It has been a busy fall! Generally by this time, we are starting to enjoy a more relaxed schedule, yet this year, we still have plenty of fieldwork to finish before the cold weather hits. (This is partly due to the fact that a lot of the fall crops produced quite well – which is a good thing J). We finished picking popcorn last night (thanks Puchallas!) and are in the process of drying it out now (it takes about a month). We still have potatoes, beets, and carrots that need harvesting, as well as garden cleanup (which consists of picking up irrigation, taking down trellises, tilling, and planting garlic for next year). The warm weather has been nice, if only for the reason that it has given Jake some grace time before he needs to get firewood cut (for our wood-burning furnace)…ah, no rest for the wicke- …wait a minute! J
STORAGE SHARES available: Come mid-December, we will deliver STORAGE SHARES (a box of veggies including potatoes, onions, beets, carrots, cabbage, winter squash, eggs, organic oranges fresh from FL, and possibly a few other items) to anyone’s house who wants them. The box will weigh 40+ lbs and is designed to give families a stash of storage veggies in the middle of winter. The cost is $50/box. (They make great Christmas presents!) Sign-up sheets will be available at the drop-sites this week and following, or feel free to send us an email, or give us a call by the first week in December with how many boxes you would like to order.
We didn’t end up including regular POTATOES this week (as planned) because the Full Share bags were close to overflowing without them. Sorry for any inconvenience; we will put them in the bags next week.
The CAULIFLOWER in your bags can be eaten raw (it has some nice “spicy-sweet” tones) or works well steamed. If you need to preserve some excess, simply blanch it in boiling water for a couple minutes, cool, then store in plastic bags in the freezer. It might be a little soggy when defrosted; if so, put it in a soup, and you won’t even notice…
I had a brain-fart last week and forgot to mention how to store and use RUTABAGAS (the big round rock-like vegetable with roots). RUTABAGAS can be used both cooked or raw. Rutabagas can be used as a substitute for potatoes in recipes where they can be mashed or cubed and added to stews and soups. Cut off the ends, then peel and chop as needed. They are also great fresh in salads or cut up and served with other crunchy vegetables for a snack. Rutabagas like high humidity so storage in the vegetable compartment of the refrigerator is preferred although they can be stored for a short time at room temperature on the counter top.
BEET GREENS can be used in place of SPINACH in recipes. They work great sautéed (see cauliflower soup recipe below) or eaten raw.
Sweet Dumpling is the name of the SQUASH in your bags this week. It can be prepared like any winter squash or pumpkin (cut in half, put cut-sides-down in glass baking pan, bake ‘til soft at 350F for 30 min-1 hr) or it is a great one to cut open and stuff (with rice, meat, cheese, etc.) and bake.