This week is the last week of the Fall 2015 CSA share, and while I am sorry to see the season come to an end, I am content knowing that many of the vegetables in this week’s share will be sustaining my family in the weeks to come. Here are a few tips for stretching out your share into the New Year...
Don’t get left out of the spring 2016 CSA share! Reserve your spot by emailing nativesonproduce [at] gmail [dot] com.
Unpacking and storing your share:
For cilantro and parsley, trim off the bottom inch of stem and place them in a glass of cold water. They will then keep on the counter for about a week, and in the fridge up to two weeks. Be sure to change the water every couple of days, and trim the stems when they start to spit and fray.
The day I get my share, I de-stem my kale and tear the leaves into pieces about 3-4 inches long. These will keep in a plastic bag for up to two weeks, but more often my kids ask me to make them into kale chips right away.
Store in a gallon-size freezer bag for up to 10 days, but try to use it within 4 days for peak freshness.
Collards may keep in the garden all winter long—last year I harvested some from my garden on January 1st!—but, once harvested, they need to be eaten quickly. I find they start to lose their freshness after a day or two in the fridge. So, the morning after I get my share, I turn on my crockpot to make Slow-Cooker Collard Greens. It’s a wonderfully satisfying and easy lunch on a dreary winter’s day.
I wrap my all of my cabbages in a cotton dishtowel and store then in the crisper. I have found the Savoy and Napa cabbages keep well for about a week, although I have certainly stretched it to two, even three. Green cabbages seem to keep well for four weeks in ideal conditions. I have even stored half-cabbages in the fridge (after using the other half for a recipe), and kept them for another week or two. Just be sure to wrap cut cabbage in plastic wrap.
Immediately trim the greens (I feed mine to my chickens, who adore them!) and store the carrots in a freezer bag in your crisper. I have yet to discover an expiry date on these after 12 weeks in the share.
Radishes, turnips, kohlrabi, rutabaga, beets, should keep well in a dry crisper for weeks and weeks and weeks. For some of the larger vegetables, such as those mammoth rutabagas and kohlrabis, I will use half or a quarter of the vegetable in a recipe and wrap the remainder in plastic wrap until I need it. I have been whittling away at a particularly large kohlrabi for almost a month now.
This Week’s Meal Plan:
Wednesday potluck dinner
Roasted Chicken with Roasted Root Vegetables (beets, turnips, kohrabi, rutabaga, radish)
Friday Night Pizza with arugula topping and arugula side salad
Hamburgers with turnip and rutabaga fries