Veggies that you May have Seen–

Hello CSA Members–wanted to introduce you to some of the veggies you may have seen this week and give you some suggestions for them:

Pueblo Chili Peppers–these are hot…You may have gotten them three to a bag…except one person got two Pueblo’s and a Jalapeno…I was one pepper short and subbed the Jalapeno!  They are best known for the developed flavor they gain from roasting.  They are good chopped up and added to dishes, too.  Like most hot peppers, not every one of them is hot…these seem to be a little hotter than our Jalapenos, but definitely not as hot as a Habanero.

Red cabbage–this is the last of the early red cabbage.  Red cabbage can be used in all the same ways as the green cabbage.  It does lose color when cooked, but not flavor.  Super Red is a thick leaved cabbage that is best cut thin if eaten raw.  For this season, you had a small green head known as Gonzales, a larger head with a nice sweet flavor known as Farao, and a huge flattened cabbage known as Tendersweet.  Tendersweet is the one that can be used in the place of bread for wraps…it also can make some excellent slaw!  The leaf may be too thin to hold up for cabbage burgers–for that I would suggest the Farao.  We have one more cabbage to introduce you to this season: Deadon.  It will be harvest after the first frost which enhances its flavor.  It is a bright colorful head of both Magenta and Green.

Celery–home-grown celery is much stronger in flavor than store bought–part of this is due to the age of the celery in the store, and part of this is they can sell celery to more people if the flavor is milder.  Man oh man, does it cook up good in soups!  The celery leaves can be dried to add to soups for winter, or crumbled up and added to other dishes.  We do not trim the outer leaves off…you may need to remove some of them–they are tougher by nature.  They can be cooked down in soup stock with onions for a great flavor…both are discarded when done having imparted their flavor to the broth.

Onions–we introduced the Red Zeppelin onion this week.  The Sweet Spanish and sweet Candy are gone.  The other we harvest is the white Sierra Blanca which is a great all around onion–considered mild, great flavor fried, and not too bad raw.  Our yellow onions are drying down to be pulled and stored for use in October and into the winter.

Tomatoes–I think everyone has had the Artisan Cherry tomatoes…some had the Indigo Cherry Drops this week…both are labor intensive!  It takes hours to pick enough for one group, let alone everyone.  The time we spend picking cherry tomatoes robs us from harvesting other things, like potatoes and carrots.  This week we had Tiren paste tomatoes for Thursday Pick Up at The Farm.  These paste tomatoes are supposed to be the rave of chef’s for sauces!  Paste tomatoes are thick-meated and thick-skinned and will hold up better in most cooking–especially the San Marazano, of which the Tiren is a variety.  Celebrity are a good all around tomato…as is the Polbig that we started the season with.  Celebrity is your canner and your slicer.  We also grow Heirloom tomatoes which are thin-skinned and do not keep long at all.  It has been difficult to get the Heirlooms into the shares this season.  Many of them split on the plant, and ripened up when the heat hit earlier in the season.  After that their production was diminished.  The Granadero is our salad paste–and the ones we put in the Mulligan Stew kits.  Tomatoes should never be refrigerated, but ideally kept at 55-60 degrees.  Refrigeration gives them a mealy-texture.  I would recommend the Celebrity as a canner, and the Granadero as one to freeze.

Bell Peppers–We have shared Islander peppers early in the season:  purple to orange…and now the Tom Cats:  green to red…with a muddy brown in between.  We had a limited supply of Sunrise–bright gold, and the Polaris–all green.  The season started with the Antohi Romanian- a European Frying Pepper which is ready 2 weeks earlier than the rest and lasts well into the fall…we are still harvesting them!

Mulligan Stew kits–this is a tradition for us!  Everyone got the kits and recipe.  If you lost the directions you can get another at, the Recipe tab.  When is it time for Mulligan Stew?–about now…When is it time to harvest for Mulligan Stew?–when the cabbage sprouts are big enough and solid! Mulligan can be made vegetarian, too.  It is the great vegetables that make it so tasty–and you have all those, right from the garden!

Winter Squash–You have now all received a variety of early Winter Squash…those that don’t need to be cured but are sweet right off the plant…Acorn, Spaghetti, Delicata, Sweet Dumpling, and Carnival.  They will no longer be in the Shares, but if you want to purchase some they will be available for sale at Thursday Pick Up–$85/pound.  The Winter Squash that will be harvested the next couple of weeks are for storage:  Red Kuri, Butternut, Buttercup, Hidatsa, several varieties of Hubbards.  I do have a small Hubbard called Golden Nugget that will be in the shares the first week in October, and then Butternut sometime later.  Early Winter Squash will keep for a month or two…the storage kind can keep longer with the Hubbard’s kept into the early Spring.  Temperature is key:  not too hot.  Stem must be intact and there can be no gouges, deep scratches, or spots that can spoil.  Winter Squash is highly nutritious.  I often bake the squash in the oven, and then keep it in the fridge to eat the next day.  It can be served mashed with butter, or made into a bisque soup.  There is an easy and good recipe on our web.  Of course, the easiest way to cook squash is to cut it in half, scoop out the seeds, and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and a clove of garlic; Cover with foil, and bake at 350 degrees for an hour or more.  Eat with a spoon, right out of the shell!

That about covers it for this week.  We’ll be moving into Potatoes next week…some beets…and more carrots.  Thanks for being a part of the CSA and trying this new stuff.  If you have any questions–ASK!

The Farmer’s Wife

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