3rd Fall Share, Week 22

A soggy start to the week and there’s a bit more than I was expecting in the share today. As expected, the chard, lettuce and carrots all continue to be beautiful. Peppers are still going, and might even make it another week, as are the Matina tomatoes from the hoop house.

Salad turnips were a last minute addition today, and the one I sampled was huge, very sweet and tender. Also in the brassica family we have cabbage today, although Thursday will likely see kohlrabi instead of the cabbage.

The celery is starting to show some signs of decline so we decided we should harvest the last of it this week as it will keep in your refrigerator better than it will in the field.

Leeks are the allium of the week and to round out the shares we’re giving out the last of the winter squash, as predicted. It’s a choice of two of the remaining three varieties, while they last.

I was hoping to give out popcorn today, but it’s so wet we’ll probably wait until next week, or maybe Thursday. It’s already a pretty heavy share and I was having trouble fitting it all in a bag after I took the photo. I’ll post a bit more on the popcorn later this week.

Week 22 Predictions

Seems like we’re having a nice gradual transition into fall, both with the weather and with the crops.

Our carrot and lettuce supply looks good for the foreseeable future. Chard continues to look good although I did notice a few more aphids starting to return. Sweet peppers are slowing quite a bit but we should have one more week of those, not sure what will happen with the tomatoes though.

Now that we’re solidly into fall and the onions, shallots and garlic are all given out we’re going to start harvesting the leeks.

Looking at our brassica patch the salad turnips are very close and are a maybe for next week. Kale is also an outside possibility, as are cabbage and kohlrabi.

We have a few more storage crops to give out as well. There’s another winter squash or two for next week. Unfortunately the three varieties pictured above didn’t yield well so we don’t have enough of any of the three to give out to everyone so it’ll be a little random. All three of these will benefit from a bit of curing at home, simply sitting in a cool spot with a bit of airflow (like a kitchen counter). There’s very little butternut and that one will probably be at peak flavor sometime from November to December. There’s a bit more of the Black Futsu and that one is probably at its peak from December through January (it’s also a great decoration until then, and will continue to change colors on its bumpy surface). Black Forest Kabocha is the largest of the three and should be ready later this month, through November. For more on winter squash check out the eatwintersquash.com project or @cookwithwhatyouhave.

Besides winter squash, another dual purpose (seasonal ornamental/edible) crop we have to give out in the next week or two is popcorn. These are full ears of Dakota Black. We’re giving them out on the cob because they just look so good. I’ll have an upcoming post on how to actually shell and pop the corn.

Next week might be the last chance for pick your own cherry tomatoes, although they’re already in decline. Most of the herbs are still looking good, and some of the flowers too, although sadly those will decline with the rain and cold too. In their place we’ll be putting in cover crop, as we’ve already started to do out in empty beds in the fields.

October Video Tour

2nd Fall Share, Week 21

Today’s share has the first of the winter squash. We’re starting with Sweet Reba, an acorn type, and Delicata Zeppelin. The yield on winter squash was pretty poor this year so we’ll likely only be giving out one or two more squash in the next week or two, but these two varieties should be good to eat any time between now and November.

Arugula is back to help spice up your salads, as are some winter radishes. The radish tops are edible as well, and I know some folks who eat them raw but I prefer them cooked. We also have collard greens in the share for cooking, and Samantha lettuce for your raw salads.

To round it all out we still have a few tomatoes, a good number of sweet peppers, and a big bunch of carrots.

Week 21 predictions

Fall got off to a beautiful start with a nice, warm, dry week and it looks like we might get another one next week.

Sweet peppers should continue, but it’s unclear what the tomato situation will be. Lettuce continues and we’ll likely have a bit of arugula to spice up salads and possibly a few other brassicas.

Turnips, kohlrabi, cabbage and fall radishes are all on the near horizon. Without a bit of cool, wet weather they may all have a bit of extra spice to them. They’re all maturing a bit unevenly so it’s going to be a little tricky to balance the shares but we’ll try to get a bit of all of them into the shares in the next few weeks. Another brassica that should return next week is collard greens.

Continuing with fall storage crops I’m hoping we’ll have the winter squash sorted for next week. Unfortunately the winter squash did not do well so the quantities will be small. It was likely planted too tightly in with the popcorn and dry beans and got shaded out. On the up side, it looks like we’ll have more popcorn that we originally planned.

Carrots are another crop that seems to be doing well in the late summer. We may take a break from the bunches next week, but it’s also possible they may show up every week for the rest of the year. Given how good the chard looks right now we might keep giving that out too. Unlike the carrots which will get better the colder it is, the chard will go downhill when we have our first really cold nights so we’re picking it while we have it.

If you’ve been wondering what to do with some of the items we’ve given out in larger quantities recently – like celery, or chard – don’t forget to check cookwithwhatyouhave.com for recipe ideas.

1st Fall Share, Week 20

Pretty much as predicted this week. The share has a big head of celery, carrots, chard, lettuce, and the remaining basil, sweet peppers and tomatoes.

In addition, we’re distributing all of the stored onions, shallots, garlic and potatoes! This is the full fall share of these crops for the rest of the season. We figured your kitchen is probably a better place to store them than our cramped little farm shed, and this way you can use them whenever you like. Most members already picked up their potatoes but If you haven’t picked up potatoes yet they’re in a bag with your name on them.

The u-pick still has plenty of flowers and herbs. Hot peppers, cherry tomatoes and Romano beans are all available to be picked too.

Week 20 predictions – First week of fall

Summer has quickly turned to fall this year, harvest wise, but we still have a few summer holdouts that look like they’ll make it into the first fall share.

We’re going to try to give out one last bunch of basil and whatever tomatoes we can. Peppers should still be producing well – we’re picking them a little under-ripe so you can let them color on your counter (or just eat them with a bit of green – same goes for the tomatoes).

Lettuce and chard will be the greens and we’ll have carrots in the share again (we’re still working through a summer bed of carrots that did great!) We’re planning on a bunch of celery as well.

For the first fall distribution we’ll have bags of potatoes for folks who didn’t get a chance to pick them up earlier. Bags have names on them and we’ll leave them for after hours pick up if you can’t make it to the regular hours. We’re also planning to give out all of the onions, garlic and shallots for the rest of the year in one shot so it’ll be a big day for storage crops. We’ve got Newburg, a yellow storage onion, Cipollini, a flat yellow onion with excellent flavor and good keeping quality, Ed’s Red shallots, another good keeper, and one last head of our garlic crop. These all keep well for months in a dry spot, but they’re also good to eat now so you choose.