Wednesday, October 12, 2016

2016 CSA Week #18 Ending on a Cold Morning

So, last night got pretty cold and I am sure a bunch of things will be dead by the time I get to the farm today. It is appropriate that the final CSA for the year falls the morning after the first really hard frost.
Thank you for being a part of our season. It was not the easiest for us. I hope it didn't show too much. There were many complications that made this summer harder for us than most but in the end, it was still very productive and we all ate really well ;-)

We will be filling bulk orders between now and when we sell out of produce so if you need more food after today, there's still the chance to get a few items. Primarily, we will be selling onions and potatoes for $1/lb (10 lb minimum). We'll also have a few other odds and ends around for quite some time. If you would like to be on a weekly 'fresh sheet' mailing list, let me know and I can fill you in on what's still around. Also, Rhubarb Market in Wenatchee will be providing an every-other week CSA throughout the winter. Contact Sandi if you would like more information on this.

Sorry there was no newsletter again last week. Laura is still out of town (in the end, she missed 3 CSA days while she has been traveling) and we keep running out of time to get everything done that we want to do. Hopefully you figured out that the alien looking root in your box is a celeriac.
They are great for soups, roasted with other veggies or made into a raw salad. I like to dehydrate the tops and then use them ground up as a spice in mashed potatoes or soup etc...
We also included a spaghetti squash in addition to the delicata. We have never tried this variety before but I do like that it is smaller in size and a lot more manageable than the larger versions.

This week we are including some spinach and some parsnips. No Brussels sprouts unfortunately....there just aren't enough of them ready yet. Like I mentioned, this hasn't been the easiest summer.

We'll throw in a couple different potato varieties, one last bunch of carrots and a sampling of some of the other things that do well when even when the days get short and the nights get cold.

And that's that....
Stay dry over the next couple of days and have a fun-filled winter. Likely, it will be a much different year than the one we experienced in 2016! Hopefully we'll see some of you again in the spring when we get to do this all over again. Thank you to all of our volunteers and work-trade partners. We couldn't do this job without you and your support. Thank you to all the families who return year after year. Feeding our community is what is most important to us. We feel blessed to know so many wonderful souls and it is an honor to put these boxes together each and every week.

Thank You and Namaste,
Eron,Willy, Laura, Leif, Ingrid, plus Comet and Sasha (the dog welcoming committee)

In Your Box This Week:
Parsnips, Carrots, Radishes, Potatoes, Pak Choi, Spinach, Onions, Garlic, Shallots, Winter Squash and a few other surprises

Celeriac Mash
Roasted Parsnip and Carrots

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

2016 CSA Week #16 Indian Summer

Man, I just love it when we get these little blips of warm weather interspersed with the cold and wet. It is like summer on re-boot. For the first time this season, our family was able to step away and go on a little camping adventure. Laura manned the farm and took care of the dog and we hit the road for two nights up at Banks Lake. It was magical, with warm days and nights and calm waters. The leaves of the aspen were in their full splendor of gold along the margins of the lake shore. What a gift to be given the time to take it all in.
But today, it is back to work and almost doubly so because Laura just left for a two week trip to Scotland. So Willy and I will be doing our best to keep up without her.
For the next couple of boxes we'll start putting in some great fall treats. The fresh red onions look superb and I hope you enjoy them. Same goes with the shallots. They sized up nicely and have a wonderful pungent aroma that makes my stomach growl just by being around them.
The delicata squash are one of my personal favorites. Pan fried, baked or steamed you can't really go wrong. The skin is edible too so don't feel the need to peel these little guys. There are German Butterball potatoes this week as well. Apparently, when it comes to authentic German potatoes, these are the real deal. I have received a number of special orders from folks who know a lot more about this stuff than I do and if you really want to live a German life-style then these potatoes are a must.
All in all, there's lots to enjoy. Have a great week!

In Your Share This Week:
Potatoes, Delicata Winter Squash, Shallots, Leeks, Red Onions, Kale/Collards/Chard, Beets/Carrots, and a bunch of other tasty treats

Potato Leek Soup
French Onion Soup
Veggie Pot Pie- Honestly, you can make pot pie using just about any veggies you like. Veggies in white sauce with biscuits on top works just as well and eliminates the need to make a crust.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

2016 CSA Week #15 The Closing Scene

This is the end; the final month of our Summer CSA. With three weeks remaining after today, we are getting down to the wire....just in time.  The mornings lately have been consistently cold and near-freezing, making it difficult to get an alpine start to the harvest. Now, we wait for the sun to pop up and thaw the farm out of its stupor. Our hands are frozen, our bodies are covered in many layers of clothing that we slowly strip away as the day progresses. I love this time of year. The colors, the smells, the sounds (or lack of sound) and the crispness to the air all are familiar and welcome. I feel the need to hibernate under a big down comforter and pick up the book that I had to abandon when summer started. That time begins now.

The first crop to succumb to the fall was the basil. Now, in succession, the cucumbers are following suit and have decided that they have had enough. We'll start hauling in the squashes and force the onions to finish so they are suitable for long term storage. We'll do a final weeding too just to try and make next season a little easier and maybe keep a toe hold on our little plot of cultivated land. We've stripped most of the tender outside crops now and our focus is turning more toward the durable goods; storage crops and cold-hardy greens. We'll start to leave many things dirty since it aids in keeping them viable for long term storage. We'll start loading the boxes with larger quantities of onions and potatoes so start thinking about making a little soup. Yum!

Enjoy the beauty of fall while it lasts. Get out and hike through the maple groves. The fall rains will be here shortly and then, one flake at a time, winter will arrive once more. Happy Equinox!

In Your Share This Week:
Beets, Potatoes, Onions, Garlic, Kale/Collards/Chard, Tomatoes, Peppers, Delicata Winter Squash and probably a few other surprises

Roasted Delicata Squash and Onions
Baked Kale Chips 
Potato Soup

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

2016 CSA Week #14 Cold But Not Frozen

There was a light frost this week but nothing that was too damaging to the crops that are still in the ground. That is great news. We did take the precaution of stripping down the outside peppers, tomatoes and eggplant just in case.
So with 5 weeks (4 after today) until the end of the CSA we are still going strong with summer favorites and will wait another week before starting to dig into the fall reserves.
Nothing too major to report right now. Willy gave several farm tours over the last week for multiple groups. I think they went pretty well. He and Laura have been busy putting in the last of the fall crops (radishes, cilantro, spinach, arugula, salad etc...) and planting or tilling cover crops. It is almost time to plant garlic so pretty soon here, we'll have that one last major planting project to tackle.
We are starting to pull in the storage onions. They are on the late side this season just like everything else.
Our daughter Ingrid turns 7 this week and we will be celebrating at the Farmers Market. Her birthday hasn't fallen onto a Thursday since she turned 2. We'll bring along some cookies and balloons.

Other than that, it is the same-ol' same-ol'.
Hope you are having a great start to the fall. The next few days should be beautiful!

In Your Share This Week (Best Guess):
Radishes, Beets, Kale/Collards/Chard, Potatoes, Eggplant, Tomatoes, Peppers, Cukes, Zukes, Onions and probably a few surprises

Roasted Eggplant and Tomato Soup
Zucchini Cake with Chocolate Chips
Roasted Peppers- This works for all peppers, not just Bells.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

2016 CSA Week #13 Hello Fall

The weather just fell over the proverbial cliff and turned a sharp corner right into fall.
We knew it was coming and we knew it would be early so I am not overly surprised. I was hoping that I would be wrong though (and secretly, Willy was hoping the same).
At this point, every night without frost is a good night. There are two opportunities coming up this week for us to get nipped if the weather decides to get any cooler than it already is. For this reason, we are going to start filling you up on summer sunshine and are putting an extra large helping of tomatoes into the boxes this week. We'll also start stripping the tender plants such as eggplant, peppers, cucumbers and basil in anticipation of losing them one of these nights. So enjoy these goodies while they last. We could get lucky and have weeks and weeks still of summer favorites, or it could all end in a day or two...we'll see.
The winter squash are starting to look pretty good. I was afraid we were going to get skunked this year since in early August they still looked pretty puny and under-ripe. However, peeking under the spiky foliage I have seen quite a few delicata that are nearly ready for harvest. We'll save these for the last few weeks of boxes and will focus on all the summer stuff as long as possible. But I thought I would let you know that they look okay and we'll get some this season but maybe not a ton.
There are also some parsnips waiting in the wings. Again, not a lot but some. Same goes for Brussels sprouts and celeriac. And we haven't even begun to dig into storage onions or at least 3 of our potato varieties yet.Lastly, we have one final bed of carrots and beets that we will start pulling out of in the next couple weeks. And we'll start migrating back into greens with a bed of spinach or two. All told, fall will have its own version of bounty when the time comes.

For now, make pesto while you can, enjoy the tang of some hot and spicy jalapeno poppers, eat one last round of eggplant Parmesan and spend a moment reflecting on how fortunate we all are to enjoy such a variety of tastes and smells. It is, in deed, harvest season.

In Your Share This Week (Best Guess!):
Sweet Onion, Kale/Collard/Chard, Radishes, Tomatoes, Eggplant, Cucumbers, Basil, Potatoes, Peppers, and probably some other surprises.

Refrigerator Pickles
Tomato Salad
Kale Salad

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

CSA 2016 Week #12 Busy Days

Hi All,
Sorry I have not been able to get a newsletter out recently. Life has been exceptionally busy and there just haven't been enough hours in the day. I am sure many of you can relate.
The end of the summer seems to stack up with all sorts of activities whether it is vacations, family visiting, gearing up for the start of school or special events. For us, we were gifted with a visit from Willy's side of the family for the last week or so. Whenever family comes to visit during the summer months, they know to expect to spend a bit of their time working at the farm. Fortunately, Willy's mom is an amazing weeder. She and Willy's sister tackled the final weeding of the onions and made a significant dent in that project. We also spent a lot of time cooking some great family dinners and enjoying the bounty that August offers up. Our niece and nephew got to experience their first real wildfire (yay?!) and got to run around in the woods, enjoy a little paddle boarding on the Wenatchee River and the thrill of finding that perfect Leavenworth, WA. t-shirt to take back home to Wisconsin. All told, it was a good visit.
We also spent a lot of time preparing for and hosting our first ever farm dinner. The LCFM fundraising Farm-To-Table dinner was amazing. Good food, good wine, great people and a perfect August evening. I was happy to host but also happy to get it over with as I was feeling a little bit stressed over having so many people in fancy clothes walking through the farm. A big Thank You to everyone who helped us mow, weed whip, hang lights and clean up the joint. I wish it could look this good all the time :-)
So, no newsletter for the last two weeks but hopefully my excuses are good enough for you to forgive me.

It looks like the weather is going to flip for a little while now. We are keeping tabs on the nightly minimums since this is really what is going to affect the CSA. For a moment, the forecast was predicting some pretty cold nights (in the 30's) which is a big no bueno for this time of year although very normal. However, as of today, it is looking a little better with predicted lows in the 40's...much more civilized. If you haven't made pesto yet, do it soon. The first thing to go when the weather starts cooling off is the basil. If you need extra, let us know. Bulk is available for purchase at a reasonable price.

Hopefully you figured out that there were Kohlrabi in your box last week. If you haven't ever tried one before, they are pretty yummy. Peel off the outer skin and eat them raw with dip or hummus. They also make a great coleslaw or can be roasted with other veggies.
Same goes for the Daikon Radishes. They are purple all the way through which makes them lovely in a salad. But they are also great cooked and can be roasted or stir fried in slices or chunks.
And, I hope you enjoyed the head lettuce. That is one of my favorite varieties as it has so many beautiful colors and is a lovely texture.

For today, I am going to make my best guess at what are in the boxes and may modify the list as the day goes on. For now, the following are what are planned for the boxes.....
We started to harvest a new bed of beans and the current plan is to put some into the boxes. Woohoo!

In Your Share This Week:
Kale/Collards/Chard, Pak Choi, Carrots, Potatoes, Kohlrabi, Garlic, Sweet Onion, Tomato, Zucchini/Patipan, Cucumber, Basil/Dill, Eggplant and probably a few surprises (Beans?!)

10 Easy Zucchini Recipes- I included this link because it had some ideas I haven't come across before. However, don't click on any of the side bars...lots of ads and I can't vouch for the validity of their content.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

CSA 2016 Week #9 Half Way

Hello Everyone,
We made it to the 1/2 way point of the season. This is the time of year when everything starts to get heavier. Potatoes, squash, tomatoes, cucumbers...etc...
Willy dug the very first of the potatoes yesterday and we will be putting them in the boxes today.  I hope you enjoy them. They are delicious. I think my favorite way to eat potatoes is to lightly fry them in oil (who doesn't like things fried in oil!) but they also make good bakers and roasters as well.  We leave potatoes dirty since they keep much better this way.
We are also starting to dole out the first of the sweet onions. I live for sweet onion and tomato sandwiches. It is my go-to lunch of choice in the summer time. Sweet onions don't store as long as other varieties so you will want to eat them in the near future (like the next month). We will start giving you storage varieties closer to the end of the season that are appropriate for long term holding.
And you probably noticed that we are starting to harvest tomatoes. I didn't think there would be enough for the boxes when I wrote last week's newsletter. Imagine my surprise when I went to harvest and started filling flat after flat. Amazing. What a gift, especially since we are STILL waiting for the cherry tomatoes to produce (very unusual to have large tomatoes first).
I hope you enjoyed the beans over the last three weeks. We are going to take the week off from beans and will probably come back to them again one more time before the season is over. We are transitioning from one planting into the next and should start harvesting from the new beds in the next week or so.
Lots of eggplant this time of year. Some of you probably don't love eggplant. I am sorry about that. Our family happens to love it. If eggplant isn't your favorite, it  can always be blanched and frozen in vacuum seal bags and stored for winter when it makes a very great addition to soup when pureed and used with tomatoes as a base. You won't even taste it but the soup will be thicker and heartier. For now, I have included a few recipes that will hopefully get you excited to eat these true summer beauties.

For those of you with extra time on your hands, Laura will be on vacation starting this Wednesday and running through next Thursday. If you feel like spending an hour or two at the farm during that time to help with harvest etc,,, we will gladly compensate you with some extra produce. I can't speak highly enough of Laura and how much we appreciate all she does at the farm (and beyond!).

Other than that, one last reminder that there is still time to purchase tickets for the Farm to Table dinner on Tuesday August 23rd. Everything, including the food, service and wine, is being donated for this event so all proceeds benefit the Leavenworth Community Farmers Market. This has been a big project for our small dedicated board and we are all anticipating a great evening of good food.

That's it for now. Have a great week and enjoy these last couple weeks of 'official' summer.

In Your Share This Week:
Eggplant, Zucchini, Tomato, Potatoes, Garlic, Sweet Onion, Radishes, Chard, Cucumber, Beets or Carrots, Basil?, and probably some other good stuff.

15 Easy Eggplant Recipes
Easy Eggplant Parmesan
How to Freeze Eggplant- The graphics are coarse on this page, but this is exactly how to do it.