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The Weekly Weeder

October 22, 2015
The Last Box!
Garlic Planting is completed.  Normally we are dealing with cold fingers and a chilly North Westerly wind. But we were blessed with sunshine and a warm breeze.
This year we planted about an acre of garlic. After nearly loosing all of our garlic in 2013 we are finally back to our normal production levels.
We plant our garlic in three rows 12 inches apart per bed with a clove every six inches within the row.  We don't have a final count on the number and lengths of the beds (that is Thursdays project).  We estimate that we planted about 30,000 cloves.  Thankfully we had a small army to help us plant this labor intensive crop. 

Box Contents and Tips

  • Beets, Chioggia: Leave in plastic bag in your refrigerator until used.  Will store for many months.
  • Broccoli: Large heads!  Don't forget that the stalks are edible too - just peel outer layer and use raw or cooked as you would the broccoli heads.  Store in plastic bag and use within a week.
  • Brussels Sprouts: Trim bud end and strip away a leaf or two. To cook evenly, cut an "X" into the bud end.  Steam until tender or cut in half and saute.  These are a rich vegetable where a little goes a long way. 
  • Carrots: Keep in plastic bag in refrigerator, until used. 
  • Kale, Green Curly: Store in plastic bag until used.
  • Leek
  • Potatoes: Russet (tan skin) OR Carola (yellow skin) OR Red (red):  Store on counter out of the light.
  • Romanesco: A better than cauliflower flavor and one of our kids favorites!  Store in plastic bag and use within a week. 
  • Shallots: Store on counter, fully cured.
  • Squash - Store on counter: We're giving the last so it's a bit of all kinds!  Pie Pumpkins for everyone; Butternut or Carnival (standard shares); Carnival (small shares) Spaghetti and Red Kabocha (doubles shares)
The view from our garlic field- you can keep your corner office we are lucky and very thankful to work in such a beautiful landscape. 

News From the Farm

We did it!!  We grew it and you ate it - nice job!  We felt it was a great season  which offered a lot of diversity and variation from week to week.  Our goal of bounty balanced with realistic expectation seemed good.  Sometimes we wondered though - remember the crazy amounts of sugar snap peas this spring, or the week after week of broccoli, and the sweet corn and beans!?  We'll be seeking your feedback on some of these crops to be sure we didn't overwhelm you.  We're already looking forward to remembering the strawberries we'll be supplying you in 2016!

It was a fun harvest this week with plumper brussels sprouts, large broccoli, gorgeous romanesco, gobs of green kale, and the last leeks.  The packing shed was a myriad of colors with the variety of potatoes and winter squash, glowing orange carrots, and brilliant red chioggia beets.  A true feast for our eyes and a host of conversation about food among the crew.

So what do farmers do after the last CSA box?  We'll be sprinting to the finish line before winter settles in - garlic planting and mulching, carrot harvesting continues, greenhouse systems continue to be installed by Mat, three more weeks of farmers market, mowing finished crops, cleaning up and parking equipment for the winter, we'll stop here to avoid panic.

What do CSA farmers do in the winter?  Before the season fades away in our minds we like to complete our record keeping which involves entering into our database what crops were planted into each field on the farm, another database of what CSA members received each week for each share size, and the last database where we enter our yields per vegetable to quantify our yields per acre for each crop.  Besides computer work we'll be cleaning the house and shop, washing and bagging carrots, playing/coaching/watching hockey, and dreaming about another season while we catch up on sleep!     
It has been a pleasure to share the story of your food every week and hope you have enjoyed eating it!  We'll be emailing out our member survey in the next few weeks, but we always welcome emails with your feedback too.  Drop us a line anytime.

THANK YOU for your trust, support.  It's not an easy job as we can't ever call in sick or take a personal day for fun.  And while the grind is intense, we continue to love our duty of working with the land and sharing the bounty of our harvest with you.  Thank you!

Eat well and Stay well - until next season...
Cate & Mat

Bulletin Board

Watch your email n the next few weeks for our post-season survey.  We look forward to hearing your feedback!

We'll have the order form available on our website by January1 and will be sure to notify you by email when it's posted.

Interested in hosting a CSA site in your neighborhood or at your workplace?  Please contact the farm for details. 
Copyright © 2015 Ridgeland Harvest, All rights reserved.

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