CSA Newsletter: Volume 4, Issue 22

Flying Tomato Farms News

A newsletter for members of Flying Tomato Farms C.S.A.

Vol. 4, Issue 22

GARDEN NEWS:

I’m pleased to report that I’m back in action—though a little slower than before. My neck pain finally cleared up this weekend, and I was able to spend a little more time in the gardens.

Mostly I’m doing clean-up at this point—trying to get the tall weeds mowed down. I’ll be deconstructing some of the long trellis on the east side of the garden once frost hits and the tomatoes succumb.

I can’t believe we’ve only had that one frost advisory so far—the tomatoes keep coming and, unfortunately, so do the grasshoppers.

Remember the Vermillion Area Arts Councils Annual Chili Blues Event is this Saturday (Dakota Days!). I am not planning on making a chili this year—we’ll have an out-of-town guest coming and Martin will be here too for the parade on Saturday morning.

Don’t forget to return your produce bags each week—I’d like to make sure they all get re-printed by the end of the season. I will take the plastic clamshell boxes back from each week’s deliveries as well—I know a number of you have been doing this already. Please don’t include plastic boxes with detachable lids though, as they are hard to keep track of in the overwhelming overload that is my basement this time of the year!

THIS WEEK’S DELIVERY:

Red onions, winter squash, tomatoes, peppers, daikon radish.

The red onion is called “Red Mars” and comes from Patti Bancroft at Evergreen Farms Certified Organic Produce out on Highway 19 north of Vermillion.

The buttercup squash is not organic, but it is local—from grower Gary Bye. Both Patti and Gary have been selling their produce at the Vermillion Area Farmers Market. This week is the last (official) week of the market, so if you want to stock your winter pantry, you may want to come down this week. We are going to seek permission from the Fair Board to extend the market another week or two for those with lots of produce still left in the field.

The pretty dappled “Carnival” squash is grown by Mitchell Morse down at Morse’s Market. Mitchell tells me their location on Dakota Street (down the hill and just across the Vermillion River bridge) has been doing well with the daily Nebraska-South Dakota commuters. This squash is also not organic. The reason it’s hard to find organic winter squash—well, they’re hard to grow organically on a large scale because squash bugs are hard to kill, as my numerous failures illustrate!

The buttercup squash will keep longer than the Carnival squash. Buttercup’s dry, sweet orange flesh is great for the hearty soups and stews of fall and winter. Be careful cutting it open though—they are notoriously difficult to get a knife through. Carnival is fun for a “squash on a half-shell” meal—cut in half, scoop out the seeds, and dab with butter and brown sugar. Place in a roasting pan and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, or until the squash is tender.

Need to use up a few more of those peppers and tomatoes?

Easy! Quick! Tasty!

Black Bean Soup

Oil for the pan

½ large red onion

2-3 sweet peppers (add a hot pepper too, if you like)

1 ½ cups chopped tomato

2 cans organic black beans

cumin seed

oregano

chipotle powder (optional)

Heat oil (I used peanut) in a soup kettle and add red onion and peppers, chopped. Saute over medium heat until they’re tender—add 1 TB crushed cumin seed and 1 tsp dried oregano leaves. Add a couple pinches of chipotle powder if you have it. Cook 1-2 more minutes, then add black beans (undrained) plus 1-2 cans water (use water from rinsing the cans). Heat to a simmer and cook for about fifteen minutes—then add tomatoes and simmer five to ten more minutes. Serve with tortilla chips and cheese or over cornbread with a sprinkle of chopped cilantro and a dollop of plain yogurt or sour cream.

These are actually small daikon radishes thinned from the garden to allow some of the others to reach their monster potential (you may be getting more in the last delivery). Daikon can be eaten raw in a grated slaw, or sliced, cubed, or grated into a stir-fry. Its greens are also edible—a little hot like arugula, and best added toward the end of a stir-fry or other hot dish and slightly wilted before serving. My Asian customers at the farmers market are always excited to see daikon with greens attached—it’s hard to get daikon with greens in the grocery stores!

Don’t forget the Vermillion Area Farmers Market’s Harvest Soup Supper on November 1st from 5:30-7:30pm at the Extension Building on High Street!

Remember to

WASH YOUR VEGGIES!

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