This has been a annual night-time ritual for me – covering winter squash and pumpkins in the field to save the crop from frost. While you were getting ready for bed last night, I was outside laying a row cover fabric over big piles of squash in the field. My only light to work by was two headlights from a van pointed in my direction and the only sound that whiny whirl of a van with too many miles on it. I don’t know why and it seem strange to say, but it’s such a peaceful and magical ritual for me. As I’m outside tramping around these dried up and crunchy squash vines and the temperature dropping minute by minute, I feel the presence of those who worked the fields before me; they look over my shoulder, trying to get close to the fall harvest they miss being a part of.
Covering squash also seems like some kind of strange early Halloween ritual. If you drove by our place in the evening, all would appear normal, only to find a field of white ghosts the next morning. Almost like I was out playing a trick on passer-bys.
After all that work, however, it looks as if the yesterday’s frost bell was a false alarm. Maybe there was some frost in really low-lying areas, but everything looks just fine. I think yesterday’s heat and sun really helped warm the ground which protected us with some extra night-time degrees. Still, next week looks quite cold, so the rush to continue pulling in produce will continue through the weekend.
I invite all CSA member out this Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon and evening to glean tomatoes and peppers. There are a lot out there and I want to give them a home instead of rotting on the vine. At the end of the season, these aren’t the prettiest, but this is a good opportunity to get a good amount of peppers for freezing or tomatoes for canning. No charge – it’s a perk for being a CSA member!
A reminder to CSA members to RSVP for the harvest dinner on the 22nd. I do thank those of you who offered to make something, but this is not a potluck, so I do not expect people to bring something to pass; we’re making arrangements. We’ll be working to transform our hayloft into a dining room, so let’s see if we can pull it off!
In the box:
- Acorn Squash
- A Buttercup Squash
- Rutebega: The thing the size of a bowling ball. Don’t worry though, rutebegas, unlike other veggies like turnips, can get really big without getting woody. They will also keep in your fridge for 6 mos.
- Bunch of Carrots
- Summer Squash: You could see green zucchini, yellow zucchini, or pattypan squash. However you prepare zucchini, you prepare other summer squash the same way.
- One White onion and One Red Onion
- A mix of Peppers
- Fresh Rosemary
- Celery or Celeriac: Most people got celery, but some got celeriac, which looks like an ugly hairy root with a little stalk on top. You use celeriac the same as you would celery (tastes the same).