We got some much needed rain here on the farm today. It was a bit strange to have a gloomy day after so many days straight of near perfect dry weather. We had a really dry September last year too. I'm fairly certain it did not rain at all the whole month. However, it's been a bit cooler so far this fall that last year. We broke high temperature records in the first few days of October last year, and this year it's looking to be just a bit cooler than average as we turn the calendar page. I'm feeling very fortunate for the weather we've had here recently, as the crops are looking really great. We started digging up the sweet potatoes last week, and did one of the three beds. Those are currently curing in the greenhouse and should be ready to appear in shares next week. It seems like the voles may have nibbled a bit more on those roots than usual, but there are still plenty of very nice potatoes. The curly kale and swiss chard are looking fantastic too, along with several successions of turnips and radishes, a couple types of radicchio, napa cabbage, kohlrabi, carrots, fennel and lots of green onions. Yep, these last six shares of the fall are going to be full of goodness!
This is the last week of beans and possibly sweet and bell peppers. The tomatoes are peppers have two more weeks before we plan to pull them out and plant winter crops in the hoophouses. I'm pretty excited about the amount of winter growing space we have this year. More on what we plan to have available over the winter in next week's newsletter. We have been harvesting lots of nice radishes this fall, and I wanted to give you some ideas for using them if you are not a huge fan of this vegetable. Typically people think of eating radishes raw, but they are quite delicious when roasted. We love to chop up a few different vegetables - like turnips, carrots/sweet potatoes, and radishes - coat them with a bit of oil and salt, then roast at 400F for about 20-30 minutes. This roasted veggie medley makes a perfect side dish for lots of meals! It's also important to note that all root veggies keep better in your fridge if you first remove their greens before storing them in a plastic or glass container. Many of the greens are also edible and some are particularly good - like the turnip greens, which you can use along with your baby mustard greens in the sauteed greens recipe below. The baby mustard greens are also nice to eat raw in a salad. I will often mix them with the lettuces of the salad mix for a more complex flavor profile. The greens in this mix aren't super spicy, but they do pack a little mustard punch. Our sugar snap pea planting is starting to produce a bit more this week, but not enough for all shares in a week, so we are giving them to Tuesday shares this week and Thursday shares next week. There are also some extras available for swapping or adding on to shares if you are interested.
Have a lovely, cool week everyone!
Recipes from Maria:
Italian Sauteed Greens with Cannellini Beans
2 pounds greens (turnip greens and mustard greens)
3 Tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic
15.5 ounces Cannellini or Great Northern beans, drained and rinsed
Salt and black pepper
Wash greens to remove dirt and sand
Remove stems from the leaves.
Cut the greens into 1 inch strips. Cook JUST the leaves in a skillet over medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes in the water that clings to the leaves. Once leaves are wilted, remove from pan and set aside.
In a large skillet over medium heat; add olive oil.
Add drained and rinsed cannellini beans and garlic; stirring constantly for 30 seconds (be careful not to burn garlic).
Add wilted greens to the mixture. Season with salt and pepper.
Serve hot. An additional drizzle of olive oil and grated Parmesan cheese are optional toppings.
1 loaf Very Crusty Italian Bread or Sourdough Bread
Oregano, salt, garlic powder for croutons
1 whole English Cucumber, Halved, Seeded And Sliced
6 whole Assorted Tomatoes, Cut Into Wedges
1/2 whole Red Onion Very Thinly Sliced
1 bell pepper, cut into chunks
1/4 c. Olive Oil Plus More For Drizzling On The Bread
1 tbsp. Red Wine Vinegar
Salt And Pepper
25 whole Basil Leaves, Chiffonade (more To Taste)
Olive Oil, For Drizzling
Preheat the oven to 275 F. Cut the bread into 1-inch cubes, arrange on a baking sheet, and drizzle lightly with olive oil, oregano, salt, and garlic powder. Place the pan in the oven for 20-25 minutes to slightly crisp (“stale”) the bread without toasting it. Remove it from the oven and allow to cool.
In a large bowl, combine bread, cucumber, tomatoes, pepper, and onion. In a small jar, shake together the olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Pour over the salad ingredients, tossing gently. Add basil and Parmesan shavings and toss again. Cover and allow to sit at room temperature for an hour or two before serving.