Small Family Farm CSA

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September Twenty-Fifth

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This Fall CSA boxes are incredible! We’re so excited to share these with you! They are filled with earthy and fresh roots, warming winter squashes and crispy greens like spinach and kohlrabi to keep us eating green and fresh. The Fall boxes are made colorful by items like stunning sweet peppers and red kabocha squash and aromatic by itmes like the fennel and garlic.

We are enjoying a shift to cooler weather now as the forecast shows cooler temperatures starting this week. We have soaking wet fields and will now have the added struggle of getting root crops dug if and when the soil dries out long enough for us to get some digging in. We feel a little nervous now as the forecast is showing several strong chances for rain again this week when we would much prefer to be getting some root harvesting done in drier weather.

Some of the fun digging projects we are looking forward to are Fall seasonal treats like sweet potatoes, potatoes, parsnips, daikon radishes and always more carrots. We will need the soil to dry out long enough to get these crops harvested for the last few Summer Share CSA boxes. We can also look forward to a few other fall goodies like celeriac root and leeks coming up soon!

Thankfully, all of this rain hasn’t impacted our pepper harvest too drastically yet. We were tossing a few more peppers than usual this week due to rotten fruits from too much moisture, but it wasn’t drastic. The rain tattered the very, very tender Fall Spinach this year a little, but again, not so bad that it drastically reduced our harvest. We decided to tolerate a few more torn leaves than normal to bulk out the giving. The spinach is so tender this fall, I just love it when it comes back into season! I am also very excited about Brussels sprouts harvest this year and to share this bounty with you!

The leaves on the trees are changing colors and falling already. The crickets are chirping, and we even saw some V formations of birds flying south already. The crows are announcing that they will be staying for the winter and I’m hoping the flies have had their final surge now just before the cooler weather starting.

Fall, on a widely diversified organic vegetable farm like ours, feels exciting and celebratory, but also something like finishing the end of a marathon. We don’t slow down the way a car does before it comes to a stop sign in town. It’s a little more like we step on the gas and give it every last drop of energy we have before the growing season is, alas, over. Day length is shortening, soon freezing weather will slow our fingers and our bodies, and ideal digging conditions will be iffy and opportunistic.

When the weather is chilly or the work day feels long we will dream of all that we will prepare for Thanksgiving dinner and warming our toes by the fireside in December.

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

Sunshine Kabocha Squash-  These are the large, orange, heavy squashes at the bottom of your box.  I feel like I maybe say this about everything, but these are my favorite winter squash.  I love them more than butternut, and that's saying a lot because butternuts are amazing.  They are a deep orange color all the way through, smooth, flaky, creamy and sweet.  I do believe that you'll fall in love with them just as I have.  

Green Cabbage-  These honkers were ready for harvest!  This is not a storage type cabbage.  It should keep for a week or two, but I wouldn't suggest trying to keep it too long.  Tis the season for sauerkraut if you haven't gotten any made yet this season!

Sweet Peppers-  4 Peppers per member.  But a handful of boxes at the end of packing got a few more peppers if they were smaller.  We try to pick peppers with 80% color.  They will ripen just slightly off the vine.  All peppers start out green and 'ripen' to either red, yellow or orange depending on the variety grown.  We grow a very wide selection of sweet peppers ranging from the pointed tip carmen types to the blocky red, orange and yellow bells to the rounded three-lobers of all colors as well.  We hope you enjoy the sweet, crispy flavors of summer!  We're hoping for another generous giving next week of sweet peppers!

Carrots-  A 1-lb bag of carrots for everyone.  

Spinach-  .34 lbs per member this week.  We were hoping for a heftier giving of spinach, but it takes a long time to get all of that spinach picked, washed, spun and bagged up for 320 boxes!  We were also dealing with a lot of culled leaves from all of the rain.  Super tender and delicious!  We recommend eating it up sooner rather than later as it was so very tender and may not keep as long.  

Kohlrabi-  A nice kohlrabi for everyone this week!  Don't forget that you can eat your kohlrabi leaves and use them like kale in any dish you're wanting to incorporate greens into!

Fennel-  A nice blub of fennel for everyone this week!  Fennel is wonderful eaten raw or cooked.  Find your favorite way to use it!  The frawns are fun garnish and decorate a plate with.  The stalk are fun to chew on and just suck the juice out of them.  My kids love to chew on the stalks.  If you don't think you'll eat them, save your stalks and frawns to add to vegetable stock.  

Potatoes-  Yukon Gold-2lbs per member.  The potato yields in general are down this year.  We're giving all sizes of poatoes, large and small.  The smaller potaotes can be halved or left whole and pan fried.  They are also lovely just added to soups whole.  No need to peel your little potatoes!  

Cauliflower or Broccoli or Romanesco-  We're starting harvest our Fall broccoli, cauliflower and romanesco!  We can look forward to more of these gems next week!

Onion-  For everyday use!  

Lettuce-  These are smaller heads this week but we have quite a bit out there for Fall Lettuce so we wanted to start giving it now.  A small head of lettuce is better than no lettuce head at all!  

Mini Sweet Peppers-  These little peppers in the pint clamshell are sweet!  These are great for snacking.  They are also called 'lunchbox peppers'.  Keep them in the fridge until you get them eaten up!  Our kids love to snack on these!  

Garlic-  One bulb per member this week.  

Hungarian Hot Wax Pepper-  1 hungarian hot wax pepper floating around in your box.  We didn't have a bag of tomatoes to tuck them in with this week.  Hopefully by now you're getting better at identifying your hungarian hot wax peppers and you don't get fooled!  Most of them are smaller with an orange/red color to them.  

Jalapeno Pepper-  These are the green ones in the box!  Spicy!

Next Week's Best Guess:  potatoes, onion, kohlrabi?, lettuce, spinach, sweet peppers, winter squash (pie pumpkin), garlic, cauliflower/broccoli/romanesco, 

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Recipes

The Great Dane Inner Warmth Squash Peanut Stew

Baked Ziti with Italian Sausage and Fennel

Stuffed Peppers

Stuffed Bananna Peppers (Hungarian Hot Wax Peppers)

Roasted Potato Fritatta with Onion and Sweet Pepper