October Twelfth

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On the final week of CSA Summer Share deliveries, I am reflecting on perseverance.  I am thinking about the value in sticking with a person or a place or a job or an idea for long enough where you have gone through hardship, discomfort and displeasure to the point where the romantic phase has worn away and you’re asked to stick it out when it isn’t fun anymore to get to the other side. 

I feel that we live in an age or an era of impulsiveness and instant-gratification.  With our phones and our lap tops supplying us with moment-by-moment stimulus we have become stimulus feinds.  I see people switching jobs, houses, partners, cars, and cities like they’re playing cards.  I feel a sadness and a lonliness around all of this switchy-ness.  I realize that you gotta know when to hold ‘em and know when to fold ‘em and know when to walk away and when to run.  But I’m wondering if there is just a little more folding than necessary. 

A congratulations to those of you who have eaten you way through an entire CSA growing season!  You’re a person of character and perseverance!  It may not have always been easy to use up those tomatoes and zucchinis, but you did it!  You made a commitment to the farm and to yourself and you kept it.  I’m proud of you! 

I’m also proud of our crew!  I’m proud of them because even though their shoulders and elbows and wrists were sore, they came to work.  There were days when it was hot and they were sick of weeding or picking tomatoes or picking cucumbers, but they kept showing up.  They persevered!  They made a commitment and a promise to the farm and they kept it.  Without our amazing crew of helpers, especially in a season where finding help is extremely difficult, there is no way we would have been able to get it done!  Every item in your CSA box was lovingly picked, washed, handled, packed and delivered by a chorus of dedicated, hardworking, loving people who I am honored to know and have in my life.    

Adam and I try to be the sort of people who model commitment and perseverance.  It isn’t exactly easy to raise 13 acres of produce growing over 40 different crops and managing over 120 different varieties of plants.  We’ve been through some hard times together in our 17 years of running the farm together.  We’ve seen some dry land, some high water and some bleak horizons.  With all of this antique, used and vintage equipment we buy for the farm operation that is maintained by the novice-yours truly, we’ve been through some serious breakdowns.  Things get stressful at times-although I try not to talk about the hard parts of farming too much in these newsletters. 

I believe there is a reward at the end of a long season that is greater than any amount of money in the bank, food in the freezer or popularity won.  It is the sense of accomplishment.  The sense of achievement.  I know there is value in sticking with this farming gig because an entire community of people are nourished from it.  I love knowing our children will grow up seeing their parents do hard things and persevere through them.  They will come home some day after having flown the coop and it will be the same home they have always known and loved. 

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What's in the Box?

Leeks-  These are the long, white stalk with the green tops.  These are in the allium family or onion family.  If you’re totally at a loss as to how to use this, use it anywhere you might use onions.  They do have their own unique flavor, but are commonly added to fall soups.

Butternut Squash-  These are the large, creamy orange colored hard winter squash.  They keep best at room temperature.  Use buttnut squash in place of pumpkin for all of your favorite fall pumpkin recipes like bars, pies, soups and more!  

Sweet Potatoes- 2lbs per member.  These guys have been storing in our curing room which is 85 degrees at 90 percent humidity to help them cure and bring out their sugars.  They will keep nicely at room temperature until you eat them up!  Do not refrigerate.  

Brussels Sprouts-  We cut these brussels sprout stalks down, cleaned them up a bit and left the work of snapping them off the stalk to you.  Snap them off the stalk and store them in your fridge in a plastic bag.  

Tomatoes-  4.5lbs tomatoes.  We never dreamed that we would still be giving tomatoes on Week 20, but here it is!  Because of tomatoes we were barely able to get the boxes closed!  Store at room temperature until they are all ripe!  

Bell Beppers-  3-6 peppers per member.  Many of the peppers were green this week as we had to pick them green before the frost last week.  Some peppers have started to ripen off the vine, but many will not ripen much more than they have already.  

Broccoli or Cauliflower- Either one broccoli or one cauliflower per member this week.  

Thyme-  One bunch thyme per member.  If you wish to dry your thyme, you can un-bunch your thyme and lay it out to dry in a warm oven or in your dehydrator.  Once dried strip the leaves off of the stem and store thyme in a mason jar with a tight lid.  

Celeriac Root-  These are the ugly roots with lot of hairs and roots on them.  Peel celeriac root and dice up the white, dense, inside to be boiled and mashed with potatoes or cube and boil in a stew.  Celeraic are terrific keepers in a plastic bag in the fridge.  

Kohlrabi-  Remember these guys from the Springtime?  Something green, crispy and crunchy for your table this week.  

Green Cabbage-  One head of green cabbage per member.  

Hot Peppers-  You may have received a jalapeno in your tomato bag and also a small hungarian hot wax pepper floating around in the top of your box.  

Recipes

Black Bean Butternut Squash Stew by Healthier Steps

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Celeriac Parmesan Chips by Fats of Life Celeriac Parmesan Chips by Fats of Life 

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Cabbage Roll Soup by Kitchen Fun witih My 3 Sons

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Takeout-Style Kung Pao Chicken (Diced Chicken With Peppers and Peanuts) by Serious Eats

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