No season is complete without a standout weather event and Sunday night was it for us - a mid October hard freeze. The predicted temperatures for Sunday night dropped to 23 degrees, prompting us to roll out the row cover and blankets Sunday afternoon to protect some of our crops from freezing. The blankets were used for the squash, which we tucked in for the night by covering their bulk bins in the barn to keep in their natural heat and prevent freezing damage. Out in the fields we used row cover to prevent damage to the top of our carrot roots which split and change texture if frozen. It wasn't practical to cover the whole farm so most of our hardy crops were left out to fend for themselves. Plants are surprisingly resilient and even after this hard freeze crops like broccoli and lettuce were thawed and ready for harvest by midday so we have a great selection of fall crops this week which were made even sweeter by the frost!
This is the last week for CSA pick-ups for the season and our farm store will be open for one more week. We will also have a bulk order for additional vegetables available for pick up October 31st or November 6th (see the form in the farm stand and on our website for details). It has been a fantastic second season on the farm for us! While there was a challenging lack of rain this summer other aspects of our field work fell into place thanks to factors such as starting the season with the necessary equipment, having help in the fields and farm store, and increased knowledge of the land. However, it's not enough for us to just grow the vegetables, it's our CSA members and customers who complete the picture and have made our farm plans and dreams a reality. Thank you!
In the CSA this week:
- Romanesco cauliflower- This green cauliflower (pictured right) has a great nutty flavor.
- Turnips and rutabaga- make a great addition to mixed roasted vegetables.
- Shallots or cipollini onions
- Elba and Katahdin potatoes - Both these potatoes have white flesh and store well.
- Brussels sprouts
- Watermelon radish
- Daikon radish
- Cabbage - red and green storage
- Beets- Red Ace and Chioggia
- Butternut squash- Stock up! Butternut squash is great to store and use later in the winter- just keep in them in a cool place that will not freeze.
- Buttercup squash
- Bin of mixed squash varieties- choose from remaining squash such as gold nugget and hubba hubba.
Pick-your-own is winding down for the season, but there is still parsley and sage.
In the store:
In addition to the crops listed above, we'll have Delicata and Gold nugget squash, pie pumpkins, spinach, collards, scallions, orange peppers, napa cabbage and jack-o-lanterns from Kenney Farm in Concord!
Roasted Butternut Squash with Penne Pasta
From the Whole Foods Market Cookbook by Steve Petusevsky and Whole Foods Market Team Members
1 medium butternut squash
1 ½ cups diced onion
3 cloves garlic, minced (1 ½ teaspoons)
½ teaspoon crushed red chili flakes
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons salt
1 pound penne pasta
½ cup minced parley
½ cup Parmesan cheese
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 375F
Peel the butternut squash (a vegetable peeler works best). Using a heavy knife, cut the squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds, and discard them. Dice the squash into 1 inch cubes (you should have about 4 cups). Place the squash cubes into a large mixing bowl, and add the onion, garlic, red chili flakes, olive oil, lemon juice and 2 teaspoons salt. Toss the ingredients to mix well.
Place the mixture in a large roasting pan, and roast for about 45 minutes, or until golden brown, stirring occasionally. The squash should be firm-tender, not mushy.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta, and cook for 10 to 12 minutes, until it is al dente. Darin the pasta, and place it in a large serving bow. Mix in the cooked squash mixture, parsley, Parmesan cheese, and salt and pepper.