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Farm Newsletter ** Week 16

Greetings All,

It is bittersweet for me as I wrap up my weekly newsletters to you here this season. We've spent a lot of time together on these computers and phones.. I'm out taking pictures of the farm and sharing them here with you, stories of the day-to-day life on our farm, what is going great and what is a struggle.

It really does get personal; to be able to share all of the farm happenings it has to be. It's personal for Ben and I, we're poured our lives and goodwill into our farm for over a decade now and with your support we've made it work. Through the best seasons and through the worst seasons, our CSA Members and community always pull through for us. We'd like to think that we always pull through for you, too. We do our best every day to make sure we provide a great product at a great price.

We realize that farming and committing to CSA Shares aren't an investment that either party takes lightly. It only works because we're so committed to each other! The investment of our time, bodies, minds and souls from both parties. The fulfillment of this commitment to our Members can't be described in words, it is SO powerful. Like riding a wave in the ocean; there is only one direction and the universe is going to tell you which way to go!

Thank you for enjoying the ride with us this season!! We learn more and more every season; about the produce and growing, about the handling and care, about the storage and canning for winter. The thing about food is that you can never really know too much. About how it's grown and raised, how it's handled, whose harvesting what varieties at what size; the knowledge is limitless and it's a challenge that we look forward to pursuing for the rest of our lives.

Thank you for being the most special part of our farm!! Without operating a CSA we wouldn't be able to do what we do; offer what we can and connect with so many other local families. Truly; thank you for your support!

A touch of Housekeeping

I almost forgot to add this! Please return your CSA boxes this week to your CSA site. Next week we'll be by to collect them all so we can use them for harvest boxes for next season. We ask folks to bring a reusable bag this week so that you can leave your box at the site. If you need to take your box, we're not going to stress over it. We will use it if you leave it for us though!

2024 Membership- As many of you know we sell out of CSAs every season. Our Returning Members always get first dibs and you'll actually have the entire month of January to sign up for your 2024 CSA. I'll send out several newsletters leading up to and announcing the open Membership.

Many of you with us this year were on the waiting list this spring and were able to sign up in February before our CSAs went public. The same works for this season as well- so if you have friends or family who you think would like to join us, please send them to the website so they can get their email on my list and we can invite them to sign up early for next season. That way they're basically guaranteed a spot if they'd like to join us!

THIS WEEK IN YOUR CSA SHARE YOU CAN EXPECT: Jumbo & Family Shares: Sweet dumpling squash, Delicata, Brussel Sprouts, Russet Potatoes, Carrots, Zucchini/Summer Squash, Jalapenos. Single Shares: Delicata, Brussel Sprouts, Russet Potatoes, Carrots, Zucchini/Summer Squash, Bell Peppers.

This week we are harvesting from our new patch of zucchini and summer squash and we got SO MUCH rain that they're actually producing like they should be!! We're hoping to flip flop the variety you got a couple weeks ago, so I'll have my notes on hand to do what we can! Of course if we don't have enough of either crookneck summer squash or zucchini, we'll sub it out for the other so you'll still get some ;) We have delicata squash coming this week! This is one that everyone asks about nowadays. We started growing it about 5 years ago and it's been one of the most popular ever since! There is a good reason for that!

Delicata squash is actually one of the only squashes with edible skins, and they're also in the most ideal for stuffing in my opinion because they're long and thin like a boat. The flesh isn't super thick so it doesn't take a long time to cook them either. My father in law swears by these because of the flavor, and he used to be an all buttercup kinda guy, so this is saying a lot about these!

We will also have sweet dumpling squash for the Jumbo & Family Shares this week. I have a hard time playing favorites with squash but if I had to choose just one, this would be it. Sweet dumpling squash meat cooks up lighter and dryer than most winter squash, and has a sweet, mild flavor which pairs well with nuts, cheese, and dried fruits. Personally, I like a lot of cracked black pepper and freshly ground salt on my squash, but I would say most prefer adding brown sugar and butter to theirs. Maybe that's why I like these so much, they're a little more mild and dryer.

Russet Potatoes! These are a special type of potato that lasts longer than any other type of potato. These thick-skinned potatoes fall apart while cooking and whip up fluffy and light. This makes them the ideal choice for mashing. Because they have a light, mealy texture, high starch potatoes are the best baked potato. You’ll get russets only at the end of the season because they grow irregularly so we don't pull any early.

Brussel Sprouts are so special. We wait ALL SEASON LONG for these bad boys! A few quick facts: They are high in bioflavonoids that help prevent cancer.

They have high levels of vitamin C vitamin A, folate, iron, and potassium.

They are often paired with bacon.

To store: They will come on the stalk intact (but we often have to cut the stalk in half to fit it diagonally in the box). Brussels sprouts keep longer if they are left attached to the stalk (up to 5 weeks in a cold cellar), but if there's not enough refrigerator room you can snap them off and store them unwashed in a closed plastic bag in the veggie bin for 1-2 days (they will develop a strong flavor). Even on the stalk they should be wrapped in plastic to slow respiration. The flavor is sweetest right after harvest, so try to use them soon.

To use: Snap off sprouts from the main stalk and remove the tough bottom of the sprout and the two outermost leaves (which you will notice they will be discolored, that’s natural). They can be eaten raw. Slice them in half and include them on your veggie tray with dip.

Boil or steam: sprouts approximately 5 -8 minutes until tender crisp. Toss with olive oil, lemon juice and dash of salt and pepper. Or roast: first boil the sprout until just tender, 5-10 minutes, then drain. Coat lightly in olive oil, place in a roasting pan and roast in a 375 degree oven until lightly browned, 15-20 minutes. Try slicing the sprouts to about 1/3 inch thick and stir-frying them with onions and ginger.

We're going to send peppers this week too if they'll fit! That's my only concern; we'd love to send these peppers but we'll have to see how it all fits! If we had to leave anything out, it'd be the peppers since they don't have as much dollar value as some of the other crops. Though, we're going to do our darndest to get these packed in your CSAs this week!!

Wrapping up for the season-

I need to give Farmer Ben a shout out for somehow pulling off an entire season worth of produce during the worst drought we've ever seen. His skills surely showed this season, and his decades of experience are at the core of our success in providing you with a great CSA experience.

The saying rings true: Smooth sailing never made a seasoned Sailor. Good thing Ben is a seasoned sailor who just keeps learning. After getting knocked down so many times this year he just kept at it, and here we are at the end of a successful CSA Season that was full of fun varieties, new recipes, and time spent with family in the kitchen <3

Farming is very fulfilling but also very taxing. We're looking forward to being able to catch up on some rest coming up soon. We've got it on our calendar 2 weeks from right now to sleep in; the first time in the last 6 months or more! Don't worry- our kids get to sleep in on the weekends because we're not monsters ;P

This morning I was out before the sun was up getting squash together in the dark for our last day at the farm stand and that's when it really hit me... this is the last day of the farm stand. This is the last week of our CSA season. This is the last of all this fresh produce. The last true Farm Newsletter of the season....

The good thing is that we're always looking forward! To this last week of CSAs and Fall Shares in front of us (so many fun veggies!), to the farm sale Oct 14th & 15th, and to next season already and what new varieties we're going to try!

Thank you again for joining us this season!!

See Yah Soon ;)

~The Farmer's Wife

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