FARM NEWSLETTER // WEEK 15
Updated: Oct 4
Welcome to week 15 together this season! We've got a handful of new varieties for you this week, again! It's that time of the year when we're able to really appreciate the transition in seasons. I think that's one unspoken value of CSA Shares.
In the spring we see all of the leafy greens, lettuces, more delicate crops. Transitioning to the summer crops, onions cukes, melons, tomatoes, these are the more celebrated crops as they're more readily available year-round- these are the varieties we find at the grocery store all year round no matter what. Then we're transitioning to the fall crops, these are hearty! Winter squash has thick skins and can easily be stored for months, the root crops like carrots, beets, dried onions, and then the super fun crops you'll only find right at the end of the season- pie pumpkins & brussel sprouts for example!
Happy birthday to our Luna Belly!! She's 1 years old today!!!
She's living her best life on the farm here and in the mix of things everyday. She's also helping us live our best lives!! Pet lovers, you know what I mean <3
I want to touch on this one last time because we still have TWO weeks left together. This week is not the last week of the CSA Season. The last day of the season that we'll be delivering your CSA Shares is the week of Monday Oct 10th-Thursday October 13th.
As we wrap up another season together I'd like to mention what happens with your CSA boxes. As many of you know we are able to recycle these boxes through the farm. Every season all of our CSA Members get several brand new boxes that we use for a season. Then at the end of the season we collect all of the empty boxes, remove all of the name labels, and store them until the following season. Then next season we'll use those as our harvest boxes!! So this season's CSA boxes that you return to us after week 16 will be the boxes that we pick and transport produce in next season.
Every week when we deliver produce you have a couple options for getting your goodies home: you can either take the whole box with you or empty the contents into a reusable bag and then leave the empty box at your pick up site.
During the last week of CSAs, we ask that everyone brings a reusable bag to empty their produce into so that we can get the boxes back.
Some people will still take their boxes home which is fine, but we really appreciate being able to get them back so we can reuse them. I will come by the following week to pick up all of the boxes. I will make one trip, I don't go back a bunch of times. So if you don't get your box returned on time please don't just go drop it off anyways because your host won't have anything to do with it.
Now onto the FIRST of the good news: We have our orchard! Thompson’s Hillside Orchard in Elko is selling us their SweeTango apples AND Novaks’ in Hastings is selling us their Honey Crisps!!! In one fell swoop, we got it figured out. Remember when I told you not to worry 😉 SweeTango apples will be coming in EVERYONE’S CSA this week! These are simply a bonus for this season. We didn’t commit to getting 2 weeks of apples in your CSA at the end of the season but last year and this year we’re able to. Both Ben & I agree, the more treats we can offer you the better! Hence your bonus apple week <3 More on the SweeTango apple below in the varieties listed.
Honey Crisp!! These will come in EVERYONE’S CSA during week 16, the last week of the season. We will ALSO have our Apple Shares filled during the last week of the season. Generally they’re ready late Sept. but with this cool summer and late start to the spring, they’re taking their sweet time. Pun intended.
So everyone will get SweeTango Apples week 15, and Honey Crisps week 16, and then those who purchased the special Apple Shares will also get their big boxes of apples during week 16.
FALL SHARES COMING THIS WEEK & NEXT!
Another piece of quick housekeeping- we are delivering your Fall Shares this week and next week! It will come to you in two increments of one bushel box each week for the last two weeks of the season. Everyone who signed up should have gotten a confirmation email from me recently.
The only variety of squash that we don't have enough of is the sunshine squash. It's the orange buttercup. Our Fall Shares will get priority of what we have. If we run out we'll give everyone more of the green buttercups (same variety, slightly different than the sunshines).
More good news!!!
Many of you on social media know that we had a hard frost last week. We saw it coming, thankfully, with a few days notice. Tuesday morning we all woke up to the biggest day of the whole season, eeek! All hands on deck and a few thousands of pounds later, we had everything harvested out of the fields. Squash, peppers, zucchini, slicers, anything that isn’t frost tolerant. I.e. anything that will die when it gets too cold.
There are other varieties that are tolerant are doing great. The cauliflower, broccoli, brussel sprouts, some greens, got a little “burned” by the cold but they’re doing great and still growing- even though it’s very slow at this time of year.
We’re resting easy knowing we did our best to get everything in and we had enough hands to help it be a manageable task. Then we loaded 8 pigs that same evening and had a scout event too. We’re running around like crazy pants, but we got ‘er done!!
FALL SALE ORDERS:
For those of you who purchased produce from the fall sale, we have your orders and look forward to sending a lot of it home with you this coming week. As I mentioned above, we're running out of the sunshine squash. If you ordered any, please expect to receive sweet mamas instead. That's the green buttercup variety, and it's very similar to the orange variety. If you don't want sweet mamas reach out to me and we can plan accordingly.
APPLE SHARES: I sent out a confirmation earlier this morning to all of you who purchased the Apple Share(s). These will come to you starting Monday October 10th- Thursday Oct 13th; the last week of the season. I apologize for not sending out the confirmation sooner but as you know we were wanting to have a solid source before confirming.
This week in your CSA you can expect:
Jumbo & Families: Delicata Squash, Sweet Dumpling Squash, Eggplant, Cauliflower, Bell Pepper & SweeTango Apples!!
Singles: Delicata Squash, Spaghetti Squash, Dried Onions, Bell Pepper & SweeTango Apples!!
Delicata Squash is one that isn't as common, but many people celebrate! This one is one the tastiest winter squashes with creamy white pulp that tastes a bit like corn and sweet potatoes. Size may range from 5-10 inches in length. This squash is one of the only squashes that has edible skins. It is most commonly baked but it can be microwaved, sautéed or steamed. It is terrific if stuffed with meat or vegetable mixtures! It creates the perfect "boat" when it's cut in half and deseeded. Pictured below is the Delicata Squash.
Sweet Dumpling Squash- this is my favorite! It's small and mildly sweet. It resembles a miniature pumpkin with its top pushed in. It has cream colored skin with green specks. Weighing only about a half pound generally, it has sweet and tender orange flesh and is a great size for stuffing and baking as individual servings. I like my squash a little less sweet and often roast it with a little oil and use fresh cracked pepper, yum!!!
Bell Peppers- Needless to say, this is the last time you'll see these bad boys this season. We're going to do our best to give you as many as possible. As you've heard me say before- try freezing them! These are a great addition to our mexican style hotdishes just as an example. We use frozen peppers and onions in everything I feel like, lol! It adds some bulk to our meals, not to mention they're vegetables so you really don't need to portion those like you would with proteins or carbs. (I'm not a dietician as you can tell, lol, that's just a rule we use at our house).
Eggplant! We had someone stop by the stand the other day to buy about 50 of them a month or so ago. She said she was canning them!? I'm skeptical of canning them but she must know what's she's doing. It's important to get them FRESH because they soften quickly. It's also important to use them fresh because that'll get you the best texture and flavor. When in doubt, we dip them in eggs and breadcrumbs and bake them into "chips". We've even used the buffalo style bread crumbs, those are awesome!
Cauliflower! Again, this is the last time you'll see this. I feel the need to apologize because it's so sad!! But let's put them to good use and enjoy them while we have them. My best tip for you is to prep it right away and get it in the fridge in a manageable form. You won't take out a whole head to dip in ranch but I bet if you have pieces cut up with some other veggies it'll make your lunches a lot easier to put together this week ;) I know that's how we operate! Whatever is prepped in advance is always the first thing to go. We're all busy- having quick healthy snacks is so important!
SweeTango apples are actually a cross between the ever popular honey crisp and zestar! apples. It doesn't have the best holding capacity like honey crisps do for example, but what it lacks in storage it gains in flavor. Gene Thompson from Thompson's Hillside Orchard was saying that they actually sell more SweeTango apples than any other variety! We've got a lot here and we're excited to get those into your CSAs this week!!
This is what our garage looks like right now. After getting everything in before the frost we had to quickly shuffle things around and fit them wherever we could!
I feel like a bit of the post was pretty repetitive and for that I apologize, I just want to make sure that everyone has all the info they need right away. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me if you ordered a Fall or Apple Share and didn’t get a confirmation email from me. For the fall sale orders (like the boxes of onions, honey, carrots, etc) I didn’t send out confirmations but rest assured we have your order and will fill it for you asap 😊 I can’t believe it’s already October already!! This is the time of year that we talk about. It’s the busiest time of the season with the add-on shares, end of season coordination, and extra harvesting of course!!
I’ll leave you on this note: This might be the season coming to an end but it's certainly not "winding down"! We've got a lot to look forward to still!!! :D
Have a great rest of your weekend,
Take care Friends!
~The Farmer's Wife