Here we are, week 17 of the CSA program. It’s a bit bittersweet writing the final blog post of the CSA season, but I would be lying if I wasn’t looking forward to sleeping in past 2am on Tuesday mornings. At the end of every Monday, our packing crew always says, “See you in the middle of the night!” And that is exactly what it is, the middle of the night when we start packing the boxes that arrive to you each week. Our team has been absolutely incredible though, always showing up with a smile and ready to do their very best. It has been great to work with them all this season. Although the final packing day takes a bit longer and is a bit more work, they know I always bring them breakfast on the last day, so it’s a win-win for everyone this morning!
The share this week is full of items that have a bit of shelf life on them. Nothing needs to be used right away, so you can take your time enjoying the contents over the next 2-3 weeks and savor the flavors of locally grown produce. As we wrap up the CSA season, just a quick reminder that you can continue to stock up on some of your favorites at any of our Garden Centers. Most locations will remain open through the end of the month, but always check our website just in case something changes.
Because the share is so full of goodies this week, I’m just going to hit on a few of my favorite things, but I’ll make sure to include some extra recipe links at the bottom to give you all some more inspiration. Let’s dive in!
Butternut Squash: This is probably my favorite variety of squash, so I like to keep things simple and just bake it. I’ll add a little butter, salt, and pepper and call it good. You can easily bake the squash and turn it into a delicious Butternut Squash soup, you can be very adventurous and try making your own Butternut Squash Raviolis, or you can always cube it and make a great hash with it. There are so many ways to eat this delicious variety of squash.
Delicata Squash: Another great variety, I typically just bake it and enjoy with butter and maybe a tiny bit of brown sugar. You can easily slice this in wedges and make it a bit more savory by drizzling with olive oil and spices like rosemary or sage.
Beets: Like always, I will end up roasting the beets, slice them up, and eat them as a side or serve with some flank steak and goat cheese. You can always roast the beets with the carrots and make a great vegetable medley that way as well.
Potatoes: A potato chowder will definitely be in the works within the next week or so as the temperatures drastically cool down. This variety is also great for dicing up and roasting or you can enjoy some mashed potatoes as well.
Fennel: I know fennel can be a bit tricky for some people to use, but I love the smell of it when I bake it with a pork tenderloin. I just slice the fennel into thin pieces and mix with some onions and potatoes. I then bake that mixture with the pork tenderloin or pork chops for a great fall dinner.
Pie Pumpkin: At least once a year I will bake a pie pumpkin or two and make my own pumpkin puree instead of using pumpkin from a can. With that puree, I then like to make pumpkin bars or even a pumpkin roll with cream cheese frosting. The puree can always be put in the freezer for use at a later time as well. Oh, and my puppy will definitely get a little of this pumpkin for an extra special treat.
Popcorn: I like to put the popcorn in a cool cupboard and forget about it until New Years. Right around New Years, it should be dry enough to shell and begin popping. You can shell the kernels into a glass jar and they will store for a long time. To pop the corn, simply heat some oil in a frying pan and add some kernels. There’s nothing like some homemade popcorn!
Kale: One last batch of kale chips, or I will probably add it to the potato chowder to make myself feel like it is a little bit healthier than it really is.
The apples will make great snacks and will also probably be turned into a pie or crisp. Carrots will probably be roasted and served alongside the beets one evening for dinner. Braised red cabbage with a little bit of the fennel will be an excellent option on a cold evening alongside brats or pork chops. Onions will get used here and there as I love to add them to just about any roasted vegetables for some extra flavors.
There you have it, week 17! I hope you have enjoyed the season as much as we have. There were definitely challenges, just like any other season, but at the end of the day, it truly is fun to be able to work with such great fresh and local produce. Be on the lookout later today for your CSA renewal notice.
Sending my best for a great winter season,