Our plans this week went awry for sure. Although we didn't have a set to-do list, what we did plan to do didn't happen because of the weather. It certainly turned out to be a pretty nasty week.
On Tuesday, the crew went through the rest of the onions that were in storage, cleaned them off, composted anything rotten, and crated them up for our use in these remaining weeks. I snapped this photo of Randy, Ethan, and Eric in the barn, and social media had a lot of fun with it. Someone suggested that it looked like a band album cover, and our followers submitted a bunch of hilarious names for their band and album names, based on onion puns. One of the names was Layers of Me by the Alliums (alliums are the family that onions belong to.) We just love all of your social media engagement!
Another task we worked on in the storm was cleaning up the beet greens in the greenhouse by pulling off anything that was diseased so that we can get some healthy regrowth for the coming weeks. Randy, Ethan, and Tyler also finished planting the last of the greens in the raised beds. It was a productive day all things considered, but not how we originally envisioned spending our time.
During the nice periods of weather we had last week, the crew worked on securing more row cover for our mystery fruit. We had a severely crooked row that Carly and Laina straightened out here. This crop is going to be permanent, so this row cover has to last us over a decade. Randy was not thrilled about the idea of it interfering with his ability to mow straight through the rows for many years.
We also worked on cleaning up the herb and flower beds between the greenhouse and parking lot. A lot of the herbs are perennials, so they can stay, like the sage, thyme, mint, and oregano. The flowers, basil, and cilantro all need to be pulled up. The dill is still too healthy to pull up right now. It's so wild how the weather has been TOO nice for us to clean up. Unfortunately what will probably end up happening is that we'll get a cold snap so late that we'll be scrambling to completely clean up before a deep freeze comes. Eventually we have to turn our water off because the pipes are above ground; this will make cleanup so much harder once December hits.
This is the time of year when we start counting out pumpkins and winter squash for the remainder of the season. We need to have enough sugar pumpkins for our Thanksgiving Centerpiece Workshop (capped at 60 participants) and then enough for shares for Thanksgiving week baking. This week I portioned off garlic for what will probably be the final week's share. We grew more winter squash than we did last year, but we always like to have an exact number of a specific size and to ensure that they'll be high quality when we pick them out instead of rummaging through a bin on the final week and hoping we have enough to use.
Speaking of, our Thanksgiving Centerpiece Workshop is filling up! Take Home Kits and Tuesday tickets are both sold out. We have 18 spots left for the Monday date. We also have a few more 6-10 lb. Shaggy Coos turkeys left, but nothing at a larger size. Visit www.laurelglenfarm.com/thanksgiving for more on all of our Thanksgiving week happenings! Don't forget that we're also doing a field gleaning on Thursday, November 18th from 10-11 and 11-12 specifically to donate to those in need for Thanksgiving.
This week you're either receiving a buttercup squash or a kabocha squash. These winter squashes can look so similar and can be used interchangably. This year we grew a kabocha squash that was a little easier to distinguish from the buttercup. This is what a buttercup squash looks like:
You'll recognize it from the gray, "button-like" protrusion coming from the bottom.
Typical kabochas look just about the same, but with a rounded bottom. But, this year we grew a kabocha variety called the shokichi shiro, which is gray and more ridged, like a pumpkin.
Our Library of Resources currently contains information only about the kabocha squash (the variety that looks like a buttercup), but you can use those recipes whether you receive the kabocha or the buttercup because the flavor profile and texture are the same. Both have sweet, orange flesh that tastes like a cross between pumpkin and sweet potato. This winter, I'll add the buttercup squash to the library.
On Friday, our whole crew was together for the last time. A couple of crew members will stay on in some capacity, or come back for major projects, but most are moving on for the winter or permanently. Randy and I have been blessed with crew members for the past 9 seasons, and we wouldn't be where we are today without the hard work of each and every person who has contributed.
Our Little Free Library can use some fresh, new offerings if you have any to donate. Community members also love to use this through the winter, so we'd love to have it prepped for cozy reading. Thank you!
Happy Halloween, everybody!
In Your Share (In approximate order from shortest to longest shelf life)
1 head of bok choy
1 bunch of kale
1 kabocha or buttercup squash
1 bunch of thyme
1 head of bok choy
1 head of lettuce
1 bunch of Asian greens (this is the Asian greens mix)
1 bunch of kale
1/2 lb. of tomatoes
1 kabocha or buttercup squash
1 bunch of thyme
Caring For Your Share:
Store eggplant at room temperature, like out on your counter, but keep it away from other fruits and vegetables that will emit ethylene gas, as this will cause it to rot faster (tomatoes, melons, bananas, etc.)
Remove the greens from the kohlrabi bulbs and store in separate plastic bags in the fridge. Use the greens within a week; the bulbs can last a couple of weeks if stored properly.
Store kabocha or buttercup in a cool, dark place such as a pantry, cabinet, or cellar where it will get air flow.
Store kale and Asian greens in a plastic bag in the fridge. Or, snip the ends and store in a glass of water, like a bouquet. Wash and spin out when ready to use, within a few days.
Shake out any excess water in the head of lettuce, then store in a plastic bag in the fridge. Wash and spin out when ready to use.
Store bok choy in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer of your fridge. Wash and pat dry when ready to use (within the week).
Wrap thyme in a damp paper towel and place it in a plastic bag in the fridge. It will last a week or two.
Keep tomatoes out on the counter and out of direct sunlight, where they will get plenty of air flow. Do not put them in the fridge; it will dry out the tomatoes and change their consistency. Tomatoes continue to ripen after harvested, so use within a few days. To ripen a tomato quickly, put it in a paper bag in a dark place, like a cabinet.
Store dry onions in a cool, dark, dry place, such as a pantry, cabinet, or cellar. Ensure that they have plenty of airflow; you can store them in a mesh bag. Keep them away from potatoes.
LGF Cooking Club (The Library of Resources is filled with TONS of ideas about all of these veggies.)
Roasted Kabocha and Eggplant Tacos with Poblano Crema https://bigflavorstinykitchen.com/roasted-kabocha-eggplant-tacos-poblano-crema/
Pressure Cooker Thai Green Chicken Curry with Eggplant and Kabocha Squash https://www.seriouseats.com/pressure-cooker-thai-green-chicken-curry
Winter Squash Baba Ghanouj https://wolffsapplehouse.com/wonders-winter-squash-baba-ghanouj/
Winter Pasta with Slow-Cooked Kale, Kabocha Squash, and Golden Raisins http://katieatthekitchendoor.com/2018/01/07/2017-year-review-winter-pasta-slow-cooked-kale-kabocha-squash-golden-raisins/
Stuffed Shells with Eggplant, Ricotta, and Greens (another Dawn specialty!) https://mountainmamacooks.com/stuffed-shells-with-eggplant-ricotta-greens/
Warm Eggplant, Mushroom, and Kale Salad https://livelytable.com/warm-eggplant-mushroom-and-kale-salad/
Crunchy Roasted Eggplant Fries https://jennabraddock.com/crunchy-roasted-eggplant-fries/
Crispy Apple and Kohlrabi Salad https://cookieandkate.com/crispy-apple-kohlrabi-salad-recipe/
Coconut Kohlrabi Lemon Soup https://cookingontheweekends.com/coconut-kohlrabi-lemon-soup/
Roasted Kohlrabi Steak with Mushroom Sauce https://itsavegworldafterall.com/roasted-kohlrabi-steak/
Shrimp and Bok Choy Noodle Soup https://thenutritionadventure.com/shrimp-bok-choy-noodle-soup/
Skillet Chicken with Baby Bok Choy (use your one large head) https://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/skillet_chicken_with_baby_bok_choy/