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Middle Way Farm CSA - Week 15
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Weekly Announcements


I apologize for sending the e-mail out late this week - the CSA field day consumed most of yesterday. Please submit your order by noon on Wednesday at the latest. 

Returning Boxes - I'm still short on boxes this week, so please try to return any accumulated boxes you may have sitting around from prior weeks. 

Turn for Fall


Friday night was a nice full dose of fall temperatures in the middle of September. Since we weren't under a frost advisory, I decided not to cover any crops. On Saturday morning I took a field walk and didn't see any damage on the tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant. When I got to the sweet potatoes, however, I saw the scene in the photo below. Although I'm not sure if there was actual frost, many of the sweet potato vines between the rows were blackened and dead, although the plant itself was still alive. Although the sweet potatoes themselves were undamaged in the ground, frost damage to sweet potato vines is known to travel down into the tubers, causing them to develop a bitter flavor. As soon as sweet potatoes are damaged by frost, they need to be harvested. Preferring to harvest the sweet potatoes this week rather than on Saturday, I did some research and learned that I could cut all of the vines off the the roots and still have a few days to dig out the tubers, so that's what I did Saturday afternoon. Based on pulling up a few plants, the sweet potato yield, at least for a few of the six 120 ft. beds planted, looks excellent. Look for them to be available weeks 18 - 20. Sweet potatoes require a 7-10 day period of curing after harvest in hot and humid conditions (the best  I can replicate this is the greenhouse). The curing period heals any cuts the sweet potatoes receive while harvesting and begins the process of sweetening them. Newly dug sweet potatoes are actually quite a bland and starchy. After "hot" curing them, the full curing process for sweet potatoes actually takes 6-8 weeks at room temperature for them to reach their full sweet potential. However, they are perfectly good to eat after the initial cure. Properly cured and stored sweet potatoes will actually last for many months, well into the spring and early summer months. 

Thanks to everyone who came to yesterday's field day. It was a lot of fun to tour the farm, eat good food and drink an excellent shandy, demo the cider press and sauerkraut making, see kids enjoying the farm, and get to chat with shareholders and friends. The weather couldn't have been better. Having a community around and within the farm is what makes the hard work worth it. 
 

Saturday morning after a very cold night on Friday. Notice how the leaf damage was concentrated in the low spots between the raised beds. 

Notes on This Week's Share

Green cabbage will make 3 appearances in the standard share - this week, week 18, and week 20 and will be available custom order every week. Nearly all of the fall crop is harvested except for a final sweep to be done this week or next week to get any heads that hadn't fully sized up for the first harvest. This is a cabbage that is meant to keep for many months, so if you have the space, there is no rush to use it. Bulk orders of cabbage will be available in week 20. We used this cabbage to make sauerkraut at the field day last night and since its nice and fresh it produces water easily to cover the cabbage. Stay tuned for a sauerkraut making day that I may be putting together in a few weeks. 

Leeks are available this week and will be again for week 20. This is the first year I've grown really nice size leeks. I only wish I had planted more! They are excellent paired with potatoes in soup or simply sauted and tossed with roasted potatoes. You can use them in place of green onions in many recipes. 

As we move into the season for roasts and soups, I'm offering sage & thyme to complement your cool season vegetable dishes. I grew both plants from seed in the greenhouse this year. They are perennials (the start of a larger perennial herb bed), so I didn't necessarily expect to harvest them the first year, but they have done very well and it seems a waste not to enjoy their productivity this year. You can use both of them fresh for full flavor but they will also dry down nicely if left on the counter. To keep them fresh longer, leave them standing in a glass of water on the counter or in the fridge. Check out this website for ideas on using fresh sage. Here are a few ideas for fresh thyme. 

Tomatoes are still available in bulk but due to the cold temperatures and rainy weather last week, their availability may be more restricted than in prior weeks. I may have to make some substitutions to bulk orders, such as putting in some slicers in place of a romas, or vice versa. Tomatoes are certainly winding down for the year (I've dropped juliets and cherries from the standard share this week) but with mild fall weather they will be available in some quantity through the end of CSA. The greenhouse tomatoes are just beginning to produce, so they will help extend the tomato season. 

The fruit share this week will be golden apples from Berry Patch Farm, followed by the delicious Honey Crisp apple next week. I hope everyone enjoyed the pears, they're one of my favorites. There are still some more to pick in the upper part of the tree and we just acquired a 12' step ladder for the farm, so there may just be enough pears for the second appearance in the fruit share in a few weeks. 

Recipe of the Week

A number of you enjoyed this at the field day, so I thought I would share. The original recipe is from Anne Geisinger. 

Green Bean Pate


1/2 lb fresh green beans - cut into inch lengths
1 tablespoon oil
1 onion, coarst chop
3 hard boiled eggs
3 tablespoons chopped basil
1 teaspoon lemon rind
mayonnaise or full fat yogurt
salt, pepper

Steam beans till tender. Saute onions in oil till soft. Process all together (except mayo/yogurt) in food processor till smooth. Add mayo/yogurt after blending. Spread on bread or drip with crackers or chips. 
 

6.5 pounds of sweet potatoes from one plant. 
CSA Availability For Delivery on Wed, Sept. 17

Orders should be placed at middlewayfarm.csasignup.com by Tuesday morning if at all possible. Please submit all orders by Wednesday at noon at the latest. Go to the website and click Member Log-in. If you have any trouble logging in, use the E-mail Verification tool to receive a link to access the store. You can change your password to whatever you want and use your e-mail and password to log in for future orders.Please e-mail me at middlewayfarmer@gmail.com if you have any problems with access or ordering. 
Standard
  1. Arugula - 6 oz. bag ($3.25 or 2 for $6)
  2. Beans, Dragon Tongue - 1 lb ($3.50/lb or 2 for $6)
  3. Beets, Red (no tops) - 1 pound ($2.50/bunch) or 3 pounds for $6
  4. Cabbage, Green - 1 head ($3/head) or 2 for $5
  5. Carrots (no tops) - 1 pound ($2.00/pound) or 3 pounds for $5
  6. Garlic, Hardneck - 1 bulb ($1/bulb or 3 for $2.50)
  7. Leeks - 1 bunch ($2.50) or 3 for $6
  8. Onions, Yellow or Red Storage  - 1 lb ($2/lb or 3 lb for $5)
  9. Pepper, Green/Purple - 3 peppers ($1/pepper or 3 for $2.50)
  10. Pepper, Red (limited availability) - 1 pepper only ($1.50/pepper)
  11. Radish, French Breakfast - 1 bunch ($1.75/bunch) or 3 for $4.50
  12. Potatoes, Red, Yellow or Purple - 1.5 pound bag ($3/bag) 2 for $5
  13. Sage - 1 small bunch ($1.50) or 3 for $4
  14. Thyme - 1 small bunch ($1.50) or 3 for $4
  15. Tomatoes, Roma - a few (.50 each or 3 for $1)
  16. Tomatoes, Heirloom Slicing -  1-2 tomatoes ($1 each or 3 for $2.50)
  17. Tomatoes, Hybrid Slicing  - 1-2 tomatoes ($1 each or 3 for $2.50)

Bulk
  1. Sweet Basil - 8 oz. bag ($8)
  2. Juliet Tomatoes - 5 lb ($9)
  3. Roma Tomatoes - 5 lb ($9)
  4. Slicing Tomatoes - 5 lb ($9)

Extra
  1. Basil, Sweet - $2/bunch or 3 for $5
  2. Beets, Red - 2 pounds for $4.50 or 5 pounds for $9.50
  3. Globe or Japanese Eggplant -  $1.50/Globe eggplant, $1/Japanese eggplant
  4. Kale - $2/bunch or 3 for $5 - Choose Winterbor (green, curly), Redbor (red, curly), or Lacinato (heirloom green flat leaf)
  5. Parsley (choose flat leaf or curly leaf) - $2/bunch or 3 for $5
  6. Peppers, Hot - Choose jalapeno ($.75 each) or Martin's Carrot ($.25 each or 5 for $1)
  7. Tomato, Cherry Medley- 1 pint ($3/pint or 2 for $5)
  8. Tomatoes, Juliet - 1 pint ($2/pint or quart for $3.50)

Coming Up
Salad Mix 
Sweet Potatoes
Butternut Squash
Spinach
 

Fruit Share
2 pounds of golden apples (conventionally grown - Berry Patch Farm, Nevada, IA)
Storage Tips: 

Tomatoes - If not fully ripe, store on a window sill or counter for a few days until ripe. You can put them in a paper bag to prevent fruit flies from congregating on them. Once ripe, use as soon as possible. You can refrigerate them if you can't use them to make sure they don't spoil, but they will lose some flavor and texture. However, this is better than a rotten tomato! 
On Thursday, a trench was dug and electrical line run from the factory building to the greenhouse. The next piece of infrastructure for the greenhouse is a water line followed by installing the heating system. Below is one of the trenches dug to run internet cable throughout the farm to improve internet speed and connectivity in the outer buildings and artist studios. 
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