This is the time of year where it feels like we have one foot in summer and the other in fall. The mornings are cold, requiring many layers of sweaters and hats. By afternoon most of us are stripped down to t-shirts and sunhats, toting requisite water bottles. As for veggies, we have cabbage, kale, and and shallots that declare, “Fall is here!” And then there are tomatoes, cucumbers, and lettuce that insist that “Summer is still here, thank you very much!”
The fields are slowly emptying out and we just purchased cover crop seed. Jim hopes to start spreading the rye and crimson clover mix tomorrow. Cover crop helps rejuvenate the soil by creating bio-mass and good habitat for soil microbes. It also protects the soil from the relentless winter rains, reducing compaction and nutrient loss.
What’s In the Box:
Chard or beets (some chioggia, some red)
Red slicing tomatoes
Candy onion (The yellow one. Kinda sweet, kinda pungent.)
Asian or Italian eggplant
Scarlet turnip-regular shares only
Purple kohlrabi-small shares only
Box Content Elaborated:
Kale: There may be some clusters of aphids in the kale. Now don’t freak out! Just undo the bunch and give the leaves a rinse before you put it away and you can forget all about it. They are tiny, harmless, and mostly just annoying. We tried to keep an eye out while harvesting, but this variety is just so crinkly!
Potatoes: This variety is called “Ozette” and one of our CSA members got us started on this variety several years ago. They used to grow them, but couldn’t any longer and so gave us about 5 pounds of their last harvest for us to try the following season. Since then, we have slowly built up our “seed” and were able to plant about 300 row feet this year. They are a crazy shaped potato, supposedly originating from the Olympic Peninsula. The flavor is rich and creamy. Enjoy this potato roasted or steamed. The flavor is just so divine, that a simple preparation is all that is needed.
Scarlet Queen turnips: You may remember them from the spring. Bright scarlet in color, sweet and crunchy in texture and flavor. Best raw, but can be cooked.
Watermelon radish: They are an off-white large radishy-looking thing. We didn’t have many, so you just got one or two to try. Cut them open to reveal red flesh and sweet flavor. I was ready to till these in, as the greens took a beating and they didn’t look like much. But then I tasted one and thought better of it. We will definitely grow more next year so we can have them later into the fall.
Shallot: This is a large variety called “Ambition.” Shallots are similar to onions, but have a richer, more distinctive flavor. They are often used minced in a vinaigrette dressing, or added to a soup base. Break out your inner Julia Child and explore the possibilities with shallots!
Well, the work day is far from over. I’m off to harvest dill for the skads of pickling cukes we harvested yesterday. It’s not too late if you want some! Come on down to the market this Thursday or Friday and get some.