In Your Share This Week
Parsnips: We are really proud of our parsnip crop so far this season. We experimented with pelletized seed this summer, which helps to ensure a much more uniform and well-spaced seeding rate as opposed to plain seed (especially for things like parsnips that have a peculiar seed shape). We loved it! We had much better germination, and the spacing was correct so we didn’t have to thin or worry about overcrowding, resulting in parsnips that had just the right amount of space to size up into beautiful snowy white roots. I think my very favorite way to enjoy parsnips is to cut them into chunks and roast them until soft and then smash them up a bit, pour some heavy cream over the top, and grate a little fresh nutmeg onto it.
Peppers: This may be the last time we see peppers in the share this season. We will watch the plants into next week, but at the moment it would seem that they’ve given all that they can for the year. Thanks peppers!
Pumpkins: We like these little pie pumpkins in time for Halloween because they’re festive to look at, but also make great pies! These are ‘pie pumpkins’ rather than jack-o-lantern pumpkins. The main difference is that jack-o-lantern pumpkins are intentionally bred to be large with thin walls, a large internal cavity, and have pretty stringy and watery flesh, whereas a pie pumpkin is much smaller with a creamier flesh and thick walls. A typical pumpkin pie recipe calls for 2 cups of pumpkin puree, which is approximately the amount you can expect to get out of one of these little pie pumpkins. They’re also great for making curry, soup, roasting, or any other baking application that calls for pumpkin.
Around the Farm
We are now in full Fall harvest mode and are pulling our various root crops out of the fields to put up into long-term cold storage. We have several kinds of beets and carrots, parsnips, celeriac, watermelon, black, and daikon radishes, rutabagas, and turnips.
Besides lots of root harvests, we are excited to be planting out our high tunnels very soon with a wide array of items that do well in the dead of Winter and on into the Spring. We intend to utilize our high tunnels as very valuable real estate for Winter salad mix production. After the cold, wet, and winds of Winter have rendered most crops unsellable, greens inside the high tunnels are still amazingly vibrant, lush, and delicious! Growing salad mix in the Winter is a real treat despite some of the difficulties because what could be better than fresh greens to liven up a cold, grey drizzly day?
The Canadian Geese have also returned to Sauvie Island in full force, so we get to experience massive flocks of hundreds of geese flying overhead throughout the day. Sometimes they like to land in our fields and snack on the cover crops that are just freshly sprouted, so we install flags throughout the fields in order to deter the geese from landing. Although majestic and beautiful, those big flocks can lay waste to a field of cover crops in no time!