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October 2nd, 2012 FarmShare, C.S.A. Newsletter

FarmShare, C.S.A. Newsletter for 2 October 2012

What’s happening on the farm this week?

Well…been a bit, folks.  Apologies for the radio silence.  Your lack of Newsletters has been largely due to continued technical difficulties and, admittedly, a decent dose of harvest mayhem.  Hopefully, I’ve sorted it all out and can finish the season strong.  Do be sure to check out all the missing posts which are now finally on the website.  There’s a ton of great storage and handling tips you might’ve needed and some recipes you’ll want to be sure and try!

Since last checking in a lot’s been happening here at the farm…namely, apple harvest!  We’re in the thick of it now and will be for another few weeks.  Macouns (my fave) just came ripe last week and a host of great cultivars are heading your way soon.  Corn and cool weather crops are coming along nicely as we watch the summer bounty fade.  Alas, melons and peaches are done and raspberries (with these most recent rains) are sure to peter out soon.

We’ve got just less than a month left and, though I don’t know where the time went…it sure has been a great season.  Keep an eye to the sky for geese heading south and enjoy the remainder of the harvest!

What’s in this week’s boxes?




Mountain Fresh tomatoes

Purple/ Cheddar Cauliflower

Slicing Cucumbers



Blue Hubbard Squash

Brussel Sprouts

Red Potatoes

Bicolor Corn



Storage + Handling

Apples should be kept uncovered or in a perforated plastic bag in the refrigerator. Warm temperatures will cause apples to lose their crispness and flavor, so if they are kept out of the refrigerator, make sure it is in a cool, ventilated place far from direct sunlight. To prevent cut apples from turning brown, sprinkle with lemon juice or soak them in a bowl of ½ cup water and 2 tbsp lemon juice.


Purple and/or Cheddar Cauliflower

Storage + Handling

Look at that color! If your kids weren’t interested in cauliflower before, we think they will be now. Do they think the cauliflower will change color when it’s cooked? Make an experiment out of cooking together. Cheddar cauliflower contains about 25 times more Vitamin A than the white variety. It is also creamier when cooked, making it a nice choice for serving mashed. It is perhaps the most delicious of all of the cauliflower available on the market. The purple variety is high in tannins and its color comes from anthocyanin, a flavanoid packed with antioxidants. And remember, all types of cauliflower contain most of the same great nutritional benefits found in broccoli : vitamin C, protein, and iron!


Wrap dry, unwashed cauliflower loosely in plastic and store it in the refrigerator.  It will keep for up to a week, but will taste sweetest if used within a few days. To eat, trim off the leaves and any brown spots.  Rinse the cauliflower and cut out the cone-shaped core at the base using a small paring knife.  Stop there if you plan to cook it whole.  Otherwise, break it by hand or knife into florets. Serve cauliflower raw on vegetable trays with dip or add cauliflower to roasts, soups, or curries. Steaming and blanching are the best methods to preserve the most flavor and nutrition. To blanch: place in salted boiling water for 3 minutes, cool under running water, and drain.



Storage + Handling Tips

Tomatoes bruise easily, so handle them with care. They are best stored at room temperature, out of direct sunlight, stem-side down. Keep them away from your bananas and onions to avoid decay and icky taste. Never refrigerate tomatoes! The cold renders tomatoes mealy and flavorless. Eat them within a few days.

You can also freeze tomatoes. There is no need to peel or blanch them beforehand. Once thawed, the tomato skins will slip easily off. Simply rinse and dry the tomatoes thoroughly, then place in freezer bags. You can suck any air out of the bag with a straw. Frozen tomatoes are great for cooked dishes.

Fresh tomatoes are yummy sliced and layered with mozzarella cheese, basil, olive oil and salt. They work wonders for burgers, wraps, pastas and salad.

Cucumbers: Slicing

Storage + Handling Tips

Cucumbers are members of the gourd family. The thin skin does not require peeling, just a good washing. Cucumbers are usually eaten raw, most often in salads, cut into pieces and served with a dip, or sliced for sandwiches. Store whole, unwashed cukes on the counter if you want to enjoy them in the next day or two. Otherwise, place in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.


Storage + Handling Tips

Corn is best when eaten right away, before the sugars turn to starch, and diminish its sweet taste. This is mostly true for eating corn right off the cob, but after 4 days, corn will still be edible and tasty enough to cook with. Corn should be refrigerated with the husks still on. The husks will preserve that milky moisture in the kernels. Keep them in the crisper drawer without any strong smelling foods, as corn will easily absorb those odors.

Shuck corn only before using by pulling down, breaking off the stem, and removing the silky threads by hand. If there is some worm damage – no fear – just cut out that part, the rest of the corn is still good. Wash the corn in cold water. To remove the kernels, place the corn vertically in a large bowl and run a sharp knife down along its length. If making a soup, or if you want some extra milky juice, run the knife down the length of the corn again, but with the dull back of the knife to avoid shaving off the cob. To freeze corn, blanch in boiling water for about 5 minutes, cool and drain, then wrap in plastic.

Tip from Thomas Keller: After you have removed the kernels from the cob into a bowl, place a smaller bowl of water next to it. Swirl your hand around the corn and the silk will stick to your hand. Remove the silk from your hand by dipping it into the bowl of water. Or running water would work too, I’m sure.

Try eating your corn raw – when it’s fresh like this, it’s yummy! My kids love to pick an ear off the stalk, shuck it in the field, and chomp away. To cook your corn, boil it in water for about 4-6 minutes, depending on how soft you like it. Last night, I cooked it for just 3 minutes then let it steam in the pot until the rest of dinner was ready a few minutes later. It was perfectly cooked and just popped off the cob! Corn is best when eaten simply: boil, slather with butter, and sprinkle with salt. Do you twirl your corn and eat around the cob or lengthwise like a typewriter? In our family, I’m the typewriter.

Corn is also delicious grilled. Pull back the corn husks without removing them fully, remove the silks, then pull the husks back up and soak for at least 15 minutes in water. Grill corn in its husks (maybe brush some pesto on the corn before pulling up the husks), turning occasionally until charred about 20 minutes.  Corn is super versatile. Think: creamed corn, corn bread, corn chowder, salsa, succotash, or as a topping to salad.


Storage + Handling Tips

Radishes can be eaten immediately or stored, unwashed, for a week in the refrigerator in a plastic bag.  Store the leafy tops separately. Before serving, scrub and soak the radishes in cold water to refresh them. Pinch off the bottom root. It’s not necessary to peel radishes. Most of the spicy flavor that radishes are known for is found in the skin. If you’d like to make your dish a little bit milder, peel radishes before use or cook them.

I like to eat radishes raw with just a sprinkle of coarse salt. They are also nice sliced, grated, or julienned in salads or as part of a crudité spread. Steamed, blanched or boiled radishes can be delicious rolled in butter with a dash of salt and pepper. You can also cook radish leaves with other greens to add a peppery flavor to your dish. Why not try a radish sandwich? Spread butter on a few slices of sourdough bread, layer with thin slices of radish, raw spinach, and a slice of cheese.

Blue Hubbard Squash

Storage + Handling Tips

The Blue Hubbard is an heirloom squash with a beautiful blue-green shell. Many say it came to New England by way of a Marblehead sea captain during the late 18th century. Winter squash are cooked and eaten as a vegetable, but they are really a vining fruit. The Blue Hubbard boasts a rich texture and sweet flavor.  It is an excellent source of Vitamins A and B, plus full of dietary fiber, iron and beta-carotene.

Hubbard squash are picked when their skins have hardened and are fully mature. This hard skin guarantees a long shelf life. Store Hubbard Squash in a dark, well-ventilated area for up to two months. Wrap cut pieces in plastic and refrigerate up to five days.

Wash your squash well when ready to eat. The flesh can be removed from the skin before or after cooking (after is MUCH easier!), although if you plan to sauté the squash, we recommend removing the skin first. Use a sharp knife to cut away the skin and as well as any seeds and fibrous stringy parts inside the cavity. Slice the squash into equally sized pieces and you are ready to sauté!

Hubbard Squash is most-often baked: whole (if you have a large enough oven) or split lengthwise (removing seeds and stringy fibers). Pierce whole squash in several places or roast halved squash, hollow side up, for 45-60 minutes in a 375-degree oven. When it is roasted like this in dry heat, the sugars caramelize and sweeten the flesh, creating a delicious, buttery texture. After roasting, scoop out the flesh and mash with cream, butter, salt and freshly chopped sage. No doubt, you will have more squash than you can eat in one sitting. After roasting, puree plain squash and store in freezer-safe containers in freezer for up to 6 months.

Storage + Handling

If your beets still have the greens attached, cut them off, leaving an inch of stem.  Keep these greens unwashed and refrigerated in a closed plastic bag.  Beet greens can later be added to a mixed green salad, or steamed or sautéed. Store the beet roots, with the rootlets (or “tails”) attached, unwashed, in a plastic bag in the crisper bin of your refrigerator.  They will keep for several weeks, but their sweetness diminishes with time; so try to use them within a week.

Just before cooking or consuming, scrub beets well and remove any scraggly leaves and rootlets.  If your recipe calls for raw beets, peel them with a knife or vegetable peeler, then grate or cut them according to your needs. Try baking beets at 350-400 degrees for an hour or until they are easily pierced with a fork.  Rub off the skins and cut off any rootlings, then serve whole or sliced. Why not add some other root vegetables to the dish along with olive oil, garlic, herbs, and salt? I like to boil beets as well. Plunge them directly into cold water after boiling and the skins will slip right off. Then slice and top with fresh lime juice. Please don’t miss the opportunity to have your kids taste beets! My daughter loves them and they are chock full of fiber, vitamins (lots of Bs and C!), minerals (iron, magnesium), and antioxidants. Plus, they look beautiful on the plate.

Brussel Sprouts

Storage + Handling Tips

For all of you Brussel Sprout naysayers out there, give these little cabbages another try! They are super nutritious and will reward your palate with a sweet, nutty flavor. Plus, they are Farmer Todd’s favorite vegetable.


Store your brussel sprouts unwashed in a closed plastic bag in the veggie bin and don’t forget about them. Their flavor is sweetest at the time of harvest, so try to eat them right away.

When ready to enjoy, rinse the sprouts in cool water and remove any loose or discolored leaves. The key to yummy Brussels Sprouts is cooking them enough, but not too much.  As with full-sized cabbage, overcooking sprouts produces an unpleasant, sulfurous smell.  Ideally, sprouts should be tender enough to yield when pierced with a fork, but not so soft that the fork sinks right in.

To roast brussel sprouts, first boil the sprouts until just tender, 5 to 10 minutes depending on size.  Drain and rinse in cool water to stop the cooking, then coat lightly in olive oil, place in a roasting pan and roast in a 375-degree oven until lightly browned, 15 to 20 minutes. Brussel Sprouts can also be steamed or sliced and stir-fried.


Storage + Handling Tips

Unwashed potatoes should be kept in a cool, dark place.  They will keep for weeks at room temperature, and even longer at 40-50 degrees. Do not refrigerate them, as refrigerators will turn the starch in potatoes into sugar. Moisture will cause spoilage, light will turn them green, and onions will cause them to sprout (just cut off the “eyes” – they are still good potatoes!)

Potatoes come in all shapes, sizes, textures, and colors. They are rich in carbs, magnesium and potassium (more pro-rata than a banana!) with some Vitamins B + C. They are low in fat and have as many calories as an apple or glass of OJ. Potatoes are generally known as tubers, but they aren’t actually roots. The potato is a stem. Each potato has its own root system hanging from it. If you find “potato hairs” in your quart, it’s because they were just gathered from the soil in the field – fresh as can be!

Potatoes are incredibly versatile in the kitchen. They can be boiled, steamed, baked, roasted, mashed, sautéed, fried, or microwaved. Before cooking your potatoes, give them a good scrub to remove any dirt. Cut out any black spots, which are bitter internal bruises, and cut off any green skins or sprouts. Many of the potatoes’ nutrients are found in the skin, so whether you peel them is up to you and your recipe. Soups and stews may separate the skins, but roasted, baked, or fried skins will become a wonderful crispy treat. Prick potatoes if cooking whole. Cover peeled and cut potatoes in cold water if not using right away to prevent the flesh from turning brown. Russets, blue and purple potatoes have a crumbly, fluffy texture – perfect for making French fries, baking or pureeing. They easily absorb flavors and fat for crispiness. Waxy red, white, and yellow potatoes are great in salads and gratins where their firm, moist texture will remain intact.

Facts: Potatoes were first grown and cultivated in South America, but were brought over to Europe in the 16th Century. Louis XVI wore potato flowers in his buttonhole and Marie Antoinette put them in her hair. Thomas Jefferson first introduced them to America. The nickname “spud” comes from a tool that was used to weed the potato patch.


Cheesy Mashed Cauliflower

1 head Cheddar Cauliflower
1 cup chicken broth
3 ounces soft garlic/herb cheese (like Boursin)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

¼ cup sour cream or heavy cream

2 tablespoons butter

Salt and pepper

Wash cauliflower and trim green outer leaves. Cut in half and remove center stalk. Set saucepan over medium-high heat and add chicken broth. Cover and bring to boil. Add cauliflower, reduce heat and cook until tender (10 minutes). Mash cauliflower in pot and add cheeses, cream and butter. Continue to mash together for a few minutes. Cook until thickened. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Roasted Cauliflower with Cheddar Cheese Sauce

Adapted from Epicurious 


1 large head cauliflower (about 1 pound total)

2 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon fine kosher salt

¼ teaspoon Coleman’s dried mustard
2 cups whole milk
1 ¼ cup grated Cheddar cheese (mix in Asiago, Parmesan or other cheeses if you like)

Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 375°F. Rinse the cauliflower and remove the green outer leaves. Slice off large florets from the central stalk and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast for 30 minutes in one layer on a 12- by 8-inch baking dish.


Meanwhile, set a large heavy saucepan over moderate heat to melt the butter. Reduce the heat to low, add flour, salt, and mustard and whisk a few minutes until ingredients are mixed and golden brown. Raise the heat to moderate and add the milk, whisking constantly, until a smooth sauce forms (the sauce should be thick and glossy, but still runny), about 5 minutes. (If the sauce is too thick, gradually whisk in additional milk until the desired consistency is achieved.) Add 1 cup of the grated cheese and whisk until melted, about 1 minute. Pour the cheese sauce over the cauliflower, making sure to cover all the florets. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup cheese and season with pepper, then bake until the cauliflower is golden brown and the cheese sauce is bubbling, about 30 minutes. Serves 8.


Brussel Sprout leaves with Bacon

Chez Panisse Vegetables, by Alice Waters

(This is Farmer Todd’s favorite way to prepare Sprouts!)


Brussel Spouts


Pancetta or Bacon

Chicken Stock or White Wine


Wash Brussel Sprouts. Cut out the stems and separate the sprouts into leaves. (Yes, this is time consuming, but it’s worth it!) Thinly slice the tightly compact centers. Sauté some diced onion and pancetta or bacon in olive oil until softened. Add the sprout leaves, season with salt and moisten with a little white wine and water or chicken stock. Cover and simmer until tender, about 10-15 minutes. Add freshly ground black pepper and serve.


Hubbard Squash Pie

Ris Lacoste, Taunton’s Fine Cooking


Master recipe for roasted squash puree

2 to 21/2 pound Hubbard squash, to yield 2 cups puree (extra can be frozen)
3 tablespoons salted butter, softened
2 tablespoons firmly packed dark brown sugar
3 tablespoons orange juice


Cut Hubbard into chunks and remove seeds and fibrous interior. Place on a rimmed baking sheet, lined with a sheet of foil. Heat butter, orange juice and maple syrup or brown sugar until butter melts. Rub the flesh with syrup. Place cut-sides down and roast at 400 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes, until the skin is blistered and browned and the flesh is tender. Lift squash with tongs and poke with a paring knife to check. When cool, the pulp is easily scraped from the Hubbard skin.



1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
3 large eggs
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt


Roast squash according to master recipe. Put 2 cups of the cooled squash in a food processor and whirl until smooth. Lower oven to 375 degrees. Set rack on lowest position. Combine the puree with the custard ingredients: brown sugar, eggs, cream, spices and salt. Whisk until smooth. Pour into a prepared 9-inch pie shell and bake until the custard is puffed up but still has a small wet spot in the middle, 50 to 60 minutes. Cool. Serves 8

All the Best,

The FarmShare Team
Applecrest Farm Orchards
133 Exeter Road, Hampton Falls NH 03844

Tel: +1 603 926 3721

One Comment

  • Herb Speck says:

    Are pets such as dogs allowed in the orchards? Or best left at home?
    We are planning to have a family group gather late morning or early afternoon this friday oct 4.
    603-498-9865 option to email.

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Applecrest Farm | 133 Exeter Road (Rt.88) | Hampton Falls, NH 03844 | Phone 603.926.3721 |