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Week 14 Newsletter

September 15, 2015

In your box:

–Arugula

–Bok choy

–Broccoli

–Carrots

–Cucumbers (full shares) or ground cherries (half shares)

–Red onion

–Sweet peppers

–Tomatoes

For the first time since spring, we again have Bok Choy in your box this week. I’m pretty sure there are other things you can do with bok choy, but in our family it is always destined for a stir-fry. Its leafy green goodness and crispy stem texture are just perfect in a stir-fry, so we’ve never bothered to experiment much past that. It looks like our purple bok choy will be ready for harvest next week, so it’s a good idea to use this head up before your fridge is taken over by massive Asian greens. Bok choy keeps well for a week or two in the fridge, and should be kept in a plastic bag or the hydrator drawer.

We are just starting to get some heads of broccoli on our fall planting, and I’m excited to start harvesting those for you this week. After such a great spring crop, broccoli is in strong contention for “Crop of the Year” honors. I don’t really have any sort of prize for that, of course. It just means that it all gets eaten up. So the prize is basically to be killed and enjoyed by strangers. Now, naturally this has me thinking about the fact that all of the annual crops in my garden are planted only to die. I give life only to kill. I’m sure there’s an existential dilemma in that, but I’ll try to keep upbeat and save that philosophical discourse for the winter.

Moving on to something much more upbeat, and quickly—ground cherries! These buggers take hours to harvest, so I only had enough time to pick for half shares this week. Full shares will receive two pints next week. I did my best to only pick the good ones, but obviously I couldn’t husk every one to check for quality. So be sure to take a look at them before you bite in. Ground cherries are also called Husk Cherries or Cape Gooseberries and are closely related to tomatoes and tomatillos. Their taste is a combination of pineapple and cherry tomato. To enjoy, simply remove the husk and eat raw or top on a salad. They can also be made into jams or baked into any recipe as a substitute or complement for berries. Try them in a cobbler, pie, or coffee cake. Or, just pop them in raw!

Unfortunately, our red onion this week is the last onion we’ll have for the season. The lack of onions this year comes from the lousy plants I received in the mail last April. I ordered 3,000 onion plants from a farm in Texas, thinking I could save myself the work of seeding all of those myself at the same time that Adam was due to be born. The plants I received were worthless and small, with most of them never taking root. I’ve heard that onions have done really well in our region this year, so it’s an added insult to know what I could have had this year. The moral? Don’t mess with Texas. Next year I’ll go back to starting my own onion seeds in the greenhouse and planting them out as I have in the past. We do have good leeks, thankfully, and they should be ready for harvest in a couple weeks.

Thanks to everyone for returning your boxes so well this year. We have had a few go missing in the past few weeks, so please return any you have around the house and try to remember them every week. Thanks!

Coming soon: Winter kale, salad mix, and cabbage.

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