9 October 2003
Dear CSA Members,
Yesterday's harvest was our second under adverse conditions. As we coast into fall the harvest days become less demanding as we include storage crops in the deliveries. The winter squash and garlic and the like are all stored in different structures on the farm and we need only weigh them or count them to include them in our weekly deliveries. The fields are still producing a variety of crops and I can confidently say that this is the absolute latest I have ever let the tomatoes grow before tilling them in. For those who have not experienced it I would like to describe a phenomenon unique to farming; the mud shoe. A successful crop is based on healthy soil; good fertility and texture are essential for success. Our fields are plowed then disked then tilled, most are tilled a minimum of three times to ensure incorporation of residue and fertilizer and create a smooth seedbed. If you add a little moisture to this you get a brand of mud like no other. If you walk around, or rather slog around, in this mud for a day picking vegetables it sort of sticks to your boots. First maybe just a bit, but then more sticks to the bit, then more, then maybe a stick or a leaf or two, then more mud. Anyway by the end of the first hour you are waddling around with two gobs of mud where your feet used to be, each one the size of a garbage can lid and roughly the same weight as a cinder block; you got the mud shoe.
Enjoy this week's tomatoes as they will be the season's last. The baby eggplant will also be the last of the season. The pears should be stored on the table to help speed ripening, and the baby pumpkins are meant for the table as well, that is to say as decoration. Though every year I am told about how good these little pumpkins are I find them starchy and tasteless in comparison to our other winter squash. Which brings me to the acorn squash. These are the most traditional of our squash selection, and are typically enjoyed either baked or steamed then covered with melted butter and brown sugar. To prepare, carefully cut squash in half, then spoon out and discard the innards. Bake by lying the halves face down on a baking dish with just a little water (about 1/4 inch). Bake at 375 for about 40 minutes. I test doneness with a fork, when the tines can pass easily through the skin they are done. To steam just prepare squash and steam in a rack until tender.
Now some exciting news. Every year we hear about the sudden withdrawal suffered when we stop delivering, so to help ease the pain, and to enhance your holiday menu we will offer one extra delivery this year on Monday, November 24th. This delivery will be designed to beef up the storage quantities of keeper vegetables and will include winter vegetables along with recipes for your Thanksgiving dinner. Brussels sprouts baked with gorgonzola, herb rubbed turkey served on a bed of red chard, baked stuffed delicata squash, frizzled leeks... Cost of this holiday delivery will be $50.00. It will be delivered to the usual drop site locations and will also allow any bulk orders to be delivered on the same day. Please contact us by phone or email to sign up for this special addition to the program.
Thank you all once more for your participation in this year's program.
"Humans - Despite their artistic pretensions, their sophistication, and their many accomplishments - owe their existence to a six inch layer of topsoil and the fact that it rains"
-- Source Unknown