Farm Newsletter October 2, 2018
Farm News Crop Forecast
U-Pick Recipes Nuts and Bolts
Join us again next year with a farm share!
You should have received a separate email this week, with a link to an easy online order form and payment method. If you didn’t get that email let us know.
And Sign Up Here for the Storage Share — Pre-set or Customizable, or Both —
Storage Share Pick-Up is Thursday, Nov. 15th. You also should have received a separate email for the storage share this week — lettuce know if you didn’t.
Final share pickups of 2018 in a few weeks — October 16 and 18.
It’s always strange to be thinking already about next year (that’s 2019!) at this time, but if you didn’t receive the emails for next year, and this fall’s storage share, let us know. We start renewals now so that by the end of the share in late October we know how many folks are coming back to join us next year — we hope you will!! — and whether we have any spots available to fill for next year.
We have had our hearts and minds in the work of prepping the soil for next year too — before this week’s rain we finally got a big chunk of the farm seeded to wheat or rye to cover it with green plants over the winter, and add to the soil health for next year’s veggies. With the tractor surgeries mentioned in the last newsletter, we were behind our early-mid September goal of planting many of those acres, but we finally got them planted, along with the tomato, winter squash and sweet potato fields that had been recently harvested. Now with the seeds well rained in, soon the farm should have a small carpet of little green spears over most of it! There are still a lot of this year’s crops out there, and those will probably get planted right before winter sets in and won’t green up until spring, but for now the majority of the farm should be covered well for the winter.
It is also strange to be mentioning winter so offhandedly!! Another sign that fall has fully arrived.
But even with fall so clearly, or cloudily, here, and most of the veggies fading in the field, we are in love with the plants that feed us from their flurry of summer growth. While discing so many of them down this past week, Ben would look down from the tractor, thank them for their hard work, and be overwhelmed with the desire and excitement to plant them all over again! Melons and squash! Let’s seed some now! Tomatoes, I want to see their first little shoots, and carrots, their first little roots! And see once more what the harvest will be like. The uncertainty and vulnerability of farming can be so hard sometimes, but like a fool in love, he just wants to keep trying over and over. A loving, holy endeavor, fits us like a glove. It can be draining — see “grey hair showing up” — but does nourish us so deeply. Over the years many of you have shared how deeply this land, food and relationship nourishes you ; we hope that continues, and are glad to help provide it.
Storage Share 2018
On that note of gladness and nourishment : the storage share is separate from the regular season share, a one-time pickup the Thursday before Thanksgiving — Nov. 15th from 10am-6pm. With the hopefully easy-to-use google form, and no need for extra passwords or anything, you can request the “original” or “pre-set” storage share, and/or pre-order just what you want from the wide selection of fall veggies we grow. Prices are by the pound or by the piece. Our goal in pricing is, as usual, to make it as affordable as we can while paying ourselves and our crew fairly. 2017 was our first year with the online form and custom pre-ordering — lots of people took advantage of it and it seemed to work well for you and for us, so we’re happy to be offering this service again.
By the way — this year’s last share pickups will be October 16 and 18, and that week you’ll pick up a “double share,” ie two weeks worth of share veggies. Split shares — please plan on BOTH OF YOUR FAMILIES/HOUSEHOLDS coming that week. There will be one more newsletter right before that week to remind you. We used to do a pickup the last full week of October, but for our workload it is an almost identical repeat of the week before; we save ourselves many hours of labor by doing the same jobs in bigger chunks, and being “open” one less week. You can still come U-pick after that week, for kale and herbs and/or whatever else is u-pickable.
Transitioning into fall crops, some are steady — full-sized already, like leeks, and some fully harvested and in storage, like onions, winter squash and sweet potatoes — and some are still fluctuating like the summer crops — still sizing up when it’s warm enough to grow, like cauliflower.
For Winter Squash, the butternut and ambercup have cured to their awesome flavors and will be in the mix with the acorn, carnival and buttercup. We’ll put some of the smaller ones on the mix-and-match table too.
We’ll have leeks for the next three weeks. They’re long and stick out of the bag but that’s ok. They’re mild, and awesome in soups, or in stir fries.
We will pick some spinach this week for you; we’ve still been short-staffed so it’s a stretch because it takes longer to pick with such spotty germination, but we’ll at least pick it this week. The flavor is a bit sweeter after the weekend frost.
Sweet Potatoes! They might be in the share this week; by next week they should have cured more fully, to sweeter and creamier. When we do have them in the share, we’ll have some dirty ones out too (they last longer when not washed, in case you want to save a few longer than a couple weeks.)
Cauliflower… may grow, may not. Kinda chilly out for growing. But there should be a few to go around. Broccoli has been all picked — we don’t plan on having it later than now since most years it’s just too cold for it, like right now — but it might make a few small heads on the side.
We’ve got some kohlrabi and celeriac this week, and next will add in some watermelon radishes and purple daikon radishes. Celeriac’s outward beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but it is a true gem when sauteed with onions for soup, or mashed with potatoes. We did irrigate the peppers to help them survive the frost, and the eggplant may have survived too — so we’ll have their splash of color for the next week or two. Tomatoes were d-e-a-d before the frost, so it was easy to let them go!
What’s for U-Pick?
So the frost did the most damage in the U-Pick crops…
Cherry tomatoes and Beans, and Basil, had some gleaning left, but were fully dead on Saturday morning.
Some of the Flowers are alive, but not all. The frost damage was oddly spotty in there. For now there are still blossoms to be found though!
Cilantro , Dill, PLUS Parsley, Oregano, Thyme, Sage, Anise Hyssop (great for use in tea).
There are STILL a few raspberries hiding in the scratchy wild rows next to the plants formerly known as beans…
Nuts and Bolts
STORAGE SHARE Version 2 — After about 10 years of doing the storage share as a pre-set amount of each vegetable, the new online order form makes it possible for you to custom order what you want of any, all or none of the fall storage veggies. You also have the option to order the same standard storage share by clicking one box.
Bulk Produce for You — Check here each newsletter for what we have available for extra purchase.
This week’s selection is : Winter Squash for 85 cents/ lb. Carrots, Beets, $1 / lb. Lettuce Mix for $5 / lb. Cabbage for 60 cents /lb (approx $1-1.50 / head). Garlic $1 / head.
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