Jason Moon for NHPR

Farmers markets are moving indoors for the fall, leaving behind the strawberries of summer and embracing the root vegetables of the colder months. 

Jim Ramanek of Warner River Organics is showing me his wares at a farmers market in Concord. It’s a relatively standard selection for a farmers market in fall, except that for every familiar autumn veggie he rattles off, there’s an alternate variety of it that I’ve never heard of. For instance, there are your classic turnips here, but there are also something called hakurei turnips, too.

Globalism Pictures via flickr Creative Commons

“Also known as Japanese horseradish or mooli, daikon looks like a bigger, uglier, knobbier parsnip and, if its flavor can be likened to anything, it is reminiscent of a finer, less fiery radish.”

- From the cookbook Cooking Vegetables.

If you have a CSA subscription, chances are you have found a daikon radish in your share recently. Daikon radishes are a staple in Asian cuisine, the name daikon is actually Japanese for "great root." They're a prolific vegetable and can often grow up to 20" in length with a diameter of 4"! Recently, reporter Josh Rogers was the recipient of a rather large daikon radish, and asked: what do you do with this?

Amanda Loder, NHPR

This week some NHPR staffers got their first weekly share of veggies from a nearby CSA – which stands for community supported agriculture.

The idea is that consumers buy a share of the year’s crops in advance – that gives them a weekly supply of produce, while farmers get a more stable income stream than what they might have selling just through farmers markets or farmstands.

A Sudsy CSA

Oct 25, 2012
David Clow via Flickr Creative Commons

In Maine, consumers can buy dairy products, meat, fish, eggs and organic produce via a growing array of subscription-based, community supported agriculture programs. CSAs encourage customers to pay a farmer or fisherman up front in exchange for weekly shares of, say, shrimp or mixed vegetables. As Jay Field reports, microbrew lovers on the Blue Hill Peninsula will soon be able to buy their beer the same way.