Sweet and Bitter
Winter arrived suddenly and looks like it's here to stay! Our fields are covered in snow, and the temperatures are forecasted to drop to the single digets over the next week. The good news is that we still have plenty of delicious food to fill our CSA boxes and market table. Join us at the Farmers' Market this Saturday at Tracy Hall in Norwich from 10am-2pm. (Note extended hours for the holiday market).
Have you ever wondered why vegetables are so sweet this time of year? When temperatures drop and frost hits, only the heartiest of plants are equipped to survive. The adaptation that keeps them from dying in the cold also makes them sweet and delicious. Some hardy vegetables have the abiltiy to convert some of their starch stores into sugar, and this keeps the water in their cells from freezing. So, relish their survival skills and enjoy the sweet taste of our winter carrots, cabbage, kale, spinach, swiss chard, kohlrabi, broccolini, and even parsley! You can pick up these vegetables at our market table on Saturday!
Check out this remarkable radicchio! We harvested them this morning from underneath the snow! Radicchio can survive uncovered in the field even when it's 20 degrees outside. This member of the chicory genus is loved for it's bitterness and incredibly fresh, bright flavor during this cold, dark, and snowy time of year. One of the best and easiest ways to explore the taste of bitter is through chicories. Pick up some raddichio at the market and try one of these recipes from NYTimes Cooking this week.
Our CSA Shares are still going strong with two more weeks left to go! This week you may have been uncertain about the mysterious, big, round green vegetable in your box. If you're not familiar with kohlrabi, don't be afraid! Simply peel the skin off and slice a piece to try a taste. It's incredibly sweet and crispy, and it's very versitile in the kitchen. You can eat it raw, saute, or roast. Learn more about kohlrabi on our website.
We're excited to have a new batch of kimchi ready for market this weekend! Our kimchi is a truly a labor of love, we grow each of the ingredients- cabbage, carrots, scallions, onions, garlic, ginger, and hot peppers- and we hand chop, mix, and ferment the vegetables in small batches. Our favorite way to eat kimchi is right out of the container! Pick some up at the market this weekend!
Our Love for Winter Squash
This is the time of year when so many varieties of winter squash are available and at their best. Winter squash are some of the most delicious, nutritious, and versatile ingredients of the season. Winter squash are loaded with antioxidants such as beta carotene and vitamin C. They also contain folate and omega 3 fatty acids! There are so many ways to prepare squash and they're easy to store. You can extend the season just by keeping a box of squash in a cool dry space in your own home.
We'll have all of our winter squash varieties on display at the Fairlee Market on Friday 3-6pm and the Saturday Norwich Farmers' Market 9-1pm. These are our final outdoor markets of the season! Come try a new variety this week! You can also order additional quantities to store your own for winter by emailing Danielle.
We grow nine different varieties of winter squash because they each have their own unique cooking qualities and storability! You can find a simple guide to the many varieties we grow on our website.
Delicata squash is one of the first to ripen in the field and it doesn't keep as long as other winter squash, so we try to use them up first. Delicata is one of our fall favorites because it's so simple and satisfying to cook up for a weeknight meal. You don't have to peel the tender skin, you can simply slice them into circles and roast in the oven.
Another one of our favorite this season is this mini butternut called "honeynut". These are the perfect portion size, just slice in half, scoop out the seeds, roast in the oven and you've got a meal. The flavor and texture of this squash is really outstanding! We love the story of how honeynut came into being and we think you will too!
Kabocha is another amazing squash variety, not to be overlooked. This late ripening variety has very dense, dry flesh that's remarkably sweet with a nice nutty flavor. Kabocha squash is very versatile in the kitchen, it can be roasted, steamed, or simmered into a smooth creamy soup. The skin is also tender enough to eat if you don't want to peel it. One of our late winter favorites is "winter sweet" grey kabocha because they continue to sweeten and the flavors improve after two months in storage.
Check out Ali's latest recipe Squash Apple Cheddar Soup. This hearty fall soup will warm you up! We recommend trying it with Buttercup or Kabocha squash this week!
Sauce and Salsa!
It's the height of the season, we've reached the pinnacle. That short but sweet time of year when we're loaded with the beautiful fruits of our summer labor- tomatoes, peppers, watermelons, and cantaloupe. It's a great time to stock up and cook it all down into sauces and salsas, and maybe preserve a bit of that sweet summer flavor to save for the colder months. Check out Ali's Super Simple Tomato Sauce Recipe.
We'll have flats of Roma tomatoes for sale at the markets this weekend: Friday 3-6pm in front of Chapman's in Fairlee, and Saturday 9-1pm at the Norwich Farmers' Market. CSA customers can order from our online store for pick up along with their weekly share.
All the ingredients you need to make a delicious Salsa Verde are available right now: tomatillos, garlic, cilantro, hot peppers. It's so simple, you're going to love it! Check out the recipe here.
This is the final week of our Summer CSA Shares, but there's still much more to come! We have a few spaces open for our Fall CSA Shares. Sign up today and receive the best of our fall harvest for the next 16 weeks, until the end of December. Weekly deliveries or Half Share bi-weekly deliveries available for the fall season.
Recipes for High Summer
This week we'd like to introduce Ali Price, a Root 5 Farm CSA member and local food educator. Ali provides group and private cooking lessons to folks in the Upper Valley. She's also an aspiring Health Coach and born and raised vegetable lover.
This season Ali is creating a series of weekly recipes that work with the ingredients in her CSA box. Her recipes are clear and easy to read, with lots of step-by-step photos. We're excited to share these fantastic recipes with you on our website. Look for links in our weekly newsletter, or just check out Seasonal Recipes under the 'info' tab on our website.
Many people find that being a CSA member or shopping at the farmers' market and working with seasonal ingredients fosters a new approach to cooking. You can enjoy delicious meals and save time and money by adapting recipes to use what's freshly harvested and what else is on hand. Many recipes can be made successfully with substitutions or omissions, and vegetables are especially suited to this approach.
When you're looking for a substitute, think about plant families. For example, main courses often call for at least one member of the onion family (scallion, onion, garlic, leek, chive, etc). Alliums can usually be substituted for each other with excellent results. Members of the diverse brassica family can often stand in for each other. Kohlrabi, for example, could fill in for broccoli or cabbage in a variety of situations, because their flavors and crunchy textures are similar.
Ali is working on a series of master recipes that use some basic staples and flexible combinations of vegetables and spices, rather than a fixed set of ingredients. Check out these delectable examples- Grilled Summer Vegetables and Simple Summer Bites.
If you want to learn more about keeping your produce fresh once you get it to your kitchen, check out the storage tips on our website. Not all vegetables should be stored in the same way. For example, did you know that the best way to keep basil fresh is in a glass of water on your counter top, not in the fridge? Or that if you take the tops off your fresh carrot, beet, and radish bunches and store the roots in a plastic bag in your fridge, they will stay crispy and keep for months? Or that tomatoes should never be stored in the refrigerator? Learn more about the ideal temperature, humidity, and expected storage time for different vegetables on our website.