Green Tomatoes and Pumpkins

These tasty things came out of the oven this morning! What, they have chopped green tomatoes in them? Read below for a link to the recipe.

Tony and Barclay left on Monday for a couple weeks of rest after the farming season, after finishing up a lot of different projects around here. So it is down to just me holding down the fort (er, farm) here. The tomatoes that have been holding out and ripening from before the hoophouse froze are finally at their end, so this Friday will be the last distribution of them. Most years, we don’t reliably have tomatoes for more than a couple weeks after the first freeze, so you all are quite lucky to get tomatoes for almost half of the fall CSA this year! Some of them are still green and aren’t going to ripen any further, so this week you will have both ripe and unripe tomatoes to cook with. Check below for a couple of green tomato recipes if you haven’t cooked with them before.

Just a friendly reminder, please make sure you bring back last week’s flattened cardboard box when you pick up this Friday, along with clean plastic bags and egg cartons for re-use! And remember to wash your veggies before consumption, as we do not wash them beyond removing most of the dirt from root vegetables.

Telluride Pickup: Make sure to retrieve your box before the 6 pm deadline! Boxes left after this time will be sent to a good home. Also please neatly stack last week’s flattened boxes on the north side of the porch on the ground. Please cover them well with the tarp, as they won’t be picked up until next Friday morning.

On-farm Pickup: Same time and place. You can stack your flattened boxes in the room to your left as you enter the processing plant, and egg cartons and bags can be placed on the table. Also, feel free to take advantage of pick-your-own flowers while you’re here! Most of the garden has died back, but the calendula is still going strong (photo below) near the SW corner of the garden. Feel free to help yourself, just make sure to close the garden gate behind you to keep the deer and goats out.

What’s in the box:

Arugula: Great as a spicy addition to a salad or to make arugula pesto! Here is a great pesto resource that lays out the basic theory behind pesto and tells you how to make it out of almost any type of greens.

Carrots: Tender and sweet, they’re great in lots of dishes … if you can keep yourself from eating all of them as a snack.

Garlic

Onions: These ones bulbed up a bit more than last week’s batch, so you can use the bulbs as regular onions and use the leaves for a green onion flavor. Or chop both together to keep it simple. If you still have some from last week, these should keep a few weeks in the fridge, or let them “cure” in a warm spot until the tops dry up, at which point you can keep them in a cool, dry place for a month or two.

Radishes: Crisp, tender, and spicy! Great in salads or sliced on the side.

Lettuce Mix: Rinse, dress, and enjoy!

Spinach: A great winter green, and very versatile in salads, soups, quiches, pasta, and cooked on its own.

Tomatoes: Long description, but bear with me. This week you have both ripe and unripe tomatoes, the last of the season. They have been ripening for a couple weeks indoors since the plants died, so please excuse any blemishes! When you open your box, you might want to sort them into three categories: Ripe (remember that could be purple, yellow, green, or red – but they will feel soft like ripe fruit), partly ripe (showing some color), and green. The ripe ones you can eat however you like. Partly ripe ones will ripen further if kept at room temperature or a little warmer, BUT you will have to keep a close eye on them to make sure they don’t spoil. Given that, it may be easier to use the mostly green ones the same way as your completely green ones. Cooking green tomatoes may sound intimidating at first, but there are actually lots of options. Fried Green Tomatoes are the classic way to go, but a search online also yielded salad and salsa recipes, plus a recipe for Green Tomato Muffins. That last one sounded strange enough I had to try it, which I did this morning. They turned out quite nicely, and were tasty enough that I ate a good portion of them as a late breakfast! So I would definitely recommend the muffins if you’re interested in a non-traditional green tomato recipe.

Pumpkin: These are great pie pumpkins, also good in your favorite recipe for pumpkin bread or in Pumpkin Pancakes. And don’t throw out (or compost) those seeds! Make Crispy Roasted Pumpkin Seeds instead!

Cilantro: A classic flavor in Mexican cooking. Toss some into chili, tacos, salsa, etc.

Eggs (for egg shares)

Bread and/or granola (for bakery shares)

Chicken (for all chicken shares)

This calendula is still going strong in the garden, even though almost all the other flowers died weeks ago! In addition to its pretty flowers, calendula is very aromatic and is used medicinally in skin healing salves.