Author Archives: Matt Gordon

Week 27/28 – Last Share!

Whew! It’s been a pretty great season I’d say.  I hope you’d agree.  This last share will hopefully help you with your veggie needs through Thanksgiving festivities.  Thank you for joining us for this seasonal journey down vegetable lane.  It’s been a pleasure growing food for you.  Keep in touch with our email list & facebook page.  I’ll probably have a CSA signup for 2017 going sometime in January.

In the share:

Acorn Winter Squash (“Thelma Sanders Sweet Potato”)  – from Sauvie Island Organics.  A family heirloom variety from Missouri, this acorn squash has a long shelf life (for acorn) so it should store well for you for at least 3-4 weeks at room temp.  It also has amazing sweet, nutty flavor.  Try it baked with butter, or use it as a base for sauces, soups, curry, … endless possibilities!

“Yukon Gold” Potatoes – from Sauvie Island Organics.  Renowned for flavor and dry texture.  Perfect baked, boiled, mashed, or fried.

Radicchio – Try a radicchio salad!  Let the leaves sit in a citrus vinaigrette and sort of marinate a bit before serving.  I find it helps cut the bitterness.  Serving suggestions: add seeds, raisins, fruit, or slices of roasted winter squash to the salad.

“Hakurei” salad turnips – Remember the roots on these are so sweet you don’t need to cook them.  Great as a raw snack or in salads.  Of course you can use them cooked as well. There was a lot of slug damage in this harvest, so you may need to just trim out any bad parts.  The larger specimens you may find you want to peel out off the tougher outer skin.  Remember the greens are edible as a cooked green as well.

Mustard greens – Great flavor when braised.

Kale “Rainbow Lacinato” – We haven’t seen this variety since early summer I believe.  We’re harvesting the growing tips and surrounding leaves so they should be fairly tender.  Wash well as there were a lot of insects on here which we tried our best to remove but please do your part also.

Leeks – A great winter substitute for onions.

Carrots – a mix of orange and yellow.

Beets – Don’t neglect those greens as well.  In fact you could mix the beet, mustard, and kale greens together for a big old mess of braised greens to cure what ails ya.

Parsnip – Roasted, mashed, in soups, etc.  A great winter storage veggie that can hang out in the ground through all kinds of freezing weather (which of course we haven’t had to worry about in this warm fall).

“Watermelon” Radish – Take off that outer peel layer and enjoy the mellow red radish flesh inside.

Sweet Peppers! – Yes these did just come off our plants still in the field.  Did I mention it’s been a warm fall?  Not to mention a good year for peppers!  If you’re roasting roots you could roast these peppers at the same time.  After they’re skins are all blistered, run them under cold water and the skins should come off easily.  Then eat the tender sweet flesh on its own or as a topping.

Recipe Ideas:

Squash & Radicchio salad (use acorn instead of butternut – it’ll be just fine)

Potato & Parsnip Puree

Roasted root veggies (substitute any root veggies you have around)

Carrot, beet, and Watermelon Radish salad – could add the hakurei turnips in here.

Southern greens (for kale, mustards, beet, turnip greens mixed together) – sub leek for onion if you want, and if you want it vegetarian, take out the bacon/ham and add more olive oil & salt.

Week 25/26

Thanks to help from my sister and daughter we got the garlic planted for next year in my backyard on Sunday!  Fingers crossed we don’t have the dreaded garlic rust in that soil…

cNote that there is no CSA pickup next week (11/7 & 11/10) and then the last pickup is the following week (11/14 & 11/17).

In the share this week (aka what’s all this craziness I’m supposed to eat?):

Long pie pumpkin- (Grown by Sauvie Island Organics! Thanks SIO!) A great variety for pumpkin pie (or any pumpkin dish like soup).  It’s a New England heirloom.  I like this explanation of how to make pumpkin pie from scratch.

Sugarloaf chicory – Chicories are cold season salad greens, with slightly more bitter bite than lettuce, but also a bit more flavor and sweetness.  “Sugarloaf”‘s white parts are the sweetest with the greener parts being more bitter.  I recommend eating it sliced thin as a salad with a strong lemony vinaigrette, or cut lengthwise in half, brush with olive oil & salt, and then roast or grill until the edges just start to brown & crisp up.

Celeriac (aka celery root) – This close relative of celery looks like an alien landed in your share, but it’s actually a root vegetable with an interesting flavor reminiscent of celery and parsley.  Peel off the outer crazy skin first, and then you have options:  Add it to a root vegetable mash (e.g. potatoes, celeriac, parsnip mash with butter, cream, etc).  Grate or matchstick it and make a lemony mustard dressing to let it marinate in for a while before eating.  Grate it and mix with egg, flour, spices to make fritters.  Use it in soups or roasted vegetable dishes.  The list goes on and on.

Parsnip – Again another lovely root veggie good for mashes, fritters, roasting, soups…

Shallots – Can be used instead of onions – slightly milder flavor.  They store a LONG time on the counter or in the cupboard.

Garlic

Carrots

Beets

Collard Greens

Daikon Radish – If you’re stuck on this one you could add it into a soup or roasted veggie dish.  Personally I like it raw in salads.  I’m finding I need to peel off the tough outer skin on these daikon at this stage in the game.

Recipes:

Here’s another take on roasted winter root veggies.

Randomly googling collard greens & daikon together brought up this very interesting looking recipe for “Collard Green Sukiyaki.”  You could use the shallots instead of red onion.   Sounds amazing!

Pumpkin soup! from the Pioneer Woman cooks!

Week 24

In this week’s share…

Leeks

Potatoes – “Red Gold” from Sauvie Island Organics

Celery – The leaves & tops are good for soups, stocks, etc.

Fennel – Good raw sliced thin as a salad with olive oil & parmesan, or roast it with other veggies in the oven (see recipe below).

Turnip – A new variety for me this year, “Wonnegold,” they have a nice golden hue to them.  I’m excited to try it roasted or in a soup.  Don’t confuse it with the radishes…

“Watermelon” Radish – Careful, these look surprisingly similar to the turnip on the outside, but more green/white and the turnip is more yellow/white.  On the inside though, these are a fantastic pink and pretty mild.  If you’re eating them raw, peel off the tough skin.

Carrots – These yellow carrots were in a very weedy bed which has really reduced their size.  Oh well, they are cute and tasty though.

Chard

Lettuce – romaine – This is really the last week for lettuce.  I promise this time.

Recipes:

Roasted potatoes & fennel (you could add the turnip, radish, carrot, and leeks in there as well if you dare!)

Soup with leeks, turnip, potato, and chard

I’m really loving the evening light during CSA pickup these fall days.

Week 23

Butternut squash – from Sauvie Island Organics! Delicious roasted and as a base for soups.

Daikon radish – Holy moly, what a lot of food is in a daikon.  These are incredible plants I’ve got to say.  Did you know that daikon can be the base for making kim chi?

Parsnip – One of my fall favorites!  Roasted or in soups, this veggie generally needs to be cooked before eating.

Beets – As promised, we are beginning to get some actual beets!  Though not very large yet, they are more useable than the teeny tiny ones I gave out not long ago.  Remember the greens are great too – similar to chard as a cooking green.  For longer and easier storage, cut the tops off (and also maybe in half to save space – they are so big!), and store separately from the roots, both in plastic bags in the fridge.  Beet roots are another great roasting in the oven veggie.

Carrots – Don’t stop won’t stop!

Onion – The last of the yellow storage onions.  Thursday folks will be getting something else – shallots or cippolini probably.

Kale

Lettuce – 2 heads “winter density” – This is probably the last of the lettuce heads.  You are getting 2 heads this week because I don’t think most of them will last until next week.

Some recipe ideas for this week:

Roasted fall vegetables: http://www.motherearthnews.com/real-food/roasted-vegetables-recipe-tips

Butternut squash (& carrot) soup: http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/butternut-squash-soup

Radish kimchi: http://www.maangchi.com/recipe/kkakdugi

Week 22

It’s definitely fall soup time this week!

Potatoes – Yukon Golds from Sauvie Island Organics

Leeks – To clean these properly, cut in half lengthwise and run the inner layers under running water to get any bits of soil out.  The white part of leeks can be used like onions though they have their very own flavor.  Try potato and leek soup.

Salad Turnips – “Hakurei” – Remember these from the springtime?  Well they are back!  Scrumptious raw in salads, or cooked (try roasting alongside potatoes or chicken/pot roast, or add to a veggie soup).  Remember those turnip greens are good to cook up as well.

Celery – Another good soup and stock ingredient!

Collard greens – Nice and big today.  Here’s a recipe for vegetable soup that uses a bunch of the ingredients from this week including collards.  Sub leeks for the onions.

Carrots – Pretty small this week, but tasty.  We spent a ridiculous amount of time locating these amidst a very weedy bed today.

Sweet Peppers – Are still ripening in the field though much more slowly.

Tomatoes – OK I know I’ve said this before, but I really think this is the last week for tomatoes!  Except for maybe green tomatoes…  Enjoy those last tomato sandwiches of the year from fresh toms.

Lettuce – Romaine returns at long last to the share.  These heads were heavy today due to the big rains yesterday.

Week 21

Lots of new items are making their way into the share this week: winter squash, shallots, beet greens, and mustard greens.

winter squash – “red kuri” is the variety, grown organically by Grow Portland at the Oregon Food Bank site.  Red kuri (and winter squash in general) is delicious roasted: cut the squash in half, scrape out the seeds, rub flesh with butter or oil (and salt & other seasonings if you like), place on a rimmed baking sheet for 40-45 minutes in a 400 degree oven.  Roast until you can insert a knife or fork easily into the flesh.  This variety has a bit of a nutty flavor when cooked and you can eat the skin as well!  Once roasted you can eat as is (with any toppings you like), mash into puree and use in other recipes, freeze it, etc.  Here’s a recipe for red kuri squash soup that uses the shallots and hot peppers (you could use the jalapenos).

shallots – are related to onions and have a sweet, mild flavor for cooking.  They can be used in place of onions in cooking, but can also be used raw (e.g. salad dressing) as they have less of a sharp bite than raw onions.  Here’s a simple shallot salad dressing recipe.

beet greens – are the leaves of beets of course!  These came from thinning our last beet planting, making room for the beets we left in the ground to size up.  I swear you will get some nice sized beets before the end of the CSA!  In the meantime, enjoy these lovely greens.  I like to say they are sort of midway between swiss chard and spinach in terms of their tenderness, meaning they take less time to cook than chard and more than spinach.  Try adding them in at the end to a vegetable saute or soup.

mustard greens – are a cooking green with a distinct flavor.  Try with lentils or sausage.  Or both (recipe here).  This recipe uses up some carrots as well, and you could sub potatoes from last week for the sweet potatoes.

carrots – “napoli” – some small and some medium/large this week.  Thursday folks you will probably get mostly small carrots.

jalapeno – if you’re building up a bunch of jalapenos on your counter, try making hot sauce.  Here’s a recipe for fermented hot sauce, though you could just make it without the fermentation process if that part scares you away.

tomatoes – the amounts are dwindling as the weather cools.  Next week may be the last week for tomatoes… sigh.  It’s been a great year tomatoes, thank you!

sweet peppers – If you are building up an excess of these, one option is to freeze them.  No blanching necessary – just cut them up and stick them in freezer bags.

lettuce

That’s it folks!  Until next week, enjoy the vegetable challenge.

 

Week 20 – Fall is here!

Fall is officially here and we are marking it with potatoes!  And of course lots of tomatoes and peppers again.  Here’s this week’s rundown:

potatoes – “Colorado Rose” – With rosy skin and white flesh, red-skinned potatoes have a firm, smooth, moist and creamy texture. The flavor is subtly sweet and well suited for salads, soups and stews because slices and chunks maintain their shape during cooking and mixing. They are also excellent baking potatoes.  You can also mash or roast them.  Our potatoes this year are coming from Sauvie Island Organics, a great local organic farm that runs it’s own CSA and sells wholesale as well.  We decided not to grow most of our own potatoes this year because they benefit from mechanical cultivation and harvesting, but rest assured your membership is still supporting a great operation with excellent farming practices.  This choice has allowed us to dedicate more field space to things like lettuce and salad greens.

kale – “Nash’s Green”

eggplant – last week of these

carrots – We are back to the variety “napoli.”  Some of these are huge right now.

garlic – 2 heads

lettuce – 1 head of red or green

sweet peppers – The same 5 varieties: Jimmy Nardello, Stocky Red Roaster, Gatherer’s Gold, Gypsy Queen, and Liebsapfel.  Best flavor when roasted but great for fresh eating.

hot peppers – red jalapeno

tomatoes – these are slowing down a bit but still a great haul this week.

The summer squash is officially done, and the eggplant is not long behind.  Week by week you will slowly see more changes in the mix of veggies in the share.  Soon, maybe next week, we’ll have our first winter squash of the season.

In other news we are beginning the process of sowing rye, vetch, and clover as winter cover crops to improve soil texture and maintain fertility.  We are mowing and turning in crops that are finished, then scattering the cover crop seed, and then raking or harrowing the seed in.  This weekend looks like it will bring plenty of rain to get the seed up and growing.  I’m excited to see lush fields of green protecting the soil through the winter rains.

Have fun with your veggies this week!  – Farmer Matt.