In your box:
- Cucumber or summer squash
- Daikon Radish
- Head lettuce
- Red Onion
- Sweet Pepper
The next time you hear someone raving about how much they love fall—the crunch of falling leaves, baseball playoffs, sending the kids back to school, putting on their Uggs again—do me a personal favor and tell them to stick their arms into freezing water up to their elbows. Assuming you don’t get slugged, which you really would deserve for a comment like that, you’ll be sharing a personal favorite pastime of mine come every autumn. In our first year here on the farm, we built a lean-to shelter next to our garage that we use for washing veggies and packing all of our CSA boxes. In the summer, this is great—we get a great view of the fields and a nice breeze blowing through the open sides of our packing shed. But come late September, we start longing for the feel of warm water. The water we use for washing veggies comes straight out of the ground, usually in the 40-50 degree range. When the morning temperatures start in the 30’s or 40’s, this makes for a pretty uncomfortable start to our day.
I am aware of “Polar Bear Plungers” and cold water swimming. But these poor souls aren’t trying to sort grass out of salad mixes while hypothermia sets in. They don’t flail in vain, trying to open a plastic bag when they can only truly feel two of their fingers. This is our reality.
Jeremy and I have come up with different ways to cope with freezing cold hands in the morning. I usually ask Jeremy to do the washing while I go in to make coffee (for about an hour or so. But sometimes I share). Jeremy deals with the cold water by making sure he is in the far corner of the field with his headphones on while I shout in vain for him to help wash. In the end, we reconcile ourselves with the vain belief that “Competitive Salad Spinning” and “Picking Up a Carrot When You Can’t Feel Your Hands” will be added to the Winter Olympics in our lifetimes.
Look, no beans in this box! What we do have in abundance is some white vegetables. Our fall Cauliflower is the biggest we’ve ever had, overall. And the onset of fall brings some new root veggies, including the Daikon Radish. These are also known as Japanese Radishes or Mooli. Unlike spring radishes, these are mild in flavor and are still desirable once they’ve grown to a large size. Daikons look just like parsnips or white carrots, but with much broader foliage. While Daikons are usually associated with Japan and Japanese cuisine, they are thought to have originated in continental Asia. The root does not need to be peeled, and can be eaten raw or in a dish. Store it in the fridge, in either the hydrator drawer or a plastic bag, for up to two weeks. The greens are edible but do not store as well as the roots.
Daikons are also a favorite base for creations for our 4th Annual Veggie Sculpture Contest, held at our Fall Festival next week. Assemble your favorite (or least favorite) crops into creatures, statues, or Shakespearean tragedies and bring them to the farm. Winners will be disqualified if they fail to take their sculpturs home, especially if they smell really really bad.
Please remember to return your boxes! After a great start, we’ve been getting fewer and fewer back over the past weeks. Please help us keep our costs down by returning them all by the end of the year. We can also reuse any of the berry/cherry tomato pint cartons, as long as they are in good shape.