Winter Begins—Winter Week 1

If you cut your squashes into rings and bake them, you can have cool teeth like these after you’re done eating.

• Carrots
• Green Tomatoes
• Kale
• “Purple Viking” or “Purple Majesty” Potatoes
• “Purple Frills” Salad Mustard
• “Delicata” Winter Squash
• Italian Parsley
• Garlic

Click on the links above for information and recipes about these crops.

Pea Shoots

I didn’t get a blog post done in time to thank all of our wonderful summer subscribers for being with us for the past summer. It was one of our best, if I don’t say so myself.  Lots of variety, lots of food. Plenty of new things, but lots of traditional, “not-scary” things too. Everyone who joined Tonnemakers’ Orchard was happy with their fruit subscription as well, so I believe we’ll be carrying that on next year. It was definitely a winning deal for everyone.

But now we are in our chilly Winter Season. We’re wrapping up the tomato harvest by pulling all the green tomatoes out of the greenhouse and giving them to you. There are a lot of chutneys, pickles, and other things to do with them—great with turkey—as well as frittering them or baking them. I’ll try and find some recipes. After the tomatoes are cleaned up, we can plant salad greens in there for the end of winter, maybe for spring.

The carrots are getting sweeter every week. Cold temperatures concentrate the sugars in the roots, and although the choice of variety has something to do with carrot flavor, California carrots will never be as sweet as northern carrots kissed by frost. The same goes for other root crops, as well as leafy green crops like kale and Brussels sprouts. Remember that.

We’re starting off this week with “Delicata” winter squash. This is a sweet variety, also called “Sweet Potato” or “Peanut” squash. They are easy to cut open and bake, but they can be steamed or microwaved. I find that the flavor is more concentrated and sweet when baked, but maybe that’s just me. Check out this new page on Breaking Into Winter Squash if you need more help, and the page of squash recipes on our Winter Squash page.

We hope you will enjoy your next 9 weeks with us, exploring local winter produce. Everything is grown here on our farm—nothing from Mexico, California, or any other warm place.

3 responses to “Winter Begins—Winter Week 1

  1. Thank you for a great summer! Your tomatoes were the best! And so many different, delicious veggies!

  2. My favorite winter squash recipe with some rosemary cheddar biscuits 🙂
    Delicata Squash and White Bean Stew:
    White beans, 1lb dried or 2 cans
    2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
    1 lrg onion, diced
    4 tbs olive oil
    1 tsp cumin, ground
    1 Delicata squash, peeled, seeded, & cut in 2″ cubes
    3 c chicken, vegetable stock, or water
    1 lb kale, washed and torn coarsely (I prefer Lacinato for this)
    1 tsp dried sage
    1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes (or more if desired!)

    If using dried beans, soak and simmer in your usual method. In a deep casserole pan, sauté onion and garlic in 2 tbs olive oil until translucent. Add sage, cumin and red pepper and sauté for 1 min. Add the squash and sauté 2-3 add’l mins. Add stock or water to cover. Simmer for about 15 mins or until squash is just tender. Season with salt and pepper and stir in beans. Keep warm.

    Heat 2 tbs olive oil in skillet. Add kale and without stirring, let it brown on the bottom as it becomes tender. It will wilt and soften in 5-6 mins. To serve, place a portion of the kale in a bowl and top with the stew or vice versa.
    Enjoy! -Melissa P.

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