Adrian White is a certified herbalist, organic farmer, and health, food, agriculture, and sustainability freelance writer. She is a past contributor to Healthline with bylines in The Guardian, Civil Eats, Good Housekeeping, and Rodale's Organic Life. She is owner of Deer Nation Herbs and Jupiter Ridge LLC, an organic farm growing diverse vegetables, mushrooms, and herbs. Visit her Resume/CV page, hire her as a freelancer (writing, marketing, social media) for your projects, or book her for an herbal educational health consultation.
Finishing up a late night prepping all your food for your CSA deliveries (as well as restaurant deliveries) to Cedar Rapids tomorrow. For this very reason, we’ll be keeping this newsletter a bit short (we’re tired!) but we’re happy to share this week’s upcoming CSA share list with you so you can know what to look forward to ahead of time…and hear a few updates on the farm, too.
What to expect this week:
Kale Mix (Small Leaf)
Yellow Storage Onions
Winter Radish Medley
This lineup does indeed look like a wintery bunch, doesn’t it? Especially with the snow that’s been blanketing the ground as of late (though it’s come so early!) our CSA delivery this week is particularly chock-full of the more “classic” fall/winter root crops than ever before: parsnips, potatoes, squash, storage radishes, and our newest veggie for you to enjoy: rutabagas!
We hope you enjoy them all during this cold weather – and we highly recommend (most of all!) that you roast up a nice medley of these winter roots to warm you up on these cold nights – like the colorful one pictured below. It’s one of our autumn favorites!
Or do you have your own recipes or ideas in mind? We’d love to hear them – and even post them here if you like!
We’ll see you tomorrow – and very much look forward to delivering to our awesome members for these last few weeks before Thanksgiving!
Warmest Regards, Adrian & Will | Jupiter Ridge Farm
This recent cold and snow (and even the colder temps in this week’s forecast) have got us thinking that winter’s here a little early! Wouldn’t you agree?
Though fall always feels like it goes by too quickly, we look forward to the rest and recuperation that the snowy winter affords us…even when it comes a little sooner than we think.
Here’s to a few more warmer days before winter hits us in full swing, and to lots more delicious vegetables to enjoy for the last few weeks of CSA. Cold or not, we’ve still got plenty in store for you….
Here’s what to expect this week:
Purple Daikon Radishes
Mushrooms (Shiitakes, Oysters, or Mix of Both – May Included Dehydrated Shiitakes)
About New CSA Item This Week: Parsnips!
We’re sure you’re probably at least a little familiar with parsnips, so we won’t spend too much time talking about them…but they’re sure worth touching on at least just a little bit.
Clearly reminiscent relatives of carrots at first glance, you’ll have the opportunity to compare and contrast carrots with parsnips, since you’ll be getting both in your share.
Carrots are crisper, crunchier, and sweeter (especially the ones we’re sending out to CSA this time of year!). That’s not to say that parsnips aren’t also sweet, they’re just heartier in texture and more “aromatic” in taste.
Carrots can be an enjoyable snack raw, parsnips not so much (though to each their own, of course – I don’t mind munching in a raw parsnip, it’s pretty good). But still, parsnips love to be cooked. They’re right at home in most fall or winter soups or stews that would call for carrots, and could even replace carrots in most of these (though they would go great together in these dishes, too).
In my opinion (and from our collective experience, both Will and I, with cooking parsnips over the years), parsnips don’t just love being cooked – they also love seasonings and spice. If you taste a parsnip for that matter, you’ll notice how they have a low-key aromatic flavor that’s almost built right into them.
For this reason, spice them up! Especially for this time of year, parsnips go extremely well with classic fall seasonings. According to the Flavor Bible by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg, parsnips go great with chives, cream, garlic, ginger, maple syrup, nutmeg, parsley, sage, thyme, and many other ingredients. One of our farmer friends once prepared a pureed parsnip soup that featured cardamom – it was absolutely delicious, and I recommend using the spice with parsnip all the time.
Other great pairings with parsnips: butter, other root vegetables (especially turnips!), and apples. Yum…just, yum.
So, if you have any further questions about parsnips and what you can do with them, please let us know. Likewise, don’t be shy to share your recipes with us! | email@example.com
We hope you enjoy what this week’s delivery brings, parsnips and all.
We can’t believe week 15 is already here. Though the cold is definitely shutting down and slowing production at the farm, we still remain pretty busy pulling all the last of our produce out from the field long before the first hard freeze appears on the forecast – and there’s still quite a bit out there!
Just today, we pulled in several cases of kale and DELICIOUSLY sweet carrots, plus daikon radishes, parsnips (!), and more that you’ll be enjoying at some point in these coming weeks before CSA ends. By the end of next week, the fields should be empty – but our walk-in cooler will be stocked quite full for the winter with plenty of variety to deliver to you up until Thanksgiving!
This week for you, we’ll have:
Oyster Mushrooms New!
Black Spanish Radishes New!
Kennebec (White) Potatoes
Sweet or Green Peppers
New England Pie Pumpkin New!
We like to keep every share exciting and fresh with some new items each week, and we have a good handful of brand-new veggies for you. Most exciting of all: you’ll be getting oyster mushrooms this week! They’re both beautiful and delicious, needing only light heat and a short time cooking, with flavor similar to oyster and chicken combined. Very tasty…
With the recent cold temperature dips, our oyster production has been going crazy. So we hope you enjoy these!
Also new in your share are some veggies we’ve had harvested and stored for a while due to the cold, and which are finally available in rotation: namely, Black Spanish radishes and pie pumpkin!
In the true spirit of autumn and Halloween this week (and with Thanksgiving not too far away), we thought pie pumpkin would be perfect. Yes, it looks like a pumpkin you could carve into a jack-o-lantern – but it’s actually a variety that’s better for eating (and making into pumpkin pies especially) rather than carving!
And, last but not least, no– they’re not beets. They’re black Spanish radishes! We’ll tell you a bit more about them below…
Black Spanish Radishes | Explanation and Wellness Info
Just like the watermelon radishes and purple daikon radishes you’ve received in CSA shares prior, black Spanish radishes are also a type of “winter radish.”
This means that, unlike spring radishes, you can store them for a long period of time without perishing under the right conditions – in a dark, cool place, preferably your refrigerator (or a root cellar if you have one). You can even keep a few throughout the entire winter if you like, not unlike a turnip, rutabaga, beet, or potato.
Not sure how to use them? We recommend using them much like watermelon radishes (discussed here in last week’s CSA newsletter) or like purple daikons (from CSA week 12 here). To summarize quickly, they can be sliced and eaten raw (on salads, etc.) or roasted much like a turnip or rutabaga. (Try pickling them – they’re incredibly delicious that way, too!)
What stands out most about Black Spanish Radishes, though? Their very unique health benefits. Studies show this root vegetable has heavy duty detoxification capabilities (it can even remove heavy metals!), it has tons of antioxidants and protects the liver, and may even greatly reduce cancer risk, boost immunity, help you fight the common cold, and lots more (some basic benefits are outlined here at CureJoy).
A warning: when eaten raw, it is quite spicy! Not as spicy as a daikon radish, however – but again, roasting and cooking it will turn it into a mild and tame veggie with similar taste to a turnip.
For those who don’t mind spicy foods though (and also for those of you who are interested in home herbal remedies), my herbalist recommendation? Try using it in a homemade Fire Cider recipe. (For reference, here’s a really good one from the original maker herself.)
This concoction is a vinegar-filled (and sometimes fermented) combination of horseradish, garlic, hot peppers (usually cayenne), other cold-fighting herbs, sometimes ginger, and lots more, all geared towards keeping colds, flu, symptoms, and bugs at bay when taken a tablespoon at a time. Black Spanish radish was apparently a classic cold-fighting remedy back in the day, and I think its spicy, pungent flavors could be the perfect compliment to this creation (especially as a replacement for or compliment to horseradish).
Need more ideas for eating Black Spanish Radishes (or anything else, for that matter)? Want more health info? Have your own recipes to share?
We hope you’ve been enjoying the fall weather (when it’s sunny out!) and the peak autumn foliage colors. It’s been a gorgeous show to observe up here in the Driftless….
For this week’s CSA share, you can expect:
Watermelon Radish New!
Mixed Orange and Yellow Carrots
For this share you’ll be seeing the return of some delicious favorites from the past — like Adirondack blue potatoes (though they look purple to most people), spinach, and (yay!) tasty carrots!
We’ll also be introducing you to the wonderful watermelon radish (also called “beauty heart” radish) this week too, a veggie that is both beautiful and delectable.
This lineup of produce we think will be perfect for getting those “autumnal” recipes going! Soups, stews, roasted root and squash medleys…if you have your own favorite recipes to share, we’d love to hear about them. (Someday, we hope to index a lot of our own favorite recipes here on our website, too!)
Watermelon Radishes | Explanation & Tips
Watermelon radishes are no doubt one of the top vegetables we look forward to in the fall. They’re a perfect addition to fall recipes and are very tasty, they last a long time…and they’re also some serious eye-candy.
Lots of people who come to our farmers market stand in Dubuque on Saturdays eye these roots and say “Turnips, right?” Our stock answer is of course “No – they’re arguably better. They’re watermelon radishes!” But in reality, another good answer would be “Kinda – yes!”
We then explain to them that yes, they kind of do look like turnips on the outside. But, after you slice them open (like above), they have gorgeous fuchsia-pink red flesh (giving the radish its name).
What’s wonderful about watermelon radishes (and winter radishes in general, the category watermelon radishes belong to – along with daikon radishes too!) is that you can use them either like a spring radish (fresh in salads) but also just like a turnip (roasted, cooked, boiled). With winter radishes, it’s like you get the best of both worlds– plus, they last a long time in storage through the cold months, just like a turnip or rutabaga. In some ways, they’re flavor is similar to a turnip – but notably less “creamy” and more “crisp.”
It’s true that many winter radishes can have some “spice” to them. Watermelon radishes fortunately tend to have the least heat of all, but if you don’t enjoy that heat, roasting and cooking them in any way completely obliterates it.
If you don’t mind some heat, we’re huge fans of cutting these radishes into matchsticks and mixing them into a salad — or, making them into a slaw with other tasty root vegetables like carrots and kale!
Need more winter radish (or watermelon radish) recipe ideas? Feel free to email us directly! | firstname.lastname@example.org
Our first bite of cold (REAL cold!) hit us this last Friday and set us up for a busy week! We spent the entire day (and part of the night, too) pulling in any possible fruit, vegetable, and herb that could be harmed by frost, with temperatures expected to dip to around 29 degrees Fahrenheit (and dip they did).
What does this mean for all you CSA members? Though hot weather and various other crops have been damaged and/or killed off (such as basil, eggplants, peppers, and more), our walk-in cooler is stocked full of these foods to keep your CSA share varied, interesting, and delicious.
We also pulled in several varieties of winter squash, garlic, and onions into our indoor stores, too! As such, you’ll have plenty of these delicacies to enjoy up until the very end of your share, and even for Thanksgiving!
Without further ado, here’s what to look forward to this week:
Sweet (Red and Green) Peppers
Hot Pepper Mix
Sugar Snap Peas New!
Norland (Red) Potatoes
What’s The Deal With Shallots? | Explanation & Tips
This week isn’t the first time you’ve gotten shallots in your share, and it most certainly won’t be the last.
These alliums (vegetable members of the onion family, which includes leeks, garlic, and onions) have the look and feel of a garlic clove, but a closer flavor to an onion.
When used raw, they are extremely flavorful; the epitome of the pungent onion! When cooked, however, their flavor softens to become sweeter and more mild. They are versatile in this way.
In our experience up here at Jupiter Ridge cooking all sorts of odds and ends, we think shallots go exceptionally well with beef, steak, burgers, shiitake mushrooms, and anything with a savory flavor – shallots really help elevate that. Shallots are especially well-known for being cooked with wine (both red and white) or sherry.
If you’ve ever been to a grocery store and checked the price tag on shallots: yes, they’re expensive! They’re one fancy onion.
For this reason, take care to use your shallot(s) wisely and well – shallots aren’t like other onions, where they can play a “background” flavor in soups or stews, for example. The flavor of shallots is truly exceptional and divine, and you don’t want it to go to waste. Make sure to use it for a very, very special meal where its flavors can shine!
Wellness Spotlight On: Hot Peppers
Farmer Will here considers hot peppers his favorite “medicinal herb” (or food, depending on how you look at it). Nothing clears you up better than going out for a night of medicinal hot wings.
In classic herbalism, most folks might be acquainted with cayenne pepper as the go-to healing hot pepper. In reality, though, all hot peppers are therapeutic in the same way, but in varying degrees according to their Scoville units (heat levels).
All hot peppers also contain “capsaicin,” too, to varying degrees (the chemical in hot peppers that make them spicy) – but this is also the “healing” compound in the fruit. If you haven’t noticed yet, this capsaicin can really help clear out your sinuses! Some other things hot peppers can help with:
Improving heart health
Relieving topical pain (not recommended if you’re not a professional!)
Fighting colds and sinus infections
Detoxing/cleansing of parasites
In your share this week, you’ll be getting a good deal of jalapeños (fairly hot), yellow hot pickling peppers (don’t be fooled – these are surprisingly hot too), and a few serranos (about as hot as jalies) and maybe some habaneros (HOT!)
If you want to use these in a medicinal way sometime later (maybe in the winter when cold and flu season really ramps up), try pickling/canning them or drying them to help keep them preserved until you need them. Add them liberally to food when you’re feeling stuffy or a cold coming on – if you’re interested in the more “herbalist” aspects of using these, feel free to send us an email! (Or share with us your own suggestions/recipes!)