Week of October 29th – CSA Newsletter

Throw your hands in the air and wave ’em like you just don’t care for Mudfest 2018! 

This has been a rough month, to say the least. Not exactly what I had envisioned after an amazing summer and a great start to September. But now we are trudging through mud to the finish line, as the 2018 CSA season nears the end. The cool, wet and muddy conditions have caused a great deal of angst this month. There is standing water in many of our fields and many crops just perished with all the wetness we’ve had. Due to the lack of sun and an unseasonably cold late September and October, many crops just haven’t grown to size or barely at all. Ah, such is the life of the modern day farmer.

Operating a CSA is a big challenge, especially with the changing climate. Sharing the risk with great members like you all, make it worth it. Overall, it’s been a fantastic season. We just have a slight limp to the finish line. When I switched to start offering two different share sizes and the free-choice model last season, I wanted to make sure that I could accommodate the variation in the weather and not be bound to a set amount of food each week. I feel great that through 20 weeks of the CSA season, we distributed the high-end (or exceeded) amount of veggies 13 times. I do the best I can to plan around the weather, it’s just that sometimes it’s completely out of the farmer’s hands. 

But we persevere. This past week on the farm we continued to harvest the remaining potatoes and carrots. The dreary weather has slowed us but not stopped us. We hope to have the rest of these crops out of the ground by Thanksgiving. Fingers crossed. We also did a little transplanting in one of our hoophouses last week with winter greens. Actually, we planted outside first and then moved the house over the transplanted crops. If all goes well, there will be spinach and kale in late winter.

One last thing before getting on to this week’s CSA share. If folks are looking for a great dining experience that supports a great cause, Healthy Food For All is having their last Harvest Dinner of the season on November 11th at West Haven Farm. We’re happy to be a participating farm that offers subsidized CSA shares through Healthy Food For All.

Ok, on to the penultimate CSA share of 2018. This week has a few new items along with the old standbys. In this week’s share there will be a choice of kale, carrots, beets, hot peppers, garlic, tomatoes (definitely recommended for stewing/cooking), fennel and rutabaga. Kohlrabi is making it’s return from the early summer. This may be a new veggie for the Fall Only shares. Kohlrabi is a versatile vegetable and can be used in soups, roasted, cole slaw and salads. Leeks are back for what’s most likely their final week. And then we have some newcomers from the world of radishes. This week there will be watermelon, black and daikon radish. All three have a good level of kick to them, with the watermelon radish being the most mild. We like adding watermelon radish to salads and either roasting or sautéing the black or daikon radish. The daikon radish also have the greens, which are perfect in a stir-fry.

Have a great week!

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