It’s looking like our first ever winter CSA pick-up will be suitable chilly! Since we turn off the coolers in the winter to save energy, the cold is good in terms of keeping all of the produce the right temp, but I won’t know until I head down to the farm this afternoon if it also means the end of the swiss chard. Hopefully it pulled through!
The pick-ups for the winter CSA will be similar to the pick-ups for the summer CSA, with a few exceptions. I’m going to be marking people off the list this week, but in subsequent weeks you will just find your name on the list and put a check next to it to indicate that you picked up. Also, there isn’t a voucher system for if you miss a share, but if you ever do you can take extra produce (with a few exceptions) the pick-up before or after you miss.
1 half gallon fresh cider from Douglas Orchard & Cider Mill in Shoreham ($4)
3 lbs. empire apples from Douglas Orchard ($5)
3 lbs. onions from Dauphinais Farm in Hemmingford, Quebec ($3.5)
2.5 lbs. beets (these will be sandy; we wanted to store and hand them out without washing them so that they will last longer) ($5)
1 head green cabbage or 1 bunch chard (unless we get a really hard frost in the next few nights, in which case everyone gets cabbage) ($2)
1 head cauliflower ($3)
3 lbs. sweet potatoes ($3)
1 large hubbard squash ($5-8)
To help with your holiday planning, here’s what we’re giving out on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving: 1 lb. fresh VT cranberries, 5 lbs. russet potatoes (the best for mashed!), kale, beets, sweet potatoes, apples, and onions. Leeks, squash, and rutabagas are also possibilities. It will be the largest share we give out this winter.
About the Onions
Although we had wanted to buy onions from a Vermont farm, we were unable to find the quantity of good quality, affordable onions that we needed. We ended up locating a farmer in Quebec who could fill our needs, and we were happy that we were able to buy directly from him (no middleman), and that he already comes to this area on a regular basis, so he didn’t even have to make a special trip to deliver our onions.
Apples and Cider
We were glad that we were able to get apples and cider from our friends at Douglas Orchard this week. Their cider is the best (although, since it’s unpasteurized, it doesn’t keep for a very long time), and their apples are great too! We got Empires since they are a late apple, and they also store well. Douglas only sells apples until early December, so after that our apples will come from Sunrise Orchard in Cornwall. Note: If you can’t drink all of your cider in the next week, I would freeze some. You can use later on the make hot mulled cider!
We decided to skip regular potatoes this week since we have so many other great items that won’t last as long, and since we gave out a lot to regular CSA members last week. If you would like potatoes instead of any of the items on the list, though, please just ask; we have plenty, so it wouldn’t be a problem at all!
Hubbard squash is delicious, and stores well, but, due to its size, it’s also quite intimidating. The best way to open one is to put it in a plastic bag and drop it on a hard surface (like an asphalt driveway). Then you want to scrape out all of the seeds and cook the squash, freezing what you can’t use. You can rub the pieces with oil and then bake them until they’re soft, or you can pre-bake the squash and then peel and cube it, as described in this great examiner.com post:
As I mentioned earlier, mashed hubbard makes a great pie. Just substitute for pumpkin in your favorite pumpkin pie recipe. My only advice is to put your mashed squash in a pan and cook it down a little if it seems more watery than the pumpkin that comes out of a can. This has the added benefit of giving the squash a warm, caramelized flavor.
My favorite pumpkin pie recipe is from the Libby’s can; it tastes like Thanksgiving to me! Here it is, adapted for mashed squash:
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 large eggs
1 ¾ cup mashed squash
1 can evaporated milk
1 unbaked 9-inch (4-cup volume) deep-dish pie shell
MIX sugar, cinnamon, salt, ginger and cloves in small bowl. Beat eggs in large bowl. Stir in pumpkin and sugar-spice mixture. Gradually stir in evaporated milk.
POUR into pie shell.
BAKE in preheated 425° F oven for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350° F; bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 2 hours. Serve immediately or refrigerate.
Although our first few plantings of beets didn’t do so well, the last planting, which Paul picked a week or so ago, yielded nearly 25 bushels. This means that there will be plenty of beets for the winter CSA! We are storing them and handing them out unwashed, in hopes that this will make them last longer. I would advise people to store them like this in your fridge until you’re ready to use them. If you don’t like beets, you can always sub extra potatoes. Or you can make spiced pickled beets and hand them out at the holidays!
Beet and Goat Cheese Salad
I love the pairing of sweet, earthy beets and creamy goat cheese. Add some bitter greens and a good home-made vinaigrette and you have a perfect fall salad. Here’s one recipe, but really – with this combo in mind, you can’t go wrong!