Small Family Farm CSA

We Dig Vegetables

 

September Twentieth

We are now in the 16th delivery week out of a 20-Week Summer Share delivery cycle.  My personal favorite time of year.  And what a gorgeous Fall it is turning out to be!  The Fall Colors are beginning here.  A few sandhill cranes flew overhead while harvesting swiss chard this morning.  The air is crisp and foggy in the mornings and the afternoons become sunny and warm.  The breeze blows and a few leaves magically trickle down and the harvest matures. DSC 0380

We’re a little dry on the farm as I write this letter, with just a chance of rain in the forecast.  The dry weather makes for nice harvesting conditions for the crew and less mud and dirt on our harvested crops.  The dry air is also nice for the curing of our winter squash, onions and garlic in the greenhouse.  But a nice soft and slow inch of rain overnight would be welcome soon!   

While there are just four more Summer Share deliveries left in the season, your farmers are by no means slowing down.  Fall always brings a second wind, a sense of urgency and even an excitement of it’s own kind that will carry us through until Thanksgiving when the ground is usually frozen by. 

The first frost is hopefully still a couple weeks away, but by the third week of Sepember we know we are just biding time before it gets here.  The tomato production is waning fast and the quality of the tomatoes simply is not what it was a month ago.  We will continue to pick and share what is left out there, but they will begin to look less perfect as the season wanes.  The only crop left out there that we are always sad to see lost to frost is the sweet peppers.  The colorful rows of peppers are just now starting to really peak in productions and we would still get a good handful of harvest weeks off them if the frost does hold off after all. DSC 0365 1

Our winter squash is all out of the fields and safely tucked away from the danger of frost.  We will continue to harvest our potatoes and soon enough sweet potatoes.  We are excited to start sharing unique Fall Crops like Brussels Sprouts, more fun winter squash varieties, rutabaga, celeriac root, parsnips, golden beets and more! 

We are thankful for this delightful Fall weather, the promise of shorter days ahead and a bountiful harvest on the farm.  Thank you for sharing this very seasonal culinary and community experience with us!  If not for your interest in healthy eating, cooking and the preservation of these out-of-the norm varieties of food, farms like ours could not exist to grow them and protect the culture. 

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

Tomatoes-  New note about tomatoes!  If you are not already unpacking your tomatoes from the plastic bag we deliver them in, please begin doing this.  Do not allow your tomatoes to sit on your counter still inside the plastic bag.  Condensation can build up and cause some of the tomatoes to go bad.  They will ripen much more evenly and nicely if laid out on the counter.  Yet another week with a hefty and hearty giving of tomatoes.  1 full bag weighing about 7lbs.  We pick tomatoes in the early stages of 'blushing' and ripening.  We recommend leaving your tomatoes out on your countertop to ripen.  They will slowly ripen over the course of a week.  We need to pick them at this stage of ripeness if they are to survive the shipping and handling.  We would much rather give you under-ripe tomatoes than smooshed tomatoes.  If you leave them out at room temperature, it will not affect their flavor, they will still be considered vine-ripened tomatoes.  We also recommend not putting your tomatoes in the fridge unless they are fully ripe and you need to refrigerate them to buy yourself some time before you are able to eat them.  Putting tomatoes in refrigerators usually sucks the flavor out of them.  Enjoy!

Sunshine Squash-  These are the beautiful harvest-orange squash near the bottom of your box.  These are my all-time favorite squash!  Once cooked up, these have a bright orange, thick, and creamy flesh that is so sweet and unlike any other squash varities.  Most squash varieties will keep fine on your countertop for months if you need time to use it up.  To cook a squash, use your most heavy-duty chef knife and cut it down the middle length-wise.  Scoop the seeds out and discard.  Place both sides of the squash cut-side down in a baking dish with a quarter inch of water at the bottom of the pan.  Bake for one hour or until the squash no longer feels hard from pressing on the skin or outside of the squash. DSC 0375

Green Beans and Dragon Tongue Beans-  One more encore giving of green beans and/or dragon tongue beans. 

Sweet Bell Peppers-  4-5 Sweet Bell Peppers per member. The pepper production is really picking up now.  We should be able to get another  couple weeks of strong harvest so long as the frost holds off, which it is looking like it will!

Mini-Sweet Peppers-  The mini-sweet peppers are small and could easily be mistaken for a hot pepper, but they are in fact, sweet!  The mini-sweets come in yellow, red and orange. There were just a few stuck in the top of your tomato bag.

Hungarian Hot Wax Pepper-  These are also called bananna peppers.  Sometimes hot, sometimes not!  They are also sometime red or orange as they 'ripen'.  These are tucked in the top of your tomato bag.

Jalapeno Pepper-  These are the small green pepper in your tomato bag.  They're hot!

Eggplant-  Either a standard sized eggplant, a long and skinney Japanese eggplant or a wrinkled Barbarella. 

Yellow Onion-  A yellow onion for everyone because you simply can’t make dinner without onion!

Swiss Chard or Red Curly Kale-  We tried very hard to make sure everyone got a swiss chard bunch, but once the plants were all cleaned up, we moved on to red curly kale to make up the difference.  We hope you got what you love! 

Carrots-  One pound of sweet and crispy carrots!  They will keep best in the plastic bag in the fridge. 

Cilantro-  This cilantro is re-growth from the last time we harvested cilantro.  A very beloved herb this time in the middle of salsa season.  Cilantro is lovely added to ethnic dishes as well. 

Sun Gold Cherry Tomatoes-  These are the small, orange tomatoes in the pint clamshell.  We have been able to give one pint to everyone the last couple weeks.  These cherry tomatoes ripen orange.  They may just possibly be the best tasting food on earth.  Some of the pints were not quite full as we had to distribute the weight of the harvest amongst the number of boxes we were packing. 

Broccoli-  One big and beautiful head of broccoli per member this week.  We’re hoping that the weather doesn’t get too hot this week and affect the fall broccoli plantings.  Broccoli loves the cooler weather of Fall. 

Kohlrabi-  Remember these guys from the Spring boxes?   Kohlrabi also loves the cooler weather of the Fall.  Remember to peel the outer edge off to enjoy the crispy and crunchy inside as a snack with your favorite veggie dip.  The leaves of the kohlrabi are also edible.  

Next Week's Best Guess:  Peppers, tomatoes, winter squash, cabbage, broccoli, kohlrabi, spinach, potatoes, carrots, onions, garlic, hot peppers, herb, fennel

Recipes-

The Great Dane Inner Warmth Squash Peanut Stew

Herb Stuffed Tomatoes

Stuffed Peppers

Stuffed Pepper Soup