Week 20 ~ Oct.8-Oct.14, 2012 CSA Newsletter

This Weeks Share: Cucumber, Tomatoes, Pepper Medley, a Brassica, Kale Greens, Sweet Corn and a Fruit Sack.

Cucumber: These quintessential heralds of hot summer days are almost a cherished memory for us. Last night we got down to freezing and many plants were nipped. Fruits covered with foliage and close to the ground made it through, but some were not so lucky.

Tomatoes: We still have a nice selection of tomatoes for you this week. Probably not through the end, but close we hope. It’s always sad to see the orbs of love give way to the change of seasons.

Pepper Medley: Our rows are still providing lovely sweet and hot peppers. We hope to get them all to you before seasons end. We roasted delicious sheet after sheet of the bell types in the oven over the weekend. They made the house smell so good, and now we have them in oil to go over a pizza or in sandwiches. They last several weeks in the fridge once roasted.

Brassica: We are harvesting some humongous cauliflower heads and cabbages too. We fed these rows a little extra fish emulsion and chicken manure earlier when they were needing a push, and it has paid off in strides! Very big Brassica’s for you…Oh joy!

Kale Greens: The impeccable, tasty kale greens make it back into your share’s this week. We are so pleased to share with you the Creme de la Crop, the very best of kale, the baby kale leaves! We had nothing but carpet of kale coming up in between Choi rows, where last seasons kale overwintered and then went to seed. So lovely and so delicious and finally large enough for us to harvest some for everyone. The tender, diminutive leaves and stalks are quite perfect raw. At most they may benefit from lightly steaming, braising or stirring into soups.

Sweet Corn: We are excited to bring you more yummy corn this week. We had a little left after harvesting last week, and then we had some that was a little buggy. We decided that we were going to go ahead and stretch it out another week because you love it so much. We have noticed very minor frost damage from last night, and just a couple earworms only on top of a few of the ears, not the majority. For the most part this weeks corn is just as fabulous and tasty as last weeks.

Fruit Sack: In addition to harvesting many winter squash all weekend, we also harvested as much as we could of delicious Asian pears and apples! Unlike our little Bartlett’s, these small apple-like pears are called 21st Century pears originating from China. Their farm adjacent orchard is completely overgrown and has had no official maintenance or care in years. These small fruits are excellent for all raw uses, sweet-tart and juicy, making them a nice accompaniment to a cheese platter or the perfect snack. We like to dry them, as they make a wonderful, tangy dried fruit.

FARM NEWS: Well, the farm has finally had it’s first frost. The small bowl of water we keep near the bees was frozen this morning. We saw evidence of frost on the corn, the squash and cucumber leaves and plants and some of the greens. We had irrigation lines all set-up in the field next to our tomatoes and some cuc’s just in case. And sure enough, Farmer Kip was up at 3:30 am this morning heading to the farm to turn them on. The water on these valued, tender remaining plants, no doubt saved them from complete damage last night. See, there is more excitement in farming than just cool, amazing food! It is forecast that the end of our long summer is nearing. The coming Sunday into Monday is scheduled to bring us many, much needed raindrops and colder temps. We’ll see what I am writing in a week.

Farmer Kip and I spent hours hauling winter squash over the weekend. We are placing them on tables in our greenhouse where they can cure safely out of the frosts reach. Many large, heavy delicious looking squash will be with you to finish out the shares this season. We may even have to cut some of them with a machete before we can dole them out! Unfortunately, an overflowing surplus of Delicata’s and Acorn’s we have not this year. There will be some, but not as many as last year. It is the year of adventurous winter squash preparation, hooray! Mmmm soup… On another note ‘The pumpkin patch’ looks so amazing this year! I get giddy talking about it, as we have more pumpkins than we will know what to do with. Little ones, fat ones, thin ones, big ones. I know it is a little late for most of you pumpkin patch goers, but we’d love to have you come out and haul what your family wants away at our annual Harvest Gathering October 27th, 2012.

Here we are at week 20 with merely 4 more weeks to go in our 2012 season. We are working hard to ensure great food through the end, providing you all with the best we have to offer out here. Every year has its new set of challenges and triumphs, and this year has definitely been the same. Farmers around here now are waiting for the rain so that we have a little moisture in the ground to plant our cover crops into. Aside from that waiting game there is the rush to get things harvested before our (very well fed) gophers and deer get to them first. Always weeds to be pulled or admired…botanical life to evaluate and try and understand. Recipes later….Until then…

Your Farmers Kip and Amy

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