2014 CSA distribution #26: Thanksgiving-week share

The final share of the 2014 CSA season will be delivered on Monday, November 24 to ALL MEMBERS; we do not deliver on Thanksgiving Day. Personally, we’re pleased with the quality and quantity of produce that went into the shares this year, and the survey results suggest that those of you who responded agree. If anything, we overstocked the bags somewhat, but that was a function of membership being well below target in another productive year for the farm. If you’d like to review this year’s shares, and compare them to last year, please check out the share photos page.

There will be no Chert Hollow Farm CSA program in 2015. We are pulling back from the farm as a full-time business for reasons laid out here. We apologize to those who were looking forward to signing up again, but this is something we need to do for ourselves. There will be certain crops available for sale next year, including garlic and strawberries, and we will maintain an email list of consumers who wish to be contacted about products and events on the farm next year. Your final share survey will include an option to be placed on our email list for 2015; we will not contact anyone who has not expressed interest. Non-members reading this who wish to be on the list should email us to say so. Finally, if you would like to keep one of our cloth delivery bags as a useful keepsake, feel free to do so. We have a large quantity still in storage awaiting a membership expansion that didn’t come. Please return all bags labeled as “loaners” and keep one labeled with your name.

If you are looking for another CSA, take a look at Happy Hollow Farm, a certified organic CSA that delivers to Columbia. Liz of Happy Hollow grows quality vegetables on a gorgeous farm tucked away among the hills across the Missouri River from Columbia. She also sells at the Columbia Farmers Market, and you can find out if she’ll be at the winter markets by following her Happy Hollow Facebook page. She offers a different set of services and produce than we did, but is the closest you’ll get. Share Life Farms also grows certified organic produce, but the CSA information on their website hasn’t been updated since 2013. These are the only single-farm, organically minded CSAs that we’re aware of in the area.

Here are a few photos from the last big harvest push before the arctic blast hit:

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Left: First of two truck loads of produce hauled back from the field. Right: Work-share members Eric & Tyler trim leaves off of the kohlrabi plants in preparation for storage & distribution.

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Left: Jordan, Joanna, & Fae harvest parsnips, shown right. Photos by David Barker.

We’d like to extend a big thank you to all of our work-share members: Eric, Tyler, Jordan, Fae, David, Kendall, and Miranda. These are the folks who came out to the farm virtually every week this year, and some have been doing so for many years; we’ve relied on them to make the farm run smoothly. In addition, we greatly appreciate the regular members and other farm friends who have been out to take part in farm events, to pick strawberries, and to help with other farm tasks. And finally, we’d like to thank several farm-stay visitors from earlier in the season. In March, we enjoyed hosting two students from Carleton College, Joanna’s alma mater; read more here. And we had two excellent WWOOFers in 2014; thank you Vanessa and Kelly! We’ve certainly learned that it does take a community to run a farm. Though next year the work opportunities will be less structured, we’d like the feeling of community to continue; please get in touch &/or stay in touch if you’d like to be a part of the farm.

And, finally, the produce list for the final share of 2014:

PRODUCE

Most items were harvested before the deep freeze; a couple items had to be harvested in sub-freezing temperatures when the forecasts deteriorated even more. You might consider using the kale & Brussels sprouts first. Everything else has excellent storage qualities; just keep the sweet potatoes, garlic, and onions at room temperature, and put all else in the refrigerator. This mix should provide some excellent Thanksgiving food.

Sweet potatoes Mix of white fleshed and orange fleshed varieties. Some of these will be small, and the small ones are great for cubing up & roasting. No need to peel.
Garlic
Jumbo heads.
Onions
Leeks
Napa cabbage
Kale Curly kale
Beets Mix of varieties, with the cylindrical & sensibly named Cylindra variety being the most common.
Brussels sprouts or kohlrabi We never did a late side dressing of compost on the Brussels sprouts, and they didn’t size up as well as last year; unfortunately, the total quantity isn’t enough for everyone. Full shares will get a choice of Brussels sprouts or kohlrabi, and single shares will probably get kohlrabi with a possibility of Brussels sprouts if some full shares reject them.
Carrots
Parsnips
Radishes Long, white daikon radishes this time. A nice addition to stir fry. Or a good candidate for fermentation, whether added to kraut or kimchi, or on their own. Extras available.

HERBS

We’re planing to put together herb bundles containing a mix of the really cold hardy herbs that remain. Bundles will consist of some combination of thyme, winter savory, sage, and/or oregano with possibly a sprig or two of rosemary from our potted indoor plants.

We still have plenty of walking onion bulblets; if you didn’t ask for them before but would like some for planting, just put a comment on the survey. They’re very easy to grow, requiring little other than time to get established.

May you all celebrate Thanksgiving as we will, with good food, good company, and relaxation!

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