Farmer John Writes: Extended Season Shares
Week 18, October 10th – 14th
Your Box This Week — Saturday Deliveries:
Please note: this summary is written before we pack your box—be aware that some guesswork is involved. As always, be sure to thoroughly wash all of your vegetables.
Fruiting Crops — Sweet Peppers
Brassicas — Broccoli
Cooking Greens — Spinach (in bag), Purple Choi, Pea Shoots (in bag)
Root Crops — Potatoes, Turnips
Salad Greens — Lettuce
Alliums — Onions
Extended Season Shares Are Available When You Sign Up by Monday, October 16
Due to the mostly favorable (though unusual) growing conditions this fall, we are now offering extended season shares when you sign up by Monday, Oct. 16. However, the shares are limited and are available on a first-come, first-served basis, so it’s possible that we will close the door early on the offer. The extended season shares are likely to contain winter squash, cooking greens, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, broccoli, onions, garlic, popcorn, potatoes, and head lettuce. The share might also include baby greens, depending on the weather—more about leafy crops below. The extended season shares will be delivered the first four weeks of November.
Go to www.angelicorganics.com/extended-season to learn more about the extended season share and to sign up.
Has Your Farm Gone Even More Green?
You have probably noticed that we, and therefore you, have a proliferation of greens this fall. I’ll explain. The flooding through early August caused quite a disturbance in our usual yields of peak summer crops, and also caused a significant delay in seeding our fall crops. More and more of our lettuce seedlings accumulated on wagons for weeks, waiting to be transplanted. Also, we were delayed in seeding baby greens. When the rains finally subsided, we seeded a huge backlog of head lettuce and baby greens. We made sure to plant a lot of greens for fall, because we had no idea if the flooding would continue; therefore, we wondered if our fall brassicas–cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts–would be compromised. We also wondered if the potatoes and carrots would hold up in the perpetual mud, and if the winter squash would actually ripen in the unusually cool summer weather.
We decided to harvest our carrots and most of our potatoes early, partly out of this concern that they would rot in the fields, and partly because we needed the volume to fill your boxes, because we lost so many of our peppers, eggplant, tomatoes and melons to flooding. The carrots are all harvested and distributed to our shareholders already. We still have some potatoes left. Fortunately, our fall brassicas have held up quite well, and we have a splendid crop of Brussels sprouts forming on their stalks.
Back to the leafy greens, we have not had a significant rain in almost two months. The drought and heat that followed the flooding, coupled with extensive irrigation, have caused an unexpected surge in the growth of these short season greens. We are prioritizing the greens for harvest, since they are maturing especially quickly this fall due to the warm weather and our irrigation, and they provide a fairly narrow window for optimal harvest quality. We are prioritizing the storage vegetables more for the extended season. From now until the main season ends—that’s this week and 2 more weeks—you will still receive hardy vegetables such as winter squash, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and potatoes, but your box will have more leafy items than what you might have anticipated. Some shareholders say “the more greens the better,” and some say, “too many greens.”
This year is especially a CSA lesson in learning to receive what the fields provide, in contrast to what they should have provided. It is also a lesson in how our farm can generate enough abundance to fill your boxes week after week in the midst of such weather adversity.
I adore the Asian mix when it is in the box. Not to disparage the lettuce–they are always wonderful. My girlfriend and I are adventurous eaters and she is a wonderful cook. In this light, we are always elated when we find an out of the ordinary green such as pea shoots or mizuna. And I must say the arugula I have had from your farm, our farm is the best I’ve ever had in my life! I remember it being peppery and not bitter as others often are.
“I love all things lettuce and never met a salad I didn’t like, so I’m always glad to get greens and lettuces in the box. Even better when it’s already mixed and in a bag! Thanks so much for all your hard work, box day is my favorite day of the week!
PS – love the way pea shoots taste, hate the prep and de-stemming. Just thought I’d weigh in on the debate :)”
“Dear Farmer John –
I have been reading all the farm news issues (not bc I am required but bc I enjoy it!) and I have found the complaints to be so worrisome. This is our second year as shareholders and yes, we have questions occasionally. But aside from a quick internet search it takes up no further energy on our part. Personally, I am ecstatic to receive a full box each week after the crazy rain we got. Additionally, I know you have commented a few times that the box contents are unusual this year, but for our family (2 adults and a toddler) the boxes haves worked out great! Lots of variety, which we love!! As a health coach I consider Angelic Organics to be a cornerstone to our good eating habits and encourage clients, friends and family to become shareholders as well. Below I am including a few suggestions for shareholders having some challenges –
* Explore! You’ve got to experiment to get the most out of your glorious surprise box of produce. Involve the whole family and try new dishes (and make up your own)
* Eat the delicate items first and store veg well. If you keep it properly it will last.
* Try variations. Cooked, raw, sliced, grated, sautéed, steamed… different prep, different taste!
* Share. We all have our preferences – if you find yourself with an abundance of something you don’t prefer or can’t use – gift some! Share with family, friends and neighbors. I…gave 6 ears of sweet corn for a housewarming gift.
* Have gratitude. I can think of lots of things I have spent more $ on than my season’s share. But nothing brings me such joy and lasting benefits as the bounty of produce I receive.
I’ve included a few pics of my share contents this year – when I look at them I wonder who could complain about this?!”
Shareholder Amy Primeau is a certified Holistic Health Coach, a 200-hour Certified Yoga Instructor and holds a Bachelors of Fine Art in Graphic Design. Visit her blog about eating, community and health habits at www.amyprimeau.com. Her upcoming post is about autumn pies made from our red kuri squash and our pie pumpkins.
Please Return Your Empty CSA Boxes
Each box costs the farm over $1.50. We appreciate getting them back so we can re-use them.
Overheard, Farm News, Week 19, 1997
“I haven’t returned a box. I want to. Every week I plan to. I always forget. I have 16 boxes in a stack on my porch. I see a big stack on my neighbor’s porch, too. What’s the host going to say when I show up with 20 boxes at the end of the season?”
Upcoming Events at Angelic Organics Learning Center
Woodland Survivor Campout (10/14-10/15) – Camp in the beautiful woodlands at Angelic Organics farm and get hands-on instruction for constructing a natural shelter, fire-building, tracking and wild edible plants. Includes dinner Saturday and breakfast on Sunday using ingredients from our farm! Learn more: www.LearnGrowConnect.org/events