Small Family Farm CSA

We Dig Vegetables

 

October Fourteenth

We made it to the final week of the Summer Share deliveries.  Transition is in the air.  A very breezey, no-windy Monday harvest felt like change was happening.  It felt strong and powerful and humbling.  If you looked off into the horizon you would see leaves blowing everywhere.  You see the tops of trees bending and swaying and shedding their colorful petals.  The sky grew grey and the air temperature was dropping by the minute all throughout the day.  Hats were blowing off of heads.  It was exciting and sad and stimulating all at once.  How lucky we are to be the ones out here on this ridgetop witnessing the change of seasons and feeling it all the way down to our bones. IMG_1453Our Monday morning crew in the sun before the clouds, mist and gusty winds blew in that afternoon. This picture is missing Heather and Kelly.

Always on Week 20 I feel gratitude.  Firstly, I feel thankful for you and that you have chosen to Sign Up with our Small Family Farm CSA.  I feel thankful that you value eating fresh, local, organic vegetables.  I am thankful to have you to share this wonderful, rich experience with.  I am thankful that you appreciate your weekly surprise box of seasonal goodies enough to lay down your hard earned dollars and hours to invest in this idea. 

I am thankful for our little life here and to be able to raise our sweet little children on this family farm.  I am thankful for our two girls who get to watch their parents working hard, getting dirty, and following their dreams.  I am thankful they will grow up with an intimate knowledge of food and plants and their respective seasons and what it takes to really bring food to the table.  I am so thankful that we get to feed our sweet babies the most nutritious and wholesome food we know how to grow.  I am thankful they too will grow up knowing how to produce food and feed their families and share this knowledge with others. 

Endings are really just new beginnings.  The end of our tenth season running this little CSA farm is just the beginning of the next ten years.  What will the future have in store for us?  Imagine the food!  We’ve come so far and learned so much and trudged so many pathways thus far. 

This winter, when all of the Fall Shares and Thanksgiving boxes and Holidays are over, we will have a little time.  We’ll have some time to reflect on this season and finish digesting it.  Our little chimney will puff away heating our home and then after several batches of cookies, some snow angels in the yard and a little family trip somewhere, we’ll open up the seed catalogs and start again.  We’ll look at all of the pretty pictures in the catalogs and use our experienced eye and descriptive discretion to begin selecting and ordering and planning for a new season. 

A good, hard winter is bit like a cocoon for a farmer.  We get to go inside and spin ourselves up into the underworld of farming.  We get to have our magical transformation, read our books, do our research, learn from our mistakes, devise our field plans, revise our marketing and then, in what seems like just a long weekend, we emerge in April and spread our new and colorful wings again.  It’s like we get to re-set our etch-a-sketch.  We get to take out the garbage.  We get to shut one door and open a new one.  We get to re-start our computer.  We get more data.  We get a good nights sleep.  This isn’t really the end.  It’s just the beginning.

Sooo....What's in the Box????IMG_1469Week 20 goodies! Woot Woot!

Brussels Sprouts-  One humongo stalk of Brussels Sprouts.  You'll have to snap these babies off of their stalk to get cookin' with them.  They will keep better if you snap them off of the stalk into a plastic bag and keep them cold in your fridge off of the stalk.

Sweet Potatoes-  Yep, Sweet Potatoes!  Two pounds per member.  Sweet potatoes are hard to grow in the midwest because of thier long growing season.  Once they are harvested they need to be "cured" in an 80 degree envioronment with 90% humidity.  We have a special little room on the farm that feels like a tropical rainforest curing our sweet potatoes.  They will also continue to cure and sweeten a little more if left on your countertop.  No need to put these guys in your fridge, they'll sweeten up on your countertop.  

Pie Pumpkin-  These are cutie pie little pumpkins that are for eating!  Cook them up like you would any other squash and make pumpkin bars, pumpkin soup, pumpkin ravioli, or whatever fun Fall pumpkin recipes are calling your name!  They will also keep just fine looking adorable on your countertop until you find the time to cook them up!  

Leek-  Take a leek?  Every part of the leek is edible, but the most tender and delicious parts are the whitest parts of the stalk.  We use them all the way up to the tips where they start to turn dark green.  Use leeks in your cooking like you would an onion as they are in the onion family.  You can also feature them in a potato leek soup.

Bell Peppers-  We picked our pepper plants entirely clean this week.  We went through and harvested them all, green, red, yellow and otherwise with the real and final threat of frost finally coming this Friday with a low of 27 degrees!  We loaded you up with the remainder of our pepper patch.  While we much prefer to give colored sweet peppers, it's time to give green ones at the very end like this before they get taken out by frost.  

Eggplant-  Similar deal here as with the peppers.  We cleaned out the Eggplant patch entirely this week.  Some were large, some were small.  You may have received a small eggplant this week, but this is what we were able to glean from the remainder of the patch. 

Spinach-  A wonderful and generous .56lbs of spinach per member this week.  There is simply nothing more wonderful and delicious than fall spinach to make a salad out of.  It has been a great year for spinach!

Red Curly Kale-  To add a little color to you life.  We were very pleased with our kale patch this year.  We were able to give kale more times this summer than ever before.  The plants stayed so healthy and relatively bug-free most of the summer.  IMG_1445Brussels Sprouts might be one of the more unusual looking of all of the vegetables we grow, but they sure are fun to harvest and delicious to eat!

Hungarian Hot Wax Pepper-  One more pepper to warm up your Fall Soups.  

Jalapneno Peppers-  Two more hot peppers just in case you wanted to make poppers before they finally came to an end.  

Tomato-  A very modest giving of just one to three tomatoes this week depending on size.  We cleaned up the plants and were able to give tomatoes all the way to week 20-something that has never happened before!  

Broccoli-  Beautiful heads of broccoli for all!  Very nice and tight heads.  

Parsnip-  A half pound of parsnips per member.  These hearty roots are great in soups or roasted.  

Kohlrabi-  A crispy and crunchy kohlrabi for snacking or a nice addition to your salads.

Recipes

Butternut Squash Soup with Spinach Ravioli

Pumpkin Custard Pie

Spinach Ricotta Stuffed Shells

Moroccan Sweet Potatoes

Caramelized Brussels Sprouts with Lemon

October Seventh

On the Nineteenth Summer Share delivery out of 20, we are both excited and sad to see the end of the IMG_1395Brussels Sprouts standing tall just after harvest beneath the Maple Treeseason so near.  Excited because we have worked so hard for so long and our bodies are tired and our minds are weary.  We’re excited because it means that winter is coming and restful days are ahead.  We’re sad because it means that the work we love will be over for the season.  Sad because the fruits of our labors will be over and the fresh vegetables that have been so abundant and plenty all summer long will soon be in very short supply and limited to a few storage items that we manage to get stored away in the root cellar. 

Even after the Summer Share deliveries end on October 14th, our crew continues to work in the fields right up until the week before Thanksgiving.  We’ll be busy pulling storage crops out of the ground like carrots, radishes, potatoes, and beets.  We’ll be planting garlic and mulching garlic and strawberries.  We’ll be packing out Fall Shares and Thanksgiving Shares.  We’ll be cleaning the plastic mulch out of the fields and preparing the grounds for winter. 

Thankfully, the foods that Fall offers on a Midwestern CSA farm are unique and special.  We see crops like Brussels Sprouts and Sweet Potatoes.  We harvest rutabaga and celeriac root.  We squeeze the last out of the pepper and tomato patch and we warm our homes with the smell of winter squash cooking in the oven.  Leeks, broccoli and red cabbage oh my! 

What a journey it has been!  What a delicious ride it was to eat our way through an entire season with a Small Family Farm.  How colorful and bountiful are the fruits of this earth?  Are we not so blessed?  Do we not have so much to be thankful for?  Even for those of us who are versed in this experience, there is always something new to be learned each season.  New recipes to try.  New vegetables to fall in love with all over again.  New friends to share this experience with. 

It is my hope that you, whether this is your first our your tenth season with us (or with eating local vegetables), you feel both inspired and more capable when you cook.  I wish for more families to eat more vegetables, but I also wish for more cooks.  I wish for your children or your parents to be inspired by your choices and that you discover new confidence in yourself when you pull out your cutting board and knife.  Meal planning is work, but it is honorable and important work. IMG_1371Todd, Adam and Joe from left to right with a truck fulla poatoes after a potato harvest.

I secretly hope that you’re going to miss these little boxes off goodis when they stop coming.  I know I will!  I will miss the smiling faces that show up to help on this farm and the rich community that happens here.  I will miss the warm sun on my back and even the feeling I get after a hard days work in the fields handling this food.  We can all take solice in knowing that the 2016 growing season is nearer than we think.  Time will soon enough slip us right into early June and we can eat our way through another trip around the sun together next year.  

Sooo...What's in the Box????

Brussels Sprouts-  Yep, this is what brussels Sprouts look like when they're growing on their stalks!  We left the kitchen work to you of snapping them off of the stalks and cookin' them up to however fits your fancy.  They will fit in your fridge a little better and potentially even keep better if you snapped them off of the stalks and stored them in a plastic bag until you use them.  

Red Cabbage-  Hard to miss this big guy at the bottom of your box.  Red cabbages will keep quite well in your fridge for a couple months if you don't get to eating this up right away.  

Butternut Squash-  Butternuts are probably the best selling squash in the market.  These gusy are everyone's favorite.  Their texture is very thick and creamy and has a rich, orange color.  Loaded with beta carotines.  Makes wonderful baby food if you have babies in the house!  IMG_1388Farmer Adam selects Butternut Squash for the boxes this week.

Rutabaga-  These are the lone, foreign looking root in your box.  Commonly mistaken for a large turnip with it's purple shoulders.  Rutabagas also keep great in a plastic bag in your fridge for months, but if you can't wait to eat it, they're wonderful peeled, boiled and mashed with butter.  They are also great cubed and tossed in a soup, stew or crock pot with meat.  

Sweet Potatoes-  Yep, Sweet Potatoes!  Two pounds per member.  These guys are a long growing season too!  Sweet potatoes are hard to grow in the midwest because of thier long growing season.  Once they are harvested they need to be "cured" in an 80 degree envioronment with 90% humidity.  We have a special little room on the farm that feels like a tropical rainforest curing our sweet potatoes.  They will also continue to cure and sweeten a little more if left on your countertop.  No need to put these guys in your fridge, they'll sweeten up on your countertop.  

Leek-  Take a leek?  Every part of the leek is edible, but the most tender and delicious parts are the whitest parts of the stalk.  We use them all the way up to the tips where they start to turn dark green.  Use leeks in your cooking like you would an onion.  They're in the onion family.  You can also feature them in a potato leek soup.  

Parsnips-  Half pound per member.  These are the white roots that look a little like carrots in the bags.  Parsnips are also teriffic keepers.  

Sweet Bell Peppers-  Still no frost on the farm but with just two summer share deliveries left, we started picking them green to clean the plants up in case frost ever does decided to come.  You'll see a lot more green peppers in your box this week.  

Kohlrabi-  Either a white or a purple kohlrabi.  They are so sweet and cruncy in the fall.  Very nice looking and tasting kohlrabi!  Don't forget that the greens are edible!  

Collards-  Speaking of edible greens, one hefty bunch of collards.  

Hungarian Hot Wax Pepper-  One of these guys to add a little hop to your step.  

Jalapeno Pepper X2-  Two Jalapenos per box this week.  They're spicy, there's no doubt about it.  

Tomatoes-  Just about one pound of tomatoes per member this week.  Production is really waning fast.  Since they're not really ripening much on the vine these days, we will likely give green tomatoes next week. 

Broccoli or Cauliflower-  Either a beautiful broccoli or cauilflower for each box this week.  

Mini Sweet Peppers-  A couple mini sweet peppers in the bag with your tomatoes.  They have been partially or mostly green, so don't mistake them for a hot pepper.  

Recipes

Pasta with Collard Greens and Onions

Collard Greens with Dumplings

Warm Red Cabbage Salad

Maple Glazed Parsnips and Sweet Potatoes

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

September Thirtieth

One of the most beautiful parts, arguably THE most beautiful part, of belonging to a CSA farm is the share in the bounty.  There are many rewards to cultivating a relationship with a farm such as knowing who, where and how your food is grown.  You’re able to eat seasonal produce within their regionally respectful season, and at the peak of ripeness.  The food is deliciously fresh and you also know that your farmers pay close attention to the nutrient density of their soils thus the nutrient density of your food.  But not every piece of fruit, root or leaf harvested on this farm looks quite like what you’re used to seeing on grocery store shelves. IMG_1350A foggy morning kale harvest.

Inherent in sharing the bounty on a CSA farm is reducing food waste.  When we head out to the field to harvest, we take everything that is ready and share it with you.  There is a fair amount of quality control that happens and plenty of food that never makes it into boxes that does go to waste, but we certainly don’t use the same standards for quality that a wholesale buyer would require.  I don’t like to say that we have ‘low standards’ for what we let into your boxes, but we don’t have quite of the strict and harsh of standards that any wholesaler or distributer would require.  This enables us to give you more food while reducing food waste at the same time. 

When our crew harvests, we mix all of our premium quality produce with some slightly less perfect produce.  This means, for example, that you are receiving all of the perfectly shaped and colored peppers along with some slightly misshapen and bi-colored peppers.  Also, because our farm does very limited to no wholesaling on the side, our CSA members receive the cream of the crop.  We do not shave off the best looking produce to sell to a wholesale market, as some other CSA farms do. 

Also, we spend a large portion of our labor hours on harvest days actually harvesting as much food as we possibly can in the timeframe we have.  We don’t always spend as much of that time washing everything you receive in the boxes.  There are some crops that we don’t have the mechanical means to wash or have the time to wash as we’re spending so much time in the fields bringing in the good.  You may notice that we don’t wash our potatoes or peppers, for example because we don’t have the right equipment to do this yet or have the spare time to squeeze it in since we’re so busy packing out huge boxes of the harvest. 

It feels like an honor to share this food with you.  We grow these beautiful vegetables because we love doing it.  We love the life and the work and the community surrounding the work.  We feel lucky to have you as part of this beautiful web of people who value simply good food and good farming practices.  Thank you for letting us share this bounty in all of its forms with you. 

Sooo...What's in the Box???

Potatoes-  Russet Potatoes this week!  We were very happy with our Russte harvest this year.  They sized up better for us this year than ever before.  Russets seem to be particularly difficult to get to size up.  We're attributing the success due to good irrigating this summe and timely rain.IMG_1363The plenty of Week 18!

Carrots-  A nice one pound bag of the sweet scarlet nantes carrots.  

Acorn Squash-  Acorns are a famous winter squash for their recognizable shape, that of an acorn.  They are usually the first to make it to market tables because they are an earlier maturing variety.  These guys will keep best if stored on your countertop.  Do not put them in the fridge.  

Tomatoes-  We're getting down to the last of the tomatoes here folks!  They are looking a little less perfect this week, but we're okay with that.  We want to eat as many tomatoes as we can before they're really, finally, and officially gone and out of season.  

Celeriac Root-  This is the gnarley looking root in your box with the greens still attached to it.  The greens will resemble celery a bit.  The greens on your celeraic root can be used in stocks or soups to add color and flavor.  Celeriac root keeps very well for months if you cut the greens off and store the root in a plastic bag in the fridge.  Celeriac is hard and dense like a potatoe, but has a mild celery flavor.  It can be eaten raw or cooked.  There is no doubt about it, celeriac is ugly, but they are a treasure!  They have a very long growing season.  We start these little babies from seed in early March and baby them all season until they have grown up big and strong into these masculine monsters!  They are a rare and unusual vegetable that used to be grown by all home gardeners in the early 20th century because they kept so well and so long in root cellars.  They make wonderful winter food!  

White Kohlrabi-  Just when you thought that kohlrabi was over with, it makes a come-back!  Remember that you can eat the Kohlrabi leaves if you absolutely love cooking with greens!  Peel the other edge off of the kohlrabi and enjoy the crunch insides.  

Sweet Peppers-  Another four peppers per member this week.  We're hoping to have sweet peppers agian next week.  We'll see if we get them harvested before the frosts start hitting here.  

Mini Sweet Peppers-  They were a few mini-sweets in your tomato bag.  Great for snacking!

Jalapeno Peppers-  These guys are still hot.  Two jalapenos per box this week.

Hot Wax Peppers-  They guys are still hot too.  Sometimes they are red, so be careful not to confuse them with your minisweets.  

Lacinato Kale-  A gorgeous bunch of lacinato kale floating somewhere near the top.  For the kale lovers out there.  

Garlic-  To warm your heart.  

Golden Beet-  These little guys are a little difficult to grow.  Their seed is expensive and we have typically had bad luck growing them in the past.  The gold beets are nice because they won't turn your dish pink or red when you cook with them.  You can sneak them into foods.  If someone in your family says they won't eat beets, this is a great time to sneak one into a soup.  

Cilantro-  Cilantro is much more perishable than you might think.  I recommend using it up as quickly as you can.  

Adam's Best Guess for Next Week!  

Disclaimer:  This is only our best guess from what we see up and coming from field walks.  Next week's actual box may look slightly different from this projection.  

Sweet potatoes, brussels, red cabbage, kohlrabi, collards, parsnips, rutabaga, leeks, butternut, broccoli or caulifower,  tomatoes?, peppers?

Recipes

Sausage and Apple Stuffed Acorn Squash

Potato and Celery Root Gratin

Acorn Squash with Kale and Sausage

Kale with Red Beans, Cilantro and Feta Cheese

Italian Kale Soup-Zuppa Tuscano

September Twenty-Third

It’s a funny kind of fall here at the Farm.  The forecast calls for temperatures in the upper seventies and even low eighties for the next ten days!  I’m feeling a little confused, excited and skeptical.  The weather is warm and the conditions for harvesting are perfect.  The warm air makes our fall work comfortable and easy.  Enough years of experience doing this work tells me that we’ve got to keep going strong until the end because the weather can shift very fast this time of year to windy and cold and wet in what seems like overnight. IMG_1273Harvesting Celeriac Root

There are just three more Summer Share deliveries left, but the farm keeps on going long after the peak-season deliveries end.  We have root crops like carrots, potatoes, celeriac, beets, daikon, sweet potatoes and more to get out of the ground before it becomes too wet or cold to dig them.  There is tomato trellising to take down and plastic mulch to rip up.  We have garlic to plant and Fall Shares to ship out. 

The harvesting this time of year is exciting.  There is wind again.  The possibility of frost is eminent.  The time is limited.  We have to be very wise about how we spend our days now choosing to spend the nice weather days outdoors and stock up rainy days jobs for when the weather is inclement.  Even the hours of sunlight are a limitation to what and when we can get some jobs done. 

I love it though.  I love how cooking dinner warms the house.  I love how there are tomatoes and peppers and squash on the countertops.  The dehydrator is humming along and the freezers are nearly filled to the brim.  I love how at the end of a long season we feel tired yet satisfied.  I want to make apple pie and pumpkin bars.  I want to pick apples and drink cider.  I want to eat sweet red, yellow and orange peppers until I’m sick of them to hold me over until next year.

We’re very excited about some of the vegetables coming up in the last few weeks of delivery.  We’ve been nurturing along crops like Brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, leeks, rutabaga, more cilantro, and several different varieties of winter squash.  This week we have daikon radish and celeriac root, a couple more new vegetables that are unique to these Fall CSA boxes.  If any of these vegetables are new to your kitchen, don’t be afraid to try some new recipes.  We include several recipes each week, but don't be afriad to use the magic box (the internet) to inspire new and creative ideas in the kitchen.  Do some quick searching and find something that sounds good to you! 

Sooo....What's in the Box?????

Red Norland Potatoes-  These red beauties were dug just a few days ago.  Their hearts are still beating!  You will notice that we do not wash our potatoes.  They have less mechanical damage and they keep much nicer this way.  The difference between a potato that is freshly dug out of the ground like this and a potato that has been in storage for months is so amazing.  I am loving eating freshly dug potatoes.  They have a crisp texture that is so wonderful!IMG_1303Beautiful Fall Broccoli hydrocooling in the tank.

Tomato Mixer Bags-  A much smaller bag of tomatoes this week!  Just 3.25lbs per member this week.  Production on the tomatoes is way down now.  We will continue to pick them up until the frost.  For now, they green ones left on the vine are still ripening and waiting to be picked!

Mini Sweet (Lunchbox) Peppers-  This week we stuck the mini-sweets in the same bag as your tomatoes so as not to be confused with your jalapeno and hot wax pepper.  

Sweet Dumpling Squash-  Sweet dumpling squash are a sweet winter squash.  These will keep great at room temperature!

Sweet Bell Peppers-  A mix of red, yellow and orange bells.  Love them while they are still in season, just a anohter week or two with peppers.  

Yelllow Onion-  Gotta have that onion!  

Carrots-  A nice one pound bag of carrots for all this week!  

Jalapeno Peppers-  These are the little red ones this week with 'stretch marks' on them.  They're hot, though!

Hungarian Hot Wax Peppers-  This is the longer, lime-green colored hot pepper that sometimes turns an orange-ish color when *ripe*.  These peppers are funny because they are usually picked lime green, but a small 10% of them will turn orange and get a touch sweeter as they "ripen".  Hungarian Hot Wax are also called "bananna peppers".  Despite it's big name, these are among the most mild of all hot peppers.  Technically they are considered a hot pepper, but they are not usually hot.  Although sometimes they are! 

Spinach-  A half pound bag of spinach this week!  So much fun to be giving spinach-a fan favorite!  

Green Curly Kale-  In addition to the spinach this week, we also gave a nice bunch of kale.  You'll have plenty of greens to work with this week!  

Diakon Radish-  These are the long white radishes in the middle of your box.  Diakons are famously found in KimChi, a Korean fermented blend of cabbage, hot peppers, onions, garlic, ginger and diakon radish!  This radish has a very nice, mild flavor.  These are rarely spicy and have such a nice juicy crunch to them.  They are great just sliced into coins for snacking, shredded onto salads, or even sauteed in a stir fry.  

Broccoli, Cauliflower or Romanesco-  You received one of the three listed.  We just didn't have enough of any one of these to give everyone the same thing.  These crops are not all maturing at one time, they are slowly maturing over the course of a few weeks here and we grab then as they come on.  

Celeriac Root-  This is the gnarley looking root in your box with the greens still attached to it.  The greens will resemble celery a bit.  The greens on your celeraic root can be used in stocks or soups to add color and flavor.  Celeriac root keeps very well for months if you cut the greens off and store the root in a plastic bag in the fridge.  Celeriac is hard and dense like a potatoe, but has a mild celery flavor.  It can be eaten raw or cooked.  There is no doubt about it, celeriac is ugly, but they are a treasure!  They have a very long growing season.  We start these little babies from seed in early March and baby them all season until they have grown up big and strong into these masculine monsters!  They are a rare and unusual vegetable that used to be grown by all home gardeners in the early 20th century because they kept so well and so long in root cellars.  They make wonderful winter food!  

Recipes

Celeriac Potato Hashbrowns with Jalapeno and Cheddar

Mashed Potatoes with Celeriac Root

Radish Kimchi

Kale with Apples, Currants and Warm Pancetta Vinaigrette

September Sixteenth

Fall.  It’s my favorite time of year.  The days are getting shorter, the nights are cooler and the harvest, oh the harvest is rich!  The leaves on the trees are starting to turn colors, the crickets fill the night with sound and the yellow-jackets seem to be coming from everywhere.  Where were the yellow jackets all summer long?  Why do they only come out in the fall? IMG_1210Pickin' Spinach on Monday Morn

I love the fall day that begins with everyone wearing three layers of clothing and stocking caps.  As the day warms up and the sun comes out, the workers begin shedding their layers and there are piles of clothing at the ends of the rows and in the farm truck cab.   The sun is suddenly appreciated again.  We do everything we can in peak summer to stay out of the blazing and brutal sunshine because we’re just drunk from overconsumption of it, but now, as the sun drops lower and lower to the horizon and mornings are cool again, we are thankful for it once more. 

Fall offers foods that warm us.  This week we are putting our first winter squashes in the box.  The Spaghetti squash will go nicely with your home-made tomato sauce you’ve been making from all of these tomatoes and peppers.  Fall means time to dig up the roots we’ve been tending to all season like the carrots, potatoes, celeriac, parsnip, daikon radish and more.  Fall means the return of some of our favorite cool season crops like spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, cilantro and radishes. 

Last week’s two inches of rain came hard and fast, but the ground soaked up every drop of it and gave many of our fall crops a good drink that they have been needing to make it through to fruition.  We truly believed that some of our cabbages grew from baseball sized before the rain to volley-ball sized after the rain.

Fall is an “F” word in itself, but it also leads way to the almighty “F” word that will bring a punishing end to some of our favorite crops.  There is no “frost” in the forecast as of yet, but we farmers are aware of the looming possibility.  We have just days left in this month to continue picking our beloved sweet and hot peppers, tomatoes and some herbs like basil.  Potatoes should also get harvested before the frosts start hitting.  Many of our fall crops can handle frosts for as long as late October until hard freezes begin to take down even the hardiest of crops.

_________________

Thank you to everyone who came to the farm last weekend for the Fall Raspberry and Pumpkin Pick and Potluck!  A great time was had by all!  We had a fantastic turnout with somewhere in the neighborhood of 60-80 people that all went home with raspberries, pumpkins and a full belly from a fantastic Pot-Luck supper!  Yee Haw!  

Sooo....What's in the Box????IMG_1147Raspberry Pickers on Sunday's Fall Raspberry Pick at the Farm!

Savoy Cabbage or Napa Cabbage-  The Savoy cabbage is round and shaped like a traditional head of cabbage but the leaves are savoyed (densely wrinkled), and are much more tender than a traditional head of cabbage.  Savoy cabbage will store for a maximum of 3-6 weeks, which is not quite as long as a green cabbage which can sometimes keep for months at the right storage temperature.  Some members received the Napa Cabbage instead of the savoy.  Napa is also called Chinese Cabbage.  Napa Cabbage is wonderful eaten raw in a delicious asian salad.  Napa is also used in the fermented korean kimchi.  

Tomato Bags-  Another week of a huge 8lb bag of tomatoes. We do harvest our tomatoes with a blush. Allow your tomatoes to sit on your counter until they are ripe. You may put them in the refrigerator only if you need to buy yourself time to use up your very ripe tomatoes. Refrigerators usually drain flavor out of fresh tomatoes. You may also notice that as we get into our late season tomatoes like this, they become a little less perfect looking. Some of them my have more cosmetic imperfections.  Next we we will still have tomatoes, but you can expect a much smaller giving as we are getting down to very few tomatoes left on the vines.  Enjoy them while they last!

Spaghetti Squash-  This is our fist giving of our hard winter squash.  The spaghetti IMG_1196Pumpkin Picking on Sunday's Fall Pumpkin Pick at the Farm!squah is very popular in the gluten free community.  It is a very stringy squash once cooked up can be eaten in place of noodles.  Make a noodle-free spaghetti dinner with some of your home-made spaghetti sqash with fresh tomatoes.  Cut your spaghetti squash in half lengthwise, scoup the seeds out and lay the two halves down in a baking dish with a quarter inch of water in the pan.  Bake them at 350 for about an hour until the squash is soft.  Once warm enough to handle, scoop all of the flesh away from the skin.  Eat the spaghetti squash like noodles.  

Red Beets-  A small giving of a few red beets for all!  This was a difficult year for beets on our farm.  We had poor germination on a few of our plantings, so not quite as many beets this year than we have given in previous years.  Still more to come in the later boxes of the year though!

Mini Sweet (Lunchbox) Peppers-  3-4 Mini sweets this week per box.  These are the really cute little red, yellow and orange peppers tucked in your tomato bag that are a new, fun variety that we tried this year.  Mini-sweets were all the rage at the Dane County Farmer's Market last summer sold in a pint clamshell, and we had to try growing them to see what the fun was all about.  Don't let these be confused with your hot peppers.  These ones are sweet!  

Cauliflower or Romanesco-  A nice head of cauliflower for everyone this week.  You may have received a romanesco in place of a cauliflower.  The romanesco are the lime-IMG_1176Farm Tour folks loading up for a Hay Ride around the Farm from Sunday's Farm Tourgreen colored head of 'cauliflower' that is shaped like a fractal.  Romanescos have a more nutty flavor and crunchy texture when compared to a cauliflower.  A fun new vegetable if you've never had one before!  

Sweet Bell Peppers-  6-8 Sweet peppers per member this week.  Some are red, yellow, or orange.  A big mix of pepper this week from the large and blocky red, orange and yellow bells to the specialty yellow canarios and orange oranos which are a longer sweet pepper that come to a point.  We're hoping that the peppers keep coming strong in your CSA boxes until frost hits.  

Jalapeno Peppers-  Two jalapenos per member this week.  These turn red when 'ripe'.  Watch out for the red jalapenos in your box, not to be confused with your mini sweets!  

Hungarian Hot Wax Peppers-  This is the longer, lime-green colored hot pepper that sometimes turns an orange-ish color when *ripe*.  These peppers are funny because they are usually picked lime green, but a small 10% of them will turn orange and get a touch sweeter as they "ripen".  Hungarian Hot Wax are also called "bananna peppers".  Despite it's big name, these are among the most mild of all hot peppers.  Technically they are considered a hot pepper, but they are not usually hot.  Although sometimes they are! 

Red Onion-  A sweet red onion for all this week!  IMG_1159Gotta love kids picking Raspberries!

Arugula-  Yum!  Such a nice return of the arugula!  Arugula is great of home-made pizza with prochuto!  Also wonderful eaten in salads.  

Spinach-  A wondeful giving of half pound bags of spinach for everyone this week!  Such a tender treat when the succulent spinach returns in the cool weather!  More of this great green coming soon!

Recipes

Peanut Pasta Napa Cabbage Salad

Spaghetti Squash with Tomatoes, Basil and Parmesan

Spaghetti Squash Noodle Bowl with Lime Peanut Sauce

Linguini with Brie and Tomato

Spinach Linguini with Walnut Arugula Pesto

Arugula Salad