Sogn Valley Farm CSA Newsletter Week 15 | Sept 11-12 2018
What's In The Box
Seedless watermelon: This red-fleshed seedless watermelon variety is new to us, and I've been pleased with its flavor and texture. Nice and sweet with crispy flesh. Given that these fruits were still on the plants when we received 5.5” of rain early last week, there may be a few melons that are a little mealy at the center. I found 1-2 like this in the 10 fruits I cut open to test during harvest.
Curly parsley: Mince and toss with roasted red potatoes, blend into your green smoothie or hummus, or garnish a soup or meat entree. This will stay fresh for up to a week if kept in a plastic bag in the fridge.
Salad mix: Our signature mix of eight varieties of baby-leaf lettuce. This got pummeled with mud during last week's rains, so it headed into the wash tanks filthy. We triple washed it, but it may benefit from another rinse this week.
Acorn squash: Yay, the first taste of the fall crops! For a basic preparation technique, simply cut the squash in half top-to-bottom, scrape out the seeds, place in a baking pan with a little water, and bake at 350° for an hour or so, until tender. To get a little more gourmet with it, try caramelizing and spicing the squash afterwards.These should store for a few weeks at room temperature.
Savoy cabbage: This is featured in this week's recipe. This will store for a couple of weeks if unopened. Keep in the crisper and/or in a plastic bag.
Red potatoes: Here's another round of potatoes from our friends at Driftless Organics. Try roasting these in some butter and then tossing with parsley. Comfort food at its finest.
Bunched red beets: This is the first harvest from our fall storage beet planting. We bunched them because the greens are still in pretty good shape and good to eat. Try using some of the beets in this week's recipe, and saute up the greens .
Red bell peppers: This will be one of the last weeks of red sweet peppers - enjoy them on a salad, or in a stir-fry or egg scramble.
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.
Dill — Kale — Red anaheim chiles
It has been a gorgeous week after the deluge of rain we received last week. About 5.5” of rain fell over a 36-hour period early last week. It was more than we needed, but it fell gently and steadily, allowing good infiltration and minimal run-off. That went a long way towards recharging our dry subsoil.
We have also been feeling the “peak harvest” described in last week's newsletter. In fact, the last two Mondays, the crew has been washing and packing orders until 7-8 pm. One of our major wholesale crops, peppers, are at their peak right now and we are harvesting and packing thousands of pounds each week.
We also planted a large amount of watermelon for one wholesale customer, and it came to fruition. So for the first time, we're also delivering a couple thousand pounds of watermelon each week, destined for Twin Cities school districts. I'm realizing a bit late that our delivery vehicle—a former U-Haul with a 14' box—is only rated for about 3000 lbs, so we've had to make multiple trips to the cities to get it all delivered.
This is all part of the juggling act of having not just this CSA, but also farmers' markets and wholesale accounts to coordinate. This “eggs in many baskets” approach was intentional during our business start-up, as it spreads out the risks inherent in farming. I hadn't quite predicted the confluence of all these big crops, and I'm so thankful that the crew has stepped up to help us get it all done.
It's also the time of year when farmers— owners and seasonal workers alike—can experience burnout. We've been pushing hard since April, or earlier, for some. We can feel autumn in the air, but there's a long way to go before the sun sets on this season. We try our best to meter our energy and balance out the long days, but it doesn't always happen. Many props to this year's crew for their strong work ethic, reliability, and good attitudes during this busy time.
The main task on the agenda for this week is winter squash harvest! We planted acorn, delicata, butternut, kabocha, and sugar dumpling, and pie pumpkins this year. A few of those will show up only in fall shares, but we'll try to include a couple different types in the remaining summer shares.
I also wanted to pass along an opportunity to members of our CSA. In the first newsletter, I mentioned a CSA cookbook, called “Bounty from the Box.” It was written by a Minnesota-based author, and I've pulled a few recipes from that book to use in these newsletters. The author has offered a 15% discount to our CSA members when you purchase the book directly from her website. The promo code is “SVF15” and it is good until Sept. 25th. There is usage and storage information for almost every fruit and vegetable, along with plenty of recipes.
I hope you enjoy the week of pleasant weather ahead!
Sauteed Cabbage and Beets with Miso-Ginger-Sesame Vinaigrette(Yields about 6 pints)
Gingered Cabbage and Grated Beets
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon peeled and finely grated fresh ginger
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
1 savoy cabbage, very thinly sliced crosswise
1/2 cup peeled and coarsely grated beets (about 2 medium-size beets)
2 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
3 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons red or white miso (fermented soybean paste)
1 tablespoon brown sugar 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar (mirin)
2 tablespoons peeled and finely grated fresh ginger
1 tablespoon tahini (sesame oil with seed paste)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1. Heat oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until oil is warm and covers the bottom of the skillet. Add garlic, ginger, and sesame seeds and sauté until golden (~30 seconds). Add cabbage and grated beets and sauté until cabbage wilts (~5 minutes). Season with a pinch of salt, transfer to a bowl, and cover to keep warm.
2. Make vinaigrette by pureeing all vinaigrette ingredients in a blender until smooth. Pour desired amount over the warm cabbage and beets and serve. (May be served over a bed of steamed white or brown rice.)
Serves 3 to 4 people as a side dish or 2 for a warming lunch.
Time: 30 to 40 minutes