What’s In The Bag, Tuesday, October 9

All signs point to Autumn! We’ve bundled ourselves up in the cool rain these last couple days, hoping the plants are enjoying the chill in the air as much as we are trying to. And no doubt the seasonal signs have punctually arrived as we are recuperating from last weekend’s Shakori Hills Bluegrass Festival and preparing for this weekend’s 5th Annual Pittsboro Pepper Festival (more details to come). Yep, it’s Autumn in Chatham County!

The rain has offered an un-welcomed challenge to dig all the sweet potatoes out of the ground as well as pull the weeds from around our plants. On the other hand, everything is well saturated and growing happily. With such devastating drought occurring in other parts of our country (and world), we feel gratitude for the rains that have offered a lushfully green landscape and a bountiful kitchen to share with our friends.

After today’s harvest, we shared an incredible feast made by our beloved volunteer, Kristen Kowzan, and fantastic intern, Donna Poe. Both often use the above mentioned bounty to experiment in the kitchen and share for our taste buds. See below for Kristen’s Veggie Coconut Curry dish…we’ll also have to snag Donna’s recipe for Sweet Potato muffins, yum!

What’s In the Bag:
* Butternut Squash – a small harvest this year so enjoy it while you’ve got it!
* Pac Choy – smaller than last week but just as great; regular shares will receive two
* Lettuce–various types–yours may be red or green or mixed colors/texture
* Asian Braising Mix – baby kale, baby mustard greens, baby pac choy, and baby more
* Sweet Green Peppers – hardy and juicy! delicious cooked or raw
* Radishes – only for the Regular shares; a mix of a french variety and “crunchy royale”

Veggie Coconut Curry – a la Kristen Kowzan
Saute in a hot pan with oil 1 med onion, 2 med sweet peppers, and any vegetables and greens of your liking (Kristen used pac choy, braising mix, kale, cauliflower; try cabbage, broccoli, roasted butternut squash). Once cooked, remove vegetables from pan.

In pan, mix 1 can coconut  milk, 1/2 to 1 Tablespoon of Thai Kitchen green curry paste, 1 Tb brown sugar, and 2T to taste of your favorite salt or salt substitute (i.e. soy sauce, tamari, Braggs)

Heat up above mixture, add vegetables. Allow to simmer for 10 minutes. Garnish with lots of fresh basil.

Bon Appetit!

What’s In The Bag, Tuesday, October 2

It’s October and the fall Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) has begun! There’s a lightness in the air as we begin our mornings that remind us we have successfully survived the summer heat. (Ironically, as I send this the air is balmy and humid from the recent rains…) Boots smacking through rust-colored puddles between kale beds are more common these days than sandals shuffling through the thicket of tomatoes. Our hoop house is packed full of quickly maturing greens, including spinach, chard, kohlrabi, carrots, asian braising mix, cilantro, lettuce,  and pac choy.

Everything in the hoop house is sharing its home with inoculated straw bags for growing mushrooms! We’re excited to have witnessed our first batch of PINK oyster mushrooms ferociously explode in the last few days (we mean this in a good way!). And doubly excited to be able to share some of our warm blue oyster mushrooms with our Tuesday CSA peeps today.

While we had a great break between the summer CSA session and the fall season beginning last Saturday, we’re ready to share all our beautiful bounty. For the next 8 weeks, our CSA peeps can expect loads of hardy greens, sweet lettuce, and spicy arugula; broccoli and brussels sprouts; sweet potatoes; winter squashes and pumpkins; onion, garlic and potatoes; more mushrooms; and the hoop house items listed above!

Today, our Tuesday peeps are receiving:
* Pac Choy–a big one! Stir fry or chop some up raw to add to a green salad. The stems are a great scooping substitutes for a spoon or celery
* Kale–3 varieties including Dinosaur, Red Russian and Winterbor
* Lettuce–various types–yours may be red or green or mixed colors/texture
* Eggplant–Asian types. No peeling or salting necessary. How’s that for easy?
* Green Peppers–juicy and crispy!
* Okra–try roasting it if you think you don’t like it. The “slime factor” goes away with roasting. Or grilling!
* Oyster Mushrooms!–Warm Blue variety, great sauteed with butter. You don’t need much to bring out its flavor

Bon Appetit!