Sharing the love of Jesus Christ, through our most basic needs - food & fellowship

A- Z Storage Guide

 

Veggie Storage Guide

We understand you may not be familiar with how to prep, cook and store all the veggies you get in your CSA box. Therefore, we created this quick reference guide of everything we grow on the farm!

 
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Acorn Squash (Winter Squash)

Winter squash is called winter squash because it can be stored over winter for an extended period after harvest in the fall. Acorn squash is a mildly sweet squash with orange flesh and green-black skin. It has heavy ribbing and is acorn-shaped. Squash have high levels of vitamin A and some vitamin C, folate and potassium.

To Store: Store in a cool, dry, dark place at around 50 degrees, but make sure they do not freeze. Under the best conditions, they should keep 3-4 months. (We've been known to keep these on our counter for months before we eat them!) Acorn squash get sweeter in storage as the starch converts to sugar. Once you cut, you can wrap them in plastic and store them in the fridge for 5-7 days. 

Substitutions: Winter squash can be used in any recipe that calls for pumpkin! It can also be used interchangeable with other winter squash. 

To Use: To bake, slice in half lengthwise, scoop out seed, and place face down on cookie sheet. Add 1/2 of water to pan. Bake at 45 minutes to an hour until shells are soft and starting to collapse. Remove from shells, and fill with butter, brown sugar, maple syrup seasonings or fillings. You can also boil or steam it. 


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Apples

Each apple is unique and has its own best uses. Some are good for eating, some are better for pies and baking and some are best suited for applesauce. (We highly recommend finding a canning recipe for apple pie filling.  This is an easy way to make homemade apple pie for the holidays!)

To Store: Store apples in your fridge in a plastic bag. They are odor-absorbent, so keep them away from onions, potatoes, and other strong-flavored items. Apples can also be dehydrated (they are especially good with cinnamon sprinkled on top), and stored in a Ziplock bag. 

To Freeze: Apples can be frozen with or without sugar. Wash, peel, core and slice apples, removing any brown spots. Add ascorbic acid (or Fruit Fresh) to prevent them from browning. Add sugar (if desired) and place in a freezer-safe bag, removing as much air as possible. Then freeze! 


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Arugula

Arugula has a peppery, slightly bitter flavor. It is stronger than most lettuces, so it's often paired with other greens. Mature arugula has sturdy leaves, whereas baby arugula is more tender and milder in flavor. Hotter weather make for spicer leaves. Arugula is rich in vitamins A,K, and folate.

To Store: Arugula is highly perishable and will only last about 2 days. This should be one of the first items you eat from you. CSA box. Store in the fridge inside a perforated plastic bag. If you decide to wash it first, be sure to spin the leaves dry before placing them into a plastic bag with a dry paper towel to absorb the moisture. 

To Use: Arugula can be sandy, so submerge it in a bowl of cold water, then drain and spin dry. Refresh limp arugula by plunging it into ice water. Used as a raw salad green, arugula pairs well with vinaigrettes. It can also be tossed in at the end of sautés or pasta dishes, and it stands up to salty dishes well. You can add arugula to stir fry or use in place of basil to make a peppery pesto or even a substitute for spinach. Try it in salsa verde or a chimichurri sauce. Use arugula to top sandwiches, pizza, a bed for steak or to garnish hors d'oeuvres. 


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Basil

There are many varieties of basil. We grow Basil Genovese, the traditional green variety as well as a purple leaf variety. 

To Store: Basil is very fragile and sensitive to cold. Do not refrigerate fresh basil; it will turn black. To keep freshly harvested basil, strip the lower leaves off the stems and place stems in a glass of water on the kitchen counter. Wrap the stripped leaves (or all of your basil if it does not have adequate stems for soaking) in a dry paper towel and keep in an airtight container at about 50 degrees or room temperature. 

To Use: Try chopping it and adding to butter, cream cheese, or your favorite pasta sauce. Make a batch of pesto or simply puree extra basil with a bit of olive oil and freeze it in ice cube trays. It pairs well with tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, green beans and      summer squash. Because it is so fragile, it is best to add basil near the end of a dish's cooking time. 

To Dehydrate: Remove leaves from stem and place on a piece of paper towel on a glass plate. Cover with another piece of paper towel. Microwave on high for 1 minute. Leaves will be dry. Crinkle them with your fingers and place them in a dry container, such as a mason jar with a lid. 


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Beans (Green, Purple or Yellow)

Beans come in lots of varieties. We grow green beans as well as purple and yellow because we think a colorful plate tastes better! 

To Store: Store unwashed beans in a perforated plastic bag in the veggie bin of your fridge for up to a week. Rejuvenate limp beans by soaking them in ice water for 30 minutes. 

Handling: Remove strings and stems of fresh beans before cooking. 

To Cook: Steam or simmer fresh beans in boiling water for 5-10 minutes. Watch carefully for beans to brighten in color and become tender, but not soft or mushy.
To Freeze: Blanch in boiling water for 2 minutes, rinse in cold ice water, drain, dry well, and pack into airtight containers. 


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Beans (Asian or Yard long)

Asian Beans, as we commonly call them, are one of our favorite vegetables on the farm - not only are they super tasty, they store well too. They are unique in that they can grow up to 18 inches long! You may get these beans several times in your CSA box as they have a really long growing season. 

To Store: Store unwashed beans in a perforated plastic bag in the veggie bin of your fridge for up to 2 weeks. Rejuvenate limp beans by soaking them in ice water for 30 minutes. 

Handling: Snap off end and chop into bite sized portions -  no de-stringing necessary!

To Cook: Perfect for stir-frying or steaming. Asian Beans are a bit "hardier" and may need to be cooked longer than your traditional green bean.

To Freeze: Blanch in boiling water for 2 minutes, rinse in cold ice water, drain, dry well, and pack into airtight containers. 


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Beets (Red, golden or sugar)

Red beets have a crimson color, sweet flavor, and red veined leaves. Golden beets have yellow skin and flesh. Because they have a delicate flavor and their color doesn’t run all over, they are a good choice for more decorative meals. Sugar or Albino beets are a yellowish white. Beets are rich in folate and vitamin C. 

To Store: (If your beets still have greens attached, cut them off, leaving an inch of stem - if you  were to keep the greens attached, your beets will become rubbery) Keep the greens unwashed and refrigerated in a closed plastic bag. Store the beet roots, with the rootlets (or "tails") attached, unwashed, in a plastic bag in the crisper bin of your refrigerator. They will keep for several weeks, but their sweetness diminishes with time. So try to use them within a week. The golden beets are especially sweet. 

To Prep: Just before cooking, scrub beets well and remove any scraggly leaves and rootlets. If your recipe calls for raw beets, peel them with a knife or a veggie peeler, then grate or cut them according to the recipe. To remove the skins, you can roast them in foil or boil them, and the peels will eventually come right off.

To Cook: Beets are delicious, grated raw into a salad. Or slice them into finger-size sticks and eat raw with dip. Cube beets into a veggie stew. Serve sliced, steamed beets at room temperature tossed in olive oil with a dash of salt and pepper, or a simple vinaigrette. 

Bake Beets in a foil-covered roasting pan with 1/2 cup water at 400 degrees. Or boil them, until easily pierced with a sharp knife. Both methods take 45 minutes to 1 hour. Peels should slide right off. Season with butter, salt, and pepper, or with cream and chopped fresh herbs; or with a vinaigrette. 

To Freeze: Wash and cook beets as described above. Cool them in ice water or let them come to room temperature. The peels should slide right off. Trim the beets into 1/4 inch slices or keep them whole (if they are small). Place in Ziplock freezer bag and remove as much air as possible. Seal and freeze. 


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Beet greens

Beet greens are the tops of beets! They are medium sized leaves and have bright red veins. Large leaves can be cooked like chard, and small, tender leaves are good in salads. Beet greens are high in potassium, calcium, iron, beta carotene and vitamin C. You can also use them for making vegetable stock.

To Store: Cut beet greens from their roots; store beet roots separately. Keep dry, unwashed greens in a sealed plastic bag in the refrigerator up to 1 week. 

Handling: Wash leaves in basin of lukewarm water to remove grit. Remove the thicker stems.

To Cook: Add uncooked greens to a mixed green salad.... Or sauté greens until tender in a covered pot or large sauté pan with olive oil, a pinch of salt, and garlic or onion. Watch for color to brighten as this signals they are done. Or... blanch greens until they wilt, 3-5 minutes. Dot the cooked greens with butter or cream and season with fresh herbs or salt and pepper. Serve cooked greens alone as a side dish or use them in soup or with pasta, beans, rice, or potatoes.

To freeze: Blanch washed greens for 2-3 minutes. Rinse in cold water to stop the cooking process, drain, and pack into airtight containers. 


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Bok Choi

Bok choi, which may also be written as  bok choy or pac choi, is a traditional stir-fry vegetable from China. Choi grows in elongated, upright heads of dark green leaves with large, white stems. Since the texture of the leaves differs from that of the stems, choi is practically two veggies in one. The leaves can be cooked and eaten like spinach, while the crisp stems can be used like celery or asparagus. This is a cool-season crop, so you’ll only see it in the early or late CSA boxes. 

To Store: Wrap bok choi in a plastic bag and place in the crisper of your fridge. Store for up to a week before the leaves begin to wilt. 

Prep: Rinse choi under cold running water and shake it dry. Because the thick stems and tender leaves will require different cooking times and will usually be added separately, cut the stems from the leaves. Cut the stems into 1 inch pieces and slice, shred, or tear the leaves. 

To Use: For stir-fry, separate leaves from the thick white stem and chop both into 2 inch wide diagonal chunks. Put the stems in first near the end of cooking, then add the leaves for the last 2 minutes. Bok choy can also be steamed. Then toss with toasted sesame oil, butter, salt, or vinaigrette. A small choi is mild enough to eat raw. The stems resemble celery without the strings. Include small choi leaves as a tasty addition to a raw veggie platter. Add the small uncooked, shredded leaves of a small choy to salads. 


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Broccoli

Broccoli is a cool-weather crop, available only in the early summer or fall. It is a member of the brassica family. This family also includes cabbage, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, Chinese cabbage, collards, kale and kohlrabi. All of the brassica vegetables contain bioflavonoids that help reduce the risk of cancer. It is also a good source of vitamin C, vitamin A and folate, along with calcium, iron, and other minerals. 

To Store: Wrap broccoli loosely in a plastic bag and keep it in the vegetable bin of your refrigerator.  It keeps for over a week but is firmest and tastiest if used within a few days.

Handling: Organic broccoli in particular seems to attracts mall green worms hiding in its depths. Soak head upside down in cold salted water (1 teaspoon salt to 8 cups of water for 30 minutes to remove any hidden field worms. Any critters will float to the top where you can rescue them or allow them to suffer a salty death. After cutting off the florets, don’t discard the stem. Sliced stems are juicy, crunchy, and perfectly edible. If the skin is thick, you can remove it with a knife or peeler before adding the stem your dish. 

To Use: Chop and separate florets, steam lightly for 5-7 minutes.... For salads and veggie platters, you may first want to blanch broccoli in boiling water for 2 minutes and then chill it instead of serving completely raw. Serve chopped broccoli as a pizza topping. 

To Freeze: Blanch 2-4 minutes, rinse under cold water, drain, let dry, and pack into Ziplock containers. Broccoli will not be firm when thawed and is best used in soups and stews. 


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Brussels Sprouts

This cool-weather member of the brassica family grows mini cabbages or sprouts on tall, straight stalks that reach up to 20 inches high. They are named after the capital of Belgium. The sprout itself will improve in flavor, sweetness, and tenderness with exposure to a few frosts. They are high in bioflavonoids that help prevent cancer. They have high levels of vitamin C vitamin A, folate, iron, and potassium. They are often paired with bacon.

To Store: Brussels sprouts keep longer if they are left attached to the stalk (up to 5 weeks in a cold cellar), but if there's not enough refrigerator room you can snap them off and store them unwashed in a closed plastic bag in the veggie bin for 1-2 days (they will develop a strong flavor). Even on the stalk they should be wrapped in plastic to slow respiration. The flavor is sweetest right after harvest, so try to use them soon. 

To Use: They can be eaten raw. Slice them in half and include them on your veggie tray with dip. Snap off sprouts from main stem. Simply pare off the tough bottom part of the sprout stem and remove the two outermost leaves. You can also cook them. Boil or steam sprouts approximately 5 -8 minutes until tender crisp. Toss with olive oil, lemon juice and dash of salt and pepper. Or roast: first boil the sprout until just tender, 5-10 minutes, then drain. Coat lightly in olive oil, place in a roasting pan and roast in a 375 degree oven until lightly browned, 15-20 minutes.... Try slicing the sprouts to about 1/3 inch thick and stir-frying them with onions and ginger. 

To Freeze: Blanch sprouts for 3-5 minutes, rinse in cold water, drain, let dry, and pack into airtight containers. 


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Butternut Squash (Winter Squash)

Winter squash is called winter squash because it can be stored over winter for an extended period after harvest in the fall. Squash have high levels of vitamin A and some vitamin C, folate and potassium. This squash has tan skin and a shape like a peanut. It has bright orange flesh and is one of the sweetest squashes. 

Substitutions: Butternut can be substituted by any winter squash (except maybe spaghetti squash). 

To Store: Store in a cool, dry, dark place at around 50 degrees, but make sure they do not freeze. Under the best conditions, they should keep for 3-4 months. And they get sweeter in storage as the starch converts to sugar. Once cut, you can wrap them in plastic and store them in the refrigerator for 5 to 7 days. 

To Use: To bake, slice in half lengthwise, scoop out seeds, and place facedown on cookie sheet. Add 1/2 inch of water to pan. Bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes to an hour until shells are soft and starting to collapse. Remove and fill with butter, brown sugar, maple syrup, seasoning or fillings.

To Freeze: Winter squash freezes well. Simply cook squash and mash or puree it. Then pour it into ice cubes trays and freeze. Pop the froze3n cubes into freezer bag


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Cabbage (red or green or Chinese)

Cabbage comes in 3 types at our farm: green cabbage with smooth leaves, red with purplish-red leaves, and Chinese cabbage with tall leave. Chinese cabbage heads are not packed as tightly as the red and green types. Red cabbage has thick, crisp leaves, and its color will run into other ingredients when cooked. Green arrowhead cabbage are a bit smaller than the ones you might find at a grocery store. 

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To Store: Cabbage has a remarkable storage capacity. Just stick dry, unwashed cabbage in the refrigerator, preferably in the vegetable bin. The outer leaves may eventually get floppy or yellowish, but they can be removed and discarded to reveal fresh inner leaves. Cabbage can keep for 3 months with high humidity! Once cut, wrap it in a sealed plastic bag and continue to refrigerate; it will keep for several weeks.

Handling: Rinse the cabbage under cold water before use. Cut cabbage head first into quarters, then diagonally across the wedge. Be sure to remove the stem end and triangular core near the base. 

To Use: Green cabbage is good fixed any way: raw, in salads, cooked, steamed, braised or fried. Red cabbage has a sharper flavor and coarser texture so it needs to be cooked longer. Make raw cabbage into coleslaw or sauerkraut.... Eat raw grated cabbage in your salad... Cooking celery with cabbage helps cut the strong cooking odor of cabbage. Briefly steam slivered and rinsed cabbage for 5 minutes. Top with butter and a pinch of salt and pepper or grated cheese. For the best cabbage, stir-fry or braise it until slightly browned.... wrap grain, rice, or meat fillings in large, boiled cabbage leaves.

To Freeze: Rinse cabbage and shred it. Cook in boiling pot of water for 1 minute, then douse in ice water to stop the cooking process. Drain the cabbage and dry as much as possible. Place in Ziplock freezer bag and remove as much air as possible. Put in freezer. 


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Cantaloupe (Muskmelon) 

Cantaloupe has dense, netting-like skin with thick, juicy orange flesh and a sweet musky flavor.

To Store: If your cantaloupe melon seems a bit short of ripe, keep it at room temperature for a few days until there is a sweet smell coming from the stem end. Once the melon ripens, then store it in the refrigerator. Cut melon should be covered in plastic wrap, and chunks or slices should be kept in an air-tight container. Eat melons within a week.

Handling: A big knife and cutting board are helpful. Cut in half, scoop out the seeds, then cut into quarters or slices. Remove the rind. 

To Use: Jazz up melons with a pinch of salt or a squeeze of lime juice.... Fill half a cantaloupe with plain or vanilla yogurt and top it with granola for a simple breakfast. 

To Freeze: Melon must be frozen in a sugar syrup. Choose a ripe melon (but not too mushy). Remove the rind and seeds and cut into cubes. Prepare sugar syrup. In a pot on stove, combine 1 3/4 cup sugar with 4 cups water. Heat until dissolved, then let cool. Put in fridge to cool. Syrup must be cold before packing. Place melon in freezer containers and cover with cold syrup. The syrup should cover all the fruit. Remove air and seal. Freeze. 


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Carrots (orange, purple or Rainbow)

We grow many varieties of carrots: the traditional orange, but also purple and rainbow. 

To Store: To avoid “floppy carrots,” you need to remove the green tops as soon as you can, leaving about an inch of stems. If you can only do one thing to prep your veggies for storage, this should be it. Refrigerate these carrots in a plastic bag. You can also store them in a bin of water (like celery) to keep them crisp, changing out the water every few days. Save the tops to use for a pesto or seasoning (store those in a bag in the fridge). Or put them in a plastic freezer bag in your freezer and use them to make DIY vegetable or chicken stock.

To Use: Boil 2-inch cubed carrots in rapidly boiling salt water, uncovered, for 7-10 minutes. Fresh carrot tops can be chopped into a green salad or stir-fry too! The greens can be dried and used as an herb like parsley. Eat carrot spears plain or dipped in hummus, peanut butter, or creamy dressing. Combine carrots with other root vegetables for a roasted vegetable platter. (Lightly coat in oil and salt and roast at 400 degrees until veggies start to brown all over about 30 minutes). 

To Freeze: Blanch for 3 minutes, rinse in cold ice water, drain, let dry, and pack in airtight container. 


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Cauliflower

Cauliflower is a cool-weather crop, so you’ll only see it in the spring and fall. We grow 4 colors of cauliflower - white, purple, green and orange. Like its cousin broccoli, cauliflower is actually a mass of unopened flower buds that will burst into edible yellow flowers if allowed to mature. In spots where the leaves uncurl a little early, the sun turns the cauliflower slightly yellow or brown. It is an excellent source of vitamin C, folate and potassium. It provides bioflavonoids to prevent cancer. 

To Store: Cauliflower does not keep well. Wrap dry, unwashed cauliflower loosely in plastic and store it in the refrigerator. It will keep for up to a week but will taste sweetest if used within a few days. 

To Freeze: Blanch 2-4 minutes, rinse under cold water, drain, let dry, and pack into containers. Cauliflower will not be firm when thawed and is best used in soups and stews. 

To Use: Serve raw on vegetable trays with a thick dip; use in soups, curries, or salads.

To Steam: cut off florets and steam for 5 minutes. Drizzle with butter and lemon juice. To roast, drizzle with olive oil and salt/pepper, bake at 450 degrees on a foil lined cookie sheet for 20 minutes, then sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top. 


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Collard Greens

Collards are a member of the brassica family and have large, smooth, paddle-shaped leaves.  You’ll want to eat these quickly because they take up so much room. They contain almost as much calcium as milk. The thick stems require longer cooking than the leaves. Season collards with vinegar, hot pepper sauce, bacon, garlic, onions, chile peppers, or lemon. 

To Store: Place collards unwashed, wrapped in a sealed plastic bag in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator. Best used very fresh, but may last for a week. 

Handling: Wash leaves in basin of lukewarm water to remove grit. If your greens have thick stems, you must remove them. Fold each leaf in half and slice out the stem. Then stack the leaves up and slice them diagonally into 1-inch-wide strips. 

To Cook: Sauté greens until tender in a covered pot or large sauté pan with olive oil, a pinch of salt, and garlic or onion. Or blanch greens until they wilt, 6-10 minutes. Dot the cooked greens with butter or cream and season with fresh herbs or salt and pepper. Serve cooked greens alone as a side dish or use them in soup or with pasta, beans, rice, or potatoes. 

To Freeze: Blanch washed greens for 2-3 minutes. Rinse in cold ice water to stop the cooking process, drain, and pack into airtight containers. 


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Swiss Chard

Swiss chard has expansive, pocketed leaves with stems in a spectrum of colors: red, white, green, yellow. It is actually in the beet family but doesn't develop a bulb. Its leaves are more tender and delicate than other greens. Eat small leaves raw in salads and blanch or steam larger leaves. You can freeze chard for recipes later.

To Store: Keep dry, unwashed greens in a sealed plastic bag in the refrigerator up to 2 weeks. 

Substitutes: spinach, beet greens, kale

Handling: Wash leaves in basin of lukewarm water to remove grit. Remove the thicker stems by folding the leaves down the center and cutting out the stem. Stack several leaves on top of each other and slice into 1-inch wide ribbons. 

To Cook: Add uncooked greens to a mixed green salad. Steam stem pieces 8-10 minutes, and leaves 4-6 minutes. Or sauté greens until tender in a covered pot or large sauté pan with olive oil, a pinch of salt, and garlic or onion. Watch for color to brighten as this signals they are done. Serve cooked chard alone as a side dish or use them in soup or with pasta, beans, rice, or potatoes. Chard also goes great in stir-fries or in any recipe calling for spinach.

To Freeze: Blanch washed greens for 2-3 minutes. Rinse in cold ice water to stop the cooking. Drain and freeze. 


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Cucumbers

Cucumbers are in a family known as cucurbits that includes melons, squash, pumpkins and gourds. They are classified as either slicers or picklers. Pickling cucumbers have thin, lighter skin than slicers. We grow a variety called “salt and pepper” which is a light yellow color. They can be used for pickling or anything the slicing cucumbers would be used for. Slicing cucumbers are larger with dark green skin. Because they are thicker, they are not usually suitable for pickling. We also grow a serpentine variety called “Armenian.” 

To Store: Put cucumbers in a sealed plastic bag in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator for up to a week. Keep them far away from tomatoes, apples, and citrus which accelerate their deterioration. 

Handling: Slicing cucumbers are often peeled. Picking ones are not. If the seeds are bulky, slice the cucumber lengthwise and scoop them out. Scoring the skin of a cucumber with a fork or zester gives it attractive stripes. Slice, dice or cut into chunks according to recipe. 

To Use: Eat cucumbers raw in sandwiches or salads. Try cucumber rounds topped with vegetable, egg, or tuna salad, goat cheese, or simply sprinkle with salt. Use cucumbers in chilled summer soups. Slice up cucumbers and drop into a pitcher of water to make cucumber water. 


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Eggplant

Eggplant is a close relative of tomatoes, peppers and potatoes. They are smooth-skinned, oval to elongated, and range in color from white, to black to purple to pink! Eggplant requires the right kind of preparation; otherwise it can be unpleasantly bitter, rubbery, or watery. 

To Store: Wrap unwashed eggplant in a towel (not plastic) to absorb any moisture, and keep it in the veggie drawer of your refrigerator. Or store unrefrigerated at a cool room temperature. Use within a week and it should still be fresh and mild. 

Handling: Eggplant is usually peeled. The flesh will brown when exposed to air. To prevent browning, coat in lemon juice or keep submerged in water. Rinse eggplant in cool water and cut off the stem. The shape of the eggplant determines how to prepare it: cut straight narrow eggplant into strips for grilling or broiling, and cut a rounded bulbous eggplant into cubes for stews and stir- fries. To remove bitter flavors and excess moisture, lightly salt slices of eggplant and allow them to sit in a colander for 10-15 minutes. Gently squeeze out any liquid. Eggplant will now soak up less oil and need less salt in preparation. 

To Use: Stir-fry or sauté 1-inch cubed eggplant in a very hot sauté pan with peanut oil until the eggplant has released much of its water and is very soft. Or brush 1/2-inch to 1-inch slices of eggplant with olive oil or melted butter and broil or grill until brown. You can also pierce a whole eggplant in a few places with a knife, lightly coat with olive oil, and bake at 375 degrees until the eggplant is very soft and collapsed, 30-60 minutes. 

To Freeze: Peel and cut into slices 1/3-inch thick. To preserve color, soak 5 minutes in a solution of 4 T salt per gallon water — otherwise don't worry about it. Blanch for 2 minutes in steam. Cool immediately in cold water. Package in layers with each slice separated with two pieces of wrap. 


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Endive

A member of the chicory family, endive has light yellowish leaves that are pleasantly tangy and delicious eaten raw or lightly steamed. There is also a “curly endive” with sharp, curly green leaves. 

To Store: Keep unwashed endive in a perforated plastic bag in the crisper for up to a week. 

Handling: Wash in a large basin of water. Drain and dry. 

To Use: To cut the leaves’ bitterness, boil them until just tender and dress with lemon juice or vinegar and salt. Or make a milder salad from fresh, uncooked endive by combining the younger inner leaves with lettuce and olives, spicy cheese and hard cooked eggs. Or toss the greens with something sweet, like apples or raisins, or a sweet dressing. You can also sauté or stir-fry endive in oil or butter. 


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Fennel

To Store: Cut off the stalks where they emerge from the bulb, and if you want to use the feathery foliage as an herb, place the dry stalks upright in a glass filled with two inches of water. Cover the glass loosely with a plastic bag and store in the refrigerator for few days. The unwashed bulb may be kept in a plastic bag in the refrigerator drawer for 2 weeks. 

Handling: Use the fennel stalks and bulb separately. If the outer layers of the bulb are damaged, trim off the bad spots or remove the layers. Cut the bulb in half lengthwise and check the inner core. If it’s tough, remove it with a paring knife. Fennel should be washed carefully to get out all the dirt. Chop or mince the leaves for garnish or seasoning. Prevent raw slices from discoloring by rubbing the cut edges with lemon.

To Use: Try fennel raw: brush raw slices with olive oil and lemon juice, sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve as an appetizer. Use the fernlike tops as a licorice-flavored herb or garnish.... Use the stems in soup stocks in place of celery. Grill, braise, or roast fennel. The feathery leaves are great on baked or broiled fish with butter and lemon. 


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Garlic and Garlic Scapes

We harvest both garlic bulbs and the garlic scapes. Garlic scapes are the curlicue flower stalks we snap off garlic plants in the spring Not only will you get to enjoy garlic-flavored scapes while you wait for the bulbs to come on, you’ll also get bigger bulbs of garlic later in the season as a result of our removing the flower stalks. Snapping off the flower redirects the plant’s energy down toward the root, increasing the bulb size by 30%! 

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To Store: Like onions, garlic can be eaten fresh or dried. Dried, cured garlic appears in August and can be kept for several months in a dark, dry, well ventilated place at a cool room temperature. Warm temperatures will encourage the cured garlic to sprout.  

Fresh green garlic must be kept in a plastic bag in the refrigerator and should be used quickly because any accumulated moisture in the bag will cause it to spoil. You’ll usually see fresh garlic in mid-July. Garlic scapes  appear in early June and last for 2 weeks. Store them unwashed in a loosely wrapped plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. 

To Use: For garlic aroma, try rubbing a cut clove around the rim of a baking dish. Try roasting garlic: cut tops off garlic to expose cloves, brush with olive oil, and bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees. Squeeze garlic out of its skins and spread on crusty bread.Garlic scapes can be chopped or diced raw into green or pasta salads, sautéed in place of bulb garlic, sprinkled onto pizza, eaten raw, or used anywhere garlic flavor is desired. They’re also a key ingredient in pesto.

To Freeze: Leave the skins on and place individual cloves in a plastic bag. You can also take the skins off, chop in half and freeze on a cookie sheet until solid, then freeze in freezer bag. Or, mince fine (or use a garlic press) and mix with coconut oil. Place teaspoon of oil/garlic mix on cookie sheet and freeze solid. Pop them into a storage container. Scapes can likewise be chopped and frozen in freezer bags. 


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Honeydew Melon

Honeydew has ivory/yellow skin with a pale green interior. The flesh is honey-sweet, tender, and crisp. 

To Store: If your melon seems a bit short of ripe, keep it at room temperature for a few days or until there is a sweet smell coming from the stem end. Once the melon ripens, then store it in the refrigerator. Cut melon should be covered in plastic wrap, and chunks or slices should be kept in an air-tight container. Eat melons within a week. 

Handling: A big knife and cutting board are helpful. Cut in half, scoop out the seeds, then cut into quarters or slices. 

To Freeze: Melon must be frozen in a sugar syrup. Choose a ripe melon (but not too mushy). Remove the rind and seeds and cut into cubes. Prepare sugar syrup. In a pot on stove, combine 1 3/4 cup sugar with 4 cups water. Heat until dissolved, then let cool. Put in fridge to cool. Syrup must be cold before packing. Place melon in freezer containers and cover with cold syrup. The syrup should cover all the fruit. Remove air and seal. Freeze. 


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Hubbard Squash (Winter Squash)

Winter squash is called winter squash because it can be stored over winter for an extended period after harvest in the fall. Squash have high levels of vitamin A and some vitamin C, folate and potassium. This large member of the winter squash family has blue-grey skin and very orange flesh. It is often a great (and better) substitute for pumpkin in pumpkin pie. 

To Store: Store in a cool, dry, dark place at around 50 degrees, but make sure they do not freeze. Under the best conditions, they should keep for 3-4 months. And they get sweeter in storage as the starch converts to sugar. Once cut, you can wrap them in plastic and store them in the refrigerator for 5 to 7 days. 

To Cook: To bake, slice in half lengthwise, scoop out seeds, and place facedown on cookie sheet. Add 1/2 inch of water to pan. Bake at 400 degrees for 90 minutes or more (depending on the size) until shells are soft and starting to collapse. Remove and fill with butter, brown sugar, maple syrup, seasoning or fillings. 

To Freeze: Simply cook squash and mash or puree it. Then pour it into ice cube trays and freeze. Pop the frozen cubes into freezer bags. 


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Kale

Kale is a member of the brassica family. Kale comes in blue-green, reddish green, and red varieties and may have flat or curly leaves. All types of kale have thick stems. It has a mild cabbage flavor when cooked. A longer cooking time is best as it brings out the sweetness in the green. It is high in beta carotene, vitamins A and E. It is rich in bioflavonoids that help protect against cancer. 

Substitutions:  Collards, turnip greens, beet greens, broccoli raab, mustard greens, dandelion, spinach and Swiss chard. Although greens have distinctive flavors that lend them to a particular preparation, they can be used interchangeably in recipes. 

To Store: Place kale unwashed, wrapped in a sealed plastic bag in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator. Best used very fresh, but may last for a week. 

Handling: Wash leaves in basin of lukewarm water to remove grit. If your greens have thick stems, you must remove them. Fold each leaf in half and slice out the stem. Then stack the leaves up and slice them diagonally into 1-inch-wide strips. 

To Cook: Sauté greens until tender in a covered pot or large sauté pan with olive oil, a pinch of salt, and garlic or onion. You can cook in bouillon to take a bit of the edge off the flavor. Blanch greens until they wilt, 6-10 minutes. Dot the cooked greens with butter or cream and season with fresh herbs or salt and pepper. Try serving cooked greens alone as a side dish or use them in soup or with pasta, beans, rice, or potatoes. Add a few sliced kale greens to soups and stews during the last 10 minutes of cooking time. Add sautéed kale to omelets, quiches, scrambled eggs, or casseroles. Try kale chips — season with olive oil and herbs of your choice, then bake on cookie sheet at 350 about 5 minutes, until they are crisp but not burned. 

To Freeze: Blanch washed greens for 2-3 minutes. Rinse in cold ice water to stop the cooking process, drain, and pack into airtight containers. 


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Kohlrabi

The name says it all: kohl (cabbage) rabi (turnip). This plant was developed by crossing a cabbage with a turnip! The edible part of the plant is an enlarged section of the stem that develops just above the ground. It comes in two colors: a light green and purple bulb. 

To Store: Store kohlrabi globe and leaves separately. The globe will last for 2 weeks refrigerated in a plastic bag. Wrap leaves and stalks in plastic bag and keep in hydrator drawer of refrigerator. 

Substitute: Substitute kohlrabi where recipes call for carrots, potatoes or turnips. 

Handling: Rinse under cold running water just before use. Peel the outer skin off. Trim off the remains of the stalks and root. Grate, slice, or chop as desired. 

To Use: Young kohlrabi leaves can be used in recipes calling for greens. (Remove the tough stems from the leaves.) Cut raw kohlrabi bulb into sticks for a refreshing addition to a raw vegetable tray or grate it for salads. Lightly boil, steam or bake it, or add it to stews and stir -fries. Steam kohlrabi whole 25-30 minutes or thinly sliced 5-10 minutes. Dress slices simply with oil, lemon juice, and fresh dill. 

To Freeze: Cut into cubes or slices and blanch for 3-4 minutes. Place into ice water bath to stop the cooking. Drain and dry. Place in plastic freezer bag. 


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Leeks

Leeks look like large, flat-leaf scallions, which have a buttery taste to them. They can be substituted for onions in recipes, however since they do not caramelize well, be sure they don’t burn. 

To Store: Cut off the green tops (save those greens and put them in your veggie freezer bag to make veggie stock). Loosely wrap unwashed leek bottoms (with roots attached) in a plastic bag and store them in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator where they will keep for 2 weeks. 

Handling: Cut the leek about 1 inch above the white part, where the leaves begin changing from dark to light green. Save the unused greens; they’ll give great flavor to your next vegetable stock. Slit the leek lengthwise and soak it in lukewarm water for 15 minutes. Fan the leaves under running water to dislodge dirt, then pat dry. 

To Use: Use leeks in salads, casseroles and soups. They can be left whole and eaten as a cooked vegetable — braised, boiled or steamed. Steam or boil leeks for 10-12 minutes. Top with butter, a dash of salt, pepper, and Parmesan cheese. Use slimmer, younger leeks raw in salads. Grill or braise leeks for simple side dish. Saute leeks for use in soups or stews. 


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Lettuce  

We grow several varieties of lettuce in our CSA, head lettuces, loose-leaf, green-leaf, red-leaf, and cut lettuce. Lettuce will spoil quickly. This should be one of the first items you eat in your box.

To Store: store unwashed lettuce in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. To store lettuce that you have already washed and dried with a spinner, place back in a plastic bag with a dry paper towel in the bag, and place the package in the vegetable crisper bin. 

Handling: Slice the head at its base with a knife and let the leaves fall open. Discard any damaged or leathery outer leaves and tear large leaves into bite size pieces. Wash leaves in a basin of cold water. Dry in a salad spinner. 

To Use: Include combinations of greens and lettuce with grapefruit, pear, avocado, raw or roasted nuts, flax or sunflower seeds, olives, fine cheese, cooked grain, pasta, croutons, or edible flowers.


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Onions (Red, white or Yellow Storage)

Red, white and yellow storage onions may be kept in any cool, dark, dry place with adequate air circulation for several months if they are cured. (Be sure to store onions and potatoes in separate places. Moisture given off by potatoes can cause onions to spoil.) Uncured storage onions should be stored in the refrigerator in a plastic bag. (Eat within a week or two). You’ll know they’re uncured if they still have the green stalk attached.

Handling: When the sulfur in cut onions meets the water in your eyes, it turns into sulfuric acid — hence the infamous onion-induced tears. To reduce the assault, use a very sharp knife, or chill your onions in fridge before cutting them. If you’re planning to use chopped or sliced onions raw, it’s a good idea to rinse them in water before use as this takes away the unpleasant bite. Reserve a separate cutting board just for onions, garlic, leeks, and scallions. Peel the onion’s skin and cut off the roots and top. Save your papery onion skins in a bag in your freezer reserved for making vegetable stock. 

If you encounter a little rot in your onion, just cut away the bad sections. If there are a few black spots, rinse the whole onion in cool water and rub the spots off with your thumbs. 

To Freeze: Cut or slice onions to desired size and place in freezer bag. Remove all the air and seal. It helps to freeze them in 2-3 cup increments. When you need them, simply add them to your recipe. Frozen onions will turn soft when they thaw, so don’t use them for recipes that need crisp onions. 


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Peas (Sugar Snap)

Peas are a cool weather crop, which means they show up in the early and late parts of the CSA season. There are three main types of garden peas: shell peas that need to be shelled before using, snow peas that are picked when pods are thick and peas just starting to develop, and sugar snap peas, an edible peapod that is picked when the pods are well-filled. They are rich in vitamins A and C, thiamine, riboflavin and potassium. 

To Store: Use as soon as possible within 4-5 days of harvest. Refrigerate in perforated plastic bag in the crisper drawer. 

To Use: Snap peas need stringing. Snap off stem tip toward the flat side of pod and pull down- ward. Eat young, fresh snap peas raw. Put them on top of a salad. Add raw peas to stir-fry or soup in the last stages of cooking. Steam peas until just tender-crisp, 3minutes. Toss with butter, olive oil, cream, vinaigrette, or pesto. 

To Freeze: Peas freeze well but will lose their crunchy texture. Remove stems/strings. Blanch peas for 1 minute, rinse under cold water, drain, and pack into freezer bags. 


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Pea Shoots

Pea shoots have soft leaves, curly-cue tendrils and watery crunchy stems. They are the first part of the pea plant before it forms pea pods. And they're rich in nutrients. You’ll see these in the early parts of the spring and summer months.

To Store: Eat them within 2 days. They should be stored in a fridge like lettuce, unwashed in a plastic bag. Remove any coarse or yellow stems as they will be woody and chewy. 

To Use: You can very easily just swap them in for any soft, leafy green in a recipe. The stems are edible -- and the tendrils are just delicious. You can eat pea shoots raw in a fresh salad; they can take the place of the more traditional lettuce or simply enhance it with pea shoot's spring flavor. You can stir fry them with sesame oil and garlic, as has long been done in Asian cooking. These greens can also brighten up a spring pasta dish, contributing a fresh, soft taste. 


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Flat-Leaf Parsley (Italian Parsley)

To Store: For short-term storage, stand upright in a container with an inch of water. Then cover the herbs loosely with plastic bag and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks. 

To Dry: Remove leaves from stem and place piece of paper towel on glass plate. Cover with another piece of paper towel. Microwave on high for 1 minute. Leaves will be dry. Crinkle them with your finger and place them in a dry container, such as a Mason jar with a lid. 

To Use: Parsley has more vitamin A than carrots, and more vitamin C than oranges! It’s also high in iron. Toss it into a green salad. Excellent in soups and stews or in homemade tomato sauce, parsley is famous for freshening breath at the end of a meal. Use it to make compound butter to top steaks and breads. Dehydrate it for seasoning later. You can also save the stems or leaves for your freezer bag in the freezer to make vegetable stock.

To Freeze: Frozen herb cubes are easy to make. One frozen herb cube is equal to 1 Tablespoon fresh or 1 teaspoon dried herb. Just add a cube when your recipe calls for the herb. To prepare herbs for freezing: Rinse them gently in cool water. Chop the leaves fairly coarsely. Spoon 1 tablespoon of the herb into each compartment of an ice cube tray, add about 1 inch of water to each compartment, and place the tray in the freezer. Remove the frozen herb cubes from the trays and bundle all the cubes in a plastic freezer bag. Remove as much air as possible, seal and store in the freezer for up to a year. 


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Peaches

Ripe peaches will have a strong aroma and will give slightly with strong pressure. 

To Store: If your peaches are not yet ripe (hard as a rock), store them out of the sunlight on the countertop until they are soft and aromatic. Once they are ripe, place them in a plastic bag in the fridge. If you put unripe peaches in the fridge, you will stop the ripening process! Use ripe peaches within a week. 

To Freeze: Choose firm, ripe peaches (not mushy ones). It takes 5 peaches to make one quart. Prepare a light sugar solution using 6 cups water and 2 cups sugar. (This will cover/ surround the peaches to protect them from oxidization and freezer burn. You’ll need about 1 cup per quart). Heat sugar solution on stove, stirring constantly to keep it from burning. As soon as it is dissolved, remove from heat and let cool. Wash peaches. To skin peaches, place them in a pot of boiling water for 30 seconds, then dunk them in an ice bath to stop the cooking. The peels will slide right off. Remove pits, and cut the peaches into slices and put in bowl. Mix with Fruit Fresh (ascorbic acid) or 1/4 cup lemon juice to prevent browning. Now combine the peaches with the sugar syrup. And pack into freezer bags, removing as much air as possible. Freeze for up to a year. 


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Pears

Pears are picked unripe and ripen best at home off the tree. You should always purchase pears that are firm to the touch. A ripe pear will be ready at home when the skin around the neck gives to slight pressure. Note: pears will turn brown when exposed to air. Coat them with lemon or pineapple juice to prevent this. 

To Store: To ripen pears, place in a loosely closed paper bag out of the fridge at room temperature until the skin responds to a gentle pressure at the neck of the fruit. After pears have ripened, store them in a plastic bag in the fridge in your crisper drawer. 

To Freeze: Choose ripe pears (but not too ripe!) Wash, peel, core and slice pears. Prepare the sugar solution: combine 2 cups of sugar in 3 cups of water and cook on stove until dissolved, stirring constantly. Add 1/2 teaspoon Fruit Fresh to each quart of syrup to prevent browning. Add the pears and heat for 2 minutes in this solution on stove. Drain and cool. Pack into freezer bags and suck out the air. Freeze. 


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Sweet Peppers (Bell)

These come in a variety of colors: green, red, yellow, orange, purple, and chocolate. Red, orange and yellow peppers are simply green peppers that were allowed to ripen to their full color change. They are sweeter and need to be eaten sooner. Shapes and sizes vary from round to bell- shaped, to elongated, to banana shaped. 

To Store: Refrigerate peppers unwashed in a sealed plastic bag in hydrator drawer for 1-2 weeks. 

To Freeze: Wash and dry peppers. Freeze whole or cut into bite-size pieces and place in freezer bag, removing as much air as possible. Peppers will soften when thawed, so take out only the amount you need, and use them in recipes where their crisp texture is not necessary or you can flash freeze sliced or chopped peppers to store in freezer bags. You can also dry peppers in a food dehydrator.

To Use: For greatest nutrition retention, eat bell peppers raw. You can also roast peppers: Place bell pepper under broiler, above hot coals, or over open flame. Toast it, turning often, until the skin is black. Place pepper in brown bag, close and allow to steam 15 minutes. Skin will peel off easily with the aid of a paring knife. Try steaming peppers whole for 10 minutes and then stuff with your favorite stuffing. 


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Hot Peppers (Chiles)

To Store: Refrigerate peppers unwashed in a sealed plastic bag in hydrator drawer for 1-2 weeks. You can also dehydrate peppers for long-term. 

Handling: Be careful when preparing hot peppers of any kind. For greatest safety wear rubber gloves while chopping and handling them. Do not touch your eyes, nose, mouth or other places. Wash hands thoroughly when finished. Slice off the top of the hot pepper, including the stem. Since the heat in chile peppers is concentrated in the seeds and membranes, you can use the whole pepper for a spicy dish, or cut out the heat-filled seeds and membranes and use just the flesh of the hot pepper for cooking (chile flavor without the bite). 

To Freeze: Wash and dry peppers. Keep whole, or cut into bite-size pieces and place in freezer bag (squeeze out any air). Peppers will soften when thawed, so take out only the amount you need, and use them in recipes where their crisp texture is not necessary. 


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Pie Pumpkin (Winter Squash)

Winter squash is called winter squash because it can be stored over winter for an extended period after harvest in the fall. Squash have high levels of vitamin A and some vitamin C, folate and potassium. Pie pumpkins are smaller than their Jack-o- lantern decorative pumpkin counterparts, and are very edible. 

To Store: Store in a cool, dry, dark place at around 50 degrees, but make sure they do not freeze. Under the best conditions, they should keep for 3-4 months. And they get sweeter in storage as the starch converts to sugar. Once cut, you can wrap them in plastic and store them in the refrigerator for 5 to 7 days. 

To Cook: Steam 1-2 inch chunks for 15-20 minutes. Puree or top with butter and use for your pumpkin pie filling. Or you can boil 1-2 inch chunks in salted water until tender, 8-10 minutes. Or cut pumpkin in half, scrape out seeds/pulp, and bake cut side down with 1/2 inch of water in the pan at 400 degrees for 45 minutes. Then allow to cool and scrape the flesh out and puree in food processor. Pumpkin seeds make a great snack too, baked in some olive oil and salt at 350 degrees until browned. 

To Freeze: Winter squash freezes well. Simply cook squash and mash or puree it. Then pour it into ice cube trays and freeze. Pop the frozen cubes into freezer bags. 


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Potatoes

Boiling Potatoes: have a firm, waxy texture. Because they hold their shape well when boiled or steamed, these low starch potatoes are good choices for salads, soups, stews, or au gratin dishes. (Tip: if after slicing a raw potato, the knife comes out clean, chances are it is more suited to boiling than baking).

Baking Potatoes: have a drier, starchier flesh and cook up with a fluffy texture. They are best baked, mashed or deep-fried. (Tip: if after slicing a raw potato the knife is coated with white, foamy starch, chances are it is more suited to baking than boiling).

All-Purpose Potatoes: have qualities that fall in between those of boiling and baking potatoes. They include: blue potatoes, Yukon Gold potatoes, Kennebec potatoes. 

To Store: Keep unwashed potatoes in a cool, dark, dry place, such as a loosely closed paper bag in a cupboard. They will keep for two weeks at room temperature. Moisture causes potatoes to spoil, light turns them green, and proximity to onions causes them to sprout. Don’t put them in the refrigerator, as low temperatures convert the starch to sugars. However, new potatoes, which are young and thin-skinned, may be refrigerated if you don’t plan to eat them within a few days. 

Handling: Scrub well and cut off any sprouts or green skin. Peeling is a matter of preference. In soups, the skins may separate from the flesh and float in the broth, but when baked, pan- fried or roasted, the skins acquire a crisp, crunchy texture. If baking a whole potato, be sure to prick the skin at least 2 places to allow steam to escape. 

To Use: Boil potatoes in water for 20-30 minutes until tender. If desired, mash them. Use potatoes in soups, hash browns, and salads. Roast sliced or whole small potatoes with fresh herbs, salt, and olive oil at 400 degrees until tender, about 20 minutes. 


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Radishes 

Radishes come in all kinds of colors: red, white, black, purple, and pink. 

To Store: Remove radish leaves if they are still attached. Store the unwashed greens in a loosely wrapped plastic bag in the crisper bin of your refrigerator and use ASAP. Store radish roots dry and unwashed in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for 1 week. 

Handling: Scrub radishes well to remove dirt. Trim off the stem and rootlets. Slice, chop or mince the roots or leave them whole. 

To Use: Eat radishes raw with a sprinkle of salt, or with room-temperature butter. Grate radishes into slaws and salads. Try small young radish leaves in salads or scrambled eggs; they are perfectly edible and have a terrific earthy taste like watercress. Blanch whole radishes in boiling, salt water for 5-10 minutes, or steam them until just tender, 8-12 minutes. Top with butter, salt, and pepper or with a vinaigrette. They’re also great grilled. 


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Radicchio

Radicchio, with its compact head of white-veined purple-red leaves, looks like a small red cabbage and has a bitter, peppery taste. Raw radicchio provides a pretty accent for a green salad, while cooked radicchio gives a wonderful savory-sweetness to a dish. 

To Store: Keep unwashed radicchio in a perforated plastic bag in the crisper for up to a week. 

Handling: Discard any old limp outer leaves and wash the head in cold water. Drain and dry. 

To Cook: Radicchio is sometimes sliced and added to salads, but really shines when cooked a bit. Halved and brushed with oil, it's great on the grill. It pairs particularly well with olives, blue cheese, apples, and walnuts. To cut the bitterness, boil the leaves until just tender and dress with lemon juice or vinegar and salt. You can also sauté or stir-fry in oil or butter. To roast radicchio: quarter the tight heads, lightly coat them in oil, and roast at 425 degrees for 20 minutes, turning halfway through cooking. 


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Rutabaga

Rutabaga is a close relative of the turnip, though larger, sweeter and more tan. They have yellow flesh, with a slight purple tinge near the top. It can be used as a substitute for turnips. 

To Store: Keep unwashed rutabagas in a plastic bag in the fridge for a month or longer. 

Handling: Scrub well to remove any lingering dirt. Take a thin slice off the top and bottom. Peeling the skin is optional. 

To Use: Rutabaga can be grated raw into salad. Or steam 1-inch chunks for 35 minutes until tender. Mash and serve with butter and pepper. This vegetable really shines when it is roasted in olive oil at 400 F. You can also boil rutabaga in 1-inch chunks for 25 minutes until tender, and add to casseroles or stuffing mixtures, or mash cooked rutabaga with carrots and potatoes. You can make rutabaga chips by deep-frying 1/8-inch thick slices in hot vegetable oil until golden brown. Drain on paper towel and sprinkle with salt and pepper. 


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Scallion (Green or Purple Bunching Onion)

Scallions are young onions that are considered “bulbless.” Also called green onions, they can range from sweet to spicy, but generally their flavor is milder than a full-grown onion. Their round, hollow tops are almost always sweet. We grow two varieties: green (white bulb) and purple (purple skinned bulb). 

To Store: Scallions should be stored unwashed and wrapped loosely in a plastic bag. Put them in the refrigerator where they will keep for a week. To keep scallions longer, chop off about three-quarters of the tender green tips and stand the scallions in an inch of water in a tall container covered loosely with a bag, refreshing the water every 3 days. 

To Eat: You can eat the entire scallion. Rinse scallions in cold water and snip off anything that’s floppy. Use chopped scallions as a garnish; they are less pungent. The minced greens of scallions are a good substitute for chives. Use scallions in almost any recipe calling for onions, raw or cooked. They are excellent in soups and stew. Try brushing scallions with sesame oil, salt, and pepper and put them on the grill. You can also use any part of the onion for your freezer bag of vegetable stock ingredients. 

To Freeze: Chop into desired size and place on cookie sheet and freeze. Then pop into a freezer bag and store in the freezer. 


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Kabocha Squash (Winter Squash)

Winter squash is called winter squash because it can be stored over winter for an extended period after harvest in the fall. Squash have high levels of vitamin A and some vita- min C, folate and potassium. Kabocha can be dark green with mottled blue-gray striping, or a deep red-orange color.

To Store: Store in a cool, dry, dark place at around 50 degrees, but make sure they do not freeze. Under the best conditions, they should keep for 3-4 months. And they get sweeter in storage as the starch converts to sugar. Once cut, you can wrap them in plastic and store them in the refrigerator for 5 to 7 days. 

To Use: To bake, slice in half lengthwise, scoop out seeds, and place face down on cookie sheet. Add 1/2 inch of water to pan. Bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes to an hour until shells are soft and starting to collapse. Remove and fill with butter, brown sugar, maple syrup, seasoning or fillings. 

To Freeze: Winter squash freezes well. Simply cook squash and mash or puree it. Then pour it into ice cube trays and freeze. Pop the frozen cubes into freezer bags. 


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Kuri Squash (Winter Squash)

Winter squash is called winter squash because it can be stored over winter for an extended period after harvest in the fall. Squash have high levels of vitamin A and some vitamin C, folate and potassium. A type of Hubbard squash, these are medium- size, teardrop-shaped red squashes that are especially good for pies and purees. 

To Store: Store in a cool, dry, dark place at around 50 degrees, but make sure they do not freeze. Under the best conditions, they should keep for 3-4 months. And they get sweeter in storage as the starch converts to sugar. Once cut, you can wrap them in plastic and store them in the refrigerator for 5 to 7 days. 

To Use: To bake, slice in half lengthwise, scoop out seeds, and place face down on cookie sheet. Add 1/2 inch of water to pan. Bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes to an hour until shells are soft and starting to collapse. Remove and fill with butter, brown sugar, maple syrup, seasoning or fillings.

To Freeze: Winter squash freezes well. Simply cook squash and mash or puree it. Then pour it into ice cube trays and freeze. Pop the frozen cubes into freezer bags. 


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Spaghetti Squash (Winter Squash)

Winter squash is called winter squash because it can be stored over winter for an extended period after harvest in the fall. Squash have high levels of vitamin A and some vitamin C, folate and potassium. This variety of winter squash has unusual string- like flesh, which looks like spaghetti when scraped out with a fork. They are often baked or boiled and then the mildly sweet flesh is scooped out and topped with spaghetti sauce. 

To Store: Store in a cool, dry, dark place at around 50 degrees, but make sure they do not freeze. Under the best conditions, they should keep for 3-4 months. And they get sweeter in storage as the starch converts to sugar. Once cut, you can wrap them in plastic and store them in the refrigerator for 5 to 7 days. 

To Use: To bake, slice in half lengthwise, scoop out seeds, and place face down on cookie sheet. Add a 1/2 inch water to the pan to avoid drying out. Bake at 400 degrees. Squash will need about an hour—90 minutes to cook, depending on size. Cook until tender. Flesh is done when it scoops out easily in spaghetti-like strings. Serve hot with butter and parmesan cheese or your favorite tomato sauce on top. 


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Spinach

Spinach is a member of the greens family. Spinach has small leaves with thick stems. It can be served raw in salads or lightly cooked. The best spinach results come from briefly blanching, steaming, or sautéing until it turns bright green. 

Substitutions: turnip greens, beet greens, broccoli raab, mustard greens, dandelion, kale, collards, and Swiss chard.

To Store: Keep dry, unwashed greens in a sealed plastic bag in the refrigerator up to 1 week. 

Handling: Wash leaves in basin of lukewarm water to remove grit. Spin dry.

To Cook: Add uncooked spinach to a mixed green salad. Blanch spinach until it wilts, 2-4 minutes, or steam for 5-8 minutes. Or sauté greens until tender in a covered pot or large sauté pan with olive oil, a pinch of salt, and garlic or onion. Watch for color to brighten as this signals they are done. Serve cooked spinach alone as a side dish or use it in soup or with pasta, beans, rice, or potatoes. Use cooked spinach in enchiladas, quesadillas, crepes, lasagna, and mac and cheese. For breakfast, sauté slivered greens and garlic in the frying pan before adding to eggs for scrambling. Use leftover cooked spinach in omeletes, quiches, or soups. 

To Freeze: Blanch washed greens for 1 minute. Rinse in cold water to stop the cooking process, drain, and pack into airtight containers. 


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Summer Squash — Yellow, Patty Pan, Zucchini

Summer squash is a general term for 70 different types of fast-growing, tender-skinned, soft-fleshed squash. Zucchini is the most famous, followed by yellow squash (either straight or crookneck), and scallops (or patty pan) which look like flying saucers. If you get a giant-sized zucchini, use it for making zucchini bread as it will be too tough and seedy for other recipes. 

Substitutions: All summer squashes can be used inter-changeably. 

To Store: Store squash unwashed in a perforated plastic bag in the vegetable bin. In the refrigerator they keep for about a week and a half. 

Handling: Rinse under water to remove the dirt or prickles, and slice off the stem and blossom ends. Then slice or chop. Scrape out seeds from baseball bat sized zucchinis before using them to bake. 

To Use: Because of their bland flavor, summer squash lend themselves to many cooking applications, taking on the flavor of whatever they’re cooked with. Try using them as a substitute for rice, pasta or potatoes. Slice tender, young summer squash into salads. Try them in stir-fries, with pasta. Lightly steam (4-5 minutes) and dress them with fresh herbs or pesto. Or coat squash lightly in oil and roast at 350 degrees whole or sliced in half for 15-45 minutes. Stuff whole squash with your favorite stuffings.

To Freeze: You can freeze pureed (seeded) zucchini in bags, and grated zucchini for use in breads and muffins.   


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Strawberries

Ripe strawberries are firm and bright with fresh green caps and a sweet aroma. Always shop for berries with your nose! If you can’t smell the fragrance, they won’t taste sweet. Medium to smaller berries are usually sweeter than bigger ones. Strawberries do not ripen once they are harvested, so be sure to pick berries that are picked ripe. 

To Store: Put your berries in a colander in your fridge as soon as possible, where they will keep for up to 5 days. Do not wash until you eat them. Strawberries taste best at room temperature. 

To Use: Wash off the berries and remove the green tops before eating. Use them in pies, smoothies, yogurt parfaits, or in a green salad. 

To Freeze: Choose ripe berries. Wash and sort out the mushy ones. Cut off the hulls. Let dry in colander for 10 minutes. Place them in an even layer on a large cookie sheet (with a lip) or any container you may have and put in freezer overnight until frozen. (No need to cover). Then pack them into a freezer bag, removing the air, and seal. 


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Sweet Potatoes

To Store: Keep unwashed sweet potatoes in a cool, dark, place, such as a loosely closed paper bag in a cupboard, and use them within a few weeks. Do not store sweet potatoes in the refrigerator. Cold temperatures can darken the potatoes and will adversely affect their taste.  

Handling: Scrub gently before cooking. The skin can be eaten, but peel them if you will be eating them raw. If you will be pureeing or mashing them, bake or boil them whole and then remove the skins. 

To Use: Try raw sweet potatoes cut into sticks for dipping, or grate them into salads. To bake, place whole (pierce with a knife in a few places) potatoes each wrapped in foil in a pan and bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes until the centers are soft. To steam, place quartered sweet potato chunks in steamer over boiling water and cook until tender 20 minutes. Boil whole sweet potatoes in salted water until very tender, 25-40 minutes. Substitute pureed sweet potatoes for pumpkin in many recipes. Sauté or fry 1/2 inch slices of sweet potatoes in oil until nicely browned on both sides and fork tender. 

To Freeze: Boil sweet potato until tender and mash/puree. Place puree into ice cube containers and freeze. When frozen, put cubes in freezer bags, removing as much air as possible. Makes a great baby food. 


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Tomatillo

The tomatillo, or “husk tomato” is important in authentic Mexican cooking and is best known for its central role in a delicious salsa verde, or green sauce. 

To Store: Store at room temperature with husks on, for 2 weeks. For longer-term storage, refrigerate in husks in a plastic bag. 

Handling: Remove husk before eating. Wash. Chop to desired size.

To Use: Use tomatillos to make salsa verde with garlic, onion, hot chile pepper, lime juice, fresh cilantro, and salt. They are often roasted. 


Tomatoes (Globe, Cherry, and Heirloom)

Every year we grow different kinds of tomato varieties, although you can expect to see a few of the standards every year: German Johnson and Amish Paste (for canning). We also grow numerous varities of cherry tomatoes. We also grow a lot of heirloom tomatoes which sometimes have a unique cracked appearance near the stem or odd shapes and colors. Don’t worry — they’re supposed to look that way. Inside, you’ll be rewarded with a delicious, juicy flavor from of old. 

To Store: Do not refrigerate tomatoes; cold temperatures deplete their flavor & texture. If your tomatoes smell fragrant and yield slightly when squeezed, they are ready to use. If not, store them for a few days at room temperature out of the sun until they are ripe. Putting dry tomatoes in a brown paper bag may accelerate the ripening process. 

Handling: If serving tomatoes raw or lightly cooked, give them a quick rinse and slice, chop or cut them into chunks as desired. If you’ll be cooking them for a long time, consider removing the skins so they don’t float around in your dish. To do so, score the end of the tomato with an “X,” dunk whole tomatoes in boiling water for 30 seconds, lift out with slotted spoon, plunge into ice water, and the skins will slide off. 

To Freeze: Tomatoes can be frozen whole. Skin and core tomatoes, place on cookie sheet, and freeze. When solid, place in freezer bag and replace in freezer. Thawed tomatoes are appropriate only for cooking sauces, salsas, or purees.Note: avoid cooking in aluminum or iron pots because tomatoes react with those substances, giving the dish a metallic taste. Tomatoes can also be dehydrated. 


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Turnip

Turnips are a root vegetable, related to arugula and radishes, which are members of the mustard family. Large or old turnips can be unpleasantly “hot” if not cooked properly or combined with the proper vegetables (like potatoes), but younger turnips add great zip to dishes. They are best in the fall or spring, when they are small and sweet. We grow several different varieties of turnips, including Hakurei - which is one of our favorite veggies here on the farm. The Hakurei turnip is a small white salad turnip and is much sweeter than the traditional purple top turnip. 

To Store: Remove the greens from the turnips and cook/store as instructed in the next entry. The turnip itself should be stored in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer of your fridge for up to a week. 

Handling: Cut off the green tops (which can be eaten as well). Wash and cut into wedges or slices. 

To Cook: Serve them raw with dip in a crudité tray. Or grate and add them to a salad for a zip. Turnips are however more commonly cooked. They are delicious when roasted with other root vegetables (like carrot, potatoes, rutabaga, garlic). Add a turnip or two to your favorite mashed potato recipe. Or add them into soups and stews. 


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