Sunday, September 20, 2015

CSA offerings: week 17

I spent last Thursday morning in the barn as the rain clattered on the metal roof. I was using my rudimentary woodworking skills to make big 44" X 48" boxes to store some of my winter squash in. With the dry bean and potato harvests behind me, it's time to turn to the winter squashes! Some have already been brought in, boxed up and set on a shelf in the barn. They were getting sun scald in the field, and the sweetest among them were a feast for the rodents. Today I started on the longer season varieties.
I love harvesting winter squash. As big and strong as they seem, they're actually pretty delicate. Some have to sit in storage for a month or more before they develop a tough skin. I like picking up each one, feeling its weight, wiping it clean with a rag, and placing it carefully into the boxes. The different colors, shapes, and textures of the squash make me happy.
Oregon Homestead Sweet Meat
cartload of butternut
With this change in weather, we're turning to embrace the fall in our offerings. Ripe tomatoes are out, green tomatoes are in! I was dropping off a food donation last week at a local food pantry and the guy there (who greets me enthusiastically whenever I show up, even though they get most of their food donations on pallets, not in a couple of small Rubbermaid bins) told me about this green tomato pickle, which I will definitely be trying. 

Potatoes are also on the list, as well they should be after our successful haul! This week I'm offering a yellow variety called Nicola, which is a flavorful waxy potato perfect for boiling, frying, or roasting. We're also going to break into the purple top turnips, which didn't germinate well (I think I should have planted more seed) but the ones that did grow are nice and big. Try mashing some with potatoes for a tasty twist on a classic dish. (The voles have already been enjoying them, unfortunately, but if you get one that's been gnawed on, it will come off when you peel it.)

Finally, the lettuce of the week is another showy choice from Wild Garden Seeds called Flashy Butter Oak. Happy eating!

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