September kicked off with a fierce impact of another round of dry, hot weather which is pushing some of the crops to their near end point. We did not receive rain with this cold front that moved in today. No rain puts additional strain on the plants.
We have been busy harvesting fall decorations with over a quarter of the pumpkins and gourds harvested. This is a bit earlier than usual due to the dry weather. We have hopes to make great progress with this harvest by next week.
With two weeks left in the CSA, this is a good time to prepare for preservation whether you are freezing or canning. We encourage you to do this to help utilize the produce, decrease food costs and extend your enjoyment of the produce through the winter.
I know that all of this can seem overwhelming as we wrap up summer and transition into fall and a new school year. I encourage you to not give up on getting to the finish line with the food preservation. Rather find a way to reset and refocus on your goals – you’ll appreciate your efforts as you utilize it throughout the winter.
“Every sunset is an opportunity to reset. Every sunrise begins with new eyes.” — Richie Norton
Boxes of Produce
This list is prepared before we harvest your share. Some guesswork is involved! We do our best to predict which crops will be ready to harvest, but sometimes crops are on the list that are not in the share, and sometimes crops will be in the share even though they’re not on the list. Remember food safety in your kitchen when preparing, always wash your hands before working with your produce and always wash your produce before eating.
Dark Red Beets – I love beets and have been trying to incorporate them regularly in my diet because of their nutritional value. Most of the time I have found that eating them raw, peeled and dipping them in peanut butter works best for me. Learn more about their nutrition here.
Cantaloupe – These ripen so quickly. Have you ever wondered what was the difference between muskmelon and cantaloupe. According to Oklahoma State University Extension, all varieties and types of muskmelon belong to the same genus and species; however, cantaloupe belongs to a different botanical variety (subgroup) than winter type muskmelons.
Carrots – The summer heat and dry weather have put enormous pressure on the carrot crop. Enjoy this week’s purple carrots!
Cucumbers – The cucumbers are having a wacky growing cycle with our drought. The University of Illinois Extension has information on the odd formation and shapes of the cucumbers. Here’s an interesting link on their nutritional value.
Kohlrabi – I simply eat these peeled and cut up like an apple with some peanut butter. Here are some recipe ideas and additional information on this vegetable from Taste of Home.
Peppers – Holy Sweet Peppers. We have many! Let us know if you need more next week for making stuffed peppers or other dishes. Here are some pepper recipe ideas from Martha Stewart or if you want to know more about freezing peppers, this is a helpful link.
Potatoes – Yukon Golds or Red Norlands are in your box this week. Watch potato harvest here on America’s Heartland.
Radishes – Did you know you can eat the radish greens? Learn more at the University of Illinois Extension. Learn more about the health benefits of eating radishes.
Summer Squash – I bet your trying to figure out how to use this squash. Here are some ideas from Pioneer Woman. Also check out the hotdish recipe below.
Super Sugar Snap Peas – Yum! Eat these raw in the pods, dip in Ranch dressing or use in stir fry. One of our favorite summer vegetables is in your boxes this week. This heat really sped this crop to the end. This may be our last week.
Sweet Corn – A big shout out to our neighbors FarGaze Farms for the delicious sweet corn in our boxes.
Tomatoes –In your boxes this week are Napa Valley cherry tomatoes, Sun Gold cherry tomatoes, 4th of July tomatoes, Better Boy and more. Watch for a flush of them for canning and freezing.
Watermelon – We are super excited about this watermelon crop. I wasn’t fast enough to get a picture of the watermelon harvested this weekend. It was 45# and over 2 feet in length! Yes, we have eaten the entire watermelon!
Zucchini –So many wonderful ways to use Zucchini. Try this zucchini mock apple pie square recipe.
Fresh cut arrangement – Hydrangeas
Recipe of the Week
A favorite in our house to use up leftover turkey and chicken and vegetables!
Turkey or Chicken Pot Pie
1 pie crust (1/2 of Perfect Pie Crust recipe)
1/2 stick butter (4 Tablespoons)
1/2 c. finely diced onion
1/2 c. finely diced carrot
1/2 c. finely diced celery
2 c. leftover turkey, light and dark, diced or shredded (or both!)
1/4 c. flour
2 to 3 cups low-sodium chicken or turkey broth (more if needed!)
Splash of white wine (optional)
3/4 c. heavy cream
Frozen peas (optional) (or use leftover sweet corn that you have cut off the cob or chopped up radishes)
Fresh thyme, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit
- Melt butter in a skillet or dutch oven. Add onion, carrots, and celery, and cook until translucent (a couple of minutes.)
- Add turkey and stir. Sprinkle flour over mixture and stir. Cook over medium heat for a couple of minutes, stirring constantly.
- Pour in chicken or turkey broth, stirring constantly. Splash in wine (you can leave this out if you’d like.) Pour in cream. (May add frozen peas at this point if you’d like.)
- Bring to a slow boil and allow mixture to cook and thicken for a few minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste (do not underseason), and fresh or dried thyme to taste. Do one final taste at the end and add what it needs.
- Pour mixture into a casserole dish or deep pie pan.
- Roll out crust so that it’s about 1 inch larger than the pan you’re using.
- Place the crust on top of the pot pie mixture, and press crust into the sides of the dish. Cut vents in the top of the crust.
- Bake for 30-40 minutes or until very golden and bubbly and the crust is done.
- Allow to cool for a little bit before serving.
- Serve with a large spoon.
Source: Pioneer Woman