Wobbly Cart Farm CSA week 17

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10-17-17

Wobbly Cart Farm CSA week 17

Large shares: Kabocha squash, carrots, yellow Finn potatoes, celeriac, red cipollini onions, chard, beets, mizuna, garlic, cilantro  

Small shares: Kabocha squash, yellow Finn potatoes, celeriac, watermelon radishes, chard, cilantro, red cipollini onions  

Greens share: green cabbage, escarole, yukina savoy  

Roots share: parsnips, black radishes, turnips

Juicing share: Green cabbage, carrots, beets, cilantro, chard

 

Dear CSA members,

The last week has brought us freezing nights, even down into the high 20’s here. With today’s’ rain and wind I’m starting to feel like were getting deep into the fall season. I am truly amazed that my high tunnel tomatoes and peppers actually survived to see another week!

We are starting to harvest many of our fall root crops that are beautiful and at their best during the fall. Parsnips, many types of hardy radishes, parsley root, sun chokes and much more. Things get difficult to dig out in the field once the ground becomes saturated. The soil becomes mud and sticks to everything, not to mention difficulty moving around while carrying heavy crates, and eventually even the trucks get stuck in the deep mud. At that point we transition to using the 4×4 tractor and a trailer to haul stuff out of the field. Our crew gets even more props for working so hard out there as conditions become less pleasant!

We are at the beginning of another farm improvement project down at our big barn. Joseph and the crew are starting to build a new insulated room for us to store root crops and potatoes for the winter. It’s going to be great to have a place to stash them for when the weather gets really cold. If we ever get down into the teens for any amount of time our ground will freeze and we will lose those crops. This time of year and into the winter is really the only time that we can get any infrastructure improvements done! The summer is just too slammed with planting and harvest!

This really is a fitting box this week for the fall vibes that are going on, and there are quite a few new crops.

Celeriac: the large and unusual knobby root with celery-like tops is celeriac. When the root is scrubbed and peeled, inside is a firm ivory flesh. The celeriac roots is very low in starch and is a nice alternative to potatoes and other starchier root vegetables. It tastes like a subtle blend of celery and parsley. You can use it in soups, grated into salads, roasted in a pan of other root vegetables, or even French fried instead of potatoes. Stores well in the crisper drawer for several weeks with the tops removed.

Kabocha Squash: A deep green skin, squat shaped squash with an intense yellow-orange color on the inside. The meat is sweeter than a butternut squash and fairly dry, good for making sauces and soups with. Before eating make sure the stem is very corky and dry which shows maturity. The squash itself will keep for many weeks if kept on the counter and dry. I think these are very beautiful and make a nice decoration in the kitchen.

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.

Yukina Savoy: An Asian green that looks a bit like spinach, but tastes like a mild mustard. It is pretty, and easy to grow, cold tolerant, nutritious, and great steamed or in stir-fries.

Black radish: This is the first year we have tried to grow black radishes. I think they are very cool looking with their textured black skin in contrast to the pretty white insides. Its flesh is crisp, white and slightly bitter and offers a hot radishy bite. The skin of the Black radish is particularly piquant, for a milder radish flavor peel Black radishes prior to serving. Black radishes can be enjoyed raw or cooked in a variety of different preparations. Sauté and braise to be served as a vegetable side dish. Cook like a turnip and smother in cream or butter. Dice and add to soups, stir-fries and stews to add a radishy bite. Grate or chop into matchstick size and add to mixed green salads. Their size makes them ideal as an hors d’oeuvre when sliced and served alongside an assortment of dips. Their flavor is enhanced by chervil, chives, sea salt and parsley. To tone down the heat of radishes slice, salt and rinse with water prior to using. To store, remove greens and wrap radishes in plastic. They will keep refrigerated for up to two weeks.

Turnips: Turnips are creamy-white with a lovely purple, red or greenish upper part where the taproot has been exposed to sunlight. Like swedes, turnips are a root vegetable and member of the cabbage family. They are a good source of vitamin C and, before the arrival of the potato, turnips were one of the main sources of sustenance for the English peasantry. These turnips are pretty mild, don’t necessarily need to be peeled and will keep for several weeks in the crisper drawer of the fridge. Great roasted in butter, boiled and mashed, braised or made into soups.

Now that we are at week 17, for those of you who haven’t signed up for the automatic payment plan now is a great time to check your balances and send in checks to take care of what remains. We have 5 weeks of CSA to go!

Have a great week,   Asha

Roasted Kabocha squash with pancetta and sage: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Halve and seed 1 4 lb kabocha squash. Roast squash cut side down, in an oiled roasting pan in the middle of the oven until tender, about 1 hour. When cool enough to handle scrape flesh from the skin. Heat 1-cup vegetable oil in a small deep saucepan until it registers 365 on a deep -fat thermometer. Fry 20 whole fresh sage leaves in 3 batches until crisp, 3 to 5 seconds. Transfer leaves with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain. Cool 1/4 lb sliced pancetta that has been coarsely chopped in a heavy 4-quart pot over moderate heat, stirring until browned. Transfer pancetta with slotted spoon to paper towels to drain. Add 1 tbsp olive oil to pancetta fat remaining in pot, and then cook 1 large chopped onion, until softened. Stir in 2 minced cloves of garlic and 1 1/2 tbsp of chopped fresh sage and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add squash, 1 1/2 cups chicken broth, 3 1/2 cups water and simmer 20 minutes to blend flavors. Stir in 1 tbsp red wine vinegar and salt and pepper to taste. Serve sprinkled with pancetta and fried sage leaves.

SWEET AND SPICY ROASTED KABOCHA SQUASH: 1/2 small to medium sized kabocha squash, 3 Tbs light brown, natural cane, plus a bit more for sprinkling, 1/2 tsp ground cayenne pepper or hot chili powder, more or less to taste, 1/2 tsp ground cumin, 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon, 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg, 1/4 tsp salt, 1 Tbs soy sauce Oil for drizzling – pumpkin seed oil is preferred, or use toasted sesame oil, argan oil, or walnut oil.  Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet or two with silicon baking liner or parchment paper. De-seed and cut the squash into slices about 1/2 cm or 1/4 inch thick. (Use a sturdy knife for cutting squash or pumpkin, on a stable surface, and be careful!) Combine all the dry ingredients. Toss the squash slices in this until coated thoroughly. Add the soy sauce and toss well again. Spread the slices in a single layer on the baking sheet. Drizzle over them with the oil, and optionally sprinkle more sugar on them. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes, then turn over, drizzle with more oil and sprinkle more sugar, and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Buttered Turnip Puree: peel and chop 3 large turnips. Combine with 1-quart milk, 3 fresh thyme sprigs, and 1 clove of smashed garlic in a saucepan. Simmer over medium heat until the turnips are tender. 20 to 30 minutes. Drain, discarding the thyme but reserving the liquid. In a food processor, puree the turnips with 1 stick butter and 1 cup of the cooking liquid. Season with salt and pepper and serve hot.

Celeriac and Apple Slaw: Trim, peel, and cut into 1-inch matchsticks, 1 12oz Celery root. Cut 1 large Johnagold apple into matchsticks (2 cups). Combine together with 1/4 cup plus 1 tbsp fresh cider, 2 tsp sugar, 2 tsp Dijon mustard, and 2 tsp chopped fresh parsley. Let stand for 30 minutes before serving. Celeriac Mash: Peel and dice 3 ½ cups of celeriac. Cook celeriac in a large saucepan of boiling slated water for 15 minutes. Add 1 12 oz potato that has been peeled, and cut into 1 ½ inch chunks, and boil until celeriac and potato are very tender, about 15 minutes longer. Drain. Return to same saucepan; stir over medium-high heat until any excess liquid in pan evaporates, about 2 minutes. Add ¼ cup heavy cream and 2 Tbsp butter; mash until mixture is almost smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Braised Turnips: Cook in boiling water, uncovered, over high heat for about 6 minutes: 1 ½ lbs turnips. Peeled, left whole if small, quartered if large. Drain. Melt in a large, heavy skillet over high heat 3 tbsp butter. Add the turnips and cook, stirring, until coated with butter, about 5 minutes. Add 1-cup chicken stock, ½ tsp salt, and black pepper to taste. The stock should come to bout ¾ inch up the side of the turnips; add more stock or water if needed. Reduce the heat, cover the skillet, and simmer until the turnips are tender but still slightly resistant to the tip of a sharp knife, 10 to 20 minutes. Remove the turnips to a serving dish. Boil the cooking liquid over high heat until reduced to a thin, syrupy glaze. Pour it over the turnips and serve immediately.

Caramelized Onions: Heat 2 tbsp butter and 2 tbsp olive oil over med-high heat until the butter is melted. Add 3 lbs onions, thinly sliced. Sprinkle with 1 tsp salt. Cook stirring constantly, 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft and brown, about 40 minutes. Add ½ cup dry white wine or water. Stir and scrape the pan to dissolve the browned bits. Remove from heat and season well with salt, black pepper and grated Parmesan cheese.

Mushroom, Chicory (Escarole), and Celery Root Salad: Preheat oven to 375. Wipe dirt from 1-½ lbs mixed wild and cultivated mushrooms such as Maitake, oyster, and chanterelles. Trim any tough ends, and cut mushrooms to make all pieces about the same size. Toss in a bowl with ¼ cup olive oil, ½ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp pepper. Spread on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake, stirring occasionally, until browned, 30 t 45 minutes. Let cool. Make dressing: sprinkle a peeled garlic clove with ¼ tsp salt, mince and then flatten with the side of a chef’s knife into a paste. Scrape paste into a jar with a tight-fitting lid and add 2 tsp whole grain mustard, 1 tsp honey, ½ tsp fresh thyme leaves, ¼ cup Champagne vinegar and ¼ cup olive oil. Cap jar and shake until emulsified. Peel 1 8 oz celery root, then cut into matchsticks, dropping them into a bowl of water to prevent darkening. Pat dry, then put in a large salad bowl and add 12 cups loosely packed escarole, endive and radicchio, leaves torn into bite sized pieces. Add mushrooms. Toss gently with dressing. (Also from Nov 2011 issue of Sunset)

Honey Balsamic Beet Salad: place 2 lbs trimmed and scrubbed baby beets in a baking pan. Combine ½ cup balsamic vinegar, 1 tbsp honey, and 1 tbsp olive oil; pour over the beets. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover and bake at 400 degrees for 40 minutes or until tender. On a platter combine ½ cups cooked quinoa, 2 cups watercress or arugula, and the beets and roasting juices. Top with chopped fresh tarragon. (From Better Homes and Gardens Magazine November 2012)

Potato-Swiss Chard Curry: Cut 3 medium, unpeeled purple potatoes, into 1-inch cubes, Put in a large pan, cover them with water and bring to the boil. Boil them for 4 to 6 minutes or until tender-crisp. Drain. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large skillet over med-high heat. Add 2 cloves chopped garlic and sauté for a minute. Add the cooked potatoes, 1 tbsp sugar, 1 tsp ground cumin, ½ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp cayenne pepper. Cook 2-3 minutes more. Stir in 3 cups chopped chard, and 1 lb diced tomatoes (canned is fine too). Reduce heat to med-low, cover and simmer for 4-6 minutes. Serve over rice.

Roasted Winter Squash and Beet salad: Preheat oven to 400. Tightly wrap 1 lb small beets in aluminum foil bundles. Place on middle shelf of oven. Roast 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until tender when tested with a sharp knife. Remove from oven; cool slightly. Peel beets and set aside. Place the slices of 1 ¼ lb of winter squash (delicata or kabocha) on a rimmed baking sheet. Toss with salt, pepper, and 1 tbsp olive oil. Place on middle shelf in oven; roast 15 minutes. Drizzle 1/3-cup maple syrup over the squash, and roast another 10 minutes, or until tender; cool. To make the dressing: in a small bowl whisk 1 tsp Dijon mustard, ¼ cup fresh lemon juice, and ¼ cup maple syrup together. Add 1/3-cup olive oil and whisk until smooth. Season to taste. To assemble, place 3 cups mixed salad greens in the middle of a large plate. Arrange beets and squash on the greens. Pour half of dressing over salad. Sprinkle with 1/3 cup fresh pomegranate seeds. Pass remaining dressing. Serves 6 to 8.

Yukina Savoy sauté: Heat 2 Tbsp sesame oil in a large skillet. Add 1 thinly sliced leek, white and light green part only, thoroughly washed, or 4 cloves chopped garlic, sauté for 2 to 3 minutes. Add in I bunch Yukina Savoy, de-stemmed and coarsely chopped. Sauté until just wilted. Remove from heat and add ½ Tbsp rice vinegar and 1 Tbsp Tamari. Season with black pepper and serve over rice.

Yukina Savoy with Sesame Ginger Dressing: Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil. Add 2 heads of yukina savoy that have stems removed and leaves torn into pieces. Cook 1 minute. Remove immediately and plunge into ice water to stop cooking. Drain. Whisk together 4 tsp soy sauce 1 ½ tsp sesame oil, ¾ tsp minced fresh ginger, 1 Tbsp rice vinegar. Toss greens with the dressing and garnish with 1 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds. (Both recipes from http://www.twoonionfarm.com).

Swiss chard with lentils and feta cheese: heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a medium saucepan. Add 2 cloves chopped garlic, and 2 red cipollini onions chopped. Sauté until tender. Add in 1-cup brown or green lentils and stir. Add 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the lentils are tender, about 30 min. meanwhile, wash 1 bunch of chard and trim off the stem ends. Chop the stems into ¼ inch pieces, and the leaves into bite-sized pieces. In another sauce pan, heat 1 tbsp olive oil, add the chard stems and salt and pepper to taste and sauté until tender, about 5 min. add the chard leaves and cook until wilted, about 2 min. stir in 4 tsp red wine vinegar and the reserved lentil mixture. Sprinkle with about ½ cup feta and more salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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Wobbly Cart Farm CSA week 17

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10-4-16

Large shares: Delicata squash, red onions, beets, watermelon radish, Purple mustard greens, Italian parsley, sweet peppers, cauliflower or broccoli, red potatoes, summer squash

Small shares: Delicata squash, red or yellow onions, watermelon radish, beets, green or romano beans, cauliflower, cucumbers

 

Dear CSA members,

It’s hard to believe we are at week 17 and next week will be the last delivery for the summer share! There are a couple of things I wanted to go over from the last couple of weeks. I received quite a few comments about the corn earworm damage to the sweet corn and wanted to let you know that we are really sorry about that! We have never had an infestation quite like that before and there is no way to tell unless you open up each ear one by one! We generally try to minimize any type of organically approved insecticide spraying due to their impacts on our pollinators and other beneficial insects, but will have to consider one for this pest next year.

Also, some mold issues with onions and shallots. Our alliums have not been keeping well this year due to alot of humidity and moisture during certain parts of this summer and the curing time of the onions ( the joys of farming in the maritime northwest!). Often times it is extremely difficult to tell if there is mold starting under the skin of an onion or shallot – so we may miss a few here and there.

I wanted to be sure to assure you all that the dollar value of the produce you receive over the course of the season is generally 15% more than what we have accounted for in the share price. Not that we are happy with the quality issues with the corn and onions  – but just to assure you that you are not losing out in dollar value!

Part of the journey of choosing a farm to support through a community supported agriculture progarm is to share in the successes and failures of each season. Each year brings up new challenges as an small organic farm with different pests, diseases, weather and climate challenges. We work to adapt to the problems and highlight our sucesses, and try to create a well balanced and delicious selection of vegetables for you each week.

New this week we have:

Watermelon radishes: This large turnip looking thing is green and white on the outside, but when you slice it watch out! The center is a gorgeous watermelon shade of pinkish red. This heirloom type of the Chinese Daikon radish (called shinreimei in China) is at its best in fall when the weather starts to cool down. Unlike many radishes the intensity of the flavor decreases as it matures. It is mild and delicious served raw, and its color is best preserved when it is served uncooked. Though they are also good sautéed or roasted.

Purple mustard greens: 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.

Delicata Squash: These are, in my humble opinion, the best winter squash there is. Delicata have excellent sweet flavor, tender skins, and a very manageable size that make them easy to transport and process. 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!

I have enclosed our flyer for sign up for our fall CSA share that will continue immediately after our 18th week of summer share as well as a brochure for locally raised Icelandic lamb from our friend and neighbor Selma. Selma is a long time farmer here in our valley, who raises mostly Icelandic sheep. This spring her ewes gave birth to more lambs than ever before. Many ewes had triplets. Selma thinks this had to do with the very nice pastures they grazed on in last summer and fall. As a result she has many more lambs to sell. If you are into lamb, Icelandic lamb is considered one of the best in the world because of its fine texture and mild flavor. Here is a link to her meat brochures on her website.  If you are interested you can contact her by email Selma@bonedryridge.com or give her a call 360 273 1045 or just send in the order form.

Also, now is the time to finish up any payments still due on your account and return any boxes that you may still have. Next week will be the last delivery for the summer share!

Thanks and have a great week,

 

Asha

 

 

Delicata squash with rosemary, sage and cider glaze: Peel 2 medium delicata squash, cut lengthwise in half, scoop out the seeds. Cut each half lengthwise again, and then into 1 1/2 inch slices. Melt 3 tbsp butter in a large heavy skillet over low heat, add in 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh sage, 1 tbsp coarsely chopped fresh rosemary and cook 3 to 5 minutes, just until the butter begins to brown. Do not brown the herbs. Add the squash to the skillet, then add 1 1 /2 cups fresh apple cider, 1 cup water, 2 tsp sherry vinegar, and 1 tsp salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the glaze is reduced and the squash is tender about 20 to 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Sweet Pickled Onion Watermelon Radish Salad: Slice 1 small sweet onion into thin rounds, slice 1 large watermelon radish into thin rounds, Add 1/3 cup orange juice, 2 Tbsp olive oil, ½ tsp sea salt, ½ tsp pepper, 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar, and a splash of rice wine vinegar. Toss well. Place in fridge to chill overnight. Serve!

Watermelon Radish Chips with Cumin Salt: Peel 4 to 6 Watermelon Radishes and thinly slice. If you have a mandolin, this is ideal for getting the most uniformly thin slices. Heat 2 cups of vegetable oil in a small pot. When hot, toss a handful of radish, making sure you don’t crowd the pot. Fry for about 8 t 10 minutes until really brown. You’ll be tempted to take them out earlier, but you need them to crisp up. They do take longer than potato chips. Continue until done. Season each batch separately and set aside. To make cumin salt – add one tsp salt and ½ tsp cumin and mix in a small bowl, season the radish chip with this. Makes a great appetizer. (From janespice.com.)

Delicata Squash Rings: Preheat oven to 375. Take a whole delicata squash and slice it across sideways. This will make ring shapes out of it. Scoop the seeds out of the middles of your squash rings. Lightly oil a large cast iron skillet with olive oil. Lay the rings out in a single layer across the skillet. Place in the hot oven. Bake for about 10 minutes. Then flip the rings with a spatula. Bake the other side until both sides are lightly browned and the squash is tender. Remove from oven and serve.

Mustard Greens turnovers (could use rapini, vitamin green, or mizuna here): prehat oven to 400. place 1 lb mustard greens (stems removed) in a colander, rinse with cool water, and set aside. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add 1 cup chopped onion and cook until they are soft and translucent, about 3 minutes. Add 1 garlic clove, minced, and cook 1 minute more, add the chopped greens and cook unitl they wilt and are tender, about 5 minutes. transfer the green back to the colander and press to extract any extra liquid. place them in a large mixing bowl and stir in 5 oil-cured black olives that have been chopped, 8 slow-roasted tomato halves that have been finely chopped, and 1/4 cup feta cheese. You should have about 1 1/2 cups filling.

Unfold 2 sheets frozen puff pastry that has been defrosted onto a lighty floured surface. depending on pastry size, cut each sheet into four 4 inch squares. Divide the filling amongst 8 pastry squares, leaving a 1 inch border. Fold each square into a triangle, enclosing the filling, and seal the pastry by firmly pressing fork tines along the open edges. Use a sharp knife to make 2 1/2 inch long vents in the top of each turnover. Place the turnovers on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and brush their tops with beaten egg. Bake until golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes.

Nori Radish Toasts: Slice a 12 in. section of baguette in half length-wise, cut into 2-in. pieces, and toast in a 350 degree oven until golden brown on edges. Using scissors, snip 1 large sheet toasted nori into bits, then pulverize in a spice grinder. Mix nori powder with about 5 tbsp butter; smear thickly onto toasts. Top with thinly sliced radishes and radish greens. (watermelon radishes would work great). (from the November 2011 issue of Sunset Magazine).

Roasted Cauliflower: Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Break 1 2 lb head of cauliflower into bite sized peices. Toss the cauliflower with 1/4 cup olive oil, 5 chopped cloves of garlic, and 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with 2 tsp kosher salt and 2 tsp chopped fresh thyme leaves and toss again. Roast until golden and tender, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve.

Quick Pickled Beets: Combine 4 medium beets, scrubbed, trimmed, halved, and cut into ¼ inch slices. 1 small onion, peeled and thinly sliced. ¾ cup apple juice or water, ¼ cup apple cider vinegar, 1/8 tsp ground allspice, and a pinch of sea salt in a pressure cooker. Lock the lid into place and over high heat bring to high pressure. Lower the heat just enough to maintain high pressure and cook for 4 minutes. Reduce the heat by running cold water over the cooker in your sink. Remove the lid, tilting it away from you to allow any excess steam to escape. To serve, lift the beets out of the liquid with a slotted spoon. Serve warm or chilled. (from Recipes from an Ecological Kitchen by Lorna Sass).

Wobbly Cart Farm CSA week #18

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10-13-15

Day in Autumn

by Ranier Maria Rilke

After the summer’s yield, Lord, it is time 

to let your shadow lengthen on the sundials 

and in the pastures let the rough winds fly. 

As for the final fruits, coax them to roundness. 

Direct on them two days of warmer light

to hale them golden toward their term, and harry 

the last few drops of sweetness through the wine. 

Whoever’s homeless now, will build no shelter; 

who lives alone will live indefinitely so, 

waking up to read a little, draft long letters, 

and, along the city’s venues, 

fitfully wander, when the wild leaves loosen.

Large shares: Delicata squash, red fingerling potatoes, yellow onions, Korean red garlic, mizuna, rapini, eggplant, watermelon radishes, cherry tomatoes, butterhead lettuce, rosemary

Small shares: Delicata squash, red fingerling potatoes, cabbage, vitamin green, yellow onion, Korean red garlic, sweet pepper, green beans, rosemary

Dear CSA members,

We have, at long last, arrived at our 18th and last delivery for the summer CSA. It has been an amazing journey from the delicate lettuces and strawberries of early summer to the heavy cabbages and winter squash of this last box. It all seems to have gone by so fast, and yet mid June seems so long ago at the same time. We, as a farm crew, are all ready for a bit of respite. But we will also be sad to see the season end, as many of our long time crew members will be moving on to bigger and better after this season.

This, being our 11th season as a small organic farm, in some ways blends together with the many seasons we have behind us. A few things stand out in my mind however.  It was the hottest, driest spring/summer that I can ever remember. In years past, we have always worried that we could get enough warm, sunny dry weather for our heat loving crops to mature. In fact too much water has always been a bit of a problem around here (big floods of 2007 ring a bell?) This year we had the opposite, with crop failures/yield reductions due to the hot dry conditions. Beans dropped blossoms during the hottest part of the summer, tomatoes experienced sunburn, sections of the potato and winter squash didn’t get the water they needed and had a smaller yield or in the case of the potatoes that did get water, grew so fast they developed hollow centers. Overall though, these crops as well as most of the fall greens and root crops experienced a nice comeback once we got that big rainstorm in late August and things cooled down a bit.

Second: we have some serious disease challenges that weren’t around when we started farming in this area 15 years ago. We have experienced an upswing in major diseases such as downy mildew in the onions, leaf rust fungus in the garlic, and clubroot in the brassicas (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage etc.). We trialed some new onions varieties with the help of High Mowing Seeds that are possibly disease resistant and are working on solutions for the club root as well as other pests such as flea and cucumber beetles that are continuous challenges for us. One thing that I know will be a positive for us is leasing 5 new acres for next year! Good crop rotation/fallow cycles are of the utmost importance when it comes to pests and diseases, as well as fertility management of our soil.

Third; thanks to you, our CSA had its most sucessful year ever! Our membership increased to the largest yet, and we had a higher percentage of folks pay in full, which really helps out our finances in the early season. We also had a higher percentage of returning members than ever, which is always a great feeling. Despite the challenges of the hot, dry season, and Joseph breaking his ankle, we were still able to deliver 18 weeks of gorgeous produce, with the large share receiving 15% more than they paid for in produce.

We are certainly appreciative of the support you have given us by becoming members of our CSA, and hope that you have been satistifed with your experience and the produce that you have received. We will be continuing on for four more weeks with our fall CSA option if you are interested in joining us and haven’t already done so. The majority of the crops that we produce in the fall can be stored for several weeks if not longer, so it is a great way to stock up on local produce for the winter months.

Wobbly Cart will also continue to be at the Olympia Farmers Market  through October Thursday through Sunday. November and December Saturday and Sundays. We offer 15% off for all our CSA customers at the market stand so come on down and see us this fall and winter!

I also thought I would go over a couple of crops that may be unfamiliar to you:

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.

Delicata Squash: These are, in my humble opinion, the best winter squash there is. Delicata have excellent sweet flavor, tender skins, and a very manageable size that make them easy to transport and process. 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!

Vitamin green: this asian green is similar to bok choy but more delicate in texture. I noticed that this batch is extra tender and likely to get slightly bruised. I would attribute this to the warm growing conditons we have been having this October. That said, you should probably use these up very soon! Vitamin green is also very sweet and delicious so that shouldn’t be a problem. They are great sautéed, or eaten fresh.

Rapini is essentially the Italian equivalent to turnip greens. Used extensively in Italian and Chinese cooking, it is not as popular in the United States but is gaining popularity. The stems are generally uniform in size (hence cook evenly) and need not be peeled. Clean it as you would other greens, removing the bottom portion of the stems which appear tough (sometimes the stems are tougher than other times depending on the age of the rapini). They stems can be removed up to where the leaves begin, and sautéed before adding the leaves to the pan. This vegetable is a source of vitamins A, C, and K, as well as potassium.  To maintain crispness, refrigerate, unwashed, loosely wrapped in a plastic bag or wrap for up to 3 days.

Thank you all and we hope to see you in the Fall CSA as well as in the 2016 Summer CSA!

Asha, Joe and the crew at Wobbly Cart

 

Delicata squash with rosemary, sage and cider glaze: Peel 2 medium delicata squash, cut lengthwise in half, scoop out the seeds. Cut each half lengthwise again, and then into 1 1/2 inch slices. Melt 3 tbsp butter in a large heavy skillet over low heat, add in 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh sage, 1 tbsp coarsely chopped fresh rosemary and cook 3 to 5 minutes, just until the butter begins to brown. Do not brown the herbs. Add the squash to the skillet, then add 1 1 /2 cups fresh apple cider, 1 cup water, 2 tsp sherry vinegar, and 1 tsp salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the glaze is reduced and the squash is tender about 20 to 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Sweet Pickled Onion Watermelon Radish Salad: Slice 1 small sweet onion into thin rounds, slice 1 large watermelon radish into thin rounds, Add 1/3 cup orange juice, 2 Tbsp olive oil, ½ tsp sea salt, ½ tsp pepper, 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar, and a splash of rice wine vinegar. Toss well. Place in fridge to chill overnight. Serve!

Rapini and garlic: Chop 3 cloves garlic. Heat 3 tbsp olive oil in a large skillet add the garlic and then the bunch of rapini that has the bottom of the stems removed and then been chopped. Turn the greens to wilt them and coat with the oil. Add 1 cup chicken broth, cover the pan, reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 to 12 minutes. Serve.

Watermelon Radish Chips with Cumin Salt: Peel 4 to 6 Watermelon Radishes and thinly slice. If you have a mandolin, this is ideal for getting the most uniformly thin slices. Heat 2 cups of vegetable oil in a small pot. When hot, toss a handful of radish, making sure you don’t crowd the pot. Fry for about 8 t 10 minutes until really brown. You’ll be tempted to take them out earlier, but you need them to crisp up. They do take longer than potato chips. Continue until done. Season each batch separately and set aside. To make cumin salt – add one tsp salt and ½ tsp cumin and mix in a small bowl, season the radish chip with this. Makes a great appetizer. (From janespice.com.)

Delicata Squash Rings: Preheat oven to 375. Take a whole delicata squash and slice it across sideways. This will make ring shapes out of it. Scoop the seeds out of the middles of your squash rings. Lightly oil a large cast iron skillet with olive oil. Lay the rings out in a single layer across the skillet. Place in the hot oven. Bake for about 10 minutes. Then flip the rings with a spatula. Bake the other side until both sides are lightly browned and the squash is tender. Remove from oven and serve.

Mustard Greens turnovers (could use rapini, vitamin green, or mizuna here): prehat oven to 400. place 1 lb mustard greens (stems removed) in a colander, rinse with cool water, and set aside. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add 1 cup chopped onion and cook until they are soft and translucent, about 3 minutes. Add 1 garlic clove, minced, and cook 1 minute more, add the chopped greens and cook unitl they wilt and are tender, about 5 minutes. transfer the green back to the colander and press to extract any extra liquid. place them in a large mixing bowl and stir in 5 oil-cured black olives that have been chopped, 8 slow-roasted tomato halves that have been finely chopped, and 1/4 cup feta cheese. You should have about 1 1/2 cups filling.

Unfold 2 sheets frozen puff pastry that has been defrosted onto a lighty floured surface. depending on pastry size, cut each sheet into four 4 inch squares. Divide the filling amongst 8 pastry squares, leaving a 1 inch border. Fold each square into a triangle, enclosing the filling, and seal the pastry by firmly pressing fork tines along the open edges. Use a sharp knife to make 2 1/2 inch long vents in the top of each turnover. Place the turnovers on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and brush their tops with beaten egg. Bake until golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes.