Sogn Valley Farm CSA Newsletter Fall Week 2 | Oct 16-17, 2018
What's In The Box
Carrots: We're getting into the nice, sweet fall carrot season. Use these in soups, stews, salads, stir-fries, and, apparently, all dishes that begin with “s”.
Gold potatoes: For members just joining us this fall, we are not growing potatoes this year, and are instead buying in potatoes from our friends at Driftless Organics in western Wisconsin. These guys grow 10+ acres of potatoes and do a much better job with them than we have in the past.
Leeks: These delicately flavored cousins of onions are a great base for soups. Mi Ae Lipe, in her book, Bounty from the Box, describes how to clean leeks to remove the soil that inevitably gets within the layers during growth: “Trim off the large, dark green leaves (save them for making stock) and cut off the root end. Then cut the leek lengthwise into halves and run those exposed areas under running water to rinse away dirt.” Our leek crop faced a lot of challenges this year, so we admittedly aren't able to put as large a portion in boxes as we would have liked to. But you have the key ingredients to make a small batch of potato-leek soup! Use in this week's recipe.
Cutting celery: This is our first year growing this herb, and its first time appearing in CSA boxes. This is the same species as stalk celery and celeriac/celery root, but bred to grow as a cut-and-come-again herb, like parsley. It's great for anything in which you want celery flavor and a bit of crunch, but you don't need the big, watery chunks of celery stalk. These are pretty potent in flavor, and the leaves can be a little bitter if eaten directly. But finely chop it, including and especially the stems, and it's a great addition to soups or chicken salad.
Head lettuce: You are receiving two medium-sized heads of lettuce this week. If we receive mild fall weather, you may see lettuce again this fall, but they've got a bit of growing to do, first, so we can't promise anything. Top with salad turnips and watermelon radishes for amazing crunch, flavor, and color.
Watermelon radish: These radishes—named because of their pink flesh and green rind reminiscent of watermelon—have become a popular salad topping in restaurants. The rind functions to protect the interior in storage, and thus is a little fibrous. While many of our customers swear that they eat the whole thing without issue, we often find the rinds a bit tough. Stick with eating the pink interior if you are averse to a little chew in the rind.
Salad turnips: These bunched baby turnips are tender, slightly sweet, and almost creamy in texture. We generally eat these raw as snacks or on salads. The greens can be sauteed.
Delicata squash: One of our sweetest winter squash varieties, delicatas can be roasted, halved, cubed, or cut into half moons, with or without peeling. Use in this week's recipe.
Assorted sweet peppers: You are receiving some combination of red and green bell and Carmen peppers.
Garlic: This mild-flavored 'Chesnok Red' garlic could accompany almost anything you good with this week's veggies.
Each week, we’ll give some hints about what new items may show up CSA shares in the next 1 -2 weeks. Please note, this is not a guarantee, but our attempt to give you an idea of what’s coming up.
Red onions — Pie pumpkin — Butternut squash — Carrots — Parsley
As I write this on Tuesday morning, a large, bright orb is visible in the sky and rays of pure happiness are streaming through my office window. Oh, how wonderful it is to see the sun again!
After a stretch of cold, wet weather, punctuated by a couple inches of snow on Sunday, this sunny, dry weather couldn't come soon enough. We still have most of our storage root crops in the field, and it's ideal to have dry soil when we harvest them.
The carrot crop, in particular, is looking fabulous—the carrots are large enough carrots for good storage life but small enough to remain tender. The crop seems pretty uniform across the field without too many forks. I can't wait to see how it shapes up when we mass harvest them on Friday.
Having fully transitioned to fall, we are now looking at end-of-season projects. We will be pulling the plastic covering off our caterpillar tunnels for the winter, as these structures aren't designed to bear a snow load. We have lots of cucumber and tomato trellis to deconstruct, landscape fabric to roll up, and drip tape and plastic mulch to remove from fields.
We'll also be disassembling our irrigation system, which includes thousands of feet of supply hose running parallel and perpendicular to each of our fields. These are what bring water from our well to the drip tape that actually delivers water to the crops. Pretty sure it's safe to say we won't be irrigating the fields any more this season!
Once all of the fields of peppers and other warm-season crops have been mowed and cleared of mulch and drip tape, we'll till in crop residue and broadcast cover crop seed across most of these fields. The only cover crop that can establish and put on at least a little bit of growth this late in the season is winter rye. This winter-hardy grass will overwinter and begin growing early next spring. It helps protect the soil from erosion in the spring; it scavenges residual nitrogen in the soil that might otherwise be lost to runoff or leaching; and, if allowed to grow through April and into May, it can generate a substantial amount of biomass, meaning lots of organic matter addition to the soil. It's ideal to get these cover crops established in September, but when we are harvesting crops until mid-October, we don't have much of a choice.
Have a great week.
Sautéed Delicata Squash and Leeks with Sage
1 large or 2 small delicata squash, cut in half, seeds scooped out, and then cut into 1/2" half rings (keep skin on squash)
2 medium or 3 small leeks, thoroughly cleaned, and chopped
1 tbs. olive oil
1 sprig of sage, leaves removed
1 tbs. butter
salt to taste
1/4 c. water or broth
1. Add oil to skillet on medium heat and add leeks. Cook until translucent, but do not burn.
2. Add delicata squash and cook, stirring until it begins to brown. turn down heat if necessary so it doesn't burn.
3. Add water or stock. Put lid on and cook until squash is tender. Add water if necessary, but let water cook off as squash softens.
4. Add salt to squash to taste.
5. Melt butter in separate skillet and add sage leaves. Cook until butter turns light brown and sage turns crispy. Pour over squash.
Modified from: https://www.providerfarm.com/csa/recipes/sauteed-delicata-squash-and-leeks-sage