Tuesday, October 22, 2013

In the Share - Week 23

CABBAGE (F/P)  We are sending in an assortment of types:  Napa, Savoy (with ruffles) or smooth-leaved. 

GREEN PEPPERS (F/P) Ahead of tonight's forecasted frost, we cleared out the pepper patch.  Expect a bit of color but mostly greens and purples. 

GREEN TOMATOES (F/P)  These are pure green tomatoes that should be cooked.  See Tom's post for tips. 

LETTUCE (F/P)  One luscious butterhead per share.

SWEET POTATOES (F/P)  After a month of digging we finished the harvest on Monday.  All told, we brought in over 3,400 lbs. - a new record.  This week everyone gets cream-colored O'Henry's.

BROCCOLI OR CAULIFLOWER (F)  More broccoli side shoots and the beginnings of a second flush of cauliflower.

HERB CHOICE (F)  Cilantro, dill, thyme or sage.

GOLD BALL TURNIPS (F)  We love these roasted with some herbs and olive oil.  Mix with other root vegetables or eat them alone.

LEEKS (F/P) Another round of leeks for all. 

NEXT WEEK:  More sweet potatoes, lettuce, herbs and beets.  Watermelon radishes, carrots and greens.

Fall is here in all its glory.  The sun was shining on us as we dismantled the tomato patch on Monday.  The farm crew spent many an hour walking the rows and its always a little sad to see it go.

Before the season ends, Tom and I wanted to thank you all for your responses to the annual CSA member survey.   We were glad to hear that so many of you enjoyed the 2013 season as much as we did.  The survey is one of our most important tools as CSA farmers and we have been very fortunate for the past several years to have Gary and Jan Glauberman on the CSA Core Group as survey gurus.   We love to hear from you all and we use the information in our planning.  We also admit that when 96% of you say that the quality and quantity of the shares was on target, your farmers do sleep easier at night! 

There were a few comments related to the topic of how we decide what is in the share each week.  Tom and I have a rough idea of how much we want to provide of each vegetable when we plan out the year in January.  We like to have a good variety of greens, roots, and fruits with lots of favorites and a sprinkle of something different.  The herb choice is important to many.  Tomatoes, berries and broccoli always win the survey, but many of you also love beets, okra and turnips.

As the crops begin to mature, we make a list for the week of what is ready for harvest.  Some items like carrots, potatoes, onions and garlic are harvested in bulk and then doled out usually every other week for as long as they last.  Other items are picked the day of distribution and we often don't know how much we will have until we bring it in. 

By the time we are a week away from the share going out we have a basic list.  By Monday, that list is fleshed out into full and partial columns and other items are added as the harvest begins on Tuesday.  By the time we send out the bulk list Tuesday afternoon we have a pretty solid idea, but nothing is definite until the final box is packed.  

We attempt each week to provide neither too little and too much.  We have some good vegetable eaters in the membership, but there are also many among us with busy schedules that don't always accommodate time for food preservation.  For that reason, we endeavor to supply a week's worth of produce and not much more.  Sometimes, like at the peak of the tomato harvest or before frost, we give may you a bigger dose, but usually we are careful not to overload the shares with too much of a good thing. 

We think that the last thing any self-respecting local foodie, organic-minded conservationist wants is to waste food.  The weekly bulk list provides for those of you who want to put up extra and it gives the farm an outlet for the excess. 

Well, that's all I've got for now.  We'll try to get to more survey responses next week.  Until then, happy frost day!!

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