Small Family Farm CSA

We Dig Vegetables

 

Small Family Farm
Below are current issues of The Weekly Dig Newsletter, from Jillian Varney, owner of the Small Family Farm. Stay up to date on what's happening on the farm!

The 2017 growing season will be the Small Family Farm’s 12th growing season!  Yet somehow 12 years has slipped by like a long weekend and we approach the dawning of a new one with the same excitement, passion, commitment and hope as any other year.  Our love for what we do does not fade or weaken, but it solidifies and cures and refines the way a relationship will over many years if honored through the good and bad. DSC 0149 1

Our five year old watches as friends and neighbors move.  People buy and sell homes-they change where they live.   She asks me, “Mom, will we ever move?”  I tell her “No, we will never move.”  And I think about how good it feels to say that, and I watch how she is comforted by my answer.  In our fast-paced world with so much change, ambiguity and variation it calms me that I know, if that is all that I ever really know, where home is.  While for many those kinds of changes make sense and need to happen, this family is very deeply rooted on this ridgetop.  The uncertainly that lies within even a new growing season brings enough apprehensiveness for one year. 

Lucky for us, we have a CSA Farm.  We are farmers in a changing climate, changing economic climate and amidst an impulsive and stimulating world.  But all that is given and known and predictable is extremely valuable and sacred in our lives.  Things like our homes, our families, or friends and where our food will come from.  The CSA model is stable and wholesome and refreshingly dependable for everyone involved. DSC 0133

We enter a fresh season with a new 20x20 walk in cooler that we put up last Fall that will make getting our vegetables cold easier than ever before.  We bought a new vegetable brush-washer this winter as well that we are very excited to work with to wash crops like peppers, cucumbers, and other root vegetables. 

We’re making preparations to begin our first seeding in the greenhouse the first week of March.  We begin with seeding onions, leeks, shallots, celeriac root and celery.  After a couple weeks we begin to seed crops like parsley, swiss chard, and then the brassicas like cabbage, broccoli, kohlrabi and kale.  In just a few short weeks the greenhouse will start to feel and smell like Spring under a couple thin layers of plastic in a cute little high tunnel somewhere in Southwest Wisconsin.  The games begin.

We hope that our farm can become a constant in your lives.  We hope that you think of us year after year like part of your “home”.  That the buildings and the fields and the faces that represent this little Small Family Farm are an iconic image floating around inside your heart somewhere and are something that is not only comforting to you, but is a place where your nutritious vegetables come from.  Sign Up again for another year of your weekly or bi-weekly CSA share deliveries.  We are so honored to grow with you!  

October Nineteenth

Storybook Farm

Once upon a time, in a more dreamy, romantic and adolescent part of my life, I fantasized of having a Small Family Farm of my own.  The kind with a big garden and chickens running around and animals grazing in the pasture on the hillside.  Perhaps the seeds were planted in all of the “Old Mcdonald had a Farm” and “Mary had a little Lamb” farm-based children’s songs.  Or maybe the image was created when I was read “Charolett’s Web” or “Little Red Hen” or “Big Red Barn” as a child.  And somehow, through a compilation of the millions of formative and influential experiences of my life, it came true.DSC 0148

It didn’t all just happen to me like a storm happens to a field.  I had to work for it.  We had to work for it.  And with each waking hour of our lives, we took action to make sure we had the red barn and the fenced hillside and the tillable acreage for the big garden.  We’re finally living the dream.  It’s so interesting to me to sing these same songs to my children and read these same books to them.   The glorification (and at the same time simplification) of farm life in these songs and stories is fascinating to me to observe from the perspective of the now farmer and mother.

There is a part of me that prefers the storybook version of farm life.  I wish I could climb inside these cozy little books and live there.  I want the watercolor version.  But I suppose that now it my new selfless agenda to foster and share these beautiful images, songs and stories with my girls and help to create for them impressions that are just as meaningful and influential. 

The type of farm in the storybook is played upon in marketing artwork on the package of a pound of butter or a gallon of milk.  It’s a drive-by image of a special, far-off place.  A never-never land or a place you’ll only ever get to dream of.  Especially in the last 60 years of farming where farming, in actuality, has become the image of one man on a tractor.  In recent history, farming became a quiet and lonely profession.  It isn’t really even called farming so much anymore as it is called “Agri-business”.  Sadly, the image and the reality of the small scale and diversified family farm faded into the corn labyrinth. 

This isn’t as sad to me as it once was.  Because I know the story isn’t over.  I used to feel very enraged by the confinement beef, hog and poultry operations.  I used to feel anger by the fact that processed food was winning consumer spending dollars.   I was once frustrated that organic food was hard to find.  People used to think it was cute when I said I wanted to be farmer. 

But I have you as proof.  You and I are the living and breathing body of change.  We are one small group of 450 families that opened up our pocketbooks and voted for change.  We are part of the reclamation of the small family farm.  We decided together that local and organic food and farming is important and necessary.  The organic farming ‘industry’ is growing steadily by more than 10.8% each year.  We are part of it.  Even the very fundamental and childish or more intuitive parts of ourselves know that this is the true way.  The Small Family Farm is not exclusive to children’s books.  It is very much alive and well on Salem Ridge Road.  I’ve said it before and I would love to say it again, it is because of your spending choices that our farm exists.  Thank you for a great season! 

Sooo….What’s in the Box???

Sunshine Squash-  These are the bright orange/red squash at the bottom of your box.  Sunshines are hands-down, my favorite variety of squash!  They have a rich, thick and creamy bright orange flesh that is so deliciously sweet.  These squash are heavy with a generous quantity of food inside each one. DSC 0134

Butternut Squash-  Another butternut!  You scored on this box!  Two squash this week!  Butternuts and Sunshines mean you hit the lottery folks! 

Sweet Potatoes-  3lbs of cured sweet potatoes per member this week!  Once these guys are dug, they need to sit in an 85 degree room with 100% humidity for about 10 days.  While we were able to get these guys dug with the bed lifting machine, the soil was still muddy and we had a hard time getting all of the mud off of them.  You’ll have a little cleaning project ahead of you before you cook these.  Most of them had really good size and consistency.  They say that dirty potatoes keep better than clean ones, so we justify not washing these guys!

Leeks-  Leeks are in the same family as onions.  You can use a leek in your cooking like you would use an onion, but they are great in soups, like potato leek soup or sautéed into any of your favorite fall dishes!  Use all of the white part all the way up the stalks. .

Turnips-  One large turnip per member this week.  If you’re new to cooking with this vegetable, don’t feel intimidated!  They’re wonderful if you just peel them, and then boil and mash them like a potato and toss them with plenty of butter.  We mashed ours with butter.  Turnips are somewhat similar to a rutabaga and are also wonderful cubed into a soup.  They have a very pleasant, mild and sweet flavor once cooked.  In the same family as rutabaga or radish or other brassicas.

Carrots-  Approx 1 lb of carrots per member this week.

Spinach- .50lbs of spinach per member this week.  A wonderful fall cooking green that is so very versatile in the kitchen!  We thought they were sweeter since they have been frosted on now.

Swiss Chard-  One cute little bunch of Swiss Chard per member this week.  The final Swiss Chard harvest of the season.  There wasn’t a lot left out there, so the bunches were on the small side, but still very nice to still have cooking greens this late in the season. 

Diakon Radish-  These are the long, white root in the box.  Diakons have a very smooth flavor with none of the spicy-ness of a spring Cherry Bell radish.  Diakons are traditionally used to make kim chi, but they are also wonderful just coined onto a salad or cut into veggie sticks and eaten with your favorite veggie dip.

Parsnips-  These are the long, white or cream-colored roots that look a little like a carrot in your box.  The parsnips are great in a roasted root vegetable dish with almost any other roots you love, or they are great sliced into a potato parsnip gratin.  Stores best in a plastic bag in the fridge and they will keep for months!DSC 0151

Celeriac Root-  Yes, these win the prize for the ‘Most Unusual Vegetable’.  Celeriac Root are in the same family as celery, but they are especially cultivated so that the roots of the plants grow large instead of the stalks.  You can also use the celeriac greens in a soup for added celery flavor, but they don’t have as much of the crispness and crunchiness that celery has.  Peel your celeriac root and boil and mash it with potatoes for a wonderful celeriac mashed potatoes dish.  If you don’t intend to use it soon, cut the greens off of the root and store the root in a plastic bag in the fridge to preserve moisture.  They keep for months!

Garlic-  Once adorable little garlic in each box.  The garlic variety is Metechi and it is a great storing variety.  You’ll need to eat your garlic to boost your immunity as the cold season is approaching! 

Recipes:

Parsnip Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

Roasted Root Vegetable Stew with Parsnip, Rutabaga, Carrot and Celery

Crockpot Beef and Sweet Potato Stew Recipe

 

October Twelfth

October Twelfth marks the 19th Summer Share delivery out of a 20-Week Summer Share delivery season.  We most certainly have not thrown in our towels yet.  There are still loads of work left to be done on this farm even after the Summer Share deliveries have ended.  While we do see the light at the end of the tunnel, we need to stay strong until the bitter end.DSC 0154

There are still potatoes to dig, sweet potatoes to lift, tomato trellising to take down, plasic to rip out of the fields and garlic to plant and mulch.  There are beds of storage carrots to dig, beets to dig and celeriac root to dig.  All of these crops mentioned need to be harvested, washed and then put into storage.  Many of these items will ship out in the Fall Shares and Thanksgiving Shares in late October into mid November. 

We are dreaming of a slower pace where we will soon enough be driven indoors due to the ground being frozen solid.  The first frost finally fell on the farm on Friday night, October 7th, in a few of the low-lying places on the farm.  We were ready for it.  It was a miracle that somehow the peppers, just a meer 50 feet higher in elevation did not get frosted on!  We were able to squeeze one last harvest off of the pepper patch this week for the Week 19 boxes.  It’s hard to remember a year where the frost waited quite this long to come to town. 

I will miss the season.  You might think I would not.  When the season ends it must feel a little like sending your grown children out into the world.  I would think a parent would feel overwhelmed with mixed feelings of sadness, pride, joy, relief, excited, hopeful and tired?  Or is tired the feeling I should own as I am still very much in the throws of raising small children and also still in the thick of harvest season. 

I will also miss the friends.  The people who come out to the farm have become some of our closest friends.  Truly.  They demonstrate such loyalty to both the farm and to Adam and I.  The worker shares, sitter-shares and the paid employees all together show up faithfuly day after day, and week after week with new grace and excitement to share.  There is such a beautiful display of community in action that I am motived by many of these people and feel less and less of a need to motivate them when they arrive.  The life experiences we share are rich and meaningful and I long for the same comradary in the winter months. 

But the earth continues to spin around the sun and the leaves fall and the children grow up.  Meals have been shared, lessons have been learned and compost happens.  We will soon be warming our toes by the fireside and flipping through seed catalogs and dreaming of the first harvest day in June with friends returned. 

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

Pie Pumpkin-  These are the bright orange little pumpkins at the bottom of your box. Pie pumpkins keep wonderfully well just sitting on your counter or in a dry, 50-60 degree room.  To cook them up, cut them in half, scoop the seeds out and lay the squash cut-side down in a 9x13 pan with about a half inch of water at the bottom of the pan.  Bake them for about an hour at 350.  After about an hour when the squash feels very soft to the touch from the skin side, you will be able to scoop out all of the flesh.DSC 0165

Sweet Potatoes-  3lbs of cured sweet potatoes per member this week.  Once these guys are dug, they need to sit in a 85 degree room with 100% humidity for about 10 days.  While we were able to get these guys dug with the bed lifting machine, the soil was still muddy and we had a hard time getting all of the mud off of them.  You’ll have a little cleaning project ahead of you before you cook these.  Most of them had really good size and consistency.  They say that dirty potatoes keep better than clean ones, so we justify not washing these guys!

Leeks-  Leeks are in the same family as onions.  You can use a leek in your cooking like you would use an onion, but they are great in soups, like potato leek soup or sautéed into any of your favorite fall dishes!  Use all of the white part all the way up the stalks. 

Jalapeno Pepper-  One of these little guys per box.  Jalapenos turn red as they ‘ripen’ near the end of the growing season.   You may have received a red Jalapeno.  This is the final jalapeno giving. 

Sweet Green, Yellow, Orange or Red Bell Peppers-  Just one last pepper of the year.  Pizza toppings?

Lunchbox Sweet Peppers-  Everyone received about 1-2 of these little, small sweet peppers that could be mistaken for a hot pepper, but they are not hot.  They usually come in red, yellow and orange colors.  We grew these little guys last year for the first time and totally fell in love with them!  Eat these for a snack raw, or cook with them like you would any other sweet bell pepper.  Some of them may be green this week.

Rutabaga-  One rutabaga per member this week.  If you’re new to cooking with this vegetable, don’t feel intimidated!  They’re wonderful if you just peel them, and then boil and mash them like a potato and toss them with plenty of butter.  Rutabaga are also wonderful cubed into a soup.  They have a very pleasant, mild flavor once cooked.  In the same family as turnips or radish or other brassicas. 

Carrots-  Approx 1 lb of carrots per member this week. 

Spinach- .33lbs of spinach per member this week.  A wonderful fall cooking green that is so very versatile in the kitchen!  We thought they were sweeter since they have been frosted on now. 

Broccoli and/or Cauliflower-  One piece per member this week.  This is the final giving of broccoli and cauliflower for the season!  We had a great run on them! 

Diakon Radish-  These are the long, white root in the box.  Diakons have a very smooth flavor with none of the spicy-ness of a spring Cherry Bell radish.  Diakons are traditionally used to make kim chi, but they are also wonderful just coined onto a salad or cut into veggie sticks and eaten with your favorite veggie dip.

Parsnips-  These are the long, white or cream-colored roots that look a little like a carrot in your box.  The parsnips are great in a roasted root vegetable dish with almost any other roots you love, or they are great sliced into a potato parsnip gratin.  Stores best in a plastic bag in the fridge and they will keep for months!

Red or Green Cabbage-  We tried very hard to give everyone a red cabbage, but we ran out of reds and moved onto the storage green cabbage.  This is likely the final cabbage of the season. 

Celeriac Root-  Yes, these win the prize for the ‘Most Unusual Vegetable’.  Celeriac Root are in the same family as celery, but they are especially cultivated so that the roots of the plants grow large instead of the stalks.  You can also use the celeriac greens in a soup for added celery flavor, but they don’t have as much of the crispness and crunchiness that celery has.  Peel your celeriac root and boil and mash it with potatoes for a wonderful celeriac mashed potatoes dish.  If you don’t intend to use it soon, cut the greens off of the root and store the root in a plastic bag in the fridge to preserve moisture.  They keep for months! 

Next Week's Best Guess:   carrots, sweet potatoes, celeriac root, diakon radish, purple top turnips, parsnips, winter squash, leeks, spinach, cherry bell radish

Recipes

Gingered Sweet Potato and Carrot Soup

Potato Leek Soup with Celeriac

Hottie Black Eyed Peas with Kale and Ginger Mashed Sweet Potatoes and Apples

Parmesaned Sweet Potato Fries

October Fifth

Saving Seed

Do you ever wonder where a farm like ours gets seeds?  Where do they come from, what companies sell them?  Are they organic?  How do we choose which crops and varieties of each crop to grow?  Selecting seeds is a process and it takes up a couple weeks our time in the winter carefully choosing varieties, getting the orders placed and logged into our spreadsheets.   I still find it to be amazing that we can sit in the comfort our living room in January and pick and choose which varieites to grow.  The little packages come in the mail one by one and so much potential comes from these little envelopes that come in the mail.DSC 0139

There are just a few seeds that we do save on the farm.  We save our own garlic, shallot and a third of our potato seed.  We have been growing and saving our own garlic seed for over 11 years.  In 2005 I was working for Adam’s brother and took payment for part of my work in a few 5 and 10lb bags of garlic seed.  I still remember the moment when I took the sacks of seeds into my arms.  I remember the weight of them.  It was like taking responsibility for a child.  Now I had to do something with those seeds and take care of them. 

We primarily grow 5 basic varieties of garlic seed now.  Three of those varieites have been with us since the start of the farm.  Armenian, German White and Asian Tempest are the hardy hardneck northern varieties that we have kept with us since the beginning.  Year after year these varieties have proven themselves to us, staying true to their genes and yielding consistently beautiful garlic.  We have eliminated a couple different varieties of garlic and have taken on a couple new ones as well.  We also grow Russian Giant and Metechi that are a Marble Purple Stripe. 

Saving your own seed feels empowering.  It is like a renewable resource on our farm comparable to solar energy or collecting rain water or storing vegetables in a root cellar.  It feels sustainable.  There are years of Small Family Farm history now woven into these seeds.  There are stories that we now have associated with each variety.  We have begun to know their moods, flavors, growing patterns, and little quirky things about each variety that we either love or tolerate.  Some people even say that with each year you save your own seed on your farm, that seed variety improves itself to your soil type and your latitude on the globe. 

We also happen to really love eating garlic.  Garlic is loaded in anti-oxidants, is good for boosting your immunity and has a long list of medicinal properties and health benefits.  It is a strikingly attractive vegetable, stores very well and is possibly the least perishable crop we grow.  Garlic is an extremely time consuming crop to cultivate with many steps throughout the year in the growing process that are crucial and must be done in a timely way.  This is why when you see it in stores it has a high price per pound.  Garlic is planted in the Fall and we plan to begin planting garlic around the end of October.  

We plan to give garlic again the last two weeks of Summer Share deliveries.  It will also be given in 1lb bags in the fall shares.  We are honored to share this specialty crop with you.  Thank you for being part of the story.

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

Butterkin Squash-  These are the beautiful, creamy yellowish/orange-ish colored squash at the bottom of your box.  Butterkins are a new variety of butternut are a wonderfully smooth and creamy squash with a dark orange flesh.  Cut them in half, scoop the seeds out and lay the squash cut-side down in a 9x13 pan with about a half inch of water at the bottom of the pan.  Bake them for about an hour at 350.  After one hour, you will be able to scoop out all of the yellow/orange flesh.

Red Potatoes-  3lbs of red potatoes per member this week.  While we were able to get these guys dug with the bed lifting machine, the soil was still terrifically muddy and we had a hard time getting all of the mud off of them.  You’ll have a little cleaning project ahead of you before you cook these.  Most of them had really good size and consistency.  They say that dirty potatoes keep better than clean ones, so we justify not washing these guys!

Yellow Onions-  A yellow onions to keep your home smelling like a home!  They’re all cured down by now and we’ll continue to shell them out until then end of the season!

Jalapeno Pepper-  One of these little guys per box.  Jalapenos turn red as they ‘ripen’ near the end of the growing season.  We’re nearing the end of the hot pepper season, possibly one more week still to go on these guys.  You may have received a red Jalapeno.

Sweet Green, Yellow, Orange or Red Bell Peppers-  Five bell peppers per member this week.  You may have received red, orange, yellow or green peppers this week. We are also nearing the end of the sweet pepper season.  We’ll continue to pick them as long as the frost holds off.  We started picking them a little more aggressively, even if their color hadn’t turned completely.  They have slowed down considerably with the amount that we are getting.  Enjoy them while they last!  Hopefully one more week to go on these guys!

Lunchbox Sweet Peppers-  Everyone received about 1-2 of these little, small sweet peppers that could be mistaken for a hot pepper, but they are not hot.  They usually come in red, yellow and orange colors.  We grew these little guys last year for the first time and totally fell in love with them!  Eat these for a snack raw, or cook with them like you would any other sweet bell pepper.DSC 0141

Brussels Sprouts-  A very fun fall vegetable!  We leave the Brussels sprouts on the stalk because it’s so much less work for us to not have to pick them all off for you.  Plus, it’s fun for you to see how they grow!  We worried that we had a near crop failure on the Brussels this year.  So very many of them had rotten or black sprouts at the bottom of the plants that we had to snap off.  We tried very hard to clean these up for you as best as we could, but there are still sprouts with some small black freckling.  This has everything to do with so much moisture this year.  You’ll have to sit with a paring knife and peel away a couple of the outer layers on some of these before you eat them.  We like to just steam them and then toss them with butter, but I have seen some wonderful recipes where they are roasted in the oven coated in a little oil and salt.  Try whatever sounds good to you!

Red Beets-  Approx 1 lb of red beets per member this week.  They varied in size quite a bit, so you may have received just a couple large beets, or a handful of small to medium ones.

Green Curly or Red Curly Kale- One bunch of green curly kale for everyone this week to make sure you have plenty of greens in your cooking!

Broccoli and/or Cauliflower-  You may have received just one broccoli or cauliflower or you may have received two of them.  If they were smaller in size, we were able to put two in the box.  About 2/3 of the members received two pieces of either broccoli or cauliflower per box.  We recommend using up your broccoli or cauliflower as soon as possible.  These are highly perishable items and with all of the moisture this year, we were noticing that the broccoli has not been holding up as well.   

Red Leaf Lettuce-  One or two heads per member this week, depending on the size.  Lettuce keeps best in a plastic bag in the fridge to preserve moisture.

Next Week's Best Guess:   carrots, red cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, sweet potatoes, celeriac root, diakon radish, sweet bell peppers, winter squash, leeks, rutabaga

Recipes

Squash Hash with Kale and Baked Eggs

Roasted Shrimp and Broccoli

Butternut Squash Lasagna

Broccoli with Orange Sauce

Mashed Cauliflower with a Kick

September Twenty-Eighth

This week the farm shifted.  The winds started to roll in.  The air became cool.  The leaves started to fall, the hillside off in the distance started to take on shades of orange and tan and red and yellow.  The Fall Colors has begun.  We are even feeling bit of a rush now to begin getting our fall roots and tubers out of the ground.  Many of our new and interesting favorite Fall vegetables will begin to appear in these last few weeks of Summer Share deliveries.

Fall is my favorite time of year.  I love everything that looks and feels like fall.  My constitution is one that thrives in the cooler weather and I love to bundle up in a knit hat and wool sweater when I head out to work.  We have to remember to dress in layers this time of year when we go to work because it may be cool and cloudy and cold in the morning, but as soon as the sun comes out from behind the clouds or if we switch to a task that requires more movement we may have to take a layer or two off.  The farm truck and packing shed can become littered with random pieces of clothing that the farm workers need to take off and put back on depending on how the weather behaves from hour to hour or minute to minute.DSC 0138 1

We have survived the flood of 2016.   Many of the area roads were closed due to land-slides, rock-slides or from simply being under water or part of the road washing away.  Our farm handled this years flood quite well for the most part.  We did have hail a couple times for just a half a minute or a minute.  Even just 30 seconds of hail can do a lot of damage to a tender fall spinach crop.   When we picked spinach this morning we were a little sad to see so many torn leaves.  The only other major damage was the slow rotting of many of the carrots, some of our Brussels sprouts and part of our fall broccoli crop.  We’re a little nervous to see what the remainder of our potato and sweet potato and other root crops will look like once we get them out.  When roots are sitting in the ground that is constantly soaked and saturated with water, the are much more susceptible to rotting or a decreased storage life once they are out of the ground.  But other than all of the above mentioned and little wash out in the drive way, we’re making it through just fine.

I feel hopeful and optimistic for a beautiful Fall.  We still have a good 6 or 7 weeks of work left to do out there before the ground is frozen.  I know that it has got to stop raining at some point so we can get going on harvesting many of our Fall roots and tubers.  The winter squash is holding up quite well in the green house and we’re also excited about offering some other unique Fall Veggies such as leeks, celeriac roots, sweet potatoes and daikon radish in the coming weeks.  Keep us in your thoughts!  We’ve got you in ours!  Here’s to a colorful, bountiful and DRY Fall season up ahead! 

Sooo…What’s in the Box???

Butternut Squash-  These are the beautiful, creamy yellowish-orangeish colored squash at the bottom of your box.  Butternuts are possibly one of the most delicious and smooth sqashes out there.  They’re not my all time favorite, but in the top three for sure!  Cut them in half lengthwise, scoop the seeds out and lay the squash cut-side down in a 9x13 pan with about a half inch of water at the bottom of the pan.  Bake them for about an hour at 350.  After one hour, you will be able to scoop out all of the yellow/orange flesh.

Russet Potatoes-  3lbs of russet potatoes per member this week. We were really happy with how these guys looked!  Yes, they are dirty since we don’t wash potatoes, but we did have to dig them all with a pitch fork since the ground was so wet we couldn’t get any machinery in the fields.  Cheers to the amazing and hard-working helpers who helped get these guys out of the ground! 

Red Onions-  Red Onions to keep a little spice in your cooking!  They’re all cured down by now and we’ll continue to shell them out until then end of the season!

Jalapeno Pepper-  One of these little guys per box.  Jalapenos turn red as they ‘ripen’ near the end of the growing season.  We’re nearing the end of the hot pepper season, possibly more more week to go on these guys.  You may have received a red Jalapeno.  Jalapenos pack a little more heat than the Hungarian Hot Wax peppers.  We recommend wearing gloves if you go to cut these up!DSC 0149

Sweet Bell Peppers-  Two sweet peppers per member this week.  You may have received red, orange and/or yellow peppers this week.  A wonderful addition to your salsas, stir frys and salads!  We are also nearing the end of the sweet pepper season.  We’ll continue to pick them as long as the frost holds off.  We started picking them a little more aggressively, even if their color hadn’t turned completely.  They have slowed down considerably with the amount that we are getting.  Enjoy them while they last!

Lunchbox Sweet Peppers-  Everyone received about 1-2 of these little, small sweet peppers that could be mistaken for a hot pepper, but they are not hot.  They usually come in red, yellow and orange colors.  We grew these little guys last year for the first time and totally fell in love with them!  Eat these for a snack raw, or cook with them like you would any other sweet bell pepper.

Brussels Sprouts-  A very fun fall vegetable!  We leave the Brussels sprouts on the stalk because it’s so much less work for us to not have to pick them all off for you.  Plus, it’s fun for you to see how they grow!  We worried that we had a near crop failure on the Brussels this year.  So very many of them had rotten or black sprouts at the bottom of the plants that we had to snap off.  We tried very hard to clean these up for you as best as we could, but there are still sprouts with some small black spots.  You’ll have to sit with a pearing knife and peel away a couple of the outer layers on soe of these before you eat them.  We like to just steam them and then toss them with butter, but I have seen some wonderful recipes where they are roasted on the oven coated in a little oil and salt.  Try whatever sounds good to you!

Red Beets-  1 lb of red beets per member this week.  They varied in size quite a bit, so you may have received just a couple large beets, or a handful of small to medium ones. 

Green Curly Kale- One bunch of green curly kale for everyone this week to make sure you have plenty of greens in your cooking!

Thyme-  A very aromatic and lovely bunch of thyme.  If you can’t use it up right away, and some of these bunches were hefty, we recommend laying your bunch out and dehydrating the rest on a cookie sheet in a warm oven or on a dehydrator tray.  Once it is dry, strip the leaves off of the stem and store the dried herb in a mason jar with a tight lid and enjoy local herbs in the winter thyme! 

Broccoli-  Eat these up ASAP, the broccoli will not keep well.  Because of the all of the moisture they may have very small spots on them somewhere where decay has begun, but most of them looked really good.  We just think it would be best if you used these up immediately while they still look good.  We don’ think they will keep well.  We had to cut and toss a fair amount of broccoli this week due to the heads rotting in the field from all of the rain.  But we still managed to get at least one broccoli for everyone!  If you did not get a cauliflower, you received two broccoli. 

Cauliflower-  A cauliflower for most members, but if you did not get a cauliflower, you received two broccoli.  Again, eat these up quickly.  We do not think the cauliflowers will keep well. 

Spinach-  .38 lbs per member on spinach this week.  The spinach leaves were a little torn from being so tender from so much moisture and from the heavy rains and hail that we received.  They still looked harvestable to us, but they are a little more torn that usual.  Again, we don’t think these greens will keep well, so use these up as soon as you can in your eggs, lasagna or whatever is your favorite way to eat spinach! 

Green Leaf Lettuce-  One or two heads per member this week, depending on the size.  Lettuce keeps best in a plastic bag in the fridge to preserve moisture. 

Next Week's Best Guess:   beets, potatoes, cauliflower, broccoli, lettuce, brussels sprouts, sweet bell peppers, winter squash, leeks, red cabbage

Recipes-

Honey-Thyme Butternut Squash

Southwest Stuffed Acorn Squash

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Seared Broccoli and Potato Soup