Saturday, January 5, 2013

Winter CSA - Week # 5



Hi,

I hope you are doing well. Our shares this week include; sweet dumpling squash, red potatoes, watermelon radishes, green kale, yellow onions, red turnips, garlic, red beets, honey puffed spelt, and canned sweet peppers in tomato sauce.

New in the shares this week are: red potatoes, red turnips, honey puffed spelt, and our canned sweet peppers in tomato sauce.

Red potatoes have thin skins and are used like gold potatoes, mostly for roasting and stewing. The ones included this week are smaller, so they are especially nice in soups/stews, or roasted whole, though they will still work well chopped up into potato salad, or mashed.

Red turnips are very similar to the purple top and white turnips in taste and texture, and are prepared the same ways--roasted or stewed.

The honey puffed spelt was grown by Aaron Schmucker's family, and processed at a small mill in Ohio. They are coated lightly with honey and puffed with hot air.  You can eat it as a breakfast cereal, or use it in homemade granola.

The sweet peppers in tomato sauce is a new product for us this year. It is made from a mix of sweet peppers we grew this summer, and canned at a small local canning facility in Punxsutawney.  It is especially great as a topping for italian sausage, but can work equally well in pasta sauce, or as a dip for bread, or sauce for pizza.

You might have noticed that your beets this week are pretty large--some are especially enormous.  Beets can be grown over over an extended season, and if the soil and conditions are right--sometimes end up gigantic, like these.  They taste the same as smaller beets, and are much easier to peel.  If it's too much for you to eat in a single meal, feel free to cut it in half  and wrap the other half--it will stay for a week or more in the fridge like that.

You might notice that the kale looks a little different this week as well.  This is truly the last of the last of our kale, and most of you only received a small amount, but it's all we have.  When harvesting kale, you normally only trim the large leaves at the bottom of the plant, and leave the small ones on top to mature, but at this point in the season, you just cut the whole top off--thus killing the plant, but salvaging what's left from the frost.  Kale is an incredibly hardy plant, it was our first crop this spring, and is our last to be harvested this fall.  It will surely be missed these next few months, so savor what little you have.

The co-operative is doing fairly well.  The farmers are glad for such a strong frost, and are preparing to 'harvest' the ice from their ponds to use in their ice houses for next summer.  If you haven't had the chance to check them out on our farm tours, our farmers cut and stack giant sheets of ice from their ponds in highly insulated rooms adjacent to their barns to keep their produce cool throughout the summer.  They should get enough ice from a frost like this to last well through next year, and will probably have a lot of ice left from this even in 2014.  It's a great way to keep the produce cool without using electricity, and it has the added advantage of being much higher humidity than a normal cooler; which would dry out the produce quickly.

Please remember to return your bags.

If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact me.

Enjoy!

-Mark

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