Here we go again! You are probably feeling a little overwhelmed with veggies these days, but try to embrace it, there are only five weeks left! Before we know it winter will be here and we will all be longing for garden produce. Will and I have been trying to preserve and freeze things lately, like make pickles, sauce, etc. when we have free time. It is so enjoyable to be able to pour a jar of heirloom tomato sauce on your pasta in the middle of winter. We are slowly clearing out parts of the field, and cover cropping with over wintering grasses and legumes that protect our soil over the winter time by retaining and adding nutrients and organic matter.
Our winter squash is looking great, as well as our carrots, which we will have by the end of the year. Fall turnips, spinach, and salads are coming on nicely, so we can all look forward to a light finish to our CSA year. We’re harvesting potatoes for the last five boxes too! For the first time in the history of 26th street, we have lost the majority of our kale! We had a really bad problem with harlequin bugs this year, which are really difficult to manage, let alone organically. Most area farmers we talk to say that they are hard to get rid of once they are there, but usually by the next year as long as you destroy your plant debris we won’t have a problem. Those, alone with the cabbage loopers, are the only pest issues we have had this year that we have had to use an organic pesticide on (those are only made of natural materials allowed under the USDA organic program). Unfortunately, these beetles are so hard to deal with that nothing really worked. We have new kale planted, but it will all only be baby leaf or braising mix size in your shares before the end of the year(which is actually quite a treat!). We will have a tiny bit at market, so if you really need a kale fix come see us on Saturdays! Sorry to any Kale lovers out there–we will try and make it up to you in other greens!
That is a photo of the Harelequin beetle.
In tonight’s share:
Tomato/Cherry tomato bags
Yellow Sweet Onions
I LOVE bread and butter pickles, here’s another great recipe for bread and butter pickles do not need to be canned, and can keep in your fridge for a few months! I used this recipe last week and really enjoyed them. They are perfect eaten with a grilled cheese, something I have loved to eat since I was a kid.
1 pound cucumbers, sliced 1/4-inch thick
1 large sweet onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup Diamond Kosher salt [Updated: Why Diamond? Read this first.]
1/2 to 3/4 cups sugar (see note above)
1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
1/4 teaspoons ground turmeric
1 tablespoon mustard seeds
1 tablespoon coriander seeds (if ground, use 1 teaspoon)
1/4 teaspoon celery seed
In a medium bowl, combine the cucumbers, onion and salt. Mix well. Cover the mixture with ice. Let stand at room temperature for two hours. In a pot, bring sugar, vinegar and spices to a boil. Drain cucumbers and onions. Add to vinegar mixture and bring almost back to a boil. Remove from heat and cool. You can store the pickles in an airtight container for up to three weeks in the fridge. They will begin tasting pickled in just a couple hours.
Here is a Martha Stewart Recipe for a swiss chard lasagna, this can be used with any other greens as well:
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/4 pounds sweet Italian sausage, casings removed, meat crumbled into small pieces
3 shallots, peeled, halved lengthwise, and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
3 pounds Swiss chard, stems removed, leaves cut crosswise into 1/4-inch strips
3 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced crosswise
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon coarse salt
Freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
4 1/2 cups whole milk
(cut into 4-inch squares and cooked, or store-bought dried noodles, cooked and cut to size) Fresh Lasagna Noodles
8 ounces fontina cheese, grated (1 cup)
1.Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Make the filling: Heat oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add sausage, and cook, stirring, until golden and cooked through, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer sausage to a paper-towel-lined plate.
2.Reduce heat to medium, and add shallots to drippings in pan. Cook, stirring often, until softened and translucent, about 4 minutes. Add chard, and cook, stirring frequently, until just starting to wilt, 1 to 2 minutes. Add garlic, lemon zest, and salt, and season with pepper. Cook, stirring often, until chard wilts completely, about 3 minutes. Stir in lemon juice. Transfer to a colander to drain.
3.Make the bechamel: Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, salt, and red-pepper flakes, and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are slightly translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in flour and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Whisk in milk, a little at a time, until incorporated. Bring to a boil, stirring often, then reduce heat to low. Simmer, stirring gently and often, until thickened and creamy, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Place a piece of parchment flush against the surface of sauce to prevent a skin from forming.
4.Place 8 baking dishes that are 7 inches across and 1 1/2 inches deep on rimmed baking sheets. Spread 3 tablespoons of bechamel in each dish, and top with a noodle. Spread 3 tablespoons chard mixture evenly in each dish, then divide 1/2 of the sausage mixture among dishes (about cup each). Top each dish with 2 tablespoons bechamel, then a noodle. Repeat once with chard, sausage, bechamel, and another noodle. Top each with 2 tablespoons of bechamel. Sprinkle each with 2 tablespoons fontina.
5.Bake until cheese is golden brown and sauce is bubbling, 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool slightly before serving.
See you tonight!