CSA Newsletter Week 13

newsletter with photo

We’ve turned from weeding and planting to harvesting and preserving at Fern Creek. The onions and most of the dried beans are in the drying racks, the basil is prime for pesto making, falling apples are waiting to be sauced, and the tomatoes…!

It’s time for pantry organizing to make room for the canned goods accumulating there. Here’s a partial list of what I’ve preserved so far. I don’t report this to brag (though honestly there’s a bit of that, too!), but to inspire you to think about what’s possible. And to help you a bit more–we have u-pick pickling cucumbers for any of you who want to come get them (email me if you do), and if you want a bag of basil for pesto making, we’ll have them in the Market for $3. Many of the recipes I use for preserving, and how-to guides are here on the Preserving Life at Fern Creek web page. You, too, can fill your pantry for fall, winter, and spring eating…

In the Pantry: Dill Pickles, Dilly Beans, Pickled Beets, Green Beans, Yellow Beans, Raspberry Mint & Lavendar Jam, Marionberry & Apple Jam, Strawberry Mint Syrup, Rhubarb Chutney, Sauerkraut, Heirloom Tomato Salsa, Ketchup.

In the Freezer: Berries, Broccoli, and Pesto Cubes


Anticipated in the MarketSweet Corn

Sweet Corn
Chehalis & Honey Crisp Apple
Baby Cakes, Amarillo & Snow White Cherry Tomatoes
Assorted Beefsteak and Salad Tomatoes
(Heirloom Copia, Celebrity, Iron Lady, Rutgers)
Nante Carrots
Slicing Cucumbers
Kentucky Wonder Pole Beans
Russet  Potatoes
Butterstick & Crookneck
Heirloom Borrettana Onions
Kale (Dinosaur, Red Russian & Siberian)
Collards & Chard
Dill & Basil

Pick Two

Burgundy beans
Patty Pan Summer Squash
Tromboncini Squash
Listada de Gandia & Black Beauty Eggplant
Baby Potatoes
Various Peppers
Extra Braising Greens


New From the Field

Italian Heirloom Borretana Onions

Italian Heirloom Borettana Onions

Fern Creek onions have all been harvested for the year and are being kept in storage, to pull out week by week. You’ll see a few new varieties this year and this week we’re featuring an Italian heirloom that has been cultivated since the 1400s, for centuries sold only by local producers. One description I read said, “Borettana onions are the Italian sports car of onions. Sweet, sleek and stylish with a wonderful flavour, they were once a rare treat only to be found at gourmet restaurants, now they are finally getting their due attention.” These are high-priced onions in speciality markets, valued for their unique mellow and sweet flavor. This flat, button-shaped onion stores well. When roasted whole in the oven, or cooked in some butter on the stove top the sugars caramelize and become a soft melt-in-your-mouth treat. Use them as a side dish with meats, or on kebabs, or in dish that features onion a bit more front and center.


Recipes of the Week

Heirloom Tomato Salsa from Put ‘Um Up by Sherri Brooks Vinton

Since you are getting a fair number of heirloom tomatoes, we thought you might want to make salsa! You can freeze it, can it in a water bath, or just eat it up. This recipe would make about 7 cups. It will be good in the fridge for about 5 days. And if you don’t have 3 pounds, adjust accordingly, or add any other tomatoes.

3 pounds Heirloom tomatoes, seeded and diced
1/2 pound onion, chopped
1-2 jalapeño peppers, finely diced
1 c. white vinegar
1/4 c. sugar
1 Tbsp. salt
1 cup cilantro (optional)

Bring vinegar, sugar and salt to a boil in a large nonreactive saucepan. Add the vegetables and return to a boil for 5 minutes. Add the cilantro and remove from heat. Cool, cover, and refrigerate. (To can, boil in a water bath for 15 minutes).


Eggplant Curry (Baingan Bharata)

Indian food is just about our favorite ethnic food, and this curry is wonderful, even for Eggplant skeptics!  You’ll be seeing lots of eggplant in the Market, so we’ll include a few ways to use it. Here’s the link:  The only change I’d recommend is to not include the seeds from the jalepano unless you like Really Hot curry.  You can make a garlic ginger paste yourself with fresh garlic and ginger. I also served mine with some plain yogurt as a small side dish to help cut the heat of the curry.


Dill Butter (also known as compound butter) for grilled corn, salmon, other vegetables, canapés.
We made this for one of our Fern Creek Cooking classes, and it seems appropriate to pull it out now that the dill and corn are both ready.

1/2 c. butter (adjust salt to taste if using salted butter), at room temperature
2 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill (or 2 teaspoons dried)

Place ingredients in a mixing bowl and smash together with the back of a spoon. Transfer mixture to piece of wax paper or plastic wrap.  Shape into a log and chill until ready to use.

For a more simple version, just blend the butter, lemon, and dill. It’s simple, and still delicious.



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