FARM NEWSLETTER // WEEK 11
We are diving into a new month here, seems unreal that it’s basically September already! With the new month brings a lot of new things for all of us. We will be shopping for school, kids will be transitioning into schooling whether at home or not, and I think it’s safe to say that some of you working from home have become very fond of the commute.. A little normalcy! (Not really normal, but at least routine at this point). ** Most notably though, the season of pumpkin spice is back and now Caribou & Starbucks both have their pumpkin spice mochas back on the menu! Haha
One thing I would like to mention that has nothing to do with farming… the school situation for all of our kiddos. I think we need to acknowledge that a lot of the teaching & school staff don’t want to make these adjustments, just as much as we don’t want to accept them. “Back on schedule” is a daydream for all of us, so let’s just be kind and understanding when we can. I know college aged young adults are more flexible to adjustments but we are thinking of them too- I suppose no one ever thought dorm life/ college years would look like this. Wishing you all the best in your school shopping and educational endeavors!!
So usually I post the newsletter on Friday or Saturday. I haven’t ever posted it on a Sunday evening, eeek! I am so sorry if you guys have been waiting on me. Check out what we have been up to this weekend- ALL THE MELONS!!! The kiddos have been helping us with some of the picking recently too. Lots going on around here so please know that we aren’t just sitting on the couch watching TV. It’s actually been a couple weeks since I’ve watched an episode of my show. It’s “go-time” as they say!! ;) We are thankful to be so busy and appreciate the opportunity to grow for your families. There is truly nothing that I can think of that would be more rewarding!!
I have to say I was surprised at how many of you have gotten canning tomatoes and corn for processing this year. I am impressed!! I always say my kitchen is my happy place. It’s where our lives are centered- what did you eat, how often (especially important for little people haha!), is it hard work or something you whipped together quickly? A million considerations coming out of the kitchen and this is ironically what’s bonding us together too! So spending a little extra time investing in a little extra love from the kitchen is always a beautiful thing <3 Not to mention the locally grown- fresh flavors that can’t be duplicated anywhere else.
If you still want to can tomatoes and corn, the offer is still on the table. We won’t have tomatoes for much longer though, so keep that in mind when you’re planning out when you want them (maybe another week or two tops). If you sent me an email this week about canning quantities and I haven’t gotten back to you yet- please know that I work my way up from the bottom of my inbox so you’re already at the top of the list!
We had cauliflower and cabbage on the list last week thinking we would alternate it for this week and give you the opposite of last week. Problem is that we harvested those patches really far down and if we were to cut them this week they would be tiny heads of either cauliflower or cabbage. So what we’re going to do is skip a week or 2 and hope that when we come back to them they would have grown a lot and will be a decent size to add to your CSA Shares. Here is a picture that I took yesterday of the second cold crops patch which also included the brussel sprouts. It's weird that some of the cabbage/ cauliflower in the second patch are doing so well because the first patch is having a hard time making heads. I'm wondering if there is just a big difference in the soils because almost every other variable is consistent. Some soil testing will tell us a lot this fall!
This week will be delivered as normal, but the following week is Labor Day week (Sept 7th-11th). We will not be delivering on Labor Day- but you WILL be receiving your CSA Share no matter what. I want to make sure everyone is aware of this- you will get your CSA every week all summer through our CSA, but the day of the week might be adjusted for just the two holidays: Labor Day and Independence Day (though this year the 4th landed on a Saturday so it didn’t affect our CSA schedule).
For Labor Day: If you normally pick up your CSA Share on a Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday, your CSA Share will be delivered like normal. For Monday deliveries, we will be distributing your deliveries throughout the week. Zimmerman will be delivered on Tuesday. Ramsey will be delivered on Wednesday. Brooklyn Park, Blaine (both sites), and Andover will be delivered on Thursday (same time frames apply). I will be sending out an email to everyone next week if your site will be changing too just to confirm you remember that.
We want this holiday week to be convenient for you!! If you need to cancel your share for next week or change your site because you’re going out of town for vacation, please let me know as soon as you can. It’s really important that we have the plans in place ahead of time so Labor Day week goes smoothly. (It does add a lot into the calculations and changing the harvest schedule).
IF YOU ARE GOING OUT OF TOWN AND PLAN TO HAVE SOMEONE ELSE GET YOUR BOX: Please let them know they your name is on the label. A lot of people get to the CSA site, see all the CSA share boxes & wonder… maybe even kind of panic, grab a box and go. It’s happened several times already this season and then that other family ends up without a CSA that evening. Please make sure they know you have a box with your name on it :)
In the Jumbo & Family Shares this week, you can expect: Watermelon, Beans, Beets, Green Onions, Cucumbers, Bell Peppers and Slicing Tomatoes!
In the Single Shares this week, you can expect: Watermelon, Beans, Beets, Green Onions, Pickles, Bell Peppers and Roma Tomatoes!
WATERMELONS! These are a seasonal treat here in MN and they only last for a couple weeks every year. They don’t over-ripen as fast as muskmelon, but I can tell you that every one of these will be ripe as when you get your CSA. We don’t harvest them under ripe ever. If we picked the Muskmelon early they would continue ripening and eventually be a great melon, but with watermelons they wouldn’t continue ripening and they just plain old wouldn’t be any good if we harvested them under ripe. So we wait until they’ve ripened all the way to harvest them. So when you get your melon, please cut into it!!
Another important tidbit about the melons is that they don’t go into the boxes. They will be in a plastic bag off to the side of your CSAs. That could mean they’ll be right next to them on the table, under the table, sitting on the rocks next to the spot on a front porch, etc. We will do our best to make them as easily accessible as possible and will have signs out for you- The Jumbo Shares get 2 melons, the Family & Single Shares each get 1 melon.
The reason we don’t add the melons into the shares is because it dominates the room in the box. A lot of melons are too big to fit into a box, and also because we don’t want to smoosh anything else in there with the melon(s). So your box won’t be stuffed like a Tetris puzzle but it will have lots of other goodies in there :)
The beans this week will be the traditional green beans mixes with yellow wax beans. The green beans this time around are a new variety that grows more flattened than it does perfectly round like the ones from this spring. For each variety comes a new appreciation- every vegetable has a place at our table!
The tomatoes in the CSAs this week could be the last of the season. We’re really running down on the maters. I am hoping that for the following week (week 12) we will have enough tomatoes to add into the CSAs but it depends on what’s ripening and when. This week we are planning for the Slicing tomatoes for the Jumbo & Family shares, and the Romas for the single shares.
The cucumbers and pickles are from the new patch. One thing you might notice is that the new patch has cucumbers/pickles that are nice and straight, mostly consistent in sizes, etc. Whereas the older patch was producing some goofy shapes (like U shaped cukes), and they weren’t consistent in diameter. The older plants also produce twinsies (pictured below) which are always cool to find! The younger plants produce better looking cukes- the older patch is towards the end of it’s life so the production was down and the fruits weren’t as nice looking. This week they're primo :)
The peppers are starting to turn red!! We love the colored peppers because they are so pretty. They also add something special when cooking with them because their flavor is similar but us foodies can tell the difference. The red peppers are a lot sweeter than the green peppers. The white bells will also turn red when ripened but they look the same as a green pepper that turned red. I hope that makes sense- all peppers will ripen and turn red. Even the purple peppers will turn red! So this week there is a good chance you'll be seeing a lot of the rainbow in your CSAs!!
Take care friends,
~The Farmer's Wife