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October Twelfth

October Twelfth marks the 19th Summer Share delivery out of a 20-Week Summer Share delivery season.  We most certainly have not thrown in our towels yet.  There are still loads of work left to be done on this farm even after the Summer Share deliveries have ended.  While we do see the light at the end of the tunnel, we need to stay strong until the bitter end.DSC 0154

There are still potatoes to dig, sweet potatoes to lift, tomato trellising to take down, plasic to rip out of the fields and garlic to plant and mulch.  There are beds of storage carrots to dig, beets to dig and celeriac root to dig.  All of these crops mentioned need to be harvested, washed and then put into storage.  Many of these items will ship out in the Fall Shares and Thanksgiving Shares in late October into mid November. 

We are dreaming of a slower pace where we will soon enough be driven indoors due to the ground being frozen solid.  The first frost finally fell on the farm on Friday night, October 7th, in a few of the low-lying places on the farm.  We were ready for it.  It was a miracle that somehow the peppers, just a meer 50 feet higher in elevation did not get frosted on!  We were able to squeeze one last harvest off of the pepper patch this week for the Week 19 boxes.  It’s hard to remember a year where the frost waited quite this long to come to town. 

I will miss the season.  You might think I would not.  When the season ends it must feel a little like sending your grown children out into the world.  I would think a parent would feel overwhelmed with mixed feelings of sadness, pride, joy, relief, excited, hopeful and tired?  Or is tired the feeling I should own as I am still very much in the throws of raising small children and also still in the thick of harvest season. 

I will also miss the friends.  The people who come out to the farm have become some of our closest friends.  Truly.  They demonstrate such loyalty to both the farm and to Adam and I.  The worker shares, sitter-shares and the paid employees all together show up faithfuly day after day, and week after week with new grace and excitement to share.  There is such a beautiful display of community in action that I am motived by many of these people and feel less and less of a need to motivate them when they arrive.  The life experiences we share are rich and meaningful and I long for the same comradary in the winter months. 

But the earth continues to spin around the sun and the leaves fall and the children grow up.  Meals have been shared, lessons have been learned and compost happens.  We will soon be warming our toes by the fireside and flipping through seed catalogs and dreaming of the first harvest day in June with friends returned. 

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

Pie Pumpkin-  These are the bright orange little pumpkins at the bottom of your box. Pie pumpkins keep wonderfully well just sitting on your counter or in a dry, 50-60 degree room.  To cook them up, cut them in half, scoop the seeds out and lay the squash cut-side down in a 9x13 pan with about a half inch of water at the bottom of the pan.  Bake them for about an hour at 350.  After about an hour when the squash feels very soft to the touch from the skin side, you will be able to scoop out all of the flesh.DSC 0165

Sweet Potatoes-  3lbs of cured sweet potatoes per member this week.  Once these guys are dug, they need to sit in a 85 degree room with 100% humidity for about 10 days.  While we were able to get these guys dug with the bed lifting machine, the soil was still muddy and we had a hard time getting all of the mud off of them.  You’ll have a little cleaning project ahead of you before you cook these.  Most of them had really good size and consistency.  They say that dirty potatoes keep better than clean ones, so we justify not washing these guys!

Leeks-  Leeks are in the same family as onions.  You can use a leek in your cooking like you would use an onion, but they are great in soups, like potato leek soup or sautéed into any of your favorite fall dishes!  Use all of the white part all the way up the stalks. 

Jalapeno Pepper-  One of these little guys per box.  Jalapenos turn red as they ‘ripen’ near the end of the growing season.   You may have received a red Jalapeno.  This is the final jalapeno giving. 

Sweet Green, Yellow, Orange or Red Bell Peppers-  Just one last pepper of the year.  Pizza toppings?

Lunchbox Sweet Peppers-  Everyone received about 1-2 of these little, small sweet peppers that could be mistaken for a hot pepper, but they are not hot.  They usually come in red, yellow and orange colors.  We grew these little guys last year for the first time and totally fell in love with them!  Eat these for a snack raw, or cook with them like you would any other sweet bell pepper.  Some of them may be green this week.

Rutabaga-  One rutabaga per member this week.  If you’re new to cooking with this vegetable, don’t feel intimidated!  They’re wonderful if you just peel them, and then boil and mash them like a potato and toss them with plenty of butter.  Rutabaga are also wonderful cubed into a soup.  They have a very pleasant, mild flavor once cooked.  In the same family as turnips or radish or other brassicas. 

Carrots-  Approx 1 lb of carrots per member this week. 

Spinach- .33lbs of spinach per member this week.  A wonderful fall cooking green that is so very versatile in the kitchen!  We thought they were sweeter since they have been frosted on now. 

Broccoli and/or Cauliflower-  One piece per member this week.  This is the final giving of broccoli and cauliflower for the season!  We had a great run on them! 

Diakon Radish-  These are the long, white root in the box.  Diakons have a very smooth flavor with none of the spicy-ness of a spring Cherry Bell radish.  Diakons are traditionally used to make kim chi, but they are also wonderful just coined onto a salad or cut into veggie sticks and eaten with your favorite veggie dip.

Parsnips-  These are the long, white or cream-colored roots that look a little like a carrot in your box.  The parsnips are great in a roasted root vegetable dish with almost any other roots you love, or they are great sliced into a potato parsnip gratin.  Stores best in a plastic bag in the fridge and they will keep for months!

Red or Green Cabbage-  We tried very hard to give everyone a red cabbage, but we ran out of reds and moved onto the storage green cabbage.  This is likely the final cabbage of the season. 

Celeriac Root-  Yes, these win the prize for the ‘Most Unusual Vegetable’.  Celeriac Root are in the same family as celery, but they are especially cultivated so that the roots of the plants grow large instead of the stalks.  You can also use the celeriac greens in a soup for added celery flavor, but they don’t have as much of the crispness and crunchiness that celery has.  Peel your celeriac root and boil and mash it with potatoes for a wonderful celeriac mashed potatoes dish.  If you don’t intend to use it soon, cut the greens off of the root and store the root in a plastic bag in the fridge to preserve moisture.  They keep for months! 

Next Week's Best Guess:   carrots, sweet potatoes, celeriac root, diakon radish, purple top turnips, parsnips, winter squash, leeks, spinach, cherry bell radish


Gingered Sweet Potato and Carrot Soup

Potato Leek Soup with Celeriac

Hottie Black Eyed Peas with Kale and Ginger Mashed Sweet Potatoes and Apples

Parmesaned Sweet Potato Fries