As the temperatures cool and summer fades into fall, there is also a transition in the fields. We see the melons, corn, tomatoes and summer squash begin to fade away and a new rotation of goodness beginning to appear in your box. Here is a sampling of what you can expect to see in the next few months!
Green Beans from the eastern part of the state will be coming in late September/early October. The geography of this region provides farmers with some of the very best growing conditions in the state… for about 6-8 weeks in the fall. The limited growing season is because farmers cannot irrigate their fields due to the brackish water. This type of water is a combination of fresh and salt water so it has a higher salinity and iron level that field crops can’t handle. In fact, the level of iron in this region turns crops red!
Root veggies will be returning. Beets, rutabagas, turnips, white and purple sweet potatoes, daikon radish, and carrots. Popular responses from member when these veggies are mentioned are always the extreme: “Yippee!” or “What do you do with this!?”. Remember we will offer you recipes and information to help you learn ways to cook and eat these produce items if they are new to you.
Did you know root veggies are some of the most nutrient-dense vegetables in the world? Because they grow underground, they absorb a great amount of nutrients from the soil. They are packed with a high concentration of antioxidants, Vitamins C, B, A, and iron. They are also filled with slow-burning carbohydrates and fiber, which make you feel full, and help regulate your blood sugar and digestive system. Plus, they tend to taste best when eaten in season so if you think you don’t like them… be sure to give them another try!
Fall Fruits will include many more varieties of apples, Asian Pears (like a cross between an apple and a pear) and organic Persimmons. Did you know the Fuyu persimmon has no core or seeds and can be used as a substitute for apples and pears, as they have a crisp, tender texture and sweet flavor?
Field lettuces, greens and broccoli make a comeback as the temps cool. The cooler temps help to make greens taste sweeter. You will see the leaf and romaine lettuces back in your boxes along with spinach, collards, and mustard greens. Did you know collards have a similar nutritional profile to kale while it’s flavor profile is closer to cabbage? How about this… cooked spinach gives you a bigger nutritional punch than raw spinach? Or, the darker the lettuce leaf, the higher the nutritional rate?
Keep your eyes out for the chestnuts this fall also. We will teach you how to roast them if you have never had them before! These come to us from Guilford County each year. Did you know that a chestnut orchard can last for hundreds of years and does not require chemical fertilizers or pesticides? Chestnuts can be eaten raw or cooked. Have you ever just served them as a side dish like vegetables?
And of course, we will have some fun varieties of specialty squash and pumpkins this fall as well. The Butterkin Squash will be back and is very cool! This is a cross between a pumpkin and a butternut squash. You can eat them like a butternut, or remove the seeds and roast them, like you would a pumpkin. The Delicata, which has appeared in some boxes already this year, is more tender than traditional winter squash and if you like Spaghetti Squash, don’t miss out on the Orangetti variety. Plus, plan to make a “from scratch” Pumpkin Pie this fall with your very own pie pumpkin!