We harvested sweet potatoes last week and they have been curing in the greenhouse since then. Sweet potatoes require high temperature and high humidity to cure (the process prepares them for long-term storage and also sweetens them). If you have not had local sweet potatoes before, you will notice that quite a few of them will be larger than what you are used to. In 2010 (a particularly wet AND hot year), when I was working at Grinnell Heritage Farm, we had one sweet potato that weighed over 8 pounds (we called it a sweet potato baby)! The sweet potatoes that you buy in the grocery store are actually towards the smaller end of the spectrum, with the larger sweet potatoes getting processed for canning, baby food, etc. Large sweet potatoes taste just as good as smaller ones (they don’t get woody or tough with size). Sweet potatoes will store well at room temperature for several months, but generally will not keep well into the winter. Usually they will begin to show bad spots where the skin was nicked or start to shrivel from the ends. Sweet potatoes can also be frozen
. Bulk sweet potato orders are available this week and next. For your inspiration, here are some of my favorite sweet potato recipes:
Sweet Potato Quesadillas
Sweet Potato and Peanut Stew:
4 C stock
1 onion, chopped
2 c sweet potatoes, cut into small cubes, peeling on
1 c chickpeas
1/2 c brown rice
1/2 t salt
2 c kale (spinach or swiss chard are good substitues)
1/2 c peanut butter
2 T lemon juice
optional: tamari soy sauce & chili paste
Saute onions & garlic in some stock in a large saucepan till tender. Add all stock, sweet potatoes, chickpeas, rice & salt. Simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until sweet potatoes are tender. Turn down the heat. Addpeanut butter & mix well. Add kale and lemon juice, cook until just tender.
Baked Sweet Potato Fries
is unfortunately running out, so this will be the last week in the CSA! Order as much as you are interested in for storage and I’ll do my best to accommodate your order. Choose from hardneck or softneck garlic, if you have a preference. Both will store at room temperature for several months, but softneck will store the longest.
are also running low but will be available bulk this week and possibly next, depending on how long they last. If you don’t mind small onions, let me know, since I have quite a few small ones.
are available bulk this week and next. Choose from Kennebec (larger, white flesh) and Bintje (smaller, yellow flesh). varieties. I also have fingerlings available bulk. NOTE: Storage potatoes will come to you UNWASHED. They will store much longer if 1) they remain unwashed until ready to be used and 2) you are able to keep them in the refrigerator in a sealed plastic bag. However, they will store fairly well at room temperature (or a cool, dry part of your house) if kept unwashed. Once washed, they should definitely go in the fridge and be used within a few weeks.
is available bulk this week and next. Kale freezes well
for use in winter soups, sautés, quiches, etc. A trick for quickly stripped kale leaves from the stem: Hold a kale leaf in one hand and turn the stem on the leaf towards you. Grasp the bottom of the stem firmly with the thumb and index finger of your other hand (making an “OK” sign) and run it over the leaf quickly and firmly. The leaf will come cleanly off the stem without having to use knife! I learned this technique in a kitchen where we routinely cooked greens like kale and swiss chard for 100+ people.
this week and next include both traditional purple top white turnips and scarlet turnips, which have red skin and white interiors. Both come with large, lush greens that are great for cooking. Let me know your preference for which turnip (if you have one) and I’ll try to accommodate it (depending on what’s ready to harvest from each variety). Next week I’ll have bulk turnips (without greens) for refrigerator storage. I like sautéing sliced turnips in butter with garlic and including it cubed in roasted root dishes with carrots, beets, potatoes, etc.
Sweet Peppers for freezing & Storage Beets for refrigerator storage
will be available bulk next week. Storage beets will come UNWASHED, like the storage potatoes.
will be available next week from Table Top Farm, a transitioning to organic vegetable operation in Nevada, outside of Ames. It will likely include butternuts, pumpkins, and possibly acorn, kombocha, and a few other squash.
Like cover crops, compost is another huge part of building healthy soil! On Tuesday I had 23 ton truckload of compost delivered to the farm from Chamness Technology in Eddyville. For the last two weeks of CSA, I will have small amounts compost available for delivery with your share. For larger deliveries, I will make a separate trip. You can also visit the farm to pick up the compost, for a reduced price. Here are the details:
Per 5 gallon bucket: $3 picked up, $5 delivered (minimum 5 buckets if delivered).
Per small pick-up load (full load): $40 picked up, $70 delivered (can do 1/2 load)
Per full size pick-up load (full load): $80 picked up, $120 delivered (can do 1/2 load)
For reference, see application rates below:
Lawns: For 1/2" coverage= total area of lawn (length x width) x .04 (depth) / 324 = # of cubic yards needed
Gardens: For 2" coverage = total area of garden (length x width) x .16 x / 324 = # of cubic yards needed
Trees: For 1" coverage under drip line = total area under drip line (length x width) x .08 / 324 = # of cubic yards needed
Cubic yard of compost = 1600 pounds or 1/2 full size pick-up or full small bed pick-up
I had mentioned earlier in the season that I will collect any fall leaves from your yard for use on the farm. That offer still stands and looks like it will happen well after the end of the CSA season, depending on the weather and when the leaves drop. Please let me know if you are interested (if you have not already done so) and we can keep in touch as that time approaches. I will pick-up piled or bagged leaves for free, but I am also willing to rake and collect leaves for a reasonable hourly rate. Feel free to share this offer with friends, neighbors, and family.
Just one more week of CSA! Its hard to believe. I hope you all have enjoyed the produce this season, its been challenging and wonderful to grow it for you.