Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Wed/Thurs - Week # 19



Hi,

I hope you are doing well. Our small shares this week have pie pumpkins, butterhead lettuce (red or green), gold potatoes, red onion, orange yummi peppers, and garden huckleberries. Our full shares have all of that, including additional potatoes and peppers as well as boy choy and sweet potatoes. We are really getting into our fall produce with these shares, and with our first frost coming this morning, it is in good time.

New in the shares this week are our pie pumpkins, bok choi, huckleberries, and sweet potatoes. The pie pumpkins, as their name suggests, are pumpkins that are bred to be great for eating--especially making pies. Pumpkins have a fairly strong (as far as squash go) flavor that is nutty and goes well in all sorts of dishes--curries, dips, breads, pies, cakes, cookies. Though many food items are 'pumpkin' flavored, they are usually flavored with pumpkin pie spice (which is a mix of ginger, coriander, cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon) and though pumpkin goes very well with that--please don't be surprised when you eat the pumpkin that it doesn't taste like that on its own.

Bok choi, which is spelled many ways (pac choi), is a leafy green in the cabbage family (it also goes by the name Chinese Cabbage). It has a jiucy texture, and mildly sweet, green flavor that is very refreshing. These have been harvested very 'young', so they are tender and can be eaten raw, or steamed/sauteed very lightly.

Garden huckleberries are a special treat that our farmer, Tobie Schmucker, has been growing for years, and have slowly been gaining favor among our members/customers. They are in fact not related to true huckleberries; which are more like blueberries, and are instead a member of the nightshade famly (which also includes tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, and peppers). Tobie was kind enough to include a letter in the shares with instructions as to how to use them--just remember--they aren't meant to be eaten raw.

The sweet potatoes; which I assure you are not yams, are a great fall treat. They are slightly sweet and exceptionally smooth. In addition to using them any way you would a potato, you can also make breads, cakes, pies, and of course candied sweet potatoes with them.

As I mentioned above, we had our first frost this morning, and though I'm not sure yet how 'hard' it was, you should expect a noticeable shift in produce for next week and through the rest of the season. It is an exciting time of year on the farms, as the season dramatically pivots around this point.

Please remember to return your bags.

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

Enjoy!

-Mark


A Note on Returning Bags:

We have received a lot of feedback throughout the season concerning people feeling very guilty about not returning their bags; while it is clear that others have not returned their bags in quite a while. So you are aware, we began the season, with what should have been far more than enough bags (2,000 for ~400 members). We are currently down to ~150 extra; and because of the way we do our deliveries, there are around 3 times as many bags as members in circulation at any given time; which means that around 650 of our bags have 'gone missing' throughout the season. While this is something we are not thrilled about, we prepeared with more than enough bags at the beginning of the season, and should be fine through the remainder. Some people have called and emailed to ask if they can pick up their share if they don't return their bag for some reason--and the answer is yes. We have no way of tracking the bags, and you should not feel terrible if you forget for a week or two, just please don't let them pile up at home. At the end of the season, we will give everybody the option of keeping their final bag, and you are more than welcome to do so then, but until then, we really need them to be consistently returned to continue the program as it is.

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