Farmer’s Note, week 22

Dear CSA Member,

This year has been the year of Winter Squash.  The heat and dry weather were just what the sensitive plants needed to ward off disease that usually saps their strength and also takes a toll on the Winter Squash harvest.  Abundant sunshine and dry weather are an organic farmers friend when it comes to disease prevention in the fields.  Not something we can control, only something we take advantage of when it comes our way.

If you have been a member for a couple of years you will have been part of the harvest of abundance of some crops and the lack of others.  It is not that we plant more or less of any of the crops from year to year, it is the way the plants grow with the weather conditions that season.

Last year it never stopped raining and so many of our crops were ruined by the wet weather.  The greens loved the cold and wet and the kale and collards were gigantic.  This season the drought of the summer made growing greens a challenge.  We certainly have plenty of greens for your share, but to pick one share now takes a couple of plants where last year one plant more than enough for a share.  We have Winter Squash every week this fall and more pumpkins than we have ever had.  Last season we hardly harvested enough usable Winter Squash for a week and I don’t think a single pumpkin made it out of the fields. The weather dictates which crops will rise to the top each season.  It is part of the partnership and what “sharing in the harvest” is all about.

We have saved the Butternut Winter Squash for the end of the season.  I think it is the best and it holds well into the fall.  I will put the Winter Squash Bread recipe that my neighbor gave me years ago on the farm website under the Farm Blog section.  She will be 94 this year and is still making bread.

New are the Purple Globe Turnips with Greens.  It is like getting two vegetables in one.  Take the greens from the turnips and cook them like you would Mustard Greens.  They are spicy and tangy.  Cook the turnips separately for another meal.

As I wrote last week, we are sold out of Maple Syrup.  A casualty of the spring time weather.  Not as much sap was able to be harvested and so the supply was low.  Dave hopes for a better 2011 season.  We still have Honey and Coffee by the pound if you would like to place an order.  Please do so soon because we are nearing the end of our season.  Just go to the farm website, click on Honey or Coffee and download the form, fill it in, mail it with payment and your order will be delivered the next week.  I will send a reminder e-mail when your order is delivered.

Enjoy the Vegetables-

Deborah for everyone at Stoneledge Farm

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