Friday, October 7, 2011

BPF CSA Week 17 News

What's In Your Share This Week:

Potatoes- any of several, could be Red Gold (red skin, yellow flesh), Dark Red Norland (hot pink/red skin, white flesh), Katahdin (white skin, yellow-white flesh), French Fingerling (red skin, yellow flesh with beautiful pink patterning inside), or Rose Finn Apple(pink/tan skin with yellow flesh- in crazy, knobby shapes).

Dill OR Parsley- perfect with boiled or roasted potatoes

Squash! Either delicata, spaghetti squash, or buttercup this week- more next week! Super easy squash prep: slice lengthwise, scoop out seeds and seed pulp (toast seeds if you like!). Place 2 halves cut-side down on a cookie sheet with edges or in a 9x13 pan. Add enough water to cover the cut edges to prevent drying out. Bake at 375 for 30-60 min, depending on the size of the squash. It's done when it's soft and tender to the touch. Scoop out and enjoy! Butter, salt, maple, cinnamon, and/or smoked paprika all optional. Or serve in the shell, and eat with a spoon.

Carrots or Turnips- your choice of these fall root veggies. You'll see both again soon!

Onions- a mix of yellow and red fall storage onions.

Arugula- a hearty bag of this nutty, slightly spicy salad green.

Kale or Chard
- the kale and chard in shares this week is the last from the hoophouse bed that's been producing since March! We're in transition from summer to winter hoophouse plantings, and the kale and chard had to make way for baby greens. Don't worry- more kale and chard are going in for winter/spring, too!

Heirloom Tomatoes- I think we've peaked with tomato production, and the plants are looking tired and brown, but they are still making tomatoes! The very light frost we got on Saturday night didn't seem to touch the tomatoes or beans, two very frost-sensitive crops, so you can expect at least one more week of both these crops. For those of you patiently awaiting canning (paste) tomatoes, I hope it will be next week that we get a ripe critical mass for harvest.

Cherry Tomatoes- little sweeties from both the field and the hoophouse. I think we'll leave the hoophouse tomatoes in at least another week or two, since they're still producing well. The winter plants waiting to be transplanted into what are now tomato beds can hang out in their pots at least that long, I think!

Melons- probably the last week for these summer treats- cantelope, honey pearl (white skin and flesh), Arava (yellow, netted skin and green flesh), and various small red, yellow, and white watermelons. I'm glad the weather warmed up for our final melon week- I, for one, prefer to enjoy melon on a warm, sunny day, rather than a cold, rainy one!

Garlic- could we go a week without it? I think not.


1. Winter Shares- drumroll, please- are now available
! For winter, we will offer three ways to get fresh BPF veggies:
A. Building 50 Indoor Farmers' Market, November through at least early January, and picking up again for March and April. Saturdays 10-2.
B. Email Blasts- same as last year. I'll send an email with everything available each week, and you can order as much or as little as you like, to be picked up at market or delivered to your home (limited delivery range). This is a good option for folks who know they can't get to market early but don't want to miss their greens! Just ask me to put you on the email list for winter veggies.
C. For winter "shares," we're going to try a new format: a declining-balance account that you fill with as much or as little up-front cash as you like. We'll add 10% to your "investment" so that $100 becomes $110, $300 becomes $330, etc. Throughout the winter & spring, every time you visit our farmers' market table or "order" from the email list, we'll deduct that week's total from your account. This is a great way to support the farm through the winter with cash up front, but still allows you flexibility if you go out of town for a week, or want all arugula one week, or garlic only every third week, for example. This option also makes a great gift! I can help you set up a winter account for your family or friends, with as little as $50 or as much as $500- just ask, and I'll send the recipient a gift certificate with an explanation of your gift. Any balance remaining when regular-season CSA and outdoor markets start up can be transferred to a summer account.

2. Garlic Planting/Fall Harvest Potluck this month! A quick poll: is Tuesday afternoon/evening or Saturday afternoon/evening (3-7 p.m.-ish) better for most people? I'm looking at Oct. 22, 25, or 29, all of which work for garlic. Just let me know which works best for you! We'll plant and mulch garlic, press apple cider (bring apples and jugs to take home cider), and end with a potluck. Everyone is welcome!

3. Thanksgiving shares: A one-shot (one box) deal for you to share with your family for T-day or hoard for yourself this winter. ;) We include storage crops like potatoes, cabbage, onions, carrots, rutabaga and other root veggies, and leafy fresh things from either the field or hoophouse (depends on the weather, but will almost certainly include spinach, salad mix or big lettuce, kale and/or chard, parsley and/or other fresh herbs). In the past we've included winter squash and/or pie pumpkins. We've had a terrible winter squash crop this year, so regular-season shares will probably get all the squash and pumpkins. Thanksgiving shares are $35. We'll offer up to 20, first-come, first-served. Please email me if you'd like to reserve a Thanksgiving share, and spread the word- CSA members and non-members alike are welcome to order.

4. Honey from our beekeeper Greg Griswold (and the bees!) is still available. Just bring a quart jar with your name on it to CSA pick-up, and Tuesday people can go home with a full jar; Saturday people will get their jar back the next week, full of BPF honey. $12 per quart (or $6 per pint, or $24 per growler- which make great honey vessels, by the way). A few people asked about large quantities- if you want a gallon or more, please email me, and we'll hook you up. For 3/4 gallon (3 qts) or less, just bring that many jars!

Field Notes
It's been a quiet week at Birch Point- quieter than usual, anyway. Julie's in California, the cold snap broke and left us with mild, sunny weather. Flipper, the hyperventilating duck, has finally relaxed and is breathing easier. We got a very light frost this past Sat. night, but the only casualties were winter squash and the pickling cukes I was hoping to eke out of the end of the season. Tomatoes, beans, and basil- all frost-sensitive plants- all survived. Do you remember in past newsletters I've lamented the poor winter squash season? We started with a late plant date b/c of the cold, wet spring, had terrible germination in the first round, nearly as terrible in the second round, and then the plants died in the frost before making many squash. I think we got a couple dozen squash total from our planting this year. Luckily, I contracted with our neighbors Nic and Sarah to grow butternut and pie pumpkins for us this year, before I even knew our own squash patch would be such a bust, and theirs did great! So we have butternuts, some buttercups, some fairy squash, and pie pumpkins. A few people got spaghetti squash, and a few got delicata, but that was the end of those.
I think we'll have three more weeks of CSA pick-ups, making Oct. 25 and 30 our final pick-up dates. We guarantee 18 weeks and go up to 22 weeks of CSA, weather permitting, and we're currently on week 17. Three more will put us at a comfortable 20 weeks. If it looks like we'll extend the season beyond that, I'll let you know! For now, plan on the last week of October being the season's end. Thank you all SO MUCH for supporting the farm again this season. I have enjoyed getting to know the new folks and seeing the returning folks every season- I especially love seeing the CSA kiddos grow over the summer! I'm looking forward to sharing winter with some of you as well, this year. We'll keep in touch about next season.
Happy Autumn.

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