Gleaning fun

It is time to review our schedule for the rest of this season.  We still have extension shares (Nov. 3/4, $30) and storage shares (Nov 17/18, $105) available for those who want to extend their CSA season.  I’ll send information to register for these shares in the next few days.
– October 6/7 (this week) = green EOW
– October 13/14 = purple EOW
October 20/21 = Final delivery for green EOW members
October 27/28 = Final delivery for weekly and purple EOW members.

Gleaning party

Our pumpkin u-pick and gleaning party was a big success.  I think it’s my favorite u-pick so far.  Thank you to everyone who sent us photos!  I’d like to share a collection from Katie Jarvis.  Her photos capture her family’s experience as they wandered the farm.

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Arrival at the farm, with empty bags and anticipation.

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The broccoli side-shoots are the perfect size for kids.

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Carrots to dig!

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Rhubarb to pull!

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Flowers to pick!

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For many children, farm puddles were the main attraction.

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The farm is unusually green for this time of year, because of all the rain.  Despite the clouds, the weather stayed dry.  That felt lucky.

Julie Garret’s photos

Friend and farm advocate Julie Garret took some terrific photos. I think the overall message is that everyone found some corner of the farm to explore and enjoy.

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mom-and-daughter-flowers

bucket-boy

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finn-in-wheelbarrow

 

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Getting dirty is part of the day.

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Karen and Sophie silk-screened t-shirts for everyone who brought a shirt.

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Sophie’s favorite for the day!

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UW grad student Solveig Hanson offered beets for tasting.  She collected members’ opinions about the flavor and appearance of her breeding lines.  Solveig asked me to thank all of you who participated.

Veggie list and veggie notes (Oct 6/7, 2016; week#21, green EOW)

Beth’s box logic for this week:
– We timed the scallions to be ready with the bok choy, as they are a natural pairing. If you like spicy, the Anaheims will add a manageable amount of heat, color and flavor to a bok choy stir-fry.
– I also think the Anaheims will go well with the sweet potatoes. Think about oven-roasting your sweets, then topping with pan-fried onions and Anaheims spiked with vinegar or lime juice to sharpen the contrast with the sweet potatoes.
– You should get enough bell peppers for a small pan of stuffed peppers, especially if you split the peppers and stuff each half.
– We always eat our edamame directly out of the pods as a snack or appetizer. The cooked soybeans are a great addition to other dishes but (frankly) it’s easier on the cook if everyone shells their own soybeans!
– Pepper season will be over soon.  Remember, you can chop and freeze peppers for use in winter.
– We start to cook beets as the weather turns cool.  Steamed or roasted, we usually eat them dressed with oil, vinegar, black pepper and blue cheese.  Pat has a few other ideas to offer.

Sweet potatoes, 2+ lb
Bok choy
Edamame soybeans, 1 bundle
Beets, 2 lb
Peppers, 4+, mostly green bells with something colorful mixed in.
Anaheim chiles, 2
(Note: If you find a slender green or red pepper in your box, then it is a spicy Anaheim.  None of the sweet peppers this week match that description.)
Scallions, 1 bunch
Yellow onions

Some sites get broccoli.
Some sites get Romanesco broccoli.
Some sites get globe eggplant.

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

Bok choy (large 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.  Refrigerate in a plastic bag.

Edamame soybeans (bundle of green stems with pods attached) – These edible soybeans are a treat.  Pull the pods from the stem and wash well.  It helps to submerge the pods and rub them together.  Boil in water until the pods have split and the beans are quite tender.  Season with salt and pop the beans out of the pods into your mouth.  This Japanese specialty is becoming more and more popular in the USA.
Storage:  Remove the pods from the stems promptly and refrigerate.

Bell peppers – You will get mostly green bell peppers this week.  We stripped one of our three pepper fields in anticipation of a possible frost this weekend, hence the green bells.  We will protect one or two fields from frost, so we should have at least a few peppers for another few weeks.

Anaheim chiles (MEDIUM HEAT, long slender peppers, red or green) – Anaheims usually have medium spiciness although it varies from pepper to pepper.  As usual, the heat is concentrated in the seeds and midveins.  Remove the seeds and midveins is to lessen the chili’s heat.  Anaheims are easily mistaken for Italian frying peppers. We never send them in the same box for that reason. Keep this in mind if you have peppers left over from previous weeks.

Romanesco broccoli (pale green conical head, possible tinged with purple) – This is the prettiest vegetable we grow.  Look at it closely to appreciate its branched beauty and repeating spiral pattern.  It is called broccoli, but is closely related to cauliflower which it resembles in flavor and texture.  Some of the heads have an unusual, leafy middle section.  It’s harmless, just weird looking.  The heads tighten up as the weather gets cooler.
Preparation: Like broccoli and cauliflower, it is fine eaten raw or cooked.  It requires cooking times intermediate between the two.  Don’t overcook it.  I usually steam it, then dress it simply with a butter-lemon-garlic-mustard sauce.

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The only slender green or red peppers in your box are spicy Anaheims. None of the sweet peppers this week match that description.

RECIPES FROM LAUREN

SWEET POTATO & PEPPER CHILI
Takes 1 hour, 15 minutes
Serves 10-12

2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-size chunks
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 teaspoons cumin, divided
5 teaspoons chili powder, divided
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons butter
1 yellow onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 Anaheim peppers, seeded and diced
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon garlic powder
16-ounce can chili (or kidney) beans
15-ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
28-ounce can diced tomatoes (preferably fire-roasted)
28-ounce can diced tomatoes
8 cups water

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Combine sweet potatoes with olive oil, 1 teaspoon cumin, 1 teaspoon chili powder, 1 Kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Roast for 35 minutes, rotating once during baking.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large stock pot, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion and peppers and reduce heat to medium low. Cook for 15 minutes until well-softened.
  4. Add remaining cumin, chili powder and salt along with brown sugar and garlic powder. Cook for a couple minutes then add beans, tomatoes and water. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes. Add sweet potatoes to the pot whenever they finish roasting.

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BOK CHOY SALAD WITH CASHEW SESAME CRUNCH
Adapted from Dishing Up The Dirt
Takes 30 minutes
Serves 4-6

1 bundle edamame
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 large head bok choy
1 bunch scallions, sliced
3 tablespoons sugar
1-1/2 cups roasted salted cashews
1/4 cup sesame seeds (white or black or a combination of both)

Tahini Honey Dressing:
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup tahini
1-1/2 tablespoon rice vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce

  1. Remove edamame pods from the stalk. Place them in a small bowl and cover with salt. Rub to make sure salt evenly coats pods. Let sit for 15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare bok choy. Remove leaves from head and wash well. Pile leaves into a single stack and thinly slice them beginning at the stems.†Toss sliced bok choy and scallions in a large bowl.
  3. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add edamame and boil for 6 minutes. Drain and allow to cool while you prepare dressing.
  4. Add†honey, tahini, rice vinegar and soy sauce to a small bowl. Whisk until smooth.
  5. In a large saute pan, heat sugar over medium heat. It will slowly start to melt. As soon as it all is melted, remove from heat and stir in cashews and sesame seeds. It will begin to cool and clump together. This is perfect! Break the pieces apart with your hands if they are too big.
  6. Squeeze edamame out of pods with your hands into the bowl of bok choy and scallions. Toss to combine and then add dressing. Serve salad with cashew sesame crunch

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LOCAL THYME RECIPES

Comforting Classics

Bok Choy with Scallion
Romanesco with Caper Dressing
Harvard Beets
Sweet Potato Oven Fries

Outside the Box Recipes

Chili-Glazed Salmon with Bok Choy
Steamed Broccoli with Mustard Butter
Tuna and Beet Salad with Coddled Eggs
Sweet Potato Scones with Brown Sugar Icing

Quick and Easy Meal

Sesame Braised Chicken and Bok Choy

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