This week's projected CSA menu:
Mixed Lettuce Greens
French Breakfast Radishes
San Marzano Plum Tomatoes
Orange Snack Peppers
Red Ripened Tomato- Med Share
Heirloom Tomato - Full Share
Delicata Squash - Full Share
Eggplant - Full Share
Many different jobs are underway at the start of our fall season. Although we still have many new cold season items to come, many of our pepper and tomato fields are coming to an end. Which means major field cleanups of all the plants, stakes, string, irrigation, etc. The sooner we can get a field cleaned out, the closer we are to getting cover crops into the ground. Cover crops are one of the fundamental farming methods responsible for our nutrient rich soil at Spiral Path. Cover crops are what farmers plant in finished fields during the off-season to protect the ground from erosion and provide a root system that is beneficial to the soil that surrounds it. Different types of cover crops actually bring nutrients to the surface that we will then till and plant directly into next season with our spring crops. This keeps our soil filled with nutrients that will boost the health of our future crops. We plant different mixtures of peas, oats, vetch, and rye that will survive throughout the winter and into next March when the ground thaws. Even our PYO flower garden was immediately pulled out, tilled, and seeded with peas and oats as soon as the last Open Farm Day was over. All plants deserve extra love and care for the ecosystem that surrounds them! It means all the difference in flavor (in our opinion) and nutrient density. Pulling plants and removing irrigation can be quite the dirty job – especially after a week of what seemed like the whole summer's worth of rain. We are thankful for the colder weather in the 60s and low 70s. Each morning provides a breathtaking view from any part of the farm. Watching the low fog burn off from the bright sun makes for an easy Monday morning in the mud.
We hope you enjoyed the first round of red potatoes with plenty more to come next week and still fields of gold potatoes still to come in. There is no need to peel the skins off since they are the most flavorful and nutritious part of the potato...you can practically taste the earth! Potatoes store best in a paper bag in a cool dark place like in the cabinet under the sink. They need to be kept far from moisture as well as onions! Despite both of their need to be kept at room temperature, potatoes and onions do not mix well when stored together in the same vicinity. Both vegetables are alive and well but do not like to breathe the same air... just a little farmer's tip.
Khaya's Korner: County Fair
Hi. This year I took Basketry 2 as my only project for 4- H. Just last week I got my 4-H results back from the County Fair. The County Fair was in August, but all of the projects over the county have to be picked up by the club leader. Then, people have to pick their projects at the leader's house or the next meeting. I wove two baskets this year, a market basket, and a picnic basket. I got 1st prize on both baskets. I got to see the scores at the County Fair, where they have a big building dedicated just to 4- H projects. I am very happy with my scores, and I am glad I waited so long to be able to see them. 4-H is a very fun club, but it is also hard work. It took me two days to be able to make the baskets. ~ Khaya
Stuffed Delicata Squash with Chicken Sausage-Mushroom Stuffing from CSA member Andrea Jack
3 small delicata squash (about 16 ounces each), halved and seeded
olive oil spray
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
14 oz sweet Italian chicken sausage
3/4 cup chopped onion
3/4 cup chopped celery
4 oz chopped fresh shiitake mushrooms
1 sprig fresh thyme
6 tbsp shredded parmesan cheese
chopped parsley, for garnish
Preheat oven to 425°F. Spray the cut sides of the squash with oil and sprinkle with salt. Place face down on a large baking sheet. Bake until tender and browned on the edges, about 20 to 25 minutes. Meanwhile, in a large saute pan cook sausage on medium heat, breaking up the meat into small pieces as it cooks until the sausage is cooked through and is browned. Add the oil, onion and celery; cook until celery is soft, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the mushrooms and thyme to the pan, more salt and pepper if needed and cook, stirring 5 minutes, then cook covered for 2 minutes, or until the mushrooms are soft and cooked through. Divide (1/2 cup) between the squash, top with parmesan cheese and bake 10 minutes.
Hearty Portuguese Kale Soup (very rich and hearty) By CSA member Katharine Bennett
1 T. olive oil
1/2 lb. smoked sausage sliced 1/2" thick
1 Qt. chicken broth
1 med. onion, thinly sliced
3 med potatoes, sliced
1 lg bunch kale (about 1 lb), shredded or sliced very thin
Salt and fresh ground pepper.
Heat oil in a skillet and sauté the sausage just until the fat is rendered, about 3-5 minutes. Drain on paper towels and reserve. Bring broth to a boil with the onions and potatoes; simmer 10-15 min. until potatoes are very tender. Mash onions and potatoes in the broth with a potato masher or slotted spoon. Add drained sausage slices and the kale. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 3-5 minutes, until kale is tender. Taste for seasoning - add salt and pepper as needed and serve
Roasted Radish Salad
1 and 1/2 lbs. radishes (any kind or a mixture)
3 Tbls. olive oil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tsp. sugar-free dijon mustard (or sugar-free yellow mustard)
2 Tbls. chopped fresh parsley
2 Tbls. chopped fresh dill
3 green onions, thinly sliced
1/2 lemon, juiced
Pinch stevia or xylitol, to taste and Salt/pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Preheat a large baking sheet.
Trim radishes. Slice larger radishes in half. In a large bowl, toss radishes with 2 Tbls. of the oil. Spread on the preheated baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes, stirring once. You want the radishes tender and beginning to brown, but not mushy, so check them at about 25 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine the remaining 1 Tbls. of oil with the herbs, mustard, vinegar, green onions and lemon. When radishes are done, allow to cool slightly, then toss with vinaigrette. Add sea salt, fresh pepper and stevia to taste. Serve warm or refrigerate and serve chilled.