Wednesday, October 10, 2012

CSA Share Week #18

This long weekend, we juggled a triple-header: two busy farmers’ markets, harvesting for CSA members, and pulling off a birthday party for our now 8-year-old daughter.
Both our children celebrate birthdays in October, a month when—cold days, wet days, sunny days—we’re still full-on work wise. So time for fundamental birthday prep, like house cleaning, was limited (apparent as we sneezed our way through some dusting). There was little time to bake a memorable cake (enter one dear neighbor who is also one heck of a cake baker). And if we’re both too stubborn to take the more sensible way out and rent space at the local bowling alley, pool time at the Y, or (such fun) a bouncy house, our daughter is just as dogged about maintaining the tradition of having her party on farm.
On the flip side, the rows of round bales we lined up in the back yard easily equaled the fun of a bouncy house. Boys and girls tirelessly climbed, slid down, and leapt across and down the rows of bales taller than their 2nd-grade selves. And who doesn’t love going on a hayride, let alone while wearing a fake mustache (see pic)? Or searching for hidden “chicken eggs” (aka treat-filled Easter eggs) in a back-field scavenger hunt?
It was a great time, and it’s a positive reminder of the life we embrace here, not matter how busy.
Of course, that night for dinner, we ordered a pizza.

2 sweet dumpling winter squash
1 bunch green onions
1 bunch cilantro
1 bunch arugula
6 ½ ounces salad mix
1 head of garlic
1 bunch Swiss chard
1 bunch kale
3 red bell peppers

2 1/4 pounds Bartlett pears (local and Cooperstown members)

seckel pears and Golden Delicious apples (New York City members)

Fruit shares varied this week because of a change in the delivery schedule to New York City. Next week we will be returning to our regular schedule.

The Bartlett pears should sit out on your countertop to ripen. When they are a "canary yellow" and give just slightly when pressed with a finger, they are ripe and ready to eat.

The seckel pears are close to ripe and need just a few days out on the counter to ripen.

NEWS about apples and raspberries:

By this time of year we have usually enjoyed two or three weeks of fresh raspberries. Unfortunately, this year our local berry farmer’s raspberries were damaged by spotted wing drosophila. Originally from Asia, this fly has spread from California to the Northeast in the last 7 years, ruining berries by laying their eggs in the fruit. This year New York State was hit hard.
Another farm friend, who grows raspberries, described the damaging larva as “really gross”—not a combination of words we hear often from a farmer.
The VERY GOOD news is that our regular source for apples and pears was spared the statewide “apple-ocolypse”—as one local paper dubbed this year’s crop. Many orchards were severely impacted by an unseasonably mild winter and spring frosts that lasted into the month of May. Yields are down 50% from last year. Fortunately, “our orchard” (Maynard Farms) was one that was spared from damage.

*Keep “liking” Maynard Farms on its Facebook page or dropping him notes of appreciation; he has really appreciated hearing from our CSA members.

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