Tuesday, October 14, 2014

BPF CSA Week 17 Sweet and Pungent: Honey, Apples, and Garlic

This just in!

Get your Honey from the Birch Point Bees

thanks to Greg Griswold of Champion Hill Honey


Stock up on certified organic APPLES 

thanks to Gene Garthe of Garthe Orchards in Northport

Honey: Bring your jar(s) labeled with your name, and fill up from our bulk buckets.
 $6 per pint or $10 per quart.  First come, first served, til we run out! If you pick up in town (not at the farm), just leave an empty, labeled jar in your box when you return it. The following week your full jar of honey will be in your box. Please send payment to Birch Point Farm, 7506 E Birch Point Rd TC MI  49684.  If we have honey left by Saturday, Oct 18,  bring a jar with you to fill up at the Garlic Planting and Farm Member Appreciation Potluck that day.

Apples: This week Early Bird Special: $1 per lb for orders of at least 20 lbs of organic Honeycrisp or Golden 
Supreme (which is like a Golden Delicious but much better texture and flavor-- actually delicious).  Please email birchpointcsa@gmail.com with your order  BY FRIDAY OCT 17.  After Friday, apples will still be available but at a slightly higher price.  Apples also available by the quart ($4 per qt). 
Available in a few weeks:  Swiss Gourmet, Ida Red, Elstar, and Spy/Spygold

Golden Supreme

In Your Share This Week:

Winter Squash: Acorn, Delicata, or Sweet Dumpling.  These are to use, not to store. These early varieties normally store well for a few months but not all winter like the butternuts and hubbards. In addition, some of the squash got frosted in the field, which reduces storage life, so eat these up!  If you can't use them in the next few weeks, and they start to develop soft spots, just bake now and store in an airtight container in your freezer til you need them.
Leeks and/or Onions
Brussels Tops OR Braising Mix: Have you tried Brussels greens?  From the same plant as the Brussels sprout, the greens are like collards but even better!  We're crossing our fingers that the Brussels sprouts themselves will be sized up by next week (the last week of CSA!), but the greens are an often-overlooked, equally delicious treat  in themselves-- hope you enjoy them sauteed, steamed, massaged, or in soup. In addition to being delicious, removing the tops from the plants stimulates more lateral growth (i.e. the sprouts) rather than apical growth (i.e. plant height), so we get bigger sprouts.  Alternately, some shares may receive Braising Mix, a blend of kales, mizuna, tatsoi, and mustard greens-- equally delectable, requires less cooking- ideally a quick steam or saute.
Sweet Peppers OR Eggplant
Hot Peppers- we are rich in chiles! If you like hot stuff, this week is for you.  If you need large quantities to freeze or make your own hot sauce, please ask about a bulk price. Varieties available: hot paper lantern (a type of elongated habanero-style red chile), Hinkelhatz, Limon, Thai hot, Cayenne, and Serrano.
Lettuce (heads) OR baby lettuce mix


1. Honey and Apple orders: see above. Get your jars and emails in ASAP!
2. Garlic Planting & Mulching AND Farm Member Appreciation Potluck this Saturday, Oct. 18.  Weather looks a little iffy-- if slightly drizzly/misty, we are still ON.  Wear your rain gear!  If full-blown thunderstorms, we'll push it back a week to Oct. 23. Hope to see you for either or both parts! Garlic: 2-5 ish, Music in the barn, cider pressing, mingling: 5-6 ish, Potluck 6-7:30 ish.
3. ONE more week of CSA to go, after this one!  For those who signed up before the end of February, you have TWO more weeks, to thank you for your help making our planning and budgeting easier.  Next year: remember, anyone who signs up before the end of February gets a bonus week of CSA shares.  Since the majority of our planning and budgeting happens in the winter it helps us greatly to know how many members to plan and grow for, and to get operating cash as early as possible. We appreciate your commitment to the farm and want to show some love back!
4. A few fall-winter shares still available: 8 weeks of fresh and storage crops to see you through the end of the year (and perhaps beyond). $250 gets you $30-35 worth of produce each week from Nov. 1 through Dec. 20. Pick up at the indoor market at The Commons every Saturday between 10 am and 1:30 pm.
5. One last thing : Some of you already know this, but Jess and I are expecting a baby around the end of December!  You'll see me getting more blimp-like each week (the in-utero name is Helium for that very reason), and you may not see me the last week or so of fall-winter shares and winter market.  But there will be a new little farmer to meet very soon!


How to Cook any Winter Squash:
For small squash (e.g. delicata, sweet dumpling, small acorns or small buttercups): Prick the skin a few times, and pop into the oven whole, on a cookie sheet or shallow pan. Bake at 375 for 40-60 min or longer, depending on size.  Test for softness-- squash should be soft to the touch but not dried out.
For any size squash, small or large: Cut in half lengthwise, scoop out all seeds and pulp (reserve seeds for toasted squash seeds if you like!), lay face down in a shallow pan with a little water (so edges don't dry out).  Bake at 375 for 20-30 min (small, thin-walled squash) up to 60-75 min (for large, thicker squash); test for doneness.

Scoop flesh out of skins (for delicata and dumplings, go ahead and eat the skins; they are so tender, no need to remove), do with it what you like- add seasoning, butter, maple, whatever you like, or make into squash enchiladas or ravioli, or blend with stock into squash soup--- the possibilities are endless.

Slightly fancier, equally simple: cut in half, scoop out seeds and pulp, and slice into 1/2"-1" thick wedges.  Lay in a single layer on an oiled cookie sheet, drizzle w/olive or peanut oil, sprinkle generously with your choice of chili powder and garlic, garam masala and ginger, rosemary and coarse salt, or any other spice combo.

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