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)
- Potatoes (Fingerlings)
- Shallots (New!)
- Tomatoes (Heirloom, Slicers, Cherries, or Mix)
- Spinach (New!)
- 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!
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.
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!
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Adrian & Will | Jupiter Ridge Farm