In the share this week:
- green head lettuce
- beets and beet greens
- sweet potatoes
- 3 to 4 types of winter squash, including pie pumpkins, Red Kuri, Blue Confection and spaghetti squash
And Just Like That, It’s Over
This season flew by particularly fast. I’m starting to think that gardening is a lot like parenting. The first couple of years seem interminable, bogged down with sleepless nights and the steep learning curve of total newness. But then you get into a rhythm. You figure out what medical problems are true emergencies, and what kinds of fevers and stomach aches can wait until the morning. You stop worrying over their every step and stumble and let them explore, bruises and all. Eventually you start to relax. Everything, despite your best/worst efforts, is probably going to be OK.
We’re six years into this growing vegetables thing and I feel like we’re finally hitting our stride. Gone are the anxious nights of my newbie years, when I would lay awake fretting over my non-germinating carrots or my soggy garlic. I’ve come to realize that there are certain things that are under your control when growing food organically, and a whole lot that isn’t. All you can do is stick to the plan, adjust as best as you can, and leave the rest up to the garden gods.
The smartest thing I did this season was to partner with Beth. Not only did she provide gorgeous produce week after week, but she kept careful records of what went into each share so we can plan better for future seasons. Since we are both equally afraid of lightweight shares, we ended up generating some truly mammoth CSA deliveries. I hope you weren’t overwhelmed. And if you were, get ready for one more!
Beth and I could never have pulled this season off without the help of a loyal and intrepid crew of harvest day helpers. Picking, sorting and packing up 45 shares a week proved to be a daunting task. We’d still be working our way through Week 3 if not for our beloved Wednesday volunteers: Arlene “Dave’s Mom” Roos, Leslie “Math Whiz” Goodnight, Jared “Mushroom Man” White, and Dan “Sunshine” Downing. And special thanks to the Dale family and their hardworking kiddos.
A Final CSA Stumper: What the Heck is Celeriac?
Celeriac, also known as celery root, is exactly what it sounds like — it’s a variety of celery that produces a baseball-size root at the soil surface. Here’s what it looks like when it’s freshly yanked from the ground:
And here’s what it looks like after you’ve cut away the celery-like stalks (a little bitter to eat raw, but great for adding flavor to a chicken or vegetable broth) and trimmed off the thin skin:
How to Cook Celeriac
We’ll get to some classic celeriac recipes in a second, but if you’re looking for a simple and delicious preparation, go with our tried-and-true method of oven-roasting root vegetables: chop up celeriac, sweet potato, fennel, onion/leek and an apple (yes, an apple!), and toss with olive oil, salt, pepper, and a fresh herb like rosemary or sage. Roast in a baking dish at 400F for 30 to 40 minutes, stirring occasionally until veggies are fork tender and fragrant. Here’s what it looks like as a side with oven-baked fish:
More Celeriac Recipes:
- Smashed Celeriac
- Braised Chicken with Celery Root and Garlic
- Celery Root and Beet Salad
- Celeriac, Potato, Leek and Apple Soup
- Celery Root Soup
Which Squash is Which?
Even farmers get confused. A few weeks ago, I posted the wrong picture with the wrong winter squash. Tomorrow you’re getting a whole mess of beautiful winter squash, so let me see if I can get it straight this time:
Pumpkin for Breakfast
Who says pumpkin is only for dessert? Beth dug up some delicious pumpkin breakfast ideas. All you’ll need is a few cups of pumpkin puree. Check out the previous CSA post for instructions (and a video) on how to roast and puree pumpkin for baking.
Baked Pumpkin Oatmeal
- 2 cups old-fashioned oats
- 2 cups milk
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 2 eggs
- 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries, with more for topping
- 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- maple syrup
- chopped pecans (optional)
- preheat oven to 350F and grease an 8-inch square baking dish
- spread oats on an ungreased baking sheet and toast in the oven for 10 minutes, stirring once. Remove to a medium bowl and let cool slightly
- in a large bowl, beat milk, pumpkin, eggs, brown sugar and vanilla until well-mixed.
- add the dried cranberries, pumpkin pie spice, salt and baking powder to the toasted oats
- add oat mixture to the pumpkin mix, blending well
- scrape the whole mess into the greased baking dish and bake in the oven for 45 minutes until knife inserted into the center comes out almost clean
- serve with maple syrup and chopped pecans (cream doesn’t hurt either…)
Pumpkin Spice Banana Smoothie
- 1/2 cup almond milk (or regular milk)
- 1/2 frozen banana
- 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
- 1/2 cup ice cubes
- 1 TB honey
- 1 tsp ground flaxseed
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ginger
- dash of ground nutmeg
- put everything into the blender and blend until smooth
Perfect Fall Salad
I love that the last share of the season is an echo of the first. Just as we started the spring with a big, fresh salad, let’s do the same thing for the last share. For the greens, mix together torn up leaves of lettuce, arugula, beet greens and some of the smaller and more delicate kale. Roast and skin the beets, let them cool and add them to the salad with some crumbled goat cheese and toasted pecans or walnuts. Good stuff.
How Was the CSA Season? Let Us Know!
Leave a comment below and let us know what you thought about the 2015 CSA.