Small Family Farm CSA

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October Nineth

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The warm sun this week offered a reprieve from all of the rain and cold we have been having. Your farmers were beginning to worry. With the shorter days and cooler temperatures this time of year our chances for the soil actually drying out become thinner and thinner. Still so much root digging and field clean up work to do before the season is over.

The last leg of the season feels exciting. We have a list of everything that still needs to get done and we are slowly crossing items off of the list with each passing week. We are done digging our potatoes and sweet potatoes now. We will continue to work on digging our parsnips, carrots for storage, and other fun Fall treats like celeriac root, rutabaga, Brussels sprouts and leeks.

Still no first frost on the farm, but it looks like Jack Frost just may visit our farm for the first time this weekend with lows on Friday, Saturday and Sunday night at 34 degrees, although it is supposed to be overcast those nights which may protect us from frost on the ridge. The only plants that we’re in danger of loosing are the peppers. We have had a really nice pepper season this summer offering generous quantities of beautiful peppers in the last several CSA boxes of the season. We may pick the plants clean before this weekend so that we can still give green peppers on the final Summer Share CSA delivery next week.

The farm workers are beginning to wear their layers to work. The back seat of the farm truck is mostly just piles of rain gear, hats, sweaters, gloves and coats of various kinds. As long as we have the right clothing and gear on, field work is pleasant and the feeling of sun shining on our faces is lovely.

One of the best parts about farm work is that most of the time we don’t have to work in buildings. We are very closely connected to the seasons and weather patterns. The feeling of doing honest work out under the wide open sky feels fulfilling in so many different ways. We love the athleticism of farming, and the health benefits of all the sunshine and from eating all of the nutritious food that comes off of these fields.

We’ll have to soak up the sun this week as it gives us a few more days to get the bins of woolies, long underwear and protective clothing brought up from the basement. I do love the feeling of coming in from working outside all day to a warm house that smells like soup. I love that Adam is forced indoors in the evenings and I know he’s coming in after work since it turns dark shortly after the work day ends. I dream of making apple pie and pumpkin cream cheese rolls.

Soon we will be tilling beds for garlic planting. Garlic planting is one of the last big projects we will need to complete for the season is over. We usually get it done the week after CSA Summer Share deliveries end when we have a week off before the Fall Share deliveries begin. Have you signed up for a Fall Share yet? There is still time and we have so many wonderful Fall Storage veggies to share with you. We’re planning to pack those Storage Boxes full of warming, delicious and hearty seasonal treats!

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

Brussles Sprouts-  These are the cool and funky sprouts on the stalks.  We left the work of snapping them off of the stalk to you!  You'll have to snap them off the stalk and store your sprouts in a plastic bag in the fridge.  The sprouts might require a little cleaning as well before you dine on them.  You could peel off an outer layer if you think it needs it and trim the butt of the sprout if you think it needs it again.  Some people cook their sprouts whole, cut in half or even with an X cut into the bottom of the sprout so they cook in the center more evenly.  It's up to you!  

Acorn Squash-  These are the famous acorn winter squash variety that we all know and love.  Acorns are lovely made into soup bowls as well!  They do not need to be refrigerated, just leave it on your counter until you're ready to use it!  Winter squash is wonderful just baked as well.  Cut it in half, remove the seeds and bake in a 9x13 with a little water at the bottom for about an hour.  Then scoup the softened flesh out and enjoy with butter or however you like it!  

Rutabaga-  Such a fun seasonal treat!  Rutabaga is a lot like a giant potato.  We love to peel them, boil and mash them with butter and serve like mashed potatoes.  They have a creamy, milld inside.  They're also great just cubed and added to a soup.  They're a low-carb sub for potatoes!  

Leek-  These are the long, white onion looking thing in your box with the green tops.  Leeks are a hardy, cold tolerant onion-like veg that brings it's own unique flavor to fall dishes.

Peppers-  5 peppers per member.  We picked any peppers with a 'blush' this week.  They ripen from green to color.  Since the forecast looks like it could frost this weekend, we 'went for it' by picking the plants agressively.  Green peppers are great in relish, on pizza or even in fritattas!  Have fun with these!

Jalapeno Pepper-  One Jalapeno per member.  Some of them did ripen to red this week.  

Hungarian Hot Wax Pepper-  Possibly the final hot pepper giving of the year.  These are great for warming up your body when eating a stir fry or soup as the weather cools.  

Broccoli, Califlower, Romanesco x2-  You may have one caulflower and one broccoli or two broccoli or one romanesco and one cauliflower or two cauliflower.  Who is a math whiz?  How many combinations are possible with this?  

Roma Tomatoes-  2.3 lbs  Yes, can you believe this offering?  It's sort of unreal out seasonally strange, I know!  These romas were growing in a greenhouse we had them.  Many of the tomatoes from this patch were rotting for some reason so we sort of ignored the patch earlier in the season, but we noticed that there were really a lot of big and beautiful tomatoes in there so we picked what was good out of the patch in the greenhouse and shared them with you!  What a fun surprise!  

Parsnips- 1lb  One of my favorite fall roots!  These are so fresh!  Parsnips are wonderful diced and added to soups, cut up with other roots to make a roasted root dish, or even coated in oil to make parsnip fries!  We have even deep fried them on the stove top and the sweetness in the root caramelizes and they're really a fun food to try!  They're even good in cake!  Instead of carrot cake, make Parsnip Cake!  

Sweet Potatoes-  2.5lbs  Did you know that sweet potatoes need to be "cured" after harvest?  We dig them two weeks before we pack them in CSA boxes and put them in a small room that is heated to 80 degrees with 100% humidity for two weeks.  This curing process hardens the skins, turns starches to sugars and help with the storage life of the potatoes and thickens the skin.  Enjoy!  

Lettuce-  One head of lettuce per member this week.  You could have received a head of green oakleaf, a red buttercup, a romaine or a red leaf lettuce.  This is a welcome treat in the Fall when local greens become scarce!  

Celeriac Root-  These are the gnarly looking roots in your box with the greens still attached.  Celeriac root is a specially cultivated variety of celery.  It is in the same family as celery and is cultivated so that the roots of the celery plant grow large and not the stalks.  The stalks and greens are still edible in soups or stocks or however you like to use them.  Celeriac root is best peeled.  It is white and dense on the inside like a potato but it has a celery flavor to it.  You can also peel, boil and mash them with potatoes and get a celeriac mashed pototo.  We like to peel and cube them into smaller cubes and add them to soups or stews.  Celeriac root will keep for months if you cut the greens off and store them in a plastic bag in the fridge.  This is an old root cellaring vegetable from way back!  

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Recipes

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Potato Leek Soup witih Celeriac

Pureed Root Vegetable Soup with Parsnips, Celeriac, Rutabaga and Orange, Ginger and Tarragon

Parsnip Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

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