Fall Box Week 1
Good day dear members,
It seems like forever ago that we packed the last regular season box. It’s good to be bringing produce out of the fields again and sending them off to good homes. It’s been a few years since we’ve done the extended shares, growing in the late fall is a whole different ball game than growing in the summer. Luckily the weather has been mild and we’ve avoided the truly testing parts of fall growing like hard frosts or, dare we say, snow.
This time of year we are busy cleaning up the fields and catching up on projects that we’ve been putting off all season. We are also spending a little more cozy time indoors as the days grow shorter and colder.
Don’t forget, your next fall box will be delivered two weeks from your pickup day this week on Tuesday Nov. 8th (aka election day) and Thursday Nov. 10th.
Frosty clover on the right, protected salad greens on the left on a chilly harvest morning
Not all the lettuce escaped the frost. Most of them will be surprisingly fine after the sun warms them up a bit
Tiny girl in Grandma and Grandpa’s semi truck-they grow a lot of corn and beans! Maybelle LOVES big machines and was in heaven.
Sun shining through the spruce
Lovely oak leaves
Sweet little acorns
Most fashionable mechanic
What’s in the box:
- Butternut Squash: 1-2, about 4-6 pounds
- Carrots-3 pounds
- Acorn Squash: 2
- Onions: 3 lbs
- Garlic: 2 heads
- Radishes: 1 bunch
- Turnips: 1 bunch
- Salad Greens: 3/4 lb
- Fennel: 2 bulbs
- Kale (Red Russian): 1 bunch
- Carrots: 3 lb
- Romanesco Cauliflower: 2 heads
- Brussel Sprouts: 2 lbs
- Cabbage-1-2 heads, depending on size
Strategies to make the most of your fall produce
Yes, it is certainly a lot of produce to receive all at once. But, most of it will hold for at least a couple of weeks. Here are a few things you can do to make sure every bit of it gets put to use:
- Bag green things and roots that are not already in bags. Particularly: radishes, turnips, kale, parsley, cabbage. Cutting the greens off your radishes will allow them keep longer, too.
- Hang your sage and thyme to dry. Simply tie a piece of string to the rubber band and hang from a door knob or cabinet knob in your kitchen. Or leave them on a plate or counter and turn them every few days. When the leaves are dry and crunchy, store in a ziplock bag or crush all the leaves off and store in a glass spice jar.
- Use more perishable items first. Use your Salad Greens within a week, they are going to be the first thing to go south. Most everything else should hold for more than a week.
- Store your Winter Squash and Garlic on the counter or in a cupboard. They will both do well outside of the fridge and should last for months.
- Spend one afternoon sometime in the next couple weeks with the oven on-set it to 375, dice, slice, chop anything in your box (ok, not the salad greens), toss it with olive oil, coconut oil, or butter, and roast until tender and caramelized. Cook, stick in the freezer and enjoy all winter! One afternoon of light work will keep you in local veggies for much of the winter.
Cabbage-If you don’t already have a favorite cabbage recipe, this one just might become the one! We had good friends over for dinner this weekend, and facing an abundance of cabbage, I reached waaaaaay back in time to my days at the C.I.A. and made Choucroute. A gorgeous Alsatian dish of braised cabbage, onions, apples, multiple kinds of pork, and sauerkraut, it was just absolutely perfect for this time of year. It really only takes about half an hour of active cooking time, and about two-three hours start to finish-but has such a rich and satisfying flavor that you’d think you’d been in the kitchen all day. Another marvelous thing about this recipe is that it uses so many of the items in your boxes! We enjoyed it with roasted squash puree seasoned with nothing but coconut oil and salt, and a lovely spinach, bacon, and caramelized almond salad. Welcome to fall!
Parsley-Don’t be intimidated by the extra lunch bunch! We have tons here on the farm and as we started to harvest today I realized it would be perfect for a Butternut Tabbouleh. This fall/winter tabbouleh is a spin on the classic Middle Eastern summer salad-in this case we still use lots of chopped parsley and bulgur, but swap in roasted diced squash for the tomatoes and some pomegranate seeds for color and anti-oxidants. Yum! Here’s a different and great winter tabbouleh recipe from Epicurious that uses several items from your box-fennel, romanesco (cauliflower), parsley and garlic.
Turnips-We’d recommend you slice these into thin coins and toss them on your salad greens, along with some miscellaneous meats, cheeses, pickles, olives and whatnot from your fridge. Instant “chef’s” salad. If you want them to store for a while, try that quick pickle we talked about earlier in the year. It takes no more than a half hour to put together and will extend the life of your turnips by several weeks! Several members made it, and so did we. It was great! Also, they are really good cut lengthwise, tossed with olive oil and salt, and roasted at 375-400 degrees until tender and lightly browned. We love non-recipes around here!
Fennel-These little wonders are always a favorite in our house. We are looking at this Roasted Chicken Thigh and Fennel Recipe for one of our weeknight meals. If you want to put them away for a snowy day, just slice them thinly, toss with olive oil and salt and roast until caramelized. Cool them, put them in a freezer bag and then thank yourself come February when you’re enjoying this next to a cozy fire. OR, do the roasting/freezing thing and then whip this Fennel Focaccia Stuffing out on Thanksgiving. You’re welcome.
Sneak Peek at the next fall box:
- Winter Squash
- Pie Pumpkin