In This Week’s Beet Box:
- Wednesday Pick-up Reminder!
- New Produce (and a Recipe) for Thanksgiving: Parsnips & Sunshine squash
In your share this week:
- Shallots – 1.5 pounds
- Brussels sprouts – 1 stalk
- Carrots – 1.5 pounds
- Celeriac – 2 heads
- Kale – 12 ounces
- Mixed herbs – thyme, rosemary, sage
- Parsnips – 3 pounds
- Yellow Finn Potatoes – 5 pounds
- Sunshine winter squash - 1
WEDNESDAY PICK UP REMINDER!
This week we are delivering ALL Harvest Baskets, Eggs & Bread on WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 27th
- There will be NO DELIVERY to PORT ORFORD on Friday, November 29th.
- There will be NO DELIVERY to BANDON on Saturday, November 30th.
These are the specific times for pickup at each location on Wednesday, November 27th:
- Valley Flora: unchanged – 9 am to 5 pm
- Coos Bay: unchanged – 12 pm to 3 pm
- Bandon: Wednesday, 11/27, starting at 12 noon (no end time)
- Port Orford: Wednesday, 11/27, starting at 10 am (all day)
New Produce for Thanksgiving
Parsnips: Parsnips are yet another of those emotionally-charged vegetables, loved by some and loathed by others. They have a potent, powerful flavor that is not to everyone’s liking, which is why I’ve included one miraculous recipe in this week’s newsletter – a recipe that might just cause the most staunch skeptic to cross over to the parsnip-liking side. If there is one new dish you add to your Thanksgiving menu this year, let it be this one:
I’m speaking from personal experience. I’ve never been wildly in love with parsnips, but I appreciate them for the fact that they’re a sturdy food that offers some diversity to our late-fall and deep-winter diet. They are willing to grow in our climate and they’ll store for months, so they have a few merits. I’d call my relationship to them something like “respectful tolerance.”
But exactly one year ago today, I vowed passionately, out loud, that I was divorcing parsnips for good. Never again would I plant them. It was over between us.
It was the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, 2012, and a fury of a storm was blowing through. Roberto was in Portland for the birth of his second son, and I was hustling to try to get all 100+ CSA totes packed in one day with the volunteer help of my sister and Farm Angel Tom. Near the end of the pack-out, we ran out of parsnips. It was pitch-black-dark outside and the rain was driving sideways, but I had no choice but to venture back out into the field and wrestle some more parsnips out of the ground.
If you’ve ever dug parsnips before you know that “wrestle” is no exaggeration. It’s the best verb in the dictionary for this particular job. Parsnips send down a long taproot, deeply anchoring themselves into the ground. There is no digging spade in the world that can fully loosen a parsnip (we have broken two trying), so you have to do your fair share of grunting and tugging on each root to haul it out of the ground. The parsnips tend to break in the process, or get scuffed by the spade, and somehow we’re always digging them in a driving rain, slathered in mud, by the weak glow of pickup headlights. To top it off, our parsnips get an ugly orange rust on the skin, and the biggest ones inevitably split and get spongey. All in all, it’s a defeating harvest – especially after tending the crop for six full months (we seed them in May each year).
So went the script that night: mud, rain, headlights, ugly roots. After a half hour in the mud – and already twelve hours and thousands of pounds of produce into my harvest day- I had enough bins filled and I loaded up the pickup. I stripped my muddy rain bibs down around my ankles, slid behind the wheel, and turned the key. The pickup wouldn’t start.
I was a ½ mile from the barn and the only way home was on foot, dragging the loaded harvest cart behind me. Part way there, I saw headlights creeping along the road, searching for me through the storm. When Tom pulled up, I was on the verge of crying, or laughing. Both.
“You OK?” Tom asked.
“Never again, Tom. I will never grow parsnips again! I am divorcing parsnips!”
Two days later my family sat down to a big Thanksgiving dinner, at a table laden entirely with food we had grown. One of the dishes I made was the maple-glazed squash and parsnips. It probably seems odd that I’d try that recipe, given the beating I’d had two days prior. Maybe subconsciously I was giving my relationship with parsnips one last chance. Or maybe it was just the butter and maple syrup that caught my eye. Either way, that dish was the best thing on the table that night. Parsnips redeemed.
This year I’m happy to report that for the first time ever, we dug parsnips in the sunshine, and there were plenty to see us all the way through our big, 110-tote pack-out today. Sure, they were still ugly and rust-streaked and amputated, but that’s what veggie peelers are for. Nobody’s perfect. Relationships take work. A little butter and maple syrup never hurts either.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone.
Sunshine squash: Tropical, sweet, intensely flavorful – sunshine squash is our all-time favorite kabocha-type winter squash. It’s a great Thanksgivingsquash because it’s festive and versatile. It plays a star role in the parsnip recipe above, or if you’re vegetarian it’s a great squash to stuff and bake like a turkey. It peels relatively easily, and it stores for a long time on the counter. Also makes great soup!
Farmstand Open 3 More Weeks!
The farmstand is still open and well-stocked with all kinds of produce (even a few late tomatoes, still!).
We will be open every Wednesday through December 11th from 10 am to 2 pm (including the Wednesday before Thanksgiving):
- Wednesday, November 27th 10-2
- Wednesday, December 4th, 10-2
- Wednesday, December 11th, 10-2
Come stock up!
The Valley Flora Crystal Ball
No promises, but your tote might include some of the following next week:
- 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