CSA Week 15

3 more weeks: final pickup October 18-22

In Your Share:

Carrots
Rutabaga
Green Onion
Romaine Lettuce
Chard or Komatsuna
Fennel
Zucchini or Cucumber (Half shares only)

Full Shares Only:

Beets
Basil
Salad Mix
Tomato or Eggplant

I keep trying to make the shares a bit smaller, and I think I might have succeeded today.  I’m sure some of you have some catching up to do, especially half share folks!  We are approaching the end of the main season CSA, but we still have lots of crops out there.  Unfortunately, all of our fall cauliflower is struggling.  The plants have grown beautifully and look healthy, but as the heads are browning as they form.  I believe this is a boron deficiency in our new field and I just started a spray program to try to remedy it (organically approved of course, it’s basically just borax).  Hopefully the final rotation will be salvageable and you’ll get more cauliflower soon, but in the mean time it’s an important fall crop that’s missing from your shares.  Sorry!

On the flip side, new today is a lovely rutabaga.  Rutabagas are one of the underappreciated vegetables.  They are sweeter and starchier than a turnip, and I think they shine in soups and stews, where their creamy texture and sweet mild flavor really comes out.  I peel them, since the skin is a bit spicy and bitter, then cube them up to add to a soup or roast.  Rutabagas keep well in a bag in the fridge.  Last week’s chicken soup recipe is a great way to use rutabaga.

Today’s fennel is one of the nicest rotations we’ve grown, and they are huge and sweet and tender.  We will try not to overwhelm you with fennel, but we do have a lot of it coming up.  I made a fennel apple salad the other night that was delicious, and fennel would be another great addition to that chicken soup.  We also have another lovely head of romaine, which you can also expect to see more of through the fall (though probably not for a couple of weeks).  There will continue to be lots of beets, half shares got a break this week but we have lots more sized up in the field.  Somehow they all come on at once…

On the other hand, we’ve finally caught up with the green onions.  There is just one more rotation, and with the cooler nights and shorter days they aren’t growing quite so quickly.  We’ll have them once or twice more, and then we’ll have to wait until next spring until we see them again.  This will likely also be the last bunch of basil, it’s slowed down considerably and is getting stressed.  It becomes more spicy and less sweet and floral this time of year, so it’s probably time to say goodbye.

Note that this Saturday (Oct 1) is the final week for Neskowin Farmers Market.  After this week, we will only be open at the farm stand on Tuesdays from 10 to 4.  CSA members picking up at the market will get their last few shares at the farm, and can choose to pick up on Saturdays or switch to a Tuesday or Thursday pickup.  The final main season CSA pickup is the week of October 16.


Fennel Apple Salad

I made this salad this weekend for an off the grid vegan potluck.  It is refreshing and nutritious, and made good use of some fresh fall ingredients.  I used honeycrisp apples, but I think any apple would work.

 

1 bulb fennel, quartered and sliced thinly
2 medium apples, sliced into wide matchsticks
1 Tbsp minced fresh chives
1 Tbsp minced fresh sage
1/4 c minced fresh parsley
1 fresh green chili, minced
1 Tbsp lemon juice (or more to taste)
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/8 tsp grated nutmeg
Salt to taste

 

Prepare the apples and toss in the lemon juice.  Mix together in a large bowl with all remaining ingredients.  Serve cold.


Oat and Rutabaga Pilaf with Toasted Walnuts

From The Complete Vegan Cookbook by Susann Geiskopf-Hadler and Mindy Toomay, this pilaf uses whole oat groats in place of rice. Serves 6 as a side dish.

 

Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a heavy bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Add:

½ medium yellow onion, diced

            1 ½ cups peeled and finely diced rutabaga

Stir and sauté for 3 minutes. Add:

1 c uncooked oat groats

            1 clove garlic, minced

            1 tsp dried thyme

            1 tsp celery seeds

Saute a few minutes longer. Add:

2 c vegetable or chicken stock

            ½ tsp salt (or to taste)

            Several grinds black pepper

Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat to very low, and cook 45 minutes. Without removing the lid, turn off the heat and allot the pot to stand for 10 minutes. Transfer the pilaf to a serving dish and add:

2 Tbsp minced fresh Italian parsley

            1/3 c toasted walnut pieces

Toss gently to distribute evenly, and serve hot.