PHCSA Newsletter: Week 20

Prospect Heights CSA Newsletter

Week 20 – October 23, 2014

In this issue:

  • Pickup #20 Information
  • Get Ready for Winter Share Sign up
  • The Weekly Challenge — Using It All
  • Two Weeks of News from Ted

Important Dates:

October 30
Pickup #21

This Week’s Pickup: Week B

Thursday October 23, 4:30p -7:30p


PS9 Cafeteria
80 Underhill Ave
enter on St Marks next to the playground
We expect:
vegetables | fruit | eggs | dairy shares
Lewis Waite bread and a la carte

REMEMBER:  If you are an A week share member who paid for a Lewis Waite order or a pasta share, you will need to come and get your delivery this week, or else your order will be donated at the end of the shift to the food pantry…

Get Ready for Winter Share Sign Up

It’s time to sign up for your winter share! Share details are below. A link to the signup form will be available soon.
This from Ted:  Our summer season will come to an end in a couple of weeks. But that doesn’t mean you have to stop getting some of your vegetables or local fruits and eggs from us. Once a month on four Saturdays during the fall and early winter, we assemble a one-bushel box that consists of greens, storage vegetables and fruits and some kind, along with a little treat. Each year we get a little better – we’ve been growing hardy winter greens in our unheated winter greenhouses for more than ten years, and we’ve built a new vegetable storage and packing building this year to help maintain crop quality (and to give the staff a warmer place to work!). Each month you’ll get approximately 2 lb. of our organically grown hardy greens, including arugula, tatsoi, spinach, kale and Swiss chard. You’ll also get 8-10 lb. of our storage vegetables, including carrots, red and yellow onions, potatoes, beets, leeks, sweet potatoes and more, plus 4-6 lb. of fruits, usually from the Borden Farm. And, depending on the month, you’ll get one of the following: maple syrup, honey, apple cider, our own frozen strawberries or preserves from neighboring producers. We’ll also reach out to friends and neighbors in our organic farming community to fill in odds and ends, including black beans from John Sats and celeriac from the new farm belonging to a member of our staff. An optional egg share from neighbors raising free-range hens is also available. Joining the winter CSA is a nice way to stay in touch with your neighbors, and it keeps your farmers off the streets and out of trouble.

Weekly Challenge – How to Use it All…

From Ted at Windflower Farm:
Indian Summer Casserole

Adapted from “Still Life With Menu” by Mollie Katzen
Preparation time: 40 minutes, plus another 35 minutes to bake
Yield: 4 to 5 servings

Highly seasoned vegetables are combined with olives, chiles, and cheese, then a custard is poured over the top and the whole thing bakes to perfection. This is a wonderful, light entrée for a warm, lazy evening. Serve it with a fresh garden salad and some hot, buttered tortillas.

A little butter or oil for the pan
1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups corn (fresh or frozen)
3 large bell peppers (a combination of colors), chopped
2 medium-sized green or underripe tomatoes, diced
3 large cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano or Mexican oregano, if available
1 cup chopped scallions (whites and greens) or chopped onion
Several leaves fresh basil, minced or 1 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 cup minced parsley
Freshly ground black pepper
Cayenne to taste, optional
1/2 cup pitted, sliced olives (any kind)
1 small Anaheim, poblano, jalapeno, or serrano chile, minced (or 1 4-ounce can diced green chiles)
1 packed cup grated jack cheese or sharp cheddar cheese
4 eggs
1 cup buttermilk or yogurt
Paprika for the top

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Butter or oil an 8-inch square baking pan or its equivalent.
2. Heat the olive oil in a large, deep skillet. Add the corn, bell peppers, tomatoes, garlic, salt, cumin, and oregano, and sauté quickly over medium-high heat. After about 8 minutes, when the bell peppers are tender, remove from heat. Strain off any excess juices.
3. Add the scallions or onion, basil, parsley, black pepper, cayenne, olives, chiles, and cheese, and stir until the cheese melts. Spread this mixture into the prepared baking pan.
4. Beat the eggs together with the buttermilk or yogurt. Gently pour the custard over the vegetables. Sprinkle the top with paprika.
5. Bake uncovered for 35 minutes. Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature.

News from Ted at Windflower Farm

Puddles were covered in a thin layer of ice this morning, and once again we’ve pulled out the woolies and flannel. Last week’s rain and wind have blown many of the brightest leaves off the trees here, but there are still lovely splashes of yellow and orange on the hillsides. I spent yesterday with friends (and fellow CSA farmers) on a mountain lake in southern Vermont where all of the leaves have dropped, giving us a taste of what the next five months will look like. We talked about how pleasant it was to be nearing the end of the farming season. Our conversation was interrupted by a young moose that we watched swim across the lake, chased perhaps by coyotes.

Grass farmers have enjoyed the mild fall, and their pastures, which are a beautiful Kelly green, have begun to stand out in the landscape now that leaves are disappearing from field borders. Dairy farmers have begun to harvest the corn crops that will feed their cows through the winter, and the open fields have made deer, foxes and turkeys more visible. Farmers have been wrapping up their harvests throughout the region. Vegetable farmers are bringing in their storage crops. We’re still plugging away on our carrots and leeks and a few others. Apple farmers are in the middle of their big push. The apple crop, they tell me, has been disappointing. Quality and flavor are fine, but yields have been low because of the cold winter.

It’s time to sign up for your winter share! Details above. A link to the signup form will be available soon. Our annual survey, with which we ask you to tell us what you’ve liked and what you’d like to see improved about the CSA, will be coming next week.
This week’s share includes more fennel and garlic and the last of our herbs. You’ll also get a pie pumpkin, yellow onions, assorted potatoes, bunched carrots, sweet peppers and an eggplant. Your greens will include lettuces, Swiss chard, Dinosaur kale and bok choy. Fruit shareholders will be getting apple cider from Borden Farm and Bosc pears from Yonder Farm. For most sites, this is the last fruit week, although for sites that didn’t get fruit when the truck broke down in August, your final delivery will be next week. Next week, we’ll send leeks and Delicata squashes and red onions. We’ll send more greens and carrots. And, if all goes well, we’ll send sweet potatoes from our friend Tim at Laughing Child Farm.

Have a great week, Ted

Ted’s news from LAST WEEK arrived too late to make our newsletter. Here it is, a week late but just as good:

The landscape here is all fall colors, probably at their peak, and the air is crisp. We woke to a thick layer of frost this morning and, now that it’s lunchtime, I have squash soup on my mind. But that takes time. In the meanwhile, what to do with those green tomatoes? I think I’ll slice mine thin and put them on my sandwich, along with some baked tofu, lettuce, red onions, perhaps some sprouts and honey mustard. Your fennel, which is a bulb that will arrive shaped like an outstretched hand, can be roasted with any number of other “root” vegetables, including the other bulbs in your recent shares (i.e., onions and garlic), your tubers (potatoes) and your true roots (this week’s carrots), to make a yummy dish. Salt, pepper, Rosemary and a little olive oil pulls this all together for me.

Our annual survey will be coming soon. When the time comes, please share with us your thoughts about your CSA experience.

Have a great week, Ted