Monthly Archives: September 2023

Week #20; Who grows your food? Part 2.

Sweet potato harvest with the H-2A crew.

I wrote last week to honor our hard-working farm crew.  This week, let’s acknowledge another group who works for us a few days each year.  Since 2015, we have hired a migrant labor crew to weed carrots and do other big jobs.  Labor contractor (team leader) Carlos Aguilera brings 35 people to our farm for four or five days.  All are temporary agricultural workers from Mexico or Central America, working in the US under the H-2A program for agriculture.  

Many of you buy our carrots and other produce at Willy Street Coop through the winter.  Without their labor, we could not grow these winter crops.  We plant carrots on a tight schedule in July so they are ready to harvest in fall.  That puts us on a tight weeding schedule too.  Our regular crew does not have time to weed these big fields; they already have a full workload.  So we bring in Carlos’ crew.  

Thirty-five guys show up in a colorful school bus, spread out in our fields and leave them clean of weeds a few hours later.  We have a short list of jobs for them.  This year, they weeded carrots and beets, harvested green beans, onions and sweet potatoes, and helped us clean up finished fields.  They accomplished all that in just four six-hour days.  They are professional farmhands with high standards for their work.  

Carlos’ primary contracts are with seed producers in the area.  (He must have a signed contract at each business where they work.)  We are their smallest contract, offering just a few days per season, so we have to work with whichever days they are available, usually on weekends.

US Immigration showed up at our farm for a surprise inspection this year.  Remember the August day when temps hit 99 degrees?  Two immigration agents walked into our work shed, asking to see paperwork for the H-2A crew.  We had it but our employees were arriving at the same time so it was a scramble.  That day, agents visited each farm where Carlos’ team works.  I am reassured to know they do that, that they are watching out for the welfare of these workers.  Carlos told me the agents visited the farm where they were stationed that day, to check working conditions and that workers have access to their own passport.  That’s important, as abusive labor contractors could hold their workers’ passports.  That’s illegal. 

Carlos Aguilera is well-organized and seems to take good care of his team. Over the years I’ve had our Spanish-speaking employees work side-by-side with the H-2A crew.  I learned that they spend 90% of their time making fun of us and the rest teasing Carlos.

What is their favorite vegetable?  We send them off with lots of melons and sweet corn, their favorites among what we grow.  They are most excited for the corn, telling us they roast it and eat it sprinkled with cheese, salt and chile peppers. 

Thanks for reading.
Beth and Steve

Veggie List & Veggie Notes
Week #20, September 28/29, 2023

– Weekly shares
– BiWeekly/ green
– Sampler/ D group

Green cabbage
Cauliflower, 1 head
Broccoli, 1 head
Leek, 1 or 2
Acorn squash, 2, ‘Starry Night’ or ‘Jester’ or ‘Carnival’
Green beans, ~1 lb
Frying peppers, ~4 ct
Oranos snack peppers, several
Jalapeno chile, 1
Garlic, 1 head 

Next week’s box will probably contain cauliflower, winter squash, peppers and more.

Cauliflower and broccoli – Storage:  Refrigerate.

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 off and discard those yellow leaves.  The inner layers will be fine.

Winter squash – Store at room temperature.

Oranos snack peppers (sweet, orange) – Everyone gets a handful of Oranos snack peppers.  These are sweet and wonderful for snacking, loaded with flavor but sparse seeds.

Jalapeno chile – These are small, green and shiny.  Some have a red tip.  These are the only hot pepper in the box.

Garlic – This is the German Extra Hardy variety, with large cloves.  FYI, some heads look odd because they dried slower than I would have liked.

Oranos snack peppers


Winter squash and pecan pate with crackers and baguette

Winter Squash & Pecan Pâté

Don’t let the name pâté put you off—this savory squash dip is made with 100% plants! It’s creamy, nutty, and tangy, with a subtle sweetness from the squash and roasted alliums. Served with crackers or crostini, it would be a lovely appetizer for a fall gathering.

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
Serves 8

1 cup raw pecan halves
1 acorn squash
½ medium onion, cut into 4 wedges
4 garlic cloves, unpeeled
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon ground cumin
¾ teaspoon sea salt, plus more for sprinkling
2 tablespoons water, plus more as needed
Freshly ground black pepper
Pepitas, for garnish (optional)
Crackers and/or baguette, for serving

Preheat the oven to 375°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Spread the pecans evenly on the baking sheet and place in the preheating oven. Toast until fragrant, 5 to 8 minutes, while the oven preheats. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

Slice the squash in half vertically and scoop out the seeds. Rub the squash halves with a drizzle of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place cut side down on the baking sheet and add the onion wedges. Drizzle the onions with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Place the garlic cloves in a small piece of foil and drizzle with olive oil. Wrap tightly and place on the baking sheet.

Roast the vegetables for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the onions are browned and soft. Remove the onions from the baking sheet and continue roasting the squash and garlic until the squash is soft and easily pierced with a fork, another 10 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly, then peel the garlic cloves and measure 2 cups of the roasted squash flesh.

Place the pecans in a food processor and process until finely ground. Add the 2 cups squash, the roasted garlic, onions, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, thyme, cumin, salt, and 2 tablespoons water. Process until smooth, adding more water as needed to form a smooth, creamy spread. You may need up to 6 tablespoons total depending on the moisture content of your squash. Season to taste.

Transfer the pâté to a serving dish. Top with a drizzle of olive oil and pepitas, if using, and serve with crackers or baguette.

Tri color pepper steak with leeks
Photo by The Woks of Life

Tri-Color Pepper Steak with Leeks

From The Woks of Life
Many Chinese pepper steak recipes call for onions, but this twist by The Woks of Life features leeks instead…dark green tops included! If you don’t keep Shaoxing wine on hand, replace it with dry cooking sherry or stock.
Roasted Butternut Squash and Leeks with Orange Tahini and Za'atar Walnut Crumble
Photo by A Beautiful Plate

Roasted Squash and Leeks with Orange Tahini Sauce, Walnuts, and Za’atar

From A Beautiful Plate
This recipe highlights one of my favorite ways to cook leeks: by simply roasting them! They add lovely savory flavor to this stunning fall side dish, which features creamy roasted squash, a citrusy tahini sauce, and walnuts for crunch.

Acorn squash will work well here in place of the butternut, though I recommend roasting the squash in wedges with the skin on instead of attempting to peel it. If you don’t have fresh parsley, omit it, and season the roasted vegetables with an extra pinch of za’atar.
Cauliflower fettuccine alfredo
Photo by Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews

Fettuccine Alfredo

From Love & Lemons
This homemade fettuccine Alfredo is creamy and comforting, but it isn’t made with any cream. Instead, boiled and blended cauliflower creates the sauce’s luscious texture. I promise you can’t taste it!
Crispy cabbage and cauliflower salad on plate with fork
Photo by Smitten Kitchen

Crispy Cabbage and Cauliflower Salad

From Smitten Kitchen
This humble salad consists of nothing more than roasted cabbage and cauliflower tossed in a creamy tahini dressing. It’s simple and satisfying, full of caramelized flavor. Serve it with a dollop of harissa alongside to add a kick of heat.
An up close, overhead shot shows a finished vegan cabbage roll skillet with french lentils, chopped tomatoes, rice, walnuts, and spices. The skillet is topped with fresh dill and a jar of vegan sour cream is seen nearby.
Photo by The First Mess

Vegan Chopped Cabbage Roll Skillet

From The First Mess
This hearty skillet meal is two steps away from traditional cabbage rolls. For one, it’s plant-based, made with lentils and walnuts instead of meat. Second, instead of stuffing individual cabbage leaves with the lentil mixture, you chop and roast the cabbage. Then, just before serving, you stir it into the saucy lentils. As a result, this recipe is much simpler to make than the classic dish, though it’s every bit as delicious.

Tip: It calls for a yellow onion, but leeks would be great here too!
Sautéed green beans
Photo by Eva Kolenko

Sautéed Green Beans

From Love & Lemons
A lemon-Dijon dressing brightens up these quick sautéed green beans. If you don’t have fresh thyme on hand, replace it with 1 teaspoon dried, or omit it.

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Week #19; Who grows your food? Part 1.

Photo captions:
– The first photo shows most new employees who joined us in spring. They bonded quickly and became great friends!  From left, Katie, Aly, Mary Anne, Lizzy and Ida.
– Steve and Simone look over an amazing pepper harvest.
– We all enjoyed the day that John (right) decided to impersonate Ben (left).  John shaved his head, trimmed his beard a bit and wore a blue shirt with cutoff sleeves.  What a hoot.  It’s a fairly easy impersonation because Ben wears the same outfit every day.  He has a closet full of those shirts.
– This is a close-up of Charlotte’s favorite vegetable Romanesco cauliflower.  That’s her in the background, in the orange rain pants.
– Mary Ann and Maggie both love tiny vegetables.  Honestly, Maggie is obsessed.  Here, they admire their gleaned tiny onions.  We walked through the harvested onion field and the little ones were irresistible.
– Their tiny onions.
– Bekah harvests basil from a beautiful planting.
– Maggie and daughter Ida who joined the farm crew this season.

I am overdue to introduce you to our hard-working farm crew.

We are joined in our farming endeavor by many employees.  Some have worked for us for many years.  Others joined the farm this season.  We rely on each of them.  

Do you have a favorite vegetable?  So do we.  Think about our hardworking field crew when you enjoy one of their favorites.   Here are our workers, the year they started working for us, and their favorite fruit or vegetable.

Ava Ahnen (2022) .
Bailey Boudreau (2023) .
Raul Casique Montes (2017)   “Hot peppers because I like adding them to everything I cook.” Raul runs his own vegetable farm and makes amazing hot sauce from home grown chilis.
Katie Eastman (2023)  “Peppers, because they are fresh, crisp and sweet.  I eat them like an apple and have always done that.”
Mary Ann Eastman (2023) .
Aly Fry (2023) .
Charlotte Hammond (2016 – 2018, returned in 2021)  “Romanesco cauliflower because it looks crazy and is delicious.  I actually planted some in my home garden just in case.  Some years we don’t get much here at the farm and I need it.  Sometimes I look up Romanesco photos online just to stare at it.”
Pete Hartman (2023)  Pizza.
Ken Kelly (worked for us many years, then returned in 2021) “That depends on the time of year.  Watermelons for sure.  During watermelon season, I’ll do a melon fast for a few days.  Keeps you hydrated!  
Me:  “Do you eat the seeds?”
Ken:  “Absolutely!”
Vern Mahlkuch (2014, 2020 – 2023) .
Lizzy Neuenschwander (2023) .
Karen Nicholson (2013) Winter squash, because they signify the change of seasons.  She appreciates the switch to cooking fall comfort foods that comes with winter squash.  Most of all, she loves the ethereal light during fall squash harvests.  By that time of year, we are racing the light during harvest but she loves the elongated shadows and finds the gold and silver colors poignant.
Simone O’Donahue (1999) Simone loves peppers.  She appreciates the variety of colors.  A favorite job is re-potting the young plants in the warm, sunny greenhouse.  She appreciates times when peppers are prolific, and has an affinity for this crop that grows well in hot summer weather.  Disclaimer; Simone runs our pepper harvest crop.  It’s a natural match.  She also loves poblano chiles for their acoustics.  They make the best rattling sound when you shake the plant or when you drop them in the basket.
Ida Schley (2023) . I forgot to ask Ida before she left for school but I can tell you she looked very happy during watermelon harvests!
Maggie Schley (1999?)  Maggie loves carrots and watermelons best.  Tipi carrots are a big part of Maggie’s life.  They were pictured on her wedding invitation.  She has lots of carrot jewelry.  Everyone on the farm saves ‘lover carrots’ for Maggie; carrots that have grown together in a spiral.  Maggie is always on the carrot harvest crew.  Melon harvests are special because they give a chance to spend time with Steve, plus a chance to throw around a lot of weight.
Bekah Severson (2022)  “My favorite vegetables are peppers because they’re fun to harvest and delicious any way you eat them!”
Ben Thomas (2019)  “My favorite is poblano chiles for fabulous flavor.  Tomatoes too because you can do anything with them.”  I know that Ben loves winter squash because he enthusiastically takes home all the specially-chosen squash that I offer him, even as everyone else has started to back away. “But these are special ones!” does not sway anyone but Ben.
Carrot Weinstein (2022)  “My favorite vegetable is the red cabbage.  SO much fun to harvest, great color, lasts forever, so good fresh in a salad, pickled and fermented, roasted and charred.  I love cabbage right now :)”
John Zydowicz (2019)  .  John loves peppers because they are crunchy and delicious, and appreciates that they come in so many diverse varieties.  He likes chilis with heat and grows many types in his home garden.  “It’s fun to start them in early spring and have something growing indoors.”

Steve Pincus (1975)  Onions and carrots.
Beth Kazmar (1999)  Asparagus.  Ask me in August and I’ll say red peppers.  But winter squash is my fall favorite.  I eat it for breakfast every day this time of year.
Sophie (since birth, no longer farming with us)  “Sweet potatoes and strawberries because they taste so good.”
Ari (since birth)  Cucumbers.  “You can do lots of things with them. Eat them raw or make pickles or turn them into cucumber salad.”

Veggie List & Veggie Notes
Week #19, Sept 21/22, 2023

– Weekly shares
– BiWeekly/ purple
– Sampler/ C group

Green beans, ~1 lb
Acorn squash, 2, ‘Jester’ or ‘Carnival’ or ‘Heart of Gold’ 
Koji greens, 1 head
Romaine lettuce
Tomatoes, a small bag
Colorful bell peppers, ~3
Oranos snack peppers, 4 or 5
Poblano chiles, 2
Yellow onion
German Extra Hardy garlic

Next week’s box will probably contain cabbage, broccoli &/or cauliflower, green beans, peppers, winter squash and more.

Acorn squash – If you haven’t yet, please read my Winter Squash Primer in last week’s newsletter. 
Storage:  This week’s acorn squash is best eaten within two weeks.  They are excellent right now, but do not store long.  And I will send more squash next week!

Koji greens (head of dark green leaves) – Refrigerate.
 Koji greens are a lot like tatsoi if you know that one; dark green with a nice balance of bitter flavor but not too strong.  I prefer Koji to tatsoi because it has 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.

Tomatoes – Eat soon or refrigerate.  It is fall.  The tomatoes still taste amazing but will not store long.

Poblano chiles (dark green, triangular, and shiny; MILDLY HOT) –  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.  

Yellow onions – These are pungent cooking onions.  Store at room temperature.

Everyone gets two squash, either ‘Carnival’ (left), ‘Heart of Gold’ (middle) or ‘Jester’ (right).

Koji greens

Poblano chiles will be dark green, occasionally with red streaking or a red tip.  These are the only hot peppers in this week’s box.  All other peppers are sweet.


squash and tomatoes ready to be roasted
Photo by debslunch

Roasted tomato and squash quiche

This quiche is made with peeled squash but the varieties of winter squash, like acorn and jester, that have ridged shells can be hard to peel when raw. It’s a lot easier to remove the skin after the squash is cooked, so that’s what I’ve done here. And roasting the tomatoes concentrates the juices and makes then even sweeter. I’ve used Provolone cheese and a bit of goat cheese, but feel free to sub in other cheeses to your taste.

Takes: about an hour, but can be done in stages
Serves: 6-8

Crust for a single crust, 9-inch pie, store bought or here’s a recipe
One medium size acorn-type squash
2 slicing tomatoes, cut into wedges, then chunks OR 2-3 plum tomatoes cut into wedges
salt and freshly ground pepper
Approximately 2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup thinly sliced onion
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, or 1-2 tablespoons fresh herbs, basil or parsley suggested
1 cup provolone or other good melting cheese, grated
about an ounce of soft goat cheese, optional
3 eggs
about 1 1/4 cups half and half
extra fresh herbs for garnish, optional

  1. Make your crust and chill – this can be done the day before – or even several days before. Roll out the crust – or unfold purchased crust – and fit it into a deep 9-inch pie dish. Set the crust in the fridge while you make the filing.
  2. Line one large baking sheet, such as a half sheet pan that’s 18 x13, or two smaller ones, with parchment. Heat the oven to 400°. Arrange the tomatoes on one end of the baking sheet, or on one of your smaller baking sheets. Cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Cut each half of the squash into wedges, and arrange on the other end of a large baking sheet, or separately on a smaller baking sheet. Salt the vegetables, and grind black pepper over. Drizzle with the olive oil and toss – you might not use the full 2 tablespoons. Flip the tomatoes so the cut sides are up. Here’s a pic of the vegetables on a half sheet pan ready for roasting. Place in the oven and roast for 20-30 minutes until the squash is soft and the tomatoes have released their juices. Remove from the oven and cool. This can be done several hours ahead.
  3. Melt the butter in a skillet and add the onions. Cook over medium high heat, stirring occasionally, until the onions are slightly caramelized, about 10 minutes. At the end of the cooking time, stir in the thyme or fresh herbs, and remove from the heat. While the onions cook, peel the cooked squash – I find this easiest to do with a spoon, creating rough wedges of cooked squash.
  4. Assemble the quiche: Heat the oven to 425°, and put one rack near the bottom and the other about in the middle. Spread 3/4 of the grated cheese on the bottom of the crust, then lay the squash over the cheese, breaking it into chunks with your fingers. Add the onions on top of the squash, then the tomatoes, and finish with the last 1/4 of the grated cheese.
  5. Beat the eggs in a 2-cup glass measuring pitcher until they’re well-blended, then add enough half and half to get to the 2 cup mark. Crumble in the goat cheese if using, mix well, and pour the egg mixture over the veggies in the quiche shell.
  6. Place the quiche on the bottom rack and bake for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, move the quiche up to the upper rack, and reduce the heat to 375°. Bake until slightly puffed and golden, about 25 minutes. Cool for 10-15 minutes for easiest slicing. Garnish with the optional fresh herbs and serve.

green bean skillet

Asian Ground Turkey and Green Bean Stir Fry | Eat Yourself Skinny

From Eat Yourself Skinny
Here’s a quick way to turn our green beans into a dinner entree, even if you’re not trying to eat yourself skinny! Ground turkey is used here, but you could easily sub pork or chicken or even tofu if you prefer. Crumble the tofu and fry in a little oil till golden the same as you would for the meats. Adding some our bell peppers, thinly sliced, when you sauté the green beans would be tasty, and you can also add a couple of tablespoons of peanut butter with the other sauce ingredients to enrich the sauce.
pasta with roasted bell peppers

Pasta With Goat Cheese & Roasted Peppers For Mom | Italian Food Forever

From Italian Food Forever
The author of this recipe developed it in memory of their mother. They give you the option of using jarred roasted peppers, while noting that freshly roasted peppers will taste better. I agree, and since the recipe doesn’t provide instructions for roasting peppers, here’s the method I prefer: Place whole peppers on a baking sheet and broil in the oven, watching carefully and flipping the peppers till all sides are charred. Transfer the peppers to a heat proof bowl and cover with a plate or a lid. Allow the peppers to steam for about 15 minutes to loosen the skins and cool so you can handle them! Angle a cutting board so it drains into your sink, and lay the first pepper on the board. Carefully split the pepper, letting any hot juices drain into the skin. Working with half a pepper at a time, scrape out the seeds and veins and pull off the skin. For easy cleanup, you can line the baking sheet with foil, or use a foil pan – parchment tends to burn under the broiler.
tomato vinaigrette

Quick Tomato Vinaigrette | A Couple Cooks

From A Couple Cooks
Here’s a quick salad dressing made with fresh tomato (rather than the usual ketchup or tomato paste). It would be tasty dressing a salad of steamed green beans on a bed of shredded Romaine, topped with garlic croutons.
green bean & squash risotto

Easy Risotto Recipe with Butternut Squash and Green Beans | amycaseycooks

This no-stir risotto recipe uses butternut squash, but you can use the acorn-type squash we get this week. Either try the cook-before-peeling method above, OR halve the squash, seed, cut into wedges, and peel each wedge with a vegetable peeler or a sharp knife, and be sure to choose the least ridge-y of your squash allotment. If using cooked squash add it near the end of the cooking time, otherwise the squash will blend into the risotto. It will still taste good, but it will be invisible. The risotto can be made vegetarian by using vegetable broth instead of chicken.
vegan pumpkin soup

Vegan Creamy Pumpkin Tomato Soup | Detoxinista

From Detoxinista
Anything that can be made with pumpkin can of course be made with winter squash, and that’s certainly the case with this creamy vegan soup. To sub squash for the pumpkin puree in the recipe, simply roast the squash and scoop out the flesh and mash or puree in a food processor. Measure 1 cup of puree and save the rest for another use. The recipe calls for strained tomatoes, a type of tomato puree. To use fresh tomatoes in place of strained, peel and seed fresh tomatoes, and you could either puree the tomatoes first or add to the onions and garlic, since everything in this soup is blended. You can also sub basil for the fresh sage. I found several pumpkin-tomato-coconut soups, and this version from the Washington Post sounds appealing, but you need to sign up for a free account to view if you are not a subscriber.
coconut fish curry

Coconut Fish Curry | Blue Apron

From Blue Apron
In this recipe from the Blue Apron meal kit service, the Koji greens and basil from our box work perfectly in place of baby bok choy and Thai basil. Use any of the bell peppers, and you can add some Poblanos in addition or in place of the bell peppers for a little heat.

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Week #18; Winter squash primer

‘Jester’ winter squash

Winter Squash Primer

We expect to have a steady supply of winter squash for the rest of the season.  Let’s review some basics.

Expected life:  Some winter squash varieties are ready to eat soon after harvest, others store deep into winter.  Check our newsletter each week for storage information about squash delivered that week.  For example, this week’s acorns are cured and ready to eat.  Plan to eat this early variety within two weeks of delivery.  

Storage:  Do not refrigerate!  Winter squash store best at room temperature with good air circulation.  No cooler than 50 degrees.  On your kitchen counter is good, where you can keep an eye on them.  If you see deterioration, cook promptly.  These early squash are not intended for storage.  Do not cover – that promotes mold.

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.

Beth’s favorite simple preparation (acorn or butternut):  Winter squash are easily roasted in a 400F oven.  The goal is to get brown, caramelized edges.
– Split in half with a sharp knife.  
– Scoop out and discard seeds.  
– Run the squash briefly under running water, then shake off the excess water.  Place cavity-side-down on an oiled baking sheet.  The little bit of moisture seals the squash to your roasting pan.  The water soon evaporates, allowing the squash to brown and caramelize.  Caramelization really boosts the flavor.  
– Roast at 400F until easily pierced with a fork, 30 – 45 minutes depending on size.  Flip over while hot.  Add a little butter to melt and some seasoned salt.  Cut into wedges and eat.

Stuffed squash
Acorn squash have a central cavity perfect for stuffing.  Prepare your favorite fully-cooked stuffing, e.g. a rice or quinoa mixture.  Roast your squash as described below.  Preheat the stuffing.  Fill the cooked squash with stuffing, top with grated cheese and return to the oven until everything is hot.

Can you eat the rind?  In my opinion, rinds on these acorn squash are too tough to eat.  Steve eats the Jester rind.  I do not.

We pick, you wash.  We are hustling to bring in our fall crops and don’t have time to wash the winter squash.  We are busy!  Please help by washing your squash!

Please wash your squash to remove any soil.  But let’s pause to ooh and ahh over that bright orange ground-spot.  That predicts a really tasty squash.

Carmelized acorn squash.

Veggie List & Veggie Notes
Week #18, September 14/15, 2023

– Weekly shares
– BiWeekly/ green
– Sampler/ B group

‘Jester’ acorn squash, ~2
Bok choy
Red watermelon
Colored peppers, 3 (or 4), bell &/or frying
‘Oranos’ snack peppers, several
Slicing tomatoes and/or plum tomatoes, ~3.25 lb
(Both types of tomatoes will be in the same bag.)
Zucchini or yellow squash, ~1 count (or 2)
Yellow onion
By site: globe eggplant OR another pepper OR another zucchini OR a bigger watermelon.

Next week’s box will probably contain green beans, winter squash, tomatoes, peppers, cooking greens, and more.

Watermelon – This is the last melon of the season.  We are sending small red watermelons this time, either ‘Dark Belle’ (oblong) or Mini Love (round).  

‘Jester’ acorn winter squash – You will receive one or two squash.  All are cured, ready to eat, and tasty.  Eat within two weeks, as they are less reliable after that; acorn squash are not meant for storage.  Plus, we will send more next week!  Skins of these types are not edible.  It’s best to cook the squash, then remove the skins, eg by scooping while eating.  
Storage: Store at room temperature for two weeks but keep an eye on your squash and cook promptly if they start to deteriorate.

Bok choy (rosette with thick white stems and green leaves) – 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.
Storage: Refrigerate in a plastic bag or other container.

Tomatoes – Keep a close eye on your tomatoes and eat soon.  It’s fall now, with cooler nights, and the tomato plants are weakening.  If your tomatoes start to show flaws, go ahead and refrigerate them to slow the decline.  It’s better to sacrifice a little flavor.

Zucchini or yellow squash – This is the last of the season.

Yellow onion – This is a pungent cooking-type onion.


Baked rice with tomatoes and feta

Baked Rice with Tomatoes and Feta

If you’ve ever struggled to cook perfect rice on the stove, then you have to try baking it in the oven! The technique couldn’t be simpler, and the rice comes out with a wonderful light and fluffy texture. In this recipe, I mix aromatic onions and garlic, cumin seeds, lemon zest, and juicy tomatoes into the rice to create a more substantial side dish or vegetarian main. A layer of broiled feta adds delicious richness and tangy flavor. Recipe adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi’s baked rice.

Serves 6 to 8
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
½ onion, thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon lemon zest, plus lemon wedges for squeezing
2 cups chopped fresh tomatoes
1½ cups basmati rice, rinsed
½ teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
2¼ cups boiling water
6 ounces feta cheese, roughly crumbled
Za’atar, for garnish, optional
Fresh basil, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 425°F.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic, cumin seeds, and lemon zest and cook, stirring, until fragrant, another 30 seconds to 1 minute. Remove from the heat.

Transfer the onion mixture, including all the oil and seasonings, to a 9×13-inch baking dish. Spread in an even layer. Top with the tomatoes and evenly sprinkle with the rice. Season with the salt.

Pouring the boiling water over the rice, then immediately cover the baking dish tightly with foil. Transfer to the oven and bake for 30 minutes, or until the water is absorbed. Let the dish sit, covered, for 5 minutes at room temperature.

Turn the oven broiler to high.

Uncover the rice and fluff with a fork, mixing the rice, tomatoes, and onions together. Spread in an even layer, then scatter the feta on top. Broil for 3 to 8 minutes, or until the cheese is browned around the edges.

Remove from the oven, squeeze with lemon juice, and garnish with pinches of za’atar, if using, and fresh basil. Season to taste and serve.

Acorn Squash with Chickpeas & Chimichurri
Photo by Jack Mathews and Jeanine Donofrio

Acorn Squash with Chickpeas and Chimichurri

From Love & Lemons
In this flavorful fall recipe, warmly spiced chickpeas fill tender boats of roasted acorn squash. The vibrant green sauce on top is a nontraditional cilantro chimichurri. Substitute basil to feature the contents of your share.
Stir-fried bok choy in a bowl
Photo by The Woks of Life

Stir-Fried Bok Choy

From The Woks of Life
Pair this quick stir fry with any simply cooked protein and a scoop of rice for an easy, healthy meal.
Chicken caprese on a platter
Photo by The Modern Proper

Chicken Caprese

From The Modern Proper
Homemade pesto is always a great use for fresh basil! While it’s delicious on pasta, you can do so much else with it too. For instance, enjoy it in this chicken Caprese recipe with some of the tomatoes from this week’s box.
20 Minute Korean Beef Sesame Noodles in bowl with chopsticks
Photo by Half Baked Harvest

20-Minute Korean Beef Sesame Noodles

From Half Baked Harvest
This weeknight noodle recipe calls for “3 cups mixed stir fry vegetables,” which makes it a great match for the contents of this week’s box! Toss in chopped bok choy, thinly sliced peppers, and/or zucchini, and garnish it all with fresh basil. If you don’t have shallots on hand, replace them with thinly sliced onions and increase the cooking time as needed.
Tomato galette
Photo by Eva Kolenko

Tomato Galette

From Love & Lemons
This comforting recipe is perfect for the tail end of tomato season, when the temperatures get cool enough to turn on the oven. It calls for heirloom tomatoes, but both Tipi’s slicers and plum tomatoes would work nicely here. Omit the chives if you don’t have any on hand, and substitute 1 teaspoon dried thyme for the tablespoon fresh.
Pumpkin chili in a bowl with dollop of sour cream on top
Photo by Dishing Up The Dirt

Pumpkin Chili

From Dishing Up The Dirt
Ready for soup season? Make this hearty pumpkin chili with the squash and peppers in this week’s share! Feel free to omit the jalapeño—you can add a pinch of cayenne if you’d like the chili to be spicy.

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Week #17; purple + A

Photo credit Mary Ann Eastman
Winter squash harvest begins!  The first squash are curing and will be in your box next week. Above, ‘Heart of Gold,’ a pretty and tasty squash.

I will be away this coming week

I am going to visit family for a few days.  If you have questions or need help, please email me by 12 noon on Thurs 9/8.  Let’s take care of things now because I will have limited internet access while away.  Steve and our hardworking crew will take care of things while I am gone.  Thanks!

Veggie List & Veggie Notes
Week #17, September 7/8, 2023

– Weekly shares
– BiWeekly/ purple
– Sampler/ A group

Sweet corn!  Final batch!, ~10 ears
Slicing tomatoes, ~4 lb
Red or yellow frying peppers, ~3
Colored bell pepper, 1 or 2
Oranos snack peppers, 1 or 2
Zucchini &/or yellow squash, ~2 lb
Yellow onion
Red onion

Next week’s box will probably contain bok choy, winter squash, watermelon, tomatoes, peppers, and more.

Sweet corn report – This is the seventh and final sweet corn delivery for the year.  We truly hope you have enjoyed it. We both love it, especially Steve. He has eaten his weight in sweet corn.
You will receive a mix of yellow (Vision) and bicolor corn (Solstice).  We did not see many caterpillars in this batch but this is the time of year when they can reappear. You can always take a close look and chop off the tip before shucking if you think there’s a caterpillar.

Slicing tomatoes – They are at their peak, beautiful and delicious!

Peppers – Pepper medley this week.  Storage: Refrigerate.

Onion – You’ll receive a yellow onion and a red onion this week.  Storage: Store these onions uncovered at room temperature.


Roasted tomatoes and beans
photo by debslunch

Roast Tomatoes over Spicy Beans with More Tomatoes

Takes: 45 mins. to one hour
Serves: 4-6

This recipe includes tomatoes two ways – roasted and in a sauce with a bit of Korean gochujang. It’s based on a recipe by the British food writer and cookbook author Nigel Slater, who uses butter beans, which is what the Brits and some US Southerners call lima beans. I used giant white Corona beans from Rancho Gordo (sometimes available at Willy Street Co-op). You can use any meaty white beans in this recipe, such as great northern beans or cannellini beans; I think even garbanzo beans would work, either canned or cooked from dried. You can also use any type of tomatoes – I roasted slicers and used Romas in the sauce – but again use what you got. Be sure to drizzle a few spoonfuls of the roasted tomato juices over each serving, and serve with crusty bread for mopping up the sauce, possibly the yeasted corn bread below.

For the roasted tomatoes:
5-8 tomatoes, depending on size and how many people you’re serving
3-4 tablespoons of olive oil

For the beans and sauce:
1 1/2 to 2 cups chopped onions
salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and shopped or put through a press
3/4 pound tomatoes, slicers or Romas, chopped – peeling optional
2 teaspoons yellow mustard seeds
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1-2 tablespoons gochujang, depending on your taste for heat
2 14-ounce cans white beans, drained, saving about 1/2 cup of the liquid, OR 2 1/2 to 3 cups white beans cooked from dried, with about 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid
Chopped fresh herbs, such as basil or parsley, optional

  1. Roast the tomatoes: Heat the oven to 425°. Rinse the tomatoes you’re going to roast, and remove the stems, but otherwise leave whole. Nestle the tomatoes in a glass baking dish that holds them pretty snugly, and drizzle the 3-4 tablespoons olive oil over. Try to use a baking dish that just holds the tomatoes – I used a slightly-too-large dish and my kitchen got a little smoky until the tomato juices ran and covered the exposed olive oil in the bottom of the pan! Roast for about 40 minutes, until the tomatoes are brown on top – the original Nigel Slater recipe says until they have “tan on their shoulders” – and they’re just starting to split and collapse.
  2. While the tomatoes roast, make the beans and sauce: pour the 3 tablespoons olive oil into a 10-12 inch deep skillet with a lid, and heat to medium high. Add the onions and salt and pepper, stir, and reduce the heat to so it’s at a gentle simmer. Add the garlic. Cook gently until the onions are tender, about 10 minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes, mustard seeds, cumin, and gochujang, and continue to cook until the tomatoes are starting to break down, about another 10 minutes. Add the beans and their liquid, stir, and taste for seasoning. Cook for about 10 more minutes until the beans are heated through. If the roasting tomatoes aren’t done at this point, cover the pan, reduce the heat to low, and simmer until the roasters are ready.
  3. Stir the optional chopped herbs into the sauce, and serve in wide shallow bowls. Give each person a whole tomato with some of the tomato juices.

yeast raised corn bread
Photo by Heidi Swanson

Yeast-raised Cornbread Recipe | 101 Cookbooks

From 101 Cookbooks
Here’s a fun way to use our fresh corn, and this bread is a nice accompaniment to the beans & tomatoes. Cookbook author and photographer Heidi Swanson has been posting recipes to her 101 Cookbooks blog for close to 20 years, and this is an early one, from 2007, and works beautifully as written. I tweaked Heidi’s method just slightly: I made a sponge with all of the water and yeast, and let that rise for about an hour until nice and bubbly. Then I added the remaining flour, and cornmeal, oil, honey, and corn. I omitted the chives, and also used a combination of white and whole wheat flour, instead of the white whole wheat suggested. Finally, instead of doing a rise at the ball of dough phase I shaped my rolls and let those rise for about another hour, and baked them. Heidi suggests baking the rolls in muffin tins which would be pretty if you have fluted ones, as shown in the top picture – I baked my rolls in 2 cake pans, and got 16 as promised in the recipe.

yeated corn rolls
Hippie hash

Hippie Hash (The Best Veggie Hash) | Slender Kitchen

From Slender Kitchen
This flexible recipe for veggie hash is great with a whole variety of toppings, from fresh herbs and feta cheese, as shown the picture, to avocados or a fried egg. The version here includes broccoli, but the main veggies are zucchini or summer squash and peppers, both in this week’s box.
sausage and corn tart

Simple Sausage and Corn Tart | An Oregon Cottage

From An Oregon Cottage
This corn-peppers-sausage tart is made with an easy press-in olive oil crust. The recipe includes a bacon variation, but you could also omit meat entirely for a vegetarian pie.
Miso Corn Pasta

One-pot Miso Corn pasta| ABC Everyday

By Hetty McKinnon, From ABC Everyday
This quick one pot pasta with fresh corn is from Hetty McKinnon, who writes wonderful recipes for vegetables, but most are at NYT Cooking, which is available by subscription only. If you are a subscriber, check out Hetty’s Sook Mei Faan (Cantonese Creamed Corn With Tofu and Rice) at NYT Cooking, for a nice cool summer dish, that despite the cream in the name, is vegan.
Zucchini stuffing casserole

Zucchini and Stuffing Casserole | The Spruce Eats

From The Spruce Eats
This zucchini casserole includes processed ingredients that most of us who get CSA boxes don’t like to use, stuffing mix and cream of chicken soup. I first encountered it in a community garden cookbook from my hometown, Pittsburgh PA, and thought it was so delicious I set out to recreate it without the stuffing mix and soup. One option is to make a cream sauce with vegetable or chicken broth to replace the soup, and make homemade croutons to replace the stuffing mix. An even easier method is to sub in 2 eggs and 3/4 cup of milk for the soup and use 2 cups of bread crumbs, toasted in some of the butter, instead of the stuffing mix.
zucchini choc chip oatmeal cookies
Photo by Sally McKenney

Zucchini Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies | Sally’s Baking Addiction

From Sally’s Baking Addiction
The final recipe for end-of-the-summer zucchini! Cookies with oatmeal and chocolate chips. I have always found the recipes Sally’s Baking Addiction to be thoroughly tested – they work! Sally’s website links to a number of additional ideas for zucchini, sweet and savory – including a zucchini casserole with feta cheese, and no stuffing mix.

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