Small Family Farm CSA

We Dig Vegetables

 

October Seventeenth

DSC 0074

With the final summer share delivery comes a bittersweet feeling. I feel thankful for the slower days ahead and the relief of the rigid harvest-pack-deliver-repeat routine. While I take comfort, contentment and security in our predictable summer schedule, the opportunity for rest and restoration is welcome. But with the end of a harvest season also means the absence of the summer bounty, our friends and community members stop coming out to the farm to work and more time spent hauling firewood and stoking fires on a quiet country landscape.

Fall can feel sad some days when the cold wind blows, the sun hides behind the thick clouds and the trees start to look like skeletons. And on the Fall days when the sun shines on shimmering yellow leaves as they magically float and fly around in the air, decorating our lawns and windshields, we somehow feel uplifted and energized and inspired. Luckily we know that all this falling and deteriorating is only temporary and Spring will come again.

But Fall also feels like a time to be Thankful. Endless and infinite reasons to be thankful. Those of us who are all connected to eachother through these little newsletters, these produce box deliveries, this small family farm. We can be thankful for one another. We can be thankful for the colorful, delicious and nutritious blessings we received each week. No matter how difficult the growing season was, we all experienced it together and that in itself is worth celebrating to me!

I feel thankful for you, as I always do on Week 20. My sprinklings of gratitude are seeded and buried in the previous newsletters of this season, but perhaps a more deliberate declaration is appropriate now. I feel thankful that you chose to spend some of your food dollars this summer with a local, organic, vegetable CSA farm. I feel thankful that you have the confidence and skills to cook with your surprise boxes of vegetables. I feel thankful that you appreciate the more rare and unusual vegetables that come in your boxes rather than discount them. And I feel thankful that you are part of this beautiful community effort of knowing your farmers and knowing your food. Thank you.

Because of all of the rain and moisture that we received this Fall, this has truly been one of the most difficult Fall growing seasons since we started our farm. Many of our usual Fall crops did not grow or turn out the way we were hoping. For many reasons, we feel like this was the most difficult year in terms of actual farming and crops. But this was most certainly not the most difficult year for our farm in other ways. Our CSA membership remains stable and strong. Our community support is higher than ever. And the financial stability of a CSA farm opposed to a 2-3 crop wholesale farm is what makes this style of farming feel sustainable and supported. Because of all of you, we feel like we can keep going.

After a little winter’s rest, your farmers will enter their 14th season running their little CSA farm. We will enter it hopeful and optimistic and energetic. In the meantime, Cheers! And Thank You!

“Live each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influences of each.” — Henry David Thoreau

DSC 0067

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

Peppers- 4-5 peppers per member this week from the last pepper harvest. The peppers are still green because we had to take them off the plants before we got a hard frost. They are still perfectly edible, but not quite as fun as the colored peppers, I know! Green peppers make a great relish! We can hope for a better pepper year next season.

Sweet Dumpling- These are the cute little cream colored squash with green stripes shaped like a little bowl or ball. Sweet dumplings have a delightful, sweet flesh that comes in a festive shape, nice for making squash bowls or stuffed squash recipes!

Spaghetti Squash- These are the yellow squashes towards the bottom of your box. Spaghetti squash is all the rage in the gluten-free world. It makes a wonderful crust for a quiche, pizza, noodle substitute or any other creative use! Have fun!

Brussels Sprouts- It’s always fun to discover that this is how Brussels sprouts grow, on a stalk like this. This has been one of our worst Brussels sprouts years because of all of the rain. They have little black spots on the outer covering of each sprout. You’ll have to snap each sprout off the stalk and peel them back individually. Brussels sprouts are wonderful baked, steamed or even pan fried with butter and salt! Be careful not to over-cook them as this can result in a less desirable flavor.

Leek- A leek is in the same family as onion or scallions. Use in a soup to add the unique flavor of leeks or sautee them in ghee or coconut oil to sprinkle crispy, fried leek bits on top of your dish or soup! Yum! They are edible all the way up the stalk, even when they begin to turn green!

Broccoli- One or two broccoli per member this week. We harvested these on the smaller side since this was the final Summer Share delivery and we wanted you to get as many as we could, even if they were smaller.

Cauliflower- One or two cauliflower per member this week. We harvested these on the smaller side since this was the final Summer Share delivery and we wanted you to get as many as we could, even if they were smaller.

Fennel- A cute little bulb of fennel for everyone this week. Fennel adds such a nice flavor when shaved raw onto a salad or sautéed with onions.

Collards- Small bunches of collards, but still we wanted to give you what we had left for cooking greens. Collards, we learned this summer, are lovely boiled in broth and then fried in bacon grease and then served with bacon bits! They could also just be chopped, sautéed and added to your egg dishes or any other creative use!

Sweet Potatoes- 2 lbs of sweet potatoes per member this week. Did you know that some sweet potatoes can look a little funky? They come in all shapes and sizes! We did not wash these sweet potatoes because they get scuffed up from being washed when freshly dug. Don’t forget that the skins of your sweet potoates are edible! You can even cut them into French-fry form, toss them with coconut oil, and make home-made baked French fries (with the skins on!) They oxidize fast when cut up, so be prepared to cook them quickly after they have been cut raw.

Spinach- A modest giving of spinach per member this week. Just a .25lb bag. We had to brush the snow off of the spinach on Monday morning as we were picking it with frozen fingers. We didn’t want the final delivery of the season to go without spinach! With such a rainy, wet Fall, our usually abundant Fall Spinach didn’t quite fill out the way we liked this year. A more modest giving this time around!

Parsnips- .85 lbs of parsnips per member this week. Parsnips are such a lovely Fall root. We were able to get these dug and washed in a slight window last week using a 4x4 tractor. Parsnips make a wonderful addition to a Fall Soup, baked with those sweet potato fries, or even in a roasted root veggie dish.

Diakon Radish- These are the white, long radishes with their greens still attached. Diakons have a very smooth, not spicy, flavor compared to many other radishes. Usually our Fall Diakons are huge, but these were skinnier and smaller this year due to the unusually wet and cool fall we had.

DSC 0068 1