Dear CSA members and farm friends,
Welcome to Week 10 of our 12 week Fall and Winter CSA season. As y’all have likely noticed, a lot of rain has fallen over the last five days and most of our crops are loving it! Our cabbages and Brussels sprouts have seen an explosion of growth with the rain, and it seems like our carrots have doubled in size.
While the crops are loving the moisture, harvesting in wet muddy conditions can be a challenge. Our crew works rain or shine and has hauled a lot of produce out of the mud this week. I hope that y’all are as thankful for their hard work as I am. Brandon Walker, Chasiti McGhee and Joseph Curry have done a wonderful job this year and are largely responsible for all of the lovely, diverse and clean vegetables in the CSA boxes this fall. If you enjoy your veggies and see them in the farmstand, consider saying thanks or giving them a hug.
We have got an awesome share this week and tons of food still growing in the fields. In this week’s share:
- A stalk of Brussels sprouts
- candy carrots
- Romaine lettuce
- green leaf lettuce
- curly kale
- sweet potatoes
- purple cauliflower or broccoli
I am really excited about the Brussels sprouts in the share this week. The sprouts were seeded in early July and have been growing longer than any other fall crop in the field. We have cleaned them up in the washroom but there will be some work on your end getting the sprouts off the stalk and culling the bad leaves. We love roasted Brussels sprouts at our house. Look for a recipe or two on this week's cooking blog.
If you are an Oxford CSA member who missed your share due to inclement weather and the early market closure last week, please email us or talk to Chasiti at the market about how we can make your missed share up to you.
This is the time of 2017 planning on the farm, please consider signing up for the 2017 CSA season. We have big plans and lots of strawberries planted!
Thanks for choosing to keep local alive and well,
Sprouts still on the stalk will stay fresher longer. So, if you have not already removed the individual sprouts, consider leaving them on the stalk and storing the stalk in the fridge in a tall glass of water, as you would parsley or cilantro. If you need to go ahead and pluck them, store them in the fridge in a bowl or open container. They should keep about a week but taste best when used within a day or two. Just before use, remove the outer, wilted leaves and wash. When roasting, remember that sprouts that are the same size will cook more evenly. So unless you need to cook the whole kitten caboodle at once, consider separating your sprouts into groups by size and only cooking the same-sized sprouts at one time.
If possible, store your fennel in a brown paper bag in your fridge, where it should keep about three to five days. Fennel’s distinctive licorice flavor can be overpowering to some—especially when served raw—but when added to a roasted chicken, roasted pork tenderloin, or pan-seared fish it can add a subtly sweet undertone. Personally, I can’t do without it when making coleslaw with the green cabbage and carrots in recent shares.
Separate the greens from the roots, then store them separate plastic bags in the crisper. This week’s extra-sweet carrots lend themselves perfectly to this simple roasting method.
Remove leaves from stem and wash in cold water. Add a little ice to the water if lettuce has wilted on the way home from the market and needs perking up. Spin or pat dry. Wrap in paper towels and store in a large plastic bag in the crisper. The paper towels will soak up any excess moisture, and the plastic bag will keep the air from circulating too much. Remove immediately any leaves that become slimy. Should stay fresh for 7-to-10 days if stored properly.
Wash leaves, trim stems, and pat the leaves dry before using. Store in a closed plastic bag in the fridge for a week or more. This week’s curly kale is a little tougher than in recent weeks, so I’ll be using mine in kale chips and soups.
Store in a cool dark pantry (not the fridge!), if possible, in a loosely covered paper bag to allow for circulation. Keeps about a month.