Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Turkey Hill CSA Newsletter
Week 13-17, 2007

From the farm:

The farm is slowly declining as we linger without our usual September freeze. Even without the frost, many crops have decided to give up for the year, including the chard, kale, summer squash.

We had a fantastic lightning storm the other day, accompanied by lots of rain. I learned something new when talking to a friend: lightning storms fix atmospheric nitrogen, giving free food to the soil and crops. i found an article online on the nitrogen cycle that mentions it, and they say:

Nitrogen fixation refers to the conversion of atmospheric nitrogen gas (N2) to ammonia (NH3) or nitrate (NO3). The latter is formed when lightning or sometimes cosmic radiation causes oxygen and nitrogen to react in the atmosphere.

Amazingly, salad greens that looked to small to ever harvest this year look noticeably larger after a long storm full of heavy rain and lots of nearby lightning. Its as if the entire field got fertilized.

Alert: We are having a little 'end of the season' gathering for farm workers and CSA customers. If you can make it (sorry about the last minute notice) THIS SUNDAY, September 23rd @ 3pm at the farm. Please bring a potluck dish and visit us at the farm on Powell Mesa (approx, 34833 Powell Mesa Rd).

Four weeks of the CSA remain; depending on harvest conditions, the last week may be a double box, (boxes 16 & 17) will come as one big box, with two weeks of items - since everything stores so well at this time of year anyway. On to the crops:

Here is what we will have for the next four weeks

Salad Mix - tender summer greens - still picking for CSA - will last a week or two more
Broccoli - fall broccoli is now coming in
Cauliflower - Orange (cheddar - delicious!) - some White, Purple too.
Carrots (last week)

Tomatoes - more & more until the freeze - if you get overloaded, throw these in a bag and freeze them in a freezer bag. Defrost and stew in winter (add some fresh herbs) for a great sauce.
Lots more Winter squash - so far we have picked acorns (and white and orange acorns) , dalacata, festival and sweet dumpling. Delacata (striped long ovals), Butternut (brown, pear shape), Buttercup and Blue Hubbard all look great this year. Leave these on the shelf for a few weeks for a sweeter flavor. A freeze (soon) will help sweeten up the rest of the crop.
Pumpkins - we will have enough for everyone to get at least a small pumpkin, which you can put on your table or bake in a pie.
Onions - Reds coming on strong (dry these out, they store very well), yellow storage onions ready at the very end.
Peppers - Until it freezes

Chard in extras

Fruit -
Apples - Galas, Jonagold, Jonathan, Golden Delicious and others
Pears - red and others

Friday, September 7, 2007

Turkey Hill CSA Newsletter
Week 12, 2007

From the farm:

Fall is here! This is certainly my favorite season of the year. all that remains on the farm is a lot of picking! (and a little clean up and garlic planting for next year).

This week we are enjoying the last of the Summer crops as we head into Fall.

Since only five weeks of the CSA remain, I thought I'd summarize what you can expect as the season ends:

Lots of Fall crops:

Potatoes are now being harvested, we should have enough to give you all 2 lb./week for the remainder of the season;

Onions are still coming in with shallots, and Red.s ready and storage yellow onions still ripening. Special order a 25lb. box for $20 - the red or yellow storage onions will last all winter inf kept in a cool, dark spot.

Winter squash look fantastic this year - Lots still ripening, but the delacata and acorn are now being picked (plus cream acorn and orange acorn), as well as 'festival'. The larger squash: butternut, buttercup, blue hubbard, red kuri and others are all a few weeks off (after it freezes the 1st time, we pick them all). We will give everyone 1-2 squash a week for the rest of the season: place these in a cool spot and enjoy any time this winter. Call to special order before we sell it all.

Tomatoes will continue and increase until our first freeze, usually in mid september. Same for peppers and eggplant.

We have a nice crop of fall cauliflower and some more red cabbage you will get over the next few weeks.

The cucumbers, squash and basil are all giving up for the season, freeze or no freeze; the kale and chard are tired, i'll put a few in extras for real greens lovers, or ask about picking from the field, as the quality deteriorates, we stop picking!

The carrots are gone, but I imagine everyone has a nice supply in their fridge by now. trim the tops, and keep these in a bag; a damp paper towel is sometimes helpful, but watch for rot - clean the tops carefully.

We have some pumpkins, hopefully enough for everyone. Let us know if you must need a pumpkin for a pie.

This week's probable box:

Salad Mix - tender summer greens
Purple Cauliflower (giant)
Carrots (last week)

Cucumbers, including lemon cukes (last week?)
Tomatoes - more & more until the freeze
Eggplant or Winter Squash (farm pickup will get eggplant next week).
Onions - Red
Peppers - Hot, Anaheim (semi hot) and hot (the small ones)

Squash - yellow pear, yellow straight neck, eight ball, sunburst, crooked neck. TONS!
Sweet Corn -lots- from the farm - "Delectable" - last week.

Fruit -
Apples - Galas, Honey Crisp and Jonathan
Green Bartlett Pears

Coming soon (in the next 1-3 weeks):

Winter Squash