It’s as though last Friday, someone (God? Mother Nature? The Great Pumpkin?) threw a switch and suddenly…bam!…fall swooped in. Breezy, cool weather is now the norm, with a little rain today thrown in for good measure. A frost is certainly a possibility…it was down to around 38 degrees here a couple nights ago…so we’re now keeping a close watch on the forecasted lows. Summer is wonderful, but fall is always a nice time for us. We enjoy the cooler air for harvesting and other outdoor farm work, plus lots of crops we love are coming on strong now…various roots, pumpkins, leeks, winter squash, etc. Also, frankly, we begin to see the light at the end of that long seasonal tunnel and feel as though we can begin to at least THINK about resting…an especially nice thought this year as we relearn how to function with a newborn (sleep? what?)
With this in mind, we do have an ending in our sights for the CSA: the week of October 17th will be the last for pick-ups and such, though we will continue to attend the Bridgton Farmers’ Market for a few weeks after that. For you CSAers, this is the time of year when you really get that bang for your buck that CSAs can provide. Sonya keeps track of the value of each week’s share and keeps a running total of where we are for the season (prices are determined by applying our farmers’ market prices to whatever veggies are in the share that week). A full share for this season cost $475, and last week’s share brought the season-thus-far total to $465. The value of this week’s share well exceeds $10, so from here on out (another 4 weeks!) your veggies are essentially all bonus. Free veggies? Well, yes!
You’ll notice that I didn’t mention the Portland Farmers’ Market above, and for good reason: this Saturday, 9/24, will be our last time attending the market this season. For our Portland market share CSAers, we urge you to come see us in the park and use up the balance remaining on your share! We’ve also decided to make this our final season attending the Portland Farmers’ Market. We’ve been attending for four years now, either on Wednesdays in Monument Square or Saturdays in Deering Oaks Park (last year we did both!) and have truly enjoyed the experience, especially meeting and getting to know so many fellow farmers and all of our wonderful customers. We’ll miss the market but want to move forward and focus on continuing to grow and expand the CSA. We definitely still plan to deliver boxed shares down to Portland next year and will also be participating once again in the Portland Winter Farmers’ Market at the ME Irish Heritage Center. That will start up after the new year, I think, and we’ll keep you posted right here on the blog about the specifics as we know them.
The Summit Springs Farm CSA share for week #14 includes the following:
2 lb bag of potatoes
1 lb bag of peppers
CHOOSE ONE: 2 lb bag of carrots -OR- 2 lb bag of beets
CHOOSE ONE: 1 bunch of kale -OR- 1 bunch of chard
1 head of Napa cabbage
1 bulb of garlic
1 quart of husk cherries
CHOOSE ONE: 1 lb bag of broccoli -OR- 2 lb bag of zucchini and/or summer squash -OR- 1 lb bag of eggplant -OR- 1 bag of cucumbers
Up to 6 lbs of beefsteak and heirloom tomatoes
So, what about those husk cherries? What do you do with them? I tell folks that we love to snack on them or put them in smoothies or salads, but I’m curious to know of other approaches. If you’ve found a great recipe for those husk cherries, please let me know! They are also called ground cherries, and a fella from New Zealand at the farmers’ market down in Portland this weekend told me that over there the little fruits are known as Cape Gooseberries. There you go… Also, a big “thank you” to CSA member Sue Lassele for helping Claire and I with last Friday’s harvest!
Also related to the changing of the seasons is our annual call for leaves. We use leaves (and hay and grass clippings) to mulch all sorts of things for the winter, including strawberries, garlic, herbs, and more. We never seem to have enough, so folks, if you are in the habit of raking your leaves and hauling them to the dump just haul ‘em over here! We’ll put them to good use. If necessary, we could also come and get your leaves…just give us a call, and we’ll work out the details.
And…little Ezra is home! He came home for good last Thursday, and he is doing great. We all are, actually, now that we’re all together. Thanks to everyone for congrats, good cheer, well wishes, gifts for the little fella, etc.!