Backyard Gardens’ CSA: Week 22 – November 1, 2012 (Last Week!)

 

 

Celebrating Halloween in the fields!

This is the last CSA distribution for the season!  We hope that you have enjoyed the variety of fresh produce that we’ve provided throughout the season.  Overall, it averaged out to be a good growing season, with bumper tomato and bean harvests, but compromised lettuce and fall crop production, both due to the summer heat.   All of this is part of growing food in a complex web of factors, many of which are out of our control.  With the CSA model, you, the customer, share in the risks and successes of this fragile business.  So, when we have a bounty of beans, we share that with you.  Likewise, when there’s no lettuce, we find other vegetables to eat.  We depend on flexibility, both in ourselves and our CSA members.    We recognize your unique commitment to this model of support for our farm.  We appreciate your flexibility and the trust you place in us to provide you with healthy, quality produce through the season.  Thank you!

After this week, you can return your empty bin to your drop site anytime in the next couple of weeks.  Please be sure to return them in time so we can clean them up for winter storage.

We would still love to hear back from you through the survey that we handed out last week.  If you haven’t had a chance to fill your survey out, there’s still time.  Please be sure to get it back to us either with your empty bins or through the mail or email.  For an electronic version of survey, here you go: 2012 CSA Half Share Survey, 2012 CSA Full Share Survey.

It’s not too soon to think about what’s ahead!  We start to plan the garden, order seeds, and make budgets in the next couple of months.

We hope that you will join us next year!  We encourage you to sign up now to reserve your spot.  In fact, we are offering a week of credit equal to the weekly value of your CSA share to anyone who reserves their CSA spot with a $50 deposit by December 31.  This credit will be available at the market or through orders (not towards your CSA payment).

This week we are sending you off with mostly storage crops that we’ve already pulled from the field, though the turnips and radishes were freshly harvested outside today, November 1! The new items this week include shallots, a member of the onion family prized for it’s subtle flavors, perfect for dressings and sauces. And buttercup and American Tondo squash.  Buttercups are known for their sweet dense flesh, great in soups or pies.  American Tondo is a new variety to us –  an Italian heirloom that’s both decorative and edible.

Full Share

Stir Fry Mix
Carrots
Sweet Onions
Yellow Onions
Shallots
Garlic
American Tondo Squash
Pumpkin
Buttercup Squash
Fingerling Potatoes
Salad Turnips
Radishes


Half Share

Stir Fry Mix
Carrots
Sweet Onions
Yellow Onions
Shallots
Garlic
Buttercup Squash
Delicata Squash
Fingerling Potatoes
Salad Turnips
Radishes

 

 

This time of year I like to make mixed root roasts – potatoes, carrots, onions, turnips — whatever I have.   Chop, coat with olive oil, salt & pepper.  Place in a hot oven (400) for 20-25 minutes and you’re good to go.

It’s soup season.  We’ve been cooking up a variety of soups for lunches around here.  Mixed fall veggie soups with a medley of what’s around are always good.  Variations on winter squash soups are wonderfully warming and satisfying.  Here are a couple to try:

From Farmer John’s Cookbook:

Curried Winter Squash Soup

Serves 6 to 8

3 Tbs unsalted butter
1 cup chopped scallions
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded, finely chopped (about 1 Tbs)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 lbs. squash, peeled, seeded, cubed
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 14 oz can whole tomatoes, chopped
12 whole fresh curry leaves (optional)
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp ground mace
pinch freshly grated nutmeg
2 tsp curry powder
salt
freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

1. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add the scallions;  saute until soft and wilted, about 3 minutes.  Stir in the parsley, jalapeno, and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.

2. Add the squash and toss to coat it with the scallion mixture.  Add the stock, tomatoes, curry leaves, allspice, mace, and nutmeg.   Bring to a boil; reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the squash is very tender, about 45 minutes.  Let cool slightly.

3.  Transfer the soup in batches to a blender or food processor; puree.  (alternatively, use an immersion blender to puree).

4.  Transfer the soup back to the pot.  Stir in the curry powder and add salt and pepper to taste.  Return the soup to a simmer to heat through.  Garnish with parsley just before serving.

 

More squash  ideas…

Baja Butternut Squash Soup from Eating Well.

Winter Squash Soup with Gruyere Croutons from Epicurious

Here’s one with a hint of orange juice, yum.  Butternut Squash Soup Recipe from Allrecipes