In this week’s share we have: chard, leeks, carrots, tomatoes, celery, lettuce, mustard greens and escarole! I feel obligated to put an exclamation mark after the escarole for multiple reasons. One is that it’s delicious, but also these are huge heads! If you haven’t prepared it before it looks like lettuce, and you can make delicious raw salads out of it, but it benefits from a little extra preparation, and it’s also much more versatile than lettuce. It’s more closely related to radicchio than lettuce, both are chicories , if that means anything to you. There’s actually a chicory festival coming up in Seattle if you really want to geek out on this topic (I do and I’ll be there – chicoryweek.com)
Mustard greens are another new introduction this week. Just a small bunch which are tender enough to mix into a raw salad, or if you’d like to cut the sharpness a little you could cook them a bit.
For more cooking tips on all of the share items remember to check cookwithwhatyouhave.com.
Thursday’s share should be very similar to today’s. I’m not sure if the tomatoes will hold out, but the rest should do fine – barring any super cold night between now and then.
Popcorn went out this week. If you didn’t already catch it check the previous post (a couple back) on how to pop it. It probably would benefit from at least a few more weeks of drying out before you pop it, but it does pop now.
For next week all of the fall crops are looking pretty ready to harvest. Fortunately most of them should hold in the field well so that we can have a somewhat even harvest over the remaining four weeks.
It looks like we have one more week of lettuce, and then we’ll switch to our selection of chicories. It’s possible one or two of those heading chicories (radicchio, sugarloaf, and escarole) might need to be harvested next week, but we’ll have to see. We have some good looking mustard greens and could possibly harvest a bit more arugula soon too. The chard still looks really good so we’ll probably go back for more bunches of that. The one green we’re waiting on to get bigger is the spinach.
There are a few different brassica roots that we have small plantings of and will likely be harvesting soon – a couple of turnip types and winter radishes. Celeriac and parsnips are on the horizon and we might even have more celery.
That wasn’t much of a one week prediction, more of a laundry list of some of whats in store over the next four weeks. Looks like there’s some rain in the forecast, so we’ll have to see how that changes things too.
Todays share has kale, kohlrabi, carrots, hakurei turnips, tomatoes, two heads of lettuce, a sweet pepper and popcorn.
The kale is Lacinato Rainbow but we may switch to Nash’s on Thursday depending on how the rest of the planting looks. Kohlrabi will be swapped for cabbage or collards on Thursday. There are two heads of lettuce this week because we have a bit of extra and with all of this amazing sun it’s not going to hold well in the field. The sun ripened some late field tomatoes so there’s more of those even after I had given up on them. We picked the peppers hard the last couple weeks so they’re almost gone, and I’m not sure if we’ll have any for Thursday – although the sun is doing some magical things out there.
The weather looks good for the next week. I’m actually hoping for a brief rain break to germinate the fall cover crops. I wouldn’t mind more weather weeks like this though.
I just posted a few little video clips and suggestions for taking our full ears of popcorn and making them into full bowls for snacking. Check them out over on Instagram: https://instagram.com/p/Bo2QGYWBE–/
Above are some massive Superschmelz kohlrabi that went out instead of the cabbage last night. An alternate option was some beautiful Mantovano fennel. All three of these crops, for different reasons, have come up a bit short this fall but we’re still holding out hope for more to come.
Some crops that aren’t coming up short are carrots and lettuce. We should have at least a few more weeks of those. There may be a bit of mustard or arugula as well as kale to fill out the greens section of the share. Our fall brassica roots are looking decent too, with more radishes or turnips likely to make repeat appearances.
Tomatoes and peppers are both big question marks. Really they should be done, but it’s possible with the sun they may rally a bit longer.
With the sun forecasted next week we’ll distribute the popcorn. I’ll post a video later today with some more information on that.
Long shots, but crops in the pipeline are beets, celeriac, parsley and parsnips. Those probably won’t go out next week but they are coming up, along with a few others.
With the bulk storage crops (potatoes, onions, shallots and winter squash) all given out early this year the share size should start to shrink a bit in the upcoming weeks, although bulky greens and heavy roots may keep the bags looking big. We’ll see what happens with the weather. It’s always a bit of a guessing game.
A soggy start to the week and there’s a bit more than I was expecting in the share today. As expected, the chard, lettuce and carrots all continue to be beautiful. Peppers are still going, and might even make it another week, as are the Matina tomatoes from the hoop house.
Salad turnips were a last minute addition today, and the one I sampled was huge, very sweet and tender. Also in the brassica family we have cabbage today, although Thursday will likely see kohlrabi instead of the cabbage.
The celery is starting to show some signs of decline so we decided we should harvest the last of it this week as it will keep in your refrigerator better than it will in the field.
Leeks are the allium of the week and to round out the shares we’re giving out the last of the winter squash, as predicted. It’s a choice of two of the remaining three varieties, while they last.
I was hoping to give out popcorn today, but it’s so wet we’ll probably wait until next week, or maybe Thursday. It’s already a pretty heavy share and I was having trouble fitting it all in a bag after I took the photo. I’ll post a bit more on the popcorn later this week.
Seems like we’re having a nice gradual transition into fall, both with the weather and with the crops.
Our carrot and lettuce supply looks good for the foreseeable future. Chard continues to look good although I did notice a few more aphids starting to return. Sweet peppers are slowing quite a bit but we should have one more week of those, not sure what will happen with the tomatoes though.
Now that we’re solidly into fall and the onions, shallots and garlic are all given out we’re going to start harvesting the leeks.
Looking at our brassica patch the salad turnips are very close and are a maybe for next week. Kale is also an outside possibility, as are cabbage and kohlrabi.
We have a few more storage crops to give out as well. There’s another winter squash or two for next week. Unfortunately the three varieties pictured above didn’t yield well so we don’t have enough of any of the three to give out to everyone so it’ll be a little random. All three of these will benefit from a bit of curing at home, simply sitting in a cool spot with a bit of airflow (like a kitchen counter). There’s very little butternut and that one will probably be at peak flavor sometime from November to December. There’s a bit more of the Black Futsu and that one is probably at its peak from December through January (it’s also a great decoration until then, and will continue to change colors on its bumpy surface). Black Forest Kabocha is the largest of the three and should be ready later this month, through November. For more on winter squash check out the eatwintersquash.com project or @cookwithwhatyouhave.
Besides winter squash, another dual purpose (seasonal ornamental/edible) crop we have to give out in the next week or two is popcorn. These are full ears of Dakota Black. We’re giving them out on the cob because they just look so good. I’ll have an upcoming post on how to actually shell and pop the corn.
Next week might be the last chance for pick your own cherry tomatoes, although they’re already in decline. Most of the herbs are still looking good, and some of the flowers too, although sadly those will decline with the rain and cold too. In their place we’ll be putting in cover crop, as we’ve already started to do out in empty beds in the fields.