Farm news: What would we do without a weather forecast? This week's produce. And a recipe for baked and stuffed acorn squash.
Fox Creek Farm CSA Newsletter, week of September 21, 2020
In this newsletter:
Farm News: Where would we be without a weather forecast?
About this week's harvest
Recipe: Baked stuffed acorn squash
Hot peppers, saved from the frost
You might think that a vegetable farmer’s favorite tool would be a harvest knife, or a decked-out cultivator tractor … all nice, but nowadays a smartphone might come in as a close third or fourth. Particularly the weather apps. Should we start irrigating, or wait for the rain? Is there another spell of hot and humid weather coming, moving us to harvesting much earlier in the day? Or for late last week, are they just trying to make us nervous, or is it indeed going to freeze already?
We played a little game of ‘chicken’ with the weather forecast, but Thursday night we capitulated … NOAA and Weather Underground both predicting three nights in a row with freezing temperatures. Friday morning, we were out harvesting frost sensitive crops – lots and lots of peppers and tomatoes (red, ‘turning’, and green). Dusk to dawn – and draining the irrigation system in the dark.
And so, we saved the tomatoes and peppers, thanks to some accurate weather forecasts. And all the other crops that are out in the field can stand a little frost, no problem. And while the weather services might call for ‘The end of the outdoor growing season’ soon, we are well situated to continue our harvests and deliveries to the end of October, as planned.
To another week of exceptional produce,
Raymond and Sara
Richard and Barryton working on the pre-frost pepper and tomato harvest last Friday
About the produce in this week's share
For this week’s delivery, expect Acorn winter squash, potatoes, onions, garlic, cabbage (full share only), and lettuce or spinach. Also, we will be harvesting fall beets with tops (remember, you can eat the tops, too – they compare pretty close to Swiss chard!).
We are rotating tomatoes, peppers, and the first harvests of our fall broccoli planting.
Crisp early Fall morning at Fox Creek Farm
Recipe: Baked and stuffed acorn squash
This vegetarian recipe, adapted from NYT Cooking, brings together a lot of the produce we are harvesting right now. It stays with the theme of somewhat (but hopefully not overly) involved recipes that we have been featuring this season. We think it is delicious! And did you know that if you pre-bake the acorn squash for 15 minutes, it’s much easier to cut in half?
Ingredients (for 2 servings):
1 Acorn squash
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (and some extra for basting)
1 small onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, diced
1 large tomato, cored, and puréed
1 Tablespoon tomato paste
2 Teaspoons honey or maple syrup
1 Teaspoon apple cider vinegar
Salt to taste
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (to taste, or substitute black pepper)
1 cup cooked pinto, black, or red beans (or use canned beans, drained and rinsed)
½ cup breadcrumbs
½ cup grated cheese, for example Gruyère
Heat the oven to 375 °F. Place the squash on a baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes, so it will be easier to cut in half. Let cool, and then cut (stem to tip). Remove seeds and membranes.
While the squash is in the oven heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet, add the onion until it begins to soften. Add the bell pepper and salt. Cook until tender. Add tomato and tomato paste, and cook until the tomatoes have cooked down slightly, then add the honey (or maple syrup), vinegar, salt, and pepper. Simmer for about 10 minutes, until thick and fragrant. Adjust seasoning. Stirr in beans and simmer until heated.
Oil a baking sheet that will hold the halved squash. Season the inside of the squash with salt and pepper, and brush with olive oil. Fill with the bean/tomato/onion mixture. Mix the breadcrumbs with the grated cheese and some olive oil, and sprinkle over the filling.
Place the stuffed acorn squash halves on the prepared baking sheet and cover tightly with foil. Bake large squash for about 45 minutes but check smaller squash after 30 minutes. The flesh should be easy to penetrate with the tip of a knife. Uncover, and return to the oven for another 5-10 minutes, until the topping has lightly browned. Serve hot or warm.
And a field of winter squash, waiting for harvest!
We love to hear from you!
We always welcome your feedback - and our farm crew loves to hear from you, too! Email is best, but if you would like to leave us a message on the phone we will return your call at our earliest convenience (518-872-2375).