Middle Way Farm 2015 CSA - Week 20
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As we reach the end of the season, please remember to return any boxes that you may have. For the final week, on-farm pick-up customers will need to bring their own bags and take their produce out of the boxes. Home delivery customers will receive their share in recyclable cardboard boxes instead of the reusable wax boxes. 
Last chance to get the Fall Share before sign-up opens to the public!
If you would like to split the share but don't have a partner, e-mail me at
Sign up for Fall Share

What's in the Share - Week 20 (even)

For Delivery Wednesday, October 14

Standard Share
Also available for custom order unless otherwise noted
Broccoli - 3/4 lb - $2.50
Carrots, Greentop - 1 bunch - $2.50/bunch or 2 for $4
Cilantro - 1 bunch - $2/bunch or 3 for $5
Green Onion - 1 bunch - $2/bunch or 3 for $5
Kohlrabi, Green - 3 kohlrabi - $1 each or 3 for $2.50
Lettuce Mix - 6 oz. bag - $3.50/bag or 2 for $6
Onions, Yellow & Red Mix - 1.5 pounds (Standard Share Only)
Pepper, Red and/or Green - 1-2 peppers (Red peppers Standard Share Only) 

Radish, Beauty Heart - a few radishes - $.50 per radish or $2.50/1.5 pound bag 
Radish, Daikon - bunch of three - $1 per radish with greens, or bunch of 3 radishes for $2.50
Squash, Butternut - 1-2 squashes (depending on size) - $3 per squash or 2 for $5
Turnips, Salad - 1 mixed bunch - $2/bunch or 3 for $5
Sweet Potato - 3 pounds - $3.50 for 1.5 pounds or 3 pounds for $6

Available for Custom Order
Beets - $3.50/1.5-1.75 lb quart or 2 for $6
Cucumber - $1 each
Eggplant - $1 each or 3 for $2.50
Garlic, Softneck - 1 bulb - $1.50/bulb or 3 for $4
Green Bean, Green, Dragon Tongue, or Mixed - 1 quart (3/4 lb) - $3.50/quart or 2 quarts for $6
Kale, Lacinato (flatleaf heirloom) - $2/bunch or 3 for $5
Kale, Redbor (red curly) - $2/bunch or 3 for $5
Kale, Winterbor (green curly) - $2/bunch or 3 for $5

Kohlrabi, Purple - $1 each or 3 for $2.50
Leeks - $1 per leek or 3 for $2.50. $2.50 per bunch of small leeks or 2 bunches for $4
Onions, Yellow Storage - $2/lb or 3 lb mesh bag for $5
Parsley - $2/bunch or 3 for $5
Pepper, Green - $1 each or 3 for $2.50
Pepper, Hot - $.50 each, 3 for $1, or 1 pint for $3. Choose Fish or Martin's Carrot varieties
Potatoes, Kennebec Storage - 3 lb mesh bag for $4.50, 5 lb mesh bag for $6.50 
Potatoes, Carola (Yellow), Purple Majesty, or Red - 1 quart (1.75-2 lb) of each variety - $3.50/quart or 2 for $6
Turnips, Salad (no tops) - $2.50/1.5 lb or 3 lb for $4 (mixed varieties)
Zucchini (medium)-  $1 each
Available for Bulk Order 
Beets, Small Pickling - 3 lb - $6.00
Garlic (smaller heads) - 1 lb - $7.50
Green Beans (Green or Dragon Tongue) - 3 lb for $10

Berry Patch Farm Fruit Share
3 lb of apples

Every other week share -  EVEN Number Week

Sandy Hill Farm Egg Share

Every other week share - EVEN
 Number Week

Plant Starts Available for Custom Order
Rosemary - tender perennial - $3 or 2 for $5

Aloe Vera - $7 large, $4 small
Medium size clay pot & plant

Planting Garlic

We're getting ready to plant garlic this week. Garlic is the first crop that is planted for the next season (since it won't be harvested till 2016), so garlic planning is significant for a number of reason. It is the last thing to be planted during the season, so once garlic is in there is a sense of closure to the season. Determining the location of planting pushes me to plan the layout of crops for the next season and also to make early decisions about not only how much garlic I want to plant for next year, but subsequently how much of other crops to plant (and therefore how many customers I will serve) next year.

Garlic planting is also, fundamentally, an expression of hope and commitment for next year. At the end of a long season, I am ready for a winter-long break from the physical grind of farming. However, garlic reminds me that the next season is really just right around the corner, and helps keep the course of the year in perspective. Its easy to always be thinking of the brighter future, and how it will be better, more interesting, and less difficult than the present moment. When my mind gets on this kind of thought track during the growing season, I always think of winter and how relaxing and easy it will be, how I will be able to fix all my problems and get through the backlog of tasks I neglect during the summer. But the truth is that once I'm in the midst of my winter "break", there is still not enough time, my expectations always fall short of my summer daydreams, and I am once again turning my thinking to the bright future and not really inhabiting the present moment. And spring rolls around before I know it. 

A number of times this season, I have caught myself thinking in this way, and I've had to remind myself that the only true contentment comes from accepting and enjoying what is right in front of you, not what you expect to find in a few months. If you can't find contentment right where you are, then where will you find it? This is by no means a settled question, but something that has to be kept in mind and actively practiced all the time. Its an admonishment not only to be aware of our sometimes unfair attitude towards our present task but also to check ourselves and make sure that the present task is really something we should and want to be doing. If I'm always living in anticipation of winter, or down time, then what becomes of the summer, and work time? When I'm planting garlic, I'm making a physical commitment by saying "I'm going to do this all over again," and, hopefully, "I will work to really be present and invested in whatever I'm doing again and again." 
Place Your Custom Share Order!

What's New in the Share

Butternut Squash - This classic winter squash is sweet and long-storing. These are by far the best butternuts I've ever grown, with some nearly 5 pound monsters among the crop. To prepare, slice off the top and bottom, then carefully halve the squash lengthwise. Pre-heat the oven to 400-425 degrees. Scoop out the seeds and pulp, retaining the seeds for toasting. Lightly grease a baking sheet and place the squash halves cut side down on the sheet. You can fill the cavities of the squash with other vegetables for roasting - garlic cloves, small onions (cippolinis!), small or cubed potatoes, carrots, beets, winter radishes, etc. Roast for 45 minutes or so, until the squash can be easily pierced with a fork. Remove from the oven and allow to cool until it can be comfortably handled. Sliced off the skin and cube the squash. You can eat it as is or add to other dishes. 

Beauty Heart Radish - Ever wondered what the vegetable on the Middle Way Farm logo is. Its a beauty heart radish! When you slice this root open (also sometimes called watermelon radishes), you'll find an unexpected blush of pink and red in the center. Beauty hearts and daikons (see below) are winter radishes, as opposed to the smaller spring radishes. Winter radishes are slower growing and have thicker skins, which means that they can store through the winter months. Although you can eat them raw, unlike spring radishes, winter radishes are typically cooked. Both beauty hearts and daikons are mild tasting and even sweet, especially when cooked. Check out this great article explaining more about beauty heart radishes

Daikon Radish - A Japanese radish that has been gaining some favor in the States recently, daikons are amazing plants. These long white roots can grow up to several feet long in just a couple of months, punching their way right through heavy clay, compacted soil, and hardpan layers. For that reason, they have been adapted as a soil building cover crop (sold as "tillage radish") planted in the fall into row crops like corn. They grow into the fall, decompose over the winter, and leave holes in the soil in the spring as if the field had been aerated with a giant core aerator machine used in lawns to increase water and air infiltration. Check this page out for some great ideas on how to use daikon radishes, and try the Recipe of the Week, which is my favorite way so far to eat daikons. 

Green Onions - These onions were not in the crop plan. I have been experimenting with growing perennial onions, which are planted in the fall like garlic, overwinter, then come up early in the spring. After harvesting this summer, I mowed and tilled the area where the onions had been planted. This week, I discovered that the onions we had missed digging when harvesting have re-sprouted into some really nice looking green onions. As is sometimes the case, I learn a new technique by mistake!

Red Onion - Unfortunately this will be the only week of red onions in the CSA share. I only grew a bed or two of red onions and they ended up getting much weedier than the yellow onions, which meant a small crop of smaller size onions. 

Sweet Potatoes - These do indeed grow well in central Iowa. And cured and stored properly, they will actually last as long as many of the more classic winter vegetables like potatoes and onions. With over 1500 pounds harvested this year, expect to receive plenty of sweet potatoes the next three weeks, as well as during the fall share. Keep these at room temperature (no lower than 50-55 degrees) - cold fridges damage sweet potato flavor and their long-term storage ability. Once cooked, its okay to refrigerate. When you receive sweet potatoes, you may get a variety of sizes, from slightly smaller than you would expect from grocery store sweet potato, to quite a bit larger. I have found no meaningful variation in flavor or texture between large and small tubers. Under good conditions, its not uncommon to have sweet potatoes that are weight 3-5 pounds or more! The simplest way to prepare a sweet potato is simply to roast it whole if small or medium sized, or cut if halves or quarters if large. Preheat the oven to 400-425 degrees, slice the sweet potato, and put on a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake until it can be easily pierced with a fork. Roasting brings out the true sweetness of sweet potatoes. I'll be sharing some of my favorite sweet potato recipes in the coming weeks. 

An excellent sweet potato haul this year required several trips with the truck to get them all out of the field. 

Recipe of the Week


I first made this recipe a number of years ago with a daikon radish I discovered in our crisper drawer in late April(!) that we had gotten in a CSA share in November or December. 

Daikon Radish Stirfry

From Roots: A Vegetarian Bounty

Ingredients - Serves 4 people
2-3 tablespoons high heat oil (peanut, canola, vegetable, etc.)
4 cups shredded daikon radish (can replace partially with carrots)
1 minced green onion
1 tablespoon soy sauce 
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon freshly black pepper

Serve with cooked rice or crispy noodles


Heat oil in wok or skillet. Add shredded daikon and stir-fry 3-4 minutes, mashing down daikon to cook evenly. 

Stir in thoroughly onion, soy sauce, sugar, and pepper. Heat 1 more minute, pressing mixture again so that it resembles hash brown potatoes. Serve warm over rice or noodles. 
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