FARM NEWSLETTER / / WEEK 11
Greetings all, Happy Friday the 13th! Eeeek! It’s also a full harvest moon tonight, and also our big girl’s 6th birthday!!
The harvest moon comes in either September or October depending on that year’s lunar cycle which fluctuates slightly. It’s called the harvest moon because it’s so bright out and often the full moon is visible earlier in the evening than other full moons. It is brighter and out longer- which helps the farmers harvest in the dark!
This also marks a particular time of year for us. The full moon can sometimes mark the end of a season. Although I am not versed in the science behind it, I can attest that out of the last 9 years farming that 5 of them have ended with our first frost on a full moon (definitely not coincidence!). While it looks like we are safe from frost tonight with overnight lows around 45* degrees, I suspect we will see frost before the next full moon which is about a month from now. I am assuming that because this season has been unusually cool, even during the middle of the summer it was still cold. Although, we hope we have a long time until it frosts!!
As you all know, we had to delay the start of the CSA season this spring because of cool weather, flooding, and not being able to plant on time. This fall we anticipate to extend the CSA season to account for the missed weeks this spring. We can’t say now if we can extend the season or not because it’s dependent on weather that hasn’t happened yet- but we will keep you posted as soon as possible with updates!
Good news, the brussel sprouts are looking great! They're still pretty small but the majority of their growth is already done- the plants are mature and of size, so now they're just working on expanding the 'sprouts' that are attached to the stem. (Pictured below, look right up against the stem below the leaves).
The carrots are coming along nicely, although we were a bit worried with this past rain storm. There was a lot of standing water that has gone down now, and the carrots are a good size so we will pull them next week. The greens look terrible, they’ve seen some really hard weather this year. So we won’t be including the greens with the carrots like we have in the past. Gosh we have gotten so much rain in such a little amount of time. Which brings me to my next point…
We are pulling all of our onions this week. That means that they don’t have an opportunity to grow anymore but if we don’t pull them we are taking the risk of losing them all to rot because they’re so wet. They will be in your CSA Shares this next week! I was hoping to let them go another week to get just a little bigger but I figure it's better to be safe than sorry so we will be pulling them to get them out of the super saturated soil.
This week in your CSA Share you can expect to receive: Delicata Squash, Fresh Onions (greens intact), Kale, Zucchini or Summer Squash, Bell Peppers and Sweet Banana Peppers!
The onions will be small, and plentiful. The field is so wet right now that we’re worried the onions will rot if they stay in the ground, so we’re pulling them all. We will be including them in bunches, with their greens intact. Remember that you can use everything from an onion plant!! You could use the greens in a sauté or in a vegetable broth, cooking it with butter and chicken to put over rice with a spicy sauce; there are soo many uses for these onions & their greens that I’m sure you will find a way to enjoy them :)
Delicata Squash is one of the tastiest winter squashes in my opinion. It has a creamy white pulp that tastes a bit like corn and sweet potatoes. Size ranges from 5 inches long to 10 inches long (big variation in sizes). The squash has delicate thin skin can also be eaten (unlike most other winter squashes). This squash is most often baked but could also be microwaved, steamed or sautéed, and is excellent when stuffed with meat and or vegetable mixtures.
Zucchini or Summer Squash coming this week- and I’m thinking this will be the last time you receive it this season. If you still have some from this week just put these summer squashes in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer and they’ll stay firm for up to 2 weeks. I accidentally tested the shelf life of zucchini by putting some in my fridge and forgetting about them… well guys I can attest that they actually really do stay firm for a couple of weeks! Haha
Bell Peppers, FINALLY!
The sad part: We had thousands of beautiful bells on and then got kiwi sized hail that ripped them all to shreds. The worst part was having to go through the patch and removing all the damaged peppers with holes because otherwise they would rot and kill the plants. That was a sad, sad day!
The happy part: They’ve rebounded now and are really good sized! We are really looking forward to giving you bell peppers! We will be harvesting the colored (white or purple) bell peppers as we can, so you might see some of those mixed in as well.
Sweet Banana Peppers have a slightly thinner flesh, and are often added to salads or as a sandwich topping for a good crunch. They can also be used in any way that a bell pepper could be used, including being stuffed with rice, beans, or a mixture of both with some ground beef for example!
The variety of the week is Kale! Kale is really cool in how it grows. As you harvest the leaves from the center stem, it just keeps on producing a larger and larger plant, pushing the leaflets higher and higher, so at the beginning of the season it's about knee height and at the end of the season it's easily up to our waists!
Kale is coming in your CSA Shares this week! We haven’t seen this since this spring basically. Kale has a thicker green leaf and cooks well in sautés. Make sure to cook all other ingredients completely, then add the kale at the last minute until it is tender crisp. (If you add the kale too early in the cooking process it will likely be mushy by the time the other ingredients are done cooking). Kale is also good for smoothies of course, which is probably the easiest way to sneak in some of the healthiest greens available to us! If you don’t know what to do with the kale, try making the kale spinach artichoke dip for the football games this weekend! Super foods can taste good too! :)
I hope you have a wonderful week, happy Friday the 13th!!
~The Farmer’s Wife