Hi Veggie Lovers!
Week 12! This is the 3/4 point if you are a 16-week subscriber and the halfway point if you’re in the 24 week program.
The 16-week program concludes on Oct. 16.
The 24-week continues until Dec. 11 and there is no additional space available in that program, however you are welcome to make use of the Pre-Order form and mini markets to stock up before the 16-week program finishes! We intentionally save a portion of the harvest for our veggie lovers and you have exclusive access to it after markets conclude in less than 2 weeks. I have begun listing larger quantities of items that we have availability on. A few people asked about pickling packs and boxes of canning tomatoes, we haven’t had an exceptional year on those items and so haven’t had them available (still possible for tomatoes, I will let you know!). We expect to get a load of storage potatoes from George and Barb as soon as they dig them (hopefully this week), and so will be able to offer those at a more reasonable price than the tiny scarce potatoes we grew this year! Larger sizes of beets, carrots, squash, leeks, onions, etc are on the list now.
The contents of the upcoming week’s bag are subject to change at the last minute, possibly without much notice, depending on harvest. It can be tough to estimate how much of a crop will be available before we actually harvest 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 12 Veggie Lovers’ Club bag for pickup on Tuesday September 18 contains:
*There will be a sweet pepper substitute available at this week’s pickup if you can’t do hot peppers!
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!
News from the Farm and Teri’s Veggie Lover Tips:
I ate a spaghetti squash last night just for you, Veggie Lovers! While we were at market yesterday my crock pot was cooking some tomatoes, beans, and pork hocks into a delicious stew, about 45 minutes before I returned home Jon threw a spaghetti squash in the oven and so we ate the stew atop a very green spaghetti squash. If you’ve been in the Veggie Club a few years now you’ll know my distaste for this particular squash. Actually, I don’t hate any vegetable and I make sure to eat all of them, but customer’s exuberance for spaghetti squash and my frame of mind in late September usually is a good recipe for a serious Teri eye roll! It was still relatively tasteless and stringy as usual despite the one we chose being a little bit on the under-ripe side– People have been asking if you can eat them when they’re a bit green and so now we know! Yes. I rolled my eyes the whole time, Myrah actually liked it a lot! I just think all the other squashes are so much better, but we grow lots of spaghetti because it’s a favourite of many folks. To each their own!
This time of year is great for cooking saucy things like soups or stews and then cooking a squash to eat with it! If you are consuming your squash(es) as soon as you get them you’ll find the cooking properties a bit different than later in the season when they’ve been fully cured. They are a bit starchy right now so perfect to eat with something saucy, or to make the kind of squash soup that turns into one gelatinous blob in the fridge overnight (my favourite kind!). Think dry potato and you’re on the right track. The benefit is a dry squash absorbs maximum butter.
For reals, we’re going to get Chard in the CSA one week at least!! Chard and Kale haven’t been included this year and those are two of our CSA crops that we rely on to always be there. We’ve had a good selection without them but soon enough the chard is going to freeze and so we might as well eat it now that there’s finally enough for everyone to get some. It tastes even better at this time of year because the water in the plants’ cells converts to sugar so it can function like antifreeze and keep the plant alive in the cold weather (many veggies do this, including carrots and parsnips! We don’t dig our parsnips until after a frost for this very reason).
Favourite thing to do with Chard: Serve it with rice! You can make Chard Cabbage Rolls (Roll it up with rice and/or meat filling) or just serve rice with your sauteed chard. It’s a magical flavour combination!
The celery is on the small side and “herb-like”, which is an acceptable level of celery fail in my opinion. It was a very dry year as you know and one of our celery plantings just didn’t thrive. This won’t be the kind of celery that you use as sticks in your lunches as it is a bit fibrous, but it will be great for flavouring soups and stews and broths and as a base to nearly anything you’re cooking now that it’s acceptable to cook inside your kitchen again!
You can use all of the celery leaves, and if you can’t use them up right away you can dry them or freeze them for winter use. To dry, layer the washed leaves on a cookie sheet on your lowest oven setting or intermittent heat until they are crispy, or use a dehydrator. If you wash, chop & freeze them they’re great for addition to soups and stews in the winter.
Hot Peppers! I asked Gale if I could share her story. She bought some jalapenos at the mini market last week and then made salsa. She didn’t wear gloves. She seeded the peppers with her hands and realized too late that they were a lot hotter than she had expected! She had to avoid touching her grandbaby the next day even! By the time I saw her on Saturday she said she still wouldn’t touch her eye in case there was any lingering spicy on her hands! Don’t learn Gale’s lesson the hard way, folks! If you are chopping peppers, wear gloves if you can and definitely don’t touch your face or go to the bathroom without liberally washing all of the pepper juice off. It is very potent, especially the seeds and white membrane inside the peppers. That’s where most of the heat is, so if you’re not a big fan of spicy you can make things a lot more reasonable by removing the seeds and membrane (with gloves!) before you use the peppers.
We used to grow an inconsistently hot variety of jalapenos, but changed varieties and then it was super hot out this year (which makes peppers hotter, too!), so it’s a perfect storm for really frigging hot jalapenos. Mom and Dad thought they were a bit too hot for jalapeno poppers last week but Jon and I thought they were perfect. Here’s the recipe:
There are also some Hot Banana Peppers in your bag this week. Peppers keep for a really long time in the fridge (a month likely!) but if you won’t use them up before then I recommend that you chop them and freeze them for winter enjoyment!
Edamame: These are immature soybeans, which are still green and in the pods. It’s so rare to get to taste a fresh-never-frozen version of these beans. You use your teeth to pull the beans from the fuzzy pods, and they are deliciously nutty tasting and creamy. Edamame is a popular appetizer in Japanese restaurants, look for them next time you go for sushi!
Steam or boil 6 – 8 minutes until fully cooked, salt, and serve! Use the best sea salt you have on hand for the optimal result!
You can also remove the beans from the pods (shell them) and cook them separately, & add them into soups, stir-fries, or salads.
Farm Update: On Saturday we picked edamame, We got all the squash harvested on Sunday and yesterday we finished harvesting everything else frost tender (zucchini, beans, tomatoes, basil, peppers, eggplant, cucumbers) as there are low temps forecasted this week and Janelle came to help. It’s always a good feeling to have all of the tender crops out! Last week Jon made some progress on the greenhouse with help from my Dad Paul. They have the hoops up now and so we just have to put on the plastic before it gets too cold and then the end walls can be finished this fall. After markets are done in a week and a half it gets a lot easier to get all the jobs finished. There are still all of the storage Beets and Carrots to come in, Celeriac, Parsnips, Sweet Potatoes, & Leeks. These tasks are almost always done in the freezing cold in October. I actually prefer it over the scorching temps of July & August!
Today we have ACC’s Horticulture Students out for a farm tour, this is the second year we’ve had the group out. I think we’re the example of the “small, crazy farmers” and that’s ok. Sometimes even I wonder how we make it all work!
We attended the Brandon Garden Club’s 125th Anniversary celebratory dinner on Saturday night which was a lot of fun. I love that group and there was a real sense of community at the event. We were honored to attend, and I won an Instant Pot at the raffle so let the Instant Pot recipes ensue! (No seriously, tell me your favourite recipe, I am looking forward to experimenting with this thing and I’ve always been a bit afraid of pressure cookers so I’ve never used one!)
Have a great week and see you tonight at the pickup!