Sunflower Beauty

Sunflower immersion

Wall of gold
Notes From The Field
Unadulterated bright yellow
Dana Hunting
Well we didn't have to wait too long for the sunflowers. Last week they really popped and are now blazing a sea of gold and yellow. Only a little sadly, they are all facing east, so in the u-pick field we have a phenomenal view of the back of their heads. Driving south on 232, however, there is a distractingly beautiful show to be had. We leave them unharvested for the soul-filling effect standing in front of a wall of unadulterated bright yellow has on a person. And also for the birds, which feast on the seeds once the blooms have given way to their final stage of reproduction. Feel free to meander down along the bottom of the u-pick field where the giant flowers are facing to experience this unique condition of sunflower immersion. The sunflowers are part of a cover crop, which is an unharvested soil building system.

The sunflower experience seems to fill in where u-pick is petering out. This week we are down to cherry tomatoes (still, amazingly), hot peppers and herbs. The we-pick portion of harvest is going strong. Tomatoes have enjoyed this relief from humidity and responded to the dry spell with increasing yields. Sweet peppers are hanging in there but are declining their production. This week we are taking a break from potatoes. The next time potatoes are part of harvest, they will be cured and ready for dry storage if you prefer to stock up for the winter without taking up fridge space. Similarly, the garlic we will be giving out now is cured and does not need to be refrigerated. Greens will continue to be a predominant part of harvest and this week will include collards, kale, and swiss chard. Soon, crops from the fall brassica plantings, like cabbage and broccoli, will also round out the harvest.
Barring any visits by super-storms like Sandy, harvests should continue to blow our minds for another 10 weeks. Fall produce is some of the most beautiful and delectable of the year and we're looking forward to the change in season and are optimistic that you are too!
Expected Harvest
Greens, delicious greens!
Harvest #17 should include: winter squash, beets, fresh onions, sweet peppers, swiss chard, kale, tomatoes, lettuce, garlic, eggplant, okra, tomatillos, collards and dandelion greens. Some items will be a choice. U-pick should include: cherry tomatoes, hot peppers, parsley, dill, cilantro, basil (probably the last of the season), perennial herbs and a flower bouquet. Half shares, this is week A.
Trending back to greens
By Linda Dansbury
As you are seeing, the fall brings a trend to more and more greens - personally, although I do love all the summer veggies I welcome the greens back. This time of year is always great because of the wide variety of items, which allow the cook to go with the ever changing weather. If it is warm, as it is supposed to be for part of this coming week, then grill eggplant and tomatillos, or make some tomato, tomatillo and hot pepper salsa and sit outside and enjoy. When it turns cooler, slow roast something and add in Swiss chard or kale for a nutrient and flavor boost. Eggplant, tomato and peppers make for a delicious ratatouille or caponata - similar dishes, but the former is French and the caponata is Italian. I love making up large batches at this time of the year and freezing it for use during winter months. It is great with pasta or rice, or as a side dish to any meat. On the warm days, try making kale salads. They are really tasty, and nutritious - just takes a few extra minutes with the knife. The Tuscan kale, which is the one that does not have the frilly edges to the leaves I find to be the easiest and best in which to make salads.
If the greens start to pile up, remember to blanch and freeze them so you have them for adding to soups and stews during the winter months. Enjoy the wide variety of veggies while they are still here.
How did I enjoy my harvest?
By Linda Dansbury
As I stated in my other article, I really enjoy the wide variety of veggies that come in this month. Since I was away for an extended weekend, I didn't cook very much the past week, but have managed to do some things. Some things are with veggies from my own garden, and I know many of you also grow a variety of veggies.
Dandelion greens and okra - I do remember that I blanched and froze both of these before I went away.
Tomatoes and onion - made sauce with some of the farm and some of my own tomatoes
Spaghetti squash, onion, pepper, garlic - cooked up a simple sauce and then added cooked spaghetti squash to the pan and mixed it all up - topped with parsley and parmesan cheese
Green beans -- had some beans simply steamed and made others into a bean salad to have this week for lunches - like to add some tuna or leftover fresh fish to the bean salad for a delicious and healthy lunch
Tomato, onion, pepper - made a tomato salad as a side dish
spaghetti squash - I had extra cooked spaghetti squash, so I made it into fritters -- yum!
Kale - made a kale Caesar salad
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.