Sogn Valley Farm CSA Newsletter Week 16 | Sept 18-19 2018
What's In The Box
Broccoli: At long last, we are excited for the return of broccoli. After losing two plantings to disease, this one, located in a separate field, has pulled through. Go simple by steaming it and dressing with olive oil, salt, pepper, and perhaps some minced and lightly sauteed garlic.
Dill: We are getting towards the end of the season for this fragrant herb, we have included it with what may be the last of this year's cucumbers. These two go nicely together.
Cantaloupe: All half shares and most full shares are receiving 'Sugar Cube' melons, a small cantaloupe variety that we're growing for the first time. We've been fairly pleased with it thus far. Upon sampling during this last harvest, I noticed a portion of fruits that I would call only moderately sweet - sometimes this occurs with the last harvest from a planting, as was the case with this batch. Most were still quite sweet, though.
Garlic: This week is 'Majestic' hardneck garlic, known for fairly mild flavor and not a ton of “heat.”
Green curly kale: Use this in a saute, stir-fry, soup, or green smoothie.
Cucumber: Assorted cucumbers this week - regular slicer, thin-skinned 'Amiga,' and the very last of the English cucumbers. You'll be receiving one of those three.
Microgreens: You'll be receiving either spicy mix, mild mix, or arugula microgreens this week.
Heirloom tomatoes: Savor these, which may be the last of this year's heirlooms in CSA boxes. You'll be receiving one or two of the eight varieties we are growing this year: Cherokee Purple, Cherokee Green, Black Prince, German Johnson, Pink Berkeley Tie-Dye, Speckled Roman, Striped German, and Valencia. I've been eating them with fresh mozzarella, a dash of sea salt, and a pinch of microgreens.
Sweet corn: Ok, these require some explanation. As a result of late establishment after a failed seeding due to a soil-dwelling insect pest, this planting matured later than is preferred for organic sweet corn. Why do we try to avoid late sweet corn? Because corn earworm is ubiquitous this time of year, and they're very challenging to manage organically. There's a caterpillar burrowing around in the upper kernels of literally every ear. So given that sweet corn hasn't exactly been abundant in your boxes, we decided to take the approach of other CSA farms we know and just slice off the tip of each ear. Let's called it “pre-trimmed” :) The result is some short, “fun-sized” cobs. While they look odd, every one I tasted this week was delicious. Use in this week's recipe.
Poblano peppers: These dark green peppers are a hot pepper, yes, but one of the mildest hot peppers there is. Commonly used in chiles rellenos.
Red Anaheim peppers: These are a real treat, the ripe fruits of our major wholesale pepper. They have super sweet flesh and nearly no heat in the bottom half of the pepper. Towards the top, they have some kick, but it's minimized with removal of the seeds and membrane. My parents, generally averse to spicy food, made scrambled eggs with red Anaheims and loved them. These came from a transitional field, so aren't considered certified organic. Use in this week's recipe.
Mixed peppers (half shares only): Half shares are getting some combination of green bell, red bell, and green Carmen peppers.
Arugula (full shares only): This semi-mature arugula is multipurpose—it's beyond baby stage and has some bite and substance to it. I would certainly chop this and add to a salad raw, but it can also be lightly sauteed or wilted. Remove the rubber band to wash the arugula before use.
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.
Carrots — Bunched radishes — Romanesco cauliflower (may be rotational)
As a reminder to those who may have missed previous reminders, this is the third-to-last week of summer shares. Those who didn't sign up for a Fall Share will have two more boxes this season. We'll try to bring in some new fall crops in those boxes, but some quintessential fall crops —sweet potatoes, watermelon radishes, rutabaga — likely won't be ready before the summer CSA concludes.
This past hot week we had really threw us for a loop. Just as we were starting to feel fall in the air, BOOM. Scorching hot. While the heat made for some unpleasant workdays for us humans, and may have been a little stressful for spinach, radishes, and other cool-season crops, it was quite welcomed for our long-season, heatloving crops like sweet potatoes and some varieties of hot peppers. These crops evolved in sub-tropical climates with a much longer growing season, so the more “heat units” we can get in a season, the higher our yield will be.
And now we settle into a cooler, rainier, perhaps more seasonable week. But guess what? I won't be here to experience it. Karin, Anneli, and I are heading to Vermont to attend the wedding of a good friend of mine. Karin and Anneli have actually been out in Washington/Oregon for the last week, and they're meeting me in VT later this week. I'll be around to see through harvest and pack of this week's CSA shares, but I'm flying out on Wednesday morning.
Like I have mentioned on multiple occasions, I'm so thankful to have a crew I trust to run the show in my absence. The focus of their work will be delivering CSA shares (thanks, Sam!) and harvest, wash, and pack for the weekend farmers' market.
While market prep is a very tedious endeavor—we bring 40-some crops to market each week this time of year—it's a task the crew has done so many times that I'm simply not needed (for anything other than being just another worker on the crew).
Other things that happened this week...we harvested winter squash. First step was cutting the fruits from the vines and grouping them into piles. The second step is loading them into 20-bushel bins for storage. Looks like a pretty good crop, at this point.
Another accomplishment this week is more of a small victory for me, personally. I spent a half-day on Sunday preserving vegetables - salsa and green beans are now in the freezer! This is one of those things that many nonfarmers assume vegetable farmers do—go into the winter with a freezer full of veggies or a cupboard full of canned goods. And while this has been mostly true, usually I have my mom to thank for that since I generally haven't had time.
But this is one of the many things that I feel I should be able to find time for. It's so easy to let the farm gobble up every waking minute of time from April through November.
Becoming a father has solidified what had previously been simply a yearning: the pursuit of some balance in my life, balance between farm work and engagement with my family and my community.
All for now - have a great week!
Sweet Corn with Anaheim Peppers (Serves 4 )
2 C sweet corn kernels
2 red Anaheim peppers, diced, main seed cluster removed
1 1/2 Tbsp butter, divided
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1,Using a sharp kitchen knife, slice kernels off the cobs.
2. In a medium saucepan, add a 1/2 tbsp of butter, the diced pepper, and the corn. Sauté for a minute or so over medium-high heat, stirring to coat everything with the butter.
3. Add in 3/4 cup of water and cook over medium-high heat for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4. After the corn has cooked through, add the remaining butter, cumin, and salt and cook over low heat for another couple of minutes.
5. The corn should be a bright yellow and tender with a bit of chew to it. Serve hot