Small Family Farm CSA

We Dig Vegetables

 

September Twenty-Sixth

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I have always taken such reprieve in the Fall. It feels like a reward for good behavior and hard work. The bountiful harvest, the milder temperatures, and the lower humidity are amongst my most humble appreciations. I wish only to enter winter warm, tired and surrounded by piles of stashed nuts, seeds, fruits and roots.

I find the surge and force of nature that makes the grass grow, the weeds germinate and the trees pop up everywhere incredibly strong. We fight against the force of nature all summer by trimming and buzzing it with our gas-powered tractors, whacking it with our small engines and turning the earth with even more powerful diesel, high-horsepower machines. We fight, fight, fight against the immense power that nature brings working against us. She does not want her sod flipped upside down for vegetable production. She does not love her bare soil exposed. The bugs, the mildew, and the disease join the fight.

I watch in awe in the Spring time as soil, plant and animal life slowly but surely come back to life and emerge with potent strength. It is lovely to watch in the Spring when everything is so fresh and tender and new. But as Spring turns to summer, I begin to fever with sweat at the prospect of managing the incessant force. We step up to the challenge in the name of vegetable production and land stewardship. We trim, cultivate and seed, transplant, cultivate again and work extremely hard with all of the shapes and forms of forged steel that we own.

Predictably, around mid September, as the sun sinks lower on the horizon and the days become shorter, the force weakens. The grass grows with a little less vigor. The crickets come out and the yellow jackets pursue the rotting fruit and unattended picnic baskets. The flies even seem to surge with a wave of knowing that Fall is here. There is a noticeable silence in the air that the nesting birds used to fill with all of their busyness, chatter and song. But these just are signs of the inevitable end of a Season.

The landscape that once looked so youthful and vibrant and green fades to the default color of brown. We hear the thunking of walnuts hitting the ground and the sound of root vegetables filling up bins for storage. We catch a third wind of urgency, for now the clock is really ticking. Those of us who have taken a few trips around the sun know that mother nature is not loosing steam, she’s just getting tired and is ready for her nap. She will return next March with a renewed vengeance. We must take what we have learned from her this season and apply it to our badge for next year’s term.

There are still three more Summer Share CSA deliveries left in the season, and your farmers are not slowing down yet. We have paced ourselves and are excited to share of the Fall jewels that we have been polishing this summer. Sweet potatoes, leeks, Brussels, pie pumpkins and parsnips just to name a few!

Fall! How love you!

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

Sweet Peppers- Six sweet peppers per member this week. As it gets later in the season, we worry a little more about possible frost. So this week we decided to pick peppers with less color. Some have only the first blushes of color. Peppers keep for a couple weeks in the fridge and they will ‘ripen’ a little off the vine if mostly colored. The more color a pepper has, the sweeter it is. The greener a pepper is, the more it will just taste like a green pepper. We picked many peppers this week that had just a little coloFrost likely on Friday night, so we plan to clear-cut peppers for next weeks box green or colored, on Friday.

Pie Pumpkin- Cute enough to just sit on your counter for a few weeks, but tempting enough to cook up and make pie. Cut you pumpkin in half, discard the seeds and bake face-down in a baking dish with a little water for about an hour. Once it has been cooked through, it should yield about 1.5-2 cups pumpkin which is enough for most recipes! Pumpkin bars, pumpkin soup, pumpkin pie!

Small Spaghetti Squash- Spaghetti Squash are all the rage in the gluten free world these days. Like many other kinds of squash, cut them in half lengthwise, discard the seeds, and bake face down on a pan with half an inch of water to keep it from drying out for about an hour. Once it is cooked, you and scoop out the stringy, spaghetti-like squash and serve it with a marinara sauce or make a peanut-noodle dish out it and eat it cold! Possibilities are endless!

Napa Cabbage- Napa Cabbages are such a lovely fall treat. Napa cabbage is wonderful in stir-fry, kim-chi or many fun Asian cabbage salad recipes.

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

2 Heads of either Broccoli or Cauliflower or Romanesco- A bit of a mix this week, but you should have received two pieces. They’re all starting to come on.  Must be kept cold.  

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!

Kohlrabi- Remember these from the Spring? Kohlrabi love the cool weather of the Spring and Fall! Peel them and enjoy their apple-like texture on the inside with all the flavor of a crispy radish or spring turnip! Either a white or purple kohlrabi this week!

Red Leaf Lettuce- One or two heads per member depending on size.

Jalapeno- Jalapenos are hot! They were mostly the standard looking green color this week, but sometimes Jalapenos ripen red, so watch out for the sneaking red jalapeno which would be a bit sweeter than a green one, but would still pack much of the same punch as a green one.

Hungarian Hot Wax Peppers x2- 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.

Dill- Beautiful bunches of Dill. Can be added to your egg or potato salads. With Salmon. Any un-used dill could also be dehydrated and saved for winter use. Once it is dried, keep it in a glass ball jar with a tight lid. I recommend dehydrating herbs with an actual dehydrator so they dry down as quickly as possible and keep their nice green color and most of their flavor.

Cilantro- Cute little bunches of cilantro for taco night! Cilantro is not a great keeper, so we always recommend using up your cilantro as quickly as possible!

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:  Potatoes, squash, garlic, onion, kale, spinach, broccoli or cauliflower or romanesco, peppers, thyme, fennel?, 

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Recipes:

Napa Cabbage Picnic Salad with Toasted Sesame Oil, Ginger and Cilantro!

Spaghetti Squash Noodle Bowl with Lime Peanut Sauce

Stuffed Hot Peppers