CSA Scout: Fall Starts to Deliver
Farm subscriptions are starting to take on the taste of early fall, which is natural because, well, it’s early fall. So besides the potatoes that I continue to covet, some community-supported agriculture program members are getting apples and sweet potatoes, while corn, tomatoes, eggplants and peppers – the stars of summer – continue to appear. It’s a welcome thing, because sooner or later they’ll be gone.
I might not be getting potatoes in my Karl’s Farm delivery, but this week I did get another of my fall favorites: butternut squash. And just in time, as I’m testing recipes that use it for my next Cooking for One column.
Here's what other CSA Scouts (the three stalwarts who weren't on vacation this week) are reporting:
Betsy Bajwa, Bethesda
Whole share from Good Fortune Farm, Brandywine.
In the box: 1 dozen certified organic eggs, 1 head of garlic (new variety: Music), 2-plus pounds of Yukon Gold potatoes; 3-plus pounds of tomatoes (it will be sad when these end!), 3 nice-size eggplant (two regular purple and one white-and-purple), 3 large green peppers, small bag (about 1 pound) of already-shucked corn, 1-pound bag of field peas.
Meals and cooking plans: Thus far we’ve had rarebit risotto (an untraditional risotto from “Moosewood Restaurant Simple Suppers” that uses tomatoes) and eggplant sandwiches (with tomato) with oven-roasted corn, oven-fried potatoes and a salad with green pepper and tomato for Sunday dinner. Sunday’s lunch was a lentil and apple salad using potatoes as well as some of the apples we picked at a local orchard. The eggs are being used up in baking: apple bread and apple muffins and some raspberry muffins (we have a bramble; I think that’s the proper term). The rest of the eggplant, peppers and tomatoes plus most of the garlic went into a roasted ratatouille for our traveling lunch. The field peas I’ve cooked, and we’ll take them with us as a snack (this week’s note from our farmer said they would taste like edamame if well salted after cooking). Last week’s share: Froze some of the jalapeños for later use in chilis, etc., during the winter and made pesto from the basil for the freezer.
Sharyn Fitzgerald, South Arlington
"Bushel" (large four-person share) from Bull Run Mountain Farm, The Plains.
In the box: 10 ears of corn, 4 sweet potatoes, 2 zucchini, 5 bell peppers, 4 heads of garlic, 14 tomatillos, 4 handfuls of yellow pear tomatoes, 4 plum tomatoes, oregano, Italian basil, tarragon and as much Thai basil as we wanted.
Meals and cooking plans: We didn't see anything new and exciting this week, but we thoroughly enjoyed what we received. The sweet potatoes have been great baked, the corn still sweet, and the tomatoes so flavorful. We really liked the pear tomatoes, eaten simply with a bit of salt. We have had tomatillo salsa every week we get the tomatillos, and we are happy to have the fresh garlic on hand for the last-of-the-season pesto making. One neighbor, Caroline, enjoyed a meal made with several CSA veggies: eggs with pear tomatoes, zucchini, shallots, cheese. "Very yummy," she said.
Sarah Hamaker, Fairfax
Two adults, four children
Half-share from Great Country Farms, Bluemont.
$475 (20 weeks)
In the box: Small acorn squash, 5 apples, 2 tomatoes, 2 banana peppers, 9 potatoes, bunch of collard greens.
Meals and cooking plans: The apples will be eaten in lunches, while the tomatoes will once again be used in salads and sandwiches. The banana peppers might be made into a salsa; the acorn squash will be baked, scooped out and mashed with butter and cinnamon (a kid favorite). The potatoes will be made into a sausage, kale and potato soup. The collard greens are not thrilling me, as I had a hard time finding ways my family would eat them in the spring; this is one leafy green that I could do without a fall repeat of. From last week’s share: The Swiss chard is still hanging around, but I have plans to saute it with butter and onions, adding a bit of bread crumbs.
-- Joe Yonan
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