It’s week #18, and your CSA share includes the following:
1.5 lb bag of winter squash
1.5 lb bag of carrots
1 daikon radish -OR- 1 kohlrabi
1 bunch of Red Russian kale -OR- Swiss chard -OR- broccoli raab
1 head of Napa cabbage -OR- bok choi -OR- vitamin green
1 head of lettuce
1/2 lb bag of braising mix
Herbs: 1 bunch of cilantro -OR- dill
1 head of garlic
The lettuce options this week are Red Sails or green romaine. The creatively named vitamin green is new to us…we’ve never grown it, and before the other night, had never tasted it, either. The flavor is reminiscent of mustard greens but milder. Let us know what you think!
Your winter squash this week is a mix of delicata (oblong) and sweet dumpling (squat like an acorn squash). There was some confusion for some members last season about whether or not the squash is edible. It most certainly is! (They may have had gourds in mind.) If you’re unfamiliar with these two varieties, get ready for a treat. Delicata and sweet dumpling are our favs here at the farm, the sweetest by far of all the squash we grow. I’m stating the very obvious here: the squash is small. It was yet another casualty of the wet, wet, wet spring, more specifically of the weeds that the rain brought forth and which we were unable to deal with in a timely fashion because of the mud. Our pal, Kent, Connecticut farmer Megan Haney, has a way of looking on the bright side, and a recent e-newsletter of hers mentioned that her squash was tiny, too. But tiny means quick cooking, and she touted the 15-minute roast times for her diminutive delicatas and small sweet dumplings. Amen to that!
As you’ve all noticed by now, our greens–kale, chard, lettuce, broccoli raab, bok choi, napa cabbage, etc.–have been doing fabulously for the past several weeks. Alas, some critters have found their way to the party. Our old pals the slugs are back…not quite as enthusiastically as they were in the spring, but back nonetheless, and enjoying the kale, lettuce, and cabbage. Also, we’re having quite a time with leaf hoppers, tiny little insects that have been going after the cabbage, bok choi, raab, and turnip greens. They are responsible for the little brown spots on the leaves. The greens’ flavor is unaffected, but they look a little bad, and we apologize. I plan to try and train Bear the cat to take a break from rodents and turn his hunting instincts toward the hoppers. I figure if he cruises through the rows of greens with his mouth open just so, he could capture and consume thousands of the little suckers per pass, a la a hungry blue whale gracefully gliding through a school of krill.
I mentioned to a number of you with some certainty that the share this week would include parsnips. Sonya made the call to hold off for another week, however, so apologies to those who are chomping at the bit for the ‘snips. You will get them soon, I promise!
You sure do have to be careful what you wish for around here, weather-wise. After the spring/early summer deluge, we prayed for dry weather and got it, with much of September being completely rain free. Then we prayed for rain and have seen much of it these past couple of weeks. We got 2 inches this past weekend alone, throwing a bit of a wrench in our spading and planting plans (the planting in this case being cover crops, plus a couple beds of garlic for next season). Now it looks as though another dose of the wet stuff is on the way for tomorrow. Ugh.
After a week of hemming and hawing about a date for this month’s potluck, we have decided (and this is, I admit, a bit lame) to skip the October gathering. Relatives are coming to town next week, the season is winding down, and even though October has just begun, it just seems like too much to try to squeeze it in. Stay tuned, however, for we will get one scheduled for November.