This Week’s Share
- Winter Squash
Beets- Kestrel is a sweet, earthy red beet. Your beets will be topped because the greens this time of year are a bit ragged. We top them in the fields, allowing the greens to compost right back into the soil.
Carrots – Carrots too will come topped. You will see this staple in your share until December.
Cilantro – This is the last cilantro of the season. Enjoy that last batch of salsa.
Fennel – Fennel is coming back around for fall. You will have 2 bulbs in your share with with tops still on.
Kale – We grow three different varieties of kale: Lacinato, Red Ursa and Winterbor. This week you will have Winterbor, a green curly leafed variety.
Lettuce – Lettuce will be in your share for about three more weeks.
Garlic – The garlic you are eating today was planted in October 2006! And we are getting ready to plant the garlic you will be eating in 2008. We select our largest heads from each variety we grow and save them for seed. First we separate all the individual cloves and again choose the largest cloves to plant. Garlic is planted in October for a July harvest and then we cure and store it to distribute all season long.
Onions – This week’s variety is Copra. It is a yellow storage onion. Each week you will receive either onions or leeks in your share. These alliums are a great jumping off place for many delicious dishes.
Peppers – Peppers are always worth the wait. We watch these fruits for months hanging from their plants. When will they begin to turn colors? Then finally when we begin to feel fall in the air the peppers color-up and their sweetness is celebratory.
Tomatoes – The last of the red slicing tomatoes are coming your way.
Winter Squash- The winter squash is in! We grow 5 varieties of winter squash and 2 varieties of pie pumpkin. Winter squash will be in your shares through December. This week’s variety is Mesa Queen an acorn squash.
Winter squash comes in shapes round and elongated, scalloped and pear-shaped with flesh that ranges from golden-yellow to brilliant orange. Most winter squashes are vine-type plants whose fruits are harvested when fully mature. They take longer to mature than summer squash (3 months or more) and are best harvested once the cool weather of fall sets in. Winter squash have hard, thick skins. They can be stored for months in a cool basement-hence the name “winter” squash.
Winter squash can be cut in halves or pieces. Too cook them, first remove fibers and seeds; then bake, steam, or boil the squash. When water is used in cooking, the quantity of water should be kept small to avoid losing flavor and nutrients. Acorn and butternut squash are frequently cut in half, baked, and served in the shell. Squash pulp is also used for pies and may be prepared in casseroles, soufflés, pancakes, and custards.
Below is some information about the varieties you will see in your baskets gleaned from http://whatscookingamerica.net/squash.htm:
Acorn (Mesa Queen) – As its name suggests, this winter squash is shaped like an acorn. This is a great baking squash, it’s easy to slice into halves and fill with butter. A small acorn squash weighs from 1 to 3 pounds, and has sweet, slightly fibrous flesh. Its distinct ribs run the length of its hard, blackish-green or golden-yellow skin.
Butternut (Metro PMR) – Beige colored and shaped like a vase. This is a more watery squash and tastes somewhat similar to sweet potatoes. It has a bulbous end and pale, creamy skin, with a choice, fine-textured, deep-orange flesh with a sweet, nutty flavor. It weighs from 2 to 5 pounds. Oh, and the PMR, that stands for powdery mildew resistant plants, just in case you were wondering.
Delicata (Sugar Loaf and Zeppelin) – Also called Sweet Potato, Peanut squash, and Bohemian squash. This is one of the tastier winter squashes, with creamy pulp that tastes a bit like sweet potatoes. Size may range from 5 to 10 inches in length. The squash can be baked or steamed. The skin is also edible. The delicata squash is actually an heirloom variety, a fairly recent reentry into the culinary world. It was originally introduced by the Peter Henderson Company of New York City in 1894, and was popular through the 1920s. Then it fell into obscurity for about seventy-five years, possibly because of its thinner, more tender skin, which isn’t suited to transportation over thousands of miles and storage over months.
Hubbard (Baby Blue) – The extra-hard skins make them one of the best keeping winter squashes. These are very large and irregularly shaped, with a skin that is quite “warted” and irregular. They have a blue/gray skin, and taper at the ends. Like all winter squash, they have an inedible skin, large, fully developed seeds that must be scooped out, and a dense flesh.
Kubocha (Sunshine) – Kabocha is the generic Japanese word for squash, but refers most commonly to a squash of the buttercup type. Kobocha Squash may be cooked whole or split lengthwise (removing seeds). It has a rich sweet flavor, and often dry and flaky when cooked. Use in any dish in which buttercup squash would work.
Pumpkin (Baby Bear and SnackJack) – We’re growing two varieties this season, New England Pie and Snack Jack. The New England Pie is a standard pie pumpkin, a sweet, and moist. Snack Jack also makes great pies and soups but has the added bonus of hulless seeds. These seeds are the “pepitas” you can buy in the store, delicious toasted or raw as a snack or in salads and sauces.
Acorn Squash Hush Puppies
Adapted from www.cdkitchen.com
1 Acorn squash (1-3/4 lb size)
2 cups Self-rising cornmeal
1/4 cup All-purpose flour
1 large Egg; lightly beaten
1/2 cup Milk
1/2 cup Onion; finely chopped
Cut acorn squash in half crosswise; remove from seeds. Place squash, cut side down, in a shallow baking dish or pan. Add water to baking dish to depth of 1/2 inch. Bake at 375F for 45 minutes or until tender. Drain.
Scoop out pulp, discarding shells. Place pulp in container of an electric blender or food processor; process until smooth. Measure 1-1/4 cups squash puree; set aside. Reserve any additional puree for other uses.
Combine cornmeal and flour in a bowl; make a well in center. Set aside. Combine squash puree, egg, milk, and onion. Add to dry ingredients, stirring just until moistened.
Pour oil to a depth of 2 inches in a Dutch oven; heat to 360F. Drop mixture by tablespoonfuls into hot oil. Cook 2 minutes or until golden, turning once. Drain on paper towels. Makes 2 dozen
Carrots and Fennel
Adapted from www.allrecipes.com
1 teaspoon olive oil
3 carrots, shredded
1 fennel bulb, trimmed and diced
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/3 cup heavy cream
Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in the carrots and fennel, and season with coriander and fennel seeds. Cook until lightly browned. Mix in the heavy cream, and reduce heat to low. Simmer about 5 minutes until the cream has been absorbed into the carrots and fennel. Serve hot.
Josh’s Tomato Salsa
3 cups peeled, cored, chopped tomatoes
1/4 cup seeded, chopped green chiles
3 Tbsp chopped onion
2 tsp finely chopped, seeded, jalapeños
1 tsp fresh cilantro
3 Tbsp bottled lemon juice
1 small clove garlic, finely chopped
½ tsp salt
Combine all ingredients cilantro in a large pot and bring to a boil, stirring frequently, then reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. Add cilantro and simmer for another 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Again About the Eggs
Unfortunately our eggs shares have come to an end. I am sorry for the short notice but Kookoolan Farm just let us know this weekend that they will no longer be delivering eggs to us. As stated previously, all members will be reimbursed for any eggs they did not receive. Sorry for the inconvenience.
From the Fields
Your shares are beginning to look a lot like fall. Tomatoes and peppers are giving their last wave to summer. In the weeks to come your shares will be filled with many different kinds of root vegetables, cooking greens, winter squash, pumpkins, potatoes, alliums (onions, leeks, shallots and garlic) and Brussels sprouts. As we continue to harvest this season’s bounty our thoughts turn to the 2008 season. In the next few weeks we will be planting spring 2008 sweet onions and the garlic for 2008.
Yes on Measure 49
Now, this one hits close to home, folks. Dozen of Measure 37 claims have been made on Sauvie Island potentially effecting thousands of prime agricultural acreage. If we want to eat local we have to maintain land in ag production. Once we pave it, we have lost it. We urge you to get out and vote Yes on Measure 49. For more information please visit www.yeson49.com