Farm Newsletter September 18, 2018
Even after writing a newsletter about it, we still can’t quite believe it’s September already. Last week you could have easily convinced either of us that it was still August.
Once again we do love love love a good dry spell. Until the wind and rain came tearing in on Monday, sending us running for cover, for a couple weeks we’ve been able to pick what we want when we want. Well, mostly; when we’ve had enough people to help — we are looking for full- or part-time help if you or anyone you know would like to work outside with kind fun people harvesting and washing great food for y’all!
It has been great to have our two bigger tractor back from their hospital stays, at the John Deere dealer on Hwy 3, where they were very well-cared for. Unfortunately our health plan doesn’t cover those operations. We missed them dearly but they came back ready to work so we’ve been catching up on mowing, picking carrots, mowing some more, discing, and mowing even more. We didn’t quite get caught up enough to plant any cover crops before the rain, but we’re ready for when it dries out.
We still seem to be getting some of the best weather available, knock on wood — a warm September is such a gift in our northern climate, with extra weeks of tomatoes, and allowing all the peppers to ripen; and still so far the rains in our square mile have been mostly gentle this year. We’ll see. We’ve still got half the winter squash — the butternut and punpkins by the driveway — and all the sweet potatoes to get in, then we have a short lull before the big final root harvests in October. It is s a fun time of reaping rewards, especially when the sun shines down on us!
The crew has been valiant when the sun hasn’t been shining, picking carrots in the mud or tomatoes in the downpours a couple weeks ago. Every year it seems we are able to avoid those moments more and more though, picking when it’s dry whenever possible. The new walk-in cooler makes that easy, since we can pick when the crop is ready and it’s dry outside, and hang out more in the barn on rainy days. But really, we think we’ve just had fewer rainy days than we have many of our years here!
Here’s to happy eating, dry-enough falls, and your health and well-being!
Broccoli and winter squash have come along to ease the transition from summer crops to fall crops — thanks to them we were able to go back to the bigger (3/4) bag size last week. The warm weather of last weekend will keep summer crops flowing this week (tomatoes, peppers, a few cucumbers maybe), but later this week they all might slow down or just stop ripening, we’ll see.
For Winter Squash, yields were pretty good from in the acorn, carnival, ambercup and buttercup section. The fruits are a little smaller than last year, but there are a few more of them, so the volume came out almost the same as last year’s banner harvest. There should be 1-2 squash per week in the share from here til the end of pickups in October.
We will pick some spinach this week; we might need to pick all of the measly plantings to get enough for just one week….what a bummer. But that’s one big strength of all this diversity – when one crop lags, other crops usually picks up the slack. Lettuce and peppers may be the two most exciting crops to match spinach, along with winter squash….but we will miss the awesome companionship that spinach provides to all those crops in our meals. We’ll see. We’ll get something out of there.
Cauliflower should come in soon, maybe this week. Kale we have, um, plenty. Red cabbage we’ve had in fits and spurts; it is very susceptible to a new disease on the farm, so we’ve planted much less of red and more green. We’re trialing disease-resistant reds but haven’t yet found one that yields enough to be worth growing more of.
For Garlic, this will be the sixth and final week it is a part of the share. After this week it will be available for sale in the barn for $1 / head.
What’s for U-Pick?
Remember to bring SCISSORS for flower picking — maybe leave a pair in your car.
Cherry tomatoes –Gleaning — the plants are dead but there are still a few out there. The flavor might get blander with the rain and no leaves left to photosynthesize new sugars.
Beans — Edamame is done but the others are still making nice tender beans.
Cilantro , Dill, Basil, PLUS Parsley, Oregano, Thyme, Sage, Anise Hyssop (great for use in tea).
There are a few raspberries hiding in the scratchy wild rows next to the beans, if you’re patient and very observant….they do taste very good and the bug pressure is minimal.
Nuts and Bolts
TOMATO BOXES ARE STILL HERE!!!!! We have a few left, preferably to order 2 days in advance. There won’t be any more boxes for spontaneous buys; supply is getting tight as we head beyond tomato time.
Bulk Produce for You — Check here each newsletter for what we have available for extra purchase.
This week’s selection is : Carrots, Beets, $1 / lb. Lettuce Mix for $5 / lb. Cabbage for 60 cents /lb (approx $1-1.50 / head). Red and/or Green Peppers, $2/ lb. Garlic $1 / head. Tomato Boxes, 12 lb Seconds for $20.
Remember your reusable bags and also to sign in when you pick up your share.
Share Pickup Hours TUESDAY and THURSDAY 1:30-6:30 pm.
Change Pick-Up Day Form — Click here. Please fill out this form instead of emailing us. Thanks!
Please Drive Carefully —Children are everywhere.
Erin and Ben, with Allia, Alissa, Danny, and Fatuma
Autumn Apple and Spinach Salad
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons honey
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup thinly vertically sliced red onion
8 cups spinach (about 8 ounces)
1 large, firm, sweet-tart apple, cored and thinly sliced
1/4 cup (1 ounce) crumbled blue cheese
Combine first 6 ingredients, stirring well with a whisk.
Combine onion, spinach, and apple in a large bowl. Drizzle with dressing; toss gently to coat. Sprinkle with cheese.
Spaghetti Squash With Parsely Walnut Pesto
1 spaghetti Squash
1/4 cup walnuts (3/4 oz)
1/2 garlic clove
1 1/3 cups packed fresh flat-leaf parsley
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 1/2 tablespoons finely grated Pecorino
1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon finely grated fresh lemon zest
Pierce squash all over with a sharp small knife. Cook in a microwave oven (see cooks’ note, below) at high power (100 percent) 8 minutes, then turn over and microwave until squash gives when pressed gently, 8 to 10 minutes more. Cool squash 5 minutes.
While squash is cooking, toast nuts in a dry small heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until fragrant and a shade darker, about 6 minutes, then cool completely.
Pulse nuts and garlic in a food processor until finely ground. Add parsley, oil, cheese, water, salt, pepper, and zest and pulse until parsley is coarsely chopped.
While squash is still hot, cut off stem from squash and discard, then carefully halve squash lengthwise (it will emit steam) and discard seeds. Working over a bowl, scrape out squash flesh with a fork, loosening and separating strands. Toss with pesto in a bowl.