4th Fall Share, Week 23

Todays share has kale, kohlrabi, carrots, hakurei turnips, tomatoes, two heads of lettuce, a sweet pepper and popcorn.

The kale is Lacinato Rainbow but we may switch to Nash’s on Thursday depending on how the rest of the planting looks. Kohlrabi will be swapped for cabbage or collards on Thursday. There are two heads of lettuce this week because we have a bit of extra and with all of this amazing sun it’s not going to hold well in the field. The sun ripened some late field tomatoes so there’s more of those even after I had given up on them. We picked the peppers hard the last couple weeks so they’re almost gone, and I’m not sure if we’ll have any for Thursday – although the sun is doing some magical things out there.

The weather looks good for the next week. I’m actually hoping for a brief rain break to germinate the fall cover crops. I wouldn’t mind more weather weeks like this though.

Week 23 Predictions

Above are some massive Superschmelz kohlrabi that went out instead of the cabbage last night. An alternate option was some beautiful Mantovano fennel. All three of these crops, for different reasons, have come up a bit short this fall but we’re still holding out hope for more to come.

Some crops that aren’t coming up short are carrots and lettuce. We should have at least a few more weeks of those. There may be a bit of mustard or arugula as well as kale to fill out the greens section of the share. Our fall brassica roots are looking decent too, with more radishes or turnips likely to make repeat appearances.

Tomatoes and peppers are both big question marks. Really they should be done, but it’s possible with the sun they may rally a bit longer.

With the sun forecasted next week we’ll distribute the popcorn. I’ll post a video later today with some more information on that.

Long shots, but crops in the pipeline are beets, celeriac, parsley and parsnips. Those probably won’t go out next week but they are coming up, along with a few others.

With the bulk storage crops (potatoes, onions, shallots and winter squash) all given out early this year the share size should start to shrink a bit in the upcoming weeks, although bulky greens and heavy roots may keep the bags looking big. We’ll see what happens with the weather. It’s always a bit of a guessing game.

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.

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.

13th (and last) Summer Share, Week 19

Next week is the start of our fall season so this is the last week of the summer share and the transition is evident. We’re cleaning up the kale planting so there’s a small bunch of Nash’s Green kale in the share, and the chard is looking so good that we harvested bunches of that too. For lettuce it’s the last heads of romaine for the year. Continuing with green things, there’s a small bunch of parsley – an herb that I’ve only come to appreciate more recently as an excellent addition most sautés, added at the beginning to hot olive oil brings out its sweet aroma.

The carrots are sizing up nicely and there’s a good bunch in the share this week. Peppers continue with the Jimmy Nardellos slowing down and the Stocky Reds and Gatherer’s Golds picking up the slack. Tomatoes are slowing way down, with the biggest portions of the harvest coming from the Matinas that we have in the tunnel and the Ulysses that seem to be the only ones ripening outside as the weather has cooled off.

Goodbye summer, come back and visit again next year (if not sooner)!

Predictions for Week 19

Next week is the last week of summer. This week it was feeling like summer was already over and fall was starting, both from the weather and the harvests. Next week it looks like we might get a little more sun but the temperatures are still supposed to be a bit chilly in the evenings. This is perfect weather for greens and roots, and less great for ripening tomatoes.

We’ll still have plenty of peppers next week, and maybe a few more tomatoes. If you’re going into pepper overload, know that they are one of the easiest vegetables to freeze for later use. Simply core and de-seed them and stick them in freezer bags with most of the air sucked out of the bag. I’d recommend letting them sit out on your kitchen counter until they are completely colored before doing this to maximize sweetness.

The chard is looking so good right now I’m tempted to put a big bunch in every share for the rest of the year. I’ve also been making and loving a braised chard recipe from the Spanish cookbook Rustica, with plenty of olive oil and turmeric. There are also lots of chard recipes on the @cookwithwhatyouhave website.

Lettuce is also looking great right now and that should continue for the next month or so before we switch over to chicories.

We still haven’t finished digging that bed of carrots we were working off of earlier this month so expect more carrots next week. I think we’ll head back into the celery as well for a handful of stalks, or maybe even whole heads.

As always there are a few wildcards out there and usually at least one thing I think is certain doesn’t show up for one reason or another, but that’s part of the fun of farming.

If you have a fall CSA share, those start with week 20. I’m working on sending out an email with details so look for that very soon.

12th Summer Share, Week 18

A bit damp this morning and it looks like that might be the case all week. It makes harvest a little more complicated for us, but the greens love it.

As predicted, tomatoes and peppers are still in abundance, the greens are looking great and the basil is still hanging in there. We also have a nice Bunch of beets with the greens. Somewhat unexpectedly we had a huge harvest of Romano beans today so there’s a nice big bunch of those in the share.

Rounding out the share is the last of the hard neck garlic. It wasn’t a great garlic year for us and we’re considering not growing it again next season. Cucumbers and summer squash showed up at the farm stand in very small quantities, but there’s definitely not enough to put in the shares any longer. Next week is officially the last week of summer and it’s already starting to look like fall, both the weather and the vegetables.

In other news, we just sent out a survey to all present and past CSA members to try to gage interest from our community in being more involved in helping us shape our future. If you’re a present or past CSA member and you didn’t see the email please let us know.

Week 18 Predictions

Yesterday I did the last crop seeding in the fields for this season, some mustard greens for the late fall shares. They’re covered, protection against flea beetles for now and maybe for cold in the future.

Meanwhile we’re still have two more weeks of summer harvests ahead of us. The late summer fruits will definitely be back in the share: tomatoes and sweet peppers. The basil just keeps looking good so it’s going to be tempting to harvest another round and see how long it will go. For greens we’ll have more lettuce, maybe Nevada, our green crisp, or maybe Samantha, our red leaf, or maybe a choice between the two. Chard is looking great so we’ll go back to that, and we’re also planning to harvest some more of its close relative, beets.

Wild cards for the next few weeks are carrots, which seem to be doing really well, Romano beans are a long shot and we might even open those up for u-pick. Also in the wildcard category are celery, collards and kale.

Summer squash and cucumbers are pretty definitely out at this point after a good two month run.

It’s possible I’m forgetting something out there in the field. The u-pick flowers and culinary herbs are still looking good, as are the cherry tomatoes. There’ll be some ripe hot peppers in that section soon.

If you’re a CSA member, especially a fall CSA member, check your inboxes in the next week for a flurry of emails from the farm on the upcoming season. I’m expecting to put out three separate announcements on different but related topics.

Hope you’re all enjoying the veggies as much as I am!

11th Summer Share, Week 17

With the bulk of a few greens and an overload of tomatoes and peppers I’m running out of space on the wash table to set up the photo of the share.

Today’s share has Romano beans, carrots, kale, summer squash, cucumbers, sweet peppers, eggplant, parsley, tomatoes and lettuce. Thursday will be similar, but without the eggplant and we may have to substitute a different bunch green.

The kale is just starting to recover from summer so small bunches this week while we get it cleaned up. Squash and cucs are on their way out; we planned on one more week but I’m not sure we’ll make it – the heat played them out early this year.

Beans are back for a week which is exciting. Carrots are looking great so we’re giving them a second week on a row! The fall parsley was looking good so we’re starting to get into that with small bunches.

The peppers are picking up as the tomatoes slow down. We decided to include a few of the sauce tomatoes this week and I’m hoping to have more for sale next week.

Still lots to u-pick, still a bit of extras for sale at the farm stand.

Today is also an additional potato pickup day for fall CSA members. Fall shares start in three weeks but we’re distributing the potatoes now so you can enjoy them when you like. There’s a separate check sheet for those and folks who don’t pick up during regular hours this week will still have an opportunity collect their potatoes in the coming weeks.

Week 17 predictions

Despite there being 3 more weeks before the end of summer, it was really feeling a lot like the start of fall this past week. A return to cooler temperatures and even a bit of moisture is reviving the greens and the lettuce is looking really great again. We’ll also either have more chard bunches or maybe a bit of kale next week.

Tomatoes will continue, possibly in slightly smaller quantities, but the peppers should continue to pickup their pace a bit. Summer squash and cucumbers have been valiantly producing for two months now so we’ll probably see a few more of those, but they’re on their way out in the next few weeks.

The carrots looked great this past week and based on what we harvested it looks like we’ll have enough for a big bunch again this coming week.

Eggplant is a wild card and may be in the mix this coming week, or may take another week to size up before the next harvest.

We’re going to try to give out a small bunch of parsley from our new planting. If you want more in the share there’s also parsley in the u-pick patch.

Potatoes will be in the share (as well as a bulk distribution for Fall CSA members – check your emails about that).

Basil and Sauce Tomatoes are at peak production right now and we have bulk quantities for sale. Make big pesto or tomato sauce batches to hold you through until next year put your order in now for bulk quantities. We have about 100# of sauce tomatoes to sell right now and 5-10# of basil. $2/lb on the tomatoes, and $10/lb on the basil, or make us an offer! I’ve been saucing regularly for the last two weeks and it’s delicious stuff!

We also regularly have Padron peppers, Romano beans and a few other items for sale at the stand in small quantities.

As always, the u-pick is open for members and still has lots of herbs, flowers and cherry tomatoes that need to be picked and enjoyed in order to keep producing – don’t be shy!

Hot peppers should be ready soon in the u-pick, but until then we’re selling some Basque peppers from the field that have quite a kick and a lovely flavor. Traditionally they’re dried but they work fresh as well.

10th Summer Share, Week 16

I always seem to be running a little behind in posting these photos of the week’s share, but here it is: Chard, tomatoes, basil, sweet peppers, carrots, summer squash, eggplant, cucumber and lettuce.

A few notes on the items in the share are in order, as they are most weeks. The chard bunches, for the most part, are unreasonably large. Martin was cleaning up an old planting of chard that is looking great again and got a little carried away. The tomatoes slowed down significantly with the cool weekend, but we still have a good supply. The basil is getting desperate to flower so we’re having to pick it more often. It’s been an amazing year for the basil so I hope you’re all enjoying the bounty this year, who knows if we’ll see basil like this again for a few years. As the summer squash and cucumbers really start to taper off, the sweet peppers are starting to ramp up so expect more of those in the coming weeks. Last week Thursday got eggplant and this week it’s in Monday’s share. I’m not expecting to harvest it again until next week but we’ll see how that goes.

I had mentioned in the last post that we’ll be giving out larger quantities of onions and potatoes in the coming weeks. I’m hoping that will start in the next week or two, once I figure out how much exactly it is that we have to give out.

As always the u-pick has lots of culinary herbs, cut flowers and cherry tomatoes to take advantage of. We should have larger quantities of basil and sauce tomatoes for special order for at least a couple more weeks but if you want to make sauce take advantage soon as they won’t last forever.

Week 16 Predictions

We’re pretty solidly into tomato season now and sweet peppers should stick around for at least another month, two if we’re really lucky. Cucumbers and summer squash should continue for a few more weeks but probably in smaller quantities. We’re back into a regular lettuce rotation that should be consistent into the middle of October.

Likely for next week is chard. Other possibilities include carrots, or maybe celery. All of the potatoes and onions are out of the ground now and are curing. We’ll be giving those out over the next month in slightly larger quantities. We don’t have a great way to store these and we figure if you have them in your kitchen it lets you decide when you want to use them. The onions just need a dry spot and they’ll keep for months on a counter or in a cabinet. The potatoes store well in the refrigerator, or a cool, very dark cabinet. If you’re storing them in a refrigerator a high humidity drawer usually works well, or a plastic bag. They shouldn’t be damp but you don’t want them to dry out and get soft and wrinkly (even if they do they’re fine to eat).

We’re trying to alternate eggplant harvest weeks to give out larger quantities at once. With the shortening days this may or may not work so eggplant in another possible addition at anytime in the next month or so.

The culinary herbs are looking great in the u-pick section and we have lots of them. The oregano, sage, thyme and Mexican tarragon all dry easily for winter use so feel free to cut some larger bunches. I like to dry them by hanging bunches upside down in a paper bag with holes poked in it. The bag lets moisture escape easily but protects the leaves from light, which fades the color, and from dust, which is impossible to remove.

9th Summer Share, Week 15

The tomatoes are on! The share has lots of slicers and saladettes today. If you’re feeling at all like you won’t eat them fresh, cook them down a little and freeze the sauce for a treat this winter. To go with the tomatoes we have another nice bunch of basil. I’ve been eating the leaves on my sandwiches instead of lettuce, but pesto and caprese salad are two other popular uses. Lettuce is making a comeback this week. Shown is a crisp head but we have assorted varieties so there’s some choice. Summer squash and cucs are slowing down but they’re still producing. The sweet peppers are still mostly ripening, with Jimmy Nardello in the share again this week and more to come. The last of the red onions (not pictured) are in there too, and we’ll have more yellow onions soon. Rounding out the share is a nice bunch of beets. This time of year I like to cook them and then eat chunks cold on salad. The tops are also good cooked like chard.

Remember to check the Cook With What You Have website for more ideas on how to use the veggies. Check the farm stand for extras, especially on tomatoes and basil – and email me soon if you want to order large quantities for preserving this year. As always, cherry tomatoes are available to members in the u-pick section and there are lots of ripe ones right now!

Apologies for no prediction on the share last week. I took the day off to head down to the OSU Cultivation Field Day and completely forgot to make a post. I’ll try to get back to predictions on Friday.