Wednesday, November 7, 2012

CSA Week #22: Final Share of the Season

The last of the incredible carrots. Sad for us here at the farm since our kids snub store-bought carrots--the taste is incomparable.

About this week’s share: 

For this last-of-the-season share, whatever could be picked from our fields, we picked. Young broccoli, radish, purple carrots, escarole, kale, lettuce…

We actually held back on harvesting our ever-popular carrots (see pic) for last weekend’s farmer’s markets. We wanted to be sure we had enough for our CSA members this last week. We had plenty. In the process we learned that we have a lot of market customers hooked on our carrots. But instead of complaining that we didn’t have any at the market, many simply asked, “Why do they taste so good?”

You will probably notice that the broccoli is comprised of bunched buds, not crowns. This wasn’t intentional. The sun just didn’t shine enough this fall for the crowns to size up. Fortunately, the buds can be just as tasty when small, and don't let the stems go to waste. We often peel and then slice into sticks for eating with dip or cooking in a stir fry.

Season overview: 

Adapting has always been key to success in farming. And after two seasons marked by extreme weather, cultivating resilience is at the forefront of our thoughts. And in the wake of “Superstorm Sandy,” the subject of resilience is woefully in the thoughts of many or most.

Even our governor is acknowledging that extreme weather events are the “new normal.” And in this framework, we are looking carefully at how we, as farmers, can best be prepared to adapt and making changes accordingly.

But as we look back, we have to thank those members that shared their concern when this year’s historic drought was going from bad to worse. We thank those members who not only cheered for us when we finally got rain but also watched the radar to track rain storms in hopes that they’d come our way. And while we struggled with what we perceived as a lack of variety in the shares week to week due to drought- and heat-related crop loss, many members said they were too busy cooking their way through the abundance of what was in the shares to notice what wasn’t there. Besides, other members reminded us, how can you get sick of fresh tomatoes and red bell peppers? It was a banner year for these two items. It’s that kind support and commitment and enthusiasm that truly makes what we do “community supported” farming.

Special thanks to...

Free Bird Farm’s remaining field crew—Armando and Ariel Lopez (cousins)—who have stuck out the last few weeks of the season harvesting in the midst of tropical storms and finger-numbing weather.

...and also Shawn Cleland of Timberlane Farm, who supplied us many weeks of amazing blueberries. And we would never forget Tom Maynard of Maynard Orchards, who despite a startling shortage of pears and apples in New York this season, still took good care of our CSA.

In this week’s share:
1 head of escarole
1 head of lettuce
1 bunch carrots
1 bunch radishes (sweet—thanks to all the rain and the cold)
1 bunch parsley
2 heads of garlic
1 butternut squash
1 bunch kale
1 head Napa cabbage
1 bag of baby broccoli heads

Fruit share:
Empire apples

Empires are a terrific, all-around apple—great for eating out of hand or using in baking.

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