FARM NEWSLETTER / / WEEK 8
I am sending out our newsletter tonight because I will be at the Minnesota State Fair on Friday volunteering for the Minnesota Grown Program. It’s basically google for anything produced or grown in MN, and serves a great purpose for consumers as much as it does for the farmers. I will be with the kids at the booth there from 1-5 on Friday, if you’re at the fair I would love to visit!
I would like to start out by thanking you all for being so diligent in returning your CSA Share boxes this season. This is by far the best season ever for the rate of return, and that’s all thanks to you!! We reuse these boxes at the end of the season for harvest boxes for next season. By returning the boxes now and at the end of the season, you’re saving us a huge expense. Thank you!! :)
We are quickly approaching Labor Day, and the beginning of school for our little ones. I know everyone always says, ‘wow the summer went by so fast’! But really, with the lack of hot weather I’m not even sure if we got to summer before it felt like fall again. The week of Labor Day we won’t be delivering on Monday of course, so we will be delivering all of Monday’s CSA Shares on Thursday. For the other delivery days (Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday) we will deliver your Shares as normally scheduled. If you have any questions feel free to reach out to me or double check the member handbook where this info is also provided in more detail.
As you all have heard us say, this is by far the worst season we’ve ever encountered. Flooding and hail have had a huge impact on the crops and I've heard Ben say more than once that it's a miracle that anything is producing. The plants would be able to recover faster if the temperatures were warmer though. During the daylight, plants are collecting energy through photosynthesis and at night they are expelling that energy in the forms of expanded foliage and fruits. The majority of this week will be in the 50s for the overnight temperatures; something we usually don’t see until the end of September. The physical damage to the plants is substantial, but the fact that there isn’t any warm weather to repair their damages is definitely holding back the production.
Watermelons are a big issue. Last season we had three weeks of watermelons in our CSA Shares. Multiply that by the number of CSA Share holders we had last season and where we are in the season right now; that would mean that by this week last year we had already offered over 1,000 melons just for our CSA Shares. We always brought some to the market too, but that’s surplus only. As you can imagine, there is no surplus, there are almost no melons out in the field whatsoever because the hail knocked off the blossoms & they never formed into a melon. (If the fruit was already on, it would have damaged them but at least we would have gotten goofy shaped watermelons instead of none).
We expected to have Broccoli in our CSA Shares this past week for everyone and realized that there weren’t enough large broccoli. As a result, some of you got broccoli and some of you got cabbage to substitute the broccoli. These varieties don’t grow very consistently, so there are some very large and some very small, hence the selective harvesting resulting in larger heads of broccoli and cabbage for everyone.
This week in your CSA Share you can expect: Kohlrabi, Cabbage/ broccoli, Sweet Corn, Butternut Squash, and purple potatoes.
Kohlrabi are finally large enough to include in the CSA Shares! This was kind of a sore spot because we planted thousands of these fellas and they all drowned, I’m so happy this planting is doing so well! We will be including them along with their greens this week as the variety of the week. I have included some recipes already in the blog, but if you ever are looking for other ideas just click on the search icon in the upper right hand corner of your screen and type in the produce variety you’re looking for recipes for. It will list all the recipes I have shared this season, as well as any posts that included that variety in the past season.
Butternut squash are a classic! This is the ‘soup squash’ because of its texture and the fact it cooks down well and will let off excess moisture as you cook it- making the soup a thicker consistency if that’s your preference. This is another one of the winter squash varieties, so it’s nothing like a zucchini or summer squash. They’re hard as a rock until cooked and will last for months in the proper conditions.
Please make sure to reference your storage guide for the correct way to handle your produce and keep it fresh for the longest amount of time. By keeping it fresh, you’re also expanding the value your CSA Share can offer you.
Purple Potatoes are just in time for the Vikings pre-season games. Some people need to wear a certain jersey to be lucky or to sit on the same spot on the couch, but Ben likes having purple potato salad on hand, haha! It’s a fun variety to cook with and makes great conversation. This will be the last time they’re included in your CSA Share this season so please enjoy :)
Cabbage or broccoli will be included this week as well. If you received broccoli last week, you’ll get cabbage this week. If you received cabbage last week, you’ll receive broccoli this week. We harvest in patterns like this because all of these heads of cabbage, broccoli (and cauliflower, and many others) do not grow uniformly. There are some broccoli out there the size of a dinner plate, and some that are barely the size of a baseball but they were all planted at the same time. By selectively harvesting your produce, we’re hoping to offer you a greater value through larger quantity.
Have a wonderful rest of your week,
~The Farmer's Wife