Justin in the carrots


  • Poblano Peppers
  • Eggplant
  • Baby Savoy Cabbage
  • Parsley
  • Cilantro
  • Butternut Squash
  • Purple-Top Turnips
  • Potatoes
  • Carrots
  • Onions
  • Black Beans from Bob’s Red Mill


Three Weeks to Go: We are looking forward to three more bountiful shares, so stay tuned for weeks 21, 22, and 23! Please see end of season details below:

For members who pick up at Zenger Farm, your last Farm Share pick-up is Tuesday, November 4th.

For members who pick up in Sellwood and the Portland Homestead Supply Company, your last Farm Share pick-up is Wednesday, November 5th.

For members who pick up at the Lents International Farmers Market, please remember that your last market pick-up will be Sunday, October 26th. For the last two weeks of Zenger Farm Shares, you will pick up your share at the Farm: Tuesday, October 28th, 4:30-6:30pm, and Tuesday, November 4th, 4:30-6:30pm. Directions to Zenger Farm.

FIELD NOTES: Time for Turkeys

Zenger Farm's flock

Zenger Farm’s flock

Thanksgiving turkey reservations open tomorrow, Thursday, October 16th. If you have purchased a turkey from Zenger Farm in the past, or you have already inquired, you will be receiving an email shortly with information about reserving your bird.

This year at Zenger Farm, we are raising two different heritage breed turkeysBourbon Red and Standard Bronze. The flock has enjoyed a lively season flapping, gobbling, and eating farm-fresh veggies.

Contact sara@zengerfarm.org for more information.


IN THE KITCHEN: Recipe ideas from your Farmers

Roasted Poblano-Cream Soup (adapted from a recipe on Epicurious.com) Makes 6 servings. From Lauren.

  • 1.5 pounds poblano peppers
  • 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
  • 1.5 cups chopped onion
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 5 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 small bunch chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 small bunch chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
  • 1/4 cup (or more) whipping cream
  • Cotija cheese
Butternut squash

Butternut squash


  1. Char chilies over gas flame or in broiler until blackened on all sides. Enclose in paper bag. Let stand 10 minutes to steam. Peel, seed and chop poblano chilies.
  2. Melt butter in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; sauté until onion is tender, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add chilies and sauté 1 minute. Add stock and bring to boil.
  4. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer until chilies are very tender, about 10 minutes. Mix in cilantro, parsley and mint.
  5. Working in batches, puree soup in blender. Return soup to pot. Mix in 1/4 cup cream. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  6. Add more cream if soup is too spicy.
  7. Top with crumbled cotija cheese.

Curried Butternut Squash Soup From Leigh.

web_share 10-7IN YOUR SHARE:

  • Rainbow Chard
  • Carrots
  • Red Beets
  • Green Kohlrabi
  • Purple Potatoes
  • Delicata Winter Squash
  • Cucumbers
  • Jimmy Nardello Peppers (sweet)
  • Mild Habanero Peppers (mild)
  • Red Onions
  • Inchelium Red Garlic
  • Cornmeal from Bob’s Red Mill

FIELD NOTES: Winter Squash Harvest

Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti Squash

The annual winter squash harvest is one of my favorite days of the year. There is always something about the crisp morning air and the slanted light at midday that makes everything feel nostalgic. Maybe it’s simply an annual marker that reminds me of time passing and brings with it a flood of Fall-time memories. And maybe it triggers anticipation for spending time being cozy with family and friends eating things like Butternut Squash Soup and Pumpkin Pie!

But in addition to the warm fuzzy feelings and mind wanderings, squash harvest is also just a lot of fun. First thing this morning, we headed into the fields, spread out in a flock amongst the squash, then clipped fruits from withered vines and arranged them into rows for easy collection. Once they were harvested and lined up tidy, we drove the pick-up in amongst the squash and began the task of loading up one truckload after another – five loads in all! We worked on our hand-eye coordination and verbal communication skills while tossing heavy and slippery squash to one another. There were some close calls today, but no one was clocked in the head by squash hurtling through the air. A success for the team!

Winter squash curing in the greenhouse

Winter squash curing in the greenhouse

Lastly, we unloaded each truckload, one by one, onto tables in the greenhouse. Where each winter squash plant started its life as a seed in a tiny pot receiving extra warmth and frequent gentle watering, now the fruits of five-months growth lay out to bask in the afternoon fall sunshine. The cut on each stem where squash was sniped from vine, as well as any nicks that they may have received in harvest and transport, these will heal over the next couple of weeks. When the squash are fully cured, they will be boxed up and brought into the barn for storage through the fall.

So, we hope you are as excited for squash as we are! Stay tuned for more winter squash recipe ideas next week.

IN THE KITCHEN: Share notes from Sara


Delicata Winter Squash

Delicata Winter Squash

Delicata Winter Squash: If you are new to this variety, the biggest surprise is that the skin is edible, and quite tasty. I like to cut the squash in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds (reserve for roasting if you like), cut in half moons, toss in olive oil and sprinkle with salt, then roast on 350 degrees until lightly browned on both sides. Delicata also works well as a sweet treat – just leave the halves whole, put some butter and brown sugar in the center of each “boat”, then bake on 350 until the squash can be easily pierced with a fork and the top is lightly browned.

Mild HabaneroMild Habanero: Sooooo mild, it’s amazing that this pepper descended from the original Habanero. If you haven’t tried these golden peppers raw yet, we recommend giving it a go. I sliced one up and ate it alongside my lunch the other day, and was sold!


web_share 9-30_3IN YOUR SHARE:

  • Purple-Top Turnips
  • Spaghetti Squash
  • Broccoli
  • Fall Greens
  • Fennel
  • Cucumbers
  • Eggplant
  • Poblano Peppers (mild)
  • Padron Peppers (variable/mild)
  • Leeks
  • Inchelium Red Garlic
  • Steel Cut Oats from Bob’s Red Mill

FIELD NOTES: Spotlight on Brussels Sprouts

The botanical name Brassica oleracea, belong to the Brassicaceae family. The Brassicaceae is an economically important food plant family also known as the mustard plants, crucifers and cabbages. Brussels Sprouts will be ready for harvest in a month or so. Pictured below, buds that resemble small cabbages are just beginning to swell where each stem meets the center stalk. The buds are the part of the plant that is most commonly eaten.

Brussels Sprouts

Brussels Sprouts

At this stage of development it is beneficial to harvest the top most leaves of the brussels sprouts in order to divert remaining energy of the plant in to sizing up the sprouts rather than creating new and upward leaf growth. The leaves of Brussels Sprouts are an underutilized part of the plant but are actually quite tasty.

The flavor of the leaves is mild, similar to kale and if harvested young, remarkably sweet, void of the more bitter cruciferous flavor that is apparent in the plant’s sprouts. Brussels sprouts leaves can essentially replace cabbage, collard greens, or even kale in any recipes that call for these greens; they will simply offer a sweeter flavor and more tender texture. Brussels sprouts leaves can be used to make coleslaw, kimchi, added to fish tacos and lend texture to mixed green salads. Some of our members will be getting Brussels Sprout tops (leaves) in their shares this week as your “Fall Greens”, we hope you enjoy this unique treat!

IN THE KITCHEN: Share Notes and Recipe Ideas, from Leigh


Leigh proudly presents..purple-top turnips!

Leigh proudly presents..purple-top turnips!

Purple-Top Turnips: The purple-top is a variety of turnip (Brassica raps). The part of the tuber that grows below the ground is white, while the upper part that sticks out is purple.  The greens, which are also edible, grow from the purple part.  Purple-top turnips grow larger than many varieties of turnip and they can be stored longer if kept in a cool, moist location – simply leaving them in the fields in the damp Fall soil, for example, or in a cellar or the root drawer of your refrigerator.

Poblano Peppers: These peppers are a mild variety of chili pepper used in Mexican and Southwestern cooking.  They are named poblano peppers because they are said to originate from the state of Puebla in central Mexico.  They have a thick, dark-green skin and a wide base.  They register between 1,000-2,000 Scoville heat units. When fully ripe, bright red in color, they can be dried for later use. When dried, they are referred to as Ancho Peppers. When green, they are great for roasting, stuffing, and even frying!

*If you missed it, check out last week’s blog post describing all of the Zenger Farm peppers of 2014.

Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti Squash: The first Winter Squash of the season! The unique, stringy texture of spaghetti squash distinguishes it from the rest of the winter squash clan. As the name implies, a common use for this squash is as a substitute for noodles under your favorite spaghetti sauces. Especially when paired with a rich meat or cream sauce, the texture and light flavor of the squash offers a perfect balance. Spaghetti Squash is also high in Vitamin C! For cooking instructions, see the recipe below for a simple tomato sauce over spaghetti squash.


Click any title below for live links to recipes suggestions.

Spaghetti Squash with Tomato Sauce

Stuffed Poblanos

Sautéed Brussels Sprout Tops/Collard Greens

Glazed Turnips and Carrots


Winterbor Kale


  • Kohlrabi
  • Winterbor Kale
  • Cucumbers
  • Mix of Tomatoes
  • Mix of Hot Peppers
  • Red Roaster Sweet Peppers
  • Jimmy Nardello Sweet Peppers
  • Red Norland Potatoes
  • Yellow Onion
  • Inchelium Red Garlic
  • Popcorn from Bob’s Red Mill

IN THE KITCHEN: Share Notes and Recipe Ideas, from Sara


Kohlrabi: The round, purple vegetable in your share this week is a cousin of broccoli, turnips, radishes…all vegetables that it resembles in flavor and texture, if not shape and size. Excellent eaten fresh in salads or a slaw. Great with other firm vegetables and fruit such as fennel, apple, and cabbage. We have yet to experiment with cooked kohlrabi recipes. If you find a good one, let us know! Though I haven’t tried it yet, the recipe below looks great.

All About Peppers: This week in your share, we’ve included a mix of hot peppers for you to try out, as well as two of our sweet pepper varieties: Jimmy Nardello and Stocky Red Roaster. In an attempt to keep them all straight, below are brief descriptions of each of the peppers growing on the farm this year.

Pepper Line-Up. Hot on top, sweet below.

Pepper Line-Up: Hot on top, sweet below.

Hot Peppers (Top Row. Descriptions below are left to right in picture)

In order to give you a sense of how hot these hot peppers actually are, we have provided their score on the Scoville Scale below. The Scoville scale is the measurement of heat in chili peppers, which is due to the concentration of capsaicin – primarily found in the seeds of the fruit.

  • Poblano: Scoville Score=1000-1500. Though typically mild in spice, they can sometimes be quite hot. These large chili peppers originated in Puebla, Mexico. When dried, they are called Ancho. Red when ripe.
  • Mild Habanero: Scoville Score=100. This mild-mannered cousin of the insanely hot Habanero (Scoville Score=300,000), is actually almost sweet. It has the same distinct fruity aroma as the traditional Habanero, but with none of the pain.
  • Padron: Scoville Score=500-2,500. This Spanish frying pepper has a very wide range of spice. Some are very mild, some quite hot.
  • Czech Black: Scoville Score=1000. Similar to Jalapeno, but not as hot. Starts green, then shades to black, and finally red when ripe.
  • Serrano: Scoville Score=10,000-25,000. Also from the Puebla region of Mexico, this slender, thick-walled pepper is much hotter than Jalapeno. Commonly used in salsa. Red when ripe.
  • Fireball: Sweet and very hot cherry pepper. I could not find the Scoville units for this pepper, but it is undeniably our hottest pepper. Red when ripe. Excellent pickled, or used to turn up the heat on your favorite savory dishes.

Sweet Peppers (Bottom Row. Descriptions below are left to right in picture.)

  • Jimmy Nardello: Sweet Italian pepper. Long and slender. Red when ripe.
  • Gatherer’s Gold: Sweet pepper. Thick-walled and juicy. Yellow when ripe.
  • Stocky Red Roaster: Sweet pepper. Red when ripe.


Kohlrabi Salad: Adapted from Jerusalem, by Yotam Ottolenghi

Looks like an alien, but it tastes great!

Looks like an alien, but it tastes great!


  • 1 pound Kohlrabi
  • 1/3 cup yogurt
  • 5 Tbs sour cream
  • 3 Tbs Mascarpone cheese
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1.5 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 2 Tbs fresh mint, finely shredded
  • 1/4 tsp sumac
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Peel kohlrabi and cut into bite-sized chunks. Put in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Mix dressing: Put all other ingredients, except sumac, into a separate bowl and whisk until smooth.
  3. Cover kohlrabi with dressing and stir to coat well. Salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with sumac and serve.



Justin Moran as....Tomato Man!

Justin Moran as….Tomato Man!


  • Italian Prune Plums
  • Nicola Potatoes
  • Red Beets
  • Fennel
  • Collard Greens
  • Rainbow Chard
  • Cucumbers
  • Calliope Asian Eggplant
  • Padron Peppers (some hot, some not)
  • Leeks
  • Spanish Roja Garlic
  • Rosemary
  • Split Peas from Bob’s Red Mill


Ulrich Zenger Jr. and Sr. in front of the barn.

Ulrich Zenger Jr. and Sr. in front of the barn.

Eat at OMSI on September 23rd and help us win a grant to update the historic Zenger Farm barn!

We love our barn, a relic of the Zenger family dairy that operated on this land from 1913 through the mid-80’s. In the early days of the Mount Scott Dairy, as it was called, the Zengers delivered milk by horse and buggy along what is now the busy 4-lane Foster Road, and Zenger Farm was one of many farms in this area. Find out more about the history of Zenger Farm.

Today, the barn is a bustling hub for visiting school groups; it is the wash, pack and storage depot for thousands of pounds of vegetables harvested from the fields each year; it is one of the pick-up sites for Zenger Farm Shares; and it is home to our turkeys. We ask a lot of this hard-working barn, and after nearly a century of wear and tear, it’s time for a bit of an upgrade.

Whaddya say...vote for Zenger Farm's barn?

Whaddya say…vote for Zenger Farm’s barn?

On September 23rd, eat at Bon Appétit Management Company cafes: Bauccio Commons at University of Portland or the Theory Eatery at OMSI and cast your vote for us! Learn more: http://www.bamco.com/forktofarm/

web_pickupIN YOUR SHARE:

  • Roma Tomatoes
  • Winterbor Kale
  • Italian Parsley
  • Marketmore Cucumbers
  • Green Beans
  • Ukrainian Eggplant
  • Serrano Peppers (hot)
  • Poblano Peppers (mild)
  • Onion
  • Spanish Roja Garlic
  • Italian Prune Plums
  • Farro from Bob’s Red Mill


In addition to growing as many vegetables as we can squeeze out of three acres of urban farmland, Zenger Farm also raises chickens and turkeys, and hosts honey bees, which are tended by the Portland Urban Beekeepers. The Zenger Farm flock of hens, and one rooster, provide primary mowing and tillage in the fields, nutrient-rich manure to feed the soil for next season’s crops, and eggs, which go to the Zenger Farm Egg Co-op members in return for their care of the flock.

Young turkeys in July, curious to explore the world.

Turkeys at 1 month, ready to explore

The turkeys at Zenger Farm are raised here from early May until Thanksgiving. At present, they seem to be growing taller and more wild by the day. This year the flock is a mix of Bourbon Red and Standard Bronze turkeys. Both of these are heritage breeds, which means that they are more closely related to wild turkeys in body type, growth habit, and behavior than the broad-breasted breeds, which have become the standard for meat production in the US since the 1950’s. We have raised various breeds of broad-breasted and heritage turkeys over the years and can see that there are pros and cons to both.

Turkeys at 3.5 months, grazing, flapping, gobbling

This year’s flock of heritage birds is healthy and thriving. It is always fun, and sometimes challenging to observe their wild nature and tend to their needs in this domesticated setting. They easily and often swoop over their fencing and have been found in the blueberries, the tall grass of the wetland, the eggplant…! They have an amazing flock mentality and hyper-vigilant awareness of perceived or real dangers: a new tarp erected to offer them shade, a hawk gliding overhead, or a farm crew member arriving with food and water. And the chorus of gobbling is constant entertainment. They will gobble to the rooster’s crow, or in response to a hearty laugh nearby, or for some other turkey reason that only a turkey would understand.

If you are interested in learning more about the turkeys, or potentially reserving one for your Thanksgiving table, please contact sara@zengerfarm.org.

IN THE KITCHEN: Share notes and recipe ideas

Poblano Peppers: Poblano peppers are the large, dark green peppers in your share this week. They have a great flavor with only a mild heat to them. They are great for stuffing with your favorite fillings: cheese, meat, grains, other vegetables, or a mix of the above. They can also be chopped up and used in salsas, sauteed with other veggies, roasted, or thrown onto the grill.

web_corn 2IN YOUR SHARE:

  • Sweet Corn: Silver Queen
  • Lemon Cucumbers
  • Diva Cucumbers
  • Garlic
  • Fennel
  • Red Beets
  • Purple Potatoes
  • Red & Green Lettuce
  • Rainbow Chard
  • Tomatoes: Mix
  • Padron Peppers (mild)
  • Fireball Peppers (HOT)
  • Rosemary
  • Pinto Beans from Bob’s Red Mill



Justin is really good at posing with vegetables.

For the next six weeks, Farm Intern Justin Moran, will be assisting Farm Share members at the on-farm pick-up site, and will be staffing the Zenger Farm booth at the Lents International Farmers Market on Sundays.

Justin grew up in the rolling green hills of Devon in the UK, a beautiful area surrounded by farmland yet dependent on tourism. During a year living in a mountain village in North-West Turkey, he discovered a deep connection with nature, farming, and a community rooted in land-based livelihoods during. Returning to the UK to continue that journey, he lived in a pioneering ecovillage in Wales, practicing woodland management, permaculture design, and low-impact building skills.

A jack-of-all-trades, Justin has a background in sustainable event management, volunteer coordination, and helped to run a successful green business in London. Justin recently emigrated to settle in Portland, Oregon, and pursue his passions for farming and community with his wife, Teagan. They are growing their first garden together at Kailash ecovillage in SE Portland.

IN THE KITCHEN: Share notes and recipe ideas


Fireball Peppers: These round red fireballs are sweet and hot. The flavor is fantastic, with a zip that is great in salsa, or any other dish that needs some heat.

Purple Potatoes: Purple potatoes are striking in appearance, but are quite similar in flavor and texture to their traditional white/yellow potato relatives. As a general rule, however, fruits and vegetables with deeper and richer colors tend to have higher nutritional value, and this is true of the purple potato, which contains higher levels of antioxidants than other potatoes.


Roasted Beet and Fennel Salad

Corn on the Cob with Cotija and Lime


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