Youthful energy

Every day, our work crew carries us forward with their youthful energy.  Maggie and Clint organized a Tipi contingent for the Willy Street parade this past weekend.  They asked us to walk with them.  We stalled, viewing it as another chore.  We are quite busy this time of year.  They convinced us with their enthusiasm and creativity.  We are so glad they did!  It was a blast.

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Ringleader Maggie with her decorated rickshaw.  Maggie is an expert at canning, freezing, drying, pickling – all forms of food preservation.

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Ringleader Clint dug up beautiful kale plants for us to carry.  With their denuded stems, they look just like palm trees.

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The kale was a hit with Billy’s son.

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Maggie and her mom made us a banner.  We all wore “Water On!” t-shirts that Maggie silk-screened for us a few months ago.  From left, Karen, Steve, Maggie, Jory, Bonnie, Clint, the boys with me behind them, Andy, Mario, Jon, Billy with his little boy.

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Steve danced his way down the street with a watermelon.  We handed out peppers, cherry tomatoes and a few watermelons.  We could not hand out candy!  Blue (left) joined us for a block during her lunch break.  Bonnie rode her festooned bike and handed out produce.  Jon marched and twirled his kale stalk as our ‘kale guard’ – it’s like color guard but with a kale stalk instead of a baton.

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Happy melon recipients.

Our son and his buddy wore cabbage caps.  Good thing they are not shy kids.

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See?  Everyone looks good in a cabbage cap.  Karen and Beth (that’s me.)

Farm news.

Of course, it’s back to work for us now. There were a few light frosts this past week. We checked the sweet potatoes first – they are our most frost-sensitive crop. Sure enough, the tops of the foliage were singed.  That’s a wake-up call for us even though the damage was slight.  In summer, time for work seems endless.  The weeks go on forever.  By this time of year, we can feel the limits of the season yet there is still so much to do.  We were glad to wrap up a few summer crops like zucchini and onions, but now we must move on to the next urgent harvests. We have a beautiful winter squash crop, and will hurry to get that and the sweet potatoes tucked away in the next two weeks.

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The curled sweet potato leaves were damaged by frost.  The damage is not severe, but it is enough to hurry us along.

Veggie list and veggie notes (9/18/14, week #18, purple EOW)

Delicata winter squash, 2
Snap beans, green &/OR yellow, almost 1 lb
Cauliflower AND/OR broccoli, 1 or 2 heads
Slicing tomatoes, 2.4 lb
Broccoli raab, 1 bunch
Green bell pepper, 1
Red bell pepper, 1
Scallions, 1 bunch
Yellow onions, 2
Purple OR green kohlrabi
Jalapeño (hot), 1

Next week’s box will probably contain snap beans, fall brassicas (cabbage/cauliflower/broccoli), tomatoes, peppers, carrots, winter squash, poblano chiles and more.

Delicata winter squash – These are flavorful, thin-walled winter squash.  You can even eat the skin.  Like the Sweet Dumpling we sent last week, delicata will not store for long, so eat them soon.  There may be flaws that need trimming before or after cooking.
Storage:  Store all winter squash at room temperature.
Preparation: These squash have a central cavity that can be stuffed if you wish.  Cut squash in half, scoop out and discard the seeds.  To cook, I place the cut squash face-down on a cookie sheet, then put some water in the pan, and roast at 400 oF until easily pierced with a fork.  The water in the pan is optional.  The flavor is best if you allow the pan to dry during the cooking, so the squash has a chance to caramelize.

Purple OR green kohlrabi – Crunchy and sweet, kohlrabi is a great addition to salads.  Some of the purple kohlrabi are scarred from strong storms last month.  The green kohlrabi from the adjacent row show no damage.  They are simply sturdier.  We see this with a lot of red or purple vegetables.  They are pretty but often less vigorous than their green counterparts.
Storage:  Kohlrabi bulbs will store for a month in the refrigerator.
Uses:  Kohlrabi are good peeled and eaten out of hand, or added to sandwiches.  It is good mixed into salads, or prepared as a salad on it’s own.  You can grate it, slice it, or cut it into matchsticks.  It’s also good cooked.  If you have it, the Asparagus to Zucchini cookbook has a long list of kohlrabi suggestions.

Broccoli raab (large bunch of tender greens) – This cool-season vegetable is also known as rapine, and is similar to “broccolini.”  Has a robust flavor similar to mustard greens.  Broccoli raab is harvested with young flowering stalks.  Chop and include these tender stalks when cooking.  Similar cooking time to mustard or turnip greens.  After years of trying, this is our first successful crop of this nutrient-rich green.

Jalapeño (small, dark green or red chile) – These are hot.

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A generous bunch of broccoli raab.

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Include the tender flower stalks when you cook the broccoli raab.

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