CSA distribution #30 & newsletter

Our next CSA distribution will be Monday November 5 and Thursday November 8. We’ll again skip a week after this distribution, with the next shares coming just before Thanksgiving. IMPORTANT NOTE: We will be distributing ALL shares for week #31 on Monday 11/19 to allow time for Thanksgiving planning and cooking (not least the several days of cooking we’ll be doing here). If you will be traveling, or otherwise not wanting a share that week, please let us know. Below we’ll provide a tentative list of items expected to be in the Thanksgiving share so you can begin menu planning.

After an enjoyable week of family visitors, we’re of course scrambling to get back on track with farm work. The long to-do list includes finishing planting of our troublesome garlic and other overwintering alliums, catching up on the significant weed-load (particularly chickweed) that’s been thriving in this stable sunny weather, continuing to pull/drain/store irrigation lines, and cleaning up in general in prep for winter. In addition, we have food preservation to do, including making/canning applesauce, starting a batch of sauerkraut fermenting, and more. Skipping next week’s distribution will help keep us sane while ensuring members have a really nice Thanksgiving share to show off to families if desired.

The weather lately has been quite beautiful, though the recent freezing nights did do more damage to some leafy crops than we had anticipated. The repeated nights of cold seemed to have a cumulative effect. Saturday night was the coldest night, and virtually everything looked great on Sunday. However, as the week progressed, we saw progressively more freeze damage on some of the crops. Mustard greens and dill leaf went from excellent quality to animal food. Even crops that usually can put up with a lot of cold showed some damage to the leaves; these include kale, beet greens, and radish greens. The relatively dry conditions may be partly responsible, since crops can usually handle cold better when they are well hydrated. Learning to predict how much cold crops can handle is one of the subtleties of farming that we are still learning. Not to worry; there’s still plenty of food around.

THIS WEEK’S PRODUCE

NEW! Daikon & watermelon radishes These relatively mild fall radishes are good chopped onto salads, lightly cooked in stir fries, or pickled. They can also make attractive additions to slaws.
Leeks Tasty alliums excellent for sautes and soups. Try roasting them for a treat.
Greens mix
Similar to past mixes, these leaves will be larger and best for cooking. Try adding some to soups for a rich flavor.
Lettuce mix Combination of various leaf varieties for nice salads.
Hakurei turnips Smaller, sweet turnips good for roasting or general cooking.
Napa cabbage Same variety as past weeks, though most of these will be a bit smaller. (Is that a breeze, or is it a sigh of relief from some of you?). Same great flavor, texture, and storage qualities.
Sweet potatoes Like last time, we’ll distribute seconds-quality roots that have surficial damage from the pitchfork or nibbling critters, but which are thoroughly edible with some trimming. The firsts-quality roots will start showing up in the Thanksgiving share, a potential December share, and possibly a January share.
Green tomatoes Last call for these stable fruits. We’ve worked through most of our stock and will start feeding the remainder to the pigs after this week. Take ’em if you want ’em, on the off chance you haven’t tried all the possible different ways to eat and preserve them yet.   Sorry, there will be no more green tomatoes. We didn’t check the tubs again before adding them to the newsletter, and when we went to pack shares found that most were of lower quality than we’re willing to distribute. The pigs & chickens will be very happy this week. Apologies especially for getting Monday peoples’ hopes up for one more round, given that we had a number of bulk requests. Write it off to the busy week; at least most of you have gotten lots up until now.

HERBS
Thyme
Oregano
Sage
Tarragon
Chives
Orange mint
Catnip
Parsley
Cilantro

THANKSGIVING SHARE PREVIEW
Subject to change based on weather/crop conditions, but we anticipate the following items in the Thanksgiving share:
Root veggies: carrots, parsnips, radishes, sweet potatoes, turnips
Greens: lettuce heads, spinach, kale
Alliums: leeks, garlic, small quantity of onions
Herbs: reasonably certain: thyme, oregano, sage, parsley, less certain: tarragon, mint, cilantro, chives
Also possible but less certain: beets (at most a couple per share; suitable for inclusion in mixed roasted veggies); radicchio (1st time we’ve tried growing this; looks pretty so far, but not sure of degree of cold tolerance or when to expect maturity)

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