Orders for Sunday

Here at the end of the produce season, this is your last chance to stock up on some things before we go on vacation. We’re sitting on a mountain of winter squash we’re selling for a real deal at $5 for 1/2 bushel as well as the last of the onions and peppers.
We also got in a set of small roaster chickens (4 – 4.5 lbs) and still have the range of Organic Valley cheeses and butters available. Order up at our Local Dirt site http://www.localdirt.com/products-a213.html by Saturday evening and we’ll deliver on Sunday afternoon. If you’d rather pick up on the farm on another date, that works too.

It’s really cold in Minnesota (CSA Week 16)

Wow, didn’t it get cold last night? It’s a bad sign when there’s already frost on everything before you go to bed and the sky is clear as a bell. We’re guessing it was about 25 degrees, which really puts a final end to the season. Few things go through a freeze like that, even the beet greens where pasted to the ground. We have the white stuff forecasted for tomorrow, so selling at a farmers market in snow will be a first! Maree wishes our camera worked, because we’d like to have record of it.

End of season logistics: If you’re in the neighborhood, please just drop off the last wax box…if not, don’t worry about it. Also expect an end of season survey in the mail. We really do want to know how the CSA season worked for you. It’s also an opportunity to let us know if you’re interested in being a member next year….as a current member, we give you first chance to re-join before opening up to others.
Thank you for being a member this season. Our door is always open. If you haven’t gotten a jack-o-lantern pumpkin, please come on out and we’ll set you up.
In the box:
Tongue of Fire Beans: this is an heirloom dried bean. Simply shell them and use as any dried bean. There are not many, so I’m thinking of them as something to add to a soup.
Hubbard Squash: this is the big blue-colored one.
Buttercup Squash
Spaghetti Squash: yellow and long in color
Haralson Apples: a good baking and cooking apple
A couple sweet onions
A couple white onions
Popcorn: this needs to be dried quite a bit before popping. Pull back the corn wrapper and hang like you would indian corn for at least a couple of weeks in a dry sunny place.

Yearly Veggie Report (CSA week 15)

Wow, today and yesterday have been the worst harvesting ever. I was going to pull in potatoes, but that’s way too difficult in this stuff. It’s cold, wet, and miserable out there…stay inside and drink some tea or something (which sounds pretty good). All told, I do like bringing in fall crops…I just naturally feel like bringing in the end of the season harvest. Kind of like gophers or bears getting ready for winter, I think people get a natural instinct this time of year to pull in what they can.

Every year I do an end of season re-cap: th winners and losers of the produce season. I figure today is a good day to do that as I reflect on how the season went as I’m out in the machine shed cleaning up indian corn and winter squash.
In the winner category are all the cool season crops, which just loved this cool summer with a fair amount of rain. This includes kohlrabi, cabbage, broccoli, fall peas, leeks, spring greens like lettuce and salad mix and I’d have to throw in onions and beets as well. The grand champion of the year in my mind is celery…now I know this may seem like an odd one to you, but this is the third year trying to grow the stuff and typically it turned into a stalk 6 inches tall with the consistency of dental floss…so I was really excited about how it turned out this year! These crops grew well mainly because of the cool season, but there are some which did well just because I “got my act together”, which is evident in the long corn season this year–I think we got it in the box for 6 weeks, which is the most weeks in a season. This is because I got three plantings done in the spring, each 2 weeks apart, which allowed them to be spaced out. Another thing we did was cultivate onions well with the help of our new tine weeder, so we got good-sized onions because of little weed pressure.
In the loser category we have a list longer than I care to mention, some due to the weird season, but some due to me doing stupid things out in the field. The causualties of bad weather include some hot season crops. First and foremost is the eggplant…it didn’t even get into the box! It needed heat in a big way, but it also was under serious attack by the potato bugs this year…by far, the worst season ever with these guys. Our organic pyrethrin spray didn’t seem to do anything to these bugs…I don’t know if it’s a tolerance issue or I simply had my timing off. Anyway, they also devastated bad crop number 2: potatoes. I even put in these fingerlings for this season, but they didn’t get into the box either because they ended up being the size of small peanuts since the plants died back by the end of july, which is terrible. Still, the crop which just killed me this year was garlic. It was a comedy of errors on my part which destroyed this crop. I didn’t get it planted in time last fall, so I had to treat as a spring transplant; then I pretty much killed it by running it over with our tine weeder cultivator when I never should have…I’m still kicking myself for it. Others I wasn’t crazy about: strawberries, raspberries, spring peas, greens (swiss chard anyone?), edamame, and beans (although I loved the new variety we grew, Grenoble).
All told, it kind of evens out, although this isn’t any consolation to those who love eggplant or garlic and just didn’t get enough.
In the box:
Celeriac: some call celery root. You use whenever a recipe calls for celery…it keeps forever, just leave in crisper in fridge.
Rutebega: another standard root crop, some love it, others hate it. Try mixing in with potatoes and mash, about half and half proportions.
Cippolini onions: I had these for breakfast yesterday, sauteed with peppers and some tomato and put on eggs with some toast.
A sweet onion
Butternut squash: again, keep in a dry, sunny spot. The taste of winter squash actually improves with age…it’ll taste better in a couple weeks.
Buttercup squash: the dark green ugly one with a button on the bottom.
A couple pie pumpkins: can use for decoration or bake for use in pumpkin recipes like pie or anywhere you’d use that canned pumpkin stuff.
A small canteloupe: end of the line, I just throught I’d put in the last of them.
Sprig of Rosemary
A mix of peppers
A few heirlooms