Farm Newsletter September 28, 2021
Friday afternoon we got cold!! We finished harvesting a couple weeks worth of carrots, then it drizzled for a bit, and soon most of us were wearing 2 layers on bottom and 2-4 layers on top. And of course this week we’re back to tossing off layers and can’t find our warm shirts in the morning when we need them again; or we’re back to a rotating cast of 3-4 warm shirts so we find the first discarded one by the time we can’t find the other three. It can be hard to remember where we were when we started heating up — which truck, which building, or worse, on the ground at the end of which row.
We love a sunny dry September – October ! Friday reminded us of several falls we spent cold and wet and muddy, nearly every harvest day, and made us grateful for the ease and comfort of this year’s weather. Even the mosquito pressure has backed off after a slight surge for a couple weeks.
And, of course, the food reason to love this weather is that we get an extended season of tomatoes and peppers! And even basil this time!! We just love them mixed in so many different combinations with winter squash, spinach, and the other colorful joys of the fall harvest. Especially after the shortage we had of so many things in fall 2020 due to the hail storm , red peppers and tomatoes especially, we are glad to have plenty of them. Having the sweet juiciness of summer and the heartiness of fall always satiates us like nothing else, and simultaneously the veggies help us revel in warm sunny weather and prepare our bodies for the challenges of winter. It keeps feeling early like summer, but really it ain’t!!
We keep looking at the calendar and realizing that in order to harvest everything before, say, a storm like the many inches of snow we got last October 20th — that means we need to harvest everything left in the field in the next 3-4 weeks !!! We are well set up to do it; and the soil is dry enough that harvests have been going smoothly. We picked up the last of the winter squash and pumpkins last week, and sweet potatoes too. We made a dent in the big fall carrot planting too, for us to all eat, and to fill a big special order from Mpls Schools. It’s been so sunny and warm that it feels a little early for all this, but really it ain’t!!!!
So we’ll keep harvesting, washing, and cover cropping to protect and feed the soil. We’ve actually even still been watering a few final things to help them finish sizing up before sizing up can’t happen anymore. That’s almost here.
So turn your face like a sunflower into the sun, and soak in that warm and goodness! And soak up the veggies of summer and fall mixed together!
Red Peppers, Tomatoes, Spinach!, Hot peppers, Napa Cabbage, Golden Beets, Carrots, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Kale, Swiss chard, greens and lettuce, red and yellow onions- plus watermelon radishes and purple daikon radishes (both are mild and gorgeous inside). A few more Shallots too. Broccoli smaller but enough hopefully.
WINTER SQUASH and Pumpkins –– This week — Pumpkins outside the barn : your choice of a jack o lantern, or a butternut squash if you don’t want a carving pumpkin. Unfortunately for their many fans , pie pumpkins did not germinate well so we barely have any 😦 Sorry for not washing the big pumpkins – we wash so many things, it just always seems like one job too many!
Inside the barn, you’ll have your choice of 2 , from acorn , carnival and butternut. And Delicata – the small yellow cylindrical one, so tender you can easily eat the skin too — will probably be on the big table with the other veggies.
If you take a butternut – they taste ok right now, but for better flavor, leave it on the counter or windowsill for a week or two. They haven’t fully finished curing, but we have extra this year — it’s what we re-planted when other things didn’t germinate or succumbed to cucumber beetles, and we were out of seed for those other varieties — so we want to start giving them out now.
In a week or two we’ll also have a few ambercup, buttercup and other varieties we’ve been trialing.
Spinach has outgrown most of its disease and we should have a good amount this week and next. After that probably too.
Next week : Adding in Leeks, sweet potatoes and celeriac , and after that, brussels sprouts and parsnips for the final week too.
What’s for U-Pick?
Cherry Tomatoes still there!
Sage, Thyme, Oregano, Parsley, Anise Hyssop — All are in the cilantro/basil area, in a bed in the middle, with white signs.
Cilantro and Basil !!! Are still happy.
Beans and Edamame we haven’t looked…
Nuts and Bolts
Last Share Pickup of 2021 is October 12 and 14 !!! That week you will take a double share, ie double the regular amount. This consolidates our work – it’s like an extra week of the share for you but less work for us — and frees us up for the final harvests of root crops for winter storage. Full shares will take a double share (what’s on the signs), and split shares will each take a regular sized full share (half what’s on the signs). Every other week people will BOTH come, and take half what’s on the signs.
STORAGE SHARE 2021 !!! November 18th (10am-6pm) and 19th (9am-12noon) — Mark your calendar now! The Storage share is a one-time pickup the week before Thanksgiving, separate from the regular share. You will again be able to pre-order specific amounts, and/or order the “full” storage share. The Thursday and Friday before Thanksgiving, this is an additional purchase option for extra food for the food-est holiday of the year, and/or to stock up for winter, and/or just cuz it’s good and to make some extra food for a while. It’s a lot of great food for a good price – we can keep the price low because it all goes out in 1.5 big day(s). Pre-bag is also available for pickup either day, for $10 extra. Details will come in a separate email tomorrow.
CSA 2022 !!! Also info for signups for 2022 will come out tomorrow.
Bulk Produce for You
We like to offer you the same produce beyond what you get in your share, at or just above our wholesale prices, to use for parties, special events, serving guests, or just filling your family’s bellies each week.
This week’s selection is : Beets, Carrots for $1.25 / lb. Green Cabbage for 75 cents/lb, aka $1.50-$4 per head, you can choose what size if you want. Great for sauerkraut! Lettuce and Spinach $5.25 / lb. Green Bell Peppers $1.50/ lb, Red Peppers and Cauliflower $2 / lb.
PLUS Garlic for $1 / head — we can easily get you enough to keep you stocked til the storage share, or beyond. It should keep fine in your house at room temp, and you can just order on the spot in the barn.
To place a bulk order, simply email us at least 2 days ahead of the day you’d like to pick it up. Orders can be picked up at the farm during our regular pickup hours, but it doesn’t have to be your share pickup day.
Share Pickup Hours TUESDAY and THURSDAY 1:30-6:30 pm.
Where is the farm? 4151 320th Street West, Northfield.
Please Drive Carefully —Children are everywhere.
It’s fun to see you still enjoying the fields when you can!
Erin and Ben, with Allia, Alexandra, Alissa, Emily, Harper
Super Easy Spinach and Red Pepper Salad
4 cups spinach
1 red bell pepper, chopped
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup rice vinegar
- Step 1In a large bowl, mix the baby spinach, red bell pepper, and Parmesan cheese.
- Step 2In a small bowl, mix the olive oil and rice vinegar. Toss with the spinach mixture, and serve.
Roasted Red Pepper Dip
adapted from allrecipes.com
- 2 diced tomatoes
- 2 roasted red peppers
- 3/4 cup chopped onions
- 1/3 cup red wine
- 5 Tbsp brown sugar
- 2 fresh hot chile peppers, seeded and chopped
- 2 Tbsp tomato paste
- 2 Tbsp distilled white vinegar
- 2 tsp chopped garlic
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
- In a large saucepan, place diced tomatoes, roasted red peppers, onion, red wine, brown sugar, hot chile peppers, tomato paste, distilled white vinegar, garlic, oregano and cumin seeds. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and allow mixture to simmer approximately 30 minutes.
- Place mixture in a blender, and blend to desired consistency. Chill in the refrigerator 4 hours, or until cold, before serving.