Frost on the buckwheat

This frosted buckwheat plant will not survive beyond today but it has done its job of protecting and nurturing the soil during its short life.

Two layers of 6 millimeter thick plastic sandwiching 2 to 3 inches of air as well as propane heat protects the sweet potato harvest as it continues to cure in the greenhouse.

Notes From The Field
Until the Freeze is Over
By Derek McGeehan
There is something surprisingly serene and calming on a frosty frozen windless morning. Perhaps it's the quietness and lack of movement. Everything is resting. The insects are all hunkered down, either done with there life cycle or buried in the warm earth until the spring. Plants and vegetables, unfortunately, have to grin and bear it. With a little help from us in the form of row cover we can help them make it through the cold, blemish free please. Most of our crops currently still growing can tolerate temperatures into the mid- and low-twenties, but some of them, like the lettuces, can get frost burned pretty easily which renders them unharvestable. So, we put two sheets of our heaviest 30 feet by 200 feet row cover over the lettuce patch in hopes of protection. Sunday night is forecast to be even colder than Saturday night so we're curious to see how the plants make out. A lot of the crops, like kale, collards, rutabaga, chard, cabbage, remain uncovered because they're able to tolerate lower temperatures than their friends.

Nestled under our heaviest row cover with fall colors highlighted by the sunrise behind, our fall lettuces will hopefully survive the freeze completely intact.

A relic of summer growing, our sweet potatoes were successfully retrieved this past week. Thank you to everyone who helped bring in the haul. They're now hopefully safely curing in the greenhouse before distribution this coming week. I had to fire up the propane heater out there to make sure they don't freeze. This is the first season I've had to do that. Sweet potatoes need warm temperatures and high humidity to transition to sweetness and storability.
For me, one of the biggest contrasts between the warm and cold seasons is the lack of sound. After I remembered to cover the radicchio and went out with a headlamp to collect sandbags and row cover to protect the crop, I stopped still for a minute as I realized the sudden change. Only a night or two ago the sounds of summer were still going pretty strong. Alas, we truly enter fall as the leaves change color and our first hard frost and freeze of the season keeps us wondering what will survive. Like all of the seasons, we welcome this change.
Expected Harvest
Sweet Potatoes and Beets
By Derek McGeehan
Harvest #23 (Week A) should include sweet potatoes, beets, butternut squash, kale, garlic, onions, leeks, lettuces, celeriac, collards, chard, endive, greens mix, broccoli raab, cauliflower, and cabbage. Some items will be a choice. U-pick should include herbs.
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!
House And/Or Rooms For Rent
By Derek McGeehan
The ranch house on the farm has rooms available to rent from November through February. The place will be completely empty December through February and in November you'll share the house with 2 of our employees. This is the first time this opportunity has been available so we're trying to gauge interest. Please pass this information along to anyone you know who may be interested or if you have any ideas for how we could rent the place let us know. If you or someone you know is interested please call (215 598 7040) or e-mail us ( The house is semi-furnished and has new appliances, 3 or 4 bedrooms, 2 full baths, a full basement with washer and dryer, and of course is situated on an organic farm that is part of a 100-acre open space preserve. Winters are very quiet on the farm.
Storage strategies
By Linda Dansbury
This time of year, the diversity and amount of produce might seem a bit daunting, but it actually gets easier because so much of the harvest can be stored over longer periods of time. Pretend you are an early pioneer and plan to have some of the harvest well into the winter!
Greens - obviously, these need to be eaten first, but even with these, some last longer than others. You may have noticed that a bunch of kale pushed to the back of the fridge and found even 2 weeks later is still in perfect condition. Yes this has happened to me; I am speaking from experience! In general, the more soft/tender the leaves, the faster they will deteriorate. Even endive lasts well in the fridge.
Cauliflower - brown/black spots will show up fairly fast, so make sure you shave those off and then enjoy!
Beets, celeriac, kohlrabi, radishes (when we receive them) - all store and keep really well when stored in the fridge. These are crops that the farm will harvest now and store in their cooler and give out now through the winter CSA.
Potatoes, winter squashes - these keep very well, and store best in cool conditions. For me, the best place to store them is in the basement. I have often put them in the garage, but regret I have lost some things because each year it seems to suddenly get very cold and they freeze. Potatoes store well in paper bags. They need to be kept in the dark - no plastic please - they will sprout and then rot quickly!
Sweet potatoes - these like it a bit warmer than potatoes, so I usually keep them in the pantry. I just store them in a basket and keep checking them and make sure I use any with spots/blemishes first.
Cured garlic - will keep for a long time - I store with the potatoes. You can keep even longer by peeling the cloves, placing in a jar, and putting in the freezer. They will keep indefinitely this way.
How I enjoyed my harvest this week
By Linda Dansbury
I find that I tend to prepare the same things a few times when we have an abundance of one thing or the other. Although what these dishes are varies from year to year. This past week to use up my broccoli I made the roasted broccoli with pasta again. I added a little locally made ricotta cheese (from Fulper Family at the Wrightstown Farmers Market). It added a soft, richness to the dish that truly elevated the dish! I also made the chard and chickpea with curry dish again because we loved that and the chard was so beautiful I wanted to make sure I used it while it was at its peak. This dish is a nice to make during the week; it is not complicated and I like the chopping and dicing after a long day - it's like therapy for me!
I also used some of the cilantro pesto - I topped pan roasted black cod from Wild for Salmon with it - it was so good!
The kale and some leeks were used in the Easy Korean Beef dish I posted last week, but I used ground pork from Ledamete Grass - again, delicious and as the title says, it is easy!
Like many of you, I also have a large veggie garden and had a lot of things to use up from that as well, so I also made a large green bean salad, a roasted tomato soup (recipe on the farm website), and tomato sauce. I, of course, used a few items from the farm in these dishes: onions, garlic, and some herbs.
Please email how you enjoyed your harvest to and put Anchor Run in the subject line.