THE BEET: VOLUME 17; WEEK 15

 

FULL SHARE & YELLOW HALF SHARE PICK UP TONIGHT

Pick up today: 5pm - 7:30pm at PS 56 on the corner of Gates and Downing


This Week's Share

  • Arugula

  • Spinach

  • Swiss chard

  • Sweet corn

  • Garlic

  • Potatoes

  • Scallions

  • Radishes

  • Tomatoes

  • Peppers

  • Fruit: Pete’s peaches and our baby watermelons

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Letter from Windflower Farm

Delivery #15, Week of September 10th, 2018

This week’s share. 

Arugula, spinach, Swiss chard (hurray, we are into greens again!), sweet corn, garlic, potatoes, scallions, radishes, tomatoes and peppers. Your fruit share will consist of Pete’s peaches and our baby watermelons. Next week, you’ll get the first of our leeks and delicata squashes. You’ll also get some combination of kale, arugula, lettuce and a mustard mix. Next week’s fruit is likely to be apples. Pears and cider will be coming soon.

Notes from the farm. 

Last week, we harvested most of our pie pumpkins and acorn, delicata and butternut squashes, and they are now curing in our largest greenhouse. The curing environment will help harden their skins and provide time and warmth for the conversion of their starches into sugars. We harvested the squashes into 20-bushel totes that we lined with hardware cloth to keep any creatures out. They’ll be in shares soon. This week, we have been planting the strawberries that we’ll harvest next June. These are large projects, and I’ll be glad to have them behind us.

We’ve also been irrigating again. In fact, we await a good rain before we can undertake the next field project – fall onion and garlic planting. At this point, the ground is too hard to sink my plow into. We are in another stretch of dry weather, and when our soil becomes dry, it becomes concrete-hard. We are nearly a month away from garlic planting, and almost two from onion planting, so there is no reason to be worried, but I’d like to get started. Two big wet-weather systems appear to be headed our way this week and we are hoping for rain from one of them.  

I made good on a promise to take our farm crew sailing on Saturday. It was clear, cold and windy, and the seven of us, well bundled and packed tight in my little boat, really enjoyed ourselves, with Bonnie, Julia and me each taking turns at the helm.

While we await better field conditions, we will be starting on the construction of a shed roof on our equipment barn. It’s a simple project – we’ll set five posts on the footings we poured last summer, install the carrying beams and cross braces, then set the rafters against the existing barn, add purlins and, finally, install the steel roofing. The two guys who will do the work – TB and my son, Nate – think it will take them three or four weeks. It will be great to have all of our equipment under cover before the snow flies.

Have a great week, Ted

 

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Cookbook Swap Tonight

The great CHCSA cookbook swap continues tonight! Here's what you need to know:

  • At every pick-up during September, we'll be running a swap table

  • Bring cookbooks you no longer want, and swap them for new ones to freshen up your recipe circulation!

  • As well as cookbooks, we're also happy to receive general food-related books, books on health, and parenting books

  • You don't have to bring a book to take a book - everyone is welcome to dip in to the selection

  • Anyone who donates a book is eligible to enter a lottery for a $10 gift card at Greenlight Books

This is a great opportunity to share your enthusiasm for good food and cooking with your fellow CSA members. So please get involved! 

Lentil Soup with Sausage, Chard, and Garlic


This tried and trusted soup is a great way to welcome the cooler fall weather that will be coming soon, and uses this week's chard. Serves 6.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup olive oil, divided

  • 2 large links (about 8 ounces) of sweet Italian sausage [see Note]

  • 1 medium onion, diced

  • 2 celery stalks, sliced or diced

  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced into half-moons or diced

  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced (reserve half for later in recipe)

  • Kosher salt

  • A pinch of crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

  • 1 cup brown lentils, sorted and rinsed

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes

  • 6 cups water

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 3 to 4 cups shredded or thinly ribboned Swiss chard leaves or kale

  • Grated Pecorino Romano cheese to finish


Method

Heat 1/4 cup olive oil (enough to generously coat bottom of pot) in a large pot on medium to medium-high heat. When hot, add the sausage, breaking it up with a wooden spoon until it starts to brown, about five minutes.

Add the onion, celery, carrots, first two garlic cloves, a pinch of salt, and if you like your soup spicy, a pinch of red pepper flakes. Cook with the sausage until the vegetables soften a bit, another 5 minutes.

Add the lentils, bay leaves, tomatoes, water (6 cups is, conveniently, a little less than 2 empty 28-ounce cans, so you can get any tomato pulp you missed), more salt and black pepper to taste. Bring to a simmer and allow to cook until the lentils are tender, about 40 minutes. (It might be necessary to add more water if the soup gets too thick, though we preferred ours on the thick side.)

When the lentils are cooked, add the chard and cook until the leaves are tender, just a few minutes more. Discard the bay leaves.

To finish, divide soup among bowls, then add the remaining 1/4 cup olive oil and 2 garlic cloves to a small skillet (on the stove) and heat over medium until the garlic softens and hisses. Drizzle this over soup bowls, and top with fresh Romano, passing more at the table.

Leftovers will keep for several days in the fridge.