CSA Newsletter- Box 18-October 19, 2011

by jennifer on October 19, 2011

Thank you for joining our CSA this season! There are many CSA’s in the area to choose from and we are pleased that you decided to spend the summer with us. We hope you enjoyed the bounty in what looked like a potentially spartan year. Our challenging spring is but a distant memory. ( I think all of the corn and tomatoes I ate helped blot it out.)  This region truly is one of diversity and bounty. There are more small farms popping up each year offering our area more and more opportunities to eat locally and seasonally. Rather than seeing this as unwelcome competition, we see it as a sign that our community is moving in a positive direction. More and more people seem to care about their health, the envorionmnent, and the local economy. Because of that I feel all the farms can thrive. Your participation in a CSA helps to encourage this trend and as a result strenghten our local food security. Buying your weekly produce from a local farm (we like it when it’s from us!), whether via a CSA, a farmers market, the co-ops, etc you are not just helping yourself getting fresh and healthy food. There is a strong and far reaching ripple effect. You are supporting local production which reduces fuel use for transport. You are keeping the dollars you spend circulating locally and creating local jobs. You are helping farmers to keep diversified sustainable agriculture from becoming a dying art. The mere existance of small farms like ours provides green spaces-a refuge for birds, bugs, and other wildlife. Perhaps just as importantly, you are NOT supporting more conventional agricluture which often threatens water quality, worker safety, and can add harmful chemicals into the food chain. In many ways you vote with your dollars, so the more you can put towards businesses that improve, rather than degrade, the world we live in the better off we all are. (I will step off my soap box now….)

 Signing Up For 2012: We are currently working with the tech person in charge of our online CSA registration program and will soon be able to accept registrations for the 2012 season. I will send out an email alert when that is done. We would love it if you signed up again next year, and encouraged a friend or two to do the same. Your personal experience is our best form of advertising. We really try to minimize the amount of paper brochures and flyers we distribute, both to save resources and keep our prices low. So please spread the word, forward a link to our website, etc.

Winter Newsletters: It is my intention to send an occassional farm newsletter a few times over the winter to keep you all in touch with the farm as well as share a few new recipes and photos. If you do not want to receive them, let me know and I’ll take you off the list.  

Website and Facebook: I will be adding new recipes and pictures to the website throughout the winter, so check back regularly. We also have a Facebook page that I will try to add to as well. That is a great forum for sharing recipes if you have some to try. We also would love for you to post pictures of yummy food you make. (I should have suggested that earlier in the summer!) We hope you will “like” our page and keep connected.

Where to Get Your Produce Now That the CSA Is Over-
The Olympia Farmers Market is open Thursday-Sunday through October, and Saturday & Sunday in November & December. All of us farmers are getting better with each passing season at providing a wider array of produce for the fall/winter market, even into December. You can find salad greens, leeks, squash, potatoes, cabbage, carrots, and tons of other fresh veggies down there. While you are there stock up on cheese, baked goods, meat if you are so inclined, honey, and holiday gifts. The market will have warming stations set up throughout so you can stay warm and toasty.
The Olympia Food Co-ops-I’m sure you all know about them, but I can never say enough good things about the food co-op. Locally owned, great selection of organic and natural foods, very reasonable prices, etc. If you haven’t tried it out, you really should.
Olympia Local FoodsThis is a relatively new business, perhaps a year or so old. It is run by a local couple out of Tumwater. They offer everything from soup to nuts and try to source as much of it locally. You order online and pick it up at their warehouse in Tumwater. They are very accurate about where each product comes from. We just started selling produce to them this summer.

CHANGES FOR 2012: With the main CSA season ending and market soon dropping down to 2 days/week, Jim and I will spend some time to reflect on this season and take copious notes while it is all still fresh in our minds. We’ll discuss which crops worked well, which ones didn’t, new crops to try, and potential crops to drop.  We will talk about how to improve field efficiency, record keeping,  and barn organization. We will also look at the administrative end of things, everything from the CSA sign-up process, to newsletters, to customer service. Your input regarding any or all of these topics is always welcome. Though we have been farming since ’94, we are not set in our ways. We are always trying to fine-tune our operation to make it run as smoothly as possible and to take care of our customers. So please, shoot us an email, pop a note in the mail, or come by the market. We really do want to hear from you.

*The kale and chard would not fit in the box. Each share should take one bunch of kale and one bunch of the appropriate size chard from the boxes off to the side.
French fingerling potatoes-unwashed, field run
copra onions-assortment of sizes
red cipollini onions
ailsa craig onions
candy onions
scarlet queen turnip
purple top turnip
butternut squash
spaghetti squash
red cabbage-regular shares only

Potatoes-We gave you all a big bag of the French fingerlings. We elected not to wash them so they will store longer. Wash them right before you use them. They can be kept in a paper bag (to block the light) in a cool, dark place and will last for several months.
Onions: We gave you an assortment of sizes of Copra onions which are in the bag with the potatoes. The shallots and red cipollinis are in there too. The Aisla craigs (softer) and little Candy onions are loose in your box and should be used sooner.
Beets-They are very large, but are still sweet and tender, not at all woody.
Butternut squash-This squash will need to sit out in your kitchen for at least 2 weeks before you eat them. They will become sweeter the longer they sit. Butternut, when in its glory, is sweet and creamy. It is great in a creamy soup. If ever you cook one and it is not as sweet or flavorful as you’d like, use it to make the cinderella pumpkin muffins and add a little extra sweetener.

Please return any of our wax boxes you have collecting around your house/garage if they are still in good shape. You can bring them to your CSA site today when you get your last box, or drop them by the Olympia Farmers Market  Thursday-Sunday during market hours. You may wish to bring bags with you today to transfer your produce so you don’t have to worry about box return.

cocunut curry squash soup (you can add turnips and/or chard to this, too)
kale chips
the beet sandwhich
chocolate beet cake
sesame kale and cabbage salad
turnip gratin

Thanks from the crew!

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