Small Family Farm CSA

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October Sixteenth

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The final week of Summer Share deliveries comes with a bittersweet feeling. We are nearing the end of the bounty. Not so very long ago we had taken for granted green foods, which were plenty. We will soon enter the season of eating stored roots and tubers that will provide the carbs and warmth needed to sustain us through the winter ahead. But the juicy, the succulent and the green will soon be gone. The fruits of our labors have been rich and wonderful, but now we are So. Very. Tired.

We still have a solid month of work left on the farm for the crew this season before we can finally throw in the towel. We will spend the next few weeks planting garlic, mulching garlic and strawberries and digging roots. We still have tomato trellising to take down and plastic mulch to rip up before the fields looks clean. We are hoping to do much of this work in dry, sunny weather which makes the work much more pleasant.

We are excited about Fall Shares this year. We still have two rooms in our packing shed filled with winter squash, onions, carrots, parsnips and we will continue to bring in more roots for storage. Left in the fields we will have Brussels sprouts to harvest, leeks, beets, rutabaga, daikon radish, beauty heart radish and still some greens and broccoli coming out.

Now, before we enter the house, we need to remove our layers of Carhart overalls, sweaters and layers of hats, scarves and gloves. Our bodies feel a little more stiff and our hands a little more thick. For dinner we have steaming bowls of squash, buttery Brussels and farmer Adam’s salty meat of choice for the night. We hold hands and routinely give thanks for this food from this farm and our little family.

The 2019 growing season was a good one. We had a little too much rain in the late summer, but somehow with all of the plantings we had in there was always plenty of food to pack the CSA boxes full of diverse offerings. We’ve had seasons that felt like much more of a struggle than this one with much greater loss. We will enter the winter with storage veggies to sell to area restaurants and food coops that will keep us busy filling orders a couple days a week. The only drawback to a good growing season is that there is more work to do bringing in the harvest, storing, washing and packing out orders.

We will also finish the season out strong with an amazing crew of helpers. I am always amazed at the hardy, enthusiastic and inspiring crew of people we have working on this farm. They show up prepared, excited to be doing this work and cheerfully return day after day. We have had seasons where help was hard to find, but this year we have a group of young people who continue to impress me with their perseverance and initiative. Without good help, a show like this would be hard to put on.

But really it takes all of us. We’ve got help, we’ve got experience, we’ve got community support and we even have mother nature on our side sometimes. Sometimes it feels like she’s not being very kind to us, but I know she’s just playing a fair game.   With my head bowed and my hands folded, I thank you. Thank you for sharing your hard-earned dollars and choosing to support a local, small family farm. Thank you for choosing to eat a diet heavy in a wide variety of plants. Thank you for stepping outside of your comfort zone and trying new foods. Thank you for buying food from a farm that farms in a way that protects our water, air and soil quality. Thank you for wanting to deepen your connection to where your food is coming from. Have a winter rich in family time, warmth, rest and rejuvenation!

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

Brussels Sprouts-  1 stalk per member.  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!  

Pie Pumpkin-  These little pumpkins are perfect for cooking up, scooping the squash out of the shells and using the squash to make pumpkin pie, pumpkin bars, pumpkin pudding or soup or whatever your heart desires.  These cute little pumpkins will keep splendidly on your counter looking cute and perfect for quite a while longer.  No need to refrigerate, just let it live on your counter until you're ready to cook it up!  

Broccoli, Cauliflower and/or Romanesco-  2 pieces per member.  You may have received any combination of two of these items.   

Watermelon Radishes-  Also known as Beauty Heart Radishes.  Cut the greens off of your radishes and the radishes will keep for months in your fridge in a plastic bag.  Radish greens are edible as well if you like to incorporate them into your cooking to add greens to your life while local greens are still here!  

Leek-  We dug one nice leek per member this week.  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.  We sometimes like slice them up and sautee them in coconut oil until they're crispy and garnish a fall squash soup with them.  Have fun with your leek and find a way to feature it's unique flavor!  

Sweet Potatoes-  2.5 lbs  A nice bag of sweet potatoes for everyone this week.  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.  Sweet potatoes should not be refrigerated as the cold fridge will cause them to go bad.  

Green Cabbage-  Nice sized cabbages this week for you just in case you still wanted to make sauerkraut.  If sauerkraut isn't your thing, cabbage is so versatile, you could add it to almost anything!  

Sweet Dumpling Squash-  These are the squashes that look a little like delicata but are shaped like an acorn.  Sweet Dumplings are also called carnival squash and can be used as a substitute for acorn, butternut or almost any recipe that calls for squash.  They make nice soup bowls as well if pre-baked and stuffed with your favorite soup/stew recipe.  

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!  

Peppers-  8  Many of the peppers were green this week.  We had to pick these peppers last week before the first frost which came last Friday night.  These will not ripen off of the vine, so you'll have to find recipes that call for green peppers.  They can be great if you make pizza, fajitas, fritattas or even a green pepper relish.  However you can get them in your bellies with the most amount of pleasure!  

Lettuce-  2 heads per member this week.  The lettuce heads were small again this week, but we considered them a bonus item since we could barely fit them in the box with all of the large items we had to fit into the box this week.  Having lettuce this late in the season is surely a treat!  We thought it was better to share small heads than no heads at all.  You may have received romaine, red leaf lettuce, red oakleaf, or even some green oakleaf lettuce was mixed in. It was the luck of the draw this week.  

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Recipes

Southwest Stuffed Acorn (or Sweet Dumpling) Squash

Sweet and Sour Cabbage with Bacon

Egg Roll in a Bowl (Cabbage Rolls without the Wrap)

Herb Roasted Parsnip