Week 18 Veggie Lovers’ Club Newsletter

DSCN0088Hi Veggie Lovers!

I heard back from a handful of you that you are happy with the pickup location so we’re going to stick with the park for the remainder of the program.  (That’s the least work option so it works great for me, too!)

I’ll be bringing any extra harvest of shoots that we have for the mini market today. The radish shoots are really nice and as soon as I get more seed we plan to include them in the CSA.

Here’s the link if you’d like to place a Veggie pre-order!
You can place an order anytime before Monday at 5 pm for the coming week and not much changes as far as availability from week to week this time of year so you can order any day, including Tuesday, for next week’s pickup if you want!

As we move into the fall season we encourage you to make use of the Pre-Order form if you would like additional veggies, preserves, pickles, etc.  In the coming weeks, we may bring a few additional items for a mini market if the weather permits.

The contents of the upcoming week’s bag are subject to change at the last minute, possibly without much/any notice, depending on harvest. It can be tough to estimate how much of a crop will be available before we actually harvest or pack it freshly for your bag.  So, this posting is meant to give you a good idea of what is in your bag, but just be aware that it may change and we will do our best to let you know if that happens!  At the very least, the posting on the website will be updated prior to delivery with the actual contents for that week, so that you can check that you’ve received everything you are supposed to!

Spoiler Alert: Stop reading now if you want to keep your bag contents a surprise!


Your Week 18 Veggie Lovers’ Club bag  for pickup on Tuesday October 30th contains:

Rainbow Carrots, 2 lb
Buttercup Squash, 1
Parsnips, 1.5 lbs
Shallots, small bag (3/4 lb)
Gold Beets, 1.5 lbs
Radish Microgreens*, small bag

*Added to the bags last minute on Tuesday at noon, we had a bigger harvest than anticipated!

You can click the links above to view more info about each veggie including recipe & preparation suggestions, season when it is available, storage tips, and lots more!  Don’t forget to bookmark our online Veggie Guide so all the veggie info is at your fingertips!

shallotsShallots are like mild, garlicky onions: You can use them anywhere you’d use onion.  They have a sweeter flavour when cooked and are often a good substitute for onion or garlic in raw recipes as they tend to be milder.  Shallots work particularly well in dishes using wine. Although shallots carmelize like onions, it is important to saute them gently. Browning over high heat is likely to turn them bitter, much like garlic. You can roast shallots in their skins until soft. Then peel, puree and use as a flavoring for soups or sauces.

Here’s a recipe for a Sherry Shallot Vinaigrette
Or how about this Raw Beet Salad with Shallots
Bon Apetit has a great recipe page with lots of shallot recipes!

We don’t grow a lot of shallots but we have enough to put in the bags once this fall, so enjoy!  They are also known as “multipliers” or “multiplier onions”, and there is a red one and a gold one (this is the gold/yellow one).  They take a long season to grow and are a lot of work to clean up due to their small size.  Myrah loves eating them raw which was less than helpful as she likes to “help” with whatever I happen to be doing, plus despite what the internet says they DO give you really really stanky breath.  So picture me struggling with a toddler who kept shoving shallots in her mouth as soon as I wasn’t looking and then breathing on my face.  But I breathed coffee breath back at her and I got to choose the radio station, so you win some, you lose some I guess!

winterbeetsIf you happen to have some sunnies around still, you can make this golden beet and sunflower shoot salad!  Grated gold beets, thin ribbons of pink beets (made with the vegetable peeler), and chopped sunflower shoots mixed with a splash of olive oil, lemon juice, and apple cider vinegar. It’s important to add the lemon juice and vinegar right away so the beets don’t oxidize (aka turn black). The combination of earthy and sweet beets with crunchy bitter sunflower shoots was awesome! Topped the salad with nuts, seeds and dried cranberries before serving.

ButterCUP Squash is a dark green round squash with a cup, aka a big butt on the bottom.  The flesh is bright yellow, buttery, and dense.  Use it for soups or other cooking, roasting, or sweet baking.  We rarely ever do anything other than just eat this one roasted whole because it’s Jon’s favourite (especially now that Delicata is the most popular squash around, that used to be his favourite but he’s just like me and will drop a favourite as soon as it’s no longer the underdog in need of his love!).  They store for a really long time and will keep at least until Christmas!

On that note, remember that you don’t have to panic if you feel like your house is slowly filling with squash one week at a time!  They will keep for a really long time so if you’re not keeping up that’s ok!  See my Week 16 Post for lots of ideas of what to do with squash.  Also, here’s a Squash Sign which shows all the kinds we grow so hopefully you can identify what you have at home if you’ve forgotten.  As a general rule, the Delicata will have the shortest keeping life so eat those ones first (though I know one of you kept one all the way until the start of the next year’s CSA!).  The rest of them should all keep until well into the new year if you keep them at room temperature in a dry place.  Really, your kitchen or somewhere in your house is preferable to your cool damp basement.  The #1 mistake people make with squash is keeping it in a cool damp place.  Don’t do it!  But do keep them close by so you can watch for signs of rot and then use them up quickly if need be.

If there’s a squash you love that we don’t grow, consider mentioning it to us!  But remember that it feels like no matter how many types we grow we never have just the right one.  We’ve streamlined things in the past few years and we’re pretty happy with our varieties.  We do not plan to grow butternut again, it takes a really long season– nearly too long for our climate– and a poor yield compared to varieties like Honeynut which we like much better!  Butternut remains the most popular squash in pop culture and I don’t know why, other than people have no imagination and the internet is sometimes just an echo chamber.  Give me a kabocha any day over bland butternut!

No, the pairing of Citron Marmalade and Chez Angela’s Lemon Swirl bread wasn’t on purpose last week, but what a fortunate surprise!!

Some notes on your items: No Par-rots this week folks (Week 14’s Parsnips and Carrots in the same bag)– we have bagged the rainbow carrots and parsnips separately so you don’t get them mixed up (because a white carrot looks pretty close to a parsnip!)  The parsnips were really muddy when we harvested them and so they aren’t as clean as they usually are, but for most recipes they get peeled anyway.  All of the bags I used for shallots were bags that were already used once and returned– Thanks!

We are aware of our plastic use on the farm but until there is a reasonable solution we don’t really have a lot of options.  If we skip it, you still have to put everything into  bags before it goes into the fridge anyway plus it would cause headaches for us getting things ready on the day of.  Paper just doesn’t cut it for most of our items, and biodegradeable isn’t the solution it sounds like it is. Anyhow, if anyone has any ideas or suggestions I’m open to hearing them, this is one realm (packaging) I don’t hear much feedback about but I am definitely aware of!  Farms I admire have found ways to cut down on plastic but so far nothing really resonates with what is possible for us.  For now, I am happy about the reuseable bags we use for the CSA program, they work really well for us.  And I’m happy we don’t give people boxes full of peas and beans mixed together, like one farm we worked on.

Back before I needed to exclude Myrah from my office!  Check out that chubby face peeking around the corner.  As soon as she could climb up onto the couch this setup was all over.

Update from my new desk: All summer I have been climbing over a dresser to get to my “office”, which was really just a corner of the living room completely blocked off by various pieces of furniture.  My office has always been in the living room where it is most useful to me– we “Go to work” every day in the shed but even though the shed is only 100 feet from the house it can sometimes feel like it is miles away!  Because I just sneak in a few minutes here and there on the computer usually very early in the morning or during naps it makes sense that it be in the house.  When Myrah really got into pulling down books last spring I just packed a bunch of them away in crates and used them to build the wall that excluded her from my office.  A busy season solution that worked for a time but a change was long overdue.  And once I get it in my head that something needs to change I just have to do it!

Plus, I was complaining about Myrah finding ways to get into my office and get at my stuff and Jon expressed that he feels the same.  Of course!  But I was being really self-important and then realized that Jon needs some adult space as much as I do.

So, Mom looked after Myrah on Saturday night and Jon and I rearranged the house.  We decided to separate the two rooms that were combined as “living room” into two sides: Living room and Jon and Teri’s Studio, comprised of all the adult things we don’t want Myrah to get into but we still use on a regular basis.  And that means the former studio upstairs can finish filling in as a storage area, because it was going that way anyway and it was isolating and not suitable for spending time in.  Now we’ve got all the record players and DJ equipment in the same room as my office, so we can rock out and work at the same time, while Myrah enjoys her playroom behind the couch.  So far she’s not a fan of our clever new set up, but she can’t get at our stuff and so that’s an improvement.  It’s going to be a long winter and we’ve got to figure out a way to share the limited indoor space without killing each other!

On that note, we also skinned the greenhouse last week!  It is a really nice space when the sun is out and actually too hot to spend time in this time of year but it will be nice when it’s -40C outdoors and a sunny 20C inside! (It is unheated but you wouldn’t believe the power of the sun in an enclosed space, even in the dead of winter!)

Take care, Veggie Lovers, and have a Happy Halloween!!  See you at the pickup and for the next 6 weeks!


–Teri 🙂

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