Welcome back, Kale!
Kale returns! Yum!
Harlequin bug munching away on the fall's brussel sprout planting.
Notes From The Field
Last week of August
Despite being a month out from the fall equinox, the change in season feels like it is approaching rapidly. Golden rod is blooming; the drone of crickets is less of a summertime roar; a quality to the light and lengthening shadows; all reflect that the northern hemisphere, and we, are heading towards our journey away from the sun.
Direct seeded fall greens and radishes sprouting beautifully under row cover.
As Derek has mentioned, on the farm this means a shift in work from tending to big summertime production crops to pulling storable crops from the fields and putting field space to rest for the winter. Recently we've harvested all the winter squash and are currently working on bringing the remaining potatoes, now cured, into storage. Once potatoes are out of the field (6 more beds to go!), we'll focus on digging sweet potatoes. Other bigger projects on the horizon include the garlic planting and tomato de-trellising (don't worry - this happens only after the red and green tomatoes have been harvested).
The transition to cooler temperatures should become evident in the harvests which will start to include more greens and storable crops (like cured potatoes and garlic). While the tomatoes and eggplant haven't been loving the lack of heat, our fall brassicas (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale and collards) are thrilled! This spring CSA members likely noticed the glaring absence of kale, which suffered irreparably from a bad season of flea beetles (tiny bugs that chew holes in leaves). Our fall planting, however, is thriving and will make it's first appearance (of many hopefully) in this week's shares. While flea beetles are still present around the farm this time of year, we intentionally planted our fall brassicas in a field that hasn't had any brassicas this season. This is a good way to outsmart those critters. The pest that we're mainly worried about now is the harlequin bug, which we've spent a few workshifts squishing and squashing. Last year, it decimated much of our fall brassicas because it so successfully overwintered in our zone due to the balmy winter prior. This year, we're making sure we get rid of them weekly. Without diligently spending time getting rid of them, there is a good chance the fall brassicas would not make it to our mouths.
We plant several varieties and will begin by harvesting 'white russian' kale this week. Other kale varieties include red russian, toscano (AKA lacinato or dinosaur), and winterbor (curly). Absence makes the heart grow fonder, right?
By Dana Hunting
Harvest # 15 should include: kale, lettuce, winter squash, melon, new potatoes, scallions, fresh garlic, tomatoes, sweet peppers, hot peppers, okra, eggplant, and tomatillos. Some items will be a choice. U-pick should include: cilantro, perennial herbs, parsley, cherry tomatoes, edamame, husk cherries, italian basil, herbal basils, and a flower bouquet. Half shares, this is week A.
Late Fall CSA sign ups in September
By Dana Hunting
Like last year, we are offering a 6-week 'Late Fall' CSA share to existing members. Running from mid-November to the second to last week in December, the shares will include cold hardy greens, tender greens (thanks to the new high tunnel!), storage crops, root vegetables and other crops happy to grow in colder 'off-season' temperatures. Membership is limited and will be available only to existing members. Look for sign up information in September sometime.
Kale returning to the pick up room!
By Linda Dansbury
The first year or 2 that I was a Farm member I couldn't have imagined that I would miss seeing kale in the pick up room, but after trying, tasting and posting so many kale recipes over the years to this website(and many others I haven't posted), I really welcome its return. Pesky insects also loved the spring planted kale and ended its earlier season harvests prematurely.
Kale is one of the most nutritious vegetables you can consume. It is also one of the most versatile - what other veggie can you think of that can be made into a raw or cooked salad, quick sautéed, stewed for a long time, used as a base for pesto, and made into delicious chips?
There are many recipes on this site - try some of them - I may make the Kenyan style kale this week, since it is more summery, using tomatoes and a hot pepper in its preparation.
Let me know how you enjoy your kale - please check out the recipes on this site, and you have a recipe or method that is different, let me know about it at firstname.lastname@example.org
How did I enjoy my harvest this week?
By Linda Dansbury
It is hard to believe that Labor Day, which signals fall in most people's minds, will be here next weekend. Soon, our cooking thoughts will turn to longer, cooked, warming foods, but for now, I am still focused on fast, simple dishes. With the days/evenings being so beautiful, I really don't want to spend a lot of time cooking. I would rather sit on the deck and enjoy the sights, sounds and nice breezes, so the dishes this past week were redundant of weeks past. The only exception was that last Sunday I did cook a few things up to enjoy during the week.
Tomatillos, hot peppers, onions, cilantro, garlic - made more tomatillo sauce - froze some for use later and made the rest into Chicken Stew with Tomatillo Sauce
Okra, celery, onions, garlic - made the Summer Vegetable Gumbo with Shrimp. This recipe takes a little time to make, but is delicious
Tomatoes, basil, garlic - made bruschetta 3 times! I am going to look like a tomato, but I can't help it - they are only good enough to make this way at this time of year.
Spaghetti squash, cherry tomatoes, hot pepper - made the Spaghetti Squash with Sautéed Tomatoes and Basil. I added a chopped up hot pepper for some heat.
Salads - I added a bit of leftover bruschetta to serve as my salad dressing for the greens - it is really good this way.
Edamame - I continue to snack on them each day. Today I have to shell and freeze some. They can also be frozen in the shell and later defrosted and eaten as a snack, or shelled and used in a recipe at that time, but it is easier to use later if they are ready to go. As with other items, once shelled, I lay them on a cookie sheet in a single layer and once frozen I put them in a freezer bag - this way, they don't stick together and are easier to remove the amount I want for a given recipe.
Tomatoes, onion, celery, cucumber, peppers, garlic, basil - made the Gazpacho recipe that is on this site. I have tried many recipes for this cold soup over the years, and always come back to this one. It is very easy to make - you rough chop everything and place in a bowl with the "dressing" and let it sit and marinade overnight. The recipe states as the first option to use an immersion blender to blend it right in the same bowl, but this is one of the rare times I say use a blender instead because it works best to marinade everything in a shallow bowl, and if you use an immersion blender, you will make a mess of your kitchen. I put everything in a blender - just be careful, you want some texture in the soup. With the exception of the cilantro(or basil), the other garnishes listed are optional.
Squash, peppers, eggplant - grilled up and ate alongside grilled chicken.
Green beans, hot pepper, scallions, garlic(I have green beans in my garden) - made spicy stir fried green beans with one of the habanero peppers - whew! it was really spicy - but delicious.
Potatoes, scallions, parsley -- made German style potato salad. Keeps for days and even gets better the second and third day.
Edamame and local sweet corn - made succotash using edamame rather than lima beans - added parsley and a bit of a hot pepper as well.
Cantaloupe -- these are so delicious! We had cheese plate for dinner one night, and had the cantaloupe alongside - finished up the meal with a big salad.
Next week I will be away, so I will give you a hint to what I am doing today: baba ganoush, blanch and freeze my dandelion greens using Mandy's method, make a batch of tomatillo sauce, and generally root around in my fridge and see what needs to be used.