What's in the box?
Notes on the box...
Brussel Sprouts are such a treat, but this season they matured a little late and unevenly. We picked what was ready, but feel pretty disappointed that we weren't able to get more to you. Good news for Winter Share folks who are fans of Brussel Sprouts, though. Some of them got extra large size. Trim off the stalk part and then cut them in half before cooking. They all taste great!
We are giving a medley of Winter Squash today. Everyone got some combination that included pie pumpkins, black futsu squash, autumn crown pumpkin, delicata, acorn, red kuri, or butternut. Black Futsu is an heirloom and a personal favorite. The skins are edible, so it's good for recipes where you remove the seeds then slice the squash into moons and roast the slices (see a few weeks ago when we had delicata squash).
Pak Choi, again? wow. Three times was WAY more than we planned on giving this vegetable, but it loved the weather or something. It wouldn't stop growing! Hopefully you have learned to love it! It is wonderful chopped and added to stir fry or soup.
The chard can be used as you would spinach. I like to stretch the amount of spinach that I have by adding card to it. Spinach/Chard Lasagna? Yum!
Green Juice The recipe calls for cucumbers, but we've been adding apples to our juice.
Winter Panzanella from Smitten Kitchen uses winter squash and brussel sprouts
Twice Baked Squash with Quinoa, Pecans, and Parmesan Recipe calls for Butternut, but any squash would work well.
On the farm...
Usually at week 18 we are all feeling relief that the season is wrapping up. It takes a ton of thought, planning, timing, sacrifice, luck, energy, and work from all of us to get these boxes out to you during the growing season. Our next season starts as soon as the deliveries end. We are cleaning up the farm and getting things ready for the snow to fall, reading surveys, packing and delivering season extension shares, going over what we want to change, working on our budget for the remainder of the season and for next season, we move on to crop planning, equipment maintenance and repair... There are still animals that need care every day. We have to look for crew members for next season. And this Winter there will be off farm jobs, as well.
So at the end of the season we are usually dreaming about shrinking our CSA to 20 members, turning the barn into a haunted house, and starting a kitchey pumpkin patch. But this season, with the warmer weather and sunshine, the best fall colors we've seen in a long time, great feedback from members, and the boxes wrapping up in a way that we are overall pretty happy with; we feel like saving the pumpkin patch for a retirement dream and are already feeling optimistic and looking forward to next season.
Overall we feel good about this past season. We had fewer of some crops than we had planned (melons, cucumbers, and winter squash) and some crops did really well (lettuce, broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower). This is the nature of CSA farming, not everything goes according to crop plan.
It's tough to keep the big picture in mind at times as to why we are doing this. But our passion is good food raised responsibly going to a group of people who are hoping to change the world one meal at a time. But we know that those ideals are also as important as the value you get in the box. So we are always trying to give you both the ideal you signed up for, a healthy balanced farm and the value of what you bought into.
If you enjoyed being a member of Turnip Rock, we would LOVE for you to stick with us! When members return from year to year we are able to focus more on growing healthy food which we love to do, and less on marketing (which is honestly not a place where we excel). If you love CSA, we really hope that you will tell your friends and family. Word of mouth is the best advertising we can get and we need to get more people excited and educated about the importance of local food so that all the small farms can thrive and we can shift how our food system works, making it more sustainable and healthy for ourselves and our environment.
Next season we will FINALLY be offering a cheese share! We will be sending you information about adding it to your 2015 CSA share as soon as we get the odds and ends of our cheese room finished. This may involve a crowd-funding effort, so keep an eye out for that.
We are so grateful to have grown food for you and your families this season. Please fill out the survey that we email to you and let us know about your experience. We can't thank you enough for your support of a local, just, and responsible food system, and our little piece of the puzzle called Turnip Rock Farm !
And a big huge overwhelming THANK YOU to the 2014 farm crew who made it all come together. Haley and Dana were with us full time and Sam worked with us again part time. These guys are amazingly self motivated, smart, funny, and fast! They brought a great positive attitude to work and cared about the farm and the boxes in a very generous way. Dana is sticking around to help us with the Winter Shares and Haley is headed to the city to keep up her work with food employment. Sam is going adventuring and will be working on farms in warmer climates. We hope to have all of them back with us in the future. Big hugs guys! We couldn't do it without you!
Just kidding. She doesn't know us. Anyway...
Lots of love from the 2014 crew at TurntUp Rock Farm!