CSA Newsletter: Week 19 (September 24th, 2012)

Hello CSA members!

This week we hope to bring you Delicata squash, German Butterball potatoes, beets OR turnips, beans, jalapenos OR parsley OR onions, and lettuce OR roasted sweet peppers. Large share members will be getting lettuce AND roasted sweet peppers, broccoli, and shallots. Fruit share members will get Alkmene apples and Gala apples.

In this week’s newsletter:

Potato Success

Posted by Maddie

In my eyes, this year’s Cinderella story at Red Wagon has definitely been the potato crop. I’ll be honest, when we planted potatoes in the field back in May I did not have high hopes. The farm crew that day spent hours planting row after row of potatoes in soil that looked more like a lava field than fertile earth. I remember my skepticism well. With every seed potato I wiggled into the rocky ground, I thought, “Good luck down there, little fella.” More experienced farmers assured me they would probably do just fine.

Looking back, I wish I had thought to take some pictures on planting day. Last week I had the chance to harvest some of our stubborn little spuds for the first time and did they ever prove me wrong.

Javier got us started by tilling up two rows of potato plants with the tractor. The row on the left in this picture shows what the tops of the plants look like when the potatoes are ready. You can see potatoes tumbling out of the ground in the newly dug row in the center.

The tractor pulls the plants out of the ground and we follow behind, digging the potatoes out of the now beautiful soil, teeming with earthworms.

Pulling potatoes makes me feel like a little kid. There you are on your knees, digging around looking for buried treasure with your shoes and fingernails full of dirt. And then the occasional earthworm or roly-poly squiggles out to greet you. I recommend that everyone try it at least once.

Pumpkin Patch Now Open!

Posted by Maddie

We have been busy on the farm getting our pumpkin patch set up. The leaves on the pumpkin plants are dying back and revealing thousands of beautiful orange pumpkins. The straw bale maze is complete and ready for adventure!

Our pumpkin patch is located at the 7694 N 63rd Street, off the Diagonal highway in Longmont. Come visit us! We will be open from 10am-6pm every day now through October 31st.

Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

Posted by Mo

You have a choice of roasted red peppers today. These are a very sweet pepper called Carmen. Roasting them brings out even more sweetness and complex flavors. To prepare these you simply need to rinse off most of the charred peel and seed and devein them.

You can put some olive oil and a little balsamic vinegar on these peppers and essentially you will have what you get a Whole Foods olive bar or buy in jars that you would pay big bucks for.

I like to use these on grilled cheese sandwiches. But I really love roasted red pepper sauce.
Roasted red pepper sauce is almost as easy as making pesto. Seed and devein your peppers as above and take the peppers for a spin in your Cuisinart or blender.

Add some onions and garlic sauteed in olive oil.

And take that for a spin. If you are going to eat it right away you can add a splash of cream or 1/2 & 1/2 and some Parmesan cheese. Use this like you would pesto, on pasta or bread as a spread or to compliment some grilled vegetables or meat.

I wanted to save mine for winter eats so I am going to freeze it at this point and add cream when I use it.

Yeah. I love putting some things away for winter.

Roasted Delicata Squash Salad

Posted by Mo

This week you are getting delicata squash.

Delicata will store for up to 3 months so don’t feel like you have to use it right away. Keep it in the garage or an unheated room and it will be fine.

Delicata are one of a few winter squash that you don’t need to peel. The flesh and peel are firm with a nutty flavor. I like to roast them in smaller pieces to get more caramelized areas, but you can also just cut it in half and roast it like you would an acorn squash. Delicatas are nice stuffed with grains or vegetables and roasted, too.

I want to show you one of my favorite winter salads. This is a good way to use up anything you have in your refrigerator.

Delicata squash work really well with this salad because the flesh is so firm when it is cooked and can hold up to being tossed with vinaigrette and mixed with other ingredients.
Cut up your squash, removing the seeds and stringy pulp.  Drizzle the slices with olive oil, salt, and pepper and roast in a hot 400˚F oven.

Roast the bejeezes out of it, about 40 minutes. You want these really done, almost dry.

Put the cooked squash in a bowl and chop up any vegetables that you have on hand. Make sure you add some sort of onion and some crunchy stuff like celery or peppers. The contrast of soft and crunchy is nice. I wish I had some hard cooked eggs to add here.

I drizzled this with a Dijon vinaigrette but any dressing will do. Mine was 2 teaspoons Dijon, 2 tablespoons of cider vinegar and 3 tablespoons of olive oil. I tossed it all and served it on some lettuce. This is also great on grains or rice. The leftovers are so good too. The flavors meld so make lots. You will want more than one meal out of this.

Enjoy this cool weather and being able to turn on the oven without dying of heat.
Until next week.

– Mo

This entry was posted in 2012, Newsletter and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.