FARM NEWSLETTER // WEEK 16
It's a sad time of year for all of us veggie lovers!! This is our LAST week together this season, Monday Oct 4th- Friday Oct 8th.
Soaring into the Fall here we have plenty to be thankful for and a huge part of our happiness here on the farm has to do with your contribution to the close knit community we've created together.
Please accept our sincere thank you for participating in the CSA program this season. We have enjoyed growing these goodies for you & your family and have been thrilled by all of your feedback and encouragement. That’s what really makes the CSA model special, it’s the involvement that we have from you- our farmily- that makes this line of work so purposeful and fulfilling. Thank you so much for encouraging us and allowing us to grow for your families. We appreciate you more than you’ll ever know!!!
It's Fall Ya'll! The colors are starting to pop around the farm here.
This is our last week of CSAs together but this is not my last email newsletter to you! I will be sending out an email this coming Friday with farm updates and reminders on the end of the season details. We also have some fun fall projects we have in mind already so we'll keep you up to date on those!!
Reminder for our last week of CSAs together (Monday Oct 4th- Friday Oct 8th)- if you could please bring reusable bags this week to empty your CSA into we would greatly appreciate it! We will be coming around the following week to collect the CSA boxes- we'll peel the labels off and then use them as our harvest boxes for the 2022 farm season. If you choose to bring your box home and keep it until the end of time, you're welcome to do that too. There will not be a penalty for not returning your CSA boxes but in an effort to keep our costs down and be mindful to our waste, it's great being able to "recycle" these boxes through the farm. Thanks for your help!! :)
FALL SHARES: For those of you who signed up for the additional bushel of produce for two consecutive weeks.. Last week in your Fall Share you got buttercup squash, butternut squash, beets, carrots and red potatoes. This week in your Fall Share you'll get acorn squash, carnival squash, and sweet dumpling squash in addition to 10 pounds of each dried onions and russet potatoes! This week will also be the week that we're adding honey to your Fall Shares if you signed up in time- bonus!!
EXTRA PRODUCE FOR SALE:
All of the varieties listed below are available to add-on to your CSA this week. For payment we prefer a check in the mail but we're also able to send an online invoice.
What we have available: -Bushel of Squash ($30)- make sure to let us know what kind(s) you'd like! I listed the varieties below.
-5/9th bushel box of russet potatoes ($14) We do have some reds but not as many as the russets.
-1/2 bushel of dried Onions ($15)
-1/2 bushel of Carrots ($15)
-1/2 Half bushel of Beets ($18)
-5/9th bushel box of number 2 apples- this means they have a blemish of some kind, usually a stem hole or small bruise ($35). This is what we sort out of the apples when we make our apple shares.
If you’re interested in any of these goodies please send me an email asap so we can make sure to get it to you this week. If you are interested in the squash, please also include what varieties you'd like. You can say half and half of two varieties, or a mix of all of them, or even 4 butternuts and the rest carnival, etc. Being specific is actually helpful in making sure you get what you'd like- don't be bashful!! ;) Varieties of squash available: Butternut, Buttercup (sweet mama), Buttercup (Sunshine- limited/small stock), Acorn, Sweet Dumpling, Carnival, Pie Pumpkins and even spaghetti squash in limited quantity.
THIS WEEK IN YOUR CSA SHARES YOU CAN EXPECT:
In the Jumbo & Family Shares- Pie pumpkins, brussel sprouts, acorn squash, sweet dumpling squash, russet potatoes, sweet peppers and more apples!
In the Single Shares- Pie pumpkins, brussel sprouts, acorn squash, russet potatoes, sweet peppers, onions and more apples!
Pie Pumpkins!! These only come once a year so they’re an extra special treat for the last week of Shares. So everyone knows about the ‘pumpkin spice’ craze right? Pumpkin spice coffees, cookies, teas, fiber one bars, coffee creamer, creamed cheese, whiskey… everything & anything…
The only problem is that pumpkins don’t taste like pumpkin spice, but that’s because it has nothing to do with pumpkin actually. You could use the pumpkin spice herb mixture and make squash spice coffee if you wanted! Lol. The “pumpkin spice” mixture usually consists of cloves, ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon. If you don’t want to buy all the individual herbs to make pumpkin spice they actually have a Watkins brand pumpkin spice that is really reasonably priced and it includes the proper mix of all those herbs. I cheated and bought that last season and still have plenty to use in my baking endeavors!
Fun fact! Pumpkins and winter squash are interchangeable. I have used both squash and pumpkin to make my pumpkin bars or stuffed pumpkin (think stuffed squash, but just with a pumpkin). The only kind of winter squash that is excluded in this easy substitution is the spaghetti squash because it's unlike any other winter squash! We use a lot of squash in our pumpkin goodies because it’s ready to harvest much earlier than the pie pumpkins, so I can get my “pumpkin spice” fix earlier in the fall :)
Your pumpkins will be placed on their sides in the CSA boxes in the family and single shares. This is on purpose, promise! We like to keep the stems intact and they're generally pretty long so we'll be turning them on their side so that they fit with their stems intact. So it might look like they were "just tossed in there" but please know that every part of packing your CSA every week is intentional for one reason or another <3
BRUSSEL SPROUTS! This is the only time of year you'll see these because they take longer to grow than any other variety! When we're harvesting the long stalks we go out and start by breaking all the branches off by making a karate chop motion on the outside edge of the plant. The branches are very firm and snap easily when pressure is applied. Then we use our clompers (our silly, pet name for our tool lol!) and cut the top off where the sprouts begin to start and then cut the bottom and voila, you have basically have a stick with brussel sprouts on it, haha!
You can use the sprouts by breaking them away from the stem and removing the small outer yellow leaves from the sprouts. They're nick named little cabbages for obvious reasons, they look just the same and have a similar taste too. You can also use the stalk! Some people will use it to make soup; as an addition to a creamy broccoli soup for example, or chopping it into smaller pieces and adding it to a traditional vegetable soup with carrots and celery, sprout stalk, etc! These are a special treat :)
These are sweet dumpling squash, and there are a couple acorns in the bin on the right (dark green acorn shaped squash)
Acorn squash is coming to you this week! This is usually one of the first varieties of winter squash we harvest but this season they got much bigger and took longer to ripen. This is one of those with an awesome shelf life and I’m sure you could keep it on your counter for weeks, literally! It could serve as a fun decoration before you eat it, multipurpose produce! ;) Acorn squash is one of the most popular squashes. If you cut it length wise you can make really pretty wedges. The shape is very aesthetically pleasing & fun to use in the kitchen. If you cut it in half the other way, it looks like a flower so it’s really fun to use as a stuffed squash too. This squash is a lot more dry and less sweet than the buttercups we gave you last week.
Sweet dumpling squash is coming in the Jumbo and Family boxes this week! It has tender orange flesh and it's known for not being as big as the other varieties. Though this season, they are pretty big!! They're mildly sweet; it's a great happy medium of the squash world that I would highly suggest using as an introductory squash to those who haven't ever tried them before!
We should be able to include apples again this week!! We have some SweeTango & some Honey Crisps here at the farm still and we'd like to share them with you again!! :) While we don't have enough to put them into your CSAs in that quantity again, we should be able to get a handful in everyone's boxes this week!!
We will be gleaning the sweet pepper fields. That means we're literally going out and harvesting everything that's out there. Gleaning a field is what happens at the end of the season, even in your own gardens! It's the last of everything, in an effort to make sure you don't waste anything. Sometimes it follows a commercial harvest, but in our produce garden everything is harvested by hand. So we're just collecting the odds & ends of the pepper patches so we can share some last sweet peppers with you!! These aren't "old" just because they're picked at the end of the season. They're still on the plant until we harvest them the morning of your CSA, so they're still in primo condition and nice and firm!! :)
RUSSET POTATOES!! Another one of those specialty fall varieties you only see right at the end of the season. 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. If you haven’t tried hassle back potatoes, this is one of our favorite ways to enjoy them!
**** A favor to ask****
If you're willing to leave a review, we would greatly appreciate it! If you have a moment, please swing by to the FB page and click on the reviews page or the link that says "leave a review". The other place is google- if you google Brown Family Farm we will come up. Then click the "leave a review" button. Even if you don't have time to type out your review and only have time to leave a # of stars, we would greatly appreciate it!
***** We are sad that this is the last week of harvest for us this season but I'm happy that we still have so many varieties to offer you, this is a fun week of veggies! I don't think the last week will ever get any easier though, year after year it still feels the same. It's a signal that the freshness has come to an end, it will get cold outside & we will button down the hatches in preparation for winter.
Like I said though, we have plenty of fall projects to keep us busy after we're done with field clean up, which will take weeks in itself. You'll hear from me this coming Friday too with more farm updates and end of the season announcements.
Thank you for the opportunity to grow for you & yours <3
Stay well friends,
~The Farmer’s Wife