The rains came...but gratefully not too much

This time of year we spend a lot of time prepping for and sowing cover crops. Here we're checking on the size of daikon radish taproots, also known as tillage radish for their ability to break up compaction and loosen the soil.

Gabe and I are checking on the oats, rye, and red clover mix that was sown before the rain began to see if anything has germinated and started growing.

Notes From The Field
A Cold Wet Fortunate Week
By Derek McGeehan
This season we've been very lucky with the weather, mostly tolerating what we've been dealt. It's been dry, yes, but we haven't had any major deluges or extreme weather events. This past Wednesday and Thursday, though, the forecast was dire and it could have given us our worst weather of the year. We skated by, though, with a total of 2.6 total inches of rain last week which will probably be soaked up and distributed fairly quickly, considering how dry it has been. I feel sorry for the Carolinas right now knowing that if the farm received what they're getting we'd probably be done for. I hope they get through it okay.

Water in the pond was an unfamiliar sight this season but I'm sure there are creatures and plants that are thrilled to have the water once again.

The cold wet week allowed a bit of a respite from physical work, after the initial rain event Tuesday night. Prior to that we sowed what could be the last of the cover crops for the year. We put oats down where we're planning to grow spring and early summer crops because the oats die in the winter leaving the soil ready for us in the spring. We put a mix of oats, rye, and red clover down in an area where we're planning to enter a fallow period. The rye will survive the winter and add tremendous organic matter while the red clover, as a short-lived perennial, will persist for a few years, covering the soil, adding organic matter and nitrogen, and will allow for monthly mowing during the growing season. We also hosted a class from Delaware Valley University, sharing our farming experience and knowledge with aspiring students of the land. I can talk about farming all day long, but it is hard to find a receptive and captive audience. These kids hopefully will take something away from their time here. Either way, the farm overall and specifically all of the crops looked nice so at least they had a day outside observing plant beauty.
Expected Harvest
Potatoes Return, Butternut Begins
By Derek McGeehan
Harvest #21 (Week A) should include potatoes, winter squash, onions, garlic, cabbage, hakurei turnips, head lettuce, mini lettuce, kale, chard, collards, arugula, greens mix, cilantro, broccoli, cauliflower, leeks, beets, and kohlrabi. There will definitely be choices. U-pick should include herbs and flowers.
Workshifts Over For Season
By Derek McGeehan
Workshifts have ended for the year. If you weren't able to finish your hours, please send your $15 per missed work hour check made payable to "Anchor Run CSA" as soon as possible (half share - $60, full share - $120). This fills out the balance of your share cost and saves us the need to contact you for payment.
2015 Winter Share
By Derek McGeehan
The Winter CSA will begin on Tuesday, November 17th, 1-8pm, for Full Shares and Week A Half Shares. Week B Half Shares begin Tuesday, November 24th. The season runs for 6 weeks through the week of December 20th. (Half share folks, we will try to keep your same Week A/B designation you had for the Main Season). CSA members can still sign up for a winter share but we do need payment by Friday, November 13th, to confirm our harvest numbers. Prices are the same as last year, $200 for a full share and $110 for a half share. New this year are string construction lights to get you safely from the parking lot to the barn; a project on our to-do list for years. Six more weeks of harvest sounds great to me!
How I enjoyed my harvest this week
By Linda Dansbury
Another busy week, but I did manage to cook some things and I also had forgotten to mention something I made last week. Send how you enjoyed your harvest to and please put Anchor Run in the title.
Broccoli, carrots, onions, herbs - made broccoli soup. We ate some of it and froze the rest.
Tomatoes, garlic, cilantro - made a Spanish cold soup called Salmarejo that I learned from a guest that stayed with us. It is so simple and amazingly delicious. It is really for next season at this point, but I am posting it so I can remember it - plus, I did use farm garlic and cilantro.
Kale, Swiss chard, leeks, onions, carrots, tomatoes, garlic - made the soup I described last week but this week I added some ground pork from my Ledamete Grass share and white beans. It was delicious and it kept us up to date with using those delicious greens.
Butternut squash, caluiflower and mixed greens
By Linda Dansbury
Anchor Run grows a wide variety of winter squash. I haven't focused on them much except for spaghetti squash which I really like when served with an uncooked tomato sauce, because they keep so well.
To some extent, the winter squashes are interchangeable - butternut, acorn, and pumpkins are especially so because both the color of the flesh and the tastes are similar. Many recipes specify a certain type, but you can use whatever you have on hand. The delicata and dumplings have a more mild, nutty flavor than the others, and at least to me, are best simply roasted and eaten so their subtle flavors come through.
Cauliflower is delicious and can be used in so many ways: raw; roasted either alone or along with other veggies such as leeks, potatoes, broccoli, winter squash and of course garlic and herbs; boiled, and mashed. Enjoy the fresh taste of the just harvested farm cauliflower.
Mixed greens are one of my favorites from the farm (among so many other veggies). They are tender enough to add to salads - I like adding some of the leaves to the more mild lettuces for an added "punch". They are also sturdy enough to cook - stir frying and sauteing work very well because their flavors still come through.
Member ideas and suggestions
By Linda Dansbury
If you have any ideas, suggestions, recipes or questions, please send to and put Anchor Run in the subject line.
Enjoy the harvest!
V Salmorejo (cold Spanish tomato soup)
Recipe provided to me from a guest that lives in Madrid and is a very traditional dish. Don't let the simplicity fool you. This is delicious! Takes about 10 minutes to prepare and then a few hours to refrigerate to blend flavors. Serves about 6-8 as an appetizer.
2 1/2 cups ripe tomatoes, cut into quarters or eighths, depending on size
1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
2 cups white bread, cubed - I used a loaf of country white
1/3 cup sherry or red wine vinegar
3/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
Place tomatoes, salt and garlic in a blender and blend until fairly smooth. Add bread and vinegar and blend again for a few minutes. Slowly add olive oil. Place in fridge for a few hours. Traditionally, this dish is served topped with chopped up hard boiled egg and serrano ham. Instead of the egg I used chopped cilantro. Yum!!