Thursday, September 13, 2012

Hello from the fields,

It's fall at the farm, and we are pleased to see the fall crops and greens growing with gusto.  The first cover crop was seeded yesterday, the tomato stakes are being taken down, we are bringing up the Delicata squash and Pumpkins from the field, and we have green, yellow, and purple beans once again this week. The radishes are reaching maturity, so we are harvesting them once again and the arugula is ready.  Ahh, the flavors of fall.

We have a second planting of edamame that we thought would be ready for harvest this week, but upon further inspection, the pods are empty--casualties of the high temperatures during pollination apparently.  This has never happened before, so we can empathize with the Midwest farmers whose corn has no ears on it.  We hope to find some stalks with filled pods.

There are many good things in the works as we keep marching on to mid-November's final harvest, there will be butternut squash and Long Island Cheese squash in the near future as well as sweet turnips, aka dessert turnips :-) and plenty of fall greens, and yes, the much anticipated cilantro--all right!

Spotlight on John O.

Position at the farm: Farm Crew
Number of years working for Goodwill: 15 years
Favorite thing to grow at the farm: cantaloupe
The animal he most connects with is: the tiger
Favorite kind of music: oldies
What he wanted to be when he grew up: a policeman
Favorite thing about the farm: cucumber planting
One of John’s favorite places in Lancaster is: Long’s Park
Favorite sport to watch: football
John’s family includes: his mom, dad, brother and sister
Something John can’t live without is:  friends
John enjoys: collecting music, birthday parties and grocery shopping
What John adds to the farm crew: always helpful and pleasant

Spotted this week: As the saying goes:  there are bold mushroom foragers, and there are old mushroom foragers, but no bold and old mushroom foragers.  These are pretty, but poisonous.

Suggestions for the harvest:

Pumpkins: despite common perception, jack-o-lanterns and all pumpkins and their seeds are edible. See pumpkin seed roasting instructions below--applies to squash seed also.
Arugula: this piquant green is a great addition to salads. A little goes a long way.
Radish:  this Easter-egg radish mix has great colors and taste.
Delicata Squash: these petite squash have a rich sweet potato-like flavor.
Spaghetti Squash:   A pasta crop.  Basically cook, then flake out the "noodles" with a fork, and top with your favorite sauce and cheese.
Green beans: and yellow and purple, and flat Roma beans as well.  These are all tasty and nice to have in the fall as well as the summer.  The purple ones turn green when boiled. If used raw in salad they stay purple.
Edamame: waiting to see if this batch develops pods
Storage Onions:  the red and white onions are storage onions for the pantry.  Great for burgers or whatever.
Sweet Peppers: The long red Carmen peppers are outstanding--sweet and flavorful.  great for salads or fried with onions and garlic. The peppers have topped out and are winding down.
Potatoes: We have many different varieties. Yukon Golds make the best fries according to your farmers.
Carrots: done for the season.
Eggplant: many colors--pink, purple and blanks. There are even green eggplants, but we are not growing them this year. coat with oil and soy sauce and grill, or bread them and fry. Coming to and end soon.
Chard: use in lieu of spinach in babaganoush, salads.

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds:

I enjoyed these as a child and still do--they're even good for you :-)

  •  wash the seeds and pick out as much pulp as is practical 
  • place on baking tray and coat with your favorite oil and some salt 
  • bake at 325 for about 30 minutes, stirring at least after 10 minutes. 
  • Enjoy, store extras, (if any) when cool, in an airtight container. 

Enjoy!  Thanks for being a part of the farm!  

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