garlic and peppers. Turn crock pot up to high and let cook on it’s own with the lid off for 10-15 minutes while you peel and dice your squash and get the rest of your ingredients assembled.
2. Add remaining ingredients to the crock pot. It will be a tight fit even in a standard 8-quart crock pot. Place lid on crock pot and cook for at least four hours on high heat. If you are making it and leaving for the day, eight hours on low heat will work just as well.
3. Enjoy with cheese, diced raw onion, Greek yogurt and some roughly chopped cilantro. Store whatever remains in your fridge to eat throughout the weekend/week.


Adapted from Bon Appetit
Serves 4
Takes 30 minutes

3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil, divided
1 bell pepper, any color, seeded and diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Kosher salt
6 tablespoons fresh squeeze lime juice
3 tablespoons fish sauce
3 tablespoons honey
1 pound sirloin steak, bone removed and thinly sliced
6 ounces wide rice noodles
1/2 head Napa cabbage, stems removed and shredded (about 4 cups)
4-5 scallions (whites and greens), sliced
1 cup roasted peanuts, roughly chopped
1/2 bunch cilantro, diced

1. In a large skillet (preferably cast iron if you’ve got one), heat one tablespoon toasted sesame oil over medium heat. Add the bell pepper, garlic, red pepper flakes and a pinch of salt. Saute for 2-3 minutes. Pour into a large bowl followed by lime juice, fish sauce, honey, one tablespoon toasted sesame oil and 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt. Whisk to combine.
2. Remove 1/4 cup of sauce and set aside to use later as dressing. Add steak to large bowl and toss to coat. Let marinate for up to 45 minutes (or as much time as you have; the flavors will be fine after 15 minutes if you are in a crunch) while you chop your vegetables. Stir every once and while to ensure all steak pieces are marinating.
3. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook rice noodles according to package directions and drain once finished. Let cool for 5-10 minutes.
4. Make sure the cabbage and scallions are well-drained (if you rinsed right before preparing) and then toss with the 1/4 cup sauce you set to the side. Add another couple pinches of salt and toss to combine.
5. Pour the last tablespoon of sesame oil into your skillet (the same one you used before; you don’t need to wash it out) and get it nice and hot over medium high heat. Use tongs to transfer the steak (but not the marinade) into the skillet. Cook for 2-3 minutes until cooked through and then let rest for 5 minutes. Add steak and noodles to large bowl of cabbage mixture. Toss to combine (add herbs here if you are using) and serve warm with peanuts and cilantro on top.


2 cups shredded carrots
2 cups shredded beets
1 cup shredded apples
3 eggs, well beaten
2/3 cup oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
2-1/4 cup flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 heaping cup diced pecans

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a bundt pan (or two bread loaf pans).
2. In a large bowl, combine shredded carrots, beets and apple. Add eggs, oil and vanilla and stir until well combined.
3. In a small bowl, combine all dry ingredients other than pecans. Mix well and then add into the wet mixture. Mix until no flour is visible then gently fold in pecans.
4. Bake for 40-45 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Allow to cool for 15 minutes before serving (to avoid the accident I had).

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Week #21, EOW/green

Kristin and Karen prepare winter squash for this week’s delivery.

Most years, we clean your winter squash by running it through a brusher washer.  This year, we’ve decided to simply wipe the squash unless it’s too muddy.  We moved the job from the pack shed to our lovely greenhouse to allow more social distancing and good air flow.  With the top vent open (look to the left of the peak) and the side open (at right), there’s a stream of fresh air flowing past each person.

It’s been a good move!  The light is better so it’s easier to judge the squash quality.  Just as important, it makes this job more pleasant.  Our greenhouse is a favorite place on a sunny day.  With the good air flow, we can work close enough together to talk.  Honestly, if I can give our crew any simple pleasure during this crazy year, I’ll do it.

Please wash your winter squash to remove any bits of soil.

Fennel harvest

I hope you’ve all gotten outside during this beautiful Indian summer.  It’s certainly made our lives easier.  Look at the amazing, vibrant color of the fennel.

Fennel, our most elegant, aromatic vegetable

Box logic

We’re happy to be able to send a few favorite combinations.  We’re packing ginger and cilantro together because they pair naturally with bok choy or daikon.  Add the onion and jalapeño and you’ve got a great flavor package for any stir fry.  We’re sending a small winter squash so you have an extra vegetable to roast alongside the sweet potatoes.

Veggie List & Veggie Notes
Week #21, October 8/9, 2020
– Weekly shares
– EOW/ green

Bok choy
Fennel, 1 bulb with fronds
Sweet potatoes, 1.75 – 2 lb
Small winter squash (acorn or small butternut)
Small green peppers, 3 – 5, mostly green
Daikon radish, 1 purple + 1 white
Yellow onion
Jalapeno chile
Cilantro, 1 bunch
Baby ginger, 1 small piece
– Some sites get broccoli.
– Some sites get cauliflower.

Next week’s box will probably contain winter squash, broccoli OR cauliflower, napa cabbage, scallions, and more.

Bok choy (large rosette with thick white stems and green leaves) – Refrigerate in a plastic bag or other container.
This Asian green is good for stir-frying or sautéing or in soup.  You can think of the stems and leaves as two separate vegetables.  The stems require longer cooking.  The leaves will cook almost as quickly as spinach.  Bok choy stores well, so feel free to pull off leaves as you need them, or use the whole head at once.  

Fennel (bulbs and lacy fronds) – Refrigerate.  If not using within a few days, separate the fronds and the bulb and store separately.
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.”

‘Beauregard’ sweet potatoes – Store your sweet potatoes at room temperature.  They suffer chilling injury below 50 F.
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.
– This first batch of sweet potatoes will need 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.

Korean daikon radishes (oblong, white & purple) – Refrigerate.  The interior color of the purple ones is lovely.  Slice thinly and add to salads, cook lightly in mixed vegetable medleys or cut into matchsticks and add to pasta salads.  For many Korean radish recipes, visit the Maanchi website, 

Yellow onion – Store at room temperature in your kitchen if you plan to eat soon.  For longer storage, keep in a cool, dark place. 

Jalapeno chile (HOT) – Refrigerate.

Peppers – Refrigerate, if possible in the warmer part of your fridge.  If not, they’ll still be fine in the fridge.

Cilantro – Refrigerate in a tight container.  It wilts easily.

Baby ginger – Eat soon; baby ginger is perishable.  Wrap in a damp cloth or paper towel, and keep in the refrigerator in a plastic bag.  You can also freeze your ginger, then grate as much as you need from the frozen knob.
This is baby ginger, bright white and pink because it hasn’t grown a brown epidermis yet.  The ginger sold in stores grows for a long season in warm places like Hawaii.  Baby ginger is special because it has the full ginger flavor and spiciness but almost no fibers.  That’s why it’s used to make the pickled ginger served with sushi.  I asked the crew to wash it lightly to avoid bruising.  Expect to do a final wash before using it.

Korean radish

Baby ginger


Visit our 2020 Recipe Log or our 2019 Recipe Log or join our Facebook discussion group.

LOCAL THYME/ Cooking 101
Simple Cioppino
Chilled Chinese Noodles
Soy Glazed Sweet Potatoes

LOCAL THYME/ Cooking 202
Bok Choy Fennel Salad
Breakfast Bahn Mi Sandwich with Daikon Pickles
Chicken and Veggie Enchiladas

LOCAL THYME/ Quick & Easy Meal
Salmon with Bok Choy, Ginger and Sesame


Adapted from Dishing Up the Dirt
Serves 4
Takes 55 minutes

½ yellow onion, roughly chopped
7 garlic cloves, divided

1/2 cup raw bok choy leaves
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon sriracha
1 pound ground pork
1-2 daikon radishes, peeled and shaved or cut into matchsticks (about 4 cups)
2 tablespoons Canola oil
1/2 pound Soba noodles
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup tamari or soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1-inch fresh ginger, peeled and minced

¼ cup cilantro leaves, diced

  1. If using a food processor, combine onion, 4 of the peeled, whole garlic cloves, and raw greens. Process until everything is finely chopped. You may need to scrape down the sides with a spatula once or twice since there isn’t a ton in there. Add the fish sauce, sriracha and ground pork. Process until everything is well combined. If not using a food processor, mince the onions, 4 peeled garlic cloves and raw greens, and toss into a large bowl. Add the fish sauce, sriracha and ground pork and mix until smooth.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Shape pork mixture into 20-24 meatballs (a little smaller than golf-ball size) and place on parchment. Chill in the fridge or freezer (wherever you have room) for 15 minutes while you matchstick all your carrots and daikon.
  3. Heat canola oil in a large heavy skillet (cast-iron works great here) over medium high heat. When it is just about smoking, add half of the chilled meatballs and reduce heat to medium. Cook, turning occasionally for about 10 minutes until well-browned on all sides. The oil may spit and splatter. This is a great time to use a grease guard or splatter screen if you have one. Repeat with second half of meatballs. You shouldn’t need to add any more oil for the second batch. When these are finished cooking, add already cooked meatballs to pan (it will be crowded) and place hot pan in oven to stay warm.
  4. Bring salted water to a boil over high heat. Add soba noodles and cook according to package directions.
  5. While the noodles are cooking, prepare your sauce by mincing your remaining 3 garlic cloves and then adding maple syrup, tamari, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, and ginger to a large bowl. Add cooked noodles and daikon. Toss with tongs to combine.
  6. Serve immediately with warm meatballs on top! Garnish with cilantro.


Adapted from Bon Appetit
Feel free to substitute you peeled and diced winter squash for up to half of the sweet potatoes if you’d like some sweet potatoes for other things.
Takes 1 hour, 20 minutes
Makes 6 cups

2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 teaspoon siracha hot sauce
13.5-ounce can coconut milk
4 cups chicken (or vegetable) stock

  1. Add butter and oil to a large stock pot. Melt butter over medium-low heat. Add the garlic as well as a sprinkling of salt and pepper. Cook until garlic is fragrant, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the sweet potatoes, spices and hot sauce and turn the heat up to medium. Cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the coconut milk and stock. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes until sweet potatoes are tender and liquid is nicely reduced.
  3. Let cool and puree with an immersion blender. We don’t puree until completely smooth. We like some small chunks of sweet potato in there, but that is up to you. Taste and adjust seasoning. Top with chickpeas if you are feeling extra fun!

Cumin Roasted Chickpeas

15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1-2 teaspoons Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss chickpeas with oil, cumin, salt and pepper. I use 1 teaspoon of salt if I’m making these chickpeas for my sweet potato soup (because it’s already a little salty) and 2 teaspoons of salt if I’m making these chickpeas as a non-soup-addition, generally-delicious snack. Roast for 20 minutes or until crunchy. Take out the pan and shake it occasionally for more even crisping.

Adapted from Bon Appetit
Takes 1 hour, 20 minutes
Makes 6 cups

½ yellow onion, divided
¼ cup fresh lime juice
½ teaspoon Kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
1-2 sirloin steaks, about 12 ounces each
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoons capers, coarsely chopped
1 jalapeno, finely chopped
1 fennel bulb, cored and thinly sliced
1 cup finely chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons finely chopped fennel fronds
1/3 cup mayonnaise
8 slices sourdough bread, toasted

  1. Thinly slice your onion. Set half to the side for later use and dice the other half. Place the diced onion in a small bowl. Add lime juice and let rest while you prepare your steak.
  2. Season steaks with salt and pepper. Heat heavy skillet (preferably cast-iron) over medium high heat. Add vegetable oil, allow to heat for a minute and then add steaks to pan. Cook, undisturbed until well-browned, about 5 minutes. Flip and cook until second side is also well-browned, about 3 minutes. Remove steaks and let rest while you finish your slaw.
  3. Add capers, jalapeno, fennel and reserved sliced onion to diced onion. Toss until well combined. Add cilantro and fennel fronds and toss again. Taste and adjust seasoning as you desire.
  4. Thinly slice steak.
  5. To serve, spread mayo evenly on 4 slices of bread. Top with steak followed by slaw. Finish with remaining slices of bread. Devour immediately!


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