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Fall CSA – Week 4

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Let me be honest and just say it outright.

We are lacking for ambition this time of year.

For sure we are still getting work done – but it takes us longer each day to decide which jobs to tackle and how much we need to accomplish.

There are two main reasons for this. Firstly, we are tired & weary from a long season – both physically tired and also mentally. And secondly, the schedule we followed all summer – the one that was basically the same all season long, the one we didn’t really have to think about because it was so similar week after week – is done. Seeding, planting, weeding, (almost all of the) harvesting, marketing & selling … is complete. Now we are into the clean up & put-the-farm-to-bed-for-the-winter time of year. Fortunately we have a list of fall chores that we can work from – crossing a few off the list each day gives us a feeling of accomplishment.

Today we planted garlic, the last crop to be planted this year. We put in 7 rows, each 250′ long. That’s approximately 4500-5000 cloves. Should be enough!

The other day I burned the brush pile.

We have also dug up the dahlias, cleaned in the barn and the workshop, painted the back barn door, cut down the plants in the water garden, winterized some of the equipment and put it away, emptied the outdoor water tank and removed the pump, filled the indoor water tank …

And the list is getting smaller – just like our ambition!

What’s in the box?

Chinese cabbage, fennel, radishes, salad greens, green onions, garlic, pawpaws.

Extras – squash

  • We did it! We finally got some nice Chinese cabbage – it has taken all season and more than a few tries but it sure is beautiful. Crisp, tender, and mild, Chinese (or napa) cabbage is delicious eaten fresh in a salad instead of lettuce. Or use the large leaves as wraps, make it into coleslaw, kimchi or stir-fry it. While the outer leaves are a lovely green colour, the inside is often creamy white. (If you want to save it for later, it will keep for a month or more wrapped in plastic in your fridge.)
  • This last harvest of fennel is also the nicest of the season. Enjoy it fresh in a salad or slaw or try the soup recipe below. A longtime customer from Georgetown market shared a tub of this soup with us along with the recipe. It is super delicious!
  • There are still a few pawpaws on the trees – so we decided to add them to the CSA share this week. Pawpaws are a “tropical fruit” native to North America, growing in the Carolinian forests in Kentucky, Ohio and north to Southern Ontario – around Lake Erie & in the Niagara peninsula. Once popular with indigenous people & early settlers they began to disappear as the woodlands were cleared for farming & development. Now they are considered to be somewhat rare. The taste – the taste is heavenly! Distinctly tropical like a banana/mango/pineapple with a soft, mushy, custard-like texture. I slice them in half & scoop out the delicious flesh with a spoon. (Each fruit has a lot of large, hard seeds to eat around.) Let it get very soft before you eat it. It may turn brown & bruised but that’s ok. That’s when it will have the sweetest flavour.
  • Radishes, salad greens, green onions & garlic complete the box this week – our 2nd last week of the season.

Tricia’s Fennel & Roasted Garlic Soup

2 fennel bulbs

5 redskin potatoes

½ large sweet onion

2 carrots diced

1 roasted red pepper

Saute vegetables in olive oil in a stock pot.

Then add 2 bulbs of roasted garlic.

Add water to cover and cook.

Add 4 cups vegetable stock and seasoning – nutmeg, celery salt, dill seed, cumin, allspice.

Use a potato masher to break it down.

When serving, top with this yogurt topping.

Combine plain yogurt, lots of finely chopped chives and fennel fronds, salt & pepper.

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Around the farm this week …

The final beds of salad greens to be harvested this fall.
Sunflowers blooming too late for market, but the bees are still enjoying them – as are we!
Fall is a beautiful time of year!

Everybody was enjoying the sunshine & warm fall weather today!

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