This is our first full distribution week for all of our pickup locations! With our Fall program in full swing, we’re excited to finally get our beautiful produce to all of our members and to share recipe suggestions and fun facts!
In the shares this week we’ll have these set items:
Tokyo Turnip: The Japanese call these turnips kabura-type turnips. In markets outside of Japan, all are usually simply called Tokyo turnips or white turnips. They are sweet, tender and can be eaten raw like a radish. Steamed turnips are my personal favorite method of preparation. Choose turnips of equal size (or trim them into roughly equivalent sized chunks) and wash them thoroughly under running water or soak them until any grit or sand falls away, there is no need to peel. You can also roast and glaze. Eat those greens! You can actually use them as a bed for steaming or stir fry them separately, they are tender and sweet.
Chestnuts: *Store in the refrigerator and use within 2 weeks* Don’t be intimidated with prep for these delicious guys. Here’s a helpful article with some great recipe ideas. The simplest preparation is to simmer for about half an hour, then slice in half to peel and enjoy. You can also blanch and freeze for use in holiday stuffing, substitute your own blanched, peeled and frozen chestnuts for the vacuum-packed variety.
Roselle: To brew the tea, bring 1 pint of the roselle to a boil with at least 2 quarts of water. Turn off the heat and let steep for at least 30 minutes up to overnight. Strain and sweeten as desired. You can also peel the red part off of the seed pod and use it in salads like a cranberry. The tea brewed from these calyces of the Roselle Hibiscus plant has been used in folk medicine as a diuretic and mild laxative, as well as in treating cancer and cardiac and nerve diseases. Although information is limited, the potential for hibiscus use in treating hypertension and cancer, as well as for its lipid-lowering and renal effects, are being investigated. There is clinical research indicating usefulness in lowering high blood pressure.
Green Romaine Lettuce: Crisp, mild and nutrient rich, our romaine will pair excellently with our sun-gold cherry tomatoes, “slicing” cucumbers, and arugula for a delectable salad.
Cucumber: Recent studies from cucumber extracts have been shown to have both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Preliminary studies show substances in fresh cucumber extracts help scavenge free radicals, help improve antioxidant status, inhibit the activity of pro-inflammatory enzymes like cyclo-oxygenase 2 (COX-2), and prevent overproduction of nitric oxide in situations where it could pose health risks. It’s highly likely that cucumber phytonutrients play a key role in providing these antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits, supporting health alongside of the conventional antioxidant nutrients—including vitamin C, beta-carotene, and manganese. Consuming these beautiful fruits raw, pickled or juiced and your body will definitely thank you! We are getting to the end of the cucumber season, so we tried to give all members a taste in their shares.
**Due to limited crop availability, different pick up sites are receiving different items from the list below**
Seminole Pumpkins (family shares/selected sites): This native heirloom crop has a rich history in the state of Florida, dating back to early cultivation by indigenous peoples, most notably the Creeks and the Seminoles. The Miccosukee name for the pumpkin is “chassa howitska” meaning “hanging pumpkin”. The reference is to the method by which the pumpkin grows, as the Seminole and the Miccosukee people would plant the pumpkin seeds at the base of girdled trees, so that the pumpkin vines would grow up the trunk, and the pumpkin fruit would grow to be hanging from the bare limbs. It was under cultivation by Seminole people before Spaniards arrived in Florida in the 1500s. Use these like butternut squash or pumpkins for soups, roasting or pies. Don’t mind cosmetic damage on the outside if you see minor scratches and bumps – the skin is a protective feature of the pumpkin and can be peeled off with a vegetable peeler. These were grown from our own seed saved in 2013 and 2014. You can roast and eat, or save the seeds for your own garden too, plant in March or April.
Red Leaf Lettuce (family shares): A delicious, tender pairing partner to the Green Romaine.
Purple Potatoes (selected sites): These potatoes were extra from what we had saved for planting, and are ready to be boiled, roasted or mashed! In terms of health benefits, potatoes are naturally high in potassium, which helps regulate blood pressure. But the extra antioxidants in purple potatoes make them even more effective than other potato varieties. “A study conducted by the USDA among overweight participants suffering from hypertension reported that consuming six to eight golf ball-sized purple potatoes twice daily for one month reduced blood pressure by an average of 4 percent.” These antioxidants also strengthen your immune system and can help prevent certain heart diseases and cancers.
Sun-gold Tomatoes (selected sites): In the mood for pasta? Here’s an awesome recipe for a Sun Gold featured pasta dish. Sun golds may be stored on the counter-top or in the warmest part of your refrigerator. They are ripe when they are a golden-orange hue. *Please note, we will be rotating the distribution tomatoes through the different pick up sites, not all members will receive them in the same week due to limited supply. If you don’t see tomatoes this week, you will see them very soon!*
Green Beans! (selected sites) will receive beans this week, some next week. Try them sauteed with a little garlic or lightly stir-fried.
Arugula (selected sites): Arugula, also known as rocket and rucola, is a less recognized cruciferous vegetable that provides many of the same benefits as the notoriously nutritious better-known vegetables in the cruciferous family such as broccoli, kale and Brussels sprouts. Arugula leaves are tender with a bit of a tangy and peppery flavor. Try these nine recipes for arugula, or just enjoy as a simple base for any salad. We wash and spin dry at the farm, but to be sure all sand has been removed you may wish to wash it again.