CSA Week 18: Final week!

***Please return your bags!!***

In your share week 18:

Winter Luxury Pumpkin
Romaine Lettuce
Green tomatoes
Green peppers
Bay leaf

Full shares only:

Kale or bok choy

The final week is finally here! I hope you have enjoyed your share. We work hard to grow delicious veggies and get them to you in combinations and quantities that you will enjoy. We can’t please everyone every time; it’s impossible with so many different members and such a diverse mix of crops. But I hope you have been happy overall and feel healthy and well fed after all these veggies.

We are extremely grateful for our CSA members. Your support and commitment to the farm are essential to keeping the farm alive. The CSA shone extra bright this year, offering a real stability in a year of uncertainty and upheaval. I hope you found the nourishing food and weekly veggies a bright spot in this difficult summer.

I like to look back at the compiled harvests at the end of the season. This year we had 60 Classic CSA members spread from Depoe Bay to Oceanside. In total, members received:

  • 450 bunches of basil
  • 580 bunches of carrots
  • 510 pints of cherry tomatoes and 720 pounds of tomatoes
  • 240 pint of sugar snap peas
  • 700 bags of salad
  • 620 pounds of potatoes
  • 160 bouquets of flowers

There’s always some crop that produces beyond expectations and members get loaded up. Our most productive crops this year were cucumbers and cabbage. Members received 750 pounds of cukes and 850 pounds of cabbage! I’ll bet many of you still have cabbages in your fridge; fortunately they keep well.

Next year it will be something different, maybe even something that barely made an appearance this year. The farm is dynamic and so much is out of our control, it keeps it interesting to see what each new year brings. I hope you will consider signing up again in 2021. We will open registration in February, and we will be giving priority registration to our returning CSA members.

If you enjoyed the veggies but wished you had more choice over what you got and when you got it, consider signing up for our market based flex share. Flex members visit either of our market stands and choose a set number of items. We offer part time or full time options, as well as the option to pre-order your share online.

But back to this week’s share…

Just in time for Halloween is a Winter Luxury pie pumpkin. The pumpkins were late to ripen this year, so some are still have flecks of green. They should continue to sweeten up as they sit, I’d recommend waiting a week or two before eating them. These pumpkins make the most fantastic pumpkin puree: flavorful, sweet, and velvety.  I’ve used the puree to make pies, soups, risotto, and more.  I cook them the same way I cook winter squash.  Cut it in half, put it in a pan with a bit of water, and roast it at 375 until a fork goes through it easily.  To puree it, I scoop out the seeds, peel off the skin, and use my immersion blender (you can also use a food processor, a regular blender, or a potato masher).

If you have a large pumpkin and don’t want to use it all at once, the puree freezes well.  I’d roast the whole pumpkin, since it won’t keep for long once it’s cut open.  Left whole and uncooked, these pumpkins are sturdy but not terribly long keepers.  It should keep at room temperature at least until Thanksgiving and possibly until the end of the year.  They can be left on a counter or table.

With a predicted overnight low of 27 on Sunday night, Mike and I spent part of the weekend gleaning what we could out of the greenhouses in case the tomatoes and peppers got taken out. That means green peppers and green tomatoes! While these aren’t a frequent visitor to my kitchen, I learned a couple of years ago that green tomatoes are actually quite tasty. Fried green tomatoes is the most famous use, but green tomatoes add tangy flavor to all kinds of dishes. I like to slice and roast them, or they make good salsas, soups, tarts, and rice dishes. I’d store them on the counter, and some may even ripen up a bit as they sit.

We have the second round of yacon for you today. I’ll remind you that it’s best eaten raw and stored in a bag in the fridge, even though it looks more like a sweet potato! Today’s romaine might have a little frost damage, though it looked pretty good at the time of harvest. Frost damage may look like a transparent section of leaf, or it may look almost freeze dried. It is easy to cut around if you see some on your lettuce.

I included a nice sprig of bay leaves as well. I love the piney flavor of bay, and I use it frequently in my cooking. You can use the leaves fresh, I typically add just one or maybe two at the beginning of cooking, usually adding it directly to hot oil to release its flavors. Don’t eat the leaf itself; the flavor should infuse your dish and the leaf can be removed at the end of cooking. I find that bay leaves dry well sitting out on the counter; I pick the leaves off the stem and just leave them in a basket on the counter with my garlic for easy access.

Thai Green Pumpkin Curry

From Good Housekeeping. It calls for green beans but you can substitute green peppers, or kale, or whatever you like.

  • 1 tbsp. sunflower oil
  • 2 shallots, finely sliced
  • 1 tbsp. vegetarian green Thai curry paste
  • 400 ml tin reduced-fat coconut milk
  • 200 ml (7fl oz) hot vegetable stock
  • 1 tsp. brown sugar or palm sugar
  • Zest and juice of 1 lime, plus extra to serve
  • 400 g (14oz) pumpkin, peeled, deseeded and cubed
  • 100 g (3½oz) green beans, trimmed and halved
  • 1 tbsp. each freshly chopped coriander and basil
  • 4 spring onions, sliced 75 g
  • (3oz) unsalted cashew nuts, chopped (optional)
  1. Heat the oil in a large pan and gently fry the shallots for 5min until just softened. Add the paste and fry for 2min. Stir in the coconut milk, stock, sugar, lime zest and juice. 
  2. Add pumpkin, bring to the boil, then simmer for 15min until almost tender. Add beans and cook for 3-4min. Stir in the herbs and spring onions. Garnish with cashews (if using) and serve with Thai rice.

Grilled Green Tomato Tostadas with Black Beans, Avocado + Cilantro

From Food52, by Caroline Wright.  I would use lettuce or cabbage in place of the arugula.  This would also be good with yacon matchsticks!

  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon vegetable oil, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 small garlic clove, finely grated
  • 3 medium green tomatoes (about 1 pound), sliced ½-inch thick
  • 4 (8-inch) flour tortillas
  • 1 cup coarsely grated Monterey Jack
  • 4 cups baby arugula
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 medium, ripe avocado, sliced
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice, plus wedges for serving
  • 3 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh cilantro

Preheat grill or grill pan over medium-high. In a small bowl, stir together 1 tablespoon oil with cumin and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Rub tomatoes with flavored oil.

Brush both sides of tortillas with 1 tablespoon oil; season with salt and pepper. Grill one side of tortilla until puffed and golden, about 2 minutes. Flip tortillas and divide cheese among them. Cook until cheese has melted, 2 minutes; transfer to a platter. Add tomatoes to grill and cook until charred and slightly softened, about 4 minutes.

Toss beans with cilantro, lime juice and remaining 1 teaspoon oil. Top tostadas with arugula, grilled tomatoes and dressed beans. Serve avocado on the side. Sprinkle with additional salt and pepper and serve with lime wedges.

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