Sunday, September 14, 2008

Turkey Hill CSA Newsletter - 2008, Week 12+

On the farm

This week marks the slow wind down of the farm. I'm getting this out late again, and my remaining newsletters will be sporadic as we wind down the season.

We have just a few more weeks of CSA left, I wanted to tell you what to expect for the rest of season. The last pickup at the farm will be Fri. Oct. 10th. The last delivery to Crested Butte will be Sunday, October 12th.

Next week we'll take a salad break, but we should have greens again for a few more weeks after that. The broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower should last a few more weeks (we'll give you a break on the cabbage this week!), as well as the kale (unless we get a fall aphid infestation which we sometimes see in). We'll have chard one or two more times and its done!

Carrots are still coming in and we have a few more weeks to go before they run out. Carrots store very well, so (take the tops off and) pack them in a bag in your produce bin to keep them from drying out and they should last a while.

I hope you enjoyed the corn, if all goes well we will have the bi-color one more week, then switch to a later white variety. We also have some ornamental corn as well as gourds you may see in the last few boxes.

Cucumbers and squash are starting to show signs of decline, and will stop in their tracks at the first freeze which could be any moment now. Winter squash on the other hand will get picked the moment it freezes (or in early october if it still hasn't frozen): we'll have a good supply of acorn and delacata squash, and pumpkins. Not sure about butternut, spaghetti, hubbard, buttercup or other types yet - depends on the exact freeze date.

I have some peppers coming in, but tomatoes are still in short supply. I tried to buy them from a neighbor who grows a lot, but his just aren't ripening up for him. Next year I'm planning to work in more of a budget for buying crops from other growers, this helps support other growers, helps assure a more reliable harvest for the CSA members and makes our load a little less. For now hit your local farmers market or stand and snatch up a bunch of tomatoes before they are gone!

We'll have a steady supply of onions: reds store really well, yellows, whites (also storage, coming later), also shallots and leeks for the last few weeks. The shallots have a fine, sweet flavor that is fantastic - they look more like a garlic bulb if they bulb out properly. We grow ours from seed each year, and they take a long time to mature, so I'm waiting until the very end to pick them. We also have more garlic to keep lining the boxes: it was a good crop this year. I'm guessing you have some stocked up by now, but let us know soon if you want more onions, garlic, extra winter squash etc (for purchase at a reasonable price) for storage.

We'll dig the potatoes in a few weeks and there should be enough to give everyone some, perhaps a good bit, but the early harvest survey was a bit disappointing. The potatoes were in the furthest field this year, an area previously used as a corral and the rockiest section of the farm. they struggled mightily out there against the encroaching grasshoppers - one the outside row was leaf chewed almost entirely. so we won't have much extra, but the potatoes we do have should be great.

On the fruit front we should have plums this coming week, as well as different apple varieties: honey crisp, galas, akame, golden and red delicious etc. apples store very well, so just pack them in your fridge if you get too many.

I hope you have all enjoyed the season. I'll be emailing out a short (10 question) survey you can fill out online sometime in the next week. please help us by filling this out, or feel free to call or email your comments. We are already thinking about next year, so this is a great time to give us your input. you can also call or email your comments.

This week's box (probable box)

Salad Mix - last of the mid-season crop, more in 1-2 weeks!
Broccoli - still coming, side
Cauliflower - white, orange ('cheddar') or purple ('grafitti') - still a bit more
Kale - chard is nearly spent!
Summer Squash - Zucchini & Patty pan - slowing down
Cucumbers - slowing down
Carrots - still more
Basil - a plant  - keep it alive - cut back and put in a pot, or just use all the leaves.
Onions -  more yellow & red onions
Garlic - keep saving this up!
Cabbage - green, red & savoy
Sweet Corn - Delectable bi-color, the peak for our corn - chop the end 1" off before shucking if you feel a wormy tip.

Crested Butte: look for extra boxes! some 1/2 shares got 2 boxes this week, and squash & basil were outside the boxes. please pick up on time, and look around for boxes that contain extra veggies or veggies for you to take.

Fruit Share
Peaches -   from First Fruits Paonia & delicious orchards
White Peaches - from Paonia, unusual flavor and color.

Early Akame apples, from First Fruits Paonia
Green Bartlett Pears, from First Fruits Paonia

Peaches end soon, more apples & pear varieties over the remaining weeks. Hope to get some plums next week.

Call or email to special order fruit for canning or freezing.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Turkey Hill CSA Newsletter - 2008, Week 11

On the farm

This week, fall has really set in. The early mornings when I get out to the field are cold! A few mornings have even felt like frost, but its not that cold here yet. The harvest is clearly slowing as the cold and shorter days approach.

We picked a huge haul of cauliflower and cabbage this week. everyone should get a red or crinkly green cabbage this week, and a couple/few heads of cauliflower. The broccoli has diminished a bit, but should keep producing for a few more weeks.

The cucumbers are slowing down a bit, and the squash can't be farm behind - these crops sense the cold and just stop growing. The tomatoes and peppers are showing some signs of ripening, if the fall lasts a bit longer i'll have some for the boxes.

The sweet corn is just starting. we are including a few ears in this week's box, but next week we'll really pick the corn and you will get more - it just isn't quite ready. I think you will taste the difference when you get the corn next week. We should have corn for at least a few weeks.

We tried to start picking the potatoes this week, but the size is still a bit small. I got enough for everyone to have some this week, but I'm going to give the plants a few weeks or a month to size up before I really harvest the beds.

The onions are really sizing up now! Don't worry if you can't eat all the onions we will be putting in the box for the next six weeks - just put them in a cool dark place and they will store for a long time. Use the yellow onions first, the red and white onions last longer in storage.

The chard is finally slowing down and this may be the last week, the kale still looks great so we should be able to harvest kale for a bit longer.

The carrots are really producing now, but we may take a break on harvesting them to let the longer ones size up. If you can't eat them all, just top them and store ina bag in the fridge. From time to time you may want to rinse them, but they should last for quite a while in the produce bin.

The winter squash is sizing up nicely, with a good crop of delacatas and acorns (the earliest) already ripened. We need a few more weeks of frost free weather to get a good crop of the rest.

This week's box (probable box)

Salad Mix - yum!
Broccoli - still coming
Cauliflower - white, orange ('cheddar') or purple ('grafitti') -
Chard or Kale
Summer Squash - Zucchini & Patty pan - lots
Carrots - they just keep coming
Basil - use fresh or dry it
Onions - reds this week
Garlic - keep saving this up!
Cabbage - red & savoy
Sweet Corn - Delectable bicolor, chop the end 1" off before shucking if you feel a wormy tip.

Fruit Share

Peaches - Delicious peaches, from First Fruits Paonia
Early Akame apples, from First Fruits Paonia
Green Bartlett Pears, from First Fruits Paonia

Peaches end soon, more apples & pears over the remaining weeks. Hope to get some plums next week.

Note: I hope you enjoyed the nectarines for the last two weeks. The flavor was really good, but they were a bit ugly - they were 2nds - sorry about the appearance of the fruit - small sizes, marked up - the 1sts were in very limited supply.