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!

October Tenth

Rain makes mud. An impressive streak of rain has been falling on the farm these last few weeks. While we haven’t been getting too much rainfall at one time, we have been getting subsequient storms that make it so that after one storm passes, another is shortly behind. Very few days in the past weeks have been sunny or windy or dry.

While I do my very best to keep these newsletters cheery and positive, it gets hard at times like these. We have had several harvest days in the rain and mud where we simply must be out in it to harvest for CSA deliveries or to get the roots out of ground for the upcoming week’s box. Even when it stops raining, we have been out there in full rain gear trying to use the tractor and equipment to dig in small windows of opportunity. This last week we were digging potatoes with a pitchfork because we know it is time that they must come out of the ground or they will begin to rot, which we have not done for many years.

The packing shed is mud city. We come in from a harvest with a muddy truck, muddy workers and bins full of muddy vegetables. Washing takes a little extra longer than usual and even getting dressed and undressed in and out of rain gear takes up time. We are spraying mud off our boots, mud off the floor and mud off of the equipment we use. This has been one of the hardest Fall’s that we can remember farming in.

Now we’re down to just a month left before the season is officially over for us. There are still a lot of vegetables out there in the fields to harvest before old man Winter can come. We’re really, really, really hoping that the rains will stop soon that things can dry out and we can begin to harvest our Fall root crops for the year. A week of warmth, a little wind and sunshine would do your farmers a lot of good. Sunny and dry weather would lift our spirits out of the muck as well.

But if a farmer is a forever optimist. We’ll get though this Fall and winter will feel like a long night’s sleep. We will rest and restore and enter another season full of hope and enthusiasm. In the mean time, help us pray for the rains to END this fall! We still have a solid month’s worth of work to do!

DSC 0068

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

Peppers- Nine peppers per member this week. Many of the peppers were green this week. We clear-cut the pepper plants last Friday because it was the night before the first frost of the season. Because of this we took many of the peppers off of the plants that were still green. They are still perfectly edible, but not quite as fun as the colored peppers, I know! Green peppers make a great relish!

Kabocha Squash- This is my personal favorite winter squash variety! Kabocha’s are a creamy, orange flesh with so much sweetness. To cook a winter squash, cut it in half lengthwise, discard the seeds, and bake it in the oven face down for about an hour or until it is cooked all the way through and the squash scoops out easily from the skin. Serve with plenty of butter!

Brussels Sprouts- It’s always fun to discover that this is how Brussels sprouts grow, on a stalk like this. This has been one of our worst Brussels sprouts years because of all of the rain. They have little black spots on the outer covering of each sprout. You’ll have to snap each sprout off the stalk and peel them back individually. Brussels sprouts are wonderful baked, steamed or even pan fried with butter and salt! Be careful not to over-cook them

Leek- A leek is in the same family as onion or scallions. Use in a soup to add the unique flavor of leeks!

Broccoli or Cauliflower or Romanesco- One broccoli or cauliflower per member this week.

Carrots-   One pound of carrots per member this week. One crop that seems to be turning out fairly well for us this year is carrots. It’s a good thing too, because everyone loves them!

Leaf Lettuce- You may have received a red leaf, green leaf or romaine lettuce this week. The heads were very small again, but this is what we were able to get.

Hungarian Hot Wax Peppers x2- Hungarian Hot wax are amongst the most mild of hot peppers, but they may surprise you! Hungarian Hot Wax are usually found a lime-green color, but they also ripen orange to red. Many of them were smaller this week

Fennel- A cute little bulb of fennel for everyone this week. Fennel adds such a nice flavor when shaved raw onto a salad or sautéed with onions.

Sweet Potatoes- 2 lbs of sweet potatoes per member this week. Did you know that some sweet potatoes can look a little funky? They come in all shapes and sizes! We did not wash these sweet potatoes because they get scuffed up from being washed when freshly dug. Don’t forget that the skins of your sweet potoates are edible! You can even cut them into French-fry form, toss them with coconut oil, and make home-made baked French fries (with the skins on!)

Spinach- A modest giving of spinach per member this week. Just a .25lb bag. But the leaves were large and needed to be picked. Our Fall Spinach didn’t germinate quite the way we had hoped, so we didn’t have a much as we usually do. The leaves were quite tender from the first picking and they seemed a little abused from all of the pounding rain. Eat up your spinach soon, my thoughts are that this spinach won’t last long in the fridge.

Parsnips- .75 lbs of parsnips per member this week. Parsnips are such a lovely Fall root. We were able to get these dug and washed in a slight window last week using a 4x4 tractor. Parsnips make a wonderful addition to a Fall Soup, baked with those sweet potato fries, or even in a roasted root veggie dish.

Celeriac Root- Celery’s uglier, grumpier, and older brother. These are specially cultivated plants so that the roots of the plant grow large and not the stalks. In the same family as celery. We left their stalks and greens on them so you can cook with them. The stalks and leaves could be a nice addition to soups or broths. Take advantage of this unique, seasonal offering! Once the tops have been cut off, the celeriac root will keep for months in a plastic bag in the fridge. Celeriac root is wonderful boiled and mashed with potatoes to make a celeriac/potato mash. Celeriac is also nice when peeled, and then diced finely into a soup. Once you have cut into it, the flesh will oxidize and turn a brown-ish color. So we recommend using it up sooner rather than later once you cut into it.

Next Week’s Best Guess- Sweet Potatoes, leeks, parsnips, peppers, broccoli, cauliflower?, spinach, lettuce, sweet dumpling winter squash, oregano, Brussels sprouts, daikon, fennel

DSC 0065

October Third

DSC 0064

The best parts about being a CSA member are knowing that a percentage of your food dollars are still circulating locally, that you are eating fresh, local, organic and seasonal veggies every week and that you get amusing newsletters from the farm and invites to on-farm events that help enrich your connection to the place where your food is coming from. It’s a fun way to ‘force’ yourself to try new veggies, eat veggies you might otherwise not buy, or to incorporate more veggies into your diet than what you might tend to do.

But my personal favorite reason that you belong to a CSA farm (aside from the fact that you’re part of our CSA farm) is that you are encouraged to cook. I chuckle like Santa on Christmas morning to think of you opening your presents. I know that not everything in the box is something you’re ecstatic about, but it is the items that give you the greatest challenge that will get your wheels turning. The un-loved vegetables and less-familiar are the ones that send you to research, to step outside your comfort zone, and to keep you interested to try new things. How boring life would be if we could just have exactly what we wanted all of the time. How lovely it is that we and our vegetable selections are so varied and different!

I also love imagining you all in your kitchens with your cutting boards, knives and wonderfully messy kitchens. I love to be outdoors with the children doing chores or helping on the farm in the afternoons and I usually wait until the last possible moment to start on dinner. And when I do finally start on dinner, it’s usually crunch time to get it done. There are potoato peels, celery tops, onion and garlic peels and juicy watermelon seeds all over my space. Meanwhile the baby is splashing in the dog water and the older two have an argument over the colored pencils. The phone rings and then someone stops in to chat. But I am determined to get dinner on the table and for it to be loaded with vegetables and for everyone to be satisfied.

Poor farmer Adam comes in from the fields at the end of the day to either a ridiculous mess (if it was made-from-scratch night) or a fairly clean kitchen (if it was leftover night). But I am the sort of person who tends to give 110% towards everything I do and cheater meals like mac and cheese and spaghetti are reserved for true emergencies that happen rarely. A veggie-loaded meal is a high priority to me. It takes up loads of my time and creates huge messes, but I tell myself it is my creative outlet, I am keeping my family healthy and I’m keeping my home warm and smelling good!

My intent was not to toot my own horn for accomplishing the family meal (for sometimes it is by the skin of my teeth) but to congratulate you for doing the same, prioritizing it in your life and to share a story in how difficult I know it can be! Even if the home-cooked meal is a new concept to you in your house or if you’re feeling discouraged from all of these new vegetables (or if you’re feeling like there simply isn’t time), I urge you to keep it up! It gets easier! You’ll have to embrace the mess, learn to love it and know that it is an important part of keeping your family healthy and spending time together.

DSC 0039

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

Peppers- Ten peppers per member this week. Many of the peppers were green this week. We clear-cut the pepper plants on Friday last week because it was the night before the first frost of the season. Because of this we took many of the peppers off of the plants that were still green. They are still perfectly edible, but not quite as fun as the colored peppers, I know! Green peppers make a great relish!

Butternut Squash- The beloved butternut! Butternuts are creamy and smooth and sweet, everything you want from a Fall Winter Squash! Cut them in half lengthwise, discard the seeds, and bake them in a dish with a little water at the bottom to prevent them from drying hard to the pan at 350 for about an hour. Once they are cooked, scoop the creamy, orange flesh out and use as you like!

Cabbage- You may have received a napa cabbage, savoy cabbage, green cabbage or red cabbage. Our Fall Cabbage plantings were more sparse than usual, so we had to take the big ones from each planting to get enough for this CSA giving.

Yellow Onion- A nice yellow onion for everyone this week!

Broccoli- One broccoli per member this week.

Carrots-   One pound of carrots per member this week. One crop that seems to be turning out fairly well for us this year is carrots. It’s a good thing too, because everyone loves them!

Leaf Lettuce- You may have received a red leaf, green leaf or romaine lettuce this week.

Hungarian Hot Wax Peppers x3- Hungarian Hot wax are amongst the most mild of hot peppers, but they may surprise you! Hungarian Hot Wax are usually found a lime-green color, but they also ripen orange to red. These were in the little brown paper sac this week with your mini sweet peppers.

Mini sweet peppers- 6-7 minisweet peppers per member. These were in the little brown paper sack with your Hungarian hot wax peppers. They were likely red, yellow or orange and are sweet!

Thyme- Generous bunches of thyme this week. If you can’t use this much thyme in one week, thyme dries very nicely for storage! To dehydrate, un-bunch your thyme and lay it out flat on a dehydrator try and dry on low heat until crispy and dry. If you don’t have a dehydrator, you could dry it in your oven on the lowest heat setting (with the door cracked even so it doesn’t get too hot) until it is dry. Once dried, store in a mason jar with a tight lid. Flavor will be just as good as when it is fresh! Thyme is wonderful with meat dishes, incorporated into your fritattas, quiches or squash bakes. Some people even drink it as tea. Thyme is used medicinally to treat issues of the throat, mouth, intestines and bladder.

Red or Yellow Potatoes- 2.5 lbs of potatoes per member this week. You may have received either yellow or red potatoes.

Curly Green Kale- Possibly the final giving of Kale, we’ll see how the Fall goes here. Smaller bunches because the plants aren’t re-producing quite the way they were earlier in the season.

Garlic- One bulb of garlic per member this week.

Eggplant- A medium or 1-2 small eggplants per member this week. This is another crop that we had to clear the plants of before the first frost hit last Friday night.

Garlic- Keeps well on your counter for a month or two, but for long-term storage, we recommend keeping them in your fridge. We store garlic in the cooler at the farm.

Next Week’s Best Guess- Sweet Potatoes, leeks, parsnips, celeriac root, peppers, broccoli, cauliflower?, spinach, lettuce, red kabocha winter squash, oregano, Brussels sprouts

DSC 0044

Recipes

Honey Thyme Butternut Squash

Roasted Potato Fritatta with Onion and Green Peppers

September Twenty-Sixth

DSC 0053 1

I have always taken such reprieve in the Fall. It feels like a reward for good behavior and hard work. The bountiful harvest, the milder temperatures, and the lower humidity are amongst my most humble appreciations. I wish only to enter winter warm, tired and surrounded by piles of stashed nuts, seeds, fruits and roots.

I find the surge and force of nature that makes the grass grow, the weeds germinate and the trees pop up everywhere incredibly strong. We fight against the force of nature all summer by trimming and buzzing it with our gas-powered tractors, whacking it with our small engines and turning the earth with even more powerful diesel, high-horsepower machines. We fight, fight, fight against the immense power that nature brings working against us. She does not want her sod flipped upside down for vegetable production. She does not love her bare soil exposed. The bugs, the mildew, and the disease join the fight.

I watch in awe in the Spring time as soil, plant and animal life slowly but surely come back to life and emerge with potent strength. It is lovely to watch in the Spring when everything is so fresh and tender and new. But as Spring turns to summer, I begin to fever with sweat at the prospect of managing the incessant force. We step up to the challenge in the name of vegetable production and land stewardship. We trim, cultivate and seed, transplant, cultivate again and work extremely hard with all of the shapes and forms of forged steel that we own.

Predictably, around mid September, as the sun sinks lower on the horizon and the days become shorter, the force weakens. The grass grows with a little less vigor. The crickets come out and the yellow jackets pursue the rotting fruit and unattended picnic baskets. The flies even seem to surge with a wave of knowing that Fall is here. There is a noticeable silence in the air that the nesting birds used to fill with all of their busyness, chatter and song. But these just are signs of the inevitable end of a Season.

The landscape that once looked so youthful and vibrant and green fades to the default color of brown. We hear the thunking of walnuts hitting the ground and the sound of root vegetables filling up bins for storage. We catch a third wind of urgency, for now the clock is really ticking. Those of us who have taken a few trips around the sun know that mother nature is not loosing steam, she’s just getting tired and is ready for her nap. She will return next March with a renewed vengeance. We must take what we have learned from her this season and apply it to our badge for next year’s term.

There are still three more Summer Share CSA deliveries left in the season, and your farmers are not slowing down yet. We have paced ourselves and are excited to share of the Fall jewels that we have been polishing this summer. Sweet potatoes, leeks, Brussels, pie pumpkins and parsnips just to name a few!

Fall! How love you!

DSC 0047

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

Sweet Peppers- Six sweet peppers per member this week. As it gets later in the season, we worry a little more about possible frost. So this week we decided to pick peppers with less color. Some have only the first blushes of color. Peppers keep for a couple weeks in the fridge and they will ‘ripen’ a little off the vine if mostly colored. The more color a pepper has, the sweeter it is. The greener a pepper is, the more it will just taste like a green pepper. We picked many peppers this week that had just a little coloFrost likely on Friday night, so we plan to clear-cut peppers for next weeks box green or colored, on Friday.

Pie Pumpkin- Cute enough to just sit on your counter for a few weeks, but tempting enough to cook up and make pie. Cut you pumpkin in half, discard the seeds and bake face-down in a baking dish with a little water for about an hour. Once it has been cooked through, it should yield about 1.5-2 cups pumpkin which is enough for most recipes! Pumpkin bars, pumpkin soup, pumpkin pie!

Small Spaghetti Squash- Spaghetti Squash are all the rage in the gluten free world these days. Like many other kinds of squash, cut them in half lengthwise, discard the seeds, and bake face down on a pan with half an inch of water to keep it from drying out for about an hour. Once it is cooked, you and scoop out the stringy, spaghetti-like squash and serve it with a marinara sauce or make a peanut-noodle dish out it and eat it cold! Possibilities are endless!

Napa Cabbage- Napa Cabbages are such a lovely fall treat. Napa cabbage is wonderful in stir-fry, kim-chi or many fun Asian cabbage salad recipes.

Yellow Onion- A nice yellow onion for everyone this week!

2 Heads of either Broccoli or Cauliflower or Romanesco- A bit of a mix this week, but you should have received two pieces. They’re all starting to come on.  Must be kept cold.  

Carrots-   One pound of carrots per member this week. One crop that seems to be turning out fairly well for us this year is carrots. It’s a good thing too, because everyone loves them!

Kohlrabi- Remember these from the Spring? Kohlrabi love the cool weather of the Spring and Fall! Peel them and enjoy their apple-like texture on the inside with all the flavor of a crispy radish or spring turnip! Either a white or purple kohlrabi this week!

Red Leaf Lettuce- One or two heads per member depending on size.

Jalapeno- Jalapenos are hot! They were mostly the standard looking green color this week, but sometimes Jalapenos ripen red, so watch out for the sneaking red jalapeno which would be a bit sweeter than a green one, but would still pack much of the same punch as a green one.

Hungarian Hot Wax Peppers x2- Hungarian Hot wax are amongst the most mild of hot peppers, but they may surprise you! Hungarian Hot Wax are usually found a lime-green color, but they also ripen orange to red.

Dill- Beautiful bunches of Dill. Can be added to your egg or potato salads. With Salmon. Any un-used dill could also be dehydrated and saved for winter use. Once it is dried, keep it in a glass ball jar with a tight lid. I recommend dehydrating herbs with an actual dehydrator so they dry down as quickly as possible and keep their nice green color and most of their flavor.

Cilantro- Cute little bunches of cilantro for taco night! Cilantro is not a great keeper, so we always recommend using up your cilantro as quickly as possible!

Garlic- Keeps well on your counter for a month or two, but for long-term storage, we recommend keeping them in your fridge. We store garlic in the cooler at the farm.

Next Week's Best Guess:  Potatoes, squash, garlic, onion, kale, spinach, broccoli or cauliflower or romanesco, peppers, thyme, fennel?, 

DSC 0043

Recipes:

Napa Cabbage Picnic Salad with Toasted Sesame Oil, Ginger and Cilantro!

Spaghetti Squash Noodle Bowl with Lime Peanut Sauce

Stuffed Hot Peppers

September Nineteenth

DSC 0048

DSC 0058

We had a wonderful turn out for our Fall Raspberry and Pumpkin Pick and Potluck farm party last Sunday. The weather was perfect and many members of the farm made the trip out to take a look at where their food is coming from and pick a few berries. We couldn’t have been more pleased with the attendance.

If the farm were a plant, it would surely be a perennial. Imagine it as your favorite perennial, perhaps a fruit tree or a lilly or blueberry bush. But surely we are very much so a living entity, not very different from a tree or a plant of any kind. We are tender yet enduring, vulnerable to weather and elements, and we are rooted and growing.   We are a twelve year old perennial, so we’ve been through a few winters and we’ve proven that we’re zone hardy. Most importantly, year after year, we keep coming back.

As any perennial plant, we still need sunlight, water and fertility.   Sunlight is attained through the space we have created for ourselves. We reach for the light and soak up the rays by spreading our limbs and branches. Water is usually provided by the gods above (at times too much and other’s too little), but a seasoned perennial can usually make it through the tough times. And the fertility is you. You are the nutrients our roots and fruits need to grow. Without your participation in our small family farm, we simply would not be able to grow and share with such abundance.

A community farm can be such a beautiful thing to see. I felt so inspired to see all of the children and parents and neighbors and friends on the farm last Sunday. The wagon rides, pie pumpkins, raspberries and Turtle Stack beer were a draw, sure, but we are the ones who felt the most grateful. Your farmers are thankful for your support and for coming out to the farm to breathe life and identity into our little ridgetop farm. It is an honor to farm and to share the bounty with your appreciative homes.

DSC 0081

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

Sweet Peppers- Four sweet peppers per member this week. As it gets later in the season, we worry a little more about possible frost. So this week we decided to pick peppers with less color. Some have only the first blushes of color. Peppers keep for a couple weeks in the fridge and they will ‘ripen’ a little off the vine if mostly colored. Four peppers could be enough for stuffed peppers?!

Acorn Winter Squash- Acorn are the earliest maturing winter squash variety. They are also possibly one of the best known next to butternuts. Acorns have a sweet, creamy flesh that will caramelize nicely if roasted. Slice your squash in half lengthwise, discard the seeds, and bake face down on a pan with half an inch of water to keep it from drying out for about an hour. Once it is cooked, you and scoop out the cooked flesh easily!

Spaghetti Squash- Spaghetti Squash are all the rage in the gluten free world these days. Like many other kinds of squash, cut them in half lengthwise, discard the seeds, and bake face down on a pan with half an inch of water to keep it from drying out for about an hour. Once it is cooked, you and scoop out the stringy, spaghetti-like squash and serve it with a marinara sauce or make a peanut-noodle dish out it and eat it cold! Possibilities are endless!

Dragon Tongue Beans- .25lbs of dragon tongue beans per member this week. This is likely the final giving of beans as the production is slowing down quite a bit.

Yellow Onion- A nice yellow onion for everyone this week!

Tomatoes- Just a tomato or two per member this week. This is the final giving of tomatoes for the season. We’ve never had a tomato year quite as short as this one, but with all of the rain, the tomato plants melted right along with the water.

Carrots-   One pound of carrots per member this week. One crop that seems to be turning out fairly well for us this year is carrots. It’s a good thing too, because everyone loves them!

Kohlrabi- Remember these from the Spring? Kohlrabi love the cool weather of the Spring and Fall! Peel them and enjoy their apple-like texture on the inside with all the flavor of a crispy radish or spring turnip! Either a white or purple kohlrabi this week!

Celeriac Root- Celery’s uglier, grumpier, and older brother. These are specially cultivated plants so that the roots of the plant grow large and not the stalks. In the same family as celery. We left their stalks and greens on them so you can cook with them. The stalks and leaves could be a nice addition to soups or broths. Take advantage of this unique, seasonal offering! Once the tops have been cut off, the celeriac root will keep for months in a plastic bag in the fridge. Celeriac root is wonderful boiled and mashed with potatoes to make a celeriac/potato mash. Celeriac is also nice when peeled, and then diced finely into a soup. Once you have cut into it, the flesh will oxidize and turn a brown-ish color. So we recommend using it up sooner rather than later once you cut into it.

Jalapeno- Yes, this is the first Jalapeno giving of the season. There were some red jalapenos that we picked. They sometimes ripen red which makes them a bit more sweet and flavorful, but not always quite as perfect looking.

Eggplant- Either a standard eggplant or a long and skinney Japanese Eggplant.

Collard Greens- The collards are looking great this time of year! Boil them in broth until they are tender and then fry the with bacon in bacon grease. Check out this recipe and fall in LOVE!

 

DSC 0077

 

DSC 0080

September Twelfth

I’m not much of a TV person. I’m too busy to find time for it, but on occasion I catch a glimpse of something that looks interesting. Anthony Bourdaine’s cooking and travel shows that my mom used to watch would catch my attention long enough to slow me down for a few minutes. I began to discover his works and appreciate his perspectives and discoveries regarding food and travel. Shortly before his death, he stared the documentary film Wasted which we recently watched.

The story of food waste in the world is interesting to me, to put it politely. As a farmer, I feel acutely aware of the losses that happen at the point of productivity. There is much less loss on a CSA farm than on a farm that puts all of it’s eggs in one basket and produces just one or two crops for wholesale production. The beautifully designed CSA farm is diversified enough that when one or a few different crops don’t produce well in one season, we have enough other crops that we’re growing that we can always still manage to fill boxes with the many other crops we grow to meet our harvesting needs.

The film Wasted talks a lot about the different levels of food waste starting on farms, in grocery stores, in homes, and in restaurants. It also talks about the environmental impacts of food waste as well as the social and the economical effects. I dream of a world where we can lower our standards on the shapes and quality and size that our food comes in. Food needs to be produced ethically, organically and locally. Most inspiringly, as the film suggests, we can all do better as using everything, and wasting nothing. The term ‘nose to tale’ cooking means using every part of the animal, as well as every edible stem, leaf, stalk and fruit that our plants provide. As a result, we will all become more creative chefs in the kitchen, we will be healthier from eating a more diversified diet and will we create less waste! Astoundingly, a head of lettuce takes 25 years to decompose in a landfill. Food for thought!

We have been having a bit of rough time since the recent rains on the farm. The rain and the humidity affected the storage of our onions. Nearly 60% of our onion crop this year are ‘seconds’, as we call them. The onions did not cure down fast enough because during the crucial time that they should have been drying down, we had very wet and humid conditions, so instead of drying down rapidly, they very slowly dried down, causing many of them to simply begin to rot. We decided, after much thought, to give everyone a ‘second’ quality onion this week. We wanted to give these sooner rather than later so that they could still be used before they deteriorated any further. There are still hundreds of pounds of onions we sorted through that we will sadly compost.

Additionally, the melons that we gave this week also had tiny spots of decay on them. We did our very best to keep these for you in our cooler, and even though we had a pretty good melon year so far, we decided we would rather give the melons this week with small spots on them than not give them at all. We hope that you, our faithful CSA members, can help forgive this quality issue. We want you to know that we put our CSA members first and strive our hardest to only ship beautiful, first quality produce whenever possible. There are huge food losses on the farm that you’ll never see because we try very hard to never give second quality crops.

And finally, the tomatoes this week were also low-quality. Blaming this final quality issue on the rains, we have never had such a short tomato year as this. Our tomatoes fizzeled out much sooner this season than ever before. We are still hoping to give everyone a few tomatoes again next week, which will likely be the final week of tomatoes because the plants did not tolerate so much rain and moisture.

Thank you for your patience and understanding! I encourage you to check out the film Wasted and cultivate in your heart a certain level of pardoning to your farmers for some hardships in a growing season. Learn how to cook with your kohlrabi leaves and broccoli stems. Meanwhile, we’ll work on the best looking and tasting crops we can possibly grow! Thank you!

DSC 0069

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

Sweet Peppers- Two sweet peppers per member this week. We’re still waiting for sweet pepper production to pick up. We grow mostly colored sweet peppers, so you likely won’t receive many green peppers from us unless they were accidentally picked unripe or unless there is a danger of frost and we pick them green before they have a chance to turn colors. We’re patiently waiting for all of the colorful and beautiful pepper varieties we selected to start sharing with us their true colors. C’mon peppers!

Green Cabbage- The cabbages were on the cute side this time around. Nothing too huge, but more of a young, tender and manageable sized cabbage. There were about 20 people who receive a Napa Cabbage instead of a green cabbage.

Dragon Tongue Beans- .42lbs of dragon tongue beans per member this week. Beans are best eaten fresh! Don’t try to keep them long! We washed the beans again because they were so muddy at harvest-something we had just done for the first time last week that went well! A nice hearty helping of beans for all this week!

Yellow (2nd) Onion- Nice onions that may need a little trimming around a soft spot at the top. Use it up quickly!

Tomatoes- 2 lb bags. Tomato production is near the end. Remember to leave your tomatoes out on the counter to ripen. We’re sorry about these tomatoes not looking the best. The later in the season, the less-beautiful and perfect the tomatoes look.

Red Beets-   A generous handful of beets this week. Many of these beets are smaller, which many people really love because they take less time to cook. Still sweet and lovely as a beet can be!

Kohlrabi- Remember these from the Spring? Kohlrabi love the cool weather of the Spring and Fall! Peel them and enjoy their apple-like texture on the inside with all the flavor of a crispy radish or spring turnip!

Brussels Sprouts Tops!- Yes, these are unique offering! These are the tender shoots off the top of the Brussels Sprouts plants. We snap them off this time of year to tell the Brussels plant that it’s time to stop growing UP and it’s time to put their energy into sizing up those sprouts on the stalk. These tops can be used like any other cooking green such as kale or collards. Tender and delicious! Tell us how you used them! No waste!

Cilantro- Just about everyone received cilantro this wee, but we ran a little short and about 30 people received Dill instead.

Eggplant- Either a standard eggplant or a long and skinney Japanese Eggplant.

Curly Green Kale- Kale is the beloved staple at our house! Kale chips! Kale in egg roll filling, kale in your frittata, kale in your soup, kale it up!

Yellow Doll Watermelon- These are the small, yellow watermelons in your box.  We tested the Brix on these and they were up to 15 on the Brix test.  Sweet!

Hungarian Hot Wax Pepper x 2- These were tucked inside your tomato bags. Hungarian Hot wax are amongst the most mild of hot peppers, but they may surprise you! Hungarian Hot Wax are usually found a lime-green color, but they also ripen orange to red. We don’t want you confuse your hot pepper for a mini-sweet as we have begun sticking minisweet peppers in your CSA boxes.

MiniSweet Pepper- 1-2 very small minisweets again this week. I know it’s a very small giving, but these guys are just starting to produce now too. Minisweets are one of my children’s favorite foods. They can eat piles of these things in one sitting. The minisweets are red, yellow and orange. The only possible issue here is that since they are small peppers, they could easily be confused for a hot pepper. But I assure you they are not hot so long as you are able to differentiate in your CSA box which is the minisweet pepper and which is the Hungarian hot wax pepper. Have fun learning your peppers!

Next Week's Best Guess: Winter squash, collards, mint, beets, carrots, sweet bell peppers, lettuce, kohlrabi, tomato,

DSC 0064