Monday, August 15, 2016

CSA News, Week 16

Fall Foodie Fun

Your CSA shares have been bountiful, it seems, this season. We hope you appreciate the extra tomatoes while we have lots this week. Maybe you will freeze some of them and other foods along the way. Now that we are two-thirds of the way through summer season, we want to whet your appetite for all the goodies we have in the works for the fall CSA shares.

The late plantings of potatoes look good, and the sweet potato vines have covered the field, indicating there should be a bumper crop to dig in late September. The array of butternut and other winter squash vines are vibrant and fruiting right on time. We time the planting and harvest of these crops so the fruits should store well into winter. The delivery schedule (or pick-up schedule, depending on your perspective) is timed such that the weekend before Thanksgiving and the weekend before Christmas, your share will provide much of what you need to celebrate the holidays.

As you have learned this summer, if not before, the greens and lettuces are so fresh, they will hold for the entire time between deliveries, as well. Fall greens are phenomenal, and here’s why: As I've written in this space before, it’s all about the biology. As the average temperature drops and we have frosty nights, the plants grow at a slower pace. Since we often see lots of sun in the fall, the plants are still photosynthesizing, but cells are not multiplying as fast, so each and every one gets packed full of sugars and flavors for us to enjoy. It also seems to help them stay fresh longer, too.

Since first frost in this area is usually during the first two weeks of October, the early Fall CSA shares should still contain those precious last tomatoes, peppers and other summer goodness before the frost/freeze wipes them out until next June. (Yes, six months, so get all you can!)

You will also see veggies that only do well in the fall. We grow a watermelon radish that eats well fresh, but is awesomely sweet, like a beet, when roasted. These and other varieties store well in the refrigerator, often into the depths of winter. Nor do you have to feel compelled to eat all the potatoes or squash between pick-ups because they keep for long time, simply in a cool, dry place. If unblemished, we have seen them hold until the following summer.

The farm used to shut down around this time, and the farmers markets slowed way down, as well. But we were eating well from gleanings here on the farm, and then we started planting some fall veggies to share with the few customers who were still looking for organic and local produce well into the fall, and now we grow lots so more of you can have access to it. In recent years, we began taking it to another level, expanding our greenhouse production and use of row covers to extend the season even further, if not year-round. Your support has been so instrumental in the growth and development of our entire farming operation.

First, you should know that the fall shares are on an every-other-week pickup schedule. Since many of the items are designed by Mother Nature to store well that time of year, it made sense to us to spread out the deliveries. Also, plants grow slower this time of year and cannot be harvested as often as they are during the spring and summer.

The pickup locations are a little different in the fall, so look at the sign-up details on the website to see which will best suit your schedule. We do offer to bring Fall CSA shares to the Lexington Farmers Market on Saturday, which is not feasible in the summer. 

We are seeding and planting our fall crops now, so we wanted to get you thinking about them, as well. Some CSA members tell us they need a break from the flow of veggies into their kitchens. Then they sign up for the Fall CSA anyway because they forgot what it was like to shop for wholesome, organic veggies at the supermarket. We are offering a mini share size for the first time this fall, which some of you may start with. But don’t forget, it is every other week, and it all keeps really well.

Secure your supply now. It helps us rest easier, knowing where your food is coming from. You'll find pricing, pickup locations and more details at —Mac Stone

In Your Share

Kale Greens
Red Onions
Bell Pepper
Summer Squash
Heirloom Tomatoes


Tomato Tart, adapted from Garden of Eating

1 large onion, sliced
olive oil
balsamic vinegar
1 sheet puff pastry, defrosted
2 medium or 1 large tomato, cored and sliced thin
2-3 branches fresh thyme
4 oz. goat or gruyère cheese
salt & pepper
handful of toasted pine nuts

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Sauté onions in a frying pan in olive oil until translucent. Splash with a little balsamic vinegar, and continue to cook another 1-2 minutes.
Lay the sheet of puff pastry out on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
Prick the dough inside the border all over with the tines of a fork to prevent it from puffing up too much during baking. Spread a layer of cheese on the pastry. Top with onions, then arrange tomatoes in a single layer. (Crowding or overlapping the tomatoes will make the puff pastry soggy.) Strip thyme branches, scattering leaves over tomatoes. Drizzle with olive oil and season with pepper.
Bake until the pastry is crisp and deeply browned on the bottom and around the edges, 30-40 minutes. Season with salt and serve.

Savory, Spicy, Sweet Kale, Coconut and Brown Rice, adapted from NeighborFood

2 tsp. toasted sesame oil
2 T. soy sauce or tamari
1 tsp. Sriracha
scant 1/3 c. olive oil
5 c. kale, ribs removed and torn in bite sized pieces
1 c. sweetened, shredded coconut
1 c. uncooked brown rice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread kale and coconut evenly on tray and set aside.
Prepare rice according to package directions.
In a small bowl, whisk together sesame oil, soy sauce and Sriracha. Slowly drizzle olive oil into the mixture, whisking constantly to avoid separation. Whisk until fully combined. Drizzle about 1/2 over the kale and coconut and toss until evenly coated. Bake for 15-17 minutes or until kale is crispy and browned around the edges.
Divide rice and kale/coconut chips evenly into bowls. Drizzle with additional oil mixture and serve warm.

Quinoa and Zucchini Stuffed Peppers, adapted from Naturally Ella

2 bell peppers
1 c. quinoa, cooked
1 c. shredded zucchini/summer squash
2 T. fresh, minced basil
½ c. tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes
1 clove garlic, minced
½ tsp. sea salt
¼ tsp. black pepper
2 oz. mozzarella, shredded, divided

Preheat broiler. Place whole peppers under the broiler and cook until soft and just starting to char, 1 to 2 minutes, rotating as needed. Remove, let cool slightly, then slice in half from top to bottom. Lay pepper halves flat in a roasting pan.
Preheat/lower oven to 425 degrees F.
In a bowl, combine quinoa, shredded squash, basil, tomato sauce, garlic, salt, pepper and half the cheese.
Divide quinoa mixture among the four pepper halves. Top with remaining cheese. Bake 12-15 minutes, or until cheese has melted and is starting to lightly brown.

Mashed Potato Cakes with Applesauce, adapted from Community Table  

You probably know potato cakes (latkes) are served with applesauce. This recipe puts applesauce in the potato cakes for added nutrition and sweetness.

2 c. mashed potatoes
¼ c. parmesan cheese
1 egg, whisked
½ c. applesauce
7 T. all-purpose flour, divided
butter or oil

Place mashed potatoes, cheese, egg, applesauce and 3 tablespoons flour in a bowl, and stir to combine. Form 12 potato patties.
Place the remaining flour on a plate. Lightly coat the potato patties in the flour.
Heat a thin layer of oil or butter in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Cook the potato cakes, 3 minutes on each side. Serve as is or with more applesauce.