Week 13; September 10, 2015

What's in the box?  

 medium share (potatoes not pictured)

medium share (potatoes not pictured)

  • Braising mix
  • bok choi
  • sweet and bell peppers
  • hot peppers
  • onions
  • tomatoes
  • broccoli or cauliflower
  • green top beets
  • potatoes (large and medium)
  • cantaloupe or musk melon

Some of our "eat like a farmer" members got nasturtiums.  They are edible floweres with a peppery flavor.   A perfect garnish for salads or to fancy up a plate.  If you didn't get them this week, hopefully next week if it's not raining at harvest time!  These are very limited and will only make it to the eat like a farmer share members.  

Notes on the box.

This is the last week for tomatoes.  We had another succession planted but tomatoes don't like the wet weather and we have had quite a lot of that lately.  Disease spread quickly and the second succession died.  It was a pretty good run anyway, we think.  We are sorry that we ran out of time before getting to pick the cherry tomatoes.  Next season!  

Cantaloupe may be under-ripe.  That moisture and the cool temps do not bode well for ripening in the field without going bad, so we made the call to send them your way even though they are aren't quite ready yet.  They should be stored on your counter, not in the fridge.  We are bummed that the flavor of the melons is underwhelming this season.  We are guessing it's because of the extreme amount of rain and cool temps are both things that don't lend well to sweetness and ripening of these crops which originate in desert climates.  When Michael Pollen was on NPR's Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me; Paula Poundstone had this to say about cantaloupe "I try to teach my kids to eat healthy food, but you get a cantaloupe, and you don't know when it's going to come of age. You have no idea - that period between when it's like, hard as a rock to when it's smushy inside, is about 10 minutes...And sometimes you got to wake the kids in the middle of the night because the cantaloupe's ready."  Pretty spot on for this season!  Let them hangout on your counter until they smell like ripe cantaloupe and then have at it. Hope it goes well! We have about a 50% success rate here at the farm.  The sweetness and flavor will be better if they are eaten at room temp, not cold from the fridge.  

The greens of the beets are edible and nice on these bunches.   You can add the beet greens to the braising mix  for a big serving of greens.  The beets will store longer if you remove the greens from the beet roots.  Both should be stored in plastic bag in the fridge.  

Please check your peppers to see if they are spicy or sweet before cooking with them.  Slice off a tiny piece and taste.  The spicy peppers are hungarian hot wax or jalapeno. The hot wax peppers are generally smaller, smoother and taper to a shareper point than the sweet peppers.  They start as a lime green pepper and ripen to orange and then bright red.  They have only two lobes, where the sweet peppers have 3 or 4.  See the photos below

Cheese shares.

Ricotta this week and a youngish Asiago style of cheese.  Some members got wedges from smaller wheels that are drier and others got wedges from a lager wheel with a more elastic texture.  This cheese was made in the Spring when the cows were on the Rye grass.  It is about 5 months old, which is still young for a grana style of cheese.  There are a lot of flavors going on in this one!    The rind of this cheese can be cut off and saved to use in a soup stock or to enhance the flavor of sauces.  Here's more about how to do that.  This cheese isn't named yet.  We are waiting to see which cheeses we like the most so that we can focus on perfecting them.  The names for cheeses that we are coming up with are generally related to the night sky and the constillations that your farmer/cheese maker, Rama, sees when she goes out at 4 AM to the aging room, or to cut and wrap cheese, or to make cheese.  A lot of cheese work gets done while kids are asleep and fieldwork is waiting.  Walking from the house to the make room or the aging cave, the night sky is observed and the constillations or stars that are prominent suggest that cheeses should be named after them. Let us know when a cheese stands out to you as one that you like.  We get a lot of feedback at the farmers market and we would love to hear more from our CSA members as well.  

The ricotta looks like a tub of butter.  Gotta love that 100% grass-fed cows milk!  

Recipes.

Beet and Ricotta Terrine with Arugula Salad looks like quite an undertaking.  But maybe worth it if you have time for a project!

Grape, Avocado, and Arugula Salad

Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Bisque

 On the farm.   

It's raining a lot!  And the forecast has some cooler temps, so we are pulling things out of the field as quickly as we can.  We have (literal) tons of potatoes to dig, but have not had any dry days to get it done.  We have been sad to see a beautiful stand of spinach wilt and die in the low spots of the field as it drowns in rain.  This seems to be the norm for the fall for the last few seasons.  We are trying to get potatoes out and winter squash harvested.  They will do better out of the field than in the field at this point.  We could really use a week without torrential downpours.  Think dry thoughts for us, please!  

We are so grateful to our crew for allowing us to get off the farm this past weekend to head to a wedding in Iowa.  It's the first weekend since early May that we have gotten to spend together as a family.  We listened to podcasts about farming on the car ride down and gleaned a lot of great information.  Then we had a great time at a water park and got to spend time with family.  We saw some beautiful sunsets and some really amazing spiders that we had never seen before.  It was fun and so valuable to be able to spend some time together.  

When we got back it was time for Otto to begin his first year of school!  We know that some of our members remember pictures of him still in the belly.  How amazing to be able to share the progress of our family and family farm with our CSA members.  The community part of CSA feels very real as we share these milestones and we see yours as well.  We are full of awe and gratitude.

And then we saw some red and yellow leaves on the trees.  We aren't quite ready for it, but it seems that fall is coming anyway!  Don't worry, though.  There's still 4 weeks left of the regular CSA season.  We are looking forward to more broccoli, cabbage, Winter squash, leeks, carrots, and frost sweetened greens.  Soups and roasted veggies.  Yum yum yum.  We also have 4 weeks after the regular CSA ends for our optional season extention share.  Lots of storage veggies to look forward to for those that don't want to stop eating local foods just yet.  We will provide more information about the season extention in the coming weeks.  

Don't forget that we will be having our harvest party on September 26! We really hope that you can make it out.