CSA Week 18: October 4-8

Sweetheart waiting to be milked in the front yard.

My apologies again for another long hiatus from blog updates. We certainly are in the midst of the harvest season and it just hasn’t felt right to take a break from harvesting winter squash with an impending frost. The rain today has finally given us a little bit of a break. So we’re all gathered in the kitchen: I’m finally updating the blog, while Maggie washes eggs, and Suzanne shows Lauren (a WWOOFER) how to make fresh mozzarella from our raw milk. Speaking of frost, we got our first frost last Monday but it only really seemed to affect the basil; the peppers, eggplant, and tomatillos are still going. On the harvest front, all the garlic and onions have been dried for a while now. This past week we finished harvesting the last of the winter squash and sweet potatoes. The potatoes have been mowed down and are curing while the storage beets and carrots are waiting to be harvested. The greenhouse tomatoes are winding down and we’re beginning to clear them out in order to plant hardy greens for the winter. We also have been busy constructing a new greenhouse. This year the USDA offered a grants to many farms to construct unheated greenhouses with the purpose of exploring more low-cost season extension options. We were fortunate to be the recipients of one of the grants and are in the process of constructing another greenhouse, which hopefully will be ready in time to have winter greens planted into it. So that’s what’s been going on here. Just a reminder about our CSA gathering and harvest celebration this coming Monday, the 11th. We’re planning on the first pizzas coming out of the oven around 4 and also are hoping to have some pumpkin carving, farm tours, and cider making (if we can come up with some apples). Hope to see you all there!

The new greenhouse in progress.

Cleaning out the Tomato greenhouse; the cherries are the first to go.

Lastly, this next week (October 11-15) will be the last week of the regular harvest season CSA share. For those who signed up this spring, the winter share will start up in early November with more info to come on the exact pick-up dates/times.

On to This Week’s Share:

Preparation Tips/Recipes:

Braising Greens: These should be a little smaller this week so try adding them to your salad if you like. They’re also great stir-fried with the bok choy and leeks or just by themselves. I made some for dinner this week and they were delicious sauteed in olive oil with some chopped garlic, toasted sesame oil, soy sauce and a little grated ginger root.

Pumpkins/Winter Squash: If you don’t have a pumpkin, you can just substitute any other squash in this recipe for pumpkin pie. It’s quite easy and a great cold/rainy day activity.

Pumpkin Pie

1 single crust
1 1/2 cups cooked pumpkin (or squash)
3/4 cup sugar (white or brown), honey or maple syrup
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk/cream
1 tbs butter, melted

Preheat oven to 450. Put the cooked pumpkin in a mixing bowl. Stir in sweetener or choice, spices and salt. Beat eggs slightly and add milk/cream. Combine pumpkin and milk mixtures. Stir in melted butter. Pour into the pastry shell and bake for 10 minutes. Turn the heat down to 350 and continue baking for 35 minutes.

Leeks/Potatoes: This wasn’t a great year for either our leeks or potatoes but things have aligned for you to receive both this week. Leek and Potato soup is extremely simple and quite delicious. There are many recipes out there but this recipe from Julia Child is a classic.

Leek and Potato Soup

3 cups potatoes, sliced thinly
3 cups leeks, sliced thinly
1.5 quarts chicken stock
salt, to taste
1/2 cup cream, optional

Simmer vegetables and stock together for 40-50 minutes. Add salt to taste. Puree in blender if desired. Return to pot and stir in cream. Great served hot or cold. If you want, try adding 5 or 6 cloves of garlic with the potatoes and leeks.

That’s all for this week. Hope to see you all at the farm on Monday for our CSA Harvest Celebration!

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