How to Love Celeriac

Fall is here without a doubt. We adjusted our start time for the crew from 6 to 6:30 am this week because at 6 it’s dark! Last Friday was cloudy as we went down to harvest and had to start cutting “big” things like cabbage and chard that were easier to make out in the dim light than arugula and tatsoi. In addition to the waning light, the temperature swing these days from the mornings just above freezing (and soon just below) to the bright afternoons of sixty and sixty-five degrees are pretty glorious. Having such change just in a few hours makes each day seem like a season change unto it self.

You’ll find celeriac in your share again this week. We snuck this one in on you last week without much fanfare, but it does deserve some attention. Celeriac, otherwise known as celery root, is the hardy and hard working cousin of the dainty and, in my opinion, less friendly celery. Where celery has its place adding foundation flavor to soups casseroles and the like, celeriac refuses to be pigeon holed and, because of its starchy sweetness and mild flavor, can go with almost anything this time of year. Having been tortured with peanut butter & celery as a child I am not in love with celery but give me celeriac along with almost anything in your share and I can make a meal.  What do we do with this vegetable around the kitchen? First remove the ends with a sturdy knife and continue to peel the whole root until the rough skin is gone and only the off white interior remains. At this point anything is possible. You can grate it onto a salad and dress with a mustard vinaigrette; cube it and boil with potatoes and then mash it together with the spuds for savory mashed; toss with oil or butter and roast it with beets and carrots; slice into soups for all the flavor of celery and something to fill up your spoon as well. Check out the website for more recipes:

What’s ahead for the farm? As we come into our last month of harvest we always have an eye ahead to next year. A large part of the process of preparing for the year to come is looking at changes large and small we can make to the CSA to improve what we do here for all of you. Next week we will offer our annual survey both online (new this year) and on paper. By filling this out you will supply the answers to our winter questions about changes to vegetable varieties, adjustment to pick-up times, what you most like about coming to the farm, etc. What we do here is very much a work in progress and you help us make the farm better and better every year.

One big change we will be making for the coming season is the addition of May greens. Our new high tunnel by the upic field will allow us to provide 2 weeks of greens during the month of May for CSA members. Greens may not seem that exciting right now as we enter week 19 of greens in your share, but next spring after the cold dark of winter…they will seem like gold.

CSA sign-up for 2011. It’s been a great year and we hope to make next year even better. Your commitment to a share this fall helps us plan for the coming season. By signing up now you also get on our winter payment plan which divides the share cost over three payments in February, April and June. As always, payment in full is great too.

What to expect in your share this week…

Lettuce            Potatoes                        Celeriac

Cabbage            Arugula                        Carrots

Kale                                    Chard

Asian Greens             Chickories

Winter Squash            Beets

Crystal Spring Farm Lamb. We have a great crop of lambs this year. Order your whole or half lamb processed as you like and fill the freezer for the coming winter. Ask us at pickup for more information.

Hand and Hand Feast. We have tickets at the farm for the Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust’s 25th anniversary celebration Hand and Hand with the Land Sunday October 17th from 4-7 pm at Frontier Café in Brunswick. Local Chefs and local farmers team up to make great food. What could be better? $40 per couple, kids are free!