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October 9th, 2012 FarmShare, C.S.A. Newsletter

FarmShare, C.S.A. Newsletter for 9 October 2012

What’s happening on the farm this week?

Despite my insistence on still wearing shorts, today I was finally forced into busting out my sweater stash.  THIS is my favorite time of year here on the farm.  Just as the first waves of Canadian Geese begin their flight paths over the corn fields, my late season apple cultivars are finally coming in.  With them, the fresh pressed juice gains a wonderful depth and complexity (perfect for my first batch of hard cider).  Pumpkins got their first good cold days and are all oranged-up, readying themselves for soups and front stoops.  Though tomatoes are finally petering out, it looks like we may have corn thru till the end.  Winter squashes have all been harvested and cured and, hopefully, will last many of us on in, and thru, the Holidays.  Head lettuces are thankfully back and, depending on frost cycles, will carry-on for a few more weeks.  Over the coming days we’re madly sowing winter cover crops to replenish the soil and, tomorrow, we plant garlic for next year’s CSA!

What’s in this week’s boxes?




Purple/ Cheddar Cauliflower


Mini Cabbage


Sugar Pumpkin

Spaghetti Squash



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. 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 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 will 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

Cabbage grows its own clever packaging. Just pop your unwashed cabbage in the refrigerator to store for up to a month.  Rinse the cabbage under cold running water just before use.  Pat dry and peel away any limp or yellow outer leaves. Begin by cutting the cabbage in half through the stem end.  Next, lay it flat and quarter it, again through the stem end.  Then balance each section upright and slice away the triangular core that is exposed at the base.  From there you can chop, sliver, or grate the quarters. I like to steam these little cabbages, slather with salt and butter and serve as a side dish.

Cabbage deteriorates rather quickly once the head is chopped, so plan on using it within a day. If you only need half a head, place the remaining half in a plastic bag and shake a few drops of water onto the cut side. Close the bag and refrigerate. The cut half should last another few days.

Cabbage can also be frozen. Cut cabbage into coarse shreds and blanch leaves for 2 minutes in boiling water. Remove, drain, and chill. Pack into airtight containers and freeze up to one year. Once thawed, frozen cabbage works well in soups and other cooked dishes.

Sugar Pumpkin

Storage + Handling Tips

Store your pumpkin in a dry, well-ventilated area. It will look adorable on your table as you decide how to prepare it! Before use, wash your pumpkin in hot, soapy water to remove any soil residue. Pumpkin can be baked, steamed, stir-fried, or boiled. Pumpkin is great for soups, pies and roasts.  You can also freeze your pumpkin. The easiest way to freeze pumpkin for later use is to preserve cooked pumpkin mash. First, wash the pumpkin, then cut in half and remove seeds. Bake pumpkin in oven then remove pulp from rind and mash.  From here you can place the mash in labeled plastic bags and freeze.


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.

Spahetti Squash

Storage + Handling Tips

This watermelon-shaped squash gets its name from its long, spaghetti-like strands of flesh. It has a slightly sweet flavor that kids love. Unlike soft summer squash, this squash boasts a hard skin and only the interior is eaten. Cooked spaghetti squash tastes wonderful in salads, pasta dishes or casseroles. Store whole Spaghetti Squash in a cool, well-ventilated area for up to three months. Any cut pieces should be wrapped in plastic and refrigerated, where it should last up to five days.

When ready to eat, wash Spaghetti Squash well, split lengthwise, and remove seeds. Bake squash in a 375-degree oven with hollow side up for 30-40 minutes. When done, separate strands with a fork. If you are short on time, you can microwave the squash halves in a glass bowl with a small amount of water.  Zap for 12 minutes or so.

Storage + Handling

Broccoli should be stored unwashed in a perforated bag in the refrigerator and enjoyed within 3-5 days. Unrefrigerated, broccoli will quickly become woody and fibrous. If broccoli is not used right away and looks a bit tired, soak it in a bowl of ice cold water for 30 minutes to refresh it’s vibrant crispiness. Always remove leaves and wash broccoli before eating. Broccoli sometimes comes out of the field with innocuous friends tagging along in its depths.  Immediately before cooking, soak your broccoli, head down, in cold, salted water (1 teaspoon salt to 8 cups of water) for 5 minutes.  Any critters will float to the top. Broccoli florets are rich in vitamin C and a good source of vitamin A, B6, and folate. Broccoli is also high in fiber and provides small amounts of calcium and iron.

Broccoli can be eaten raw or cooked. If you cook it, please do so rapidly (by either steaming or blanching) so that it will retain its bright green color, crisp texture, and nutrients. The stalks can also be used, but cook them separately from the head because it is tougher and the cooking times vary. Peel the woody parts of the stalks and slice. Broccoli can be frozen for later use. Just soak in salted water for 15 minutes, then blanch for 3-4 minutes. Drain, cool, and wrap your blanched broccoli in a labeled plastic bag before placing in freezer.


Storage + Handling Tips

Eggplants can be kept in a cool space on the counter or in the fridge for up to one week. They don’t particularly like cold temperatures – brown areas are signs of chilled damage. Wrap unwashed eggplant in a towel (not in plastic) to absorb any moisture and keep it in the vegetable bin of your refrigerator.  Used within a week, it should still be fresh and mild.

Before cooking, rinse eggplant in cool water and cut off the stem.  Eggplants do not need to be peeled, but they do need to be cooked before being eaten. There seems to be some debate surrounding the salting of eggplants. Many people like to salt and drain their eggplant to draw out any bitter flavor. With our farm fresh veggies, salting is generally not necessary as bitterness develops only in eggplant that has been stored for a while.  Salting does positively affect the texture of your dish though, it helps make the vegetable less watery and more absorbent when cooking as salt breaks down the eggplant’s cell walls. So, it’s your call whether to salt or not. Why not experiment?

Pierced (don’t forget this step or you may have an eggplant explosion in your oven!), whole eggplant can be baked at 400F for 30-40 minutes. Allow it to cool, then scoop out the flesh. Eggplant can also be cubed and put on kabobs for the grill.

Did you know that botanically-speaking, eggplant is a fruit? It is rich in dietary fiber and potassium with a very low calorie count. It is high in vitamins and minerals and antioxidants, particularly nasunin, which protects the brain.


Storage + Handling Tips

Keep unwashed lettuce in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to a week. If you want to prep the lettuce for dinner later, the gentlest method of washing is to place the entire head in a bowl of cold water and gently swish to get the dirt out.  You may have to do this a few times with fresh water if you find a lot of dirt settling at the bottom. Then rinse and slice the head at the base to allow the leaves to separate.  Roll the leaves in paper towels and place them in a plastic bag or container in the refrigerator. If you have a salad spinner, by all means spin the leaves dry. Wet greens wilt quickly, so be sure they are good and dry before refrigerating them. Lettuce salads are a great addition to any meal, but are also good for tacos and sandwiches.



Spaghetti Squash Casserole

The Moosewood Cookbook


1 Spaghetti Squash

2 TB butter

1 cup chopped onion

2 medium cloves garlic, minced

1⁄2 lb. fresh, sliced mushrooms

1⁄2 tsp oregano

1 tsp basil

dash of thyme

salt and pepper to taste

2 medium tomatoes, chopped

1 cup cottage or ricotta cheese

1 cup grated mozzarella

1 cup fine breadcrumbs

1⁄4 cup chopped fresh parsley

Parmesan Cheese


Preheat oven to 375. Halve the squash and scoop out the seeds. Bake face down on oiled sheet with a little water until easily pierced by a fork, about 30 minutes. Let stand until cool enough to handle, then scoop out the pulp with a fork and place in a large bowl. Meanwhile, heat the butter and sauté onions, garlic, and mushrooms with herbs, salt and pepper. When onions are soft, add tomatoes and continue to cook until most of the liquid evaporates. Stir this mixture into squash pulp with remaining ingredients except Parmesan. Spread into buttered 2-Quart casserole dish, top with cheese and bake uncovered, 30-40 minutes.


Easy Roasted Pumpkin Soup

This is a basic recipe, perfect for adapting to your tastes. If you like your soup creamy, add ½ cup heavy cream or milk. If you like a soup with a kick, consider adding curry powder, ground coriander, and cayenne pepper. If you have a sweet tooth, add maple syrup and nutmeg.

1 sugar pumpkin

4 cloves garlic

salt and pepper

2 sprigs fresh thyme

1 quart chicken stock


Wash pumpkin, cut in half, and scrape out the seeds + stringy pulp. Brush cut sides with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Add a sprig of thyme and 2 cloves garlic (still in their skins) to pumpkin’s well, then place on cookie sheet, cut-side down. Bake in 350-degree oven for 45 minutes. When done, scoop out pumpkin flesh, squish garlic through its wrapper, and add to a soup pot. Mash together then stir in chicken stock and bring to a simmer. For a smoother texture, puree with an immersion blender before serving.  Consider topping with roasted pumpkin seeds!

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

With their nutty, sweet flavor, roasted pumpkin seeds are a great addition salads, yogurt or cereal, or popped in a container for lunch-box snacks. Long revered for their medicinal value, pumpkin seeds are high in antioxidants, dietary fiber, vitamins and minerals like zinc and iron.


2 cups pumpkin seeds

2 tablespoons sea salt

1 tablespoon melted butter


Spoon seeds from pumpkin and wipe with a paper towel to remove as much of stringy pulp as possible. Spread seeds on a paper bag to dry over night. Toss seeds with melted butter and spread on a cookie sheet. Place in a 200-degree oven to roast for 20 minutes. Stir halfway through the cooking time. Cool and enjoy or store in a sealed container in the refrigerator for later. If you like your seeds spicy, add a teaspoon of cayenne pepper!




All the Best,

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

Tel: +1 603 926 3721

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