Storage Share 2017

Many of you ordered one of our special storage shares for the 2017 season.  This means that the goodness of the CSA can last for a little bit longer even after our regular season is over.

Included in this year’s storage share:

Squash

Beets

Potatoes

Sweet Potatoes

Garlic

Leeks

Kohlrabi

Daikon Radishes

Hot Peppers

Herbal Tea

Pickled Green Tomatoes or Beans

Dried Savory, thyme or Tulsi Basil

Sun Chokes

 

Most of these items will store well with no intervention in a cool dry place (the fridge is ok if you don’t have another place).  Make sure that moisture is not present when storing, especially if your item is in a plastic bag you will need to check for this.  If you can see visible moisture, open the bag and add a paper towel or other moisture absorbing item in the bag with the item.  Potatoes and sweet potatoes as well as winter squash could be stored nicely in paper bags.  The hot peppers should be hung until dry.  Daikons, leeks, sunchokes, beets and Kohlrabi might be best in the fridge until use.  Tea and dried herbs can go where your other teas are, and the pickled item on a cool dry shelf somewhere.  Enjoy!!

Week 20, Final Week 2017

Hello! This is the last week for our 2017 CSA season.  The first frost finally came Wednesday morning, a little later than usual.  Some of our more tender crops saw their final day and some of our hardier crops enjoy a little cold to build additional sweetness.  We have had a very successful season and we would like to thank you all for participating.  Please sign up again, starting now.  Prices for returning members are locked in at the current year prices so make sure you sign up before there is a slight increase for 2018.

In this week’s box:

Parsley or Lemongrass

Salad Mix or Spinach or arugula

Beets or radishes

Collards or Kale or Broccoli Greens

Green Peppers

Garlic

Swiss Chard (Tuesday) or Radishes (Friday/Saturday)

 

Week 18

Hi again.  We are nearing the end of the season here at City Commons.  In the boxes this week:

Tulsi Basil (Tuesday)

Sage (Friday)

Cooking Greens

Tomatoes

Garlic

Potatoes

Sweet Potato Greens

Kohlrabi or Bok Choi (Tuesday)

Daikon Radish or Hakuri Turnips (Saturday)

Onions

 

For this week’s recipe, I have included an idea for a tulsi tea mixture that sounds delicious.  Tulsi is also known as holy basil and has many beneficial properties.  It its particularly useful for clearing mental fogginess and for fighting antigens.  It is also a strong anti-inflamitory.  I suggest drying the tulsi before using it in this recipe.  You can do this with any left over or unused herb too.  Hang upside down in a well ventilated spot away from direct sunlight.  Herbs will dry within a week.  Store in a paper bag until ready to use.

Ingredients:

  • 1 quart pure water
  • 4T tulsi leaf or 2T powder
  • 2T lemon grass
  • 1T coriander seeds
  • 1t anise seeds
  • 1/4t vanilla powder or vanilla stevia
  • 1/2t dried ginger root pieces or 1t fresh
  • 1T coconut sugar or raw honey

Directions:

  1. Infuse the above ingredients in boiling hot water for 20 minutes in a 1 quart jar with a lid.
  2. Strain, then add sweeteners and vanilla.
  3. Drink as a hot cup of tea or serve iced.
  4. You can store in the refrigerator for several days.

 

 

Week 16

Here’s to another delicious week at City Commons CSA.  Cheers!

This week we have:

Swiss Chard

Apples

Tomatoes (cherry and heirloom mix)

Beets

Salad Mix

Parsley or Lemongrass

Collards or Mustard Greens or Spinach

Green Tomatoes or Eggplant

 

Spinach or Swiss chard recipe idea.  So, I’ve noticed that pine nuts are less expensive than they were in years past, and I have been buying them to put in my pesto (yum).  And then I remembered this delicious dish I used to make at Zingerman’s that is Spanish in origin and super simple.  Sauté your spinach or chard with a generous amount of olive oil and a small amount of garlic.  Do this on medium heat to wilt the greens rather than give color.  (Use a large pan and stuff as many greens as you can into it.  It will cook down).  Once wilted, add raisins and salt, cook until the raisins are plump.  Add toasted pine nuts.  And chunks of soft goat cheese (optional).  Serve warm.

Week 15

There is plenty to enjoy this week as you work your way through another delicious box.  Lots of greens are testament to the late summer cool weather we’ve had.

Swiss Chard

Braising Greens (including, collards, chard, kale, mustard)

Tomatoes (either cherry or heirloom)

Eggplant

Savory

Salad Mix

Apples

Garlic

I don’t know about you, but my fridge is beginning to be packed with extras from weeks past.  I usually eat up what is most perishable first and leave some things that have storage potential for later.  This has encouraged the accumulation of certain things in my crisper drawer.  I really like to make a large pot of soup when I have a variety of veg that I just can’t seem to get onto the table in any other way.  My kids have become increasingly picky eaters and will pick out large chunks of things that they find undesirable.  I have begun making smaller cuts to have a more uniform soup that is harder to pick apart.  The result is rewarding.  Its prettier and the kids eat it all!  I always start with onions, carrots and celery.  Last night I added ground beef and cut it into chunks (this was the only chunky thing in the soup) with the spoon.  Garlic, black pepper and a little bit of salt.  Then cabbage, green beans, eggplant, herbs.  I like to grind up my tomatoes in a blender before adding them to soup so I don’t get the skins floating on the top and the bitter seeds in the soup.  I added three blended tomatoes, water, barley and a spoonful of Better than Bouillon (the secret ingredient to making quick and yummy soups).  I left on an errand for an hour, and presto!  Quick and delicious soup that everyone ate.

Now for the braising greens.  What is braising?!  It is using dry and hot heat followed by wet and low heat to cook something.  In this case you will be braising your greens.  I really like to start with either bacon or butter or both (sorry vegans! You could also use olive oil or peanut or raw sesame).  Add onions, this is the dry part.  Make sure those onions get coated in fat and become translucent, give them a little color.  Add black pepper.  Use lots of fat, that is the flavor for this dish.  Now, while that is cooking, run a knife through your greens and wash them.  Extract your greens from the water and put them WET into the pot (oh, this needs to be a pot, not a pan).  Reduce the heat and stir to coat greens in fat and onion mixture.  Cover to wilt greens, uncover and stir.  Let cook for 30-45-60 minutes (depending on greens used and preference, collards take the longest to cook), add salt and pepper to taste.

This is a great way to use up an abundance of greens at once.  Since they will cook down, add two or more bunches to your large stew pot.  You will be surprised at how many greens you can eat!!

Week 14

This week’s box contains lots of goodies!  There is one item with which many people are unfamiliar, sweet potato greens.

Other items include:

Tomatoes (cherry or heirloom)

Basil (last week)

Beans or Salad Mix

Eggplant

Collard Greens

Peppers (The little ones are shishito, larger ones are bell)

Parsley

Sweet Potato Greens

So what would one do with sweet potato greens?  I have stir fried them and put them in soup.  But for more information, I turned to the World Wide Web.  Cultures across the world use these greens as a source of vitamins and food.  Some have suggested adding them to omelettes or quiche.  Others have suggested using them for a substitute spinach in recipes like saag paneer.  Try them and let us know what you think.

 

Sweet Peppers in all their Colorful Varities

We farmers use the term sweet peppers to refer to any pepper that’s not spicy and, generally, one that has started to turn from green to red, yellow, or orange. When peppers change colors from green they tend to gain a little sweetness, hence “sweet peppers” In this week’s share you’ll receive one of two different varieties of sweet peppers, either cubanelles,  long skinny peppers, or shishitos, a small, slender, wrinkled pepper.

You may be more familiar with cubanelles. While both peppers can be eaten fresh, these are going to be the better option. They have thicker walls, are juicier, and sweeter. Cubanelles are also delicious roasted or grilled with just a little olive oil and salt.

Shishitos are common in Japanese cooking, and while considered a sweet pepper you want to be careful, about one on ten has a spicy kick! This is the first year I’ve grown shishitos at Iroquois Ave Farm and I’ve been eating my fair share. My favorite way to prepare them is to roast them in a hot pan until the skin is blistered. This is the recipe I’ve been using: Roasted Shishito Peppers. They’re great just on their own or with a yogurt dipping sauce. Or you can roast them with sesame oil and make a ginger/soy dipping sauce. Either way I hope you enjoy them as much as I have been!

 

 

Week 13

This week, we have an abundant harvest which is sure to require a larger bag for picking up.

Beets or Carrots

Eggplant or Summer Squash

Celery or Hot Peppers

Salad Mix

Kale

Cherry Tomatoes

Green Tomatoes

Grab your share and get cooking!

 

My youngest daughter is a little bit picky.  She likes vegetables but only sometimes.  I’m not sure what the secret formula is or if it depends on her mood but I have a plan for sneaking kale into her little body.  Potato and Kale Gratin was suggested to me by one of our members.  Try it and let us know how it turns out!