Just a few quick notes about the CSA this year; a rainy spring presented us with some growing issues, some of which we were unable to recover from. We would have liked to give you a more diverse box every week (10-12 items) but we managed only to give you about 8 or 9 items instead. We gave you more of those 9 items to try and match the amount you paid but were trying to be careful not to overwhelm you with too much of one thing. By the end of the CSA, you will have received your equivalent payment in vegetables but that means you'll be getting extra squash and garlic (crops that did well for us) and luckily, these items will store for winter.
Another issue we had this year was staffing; the second intern we hired, decided after two weeks that the job was too physically demanding. We weren't able to replace her for 6 weeks or find a third intern, as we had planned. This set our planting schedule back, causing the crops to mature later than usual.
Finally, we're experiencing colder-than-normal nighttime temperatures for August and September. This has slowed down many of the crops, including tomatoes, eggplants and peppers (cold temperatures cause their flowers to drop, which means no fruit) but will make other crops taste sweeter, like carrots and winter squash. Since our first few plantings of carrots were washed out by the rain, we hope to give you a large bag of storage carrots to make up for it, before the CSA is over. They should be nice and sweet!
This hasn't been the ideal season for us but I assure you, if you stick with the CSA, you will experience better seasons to come with more diverse boxes.
Baked Acorn Squash
Acorn Squash with Apple Ale & Garlic
Squash are high in fibre, low in fat and a good source of vitamin A, vitamin C (an antioxidant), vitamin B6 and folate. Read more about the health benefits of winter squash here.
I'm very sad to report that the sweet potatoes did not grow this year. Jonny just dug up an entire bed to discover a few measly potatoes, not even enough for a meal. Last year, we had the biggest, most beautiful sweet potatoes I've ever seen (may I remind you of the drought last year). We need to do some investigating, but I suspect it's due to poor drainage and again having too much rain in the spring. We are working in a new part of the field this year and I doubt we'll grow anything there again until we can put in tile drainage.
So instead, you will receive regular potatoes, of the russet variety. Here are some tasty recipes. There are recipes for your yellow beans in the post following this one. If you don't get around to eating them, blanch your beans and freeze them for winter soups. The green tomatoes will turn red and orange if you put them on your counter or window sill. You can use them right away to make fried green tomatoes or green tomato chutney, relish or salsa. Your mixed greens include a blend of lettuces, kale and mustards, so they have a nice bite to them and are more nutritious than simply lettuce. Try roasting your beans, sweet potatoes and squash with beets, carrots and garlic for a full-flavoured dish. We'd love to hear your feedback so please email us with comments or complaints so we can keep on improving! Happy cooking!