CSA Week 19.

We hit a major milestone last week. No, not our third wedding anniversary, something that feels more monumental than that: Kyle finished digging the potatoes!!!!!!!!!!! When we set out to grow 1200 feet of potatoes this year, we thought we would purchase a potato digger attachment for our rototiller to make the digging mechanized and much less backbreaking. But then we realized after using another new implement to mound the potatoes (a rotary plow) that such equipment doesn’t work very well on our hillside. Most equipment is designed for flat ground and the rotary plow was a frustrating experiment.

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So we elected not to purchase the potato digger which means Kyle was our potato digger for 2017 (with some help from Nate and Natalie). Digging 1200 feet of potatoes with little more than a broad fork is major. It takes hours and hours of work that involves a lot of strength and a lot of bending. Kyle balanced this task out weekly so as to not overexert himself (so pragmatic this guy). Hence the finishing in early October. But our yield s were great. Our crops were lovely and we have so many that we won’t only be offering them in bulk to CSA members and giving you loads more to end the season, but we will also be offering Fall Storage Shares for the first time! It will be a lot of potatoes and onions, because we have A LOT of potatoes and onions!

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This week also involved an insane amount of every farmer’s favorite task: taking time to preserve the summer bounty! We’re up to 44 jars of salsa in the pantry, 12 jars of tomato sauce in the freezer and bag after bag of frozen peppers (for us) and broccoli (for our tortoise Norman). Next up we’ll be freezing cauliflower (also for Norman), pressure canning some green beans, and canning some other tomato products. The bumper crop of late tomatoes has been an absolute surprise and allowed us to really stash away more than ever before. I can’t wait to make stews and chilis and pastas with all our own tomatoes all winter long!

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We also spent our weekend prepping for the harvest party!! I’ve got 50 biscuits and scones in the freezer to bake up Sunday morning for those who spend the night (my favorite combination: caramelized shallot, butternut squash and mozzarella with honey). We tested the recipe for the baked jalapeno poppers (essentially just jalapenos stuffed with a combination of cheddar and cream cheese then wrapped in bacon). We dug through the freezer for the pork we’ll be slow cooking.

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It has been a week of great food and exciting end of season accomplishments. Our conversations have already turned from what we’ve done well this year to what we’re excited to do better next year. We’re ready for rest but also eager for another season. Every year we learn and grow so much it’s almost overwhelming to try and stash all the knowledge away. It feels good to be heading into mid-October with so much still growing available for late season members and ever-expanding restaurant friends. It feels good to be focused on making plans with family and friends instead of only making plans for the farm. It feels good to catch up and reconnect and enjoy our home in the evenings. It feels like lovely fall and we hope you are enjoying it as much as we are.

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Happy cooking!

-L&K

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IN YOUR BOX THIS WEEK:

Cabbage // Cabbage is one of the best storage vegetables. It can easily last three weeks to two months. You don’t need to do much to it. Keep it in the fridge in the crisper drawer. A plastic bag can help retain moisture, but it doesn’t matter much. The two outside leaves are used as storage leaves. Remove them before eating.
Cauliflower (Full Shares + Some Half Shares) // Cauliflower does not store well. Keep in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer of your fridge, but try to eat within 5 days. It takes on strange flavors after that. Also, soak the head upside down in cool, salty water before use. Garden bests love to hide out in organic cauliflower.
Arugula (Full Shares + Half Shares who did not receive Cauliflower) // Store in plastic bag in fridge. Plastic bag will help arugula retain moisture which keeps it fresh for longer. Try to use it within a week. If it gets limp or wilted, you can still use in recipes that call for cooked or wilted greens.
Brussels Sprouts (Full Shares Only) // Take out of plastic bag and store in a bowl or open container in the fridge. Do not trim or discard outer leaves before storage. Brussels sprouts should last up to a month this way. The outer leaves might get a little shriveled but you typically remove them anyway.
Colored Italian Peppers (Red & Yellow) or Oranos (Orange) // Refrigerate peppers, unwashed, in the vegetable drawer. Moisture makes them spoil faster so don’t store in a plastic bag.
Carrots // Refrigerate carrots in a plastic bag. They will easily keep for 2-4 weeks this way.
Purple Daikon // Daikon always seems to last for forever in the crisper drawer of my fridge, especially if it has not been cut. It will get a little soggier the longer you store it, but will still work quite well pickled. You within a month and you should be a-okay.
Turnips (Half Shares Only) // Remove greens immediately and wrap them in a barely damp paper towel or towel and place them in a plastic bag for best life. Store roots separately loose in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator. You can also store them in an open plastic bag to best retain moisture. Greens will last a few days. Turnips will last weeks.
Celeriac // Store in the crisper drawer of your fridge with the skin (and dirt) left on. Root vegetables store much better before they are washed. You can also store in a plastic bag or plastic wrap to help it keep longer. It should last 4-6 weeks with no issues. After that it will soften but still have great flavor.
Gold Potatoes // Store just like you’d store any bag of potatoes from the grocery store: in a cool, dark place. Out of the light, they should keep for at least a month.
Leeks // Store in the fridge and try to use within a week. Store in a plastic bag for best storage.
Yellow Onion (Half Shares Only) // Store along with your potatoes in a cool dark place and try to use within a couple weeks.

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VEGGIE ID: Celeriac  ↑

Celeriac is not the prettiest vegetable you will ever encounter and because of that fact, folks often think they’re not gong to like it. But celeriac is a wonderful fall veggie with loads of flavor. It’s also a long-season crop (meaning it takes over 100 days to grow) with tiny seeds and for that reason, this is our first time actually growing it successfully. It’s a hard crop to grow and we have often lose ours to the weeds. This year we transplanted the delicate crop in late May and kept it in a low field with lots of shade and lots of moisture. It did very well here! We’re so excited to have celeriac for our members for two weeks!

What does it taste like?

Some people call it celery root as it is essentially a celery plant bred to grow large roots instead of large stems and leaves. It tastes much like celery but with a more nutty, sweet flavor.  It’s also rather starchy and potato-like.

How do I eat it?

First and most importantly, you are going to need to peel the celeriac and you will want to do so aggressively. I cut off both ends and then peel it with a knife rather than a vegetable peeler. I’ll lose a little bit of flesh this way but its a much faster and easier way to peel it. Then the options are limitless! I love celeriac mashed with potatoes. It’s great in soups to impart a little creaminess and celery flavor (you can always sub it for celery in soups). Even just roasted with a bunch of other root veggies, celeriac really shines. But if you want to find some more creative ways to use this interesting veggies, head over to Rodale’s Organic Life. They have some really awesome ideas for how to use your celeriac!

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IN YOUR BOX NEXT WEEK
You can expect 9-11 of these items in your box next week
Arugula
Lettuce
Curly Kale
Cauliflower
Cabbage
Carrots
Beets
Watermelon Radish
Celeriac
Beans
Cherry Tomatoes
Tomatoes
Green or Colored Peppers
Poblanos
Potatoes
Leeks
Yellow Onions

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BOX INSPIRATION: 

Bucatini w/cauliflower, brussels sprouts & toasted breadcrumbs. A110725 Food & Wine FAST/Gastronaut: Stock. Nov 2011.

Bucatini with Cauliflower & Brussels Sprouts // Cauliflower, Brussels Sprouts, Onion //Pasta + fall veggies > pasta with any other veggies. It’s something about the comforting flavors and cool evenings. I’m just totally obsessed with these sorts of simple dinners lately.

Vegetarian, Vegan (without Parmesan)

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Mashed Turnips with Goat Cheese & Leeks // Turnips (White or Purple-Top) with Greens if you received them (don’t worry about it if you didn’t), Sub Potatoes, Celeriac or Cauliflower if you don’t have 1.5 pounds of Turnips (which you probably don’t), Leeks, Sub leftover Shallots from previous weeks for Garlic // I’m seriously about just mashing most of the vegetables in this week’s box. Mashed potatoes are obviously delicious but you will be surprised by how tasty mashed turnips, celeriac and cauliflower all are too. I love to throw some of everything in a pot and mash it all together. Then serve over wilted greens with sauteed leeks and shallots (or just leeks). YUM!

Vegetarian, Gluten-Free

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Cabbage Pancakes // Cabbage, Sub thinly sliced Leeks and/or Yellow Onions, Toss in some Daikon Radish cut into matchsticks //  I LOVE CABBAGE PANCAKES! I made them for the first time last summer and never looked back. They come together pretty quickly despite looking so elegant, and have just the right about of heaviness from the frying. Sometimes all we want to eat is salad, but other times we just crave greasy delicious Asian food. These Japanese pancakes are just the thing for those cravings. Plus you can throw in any extra daikon radishes and the flavors only get better!

Vegetarian

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Celeriac & Leek Soup // Leeks, Onion, Celeriac, Potato // Leek and potato soup is a fall classic (and I highly recommend it if you’ve never tried it before), but this twist on a classic with the addition of celeriac is even better!

Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten-Free

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Celeriac Waffles (this link includes lots of celeriac recipes, just keep rolling towards the middle until you find the right picture!) // Celeriac, Leftover Shallot (or sub Leek or Onion), Arugula // I know most people’s idea of fun is not making waffles out of wacky vegetables, but I had a great time playing around with my food. I found this recipe fun, innovative and way tasty. Celeriac lends a nutty flavor to these savory waffles served with smoked trout, apples and arugula. That’s one heck of a weekend breakfast!

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Seared Salmon with Gnocchi and Roasted Cauliflower // Cauliflower // Sometimes eating local food is about keeping it simple. Roasting cauliflower is a great start to any dinner, but this one paired with pre-made gnocchi and quickly cooked salmon is a favorite weeknight meal of ours. P.S. If you don’t have the herbs, don’t sweat it. I’ve also just tossed a couple tablespoons (total) of my favorite dried herbs (basil, parsley, thyme, sage, rosemary) with the roasted cauliflower and gnocchi for a similar result. If you do happen to have extra arugula lying around, feel free to make the same herb sauce but with arugula instead.

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Curried Carrot Soup // Onion, Carrot // It’s fall. It’s officially soup time (which is probably obviously by the three soups in this newsletter). This is a fantastic soup with loads of flavor from only a few ingredients. We make it biweekly all winter long. It makes for the best lunch on a cool day and if you have the time to make the crispy chickpeas, you definitely won’t regret it!

Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten-Free

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Pickled Cauliflower with Carrots & Red Peppers // Cauliflower, Carrots, Red Peppers, Onion // I made so many pickles for the Bloody Mary Bar at our Farm-to-Table Brunch a couple weekends ago and this recipe discovery was a revelation. It combines four veggies I seem to always have in excess at this time of year plus it’s beautiful. I’ll be keeping jars of this in my fridge all winter long.

Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten-Free

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Grilled Leeks with Romesco Sauce // Leeks, Red Pepper, Tomato // Two weekends ago at a farm party catered by Underground Food Collective, I discovered the simple pleasure of blistered leeks (I recommend halving or even quartering them before throwing them on the grill or in the broiler) slathered in sweet, savory, nutty, summery romesco. I was never a romesco person until this summer and now I apparently can’t get enough. It’s just the thing to make when you are sick of colored peppers and sick of tomatoes and don’t know what else to do with them. If you make loads of romesco sauce, be sure to try this Dishing Up The Dirt gem.

Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten-Free

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Sesame Noodle Bowls with Lemongrass Meatballs // Carrots, Daikon Radish, Sub thinly sliced Onions for Scallions // This recipe has a few more steps and a few more fancy ingredients (all of which can be purchased from any Asian grocery in Madison) than I like. I prefer to share recipes that require minimal dishes and minimal steps, but this is an absolute favorite in our household so I couldn’t not share it! Plus you can absolutely skip the cashew sauce (or just make a plain ol’ simple sriracha mayo instead) and can easily make a double batch so you can eat on it for longer!

Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten-Free (with the right noodles)

MOM’S RECIPE CORNER

Cabbage Patch Soup // Onion, Celeriac, Pepper, Tomatoes, Cabbage

Takes 50 minutes
Serves 6-8

1/2 yellow onion, diced
1/2 celeriac, peeled and diced
1 green (or colored) pepper, diced
1 pound ground beef
2 cans condensed tomato soup (10 ¾ ounce each)
4 cups water
4 cups diced fresh tomatoes or 2 cans petite diced tomatoes (15 ounce each)
1/2 head cabbage, shredded
¼ cup brown sugar

Salt and pepper to taste (season beef while cooking as well) 1 teaspoon chili powder 1. Brown ground beef with onions, celery and green pepper in a stock pot over medium heat. Drain well. Add all remaining ingredients to pot. Simmer until cabbage is tender, 30 minutes or so. Season to taste.

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