Fall CSA Box # 3

Fall CSA Box # 3 November 8th, 2011

In this week’s box:

Carrots Celeriac Delicata Squash
Lacinato Kale Kohlrabi Fresh Rosemary
Onion Red Cabbage Red Fingerling Potato
Purple Mizuna Bell Pepper

Dear members,

A steady week of frosty nights, some temps even down into the mid-twenties here, has brought us deep into the Fall season. Root crops, Cabbages, and Kale have really sweetened up and are looking great with the lack of rain to pummel them. The hard frosts finally killed the peppers and tomatoes that live in our hoop-houses, but you get to enjoy the last harvest of bell peppers for the year. Pretty awesome for November 8th!
In the fields Joe has been busy trenching to lay the permanent irrigation lines at the new site. They need to be underground to protect them from the floods that affect our river valley. He buried 1500’ feet of pipe 3 feet deep this week! He reports that the trencher gave a great view of the soil profile, and some sand down deep means better drainage. Better drainage means the soil can be worked earlier and later in the season. This is all great news for Wobbly Cart.
This week you’ll get a few new crops I’d like to explain, and then on to the recipes.
Lacinato Kale is an heirloom kale that dates to the 18th century in Italy. It has a long tradition in Italian cuisine and is one of the traditional ingredients in minestrone soup. It has palm frond shaped leaves that are dark green and have an “embossed” texture. The flavor is sweeter and more delicate that most other kale varieties, this makes it excellent for use in salads and soups, as well as braised or stir-fried. It’s also awesome make into “kale-chips”. See the recipe page.
Purple Mizuna is a Japanese green that has a mild earthy, peppery taste. It is very tender and makes excellent salads and stir-fries. It will keep for 3 to 4 days loosely wrapped in plastic and stored in the crisper drawer of your fridge.
Celeriac is the large knobby looking root. It is weird looking, but tastes amazing. Peeled and trimmed it has a delicate celery like flavor, and is much less fibrous. It is excellent added to soups, baked in a gratin and shredded into robust salads and slaws. Loosely wrapped in plastic in the crisper drawer, Celeriac will keep for many weeks.
Kohlrabi is the smooth, round vegetable. Peeled and sliced, kohlrabi makes an awesome veggie accompaniment to dip of your choice. It has a sweet crunchy flavor that my kids can’t get enough of. They are even known to fight over these when they see me unloading the CSA box! Kohlrabi is one of the many manifestations of the family brassica, the group that contains all of our cabbages, kales, broccoli, and cauliflower. It is actually a swollen stem of all things. Kohlrabi will also keep a long time stored like Celeriac.
Delicata Squash is the cream -colored winter squash with pretty green or orange stripes. It has a golden flesh that is very sweet and tender. It also cooks up quicker than most other winter squash making it very versatile. Delicata is considered by many to be the best of the winter squashes. Kept cool and dry, these squash will keep for several weeks and possibly months. Their flavor will improve over time if you can hold off from eating them tonight!
Enjoy the goodness! We’re so lucky to live in a climate mild enough to afford such great local eating in the fall and winter.

Asha, Joe and the Crew.

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