CSA distribution #26 & newsletter

The next CSA distribution will be Thursday November 14 and Monday November 18.This is the second-to-last share of the season, which will end with the Thanksgiving share distributed to EVERYONE on Monday November 25. It’s pretty clear at this point that these last two shares will be quite diverse, ending what’s been a very productive season on a fitting note. If you’re planning to travel but not cook for Thanksgiving, keep in mind that pretty much everything expected to be in that share should store in your fridge or on your counter just fine until you get back.

Before this Thursday/Monday distribution, we’ll have to weather some very cold temperatures, with Tuesday forecast to barely reach freezing and Tuesday night dipping well into the teens, and only slightly warmer conditions Wednesday. This situation means that we’ve gone ahead and done much of the harvest for the coming week, both to salvage some items that won’t make it otherwise, and to avoid having to do the harvest & washing in especially unpleasantly cold conditions.

This shouldn’t affect members much, as most items in this share handle storage just fine (like all the root crops), though none of those roots will have their greens still attached as that would lower their life & quality significantly. Lettuce heads will all be harvested by Monday afternoon, such that next Monday’s shares will be getting week-old lettuce. This shouldn’t be a problem, as we consistently achieve and expect 2-week shelf lives on our greens, but Monday members might consider prioritizing salad anyway just to be safe.

THIS WEEK’S PRODUCE

Mercuri tomatoes
Leeks
Lettuce Small butterhead type; use them soon because they’re all getting harvested on Monday the 11th in advance of the deep freeze.
Kale
Cabbage
(full share; single share will have choice of kohlrabi or cabbage) We somehow overlooked a bed of these last time we did a count of the number remaining, so they’ll be in both this share and the Thanksgiving share.
Kohlrabi (full share; single share will have choice of kohlrabi or cabbage) These are giant winter storage kohlrabi, with the sweetest taste we’ve ever had from a kohlrabi. You’ll want to peel them, as the outer skins are tough, but the inside is amazing. Don’t be put off by size; they are tender inside.
Carrots
Parsnips
Radicchio/Brussels sprouts/Escarole
Radicchio & Brussels sprouts were small-scale trial crops, & we think there will be enough to get a of one or the other out to everyone, though we need to harvest the Brussels sprouts first to see how the quantities look. Look for a choice on the survey, & we’ll do the best we can to match requests with what’s available. We have some more escarole but not enough for everyone, so we may throw that into the mix as an option.

HERBS

Herbs may be limited or non-existent due to the especially cold weather leading up Thursday’s distribution. Thyme, oregano, sage, and parsley are the most likely possibilities.

MENU SUGGESTIONS

Recent meals in our house have included many trays of roasted vegetables, chicken soup with carrots & escarole, salad of lettuce & kohlrabi, roasted tomato sauce, various leek-based soups and pastas, breakfast parsnips & sweet potatoes (pan-fried and topped with our own maple syrup), and plenty of other iterations.

FRESH EGGS

Done for the year.

RECENTLY ON THE FARM

We’re well into the winter transition, starting to wrap up our workers’ seasons and starting to put time into off-season projects like barn upgrades. There’s still been and continues to be a lot of seasonal clean-up work, as we finish harvesting beds, mulch them, bring in irrigation hoses, take down trellises & posts, haul & stage straw bales for future use, clean up the packing barn and put most supplies & containers into winter storage, and so much more.

WHAT’S GOING RIGHT

Stable fall weather means productive farmers and happy CSA members, as we can maintain nice diverse shares while staying on track with our copious winter prep work. It means a lot to have the farm winding down on schedule.

WHAT’S NOT SO GREAT

Outside factors and concerns continue to cause great stress for us, including our health insurance status and the looming Food Safety Modernization Act produce rule comment deadline. Joanna has been slaving away writing a long, detailed analysis of this deeply flawed bit of policy which has disturbing ramifications for our farm. The public comment deadline is this Friday November 15. We’ll be posting more about this soon.

WEATHER NOTES

The most pleasant, and most colorful, fall in our 7 years here. What else can we say? The coming deep freeze is within the normal seasonal variation, and was due to happen sooner or later.

2 thoughts on “CSA distribution #26 & newsletter

  1. Hi Folks,
    I’d love to know the variety of that delicious tender storage kohlrabi you’ve grown. We generally just grow the smaller Vienna kohlrabis here in Virginia, but a bigger storage type might be popular at twin oaks – our cooks like big vegetables as they are quicker to prepare.
    Enjoy your winter change of pace!
    Pam

    • The variety is Kossak, an F1 hybrid with organic seed available from High Mowing & Johnny’s (& I think they’re ultimately coming from Bejo Seeds). The seeds for these are some of the expensive we’ve ever bought on a per-seed basis, but the first taste suggests that it is worth it. We decided to try them in part because we saw some lovely specimens growing at a friend’s farm last year and we couldn’t resist giving them a try. Only one year of data for us, but they were quite trouble free to grow, so we’ll likely be repeating these. Though we usually prefer OP varieties, we’ve had woodiness problems with Early Green Vienna, & we think texture & flavor have been better and more reliable with the hybrid kohlrabi varieties. Korridor has become our standard for spring the last few years, as it holds up well to the onslaught of Missouri heat, and I think Kossak may well become its fall counterpart in our planting plan.