Warm greetings to our CSA members – especially after these last few chilly fall days!
We’re just coming out of a busy week doing a frantic (but expected) harvest of all our sensitive crops: tomatoes, peppers, and squash from out of the field, and packing and moving all our onions, garlic, and shallots to dry storage in order to protect them all from the threat of these recent frosts.
Despite all that: it looks like the frosts missed us! Crazily enough, our tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, and even basil plants are all still alive, thanks to our unique spot up high on our ridge (which can make frosts settle lower than us in the valleys and rivers, etc.). And with the week ahead looking warm and sunny (highs in the 70’s, lows above freezing), some of our warm-loving crops may not be done producing yet, which will make for an interesting next couple weeks for our CSA…
That said, here’s what to expect this week!
- Cherry tomatoes
- Sweet peppers
- Cucumber (lemon or green)
- Kale and Chard “Bouquet”
- Onions (2)
- Hot pepper
- Thelma Sanders winter squash
- Acorn squash
You might be seeing the return of a familiar item: cucumbers! We were almost certain that these plants, which have been thriving in our greenhouse, were completely shut down and that these recent cold temperatures would finally do them in. Not so!
Summer is hanging on for dear life, so we’re happy to share this last burst of cukes with you….all thanks to the greenhouse. It’s amazing to have summer vegetables like this in a month like October!
What’s up with the “kale and chard” bouquet? It’s just our fancy way of saying “a bunch of chard and kale” which, obviously, really doesn’t sound as good as a bouquet….right? These bunches will simply be large leaves of kale and chard mixed together. Should be colorful, delicious, and not to mention…healthy!
And since it’s *really* fully autumn now with this weather lately, we’re stocking you up on some winter squash (two in this share) so you can really match your eating with these autumnal surroundings. Though this next week is really not fall-like at all….that’s OK. You can save your winter squash for a colder time and store it at room temperature, it stores quite well like that for weeks….even months!
Wellness Spotlight On: Onions
We don’t think about the healthiness of onions a lot. Do we?
Which is kind of funny, considering that onions might be the most ubiquitous vegetables around. There’s an Eastern European saying: first, you chop up and fry your onions. Then you decide what you’re cooking for the evening.
Onions are flavorful in different ways (sweet or pungent, whether fresh or cooked) and have woven their way into the fabric and cuisine of every country, region, and recipe you can imagine. So when it comes to wellness what are they good for? I’ve been thinking this question a lot, especially after just planting, cleaning and hauling hundreds of plants (and pounds) of them over this past season.
Since they’re relatives of garlic, it may surprise (or not surprise) you that they have similar benefits to the bulb vegetable (though not as powerful). They can boost immunity, fight inflammation, and keep you from catching illnesses like colds and flu. And yes – onions contain that medicinal compound, allicin, just like garlic does, only less. (By the way allicin is responsible for onions’ wonderful smell!) Also, you can use onion juice for hair care and stimulating hair growth (weird I know – I wrote about it for Healthline here).
One benefit of onion that makes it better than garlic in some ways: it’s really an excellent vegetable for your gut! Consume tons of onions, and you’re getting way more fiber than you would from garlic. Combined with the antimicrobial compounds (including allicin) you get an amazing combo probiotic/prebiotic for your digestive system. Not to mention: onions are also rich in vitamin C, B vitamins, magnesium, trace minerals, calcium, potassium, and lots more.
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.
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Thank you for choosing us to be your farmers!
Adrian & Will | Jupiter Ridge Farm