Well, here we are, the middle of October and the sun is still shining and we keep plugging away. End of season projects are continuing and the farm stand is still going strong. We hope to make it to the end of October with the farm stand but we will have to wait and see.
We were able to get the last of our potato harvest out of the ground this past week. That was definitely a big job for us this season. We increased the amount planted this season and because of our farm scale, we don’t have any fancy equipment to help us with the harvest. It’s just digging forks, our hands and some buckets. It’s definitely a lot of hard work but the end result is worth it. The other big job that we got done last week was to get spinach transplanted that will eventually be in one of our hoophouses. I phrase it that way because two of our hoophouses are on tracks and are movable. The spinach that was transplanted by our Sustainable Farming and Food System students will be indoors in a few weeks after we move the hoophouse over it. I’m excited about this for a few reasons. First and foremost is that this will be the first season that we grow year round in our greenhouse and hoophouses. The second is that it is a small experiment of transplanted spinach. You see, spinach is usually a crop that I direct seed and I’ve tried it multiple times in our field over the last few seasons. Because we are reclaiming a hay field, our weed pressure is high and slow germinating direct seeded crops like spinach don’t fair to well. If this does well in the hoophouse, it will be something that I hope to replicate in the field next season. Let’s keep our fingers crossed.
Alright, on to this week’s share. We are entering the 18th week of the CSA. It’s hard to believe that the end is near but I’m afraid that it is. My goal is to have 5 more weeks, which will get us to November 17th. I’ll keep everyone posted. In the meantime, I’m hoping to make you think that Summer is still here because, that’s right folks, the tomatoes are still going strong! Compared to last season, the tomato harvest has been epic this year. There will also still be eggplant and peppers. All of the peppers are either “sun tan” (starting to turn color) or full color. Delicata squash, storage onions and new potatoes will make a nice hearty addition to your meals as the weather starts to cool. This week also marks the return of baby fennel and kale. The new item for this week are leeks. People usually think of potato-leek soup when they think of leeks but one of my favorite and simple things to do is to roast them with potatoes. I turn the oven to 425, halve and quarter potatoes and put them in a bowl. I add sliced leeks (about 1/2 inch pieces) to the bowl. I then mix a couple of tablespoons of oil with a couple tablespoons of melted butter. I add that to the bowl with the potatoes and leeks and stir. Put that mixture on a baking sheet and spread out evenly. Add any salt and pepper and bake for about 30-40 minutes or until the potatoes begin to brown. Enjoy!