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Winter Harvest, or is that an oxymoron?

November 5, 2009 | Side Dishes, Vegetables

Yesterday was the first day of the winter CSA farm share distribution, and I couldn’t have been more shocked at both the size of the bag (I could barely carry it, so I’m guessing 50 pounds?) as well as the diversity of the produce. Winter harvest is kind of an oxymoron. Actually most, if not all, of the produce is harvested before the snow flies (or at least before the hard freeze) and kept in cold storage and then distributed through the next 4 months.
But even though I know that’s how it works, I was still shocked by the bag which included two types of winter squash, red cabbage, purple broccoli, leeks, carrots, potatoes, peppers, tomatoes, and of all things…

…a big bag of baby leaf lettuce. Now I know that wasn’t harvested weeks ago, so it was quite fun to get fresh organic lettuce at this time of year! When I get the bag, I clean everything well first, then store in order to keep things the longest. Onions, garlic, winter squash, potatoes and tomatoes all stay OUT of the refrigerator, and everything else goes in, sometimes solo (peppers) and sometimes in bags to keep them moist(carrots).
The two sweet potatoes looked like they were rotting so I had grabbed them to cook up for dinner hoping I could salvage them. Turns out only the skin was ugly looking, but having peeled them, I proceeded to cook them up for dinner. I simply boiled them…
…along with some chopped leeks and garlic and let them simmer until soft, then mashed them together with some butter, fresh thyme leaves, and a little salt and pepper. Simple side dish that’s easy to make, packed with vitamins, and a nice change from white potatoes. If you’re looking for something easy and different from all of those cloyingly sweet sweet potato dishes you see for Thanksgiving, this would be a good choice!
I’m off to San Francisco tomorrow for the first Foodbuzz Food Blogger’s Conference – look for posts on my travel journal when I return!


3 Responses | TrackBack URL | Comments Feed

  1. Hi Jeanine – the winter harvest is part of my overall CSA program – we can sign up for summer, winter or both shares. The winter share is only distributed every two weeks and is thus a large bag. The summer share fee for a single (enough for 2-3 family members) is $160 and the winter share fee is $350 which is really more than enough for us – I usually share alot with friends and use some of the produce in my cooking classes.


  2. Hi Michelle — Just wanted to say it was great meeting you and talking to you at the dinner last night at the Foodbuzz fest. Reading your post here reminds me I *still* haven't signed up for a CSA. I need to!


  3. I bought a big bag of fresh local lettuce at the year's last Boulder County Farmer's market. A number of growers extend the season by growing cool-weather crops in hoop houses.

    Claire @ http://www.culinary-colorado.com


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