In the share this week: 3 lbs sweet potatoes 1 bunch green onions 2 sweet or bell peppers 1 head napa cabbage or radishes 2 heads baby pac choi 1 head mini green lettuce 1 head mini red lettuce Thoughts from Farmer Anna: Well, just 10 days after our 90 degree temperatures ended we had our first frost on the farm. These big swings in weather are one of the primary changes in climate we are experiencing in our area and it's tough to know how it is affecting our crops. I was a bit worried about some of our late lettuce plantings that had been subjected to such extreme heat late in the season, followed by a frost not too long after. I went up to cover those plantings with a light row cover on Saturday night so they'd be protected from any potential damage. Many plants need to build up a 'tolerance' to cold weather and frosts in order to mitigate the damage that such conditions can cause. So far everything looks like it's holding up fine and we should be in good shape for the next few weeks. We had to hurry up and prep the empty beds around the farm for cover crops last week. Without significant rain for over a month, we hadn't been able to prep these beds until after our good soaking rain last Sunday/Monday. It's a little bit late in the season to get cover crops seeded, but hopefully they'll still have time to germinate and grow a bit before mid-November. Plant growth really slows down at this time of year due to the decreasing levels of light. By mid-November growth essentially stops and not much happens until late January. Of course cold and freezing temperatures also keep plants from growing too. Some of the cover crops we are seeding will survive the winter and start growing again vigorously in the spring. These include winter wheat, hairy vetch, and white clover. The beds that get these crops won't get vegetable crops until late spring, which will give the cover crops time to add nitrogen and organic matter to the soil. Other beds that we need to get into earlier in the spring are getting a cover of tillage radishes. These are similar to a daikon radish and their roots reach deep into the soil to loosen it. They will survive some heavy frosts, but do eventually winter kill when it gets below 20 degrees. After they die, the radish roots will still hold the soil together for us and their leaves provide a nice cover on top of the soil, until we are ready to prep the beds in spring. Lots of sweet potatoes in the share again this week. We'll take a break from them for a couple of weeks after this and then give them again for the last two weeks of the season in preparation for all of your holiday cooking and baking. But we do have lots and lots of them if you want to add more to your shares for storage over winter. You have a lot of leafy greens in your share this week with the napa cabbage, pac choi and mini lettuces. I love the salad recipe Maria has below. We love this style of asian salad and it seems like it gets even better when it marinates in the fridge for awhile. Both the napa and pac choi are great in cooked dishes too! We made a stir fry last week with the baby pac choi and a dressing of soy sauce, tahini, lemon juice and olive oil. Very simple to prepare and a wonderful flavor combination! Recipes from Maria: Baby Bok Choy and Cabbage Salad with Apples and Sesame Dressing For the Salad: 2 heads pac choi, chopped 1 head of cabbage, chopped 1 bunch green onions, chopped 1 crisp apple, chopped ½ cup toasted slivered almonds ¼ cup toasted sesame seeds Sesame dressing For Sesame Dressing: ¼ cup sugar 1/3 cup rice vinegar 1/3 cup toasted sesame oil 2 tablespoons soy sauce Assemble the ingredients in a large bowl. Dress the salad just before eating. The dressing makes more than you will need or want on the salad. Reserve it for a stir fry! Crispy Roasted Sweet Potatoes Ingredients: 4 tablespoons butter divided 3 large sweet potatoes 3 cloves garlic smashed 2 teaspoons salt 1 teaspoon ground black pepper Fresh thyme Instructions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Coat a 9-inch baking pan with two tablespoons melted butter. Wash potatoes. Using a mandoline or knife, slice sweet potatoes into thin rounds, about 1/8 -inch thick (microwaving potatoes for 5 minutes makes them more pliable). Place slices in prepared pan. Tuck in garlic and thyme among slices. Brush sweet potato slices with remaining two tablespoons melted butter. Season the potatoes with salt and pepper. Bake until potatoes are tender and crisp, about 1 ¼ hours. Garnish with more thyme.