Week 23

  • Sugarloaf chicory (Thursday folks may get another kind of chicory)
  • Delicata Winter Squash
  • Kale
  • Arugula (a bit spicy!)
  • Watermelon Radish
  • Leeks
  • Tomato
  • Yellow Onion
  • Carrots

Chicories represent a broad spectrum of salad crops related to lettuce but are more cold tolerant and have a bit more bitter edge to them.  Among them are radicchio, escarole, frisee, and sugarloaf (this week’s featured chicory).  As cold temperatures approach, chicories like many crops sweeten up a bit.  We did get a light frost last week so I hope the chicories have a bit more sweetness to them.  Either way it’s time to eat them, so how does one approach that?

My general suggestions for eating all chicories is to give them a good 20 minute soak in cold water (even ice water!) to take some of the bitterness out, chop finely, and dress with a citrus-y vinaigrette.  You can also cook chicories by braising, roasting, grilling, saute-ing, or putting them in soups.  There’s a good explanation of chicories and many recipes here (remember you have to use your login info if you aren’t already logged in): http://www.cookwithwhatyouhave.com/category/chicory/

I like to slice the sugarloaf in half lengthwise, rub it with olive oil and salt, and throw it on the grill.  Cooking brings out the sweetness!

Also new this week is delicata winter squash, possibly my favorite because it’s so easy to use.  Like any winter squash you can roast it, but with delicata the skin is delicate enough to be edible as well, so you can also slice it and saute it in a pan.  Nice for when you don’t feel like turning on your oven!  But if you are turning on your oven, go ahead and roast your leeks, onions, and carrots in there as well.

Watermelon radish has a beautiful red, mild center, but make sure you peel that skin off unless you like spicy tough things!  Speaking of spicy, the arugula this week has a bit of spice to it, just so you know.

In the field news this week, we have plowed up a new spot for garlic in a nearby neighbor’s big backyard.  We have garlic rust very bad in the soil at the farm so garlic just doesn’t do well there at all.  I try to move it around the neighborhood each year instead.  Garlic will be planted soon – maybe next week!  I got some beautiful seed garlic from Whistling Duck Farm in southern Oregon.

Josh and Martin pulled most of the irrigation out of the field yesterday as well.  Now the only field clean-up work left really is taking down a few more trellises, and getting a bit more cover crop into beds that are open.  Our cereal rye & vetch mix doesn’t germinate very well after mid-October but I have some annual ryegrass and phacelia that supposedly germinates well any time of year, so I’m excited to try that as a cover crop mix.

Til next week, Matt & the crew

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