Winter Welcome: Winter CSA ’13 – Delivery #1

Winter Delivery #1: Wednesday, Nov. 6th – All REGs & EOs

5 November, 2013 (12:13) | CSA Newsletter | By: cassie

Welcome to the 2013 winter season. It’s as if we can finally exhale!  Field by field, bin by bin we are clearing the fields of vegetables and getting them into storage. All that remains in the fields to be harvested at this point is the last lettuce, leeks, scallions, beets, and  carrots. There are also Brussels sprouts  and kale that we will leave in the fields and harvest until they are frozen through. It’s a wonderful time of year for us – we are putting the beds to sleep and getting to see our children more. Cold times on their way mean rest for us on the way.

We had a very cold, late spring and some dry times in the mid-season, but on the whole our growing weather was pretty good this year.  After last season’s drought, it was so wonderful to have a more mild, more even growing season. The theme of this growing year is BIG. For those crops that did well, you can see it in their size. You’ll most likely see some vegetables in your box larger than any you’ve seen in a grocery store. Try not to be scared! A good sharp knife and a ziploc bag will take care of any super big veggies – just use bits at a time.

We do bear two scars from this season: 1) an extremely poor garlic yield due to that cold, long, wet spring and 2) a poor winter squash harvest due to the long dry spell we had – it occurred right a critical time for the squash plants, decreasing yield and increasing disease. You will still receive small amounts of these two crops, but much less than in other years. These two crops did poorly for farmers all across the area, so unfortunately, buying in more of these items from other organic farmers isn’t an option. The weather did it’s thing and the crops did theirs. We thank you for your understanding.

If you are new to a winter CSA share, your first reaction may be shock at the large amount of vegetables you are bringing back to the kitchen.  The first box in particular is VERY large – it will definitely be the largest of the four (or two, depending on your share type). Take a deep breath, exhale, and don’t worry. You’ve got lots of time to eat all this food! The beauty of a winter share is that outside of leafy greens, EVERYTHING in your box stores.  If stored properly (see our VEGGIE GUIDE for storage instructions for each individual veggie) many of your root veggies can be stored for months.  Mike and I only jettison root crops stored in our refrigerator when the next group are ready the following season. A carrot harvested in late October can still be edible and tasty in May if stored properly.  My point is, if you don’t finish everything in your box before the next one comes, try not to worry. Things will store, and in January you’ll be happy to have them.

In the spirit of helping you use your veggies, each delivery we will post recipes with the newsletter. I thought I’d also share a couple of my favorite winter cooking resources with you:

  • Our Recipe Search. Over the last 9 years we have collected a large number of recipes that use seasonal ingredients. You can search these recipes by vegetable. Just type in the veggie(s) and lots of recipes will pop up!
  • Martha Stewart’s “cook” website. While sometimes Martha leans toward more complex recipes, her site is easy to search and loaded with recipes that utilize seasonal ingredients in simple and delicious ways.
  • Real Simple’s website. This site is also full of great vegetable recipes and has an interesting search function where you can be pretty specific about the type of meal you are interested in making.
  • The Kitchn. My sister introduced me to this one. So far every dish I’ve made from this site has been one I’ve enjoyed a lot. You can search dishes by season, which is a great function.
  • Pepper Plate. This app can be used on a desktop or smart phone device. It basically helps you create your own online cookbook, where you can upload and categorize online recipes you love. It has a menu planning, grocery list function too. No more losing that great recipe you printed out one night.

Enjoy! Sincerely, Mike, Cassie, Zea, & Edie

  • Acorn or Festival Squash
  • Beets
  • Bok Choi
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Butternut Squash
  • Cabbage, Green
  • Carrots
  • Celeriac
  • Garlic
  • Head Lettuce
  • Kale, Green Curly
  • Leeks
  • Onions, Red & Yellow
  • Potato, Red
  • Radish,Beauty Heart
  • Rutabaga
  • Scallions
  • Sweet Potato