North Star Orchard Blog

Have no fear! I, too, felt daunted by winter squash of all kinds. Oh, the time and effort and pre-planning required to use it. And how to use it?? Well, fear no more: here’s the super-duper, easy way to start dealing with your mountain of squash….

If you think this weeks weirdo, kohlrabi, looks weird when you get it in your CSA share or at the farmers’ market, just imagine checking it out while it’s still in the field! Its bulbous body sits squat against the dirt, while its leafy stalks stretch up like homing devices toward space, a realm it surely would be right at home in. Luckily for us, kohlrabi grows just fine here on Earth!

Romanesco is a shock to the senses! Its gorgeous lime green to chartreuse hue, sometimes freckled with a purpley red blush, is mesmerizing. This hypnotic appeal is clear once you realize Romanesco is a stellar example of the fibonacci sequence, or golden ratio. Its florets radiate out in perfectly ordered fractal spirals before your very eyes!

We can hear it now. You’re saying “what do I do with this lumpy alien troll beast in my share?!” More politely, this excellent article from NPR calls it “the vegetable world’s ugly duckling”. Don’t panic, friends, at the sight of this week’s truly weird weirdo! Celeriac may have the look of ogre skin at first glance, but fear not! Simply peel away that tough outer skin to to reveal the pristine creamy flesh inside; it was there all along!

It’s about this time of year when cans of cranberry sauce and pumpkin puree start gracing the ends of grocery store aisles. Do you know what’s really in many of those cans of pumpkin though? Butternut squash! It’s true; the USDA is pretty lax on their definition of pumpkin, and so long as the veg inside falls under the same genus as the orange jack-o-lantern type, it’s technically pumpkin.

Boy, oh boy, I am so excited we finally get to talk about leeks! I have got some serious love for these mouth watering alliums. These beauties may seem intimidating, but I promise you, they are no harder to prepare than their onion cousins.

I’ll be honest, one of my favorite broccoli recipes involves cheese, mayo and Pillsbury crescent dough. I said it! “Dough” from a can. There are no redeeming health benefits to this dish, despite broccoli’s high fiber and vitamin C content, but man, does it taste good. “Broccoli stuff”, as we call it, begins with the aforementioned dough triangles pinched together to form one sheet. Then just pile on broccoli, onions, cheese and maybe some tomatoes (don’t forget some mayo in there), roll or wrap it together and bake until it’s crispy golden brown. It’s weird, yet satisfying.

We get the question all of the time: “What is your favorite apple?”

So I must live under a rock, or I wouldn’t have missed potatostock 2014. This guy asked kickstarter for $10 to make potato salad and raised nearly $56,000! That’s a lot of potato salad. What sounded like a joke ended up as a huge assist for Central Ohio non-profits working to end hunger and homelessness, a great cause!

It’s been a very wet summer here on the farm. In June, it seemed like it rained almost every single day! All this water makes it really hard to be a farmer. It hasn’t hurt the fruit much (thank goodness!) but it isn’t good for the vegetables. Everything that touches the ground can’t get dry, and so it rots — even the cucumbers and the squash! Some of our lettuce plantings have been a mess, and it was terrible for the arugula and the spinach in spring. I don’t know who’s had it worse, the people in the field who have to pick it, or the people in the washroom who have to clean it up and sort it!