Extended Season Week 1: week of October 31, 2011

 In Farm News

Farmer John Writes…
Greetings from Angelic Organics!

Welcome to Week 21

This is your first week of the Extended Season share. Thanks for joining us for these last few weeks.

Vegetable Storage

To learn about storage of your vegetables, consult the Vegetable Storage Guide starting on pg 339 in your Angelic Organics cookbook or visit https://angelicorganics.com/Vegetables/vegetablescontent.php?contentfile=vegstorage

Garlic in Repose

Vegetable of the Week: Garlic
From the Angelic Organics Cookbook, pg 185: Garlic does not linger quietly on the back burner. Most people react to it adamantly, either with adoration or distaste. …Almost all cultures grow garlic and cook with it.

We harvest our garlic in July, and distribute it over the season. It’s a labor-intensive crop to weed and harvest, but so gratifying to grow.

Try our Roasted Whole Garlic recipe on pg 188. Eating whole cloves of creamy, roasted garlic fresh from their skins is undeniably sensuous. It’s heady. It’s extravagant. It can bring you to your knees. Spread it over warm bread, mix it into mashed potatoes, or make it the crowning touch for a pasta sauce…

A Shareholder Writes
Dear Shelly,
As a mom of two small boys (ages 4 and 7) one of the best decisions that we made this year was to join your farm share program! Early in the summer when the first boxes arrived, the boys were not too sure of the lettuce and other goodies that they found. Although I pride myself on healthy eating in our house, I must confess that they were a little leery when I served beets, spinach and radishes for the first time to them. As time went on, getting the farm box on Thursday morning became the highlight of their week during the long, lazy, summer days. They couldn’t wait to open the box and see what treasures they would find! They loved to feel them, taste them, smell them. Everyone gathered in the kitchen to discover what gems we’d be getting for the week. This was so much more exciting for them (and, well, everyone in the house) than going to the grocery store! Although it is the middle of October, they are still reminiscing about the delicious corn and the yellow watermelon that we had in the summer months. My oldest son was actually sad the other day when I said that the farm box would be ending soon! This was such a great experience for all of us to try new and delicious foods that we would have not otherwise tried. Thank you for the experience!
That being said, I was so thrilled to learn that we could add an additional 4 weeks (my boys will be excited too!). Please add us to the list…
Thank you again for all of your hard work.
Sincerely, [A shareholder]

P.S. We knew that we were onto something good so we signed up for next year after opening the very first box of the season!

Farmer John Replies: Farming is a tough path. This note from Barb makes it easier…makes it so we go about our work in a warm glow. Thank you, Barb. Our best to your boys!

What Next?
Winter approaches. By the time we deliver our last boxes to you, there is a little over three months before we start the next season. How we conduct those three months really impacts the next season. Do we get our hiring done in time? Our greenhouse seeding planned properly? Our field operations sorted out? Our seed and supply orders? Do we have our equipment ready to go? When the ground thaws and it’s time to start the next season, are we ready? WHOA…the next season has already started, with our fallow ground seeded to clover and alfalfa a year and a half ago, more ground spread with Biodynamic compost and seeded to peas and oats late this summer. (Watch the cover crop spectacle here: http://www.youtube.com/user/FarmerJohnsTractor#p/a/u/2/bv-x_f51YcY .) Farming is a continuum: it gets created out of its past and the farmer’s eye to the future. But let me simplify: the season is made or broken by how the field work goes in April. And, of course, April unfolds out of all the planning put in place before April arrives.

What’s my Line?
When I was touring with The Real Dirt on Farmer John, long lines would often form during the receptions after the screenings. Sometimes it would take more than an hour of talking, hand shaking and hugging for the line to end. It was interesting what people would want to talk about when they reached me: the names of their grandma’s chickens, the farm their parents lost, how big is an acre? …what to do about squash bugs, farming dreams, sickness, diet convictions, prison reform…One person said, “How do I farm?” Really. Then he said, “Do I plant stuff in the spring and harvest it in the fall? Is that how you do it?”

My distillation of how to farm, my one-minute pitch, is: make the ground as fertile as possible, and do everything on time, meaning, do most of it early, just in case. For instance, I’m writing this Week 21 newsletter at the end of Week 19.

Upcoming Program with the Angelic Organics Learning Center

Preschool Fun with Farm Animals, 10 am to noon, Fri, Nov 4 Preschoolers and their caregivers will help our farm crew care for the goats, chickens and horse, while learning about the important jobs of animals on the farm.

Soap making–just a few spots left in two classes, 9 to noon or 1 to 4, Sat, Nov 5 Learn to make a wonderful and gentle soap using goat’s milk. Everyone will make several bars of soap to bring home

Thanksgiving Food from the Farm: A Program for Kids! 9 am to 4 pm, Wed, Nov 23 Prepare food from the farm to bring home for your family’s Thanksgiving meal. We’ll use squash and eggs to make a delicious pie, cook bread in our earth oven, and learn how to roast vegetables, plus spend time with the animals. For children in 1st to 5th grade, together with an adult.

Please register on line at least 1 week in advance or call (815) 389-8455.

Nice to have You with us this Season
Farmer John

Box Contents

Please Note: this summary is written before you receive your box—please be aware that some guesswork is involved. As always, be sure to thoroughly wash all of your vegetables.

Fruiting Crops – Butternut squash, popcorn
Brassicas – Broccoli side shoots, Cabbage
Alliums – Garlic, 2 Onions
Cooking Greens – bunched Chard, baby Kale
Salad Greens –Leaf  Lettuce, Red Cardinal Spinach
Root Crops – 2# Carrots, Beets

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