This Week’s Share–Week 9

With all the excitement this week I forgot to give you a head’s up on what to expect in your Share–so now this is a head’s up on what you may have….keep in mind we have four groups with slightly different shares each week…but consistent categories.  Within a three week period everyone should have everything that’s available.

This week everyone got Fingerlings, Swiss chard, Peppers, Tomatoes, Melons, Winter Squash, and Daikons.  Here are the subtle differences and some hints and ideas–

French Fingerlings for the majority and Amarosa when those ran out.  Fingerlings are great–You don’t have to peel them, they can be roasted on the grille…but of course, I like mine fried–brown and crunchy with a little caramelized onion and maybe a pepper or two.  (I will try to have some hot peppers on the Extra’s Table since not everyone likes them–)

Swiss chard–ribbon slice and make the Swiss Chard Salad on the web site, or fry with olive oil and onion–salt and pepper to taste.  (I cut the stem off as it takes too long to cook.  You can actually save it and chop it up to stir fry at a later date with other things.)  My grandma only cooked chard one way:  Boiled, drained, and served with vinegar on the side.

PeppersSunrise Bell Peppers–First time harvested and went to one group!  Mixed sweet peppers with the Purple Islanders (which are now starting to take on some orange colors), Green Bells (new, too), a few of the Sunrise Bell Peppers, and some of the Antohi Romanian Frying Peppers (which are also maturing to beautiful shades of orange) went to the Thursday Pick Up group.  The Antohi’s are the best fried as they keep their shape and texture.  The Islanders are the best in salads…in my opinion…and both the green bells (Tom Cat by name–which may be taking on a little red) and the yellow (Sunrise) are thick-meated and good enough to eat like an apple.  The third group got the Yum-Yum Snack Peppers…just what they say:  Yum and a snack.  These are the most labor intensive and are usually bagged…but we have two beds so should have enough for everyone if we have time to pick them…(need help)….we may have you bag your own at pick up on Thursday’s.

Tomatoes--either the wonderful Polbig slicers–an all-around tomato, or the Artisan Cherry Tomatoes in a fancy little ziplock bag.  Never refrigerate your tomatoes–the texture can be mushy.  They are sensitive to cold and the skin will break down with refrigeration damage. Keep them on the counter or in a cool spot–they ripen from the inside out so watch them closely.  (For those that missed Pick Up, we bagged your share and put the tomatoes inside so they wouldn’t be missed–it is not our preference...)  

MelonsGalia is the orange netted ‘cantaloupe’ with a green ‘honey dew’ interior.  Full Moon is the Honey Dew this week–greener flesh and a lot sweeter…may not hold as long as the Honey White shared earlier in the season.  One of our members shared that he leaves his melons on the counter until he can smell them, then puts them in the fridge to chill them, and has them the same day. He is going to get a fuller flavor that way–just don’t forget to keep your ‘smeller’ going and heed the becken of the melon to be eaten!

Heirloom Crimson Sweets–This was our Labor Day present to EVERYONE!  Crimson Sweets are Family Reunions, Labor Day Picnics on the mountain with the melon floating in the cold creek, seed spitting contests…FUN!  (We have plenty of these–they are our pollinators for the seedless melons–ask if you’d like another!)

Winter Squash season is upon us!  Last week we started with the Delicata, Acorn, and Spaghetti squash…and we have continued…

Delicata (yellowish, long shape, with stripes) is very sweet and one of the few Winter squashes you can eat the skin…slice it up and fry it…with onion–leave the skin on.  To me it doesn’t have a thick enough meat to split, scoop, and bake in the oven…but it is good that way, too.  

Acorn Squash, Jet variety, is usually baked in the oven–I used to split, scoop out the seeds, and then place it upside down on the cookie sheet until I learned that they can become dry during the cooking process.  Now I split, scoop, and fill the cavity with olive oil or butter, and either a slice of onion, clove of garlic, or shallot.  Cover with foil to keep the steam in, and bake in the oven at 350 degrees for about an hour.  It will yield, or maybe crater, to your touch! You can cut a slice off the bottom to help it sit on the cookie sheet better.  (Often I cook several at the same time…we eat a couple with the meal and I place the others in the fridge for Squash bisque–recipe at http://www.lloydcraftfarms.com recipe tab.)

Spaghetti Squash, not pasta but can be fixed and slathered in Spaghetti sauce if you prefer. I learned a new way to cook these– Easy, too!  Slice off both ends of the squash–not deep into the seed cavity but just enough to expose the flesh.  Place whole in the oven at 350 degrees and bake for at least an hour.  (It won’t hurt to bake them 3 hours either–I did that a couple of weeks ago…went down for a short nap and woke up way later!)  When the flesh yields to your touch it is done–remove from oven, split in half and scope out the seeds.  The flesh will peel out in strings–thus the name “Spaghetti Squash”.  (I think cooking it this way keeps the moisture in and gives it a better flavor…maybe especially after 3 hours!)

Daikon RadishesAlpine white, Bravo purple, or Watermelon with the magenta insides! Daikon’s are a mainstay in the Asian diet.  I made Lacto-fermented Garlic Daikon’s this spring–different taste experience for sure.  I used the Bravo’s and they turned the liquid a beautiful pink color–fermented veggies can be kept in the fridge to snack on or add to other dishes.  You can also stir-fry Daikon’s, and shred them up for other dishes.  The Alpine and Bravo have a hotter, stronger radish flavor…the Watermelon is a little milder, especially when smaller.  These are your discovery items–see what you can do and share it with us! We eat the Watermelon radishes the most–sliced and chilled and added to salads or eaten as a snack.

The other items in the shares are monster Minuteman cauliflower, or Sugarsnax carrots, or Tendersweet Cabbage.  The carrots this year have been in short supply–poor germination in the spring, and so not a lot to Share.  One group got the Mokum’s earlier in the season, the Thursday group got the Sugarsnax this week.  We have some more Sugarsnax for the Friday delivery group this coming week.  The third variety of carrots we planted for the late fall harvest are Cosmic–purple outside and bright orange inside.  They will be ready in October–hopefully enough for everyone.

Enjoy!  Eat healthy, eat good–Every time you eat, think about what you are putting in your mouth…Think of us and don’t forget to pick up your shares on Thursday.  🙂 The Farmer’s Wife

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