Green Lemons? Who’d Believe It?

weekly CSA produce share
We picked up a lot of green items this week, including green lemons.

Well, it’s true. This week we picked up green lemons as part of our share. You might think, “why didn’t they wait until the lemons were ripe to pick them?” They did. It turns out that, in warm areas such as the desert southwest, lemons are often still green in coloration when they’re perfectly ripe. It’s the temperatures that drive the color. When it’s warm, the peels still contain chlorophyll, so they look green. When the weather cools, that chlorophyll leaves the fruit (just as in tree leaves in the fall), and it turns yellow. So, yes, we have ripe green lemons this week.

Our share from Farmer Frank:

  • Green lemons (3)
  • Tomatoes (3)
  • Lemon cucumbers (6)
  • Roasted green chilies (1 bag)
  • Cushaw squash (1)
  • Salad mix (1 bag)
  • Dill (1 bunch)

And, from the surplus basket, one small cantaloupe.

Quick Trading Saves the Day

weekly CSA produce share
Shishito peppers are the best! We love getting them in our share, and, when we can trade something we don’t like for more, well, that’s even better!

Well, the day would have been fine either way, but, thanks to the trading baskets (you can exchange an item from your share for one that’s already in a basket), we were able to leave with an extra portion of shishito peppers, one of our favorites! Yay! And, we hope that someone came along later and picked up an extra share of what we left (a bunch of cilantro).

Our share this week:

  • Eggplant (2)
  • Spaghetti squash (1)
  • Slicing cucumbers (3)
  • Shishito peppers (1 basket)
  • Cilantro (1 bunch) — traded for more shishito peppers
  • Arugula (1 bunch)
  • Tendergreens (1 bunch) — an heirloom mustard green
  • Roasted green chilies (1 bag)

You Never Know What Might Show Up

weekly CSA produce share
Tomatoes in October? Apparently so.

It seems as if we got a little treat for Halloween when we picked up our weekly CSA share: tomatoes. Who would think that we’d be getting tomatoes when it’s almost November? After all, some places have already seen their first snow of the season, and we’re picking up fresh tomatoes. It’s wacky, but explainable. Here in the southwest, we can get two crops of tomatoes. One, before the real summer heats start, and, if you let the tomato plants grow, one after the summer heat is gone. While you think of tomatoes being a hot weather crop (they are), too much heat, say, over 100°F, kills the pollen, and no pollen means no tomatoes.

This week we picked up:

  • Tomatoes (2)
  • Red onions (3)
  • Tendergreens (1 bunch) — a type of heirloom mustard
  • Trombincino squash (2) — those funny squash
  • I’itoi onion plant (1)
  • Arugula (1 bag)
  • Lemon cucumbers (4)
  • Mild green chilies (5)

A Bright and Cheery Bonus

weekly CSA produce share
Imagine hundreds of bright cheery sunflowers greeting us when we picked up our share.

Occasionally, our farmer, Farmer Frank, sends down a lagniappe — a little something extra. This week, we arrived to pick up our produce and found the courtyard filled with hundreds of bright cheery sunflowers. While these flowers are still in bloom, and we can’t get sunflower seeds, we gladly took ours home, anyway. We figured that we could enjoy it for a while, and, then, perhaps, some of the local birds might peck into the immature seeds for a bite to eat.

Our week’s share consisted of:

  • Red Russian Kale (1 bunch)
  • Swiss chard (1 bunch)
  • Tatsoi (1 bag)
  • Red onions (3)
  • Cucumbers (4)
  • Pumpkins (1)
  • Eggplant (1)

And, of course, our sunflower.

Pickles Are in Our Future

weekly CSA produce share
A mix of fall and summer vegetables is nice for mid-October. Soon, we’ll show you a great dish to make from those acorn squash.

Our first share since we got back from our road trip, and we’re excited by what we received. Especially the pickling cucumbers. It seems that, this summer, we didn’t get many cucumbers; perhaps this is a start at making up for the summer dearth. We even traded our tomatillos for another share of cukes, with the intention of making Super-Easy Pickles, a nice bread and butter pickle that you can make in 20 minutes, start to finish.

Our week’s share:

  • Pickling cucumbers (6)
  • Tomatillos (1 basket) — traded for more cukes
  • Acorn squash (1)
  • Gold onions (2)
  • Basil (1 bag)
  • Squash blossoms (1 bag)
  • Eggplant (1)
  • Hanover kale (1 bunch)

And, from the surplus basket, another acorn squash.

It’s Still Hot, but Winter’s Coming

weekly CSA produce share
The winter forecast calls for greens, lots of greens.

Even though we’re expected to have record temperatures later this week — nearly 100°F for the first part of October, yikes! — we can see winter approaching steadily. No, not in the weather forecast, but in our produce share. Just look, two kinds of greens! That means nothing other than winter in this area. It also means that we’ll have to start working on our “greens cooking skills,” because, if we get behind for even a few days, we won’t catch up.

This week’s share:

  • Tendergreens (1 bag) — as a single word, it’s a mild heirloom mustard; as two words it could be anything green and tender
  • Arugula (1 bag)
  • Acorn Squash (1)
  • White onions (2)
  • Roasted Green chilies (1 bag)
  • Squash blossoms (1 bag)
  • Pickling cucumbers (3)
  • Golden Delicious apples (4)

An Abundance of Watermelon

weekly CSA produce share
Another huge watermelon for this season. We’ll be hydrated in the desert for sure.

It seems as if every season has its standout growers: certain vegetables that just seem to go overboard, resulting in what seems to be an overabundance of something. This summer, the stars seemed to align on producing watermelon; this is at least our third huge one of the season. And, it’s possible that we might get more. We just have to wait and see.

If you’ve grown vegetables, you’ve probably seen it, too. For one reason or another, you get a bumper crop of one or two items, then, the next year, piff: nothing. It’s one of the vagaries of growing and it happens at farms, too. With the CSA, we’ve learned to take that all in stride, and do what we can to eat everything our farmer produces.

This week’s bounty:

  • Watermelon (1)
  • Golden Delicious apples (4)
  • Gold onions (4)
  • Anaheim peppers (3)
  • Basil (1 bag)
  • Swiss chard (1 bag)
  • Sweet corn (2 ears)