Wednesday, October 23, 2013

CSA Newsletter

Greeting from the Garden!  This box has salad mix, Chinese cabbage, pie pumpkins, sweet potatoes, winter tomatoes, peppers, Walla Walla onions, garlic, sage, melon, raspberries, and Haralson apples.

Last weekend!
Field Notes.  Well, we had a killing frost on The 20th - as late as either of us can remember.  And we have also had snow and cold temperatures this week - As of this writing the daily high temperatures have been 10 - 15 degrees cooler than average.  It has been a busy week.  

Squash and onions inside now
The late frost means the push is on to get vegetables harvested and into winter storage.  Until frost they are still growing and it is difficult to keep the root cellar cool enough.  And with lower temperatures we need to harvest quickly before there is damage from the cold.  

green manures foreground, Brussels sprouts in back
Ken has been clearing spaces and getting ready to set up more hoopettes in the garden and plant  late season green manures.  Once the crops are out, we will also doing more fall planting - garlic and other members in the onion family out in the field.

We are also moving animals to winter quarters. Turkeys went to a wooded area.  

The egg mobile chickens and young hens are by the garden now.

In November the pigs go, so now they are getting root tops as the root crops are harvested for the root cellar.  And Ken brought them a tractor shovel of leaves with acorns in them - a real treat.  

From the Kitchen.  Ken has been making various pepper concoctions and other fermented items to preserve the vitamin C.  He has also been running the dehydrator.  This year he is going to make some apple cider vinegar from the blemished apples.  I have been steam juicing grapes and apples or raspberries and apples with blemished or waterlogged fruit.  I am also thinking of trying some wine from the juice.  

Ken's first of this season
Haralson apples are a late season apple - good eating and wonderful for cooking.  Ken read a few years back that Haralsons make the best pie.  We eat a lot of stewed apples in the morning - we core and chunk apples and bring to a boil in apple juice with warming spices like cinnamon and cardamon or cloves.  Great way to leave the house with a warm stomach.  I have been making apple crisp as well.  I leave the skins on .  Core and chunk apples to nearly fill a loaf pan.  Add a topping or rolled oats, flour, butter a tablespoon or two of organic brown sugar (beet sugar is usually gmo), salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and bake about 40 minutes in a 375 degree oven - look for browned topping and some bubbling juice from apples.

Pie pumpkins are great in pies, cakes, cookies.  Cut the cap, scoop the seeds out and bake or chunk and steam until soft.  Scoop the flesh from the skin and use what you need and keep the rest in the refrigerator for use.  I also toast nuts in a skillet, set aside, place butter in the warm skillet and warm the pumpkin (or squash) and serve with chopped nuts.  A bit of nutmeg - not enough to recognize, just enough to add depth of flavor - a pinch or two.

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