In Your Share This Week
- Winter Squash, Delicata
Carrots: We have been trialing several carrot varieties that are known as a ‘Chantenay’ type of carrot- a group of carrots that have a stout, triangular shape and are well suited to soils that have a chunkier texture or higher clay content. We have been growing these because a large portion of our farm has more clay and isn’t typically great for carrot production, so these are a great choice for those fields. More tinkering still needs to be done with our seeding rates, as the overall roots seemed rather small (which we think was due to overcrowding). Most of what you see in the store are an ‘Imperator’ type, which are known for their long, thin roots- which requires extremely powdery, chunk-free soils to grow. Great for the Salinas Valley, less so for us here in the Willamette Valley.
Chard: As we dip into colder night temperatures and wetter weather, the chard is always the first of the greens to die off. We have had some very pleasant surprises at the regrowth of chard fields from our spring planting, but this is likely the last time you will see chard in the CSA for 2016. I like the red chard late in the season- the stems are a rich ruby red and the leaves take on a deep brownish-red color as well.
Chicories: Everyone will get a head of radicchio this week (round and reddish-purple in color), and full share members will also get a head of Pan di Zucchero chicory (pale green and elongated in shape). The chicory family also includes escarole, frisee, endive, many specialty types of heading chicories that are similar to radicchio, and loose bunching chicories that resemble dandelions. Pan di Zucchero means ‘Suagarloaf’ in Italian (appropriate for what is probably the sweetest of the chicories) and will store for a long time in your fridge. How long? In past storage trials we still had beautiful, delicious heads 3-4 months later. What you do is store it in a plastic bag and cut off however much you need at a time and stick the rest back in the bag, back in the fridge. I think the white parts closer to the base are the most delectable so I tend to cut it lengthwise so I can get some of that stuff too. It doesn’t last as long when cut this way, but it sure is good! I like to serve Pan di Zucchero as a light side in tandem with an otherwise heavy or rich meal with lots of cream/fat/oils/sauce. Cut the chicory into thin ribbons and dress lightly with olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, rosemary, and garlic. Its a delicious little salad that brightens up a meal and aids in digesting heavy foods. The addition of acid helps cut down on the bitterness factor as well- but remember…bitters are good for you.