Our Blog: The Hoot
At this point in the season, we anticipate a pretty hard frost. This is the threshold that, for the most part, stops the growth of summer loving plants. They can be full grown with fruit ready to pick, such as peppers or tomatoes, and that can be protected for picking with row cover. Growth of these plants and the ripening of their fruit is basically done. What does this mean for us? Nothing much…. Maybe not a wise business decision, but I’ve quickly tired of trying to have tomatoes and peppers late in the season. It’s very stressful to drag these summer loving plants into a cool fall just trying to keep them protected from frost or freezing. Disease prevention is very important and requires lots of time. It seems like everything is out to get them this time of year. Besides, there are lots of delicious nutritious vegetables that love to grow in the rapidly cooling fall. In fact, lots of them taste better after a couple frosts. Here’s the kicker growing cool thriving vegetables…very little stress and lots of nutrition. Sounds like good business to me!
If you have roots accumulating in your refrigerator, make vegetable soup! You’d be surprised to find radishes and salad turnips are delicious in soup. They’re delicious roasted and if you sauté them through in their greens too.
In your box this week:
Small: beets, onions, radish, turnips, watermelon, and winter squash
Large: beets, fennel, garlic, leeks, melon, onions, radish, spring mix, tatsoi, turnips, and winter squash
Recipes of the Week:
Stuffed Acorn Squash
Turnip Radish and Fennel Saute
Happy Autumnal Equinox!
The Pig Roast has been canceled. The butcher shop where we scheduled to have the pigs processed burned to the ground this week. We are not currently planning on rescheduling the event. Instead, we are thinking of having a nice Halloween party and have it be a potluck like all our other CSA events have been in the past…games, costumes, etc! We’ll give you all the details soon.
All of our fields are in transition to fall. We have pulled up all the plastic mulch for summer crops and we have a lot of our cover crops in the ground. This week we pulled out a sprinkler to water the cover crops b/c we really wanted to get these cover crops to get growing. Sometimes if feels like we are just feeding the field mice while we wait for rain. We have already seen patchy frost on the mowed grass and on the roof of the vehicles. The trees in the valley are beginning to change colors and the goldenrod blooms have gone from gold to brown.
There is a very nice element to this dry fall. All of our cleanup and final harvests have been comfortable. Usually there’s lots of mud, which can be pretty difficult. Just about all the irrigation is up! All the tomato stakes are our and stacked! We have some pepper stakes and some specialty projects to finish. We feel like we’re in pretty good shape, but sometimes its hard to tell.
Right now walnuts are beginning to drop. When the walnut tree looses its leaves we know we have had a hard frost. This hasn’t happened yet, but it usually happens in one night. We come out to work in the morning to a special sweet smell of these Black Walnut leaves decorating the base of a naked tree. It’s a sudden and graceful fall that transitions the farm into autumn.
In your box this week.
Small: Butternut Squash, Head Lettuce, Onions, Bok Choy, Sweet Peppers, Potatoes, Watermelon
Large: Beets, Broccoli, Butternut Squash, Head Lettuce, Onions, Bok Choy, Sweet Peppers, Potatoes, Scarlet Queen Turnips (also a salad turnip), Leeks, Watermelon
Chris, Aeros and the Who Gang; Ben, Elliot, Lauren, Garret, Joe and Jessica
I hope the watermelon you all received is as good as the one we ate the other day! It was very red and very sweet! We’ve never had melons this late in the season before… I’ll tell you it adds a nice flare to the fall~ish CSA boxes.
We use tomatillos a lot of different ways. The obvious use is for salsa verde. We slice them very thin and put them in salad. They’re great, too, sautéed with greens or beans or both!
We just resent the information about our upcoming pig roast just in case you can't find it in your inbox, like we couldn't. Please RSVP for the pig roast by September 26th. Given this is a home-grown sort of event, the more accurate the numbers of people coming the better we’ll be prepared.
In your box this week:
Small: beets, onions, peppers, tomatillos, radish, watermelon, broccoli
Large: beets, onions, peppers, tomatillos, radish, watermelon, broccoli, delicata squash, garlic, broccoli greens, pink turnips, carrots
Chris, Aeros and the Who Gang: Ben, Elliot, Lauren, Garett, Joe and Jess
I hope you all are taking a little time to enjoy the nice weather. Please enjoy the last of the tomatoes! We’ll likely have them for one more week. We’ll have watermelon next week. When I’m enjoying these melons in my mind I’ll bid farewell to summer. It’ll really feel like the end of it all. This is the last crop we’re waiting to harvest before we return to spring like vegetables: broccoli, lettuces, cabbage, radishes, turnips, chard, kale, beets, winter squash and fall carrots.
At this time, we’re rolling up irrigation and planting cover crops. We’re cleaning up…finally. This season has been a little crazy. I have to catch up on somethings…I have to mow the lawn bad. The tool room has become a mish mashed collection of metal things. I love this time of year b/c I enjoy rooting through the remnants of summer. I find items I misplaced and need. We take out the garbage and recycling. We start thinking of soup and begin fermenting vegetables big time.
There is a long wrinkly red pepper in your share this week that is hot. It’s not a smooth pepper and should be handled carefully.
Enjoy the winter squash! Delicata squash is the sweetest squash I’ve eaten by far. We like baking it in a covered dish with a little water and butter. This way you can eat the skin. If you add brown sugar to the squash, you’ll turn it into a snickers bar.
In Your Box this week:
Small: Delicata Squash, Hot Peppers, Onions, Sweet Peppers, Honeyellow or Cantaloupe, Saladette Tomatoes, Heirloom Tomatoes, Slicer Tomatoes, Arugula
Large: : Delicata Squash, Hot Peppers, Onions, Sweet Peppers, Honeyellow or Cantaloupe, Saladette tomatoes, Heirloom tomatoes, Slicer tomatoes, Arugula, Cherry Tomatoes, Kale, Beets, Chard, Garlic, Radishes
Recipe of the Week:
Roasted Delicata Squash with Quinoa Salad
Chris, Aeros, Cedar, Cyan and the Who Gang; Ben, Elliot, Lauren, Garett, Joe and Jessica
The whistle of crickets in the night and katydids in the day is a sure sign of late summer. Also the colors that fill the tree lines beside the fields are beginning to show signs of the colorful Autumn that is soon to come.
Our days are still filled mostly with harvests, cleaning and packing! The overlap of summer into fall plantings is the exact opposite from spring. In spring we always feel like there is a lag between the two with a few weeks of waiting before summer veggies come in. Since the weather was cooler this August we were able to fill this gap a little bit with early fall plantings, that will soon be coming on. In this last weekend and earlier in the week we planted out and our final fall crops. some Spinach, Arugula, Bok Choy, Cabbage and Tatsoi. We have just a few more things that we’ll be direct seeding soon, but for the most part the plantings of the year are complete. We’re getting closer to putting some of the fields to sleep for the winter with a nice cozy cover crop. As we are now finding time to pull up plastic mulch from beds previously used in the season.
I want to plant a seed in your mind to see if your schedule would allow for you to attend our first annual pig roast. Our tentative date is Sunday September 28th. We still have a lot of organizing to do in order for us to make this event as fun as we want it to be, but just so you know the plans are in the works.
Next week you all will start getting Delicata Squash. It’s a delicious winter squash that we always look forward to each season. We’re really excited that it’s the best harvest we’ve had in a long while.
In your share this week:
Small Share: Beets, Cilantro, Head Lettuce or Kale, Onions, Peppers, Cantaloupe or Honeyellow (a cross between Cantaloupe and a honeydew), Heirloom Tomatoes, Neato Tomatoes
Large Share: Beets, Carrots, Celery, Cilantro, Head Lettuce, Kale, Onions, Pea Shoots, Peppers, Canteloupe or Honeyellow (a cross between Cantaloupe and a honeydew), Heirloom Tomatoes, Neato Tomatoes
Recipe Idea of the week: Roast it! Bake it! With the nights cool enough to use the oven it’s time to get roasting!
Roasted Red Pepper Beet Soup
6 Tips for Flawless Kale Chips + All-Dressed Kale Chips recipe http://ohsheglows.com/2014/03/12/6-tips-for-flawless-kale-chips-all-dressed-kale-chips-recipe/
Chris, Aeros, Cedar, Cyan and The Who Gang: Ben, Elliot, Lauren, Garett, Joe and Jessica
It’s harvest mania right now! We got sweet peppers, tomatoes, tomatillos! We got melons, cantaloupe and, in a little bit, watermelon! At this time of year, harvests are longer and heavier. They’re a little easier than early summer harvests. Although harvest days are longer and totes heavier, late summer harvests are easier on the mind. It works like this: every other day we harvest peppers, tomatoes, summer squash, cucumbers etc. When its time to get peppers we go get’em. That’s it. The quantities we harvest are determined by ripeness and not by demand. Although there are no breaks from number crunching, this time of the year offers, in the least, a short time where it’s just time to harvest…so get movin!
This time of year offers a clear vision regarding fall harvests. I like being able to look down the road and figure just what we’ll have for everyone come September and October. It’s a bit unnerving when something isn’t doing well, but it’s very satisfying to see broccoli looking great when we had a terrible broccoli crop in spring (broccoli fed voles anyone?). At this time of year, we anticipate harvests and availability of crops, but there are little hidden obstacles best preempted if possible that can change everything. Aphids! Ever see 600 feet of salad turnips vanish? Once it cooled in July, I got nervous and started planting cool season vegetables. I noticed the turnips looking sad and with further inspection there they were….millions of them. Aphids! The bed is not salvageable at that point. We usually buy ladybugs to combat the aphids and we forgot to buy them. Yesterday I released 18000 ladybugs into an infested area and the ladybugs immediately went to work. Downy Mildew is another beast that dominates vegetable farms, particularly organic vegetable farms. We can’t really control it so it’s a bit of a gamble. Obviously, late blights on peppers, tomatoes is terrible and so too is powdery mildew on squash and melon plants. Although always a bit of a disaster, it’s the same thing every year. They arrive and vegetables die. Guess what? They’re here!
Fall harvests are looking pretty good right now. We’ll have lots of beets, carrots and winter squash for everyone. Winter squash gathering begins today!
In your box this week:
Large Share: Carrots, Celery, Onions, Sweet Peppers, Melon, Red and Heirloom Tomatoes and Cherry Tomatoes
Small Share: Carrots, Celery, Onions, Sweet Peppers, Melon, Red and Heirloom Tomatoes and Cherry Tomatoes, Cantaloupe, Summer Squash, Beets or Tomatillos, Garlic and Pea Shoots
Recipe idea for the week! TACOS! Hard shell taco, corn or wheat tortillas! Whatever suits your fancy! Then.... Melon for dessert!
Chris, Aeros, Cedar, Cyan, and The Who Gang; Ben, Elliot, Lauren, Garret, Joe, and Jessica
On the sunny days at the beginning of the week we were planting out our fall crops and now they are nicely watered in. It’s such a treat when the weather and our planting schedule align so well. August is always a push month, as we are still planting out and direct seeding, as well as do daily harvests, and trying to stay ahead of plant disease and weed pressure. Not to mention side projects like a building a cool room. This is the latest infrastructure project we have going on at the farm. We have been talking about creating this room for some years now. The cool room is going to be a storage room that will be kept at the ideal temp of 60º F. This will be where we keep our tomatoes, onions, garlic, potatoes, and winter squash. It’s almost complete, just a few more essentials and we’ll have the room stocked full of crops that are happy as a clam in their perfect storing conditions.
We’ve been grateful for a week of warmer August weather! So have the Melons! The melon you all are getting this week is a cross between honeydew and a cantaloupe. Don’t let its firm crunchy flesh trick you to thinking it’s unripe. They are indeed ripe and crunchy!
Those interested in getting Paste Tomatoes from us in bulk, please contact us with a quantity you would like. We’re approaching this season quickly and it’s going to leave just as fast. This will help us organize who would like some and how much. The going rate is going to be $1.50/#. We’ll deliver the paste tomatoes with your CSA box to your pickup site. Thank you to those of you who have already put in your orders. We welcome more folks to take us up on getting bulk tomatoes to make sauce.
Enjoy your share!
Small: Cabbage, Cucumbers, Eggplant, Melon, Summer Squash, Slicer Tomatoes, Cherry Tomatoes
Large: Basil, Cabbage, Cucumbers, Eggplant, Fennel, Kale, Melon, Onions, Summer Squash, Sweet Peppers, Slicer Tomatoes, Cherry Tomatoes
Recipe of the Week:
Alice Waters' Ratatouille
We are in the bounty of this cool summer harvest. Enjoy your share!
In your box this week.
Small Cilantro, Cucumbers, Fennel, Garlic, Onions, Cherry Tomatoes, Slicer Tomatoes and Heirloom Tomatoes
Large Arugula, Beets, Cilantro, Cucumbers, Eggplant, Fennel, Garlic, Onions, Summer Squash, Cherry Tomatoes, Slicer Tomatoes and Heirloom Tomatoes
Chris, Aeros, Cedar, Cyan and the Who Gang: Ben, Elliot, Lauren, Garett, Joe and Jessica
Do you remember times when there are lots of things to do and they all need to happen right away? Even when weighing priorities, everything steps forward needing attention. The farm is in a state of priority mish mash. If we look ahead, there are lots of things that are going to need to happen at about the same time. Sometimes this is invigorating. Get it all done within a few long days and put the mind to ease. Other times, like when you’ve brought home a brand new baby, that extra-allotted time is not available. There is only so much we can accomplish in a day. So, my days are prepared with the necessary quantities of caffeine to kick my rear into high gear! I’d probably be doing the caffeine thing anyway, but it does seem particularly important at this time. We left the farm for 5 days during Cyan’s birth! Mid-season that’s a lot of time to take. Even if it has to be done, it’s a lot of time. The farm is an entirely different animal now than it was years ago when cedar joined our family. I will leave you will this radical vegetable farm realization. When the going gets tough make sure you’re appropriately caffeinated.
Vegetables and Fruit to look forward to: Sweet Peppers, Muskmellon, Fennel, Paste Tomatoes (for those who make tomato sauce), tomatillos, kale and more!
We’re not going to have much in regards to green beans this year. Deer pressure has limited our ability to grow them since they’re sort of magnetically drawn to them. Those interested in getting Paste Tomatoes from us in bulk, please contact us with a quantity you would like. We’re approaching this season quickly and it’s going to leave just as fast. This will help us organize who would like some and how much. The going rate is going to be $1.50/#. We’ll deliver the paste tomatoes with your CSA box to your pickup site.
In Your Box this week:
Small: Eggplant, Tomatoes, Cherry Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Green Beans, Caraflex Cabbage, Beets
Large: Eggplant, Tomatoes, Cherry Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Green Beans, Caraflex Cabbage, Beets, Carrots, Onions, Summer Squash, Garlic
Recipe of the Week
The nice thing about this recipe is you can vary the ingredients based on what you like and what is in season.
Prep 25 min Cook 17 min Bake 40 min Oven 325º Stand 15 min
3 Tbsp. Butter
2-6 cloves of garlic
1 cup sweet onions
2 large zucchini, thinly sliced
1 large summer squash
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper
1 cup mayonnaise
1 – 1 ½ cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup feta cheese
2 large heirloom tomatoes, cut into ¼” slices
2 9” deep dish pie shells, prebaked
5 radishes, thinly sliced (for decoration on top, use whatever you have)
Preheat oven to 325º. Heat butter in a large skillet over medium heat. When hot, add the onions and garlic sauté for 3 min while adding thyme, marjoram and oregano. Don’t let the onions and garlic burn. Add the zucchini and yellow squash along with ½ tsp. of salt and pepper. Cook until squash is tender, about 15 minutes. Divide the mixture in half. Mix the mayonnaise and cheeses and set aside. Fill the two prebaked piecrusts with vegetable layers. Layer the sliced tomatoes in the bottom of the prebaked piecrusts. Layer the squash mixture on top of the tomatoes, layer mayonnaise cheese mixture and then dress the top with the radish slices. Bake uncovered for 40 min. Allow the dish to stand for 15 min.
Enjoy Your Share!
Chris, Aeros, Cedar, Cyan, and the Who Gang: Ben, Elliot, Lauren, Garett, Joe and Jessica
This has been a special week for Who Cooks For You Farm Family. On Monday evening at 7:59 we welcomed Cyan Harvest Lillstrom Brittenburg into our family. He weighed in at 7lbs 10oz and was 20 ½ in. Chris and I have been off the farm since last Friday and we just got back last night. This was the longest time that we have been away from the farm since our first son Cedar was born in 2011.
The farm is still in one piece. Thanks to our great farm crew. Despite the cool weather we are beginning to see some signs that the melons are beginning to ripen in the field and also the cherry tomatoes are beginning to come on a little stronger. Lets hope this ultra cool August, turns a new leaf and gives us some ultra hot weather so that we can all eat some melons and field tomatoes.
In your box this week: Cyan is not in your box this week. Since this little man has kept us so busy we didn't get around to a picture of the share, so we thought a picture of him would suffice. Enjoy your share!
Small: summer squash, onions, garlic, cucumbers, carrots, eggplant, slicing tomatoes,
Large: summer squash, onions, garlic, cucumbers, carrots, eggplant, slicing tomatoes, turnips, head lettuce, parsley, cherry tomatoes
Enjoy your share!
Chris, Aeros, Cedar, Cyan, and the Who Gang; Ben, Elliot, Lauren, Garett, Joe and Jessica