Rush, Stress and Excitement of Harvest

We wanted to thank all of our shareholders by giving you all a personalized pumpkin with your family name on it. Sorry Kraby’s that yours didn’t make it, but the chickens loved it! We are glad we had a nice pumpkin to give you in its place. We appreciate all of you for trusting us to provide your family with vegetables this growing season!

Fall is a time of alot of family fun, especially when you live ona farm, and you have the rush, stress and excitement of harvest. The rush of seeing what you have grown and the rush to race the clock; the stress of getting it done before Mother Nature gives you the signal that you are done, ready or not; and the excitement of what treasurers are unveiled during the process.

While our harvest may be different then some of our family members who grow corn and soybeans. The other three components are still there rush, stress and excitement. During this time of the year, everyone sees a lot of farm equipment on the road. With this in mind, I ask you to remember that while we may always think that our hurry is always more important then the other person’s destination. Slow Down! To many people lose their lives because either they don’t see the farm equipment’s slow moving sign, driver distraction, or they feel their destination is more important. No one’s destination or hurry is more important then someone’s life. Slow Down, Be Alert and Stay Alive! After all, the farmers are simply trying to raise our food for our families.

In early August, Steve took one of his Grandpa’s handmade wood carving tool and headed to the garden. Our kids then helped select a pumpkin for each of our CSA families. Steve then carefully etched the last names into a pumpkin. We hope you enjoy this decoration this fall. It is one of our ways of saying Thank You for business!

What’s in the Garden

While the CSA season’s final delivery is next week, we have alot to harvest this weekend including: potatoes, gourds, pumpkins, squash, broom corn, popcorn and tomatoes.

We will be watching the weather to see if we get a frost on Saturday. If we are predicted to get one, we will be covering our lettuce and spinach crops as well as our green beans, Dragon Tongue beans and peas with the hope that we will be able to salvage them for next week. We are hoping that they are matured and ready to harvest by then as well:)

Sam checking out this round of green beans and dragon tongue beans. This was a late planting experiment to see how fast the plants would develop, and if they would produce before a frost.

Note: If you are interested in being included in next year’s CSA. Please let us know. We have had some shareholders indicate an interest, and we have also started a waiting list for additional shareholders. This year’s shareholders do have priority. We would appreciate notice of your interest by January 1.

BOXES OF PRODUCE

Thank you to all who provide us feedback as to what you enjoy, and how you are using it. It does provide us with renewed energy and motivation.

This list is prepared before we harvest your share. Some guesswork is involved! We do our best to predict which crops will be ready to harvest, but sometimes crops are on the list that are not in the share, and sometimes crops will be in the share even though they’re not on the list.

Remember food safety when preparing, always wash your produce before eating.

Lettuce Blend – Blend includes Prizehead, Red Oak Leaf, spinach and Simpson Elite.

Cucumbers – Just a few remaining.

Peppers – Green, orange and banana peppers. A few ideas of what you can do with the peppers.

Summer Squash – Zucchini – Picked what was out there this week. Because the weather had indicated a strong possibility of frost on Saturday night which would have killed these plants.
 
Butternut Squash – One of our families favorite vegetables. Check last week’s post for how I prepare this vegetable or on Martha Stewart for more ideas.

Potatoes – This week we have Norland – great for mashed or boiled potatoes, Yukon Golds – great for baking or cooked and Kennebec – great for baking. Learn how to store these vegetables.

We have A LOT of tomatoes. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the tomatoes will be given to Gillette Children’s Hospital and American Red Cross. Free Will Donations accepted. Those not purchased will be donated to the food shelf.

Tomatoes – Tomatoes in your boxes this week to include Big Boys, Roma, Yellow Girl and cherry tomatoes. Ideas for tomatoes in case you want to purchase an additional for freezing or for canning – fun ideas With the cooler weather, some of you had asked for tomato soup recipes.

Herbs – Parsley, thyme, cilantro and lemon thyme. Remember you can dry them or you can freeze.

Keith with giving his Grandma Norma and Grandpa Swede their box of produce.

Pumpkin – We will be harvesting pumpkins and gourds this weekend and will have a mixture for you next week.

The boys examining the late planting of flowers. They found these to be quite an interesting “science experiment.”

Fresh Flowers – Dried hydrangea or sedum arrangements or sunflower arrangement. Next week, think ahead to what you will want to do with the broom corn and gourds that will be arriving.

Sam and Keith showing us how tall the broom corn is.

Recipe of the Week
Pumpkin/Squash Pancakes
If I have any extra leftover. I freeze the dough in muffin tins. Once frozen, I will place in a small container or a bag. Meals in a minute another night.
 1 cup flour
3 Tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 egg
1 cup plain low-fat yogurt (I often use strawberry flavored)
1/4 cup canned pumpkin/squash
2 Tablespoons butter, melted and cooled plus 1 Tablespoon for the skillet
Preheat large nonstick skillet on medium-high heat. In a bowl, stir together all dry ingredients. In a large bowl, beat egg then add yogurt, pumpkin/squash, and 2 Tablespoons melted butter. Beat well. Stir in dry ingredients and beat just until combined. Grease skillet lightly with butter. Pour about 1/4 cup batter per pancake, flip with spatula when tops bubble and edges are slightly dry. Cook until other side is golden brown, 2 minutes per side.
 

Just about all recipes that call for canned pumpkin I substitute my butternut squash that I have cooked and prepared as I demonstrated in last week’s blog. When you begin preparing this recipe, preheat large non-stick skillet on medium-high heat.

Mix together 1 egg, 1 cup plain low-fat yogurt (I use any flavor of yogurt I have in the refrigerator), 1/4 cup canned pumpkin or squash puree, 2 Tablespoons melted butter.

Keith is a great helper in mixing up the pancakes. In fact, this is one of the kids’ favorite recipes.

Stir in dry ingredients: 1 cup flour, 3 Tablespoons of sugar, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg.

Stir all ingredients together until combined. Grease skillet lightly with butter. Pour 1/4 cup batter per pancake; add blueberries if desired (I make a face with the blueberries in the pancake): flip with spatula when tops bubble and edges are slightly dry. Cook until other side is golden brown. About 2 minutes per side.

I serve the pancakes with scrambled eggs garnished with cheese and parsley. Serve with orange juice and you have your food groups.

 

Hopefully your joy in serving this is like mine – no complaints from the kids…only smiles and full stomachs!

 

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