2018 CSA Week 18

****This year, our final week of CSA will be the week of September 23rd-29th. We will be combining weeks 20 and 21 into a ‘double box’, including both a week’s worth of fresh veggies and a collection of the storage crops: garlic, shallots, potatoes, and winter squash.****

Last week was a busy week at the farm. We got all the garlic and onions ‘cleaned’ and packed. They don’t get washed; they just get the tops removed and put into appropriate storage depending on airflow and temperature needs. We also got all the winter squash picked up out of the fields and set out to cure in one of our low tunnels.

It was a good season for winter squash; if you like to plan and know what’s coming in your CSA, it looks like we’ll have:
Spaghetti Squash-week 18
Acorn Squash-week 19
Buttercup and Delicata week 20/21
When we put the squash away to cure we take the most perfect and beautiful 130 squash of each variety and set those aside first for our 130 CSA families, then we set some aside for our family for the fall and winter, and the rest is for market and wholesale.

We always plan and harvest this way all season long, CSA first, and everything else after that. It’s fun to see the physical manifestation of that with our storage crops hanging, boxed up, and the winter squash curing.

We are so excited to be including the first of the winter squash in your CSA box this week. Since spaghetti squash isn’t sweet, it doesn’t need to cure as long as the other winter squashes, so they are always the first to make an appearance at market and in CSA for the season.

You might be wondering...wait?...squash needs to cure?! Yes, it does! In regions with warmer nights this is easily done in the field, but in our northern climate we have to get a bit fussy with our squash all season long. First, it’s started on heat mats and transplanted out at 10 days old, just to give it a jumpstart in our cool spring soil. Next, we transplant into reusable landscape fabric and water with reusable drip irrigation, then (guys...of all the steps as a native Hoosier...this one seems insane…) we actually cover the squash for the first 2 to 4 weeks for extra nighttime heat and to guard against late frost. Then we harvest and cure in a tunnel. That’s a lot of steps for the humble winter squash. But it’s worth it to have the delicious nutrient-dense flavors of fall. Winter squash has become one of our favorite crops to grow.

A note about aphids in the Brussels sprouts. These are the “cleanest” (clean of bugs) crop of Brussels we’ve ever grown. And yet, when opening each little sprout it seem there are tiny aphids hanging out in the inner layers. It is important us, as local organic growers, to strive to always have produce that is clean of dirt and bugs. With the Brussels we are making the call to put them in the shares; they need an extra soak in a bowl of cold water. We often joke about ‘an extra bit of protein’ and keep any ‘seconds’ or slightly damaged produce for our family and the crew. But, we are proud of these Brussels sprouts, bugs and all. They were set out at the same time as the early cabbages and cauliflower; those have all been flail mowed and returned to the earth. These crazy plants have been in the ground 100 days, and they picked up some aphids in the last 7 days AND they’re crazy delicious.

Partial shares get all the same veggies in ½ - ¾ amounts.

Thai Basil
Green and Purple Bells
Just a few sweet “snacking” bells
Red Onions
Braising Bundle of Asian Greens, Mustards, and Kales
Red Onions
Tomatoes - Slicers and a few glaciers
Spaghetti Squash
Brussels sprouts--Brussels + bacon = Delicious!!

Recipe of the week: Spaghetti Squash with Tomatoes and Feta (Adapted from allrecipes.com)

1 spaghetti squash, halved lengthwise and seeded
2 tablespoons olive or avocado oil
1 red onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups chopped tomatoes
3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
3 tablespoons sliced black olives
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Thai basil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) and lightly grease a baking sheet, or cover with parchment paper.

Place spaghetti squash with cut sides down on the prepared baking sheet, and bake 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a sharp knife can be inserted with only a little resistance.
Remove squash from oven and set aside to cool enough to be easily handled.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a skillet over medium heat.
Cook and stir onion in oil until tender.
Add garlic; cook and stir until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes.
Stir in tomatoes and cook until tomatoes are warmed through.

Use a large spoon to scoop the stringy pulp from the squash and place in a medium bowl.
Toss with the vegetables, feta cheese, olives, and basil.
Serve warm.