Well, what a week to end the season? If you came out to look at the gardens after the last week of hard-hitting frosts, or should I say freezes, you would agree with me that it’s time to call it a season. Last week, Sunday morning, I walked around the garden to see weeping kale, chard, beet, broccoli and lettuce plants. The water-filled cell walls in the spines on the leaves of these plants burst when the temperatures dip down into the low twenties. We could have handled temperatures in the thirties for another month or so, but when they get that low, there just isn’t much a farmer can do but start getting ready for winter a bit earlier.
As the season ends in such a harsh and blunt way, I seem not to care about much else other than the CSA members and how the experience was for all of you. I hope that in a month or so, when we all realize that the boxes really are going to stop coming and the vegetables really are gone, that in reflection at least, we remember the season as a good one and as a wholesome experience. I hope that I was able to do my job and go beyond by educating my members about what truly fresh, local and organic food means on the fundamental level. We are a mutually beneficial system. You provide financial support to us, and we provide the highest quality food that we know how to grow to you.
I hope that at the end of the season, there was at least one or two new members that fell in love with the concept of a sustainable economy, food traveling less than 100 miles from field to table, not subsidized perfect looking food from California. We are not California and we do not pretend that we can grow celery or cauliflower or carrots that look like they came from California. We are a small family in south-west Wisconsin and we are not corporate food, and do not wish to compete with corporate food. I feel it is my job to get this across to you. I really want you to see, feel and taste this difference.
I want you to know that there are seasons that bring strawberries and broccoli and radish, and they are not available year round and we must taste the very wide array of food that mother nature offers us when they are offered. Now is the time of year to get your fill on apples, because they will not be here next summer when you have raspberries and melons to indulge on. I wanted you to be challenged and I hope that you stepped outside of your comfort zone and picked up new cook books and turned to pages in them that you never thought you would. I hope that you visited recipe websites that you never thought existed and they broadened your horizons farther than you ever would have let them go. I hope that you prepared excellent meals with this food and at the end of the day when you sat down to enjoy these meals with your family, you all understood what was happening in and around you, a sustainable and expanding food system.
Thank you and bless you my loyal CSA members!
Sooo….WHAT’S in the BOX???
Celeriac Root- Don’t judge a book by it’s cover! These knarley looking root veggies are in the same family as celery (obviousely). They’re specially cultivated so that the roots grow large instead of the stalks. Don’t be afraid to use the leaves and stalks that are still attached to make soup, stock or veggie pot pie! Peel the roots and boil and mash them with your potatoes and make celeriac mashed potatoes. It gives them a smooth celery flavor.
Nappa Cabbage- This delicious fall cabbage is popular in oriental or asian cooking. There are some great raw salads that call for it thinly sliced and some where it is cooked. Only once a year this comes around on our farm! Expensive to buy organic in the stores too! Enjoy it’s tender, unique flavor.
Sweet Peppers- The rest of the peppers that we rescued before all of the hard freezing started to hit!
Hot Peppers-Remember that you can slice these up and freeze them too if you’re getting more hot pepper than you bargained for.
Fresh Lettuce- Beautiful heads of lettuce. So lucky to have these guys in the fall again. The flavor has been long missed since spring!
Red Kale- If you liked kale before, you’re going to LOVE kale in the fall once it’s been frosted on a few times. The starches turn to sugars and it gets quite sweet! So many wonderful recipes for kale. Has anyone learned to love kale this summer, that never thought they liked it before?
Leeks- There’s a lot more work that goes into these little guys than it looks like. They were started from seed in March and have been taken care of all the way until just now. Harvesting is time consuming and cleaning isn’t always that easy either. Please enjoy your leeks. Leek and Potato soup any one?
Garlic- Eat up your garlic and stay healthy during this time of year when it’s so easy to get sick.
Butternut Winter Squash- Slice these in half, scoop out the seeds, and face them down on a baking sheet with a little water at the bottom and cook them. Okay, Momma Jane has another rockin’ recipe for squash. Butternuts are the kings of all the winter squash. So delicious!
Onions-Everyone can use an onion or two.
Next Week for Fall Share Members! A short list of items that we may have next week, but will not promise to have. Due to the unexpectedness of the season and perishable nature of produce, anything could pop up or go down hill unexpectedly.
5 lbs carrots, 5lbs potatoes, 3 lbs onions, 1 large bunch leeks, 2-3 winter squash, 1-2 celeriac root, green peppers, possibly kale