In Your Share This Week
- Winter Squash, Acorn
Kale: We are really excited to be harvesting such a variety of kales for our Main Season CSA- every kale has its own personality and applications. What we have in the share this week is referred to as a ‘Winterbor’ type. These curly kales tend to be the all-stars of overwintering production, and we have about half a dozen individual varieties of Winterbors to see which ones do the best. I think this type of kale is the absolute best for massaged kale salads. I really enjoy tahini-based dressings or anything with lots of lemon and garlic!
Kohlrabi: This week we gave Full Share Members a large green storage variety of Kohlrabi and Half Shares the smaller, purple type that we’ve been featuring in the share so far this season. For folks with the large type, this is a variety that has been bred for size and storage capability- so it can last for months in the refrigerator! It tastes great even after a long time in storage, the interior flesh is still juicy, crisp, and sweet…a real treat later on in the dead of winter. The main difference is that unlike the smaller purple type where peeling is more of a matter of personal preference, I would absolutely recommend peeling the skins off these large types as it tends to be pretty woody and tough.
Winter Squash, Acorn: As with all winter squash, Acorns have a strong, tough skin that protects the fruit long into the winter. Thats a great feature for storage, but it also means that these might take a little extra elbow grease to cut open. I get a sturdy chef’s knife and use it to poke a hole in the side of the squash, then use that as the starting point to push the knife in further and then use that as leverage to push down and work your way around the hemisphere of the fruit. Acorn Squash always reminds me of being a kid and eating them cut in half and baked with butter and brown sugar. I’ve had some good savory-stuffed Acorn Squash, but this is a rare instance where sweet always wins in my book.
Around the Farm
We are really excited about the shift towards Fall here on the farm. Gone are the hot summer days of speeding to pull in fresh greens in the cool of the morning and the non-stop output of summer crops like zucchini, tomatoes and eggplants. Now are the days of thick morning fog, geese returning to the island for the winter, digging lots of root crops, and cleaning up the fields and cover cropping in preparation for winter. Its really hard to believe we are about to begin October, but we’re busy taking lots of notes, mapping, and collecting data on the last of the summer crops and summer production before we move on and get ready to start thinking about next year.
Our Field Manager Brian is busy on the tractors, mowing and tilling in old crop debris to prepare the fields for cover crops. A large amount of the farm has already been cover-cropped, and it feels good to see large emerald carpets sprouting up. The onions are all out of the fields, the head lettuce has all been cut, the winter squash brought in, potatoes are safely in storage, most of the corn has been picked, cabbages harvested…and now our lovely green carpets of cover crops will add fertility and organic matter to the fields for next season.
In addition to crops coming out of the fields, we are also working hard to get all of the infrastructure out- it takes a surprisingly large amount of ‘stuff’ to grow food on a commercial scale like we do. We have amazing soils, great seeds, abundant well water, and depending on the year…lots of sunshine (or not)- but that’s only the beginning. There are all kinds of things like hoses, fittings, irrigation headers, drip tape, row cover, bags to hold the row cover down, deer fence, trellises for cucumbers and tomatoes, and plastic bed coverings from our squashes and other hot-weather crops that all needs to be removed, bundled, labeled, stored, and transported back to the barn for winter. It is to our benefit to get as much out of the fields as is reasonably possible before the wet season shows up- once the fields get wet, the soil gets mucky and *everything* gets more difficult- a simple task like walking to the end of the bed is now a bit of an ordeal as you slop through the mud, carrying heavy, wet, muddy stuff along with you. Root crops also come out muddy and are more difficult to harvest, handle, and wash. That’s just part of the reality of Fall though, but we like to save ourselves a little here and there when we can. We really do love Fall and Winter farming here are SIO and as odd as loving the mud and cold and wet may sound, its the favorite part of the year for many of us.