That’s right farm sharers… It’s the final countdown (insert Europe guitarist). I think every one of us on the farm is shocked that the final CSA delivery is upon us. Not only because it’s still in the 70s during the day, but it also seems like only yesterday we were on the back of the transplanter planting the first of thousands of veggie starts. I don’t think we could have done it without that life-saving, and back-saving implement. Moreover, we could not have done it all without the support of our community and share members. It is all of you that keep the farm afloat and drive us to be the best farmers we can be. 18 weeks of shares have gone by in the blink of an eye yet we have so much to show for it. We have fed hundreds of people fresh, local, and organic veggies all while sustainably stewarding our farm.
This is not to say that with the end of the Summer CSA that comes the end of our work on the farm. In fact, we are just starting most of the large scale projects that will prepare us for our ’21-’22 Winter CSA, winter wholesale orders, and winter itself. On the farm hand side of things, this means clearing out the greenhouses, harvesting insane amounts of carrots, potatoes, beets, rutabagas, parsnips and cabbage, taking down trellises, and stowing the irrigation pipe that got our plants through this brutal summer. On the Janaki side of things, this means ensuring that fields are seeded with cover crops, compost is produced to feed our soil microbes, and operating the tractors so that us farm hands do not suffer at the expense of the insane amount of carrots I mentioned. Of course these aren’t the only things we will be doing over the next month, but you get the idea.
Just as we’re putting the farm to bed, we’re including a few sprigs of lavender in your share, long used as an aromatherapy sleep aide.
Here’s a list of things I have learned this season, even though nobody asked for it:
- Do not waste time picking burs off of Chester. He will only come back around covered in more. He is also a professional skunk hunter and deer carcass finder.
- Driving a very old tractor (we call it Stubby) is very fun and also terrifying at the same time.
- Pigweed is a noxious plant that really makes you question whether or not being an organic farm is really worth it… (It is).
- When a bee colony swarms they are actually super calm because they are not protecting their queen or hive anymore. I once walked through a swarm of thousands of bees to feed the chickens.
- Raccoons sneak onto the farm for our tiny corn patch and nothing else.
- Aside from the skunks that Chester brings around, the worst smell on the farm is hands down the smell of rotting daikon radish.
- Do NOT harvest beets without gloves on unless you want to look like a murder suspect.
- There is no such thing as a free meal.
Once again, we could not have done it without all of your support this season. We look forward to feeding you again in 2022. Until then, we will be here waiting and working the land to ensure you all receive high quality veggies next time around.
“Agriculture is the noblest of all alchemy; for it turns earth, and even manure, into gold, conferring upon its cultivator the additional reward of health.” – Paul Chatfield
In your shares this week:
Beets – Carrots – Cilantro – Collar Greens – Lavender – Lettuce – Yellow Onions – Sweet Red Peppers – Hot Peppers – Potatoes – Rutabagas – Red Shallots – Delicata and Kabocha Winter Squash
Red Flannel Hash (modified from NYT Cooking)
This recipe also works wonderfully with left-over roasted vegetables!
1.5 cups diced potatoes
1 cup diced squash
1/2 cup diced beets
1/2 cup diced carrots
1/2 cup diced peppers
1/4 cup diced onion
1/2 tsp each thyme and parsley
salt and pepper to taste
*Note: Dice all the veggies into the similarly sized cubes (~1/2 inch) Heat oven to 425. Place potatoes, squash, and beets on a rimmed baking sheet with 1 tablespoon of oil and bake for 20 minutes. Add remaining veggies and herbs to the pan with the remaining olive oil and bake another 25 minutes.
Fry the baked veggies in a frying pan with butter in a single layer to achieve crispness. Top with a fried egg and serve with a side salad.
Strata (savory bread pudding)
1/2 lb french bread (stale or leftover works best), enough to make 4 cups of bread cubes
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup diced peppers
1 cup diced or grated squash (~1/4″ cubes)
2 cups kale
1 clove garlic, minced
1.5 cups milk
1/2 cup grated hard cheese (swiss, gruyere, or cheddar)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp fresh rosemary (or 1/2tsp dried)
1 tsp salt
4 large eggs
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Soak the bread cubes in 3/4 c. of the milk. Oil or butter a 2 qt baking dish. Heat a frying pan and add the kale. Fry over medium heat until the leaves begin to soften and wilt. Cover the pan and let the kale steam until cooked (3 minutes). Remove from pan, press or squeeze out the excess liquid. Chop coarsely and set aside. Add 1 tbsp oil to the same frying pan and add the mushrooms and peppers. Fry on medium heat until the mushrooms are cooked and the peppers have lost some of their moisture. Add the minced garlic and the squash, and continue to fry for another minute. Stir in the rosemary and kale. Remove from heat, pour into a bowl with the cubed bread, the two cheeses, and toss together. Arrange in a baking dish.
Beat eggs in a medium bowl and add the remaining milk and salt (and a few shakes of black pepper if you like it). Pour over the bread and press the bread down into the custard mix. Bake for 40-50 minutes until puffed up and brown and a knife poked into the strata comes out clean.
Note: this can be assembled and left (covered) in the fridge for the night for a quick and easy morning bake, too!