This upcoming week is our final week of deliveries for our 16 week season. How did that happen so fast?
Thank you to all CSA Share members, who are literally making our lifestyle of farming a reality. Thank you for being a part of our success, growing food for local families is very rewarding on a spiritual level. It’s the lifestyle of living, giving and offering that we want our children to inherit, and CSA Share Members contribute to that every year- Thank you!
This season went well overall, it was a lot less wet than last year. Overall, the season was fairly cool. We see evidence of that in our melons and tomatoes, which were at least a week later than last year in harvest. There are always bumper crops and some that don’t do as well, it changes every year. Aside from the uncontrollable challenges with the weather, we have prepared, planned and maintained everything that we could have.
This week will be the last CSA Share delivery of the season. During this last week we ask that CSA Share members bring a reusable bag to empty their share box contents into and leave the box at the site. We use the boxes that are returned each year for harvesting into the following year. We are happy to come around the week following our last deliveries to pick up the empty boxes; we recycle them all by using them for years to come.
A special thank you to all of the members who donated their weekly share this season due to being out of town, vacation, etc. The food shelf always appreciates fresh produce, as it is always in short supply to offer to the families who visit. This year we donated 23 EXTRA BOXES OF PRODUCE! Along with other surpluses that we offered to the food shelf, we should have a weighted donation amount to share in the next few weeks (report from the food shelf).
If you’d like to share your CSA experience on our Facebook page it is found at: www.facebook.com/BrownFamilyFarm2013
We would appreciate the feedback if you have time, thank you! Having the star ratings is very helpful for us.
This week in your CSA Share you can expect: Pie Pumpkins, Buttercup Squash, Brussel Sprouts, Dried Onions, Bell Peppers, Russet Potatoes, and HONEY CRISP APPLES!
Buttercup Squash is known for it’s dry, smooth, orange colored flesh. Most compare this squash to a sweet potato. A lot of people tell me that they add brown sugar and butter to the center of the squash so it bakes in, which makes the squash sweeter and softer. I prefer salt and pepper on my squash (I know I am the odd one out! Haha).
Brussel Sprouts are something that at the market people always ask ,”What is that”, and “Wow, I didn’t know they grew that way!”. This is an exciting one for us to share. They grow on a stalk, and the stalk is so thick you need an actual limb trimmer to cut them (you’ll see!). We will have to cut most of the stalks in half to fit them in the share boxes because they are really long. The sprouts are nicknamed as baby cabbages. Remove them from the stalk and they can be broiled, steamed, roasted, grilled (in tin foil rollup), etc. For storage, remove them from the stalk and place them in a plastic bag in the fridge. They should be used within 4-5 days as they will soften a little bit when they are small.
Dried onions can be kept in the pantry, these will keep for months but watch out because they will try to sprout themselves again! When they sprout and shoot up little green leaves from the center of the onion it’s usually as a result of being kept in a place that’s too warm. They are still edible at that point, but if it creates large leaves the center of the onion will be soft because it’s shooting it’s energy up into the leaves thinking it;s going to create a new onion.
Russet Potatoes are being added again this week because we didn’t get to fit them in as many times as we wanted in the earlier season, they weren’t as big. These are fine to be kept in a cool dry place, outside of the fridge.
HONEY CRISP APPLES! Each year we partner with an orchard to offer Apples in our CSA Shares. This season the apple is a Honey Crisp! This is the classic, well known variety created by the University of Minnesota in 1991. It’s known for it’s sweetness, firmness, and tartness make it the ideal apple for eating raw. It’s cells are larger than other apples, which burst when biting into it, making it so juicy.
The variety of the week this week is: Pie Pumpkins!
Pie Pumpkins are very similar to squash, but grown because they are sweeter most of the time (depending on variety). We grow a pie pumpkins because they are also another seasonal staple! If anyone hasn’t ever had homemade pumpkin bars or pie, this is your opportunity! Bake them the same as a squash (cut in half and remove seeds). Once the flesh is cooled, use a spoon to scoop it from the outside shell and that’s the “Pumpkin Puree” that Libby brand has available in the can. Pie Pumpkins don’t hold as long as squash because of the high sugar content, but they will keep for at least a couple of weeks.
If you’d like to use the seeds, clean the strings from the seeds and place in a bowl full of water. Add about 1-2 tsp of salt and soak them overnight. Bake the next day for 20-30 minutes at 350* until crisp (depends on the size of the seeds). The same can also be done with all types of squash seeds as well!