How great has this weather been?! This past weekend felt incredible...a sign that fall is right around the corner. The pastures are full of color: yellow, white, purple, and green. The humidity is letting up, and the fog settles in every evening. We have been cleaning out our bottom land fields of produce in preparation for the winter. Any leftover corn, winter squash, melons, and dry beans have been harvested. We will fence off sections of the fields and then let a herd of American Milking Devon cows mow and fertilize behind the crops. A cover crop mixture of clover, buckwheat, rye, daikon radishes, turnips, etc. will then be sown to build the soil back up over the winter.
For this week, we're hoping to have a couple of new items. One of these is something that you may have tried at Japanese restaurants as an appetizer: Edamame! These are fresh soybeans that, when boiled with salt and then shelled, make a delicious snack. We grow a variety called "Moon Cake".
The other new addition that we hope to have for you is the Cushaw pumpkin. These are one of the oldest cultivated crops in North America, going back thousands of years and still widely grown by the Hopi tribe. They are also becoming more rarely grown, and are listed on Slow Food Foundation's "Ark of Taste". Don't be intimidated by its size! You can treat it like a regular cooking pumpkin. It should store for at least a couple of weeks at room temperature. Keep an eye on it to catch it before it starts to go bad. We recommend cutting it in half, scooping out the seeds, baking in the oven until the flesh is soft, then scooping out and pureeing the flesh to be frozen for use over the fall and winter. Alternatively, you can skin the pumpkin first, then cut into 2" pieces and boil until soft. Cushaws make excellent pumpkin pies, pumpkin butter, soup base, and more. Let us know if you need more advice.
Cushaw Pumpkin: This is an heirloom green and white striped pumpkin. It should store for at least a couple of weeks at room temperature. Keep an eye on it to catch it before it starts to go bad. We recommend cutting it in half, scooping out the seeds, baking in the oven until the flesh is soft, then scooping out and pureeing the flesh to be frozen for use over the fall and winter. Cushaws make excellent pumpkin pies, pumpkin butter, soup base, and more.
Edamame Soybeans: These pods can be boiled in salt water for a delicious snack! Recipe Below
Greens Mix: Use for salad or toss a handful in with a stir-fry or omelet!
Onions: We’ll be giving out our bulb onions, which can be stored like garlic.
Eggplant: Hopefully, we'll have enough this week. 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.
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. We have greens, reds, oranges, etc.
Melons: Sugar Baby watermelons or "Kansas" cantaloupe. If they aren't as sweet as you like 'em, add a touch of salt or sugar.
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.
Hot Chili Peppers: We will not include these in our boxes, so be sure to let us know if you want some. We have red serranos and both green and red (ripe) jalapenos.
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.