2014 CSA distribution #24

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Fall shares mean roasted vegetables are back on the menu! This particular mix includes parsnips, turnips, beets, sweet potatoes, and carrots, some of which will be in the coming share and all of which you’ll get at some point in the remaining season. Onions, potatoes, garlic, & leeks also do well in such mixes. Read for more on this week’s share, and the rest of the CSA season leading up to Thanksgiving.

END-OF-SEASON SCHEDULE & INFO

We have three distribution weeks remaining:

  • this week (Mon. Oct. 27 & Thurs. Oct 30)
  • two weeks from now (Mon. Nov. 10 & Thurs. Nov. 13)
  • the Monday before Thanksgiving (Mon. Nov. 24 for all members)

This season will end with 26 shares, one short of the 27 achieved last year but well within our promised range of 25-28. We decided that we would rather send out extra full bags for these remaining weeks than to also do a distribution the first week of November (previously listed as a possibility). A factor contributing to that decision is that the CSA wasn’t full this year, meaning members have had access to a lot of extra bounty from plantings intended for a full membership. Also, with less income we’re trying to keep down costs associated with doing an extra distribution. Just about all items that are going out at this time of year will last for two weeks if stored properly–so if you ask for everything, you may yet be able to eat your way through November with Chert Hollow produce.

End-of-season survey: In early November, we’ll send out an end-of-season survey. We’d really appreciate honest feedback from all members regarding this CSA experience.

End-of-season invoices: The chickens aren’t laying enough to continue egg sales, so we’ll send out final invoices to egg customers soon. Final payment is requested by Thanksgiving.

PRODUCE

NEW! Winter squash We have two varieties that did well this year, Butternuts and Long Pie Pumpkins. Each member will get one or the other; please use the comment box on the survey if you have a strong preference for one or the other. Store on the counter; no reason to refrigerate. We like making pumpkin custard (with either type of squash); we first bake & puree the squash, then follow our favorite pumpkin pie filling recipe, but skip the crust. To bake it custard style, we put the pie filling in a 9×9 Pyrex pan submerged in boiling water in a 9×13 Pyrex pan. Bake ~45 minutes at 350ºF, until a knife comes out clean.
Garlic We’re going to send out a bunch of smaller heads, with four B-size heads to full shares and two B-size heads to single shares. Everyone will receive one Tochliavri head, cut with a short stem. The other heads will be hardneck varieties, individually labeled. This is a good chance to do some flavor comparisons of different varieties.
Leeks
Onions An assortment of varieties, including the last of the sweet onions, which need to be eaten soon.
Kale Curly kale this time.
BACK! Swiss chard
BACK! Beets Mix of varieties, with the cylindrical & sensibly named Cylindra variety being the most common. We’ll leave the greens on, but we recommending cutting them off when you receive them for better storage quality of both the roots & leaves.
NEW! Golden turnips Other than the radish-like Hakureis, turnips have always been on Joanna’s list of “yuck” vegetables, until we tried golden turnips last year. This year, we dropped the purple-top white globes and transitioned entirely to the golden variety, which we think are much tastier. A batch of roasted goldens finally won Joanna over!
NEW! Parsnips This veggie shares alphabetical characteristics with the turnip, but don’t be misled, it is biologically a relative of the carrot. Guess the name pars-rot just wouldn’t do. Parsnips are a specialty for sure…planted in April for harvest in October or November…slow and a bit fussy about germination…weeding has to be done in the evening or on cloudy days because exposure to the leaves then the sun causes blisters…not particularly high yielding…. We wouldn’t grow them if they weren’t delicious! Try them cooked in soups or stews, roasted on their own or with other veggies, or sauteed in butter.
Escarole
The heads look a bit like lettuce, though escarole is more closely related to wild chicory, the common roadside plant that has pretty blue flowers that open on summer mornings. As with most types of chicory, escarole has a notable bitterness, so proper preparation is the key to enjoying it for those of us who are a bit bitter averse (Joanna included). Escarole can be cooked or eaten raw in salads, depending on taste preferences. Last year was our first year growing & eating it, and we especially liked it in soup.
Radishes Not sure if it will be watermelon again or daikon; may depend on a last minute flavor test. Another way to use radishes is to ferment them, either on their own or with other vegetables, and this will mellow any spiciness.

HERBS

Full shares will receive 2-4 herbs & single shares 1-2. Herb abundance starts to decrease at this time of year, so bundle counts in the shares may start to go down. Some herbs are more abundant than others, so please be flexible if you want to receive the maximum number of bundles.

Cutting celery
Sage
Orange mint
Kentucky colonel mint
Surprise mint The mint variety that is most abundant at harvest time
Oregano, limited quantity
Lemon balm
Catnip
Sorrel
Parsley
, limited quantity
Pea shoots
Beautiful with edible pick flowers, these are abundant, with the only limiting factor being our patience in picking them one by one.

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