Another beautiful bag of vegetables
week 22 of 26 weeks: crunchy vegetables

Week 21: Crooknecks!

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These are Pennsylvania Dutch Crooknecks.  They are an heirloom winter squash renowned for their great flavor and for the ratio of squash that is seed-free, making it a little easier to prepare.  Don't be intimidated by their size.  You can chop off the part you want to use immediately and keep the rest in your fridge for weeks.  Or you can roast the entire thing and freeze a bunch of it for some future use (soup is my favorite).  Or maybe you don't want to use any of it just yet? All of our winter squashes will keep for months, unrefrigerated, as long as they haven't been cut or nicked.  If you don't have plans for your crookneck, butternuts or acorns right away, tuck them on a shelf until you feel inspired--some wintery holiday when you can amaze your family with your fantastic pumpkin pie (crooknecks make a better pie than orange pumpkins anyway).   
 

Announcements

  • Garlic - new wholesale prices
    You can now purchase 10 pounds or more for $6/pound ($8/pound for non-members)  
    For fewer than 10 pounds, the price remains $8/pound for CSA members and $12/pound for non-members.  Pay with cash or check (made out to CBF), or purchase on-line HERE. (For now, this link is for the $8/lb price only.  We'll adjust for the new wholesale option shortly.) 
  • We're now welcoming volunteers on Saturdays!  Our friends from the education department have gone back to their normal, educating duties, so we're hoping to get some help with harvests (Tuesdays and Fridays) and field work (Thursdays and Saturdays).  We can take up to 10 people at a time, and adults can take one CSA share in exchange for 5 hours of work.  Call the farm line to sign up: 301-627-4662.   
  • Do you have a lawn?  As a steward of your land, the choices you make can either help clean the Bay or pollute it.  You can sequester carbon or release it.  TONIGHT the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and Glenstone Museum are holding a webinar with experts ready to give you ideas, and none to soon--fall is the perfect time to establish new plants in your yard.  
  • Has this year inspired you to wonder why our food system is so fragile?  Do you have ideas about how to make it more resilient?  Future Harvest would like to hear your ideas!  Let's use this crisis to create  system that will stand up to our next crisis more successfully.  
  • If you're thinking of owning a farm business someday, a great place to start is with the Future Harvest Beginner Farmer Training Program.  They are accepting applications now for 2021, and the deadline is soon--October 16.   

This week's share

  • 2 heads garlic
  • 1 Pennsylvania Dutch Crookneck
  • 1 Eggplant
  • 1/2 pound Sweet Peppers 
  • 1 Watermelon Radish
  • 1 small piece of fresh ginger

    Choose one 
  • Spicy Mix (this week's blend is heavy with tokyo bekana, so it is quite mild)
  • Arugula
  • Tatsoi
  • Collards 

    You may also add on 
  • Okra -  6 oz
  • Chilies, mild or hot -  6 oz

Recipes

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Wondering what to do with a watermelon radish? Here are some great links for some ideas:

The Pennsylvania Dutch Crookneck can be used the same way you would butternut squash.  The world abounds with excellent squash soup recipes, but if you haven't found one you like yet, here's a place to start: https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/squash-soup-recipe2-1956330.  Don't add the honey until you've tasted the roasted squash--it might be sweet enough that you don't want it.  The cream and butter can be easily substituted with soymilk and olive oil.  Sometimes I add pearl barley to soups to make it a more filling meal.  And some other additions that I find delicious are blue cheese, harissa (or some smoky hot sauce of your choice) and a topping of roasted squash seeds.  Also, I sometimes use apples or apple cider as a sweetener instead of honey.  

Have you been roasting squash seeds?  Don't throw them out until you've tried it!  When you scoop the seeds out of your raw winter squash, pull them away from the stringy orange bits (no need to be picky--a little bit adds to the flavor), and put them on a baking sheet.  Pour a generous amount of olive oil on top and sprinkle some salt (smoky paprika and cayenne are also good additions, but keep it simple your first try).  Mix around the seeds so they all have a coating of oil, and spread them out on the pan.  Then roast them in a hot oven (400F is good) or even toasting in your toaster oven works.  Cook them until they're brown.  You'll often hear them start to pop when they're about done.  It helps to mix around the seeds midway, but is not necessary.   

That little piece of ginger in your share this week is a tiny nugget of gold.  It is packed with strong ginger flavor but without the fibers.  There's no need to peel it.  You can makea healthy, energizing tea with your ginger, toss bits of it in your smoothies, or use it as you would regular ginger in any recipe.  If you can't bring yourself to use it this week, you should freeze it to keep the strong flavor.  

Coming Soon

  • Next week we're planning to harvest the bok choi, and it's beautiful. 
  • Once we've finished the watermelon radishes (next week?  week 23?) we'll start giving out some daikon radishes.
  • Next week we might offer a choice of some other unique squash varieties.
  • The rest of the share next week should be about the same as this one.  The peppers, eggplant and okra are slowing down, so those weights are getting lighter each week.

We'd like to end with this little gem.  We've been seeing tree frogs in our okra field.  Of the seven classes of vertebrate animals, amphibians (including frogs) are suffering the greatest rates of extinction, and they are particularly vulnerable to pesticides because they breath through their skin.  You can feel reassured that your organic farm is a refuge for these beautiful little creatures.  
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Photo by David Tana.

Have a wonderful week, everyone,
The Clagett Farm Team

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