Some of you may not have had Spaghetti Squash before. Basically, it is a winter squash, which means that it is in it's mature form when harvested and will store until the winter if cured properly (unlike summer squash). You'll be able to try various winter squash types this fall: butternut, acorn, delicata, sweet dumpling, hubbard, and cushaw. "Spaghetti" is just the first that we'll give out. When you slice them open, the whitish flesh will look similar to other winter squash, but once cooked, the flesh comes apart like spaghetti noodles. You can use them as a replacement for spaghetti in recipes, in fact. The simplest way to prepare it: poke several holes in the squash with a sharp knife and bake (in a pan of some sort, to catch any juice) whole in the oven at around 375 for an hour. Once cooled, you can slice it in half, scoop out the seeds, and then you've got some nutritious, vegetable spaghetti! If you won't get to use the spaghetti squash for a while, no problem. It should stay in good shape for weeks at room temperature or in your refrigerator.
On the farm, we've been busy continuing to prep for fall, including transplanting greens from the shadecloth-covered greenhouse. The plants are very sensitive to heat and sun until they're settled into the soil though, so that means that between 5:30 pm and dark are the only real opportunity that we have to plant them. Cucumbers, summer squash, and snap beans are almost done. They've had a nice, long run though!
Eggplant: We have a few varieties/colors. All can be used interchangeably. Although often bitter-tasting when eaten raw, salting/rinsing/draining, along with cooking, help tame eggplant into a kitchen favorite.
Spaghetti Squash: Description above!
Arugula/Greens: Return of the greens. Use for salad or toss a handful in with a stir-fry or omelet!
Garlic: Our garlic is now cured, and should store fine without its stem in a dark place out of the fridge (like a cabinet). Separate into individual cloves and discard the papery skins before each use.
Onions: We’ll be giving out our bulb onions, which can be stored like garlic.
Green Peppers: These sweet peppers will either be the bell shape that most people are used to or the "bull nose" shape, which are longer and used just the same. Stuff and bake them, eat them in salads, cut them into long pieces for dipping, pickle them, etc.
Potatoes: You may or may not receive these this week. Either white, red, or Yukon gold potatoes. These should be used within the next couple of weeks and won’t store long-term. Avoid letting light hit the potatoes, which will then develop a green tint and be bad to eat. I recommend keeping them in a paper bag in the fridge or in your cabinet.
Cucumbers: You'll either receive dark green Marketmoore cukes or the Indian "Poona Kheera" cukes. A note about the latter: these short fruits are unique because they will be anywhere from small and almost white to fat and brown like a russett potato. They're crisp and delicious at any stage, skin and all. Use in salads, as crunchy snacks, in cool soups, in pickles, etc.
Green Beans: A lot of y'all have told us how much you love these beans. We love them, too. The fact that they're stringless doesn't hurt either. Use raw, pickle them, or steam them for an easy side dish.
Summer Squash: We have a few types...Sunburst Patty Pan, Zephyr, Benning's Green Tint, Yellow Crookneck, and Black Beauty Zucchini! Get creative with recipes, but when in doubt, stir fry it!
Okra: This southern crop is delicious and underappreciated by many. A favorite way to cook it is to slice pods in half, toss with salt and spices and oil, and roast in the oven. We grow "Red Burgundy", "Hill Country Red", "Clemson Spineless", and "Star of David". Try boiling, pickling, stirfrying, etc.
Tomatoes: Yay! We’re growing many varieties of both heirlooms and hybrids: Pink Beauty, New Girl, Green Zebra, Cherokee Purple, Garden Peach, Nebraska Heirloom, Italian Heirloom, Amish Paste, San Marzano, Trucker’s Favorite, etc.
You will receive one of the following herbs this week:Basil: The basil has been struggling with the cool/wet weather, but hopefully we'll have some for you. It is the classic summer herb! Goes great with tomatoes. Blend up with garlic, nuts, and oil to make pesto. To maintain freshness for longer, store at room temperature in a jar with an inch of water in the bottom.
Sage: It pairs great with potatoes and dries very well if you don't get to it.