Small Family Farm CSA

We Dig Vegetables

 

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October Sixth

The frosts came this week, and they came again, and again.  Saturday, Sunday andMonday night we woke the following mornings to a frost-covered ridge-top.  An impressive wave that we did not really expect.  The good news is that we had many of our tender plants that cannot handle these temperatures and freezing dew already harvested and in storage.  The one section of the field that we did loose was our peppers and eggplants.  We could not have covered these plants considering how many there were.  You may notice that some of the veggies you receive are actually sweeter this week than they have been earlier in the season.  The frost turns the starches in the plants to sugar, turning kale into a sweet treat!  We can look forward to a sweeter broccoli, a sweeter cabbage and a sweeter carrot even.

With one final week to go in the CSA delivery season, your farmers are still strong.  We are feeling a sense of urgency that winter is approaching fast and we must unearth the last of our carrots, potatoes, beets and parsnips that take many hours to pluck from the terra madre.  We are looking forward to having these root veggies for storage over the winter and seeing them stacked up tall in bins in our root cellar.  Some will get used for fall shares (look for an e-mail soon about signing up for the fall share if you're not already signed up), and some will be packaged and carried off to some winter Farmer's Markets.

honeyharvest
Julie and Adam cutting the caps off of the honeycomb with the hot knife so the honey can be extracted.

 

My father came up to visit the farm this weekend and we harvested honey on Saturday.  We like to keep honeybees on the farm primarily because they pollinate our vegetables and possibly increase yields on our fruiting crops.  We manage usually one or two hives on the farm-this year we had just one hive as we lost one hive over the course of the winter last.  We do not even expect much from our bees as far as taking honey from them.  We know it is at least a two year process for a young hive to build up its population enough to make a surplus of honey that will get them through the winter and also have extra to share with us.  We had an educational family day last Saturday, spinning out honey and marveling over the golden nectar.

On Sunday we tried to organize a potato digging party.  On our farm, when a pending large project needs to be accomplished that no one is particularly excited about tackling, we like to turn it into a "party".  For example, when there are more tomatoes than anyone can shake a stick at, we have a 'canning party', and when there are more potatoes than any two people see possible to dig, we have a 'potato digging party' and send our friends home with storage potatoes for their efforts.  The only small trouble is we don't always have the greatest attendance for our working parties.  We've learned that having a few beers in the fridge, Mama Jane's cooking and good company always help the matters a little.  At the end of the day on Sunday, we had one bed of potatoes less to dig than we did at the start of the day.

Sooo, What's in the Box???

Butternut Squash-  The creamy orange colored winter squash at the bottom of the box that adds all of that weight.  This squash is the among the most popular of winter squash and has the most versatile flavor.   We like to make pumpkin pie and pumpkin bars using butternut squash instead of pumpkins.

Rutabaga-  Rutabagas will keep for very long time in storage if the tops are cut off and they are stored properly.  Store in a plastic bag in the fridge to preserve moisture.  Boil and mash rutabagas with potatoes to make a rutabaga mashed potatoes.

jillianbroccoli
Jillian harvesting broccoli

 

Beets with Tops-  Some of the tops on the beets still look really good for eating if you got a good bunch.  We tried to put either a golden beet or a pink and white striped Chioggia beet in every beet bunch.  We may have missed a few bunches.

Arugula-  A tender but bitter fall green.  Arugula is much easier to grow in the fall when the flea beetle population is kept down from the cooler temperatures.  Incorporate arugula into your salads raw, wilt it down into a salad or you can even put it on pizza or a sandwich.  It would be a great addition to spicy Indian dishes.

Peppers-  We were able to give a bell pepper and an ancho/poblano pepper to everyone.  These peppers survived the first two frosts.  We're hoping we can salvage more for next weeks deliveries.

Eggplant or Radish- The eggplants that we gave this week also survived the first two frosts.  These are the very last of the eggplants.  What we came up short on eggplants, we supplemented with radishes.

Leeks-  The beautiful, fall onion supplement.  The leeks this year look great considering how terrible of an onion year we had.  Look for a good potato leek soup recipe.  I love leeks fried in coconut oil!

Broccoli-  Absolutely stunning broccoli this week!  What more do I need to say?

Spinach- More of these young, tender leaves to add to any of your favorite dinner recipes.

rutabega
Rutabega all washed up and ready for packing.

 

Kale- We harvested some curly green kale, some purple curly kale and a few bunches of the red russian kale.  The kale should taste sweeter now that it has endured three frosts.

Lettuce- We had either the red leaf lettuce or the buttercrunch to give.  Some of the buttercrunches are a bit frost-bitten but we thought they still looked really, really nice.  Such a treat to still be eating lettuce!

Next Week: Pie Pumpkin, Russet Potatoes, Carrots, Lettuce, Spinach, radicchio, peppers, fennel, radish, parsnips, broccoli, onion, garlic

Recipes:

Zesty Roasted Rutabega and Carrots

Arugula Salad

Linguini with Arugula, Pine Nuts and Parmesan Cheese