Thursday, September 29, 2011

BPF CSA Week 16 News

What's in Your Share This Week?

Beets- the last of the mid-season beets, these red, gold, and candy-striped pink beets are on the small side, but the new planting is coming on, and we should have fall beets soon. These beets are perfect for roasting- cut of tops, leaving leaf bases (and root skin) intact. Coat with olive oil, roast in a baking pan or cast iron skillet in a hot (400+) oven for 20-40 min (til soft)- skins will be crispy and caramelized; insides should be melting-tender.

Beet Greens OR Turnip Greens- OK, why are the beet greens separate from the beets? Because they're two different plantings of beets- the beetroots have been in the ground most of the summer and are the last of their "generation;" the beet greens are thinnings from one of our fall plantings. Baby beet greens AND turnip greens are excellent lightly steamed or sauteed- chop into bite-sized pieces (stems can be fibrous otherwise), quickly saute in olive oil, add lemon juice and/or vinegar. For beet greens, serve with crumbled goat cheese and pine nuts or walnuts. For turnip greens, serve with lemon or vinegar, salt, and optional sauteed onions/garlic.

Kale, Chard, or Collard Greens- Do you know Sukuma Wiki? It's a Swahili phrase that means "push the week"- to use greens to make leftovers go a little further. But it happens to be delicious even if you're fortunate enough to be rolling in vegetables (which I know many of our CSA members are). Please let me know how the quantity of greens (kale/chard/collards) has worked for you this year- too much? not enough? just right? need more variety? only want kale?

Potatoes- Dark Red Norland, a beautiful redskin potato with a moist, waxy, firm flesh. Excellent boiled, mashed (leave skins on for color contrast), or in potato salad.

Leeks! First of the season- try Potato-Leek Soup for classic fall comfort food (this recipe calls for chives on top; I like to use whatever fresh herb I have on hand- dill is good, parsley, sage, thyme, or fennel are also delicious). You can also use leeks interchangeably with onions. The dark green sections can be fibrous; if you cook with them, chop them finely across the grain. They're perfect for making soup stock, along with any leek scraps you generate. I usually keep a plastic bag in the freezer door, into which I pop any good, tasty veggie or herb scraps I may want to put into stock when I have time. This week I added leek leaves, onion skins, and thyme branches (I used the leaves from a fresh bunch of thyme but the branches are still flavorful and perfect for stock).

Onions- this week we've got cipollini AND a mix of red and yellow storage onions.

Garlic- it's an allium-rich share!

Herbs: Dill, Cilantro or Basil, your choice.

Tomatoes- both cherry tomatoes and big heirloom slicers.

Beans- either Jade (green beans), Tongue of Fire (purple-streaked, flat-podded beans), or Gold of Bacau (gold, flat heirloom pole beans).

Melons! Cantelope, tropical (green-fleshed) Aravas, white-fleshed Honey Pearl, or a mix of watermelons. Saturday people- be sure to get your melons. We don't put them in the boxes usually because they're so heavy they could break the bottoms of the boxes. So be sure to pick up your melons from the market table. If you missed melons last week (a couple of people did), make sure to take extras this week.


1. This was Julie DiFranco's last week at Birch Point. We'll miss you Julie! Thanks for an excellent season, have fun in California, and I hope to see you later this fall! Remember the CSA member survey Julie sent out early this season? We had such spotty response that she switched gears and started taking pictures instead. Next time you're at the farm, check out the beautiful photo album she made of BPF farm shots and CSA members. And please bring hard copies of any BPF farm photos you can contribute!

2. Thanksgiving Shares Are Back! Can you imagine the end of November without farm-fresh greens, heirloom onions, hearty root veggies? Thanksgiving Shares are a one-time only box of BPF veggies the week of T-day. We include storage crops like potatoes, cabbage, onions, carrots, rutabaga and other root veggies, and leafy fresh things from either the field or hoophouse (depends on the weather, but will almost certainly include spinach, salad mix or big lettuce, kale and/or chard, parsley and/or other fresh herbs). In the past we've included winter squash and/or pie pumpkins. We've had a terrible winter squash crop this year, so regular-season shares will probably get all the squash and pumpkins. Thanksgiving shares are $35. We'll offer up to 20, first-come, first-served. Please email me if you'd like to reserve a Thanksgiving share, and spread the word- CSA members and non-members alike are welcome to order.

3. Winter Shares available soon- we're still working out the details, but I THINK we'll offer an all-greens winter share, possibly with the option of adding on storage veggies (potatoes, onions, cabbage, other root veggies). BPF will be at the winter market in Building 50 @ the TC Commons every Saturday from 10-2 starting in November and going into January. We'll plan to take a break sometime in January through February, and resume winter markets in March.

4. Birch Point honey available NOW from Greg Griswold and Champion Hill Farm (our beekeeper). For CSA members only, BPF honey available for $12 per quart. For Tuesday people, we'll have a bulk bucket at CSA pickup. Bring your own quart jar; we'll fill it for you. For Saturday people, bring an empty quart jar (or two or seven), clearly marked with your name, to CSA pickup. The following week you'll get it back full of BPF honey! Cash or checks payable to Birch Point Farm. Non-members can also buy BPF honey for $14 per quart after members are full up.

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