Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Wed/Thurs - Week # 16



Hi,

I hope you are doing well. Our small shares this week have sweet corn, russet potatoes, green kabocha squash, shallots, green kale, mixed tomaoes, and mixed color bell peppers. Our full shares have all of that, including additional corn, squash, shallots, and potatoes, as well as lettuce mix and celeriac.

New in the shares this week are our russet potatoes, green kabocha squash, shallots, red/yellow bell peppers, and celeriac. 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. A few weeks ago I did a squash feature at Whole Foods Market, and offered green kabocha, butternuts, and acorn squash--and to my surprise--most people said the kabocha was their favorite. It has a smooth, moist texture, and a sweet, chestnut-like flavor--somewhat similar to the pumpkin, but more mild (in some countries, it is actually called Japanese Pumpkin). It is especially popular in Japan, where it is prepared all sorts of ways, but is commonly made into soup.

Shallots are in the allium family of plants; which also incudes onion and garlic, and they have a flavor reminiscent of each. They are usually used similarly to garlic, though their raw taste is not so astringent, so they are more usable in salads or on sandwiches. The red/yellow bell peppers are sweeter and fruitier than the green bell peppers, and though you are probaby used to seeing them around, they are something of a rarity when it comes to organic produce. It is exceedingly difficult to get peppers to last long enough on the plant to change colors fully before they get pests/mold, so they are usually harvested earlier, and it is rare that we have much, if any, peppers like this in a season. The celeriac (also known as celery root) is a starchy root vegetable with a consistency similar to a potato, though a little harder/drier, and a rich herbal flavor. They are wonderful on their own, or mixed with potatoes--just cut the skin off and prepare them as you would a potato, being mindful that they are a bit drier and will end up a bit crispier.

We had a great monthly meeting with our growers today, and everything seems to be going along nicely. There are lots of new items coming into season in the next few weeks, and we are excited for the fall, and hoping it will go as well as this summer has. This cool weather is threatening something of an early first frost (it usually comes around the middle of October) as well; which won't throw anything off to much, but has the growers very busy trying to get everything in order so they are prepared. Plans for the Winter CSA have been finalized, and you will receive a separate email later this week with more info and a link to sign up.

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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