Storage Share Newsletter 2015
Remember to bring bags and/or boxes, and guess the weight of the Blue Hubbard Squash!
Pickup is This Thursday, November 19th from
10 – 6:00.
Thank you for admitting winter is coming eventually by taking home this year’s storage share! We love providing food for the colder months, even though it’s been so warm and still bountiful that we’ve been joking that it’s still summer on this farm! We picked the roots for this week’s storage share and have had to use the refrigerator to keep them cool in the box truck. The root cellar is primarily dependent on outside air to keep the veggies cold enough, so it has been too warm so far this fall to start filling the big grey bins and stacking them in the root cellar. Soon, soon. This week we should have some refrigeration added, to help with that problem. Then maybe this weekend we’ll start filling all those bins.
This week we’re washing carrots and all the other roots for you, and harvesting the leeks, brussels sprouts, cabbage and kale. The squash and potatoes are washed and sorted, the garlic all cleaned. Really this week we wash and wash and wash some more — most fall crops are dirty crops! The new systems — the bins and bin dumper, the forklift, the carrot harvester — have made it all a lot less lifting and bending though, which was one of the goals of it all. The carrot harvester worked well on its most recent voyage, and picked the beets and parsnips too. (It missed a few parsnips but they were easy to pull out once they’d been loosened.) It didn’t happen in a wink of an eye, but it did save hours of work and effort.
Let us know how the double share in October worked for you. For us it was super — the extra week to harvest and clean up in good weather has been luxurious, and a welcome change of pace from the rush of summer and early fall. The days have been full, and complicated, but less so; we’re all still working full-time and have a couple more weeks after this of harvest and cleanup yet to do. The cold is forecasted to come in later this week and any day we could be into winter for good. But with the El Nino forecast we’ll see how it shakes out!
We hope you find it satisfying and rewarding to cook and eat these hearty foods, and continue to support the farm. Although the regular season share is the mainstay of the farm’s financial stability, and for many of you, the mainstay of your summer produce supply, we hope the storage share is becoming a valuable part of our role in providing food for the community, and will be for years to come. Not everybody gets as excited about the sweet heartiness of fall food as they do about the juicy fruits of summer, so we appreciate your passion for good farm food extending into fall and winter.
As usual we’ll be happy to answer any questions, concerns or feedback you may have about all this produce. We hope this week’s farm goodies warm your houses, tables and tummies with their health-giving nourishment!
And thanks to the soil for growing such awesome food! We hope you have a great winter, eating and being well. The first winter store will be Monday, December 14th from 11-4 pm. We know that’s the middle of your workday too — we can set things aside for later pickup, see “nuts and bolts” below for more details.
What’s in the Storage Share?
Carrots — 20 lbs — Sweet and juicy, definitely the best carrots of the year. They’ll be in two separate, ten-pound bags. The bags are perforated with holes and work great for long-term storage. Easy Storage Tip : Fridge. We can store some of them for you, see “nuts and bolts” for details.
Potatoes — 10 lbs — These are mostly Kennebec, which stores well and is a good all-purpose spud. Note: Kennebec is prone to greening in storage, so be sure they are kept in a completely dark place. We trialed another variety, Superior, which greens less, and we think we’ll be switching to it for next year. There are a few mixed in but they’re nearly identical. Easy Storage Tip: Dark, cooler than room temp, but not in fridge.
Mixed Roots — 10 lbs — You get to mix and match a bag of beets (golden beets too), parsnips, celeriac, radishes, purple carrots, and maybe another surprise or two. We’ll have those same perforated bags you can put them in for long-term storage. Easy Storage Tip: Fridge. We can store some of these for you too –see “nuts and bolts” for details.
Winter Squash — 5 — Butternut plus carnival, ambercup and buttercup available. There is some acorn in the bin too, though the flavor on these remainders has been hit-or-miss — but might be worth a shot if you love them. The butternut should keep very well into January, declining after that. The others are best eaten within a couple weeks. Easy Storage Tip: Countertop or tabletop, but for longest storage put a few in the basement or cool closet.
Brussels Sprouts and/or Cabbage– Your choice of 2 — Both the sprouts and this last planting of cabbage didn’t do very well this year. We’re stumped about why the sprouts didn’t size up; the cabbage got a disease and a lot of plants just never made a head. If you’re wary of brussels now’s the time to try them — the few cold nights we’ve had have been enough to make the flavor mild and sweet. We leave them on the stalk since it takes so much labor to cut them off (and maybe it’s interesting for you to see how they grow)–thank you for dealing with the stalk! Easy Storage Tip: Fridge for both. Brussels sprouts do well in a plastic bag on or off the stalk, for 1-2 weeks.
Onions — 5 lbs — These yellow ones store very well, until the sun shines again, March or so. Easy Storage Tip: Basement or hanging basket.
Leeks — 6 — Depends on yields, we’ll count this week. They got pretty thick and long this year — there’s a lot of leek in there! This is one of the crops that just took off this summer with the moderate temps and frequent rains. Think of leeks like mild, glamorous onions. Our favorite use is in quiche, with red peppers and spinach or kale (fresh or frozen.) Leeks also freeze well, chopped raw in a bag, they can keep a month or two but then may start losing flavor. Easy Storage Tip: Fridge.
Garlic — 5 heads– These should store until January or even February. We do have extra for sale if you like. Easy Storage Tip: Countertop or hanging basket.
Kale — 1 clear bag — It is mild and yummy, though not as sweet as it can get. Some nights in the 20s or below would take it to another level — it will probably still be open for U-pick for quite a while, and you are welcome to come get some.
Sweet Potatoes — 3 pounds — Yields were low yet again this year. We even planted more this year. We’ll keep trying, but growing this southern crop up north is only worth it cuz they’re so darn good. We’ll have them clean and dirty, your choice. The clean ones are reliably good for two to three weeks. The dirty ones will store longer, maybe 1-2 months. Easy Storage Tip: Basement, 60°, if it’s not 60 then eat within one month.
Dried Herbs — Your choice of 2 bunches — Oregano, Thyme, and/or Sage. Some are available for U-pick in the field too.
Easy Storage Tip for entire share: Keep about half of everything in your fridge for eating all winter and then have a soup-making day with the rest of the share and freeze soup to enjoy all winter. There are a lot of soup recipes in the hard copy recipes available in the barn. We’ll also have copies of more detailed storage info available. And you can leave some of the roots with us to pick up at our winter store in December or later.
What’s for U-Pick?
Spinach and Lettuce! We’ll keep them both out there for this week. You can use scissors or pinch with your fingers. When we harvest we cut with a knife, but when there’s this much yellow or rotten leaves mixed in, scissors and fingers are better at being selective. We’ll probably till it in after this week, so we can plant a cover crop to give something back to the soil for next year’s crop. It’s been so great to have it so long!
Kale — We’ll have some in the barn but there’s still more out there, help yourself! At this point you can pick every single leaf, literally, there’s no need to leave the small ones since we usually till it in before snow covers the field, whenever that is.
For herbs, there are a few tiny remaining sprigs of parsley, thyme, and oregano.
Nuts and Bolts
If you can’t make it on Thursday please call or email, and we’ll make arrangements to get you your share.
WINTER STORE– MONDAYS — December 14, January 11, February 15, and maybe March 14. 11am – 4pm. These days we’ll have a simple, small layout of veggies set out for you to purchase by the pound. We expect to be washing roots for wholesale in the barn and it will be tight quarters. In December we may have a few other crops, but probably just carrots, beets, parsnips and radishes. We will send out a reminder email. If you got this in an email you will get that reminder. The winter store is open to anyone — If you have family or friends who might be interested, have them email us and we’ll get them on the reminder list. If you can’t make it on those days, you’ll be able to pre-order by email and we’ll set it aside for you to pickup when you can.
If you’d like us to store carrots for you we can. Give one of us your bag or partial bag, and we’ll put your name on it to store in the root cellar for you. You can then pick up your bag at one of the Monday winter stores. For example and most likely, you give us your 1 of your 2 10 lb carrot bags, and maybe put a few of the mixed roots in the bag, and we’ll give it back to you when you come and ask for it. Remember that our root cellar is too cold for potatoes, squash, sweet potatoes and onions — this will just work for carrots, beets, parsnips, turnips etc (most crops on the “mixed root” table.)
Guess the Blue Hubbard! We’ve saved out the biggest one of the year and it will go to the closest guess. We have no poker face, so we won’t be weighing it until after everyone guesses! It will be on the sign-in table, a bumpy blue-grey dinosaur-looking-squash, and we’ll provide a few recipes to go with it. It makes an awesome harvest feast.
Bring a Sturdy Box — If you like, a box or tote may be the best way to carry this share to your car. It’s a lot of food, and heavy. Much of it is already bagged for you, but it is several bags, plus the loose crops. We’ll have a few paper bags but if you have some please bring those too. We can help you carry or roll it to your car if you like, feel free to ask.
Storage Details — On the sign-in table we’ll have hard copies of detailed storage needs, lengths, and suggestions for each crop, help yourself.
Storage Share Pickup Hours — THIS THURSDAY, November 19, 10:00-6:00pm. Call or email if you can’t make it and we’ll make arrangements with you.
Please Drive Carefully — Children are everywhere.
Erin and Ben, with Allia, Anna, Aaron Ray, Kaitlin, Jesse and Kelly
We will be handing out hard copies of a bunch of great recipes on Storage Share day, but here are a few more.
Butternut Squash with Onions and Pecans
- Place pecans on an ungreased baking sheet. Toast at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 5 to 8 minutes.
- Peel the squash, and remove the seeds. Cut into 1/2 inch cubes. There will be about 6 cups squash.
- Melt butter or margarine in a heavy large skillet over low heat. Add onion and saute until very tender, about 15 minutes. Add squash and toss to coat. Cover. Cook until squash is tender but still holds it shape, stirring frequently, about 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Can be prepared 4 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature. Rewarm over medium heat before continuing.
- Stir in half of the pecans and half of the parsley. Transfer mixture to bowl. Sprinkle with remaining pecans and parsley. Serve.
Roasted Maple-Bourbon Carrots and Parsnips
- 3 lb. carrots
- 2 lb. parsnips
- 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp. salt
- .13 tsp. ground black pepper
- ¼ c. bourbon whiskey
- ¼ c. maple syrup
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. If any carrots or parsnips are very large, cut pieces lengthwise in half or into quarters for even cooking. In large bowl, toss carrots and parsnips with oil, salt, and pepper until well coated; transfer to two 15 1/2″ by 10 1/2″ jelly-roll pans or large cookie sheets.
- Roast vegetables on 2 oven racks 45 to 50 minutes or until tender and lightly browned, stirring once and rotating pans between upper and lower racks halfway through roasting. If not completing recipe right away, cool vegetables completely in pans on wire racks; transfer vegetables to large self-sealing plastic bag. Refrigerate up to 1 day.
- About 10 minutes before serving, in large microwave-safe serving bowl, heat bourbon and maple syrup in microwave oven on High 4 to 5 minutes or until mixture is very thick, stirring occasionally. Add vegetables to bourbon mixture and stir until well coated. Heat vegetable mixture on High 1 to 3 minutes or just until hot, stirring once.