This Week's Harvest
December 8 delivery
POTATOES: This delivery includes: Oneida Gold: Yellow skin and yellow flesh; a good all around potato. It’s a newer variety developed in Wisconsin as a collaboration between UW-Madison and private growers. AustrianCrescent: A yellow skin, yellow flesh fingerling potato; our first year growing this fingerling. Fingerlings are great roasted, I also love baking the larger ones. Dark Red Norland: Red skin and white flesh and a very versatile potatoes. To store: Ideal storage is 40-45 degrees, high humidity and totally dark. If too warm they will sprout and shrivel, if too much light they will sprout and the lighter skinned potatoes will turn green. A basement or very cool closet works. A garage may work but could get too cold; monitor the temperature with a thermometer. A refrigerator is quite good. Don’t let them freeze, they will turn to mush.
ONIONS: These are hard, storage varieties and should keep for several months. NOTE: We had a challenging onion year and lost quite a few in storage (super disappointing). Remember all that rain/flooding early in the season, it had a huge effect on many of our crops. Some of the onions may not be perfect, may have some darkness below the skin; just clean it up, rinse it off and use as much as possible. How to store: In a cool to cold, dry, dark place. The colder the better, as long as it DOES NOT drop below 32 degrees. Darkness is important to prevent sprouting. An attic is good, or a cool basement, a garage if the onions don’t freeze, or in a kitchen drawer or cupboard. We store them just above 32 degrees but find they keep well in a paper bag in our kitchen for weeks.
GARLIC: The garlic varieties we grow are “hard neck” varieties which produce a circle of large cloves around a woody stalk and are quite similar to wild garlic in character and flavor. There are four different varieties in your bag. How to store: Store at room temperature. Hard neck varieties, though more flavorful than soft neck varieties, have a more limited storage life. Here are additional storage methods: To Freeze: Peel individual cloves, place cloves in a single layer on a baking sheet and put into freezer for at least an hour, put into ziplock bag. Frozen garlic will not get mushy and holds its shape. In Oil: You can mince the cloves or keep the peeled cloves whole. Pack them into a small jar, fill the jar with olive oil. Refrigerate! Nice gift idea, too.
The following three vegetables are included in the December storage share for the first time ever! Been a little warmer than usual this year.
KALE: The big, deep green curly, leafy vegetable. We harvested the top of the plant for you. Nutritionally, kale is vastly superior to most vegetables; very rich in vitamins A, C and B and in calcium. Store kale in a plastic bag in the refrigerator (you can remove the leaves from the stalk), it will become limp if allowed to dry out. Kale can also be frozen: Wash, de-stem and blanch leaves for 2 minutes; rinse in cold water, drain and pack into air tight bags or containers.
COLLARD GREENS: We harvested the top of the plant. Collards are similar to kale, have flat leaves and are a bit more tender. You can substitute collards in recipes calling for kale. To prepare: Remove stems and chop leaves. (Tip for collards: Lay leaves on top of each other, roll them up tightly, then slice). Sauté in olive oil with onion, garlic, salt and pepper for 10-15 minutes, stirring frequently so greens don’t burn; adding water as necessary. The addition of stock gives a nice flavor and extra moisture as they cook. Bacon is also a nice addition. Store in a plastic bag in the refrigerator, it will become limp if allowed to dry out. Can also be frozen: Wash, de-stem and blanch leaves for 2 minutes; rinse in cold water, drain and pack into a zip lock bag.
CHINESE CABBAGE: This cabbage combines the thin, crisp texture of lettuce with the fresh mustardy tang of juicy cabbage. It can be chopped raw into salads, stir fried, added to soups & substituted for common cabbage in recipes. Store in the refrigerator in a plastic bag. It will keep a long time.
CARROTS: These sweet carrots are a variety called Bolero. To store: Refrigerate in their plastic bag. If you have a colder drawer in the fridge, put them there, they like it just above 32 degrees and humid.
DAIKON RADISH and/or RUBY HEART RADISH: Daikon is the long, white root. Ruby Heart is the round radish with green and white skin and dark pink flesh Store in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. Uses: Both types of radish can be grated in salad; grated with other vegetables as salad, adding vinegar and oil; stir fried; roasted with other root vegetables.
CELERIAC: (also known as Celery Root): The knobby white root that smells like celery. Under this root’s rough exterior is a surprisingly delicious and versatile vegetable. Celeriac has an excellent crisp texture and super concentrated celery flavor enhancing its usefulness as both vegetable and seasoning. Uses: Celeriac can be used in place of celery in any recipe. Grate it raw onto a tossed salad or make a root salad [ex: grated carrot, radish and celeriac topped with vinegar and oil dressing]. Fabulous in soups and stews. Boil and mash with potatoes for a delicious taste. Store in a plastic bag or hydrator drawer. The plastic bag will help keep them from dehydrating, but if they start to get a bit slimy, take them out of the bag, they will dry out and continue to store well.
CABBAGE: The round green cabbage is a firm storage variety called Storage #4. Store in the refrigerator hydrator drawer; a plastic bag will help retain moisture. They can last for up to two months.
SWEET POTATOES: A favorite variety called Beauregard. To prepare: The fat ones can be baked at 350 until very soft. The thin ones can be sliced, drizzled with oil and roasted at 450 until tender and crisp, about 20 minutes. To store: Keep at room temperature in the plastic bag.
BEETS: A mix of three different beet varieties. The dark red skinned beets are Red Ace and have dark red flesh The lighter red skinned beets are Chioggia, (named after a city in Italy) with red and white stripes beneath their scarlet skin. The Chioggias won’t ‘bleed’ when you cut them open. The Golden Beets have a golden skin and golden interior, are super sweet and not as ’beety’ in flavor; really good sliced thin and sautéed in butter until nearly caramelized. Store in a plastic bag in the refrigerator to prevent dehydration and shriveling. To use beets: Slice thin and sauté in butter or oil until soft; chop into cubes, drizzle with olive oil and roast at 400 until soft (along with other vegetables and herbs is nice); wrap in foil and bake until easily pierced with a fork, cool, slip off skin; grate into a salad.
POPCORN: This popcorn was harvested in October and has been drying in our greenhouse. How to prepare: Push the kernels off the cob (thumbs work well) and pop per your preferred popping method. We usually put a little oil in the bottom of a heavy pot over high heat on the stove, shaking the covered pot as the corn pops (a Whirly Pop is a great popper). If you have been eating microwave popcorn, you are in for a real treat. Our favorite topping is melted butter with tamari drizzled over the popcorn and then sprinkled with nutritional yeast.