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CSA 2019 – Week 15

Another Monday – another day of seeding, planting & harvesting (and a bit of weeding too). To be honest, we’re not so excited about it all anymore. It’s been a long season and we’re feeling tired!

But when we see how the recently planted crops – especially the greens – are responding to these cooler, fall temperatures and growing with vigor, we also respond with increased energy and push on …

What’s in the box?

Swiss chard, radishes, sweet peppers & mini sweet peppers, lettuce & arugula, blackberries, onions, and garlic.

  • Swiss chard will never be the most popular green – but it certainly is the brightest & prettiest!
  • Chard is a healthy green, that cooks & tastes similar to spinach in many ways. We usually plant a row, offering it in our CSA once or twice, and selling bunches at market. But it never sells very well (good thing the chickens like it!). This year we tried something different and sold baby chard – chard that is planted quite thickly and then harvested when only a few inches tall. At this size it is very tender and can be eaten raw in salads. But some of it got away on us and now we have some beautiful full size swiss chard. If you are not familiar with chard, here are 2 websites that offer good information & simple recipes.
  • https://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/swiss_chard/
  • https://www.healthyseasonalrecipes.com/simple-sauteed-swiss-chard/
  • Fall radishes (or winter radishes) are different from spring radishes. They takes much longer to mature and the result is a very large, but milder, crispy radish. They are most delicious eaten raw but can also be stir-fried, or roasted. We planted lots, but then lost most of them due to poor germination when it was dry, and then to weeds. As a result this might be the only week they are in your box – so give them a try!
  • This is high season for our sweet peppers! We have shepherds (the long, red, very sweet ones), & bell peppers in several colours. The harvest is plentiful – so expect plenty in the box this week! In a plastic bag in the fridge, peppers keep well for several weeks. They freeze well too – simply cut them up, pop into freezer bags and throw them in the freezer. When winter comes, you’ll be glad to have them for your cooking!
  • We also have mini sweet bell peppers. These tiny peppers in yellow and red taste delicious and are great in lunches or as a snack. You could stuff them with cream cheese & herbs or try this recipe …
  • https://www.skinnytaste.com/mini-bell-pepper-loaded-turkey-nachos/
  • Lettuce mix, arugula, onions, garlic & blackberries complete your share this week. We’re still picking lots of blackberries, but the crop is coming to an abrupt end shortly! This may be the last week for blackberries!
  • There are no tomatoes in the box this week. The cooler days & much cooler nights have slowed the (already weary) plants down and we are picking very, very few. Tomato season is ending!

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We continue to draw energy from the beauty of the farm this time of year!


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CSA 2019 – Week 14

Do you have any bees on your farm?

That’s a question we get asked a lot at market. People are concerned about the bees! I assure them that on our farm there seems to be a lot of bees … and butterflies .. and all sorts of insects.

Right now the sunflowers are teeming with life! So many bees and other flying insects! When we finish picking a patch, I don’t mow it down immediately but leave what remains (misshapen blooms, crooked stems, uglies …) for the bees to work – and they love it!

There are bees in the wild areas too – in the weeds around our pond, along the railroad tracks …

… and in our gardens by the house.

Our water garden – where the water from washing our vegetables drains to – has had an abundance of monarch butterflies lately. They especially like the Joe Pye weed.

What’s in the box?

Lettuce mix, beets, zucchini, shishito peppers, sweet peppers, tomatoes, blackberries, onions, garlic.

  • Our lettuce mix is back in the box this week! The cooler temperatures of late (especially at night) have been good for lettuce, which prefers this over the heat & humidity. We continue to plant lettuce every week, so there should be lots coming.
  • Today I cleaned up several beet plantings where we had been picking earlier. The beets here, hidden under weeds, are not the prettiest – they are all different shapes & sizes. But we ate some for dinner tonight and they were tender & delicious! Enjoy some beets in your share this week.
  • The zucchini is also looking a bit strange now! The plants are struggling to survive (I’ll put them out of their misery after this week), but still producing fruit – albeit somewhat misshapen & oddly coloured fruit. So this is the last zucchini you’ll get in your box this season.
  • We can’t stop eating shishito peppers. I’m so glad we planted a lot of them! Hopefully you love them too. Most shishito recipes char or blister the peppers. That’s the way we eat them! But here’s a recipe that’s a little different – pickled shishitos. https://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/braised-pork-with-ginger-pickled-shishito-peppers
  • Our sweet peppers are ripening faster now – the red shepherds and the coloured bells.
  • The cooler nights have slowed the tomatoes right down. We’re picking a lot less now than a few weeks ago. But there’s still plenty of green fruit remaining on the plants so we’re not done yet – which is good news for all of us tomato lovers!
  • Blackberries, onions & garlic complete the box this week.

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Here’s a recipe for a fresh & easy tomato salad that we eat all summer …

Fresh Tomato Salad

Combine
2 TB red wine vinegar
1.5 TB olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper 
1 clove garlic
Add …
2 cups chopped tomatoes or cherry tomatoes
2 cups chopped cucumbers
2 cups chopped sweet peppers
1/4 cup chopped (red) onion 
1 tin chick peas
Let sit for 2 hours.
Add …
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1/4 cup fresh basil
1/2 cup feta  

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Our apologies if anyone was missing a few blackberries last week!!