Sogn Valley Farm CSA Newsletter Week 17 | Sept 25-26, 2018
What's In The Box
Arugula: This is one of my favorite spring and fall flavors. This is the first harvest from a new planting, so the leaves are smaller and more tender than the bunched arugula that full shares received last week.
Carrots: It was a muddy mess getting these out of the ground, but it's worth it. Eat them raw, grated over a salad, stir fried, in soup, or in a gingery saute. These will keep for many weeks if kept cold and in a plastic bag.
Celeriac: This may be a new sight to some of you new members. Celeriac, or celery root, is the same species at regular celery, but has been bred to produce a big, fleshy root rather than juicy stalks. While we trim off most of the fibrous roots and wash off the soil before packing, these require a heavy peeling to reach the cream-colored interior. The flavor is that of celery, while the texture is closer to a potato. This is great in soup, boiled and mashed with potatoes or another root, or grated and fried in butter with some salt and pepper, like hash browns.
Sweet and red onions: I start nearly every cooked dish with onions. Sometimes, if I'm not quite sure what to make for dinner, I'll just dice up some onion, heat up some oil, and let the aroma and sizzling guide me in the right direction. Sweet onions are also great raw, roasted, or grilled. As with the last time you received these, they did not cure well in the greenhouse so don't all have a nice, uniform protective dried skin. If you peel off the outer layer, you'll find nice onion inside. Use in this week's recipe.
Delicata squash: This variety of winter squash is sweet, flavorful, and very versatile. The skin is tender and edible when cooked, so peeling is optional. We enjoy cutting them into chunks, coating with coconut oil, seasoning with a little salt, pepper, and sometimes curry powder, and then roasting in the oven. Featured in this week's recipe.
Tomatoes: One last hurrah on tomatoes for summer shares. You are receiving heirlooms, slicers, or a combination of the two.
Romanesco cauliflower (rotational - half shares this week): This intricate and beautiful vegetable has flavor similar to white cauliflower, but perhaps a little nuttier and richer. The spirals on this vegetable are fractals, with each spiral comprised of smaller spirals.
French Breakfast radishes (Rotational - full shares this week): This heirloom, cylindrical radish has mild flavor and crispy texture. Toss in a fresh arugula salad or thinly slice and top scrambled eggs and toast.
Watermelon (full shares only): Full shares are receiving either seeded or seedless red-fleshed watermelon - the last of the season.
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.
Spinach — Butternut squash — Turnips — Garlic — Potatoes — Romanesco cauliflower (full shares) — Lettuce — Leeks/onions
We've reached the second-to-last box of the summer CSA!
Two noteworthy events occurred this week. Karin, Anneli, and I took a trip to Vermont for my friend's wedding. With the exception of a 3-day-weekend trip in 2016 for my sister's wedding, it was the first time I've been gone during the growing season. The trip was lovely, filled with a nostalgic drive through my childhood stomping grounds, quality time with good friends, and a quintessential Vermont wedding at the top of a mountain on a 60° sunny fall day.
I have so much gratitude to my crew for holding down the fort while we were gone. They slogged through heavy rainfall on Thursday to get everything harvested for our weekend farmers' market, then covered our shift at the Saturday market.
However, on Thursday evening, southeastern Minnesota experienced a damaging storm with extreme winds and numerous tornadoes. We were very lucky to have been spared the worst of it. We had a few snapped hoops in our caterpillar tunnels and some mild wind damage to a few crops.
But this was nothing compared to the damage received by others nearby. Our friends at SEEDS Farm in Northfield had their greenhouse completely destroyed; Red Barn Farm saw their iconic red barn leveled; the city of Cannon Falls had downed trees and power lines all over the place and declared a state of emergency the day after the storm.
While we survived the storm comparably unscathed, this type of storm is my worst fear as a vegetable farmer. With specialty crop and greenhouse insurance both economically unfeasible, our livelihoods are always vulnerable. In the blink of an eye, we can have tens of thousands of dollars in damage to crops and infrastructure from a storm with extreme wind or hail. This could make the difference in whether or not the farmer gets paid for his or her work that season. It's a precarious place to be, with your livelihood entirely dependent upon the weather. This reveals the value of community supported agriculture - shared risk and shared bounty.
On a lighter note, it is now officially fall and our upcoming projects reflect that. In the next week or so, we hope to harvest our sweet potatoes and get them set up in the greenhouse to cure. The storage carrot crop is about a week or two from full-grown, and as we start to see the cold nighttime temperatures in the coming days, they will sweeten up and beckon to be harvested. We'll also be doing our first harvest on turnips and watermelon radishes soon, one of which will likely end up in the final summer share next week.
We will also bid farewell to Elyssa at the end of the week. She is moving to Massachusetts to begin a term at The Farm School, where she'll expand upon and deepen the knowledge and skills she acquired this season. She did a bang-up job as our Sunday Farmers' Market Lead and has been a hardworking, eternally upbeat member of our farm crew. Thanks, Elyssa!
Have a great week.
Roasted Delicata Squash and Onions(Serves 4)
2 pounds delicata squash (about 2 large)
1 medium red or sweet onion, sliced
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
2. Cut squash in half lengthwise, then crosswise; scoop out the seeds. Cut lengthwise into ½-inch-thick wedges. Toss with onion, 1 tablespoon oil and salt in a large bowl. Spread in an even layer on a baking sheet.
3. Roast, stirring once or twice, until tender and beginning to brown, about 30 minutes.
4. Combine the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, rosemary, syrup and mustard in a small bowl. Toss the vegetables with the dressing.