Market plans, October 8

We’ll be at market this Saturday, kicking off a busy weekend for us. Saturday and Sunday afternoons we’re hosting CSA farm tours for interested customers; please let us know ASAP if you’re interested in attending. Many have written to say they’re interested but out of town that weekend, and we will be holding more events later in the year, but both of this weekend’s tours will be happening as we have signups for both days and can still accomodate more.

At market this weekend:

Garlic: We are sold out of two varieties (German Extra Hardy and Chet’s Italian Red), but have all the others. Like the last market we attended, we’ll be bringing extra garlic as people tend to start stocking up this time of year, and looking for planting stock as the planting season is about to start (mid-October through early November).

Onions: We’ve sold most of the braids we initially made, and it’s so dry here the onion necks won’t braid properly, so we may end up just selling some loose.
Green tomatoes: A nice seasonal specialty, explore all the possible uses for these underappreciated items. We love the traditional Southern way, skillet-fried in fresh-ground cornmeal, but there are so many more options. Find lots of ideas in past blog posts here and here.

Greens: Mustard, chard, and kale will all be available as loose greens. Lots of uses for these; saute them with garlic, chop into soups and stews, top pizzas, etc. We may have some baby greens to offer, though it depends on on total yield and restaurant needs.

Sweet peppers: Our usual mix of shapes and colors, great for eating fresh or almost any cooking use. Our top uses are pepper salads, and cooking/roasting for sauces.

Hot peppers: Anaheims & jalapenos. Anaheims can be roasted and frozen for later sauces (or make & freeze the sauce now), and are excellent dried if you have a food dehydrator. Jalapenos can be dried as well, and exceedingly useful.

Daikon radishes: A reasonably mild, long white radish. Works well for cooking or pickling, or slicing onto salads. Can have a bit of heat, though less so than many fall radishes, and gets sweet with cold weather.

Peanuts (hopefully): Fresh green peanuts, perfect for Southern-style boiled peanuts. We haven’t found time to do a test dig yet, but we know there are (or were) some peanuts down there because there are vole holes in the bed and peanut shells at the surface in places…. We hope they’ve left some for us, and we hope to get some to market on Saturday.
Herbs: Parsley, cilantro, dill, thyme, oregano, tarragon, sage, mint & possibly more.

Rest-of-the-season preview:
We plan to continue on the every-other-week market schedule for the rest of the season, assuming weather cooperates. So, the current plan is that we will be at market on Oct. 8, Oct. 22, Nov. 5, and Nov. 19. Here are some of the product that we expect/hope to bring in the remaining weeks.

Leeks: These look big and beautiful. We usually like to wait for a nice cold spell to start harvesting these, as it improves the flavor. They’ll need a good cleaning before use, becuase we hilled them with soil to get a nice, long blanched stalk.

Chinese cabbage: We have quite a few heads of Bilko cabbage, a very tasty variety. The heads are large and may look daunting, but they store well and are so good that we power through them in the kitchen. A huge bowl of slaw can disappear very rapidly at our table.

Sweet potatoes: We had a reasonable yield this year, in spite of some rodent damage. These are currently curing, a process that enhances the sweetness & overall quality. The varieties that we grow produce mostly smallish roots that are perfect for cubing and roasting. Yum.

Winter squash: These are also curing, for the same reasons as sweet potatoes. We’ll likely bring some of the Delicatas and/or Acorn squash to market, since these are short-storage varieties. The long-storing butternuts we’ll reserve for CSA members after the new year (when the flavor tends to be best anyway).

Parsnips: We expanded our parsnip planting compared to last year after reasonable success, though we’re a bit concerned about possible damage from carrot flies or other burrowing insect pests based on a couple of roots that we’ve looked at. Plus, we’ve had to irrigate these a lot, and rodents have been burrowing right along the irrigation in other beds; that’s not a good combination for a root crop. We won’t know the yield until we harvest, and these benefit from remaining in the ground until late fall/early winter.

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