CSA Newsletter ~ Week 35
|The end is near with only one week to go after this one, and the weather appears to be on our side. There are no big snowstorms or heavy duty cold snaps in sight, so there's a good chance we'll be able to pack this both weeks' boxes with relative ease. We could easily get a foot of snow, and/or have temperature well below zero, either of which would make harvesting and packing the CSA boxes much more difficult, even painful, for thecrew. We'll likely cross that bridge sometime during the winter share, but for now, it looks like clear sailing.
It's the time of the year when variety wanes a bit, so you can expect fewer items in the box, and a little more of them. The good news is that most everything we pack this time of year lasts for at least a few weeks--even spinach--and some things, like carrots and onions, last much longer. You can expect our fall carrots to last at least 3-4 months, so nothing should go to waste there. Onions generally last that long as well. These onions were harvested in July, so they've only got 2-3 months of storage left. Onions like it cold and dry, whereas carrots like it cold and humid. We'll keep you informed about storage issues, and you can always look them up online too for a fast and easy answer. Radishes like the same conditions as carrots, and garlic is the same as onions. Even those of you signing up for the wintershare won't see a box for nearly a month, so it's likely that you'll use up whatever root crops we've delivered by then.
As always, we'll continue to improve variety over time. By this time next year, we'll have more root crops to offer to color and liven the box up a bit. Our fall beets yielded terribly, due to boron (a necessary micronutrient) deficiencies in our soil, and our sweet salad turnips did poorly due to our shortcoming getting them sown as early and as well as we could have. We've already corrected the boron issue, and will continue to address it continually now that we're aware. Kurt, the farm manager, has gotten quite good at using our field direct seeding equipment as evidenced by our amazing fall carrot harvest, and he'll no doubt be all over making sure we have better stands of turnips, rutabaga, beets, and radishes in the future. First of all, he's really good, and secondly, he loves root crops, so I can guarantee steady and continual improvement as times goes on.
As for the whole roasted tomatoes, they last pretty much forever, at least a few years, and when I make a pasta sauce or chili, I usually use 4 to 5 jars to make a decent sized batch. Even that lasts me only a week or two with just me eating it. I usually cook the tomatoes down to about half volume, and whatever I make with them is so good I can't stop eating it until it's gone. I've been known to eat pasta for breakfast when the sauce is good enough. We've heard from many people in response to our request as to their feelings about these jarred tomatoes, and so far, not one bad comment. I'm very glad about that as these jarred tomatoes are a significant way we can increase the local food supply, and being a farm that specializes in tomatoes and has a processing kitchen, it's right up our alley.
and the Tomato Mountain Farm Team