Backyard Gardens CSA: Week 18 – October 3, 2018

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October’s here with stormy skies and frosty mornings. This week we prepared the field for tilling and seeding cover crop by fully clearing out the summer squash, cut flower, and winter squash sections. We layered the fresh plant material into the compost bins with semi-decomposed material that was already in there from previous seasons.

We harvested a small crop of winter squash this year, although that still entails several hundred pounds of fruit. The kabocha and butternuts were set aside for curing, but look for carnival squash in your bin this week and other types next time.

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1 Head Lettuce
1 Carnival Winter Squash
2 lbs Tomato
1 Bunch Turnips
1 Cucumber
2 lbs Potatoes
2 Sweet Onions
1 Bunch Dill



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1 Head Lettuce
1 Carnival Winter Squash
1 lb Tomato
1 Bunch Chard
1 Bunch Radishes
1 lb Potatoes
2 Sweet Onions
1 Bunch Cilantro




The featured item this week is the carnival squash, and more generally, winter squash! Winter squash has a hard outer rind that differentiates it from it’s fellow seasonally-named Cucurbit, summer squash, and protects the delicious sweet and meaty flesh on the inside of the fruit. The rind also allows the squash to be stored for a few months, with some varieties storing longer than others. The carnival squash in your bin this week is a cross between acorn and sweet dumpling squash, shorter storing varieties that imbue a flavor similiar to butternut squash but requiring fewer days to grow to maturity. I recommend roasting winter squash for all those cold weather fall feels.

Roasted Winter Squash and Onions with Lemony Tahini Sauce

"You’ll be amazed how much of this you can eat. It’s just such a winning combination, even in its simplified form. You can certainly add other vegetables to the mix and you can use any kind of onion–just use lots. Za’atar can be hard to find and you can certainly skip it. It will still be delicious.

Most any winter squash or pumpkin will work for this recipe. If you’re loathe to peel and trim the squash raw you can bake the whole squash, seeds and all for about 20 minutes at 400 degrees and then remove it, let cool a little and then peel and cut—a bit easier to handle this way."

Author Cook With What You Have


  • 1 large winter squash cut into 1 by 3-inch wedges more or less
  • 2 large onions cut into 1 1/4-inch wedges
  • 3 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 1/2 tbsp tahini
  • 1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 3 1/2 tbsp pine nuts
  • 1 tbsp za'atar optional
  • 2 tbsp parsley chopped, optional
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F.

  2. Put the squash and onion in a large mixing bowl, add 3 tablespoons of the oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and some black pepper and toss well. Spread on a baking sheet and roast in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes, until the vegetables have taken on some color and are cooked through. Keep an eye on the onions as they might cook faster than the squash and need to be removed earlier. Remove from the oven and leave to cool. To make the sauce, place the tahini in a small bowl along with the lemon juice, water, garlic, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Whisk until the sauce is the consistency of honey, adding more water or tahini if necessary.

  3. If using pine nuts or pumpkin seeds, pour the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons oil into a small frying pan and place over medium-low heat. Add the nuts or seeds along with a bit more salt and cook for 2 minutes, stirring often, until the nuts are golden brown. Remove from the heat and transfer the nuts and oil to a small bowl to stop the cooking.

  4. To serve, spread the vegetables out on a large serving platter and drizzle over the tahini sauce. Sprinkle the pine nuts and their oil on top, followed by the za’atar, if using, and parsley. 

More CSA box ideas for this week from Cook with What You Have (see the “CSA details” email from Beth):

Roasted Squash Wedges with Cilantro and Garlic

Spiced Squash and Lentil Salad

Winter Salad of Kale, Roasted Squash and Pumpkin Seeds

Stay warm out there!

Caitlin Rushlow
CSA and Accounts Manager
cell: 919-448-5963