CSA Week 18–Fall update and sweet potato greens

Our outdoor greenhouse is exploding with fall transplants right now. The rain delayed our planting last week, so we are more than ready to get broccoli, kale, collards, chard, cabbage, cauliflower, bok choi, chinese cabbage and lettuce all planted this week! Come take a peek during CSA pick-up tonight!Trying to germinate fall crops in 90 degree weather certainly provides its challenges. We have to keep most of them c20140823_112948overed for pesky pests, and some under shade cloth to try to keep them nice and cool. In addition, some just will not germinate in this heat, so we had no other option but to germinate spinach (our second attempt) in our tomato shed, which stays 60 degrees. Fortunately this coupled with soaking the seed for a few days and then keeping in the fridge for a few days paid off, as we have tons of little spinach seedlings now, or more like thousands! We opted to germinate inside or from transplants, as it would be to difficult in this heat to germinate in the field, and we get a jump on the weeds! We did not provide as much spinach in the share as we hoped in the spring, so we are hoping to make up for that this fall! It will still be a month before this is planted out, when the temperature will hopefully be cooler!Good news, the high teIMG_20140823_211621mperatures are now starting to increase the eggplant and hot pepper production, at least I think this is what is causing it! Hopefully soon we can give eggplant in the share!There just has not be enough to go around from our 250 plants as of yet! Also, our okra is booming right now. In case you have not noticed from its consistent appearance in the share! We harvest abut 50 pounds every other day from our 800 feet of okra, which is fantastic. You will likely see okra in the share until early October, hopefully.For those of you who have not tried roasted okra, it is fantastic. I am not a huge okra fan myself, but I do recommend roasting it in the oven, as fried okra can get a bit to much for me after a while.WINTER SQUASH! We posted pictures of our winter squash harvest a few weeks ago, and now you will start to see it in the share, as it has cured nicely. This week will be giving acorn squash, which has the shortest storing capacity for all winter squash. You can just sit this on your kitchen counter for about a month or two at most. While butternuts (which we will give next week store for up to 6 months!) My favorite way to eat winter squash is to simply slice it in half length wise, core out the center seeds, lay flat skin side down in a roasting pan. Put butter, honey and some fresh herbs (sage or thyme are great!) and bake in the oven (covered or uncovered your choice) for about 40 -45 minutes until soft, and enjoy! 

I will end my farm update with this: It amazes me week after week, how much food just three people and our fantastic helper Darius can grow. How many people we feed on a weekly basis is likely more than  I can even imagine. Outside of the CSA, we sell to restaurants, at two farmers markets, and to a vegetable wholesaler who then distributes are veggies throughout Atlanta. The daily stresses of farm life can be a burden, but when I stop to think about the number of people we are impacting with our hard work, that’s all I need to keep me going. HOPE YOU ENJOY THIS WEEKS SHARE, enjoy your locally grown and hand picked veggies!

-Farmer Ashley

 

 

Recipes-

 

Baked Tomatoes with Greens and Garlic

recipe provided by my mother, Lori Rodgers

 

  • Slice 4 tomatoes fairly thin.
  • Lightly cover with the Balsamic Vinaigrette
  • Marinate in refrigerator for 24 hours.
  • Place sliced  marinated tomatoes  on sprayed nonstick pan.
  • Sauté onion, garlic and greens– sweet potato greens, spinach, or other
  • Place sauté on top of tomatoes.
  • Cover  each tomato with mozzarella  or cheese of your choice
  • Lightly sprinkle with balsamic Vinaigrette
  • Bake at 3:50 for 20 minute

These are fantastic and will melt in your mouth

 

 

 IMG_20140820_183701

Sweet and Savory Sweet Potato Leaves 

-provided by CSA member Jana Swenson via

http://coonrockfarm.com/recipes/sweet-and-savory-sweet-potato-leaves/

  •  8 cups de-stemmed, torn and rinsed sweet potato leaves
  •  1 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  •  2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon cider vinegar
  •  3/4 cup vegetable or chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons dried cranberries
  • 2 tablespoons crushed pecans
  •  1/2 teaspoon minced garlic

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Stir in the onion and garlic; cook and stir until the onion softens and turns translucent,about 5 min. Stir in the mustard, sugar, vinegar, and chicken stock and bring to a boil over high heat. Stir in the sweet potato leaves, cover and cook 5 min until wilted. Stir in the cranberries and continue boiling, uncovered, until the liquid has reduced by about half, and the cranberries have softened, about 15 min. Season to taste with pepper. Sprinkle with pecans before serving.

 

 

Stir-fried Sweet Potato Leaves

-recipe provided by CSA member Jana Swenson


Ingredients-
One bunch of sweet potato leaves (volume of the untrimmed bunch was 6-10 Qt.)
1-2 hot dried red chilies
1-2 cloves of garlic
Salt, soy sauce, pepper to taste

Method-

  1. Fill a pot with water and put it on the stove over high heat. The pot should be large enough to hold the leaves, and there should be enough water to cover the leaves.
  2. Strip the leaves from the branches. The thin stems that attach the leaves to the branch are tender enough to eat, so there is no need to remove only the leaves. Wash and drain the leaves.
  3. Mince 1-2 cloves of garlic.
  4. Chop the chilies fine, and combine with the garlic.
  5. When the water comes to a boil, turn off the heat and carefully add the sweet potato leaves. After 2 minutes, remove and rinse with cold water. Chop the leaves. (This step was recommended by the cookbook to remove traces of natural slime from the leaves.)
  6. In a large skillet or wok, heat some vegetable oil over high heat. When it is hot, add the garlic and chilies. Cook for 30 seconds, stirring often.
  7. Add the greens, then stir-fry the mixture until the greens are tender, about 2 or 3 minutes. Add salt, pepper, soy sauce, or other flavorings to taste.

Note-

Separating the leaves from stems for some bunches of leaves can be a tedious chore, but with this particular batch of sweet potato leaves, the leaves were attached to the tough branch by a long stem, and I was able to quickly strip them using a pair of scissors.

 

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