Well, we’ve made it to the penultimate CSA newsletter for the 2015 season. I feel like I have so much to say about this season that I don’t even know where to begin. I’ll try to cover most things over these next 2 weeks, but I don’t want to overwhelm or bore you. First and foremost, I want to say thank you (I’m probably going to do this again, so get used to it 🙂 ) Farming is hard work and starting a farm on land that hasn’t been farmed in years is a pretty big undertaking. Your support as CSA members has been incredible. The community aspect of small-scale agriculture is a huge draw for me and I’m honored that you are all part of my community. Ok, I’m going to cut the cord before I start to get too emotional and get on with this past week’s farm update. But before I do, I wanted to share this link to a Buzzfeed post I put on our Facebook page earlier today, http://www.buzzfeed.com/leahsienko/csa-nine-things-your-farmer-wished-you-knew-1y4ye. Those of you new to the CSA model, I just want you to know that we are trying our best every single week of the season.
Alright, so even though the season is winding down, it was another busy week on the farm. One of our biggest accomplishments for the week, is one of my all-time favorite farm tasks, garlic planting!! I’m not 100% sure why I love planting garlic so much, maybe it’s the ultimate signal for me that the farm season is winding down. Or maybe it’s as simple as I LOVE GARLIC! Who knows? Anywho, the Sustainable Farming and Food Systems students got to hear me go on and on about my garlic passion and then they got down to planting. We didn’t have the best yield this past season but I’m hopeful that next season’s crop will be much better. The seed garlic that we bought and planted this year was about 4 times the size of last year’s and the seed that we saved from this year’s crop was about twice the size. The lack of rain when the plants needed it most also played a huge role in the yield and our location for next year’s crop will have much easier access to water. All in all, we got over 1200 cloves planted, an increase from this past season. I, for one, am really looking forward to all the tasty treats that our garlic plants will offer next season.
Another big project that we accomplished today on the farm was moving one of our hoohouses. Two of the three hoophouses are “rolling thunder hoophouses”. They are on tracks and are able to rotate back and forth between 2 plots. This helps us with better crop rotation and allows us to build soil health by being able to plant cover crops in the section that isn’t being used. Remember when I told you how we transplanted spinach a few weeks back? Well, when we did that, the spinach was outside and after today, it is now inside. Pretty cool, huh? We were skeptical about getting it done with just 2 people but Taylor and I moved it with no problems. In fact, it probably took us longer to take off the doors and hook up the end walls than it did to actually move it.
Ok, so this is getting to be a long post and we haven’t even gotten to this week’s CSA share yet, so why don’t we do that? Tomorrow will be November 3rd and there will still be tomatoes and sweet peppers in the share. I’m also planning on having green tomatoes available for you, so bust out your best fried green tomato recipe. If you’ve never had fried green tomatoes, you can do a quick google and plenty of recipes will come up. There will also be delicata, butternuts and a small amount of acorn and pie pumpkins to choose from, as well as leeks, garlic and onions. Kale, potatoes and carrots round out the share this week along with 2 new items this week. They are two of my favorite vegetables on the planet (and perhaps the funkiest looking!), kohlrabi and celeriac. Not only are these 2 amazing veggies super tasty but they are extremely versatile and can be eaten both raw and cooked. I prefer my kohlrabi raw and shredded in a salad with carrots and a little cider vinegar. Now with celeriac, I don’t even no where to begin. The first thing that pops into my head when I think about celeriac is Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You? by Dr. Seuss. That’s most likely from having a toddler and that book being on repeat in my house right now but bear with me for a sec, especially for those that aren’t familiar with the story. It’s about all the wonderful noises that Mr. Brown can make. Well, I think of all the wonderful things you can make with celeriac. Now, if you’re not familiar with celeriac, it is also known as celery root (although, it is not the root of a celery plant) and the easiest way to describe it is a celery flavored potato. It’s getting to be soup season and I don’t make soup this time of year without celeriac. What’s great about it, is that you get that beautiful celery flavor without the stringiness of the celery and it’s consistency holds up. But my go to is celeriac mashed potatoes. I take two parts potato and one part celeriac (they store for a long time in the fridge in a plastic bag or saran wrap) and boil them together with some garlic cloves. I season with some S&P, olive oil and butter and bust out the immersion blender. Easy peasy!
Have a great week folks!