Friday, October 7, 2011

Final Share of the 2011 CSA Season!!!

Hi everyone:

Well, it's been quite an amazing season this year. We had such a wonderful summer with so many great things coming out of the garden and we hope everyone enjoyed the bounty as much as we enjoyed growing it.
This week's share is decidedly 'fall' in nature. I harvested the last of a bunch of things this week, including tomatoes and cucumbers. But they were in small enough quantity that we couldn't put them into the shares. However, we still have lots and lots of stuff for you this week. Including, Long Pie Pumpkins. No, these are not orange zucchini though that is what most people think when they first see them. If you ever come across an orange zucchini be sure to get some of the seeds and give them to me! I'd love to grow a zucchini that looked this cool. Long Pie Pumpkins used to be grown a lot more in Maine according to an article I read by one of Maine's leading vegetable experts. The reason being that it's the only pumpkin that will reliably ripen after it's been picked. This has obvious benefits for our short season.

I tried to pick the most ripe for your share this week but some people got pumpkins like this one. Never fear! You could actually cut this open and cook it and it's ripe 'enough'. However, you could give it some more time by just putting it on your kitchen counter and letting it turn fully, deep orange. That's when it's fully ripe and makes an amazing pie (or cookies in our house).

Luckily, you can let your Long Pie Pumpkin ripen because I also put another type in your share this week. New England Pie Pumpkin is advantageous because it vine ripens in our short season.

Anyone who orders from our winter club this winter will have plenty of other opportunities to enjoy real, fresh, beyond organic pumpkin for pies and other recipes. Pumpkin also makes a great soup. Emily is looking forward to making a pumpkin apple bisque. I can't wait to try it. Fresh, real pumpkin is so superior to that stuff you get in a can from the grocery store that you'll never want to go back. A quick Google search yields the best cooking method. We cut in half, remove the seeds and netting and roast in the oven on a cookie sheet until tender. Then remove the flesh from the skin, compost the skin (or feed it to the pigs/chickens in our case) and use the pumpkin in your favorite recipe. Most recipes recommend you puree the pumpkin but we often find this unnecessary depending on the recipe.

Also this week is my favorite winter squash, at least that I've so far found. I try a new variety every year. Last year I tried this beauty, Australian Butter and fell in love with this squash. It has a 'meat' like a Buttercup but is more creamy and it's much larger, which means you have more leftovers and get more out of each squash. Plus, unlike other large winter squashes like Hubbard, this isn't difficult to cut open. I prefer to cut it in half, remove the seeds and cut the halves into quarters (so eighths overall). Then put them in a bit of boiling water, it's not necessary to cover with water because they are good steamed, and cook until tender. Then remove from the boiling water and scoop the meat out of the skin. Just as with pumpkin, some people puree it but we just mash it like potatoes.

You also have Red Russian Kale, Chard Mix, Carrots and Beets as well as another 5 lbs of potatoes.

I'll leave you with a few shots of us getting everything together today.

Our first Winter Club email will be coming out in about a week and a half so keep an eye out for that. If you're new to the Winter Club, be sure to check out the Winter Club link at the right. If you have questions, please let me know. We've enrolled all of our CSA members in the Winter Club at no additional cost. Thank you for your participation in our local, beyond organic food chain and thank you for your ongoing support of our diversified, family farm. See you soon.