Summer Share 2016 - Week 19 - Middle Way Farm
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Summer Share
Weekly Newsletter 

Week 19
Oct. 2, 2016
There's Still Time to Sign-up for the Fall Share. Share starts Nov. 1-2. Spots available!
WAX BOXES - If you have any, please return them before the end of the CSA season. I am down quite a few brown 3/4 bushel boxes from the beginning of the season, as well as missing some white 1/2 bushel boxes. 
There is ONE more week of Summer Share after this week
Custom Share Members and Standard Share members who ordered extras this season - if you have a negative balance, you will be billed later this month after the Summer Share has ended. I prefer to receive payment after billing either 1) by mail or 2) at the first Fall Share pick-up in November (for Grinnell customers) rather than have customers bring payment to Summer Share pick-up, which can be confusing. You do not need to worry about spending exactly how much you deposited - a small negative balance can be billed later. 
Custom Share Members with a Positive Balance- please note that there will be no refund or rolling forward of your positive balance after next week's share. It was considered spent once you made payment. Feel free to take advantage of what the farm offers to spend down that balance, but also know that if you make an abnormally large order to try to use up your balance, it may not be possible for me, with limited supply, to fill that order. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me. 

Please plan to arrive at your drop-site as early as possible and be prepared to pick up frozen meat. Our drop-sites do not have the capacity to hold the meat beyond the schedule pick-up time, so please call me at 641 821 0753 if you or someone else cannot make it to the pick-up time. 

Slab of bacon
One whole chicken
1/2 smoked cured ham
Fresh ham hock
1 1/2 lb loin (sirloin roast) 
Garlic Workshop and Work Day

Grow Your Own Garlic

1-2 pm, October 29

Free workshop

Learn the basics of growing garlic in your home garden including varieties, soil preparation, planting time, mulching, plant care, harvest, curing, storage and saving seed.   All participants will receive a bulb of garlic to plant and some extra bulbs will be available for sale


Garlic Planting Workday

2-5 pm, October 29

 Volunteers should wear close toed shoes, bring sun protection (hat, long sleeves, sunglasses, sunblock) and warm clothes, have a water bottle, and be prepared to stoop, bend over, and work on their hands and knees. No experience is required, volunteers will be taught everything they need to know. Come for all or part of workday.

What's Good This Week

Sweet potatoes are finally ready! A portion of the crop has been curing the greenhouse for over a week and is ready to eat. The rest will be ready for next week. Yield this year was above expectations, with many large sweet potatoes form 3-6 pounds!

More beautiful mesclun mix this week with lettuce, baby spinach, and arugula. Also a new harvest of excellent red cherry radishes to add to that salad. 

Fall broccoli has arrived. Harvest should be peaking over the next few weeks. 

Dragon Tongue Beans continue to be abundant and delicious this week. 

More certified organic winter squash from  from Rolling Acres in Murray, Iowa. This week sweet dumpling and buttercup are available. 

There are a ton of nice looking leeks in the field. Available for custom order now till the end of the season. 

What's in the Standard Share
(With Custom Order Options and Prices)

Beans, Dragon Tongue - 1 quart (3/4 lb) ($4/quart or 2 for $7)
Broccoli - ~1 lb ($4/pound)
Mesclun Mix - 6 oz. bag ($4 per bag or 2 for $7)
Radish, Red - 1 bunch ($2/bunch or 3 for $5)
Pepper Mix - a few (see pepper variety pricing below)
Sweet Potato - 3-4 pounds (3 pound for $6)
Tomatoes, Slicing & Roma - a few ($2.50/pound)
Winter Squash, Sweet Dumpling- 1 squash (avg. size 2 lb) ($2.50/squash)
Also Available for Custom Order

Arugula - 6 oz. bag ($4/bag or 2 for $7)
Cabbage, Napa - $2.50/head
Cucumber - $1.50 each 
Fresh Celery Root - $3/lb. 
Garlic, Hardneck - 1 bulb ($1.50 each)
Kale, Red Curly - $2/ bunch or 3 for $5
Kale, Green Curly - $2/bunch or 3 for $5
Leeks - $1.50/large leek or 3 for $4. Bunch of 4-5 medium size for $3.50
Onions, Small Yellow - $4/1.5 lb quart
Parsley - $2/bunch or 3 for $5
Pepper, Green or Purple - $1/pepper or 3 for $2.50
Pepper, Colored -$2/large pepper or 2 small peppers
Radish, French Breakfast- $2/bunch or 3 for $5
Spinach, Baby - $4/6 oz. bag or 2 for $7
Tomato Medley - $3/pint or 2 for $5
Turnip, Scarlet - $2/bunch or 3 for $5
Hardneck Seed Garlic (for planting) - $12/pound
Winter Squash, Spaghetti - avg. size 3 lb, $3.75/squash
Winter Squash, Buttercup - avg. size 3.3 lb, $4.15/squash
Zinnia (flowers) - $6 per bunch with returnable quart jar 

Fruit Share
Apples - 3 pound bag
Place Your Custom Order

Friday was Megan's last day on the farm, so I find myself employee-less for the first time since March. Many people wonder if the farm is slowing down this time of year and the answer is yes and no. I say yes because I am no longer trying to weed or plant so many different crops like I am in the summer months and harvest of many crops has ended or slowed significantly. In addition, the earlier sunset tends to put a definitive end to the workday earlier than those long summer evenings. Also, to be honest, I find myself with less energy to throw into the farm this time of year and so I am not as gung-ho about long hours past 5 pm as I am in June and July. I say no because as long as CSA and farmers market continues, I still have lots of weekly harvest, washing, and packing to do, in addition to field work as I prepare the farm for winter. That's also on top of the need to catch up on bookkeeping and office acitvities like planning for next year, which overlaps with many of my end of season outdoor tasks. So fall really is in many ways just as busy as the rest of the season. The main difference from the spring, I would say, is that there tends to be longer window time to complete certain tasks, depending on how long the fall weather holds out. In the spring, the window for planting, weeding, and other tasks can be very narrow, which leads to very intense periods of work ahead of rainstorms. 

If you don't already know, I am also getting married in three weeks! I intentionally planned the CSA to end 1 to 2 weeks earlier than I did last year in order to give myself time off around the wedding, but also because I find I need some more time in October to take care of garlic planting and other field activities before the temperatures turn really cold in November.  So there will be a three week gap between the end of the Summer Share next week and the start of the Fall Share the first week of November. On a related note, I will not be attending the final Thursday Grinnell Farmers Market on October 20. 

I am doing something new this year. As this year's summer share comes to a close, I am asking for an optional CSA deposit for next year, either $50 ($55 worth of credit towards next year's CSA) or $100 ($110 worth of credit towards next year's CSA). This is NOT actually CSA sign-up, which you will still need to complete when it opens publicly in January (once I have had a chance to evaluate this year's CSA and make any necessary price and structure changes for next year's shares). There are two reasons I am asking for this optional deposit. 
  1. Early commitments will help me gauge demand for the CSA before I launch public sign-up in January.

  2. The money will give me a boost of cash at the end of the season as harvest comes to a close and farmers market and other outlets for produce end. 

As I said, this is completely OPTIONAL, but for those of you who would like to help, an early CSA deposit would be most appreciated. You have two options for making this payment:

  1. You can simply mail a check (Middle Way Farm, 1325 4th Ave, Grinnell 50112) or make a payment through Dwolla anytime before Dec. 15. I will record the payment with the extra value and you will receive confirmation through Small Farm Central 
  2. You can wait to be billed for this season (if you have a custom share or ordered extras through your standard share) later this month and tack on the CSA deposit to your end of season payment (just make a note on the check or through Dwolla so I know why you are sending me extra). 

Your farmer,


Photo of the Week
We enjoyed digging the sweet potatoes last week and finding not only individually large sweet potatoes but also abundant clusters of tubers under particular plants, some weighing as much as 10 pounds per plant! 
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