this week in your csa share {september 11}

Welcome to week 15 of the P&C CSA!

Here’s what’s in the box:

  • Leeks – making their first fall appearance, say hello to mild leek goodness!
  • Red Ursa Kale – harvested from a new planting, very tender!!
  • Banana Fingerling Potatoes
  • Radishes – making their fall return!  Radish sandwiches anyone?
  • Carrots – we’re into a new bed of happy, colorful carrots this week!
  • Eggplant – either Rosita, Vittoria, or Violette di Firenza (click over for variety descriptions)
  • Tomatoes – more lovely Stupice (stu-PEECH-ka)
  • Garlic
  • Asian Pears – these are from the new farm!  Note that they aren’t certified organic but they haven’t been sprayed.

As we’d noted here and mentioned to most of you at yesterday’s CSA pick-up, the big news for these farmers is that we signed a lease on a 15 acre farm outside of Lebanon for the next year.  We also have the option to buy the farm, so in the next year we’ll be working on figuring out just how to do that.  The Asian pears that are making an appearance in this week’s share are from the new farm so I’ve been thinking of them as celebratory pears!  We hope you enjoy them with happy “new farm” thoughts to celebrate the news with us.

Of course, as with any change, there also come some new uncertainties and questions.  We want to assure folks that the final 10 weeks of this season will be just as planned.  The vegetables are happily growing out on Grand Island and we’re looking forward to what fall has in store for the CSA share.  Winter squash!  Brussels sprouts!  Sweet potatoes!  The only change you’ll notice this year is the addition of the wonderful pears, plums, and apples from the new farm.

So what’s happening at the new place then?  We’ll be planting out overwintering starts from our greenhouse soon and most likely direct-seeding bonus amounts of onions and leeks and kale and sprouting broccoli for a jump on spring crops.  Once we have overwintering varieties planted out, we’ll be able to begin planning for next year and making some decisions about what we want our farm to look like, how big we want to grow the CSA, how we’ll market the produce we can grow on a larger farm.  We’ll also be working on the organic certification and certifying our water rights.

So, you might be thinking, “Hey, you’re moving to Lebanon?  Does that mean you’re abandoning Salem?!”  To that we say “No way!”  We’ve come to love the folks here who support our farm.  We need enthusiastic vegetable eaters and we know Salem needs fresh, organic vegetables so the model still fits for us.  We may be traveling a little further each week, but we’ll still be bringing quality produce to Salem each week!  In short, we hope you still like us once we’re from Lebanon and not from Salem.

Enjoy the veggies this week!

Your farmers,
Jeff Bramlett and Carri Heisler
Note – Once again we’ll have tomatoes available for bulk purchase if anyone is interested.  Currently we’ve got a lot of an early variety we’ve given out in the CSA boxes for several weeks called Stupice (stu-PEECH-ka).  They’re on the small side, but are fairly dense for sauce and salsa.  We’re offering them at bulk pricing for 10# for $15 or 25# for $30.  Send us an e-mail by Thursday and we’ll bring your order to market next Saturday.


Recipe inspiration for this week’s vegetables:

Creamy Leek, Potato, and Sour Cream Chive Soup

3 Tb. butter
2-3 leeks, thinly sliced (white and pale green parts only)
1 tsp. dried tarragon
1 lb. potatoes, thinly sliced
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
½ to 1 cup sour cream
4 Tb. chopped fresh chives, divided
salt and pepper

Melt butter in pot over medium-low flame. Add leeks and dill; cover and cook slowly, 15-20 minutes. Add potatoes and stock; bring to simmer, cover, and cook until tender, 10-15 minutes. Puree mixture. Return puree to pot; stir in sour cream and 2 tablespoons chives. Add salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle each serving with additional chives. Makes 6 servings.

From “From Asparagus to Zucchini, A Guide to Cooking Farm-Fresh Seasonal Produce,” Madison Area CSA Coalition


Easy Eggplant Cheese Casserole

olive oil
small eggplants (about 1-lb. total) sliced into 1/3-inch thick rounds
salt and pepper
onion, sliced into rounds
red or green pepper, cut into strips
c tomato sauce or chopped fresh tomatoes
T chopped fresh basil
c grated mozzarella and/or parmesan cheese

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in skillet; add eggplant and cook (in batches if necessary) on both sides until barely tender. Lay eggplant in baking dish and season well with salt and pepper. Saute onions and pepper strips until barely tender in a bit more oil. (Alternatively, you may brush vegetables with oil and grill them.) Layer onions and peppers over eggplant; season with salt and pepper. Cover with tomato sauce (or tomatoes) and basil. Top with cheese. Bake at 375º for 45 minutes.  Makes 4 servings.

Note: This can easily be increased to feed a crowd. Summer squash can be substituted or used with eggplant. Serve with a big salad, fresh bread and goat cheese.

From “From Asparagus to Zucchini, A Guide to Cooking Farm-Fresh Seasonal Produce,” Madison Area CSA Coalition


Grilled Eggplant, Caramelized Onion and Tomato Sandwiches

2 T melted coconut oil
1 T balsamic vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
1 onion, peeled and sliced into ½ inch slices
1 oz cheese, goat cheese or herbed gouda (optional)
Tomato slices
Salsa, garlic aioli spread or mayonnaise
Arugula leaves
4 French whole-grain rolls

Prepare grill.  Combine oil, vinegar, and garlic in small bowl.  Brush oil mixture over vegetables, and then grill until vegetables are fairly soft.  Lay the vegetables on bottom half of roll.  Spread or lay slices of cheese on top.  Lay tomato slices and arugula leaves over the vegetables.  Spread with salsa, garlic aioli spread or mayonnaise on top roll.

From Local Vegetarian Cooking, Inspired Recipes Celebrating Northwest Farm, Debra Daniels-Zeller