In your share:
Carrots- Hope you’re not tired of the carrots, because there’s no end in sight; when we are harvesting the carrots now, we can look out across a little sea of waving green carrot tops that comprise the next 3 months’ worth of carrots in your weekly share.
Celery- This week you will be getting a full celery plant, rather than the bunch of stalks, so make good! The celery seems to be getting tastier by the week as the stalks fill with water and become milder and more succulent. Celery is a key ingredient in so many great soups, and with this bout of rainy weather it seems that the soup season has arrived. Also check out the recipe for eggplant cabonata below.
Chard- Colorful, delicious, and healthful, chard is back in the shares, the variety we tend to grow appropriately being named “Ruby Red.” Sauté the leaves as you would kale, and try treating the red stalks like asparagus, separating them from the leaf and steaming or roasting them.
Corn- Last week of corn! Silver Queen is the variety this week, and it is really, really good. The summer seemed to fly by, it seems like the corn just got here and now it is already gone. If you would like to preserve the taste of summer corn for the cold months ahead, it is very easy. Just cut the kernels off the cob, put into a freezer bag, and toss it in the freezer for later.
Eggplant- If you’ve been unable to keep your eggplant consumption up to pace with the amount you’ve been getting in your share, be sure to check out my recipe for cabonata below, or last week’s newsletter for baba ghanoush.
Leeks- We are distributing the King Richard leeks now, and later on you will start to see the blue-green Tedorna leeks in your share, as they tend to hold better out in the field. Try using leeks as you would onions, but you can add them a little later as their flavor is less pungent and tastes good when cooked less.
Lettuce- All of our lettuce for the rest of the season is now planted out, so what was once a weekly routine of planting lettuce each Friday is now over. You will see lettuce in your share through this month and then it will be replaced with more winter-hardy greens like spinach and kale.
Peppers- It is the sad reality of the Pacific Northwest that by the time peppers arrive the summer heat has gone, but maybe some spicy food will be good to warm us all up. On top of the sweet peppers, this week is the big hot pepper week, so I will break it down by variety a bit:
Jalapenos are my favorite pepper by far. If I have it on hand, I will add it in almost any dish, often tossing it with chopped garlic to sauté in the initial stages. It has a sweet, fresh flavor on top of its characteristic tangy spice.
Cayennes are more familiar to us dried as a powder or in flakes, but they are versatile and delicious fresh. Don’t be afraid! They have long been considered medicinal by many cultures, and indeed they are high in antioxidants, stimulate endorphins and weight loss, and they are a sialagogue, which means they help you to manufacture saliva.
Poblanos are also known as Ancho peppers when they are dried. They have so many uses. Stuffed and baked, fried as rellenos (see recipe from 2 weeks ago), stir-fried, or use them to make a homemade mole sauce! There is a huge variety of recipes at http://poblanorecipes.blogspot.com/.
Potatoes- All of our potatoes have now been harvested! You will start seeing potatoes in your share every other week from now until the end of the season, so you can look forward to trying out all of the varieties we grew this year: Yellow Finn, Yukon Gold, and German Butterball are all yellow potatoes; Sangres are red-skinned with white flesh inside; and Canellas are a russet-style potato with brownish skin.
Tomatoes- Hopefully we will have a few more weeks of delicious tomatoes to remind us of summer. If you haven’t had a chance yet, canning tomatoes is so fun and interesting. I just learned how to do it this last month, and it is really a rewarding way to spend an afternoon. A less time intensive option is to cook some tomatoes down and freeze them in jars, just be sure to leave more room at the top than you would canning.
Adapted from www.kashrut.com and www.newitalianrecipes.com
This is a very tasty Italian dish said to have originated in Sicily, but it is now popular throughout Italy. It uses a variety of veggies found in your share this week, and makes a great appetizer or a side dish served with a meat entree.
2 eggplant, cut into 1 inch cubes
3 T olive oil
2 leeks, chopped
4-5 large garlic cloves, minced
2 large peppers, poblano or sweet, chopped
2 large celery stalks, chopped
2 T capers
1/4 c green olives, pitted and sliced
1 1/2 c diced tomatoes, preferably san marzanos, or tomato sauce
1/2 c red wine vinegar
1 T sugar
1 T cocoa powder
1/4 cup fresh chopped or dried basil
Salt and pepper to taste
In a colander, toss the cubed eggplant in about 2 T salt. Shake to coat evenly. Preheat oven to 375 degrees, and while it is preheating let the eggplant sit and drain in the sink. Wipe off some of the salt and moisture from the cubes of eggplant and bake on a greased pan for 35 minutes.
While eggplant is done baking, begin sautéing chopped leeks and garlic in the olive oil over medium-low heat. After about 4 minutes, add the celery, peppers, olives and capers and continue to cook for 3 minutes.
Combine the vinegar and sugar and pour it over the veggies. When the liquid is reduced by half, add the eggplant, basil, and cocoa powder. After a minute or two, add the tomatoes or sauce and continue to cook for ten minutes or so, until it has reached a thick, saucy consistency. Serve with toasted pita or garlic bread.
If You Get Eggs Please Read
Eggs like vegetables are a seasonal product. As day light hours decrease chickens begin to molt. Molting is when the chickens put calcium into new feather production instead of egg production. This process has begun at Kookoolan Farm (our egg suppliers) a bit earlier then they expected. Due to the chickens decreased egg production all CSA members who currently receive 1 dozen eggs a week will now only receive ½ dozen a week. Kookoolan is hoping to have eggs available through November but will keep us appraised of how the chickens are doing. Since you have all pre-paid through the first week of December, Sauvie Island Organics will reimburse each member for any eggs they have paid for but do not receive. Any questions please email the office at firstname.lastname@example.org
This time of year is a huge transition for us on the farm, as Becky, Vanessa, and Kylie have all completed their apprentices. Becky and Vanessa, our two inspiring and awesome second-year apprentices, are both going to pursue new adventures in agriculture, and Kylie, our great buddy and summer apprentice, will be undertaking some as-yet-undecided course. We had a party out at the farm this last weekend to thank them, see them off, and wish them all well.
For the first year apprentices, Michael, Brian, and me (Blake), this means enormous shoes to fill, as well as a smaller crew to do all of the things around here that need doing, so it will be interesting. It also means that Brian and I have taken over the responsibility of going to the CSA pick ups, so people who pick up at the Friendly House Community Center will be seeing me regularly, and Brian will be at the SE Elliott pick up.
Of course, that is not the only transition happening out at the farm. Things around here are looking downright autumnal. Not only that, we have begun clipping winter squash! The fruits are clipped off the vine and “windrowed”, placed in line to cure and develop the thicker skins they will need to hold through the next months. They will be in your share in the weeks to come.
CSA member Jennifer Erickson wants to let you all know about the call for new members for the 2008 Portland/Multnomah County Food Policy Council.
The Portland Multnomah Food Policy Council provides policy advice to both local governments on food-related matters that impact land use, health, the environment, jobs and other issues. The Council currently consists of 16 members who are appointed by Commissioners Dan Saltzman and Jeff Cogen from the City and County respectively. The Council is jointly staffed by the City and County and charged with providing input and advice on City and County food-related issues.
Priorities for 2008 are expected to include:
• local land use policies and their impact on the food system;
• methods for building regional demand for locally produced foods and food products;
• City and County food purchasing policies and practices;
• the availability of healthy, affordable food to all residents; and
• the capacity of local communities to engage in healthy food practices.
If you are interested in ensuring government policies support access to local food and have a few hours per month available to commit to the cause, the Portland/Multnomah Food Policy Council needs you! Fill out the “Interest Form for City Boards” form and check the “Food Policy Council” box. Applications are due no later than October 26, 2007.
To learn more about the FPC, contact Steve Cohen, City of Portland Office of Sustainable Development at (503) 823-4225 or check out the FPC web page.
City Dog, Inc (“So Many Smells So Little Time”)
CSA member Amy Aycrigg runs City Dog, Inc. She welcomes dogs into her home for kennel-free boarding where they become part of the family. Your dog will enjoy walking in the neighborhood on leash or going to Forest Park for a romp. Four-legged guests are given plenty of TLC. Email Amy at email@example.com if you are interested in finding out more about City Dog, Inc. or view her website.