Tag Archives: Iowa CSA

Jupiter Ridge CSA 2019 | Week 13

Hi CSA Members!

Our first bite of cold (REAL cold!) hit us this last Friday and set us up for a busy week! We spent the entire day (and part of the night, too) pulling in any possible fruit, vegetable, and herb that could be harmed by frost, with temperatures expected to dip to around 29 degrees Fahrenheit (and dip they did).

Sugar Snap Pea | Jupiter Ridge Farm
We harvested our sugar snap peas before the frost to make sure you enjoyed them at their highest quality possible.

What does this mean for all you CSA members? Though hot weather and various other crops have been damaged and/or killed off (such as basil, eggplants, peppers, and more), our walk-in cooler is stocked full of these foods to keep your CSA share varied, interesting, and delicious.

We also pulled in several varieties of winter squash, garlic, and onions into our indoor stores, too! As such, you’ll have plenty of these delicacies to enjoy up until the very end of your share, and even for Thanksgiving!

Without further ado, here’s what to look forward to this week:

  • Sweet (Red and Green) Peppers
  • Hot Pepper Mix
  • Sugar Snap Peas New!
  • Kale Bunch
  • Small Cabbage
  • Eggplants
  • Norland (Red) Potatoes
  • Red Onions
  • Sweet Onions
  • Shallots
  • Garlic
What’s The Deal With Shallots? | Explanation & Tips

This week isn’t the first time you’ve gotten shallots in your share, and it most certainly won’t be the last.

Shallot | Jupiter Ridge Farm

These alliums (vegetable members of the onion family, which includes leeks, garlic, and onions) have the look and feel of a garlic clove, but a closer flavor to an onion.

When used raw, they are extremely flavorful; the epitome of the pungent onion! When cooked, however, their flavor softens to become sweeter and more mild. They are versatile in this way.

In our experience up here at Jupiter Ridge cooking all sorts of odds and ends, we think shallots go exceptionally well with beef, steak, burgers, shiitake mushrooms, and anything with a savory flavor – shallots really help elevate that. Shallots are especially well-known for being cooked with wine (both red and white) or sherry.

If you’ve ever been to a grocery store and checked the price tag on shallots: yes, they’re expensive! They’re one fancy onion.

For this reason, take care to use your shallot(s) wisely and well – shallots aren’t like other onions, where they can play a “background” flavor in soups or stews, for example. The flavor of shallots is truly exceptional and divine, and you don’t want it to go to waste. Make sure to use it for a very, very special meal where its flavors can shine!

Wellness Spotlight On: Hot Peppers

Farmer Will here considers hot peppers his favorite “medicinal herb” (or food, depending on how you look at it). Nothing clears you up better than going out for a night of medicinal hot wings.

Hot Peppers | Jupiter Ridge Farm
Jalapeños, habaneros, and hot yellow pickling peppers pictured.

In classic herbalism, most folks might be acquainted with cayenne pepper as the go-to healing hot pepper. In reality, though, all hot peppers are therapeutic in the same way, but in varying degrees according to their Scoville units (heat levels).

All hot peppers also contain “capsaicin,” too, to varying degrees (the chemical in hot peppers that make them spicy) – but this is also the “healing” compound in the fruit. If you haven’t noticed yet, this capsaicin can really help clear out your sinuses! Some other things hot peppers can help with:

  • Boosting immunity
  • Increasing circulation
  • Improving heart health
  • Relieving topical pain (not recommended if you’re not a professional!)
  • Fighting colds and sinus infections
  • Detoxing/cleansing of parasites
  • Breaking fevers

In your share this week, you’ll be getting a good deal of jalapeños (fairly hot), yellow hot pickling peppers (don’t be fooled – these are surprisingly hot too), and a few serranos (about as hot as jalies) and maybe some habaneros (HOT!)

If you want to use these in a medicinal way sometime later (maybe in the winter when cold and flu season really ramps up), try pickling/canning them or drying them to help keep them preserved until you need them. Add them liberally to food when you’re feeling stuffy or a cold coming on – if you’re interested in the more “herbalist” aspects of using these, feel free to send us an email! (Or share with us your own suggestions/recipes!)

–  jupiterridgefarm@gmail.com – 

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Jupiter Ridge 2019 CSA | Week 12

Hello CSA Members –

It finally feels like the cold and rain have officially pushed us into fall!

This Saturday it was so rainy, windy, and cold we decided to skip farmers market – a tough decision, but we’re grateful to have kept our onions dry. In all the time we would have usually spent picking and packing for market, instead we finished pulling in all our squash, picking the last of our heat-loving crops, and even dehydrating some food for winter.

It also means we’ll still have quite a bit of variety for you for the weeks ahead!

*Important Note!* CSA Deliveries will be taking place on Wednesday evening rather than Tuesday evening this week. Be sure to leave out your coolers and ice packs then!

Here’s what you can expect this week:

  • Acorn Squash
  • Sweet Peppers
  • Eggplants
  • Purple Daikon Radishes New!
  • Apples New!
  • Baby Beets
  • Kennebec (White) Potatoes
  • Cabbage
  • Red Onion
  • Shallots
  • Garlic
  • Sage
Daikon Radish: What Is It? | Explanation & Tips

Never had daikon radishes before? Then you’re in for a real treat – and for a brush-in with some truly beautiful produce.

Daikon Radish | Jupiter Ridge Farm

If you’re familiar with Asian or Middle Eastern cuisine, it’s very likely you’ve had a taste of this radish before. It’s sure to have been a memorable experience: daikon radishes can get HOT! (Though not as hot as horse radish!) Think of your typical small spring radish, but with more of a bite or a kick.

Don’t like the heat? No problem! Try roasting up this spicy root much like you’d roast up turnips, beets, or rutabagas – its heat will vanish through the roasting (or baking) process. (I especially recommend a “daikon radish fries” recipe, fried up in oil, salt, and spices!)

If you love its spiciness: try pickling it as a garnish for future preparations; or, better yet, grating or cutting it into matchsticks for a slaw or salad. It goes well with carrots, cabbage, lettuce, apples (which will also be in your share this week!) and many other fresh-tasting veggies. Mix it up with a creamy sauce, mayonnaise, or salad dressing. It is absolutely delicious.

If you like street tacos, it goes well with mahi mahi/tuna tacos with a bit of red cabbage!!!

Sliced Daikon | Jupiter Ridge Farm
Daikon radish sliced open. Beautiful!

 

Have any questions or want some tips, guidance, or recipe ideas on daikon radishes? Don’t hesitate to email us!

Also feel free to share your own recipes with us – we love to share!

– jupiterridgefarm@gmail.com –

Apples in Your CSA Share This Week!!! | Explanation & Tips

We have a couple apple trees on our property, and they’re all ripe and ready to go – so expect apples in your share this week!

Apples | Jupiter Ridge Farm
Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

Some info about these apples: they’re a “storage” type, meaning they’re just a tad less sweet and not so much for enjoying as a sweet crunchy snack eaten raw. On the other hand, since they have less sugar content, they last a much longer time in your pantry. They’re best used instead for making stuff like scrumptious ciders, breads, and pies! Since it’s fall anyway, we thought these would be a great treat for you to get ready for the fun baking spirit that usually comes with autumn.

Fun Apple Wellness Tip! Did you know apples have antimicrobial and astringent properties? This means they help kill bacteria/pathogens with some “cleansing” properties. One folk/herbalist tip I’ve gleaned in my studies: if you don’t have time to brush your teeth, eat an apple!

I know it sounds crazy, but apparently its astringent flesh and skins, plus its antimicrobial compounds, have a sort of “scrubbing” effect when you eat it (a bit of a “flossing” effect, too, when the flesh gets in between your teeth). Since these apples we’re sending you have less sugar (which is better for teeth), maybe consider giving it a try….though of course, brushing and flossing is HANDS DOWN better than eating an apple for your dental hygiene.

Apple | Jupiter Ridge Farm
Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

Let us know if you have any questions! ~ | jupiterridgefarm@gmail.com

Jupiter Ridge 2019 CSA | Week 11

Greetings CSA Members!

We’re wondering if you’re asking the same question we’ve been asking this weather: is it fall yet? Or is it still summer?!

If so, we’re just as confused as you are. It’s been cool and rainy for a good stretch of days, but summer isn’t going quietly – we’re still getting 80 degree days and bright sunshine (October beach time plans, anyone?)!

Anyways, this week’s share will be full of a dazzling array of goodies, very much embodying the weird late summer/early fall season we happen to be stuck in – not that we’re complaining. This lineup of veggies looks pretty good to us, and we hope it looks good to you!!!!

What to expect this week:

  • Collard Greens New!
  • Bunched Spinach New!
  • Tomatoes (Slicers, Heirlooms, Cherries, or Mix)
  • Sweet Dumpling Squash New! (Very Sweet Squash!)
  • Potato Medley (Purple, White, Red, Fingerling)
  • Cabbage
  • Garlic
  • Parsley Bunch
  • Sweet Onion
  • Red Onion

…plus, once in a while, we include some extra surprise items in your share that aren’t listed last minute (we’re sure you’ve noticed!).

As you can see, we have some new produce for you to try mixed with some familiar staples and favorites. Since we don’t have anything TOO exotic or new that we’re sharing with you this week, we don’t have an explanation/tips section (and skipping our wellness section so we can stay on top of some stuff today up at the farm…but it will be back soon, don’t worry).

However….

…if you DO have questions about your share, don’t hesitate to contact us with your inquiries or ideas! We love to hear from you.

– jupiterridgefarm@gmail.com –

Collard Bunches
Collard greens! Use them much like kale as a cooked green (same health benefits, too). Its flavor makes a killer combo with anything pork-related: tenderloin, bacon, ham, you name it.

Jupiter Ridge 2019 CSA | Week 10

Greetings CSA Members!

Rainy weeks are upon us as we edge into the very first “official” days of fall. We’re happy to report, however, that we still have plenty of summertime produce for our members – and the next couple weeks may be the the last few chances you get to taste it, as well as in this share going out tomorrow.

With that said, we do have some new items for you this week!

What to expect:

  • Summer Squash (Patty Pan, Zucchini, Crookneck, or Mix)
  • Cucumbers
  • Eggplant
  • Potatoes (Fingerlings)
  • Shallots (New!)
  • Tomatoes (Heirloom, Slicers, Cherries, or Mix)
  • Spinach (New!)
  • Cabbage
  • Basil
  • Thyme
  • Ground Cherries (New!)

Lots of new stuff for you to try, as you can see – and scroll down to read about some of the new items you’ll be getting.

Enjoy your share!

Ground Cherries: What Are They? | Explanation and Tips

Meet ground cherries: one of the new items in your share. I can only best describe them as a combination between a tomatillo, cherry tomato, strawberry, and fig in terms of flavor, texture, and use!

Ground Cherries | Jupiter Ridge Farm

Now that you’ve uncovered these in your CSA cooler, you might wonder: what do I do with these??? They may look strange, but using them and enjoying them is extraordinarily simple.

Our first suggestion: just eat them on their own as a treat. Carefully pull away their outer wrapping and munch away. You’ll quickly see why people grow them and why they’re so delicious and addictive on their very own! (The first time Will and I harvested these, we ate about 3/4 of them. 0% guilt, 100% satisfied). We’re sure kids will especially love them, too, as they are very sweet and easy to like.

Second suggestion: make them last: dehydrate them! If you have a dehydrator, slice each of them in half with a sharp knife and place them on your trays. I’d recommend you look up the exact specifications for temperature etc. for proper dehydration, though my guess is that the recommended settings are similar to cherry tomatoes or for homemade raisins/craisins.

Third: add them to a salsa or sauce. Delicious! If you’ve ever made a salsa or sauce with strawberry, you can bet that similar ingredients that pair well with that sweet strawberry flavor go well with the ground cherry flavor, too. Yum…just yum. (We recommend you look up recipes online, too).

Fourth: make a ground cherry jam! We’re not going to give you enough ground cherries in your share this week to make a jam (or jelly) most likely, but we’re almost 100% sure that once you taste these sweet treats, you’ll want to buy more – maybe enough to make a jam with them. (Ground cherries are fairly available, even in Cedar Rapids. Go looking for some more, though we’re sure ground cherry jam is something you can easily find and buy at local specialty stores/farmers markets!)

Wellness Spotlight On: Thyme

You’ve gotten thyme in your share before this year, and we’re sure you’ve probably already cooked once or twice with it, too.

Thyme | Jupiter Ridge Farm
A small sprig of thyme.

For those interested in the health properties of thyme, you’re in for a real treat: thyme may be one of the most important herbal healing remedies out there. It not only imparts great health benefits into the meals you cook using it, but it stands on its own as an amazing herb in and of itself (for teas, steams, bitters, you name it!)

So what does it do? Short answer: so, so, so much. Long answer: too long for a blog post! But, in summary:

  • Thyme is excellent for boosting immunity.
  • Thyme may support health while fighting colds and flu.
  • Thyme tea may help soothe a sore throat.
  • Thyme can help with coughs, especially wet coughs.
  • Did you know? Natural ingredients from thyme are used in Vapo-Rub and similar products (wow!) for helping with congestion!
  • Thyme has also been a popular “folk herb” for women, especially mothers who are either pregnant or post-partum.
  • Thyme can help with nausea and motion sickness, much like ginger.

That’s all for now!

We hope you savor every bit of produce, herb, and berry (er, ground cherry!) in your delicious share this week. It’s a pleasure being your farmer!

As always, let us know if you have any questions – email us your ideas or recipe suggestions, too. We love to share!

– jupiterridgefarm@gmail.com –

Yours,
Adrian & Will | Jupiter Ridge Farm

Jupiter Ridge 2019 CSA | Week 9

Hello CSA Members!

We hope you’ve had a great week so far enjoying the peak of the season’s delicious produce from our farm!

Delivery will return back to the normal day and time this week: tomorrow (Tuesday)! Leave out your cooler and ice pack!

So, last week, you had a little taste of the abundance of fall flavors to come (with squash especially – our garlic and onions too). This week, it’s time to experience something a little different: some spring flavor!

This week your share will contain:

  • Spring Radishes
  • Arugula
  • Parsley
  • Sage
  • Shiitake Mushrooms
  • Red Round and/or Heirloom Slicer Tomatoes
  • Eggplant
  • Habanero Peppers
  • Sweet Onion
  • Garlic
Spring Radishes | Jupiter Ridge LLC
Spring radish bunches – so yummy and crunchy.

When autumn rolls back around, all of the spring greens and other victuals available during the very beginning of the year have the opportunity to come back, too (like arugula and spring radishes, as in this share – though look forward to the comeback of some other spring produce!).

With the cooler weather, vegetables classically considered “spring” vegetables can also have their time to shine. We planted an abundance of spring vegetables going into the fall, but want to make sure you have a taste of them as soon as they are available – specifically our spring radishes and arugula!

In this share too, however, you’ll notice that summer produce certainly isn’t done for the year, either. Enjoy our first big purple eggplants (Italian type) and watch out for those habanero peppers (be very sparing with them – they are hot, hot, hot!)

That’s all for now folks – as always let us know if you have any questions about your share. Enjoy!

– jupiterridgefarm@gmail.com –

Arugula! What Is It? | Explanation and Tips

For me personally, arugula (also called rocket or roquet/roquette), feels like a “standard” veggie (er, green) you’d find just about anywhere because we’ve been growing it for so long. We’ve gotten used to it, and the green is starting to pop up everywhere, even here in Iowa, if only gradually.

Arugula | Jupiter Ridge Farm
Arugula in closeup.

However, it still surprises me and takes me off guard a little bit when people see it at our farmers market stand and don’t know what it is, or they haven’t heard of it, OR (this one amuses me the most) they have heard of it…but they’re scared of it!

This is NOT to make you folks out there who have never heard of arugula feel bad about never having had it before (it’s OK – I’ve just taken it for granted as a vegetable farmer, and it’s not as common yet as I think it is). If anything, it’s just another one of those specialty veggies people need a proper introduction to so they can enjoy it and get to know it in the best way possible (and so they like it, because it’s a wonderful, wonderful green).

Yes, arugula can be sorta spicy. But here’s the thing: once you get it mixed into a salad with a cool salad dressing and other ingredients, the edge of that heat is taken off a little bit. You get more of a peppery-kale flavor, with the tenderness and texture of spinach (even better texture in my opinion).

Strawberries, mustard, fish, chicken, and steak are GREAT ingredients in an arugula salad. Very delicious with Parmesan (goat cheese, feta, or Bleu cheese are also all great candidates), tomatoes, and maybe a bit of basil, too.

Flavor still too spicy for you? Arugula goes GREAT in a smoothie with all sorts of fruit and yogurt ingredients. Give it a try if the “heat” is too unpleasant to you – you won’t taste it once it’s all blended up.

The BEST and MOST POPULAR way to enjoy arugula (which is very healthy, by the way – tons of iron, fiber, B vitamins, and lots more!): throw it on a pizza! It’s a very popular ingredient on pizzas all over the place (including at the Iowa pizza places we sell our produce to: Quarter Barrel Arcade and Brewery in Cedar Rapids, Park Farm Winery by Dubuque, and Luna Valley Farm‘s weekend wood-fired pizzas up in Decorah!) (Oh yeah: kids might like arugula on their pizza, too..just saying!)

Eggplants | Jupiter Ridge Farm

Arugula can also be a great extra ingredient in pesto, and can substitute spinach or other greens in many an Italian pasta recipe (after all, it IS an Italian green!) Got a nice Italian recipe for those eggplants this week, for example? Arugula can be a great addition even to an eggplant Parmesan dish as it melds well with other classic Italian ingredients and flavors.

I’m getting hungry as I’m writing this – so I’ll wrap this up!

Let us know if you have any questions about your share this week. Better yet, share your recipes with us! If you have one you’ve made with your CSA produce and that you’re eager to tell the world about, we’d be more than happy to share it on the website with your name.

Email Us At: jupiterridgefarm@gmail.com

Have a great week!

Yours,
Adrian & Will | Jupiter Ridge Farm

Jupiter Ridge 2019 CSA | Week 8

Hello CSA Members!

Feels like fall is finally getting here. Temperatures are cooling down, the weeks ahead look rainier, and we’re starting to see the leaves turn – just a tiny bit!

As the weeks roll by, our produce offerings continue to change bit by bit, becoming more “autumnal.” However, our summer crops still aren’t ready to give up! You’ll definitely see that in this diverse share coming up.

Speaking of: delivery will be taking place Monday afternoon (tomorrow). Be sure to leave out your coolers with ice packs out then!

Here’s what you’ll be getting this week:

  • Carnival Squash (New!)
  • Red Round Slicing (or Heirloom) Tomatoes (Or Combo of Both!)
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Shiitake Mushrooms
  • Green Kale Bunch
  • Genovese Basil Bunch
  • Norland (Red) Potatoes
  • Summer Squash (Zucchini, Patty Pan, or Crookneck – or Combo)
  • Red Onion
  • Sweet Onion
Squash Assortment | Jupiter Ridge Farm
Squashes Are Coming!!!

We’re gearing up for a very busy next few days, not only because of CSA delivery (and restaurant delivery). We’ll be attending Cobble Hill’s Farm Dinner this evening, and tomorrow following deliveries, you can find us (and our food!) at the 2nd Annual Feed Iowa First Charity Dinner!

Hope to see you there!

Carnival Squash | Explanation and Tips

Last week you got acorn squash – this week you’ll be getting carnival squash!

Carnival Squash | Jupiter Ridge Farm
Carnival squash about to be roasted.

Carnival squash is like acorn squash’s more colorful cousin. In fact, it technically IS an acorn squash (same species of plant and very similar varietal genetics) but with some key differences, as we have come to learn while growing it.

Number 1: Carnivals are definitely more decorative (obviously!). Unlike acorn squash, you can let this one be a beautiful fall centerpiece for a couple of weeks or so before you eat it, a dash of autumn color unlike the monochrome green acorn squash.

Number 2: Carnivals taste sweeter (at least to me) and their sweetness is a little more reminiscent of maple syrup. It’s less like the sweetness of delicata, kuri, or kabocha, with the more “sweet potatoe-y” sweetness (don’t know what those squash are? You’ll soon find out!)

With that said, you can prepare them much like an acorn squash – slice in half, remove seeds, and roasting is the best way (the skins aren’t edible, so skip eating those). Candied (or not candied) nuts, rice, dried berries, and a drizzling of maple syrup or honey on (or even stuffed into!) the squash really bring out its fall flavor.

Hope you love the share this week!

As always let us know if you have any questions.

– jupiterridgefarm@gmail.com –

Yours,
Adrian & Will | Jupiter Ridge Farm

Jupiter Ridge 2019 CSA | Week 7

Greetings CSA Members!

Wow – can you believe we’re at week 7 already?

With a heavy share for you last week, we’re going a little light this week on our offerings – but your cooler will still be packed with plenty to enjoy and have fun with.

New item this week: Acorn Squash! That’s right, we’re finally starting to move into fall (a little bit) and this is only the first taste of what we’ll have to offer for fall flavors (meaning we have many more types of winter squash you’ll be able to enjoy in your future shares.)

This week’s share will include:

  • Red Round Slicing Tomatoes
  • Cucumbers
  • Baby Rainbow Carrots
  • Baby Rainbow Beets
  • Lacinato Kale Bunch
  • Acorn Squash
  • White (Kennebec) Potatoes
  • Red Onion
  • Sweet Onion
  • Garlic

A heads up about CSA deliveries next week! They will be taking place on Monday evening rather than on Tuesday evening. So make sure to leave your cooler with ice pack out then.

We will be attending the 2nd Annual Feed Iowa First that evening at Rodina in the Czech Village! We will also be collaborators, so the dishes featured during the dinner will feature the same produce you have been enjoying in your shares. Because of the event, we are tying in our restaurant and CSA deliveries into that day for convenience.

Speaking of the dinner – there are still tickets available!

Wish to attend? Click this link here. It would be great to see you there, and to work with us to help a great nonprofit like Feed Iowa First (Read about what they do here!)

This amazing nonprofit gathers growers and farmers (including ourselves here at Jupiter Ridge Farm!) together to produce healthy food and get it to communities, institutions, and other populations in need.

Participating in this dinner is a great way to support them as directly as possible, and will feature dishes and beverages produced from the talents of chefs, beverage makers, brewers, and farmers – the best talents in the Cedar Rapids area! Last year’s event was delicious, amazing, and fun. Let us know if you can join us!

Acorn Squash: What Do I Do With It? | Explanation & Tips

Never had acorn squash before? Well, you’re in for a real treat!

Acorn Squash on Vine | Jupiter Ridge Farm

If you’ve ever roasted a butternut or spaghetti squash, acorn squash basically gets the same treatment when it comes to preparation. Cut them in half, scoop out the seeds, and place them on a cookie sheet or pan (with a little water in pan if desired) and roast them up until they’re nice and soft.

Adding a little salt on top (black pepper, too) makes this squash enjoyable right on it’s very own. Or, you can scoop out the flesh (leave the skin aside – it’s not very edible) and blend it into soups or stews. Half-bake it and cube it up and it makes an excellent addition to stuffing! (A bit early to be thinking about Thanksgiving, we know.)

Did you know the acorn squash was actually developed here in the state of Iowa? And that it also goes by the name Des Moines squash? The acorn was officially introduced and debuted as a commercial cultivar in Iowa in 1913. However, all squash originate from the Americas – pumpkins, zucchinis, you name it.

As you enjoy acorn squash this week, you can be proud to be tasting and savoring produce that is as Iowan as it gets.

Wellness Spotlight On: Cucumbers

Something as green as a cucumber has got to be healthy. But what health benefits does it have, exactly?

Cucumbers | Jupiter Ridge Farm
Cucumbers in closeup.

People eat cucumbers most often as a condiment we know all too well: pickles. “Dill pickles” (cucumbers pickled with dill seeds or fronds) are delicious, but there’s something more to this pairing: both cucumbers and dill are known to be great for aiding digestion.

Whether you eat them raw or as pickles, cucumbers are also known to help regulate blood sugars a little bit. This makes them an excellent vegetable for people with diabetes!

Well, that’s all for now! It’s an amazing time for CSA members right now, being able to enjoy the last tasty vegetables of summer alongside some of the first hints of autumn produce.

We hope you love what’s in your share – and as always, let us know if you have any questions about anything!

– jupiterridgefarm@gmail.com –

Best,
Adrian & Will | Jupiter Ridge Farm

Jupiter Ridge 2019 CSA | Week 6

Greetings CSA Members!

The share this week will feature some new additions (and the return of some tasty items you’ve enjoyed in the past) – we hope you enjoy them as much as our market customers did this past Saturday at Dubuque Farmers Market!

This week’s share will include:

  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Fingerling Potatoes
  • Leeks
  • Green Beans
  • Shiitake Mushrooms
  • Green Cabbage
  • Garlic
  • Oregano
  • Basil
  • Onions
  • Sweet Peppers
  • Hot Peppers

New this week: leeks and garlic! These veggies can also be used like culinary seasonings in and of themselves (especially garlic). We hope you enjoy the flavor they add to your recipes and meals this week. Enjoy!

Baby Leeks
Baby leeks being pulled from the field.

 

Leeks and How to Use Them | Explanation and Tips

We get a lot of farmers market customers in Dubuque asking us all about leeks. What are they? What should you use them in?

Leeks are a relative of onions and garlic, with a flavor more similarly resembling onions more than anything. Compared to onions, though, they have a gentler presence in recipes when it comes to taste. The part you want to use it mostly its white stem (which has the same texture and is chopped the same way as an onion bulb), though the green leafy top parts can be used, too. However, be prepared for the green parts to be a bit more fibrous (less like an onion bulb).

We recommend leeks in soups and stocks most of all. That seems to be where they shine the most  (especially in soups using potatoes – leek and potato soup is heavenly, give leeks a try along with those fingerlings!)

But really, you can replace recipes calling for onion with a whole leek if you desire. Give it a try, and let us know what you think!

Leeks
Leeks!
Wellness Spotlight On: Garlic

Vegetable farmers love to grow garlic. People love to eat garlic (it tastes delicious – what would we be without it?) Herbalists also love garlic because it has dozens of health properties.

In summary: everyone loves garlic.

But most notably of all, garlic is amazing for your health, there’s no way around it. When you eat it as a food or culinary herb, it’s great for your immune system, for reducing cancer risk, protecting heart health, regulating blood sugars, the whole she-bang.

One interesting thing about garlic: it can be a potent antibiotic. However, in order to tap into these antibiotic properties, you need to eat garlic raw!

A tall order, we know – but for those interested in trying their hand at it, raw cloves can help you knock out a cold or a flu if you want to try out a home herbal remedy that is widely known to help you when you’re sick (and is actually shown to be effective!). Placing cloves of garlic in a jar of honey is a great way to prepare for the winter – it helps preserve them and also make “popping” a raw clove for a cold or flu way more palatable (and still effective).

Oh yeah – garlic it can be great for sore throats, too (especially when combined with that honey).

Garlic

Lots of good stuff this week – and especially healthy stuff, too.

As always, feel free to let us know if you have any questions about how to use an item in your CSA share (or what it could be good for, health-wise!)

~ jupiterridgefarm@gmail.com ~

Yours,

Adrian & Will | Jupiter Ridge Farm

 

Jupiter Ridge 2019 CSA | Week 5 Newsletter

Hi CSA Members!

After a bit of a heavier share last week, we’ll be delivering a share that’s a bit more on the lighter side this time around – so you can catch your breath a little bit!

That’s not to say there won’t be plenty of variety to expect, or that you won’t be seeing some new items.

Important note: we will be delivering Tuesday evening (tomorrow) as usual again! So be sure to leave out your empty cooler and ice pack then so we can switch it out.

What to expect in this week’s share:

  • Sweet Peppers (One Red, One Orange)
  • Orange Carrots
  • Green Curly Kale Bunch
  • “Cabbettes” (Mini Cabbages!)
  • Yellow Crookneck Summer Squash
  • Mixed Potato Medley (White, Red, Purple, & Fingerling Potatoes)
  • Green Beans
  • Parsley Bunch
  • Sage Bunch
  • Heirloom Tomatoes
  • Sweet Onion
  • Shallot

New this week are our sweet peppers, which are mostly “Bull’s Horn” or “Corno di Toro” type peppers. This means they aren’t quite bell peppers, but taper to a point, much like a bull’s horn (thus the name).

Though their shape is different, they are just as sweet– if not sweeter, even!– than bell peppers you would find at the grocery store. (When I harvest them, I just can’t resist eating at least one of them as I harvest. So sweet and good, they’re like candy.)

Adirondack Potatoes
Purple potatoes will be one of the items you’re getting this week – and yes, they stay purple after you cook them!

We’ll also have parsley, potatoes, and shallots featured in this share. We hope you enjoy the new items – some of them even taste good together in combination in certain recipes!

Cabbettes: What Are They? | Explanation and Tips

In this week’s share you’ll be getting mini-cabbages or “cabbettes” as they are sometimes called. You’ll notice that they are basically just very small cabbages (or, if you look at them a little differently, large Brussels sprouts).

Cabbettes

You might wonder how the heck something like a small cabbage like this would come about. So here’s a little info on how cabbage grow: after you harvest the single BIG head from a cabbage plant, it keeps growing. But it doesn’t grow another big single head again. Instead, it splits off and grows several small ones, and though they’re small, they’re still quite tasty.

Some cabbettes are small enough that you could even treat them like Brussels sprouts if you wanted. The ones you’re going to find in your share, however, are going to be a little larger than that!

What to do with them? Well, you can do all the same things you like to do with a large cabbage with these little guys. (Think of it more like “single-serving” cabbage).

Some more ideas: chop or grate cabbettes into a slaw-like salad that is less heavy on the cabbage, with vegetables like matchstick carrots or even ginger. (Yum!)

Sliced Cabbage

Or: slice these mini-cabbages in half and place them on the grill. Delicious! Also– if you’ve got a big cut of meat to roast, throwing one of these cabbages whole along with your carrots, potatoes, and other roasting veggies with the meat in the roasting pan/it’s juices makes for another tender veggie added into the mix.

We hope you enjoy them – and as always, let us know if you have any questions about them!

Email Us | jupiterridgefarm@gmail.com

Wellness Spotlight On: Blue Potatoes (What Makes Them Blue)

Did you know that unusual-colored produce– especially produce that is red, blue, or purple instead of its typical color– has that color because of antioxidants?

Red Kale
Red (purple) kale has its color due to higher antioxidant content, which gives red kale a different (and arguably more dense) nutrient profile than green kale.

This is definitely the case with the blue potatoes you’ll be getting in your share. The blue color in these potatoes are actually anthocyanins, antioxidants that are great for:

  • Boosting heart health
  • Increasing immunity
  • Helping protect the nervous system
  • Reducing diabetes risk
  • Reduce risk of obesity
  • Reducing risk of cancer

So on top of all the nutrition you’d expect in potatoes (fiber, carbohydrates, potassium, vitamins, etc.), keep in mind that blue potatoes are extra special not because of how they look, but because that stunning blue appearance means more health benefits!

Enjoy your veggies this week, and let us know if you have any questions! | jupiterridgefarm@gmail.com

Yours,
Adrian & Will | Jupiter Ridge Farm

Jupiter Ridge 2019 CSA “Italian Share!” | Week 4 Newsletter

Hi CSA Members!

Make sure to whip out your Italian cookbooks or your fave Italian recipes for this share. We’ll be packing it with a lot of tasty ingredients used in Italian cuisine! (And generally speaking, this is going to be a very big share. Hope you enjoy!)

Just a heads up: CSA delivery will be taking place on Wednesday evening this week rather than Tuesday (tomorrow). Be sure to leave your empty cooler out with ice packs then!

What you’ll be getting:

  • Shiitake Mushrooms
  • Red Round Slicer Tomato
  • Large Heirloom Tomato
  • Bunch Sweet Italian Basil (Genovese Basil)
  • Bunch Oregano
  • Lacinato Kale Bunch
  • Head Lettuce
  • Green Zucchini
  • Yellow Crookneck Summer Squash
  • Patty Pan Squash
  • Cucumbers
  • Green Beans
  • Rainbow Baby Beets
  • Sweet Onion

Tomatoes and basil are considered a “holy grail” pairing, one that is especially revered (and featured in) Italian cooking. Oregano is another great one (it helps round out tomatoes and basil in tomato sauces and Italian gravies, for example), while Lacinato kale (also known as Tuscan kale, from Tuscany, Italy) is the star green for Italian cuisine and our share (and a favorite variety of kale among chefs – very tender, flavorful, and nutrient-dense!)

Lacinato Kale
Lacinato, Tuscan, or “Dinosaur” Kale, right before its delivery to Brazen Open Kitchen in Dubuque.

Can’t forget zucchini of course, a notable Italian vegetable (with a very Italian name).

Don’t want to cook Italian with all these ingredients? No problem. Cucumbers, sweet onion, baby beets, lettuce, and shiitake mushrooms in this week’s share will allow you to explore plenty of other avenues, too!

So Many Items in My CSA Share! Here’s How To Make Them Go The Distance

One thing we’ve heard many people say about CSA’s in general (whether they’re in one or considering one): you get too much food, you get overwhelmed, and then it all goes bad. It’s true this can happen: this is a tendency in some CSA’s (though not all of them, but you can run into this possibility depending on the farm or the farmer).

Heirloom Tomato
Is this a closeup of planet Jupiter? No, it’s a German Stripe heirloom tomato.

Part of the whole deal with a CSA is that you are signing up for both the “Risk and Rewards” of supporting your farmer with a whole share. You get whatever they have available on the farm.

But part of this is that you might get a lot of what a farmer happens to have, and sometimes that is something quite perishable (in the springtime, this might be greens, like kale) or something you might not be too excited about.

Not only might it be quite the task to keep up with cooking it all in one week (and in new, creative, appetizing ways that keep you excited), but you might also get a little exhausted of getting it over, and over, and over… and coming up with new ways to eat it (or even finding time to figure out how to eat it, for that matter).

So, to get the most out of the cost of your CSA share and ensure nothing goes to waste, here’s what we recommend for certain items:

  • You don’t have to eat those root vegetables right away.

Store them in a cool, dry place (the crisper drawer of your fridge is alright) at a temperature of between 32 and 40 degrees Fahrenheit, optimally (according to Modern Farmer). That immediately makes things like beets, potatoes, and even that enormous turnip in your share less daunting, and you don’t have to feel the pressure of using it right away. You can actually even wait a few weeks (sometimes months, depending on the root vegetable) before you even use it.

This goes for winter squash, too. As for onions, if you get sweet onions in your share, be sure to use them up before any storage type onions you get. Owing to their higher sugar content, sweet onions will go bad before your storage bulbs – while the latter you can keep just like other root veggies up to a few months in some cases.

  • Can’t eat all those greens? Blanch and freeze them.

It’s actually pretty quick and easy and takes almost no time, and I’ve done it many times in the autumn as our kale slows down production and dies back – I harvest any leftover leaves, blanch, and then freeze them. The Spruce has a good little tutorial on how to do it. It’s worth it.

Now you have greens with plenty of nutrients left in them still for the winter. It’s a great method to do with any excess kale, collard greens, swiss chard, arugula, and spinach you just can’t seem to get through (sadly, it doesn’t work so great for lettuce).

These frozen greens can then be cooked, added to sauces/pastas/soups, and they’re still tasty enough to throw into a smoothie or into the juicer. For that matter, a lot of other produce can be blanched and frozen, not just greens: like summer squash, green beans, sugar snap peas, and lots more.

Collard Bunches
Collard greens, these are great for blanching and freezing.
  • Make sure to store your tomatoes outside of the fridge.

This is a big one. We tend not to try to overload our members with tomatoes (although we know that they’re probably the most exciting item to people in the summer), but simply “not being in the mood” for tomatoes (or getting sick of tomatoes in summer) is a very, very, very real thing.

So, make sure to avoid storing your tomatoes in the fridge if you don’t want to get to them right away. They keep much, much longer at room temperature, anyway (and you’ll notice them going bad  much sooner than when you leave them out of sight and out of mind in your crisper drawer).

  • Keep mushrooms refrigerated in paper, not plastic.

Can’t get to your shiitake mushrooms right away (or oyster mushrooms, or lion’s mane mushrooms, which CSA members might get in the future from our farm)?

You’ll get your shiitakes delivered to you in your share in a small plastic bag, but if you can’t cook them within a few days to a week, move them to be stored in something like a brown paper bag. This will definitely extend their shelf life to over one week, sometimes even two weeks, because it helps “wick” excess moisture away while still keeping some of it in to prevent your mushrooms from drying out too much.

If some brown spots form on mushroom gills, don’t worry – that is just oxidation, your mushrooms are still edible! It just makes them look a little ugly.

Shiitakes

It can be a chore to stay on top of all your CSA share produce (especially if you get a lot of certain items at once). This is one of the reasons why our CSA is set up a little differently: we start in July (when we are at the peak in our produce variety) and end our subscription with Fall produce that includes what is available not only in Autumn, but ALSO what’s available in Spring (so you get it all!)

Have any questions about your CSA share and what’s in it?

Never hesitate to ask! Email: jupiterridgefarm@gmail.com

Yours,
Adrian & Will | Jupiter Ridge Farm