Harvesting beautiful Hakurei turnips for today's delivery
Well, here it is, the final delivery of the 2020 CSA season. It's amazing to me that 20 weeks have gone by, and what a season it has been! Who would have guessed what this year had in store for us all back when we were sowing the first seeds in February? And now, here we are.
Final sowing of baby kale
The small high tunnel is now fully planted, with the final sown crops of salad mix, baby kale and tatsoi going in this past weekend. We still have a couple seedings of greens to go into the big tunnel plus one more transplanted flat of Purple Peacock broccoli and that will be it for 2020 crops.
Never fear, we aren't just sitting around with nothing to do now. There is still plenty to keep us entertained like clearing all of the spent beds, clearing and storing the irrigation system (though we're still using it) and installing all the row cover over the new fall crops. Plus the work for 2021 is already beginning, beginning with a "post mortem" of the growing season to decide what crops and varieties stay or should be replaced. The crop mapping for next season is the following big step. This is an important and time sensitive one, because we will plant garlic in the next couple of weeks and we have to know where it fits into the rotation. Then we need to prep those beds and the 5,400 cloves of that go into them. So no dilly dallying going on here!
Final Delivery Note: In case you missed it above, today is the final delivery of the 2020 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 2021 CSA season in early 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: Don't worry that with the end of the CSA season you'll be stuck with grocery store eggs and produce, we continue to do weekly Saturday VegEmail sales until the end of October. Starting the first week of November we will move to bi-weekly Tuesday evening sales. You should continue to get the VegEmail announcements. 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.
Upcoming dates of note:
Tuesday, Oct 13th: final CSA delivery of the 2020 season
Saturday, Oct 31: final weekly VegEmail delivery
Tuesday, Nov 10: bi-weekly VegEmail deliveries begin. We plan to continue these deliveries on Tuesdays, every 2 weeks until the end of April.
A little detail on your produce this week:
Broccoli & Cauliflower: Wrap loosely in a plastic bag and keep it in the vegetable bin of your refrigerator for up to a week. Immediately before cooking, soak, head down, in cold, salted water (1 teaspoon salt to a 8 cups of water) for 5 minutes. Any [organic] critters will float to the top where you can rescue them or allow them to suffer a salty death. (Note: If you soak broccoli/cauliflower in salt water before storing, it will become too rubbery and too wilted to enjoy.) Slice the juicy, edible stems and use them wherever florets are called for. Peel particularly thick skin before using.
Eggplant: Eggplant prefers to be kept at about 50° F, which is warmer than most refrigerators and cooler than most kitchen counters. Wrap unwashed eggplant in a towel (not in plastic) to absorb any moisture and keep it in the vegetable bin of your refrigerator. Used within a week, it should still be fresh and mild. The shape of an eggplant determines how it is best prepared. Slice a straight, narrow eggplant into rounds for grilling or broiling, and cut a rounded, bulbous eggplant into cubes for stews and stir-fries.
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.
Root crops: Remove leafy tops and store them like other greens. The roots should be placed in a plastic bag in the refrigerator and used within a few weeks.
Summer Squash/Zucchini: Refrigerate unwashed zucchini and summer squash for up to a week and a half in a perforated plastic bag or in a sealed plastic container lined with a kitchen towel. These do not need to be peeled to use, just slice them up and go! Our varieties: 8 Ball (green,round), Golden Glory (bright yellow zucchini), Patty Pan(scalloped white, green or yellow), Slik Pik (thin, yellow) or Zephyr (green & yellow)
Tomatoes: always store whole tomatoes at room temperature, out of direct sunlight. Once cut, store in a sealed container in the refrigerator.
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.