Monday, October 26, 2009

week twenty, the end! (kind of)

It's the official end of our first CSA season, which is pretty hard to believe. Last year at this time we were still only considering CSA as an option for the farm and here we are with our first growing season almost over, two more honeybee hives, 30-odd chickens, and plans for significant expansion next year. We had a few stumbles, battled a lot of pests and diseases and learned a LOT... overall I consider the season a success. I hope you feel the same and that you'll be back with us in the spring of 2010.
Without the constant and generous help of some seriously amazing family and friends we never could have done this - and that includes the wonderful, patient first-year members... you all rock, thanks so much!

Even though this is the 20th week and the last of the significant harvests are in, there will be some "straggler" crops including a new batch of chard, mache, more radish, carrots, spinach, herbs, kale, bib lettuce, golden beets, and (if the greedy pig of a ground hog left any for the rest of us) snow peas. There won't be any more shares or delivery but as long as we have any harvests coming in you're all welcome to come to the farm and pick your own bag of whatever we have. I'll email weekly, starting the first week of November, to let you know what's available and you can contact me if you'd like to stop over. Hopefully we'll also have some eggs to sell.

This week everyone received leeks, potatoes, shallots, parsley, kohlrabi, French breakfast and cherry bell radish, parmex carrots (full) or a bag of arugula (partial) and a giant, lovely stalk of brussels sprouts.
The kohlrabi you have might look different than what you're used to seeing in the store. This variety is best harvested at about 5 cm, probably a little smaller than you might be used to but the flavor is pretty amazing - let me know how it compares. It's great just sliced on a salad with a citrus dressing or roasted with other veggies (including winter squash).
I've had some questions as to storing the brussels sprouts - just snap each sprout off the main stalk and store in a net (onion) bag in the fridge. I think these might be the veggie I've looked forward to most all season, and last night I made one of my all-time favorite recipes - roasted brussels sprouts with honey. Trim and wash the sprouts, pat dry, and put in a shallow baking dish (in one layer). Drizzle with olive oil and kosher salt, mix, and roast in the oven at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Check them after 15 mins - you do NOT want soggy, overdone brussels sprouts. Take them out of the oven, drizzle with as much honey as you'd like, serve. The outside leaves get crisp and brown, the olive oil and salt brings out the amazing flavor, and the honey gives it a touch of sweetness. Yum.

Earlier this week Todd and I made another one of fall favorites, leek and potato soup. This is a simple soup with fantastic flavor... there are a lot of simple recipes for it out there but my favorite is still Alton Brown's:

Keep checking the blog for updates, plans for next year, and thrilling farm news. Hope to see you all at the farm this fall!

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