Thursday, September 26, 2013

hello from the farm,

We are relishing the glory days of fall as we bring in the pumpkins this week. The bright sun and the cool temperaures are a boon to the vegetables which prefer cool weather, and the farmers don't mind it either :-)
Your farmers have concluded the ornamental corn and popcorn harvests and the popcorn is curing for distribution in a week or two when it has dried. Work continues on the weeder that we mention from time to time and it is much closer to completion--we hope to try it out here before the ground freezes. The farm crew also began harvesting and curing the sweet potato crop yesterday: it looks promising.

It's Pumpkin time! A bunch of Jack-o-Lanterns

Long Island Cheese Pumpkins

So When does the Season go to?
Final Harvest is November 14, 15, 16th (Gleaning will follow)

Serving Suggestions for the Harvest:

Pumpkins: there is something so fall-like about pumpkins--their brilliant orange color, a symbol of abundance, a storehouse. Can they be eaten--yes, according to some people, not worth it according to others.
The seeds are definitely tasty--I can vouch for that. If you are definitely looking for one to cook with, choose the Long Island cheese pumpkin.

"Dessert Turnips": Our pet name for the sweet and mild white Hakurei salad turnips is dessert turnips. These are not your ordinary firm and strong purple top turnips. They are best eaten raw like carrot sticks with or without some kind of dip. Growing up, we had carrot, celery and turnip sticks at holiday meals.

Hakurei turnips (the white ones)

Cherry Belle Radishes: Add to fresh salads or slice thinly and add to a sandwich. Great for just plain snacking on, too.

Arugula: Yes, the arugula is back—cheers from all corners. This spicy green's nutty flavor jazzes up a salad or sandwich really well! Use sparingly.

Ornamental/Flour Corn: feel free to shell your corn from the cob sometime and bring the kernels in to grind in the mill that we have here. Run it through once to grind coarsely and then tighten it up and run through again for finer grind for cornmeal for cornbread, cornmeal pancakes, muffins etc.
Sweet Peppers: Notice we didn't say bell peppers. There are other shapes that are sweet, too. Diced sweet pepper is great on a salad, or pepper strips on a relish are sweet and tasty, too. They also freeze well in strips or dices after core and seeds are removed.
Potatoes: Yukon Gold potatoes are the farm favorite for French-fry making, hands down. Potatoes are a wonderful source of nutrients, versatile to cook with, and very satisfying to the eater--they even help you sleep well at night. (Potatoes not Prozac book)
Eggplants: Asian eggplants are mild and sweet; dark Italian types are probably what you grew up with. Slice and put on the grill rubbed with oil, soy sauce, and miso paste. Tasty and easy to use.
Chard: Remove the lower portion of the stalk as it is usually tough. Sautee leaves in butter, olive or coconut oil, add salt, and red pepper, top with Parmesian cheese.

Mustard Greens: Known for their pungent flavor, these greens can be added to a salad for a mustardy hot punch, or can be added to soups or stir frys. Flavor mellows when cooked.
Tatsoi: A mild green that is great raw in salad or cooked. We think of it as fall spinach.
Purple Mizuna: a unique mustard green from Japan that has mild flavor and is great in salad for color and flavor.
Senposai: has a sweet and tender cabbage like flavor. Makes a great outer wrap for veggie wraps. Use raw or cooked.
Cilantro: coming soon.
Spaghetti Squash: Coming soon.

Acorn and Butternut Squash: coming soon


Onions: If you have onions remaining at home, they will keep for several months in cool, dark, and dry storage.

Beets: I have fond childhood memories of eating these still warm from being blanched, prior to them being turned into pickled red beets. Great roasted with olive oil, grilled with oil and balsamic vinegar, or grated in salads.

Watermelon: These did better than expected, but not as well as hoped for. A friend from Lancaster South Rotary told me that watermelon growers in Delaware lost 3/4 of their melons. June was cool and cloudy and the honeybees slept in and did not pollinate the watermelon's morning access-only flowers.
Cantaloupes: We hope to have enough for everyone to get some across two or three week's time. A super great taste of summer. Try eating with a just a bit of freshly ground black pepper.
Cucumbers: The crop was really good this year--now finished
Cabbage: We'll keep finding a few of these over the next couple of weeks. Cut into wedges and serve with a sprinkle of salt, make sauerkraut.
Summer squash/Zucchini: These are finished as well (some people cheer) stir fry, grate and use for zucchini bread or freeze for later.
Beans: The beans did well, and there is a chance we will have fall beans as well!
Scallions: Goodbye until next year.
Broccoli: An awesome broccoli crop this year--will be back in the Fall.
Bok choi and Napa: These have run their course and we will see them again in October and November--a great time to make kimchee with the cool weather.

Thank you
Thank you farm crew for great harvests of potatoes, ornamental corn, popcorn, sweet potatoes and fall greens. Elizabeth, thanks for holding down the fort in fine fashion last week, and thank you Bob for continuing determination and skill on the weeder. Thank you Marci for landing quickly on your feet so quickl with the distribution.

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