This week we flip-flop beets and kohlrabi; regular shares get beets and full shares kohlrabi. More sweet crunchy carrots for everyone (we took carrots to the Carrboro market last Saturday and they were VERY popular!). For greens, you'll find spinach and chard; the chard is quite young and the stems are tender (no need to cook them separately). I found an excellent cookbook at the Hillsborough library call "Wild About Greens" by Nava Atlas and have included two recipes below; this book is great at explaining how to substitute different greens in recipes. For salad greens, you will receive EITHER arugula or green head lettuce. If you were a CSA member this summer and told us you like arugula, then you got arugula; everyone else was given lettuce (if you are an arugular-lover and didn't receive it in your box, just let us know and we'll get you some in a future box).
What’s going on at the Farm?
We are going to tackle harvesting the rest of the sweet potatoes this week. It is a labor intensive job since we don't use the tractor but rather hand-dig the tubers. We find that the tractor is just a little too harsh on the sweet potatoes; any cut or scrape on the roots can diminish their storage life, so on Thursday, weather permitting, we will head out to the field with digging forks and shovels in hand. Once out of the ground, the sweet potatoes will spend a couple weeks in the greenhouse to undergo the curing process. Exposure to heat and humidity (normally enemies of fresh veggies) will harden the skins and begin the conversion of starch to sugar. If you eat a freshly dug sweet potato, you'll probably notice it's not very sweet. They become much sweeter in storage so by Thanksgiving, they should be perfect!
Next week look forward to green cabbage and broccoli!
Beth, Elise, & Trish
Simple Garlicky Greens (with variations) from "Wild About Greens" by Nava Atlas
1 good sized bunch (about 1 lb) of your choice of greens (spinach, kale, chard, turnip greens, mustard greens, rapini, or any combination), washed thoroughly
1-2 Tbl olive oil
3 or 4 garlic cloves, crushed
Juice of 1 lemon or apple cider vinegar, to taste
Salt & fresh ground pepper, to taste
Remove stems if using spinach, kale, chard or turnip greens. Stack leaves, roll snugly (like a cigar) and chop into ribbons. Heat the oil in a large skillet, add garlic and saute over low heat for 2-3 minutes, until golden. Add the greens and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently until just tender. Add small amounts of water, wine, or broth, if needed, just enough to keep the bottom of the pan moist. Spinach takes the least amount of time; basically you just want to wilt it, which only takes a minute or so. Chard and kale take about 5-7 minutes, rapini slightly longer. The variables are how high the heat is and how thinly you've cut the greens. Add the lemon juice or vinegar, season with salt and pepper, and serve.
Sweet additions: Stir in 1/4-1/2 cup raisins, dried cranberries, currants or sliced dried apricots or figs. Caramelized onions and shallots add an earthy sweetness.
Nutty additions: Sprinkle 1/4-1/2 cup toasted nuts over the greens prior to serving.
Savory additions: 1/2 cup sliced brine-cured olives such as kalamatas, 1/2 cup sliced sun dried tomatoes, or 2-3 Tbl capers.
Spicy additions: Add these to taste....hot red pepper flakes, chili oil, Thai red chili paste, hot sauce.
Greens with Polenta Wedges from "Wild About Greens" by Nava Atlas
About 1 lb of precooked polenta
2 Tbl olive oil
3 or 4 cloves garlic, minced or thinly sliced
1 bunch kale or chard, midribs/stems removed (8-10 oz)
Small bunch of spinach, large stems removed (4-6 oz)
1 Tbl balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup sliced oil-cured sun-dried tomatoes
Salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
Cut polenta into small wedges 1/2 inch thick. Heat a large nonstick skillet. Add a drop of oil and spread it around with a paper towel. Add the polenta wedges; cook in a single layer over medium heat about 5 minutes each side or until golden brown and crisp. Put on plate and set aside. Meanwhile, tear greens into large pieces. Heat 2 Tbl olive oil in same skillet, add the garlic and saute over low heat until it just turns golden. Add kale or chard and small amount of water (just enough to keep skillet moist); cover and steam for 3-5 minutes or until greens have wilted down and are bright green and nearly tender. Add spinach, cover and steam for a minute or two. Drizzle in the vinegar and stir to coat the greens. Gently fold in the polenta wedges and add the sun-dried tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately.
List of Pick Up Sites
Elysian Fields Farm, 5925 Oakley Rd., Cedar Grove; times 1:30-7:00
Durham, 1715 W. Cornwallis; times 2:00-7:00
Durham, 915 Hale St.; times 2:30-7:00
Chapel Hill, 1616 Old Oxford Rd.; times 3:00-7:00
Carrboro, 100 Melba Circle (entrance is off Lorraine St.); times 3:30-7:00
Beets (1 bunch)
Kohlrabi (1 bunch)