From the Farmer

Week 21 – 10/8/2014

Beets.  Broccoli.  Beets.  Broccoli.  Alice decides:

This evening, as the nearly full moon rose, and the air turned gold, then blue, then dark, I harvested broccoli for this week's box.

Broccoli leaves are enormous arms hugging close the heads until the plant is ready for harvest. At this point, the arms open and expose, and make harvesting an easy and enjoyable thwop to the stem with a large knife. As I cut, I thought just how easy broccoli is for us to enjoy. Eaten raw, it's a small crunchy tree. Lightly steamed, it's electric in color. Broiled, it's quick and crispy and delicious. Broccoli, it's the best.

However, after completing the harvest, I found myself plucking a few beets for my own supper. Large, nutrient dense leaves fan up from the soil. The beet root itself shifts its shoulders outward to prove it's big enough for harvest. They can be planted directly, grow with little fuss, and come up from the ground no problemo. Raw, shaved in salads, refreshing. Boiled, served with mustard, hardy. Roasted, candy. Beets, they're the best.

Broccoli or beets? It's a difficult question. So this week, we've decided to alleviate the challenge of choosing one, and instead we offer you both, beets AND broccoli, the best.

How Many Weeks Are Left in CSA?

Last CSA share week is the Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday before Thanksgiving – the week of 11/17-23.

Separate from the CSA season, we expect to have special Thanksgiving shares available.  Details coming soon.

Ginger

We want to give you a little more information about fresh baby ginger, which you’ll see in your share this week and next, and will be at the farm stand for the next couple of weeks.  As ginger has a small harvest window, and is best eaten fresh or stored, we will give you most of our ginger crop for you to save for yourself. 

Here is a little more information on storing ginger, both for the short-term and longer.  The best way to store ginger depends on what you plan to do with it – as I’ll say again below, if you don’t have plans, I recommend freezing!

How to store your ginger: store ginger in a refrigerator or at room temperature (60-72F).  It should last about two to three weeks at room temperature before it starts to get wrinkly.  It can still be used after this point though it will have less moisture.

If stored in a refrigerator, baby ginger will not hold for any length of time when brought back out into room temperatures.  So, once in the fridge, leave it in the fridge!  It will last about three weeks there.

You may see the pink bud scales turn a darker pink or purple when it’s stored in the fridge.  This is also okay – the ginger will still be fresh and strong.  You would only want to pick or cut these off if you are pickling or candying your ginger.

If storing to use for cooking, pickling, or candying another day, then rubbery is okay.

Freezing: if you don’t expect to use the ginger soon, I recommend freezing it.  It will be good in the freezer long into winter, and because it does not need to be peeled, it’s easy to slice or grate what you need and then return to the freezer. 

What frozen ginger is not good for: pickling or candying. 

Have fun with your ginger – it was a lot of fun growing it this year.

(Pink bud scales turn purple in the refrigerator but they're still edible)
 

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Willowsford Conservancy

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