In This Week’s Beet Box:
- New Produce of the Week: Butternut Squash
- Phatty - Fat Leeks!
In your share this week:
- Rainbow Beets
- Head Lettuce
- Winterbor Kale
- Butternut Squash
This means that some pickup sites will receive it this week; others next week or in a future week.
NEW PRODUCE OF THE WEEK
Butternut Squash: Everyone goes nuts for butternuts – they’re probably tied with Delicata for number one favorite winter squash. And for good reason: they are almost pure meat (very small seed cavity); they’re easy to peel; they have a thin skin (no death-defying, ninja, knife battles); they make a stellar, creamy squash soup; and they roast up beautifully.
But never was there a squash so finicky; they are somewhat difficult to grow, not very productive, and even harder to successfully store. We’ve had bad luck with butternuts rotting in storage and developing weird skin blemishes (only skin deep, but ugly nonetheless) - to the point that we’ve questioned whether we should even bother growing them.
But the demad is insatiable, so we tried again this year with a new organic variety called Nutterbutter. It’s quicker to mature than many varieties (which is helpful in our temperate climate), and it’s supposed to have great flavor. It also turns out that it produces smaller squash, for better or for worse. As a result, you’re going to see two or three butternuts in your tote this week – enough for a really big pot of soup, or a handful of other dishes. The squash are mostly blemish-free this year, but there are a few with some of those brown skin spots. As in year’s past, we’ve only found them to be skin-deep, so don’t worry if you get one with a birthmark. It’s nothing a vegetable peeler won’t take care of, lickety-split.
This is the one and only time you’ll be getting butternuts this year, so enjoy them. They should last on your counter, in case you want to drag the pleasure out for awhile.
Phatty – Fat Leeks!
Another experiment this season: a couple of new leek varieties. This one is aptly called Megaton (you’ll see the other variety at the very end of the season). They are by far the fattest, heaviest leeks we have ever grown, and they are much faster to harvest and clean – all good things to a production farmer. But the true test is flavor. This week I’m going to do a side-by-side leek taste trial, and you can, too, if you have any leeks leftover from two weeks ago. The last leeks you got from us were King Richard, an old-time favorite of many farmers that we’ve always grown. Their only drawback is that they tend to be much less uniform and skinnier, which makes harvest more of a chore.
I’m going to cook up some King Richards and some Megatons in separate pans, done the blindfold, and see if Megaton also wins out on flavor, or not. If it does, I dare say it’s worth spending three and a half times more on the seed.
Let me know what you think. Do you like big, fat leeks? Or do you prefer a handful of skinny leeks? What about the flavor? Would love to hear your opinion on it all.
Fall Farmstand Hours
We have switched to our fall schedule and the farmstand is now open on Wednesdays ONLY from 10 am to 2 pm. There is still the stray tomato to be had at the stand and the last of the summer peppers, but autumn food is taking over – winter squash, parsnips, potatoes, bunched greens, radishes, broccoli, and much more.
The Valley Flora Crystal Ball: What MIGHT be in your share NEXT week…
No promises, but your tote might include some of the following:
- Brussels Sprouts?
- Romanesco Cauliflower?
- Pac Choi
- Yellow Finn Potatoes
- Hakurei Turnips?
- Delicata Squash
Please note: all of our produce is field-rinsed, not washed. We recommend you wash all of your produce before eating it.
For recipes and ideas, check out these links:
Our own collection of recipes, where you can contribute and share your favorites
Our website’s recipe “search engine,” where you can hunt down recipes by ingredient
A vast collection of recipes, searchable by one or multiple ingredients
A storehouse of recipes, searchable by ingredient
A Washington farm that has a good collection of seasonal recipes