CSA Week 20: Final Share!

***This is your final share.  Please return any bags you have remaining, and bring this bag back to your drop site within one week.  Thank you for being a member of the Corvus Landing CSA! ***

In your share week 20:

Potatoes
Carrots
Butternut Squash
Cabbage or Kohlrabi
Kale
Cilantro
Tomatoes (Some sites only)

Full shares only:

Yacon

This is it, our final share for the season.  It’s been a good fall for growing things, but just this week we’re seeing a decline in several crops.  So that’s a good time to wrap up the CSA.  We will still be open Tuesdays 9 to 2 at the farm stand until November 21.  And we have great Thanksgiving shares planned for those of you who have signed up!  Those shares are still available here if you want to get in on the goodness: we will close sign up on Friday, November 17 (or earlier if we fill up).

The only new item today is a butternut squash.  Butternuts are lots of people’s favorites, but they are typically a longer season squash and more difficult to grow here than acorns or delicatas.  We’ve found a couple of good early varieties, but even so they are a little under ripe this year.  They will be a little less sweet than other butternuts you may have had, but they do have a wonderful nutty flavor and creamy texture.  I cook butternut squash like other squash, though I find the skin a little tough and don’t usually eat it.  I either cook them in halves and peel off the skin when they are cool, or I peel them with a knife or peeler, cube them up, and roast them like potatoes.  Butternut squash will store well at room temperature for several weeks.

Our yacon crop is lighter than last year’s, so only full shares get it today.  You can read more about yacon in last week’s share notes if you missed them, but here’s a reminder of the basics: eat them raw and store them in a bag in the fridge!

We have tomatoes for many of you today, and also our last field cilantro (our greenhouse rotation may or may not be ready in time for Thanksgiving).  It’s nice to still have these summery flavors, and to try using them in different ways with all the fall veggies.  I love using squash to make a creamy sauce for pasta or risotto, and adding a couple of tomatoes does a lot to boost the flavor and thin out the squash a bit.

I’m sure most of you aren’t keeping track, but I like to let you know that this year’s share was a great value.  Full shares saved nearly 15% on the retail value of the produce, and half shares saved about 10%.  And that was even with our late start and wet, wet spring!  We tried to make it up to you by including extra basil and tomatoes and adding an extra week at the end, and the numbers worked out to be a great deal for you.

When we are out there harvesting a little of everything every day, it’s easy to forget the scale of what we do.  So I like to look at our aggregate numbers at the end of the season, and I thought you might enjoy sharing a few of those.  This year’s CSA got:

  • 414 pounds of green beans
  • Over 700 pounds of tomatoes
  • Over 300 pounds of salad mix
  • 430 pounds of winter squash
  • 350 pounds of zucchini
  • Over 1000 pounds of carrots
  • 646 bunches plus 40 pounds of basil
  • And so much more!

As a CSA member, you share the bounty and share the risk.  These numbers reflect the crops that were abundant and successful this year, while we unfortunately had fewer beets and onions and so did you.  I’m sure you found yourself occasionally overwhelmed by basil or green beans (believe me that I shared your feelings), but hopefully it inspired you to come up with new ways to eat them, or to share them with friends and family, or to find a good way to preserve what you didn’t use.  This is what eating seasonally is all about!

 

And speaking of risk, please know that the CSA was essential to us this spring.  Without your early season payments, this rainy spring would have been devastating for the farm.  Several of our early crops failed entirely and we had to back out of several markets since we had nothing to harvest.  The vast majority of our expenses occur up front, and it takes months before we can make that money back and save enough to get through to the next spring.  Losing our early harvests would have been much more stressful without the financial support and investment of our CSA members.  So I want to thank you for your commitment to us and for supporting local agriculture!

 

2018 CSA signup will begin probably in early February.  I hope you will come back for another season.  Buen salud!


Butternut-and-Boursin Shells

Herby, garlicky, creamy Boursin cheese amps up the flavor in this meatless pasta.  Did you know that Nestucca Bay Creamery now has a storefront in Cloverdale, open Fridays and Saturdays?  Try one of their fresh, local cheeses in this recipe!  Source: Martha Stewart Living, December 2016

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Using the large holes of a box grater, shred squash until you have 5 cups; cut remaining squash into 1/2-inch cubes (about 4 cups). On a rimmed baking sheet, toss squash cubes with 1 tablespoon oil; season with salt and pepper. Spread in a single layer and roast until tender and browned, about 25 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water according to package instructions. Drain, reserving 1 1/2 cups pasta water. Heat a large straight-sided skillet over medium-high. Add remaining 2 tablespoons oil and shredded squash; cook, stirring occasionally, until caramelized in spots, 10 minutes. Transfer to a blender with reserved pasta water and half of cheese; blend until smooth.
  3. Return blended sauce to skillet; stir in pasta and roasted squash. Season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately, topped with arugula, hazelnuts, small dollops of remaining cheese, and a drizzle of oil.

Colcannon

From The Victory Garden Cookbook by Marian Morash. This dish, in its many variations, is traditionally eaten in Scotland and Ireland at Halloween. It is like a hearty, kale and leek filled mashed potato dish. To save butter and time, you can choose to omit the browned onions at the end. Serves 4 to 6.

 

Roughly chop

            1 ½ lb potatoes

into evenly sized pieces. Put in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil and cook until tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Drain and mash the potatoes.

Meanwhile, heat 2 Tbsp butter in a frying pan and gently stew until tender

            1 c finely chopped leeks

Add:

            1 lb kale, stems removed and finely chopped

Saute over high heat, stirring to evaporate excess moisture. Turn the heat to low, add 2 Tbsp butter, and slowly cook the leeks and kale 5 to 10 minutes longer. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Whip this mixture into the potatoes, along with ½ to ¾ cup milk or half and half.

In a small frying pan, heat 4 Tbsp butter and brown:

            ½ c finely chopped onions

Mound the potatoes on a dish and make a depression in the center. Pour the browned onions and butter into the well until they spill over the side.

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