Hello CSA people!
We’ve been looking forward to sharing an exciting item with our CSA members for quite some time. And we think this week will be the perfect time for it: greenhouse delicata squash!
These squash are a “winter” squash, meaning that they usually aren’t ready until August at the earliest. But this year, we grew some delicata in our hoop house high tunnel (with our cucumbers) and we’re pleased to have them ready a full month ahead of typical harvest. Better yet, our members will be the first to get a taste and enjoy them!
Here’s the complete list of what to expect this week:
- Shiitake mushrooms
- Delicata squash!
- Yellow summer squash
- Patty pan squash
- Cucumbers (one green cucumber, one lemon cucumber)
- Bunch Lacinato kale
- Fresh head garlic (first garlic of the year!)
Besides delicata, we’ll have plenty of summer squash in this share for you too. This will be kind of a “squashy” share – but don’t worry, we won’t ever “zucchini” you! (If you don’t know what that is, look it up – plus, we’re not growing zucchini this year.)
Another first you’ll get in this share is the season’s very first garlic from our farm. Yay! We’ve moved onto bulb garlic from garlic scapes. But just a warning: since this garlic is *fresh* pulled, and not cured, it will have a stronger flavor! (Not too far from garlic scapes – so it’s really good but stronger than dried/cured garlic bulb, which is more toned down in its garlicky-ness.)
Oh yes – and shiitakes are back this week! Yum!
All About Delicata Squash
Since we have these special squash available so early, we’ll be putting a focus on delicata for this newsletter. Some of you might be new to it, and wondering what the heck to do with it! If you don’t know already, the delicata is the oblong stripey tan and dark brown squash in your share or box.
The most amazing thing about delicata is that it’s delicious all on its very own. Slice it in half length-wise, remove the seeds/pulp with a spoon from its inner cavity, and try roasting it in your oven at around 400 degrees F (face down in an oiled sheet or pan) until the flesh and skins are soft to the touch (though I definitely recommend you touch the hot squash in your oven with a fork, not your hand….)
You can top it with some butter and maybe even a touch of sugar, though really, no sugar is needed. Delicata is one of the sweetest winter squash you can grow, and the skins are edible! It is truly a treat.
Though if you want some more ideas about how to incorporate it or combine it into meals and dishes, try replacing dishes that use roasted potatoes or even sweet potatoes with delicata instead. Its a sweeter starch, for sure, and so tasty! With the other summer squash in your share, something I might recommend (especially since its grilling season!) are squash-kebabs on the grill. You’ll want to grill the delicata for longer than the summer squash, since it is definitely starchier (again, think potatoes here), but enjoying all of them together would be divine. (And another quick recommendation: shiitakes are great on the grill and on kebabs, too – so have fun with the idea!)
And a quick run-down on the healthiness of delicata: it’s full of fiber, vitamin A, B vitamins, vitamin C, minerals (like iron, copper, magnesium, and potassium), plant proteins, and even a small amount of omega-3 fatty acids, the best kind of healthy fat you can eat.
This week we’re on the same schedule as last week for our CSA and farm share box deliveries! Cedar Rapids area deliveries are tomorrow, while Dyersville/Colesburg/surrounding area shares go out Wednesday morning. Peosta members, you’ll get your share delivered to your doorstep Saturday in the early AM.
Have questions about how to cook/prepare items in your share?
Don’t hesitate to contact us! – firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for choosing us to be your farmers.
Adrian & Will | Jupiter Ridge Farm