October Fifth

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This week I thought I would write a note about the seasoning of a CSA member.  How has this CSA experience been for you?  How confident do you feel in the kitchen using up these vegetables?  How new are these vegetables to you?  How many years have you been a CSA member?  Do you intend to give it another ‘season’ of your life next year?  I think there might be something magical about that number three. 

Your first year as a CSA member could be your hardest year, especially if you’re not an experienced cook, know your vegetables well or don’t have loads of time to research new recipes.  Your first year can feel overwhelming as the boxes keep coming, the kale keeps coming and your fridge fills up with your less-familiar vegetables that stare you in the face every time you open your fridge.  A lot gets used, a little gets wasted, and you survive a CSA season feeling a mix of amazement, bewilderment, and perhaps defeated or challenged. 

But a long winter goes by and your mouth might begin to water at the thought of fresh greens.  Your heart wants to support a local farm family and wants to buy local, organic and farm fresh.  So you sign up again.  This time, you’re prepared for the kale, you got recipes like aces up your sleeve.  You know how to wash a head of lettuce leaf by leaf now.  You knew about the impending cucumbers and tomatoes.  You were ready to make salsa.  You maybe stumbled on the collard greens, the kohlrabi and the dill bunches, but you thought it was cool and it’s okay if a few things make it to the compost pile.  You survive a second season wondering why you did that again, not sure if you’ll do it again or not. 

Then year number three rolls around and you sign up again because the Early Bird Discount was ending and you figured you better reserve yourself a CSA share, after all the world has taken some crazy turns and your food security matters.  This time you think you might be able to keep up, especially since you learned that you like spaghetti squash, radishes and salad turnips if they’re prepared properly.  The boxes keep coming and you chop and gobble like a pro.  Your favorite recipes are bookmarked on your computer, the pages in your favorite cookbooks open automatically to your frequented recipes because the pages are worn and well used.  Now, CSA is your thing, and those farmers sure are cute, so why quit now?

After three years of CSA-ing, it begins to feel like a groove.  Learning to respect the seasons of each vegetable like strawberries and asparagus in the Spring, cucumbers, zucchini and tomatoes in the summer and brussels sprouts, winter squash and sweet potatoes in the Fall, we begin to honor each vegetable in its turn. One begins to appreciate the humble radish and learns to love it.  You may even feel seasoned a bit after having been around the sun a few times receiving these boxes of bounty. 

A reminder that CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture.  This style of agriculture is entirely sustained by our community.  We do not have a global, or national, or even regional market.  We need our local, immediate friends, family and community to support our work, eat these vegetables and see the importance and beauty in it.  Lucky for Adam and I that we also happen to love farming these vegetables and bringing them to your table.  With one Summer Share delivery left in this season, we hope you are considering joining us for another year of eating your way through the season with your weekly or bi-weekly CSA deliveries.  There are still a handful of Fall Shares and Thanksgiving Shares left if you’re wanting some storage veggies to help carry you into the winter months. 

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What’s in the Box?

Tomatoes-  Absolutely amazing that we still have tomatoes to share this late in the season!  We’re thrilled to be packing 7.5 lb bags of tomatoes still into Week 19!  There was also a jalapeno stuck inside your tomato bag on top.  Watch out for that! 

Garlic-  One bulb of garlic per member.  Will keep nicely on your countertop through the new year, or in your fridge for longer storage, but I bet it doesn’t last that long at your house! 

Butternut Squash-  One large butternut squash per member.  Keeps best at room temp! 

Leek-  One leek per member.  These are in the allium family or onion family.  If you’re totally at a loss as to how to use this, use it anywhere you might use onions.  They do have their own unique flavor, but are commonly added to fall soups. 

Sweet Potatoes-  A 2 lb bag of sweet potatoes this week.  These guys have been storing in our curing room which is 85 degrees at 90 percent humidity to help them cure and bring out their sugars.  They will keep nicely at room temperature until you eat them up! 

Celeraic Root-  One per member.  The greens on the celeriac are also usable.  Use them in soups like celery.  Celeriac is wonderful once peeled and then you will see that it is white and dense on the inside similar to a potato.  Cube into small pieces and add to any soup or stew. You can also boil and mash celeriac with potatoes for a celeriac mashed potatoes.  It can also be grated raw into salads or coleslaws.  There are great celeriac hashbrown recipes as well.  Will need to be stored in a plastic bag in the fridge for long-term storage.  Celeriac are excellent keepers and will keep for months in a fridge in a plastic bag with their greens removed. 

Cauliflower/Broccoli-  Either two cauliflowers or 1 broccoli and 1 cauliflower per member this week.  Farmer Adam has been working hard to keep up with the harvest, getting them cooled and keeping the iced to get them to you!

Sweet Peppers-  3-6 sweet peppers in your box this week depending on how much room there was.  Some of the peppers may have had green on them as we had to pick peppers on the green side because of the frost last week.  You may have received either a red, yellow, orange or green pepper.  Some may have been only have ripened to color. 

Kale-  Smallish bunches of green kale this week because we wanted to send greens to you to add to your cooking this week! 

Sage-  Cute little bunches of sage for fresh use or for drying and winter use. 

Next Week’s Best Guess-  Cabbage, Butternut Squash, Sweet Potatoes, Tomatoes, Peppers, celeriac root, leek, cauliflower, broccoli, kohlrabi?,

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Butternut Squash Lasagne with Sage by Martha Stewart

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Baked Creamy Celeriac and Potato Gratin from Delicious

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Coconut Curry Soup with Chicken, Chickpeas and Hearty Greens by the Modern Proper

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 Broccoli and Cauliflower Salad with Creamy Honey-Lemon Dressing by Natasha's Kitchen

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