Three Month Winter CSA: Last Share

Winter is here! The temps are predicted to drop to 19 degrees tonight, and no higher than 32 tomorrow. It will be a chilly day for shareholders. The good news is that this share is really nice, well worth a little shivering. The Picadilly farm crew moved through the fields quickly on Tuesday, harvesting as many leafy greens as they could before the snow hit. We will reap the benefits of their work: head lettuce and a bag of kale & collard greens in the share. Jenny’s sending along some extra spinach (sweet, sweet frost-kissed spinach!), too!

Lots of roots in this CSA share. If you’re looking for new root recipes, check out shareholder’s blogs in the sidebar. I found Moroccan Vegetable Stew on Semi-Sweet and can hardly wait to try it. Roasted Root Vegetables with Rosemary and Bacon and Root Vegetable Stew, both from epicurious.com, are nice root recipes, too.

Here is what you will find in the last winter share: Continue reading

Popcorn

Here are directions from Rob at Riverland about how to pop Riverland’s popcorn.

The popcorn you get in your share has just been picked from the field. The kernels will still need time to dry (At least 3 weeks in warm non-humid environment) before they are ready to pop. You may want to test pop the corn after 3 weeks to see if it pops well. If it does, it is dry enough and ready to pop. The husk has been peeled back to allow the corn to dry. Just hang or store your bouquet in a dry place. In approximately 3-4 weeks get your pan warmed up and toss in a couple kernels. If they pop fully then the rest are ready to pop and eat. If the kernels only half pop let the corn dry a little longer. It is worth the wait.

We have had the best success popping the corn on the stovetop. Some have tried in the microwave. I have yet to find any good tips on popping right off the cob. If anyone has a trick let us know we will put it up on our website!

* 1 ear of pop corn
* 1 tsp olive or vegetable oil (per 1 cup)

Using your hands work the kernels of popcorn off the cob. Start from the tip of the ear of corn and work toward the base. Place the kernels in a 5-6 quart sauce pot (with lid with just enough oil to cover the kernels. Heat corn and oil on medium high heat. After about 3-5 minutes the kernels will begin to pop. Once you hear that the popping has slowed and almost stopped remove from heat and put into bowl and season to taste.

Two Month Winter CSA: Last Share

The mild “winter” weather we’ve been experiencing has resulted in some veggie treats we don’t usually get this time of year in New England. The head lettuce in today’s share is one of those treats. Picadilly is sending more of these treats with the winter share today, and they will be available for purchase. Harvested on Friday (December 4!!!), they include: spinach, red kale, lacinato kale, collards, salad turnips, napa cabbage, and daikon radish.

Lots of roots in the share today. Two of my favorite recipes make use of many of them: Roasted Root Vegetables with Rosemary and Bacon and Root Vegetable Stew.

Here is what you will find in the share today:
Cabbages, 2 small heads of red cabbage, 1 head of green cabbage
Kale, 1 bunch. For something new, and addictive, try these crispy kale chips.
Lettuce, 2 heads
Leeks, 1 bunch
Onions, 2 pounds
Beets, 3 pounds
Carrots, 6 pounds
Celeriac, 2 pounds. New to celeriac? The Seasonal Chef offers five easy recipes, all of which look delicious.
Parsnips, 2 pounds
Popcorn, 1 bouquet. How to pop corn! Meghan and Rob at Riverland Farm grew the popcorn you’ll find in the share.
Potatoes, 5 pounds
Winter radish, 1-2 pieces. The variety in the share is Misato Rose.
Sweet potatoes, 4 pounds
Turnips, 2 pounds
Winter squash, about 7 pounds of butternut
Red Kidney Beans, 2 pounds. My two all time favorite ways to use kidney beans are Red Beans & Rice and Moosewood’s Vegetarian Chili.

In addition to the regular share, shareholders who pre-ordered them will be picking up bulk roots (carrots, celeriac, garlic, onions, parsnips, potatoes, sweet potatoes), dried turtle and navy beans, organic maple syrup and raw honey.

Winter Share Contents 11/7

It’s been a bit chilly at Riverland and Picadilly farms this week. The temperature at Picadilly is predicted to fall into the low 20’s tonight. Brrr! In spite of the cold, harvest crews have brought in and packed a really nice share.

Here’s a list of what is in your share from Picadilly Farm this month:

Kohlrabi, a piece. This is truly a “bonus” item in your share – we didn’t have it in the plan, but Jenny just couldn’t resist growing a fall root crop called “Gigante”. If you’ve haven’t tried it yet, prepare for a mild flavor, much like the stem of broccoli with a little turnip tossed in. Peel off the outer layer, use it all at once or just a bit at a time – it will keep well partial or whole in your fridge for a long time. Here are a few recipe from Jenny:

Kohlrabi Sautee, Farmacopeia by Pete Napolitano
Sautee kohlrabi Chinese-style in a little peanut oil with shiitake mushrooms, sweet red pepper, shallots, minced gingerroot and cashew or pine nuts. Season with rice wine, soy sauce, sesame oil and a pinch of sugar. You can also thicken this with a little cornstarch mixed with water.

Braised Kohlrabi, The New Foods by Camille Cusumano
Braise diced or slice kohlrabi in just enough chicken or beef stock to cover it. Add a little butter and some caraway seeds to the stock and simmer until tender, about 12 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley.

Leeks, a bunch. Ever tried braising leeks? Makes for a lovely side dish. Here’s a simple recipe for Braised Leeks with Lemon.

Potatoes, 5 pounds of white “Salems”, unwashed for better storage. Store them in a cool and dark place, out of the plastic bag, and they should store for months.

Radicchio, a small head. This Italian chicory looks like a small red cabbage and has a bitter, peppery taste. It is most commonly used as an ingredient in salad mix, though it loses some of the bitterness when cooked.

Rutabagas, 2 pounds unwashed. Compared to the turnip, rutabagas have a yellower hue in their flesh, and a taste that’s more earthy and warm, without the radishy zing. Store them as other roots, very cold but not freezing.

Spinach, 1 pound. This spinach is from Appleton Farm in Ipswich. When Picadilly’s spinach crop failed, a veggie swap was arranged with Appleton farmer, Jamie Barrett: Picadilly winter squash for Appleton spinach. Enjoy!

Salad turnips, a bunch. These “Hakurai” turnips are like a sweet radish, and are delicious raw in salads, grated or chopped. I also like them sauteed with greens. Unlike the more traditional fall turnip, these Hakurai are too watery for roasts or stews.

Parsnips, 2 pounds, unwashed for better storage. The classic winter root, and we have tender crop this year. Try cooking them a different way – roasting with other roots, cut into “fries”, or cooked and mashed into patties. Store in the fridge, or in very cold (but not freezing) place in your house.

Carrots, 4 pounds. These fall “boleros” are as big as they are sweet. This variety is meant to be big for long storage, but it’s still so sweet! Store in the fridge, or in a very cold (but not freezing) place in your house.

Winter squash, 7 pounds of butternuts, 2-4 pieces. They are best stored at about 50-55 degrees, not much colder – a cool place in your kitchen can work well. Watch for small bruises or rot spots – the squash will deteriorate quickly once they appear. Any winter squash seeds are great for roasting: rinse them well, and let them dry. Oil the pan slightly, and roast in a thin layer. Roast at a low temperature, 300-325, as the seeds can go from brown to burnt quickly. Stir occasionally. Try seasoning halfway through roasting with sugar and cinnamon – yum!

Cilantro, a bunch. One of the more cold-hardy fresh herbs, this crop has stayed tender under some wire hoops and row cover in our field – a mini greenhouse! Store it with the stems in a glass of water, in or out of the fridge; or wash and dry the leaves and store in a sealed container in the refrigerator. Cilantro can also be frozen: blend or chop it in a little oil, and freeze in ice cube-sized portions.

Sweet potatoes, 4 pounds.

Sweet peppers, 6 or 7. These thin-walled, Italia-type “Carmen” peppers were picked on Monday. Jenny says it’s the first time she’s ever harvested sweet peppers from the field in November! Back in late September, when there were a few really cold nights, the farm crew threw some heavy row covers over the loaded pepper rows, not sure what would happen. The tips of the plants, as well as the plants on the edges, got nipped by frost; but the fruits hanging under the canopy of the plants continued to ripen to red. These peppers can be frozen for later cooking – just chop and freeze. Those that are not quite red will ripen more, either on a counter top or in the fridge.

Red radishes, one bunch. Nice with salad, great as a snack.

Riverland Farm’s contribution to the share this week includes:
Lettuce, two heads. This is a sweet, crisp Batavian variety of lettuce that stands up well in cold temperatures.

Escarole, one head. Some folks eat this slightly bitter green raw, in salads. If that’s too much for your taste buds, try it sauteed in olive oil and garlic, sprinkled with balsamic vinegar. Or try this recipe for a nice winter soup: White Bean and Escarole Soup with Garlic.

Brussels’ sprouts, two stalks.

Onions, two pounds.

Baby Bok Choy, about a pound. Lovely with cranberries in Bok Choy Salad, tasty in a colorful stir fry – throw in some radish, carrot, onion, hakurei turnip and a red pepper!

Napa Cabbage, one head. There are so many ways to use napa: in a salad with radishes and buttermilk dressing, stir fried, made into cole slaw, or if your up for an adventure you might try a small batch of saurekraut.

garlic, half a pound.

From Baer’s Best Beans, one pound of dried beans, Jacob’s Cattle, Otebo or Calypso.
Ten pounds of apples from Cider Hill Farm are also included this month. Apples varieties include Empire, Mutsu, Melrouge, Carosel, Braeburn, Gala and Jonagold.

Winter Share Contents 10/24

It’s a fantastic fall harvest, certainly welcome after a summer full of what seemed to us more than the usual challenges! We’re especially pleased with the onions, potatoes, sweet potatoes, fall greens and leeks – all very nice. Enjoy the harvest!

Here’s a list of what is in your share from Picadilly Farm:
Celery, a bunch. We picked it last week, as it would have died in the 25 degree nights, even with double row cover. It is tasty, though will not store for too much longer. Our celery tends to be less watery, more fibrous, and stronger flavored than supermarket celery. Best for cooking, less ideal for juicing.

Kohlrabi, a piece. What?! I joined a CSA and now they are giving me kohlrabi?! This is the softball-like item in your box, unsuspectingly full of vitamins A & C, calcium and potassium… If you’ve haven’t tried it yet, prepare for a mild flavor, much like the stem of broccoli with a little turnip tossed in. Peel off the outer layer, use it all at once or just a bit at a time – it will keep well partial or whole in your fridge. My favorite use so far has marinating and grilling slices – takes a little longer than most veggies, takes on the flavor of your marinade, and retains a nice crunch. Recipe: Shredded Root Salad.

Leeks, a bunch. Not just for potato leek soup, though delicious if you go there. Leeks can be easily frozen – just wash, dice and put in sealed bag in the freezer.

Potatoes, 6 pounds of “Sangre” reds.  Good yields this season, with more blemishes on the red potatoes than usual. We usually don’t wash potatoes, since they store better unwashed. We washed these for better sorting, and included six pounds instead of five, to account for any “bad spots” that we didn’t/couldn’t see. Store them in a cool and dark place, out of the plastic bag, and they’ll be best used within the month.

Onions, 2 pounds of reds and 2 pounds of yellows. A bumper crop of nice onions this season, our best ever. The rain in June and July was great for sizing them up.Then the warm and hot for those three short weeks in August was just right for harvest and curing time. Store onions in a cool, dry-ish place, and they will keep for months.

Beets, 2 pounds. A smaller harvest than usual, with sweet flavor following a few hard frosts. Store in the fridge.

Winter squash, 2 delicatas and two acorns. Enjoy these more perishable winter squash in the next month or so. They are best stored at about 50-55 degrees, not much colder – a cool place in your kitchen can work well. Watch for small bruises or rot spots – the squash will deteriorate quickly once they appear. Any winter squash seeds are great for roasting: rinse them well, and let them dry. Oil the pan slightly, and roast in a thin layer. Roast at a low temperature, 300-325, as the seeds can go from brown to burnt quickly. Stir occasionally. Try seasoning halfway through roasting with sugar and cinnamon – yum!

Pie pumpkin, a good sized “New England pie”. If you plan to cook with it (which I hope you do!), then don’t let it freeze while it adorns your porch for Halloween. To cook: cut off the top, quarter, and roast just until tender. Remove the skin, puree and use as you like. Pumpkin puree can be frozen – put 1 cup portions into small plastic bags or containers.

Savoy cabbage, one. A versatile, tasty cabbage, this will store in your fridge for a month or so.

Salad turnips, a bunch. A radish-like turnip, which can be used raw or cooked. Cooked, it is more watery and milder flavored than a big fall turnip – try it stir-fried rather than roasted or souped.

Parsley, a bunch. One of the most cold-hardy fresh herbs. Store it with the stems in a glass of water, in or out of the fridge; or wash and dry the leaves and store in a sealed container in the refrigerator.

Sweet potatoes, 4 1/2 pounds. A beautiful crop of sweet potatoes this year, great flavor and texture in all shapes and sizes! Who knew that a tropical crop could thrive in New England with virtual no summer… The plants did well in our sandiest field, and the tubers are sweetening up in storage. Keep them in a cool place in your kitchen – they’ll last for months if you have a 50-55 degree spot, with good ventilation. Recipe: Sweet Potato Oven Fries.

Daikon, a bunch. This mild Japanese radish is the most common vegetable grown in Japan, and has many uses there. It will store in a plastic bag your hydrator drawer for a long time (I used my last one from last November’s harvest in April!). So, plenty of time to figure out your favorite ways to use it. Try pickling it, grating in to salad (or as a salad with carrots and beets), or in a stir fry. Recipe: Japanese Radish Salad

Fennel, a bulb or two. A versatile seasoning. Use raw with dips, add to soups or to Italian-inspired dishes. Store in a plastic bag in your fridge for up to 2 weeks. 

Sweet peppers, a handful. We picked out the peppers before the hard freeze (along with the celery). They store well, and it’s nice to have a “summer” food in October. Three “italias”, which are pointy and red, or partially red – these partially red ones may ripen more if you leave them in your fruit bowl for a day or two before eating. And four green bell peppers. Peppers freeze easily and well, for cooking later – chop and put them in a container.

Hot peppers, take what you’d like. We are not including them in the boxes, but you can take a handful if you are a fan. Mostly hungarian hot wax, green serranos and jalapenos.

From Riverland Farm:

Lettuce, two heads of Summer Crisp variety “Magenta”. The foundation of a nice salad or two …. add carrots, hakurei turnips, a red pepper and a little parsley.

Kale, a bunch of winterbor, a green curly kale that’s been sweetened up by the frost. This would make great kale and sausage soup, or if you’re not in the mood for soup try kale sauteed with garlic and olive oil, with some of Baer’s Best beans thrown in.

Carrots, 4 pounds. This variety of fall carrot, Bolero, has a loyal following among shareholders and farmers. Excellent for eating raw, makes a great carrot soup, or mix up a batch of carrot muffins. This will store well in your fridge.

Broccoli and/or Cauliflower, 2 heads.

You’ll also find a pound of Baer’s Best Beans in your share (Jacob’s Cattle, Otebo or Calypso). Ten pounds of apples from Cider Hill Farm are also included this month. Apples varieties include Empire, Mutsu, Melrouge, Carosel, Braeburn, Gala and Jonagold.

Sweet Potatoes

Bruce and Jenny at Picadilly Farm report a bumper crop of sweet potatoes this year. Mmmm … sweet potato fries, sweet potato puree, potato & sweet potato gratin, sweet potatoes, apples and braising greens, and just plain old sweet potatoes with a bit of butter, cinnamon and maple syrup.

We’re planning to have 4 pounds of sweeties in each Winter share. I think I’ll be able to arrange for extra sweet potatoes (~16 pound boxes of them) to be available for purchase during the second CSA distributions.

Did I mention that I like sweet potatoes?