Backyard Gardens CSA: Week 11 – August 16, 2017

DIRT FROM THE FIELD:

Well hello there, CSA members! It seems we’ve made an abrupt turn into fall here in Wallowa County, doesn’t it? After that rainstorm on Saturday night, the nights are dropping into the low 40s and even 30s this week, and we’re starting to close up the greenhouses in the evening again. Still we are in the prime of harvest time, and this week you will be enjoying it, with heavy boxes full of summer goodies including a real share of tomatoes for everyone.

The education and calibration on the farm continues as Beth teaches us to perfect our harvesting and presentation skills. This week, we got some quick, but wonderfully expert tutorials in appropriately selecting squash for harvest and making beautiful bouquets. I wish I had taken a video of Beth’s hands expertly choosing and arranging the blossoms. It was inspiring! We’re taking orders for bouquets, so contact her with your requests!

Finally, with the great bounty of summer, you may be starting to think, “I’m running out of refridgerator space for all these delicious veggies!” Well fear not, CSA members, there are many other ways of storing your food! This week’s recipe features one such method: vinegar pickling. The close cousin of vinegar pickling, the process of fermentation, is another one of my favorites. Fermentation is a process and an age-old symbiotic relationship that we humans have developed between our food and microorganisms. Familiar fermented products include bread, cheese, and yogurt. You can also ferment your veggies by submerging them in a salty brine. I’ve been re-acquainting myself with this process as the veggies pile up in my fridge and I want to keep the delights of summer available as the seasons change. To get acquainted yourself, try out the recipes below, find a fun YouTube channel, or dive into a good book like “The Art of Fermentation” by Sandor Felix Katz.¬†¬†This week’s CSA share includes some funky-shaped turnips for many of you, part of a bed I fondly think of as “Old Faithful,” which we are finally taking out this week after weeks and weeks of faithful production. While they might look a little strange, they’re perfect for pickling or fermenting!


THIS WEEK’S SHARE:

1 Bunch Beet Greens

1 Bunch Arugula

1 Bunch Turnips

1 Bunch Scallions

1 Cucumber

3 lb Summer Squash

2 lb Tomatoes

1 Garlic Bulb

1 Sweet Onion

1 Bunch Cilantro

Small Share

1 Bunch Beet Greens

1 Bunch Mizuna Mustard Greens

1 Bunch Turnips

1 Cucumber

1 Eggplant (Enterprise only)

2 lb Summer Squash

1 lb Tomatoes

1 Garlic Bulb

1 Sweet Onion

1 Bunch Cilantro


FEATURED ITEM:

Lynne quick pickled a stash of BYG salad turnips, and Beth liked them so much she wanted to share the recipe with you. It’s easy and makes a small batch of quick pickles for salads, appetizers and snacking.

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Quick Pickled Turnips

This recipe makes a refrigerator pickle you can eat within 1 day or keep for up to 1 month. It makes about 4 pints. Bonus: You can use this same brine with cucumbers to make a quick refrigerator pickle.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 tablespoons pickling salt
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1-2 sprigs fresh herbs, such as dill, tarragon or basil optional
  • 2 pound turnips, scrubbed and ends trimmed

Instructions

  1. Make the brine by combining the vinegar and water in a 2-quart (or larger) container. Dissolve the salt into the liquid and add the garlic and herbs, if using.

  2. Slice the turnips into thin slices, about 1/4-inch thick, and submerge into the brine. Cover and let sit at room temperature for 24-48 hours.

  3. Transfer the turnips into storage containers, such as pint jars. Store in the refrigerator and eat within about a month.

I’m also including my favorite fermentation recipe from a Korean cook named Maangchi. Starting with my time as an undergrad in Ann Arbor, I’d been lucky to live in foody cities where there was a diversity of ethnic food just around the corner. When I moved to Idaho in 2012, that all changed, and the first thing I knew I had to learn to make was kimchi. This sour-and-spicy preparation can be applied to many vegetables, classically including bok choy, turnips, and cucumbers, and makes for a delicious appetizer. The basic process is the same as any lacto-fermented product: salt your veggies and submerge to keep the oxygen away and let the bacteria do their magic. The sauce is just the cream on top. Here’s the recipe:

Easy Kimchi

More CSA box ideas for this week from Cook with What You Have:

Quinoa Salad with Green Onions, Mizuna, Radish and Herbs

Spiced Squash and Lentil Salad

Cheers to more fun in the kitchen!

Caitlin