Sweet Pepper Medley | Jupiter Ridge Farm

Jupiter Ridge 2020 CSA | Week 9

Hi CSA Members and Supporters! We’re at about the halfway point in our CSA season, and it’s been a wonderful ride so far.

We had the first feelings of fall this week with this cooler weather, that’s for sure! Many of our summer crops like tomatoes, peppers, and squash still seem to be going strong, but soon enough we’ll see veggies begin to phase out into autumn – and with it more cool weather crops like beets, storage radishes, turnips, winter squash, and more coming on the way!

This week before the rains, we got some cool weather crops for the last few autumnal weeks of our CSA! Spinach, arugula, spring radishes, and more are in the ground for the next seasonal transition coming on. A lot to look forward to – but for now, we do think we have a few weeks left of summer’s flavors for you!

This week, the CSA will contain:

  • Heirloom and slicer tomatoes
  • Sweet peppers (New!)
  • Hot peppers
  • Rainbow carrots (New!)
  • Lemon or Green Cucumber
  • Summer squash (Yellow or Patty Pan)
  • Kale leaf mix
  • Thelma Sanders squash (New!)
  • White onion
  • Garlic
  • Shallot
  • Fresh parsley bunch

As you can see, we still have lots of good summer stuff – and even some new and exciting items, like sweet peppers! The varieties we’ve grown are deliciously sweet and great for both both cooking and eating raw, and are very colorful – a combination of some bell types, lunchbox types, and “cornio del toro” (bull’s horn or pointed) types.

Cleaning Rainbow Carrots | Jupiter Ridge Farm
Rainbow carrots just after getting washed for Dubuque Farmers Market.

We’re also pleased to have rainbow carrots for you this week, too! These carrots are sweet, delicious, and a very colorful bunch that we’re sure you’ll appreciate – and are a beautiful change of scenery from typical orange carrots (though those are of course very beautiful and delicious, too).

Thelma Sanders Winter Squash – What Is It?

If you get to know Will and I on a personal level, you’ll quickly learn how much we love winter squash. Will loves it so much he has an entire website dedicated to it: www.squashinit.com . Check it out!

One of the heirloom varieties we’ve grown the past couple years, and that Will is enamored with, is the Thelma Sanders squash. You’ll be getting it in your share this week, and if you like delicata and acorn squash, then you’re in for a real tasty treat.

Thelma Sanders Squash | Jupiter Ridge Farm

A funny anecdote: I had a hard time remembering the name of this squash and kept calling it the “Thelma and Louise” squash at farmers market. Then I realized that it had a sandy sort of appearance – aha! Sandy Thelma Sanders. (Not to mention we had a lot of canvassers for Bernie Sanders hitting up our stand last year around the time this squash was in season, so that’s been a helpful association too.)

Anyways. We think you’ll like Thelma. If you like acorn squash, this is technically an “acorn” breed – only it has smoother, “creamier” flesh (less stringy and fibrous) more like butternut or kabocha. If you like the flavor of delicata, too, then you’ll also love this one! It is often also called the sweet potato squash because it makes for a very similar replacement, it is starchier and sweeter, like the delicious delicata.

Just like delicata, butternut, pumpkin, and any of its winter squash kin, you can roast up Thelma Sanders for the best result. Slice in half, remove the seeds, and set upside down on a baking sheet that has been well oiled or buttered. I like 400 degrees F for roasting and take it out of the oven when its done – and the skin is edible when roasted thoroughly. Or you can always cube up the squash and season it before roasting it!

How Do I Make My CSA Items Last? I Can’t Eat All This Food!

If you feel like you’re getting more food thrown at you than you can handle (a common feeling people struggle with in CSA’s), there’s a little shift in perspective you can take to make all the food you’re getting go the extra mile…and seem more exciting! Because you don’t have to use it all right away.

I’ve been wanting to put together a little section like this for our members for some time, because the pressure to use all your food really doesn’t have to be there. If you have a little time on the weekend or in the evenings, putting away your food for later (or even for winter) can be a fun project and give you a lot to look forward to. Once you learn that you can do this, it really becomes second nature after a time.

CSA Share | Jupiter Ridge Farm

I’ll break this down category by category of what you can do to save your surplus food! Save fresh greens like lettuce and arugula (except cooking greens)

Blanch It! | Steam in a colander over boiling pot of water, then freeze in bags for later

  • Any cooking greens! (Kale, spinach, chard, collards)
  • Winter squash
  • Summer squash
  • Snap peas
  • Okra
  • Cooking peppers
  • Garlic scapes

Roast and Freeze It! 

  • Tomatoes
  • Cooking peppers
  • Winter squash
  • Beets
  • Carrots

Store It! | These veggies you really don’t have to eat right away –  some of them can even be stored at room temperature, and can last even from weeks to months.

  • Refrigerator Crisper Drawer or Root Cellar:
    • Cabbage
    • Potatoes
    • Beets
    • Rutabagas
    • Storage radishes
    • Turnips
    • Parsnips
    • Carrots
    • Kohlrabi
    • Peppers (a few weeks shelf life)
    • Eggplants (a few weeks shelf life)
  • Room Temperature:
    • All Winter Squash (Delicata has shortest shelf life – and all squash will get sweeter the longer they sit!)
    • Pumpkins
    • Onions
    • Garlic
    • Shallots

Dehydrate It! | These can then even be powdered and used as spices and seasonings on your food in the future.

  • Tomatoes (cherry, heirlooms, slicers)
  • Sweet peppers
  • Hot peppers
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Shallots
  • Mushrooms
  • Kale
  • Collards
  • Culinary Herbs

Hang Dry It! | Applies to any culinary herb bunch you get in your CSA box, pretty much.

  • Basil (sweet green, purple, Thai)
  • Oregano
  • Parsley
  • Sage
  • Thyme

Pickle It! | I would recommend lacto-pickling with a brine, which takes a little more work but preserves your veggies for longer.

  • Cucumbers (obviously!)
  • Shiitake mushrooms (sounds weird but amazingly good)
  • Asparagus
  • Garlic scapes
  • Garlic
  • Kohlrabi
  • Sweet peppers
  • Hot peppers
  • Summer squash
  • Beets
  • Carrots
  • Okra
  • Turnips
  • Beans
  • Leeks
  • Cabbage (mmm sauerkraut)
  • Rutabaga
Making Fire Cider | Jupiter Ridge Farm
Making a unique take on fire cider (a medicinal quick pickle) with our farm’s veggies: jalapeños, sweet onions, garlic, daikon radish, ginger, thyme, and oregano

If you EVER have questions about items in your CSA or farm share box, please let us know! Whether it’s how to use them, what they are, or anything that might make you curious.

We love to talk food! | – jupiterridgefarm@gmail.com –

Thank you for choosing us to be your farmers!

Adrian & Will | Jupiter Ridge Farm

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