Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Tantre Farm's Thanksgiving CSA Share

I could have easily titled this post "A Cornucopia of Beautiful, Delicious, and Lovingly-grown Food!" This is our first year to purchase Tantre Farm's Thanksgiving CSA Share, and I'm glad we did. Using many of these veggies, some of our own, plus a locally raised turkey permitted us to have a Thanksgiving feast that was nearly all produced within our own county.

Here two photos of all the food from the CSA share spread out on our kitchen table, followed by a list of everything we received. Do you recognize everything you are looking at in the photo? Can you match what you see with the list of veggies? I feel like the only items we purchase at a regular supermarket these days are necessities like laundry detergent, sugar, flour, and something like parchment paper, certainly not something necessary but helpful for baking.

BEETS You will receive Red Ace (round, smooth, deep red roots with sweet flavor and medium-tall)

BRUSSELS SPROUTS tiny, green cabbage heads with mildly pungent, mustard-like flavor. You will receive some of these loose in a bag and some of them will still be on the stalk.

RED CABBAGE a sweet cabbage with red leaves that are tender and crisp with a good amount of vitamins A & C, calcium, potassium, and magnesium.

CARROTS (Mokum) a very sweet, slender, "pencil carrot" with edible green leaves.

CAULIFLOWER, ROMANESCO lime green, spiraled heads with pointed, spiraled pinnacles; crisp and mild.

CELERAIC (Celery Root) knobby, brown root; tastes like strong celery and parsley mixed; useful as an herb and as a vegetable; high in carbohydrates, vitamin C, phosphorous, and potassium, and small amounts of vitamin B, and iron.

GARLIC (we certainly did not need any more garlic but I know we'll use this, too - besides Dick can do a taste comparison between his own and Tantre Farm's.

KALE You will receive Red or Green Curly (well-curled, red or blue-green leaves) and Lacinato (dark green, noncurled, blistered leaves, but heavily savoyed).

ONIONS You will receive Spanish Yellow (sweet, medium-sized, dark yellow-skinned onions) and Mars Red (purple-red skin with sweet flavor).

ITALIAN FLAT-LEAF PARSLEY a fresh herb with flat, glossy, dark green leaves, which has a strong parsley/celery flavor for use dried or fresh.

PIE PUMPKIN bright orange skin with dry, sweet flesh

POTATOES: You will receive 2 mixed bags of the following:
•Russian Banana Fingerling (an heirloom potato with small, banana-shaped tubers with yellow skin and light yellow flesh; used by chefs for its delicious flavor and smooth “waxy” texture that doesn’t fall apart when cooked; good baked, boiled, or in salads)
•Rose Apple Finn Fingerling (
•Swedish Almond Fingerling (dry, golden-fleshed heirloom fingerling from Sweden; perfect baked, roasted, or mashed)
•Yukon Gold (yellowish brown skin with yellow dry flesh and pink eyes; long storage and good tasting; perfect baked, boiled, mashed or fried)
•All Blue (an heirloom potato with deep blue skin and flesh; moist texture; perfect in salads, baked, or boiled)
•All Red/Cranberry Red (an heirloom potato with bright red skin covering rosy flesh; smooth, moist texture ideal for boiling, roasting, or sautéing).
•Butte (russet baker that is highest in vitamin C and protein; great baked, mashed or fried).

RADISHES (D'Avignon) also called “French Breakfast”; traditional variety from Southern France; 3-4 inch long root that is part red with a white tip and tapered to a point). *Tops are edible too & good in soups and gravies.

RUTABAGA purplish skin with yellow flesh; thought to be a cross between a cabbage and a turnip and resembles a large turnip (3 to 5 inches in diameter). (my husband's favorite!! - absolutely necessary if you make authentic pasties as in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan).

SPINACH crisp, dark green leaf best eaten raw or with minimal cooking to obtain the beneficial chlorophyll, and vitamins A & C.
(The spinach was eaten that day, first raw, just nibbling the leaves and then steamed for dinner - too, too good to let sit around in the refrig!)

TURNIPS You will receive Scarlet Queen (large, flat-round, sweet, crisp, white flesh with spicy, red skin—in mesh bag without greens) and Hakurei (white salad turnip with round, smooth roots that have a sweet, fruity flavor with a crisp, tender texture. You will receive some without greens in a mesh bag with Scarlet Queen variety. You will also receive some white turnips with greens in your box. Hairless greens are good in salads or sautéed with roots.

WINTER SQUASH You will receive any of the following varieties:
•Acorn (small, green ribbed squash with pale yellow flesh)
•Butternut (light, tan-colored skin; small seed cavities with thick, cylindrical necks; bright orange, moist, sweet flesh; longest storage potential of all squash)
•Delicata (small (1 1/2-to 2-lb.), oblong, creamy colored with long green stripes, only slightly ribbed; pale yellow, sweet flesh; edible skin; best eaten within 4 months of harvest)
•Black Forest Kabocha (smaller size kabocha; dark green, flat-round fruits; buttercup size with no button on end; orange flesh is medium-dry & sweet)
•Confection Kabocha (gray, flattened, buttercup-size fruits; dry taste directly after harvest, but outstanding sweetness and texture after curing for a few weeks; good for long storage)
•Sunshine Kabocha

Just for fun, here are some photos of our Thanksgiving food: the turkey (and my husband Dick) from Harnois Farms, the potatoes ready to cook, the red turnips, and our kale salad (yes those are pomagranate seeds on top, which along with the salt, pepper, olive oil and wine vinegar were just about our only non-locally produced foods used for this meal!)

A feast for all the senses including the heart!

Our grace at this meal:

Thank God for home,
and crisp, fair weather,
and loving hearts
That meet together –
And red, ripe fruit
And golden grain –
And dear Thanksgiving
Come again!
~~Nancy Byrd Turner (1880-1971)

Yes, we should all be so fortunate to share a Thanksgiving meal of delicious, healthy foods with those we love this year and be able to look forward to next year, too!

Diana Dyer, MS, RD


Jen said...

Your potato pot looked just like ours. Something didn't gel for us this year with the potatoes, though, and they were glue-y, despite the wonderful raw material from Tantre.

We did NOT do the Thanksgiving share this year - we've been overwhelmed other years.

Anonymous said...

I gotta get me into that CSA!!!

Kim said...

Hi Diana - wasn't it a wonderful box of vegetables?
We split our Thanksgiving share, but I'm a little bit in shock that it's almost gone! I'm not sure how we're going to finish the rest of that squash though. :)

Jen - I've had gluey potatoes too - when I've tried mashing them with the food processor or immersion blender. Apparently, the sharp knives cut the cell walls letting gluey stuff spill out and it can't be fixed. I have learned to use the mixer.

Kateri said...

Those vegetables are spectacular! That pot of potatoes is so pretty, I so have to grow potatoes next year! We eat a lot of pomegranates, too this time of year. Wish the season for them was a little longer! The chickens love the white pulp.

Miss Information said...

My, what a gorgeous lot of food! I trust you had a large group over for Thanksgiving?! I guess many of the foods in that harvest would keep for a long time.

How fitting to be giving thanks over such bounty from our area!