Saturday, September 15, 2012

Sunday - Week # 16



Hi,

I hope you are doing well. Our small shares this week have okra, mixed varietis of winter squash, russet potatoes, rutabagas with their greens, parsley, red poblano peppers, and candy onion.  Our full shares have all of that except the okra, plus additional squash, potatoes, and peppers, as well as ground cherries.

I am sad to say that this is our final week for our Peak of the Season members. We have had a really great response to the program, and hope everybody who participated has enjoyed it as much as we have. It's hard to believe how fast the summer has flown by, and that indeed, the weather is finally cooling, and our peak produce season will now slowly come to an end.

New in the shares this week are our turban squash, pie pumpkins, rutabagas, red poblanos, and russet potatoes.  The turban squash (which came in all of the full shares), are very large, fleshy winter squash, with a very starchy flesh that is slightly sweet and nutty.  Because of their shape, they are great stuffed and served for the whole family.  Their moist, starchy texture also lends them well to mashing, or using almost anyway you would sweet potatoes.  Our small shares this week have a large variety of squash, all of which you have received before, except pie pumpkins.  Pie pumpkins have a very flavorful, moist flesh, that of course goes well in anything you would expect pumpkin too--pie, muffins, bread, cookies, curry, etc.  Some people are surprised by the taste of pumpkin, since they usually associate pumpkin with pumpkin pie spice (usually a mix of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, allspice, ginger and lemon zest); which goes very well with pumpkin, but doesn't really resemble its flavor.

Rutabagas are a starchy root vegetable in the cabbage family.  They have a wonderful crunch and lightly sweet, juicy flavor.  You can eat them raw, or cook them as you would potatoes (they are somewhat between a potato and a turnip in consistency--but closer to a potato).  They make great fries or chips, and are also good roasted, boiled, or pan fried.  Their greens also have a lightly sweet, mild flavor that I think you will enjoy.  You can cook them any way you would kale or collards, though they have a more mild flavor, so they are probably best paired with something else.  The red poblanos are a very special treat--they are hotter, frutier, and more flavor-intense than the green poblanos.  You might have had dried red poblanos before; which are known as anchos, and are used very widely in Mexican cuisine.  The russet potatoes are probably the most ubiquitous of potatoes.  They are known as baking-potatoes, and are starchier, and have tougher skins than red or gold potatoes--making them great for mashing, frying, or baking.

Our Winter CSA is coming together nicely.  We have posted a list of produce we are planning to have in the shares, as well as the prices and dates on our web site.  We wiill keep almost all of our location in Pittsburgh, but still have to hear back from a couple places before we can open registration.  While almost everything we grow is still in season now, as the weather gets cooler, the plants will generally slow their growth, and yields will decline--though some plants that thrive in cooler weather, for instance lettuces and some greens will actually fare better, while still growing slower. As this continues, a whole variety of fall/storage crops will come into season, and we should have a pretty big shift in our produce over the next few weeks, with lots of new items replacing those that are on their way out.

Please remember to return your bags.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact me.

Enjoy!

-Mark

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