Early Fall CSA Newsletter – October 25th

by jennifer on October 24, 2014

Early Fall Share Week 1


Thanks for joining the Early Fall CSA. Get ready to crank up the oven and break out the soup pot. We have officially entered comfort food season. As much as I dread the season of cold and rain, I am at least consoled by the fact that I can savor creamy winter squash, thick hearty soups, and oven root roasts for the next few months. Oh, and don’t forget pies and muffins!

Our fall crew is considerably smaller. It’ll be Isaac, Ian, Alex, and Maryclair slogging in the mud with us for the next few months. I think we are all looking forward to later start times and more than one day off per week. Once the Olympia market drops down to weekends only, Jim and I will spend time evaluating this past season and do some brainstorming for next year, while it is all fresh in our minds. You’d think after 20 years of doing this, we’d just be on autopilot. Not so. Each season is unique in some way. Weather, crew, marketing, the economy, our itch to constantly experiment, our obsessive need to organize just a little more, increased acreage, etc., all play a role in keeping things challenging and interesting. Sometimes I feel like the cycle of farming is glacially slow, at least when it comes to experimenting and trialing. Whether it be a new seed variety, a tweak in our fertilizing regime, or a new cultivating technique, it can be 6 months or more before we see the results. Sometimes by then it is too late to change anything. I can’t tell you how many times we’ve said, “We should have planted more onions!” or “This variety of broccoli is horrible!” (Meanwhile we have 4 successions of said broccoli still ripening.) All we can do is take notes and try something new next year.

The cover crop came up quick and much of it escaped the feasting of the crows. A lot of the garlic is up to. We hope to get a chance to flame weed it at least once before the rain settles in for good. Flame weeding, you wonder? It is essentially a blow-torch attachment that we hook up to a 5 gallon propane tank and then put the tank in a hiking backpack we used long ago to haul the kids around when they were toddlers. We then walk alongside the bed to be flamed and quickly wave the wand of fire across the bed. This bursts the cells of germinated weeds. Flame weeding is used in several applications. For garlic, we can do it even when the garlic has sprouted. It doesn’t seem to mind. We also use it with slow germinating crops like carrots. We’ll seed the carrots, then a week later come back and flame the bed. Carrots take around 2 weeks to germinate. It is always a little nerve wracking flaming the crops that haven’t germinated yet. I am always afraid we’ll fry them! I think we only did that once, long ago.

russian banana potatoes
yellow and red onions
cipollini onion
pie pumpkin
curly kale

Remember to check out the recipe section of our website. There are a few suggestions for parsnips and rutabaga. And note that the Russian banana potatoes are especially good in stews, root roasts, and pot roasts.

We hope you enjoy your veggies!

Jen and Jim

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