Also, if you feel overwhelmed with things, here are a few tips:
1. Root crops (carrots, beets, leeks, turnips, rutabaga, etc.) will keep for a long time - like months - if kept in an airtight bag in the fridge. Make sure to remove the greens ASAP. Most greens are edible and very tasty. I toss the root into a zip loc baggie and sometimes add just a bit of water, just to keep them hydrated (like a sprinkle, not a lot) and zip them up and toss in my crisper.
2. Potatoes, onions and squash like a dry, cool area. Around 50 degrees is ideal. It should be dark with normal humidity - if it's too humid, the squash will rot. I generally leave the squash in the garage (unless it freezes) and the potatoes and onions are in a dark place like a lower cabinet in an open bin in my kitchen. Don't store in non-vented plastic bags for longer than it takes to get them home.
3. Cabbage - you can wrap cabbages, including Napa Cabbage, in a few layers of saran wrap and keep it in the fridge for a long time - again at least a month. I've kept Dutch Late Flat cabbage for 4 - 5 months this way. I haven't done this with Napa and, because it's more tender, I don't think it would keep that long. But we do have some in the fridge that's been there for a month and it's still good. If the outer leaves start to go, just peel them off and you should be able to get down to tasty cabbage.
4. Greens - kale, chard, yukina savoy, choi, etc. Store these in an airtight bag in the fridge and they should keep for a week or two or more. The more tender, the shorter their storage life. So lettuce won't keep as long as winterbor kale and lacinato kale and collards will keep for a long time. Again, if they're a bit dehydrated for whatever reason, you can soak them in cold water for 20 minutes or so and they should bounce back nicely. Sometimes the cold (or hot), dry air will wick the moisture from the plants and a nice soaking will do wonders.
5. Peppers, tomatoes, eggplant - we won't have these for too much longer. But in general, I keep tomatoes, eggplant and hot peppers on the counter. Bell peppers store well in the fridge.
6. If you're totally overwhelmed with the bounty, try freezing items. Greens can be blanched and bagged in freezer bags. Many people roast veggies and freeze for later use. Broccoli is also great to blanch and freeze. Or you can always make a soup or veggie stock. I have posted recipes for stock on the recipe blog in the past. Some people make veggie quiche and freeze it. It's a nice treat to pull something like this from the freezer in the middle of winter.
On to the box contents for yesterday:
- A head of broccoli. I did notice some cabbage worms on a few of the heads. If you soak in salt water prior to cooking, the worms should release from the broccoli. In general, the entire brassica family (which includes cabbage, kale, arugula, collards, most of the asian greens, broccoli, etc) are subject to these worms.
- A bunch of beets. Don't forget - the beet greens are very tasty!
- 3 lbs of potatoes - these are Adirondack Blue which are tasty and do hold their color when cooked.
- A large bag of Yukina Savoy - this can be eaten like spinach - either fresh or sauteed. I think it's better if you cut it into smaller pieces before cooking (at least in half) but we do not remove the stems.
- Napa cabbage or choi - some of these were huge (6 lbs +). Napa cabbage is good in soups, fresh in salads, or sauteed. It is also the main ingredient used in kim chi.
- A bunch of arugula
- 2 1/2 lbs. of tomatoes. Enjoy - they're coming from the hoop house so they will need to go soon.
- 1 1/2 lbs. of sweet peppers. Again - make sure they're sweet before you use them in your spaghetti or other dish. You have to taste each pepper because peppers from the same plant could be sweet or spicy due to the busy bees.
- 5 - 7 spicy peppers
- A handful of parsley
- 3 large sprigs rosemary
- Daikon radish
- A bunch of chard
- 1/2 lb. of onions
- A box of eggplant, summer squash or cherry tomatoes or small peppers
- An optional sunflower
- Optional mixed salad greens - this was left from Saturday and is a bit wilted (dried out). Give it a soak if you're interested in it. It's a mix of tatsoi, mizuna, arugula, lettuce, chinese lettuce, and yukina savoy.
- Cut flowers - u-pick - up to 15 stems. Get them before the frost does.
- Herbs - a little of each - sage, thyme & oregano.