Small Family Farm CSA

We Dig Vegetables

 

Search Our Site

October Thirteenth

In the relatively few years that I have been farming, I have never seen a fall quite like this one.  The last two weeks of the CSA season are usually quite cool where we are harvesting with stocking caps, gloves, long johns under our pants and tall muck boots with two layers of socks.  Today and yesterday, we were harvesting in sandals, t-shirts and wide-brimmed hats to keep the sun out of our faces.  The warm weather was quite pleasant, however and a rare treat that we chose to savor.  I'm not sure we could ask for more ideal harvesting conditions.

fennel-harvest
Airin and Adrianne harvesting fennel together on Tuesday morning at sunrise.

 

This fall has been ideal in another aspect in that we are getting nice, dry weather for getting our root crops out of the ground.  We will spend the next couple weeks harvesting the last of our parsnips, carrots, beets and potatoes that are still waiting to be rescued from the winter that is gaining ground on us.  We have some late maturing cabbage and cauliflower that will keep us busy harvesting for storage also.  The beautiful weather this fall will lend sweetly to getting done all of our pending outdoor projects.

This season at a whole, has been our best growing season so far, even despite the flooding.  As young farmers who are literally learning as we go in many ways, we jump new hurdles each year and are faced with new obstacles that we could not have even imagined existed, that make us stronger and undoubtedly wiser because we made it through them with the torch in our up-stretched hands.  There have been days, and even weeks in the course of this profession that I honestly question my motives and wonder why in the heck I'm standing in a field of vegetables at 9pm at night, bent over harvesting, sleepy, crabby and hungry.  I wonder why we've chosen a field of work that is so demanding on our physical and spiritual selves.  But I have found comfort in that almost anyone who choose an occupation (that might also be their vocation), asks themselves this question at one point or another at high tide.

You are the answer to this question.  What drives us is knowing that we are working towards something greater than ourselves.  We are working, on a daily basis, towards improving the overall health, integrity and strength of our community.  We are not just growing some produce for you to put in your refrigerators, we are growing a movement that is founded on health, built by community and brought to life by the motivation to heal something that we all sense is lost.  We wish to re-connect to a farm where people genuinely care about the earth and the health of the soils.  We wish to revive biodiversity, because there are so many endangered species of plants and animals because real farmers themselves are an endangered species.  We wish to find soul and spirit and god and wholesomeness in our food and at our dinner tables.

allis-chalmers
This Allis Chalmers WD was donated to our farm by a very generous man named Tom Slawson. It is in peak running condition and looks like it just rolled off the assembly line. We're stoked about our new addition to the farm!

 

In our family, when we sit at the dinner table, just before digging in to all of the farm-fresh goodness, we all say something that we are thankful for.  It is my turn to say that I am thankful that the general awareness of where our food is coming from, how far it travels, what chemicals may be inside it or what nutrition it may contain, is becoming something that people are thinking about.  I am thankful that the knowledge and skills that farmer's behold is something that is a concern or at the very least a brief thought in the minds of our CSA members.  I am thankful for all of you choosing to support our farm so that we can make plans for yet another successful growing season on our farm.

Sooo, What's in the Box???

Russet Potatoes-  Some more of these dirty tubers.  Don't you feel more connected to the farm as you clean the dirt off of these glorius underground growths?

Danvers Carrots- We had a hard time with our final carrot harvest. We actually threw out more than half of our harvest!!!  So many rotten carrots in the ground.  We're chalking it up to all of the rain earlier in the summer.  We're really not sure what it's from.  We haven't had a bumper crop of carrots this year.  Some is better than none!

Pie Pumpkins- It's not fall without a pumpkin!  Believe it or not, you can actually eat this pumpkin.  Make pumpkin pie, pumpkin soup, or pumpkin bars.  Pumpkin's don't really come from a can, did you know that?

Parsnips- In the same family as carrots.  They're a little more fibrous than carrots and take a bit longer to cook.  But they store beautifully.  Make a roasted root vegetable dish, parsnip/carrot cake, or puree parsnip into a creamy potato soup.

Chippolini Onions-  These are actually a gourmet, high-end onion.  These flat spheres are an Italian heirloom that is pronounced (chip-o-leen-ee).  They are meant to be peeled and roasted whole.  They're so sweet you can cut them and eat them with a fork and knife once cooked all the way through.  The Italians roast them whole because they roast so evenly as they are low and flat to the pan.

Asian Tempest Garlic-  More spicy garlic to help you keep up your health this fall as the weather starts to turn.

Radish-  The radishes still looked pretty good.  The greens are turning a little, but the roots still have a nice crunch.  Snap the tops off and store the radishes in a bowl of water so they are ready to pull out of the fridge and eat fresh for a snack.

Radicchio or Cauliflower or Extra Broccoli- Radicchio is a bitter green.  It is meant to be shaved thinly into a salad or make a cooked salad out of it.  See recipe ideas below.  We ran short on radicchio for everyone, and it worked out great that we had a partial crop of cauliflower that sprung up at the very last moment.  When we fell short of those two, we compensated with Extra broccoli for the last few people.

fennel
A breathtakingly beautiful fennel bulb that was just cleaned.

 

Fennel-  The return of the french fennel.  Braise your fennel with a beef roast and enjoy the flavor that it gives.  Fennel is also wonderful roasted with your fall root veggies.  They offer a pleasant licorice flavor that mostly goes away when it's cooked.  If you really like a strong licorice flavor, explore some recipes that call for raw, thinly shaved fennel in salads.

Lettuce- One more head of this beautiful fall lettuce. You may have received the buttercup lettuce or the red leaf lettuce.

Swiss Chard- Small bunches of a cooking green for the end of the season.  The Swiss Chard will actually become sweeter now as we have had a few frosts.  Enjoy Swiss chard in quiche, lasagna or just sauteed with onions and garlic.  Use like you would use spinach.

Peppers- Some of the last peppers that we saved from the frost.  They may be slightly under-formed or under-ripe, but they are firm peppers none the less fine for eating.

Broccoli-  One last giving of this beautiful broccoli.  There is simply nothing like fall broccoli as it is so much sweeter.

Recipes:

Cream of Broccoli and Fennel Soup

Baked Radicchio and Mozzerella Pasta

Baked Ziti with Italian Sausage and Fennel

Pumpkin Custard Pie