Tuesday, September 11, 2012

CSA Newsletter

Greetings from the Garden!  This box has tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, green onions, cucumbers,  kohlrabi, chard and arugula, watermelon, and grapes.

Field Notes.  Still dry here.  As I write this Tuesday afternoon, there is a chance of rain tomorrow on harvest day.   I would gladly put on the rain gear!  The dry weather means constant vigilance as hungry animals search for food.  Here is some damage to a melon about two days before it was ripe enough to pick!  And deer have nibbled some beet greens.

With the start of school, many people's schedules change.  We here look to fall and winter.  Ken continues planning and planting for fall garden crops, and is deciding next spring's harvest and planting spots.  There are factors like sunlight and rotation to consider.    And we start to plan the digging of fall crops and getting them into the root cellar.

With the recent cool nights and short days the hot weather crops slow down - some begin to give up - even with irrigation and Ken closing the greenhouses at night and opening them each morning.  Enjoy them before they are done for the season.  With kohlrabi we start moving toward fall crops.  

The pullets in the egg mobile have started to lay, so we can now offer egg shares with your box.  Pullet eggs start small (the photo is from last week), but they are nearly regular size.  It is pretty exciting (eggciting?) that we have increased supply for increased demand!

From the Kitchen.  Harvest and preservation are in full swing here.  The dehydrator has seen good use as Ken keeps it going.  And I have been canning tomatoes right along.  Monday I started up the steam juicer with the small grapes.  Ken is cooking down more fruit on the stove.  Ken sees preserved, concentrated fruit as future sweeteners.  He uses steamed juices as part of his gelatin desserts.  He uses canned fruit and juice concentrates as the sweetener and liquid in coffee cake type desserts.  Dried fruit gets packed for a snack while cutting wood.  His resourcefulness makes me rethink how I store food for future use.

Although Tuesday returns us to some hot weather, I am moving from raw food to cooked.  I have been sauteing onions and peppers and poaching pullet eggs for breakfast. Ken saw a photo on face book, and made pepper ringed eggs with green onion garnish.  The bulk of photos and recipe precede this newsletter in the blog - see Chef in the Kitchen.  At least one other CSA has requested to post this on their newsletter.

A vegetable stir fry on cous cous
I also saute onion and pepper and cabbage or kohlrabi for a vegetable medley at noontime. When Ken was gone at a meeting at noon, I sauteed an onion, some ripe pepper, cut corn off one ear, added a chopped tomato, one crumbled slice of cheese and chopped basil on cous cous. Once the temperature drops a bit Ken will be pickling peppers and I will be making baba ganoush, an eggplant spread that can be frozen.

These grapes and all the grapes we grow have seeds.  The varieties were developed by a man named Swenson who worked at the University of Minnesota and lived in Osceola.  Swenson worked a lifetime to develop cold hardy varieties of fruit and vegetables that thrive in this region.  His varieties not only grow well here, they consistently have great flavor.

'Til Next Week!
Judith and Ken

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