Preserving Bounty – Week 15 Farm Share
Preserving bounty is our focus in Week 15 of our Farm Share with Fresh Fork Market. The share is smaller, allowing us to concentrate on getting some stores into the freezer.
The Squash are a welcome sight, even though I hate that they’re a signal of the end of summer. I truly love squash and I can’t seem to grow enough of it in my garden. Yes, I know, that’s weird. Because in years past by this time of year, I’m grating the Zucchini as it comes out of the garden to freeze for Zucchini Bread in the winter. Not happening anymore so I love getting fresh every week from the farm share.
This week our small Vegetarian farm share included (top featured photo)…
Longhorn Peppers – 2
Leek – 1
Tomatoes – 1 partial pint variety of cherries
Plums – Stanley – 1.5 lbs
Squash – Butternut – 1
Zucchini – 2
Squash – 1 Acorn
Spelt Berries – 2 lbs
Carrots – 2 huge for spiraling
Peppers – 2 – 1 green and 1 red
My half of the Vegetarian small share this week (above photo) and what’s left since Thursday, September 10…
Longhorn Peppers – 1 – I used this in my yellow beans for freezing and then the rest went into my Roasted Tomatoes for freezer sauce.
Leek – this went to mom even though it’s pictured above — she needed to try the beauty of Leek and Potato soup!
Tomatoes – 1/2 partial pint variety of cherries – Mr. Carnivore munches on these at lunchtime.
Plums – Stanley – 3/4 lb which is about 13 plums – Yum! We gotta start eating these!
Squash – 1 Butternut – I got the Butternut and mom got the Acorn – I can save this for a bit but I love it in a chicken vegetable soup that I make.
Zucchini – 1 – this will get stir fried with the Yellow Sebring Zucchini from our garden. I love the yellow/green combination.
Spelt Berries – 1 lbs – I had no clue what these were or what to do with them but this explanation at The Kitchn helped! Neat, huh?
Carrots – 1 huge one that I’ll use in soup – I used the rest of the carrots we had stored from previous weeks in a roast recipe.
Peppers – 1 red cute little guy but it tasted great! I used this in more Roasted Tomatoes — a full post on this journey coming soon!
I’m not sure why I can’t grow enough squash anymore, whether it’s not enough sun or not enough of the right pollinators, or maybe it’s the wrong variety for my conditions. Whatever the reason, it makes me yearn for a huge patch of garden space where I can grow every variety of squash imaginable. I tried this year by growing two plants of three varieties, along with two varieties of cucumbers. I don’t have room for more than that, but even if I did have room, I’m not sure I’d be brave enough to face a bumper crop of any of them if it happened!
So, once again I’m back to dreaming of next year’s squash garden and trying to figure out where I can squeeze in a few more plants to hit the jackpot. Meanwhile, the farm share is keeping me happy by sharing their bounty to compliment my own Sebring Zucchini and I can’t wait to try some new varieties of squash as they come in this fall.
The same with tomatoes. I love them and I can’t grow medium to large varieties due to my lack of sun, so I decided to jump in and buy a 1/2 bushel of San Marzano Romas this year so I can do some preserving. I’ll share my results in another post later, but aren’t they gorgeous? Mom and I split a half bushel this week and we have another 1/2 bushel on order for Week 16, coming this Thursday. Loving them!
Of course, I didn’t think about what do you do with a 1/4 bushel of tomatoes that say “keep refrigerated?” This is what that pile of tomatoes looks like in comparison to a teacup-sized creamer. Wowsers.
So, I cleaned out the fruit drawer that had apples and plums in it and put them on the counter. Not sure how long they’ll last without cold storage so they’ll be going back in the fridge today after being out for 5 days.
This is what a drawer full of San Marzano Roma Tomatoes looks like! I’m in love! Luckily my fruit humidity controlled drawer can become a veggie humidity controlled drawer with a flip of a switch.
We also got two quarts of yellow beans for freezing this week at the Highland Square Farm Market. Yummy and beautiful, they made it into the freezer, flattened into 3 quart-size freezer bags after cooking them with some onion and pepper — more on my preserving mania later this week.
We faced the worries of an aging pet this week so I cooked and baked for several days to keep my mind off the decisions we all have to make and hate to do. I don’t think I’ve ever stress-cooked before, but it worked better than anything else I could think of doing to ease my mind and heart. The problem didn’t go away, but I was able to think it through as I made a huge mess in my kitchen that took two days to clean up. Lots of pot scrubbing went on to ease my anxiety, as well as a few new pan purchases to make things easier in the future.
I’ll share the results of my food storage frenzy in a future post but suffice it to say that the fridge got a good clean-out, I feel better, and I like the idea of having fresh goodness this winter for us to enjoy when the memories won’t be as fresh and the aromas will remind us about how we made it through.
One fun thing — I used the Fennel Bulb from Week 14 in a Roast recipe I was playing with. I’ll work on perfecting it to share soon, but the rest of the veggies had a mild anise flavor that was sweetly fresh because I didn’t use broth or heavy spices to cover it up. I’d like to repeat that experiment with a larger Fennel bulb in the future and see how it does.
Coming up — the great eggplant experiment week. We keep getting them and I haven’t done a thing with them, yet. I have more coming this week so I’ll be sorting through my Pinterest “recipes to try” and let you know which ones are best. Follow me on Pinterest and I’ll follow you back!
Happy growing and cooking!
September 16, 2015 at 11:31 am
You should really try making caponata…you’d use up those eggplants in a heartbeat.
Honestly, eggplant isn’t my favorite veggie, but it’s delish in the caponata.
I’ve put up small amounts of veggies so far. I decided not to get a bushel of roma tomatoes this year. I make stewed tomatoes, tomato jam, enchilada sauce when I do get them.
I’ve never heard of putting tomatoes in the fridge. I’ve always been told that it ‘kills’ the flavor.
I think your lack of squash is due to not enough sun….and when things are in the shade you get less pollinators too. Last year I tried a Burgess buttercup squash in part shade and I got 2 squashes. The largest harvest I ever got with a winter squash was when a volunteer popped up in my compost bin. I think I got over 20 squash that year.
Isn’t fennel wonderful? It’s expensive at the store, so I only buy it once in awhile. I’ve grown it a few times, but it’s tricky.
September 17, 2015 at 3:17 pm
Dorine.. Between you and Mel I learning so much! Keep up the good work!
September 17, 2015 at 3:53 pm
Thanks, Peggy — so glad you’re enjoying our banter. Stop in anytime for a chat. 😀
September 17, 2015 at 3:51 pm
Thanks, Mel, for the suggestions! Something I learned this year was if it’s refrigerated when you get it, then refrigerate it when you get home. If it’s not, then it varies by item on how you store them. But yes, I heard that about tomatoes too. I was afraid they’d over ripen before I got to them. They were perfect so the refrigeration worked in our favor this time, I think. When I’ve bought them before, they weren’t refrigerated. I think you’re right on the squash but luckily that Sebring Zucchini doesn’t mind the shade. I’m sure it would produce more in the sun — great variety for you to try. 🙂 Thanks for visiting and adding to the blog topic with your experiences. Much appreciated!