Thank You All!!!

Hey everyone, we discovered that this post never got published – it was just sitting in the drafts box, twiddling its thumbs. Shoot. Anyway, better late than never (maybe…):

Oct. 8, 2010

This is the last week of the CSA growing season, although the Thanksgiving box on November 18th will officially end the CSA.  Also, next week is “swing week” and for those who qualify (i.e. you notified us if you were going to be out of town during pick up) we will be sending you a reminder email to come pick up again next week.

We want to thank all of our members for being tremendously supportive and enthusiastic throughout the season.  What we do would not be possible without the families that support us.  So thank you again for the opportunity to grow you and your family food grown right here in Bend.

The climate here can be very difficult and risky to grow food in and this year was no exception.  The spring was not only chilly but it lasted about a month longer than “usual”.  While it was great weather for greens and peas, the fruiting plants were stunted for a long time which delayed fruiting.  The extended summer helped make up for the unripened fruits but many green tomatoes still hung on to the vines when the first frost came only a few nights ago.  We lost some tomato plants that night even though we covered them which means the green tomatoes we gave this week came from vines that were frozen.  Why am I telling you this information?  It is important to know because if you leave them on the counter for a few days, or maybe even longer, they will eventually turn red, and you might be tempted to can them. Please beware – that would be dangerous!  Tomatoes from frost-killed vines are of uncertain acidity and therefore are unsafe to can!  So what are you supposed to do with a bunch of green tomatoes?  Well of course you could make fried-green tomatoes as they are always delicious… but they are fried.  If you’re looking for a recipe that doesn’t require frying, you can make green tomato pie with a cornmeal crust!  Here’s the recipe from The Fannie Farmer Baking Book:

Cornmeal Dough:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal (ground fine)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup vegetable shortening
  • About 6 Tablespoons water

Combine the flour, cornmeal, and salt in a bowl and stir to mix.  Add the shortening and cut it into the flour and cornmeal until the mixture looks like fresh bread crumbs.  Sprinkle on the water, a tablespoon at a time.  Add just enough water so that the dough remains cohesive when pressed together-it will be quite soft.

Divide the dough in half and place one half of the dough at a time on a lightly floured surface and roll into a circle  2 inches larger than the inverted pie pan.  Carefully roll the dough onto a rolling pin, then unroll it into a pie pan.

Green-tomato Pie

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground red-pepper
  • 6 large green tomatoes, sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 2 Tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 3 Tablespoons butter

Preheat oven to 425 degrees

Mix together sugar, flour, salt, cloves, cinnamon, and red pepper in bowl.  Take a third of the tomato slices at a time, toss and turn them in the sugar mixture so they are evenly coated on all sides.  Spread the sugared tomato slices evenly over the dough in the pan, and sprinkle raisins over all, along with any remaining sugar mixture.  Drizzle on the vinegar, then  dot with the butter.  Place the top crust on the tomato slices.  Crimp the edges and cut vents in the top.

Bake for about 40 minutes, or until crust is lightly colored and juices are bubbling.  Serve at room temp.

If you want to make an all-out southern style feast, green tomato pie, collard greens, and yellow finn potatoes could surely please a crowd.  Don’t forget to keep your potatoes in a paper bag in a dark place and if you see any green, cut off all of it before cooking.

There are still hundreds of feet of carrots in the ground that we will harvest and eat throughout the winter.  The green tops will die back and we will top the bed with 10-12 inches of straw mulch which will prevent the soil from freezing and thereby allow us to continue the harvest through winter (hopefully).   We will also be passing on more carrots to those of you who will be picking up again next week so make sure to either use this week’s bunch of carrots and/or put next week’s bunch into a plastic bag as this will keep them from flopping.   And as for the summer savory, if you can’t find a use for it right away you can dry it and use it when it’s handy.

We thank you all for participating in Hand-Dug Hopeful’s CSA this year.  We look forward to seeing you in the community and maybe even next year for another CSA season.  We are already anxious and busy planning how to improve the garden next year and for the future.

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