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Middle Way Farm 2015 CSA - Week 18
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The regular season CSA share continues until October 28. There are four weeks left. If you have a custom share, you may carry a negative balance and you will be billed at the end of the season. You can also make payments prior to the end of the season. Contact me at middlewayfarmer@gmail.com if you have questions. 
Sign-up for the Fall Share Is Open!
Sign up for Fall Share
Here are the details:
  • 3 shares spaced 2 weeks apart - Nov. 10, Nov. 24 (week of Thanksgiving), and Dec. 8
    • Pick-up day moved to Tuesday, pick-up time will be 4:30-6 pm at the farm. 
  • Standard Shares Only - $145 (payment before or at first pick-up)
    • Custom Shareholders: you can use remaining credit to pay for all or part of your fall share. Credit will be applied to your fall share manually by me after you sign-up and I will follow-up by e-mail
  • Thanksgiving Share option - Only Nov. 24 share ($60)
  • On-Farm Pick-up Only (due to potentially freezing temperatures on pick-up days, I can't leave shares outside at homes) - Exceptions may be made for special circumstances
  • Limited spots available - current CSA customers get first priority!
    • Sign-up will open up for everyone a month from today (Oct. 18)
Each share will contain approximately $50 worth of produce (about twice as much as a regular season standard share). Most of the items in the share will be storage crops that could last you well past the New Year if stored properly. Below see a list of crops slated for the fall share, as well as an example share:
Potatoes - Kennebec Storage, Yellow Flesh, Red Skin, Purple Majesty 
Beets
Carrots 
Onions - Yellow Storage, Cippolini, Shallots
Garlic - Softneck and Hardneck
Winter Squash - Butternut, Spaghetti
Sweet Potatoes

Broccoli
Cabbage - Savoy, Green & Red
Brussels Sprouts
Kohlrabi
Kale
Spinach
Turnips 
Radishes - Daikon, Beauty Heart
Leeks
Apples from Berry Patch Farm
Parsnips and More!
Example Fall Share (with approximate values)

Note items that need to be refrigerated. Although the share is large, a good portion of it won't need to be stored in your fridge. 

Kennebec Potatoes - 3 lb bag ($5)
Yellow Storage Onions - 3 lb bag ($5)
Garlic - 3 heads ($4.00)
Butternut squash - 2 squash ($5) 
Sweet potatoes - 3 pounds ($5)
Leeks - 1 bunch ($2.50) (Refrigerate)
Parsnips - 3 pounds ($5) (Refrigerate) 
Carrots - 3 pound bag ($6) (Refrigerate)
Brussels Sprouts - .75 pound bag ($3.50) (Refrigerate)
Kale - 1 bunch ($2.50) (Refrigerate)
Spinach - 1 bag ($3.50)  (Refrigerate)

What's in the Share - Week 18 (even)

For Delivery Wednesday, September 30


Standard Share
Also available for custom order unless otherwise noted
 
Basil - a few tips for the Recipe of the Week (Standard Share only)
Broccoli - .5-.75 lb - $2.50/order

Carrots (seconds) - 3 pound bag - 3 lb for $4 or 5 lb for $6
Eggplant - 1 eggplant - $1.50 each
Garlic, Softneck - 1 bulb - $1.50/bulb or 3 for $4
Green Bean, Mixed (Green & Dragon Tongue) - 3/4 lb - $3.50/.75 lb quart or 2 quarts for $6
Lettuce Mix - 6 oz. bag - $3.50/bag or 2 for $6

Pear, Bartlett - 1 pound - $2.50/pound
Pepper, Red - 1-2 peppers - $1.50 each (may be 2-3 smaller peppers per "each")

Radish - 1 bunch - $2/bunch or 3 for $5 (choose red or mixed red & white)
Tomatoes - a few roma and/or slicing tomatoes - $1/slicer or 3 for $2.50, $.75/roma or 3 for $2
Winter Squash, Spaghetti - 1 squash - $3.50 each

 
Available for Custom Order
 
Arugula - $3.50/6 oz bag or 2 for $6
Beets - $3.50/1.5 lb or 3 lb for $6
Cabbage, Chinese - $2.50/head or 2 for $
Cabbage, Savoy - $3/head or 2 for $5
Cilantro - $2/bunch or 3 for $5
Collard Greens - $2/bunch or 3 for $5
Cucumber - $1 each
Green Beans - $3.50/.75 lb 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

Leek (small) - $2.50/bunch or 2 for $4
Leeks (large) - $1 each or 3 for $2.50
Onions, Candy - $2/pound
Onions, Yellow Storage - 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 or 3 for $1
Potatoes, Kennebec Storage - 3 lb mesh bag for $5
Potatoes, Red - $3.50/1.75 lb or 3.5 lb for $6
Turnips, Salad- 1 bunch - $2/bunch or 3 for $5 Turnips, Salad (no tops) - $2.50/1.5 lb or 3 lb for $4
Zucchini, Baby - $.75 each
Zucchini (medium)-  $1 each
Zucchini, Baking - $1.50/large zucchini
Available for Bulk Order 
 
Beets - 6 lb - $10.00
Beets, Small Pickling - 3 lb - $6.00
Garlic (smaller heads) - 1 lb - $7.50

Berry Patch Farm Fruit Share
 
3 lb of Honeycrisp apples

Developed in Minnesota and released in the early 90's, Honeycrisp is an excellent fresh eating apple with exceptional sweetness, firmness, juiciness, and tartness. It has a good shelf life when stored in cool, dry conditions (refrigerator is good) and keeps its color in storage.

Note: Honeycrisp apples may have blemishes or minor defects. These seconds are cheaper to purchase, since Honeycrisps are typically a premium and expensive apple, which means that you get more apples in your share!

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

Fall Mode


Although the weather still feels like summer, we're beginning to shift into fall mode on the farm. The final cutting and baling of hay was done this week. Soybean harvest has started, with corn soon to follow. I have finished all my outdoor seedings for the year, aside from some late winter rye cover crop plantings. I'm beginning to think more seriously about garlic planting, which is just a few weeks away, and getting the soil prepared. The tomatoes have really begun to slow down, with fewer and fewer good tomatoes coming out of the field each week. For that reason, I've gotten rid of the bulk tomato order option and we've stopped picking both the juliet and cherry tomatoes. The eggplant have finally begun producing in earnest (better late than never, right?) while the peppers will continue to ripen over the next few weeks. Basil is mostly done for the year. The second cucumber and zucchini are petering out (they'll be on custom order until they completely stop producing) and the winter squash harvest is almost complete. Spaghetti squash, one of my favorite winter squashes, is in the box this week, with butternuts and pie pumpkins coming soon. We harvested the older beet plantings this week and will be harvesting the last beet planting and the last carrot planting this week and next. We started picking the final planting of green beans last week , with an heirloom variety I usually plant for fall harvest called Dragon Tongue beans just beginning to produce last week.

The last two Fridays we've worked on harvesting the nearly quarter acre of potatoes planted this year. So far, we've dug 2400 pounds, with another 1200 pounds or so to go. This Friday, we dug my favorite potato variety, an all purple flesh variety called Purple Majesty. The only thing I don't like about it is the dark skin potatoes blend in really well with the soil, making them twice as hard to find as the lighter skin varieties. The potato yield this season has been excellent. Typically a good potato yield is considered to be 1 pound of potatoes per foot of planted row. This season, we have consistently been getting 2-3 pounds of potatoes per foot! At the conclusion of the CSA, I'll be offering bulk potato orders so you can keep eating spuds well into the winter! 

Many people ask me if things are slowing down for me this time of year, or when do things start to slow down on the farm. Fall is a little bit like spring in reverse, with the impending frost (usually mid-October) and ground freezing (usually late November-early December) acting as deadlines for finishing different harvests and farm clean-up tasks.The shorter daylight hours certainly sends me home earlier at than in June, and I do find myself beginning to have more free time and more mental energy to invest in non-farm projects and interests. Its a nice start of the transition to winter, but its a slow transition with a lot more work to come. 
 
Place Your Custom Share Order!

What's New in the Share

Bartlett Pears - These juicy and sweet pears come from a well established pear tree on the farm property that had quite a bumper crop this year. Picked off the tree before they are fully ripe, these pears have been refrigerated (depending on when they were harvested) for several days up to several weeks. The cold temperatures, followed by room temperature, triggers the pears to ripen, so you can keep these pears in a paper bag on your kitchen counter. Pears will generally not ripen very well if kept constantly refrigerated. Ripe pears are usually more yellow than green, but the real test is whether they are soft enough to push your finger into them easily. If you get pears that aren't fully ripe, check them frequently to make sure they don't go past. Ripe pears can be held in the refrigerator for a few days up to a week before consuming. 

Carrots (second) - At various times this year I have offered what I call seconds produce on the custom order. Seconds are items that are generally not marketable because of defects, blemishes, size, damage, or age. For carrots, we generally pick up all the seconds in the field and keep them separate from the firsts, or the seconds get culled out during washing and bagging. After harvesting well over a thousand pounds of carrots this season, I have stack in the cooler of crates filled with seconds carrots. With the fall carrots coming in soon, this seemed like a good time to get some of those seconds carrots cleared out as we prepare for the next round of harvest. While seconds require more trimming and will not store as well as firsts, they are perfectly good carrots to eat and by giving them in the CSA I am cutting down on waste and making sure more of the harvest gets eaten. 

Dragon Tongue Beans - This excellent heirloom variety, a Dutch wax bean, from Seed Savers Exchange in Decorah, Iowa, has become increasingly popular in my experience among gardeners and local growers. They are both beautiful to look at (long, flat beans with a creamy white background and purple stripes) and delicious to eat, particularly when raw. They exceptional crispness and juiciness compared to a regular green bean. As a Roma-style flat bean, Dragon Tongues tend to hold their flavor and texture longer even when picked slightly more mature, whereas green beans really need to be picked young to have a good flavor. The purple streaks on the beans will disappear when steamed or boiled for more than a few minutes, leaving behind the creamy white background color. 

Radishes - This is the final planting of cherry radishes for the season. I had never grown these in the fall before and found they did just as well as in the spring from several August plantings. I did find, however, that there appeared to be less excitement about them among shareholders and market customers with all of the other summer and fall crops available than in the spring, when radishes are among just a handful of vegetables being harvested. 

Spaghetti Squash - I've enjoyed this squash for a long time but this is the first year I've grown it in quantity. The flesh of the squash, once baked, can be raked over with a fork to produce strands resembling and making an excellent substitute for spaghetti. See the Recipe of the Week for how to prepare it. Be sure to save and toast the seeds! This squash is also a decent keeper, so you can squirrel it way for November or December if you've got plenty of other vegetables to prepare. A spaghetti squash will also be in the fall share. 

Artist Wima, Grin City staff Kenji and MWF employee Lauren gathering potatoes on Friday morning. 
Recipe of the Week

Spaghetti Squash Spaghetti

 
1 spaghetti squash, halved lengthwise, seeds and pulp removed
2 tablespoons cooking oil
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
3/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled 
1 1/2 cup tomato, chopped (or use tomato sauce)
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped (can substitute dry, reduce to 2 teaspoons)
3 tablespoons black olives, sliced (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put squash on lightly greased baking sheet for 30-45 minutes, until a knife can be inserted with little resistance.

While the squash is cooking, heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Saute onions till tender, add garlic and saute 2-3 minutes. Stir in tomatoes (or sauce) and cook until warm. 

After removing squash from oven, set aside to cool until it can be handled comfortably. Scrap a fork across flesh and put stringy squash strands into a bowl. Scrap as far down to the skin as possible, then discard skin. 

Toss tomato mixture with squash, feta, olives and basil and serve warm. 

 
There was much excitement this week when the very friendly and very pregnant barn cat that we had named Francie who had started showing up a few weeks ago gave birth to five kittens. She and her kittens are being taken care of and she will now become something of a house and barn cat on the farm. And this will be her last litter of kittens.  
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