Farm News October 16, 2018

IMG-0766Farm News October 16, 2018

Farm News        Crop Forecast

 U-Pick       Recipes       Nuts and Bolts

Final share pickups of 2018 are this week —

 October 16 and 18.

Join us again next year with a farm share!

And Sign Up for the Storage Share — Pre-set or Custom Order, or Both —

The links for signing up are in the email you just received.

                                        Storage Share Pick-Up is Thursday, Nov. 15th.

Winter Store Dates are Second Tuesdays of the month —

Dec 11, January 8, Feb 12.  We will send email reminders the day before.


Greetings Friends! 

We thought about highlighting a picture of the fantastically beautiful snow from Sunday, but right now we love this sunshine so much more!  Panacea for everyone, we hope.

We’re busy this week picking and washing for the double-sized share pickups, and also putting away bins full of crops for winter storage.  The snow didn’t seem to do any damage — our main concern was that it can knock down carrot tops into the sticky mud and make them hard to pick.  For crops sensitive to temps in the 20s we’ve been able to get them in — cabbage, radishes, celeriac.  And for now it looks like we have a week or two before temps might go below 20.  By then hopefully we’ll have all the beets and carrots, and a few leeks and brussels sprouts, safely tucked away.  Then we pull the parsnips and snap off the last leaves of kale.

There’s a small chance — if we haven’t got carrots all picked and temps are headed for 15 or 10 degrees — that we’ll put out a call for help picking in the mud.  After we left a lot of carrots in the ground last fall when we ran out of time before a strong cold front, many of you kindly told us we should have asked for more help.  We know you’re busy but if it comes to that we’ll give a holler.

Thanks again for joining us for another trip around the sun!  Every year is certainly different, in life and on a farm. This year, with various ups and downs of crops, mechanical breakdowns, employee and budget shortfalls — ok, that was a lot of downs — still clocks in at “moderate -to- good”.  The good side comes especially in yields of crops for the share, light on bugs and most plant diseases, and our fantastic rock-solid duo of Alissa and Danny, who took on their roles of Crew Manager and Tractor Operator with smiles and thoughtfulness.  And the perfectly timed recreational mowing, wagon-driving, and grease-monkey-ing of our friend and neighbor, John Saurer.  The help of friends and dedicated employees has lifted us up and carried us through the sloughs of 2018, for sure.  After 2017 — the best in yields we’ve ever had — this year still measures up pretty well.  Getting the cooler built and the shop and machine shed mostly finished too – almost forgot about those!  Those are huge gifts to have, saving us time and effort everyday.

Many years we use this spot in the newsletter to list off some of what we’re planning on working on this winter — but right now, beyond the fact that the sun is shining, we just know we’ll have to plan and order seeds for next year, fix some stuff, and wash lots of dirty roots…there must be more but we haven’t gotten there yet.  This week feels like we just emerged from a mini-winter, and are just giddy about having some fall left to play in.

Thanks again for helping keep this farm going, for enjoying it so much in your lives.  See you around in the months ahead, and hopefully around here in 2019!

Storage Share 2018

Sign up this week please!  It’s easy!  We can take sign-ups later but it’s much easier if we know now so we can plan and prepare ahead.

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.

Split shares —  please plan on BOTH OF YOUR FAMILIES/HOUSEHOLDS coming this week.  This week is a “double share,” ie two weeks worth of share veggies.      It is a Double share, so full share folks multiply the sign amounts x 2 and split share folks take the amount that is on the sign.   Note that since we just passed through a mini-winter, the share size is down a little, to 1/2 bag of greens/lettuce and 1/2 bag of “durables.”  So for a full share, the double share is 1 full bag of each.  For a half share, it’s 1/2 bag of each.

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.

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Crop Forecast

Fall veggies — sweet, hearty and warm.  Add in some greens, spinach or kale — Zoom!!!  Propel you through the grey months!!!

For Winter Squash, the butternut will keep the longest, some of them 3 months. or more.  Ambercup,  acorn, carnival and buttercup should be eaten in the next 2-3 weeks.  They might last longer but not reliably.   We’ll put some of the smaller ones on the mix-and-match table too.


We will pick some spinach this week for you again.  The flavor is a bit sweeter, again, after the weekend frost.  We’ve had lots of lettuce disease pressure the last couple weeks –we’ve tried to pick around or through the icky leaves, we’re sorry if some got through and into your bags.  We are going to try to pick out some good leaves one last time, but we might give up on it and be down to just arugula, totsoi and komatsuna.  We’ll see.

Sweet Potatoes!  They’re so good.  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.)  They can be frozen after being roasted or boiled, but are usually better fresh.  And warm out of the oven.

We have a few peppers that we picked at the end of last week before the cold weekend forecast — such a treat to have colorful and juicy peppers this late in the fall!  Cauliflower, we might pick a few heads but they probably aren’t big enough even to be small itty-bitties.

Plus celeriac this week, watermelon radishes and purple daikon radishes.  Lovely fall food!!!!  All these will keep for weeks in the fridge.  The radishes are super sliced on a platter or salad or in a sandwich, or grated too.  The colors really shine when they’re sliced.  They shine almost as much as this sun, but not quite!

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What’s for U-Pick?

Some of the Flowers are still alive.  It’s been impressive what we’ve seen walk out of there in the last couple weeks.  It takes some determination and picking around the ones-gone-by, but there are gems in there.

Cilantro (down near where the sunflowers were),  PLUS Parsley, Oregano, Thyme, Sage, Anise Hyssop (great for use in tea).  

There may still be a very few raspberries hiding in the scratchy wild rows downhill from the barn.

Spinach, in addition to what we pick for you, feel free to pick more.  We may open lettuce this week too, if it’s too time-consuming due to disease pressure and we give up on picking it.

After this week : Spinach, Kale, and Parsley, Oregano and Thyme will all be open for at least a few weeks.  For Kale, please stick to the small planting closer to the driveway; the big planting to the north is for us to pick for wholesale (it will be roped off).  We’ll try to keep these open until the ground nearly freezes, we’ll see.  We won’t be keeping lettuce around for longer U-pick this year — with a disease outbreak like we have in there now, it’s important to protect next year’s lettuces by tilling this year’s into the soil, so the beneficial microbes can start eating the pathogens.

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Nuts and Bolts

BITTERSWEET — That Orange Berry Viney Stuff!  Mary Ellen Frame, the previous owner of our house and farm, picks bittersweet from around the edges each year.  We’ve always sold it in our booth at the Sogn Valley Craft Fair, but since we didn’t have a booth this year (weekends off are kinda neat), we decided to sell it in the barn.  It’s hanging up on the walls — look around and buy some for bright winter color!  It can be hung on walls, put in vases, laid on a table, wherever — the color lasts a year or two when it’s out of the sunlight.  Keep the berries out of reach of children and curious foraging adults — they are mildly poisonous.  As the color suggests.

WINTER STORE — Once a month on a day we’re in the barn washing veggies, we open a corner of the barn for an informal “store” day.  We lay out what we still have around, and you can buy as much or as little as you want.   This is open to anyone, so tell your friends to swing in, or pick something up for them.  In December we have roots plus kale, cabbage, and maybe squash, onions or sweet potatoes.  January and February probably just roots.   We send out reminders the day before, and a Facebook post too.

WINTER STORE DATES — 2nd TUESDAYS from 10am-4pm.  Dec 11, Jan 8, Feb 12.  

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. 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.

Thank you!

Your farmers,

Erin and Ben, with Allia, Alissa, Danny, and Ed

Maple Balsamic Brussels Sprouts

from Love and Lemons

serves 2 as a main dish, 4 as a side
Feel free to use the measurements as a guide and taste as you go. If I’m cooking for company, I might use more oil and maple syrup, when I’m just cooking for the 2 of us, I use less.
1.5 cups (or so) of brussels sprouts
1 bunch broccolini (or other veggies such as cauliflower or sweet potato)
a few handfuls of arugula
2-4 tablespoons olive oil
1-2 tablespoons maple syrup
1-2 tablespoons tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup dried cranberries
a teaspoon or so of salt (to taste)
a couple turns of the pepper mill
Preheat oven to 375.
Remove outer leaves of brussels sprouts and cut in half. Chop broccolini into bite sized pieces.
Spread vegetables on a large baking sheet. I roast the broccolini on a separate sheet because it takes less time. Drizzle all veggies with the olive oil, salt, pepper, maple syrup, and balsamic and toss around on the sheet until coated. (I drizzle a little more on the brussel sprouts, a little less on the broccolini since it takes more to get the brussels sprouts to tenderize).
Roast broccolini for approx. 20 minutes or until browned but not burnt. (tossing halfway through). Roast brussel sprouts for approx. 45 minutes until browned and carmelized (also flipping halfway through). Really watch and adjust the timing to whenever they look done. Don’t be afraid to deeply caramelize them, the more roasty the better. Sometimes I put the broiler on for the last minute or so if it looks like they need the help, but I’ve also lit them on fire this way.
Once roasted, set aside and let cool to about room temperature. Taste and adjust seasoning – you might need more salt, pepper, or maple syrup. You can roast the veggies a few hours in advance, it actually gets better if you let it sit and let the flavors meld together. Warm it just before serving.
Toss together with arugula and cranberries. Taste again, add a drizzle of olive oil if you prefer a salad that is more dressed.

Butternut Squash Lasagna

from Gourmet, December 1995

3 pounds butternut squash, quartered, seeded, peeled, and cut into 1/2-inch dice (about 9 1/2 cups)
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 cups milk
2 tablespoons dried rosemary, crumbled
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
nine 7- by 3 1/2-inch sheets dry no-boil lasagne pasta
1 1/3 cups freshly grated Parmesan (about 5 ounces)
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
fresh rosemary sprigs

Preheat oven to 450°F. and oil 2 large shallow baking pans.

In a large bowl toss squash with oil until coated well and spread in one layer in pans. Roast squash in oven 10 minutes and season with salt. Stir squash and roast 10 to 15 minutes more, or until tender and beginning to turn golden.

While squash is roasting, in a saucepan bring milk to a simmer with rosemary. Heat milk mixture over low heat 10 minutes and pour through a sieve into a large pitcher or measuring cup.

In a large heavy saucepan cook garlic in butter over moderately low heat, stirring, until softened. Stir in flour and cook roux, stirring, 3 minutes. Remove pan from heat and whisk in milk mixture in a stream until smooth. Return pan to heat and simmer sauce, whisking occasionally, about 10 minutes, or until thick. Stir in squash and salt and pepper to taste. Sauce may be made 3 days ahead and chilled, its surface covered with plastic wrap.

Reduce temperature to 375°F. and butter a baking dish, 13 by 9 by 2 inches.

Pour 1 cup sauce into baking dish (sauce will not cover bottom completely) and cover with 3 lasagne sheets, making sure they do not touch each other. Spread half of remaining sauce over pasta and sprinkle with 1/2 cup Parmesan. Make 1 more layer in same manner, beginning and ending with pasta.

In a bowl with an electric mixer beat cream with salt until it holds soft peaks and spread evenly over top pasta layer, making sure pasta is completely covered. Sprinkle remaining 1/3 cup Parmesan over cream. Cover dish tightly with foil, tenting slightly to prevent foil from touching top layer, and bake in middle of oven 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake lasagne 10 minutes more, or until top is bubbling and golden. Let lasagne stand 5 minutes.

Garnish each serving with rosemary.

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