Thursday, October 9, 2014

Free Veggies for Life, when does the season end? Dry Fall

Hello from the farm,

It's unusually dry in the fields this fall. We can usually count on decent rainfall in September and it didn't really live up to its promise this year.  The pumpkin harvest continues this week as well as butternut squash, both of which are healthy and happy, pointing to the vitality of our fertile fields.

So when is the last harvest?  November 13, 14 and 15 is our expected final harvest.
Pawpaw comments?  How do you like the pawpaws?  Send us an email with your comments if you'd like.  

 Your farmers on the pumpkin prowl
Pumpkins make us smile and how!  

Vini. Vidi. Vicci.  We came, we saw, we took the pumpkins to the barn. 

Harvest Hours: 
Just a reminder about our harvest and pickup hours.  Your farmers love the farm and being at the farm, but also have family and other off-farm commitments to attend to after hours, so please keep our hours in mind when coming for your share. 
Th 3-7pm 
Fri 11-7pm 
Sat 9-1 
Free Veggie Share for Life!  

The new land that Homefields purchased to keep it from being developed and to guarantee that we would have land for future growing came with the house and barn as well.  That house and barn with 2 acres are not needed for our farming operation and are well suited for someone who wants to raise a family, animals, garden, homestead, or simply have space and a perpetual view of their favorite CSA farm :-).  To thank any shareholder who would become our good neighbor by purchasing the property we are offering a free half share with purchase.  

--must be a 2014 shareholder in good standing
--free half share continues for as long as purchaser owns and resides on the property. The farm share cannot be transferred. 
128 Letort Rd, Millersville, PA 17551

The meadow view which overlooks our misty farm fields. 

 Monthly Farm Tour: 
Want to get a behind the scenes look at the workings of the farm? There is a monthly farm tour on the 1st Tuesday of the month at 9am.  If you are planning to attend, please email  Tour lasts approximately 30 minutes. 
No tours during Dec/Jan/Feb during the cold and bleak period.

Serving Suggestions for the harvest this week:

Pumpkin:  yes, they are somewhat edible, especially the tasty seeds when roasted in the oven with some oil or butter!  The pumpkin is not nearly as tasty as butternut squash, which is what is really contained in a can of so-called "pumpkin" from the store. 
Pawpaw: keep in refrigerator until ready to use, then ripen on the counter if needed--fruit should be soft with light speckling (this doesn't take more than a day)  To eat, cut in half, and spoon out the fruit, don't eat the skin or seeds.   Plant the seeds outdoors or bring to the farm and scatter in the fencerow perimeter trees.
Butternut Squash: one of the very best winter squash for flavor and long keeping! Roast in the oven in halves, you can also roast the seeds as per pumpkin seeds.

Hakurei turnips: aka salad turnips.  The tasty turnips from Japan are sweet, mild, and best eaten raw.  Yum. You'll soon be a surprised turnip enthusiast!

Indian corn/ornamental corn: this makes incredibly good and fresh cornmeal for use in cornbread, cornmeal pancakes, waffles and more!  Allow to dry a few weeks, then shell it, bring kernels to the farm and grind in our grinder. Store cornmeal in freezer if not using immediately.  
Winter squash:  firm winter squash are great for baking, "pumpkin" pie, faux spaghetti noodles in the case of spaghetti squash or halved and baked in the oven with butter and maple syrup and/or brown sugar.  The acorn and delicata squash we are harvesting now are not types intended for long storage. Use within a week or two for best results.  (The Long Island Cheese squash and butternuts that will be harvested later on are the best keepers, which is why they are at the tail end of things). 

Sweet Peppers:  fading fading fading away. Enjoy them while they last. 
Tomatoes: The tomatoes are protesting October and are withholding their fruit and dwindling away. 
Eggplants:  these are tapering off with the shorter days.

Red River Onions: a good storage onion and desirable for just about any purpose.  
Edamame:  also known as green soybeans, these tasty little beans are an appetizer, snack or post-meal treat in Japan that have become highly appreciated here as well. 

How to prepare: pull beans from the stalk, which you can do here if you like, put pods into boiling salted water.  Boil for about seven minutes, drain and then sprinkle salt over the pods to serve.  It's great fun for adults and children alike to pop the beans from the pod into your mouth by squeezing.
Potatoes:  we're taking a week off from potato harvest. Look for the latest arrival in our potato ensemble, the Fingerling Red French Potato.  This petite heirloom has a delicate rose colored skin, with a creamy yellow flesh inside.  Cooking brings out it's nutty and buttery flavor.  There are so many ways to enjoy potatoes!  One suggestion: boil until just soft, and then toss them in a pan with sauteed onion, peppers and garlic and season with rosemary.
Scallions: These mild-mannered onion family folks give an easy onion flavor to salads, sandwiches, stir fries and more.  Or you could do the old classic buttered bread and sliced scallion treat: my grandparents talked a lot about enjoying them in spring.  We found a few more. 
Watermelons and cantaloupe: it was nice melon run, but sooner or later, we knew they'd be done.  We hope you enjoyed them as much as we did.  
Cucumbers:  these are finished for this season, we're sad to see them go. 
Carrots: carrots are really good roasted in the oven with some coconut, olive or peanut oil. Of course they are also good as carrot sticks or in salads. We will miss the fresh taste of farm carrots, it's just not the same getting them from the store. 
Summer Squash:  add raw to salads, steam lightly, or stir-fry. Don't overcook unless you like soft consistency. 
Kohlrabi: sort of a mini-broccoli little crunchy dude, these are tasty raw and taste kind of like mild sweet broccoli. Usually eaten raw.  Some people peel away the outer layer.  May return in autumn. 
Greens: these succumbed to the heat, with the exception of chard which continue to grow through the summer heat. We like to fry these in a skillet with butter or coconut oil until crisp, add some onions and saute them as well--a superb topping for rice, fried eggs or stand alone too.
Broccoli: Broccoli is dicey as a spring crop and the heat has made it flower and diminished its quality--look for a new crop in fall. 
Garlic scapes: we hope you enjoyed the delightful flavor of these. 
Lettuce heads: these have run their course and are stretching skyward--a precursor to bolting--flowering to make seed. 
Lettuce mix--the leaves have given it their all and are now finished.  
Green garlic: this is garlic harvested before the base swells and becomes a bulb. It has a milder flavor than bulb garlic and can be used anywhere garlic is called for. Keep refrigerated as you would green onions/scallions. 
Cilantro: this herb has run its life cycle and is "bolting" or going to seed.  

We hope you are enjoying the great taste and health that comes from the fresh fall veggies and fruits!

Your farmers

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