Week 20 is always filled with so many emotions! We are so proud to be able to feed our community throughout the season and so relieved to be able to slow down a bit. We sincerely hope that we have met or exceeded your expectations for the CSA, that you have learned something new about farming and food, and that you and your family have enjoyed the benefits of eating fresh healthy produce. Please share your experience with others!
I’m sure many of you may have noticed the slight increase in the cost of the shares next year and I wanted to take a moment to address that. The first few years we didn’t know how to price our CSA, so we looked around at the other farms in the area and charged slightly less than them because we felt we were in our growing stages. Now that we have been around for a few years we feel that our shares are at least equal to or better than (in quality and quantity) the other farms in the area. This made us do some more number crunching and asking, what is a fair and reasonable price for our shares? We found that our average box this year was valued at $33. Our goal was to give our CSA members 20% more produce than the price of the share. Raising our price to $550 achieves that goal. It also achieves our bigger goal of being a financially sustainable farm. We want to make our food accessible to as many people as possible so we continue to offer payment plans and financial assistance through Fairshare. If you have any questions or concerns about the price increase, we would be happy to talk more with you (this is your farm too!)
Thank you to all who filled out the survey. We read them all and try our best to see which suggestions can work for us. The surveys have acted as a guide for us to know what direction the CSA should head. Here is a compilation of trends from this year:
~Small shares were a big hit! We will offer more small shares for next year.
~Coffee shares- a bag a week was too much for many people. We are considering doing every other week or monthly. Those who got the coffee share seemed pleased.
~Those who came to the farm dinner had great reviews. The one criticism was having it on Labor Day weekend (my bad!)
~ More: Carrots, potatoes, green beans, mushrooms, broccoli.
~Less: Dragon’s Tongue beans were the only thing mentioned more than once.
~Giant Kohlrabi was too giant and hard to use- I know! I will plant a different variety next year!
~More fruit- We are working on it. Apple trees and blueberry bushes are in years 2-3 so maybe next year??
~A few people suggested an egg share add on. This is something we will look into!
Overall, the responses were overwhelmingly positive and we are so grateful for all of the encouragement.
We have recently hired an employee for next year who has a lot of experience working on many types of farming operations. He asked me what it is like to have CSA be such a big part of our farm and rely so much on selling directly to people. I had to think about it for a minute because it is hard to find words to describe such a big idea. I finally told him that it is the reason I farm. To feed our neighbors, to build community, to hopefully make our little section of the world a little healthier and happier, and to be held accountable for the work we do. There was a long pause on his end and he said he’d never thought of farming that way and that he’d really like to work here.
We love our CSA! Thank you!
Clockwise from top: Carrots, Rutabaga, Broccoli, Parsnips, Long Pie Pumpkin ,Celeriac, Sweet potatoes, onions, Kale, Garlic in the middle.
~Last CSA Week!
~ If you would like to join our Extended Season don’t hesitate too much! 8 weeks for $200. Same drop sites.
Winter Squash-Long Pie
Coffee- (optional) Guatemala
Weekly Serving Suggestions:
Broccoli- Lush and green, this broccoli is great for fresh eating or for a light steam. Broccoli started in the summer can be subject to Cabbage Caterpillars. We have tried to reduce their numbers, but without the use of pesticides some will likely remain. They are harmless and a brief soak in cold salt water will remove them. Otherwise they can easily be picked off when chopping off the florets. Broccoli florets make a great addition to stir-fry or pasta dishes. The stem can be shredded and added t slaws and salads. Store broccoli in a bag or tight lidded container in the fridge. Can be blanched and frozen as well! Just drop pieces into boiling water for 1-2 minutes. Remove and submerge in cold water (to stop the cooking and preserve as much texture as possible. Then freeze in a bag for later use or arrange on a cookie sheet to freeze them in individual pieces (if you’re likely to only want a few at a time.
Onions– Cured, these can be kept in a drawer or on the counter for a couple weeks. Try in a sauce or salsa with fresh tomatoes or roasted tomatillos. Starting to develop a stronger flavor, so feel free to sautee these down or roast them up to balance out the sweet flavor. If they are beginning to pile up on you, try your hand at French onion soup, it’s pretty simple really and a nice fall treat. Also a key component of the recipe of the week.
Parsnips!- We did it! Finally got a good frosting on Sunday night, so we were able to harvest these beauties for you. Parsnips are a very flavorful root veggie. They hold up well to strong-flavored meats and sauces (think lamb, or curry). They are especially good when roasted, but also make a lovely addition to mashed potatoes. Parsnip puree is popular too. Just like mashed potatoes, but made with parsnips and a blender/processor so it’s smoother and a little less thick. I’ve seen this thinned to a gravy consistency and poured over meats.
Long Pie Winter Squash- Hands-down one of the best pie pumpkins out there. Sweet and creamy, these also will store very well in a cool location out of direct sunlight. Cut in half lengthwise and scoop the seeds and pulp. Roast cut-side down until the skin pierces easily with a fork (350 for about an hour). Allow to cool until handlable, then scoop the sweet luxurious meat and stir/puree until desired consistency is reached. Perfect for pies, custards, or pumpkin bread/muffins/cookies/etc.
Rutabagas- The humble rutabaga. These are the secret ingredient to Stews and pasties (Michigan Meat Pies) in my opinion. Sweet, hearty and with lovely texture. Highly underrated as a fresh eating veggie too. Just slice and eat or dip (as you might with kohlrabi. They can be peeled or just scrubbed and rimmed. Stores well in the crisper drawer, will store for weeks in a bag/container.
Kale- This beautiful kale is sweet and tender. Perfect for fresh salads (mix with the lettuce mix to add a hearty, bulky texture.) Also great for a massaged kale salad. Stores well in a bag in the fridge.
Sweet Potatoes- These thin skinned, orange tubers are great roasted or fried. Just scrub them under running water briefly, no need to peel. Then chop into bit-size pieces, coat in oil and roast at 450 for about 20-30 mins. Toss with onions, broccoli, and salt for a nice medley. Sweet potato hash and sweet-potato fries are also a favorite, as are mashed sweets! Stores for a couple weeks on the counter out of direct sunlight.
Carrots– Store well in the crisper drawer or a bag in your fridge. Easy to use, just rinse and eat—I never peel mine. Great cooked with a little butter, salt, and dressed with fresh parsley. Also good grilled. Try shredding for salads and slaws or chopping for soups and stews. Roasted and glazed with syrup and butter is really something divine. Carrots are also the secret to making delicious veggie or chicken stock.
Celeriac– Homely, to be sure, but these sweet aromatic veggies are perfect for soups, stews, roasts, and the rough exterior can be added to soup stock after it is peeled off for use. Stores well in a bag in the fridge. Scrub and peel the root generously (save the parings for stock). Then Chop celeriac slightly smaller than other root veggies and add alongside them. Great mashed into potatoes as well.
Garlic- So wonderfully full of umami (a delicious flavor somewhere between sweet and savory) it can be added to almost any dish. Stores well on the countertop out of direct light. Whole cloves will keep their flavor longer in big long-cooked meals. Finely chopped garlic will give up its flavor to the dish more readily in a quick-cooked meal. Enjoy!
Coffee Mexican Coffee- Colombian coffee’s are commonly known to be big rich chocolatey coffees with exceptional fragrance and often great acidity. Colombia has many diverse growing regions so the coffee vary mildly from region to region. Tropical fruit, vanilla, caramel and chocolate are common. (Taken from Condor’s website.)
Root Veggie Hash
Scrub and chop all root crops into small-bit-size pieces. Allow to dry temporarily.
Heat oil and butter in a large, heavy-bottomed skillet over medium high heat.
Add root crops, and stir to coat with oil.
Cover and allow to cook 4-5 minutes without stirring to brown.
Uncover and toss allowing to cook undisturbed another 4 minutes to brown another side.
Add onions and stir, cooking until larger chunks are tender. Add salt/pepper and herbs to taste.
**Leftovers can be added to stock and turned into a lovely soup or stew.