Small Family Farm CSA

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October Third

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The best parts about being a CSA member are knowing that a percentage of your food dollars are still circulating locally, that you are eating fresh, local, organic and seasonal veggies every week and that you get amusing newsletters from the farm and invites to on-farm events that help enrich your connection to the place where your food is coming from. It’s a fun way to ‘force’ yourself to try new veggies, eat veggies you might otherwise not buy, or to incorporate more veggies into your diet than what you might tend to do.

But my personal favorite reason that you belong to a CSA farm (aside from the fact that you’re part of our CSA farm) is that you are encouraged to cook. I chuckle like Santa on Christmas morning to think of you opening your presents. I know that not everything in the box is something you’re ecstatic about, but it is the items that give you the greatest challenge that will get your wheels turning. The un-loved vegetables and less-familiar are the ones that send you to research, to step outside your comfort zone, and to keep you interested to try new things. How boring life would be if we could just have exactly what we wanted all of the time. How lovely it is that we and our vegetable selections are so varied and different!

I also love imagining you all in your kitchens with your cutting boards, knives and wonderfully messy kitchens. I love to be outdoors with the children doing chores or helping on the farm in the afternoons and I usually wait until the last possible moment to start on dinner. And when I do finally start on dinner, it’s usually crunch time to get it done. There are potoato peels, celery tops, onion and garlic peels and juicy watermelon seeds all over my space. Meanwhile the baby is splashing in the dog water and the older two have an argument over the colored pencils. The phone rings and then someone stops in to chat. But I am determined to get dinner on the table and for it to be loaded with vegetables and for everyone to be satisfied.

Poor farmer Adam comes in from the fields at the end of the day to either a ridiculous mess (if it was made-from-scratch night) or a fairly clean kitchen (if it was leftover night). But I am the sort of person who tends to give 110% towards everything I do and cheater meals like mac and cheese and spaghetti are reserved for true emergencies that happen rarely. A veggie-loaded meal is a high priority to me. It takes up loads of my time and creates huge messes, but I tell myself it is my creative outlet, I am keeping my family healthy and I’m keeping my home warm and smelling good!

My intent was not to toot my own horn for accomplishing the family meal (for sometimes it is by the skin of my teeth) but to congratulate you for doing the same, prioritizing it in your life and to share a story in how difficult I know it can be! Even if the home-cooked meal is a new concept to you in your house or if you’re feeling discouraged from all of these new vegetables (or if you’re feeling like there simply isn’t time), I urge you to keep it up! It gets easier! You’ll have to embrace the mess, learn to love it and know that it is an important part of keeping your family healthy and spending time together.

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

Peppers- Ten peppers per member this week. Many of the peppers were green this week. We clear-cut the pepper plants on Friday last week because it was the night before the first frost of the season. Because of this we took many of the peppers off of the plants that were still green. They are still perfectly edible, but not quite as fun as the colored peppers, I know! Green peppers make a great relish!

Butternut Squash- The beloved butternut! Butternuts are creamy and smooth and sweet, everything you want from a Fall Winter Squash! Cut them in half lengthwise, discard the seeds, and bake them in a dish with a little water at the bottom to prevent them from drying hard to the pan at 350 for about an hour. Once they are cooked, scoop the creamy, orange flesh out and use as you like!

Cabbage- You may have received a napa cabbage, savoy cabbage, green cabbage or red cabbage. Our Fall Cabbage plantings were more sparse than usual, so we had to take the big ones from each planting to get enough for this CSA giving.

Yellow Onion- A nice yellow onion for everyone this week!

Broccoli- One broccoli per member this week.

Carrots-   One pound of carrots per member this week. One crop that seems to be turning out fairly well for us this year is carrots. It’s a good thing too, because everyone loves them!

Leaf Lettuce- You may have received a red leaf, green leaf or romaine lettuce this week.

Hungarian Hot Wax Peppers x3- Hungarian Hot wax are amongst the most mild of hot peppers, but they may surprise you! Hungarian Hot Wax are usually found a lime-green color, but they also ripen orange to red. These were in the little brown paper sac this week with your mini sweet peppers.

Mini sweet peppers- 6-7 minisweet peppers per member. These were in the little brown paper sack with your Hungarian hot wax peppers. They were likely red, yellow or orange and are sweet!

Thyme- Generous bunches of thyme this week. If you can’t use this much thyme in one week, thyme dries very nicely for storage! To dehydrate, un-bunch your thyme and lay it out flat on a dehydrator try and dry on low heat until crispy and dry. If you don’t have a dehydrator, you could dry it in your oven on the lowest heat setting (with the door cracked even so it doesn’t get too hot) until it is dry. Once dried, store in a mason jar with a tight lid. Flavor will be just as good as when it is fresh! Thyme is wonderful with meat dishes, incorporated into your fritattas, quiches or squash bakes. Some people even drink it as tea. Thyme is used medicinally to treat issues of the throat, mouth, intestines and bladder.

Red or Yellow Potatoes- 2.5 lbs of potatoes per member this week. You may have received either yellow or red potatoes.

Curly Green Kale- Possibly the final giving of Kale, we’ll see how the Fall goes here. Smaller bunches because the plants aren’t re-producing quite the way they were earlier in the season.

Garlic- One bulb of garlic per member this week.

Eggplant- A medium or 1-2 small eggplants per member this week. This is another crop that we had to clear the plants of before the first frost hit last Friday night.

Garlic- Keeps well on your counter for a month or two, but for long-term storage, we recommend keeping them in your fridge. We store garlic in the cooler at the farm.

Next Week’s Best Guess- Sweet Potatoes, leeks, parsnips, celeriac root, peppers, broccoli, cauliflower?, spinach, lettuce, red kabocha winter squash, oregano, Brussels sprouts

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Honey Thyme Butternut Squash

Roasted Potato Fritatta with Onion and Green Peppers