Category Archives: Squash

Newsletter – August 7, 2017

Dear Friends of the farm,

This week you are getting red potatoes, red onions, garlic, carrots, squash, lemon cucumbers, eggplant, purple peppers, green beans, basil, and tomatoes. Sounds like ratatouille or eggplant parmesan to me!!!

Fruit: Sierra Rich peaches are heading your way! A beautiful peach and one of the best tasting too!!

Produce Tips: It has been cool lately, but that does not mean it will stay that way. The hot days are wonderful for all the crops on the farm but can be hard on your produce shares. This means that your bags may have wilted produce. When we take cool showers we feel very refreshed. You may need to give your produce a cold water bath to refresh them too. Since the produce is so fresh, it will hydrate within a few hours to overnight. Don’t forget! Do not throw dirt down your sink; it will clog up your pipes. I wash my produce into a large metal bowl and discard the water outside!

Eggplant do not like to be cold or hot, which makes storing them a little difficult. If your house is warm inside, store them in a dark cool cupboard or if the house is really warm; wrap in plastic wrap & store in the fridge. If your house is cool, store them on the counter and use within five days. The best thing to do is to use them just as soon as you can! They are not bitter because they are so fresh. Therefore, you do not need to sweat them. Remember, they take on the flavor of whatever is cooked with them. That is why they are so delicious in tomato based Italian dishes!

Carrots/beans/squash/cucumbers: Carrots should be washed, dried and stored in a plastic bag. It is best not to wash your beans, cucumbers or squash until you are ready to use them. Beans I place in a cloth bag and I throw my squash, cucumbers and beans into the crisper drawer.

Potatoes: Store the potatoes and onions, unwashed, in a paper bag or a cardboard box or they will start to rot immediately. Potatoes need air because they generate their own heat.

I love, love, love to grill these babies! I simply cut them to bite size, sprinkle with salt and pepper, (add butter if you love it) and double wrap in foil and place on grill. My family will scarf down my garlic cheese potatoes. I boil 6 to 8 potatoes with garlic (1 clove per 2 potatoes) with half an onion (preferably white) with salt and pepper. Drain and mash, shred cheddar cheese (around one cup) and stir in just enough to mix, stopping before cheese starts to melt. Serve while hot!

Cooking classes: One of our longtime members, Mary Rogers, is offering a weeklong program to help home cooks learn to make healthy meals more easily. She’ll be sharing new and interesting ways to use our produce, how to get comfortable using vegetables plentifully, and her KitchenSmart System to take the struggle out of meal making. Mary has been teaching about healthy meal making for 25 years and has even taught a couple classes for members here at the farm that everyone really enjoyed. She loves sharing her skills and knowledge with others, especially fellow CSA members, which is why she is offering you a $50 discount off the registration fee. classes.cookhappylivehealthy.org

Squash Pappardelle with Pesto
adapted from Prevention Magazine 2017

Shave 2 or 3 summer squash into ribbons with a potato peeler; place uncooked in a bowl.

Pesto Sauce
2 Tb grated Pecorino Romano
2 Tb pine nuts
½ tsp salt and black pepper
Process sauce until smooth.
1 cup basil
Pour over squash & toss
¼ cup olive oil
Add extra cheese if desired!

Newsletter – August 31, 2015

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Dear Members,

This week you are getting Bi-color potato called Masquerade, yellow onions, yellow carrots, green peppers and Lipstick peppers, Japanese eggplant, squash, cucumber, basil, beans, red and gold tomatoes, muskmelon, white flesh honeydew and Charleston Grey watermelon. Lipstick peppers are sweet and come in a range of colors from lime green, yellow, orange and red. Prepare them as you would any other sweet pepper. The Charleston Grey watermelon is an heirloom. If you are willing, we would like you to save the seed. They must be rinsed off, dried on a paper towel or paper plate then placed in an envelope. If they are placed in a plastic bag, they will mold and cannot be used. The envelope allows air to circulate and complete the drying process.

Fruit: I am happy to announce that Thomas Cameron from Rancho Durazno has found Bartlett pears for you! They are coming from Fortunate Fruit in the Hotchkiss area of Western Colorado. All the fruit you have gotten to this point has come from Rancho Durazno (Peach Ranch in Spanish). He is also including a pluot along with the pears. It is 70% plum and 30% apricot. Hope you like it!

Tips: Here are some more tips for storing veggies. My grandmother taught me this tip: get a large re-sealable Tupperware bowl and place any left-over veggies from dinner into this bowl (kept in the freezer). When the bowl is full, make instant soup! Don’t forget that the veggies are already cooked ~ so you only need to make your broth, warm them up and serve!

Tip 2: Place leftover veggies in a plastic freezer bag. Use a stir straw for coffee, place in the corner of the bag and seal around straw. Now suck out the air and at the same time, seal the bag and pull out the straw with your teeth. Most freezer burn comes from condensation in the air in the bag. Remove this and your veggies will store for a longer time. This is the same technique used with the Foodsaver. Don’t forget to write on the bag that is it fully cooked food. You do not want to recook this food, just reheat it. If you do this the whole summer, you will have small packets of food ready for winter.

Tip 3: Plan your week of meals and freeze the remaining unused veggies. My website has a link to CSU’s Freezing Guide. Again, if you do this throughout the summer, you will have packets of veggies ready for use in the winter!

Tip 4: If you are getting overwhelmed with summer squash, replace noodles with spiraled squash. Believe me; you won’t even notice the missing noodles. We have been making lasagna and spaghetti with all the varieties and they all are fantastic (eggplant is excellent replacing lasagna noodles)!

Tip 5: Shred your zucchini, measure for your favorite zucchini bread recipe and place in a plastic bag raw. Suck out the air. When ready to use, you need to drain the liquid off the squash. I do this by unthawing in a strainer. Pat dry and make your bread!

Jacquie, Jerry and Kyle

Newsletter – August 10, 2015

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Dear Friends of the Farm,

New crops this week are a bi-color potato called Mardi Gras, tomatoes, Japanese eggplant, purple peppers and yellow watermelon or muskmelon. This is the early planting of tomatoes (before the rain) and there are not very many rows in production (3). We had just started to plant when the storms started to hit and we got them covered with row cover. It is not the peak of the season yet. Most of the field tomatoes were planted after the rain, so we expect most of the tomatoes to come on later in the month or beginning of next month. As I’m sure most of you know tomatoes do not like to be cold. Store them on the counter (out of the sun) until ready to use.

Mardi Gras is a beautiful potato that is marbled purple and yellow. It has some of the benefits of a purple potato with the taste close of a Yukon Gold. I like to roast these babies on the grill because they tend to keep their color better.
I know you get tired of hearing this, but I don’t know how else to say it!! Because of the wet May, the eggplant plants are having a hard time producing. If we cannot get everyone one Japanese eggplant, you will get a black one. Eggplant are hard to store. They do not like to be too cold or too warm. I usually store my eggplant on the counter and try to use it in a stir-fry as soon as possible. The older it gets, the more bitter it becomes. You do not need to salt and sweat this (to remove bitterness) because it is so fresh, (unless you are trying to get out excess liquid for a specific reason). For long term storage, wrap the eggplant in plastic wrap and place in your crisper drawer on warmest setting.

The purple peppers are just starting to mature. We hope everyone will get one, but you may not. We will know more once we get out there picking!

Last week you got a yellow watermelon called Yellow Doll. It is a refrigerator melon which means it remains small and is the first to maturity. It was planted during the rain and the plants are stunted and only a few melons have grown to maturity. This week you will get a yellow watermelon or muskmelon. There isn’t enough of both to give everyone one of each. Muskmelon is in the cantaloupe family but has a stronger taste and is sweeter.

This week you are also getting red onions, carrots, possibly a few turnips, squash, a cucumber and green beans.

Fruit: Members will be getting plums and a few more peaches!

Festival: We are looking forward to our gathering on September 20th for a beautiful day of fun on the farm! Hours will be 11am to 4pm. We need to know who will be attending this event so that we know how much inventory we need to purchase. You must RSVP to this event! Please do so no later than Sept 12th. Contact Peg Lehr at wrdwrrior@comcast.net or by phone at 303-320-5706. We will need to know if you are vegetarian and how many people are in your family; adults/kids. We do not encourage people from outside the membership to join us for the festival. This is our Thank You to you for being members. If you do bring guests, it will be $10 a person, adult and children alike. We will also need to know how many adults/kids and whether or not they are vegetarian. A return reply will not be given to your RSVP.

Activities: There will be a pot-luck style lunch. We will provide utensils, drinks, hot dogs and hamburgers, plus all the extras that go with them. We will need you to bring a side dish or dessert. Please double the amount you would normally feed your family.

There will be a few carnival style booths for children and for the adults that still are children deep inside!
There will be a Canning Booth to help you with your canning questions. We will also hold a jam/jelly contest and a pickle contest. Please bring down your best jar and let us see how it stands up to our judges’ views! There will be a small prize for the winners!
If you are interested in a hat or cookbook they will be available to purchase at the Festival.
We will have our annual Stick Horse Race for all horse lovers. We encourage you to make your horse and enter your steed into the race. Prizes will be awarded for best dressed horse and the winners of the races. We will start out with a parade and then the races begin!
A Self-Tour of the farm will be available. Loaded with a map and directions, you can explore the buildings on the farm; see animals and the farmland itself.
If you are interested in picking a few crops, we normally have a list of U-pick crops for canning and freezing at the Check–In station. You will need a decent pair of shoes for picking crops (flip flops are not recommended)!

Volunteers for festival: I know several of you could not make it to the farm this spring and are anxiously waiting for a time in which you can volunteer on the farm. Now is your chance! The Festival will need several people to help keep it running smoothly! Please contact Peg Lehr about volunteering! wrdwrrior@comcast.net or 303-320-5706.

Here is a list of all the jobs that need volunteers:
Set Up and Produce Choppers: as many as we can get & we start at 9am sharp!
Check-In Station: two people every hour – 11 to 3
“Master” Grillers: two people every shift – 10:30 to 12; 12 to 1:30 and 1:30 to 3
Clear Food Table and Man Drink Station: 2 people every hour 11 to 3
Empty Trash Cans/Restock Bathrooms: 1 person every hour 11 to 4
Canning “Experts”: 1 person every hour 11 to 3
Cookbook/Hat Booth: 1 person every hour 11 to 3
Tear Down & Clean Up: Everyone who is still around at the end of the day can help us with this chore! As Grandmother Edith would say, “Many hands make light work.” This takes no more than an hour to complete. Last year because we had so many helping hands, this work was completed in 45 min!

Thanks for letting us be your farmers this summer! Jacquie, Jerry and Kyle

Rosy Home-Style Fries
4 to 5 med potatoes, cubed and boiled until tender
2 med beets, cooked and cubed
1 Tbsp oil
1 med onion, finely chopped
1 large pepper, chopped
(optional)
½ cup fresh chopped parsley or 2 to 3 Tbsp dried
¼ tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper

Saute’ onions 5 min. Add potatoes and beets, saute’ 10 minutes or until potatoes start to brown. Toss in everything else and cook 1 to 2 minutes more. Serve warm.

Helpful Hint: This recipe works best if the beets and potatoes are cooked ahead of time and cooled completely!

Check out Jacquie’s Summer Pasta on page 71 in the cookbook for another great recipe for squash. I like this cold the next day for lunch after I have had it
 warm for dinner the night before!

Newsletter – August 3, 2014

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This week you are getting:  Yukon potatoes, red onions, orange, yellow and purple carrots, red beets, summer squash, cucumbers, lemon cucumbers, cauliflower (Wednesday only), peppers, garlic, green beans, green basil and dill.  Dilly squash:  sauté squash, onion, garlic, salt and pepper and fresh dill weed (leaves) for a great side dish!

New:  You are getting a new sweet pepper called Canario.  It is a long, slender pepper similar in shape to an anaheim pepper.  It can be green, yellow or red in color and can be used like a bell pepper.  It is known for its frying and roasting compatibility.  Something new for our stir-fries!! Continue reading

Summer Squash Goat-Cheese Custard

Farm member Elizabeth Staton posted a link to this recipe on the Monroe Facebook page a few weeks ago, and the raves started coming in almost immediately. I made it myself last week (using a mixture of different summer squashes from the farm) and can attest to its deliciousness! I did *not* share the leftovers. I am hoarding summer squash now just to make this tasty dish. Give it a try and let me know what you think!

photo (7)Serve a savory custard as a new twist on a side dish.  This squash and goat-cheese custard is made with eggs and milk and resembles a quiche without a crust.

Recipe courtesy Real Simple SEPTEMBER 2004

Yield: Makes 6 servings Continue reading

Veggie Catch All: Tostadas

My first year with Monroe was tough – like everyone else, I had to adjust to receiving food rather than choosing it from the grocery store.  It’s been years now and I’m well adjusted to the rhythm of being part of a CSA…I actually dread the few months of the year I have to go to the store.  That said, there are weeks when I just want to use a LOT of vegetables from the fridge in one fell swoop so that I can start fresh with the next delivery.  That’s how this tostada recipe – no, method…recipe is too organized sounding – was born.

Tostadas

  • 1-15 oz can refried beans
  • 1 package tostadas (try to buy something without hydrogenated oils)
  • Olive oil
  • Chopped or diced veggies – whatever you’ve got on hand.  This week I used red onion, green peppers, summer squash, corn, cabbage, tomatoes, tomatillos and cilantro (Some of this is from my garden.  Strangely, I grow more food in addition to the wonderful goodies we get from Monroe’s!)
  • Grated cheddar or monterey jack cheese
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Gently heat refried beans in a small saucepan on low heat.  Meanwhile, heat a medium saute pan with a tablespoon of olive oil.  When hot, add diced vegetables and cook to your preference of doneness, seasoning with salt and pepper along the way.  I like to soften red onions quite a bit to take the bite out of them.  I like to saute summer squash until the water is released and they brown a bit.  I cooked everything above except for the cabbage, tomatoes, tomatillos and cilantro, which I added later as toppings.

Assembly:  spread 2-3 tablespoons of warmed beans on each tostada.  Top with cheese, then sauteed vegetables.  Finish by adding cabbage, tomatoes, tomatillos and cilantro (or whatever YOU have on hand.  Avocado would be a delicious addition.) on top.  Be careful not to overload the tostada, or it will fall to bits…but it will still taste good!

Newsletter

Dear Friends of the Farm,

This week you are getting red potatoes, sweet yellow onions, squash, cucumbers, carrots, broccoli, white, cheddar and/or purple cauliflower, celery, beans, basil & corn! A few of you will get Japanese or Globe eggplant, artichoke and tomatoes. There isn’t enough to give them to everyone and most of you will not get any of these five crops. But we don’t want them to go to waste. The hot days over 90 degrees and warm nights over 63 degrees have helped to get these crops to mature. Unfortunately they are not maturing fast enough to give them to the entire membership! However this is the beginning of wonderful things to come! We have to tell you we are surprised by the sudden abundance we received recently. We knew this would happen, but expected it to happen more towards the middle of August!

Everyone is anxiously waiting for the peaches this week. First Fruit says the Newhaven’s are ready and we will be getting them this week! First Fruits Organic Farms is an orchard run by two brothers, Chris and Kevin Kropp. They have been running this organic orchard since 1988 in the Paonia area. The microclimate provides the unique combination of hot summer days followed by cool nighttime breezes, which creates fruit that is unusually high in natural sugars & concentrated flavors. Many have said the fruit is the best they have ever tasted! They utilize bio-friendly methods of pest control and rebuild their soils with minerals, composted manures, cover crops and beneficial microbes to leave the precious living soils better than they found them. By purchasing First Fruits Organic Farm fruit, they believe you are not only providing yourself, your family and your friends with a safe, healthy and delicious bounty from the land, but also support farming methods and practices that are sustainable and responsible. Just the fact that you have found their fruit worthy of taking home and feeding yourself and your family is the biggest reward and compliment you could give them. The two Kropp families asked me to tell you a huge heart-felt Thank you! (Partially taken from an updated bio you can now find on our website.)

Thank you for being patient with me over the last two weeks. Alaina moved two weeks ago into a different house and we have two weddings to go to this last weekend. It is so hard for us to do anything extra over and above the farm this time of year. And to have something happening two weekends in a row has Jerry crawling in a ditch to hide!

I know several of you are always looking for new ways to prepare the crops you get on a weekly basis. Mary Rogers is a current member of the farm. She has a blog called everydayeating.wordpress.com. She helps you not only figure out what to do with your veggies, but includes tips in preparation and recipes. You can even sign-up for cooking classes!

Here is a helpful way to use all of that squash; make pickles!

Sweet & Spicy Pickles

Cut 4 lbs summer squash (use all the different kinds) into ¼ inch slices or cube into bite-size pieces.
Cut onions in half and then in half again, then slice into ¼ inch slices.
3 dried hot peppers or 8 fresh anaheims or 4 fresh jalapeno peppers.
Heaping ¼ cup canning salt
1 quart crushed ice
5 pound weight
2 ¼ cups vinegar
1 cup dark maple syrup
¾ cup water
1 tbsp mustard seed
1 tsp whole allspice
½ tsp celery seeds
6 pint jars with lids and bands

Toss squash, onion, ¼ cup salt and ice together in a large bowl. Cover with a plate and weight down. Let this stand for four hours. Meanwhile sterilize jars, lids and bands, (boil for 3 minutes). Boil the next 7 ingredients (if using dried chilies) plus 1 ½ tsp salt for 10 minutes. If using fresh chilies; cut through skins but do not cut through the meat of the chili – several times and add to mixture in the last 2 minutes of cooking. Drain vegetables and pack into jars. At this time, you could add one of the chilies to the jars as well (half and de-seed the anaheim & jalapeno)! Fill jars with hot liquid leaving ½ inch space at top Seal and roll jar on its side to remove any bubbles. Add more liquid if necessary. Seal and submerge jars in boiling water for 20 minutes for slices, 25 minutes for chunks. Let pickles stand for 1 to 2 weeks to develop flavor.

Recipe adapted from Nature Preserved

We had a fantastic compliment this week. A current member from another CSA called asking how they could get involved with our CSA because they are not getting much variety or quantity with their shares. I guess a niece is a member of our farm and they have been comparing shares. I knew this was probably happening within the membership, this is just the first time someone has admitted to it! I can’t tell you how happy I was to talk with this person to find out how we do compare with another CSA. She said she was happy with her share until she saw what was given out from your farm. Needless to say, she is anxiously waiting for next year to start!

Have a fantastic week! Enjoy all the new, fun veggies this week!

Jacquie, Jerry, Kyle and Alaina