Tuesday, October 15, 2019

BGF News - October 15, 2019-Vol. XLII, No.20

In this week’s box:

Baby Choi
Butternut Squash
Carrots: Asst.
Chard: Bright Lights Mix or Kale 
Garlic: hardneck
Lettuce Bouquets or Head Lettuce: Muir, Kiribati or Magenta
Onions: Cipollini
Sweet Peppers: Assorted
For those with the Egg option [Full shares]: one dozen free-range eggs (asst. colors)
For those with the Herb option: sage, lemon thyme & chocolate mint

Featured Recipes:  ** indicates a BGF favorite 

Welcome to the final delivery of the 2019 Summer CSA. It is hard to believe that twenty deliveries have gone by so quickly. And yet again, spring seems like a long time ago. The freeze Friday night finished off all the warm season crops including field tomatoes and peppers. We started clearing the spent crops from the field today and will get most of them out later this week. Luckily we were able to get all of the new fall crops covered before the temperatures dropped and even kept most of them on through the gusty winds over the weekend.
Installing row covers
Clearing spent crops

We are still trying to get the last of the high tunnel crops sown. This has been delayed by the regular rains and the fact that the big tunnel is still "topless" since the tornado. We have been making slow progress on the repairs there and just on Monday got the first new end wall plastic in place. Now we just need some windless days to get the other end and then the top on. It did finally dry out enough in there today that we were able to sow salad mix, spinach, arugula, beets and tatsoi.
The view from the top of the high tunnel

Amid finishing up the 2019 season, the work for 2020 is already beginning. The crop mapping for next season is underway. This is an important first step, because we will plant garlic in the next couple of weeks and we have to know where it fits into the rotation. The crew was able to take advantage of last week's rain and prepped most of the seed garlic. Now we just need the soil to dry out enough that we can prep the beds and get it planted and mulched.

Final Delivery Note: Today is the final delivery of the 2019 CSA season. Thank you for joining us on this Veggie Adventure. We hope you have enjoyed the journey! Starting in November, we will publish a monthly newsletter updating you on the current goings-on around the farm. We will start sign-ups for the 2019 CSA season in January. Special thanks to our delivery hosts, Peace Tree Brewing Co. and the Grand Theater for giving us a home away from home.

VegEmail Sales:  Starting the first week of November we will send out an email with a link to an order form that lists all of the produce/products that we have available for sale that week. If you see things you would like to purchase, just fill out the order form and then meet us that following Tuesday at Peace Tree in DM or the Grand Theater in Knox. Payment is due at the pickup. We will do it (nearly) every 2 weeks from Nov to the start of market in May (though we are planning to take New Year's Day off). If you were a member of the CSA in the past year or ordered during the Jan-May VegEmail season earlier this year then you are on the email list. 

If you can't wait until November to get your fresh produce, we hope you'll come visit us at the Downtown Des Moines Farmers Market. We're there every Saturday until the end of October.

Here's the schedule:
October 15-  Final CSA delivery
October 26- Final Farmer Market
November 5-  First VegEmail Sale
November  22-23 DM Winter Market
December 13-14 DM Winter Market

A little detail on your produce this week:

Carrots: Remove the leafy green tops, leaving about an inch of stems. Refrigerate dry, unwashed carrots in a plastic bag for two weeks or longer. Peel carrots or scrub carrots well with a stiff brush just before using. Trim off any green spots, which can taste bitter. When slicing or chopping carrots for cooking, be sure to make all the pieces relatively the same size; this will ensure an evenly cooked dish. Greens can be added to soup stock for flavor.

Daikon: Trim the radish greens and roots. Peel if you like (though not necessary). Daikon will last up to 2 weeks stored in the fridge in plastic bag or wrapped in damp towel in fridge.  Their greens should be stored separately.

Peppers:  Place whole, unwashed peppers in a plastic bag, seal, and refrigerate for a week or more. Rinse peppers just before use. For sweet peppers, cut around the stem with a small knife and lift out the core. Slice down the side to open it up and then cut out the inner membranes. Store unused portions in a sealed bag or container in the refrigerator.

 Winter Squash:  Store winter squash in a cool, dry, dark place with good ventilation for up to a month, depending on the variety. Once squash has been cut, you can wrap the pieces in plastic and refrigerate them for five to seven days. To make it easier to prep winter squash for your recipe, try the prebaking method: pierce the squash to allow heat to escape while it is in the oven, then bake the squash whole at 350° F until it is just barely tender to the poke of the finger, 20 to 30 minutes. This softens the shell and makes cutting and peeling much easier. 

A few other details: All of your GREENS will keep best if stored in a plastic bag, with the top folded over and placed in the produce drawer of your refrigerator.  

** NOTE: You will notice over the course of the season that some box contents listed above say "Perhaps one of the following..."  These are items that we can’t harvest in sufficient quantities for the whole CSA to receive at one time.  We do track who gets what and we will do our best to ensure that everyone eventually receives each item.  On some items this may take several weeks, so please be patient.

Is a weekly newsletter not enough for you and you want to read more about our daily adventures or see pictures of the farm?  Follow us on Facebook at Blue Gate Farm and/or share your recipes, experiences and questions with other BGF members at Blue Gate Farm Community.

That’s about it this week, if you have any questions or comments be sure to let us know. 
Best from the farm,
Jill & Sean (and Luci, Indigo & Sky)

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