Happy Delivery Day!
We are in our last month of the CSA season and many of the farmer’s markets will close in a couple weeks as well. It’s time to freeze, dehydrate, and can whatever produce is available. Our taste buds will thank us in the middle of January when we can grab a bag of frozen roasted peppers and add them to soup or chili. Check out the recipe section of the newsletter for tips and ideas towards preparing food for winter.
The weather has been an encouraging friend to me, although corn and bean farmers are feeling differently. The moisture coupled with cloudy days has Edgewood’s Farmer Paul delayed for corn harvest. Next week he will give it a go, and BOY does his ORGANIC corn look nice! The on and off rain helped the salad mix, radishes and arugula pop and this week we are back to warm temps so they are really growing! More fall-like temps are just a few days away, and the rain that is here should clear out soon so we are all in for a lovely fall weekend.
In the field the pulling of dead plants has begun, and with this comes much reflection about all of the bounty that the field provided this year. Many of the plants will stay in the field to decay and add nutrients back to the soil but the really thick stemmed crops, like Broccoli and Kale are removed and composted. After removing all of the plants the next step will be pulling up the plastic mulch and the T-posts from the tomato trellis. A lot of muscle work is required at the end of the season, no need for a gym membership, free farm-fit sessions available daily at Edgewood! I’m also thinning radishes and seeding the last planting of salad mix and hoping that they mature before October 27th!
In preparation for next year we are starting to research grant opportunities that may be available regarding our plan to integrate conservation and organic agriculture. We are looking at the grants available through the National Resource Conservation Service and Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) and hope that the systems we want to implement on our new acreage will be worthy of a grant. We feel strongly that the symbiotic systems that we are focused on creating will be an important model for the future of sustainable, organic agriculture!
As for the lil’ Russians, Joe is back up on the big horses and psyched to take compost loads of dead plants for me. I pull the plants and make piles and he comes and fills the bucket with them, drives the tractor to the compost, dumps it and returns back for more. It’s nice to have a friend out in the field again. Timmy is researching homemade R2D2 costumes for me on the computer and the plans don’t look too complicated so it might actually happen. For our adult Halloween party I am considering a garlic princess costume, a princess that has the power to keep all the evil away….and most of my friends too depending on how potent I smell.
What to expect in the box on October 6, 2016
Eggplant – Bell and Long Asian Variety – Thanks to Coneflower Farm in TIskilwa, IL
Peppers – Long Italian variety and Green Bells
*As always, wash produce before indulging.
*It might seem like a small offering this week but I will be honest, the fall bounty is not a reality for me this year. I will do everything possible to make sure there are delicious items from Edgewood and my local farmer friends in the boxes for our last month of CSA. “You win some, you lose some….” Right?! This year the surpluses and storage veggies weren’t as prevalent but I hope that everyone will still enjoy the October deliveries. Each year presents challenges and rewards in its own unique way and each year I learn how to keep improving and moving forward. As always, thanks for continuing to support these efforts! Next year we are planning for wider varieties of crops and adding beets, turnips, rutabagas and much more to the field menu!
Recipe ideas and Storage tips
Peppers – Cut peppers into strips, roast in the oven and then put them in a zip-loc and freeze! This is a very simple and rewarding way to store peppers for winter usage. Check out roasted pepper recipes on the internet! The possibilities are endless and we have a lot of peppers to eat between now and the end of October so it’s time to get on the pepper train.
Kale – Freeze Kale too! If it seems like the kale isn’t going to be eaten fresh just put it in a zip-loc and freeze. I add it to morning smoothies all the time and it gives me a good green boost to start the day. The frozen kale can also be added to soups in the winter. We love a Kale and Chorizo soup that sister-in-law Anna discovered.
Eggplant – Eat this fresh if possible by thinly slicing the eggplant and putting it on a roasting pan. Drizzle coconut oil or olive oil and cook at 425 degrees. Coconut oil adds incredible flavor and texture and is a super healthy oil to cook with at high temperatures. Check out epicurious.com for a great Oven-Roasted Eggplant Recipe.
Eggplant – Begnan Bhartha is a Northern Indian dish that my friend Keri just told me about! It showcases eggplant and is even tastier when fire roasted on the grill or a fire pit! I am definitely preparing this for Friday dinner!
Have a wonderful fall weekend, sunshine and cool weather adventures lie ahead!
“Grow, inspire, repeat.”
Edgewood Farm Organics