In case anyone was unclear about what season it is, the past few days have made it abundantly clear that we are in the midst of fall! We had our first frost on Sunday morning, though the damage appears to be limited to two beds of peppers and a few eggplant tops here and there. A true killing frost appears to be in store for us in a couple of days, so we are planning to completely pick out our eggplant and peppers early this week. It was a pretty abrupt shift - we have become used to overnight lows in the 50s and upper 40s, but this week there are several nights forecast to be in the low 30s!
For those of you participating in the Late Fall CSA (October 25th - November 17th) or shopping in the store for the next two weeks, don’t worry! Though plant growth has slowed dramatically, there are still plenty of crops that can hold up in the cold for a few more weeks. In fact, cold weather improves the taste of many crops like carrots. Plants start converting starches to sugar in order to keep their cells from freezing, thus resulting in sweeter veggies! Many of the veggies we eat in the late fall (like sweet potatoes, onions, garlic and winter squash), have been harvested and cured earlier in the season, so they are already safely out of the field and in storage. More tender crops like lettuce are tucked under row cover to give an additional couple of degrees of protection from the increasingly cold nights. For those of you who aren’t part of the late fall CSA, we still have a great week planned, and the store will still be open with many late fall crops until October 27th. We are looking forward to seeing you all in the next couple of weeks before we take a breather and begin planning for next season!
This week in the CSA:
Sweet potatoes - we grew a small crop last year for the Late Fall CSA and they worked out so well that we grew enough to distribute even earlier! Transitional.
Romanesco cauliflower or broccoli - Romanesco cauliflower is one of our favorite fall vegetables. They have a really unique fractal-like appearance and they have a nutty flavor too! They are a little finicky to grow and it varies widely every year when they are ready, but we generally expect them in late October for the Late Fall CSA. This year they are starting to head up in time for the last week of the Main Season, so there will be a choice between cauliflower and broccoli this week. (Our second broccoli planting is also suffering from alternaria, but looks slightly better than the first one).
Radishes - there will be a choice between traditional red cherriette radishes or mini daikon, which were a big hit early in the season.
Fennel - we take a break from fennel in the summer, but we have a fall planting to enjoy this week. Transitional.
Cabbage - we’ll still have savoy, as well as purple cabbage and a green storage variety.
Potatoes - Peter Wilcox (purple skin with gold flesh). Transitional
Eggplant - last week!
Peppers - last week!
Butternut squash - transitional
Pie pumpkins - transitional
Onions - transitional
Arugula or salanova - we’ll likely only have salanova on Tuesday and arugula the rest of the week. We had difficulty with lettuce germination in August, which is creating a shortage of both salanova and head lettuce right now. Later plantings did much better and will hopefully size up in time for the later weeks of the Late Fall CSA.
Baby bok choi
Picking is pretty much done for the season, though there may still be some herbs available early in the week.
In the farm store:
We will have most of the veggies listed in the CSA available as well as acorn squash, delicata, shallots, and spinach. We also have some decorative items still available: our own gourds, corn stalks, and flowers (at least for the beginning of the week), as well as jack-o-lanterns from Verrill Farm. We’ve also got mushrooms (shiitake are back!) from Fat Moon, honey from Double B, organic raspberry jam and raspberry infused vinegar from Silferleaf farm, pastured eggs from Pete and Jen’s, and organic cranberries from Fresh Meadows Farm in Carver, MA.
Sheet-Pan Curry Pork Chops and Sweet Potatoes
ANNA STOCKWELL EPICURIOUS SEPTEMBER 2018
4 tsp. mild curry powder
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp. light brown sugar
2 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, divided
1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
4 (1"-thick) small bone-in pork chops (about 2 lb. total)
8 small sweet potatoes (about 1 1/2 lb.), scrubbed, sliced in half lengthwise
1 cup plain whole-milk Greek yogurt
3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
4 small radishes, thinly sliced
1 cup pomegranate arils
Arrange a rack in top third of oven; preheat to 450°F. Stir curry, pepper, brown sugar, and 2 tsp. salt in a small bowl.
Rub an 18x13" rimmed baking sheet with oil. Sprinkle pork chops and potatoes with spice mixture on prepared pan to evenly coat, then arrange in an even layer with potatoes cut side down.
Roast until pork is golden brown and cooked through and potatoes are deeply browned on cut sides and fork-tender, about 20 minutes. (The pork might finish cooking before the potatoes do; if so, transfer pork to a cutting board and let rest, then continue roasting the potatoes until done.)
Meanwhile, whisk yogurt, lemon juice, and remaining 1/2 tsp. salt in a medium bowl.
Arrange pork and potatoes on a platter. Top with yogurt sauce, radishes, and pomegranate arils.
Do Ahead: Yogurt sauce can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.
Small sweet potatoes work best for cooking at the same rate as the pork chops and fitting on one sheet pan since you can tuck them between the chops. If you can’t find small sweet potatoes, use larger ones, cut them into wedges, and turn them halfway through roasting.
Brussels Sprouts with Cranberries
adapted from Mollie Katzen from The Splendid Table
2 pounds Brussels sprouts
2 heaping cups whole, fresh cranberries
1/4 cup finely minced shallots
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic or cider vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
1) Put on a pot of water to boil, and place a colander in the sink. Meanwhile, trim and halve or quarter the sprouts (unless tiny) and add them to the water when it boils. Let them simmer for 3 to 5 minutes--or until mostly tender-- and then drain them thoroughly in the colander, shaking them dry.
2) Place the cranberries in a large (10- to 12-inch) skillet on the stove, and turn on the heat to medium. Cook them solo for 2 minutes, then stir in the olive oil and shallots. Keep cooking, stirring occasionally, for another 5 minutes, or until the cranberries begin to pop.
3) Add the drained Brussels sprouts, plus the vinegar, sugar, maple syrup and 1/2 teaspoon salt -- and toss to combine. Reduce the heat to low, and use tongs to arrange as many of the sprouts as your patience permits cut side-down, facing into the cranberry mixture. (This will color them appetizingly, in addition to saturating them with flavor.) Cover the pan, and cook for another 10 minutes -- or until done to your liking -- stirring from time to time to rearrange the sprouts.
4) Adjust salt, if desired, and add pepper to taste. Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature.