End of 2013 CSA Season

Well, today it’s official.  We are delivering the last box and coming to the end of the CSA season.  In this last blog post of the season, I typically reflect of how the season’s been.

The farm season started off pretty badly.  We managed to kill off a bunch of plants in the greenhouse when our heater went out, followed by late spring snows, cold weather, and about 3 months of daily rain (or so it seemed).  We planted in mud.  We watched weeds grow in the fields because it was too wet to cultivate.  It wasn’t good at all.

The middle of the summer brought much better weather and we were able to tend to the crops and harvest some things only after pushing the start of CSA back a week.  We were feeling pretty good and getting into the groove of the season, but stress levels went up as the heat increased and rains stopped.  We typically don’t have to irrigate much, but when it got that dry for that long, I did have to start lugging hose from field to field.  Drought conditions did effect the quality of some produce like mis-shaping pumpkins and decreased yield as plants got stressed.  Still, I think we weathered it as well as possible.

Rain started to fall in September and I’d say we’re in good shape for next season. Even though I’m my typical worn out self this time of year, we have to look towards next season to begin a new.  Let me thank you for being with us for the season.

In the box:
Little Bok Choy
Celeriac: Yes, this is a crazy-looking veggie.  Peel and use in cooking where you would celery – it has the same flavor.
‘Satina’ Yellow Potatoes: People rave about Yukon Gold yellows, but I think these are much better.  Yukons have a terrible yield and there are a bit too starchy or dry for me.
Yellow Onion
Dino Kale
Yellow and Red Pepper
‘Red Kuri’ Squash: This is a great flavored squash – I always liken it to a chestnut.  Maree peeled and used in a veggie soup earlier this week.
Pie Pumpkins: I think a couple should be enough for a pie (Maree makes pie, not me, so I’m guessing).  You can use them for decoration, but don’t forget they are food too.  You can always cook down like squash, put into a freezer bag and use later (way better than that stuff in a can).
Farmer-choice squash: Another acorn or delicata.  

Last Stretch to the Veggie Season

I was just thinking about how tired I am and wondering how I did all the things I had to do all summer.  This a natural thought this time of year and so is being tired.  In the middle of the summer I feel like I can move mountains.  Of course, the sun is shining, the days are long, and the growing season is on the upswing.  As we get into fall, you’ll find just the opposite.  The days are shorter, there’s more darkness than light, and everything’s winding down.  It’s not starting a project that’s ever a problem, it’s finishing it, right?  We’ll a farm season is no different.

The end of season around Lida Farm is more than the last two CSA harvests or last couple of farmers markets (that’s next Friday and Saturday respectively).  The bigger challenges are big jobs that I don’t feel like getting to: planting garlic, pulling out the tomato trellis, taking plastic off the high tunnel, shoveling and spreading manure, disking…it goes on.  Well, the longer I wait, the greater chance I do any of these things in really cold weather.

CSA members are still welcome to come out and take tomatoes and peppers for preservation.  There are a lot of both and there’s little chance of me selling them all.  Just come on out and pick what you need – they are in the field closest to the house.

In the box:
Russet Potatoes
Braising Mix: the bunched greens that are a mix of purple and green.  Prepare and use as you would kale.  This pretty much what I do with them too: http://www.elanaspantry.com/simple-braised-greens/  Once made up, you can keep in fridge and add to eggs in the morning.
A Sprinkling of Sage and Thyme
Salad mix
Delicata Squash: The green and yellow-striped ones.  We don’t do these in a water bath like others since their shells are thinner
Butternut Squash
‘Red Cardinal’ Spinach
A Couple Little Red Onions
‘French Breakfast’ Radishes
Celery: This stuff always grows small and stringy for me, so will work fine for cooking – not eating all by itself.
Cherry Tomatoes