2016 CSA Week 20

Super Greens - 6 oz 
leeks - partial bundle 
golden beets - partial bundle
carrots - partial bundle 
butterhead lettuce - 1 
**buttercup squash - 1 small 
**delicata - 1 small 
**glacier tomatoes - ¾ pint 
**shallots - 2 
**garlic - 1 large 

Super Greens - 8 oz
leeks - bundle
golden beets - bundle
carrots - bundle
butterhead - 1
**buttercup squash - 1 large
**delicata - 1
**glacier tomatoes - 1 pint
**shallots - 3
**garlic - 1 super large

Have you seen the forecast for this coming week? WOW! What an amazingly mild September we have had. We don't know if we're able to work quicker in this warm weather or if we are starting to work more efficiently now that we know (a little bit more) what we are doing, but we are really getting the end of the season done in a more timely manner then previous years. VERY exciting! The only two things left to plant for the year are the overwintered spinach (going in Monday) and the Garlic (second week of October). We have the beds amended with compost and ready to plant.

Over wintered spinach beds amended with compost, heavily watered, and covered with plastic for two weeks allowing weeds to germinate and be flame-weeded before the crop is planted.

From a bunch of experimenting in the last three years, we feel like every hour spent in the fall prepping beds saves at least 100 hours in the spring. That may be over exaggerating a bit...but it does feel nice to have our fall planting dialed in!

Despite feeling really good about the work getting done around the farm there are a few fall tasks that do seem a bit never-ending and tedious. Perhaps the greatest of which as broad-forking the beds as they come out of production at the end of the season. We'll try to get a video of that online. We are also really happy with the cover crops that are established and protecting the soil overwinter where our winter squash, potatoes, and corn will be next year. Cover crops are used extensively in organic farming to add nutrients back to the soil and protect the soil between cash crops.

This is quickly becoming my most favorite squash to work with. A really big one is big enough for making a large soup or casserole but not too big to have to freeze some of; perfect for a hungry family!
I cut it in half and roast in the oven until the shell is soft to the touch or until the house smells like squash.
Scoop out the yummy orange squash and eat with butter and maple syrup for breakfast. Mix into a soup or curry, add to a casserole, the possibilities are endless when it comes to squash!

Super Greens-
We are just loving these as a salad green! They are flavorful without being overpoweringly bitter. Perfect paired with a creamy dressing. Speaking of paired...it is pear season...sorry for the pun it's my bad pun time of year. Some toasted walnuts and pear on top of a bitter green salad with creamy dressing is DELICIOUS. I'm also loving these greens just ever so slightly chopped and sauteed and added to a stir fry or to the 'ole morning eggs and potatoes.

I imagine you all are pretty tired of hearing 'eat your beet greens' by now. But seriously, these are the most gorgeous beets tops, and the cool fall nights have just sweetened them up to maximum braising green amazingness.

It's really starting to feel like the end of the harvest season at the farm! Can you believe next week will be the first week of OCTOBER?! And it will also be the last week of CSA.

Coming Next week: THE LAST WEEK! It looks like next week we'll have carrots, winter 'watermelon' radishes, pink salad turnips, butter lettuce, tomatoes, bell peppers, delicata squash, acorn squash, garlic, onions, and leeks.

2016 CSA Week 19

Partial Share 
fall carrots - partial bundle 
Spinach - 6 oz
Collards - partial bundle
Baby Butter Lettuce - 1 small 
Bell Peppers - 2 
Kohlrabi  -1 
Eggplant - 1 small 
**Onions - 2 
**Delicata Squash - 1 med
**Acorn Squash - 1 small
**Tomatoes - ¾ pint glacier

Full Share
fall carrots - bundle
Spinach - 8 oz
Collards - bundle
Baby Butter Lettuce - 1 medium
Bell Peppers - 4
Kohlrabi - 2
Eggplant - 1 medium
**Onions - 3
**Delicata Squash - 1 large
**Acorn Squash - 1 medium
**Tomatoes - 1 pint glacier

**these items are non-refrigerated and will be labeled at CSA pickup for partial and full. You have FOUR separate things to add to your boxed share this week; tomatoes, onions, delicata and acorn squash.

What beautiful fall weather we had last week! Last Monday we had a big getting-ready-for-frost work day. It was our least hectic getting-ready-for-frost day so far, but still left us feeling pretty worn out the next couple days. With the decreased day length, the plants in the field are really slowing down and we can feel ourselves ready to start slowing down as well.

Less day length also means fewer hours for us to work outside, and we can start getting caught up on some much needed office work. During the day we are doing a lot of harvesting this time of year. Other than harvesting we are pulling out summer crops, flail mowing, amending with compost, and starting to get some of the beds put away for next spring.
We are also working on upgrading our irrigation system, and adding about 45 new 100 foot beds for next year. We are upgrading to some new seeders and harvesting tools and trying them out now *before* we attempt growing more baby greens next year. Each fall we try to get as much infrastructure work done for the following year as possible before snow flies. We also want to get as much planning and refining for next year done as possible while we are still actively in the middle of the farming season. It's easy to make plans in the winter that just do not work when you put them into practice in the spring. And things get so hectic in the spring, we really need everything to work as smoothly as possible. Now is the time! We try as hard as possible to stay focused and be efficient in our work to make next year even better than this year.

We had such rave reviews from everyone about the kohlrabi this spring that we decided to do a fall planting this year. Remember the leaves can be sauteed and braised like kale or chard, and the kohlrabi is best peeled and then can be shredded and added to 'slaws, cut thin for a raw vegetable, or diced and sauteed.

Acorn squash is probably the most familiar of the winter squashes and you just cut it in half, scoop out the seeds, and roast in the oven. Many people like them roasted with butter and maple syrup or brown sugar. Other people like them stuffed with a savory stuffing. I like using all types of winter squash to add to curries, soups, or casseroles and I find them to be such a versatile vegetable.

Delicata squash is a really unique winter squash because you can eat the skins. Our favorite way to cook them is to cut them in half, scoop out the seeds, and cut them (skin and all) into little half moons and bake them on a cookie sheet at 350 until crisp (usually about 30 minutes but it depends how thickly you sliced them thicker takes longer). These little squash chips are great dipped in a homemade garlic pesto or just eaten as a side dish with any meal.

Never had collard greens? They are great prepared the traditional way; saute an onion in a generous amount of bacon fat, add onions, cook until translucent, add chopped collards and cook until tender, OR they are also awesome raw as wraps. Where you just make a sandwich and instead of bread you wrap it with collards. Much longer explanation at the kitchn:http://www.thekitchn.com/why-i-ditched-sandwich-bread-for-collard-green-wraps-220211

Next week it looks like we'll have carrots, red beets, hakuri salad turnips, swiss chard, and super greens and buttercup squash. Can you believe there are only three weeks left of CSA?!

2016 CSA Week 18

Partial Share 
fall carrots - partial bundle
radishes - partial bundle 
chard -      partial bundle 
Baby Butter Lettuce - 2 heads 
Green Beans - 1 pound
Sweet Corn - 3
**Shallots - 2
**Garlic - med 
**Tomatoes - ¾ pint glacier

Full Share
fall carrots - bundle
radishes - bundle
chard - bundle
Baby Butter Lettuce -s 3 heads
Green Beans - 1.5 pound
Sweet Corn- 4
**Shallots - 3
**Garlic - large
**Tomatoes - 1 pint glacier

**these items are non-refrigerated and will be labeled at CSA pickup for partial and full. You have THREE separate things to add to your boxed share this week; tomatoes, shallots and garlic.

Guys! I can't believe how long the spinach is taking to grow...why is it growing SO SLOWLY?! Also, our fall herbs have fallen victim to too many weeds and we made the executive decision to flail mow the whole mess and do better next year.

So, if the basil gets taken out by a frost this week (we'll cover it...but basil is sooooo frost sensitive). Then we might be out of herbs for the year. More herbs is near the top of my list for Things To Improve in 2017.

We are just around the corner from our first frost. Which, we are ready for this year. But it will still be a big day getting ready and making sure everything is covered that we want to be covered and everything is harvested that we want to be harvested. Well...maybe next year we will get everything harvested that we want in before the first frost. We won't get to everything tomorrow, but we're feeling pretty darn good about it.

The cold weather has caused the cucumbers and summer squash to really slow down and we don't have enough to include in the csa boxes this week. We do have enough for orders and let us know if you want a few; this is most likely the last week for both.

Those fall carrots!
Guys, for real, these carrots are what vegetable farmers dream of when they dream of perfect carrots. They are the best carrots we have grown so far, and we finally have got the seeding and weeding figured out so that we actually enjoy growing them now as much as we enjoy eating them. (they are SO good!)
and since our parsley met a cruel death with the flail mower...if you want to try your hand at carrot top pesto, the tops are best when they are best from young carrots like these.
Carrot Top Pesto
Toast in a skillet until brown and dice in a blender or food processor: ¼ cup almonds
use the tops from one bundle of carrots, chop a bit and add to blender/food processor
add a minced clove of garlic and some lemon juice
add olive oil to desired oil-y-ness
add salt and parmasean cheese.

Guess what I made with some carrot top pesto? I put it on boiled green beans. Boom! Not just for pasta. And..it was good!

Butter-head lettuce will make a nice salad paired with those red radishes. They also make my most favorite wrap for 'taco night'. Ground beef with cumin and garlic, blended tomatoes, all cooked together paired with a bowl of good sharp cheddar, some sliced shallots, and wrap it all up in those beautiful leaves of lettuce.

The chard is excellent sauteed and don't forget you can use it interchangeably in any recipe where you would use cooked spinach. (And surely...we will have spinach soon?!)

Next week we will start the winter squash parade; red kuri, buttercup, delicata, spahgetti squash, pie pumpkins coming your way...it was maybe not a warm enough year for butternut...time will tell!

Have a great week! ~J&M

2016 CSA Week 17


Partial Share 

Basil - 1.5 oz 
Cucumbers - 1 silver slicer 
                    - 1 American slicer 
Bell Peppers - 3
Super Greens - 6oz 
Zuchini or Patty Pan Squash - 3 
Green Beans - ¾ pound 
Sweet Corn  - 3 
**Fresh Sweet Onions - 2 
**Tomatoes - 1 quart glacier 

Full Share

Basil -z 2 oz
Cucumbers - 1 Asian or Armenian
                    - 4 lemons
Bell Peppers - 4
Super Greens- 8oz
Zuchini or Patty Pan Squash - 4
Green Beans - 1 pound
Sweet Corn - 4
**Fresh Sweet Onions - 3
**Tomatoes - 1 quart glacier
                    - 1-2 heirlooms

**these items are non-refrigerated and will be labeled at CSA pickup for partial and full you have TWO separate things to add to your boxed share this week; tomatoes and onions

Well the summer shift in weather always happens quick and this year was no exception. We had highs in the mid 80s for weeks on end and then, it looks like highs in the mid 60s are what's coming up in the foreseeable future. We are less than two weeks away from our average first frost (mid-September) and the farm is definitely starting to show the transitioning of the season. We are still seeding about 400 bed feet a week for late fall salad greens but the majority of the planting for the year is over.

Last week we got the very last of the potatoes out of the ground and seeded a cover crop which will hopefully provide some ground cover before winter, grow in the spring, get tilled into the ground in early May, and be planted to corn next year. Our corn currently has a beautiful patch of cover crops that I seeded when it was about knee high, now well established it will continue to grow until we flail mow the corn in about 6 weeks and that is where we will plant potatoes next year.

We still have some big annual farm tasks ahead of us for the year. We usually harvest our winter squash the second week of September. Some years it cures in the field (this is MOST IDEAL) but most years we pull the squash and line them up in a single layer on tables in our hoop house to allow the skins of the winter squash to harden up and 'cure'. This also helps any slightly immature squash have time to sweeten up. Last year it was so warm and dry that we were able to take the squash directly from the field into storage for the rest of the season (this is how squash is grown in most climates). I'm keeping my fingers crossed because moving all that squash twice isn't really something we look forward to...but it looks like we will be curing the squash in the hoop house this year.

Another fall task for us is turning over beds as they come out of production for the year. We actually haven't even started that yet as Every Single Bed coming out of production right now is either getting reseeded or being prepped for fall planted garlic and fall planted over wintered spinach.

The hoop house is at absolute peak production right now. With the cucumbers, peppers, eggplants, tomatoes, and basil pumping out vegetables at an unprecedented rate. We are so excited to be able to be putting generous amounts of these summer goodies in your boxes. It was definitely one of our goals for this year.

In the weeks to come, the farm will just keep on with peak production, there will be a frenzy to pick all the non-frost-tolerant crops before the first frost, to cover everything we know can keep producing, and to take care of all the crops that keep producing well in cold weather. Can you believe there is only one month left of CSA? And two months from now the whole farm will be 'put to bed' for the winter; livestock gone to the processors, freezers stuffed full of tomatoes and meat, the garden beds topped with compost and hay, and all the fall infrastructure work (hopefully) done for the year.

Brown Butter Tomatoes….someone at market shared this recipe with me...oh...so...good...directions from epicurious.com but basically heat up butter until it's brown and then pour it on tomatoes add salt.

Roasted Tomato Soup-
Somehow all three of our kids love lentil soup. Doesn't seem like it would be a big hit with kids...but it is with ours. Mysteries never cease. Last week I roasted a mixture of heirlooms and mini slicers before adding them to my normal soup and !wow! What a good idea.
Here's what I did. Soak lentils overnight in tepid water and rinse soaking water in the morning. Saute onions and garlic, dice and add any root veggies you have in your crisper (beets, carrots, turnips, etc.,), add smoked paprika and fresh herbs or dried Italian herbs, cover with water or broth (twice as much liquid as amount of lentils use). While lentils cook roast tomatoes in oven (more detailed directions on epicurious.com: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/roasted-tomatoes-235766 Cut tomatoes in half , add olive oil and balsamic, and just a bit of salt and sugar, and roast in the oven at 350° until they smell like tomato heaven (about an hour). With an immersion blender or in a blender/food processor blend the roasted tomatoes and add to the lentil soup.
Note: never add tomatoes to any sort of bean dish until beans are FULLY COOKED as the tomatoes keep the beans from finishing cooking.

With the cooler weather coming this is probably the last week for this much zucchini in your box. Zucchini, which have been pumping out fruits like crazy the last six weeks, really slow down when it cools off. If you are trying to get creative with your zucchini here is a really awesome recipe (also from someone at market) from smitten kitchen (always a winner!). Maybe you've seen recipes where zucchini is used as a crust to make a pizza. I've tried that and though...hmnn...not really the best use for zucchini...and...that's not really passing as pizza for me. This recipe puts the zucchini ON TOP of pizza crust. Give it a try. Pretty good! https://smittenkitchen.com/2016/08/summer-squash-pizza/

Mostly, I boil sweet corn, but if I'm feeling fancy I grill it. It's a couple more steps because you peel back the husks, take off the silks and re-cover the cob with the husk and then soak with corn in it's husk in water for 15 minutes and then grill it at a high temp. It basically steams the corn while infusing it with smokey, grilly flavor and is wonderful.

Green Beans-
these are so good, of course, boiled and then doused with butter and salt. That's our kids favorite. My favorite is to stir fry them in coconut oil at a super high heat with tons of garlic and then add sriracha and sesame oil at the end. Great as a side dish when making stir fry. Or with rice noodles and Asian meat balls.

Next week—more sweet corn, cucumbers, zucchini, tomatoes and greens beans, garlic and shallots. Lettuce mix, chard, and either radishes or fall carrots.

Coming in mid/late September - Spinach! Finally!, Butterhead lettuce, collard greens, kale, winter squash and kohlrabi.

Hope you are all settling into your fall routine and enjoying this fleeting season. ~J&M