CSA Newsletter Box 15-September 29

by jennifer on September 29, 2010

Many of you have been asking when the last CSA box is. The Last box will be October 20th. Depending on how the weather behaves, or doesn’t, and how the later fall crops are looking, we may offer a 4 week extended CSA. Shares would be delivered to the Olympia Farmers Market on Saturday or Sunday. Crops may include leeks, potatoes, onions, shallots, kale, turnips, beets, carrots (maybe), parsnips, Brussel sprouts, celeriac, and probably another thing or two I am forgetting. We’ll make a more formal announcement in a few weeks and let you know the price as well.The fall projects are starting! It is rather exciting, actually. Jim has begun tilling in huge swaths of old crops and embarrassingly weedy patches in preparation for the cover crop which has just arrived. Today the crew cut runners from our current strawberry patch and planted an additional 900 row feet. We like to replant the patch every few years to keep up a good supply. The new garlic arrived via Fed Ex this evening so we’ll be popping cloves and planting by week’s end, I hope. The weather forecast looks somewhat promising, so we will pull all the remaining onions tomorrow afternoon to dry in the sun.Several items in your box will need explaining, so here goes.Carrots-the cursed carrot rust fly has struck again. It seems that no amount of crop rotation or row cover can fully thwart them. This planting is riddled with little rust fly nibbles. We can never see how bad the damage is until the carrots are washed, so we decided to forgo bunching and just top them all. They are still as fresh and tasty as ever.Turnips: This is the first time we have grown them. I actually couldn’t even think of what they tasted like until Jim sliced one open in the field. I must say, it was delightful. Sweet, crisp, juicy, with a hint of a “brassica” flavor. It is a kind of like kohlrabi, but more mild and tender. It would be delicious grated onto a salad, julienned on a veggie tray, or added to a soup or stir fry.Copra onions: Today we will trade out the sweet onion, for a pungent one. Copra onions are an “open the window and get out a handkerchief while you slice them” kind of onion. They are excellent keepers.Tomatoes: They are only getting uglier as a result of last week’s cold and rain. Good thing they still taste so good! Bagels, cream cheese, and fresh tomato slices are a daily staple for me. Gotta get my fill while I can!Pumpkins and Delicata squash: The winter squash as a whole is a very sad affair. We direct seeded it twice this spring and suffered a substantial amount of loss from rot and hungry mice. On top of that, symphilans, evil little bugs that feast on root hairs (thereby stunting plants) proliferated in the extended cool, wet conditions and did a number on a fair bit of whatever squash did manage to survive the trials and tribulations of germination. As a consequence, we only have enough pie pumpkins for the regular shares. For a substitute, small shares will get a Delicata squash. Delicata is a sweet and creamy and can be used for sweet and savory applications. We will harvest the rest of the winter squash in the next week or two and have a better sense of how much there is to distribute.Wow, rereading this newsletter I sound so complainy. I don’t mean to be. I am actually feeling optimistic about the next week. The weather looks good, there are new and interesting jobs to be done, and looking back on the season (as challenging as it has been) there is a lot to be proud of.  We have worked hard, eaten well, enjoyed a fabulous crew, and……..In today’s box:Beets or ChardPie pumpkin or delicate squashLoose carrotsGreen cabbageFrench fingerling potatoesGreen beansFennelKohlrabiTurnipsCornSummer squashRed onionPungent yellow onion (Copra)TomatoesPepperRotational: Broccoli, eggplant?

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