Kings Hill Farm Winter Share Week 4 Welcome to the Winter Share! This information is meant to help you store your vegetables until use. We’ve ordered this list starting with those you’ll want to use up first and moving down the list, root vegetables store really nicely so storage times will vary depending on your set up. The refrigerator helps so much, but it is also the enemy when storing vegetables because it steals humidity. Most vegetables like humidity in the 60-90% range. When I mention storing in plastic bags, anything will do it doesn’t have to be a specific type. If you use ziplock type bags don’t seal it all the way as some air flow is good for the veggies. The longer you store your vegetables the more often you should check and see how they are doing. The classic old time-y tradition was to sort through the stored veggies and cook up anything getting a little soft or brown spots.
Spinach – Sweet green spinach – another vegetable that does well with a couple of light frosts. Can be used in salad or cooked. Don’t forget to use the stems! They are just as sweet as the leaf. The spinach is from the greenhouse, and as a result is very clean (we snack on it while harvesting so it’s not gritty) Though with greens we always suggest a wash at home since we it does happen that we miss a spot! Stores well in the bag we deliver it in. Don’t tie the bag closed; it needs a little bit of air flow to stay fresh. Store for about 5-7 days.
Brussels Sprouts- We cut the stalk in half so it would fit in your box! They pop off very easily, but do it on your counter or table so they don’t go flying! Even if you don’t love these little guys they are great julienned into a stir-fry as a cabbage substitute. If they start to look a little peaked, trim the ends and the outside leaves to reveal in nice interior. Store on the stalk in a loose plastic bag (not tied or closed) or pop them all off and store in a ziplock type bag.
Napa Cabbage -While great in stirfry or kimchi, Napa with its nice mild flavor (not as “cabbage-y”) which makes it great for slaw of any flavor/seasoning. I’ll even add some of the green tops to fill out a salad. This stores well for about 2 weeks in a bag in the fridge or longer if you plan to just peel leaves as you need. Like most cabbages some of the outer leaves can start to yellow or go limp if you forgot about it. Just peel those back to reveal the fresh interior.
Carrots - Nice sweet carrots, store in the bag they come in until use. The carrots are perfect for snacking on or grated over a salad. They store for quite some time.
Watermelon Radish – a fall radish with a green/white skin and lovely pink flesh – giving it the watermelon name! Use for salads or snacks. Store the same way you store your rutabaga. Will store for some time if kept cool & humid.
Dikon Radish - variety we like called ‘Icicle’. This is a long white radish with green top, traditional in Korean cooking. It does best in our climate in the fall – making it a fall radish on the farm. It does have some ‘heat’ which makes it a great salad addition, shredded or thinly sliced with a creamy miso dressing (one is listed on the website) Can also be used in stir-fry’s or a homemade batch of kimchi.
Beets- A mix of golden, red, and Chioggia beets. You can boil the beets with their skin on until fork tender then dunk in cold water until cool enough to handle and peel the skins. They should come right off. This is how we’ve been eating beets, thinly sliced with spinach salad. A note though boil the beets separately, especially the red beets if you are hoping to retain the golden or Chioggia colors.
Celeriac – or Celery Root – cousin of celery that develops a small green top, and large root. You can peel the outside but we rarely do more than trim the bottom and top, the skin is very thin and once cooked is not noticeable. Really a great storage crop, lasts well if stored in plastic. While not adorable as vegetables go, has a mild flavor that’s perfect for any soup, stew, roast, gratin, or hash. Lately we’ve see a lot of celeriac soups or purees with meat entrees when we are at restaurants!
Purple Top Turnips - Milder in flavor than the rutabaga or celeriac it will take on the flavor of any dish you add it to. Store with the other root vegetables in a bag to retain moisture.
Onions– Yellow Onions Keep at room temperature in the kitchen for medium storage. Red onions won’t store for months on end like yellow onions so if you don’t cook with onions a lot use these first. But will hold longer in your house than in our dry storage. They like it dry, and on the cooler side (32-50 F ideally, though kitchens work well for medium length keeping). Don’t put in plastic bags as humidity encourages sprouting. You can also keep small quantities in the kitchen and bulk amounts of garlic or onions in a cooler spot in mesh bags or containers that allow lots of airflow. Onions will eventually start to sprout, but you can then give them some light from a window and use the leaves that grow from the center as scallions in late winter sprout salads!
Garlic – Store how you would your onions. I have noticed that the dry paper skins on these were thin this year from the wet soils so some of the cloves have some greening on them from the sun. While looking different the green is fine to eat, and doesn’t change the flavor of the garlic. Just a fluke from the season, but the thin skins may decrease over all storage of the garlic, but if used in a month or two you’ll be fine!
Sweet Potatoes- Our Beauregard sweets do really well in the short Wisconsin growing season. They are on the small side compared to what you are used to seeing in the grocery store. Still just as sweet for eating. Great for roasting, or chopping into any dish or sweet potato pie! Roast and then peel the smaller ones for dishes that called for mashed sweets. Keep at room temperature (above 55 F is important – cooler temperatures will result in chilling injury to this tropical root.) Keep dry in paper bags or baskets out of direct sunlight.
Potatoes- Adirondack Red Potatoes – in the blue potato family, these are the red head. More a purple-pink color inside. They handle our soils better than some of the more true blue potato varieties. We have used these for oven fries or deep fried with great results. The color stays best in a sliced or wedged form. For shorter term storage, just keep roots in the 40- 60 F range and they can keep for many weeks until they begin to sprout or soften. Keep potatoes in the dark in opaque containers like paper bags or in a drawer or cupboard, as light will turn them green and cause them to sprout sooner. More humid conditions will keep them from shriveling. For longest term storage, keep under refrigeration, or similar conditions. However, if you refrigerate, take them out and allow to come to room temperature. This allows the starches to convert back to normal inside the potato. Potato starches turn to sugars in the cold. You can also eat them directly out of the fridge, though they may be sweeter and have a slightly different texture.
Winter Squash- Butternut Squash Great halved seeds scoops and baked until tender. I always forget to, but you can roast winter squash seeds for a crunchy snack. Use in a recipe scooped out of the skins or add butter and salt & eat as side dish. Keep cool and dry. Traditionally squashes were kept under beds in the upstairs of farm houses where there was always above freezing temp, but not super hot either. Optimal conditions are from 50-55 degrees with relative humidity of 50-70 percent. Most homes are a little drier than that, which may cause a little drying of the squash, but that is not a huge concern. Temperatures below 50 degrees will cause chilling injury to squash. If you see any spots forming it’s time to eat it!
Popcorn- We’ve been drying these down since October and did a test batch (yum) this week to make sure they’d be ready for popping! The best way to store is in your cupboard. The kernels should come off fairly easily with a bit of a twist. Most ears will produce a couple of servings depending on how hungry you are. Most recipes call for ¼-1/3 cup. We’ve put a recipe link in the newsletter if you’ve never made stove top popcorn. Popcorn keeps for quite some time (in the year range).