Sunday, October 18, 2009

Week Nineteen

one of our praying mantis, hard at work on some brussels sprout greens

I'm pretty excited about the change in seasons... Instead of slathering on sunscreen before early morning CSA harvest, we're pulling on layers and scarves and boots and I'm loving it - as well as the change in what we're growing and harvesting. We covered the beans and peppers with frost-protective row covers this past week but pretty much everything else is fine in cold weather. Things like brussels sprouts, arugula, mache and the deep greens actually have improved flavor after frosts. You'll notice a change in quantity and variety of what you receive and it's all part of the season winding down. I plan to keep going as long as there's a significant harvest. Things to look for in the next couple weeks are more radish and dark greens, kohlrabi, carrots, chard, arugula, mache, bib lettuce, brussels sprouts, leeks and potatoes.

CSA members Charlie, Amy and Emma Kottler with their aunt, Kathy Ellis

In shares this week you have butternut squash, a variety of peppers, carrots, tatsoi, parsley, daikon radish (full), French breakfast radish (partial), and a container of habaneros if you indicated to me that you wanted them. Some of you might be unfamiliar with daikon radish - here's a link to some basic info including preparation and nutrition facts They can be treated like any other radish (see spring posts for radish sandwiches), used in salads, soups, or juiced and added to tomato sauce for a great kick (thanks Julie!).

Butternut squash is one of those foods that is versatile and pretty delightful any way you prepare it, but my good friend Liz made an amazing dish that's my new favorite - baked butternut squash fluff. Cut squash in half longways and scoop out seeds (you can roast these w/ salt, pepper and cayenne). Roast in the oven until soft, let cool slightly and scoop out the meat into a bowl. Add one or two eggs (depending on how much egg you like), some milk (not too much), a touch of ground/grated ginger, cinnamon and honey (2 T). Mix with a hand mixer to "fluff", spread in a small (no bigger than 9x13) baking dish and top with walnuts and a touch of brown sugar (for a nice crunch). Bake until nuts begin to brown. You can also add grated coconut to the topping - yum. Thanks Liz!
CSA member Kathryn just sent me a recipe for fall squash soup from the Frick Cafe - it sounds amazing and uses your squash, parsley and shallots
thanks Kathryn!

The big news for this week, of course, is that we now have chickens! 31 laying hens arrived on Saturday afternoon, kindly brought to us by Lynne of Dream Thyme Farm The ladies (and one patient rooster) seem very happy in their new home, and quite a few of you came to the farm for CSA pick up yesterday and had the chance to see them. They sleep in the coop at night and during the day when no one is around they'll stay in a large fenced area to keep them safe from local predators like fox, coyote, raccoon, and hawks. After they get used to their new surroundings and when we're at home to monitor them the chickens will be free to roam the farm and forage for tasty bugs, slugs, seeds and etc. Their diet also includes organic grain feed from a local mill, which is free of any and all hormones, antibiotics and GMO seed. This high-quality feed and their ability to roam about and forage for an ultra-healthy balanced diet means some very happy chickens, and some pretty fantastic tasting eggs. Hopefully you'll be able to see for yourselves soon - eggs will be available for purchase all winter (though they will lay at a much slower rate during the cold months) and of course next season, but I'm hoping to be able to include half a dozen in each of your shares before the end of the season.

No comments: