Small Family Farm CSA

We Dig Vegetables

 

September Twenty-Sixth

A heavy frost settled over the farm on Saturday and Sunday night.  The frost brings determined closure to some crops on the farm that can no longer survive with lows in the 30's.  We loose some of our warm weather favorites like basil and tomatoes, but our beloved fall spinach, kale, carrots and broccoli only become sweeter with the frosts that turn some of the plants starches into sugars.  We have been preparing for the risk of frost for the last few weeks by getting our winter squash out of the fields and picking the pepper and tomato plants more liberally.  We did cover our pepper plants before the frost to protect the fruits from having the frost land on them.  The leaves on the peppers were still damaged, but the fruits still look okay-although now they are susceptible to sun scalding with none of their leaves for protection from the unrelenting sun rays. 

The drought continues on the farm.  It has been almost three weeks since the farm has seen more than 1/10th inch of rain.  We still have not received more than an inch of rain since June.  Adam contines to run the irrigation lines all around the farm irrigating our fall fennel, broccoli, cabbage, spinach, lettuce and carrots.  If not for his efforts, we definately would not be packing boxes that look as nice as they do today.  Still an incredible season for lack of rain.  We have never experienced anything like this.  We are slightly worried about what the future holds for rain on our farm and the country at large.  Soon, though, the season will be over and we will have a winter's reprieve for recovery and planning for next year. 

The Sand hill cranes are flying south overhead sounding like ancient dinosaur birds.  They tell us that winter is coming and it's too cold up north for sticking around any longer.  The Maple trees on our ridge are bright orange and yellow and red making for a spectacular 'Fall Colors'.  The boxelder bugs are having their conventions all over the side of our outbuildings.  And the days are so much shorter now that we rise before the sun in the morning and eat dinner after the sun has set in the evenings.  The crunch of the leaves underneath our muck boots as we walk to the fields is like music to a tired farmer's ears.  The end is near!  

Sooo, What's in the Box???

Spaghetti Squash-  This is the large, round, football-shaped squash in your box.  It's hard to miss!  Your squash will keep at a dry and cool room temperature for at least a couple months.  Spaghetti squash can be cooked and eaten like spaghetti in place of noodles, you can eat it just cooked with butter and salt or you can make a fried hash-brown type dish with it.  

Red Norland Potatoes-  Another nice giving of red potatoes.  These babies will keep just fine at room temperature in a cool, dark and dry location.  Warm potato soup, anyone?!?!

Scarlet Nantes Carrots-  These carrots are not only gorgeous, but they are delicious.  These are probably the best carrots we've grown all season.  Only beautiful looking and tasty carrots coming up ahead!  Use the green tops for cooking like any other cooking greens.  Top the carrots and store in a plastic bag in the fridge to preserve moisture.  

Kohlrabi-  A return of the crunchy kohlrabi.  Also known as a ground apple.  Peel your kohlrabi and enjoy the crunchy inside with sour cream dip or in a stir fry.  Don't forget that their greens are edible!  

Fennel-  Our favorite licorice-flavored bulb.  Fennel is the in same family as carrots, celery, dill and parsley.  The licorice flavor becomes very mild after cooking.  Use the frawns for garnish, finely chopped on top of fish or in a stock or soup.  

Sweet Peppers-  A nice medley of red, yellow and orange peppers.  Two to three sweet peppers per member this week.  The pepper plants did get frosted on, so pepper givings will become less after this week.  

Onion-  Another day.  Another onion.  

Hungarian Hot Wax Peppers and Jalapeno Peppers-  Another couple hot peppers for your hot pepper delight.  Remember that hot peppers freeze very nicely.  You can cut them up, freeze them on sheets and then store them in a zip-lock bag in the freezer.  

Garlic-  To keep your immunity strong during this cold season.  Store garlic in cool, dark and dry location if you think you won't eat it in the near future.  The variety name is Asian Tempest for this garlic.  

Tomatoes-  Because of the frost we picked the tomatoes very liberally to reduce the amount of tomatoes that would be lost and damaged from the frost.  Stick your green tomatoes in a brown paper sack with another ripening tomato.  The Ethelyn gas will help the tomatoes ripen quicker.  This may have been the final tomato  giving week because the frost has put an end to all of our fun.  In case there are any tomatoes that don't turn color for you, there is a very yummy Thai Green Tomato soup recipe below!

Cherry Tomatoes-  Also the final Cherry Tomato giving week.  We had an amazing run of cherry tomatoes this summer, though.  A labor of love.  If not for their sweet, juicy goodness, it would not have bee worth so many hours spent picking cherry tomatoes.  

Broccoli or Eggplant-  We really wanted to have a nice broccoli for everyone this week, but it just didn't work out that way.  We're sorry for those who did not get one.  We have two more successions of broccoli coming up soon to feed us these next couple weeks.  

Lacinato Kale-  A modest bunch of lacinato kale so you have some cooking greens in your kitchen.  

Lettuce-  Either a red or green leaf lettuce or a romaine for everyone this week.  The lettuce heads are beautiful, tender and crunchy fall lettuce heads.  A very nice crop of lettuce, indeed.  Be sure to store in a plastic bag in the fridge to preserve moisture.  

Recipes

Roasted Spaghetti Squash Hash Browns

Risoto with Sweet Sausage and Fennel

Thai Green Tomato Soup