Farm News- October 14, 2010

Circle Brook Farm
Circle Brook Farm

Hi Folks,

We had our first frost this past Saturday night. As warm as it has been, I was hoping we would get a couple more weeks from the warm weather crops. The old saying “you can’t always get what you want” is especially true in farming. I was, as frequently happens, taken by surprise by it, as it wasn’t forecast until Saturday. I might have tried to cover a few crops, but by the time I learned of its imminence, the workers had already gone home. Gone are the beans and the basil, the peppers and eggplant, and the zucchini. The cold also blackened the leaves of the sweet potatoes, but that’s good news, because now we have begun to dig them, and hopefully, soon so will you! So far the harvest looks great, with good size and quality and overall yield. I pulled a few out of the ground last night and baked them for dinner; they were quite yummy.

We are still waiting for the next round of broccoli to head up, which should happen in the next week or two. In the meantime, we have some Napa or Chinese cabbage and some Bok choi to offer in this week’s share. Some groups will get the cabbage this week and others the Bok choi, next week the contrary. Both white and yellow cauliflowers are beginning to head as well, so look for these in the share’s soon. We will give the spinach a rest this week and allow it to get a little bigger, ditto for the chard and the kale. We had been thinning out the rows of spinach as we harvest; pulling the largest plants and leaving the smaller ones with more space to grow. I planted the spinach at the back of one of my fields, because in my experience it was not eaten by ground hogs or deer. Unfortunately, with fewer of their favorites available to them, the deer seem to have acquired a taste for it. They did a fair amount of damage before we were able to get it fenced in. We have now had to put a fence around a second planting, which I thought was still too small for them to bother with; wrong again!

The lettuce for this week will be an old variety called Forellensclus, which means something like trout back in German. It is a romaine type with red speckling, hence the name. I mention it mostly because to the uninitiated it can appear to be going bad, but it is a very nice lettuce with a dense head, full of many tender leaves. The squash of the week will be spaghetti. I was planning on sending acorn, but it appears that the spaghetti squash is not keeping very well. This is not typical for winter squash as most keep for months. I recommend that you use it promptly, or at least keep an eye on it, so that it doesn’t spoil before you get to it.

We also have a choice of edamame soybeans or flageolet beans in this week’s share. The latter are the traditional ingredient in the French dish casoulet. They are shell beans and can be used in any dish calling for lima beans or added to soups. They look just like green beans, but you will be very disappointed if you try to prepare them as such.

The share for this week will be:
Forellenschlus lettuce, sweet potatoes, Bok choi or Napa cabbage, choice of edamame or flageolet beans, yellow onions, spaghetti squash, beets, choice of arugula or tatsoi and choice of an herb.

Farmer John

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