I hope you got to enjoy the lunar eclipse the other night. What a gift to see such a thing. We are lucky being out in the country where it is dark and we could see so many stars. I gathered in the middle of the road with several of my neighbors. We all stood marveling together, oo-ing and aah-ing, passing around the binoculars, and talking about the stars and space and cosmic things.
The winter squash is all harvested and Jim is gearing up to do the big potato dig today. We cut the tops off all our storage potatoes a few weeks ago to make the skins set and toughen up for long term storage. Now we will pull our very old and very funky potato digger through the field to harvest them. This “contraption”, for lack of a better word, digs the potatoes, lifts them onto a conveyor belt, where a crew of 3 will pick them off the belt and bag them. You can hear the chugging of the tractor and squeaking of the digger all the way across the fields. This sure beats the way we usually dig the weekly potatoes wherein the crew scoots along on their knees sifting through the soil in search of spuds. Anytime our work can be done in an upright position, we rejoice heartily! Next week we hope to tackle garlic planting.
The cover crop we planted last week is already up. It reminds me of beard stubble the way it catches the sunlight in the mornings. With the weather we are having, there should be a nice stand going into the fall/winter. Surprisingly the crows haven’t been eating as much of the seed as they usually do. Maybe they are down the road eating someone else’s corn.
Yesterday we did a massive carrot harvest in order to clear out some beds and get bulk carrots to sell to the Olympia Food Co-ops. Sadly, there was A LOT of rust fly damage. We ended up with hundreds of pounds of “B” grade carrots, which are still tasty and useful, but just aren’t so pretty. In addition to your regular bunch of nicer carrots, we tossed in a handful of the B’s. Here is a link to an AMAZING carrot muffin recipe I tried out last night. (They are nearly gone, by the way.)
yellow and red onions
red or green pepper
chard or beets
curly or red Russian kale
Elaborations on the box:
Potatoes: Today you get russets. I highly recommend baking whole or mashing these guys. They are wonderfully light and flaky. Enjoy them with sour cream, butter, and fresh chives.
Chives: They are starting to bounce back from the summer heat. Chopped fresh chives make a bright, fresh addition to most savory dished. Add them to salads, sprinkle atop your bowl of soup, use them in an omelet, or Google “how the heck do I use chives?”
Acorn Squash: Acorn is one of the more familiar winter squash. I’m sure you’ve had it with butter and brown sugar at Grandma’s house at least once in your life. I find this squash to have the mildest flavor and isn’t terribly sweet. I would recommend letting it sit around your kitchen for a week or two before eating. Squash, in general, sweeten up the longer they sit off the vine. We have to dole out your squash allotment over the next few weeks, even if they aren’t fully ready to eat or else your last box will weigh a ton. Last fall I heard a great radio blurb on NPR’s Here and Now about the awesomeness of winter squash. Here is a link if you care to listen or read the transcript. It was a very informative piece describing many of the health benefits of squash and included several recipe suggestions. Remember that while each type of squash is unique in taste and texture, they can be used interchangeably in most recipes.
Enjoy the sunshine!