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Middle Way Farm Fall 2015 Share Newsletter #1
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2015 Fall Share Newsletter - November 10 
Payment for share at pick-up may be made by cash, check, or debit/credit card

What's in the Share

Broccoli - 1 pound bag of sprouts
Brussels Sprouts - 1 pound bag
Carrots, Bolero - 1.5 pound bag
Garlic, Softneck - 1 bulb 
Onion, Cippolini - .75+ pounds
Onion, Yellow - 1.5 pounds
Kale, Winterbor - 1 bunch
Leeks - 3 leeks
Potato, Purple Majesty - 1.75 pounds
Potato, Purple Viking - 1.75 pounds
Radish, Daikon - 1-2 radishes
Spinach - 1 pound bag
Squash, Spaghetti - 1 large or 2 smaller squash
Sweet Potato - 3 pounds

Apples - 2 pounds (from Berry Patch Farm in Nevada. NOT organic) 

Extras for Sale
Broccoli - 1 pound bags
Kale, Winterbor - bunches
Spinach - 1 pound bags
A few leeks 
Soup/Stew Mix Bag - 3 pounds of parnsips, carrots, & turnips
Carrots - 1.5 pound bags
Potatoes - 1.75 pound bags
Beets - 1.75 pound bags 
Sweet Potatoes - 3 pound bags
CSA Share Pick-up

4:30 - 6 pm, Tuesday
November 10
3633 Hwy 146, Grinnell


 2/3 mile north of Grinnell on the right side of Hwy 146. Look for the big blue barn, 2nd farmstead on the right after leaving town. Pull in the driveway with the "Grin City Collective" sign. Follow the driveway straight until it forks. Take the left fork. You will see a "Middle Way Farm" sign just ahead by the corner of the blue barn. You can park in the driveway past this sign, in front of the dumpster, propane tanks, and greenhouse. To your left as you pull in to park will be a large red metal building with a garage door and a doorway adjacent. Go through that doorway for CSA pick-up.

Shares will come pre-packed in reusable wax boxes which should be returned in good condition at the next fall share pick-up. Ideally, you can also bring your own bags or containers and leave the box at the farm. Boxes will be relatively large and heavy, so be prepared.

If you are unable to make pick-up on Tuesday, please try to send a friend or family member in your place. If that's not possible, call or text Jordan at (641) 821 0753 to make an alternative arrangement. Shares that are not claimed will be placed in the walk-in cooler. After one attempt to contact the shareholder is made, shares will be kept in the cooler until Friday morning. If the shareholder does not claim it by then, the share will be donated to the MICA food pantry midday Friday.
The Fall Growing Season
 
Welcome everyone to Middle Way Farm's first fall share! Last year, the farm offered a single Thanksgiving share the week before the holiday. This year, with an expanded growing area and more storage crops planted, we're offering an expanded fall share that stretches into December.This first share features many outdoor harvested crops including broccoli, leeks, kale, spinach, brussels sprouts and daikon radishes, in addition to crops that have already been harvested and kept in storage. As we get closer to winter, the fall share will shift more into storage crops, but as long as we avoid a hard freeze that goes below the mid-20's, most hardy crops will continue to survive. Cold hardy plants such as kale and brussels sprouts have an amazing adaptation to freezing weather. They actually convert starches in their tissue into sugar in order to survive being partially frozen in the early morning. The result is sweeter, better tasting vegetables. Brussels sprouts can even be frozen solid in the morning, thaw out as the temperarture rises, and be ready to harvest by the afternoon! That's why a locally grown brussels sprout will always beat one grown on the mild coast of central California, which never experiences freezing weather. The sweet fall vegetables are one reason why the fall season is my favorite for local eating. Scroll down the newsletter to find recipes, tips, and storage advice for all the vegetables in the share. If you have favorite fall recipes you really like, e-mail me at middlewayfarmer@gmail.com. I might put it in the next newsletter.   

While its not unusual to harvest crops outdoors this late in the season, it has been an unusually warm and mild fall, which has made for ideal late season growing conditions and very pleasant weather to be outside harvesting and doing other end of season tasks. I recently finished planting and mulching garlic (pictured above), which is the last planting task of the year. All that remains is the some final harvesting, cleaning up trellis, plastic mulch, and drip irrigation lines from the fields, straw mulching any crops that will be overwintering such as spinach (pictured above), and spreading compost. I hope to have most outdoor work finished up prior to Thanksgiving, but it always depends on the year. The way this year is going, I may have until December to finish the field work!  

If you have any questions, comments or concerns about the share, just let me know by replying to this e-mail or by phone (in the side bar). 

Your farmer, 

Jordan 
What to Do with Your Share

Broccoli- Rather than full size heads, this broccoli comes from the side shoots that the plant produces after the full size head has been cut. These side shoots are small (no need to chop!), tender, and sweet after being exposed to multiple frosts over the last month.  
Recipes & Tips: Roasted Broccoli - roasting brings out sweetness!
Storage: Keep in plastic bag in the crisper drawer on high humidity. Use within 7-10 days.

Brussels Sprouts 
Recipes & Tips:  Trim any stem on the bottom, remove the outer leaves, and chop them in half if large. Toss in oil and roast on a baking sheet at 425 degrees until very tender and browned. Finish with soy sauce and balsamic vinegar to taste. Some of the brussels sprouts may have yellow outer leaves or small spots of decay. Removing the outer layers of leaves should take care of these, but you may occasionally find a bad one. I did my best to sort them out when harvesting and bagging. The decay is a consequence of fungal disease from the wet and cool weather this summer. I don't spray chemical fungicides when this happens, which makes for increased crop loss but keeps chemicals off of your food and doesn't damage the ecological balance of the farm, which depends on many beneficial fungi that are negatively affected by fungicides. 
Storage: Keep in plastic bag in the crisper drawer on high humidity. Use within 7-10 days.

Carrots, Bolero - This variety of carrot will actually sweeten over time and has an incredible storage life. 
Recipes & Tips: Trim the tops and bottoms of the carrots (no need to peel!) and slice into easy to eat sticks. Keep these in a plastic container shallowly covered with water to keep them from drying out. This makes a ready to eat snack, perfect dipped in homous, peanut butter, or soft cheese. Also can then be chopped up for cooking. Eat within 7-10 days after chopping.
Storage: Keep in plastic bag in the crisper drawer on high humidity. Should keep for a month or more. Will start to grow a new top and hairy roots after a while - its still good to eat!

Garlic, Softneck  - Softneck garlics are the best for long-term storage. These are what you typically find in a grocery store setting. Softnecks are characterized by their pliable stem and a whorl of small inner cloves below he stem surrounded by a set of larger outer cloves. 
Recipes & Tips: Crush a garlic clove with the broadside of a butcher knife to loosen the skin and make them easier to peel. 
Storage: Store at room temperature loose or in a mesh bag (never in a plastic bag or sealed container - it will mold!). Peeled cloves can be stored in the fridge for a week. Will keep for several months before beginning to sprout in early spring. Exposure to light increases speed of sprouting. Its still good to eat after sprouting!

Onion, Cippolini - An Italian sweet onion that looks like a regular onion got squashed, cippolinis (pronounced chip-o-lee-knee, meaning "little onion in Italian) are the sweetest of all the onions and the absolute best for roasting and carmelizing!
Recipes & Tips: Try this recipe for roasting cipollinis. You can also caramelize them by chopping them up and cooking in a frying pan in oil over low heat until they begin to brown.  
Storage: Store at room temperature loose or in a mesh bag (never in a plastic bag or sealed container - it will mold!). These are not a good storing onion, use within a few weeks. 

Onion, Yellow
Recipes & Tips:
Hold a matchstick in your mouth with the striking end out to keep yourself from crying when chopping onions. Try it!
Storage: Store at room temperature loose or in a mesh bag (never in a plastic bag or sealed container - it will mold!). Will keep for several months before beginning to sprout in early spring. Exposure to light increases speed of sprouting. Its still good to eat after sprouting!

Kale, Winterbor - A standard green curly kale; the workhorses of kales on the farm. Always tastes best after a frost!
Recipes & Tips: Turn the stem side up and run your closed hand over the kale leaf to easily strip the leaf from the stem. Discard the stem. Chop or rip up leaves into bite size pieces. Saute in oil on medium heat till turns bright green (3-5 minutes). Turn off heat. Add balsamic vinegar and soy sauce to taste. 
Storage: Keep in plastic bag in the crisper drawer on high humidity. Use within 10-14 days before leaves begin to yellow.

Leeks - A relative of onions and garlic, leek have a mild flavor unlike either that is an excellent compliment to potatoes. 
Recipes & Tips: Use the shaft of the leek up to where the leaves begin to separate. Note that dirt works its way underneath the layers of the leaves, so be sure to clean off the top part of the leek if you will be using that part for cooking. This recipe uses carrots, leeks, and potatoes from the share. 
Storage: Keep in plastic bag in the crisper drawer on high humidity. Use within 10-14 days before leaves begin to yellow.

Potato, Purple Majesty - This newly developed dark purple potato variety has a beautiful lavender purple flesh that doesn't fade when cooked (other purple and blue varieties of potatoes tend to lose their color when cooked). It has a high amount of the antioxidant anthocyanidin, almost twice as much as other types of purple/blue produce per weight and at a lower cost. Anthocyanidin has been shown to reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease, lower cholesterol, strengthen the immune system and decrease age-related memory loss. 
Recipes & Tips: Its a great frying potato for chips and fries and tastes great baked or boiled. It makes stunning mashed potatoes and potato salad! 
Storage: Keep in plastic bag in the crisper drawer on high humidity for best storage life. Will store several months in fridge. Will deteriorate faster at room temperature.

Purple Viking Potatoes - These potatoes are quite large on average, with beautiful purple and pink swirled skin, and white, very smooth flesh.
Recipes & Tips: They excel as mashed potatoes and also are great for potato salad or baked potato. They will actually get sweeter through long-term storage.
Storage: Keep in plastic bag in the crisper drawer on high humidity for best storage life. Will store several months in fridge. Will deteriorate faster at room temperature.

Radish, Daikon - A Japanese winter radish that stores well and lends itself best to cooking. 
Recipes & Tips: An excellent stir-fry vegetable. Check out the Week 20, 2015 CSA newsletter for my go-to daikon recipe. If all else fails, chop it up and throw it in with other roasted roots like potatoes, carrots, beets, etc. 
Storage: Keep in plastic bag in the crisper drawer on high humidity. Will store several months. May develop bad spots, but these can usually be cut off prior to use without affecting the interior of the radish. 

Spinach
Recipes & Tips: 
Full size spinach leaves are best used for cooking, although they can be chopped up for eating raw. 
Storage: Keep in plastic bag in the crisper drawer on high humidity. Use within 7-10 days.

Squash, Spaghetti - Winter squash with stringy flesh that can be used as a gluten-free replacement for pasta. 
Recipes & Tips: Check out the recipe of the week from the Week 18, 2015 CSA newsletter for my go-to spaghetti squash recipe. 
Storage: Store at room temperature. Will keep for several weeks to several months. Look for bad spots developing and use immediately if begins to deteriorate. 

Sweet Potato
Recipes & Tips:
Excellent roasted whole till can be easily pierced with a fork and stored in the fridge as a ready to prepare side dish. 
Storage: Store at room temperature loose or in mesh bag, 50 degrees minimum. DO NOT store in fridge; flavor and texture will decline when exposed to cold temperatures. Will keep for several weeks up to several months. Keep out of light to prevent long-term sprouting. Look for bad spots developing and use immediately if begins to deteriorate. 

 Apples- An assortment of sweet, dessert apples from Berry Patch Farm in Nevada. 
Recipes & Tips: 
Storage: Keep in plastic bag in the crisper drawer on high humidity for best storage life. Will store several weeks to over a month in fridge. Check for bad spots developing. Will deteriorate faster at room temperature.

Possibilities for the Thanksgiving Share - November 24 

Parsnips, plenty of winter squash (acorn, butternut, pumpkin) for Thanksgiving dinner, redskin potatoes, 3-5 pounds of sweet potatoes, roasting onions (perfect for stuff in the turkey), turnips, celery root, and more!
Daikon radishes in the cooler
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