Category Archives: Caring & Storing

care for and store produce

Making Your Own Vegetable Broth

The other day I was talking to a friend who told me about a unique way to make vegetable broth. What I loved about  this process is that you can save all parts of the veggies that you buy and receive at pickup. Even little root hairs and outer skin layers of onions. So instead of tossing your veggie scraps, keep them and freeze them!

Start by throwing most of the vegetable scraps you have left over into a plastic freezer bag. 2 – 3 cups worth of frozen scraps is ideal to add with 8 cups of water, so you can adjust your amount accordingly. To capture that “brothy” flavor, the only other necessity for this recipe is the addition of chopped carrots, celery, and onions (spring onions, shallots, or bulbs work fine). Virtually any vegetable scrap will do, yet stay away from cruciferous veggies – meaning no cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, nor Brussels sprouts, which can leave a bitter flavor in your broth. Make sure your scraps are clean and washed – you don’t want any dirt in your broth – and avoid significantly moldy carrots or onions. Some good examples of scraps include onion skin, sage stem, shallot skin, carrot peels, green onion ends, the leaves of carrots, celery, and radishes, and mushroom stems. The only difference between broth and stock is that stock is not seasoned, so to make vegetable stock using this recipe, skip adding salt and pepper at the end. Take advantage of this quick and easy way to save your scraps and avoid buying broth!


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 3 ribs celery, chopped
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 8 cups water
  • Frozen vegetable scraps (2-3 cups is a good amount)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • A few sprigs of parsley and thyme
  • Salt and Pepper to taste (omit these if you’re making stock)


Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven or stockpot over medium heat. Add the garlic, onions, celery, and carrots. Cook until softened, about 5 minutes, stirring often. Add the water, frozen vegetable scraps, bay leaves, parsley, and thyme. Reduce heat to low and simmer, partially covered, for 45 minutes. Pour the broth through a fine mesh strainer into a large heat-proof bowl or pot; discard solids. Once the broth has cooled, transfer it to airtight plastic containers or freezer bags and store it in the freezer. (You can freeze it in 2-cup portions to not have to thaw all the broth every time you use it.)


Cooking with Butternut and Acorn Squash

Over the past couple weeks, I have heard several comments from people about how much they appreciate some of the “bonuses” of being apart of the CSA, which include the chance to learn how to cook some vegetable you may have never cooked with before – winter squash being a common one. Instead of having the choice to cook with what we prefer or what we may be used to from the supermarket, we have to deal with only what is ready to harvest from the field. Being able to provide you all with a better idea of how to cook some of these unfamiliar crops is what being apart of a CSA is all about!

Roasting Acorn Squash

You may want to eat your Acorn squash rather soon because they will not hold for much more than 4 weeks. Unlike most other winter squashes, the quality of Acorn squash does not increase after curing for a couple weeks. And remember, store all of your winter squash in a dry and cool place, never in the fridge (unless they have already been cooked of course).

Very similar to preparing Spaghetti Squash, you can cut the Acorn squash in half, remove all of the seeds and stringy bits, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and then roast. Cut the squash with a large chef’s knife since they can be quite tough, and be sure to cut from the stem downwards. Rub the oil all over the cut surface and bowl of the squash, and place the cut-side up halves in a preheated oven of 375 degrees. Roast for 45 to 60 minutes; when finished the halves should be caramelized around the edges, and you should be able to easily poke a knife all the way through the flesh.

You may also want to add a few garlic cloves, or a scoop of brown sugar into the bowl of each squash half. Another option is to stuff each half with whatever you like; bread crumbs, shredded meat, leftover vegetables, cheese, etc…Here are a few things you can do with your roasted squash:

  • Soup: Scoop all the flesh from the squash and either chop it into large chunks for a brothy soup, or puree it for a creamy soup.
  • Casseroles: Layer the scooped squash into a lasagna or toss it into a casserole.
  • Salads: Toss big chunks of the leftover squash in with salad fixings.
  • Pasta: Squash and pasta is a great combination. Add some brown butter and sage to the mix.
  • Put it in (or on) a crust: Squash-stuffed calzones. Squash-topped pizza. Squash-filled quesadillas…Very tasty recipes.

Butternut Squash

I have also been receiving some questions about how long butternut squash will last and what is the curing process all about. Curing is simply storing winter squash at a warm temperature with good air circulation for a period of time, usually 10 to 14 days. When you harvest winter squash, the mature fruits contain excess water. The process of curing squash allows some of that water to exit the fruit. Getting rid of excess water does several things:

  • It concentrates the natural sugars, which makes the squash taste sweeter.
  • It slows the fruit’s respiration rate, which enhances long-term storage.
  • It helps reduce chances of rot.

During the curing process, the skin becomes harder, forming a protective layer over flesh. That harder skin slows respiration, which ultimately improves fruit keeping quality. Harder skin also resists rot better, another secret for problem-free long-term storage. Use fruits with broken stems first because any fruits with damaged stems will not store very well. Butternut squash can store for up to 6 months at 50 – 55 degrees F.

Here is a quick recipe for Caramelized Butternut Squash:

Total time: 1 hr 10 min     Yields 6 – 8 servings


  • 4 – 5 lbs worth of butternut squash, or 2 medium butternut squash,
  • 6 tbs unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Cut off and discard the ends of each butternut squash. Peel the squash, cut them in half lengthwise, and remove the seeds. Cut the squash into 1 1/4 to 1 1/2-inch cubes and place them on a baking sheet. Add the melted butter, brown sugar, salt, and pepper. With clean hands, toss all the ingredients together and spread in a single layer on the baking sheet. Roast for 45 to 55 minutes, until the squash is tender and the glaze begins to caramelize. While roasting, turn the squash a few times with a spatula, to be sure it browns evenly. Taste for seasonings and serve hot.

Caramelized Butternut Squash



Storing Sweet Potatoes, Edamame, and Spaghetti Squash

Hi all,

Several of you have been asking at distribution for some tips on how to cook and store edamame beans, so I thought I would go into more detail on this very nutritious bean. I have also provided some information on storing spaghetti squash and sweet potatoes, as well as a tasty recipe for the squash.

Sweet Potatoes

Refrigeration changes the structure of the cell walls of sweet potatoes, making them harder to break down. As a result, refrigerated sweet potatoes can remain hard in the middle and take longer to cook.

Store sweet potatoes at cool room temperature, preferably in a dark place away from light — a great option is in a loosely covered bag. Will last for about 1 month using these methods.

To freeze: Wash, peel, and boil until tender. Slice or mash, and then add a small amount of lemon juice to prevent discoloration. Let cool, then place in covered air-tight containers or  freezer bags. Can last for up to a year or longer.

Reference: and

How to Cook Edamame

The whole pod can be cooked because it is difficult to remove the beans prior to cooking; they slip out easily once the pods are cooked. To cook fresh edamame pods…

  • Bring a pot of water or lightly salted water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add the pods and return the water to boiling; boil pods about 5 minutes. Do not overcook them or they will become mushy.
  • Drain the beans and cool them under cold running water or immerse them in ice water to stop them from heating.
  • To shell the beans, gently squeeze the pods with your fingers to release them.
  • If you prefer, you can refrigerate the cooked beans for an hour or two after cooking in order to serve them cold. Sprinkle them with a coarse salt or dip them in soy sauce to add some flavor.

Storing Edamame

Try to cook edamame pods as soon as possible after acquiring. They can be stored a day or two in the refrigerator before cooking. Once cooked, the edamame pods should be stored in the refrigerator for up to several days. Freezing is another option — you can freeze whole cooked pods, or shell the beans and freeze them. To reheat the frozen beans, cook them in boiling water for a few minutes.

How to Cook Other Forms of Edamame

Frozen edamame: You can find other forms of edamame in the grocery story year-round, such as frozen shelled edamame. The beans have already been cooked and just need to be reheated for 2 to 3 minutes in a pan of boiling water.

Reference: how to cook edamame

Spaghetti Squash

Store uncut squash in a cool and dry place of around 60 degrees Fahrenheit for up to 3 months. Spaghetti squash can be stored int he refrigerator 1 – 2 weeks, yet it will deteriorate quickly due to the amount of moisture. Cut squash as well as cooked squash should be tightly wrapped in plastic wrap and refrigerated. Cooked squash will last up to 2 days in the fridge.

Freezing Tips

Cook spaghetti squash before freezing it. Cooked pieces of spaghetti squash can be wrapped in plastic, then placed in a freezer bag with a zipper.

To freeze strands of squash, rake cooked spaghetti squash halves lengthwise with a fork, separating the flesh into long, spaghetti strands. Place the strands into freezer bags with a zipper. Squeeze all of the air out of the freezer storage bags and seal. Make sure to date and label the bags! Another option is to store and freeze cooked spaghetti squash in sealed, airtight containers.

Unthaw spaghetti squash strands or spaghetti pieces partially. Steam about eight to 15 minutes until firm and tender.

Preparing Spaghetti Squash

To prepare spaghetti squash, cut in half lengthwise and remove the seeds with a spoon. Bake or boil until tender, or wrap in plastic wrap and microwave on high fro 10 – 12 minutes. Once cooked, use a fork to rake out the spaghetti-like strands until reaching the rind and serve.



Roasted Squash With Parmesan and Herbs

Preparation: 15 mins       Servings: 6


  • 2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 shallots, diced small
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 3/4 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • 6 cups Roasted Spaghetti Squash
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • In a large nonstick skillet, melt butter over medium. Add shallots and garlic and cook until softened, 7 minutes. Stir in thyme and rosemary and cook until fragrant, 1 minute. Add squash and toss to combine. Cook until warmed through. Stir in parsley and Parmesan and season with salt and pepper.


This post is by Matt Eiland who is in his first year as one of the Farm Apprentices at Moose Hill. In addition to the weekly pick-up posts, Matt has been sharing stories from the fields, ways to care and store for the crops, and other helpful insights.

Gotta love peppers!

Hi all,

I must say that peppers for some reason are some of the coolest vegetables to watch grow. The variety in taste based on color, and the vast amount of spices we can engender from hot peppers…I simply don’t know how most talented cooks could survive without this vegetable. In addition to some useful resources I found which compare how long different colored bell peppers will last, I thought I would include some tips about how to store peppers, both long and short-term. Lastly, there is quick-fix tasty looking sandwich recipe involving peppers and portobello mushrooms.

How to tell when peppers have gone bad

You can usually tell by looking or feeling if they are going bad. Firm peppers, regardless of color, are a clear indication that they are still good. One common sign of peppers getting old, is if they begin to reveal wrinkles and a softer skin. You can still cook with these peppers, but they will not be very desirable raw. Soon after they become soft, they will start to become slimy, and mold will begin to develop. Sliced bell peppers start to become moist on the cut side of the vegetable, which will further result in mold.

How to store peppers to extend shelf life

For a longer shelf life, it is ideal to store them whole in the vegetable bin of the refrigerator. Once a pepper is cut, it should be sealed in a plastic bag and used within a few days. For a longer term option, chopped peppers may be frozen in a freezer safe container; chop them onto a cookie tray and briefly freeze the tray before storing them in a freezer safe bag. This method will prevent the peppers from forming a large frozen ice ball. Peppers will develop ice crystals quite quickly so it is best to use them as soon as possible. Defrosted peppers will be soft, thus more ideal for cooking.

 Peppers Expiration date Refrigerator
Life-span before going bad
Fresh (Whole) Green Bell Peppers 2-3 Weeks
Fresh Red Bell Peppers (Whole) 1-2 Weeks
Fresh Orange Bell Peppers 1-2 Weeks
Fresh Yellow Bell Peppers (Whole) 1-2 Weeks
Cut Bell Peppers (any color) 1-3 Days
Frozen Chopped Bell Peppers 4-6 Month


Grilled Portobello, bell pepper, goat cheese sandwiches from

 Grilled Portobello, Bell Pepper, and Goat Cheese Sandwiches


Marinate portobello mushroom caps and sweet bell peppers in homemade balsamic vinaigrette, then grill on a flattened Kaiser roll for a panini-style sandwich. It is an easy weeknight meal that can be prepared on the grill, with an indoor grill pan, or in a skillet.


This post is by Matt Eiland who is in his first year as one of the Farm Apprentices at Moose Hill. In addition to the weekly pick-up posts, Matt has been sharing stories from the fields, ways to care and store for the crops, and other helpful insights.

Mashed Beets and Storing Tips

Hi all,

I noticed I haven’t provided any specifics about beets, thus I decided to look through a cook book I have titled Good and Cheap–Eat Well On $4/Day. Right down my alley, but moreover, this recipe for Mashed Beets is very easy and it looks delicious.

Before going into this though, here are some helpful tips about storing your beets and beet greens:

  • When Choosing which greens to cook with, go for the ones that are bright green seeing that they have the most nutrients in them, and will have a stronger flavor after being sauteed.
  • Storing:  Separate the beets from the leaves, and store them in separate plastic bags in the vegetable drawer of the refrigerator. Do not wash them before doing so–this will keep them dry and fresh for weeks. Leaves will last for a few days, but beets should endure for around 3 weeks.
  • Best uses: Small, young beets are tasty when grated raw in salads. All types are delicious steamed or boiled. Or roast them at 400º F for 45 minutes; slice and top with goat cheese, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar.

Mashed Beets

Making pureed or mashed beets like this is a little different compared to making a mash out of something like potatoes, seeing that beets are much less starchy, thus they don’t naturally “fluff up” they way other root crops do. Use a food processor for the best result, yet this recipe can be done with or without one. Color should be magenta when finished.

-Serves 4 as a Side


salt to taste                                                                                                                                                       4 medium sized beets                                                                                                                                   1 tbs butter                                                                                                                                                     3 cloves finely chopped butter                                                                                                                     1/4 cup vegetable or chicken broth                                                                                                             pepper to taste

Optional Additions:

Orange juice instead of broth                                                                                                                       Dill                                                                                                                                                                     Yogurt or sour cream                                                                                                                                   Vinegar

1. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add beets without skinning them, and cook until a knife can pierce them easily, about 40 mins.

2. Drain water and let beets cool for 5 mins.

3. Meanwhile, melt butter in a pan over medium heat. Saute garlic until in smells great and turns translucent, but not brown–about 2 mins. Remove from heat and set aside.

4. Once beets are cool, chop off stems and peel off their skin. It should be easy since the cooking will have softened the exterior.

5. Dice beets and add them to a bowl or food processor along with the sauteed garlic, the broth, and any additions. Process or mash until the mixture is very smooth. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.


How to select, store, and Cook Summer Produce

Mashed Beet recipe from Good and Cheap–Eat Well on $4/Day. Leanne Brown

Spring Onion Recipe and Storage Tips

Hello Shareholders,

Because of some nice ideas presented to me by shareholders this week, I thought I would present a delicious recipe of Cream cheese with green onions and chives, as well as some tips about storing your onions.

Storage Tip:

It is a good idea to keep them as dry as possible when being refrigerated. If they are too moist, they often develop that slimy and yucky texture which most of us don’t enjoy. First step is to dry the onions with a paper towel, place one or two bunches of onions (By “bunch” I mean the amount you received wrapped in a rubber band) on two pieces of paper towels, and wrap the paper towels around the onions so that they are completely covered front and back (like a burrito wrap). You may need to cut your onion scapes in half for them to fit onto the paper towel. Place your wrapped onions in a large Ziploc bag or tupperware for storage. Press out all of the air of the Ziploc before sealing it. The onions should last for a week and half to two weeks! Also Make sure not to use a supermarket produce bag for this process, seeing that the thin plastic will not insulate the onions well, nor keep them dry enough to last long.

Scapes are cut in half in order to fit onto paper towel well

Scapes are cut in half in order to fit onto paper towel well

Onions are now wrapped and ready to be covered and stored in the fridge

Onions are now wrapped and ready to be covered and stored in the fridge

You can store your lettuce, Mustard greens, and Kale in the same way; Fully drying the greens after washing by using a salad spinner, keeping them covered in paper towels, and well insulated in a plastic Ziploc bag. Again, make sure all of the air is compressed out of the bag before sealing in order to ensure they stay dry. You may also choose to avoid washing the greens until right before they are eaten.

Cream Cheese with Green Onions and Chives:

I was able to find a very simple and easy to make dish, one that puts your share to good use! This recipe is great for dipping vegetables or spreading onto bagels.

Yield: 1 cup (enough for about 6 servings)


8 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons milk or sour cream
1 tablespoon fresh green onions, sliced thinly or minced
1 tablespoon fresh chives, sliced thinly or minced
Small sprinkle of garlic salt and a dash of pepper


  1. Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl. Beat with electric mixer until fluffy and well-mixed. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Also note that you may want a milder dip for veggies and a hotter, more onion-flavor for spreading on bagels. Just add more green onions or chives to adjust the flavor.



“Cream Cheese with Green onions and Chives,”