Backyard Gardens’ CSA: Week 21 – October 25, 2012

Liz washing carrots in the snow

With snow blanketing the garden beds and nighttime temperatures approaching the teens, the season has fast-tracked towards the end.  It ain’t over yet, but we’re hurriedly clearing the fields of the last of the harvestable crops and wrapping things up outside for the season.  We still have to plant garlic, which is always a fun closing activity full of hope for the season to come.  If anyone wants to help with garlic planting, let me know and we can get you in on the action!  We also are planning on starting on the new hoophouse construction in the next couple of weeks (the one we got an NRCS grant for) , hoping to get the legs cemented in before it gets too cold to manage, allowing us the opportunity to get the structure up and running by early spring!  Any extra hands, especially experienced construction hands, would be most welcome.   Let me know if you want to help with that project as well.

Parsnips

You have a few new items in your bin this week and a couple of impressive returnees.

Parsnips and rutabagas make their one and only fall crop appearance.  Parsnips, earthy sweet relatives to carrots, are wonderful cut and roasted alone or with other root crops, or boiled and pureed alone or with rutabagas or potatoes for a delicious root mash.

Rutabagas, a relative to turnips, store well for the winter and also can be served up roasted or mashed, alone or with root companions.   We’re proud to have saved some lettuce and bok choi through the cold and snow to give out one last time.  Enjoy the last of the greens, since from here on out we’ll be offering storage items from our pantry rather than from the field.

 

Rutabaga

We have a survey compiled that we would like for you to fill out and return to us, either via email or in print.  If you choose to write it out, you can return the printed copy with your bin next week or mail to Backyard Gardens, PO Box 463, Joseph, OR  97846.   We really appreciate you taking the time to give us feedback on how the CSA worked for you and how we can improve the experience.  Here are the surveys for 2012 CSA Full Share Survey and 2012 CSA Half Share Survey.

We are also offering special incentives for signing up early for the next season.  The prices will be the same for the produce CSAs ($490 for the full share, $325 for the half share).   We are offering a week’s value of credit ($22 for full share, $15 for half share) at the Backyard Gardens’ farm stand or email orders for signing up early for 2013 with a $50 deposit before the end of 2012.  You can mail checks to the address above or submit with your survey.  It’s never too soon to anticipate the tastes of spring!!

 

Full Share 10-25-12

Full Share

Lettuce (yes, lettuce!)
Cilantro
Carrots
Green Cabbage
Sweet Onions
Parsnips
Sunshine Kaboucha Winter Squash
Bok Choi
Rutabaga

Half Share

Half Share 10-25-12

 

Lettuce (yes, lettuce!)
Carrots
Green Cabbage
Sweet Onions
Parsnips
Sunshine Kaboucha Winter Squash
Bok Choi
Rutabaga

 

 

 

Here are some recipe ideas for this week.

Mashed Potato, Rutabaga, and Parsnip Casserole with Caramelized Onions

Roasted Parsnips, Turnips, and Rutabagas with Ancho-Spiced Honey Glaze  from Epicurious

Or From Roots by Diane Morgan

Orange-Braised Parsnips with Cumin and Mint

1 1/2 lbs parsnips
1 Tbs. granulated sugar
2 Tbs unsalted butter cubed
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1/4 cup chicken stock
2 tsp white wine vinegar
3/4 tsp kosher or fine sea salt
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 1’2 Tbs finely minced fresh mint (or dried)

1. Trim and peel the parsnips.  Cut them into sticks about 2 inches long by 1/2 inch wide and 1/2 inch thick.

2. In a 10-inch heavy frying pan, heat the sugar over medium heat until it starts to melt.  Cook the sugar, lifting and tilting the pan as needed so the sugar melts evenly and turns a golden brown.  Immediately add the butter and stir constantly until the sugar and butter are evenly combined.  Add the parsnips and cook, stirring constantly, until evenly coated, about 2 minutes.

3.  Add the orange juice, stock, vinegar, salt, cumin, and pepper.  Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer until the parsnips are fork-tender, 10 to 12  minutes.  Remove the lid and stir occasionally until the liquid is reduced and the parsnips are glazed and caramelized, about  3 minutes longer.  Stir in the mint and serve immediately.

Serves 4 to 6 as a side dish.