Here’s what to expect in your share and some advice about how to enjoy and store…if you have any leftover after the holiday festivities! Extras this month include apples by the bushel, fresh cranberries, several unique and interesting potatoes, including fingerling, a variety of winter squashes to grace your centerpiece and then fill your plate, meats and cheeses, and some staples like bulk carrots, potatoes, and cabbage, honey, and maple syrup.
Hard frost hit the Pioneer Valley this week spelling the end of summer crops, but the beginning of wonderful for many of our fall and winter foods which get their best flavor and storage quality after such cold temperatures. The fields are getting tucked into bed with their cover crop covers now nicely green and established, feeding the soil for next spring and summer’s plantings. However, many fields are still occupied by this year’s food, such as kale, brussels sprouts, leeks, still yet to be picked and brought fresh to the kitchen table and home stores.
The squash, sweet potatoes, onions and garlic have all been curing at just the right temps and timing for the best eating and storage quality. All the potatoes and some of the roots, the peppers and tomatillos, and cabbages have all been harvested ahead of now and in cold storage, washed and packed yesterday and today for our shares.
Lettuce, herbs, and other more tender greens, if grown under shelter of a hoop house or covered with insulating fabric for a heavy frost, can be harvested well into the colder months of fall. And Brussels Sprouts are the best after a hard frost–the farms are able to harvest these and other greens once they’ve spruced up in the warmth of the day.
As this page from Cedar Circle Farm in VT explains, there’s nothing like Brussels Sprouts harvested at their peak, after a hard frost: “It is well worth noting that often store bought Brussels sprouts are picked too early, and it shows in their bitter flavor and tough texture. Picking them fresh from the farm or garden after a few frosts sweetens the flavor and makes them tender, offering a whole different experience! Try them roasted, along with some other yummy fall veggies.”
What to expect in your October share (# means “pounds”):
Early Bird Discount for winter shares: save 10% if you signup for Shared Harvest winter share by May 31.
Early spring is when the farms are most in need of dedicated support from shareholders as they complete their crop plans, buy supplies, repair, and purchase equipment, hire their crews and begin growing the food for our shares.
Choose one month or all of the winter months! Click Here to Sign-Up
Hi everyone! Now that the winter is wrapping up, we’ll be working on our site a bit. You’ll notice some changes this week and next–bear with us as we work to get all of our content reorganized and updated.
Thanks for a wonderful winter season! Come visit us at Arlington EcoFest on Saturday, March 24th. Stay tuned for details!
New England is turning more grey and brown, typical of November. Our rainbow palette of fresh food will surely brighten the day, though. Giving thanks to the hard work of all the farms this year–it’s been an amazing harvest!
The hyperlinks on the vegetable names take you to a lot of recipes and information about those vegetables. If you’ve never had popcorn from the farm, please check out the tips at the end of this post and Enjoy!
Use these within a week or so (or blanch or make a dish for freezing):
Brussels Sprouts, bag from Riverland ( roast, steam, braise, or blanch for the freezer),
Spinach from Picadilly (or blanche and freeze, or make pesto and store for weeks in fridge)
Arugula from Picadilly (or make pesto and store for weeks in the fridge)
Kale “curly” Winterbor—2 bunches, from Riverland—great in soups, grated and marinated for a salad, or kale chips!
These will keep for a couple of weeks in your fridge crisper drawer:
Leeks—keep whole or chop for soup and freeze (no need to blanch) from Picadilly
These will keep for many weeks in cold storage (keep moist in bag, with some ventilation):
Apples–storage varieties, 5#, from Cider Hill. All apples today will store well, except for Empire which is good now, but should be used on the sooner side (won’t stay as crisp for as long as others). Most sources recommend storing apples separately from other cold storage items as they have a ripening agent which may hasten other items past their prime.
Carrots – 6#, from Riverland
Cabbage (red or green), from Riverland and Picadilly— sauerkraut or kimchi ideally is made asap
Potatoes – 8#, white from Picadilly
These will keep for many weeks in cool, dry conditions (40-55 degrees), like a shelf in your basement or unheated room as long as it doesn’t freeze; store in paper bags:
Garlic ½ #(can also be stored in a tightly closed jar in the refrigerator), from Riverland
Onions, yellow, 2#, from Harlow Farm in VT
These will keep for a several weeks in your kitchen or in a cool dry cellar:
Winter Squash, 3 pieces, from Picadilly. good idea to inspect these periodically and use (or peel and freeze) blemished ones.
These will keep for months at 50-70 degrees—NOT COLD STORAGE:
Sweet potatoes 4#’s, from Riverland
Popcorn Cellar, cool, damp, or room temperature if using within a couple of months
Once a week, shell a few kernels and try popping them. When the test kernels are popping well and tasting good, shell and store the rest of the kernels in sealed, airtight containers. If stored popcorn fails to pop, it may be too dry. Add 1 tablespoon of water to a quart of popcorn. Cover and shake at frequent intervals until the popcorn has absorbed the water. After 3 or 4 days, test pop a few kernels to see if it is ready. A number of winter shareholders have had good luck putting the cob of popcorn directly into a microwave.
Share contents for Saturday, October 21, 2017
Also check out Jackie Starr’s menu suggestions and recipe links on our website!
Use these within a week or so (or blanche or make a dish for freezing):
Lettuce-1 head, from Riverland
Spinach, from Picadilly Mixed greens– a bunch or bag, from Riverland (great braised or sauted!) Kale—2 bunches, from Riverland—soups, grated and marinated for a salad, or chips
Red Italia Peppers-1# Picadilly
Herb bunch, from Picadilly
These will keep for a couple of weeks cold in your fridge crisper drawer:
Brussels Sprouts, pop off the stalk from Riverland Leeks (2 bunches)—keep whole or chop for soup and freeze (no need to blanche) Salad (Hakurei) turnips – a bunch (cut off the greens and use them first)
Napa Cabbage—ideally wrap in a wet towel to keep extra moist
These will keep for many weeks in cold storage (keep moist in bag, with some ventilation, back of fridge or cold cellar or garage, 33-45 degrees, humid) Carrots – 5#, from Riverland Potatoes – 5#, white from Picadilly Beets – 3#, from Picadilly Celeriac— from Picadilly, peel and slice or grate as an excellent salad or stirfry ingredient, steam and mash like potatoes, Cabbage from Riverland—(if you are making sauerkraut or kimchi, do that asap)
These will keep for many weeks in cool, dry conditions (40-55 degrees), like a shelf in your basement or unheated room as long as it doesn’t freeze; store in paper bags: Garlic ½ #(can also be stored in a tightly closed jar in the refrigerator), from Picadilly Onions, yellow, 2#, from Riverland
These will keep for a few weeks in your kitchen or in a cool dry cellar:
Acorn/Carnival Squash, 3 pieces, from Picadilly
These will keep for months at 50-70 degrees, in paper bags or box
—NOT COLD STORAGE: Sweet potatoes 4#’s, from Riverland
This particularly intense hurricane season brings on, in varying stages, thoughts about resilience.
Those of us not in the path of direct damage to our homes and towns, and too far away to serve as immediate refuge, still dry and warm here in the sun…we certainly recognize our good fortune on this particular day. But we can also already adopt wide angle vision, consider cause and effect, and ponder or investigate how our own region might react, and invest in ways to prepare now to prevent damage and rebound from a future storm like Harvey or Irma.
This year my family was invited to “rescue” our friend’s two peach trees from too much fruit! (Though the 2016 flower buds froze, the roots, branches, and leaves were largely unharmed.) The trees bounced back, certainly. What about the orchards?
I’ll be there along with Bruce Wooster–stop by for a chat! Bring your checkbook to sign up for shares, and/or browse– oyster shares, Dean’s Beans coffees, Soluna Garden farm herbs and teas, etc.
Signup for Shared Harvest 2017-18 is open now for Arlington/Winchester and Jamaica Plain, and includes a discounted share price (through May 15) on whichever months you sign up for.
Info for Summer Shares is also on our website; signup through these individual farms.
From Baer’s Best Beans: 2 one-pound bags of dried beans (choice of black turtle, red kidney, and soldier (white with red flecks))
From Picadilly Farm
potatoes – 5 pounds
carrots – 6 pounds
parsnips – 3 pounds
rutabagas – 2 pounds
butternuts – 2 pieces
dried herbs – a bunch
beets – 3 pounds
From Riverland Farm:
Gilfeather turnips 2 pounds (read here to learn more about the Gilfeather and how it was recently named Vermont’s State Vegetable!)
Sweet Potatoes-4 pounds
1 Tomato Puree
Some extras of some of the above, since the salad greens didn’t work out (see below).
Rutebagas usually have a purplish shade on top with a creamy golden interior
Gilfeather turnips are sweet, creamy, and white on the inside
Rutebagas and Gilfeathers are surprisingly versatile, steamed and mashed, shredded raw into salads, fermented, etc. Gilfeather can be successfully used in place of cauliflower in some recipes. See the Recipes page under the Storage Tips and Recipes Menu for some interesting ideas.
The salad greens at Riverland did not regrow well for this month (typical greenhouse growing for winter harvest is “cut and come again” with the second and third cuts always being fairly dicey, given constraints of indoor growing–a matrix of factors including timing of planting and cutting, sunlight (and heat) availability, snow cover, space, ventilation, weather conditions at harvest, etc. Kudos to farmers Meighan and Rob for taking on the challenge of winter greens growing each year!