For now we may be spared the wildfires and tornadoes here on the East coast, but climate change is letting us know that we will indeed still feel its impact in a million small (and eventually, big) ways. With the latest frost that we’ve ever experienced (early June), the earliest frost we can remember (last weekend), and the driest season in eighteen years in-between, it was definitely a bellwether for a new kind of growing season. This morning we said an early farewell to the husk cherries, the zucchini, the cucumbers, and the peppers. Luckily all our tomatoes are in greenhouses, and Lydia and I spent Friday afternoon covering up all the tiny tender salad greens with row cover (those big white blankets you sometimes see in farmer’s fields), so many of the crops are doing just fine and will thrive again come the warmer temps later this week.
We did harvest a lot of peppers today from the plants that didn’t get totally frosted, so you’ll receive a lot in this week’s share. Make pickled hot peppers with the simple recipe in this week’s letter, but beware! Last week Bill cut up just a couple of the “Long Hot Red” peppers to add to his bell peppers in the dehydrator. He washed his hands and went to sleep, but he must have touched his eyes in the night, because he could barely open his swollen and burning eyelids in the morning! A quick google search (on my part – since I still had the pleasure of vision) came up with milk as the magic cure. We didn’t quite believe it would work, but it was rather miraculous — a few minutes after pouring a quarter cup of milk into each eye socket, he was able to gingerly open his eyes! So be careful, please, and wear gloves while processing the hot peppers!
Wondering what the gnarled and bearded lump in your share is? Celeriac! The creamy, delicious interior of the celeriac root is belied by it’s ugly duckling exterior. I loved learning years ago that parsley, celery and celeriac are all closely related — but where parsley was bred for its leaves and celery for its stems, celeriac was a close cousin developed for its root. I trim off the exterior and use it in any recipe that calls for celery, or in a gratin or a puree. It stores great in a plastic bag tucked away in the fridge, too.
Have a great week, careful with those peppers, and be in touch with any questions!
Reba and the HCF crew
CSA Vegetables Week Fifteen: Kale/Chard, Salad Mix/Napa Cabbage, Parsley/Celery, Green/Red Peppers, Hot Peppers, Summer Squash/Beets/Tomatillos, Delicata Winter Squash, Garlic, Cherry Tomatoes, Slicing Tomatoes
Week 15 Add-ons: Apples, Cheese, Mushrooms, Oil & Vinegar, Milk, Bread, Eggs, Tofu, Yogurt, Ferments
This week’s recipes: Quick Pickled Peppers, Celeriac Cabbage Soup with Chickpeas and Sausage, Baked Cherry Tomato Sauce