September Nineth

There is an aspect to farm life that I try very hard not to talk about. The beautiful parts of this life are featured in these newsletters and facebook postings. We do everything we can to “market” the joyful and glorious parts of the farm-for they are many. The depth and richness that is felt from working so closely to the earth and producing such nutrient-dense food and feeding it to our loved ones is worth the struggles and hardship that it sometimes takes to bring this food to the table.
IMG_1087The Hungarian Hot Wax pepper plants with red, orange and lime-green peppers hanging from the plants. We picked red for everyone, but there weren't quite enough red for all, some folks got lime-green.

It’s no secret, but this work is hard. It is not just hard-it’s exhausting! Maybe it’s because we have two small children or maybe it’s that the farm is growing or maybe it’s just that Fall is coming soon and it’s been a long season that I’m finally dropping my arms to my side. It’s always at the end of the season like this that I am totally convinced that we are crazy. We are absolutely, definitely, certainly crazy. I suppose it might make for a happier life in the end to be crazy about something than to settle for less than we’re capable of. Maybe? I’m not sure. 

On Labor Day, I think about all of the normal families out there taking a three-day weekend with the kids to a cabin near a lake up north somewhere. I think about people having picnics in parks and taking road trips. People with more balanced lives than mine. I think about what a day off would look like. I look in the mirror and I see grey hair. Grey hair! Even eating 100% organic food won’t protect you from the damaging effects of stress in your life.

Don’t worry about me folks, I’m too much of an addict to this life, our roots are too deep, I’m just too loyal and committed to quit. You’re CSA shares will keep coming week after week, year after year. We’re married to it. But I am allowed to, for just one insignificant newsletter (since I’m the one who writes these and most of the rules around here) to do a teeny-weeny little bit of whining. Okay? 

Winter will be here all too soon and our weary bones will get their rest. The vibrancy, the excitement, and the enthusiasm will renew and regain somewhere over the course of January and March. With each passing year our small family gets a little bit better at achieving balance. We get a little better at running the farm, hiring helpers, and making time for each other, our friends and our family. After all, these beautiful boxes and this delicious food are worth it. Anything worth having is worth fighting for. 

Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable... Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

Sooo....What's in the Box????
IMG_1082Farmer Adam giving harvesting instructions on Monday morning before the harvest crew dives in to start harvesting oregano for the boxes this week.
Green Cabbage- A beautiful head of green cabbage for all this week.
Superior Gold Potatoes- Absolutely amazing Superior gold potatoes for all. You will notice that we do not wash our fresh potatoes. Potatoes will scuff very easily if they are washed immediately after harvesting. They also keep better with their skins still on. Do not refrigerate fresh potatoes. They will store wonderfully at room temperature for months before they are in danger of sprouting when they are freshly dug. We undercut potatoes and pick them up by hand. This is a labor of love.
Carrots- A one pound bag of carrots for everyone. We love the rich orange color and sweet flavor of our home grown carrots. The flavor difference between fresh, local carrots and store bought carrots is quite obvious with this vegetable.
Tomatoes- 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.
Cauliflower or Romanesco- Our fall successions of Cauliflower, broccoli and other brassicas are starting to mature now. We are excited that cauliflower is back in season!
Mini Sweet Lunchbox Peppers- A generous 5-6 minisweet peppers for all this week. These are the small little peppers at the bottom of your box not to be confused with your hot peppers. The mini sweets (Lunchbox) peppers are red, yellow and orange. Great for snacking.
Sweet Bell Peppers X 5An impressive 5-6 sweet peppers per member this week.  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.  Fajita time! 
Hungarian Hot Wax PepperThis 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! 
Jalapeno Pepper- This is the small, green pepper that packs a little more punch.  A couple members have told me they don't think they're very hot, but I guess I'm a little wimpy when it comes to heat, because they're hot to me! 
Oregano- What a fun harvest this was! So fun to harvest a fragrant herb like oregano. These bunches can be taken apart and laid out on a tray and dehydrated in your oven or dehydrator. Crunch the dried leaves away from the stem and store the preserved herb in a mason jar with a tight lid. Or make a fresh tomato sauce with oregano this week! Yum!
Red Leaf Lettuce- These heads were small this week, but so nice to have lettuce back in the boxes this fall. We are out of head lettuce for a while now. We're waiting for our fall Spinach and cut lettuce plantings to come into maturity now.
Brussels Sprouts Tops- This was another fun harvest. This is our first time ever giving brussels sprout tops. We had learned that you can eat these as a tender, seasonal treat like you would kale, chard or collards. They are cute little tops. We snap the tops off of the brussels sprout plants to tell the plants to stop growing upwards (as they love to do) and start putting more of their energy towards filling out their little "sprouts".
Yellow Onion-  Gotta have that onion.  These guys are big too!  

NEW!  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.  

Napa or Savoy Cabbage, spaghetti squash, chippolini onion, tomatoes, sweet peppers, mini sweet peppers, hot peppers, eggplant, swiss chard, cauliflower or romanesco, maybe arugula and maybe beets and maybe spinach