It’s hard to believe with the heat we’ve had in September that some areas of the country are receiving snow. Mother Nature once again reminds us that it is time to wrap up the growing season.
Last weekend, we spent a good share of time harvesting which included using lights from tractors and flashlights to finish jobs. Farm size doesn’t matter…Mother Nature holds us all accountable. When it’s time to wrap up, you do what you can to get the job done.
As we work to wrap-up the harvest, it’s also a time of reflection on the growing season, and its ups and downs. For example, the pumpkins and squash growing seasons were tough. We replanted those crops at least three times. Even though the seeds, growing conditions and weather were cooperative, they didn’t all perform for some reason or another.
As I visited with my dad who has farmed for over 55 years, he reassured me that sometimes the seeds didn’t perform for him either for one reason or another and sometimes you just don’t know. You can’t control everything. There are a lot of unknowns in agriculture. You can rest assured that end outcomes in life are in God’s hands and not ours.
So another paralleled life lesson for our kids. You need to reflect, learn from the situations, regroup and come back to do better the next time. Always striving to do better.
Boxes of Produce
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 in your kitchen when preparing, always wash your hands before working with your produce and always wash your produce before eating.
Black Seeded Simpson Lettuce – The last crop of lettuce is coming in. It should love this cold weather. Some of the crops are ran under cold well water to take the field heat off of them so they last longer in your refrigerators. They are not washed – just cooled. So remember to wash your vegetables before eating. A new crop should be in next week.
Red Salad Bowl Lettuce – New crop – Beautiful color.
Spinach – New crop – Mix together with the above lettuces for a beautiful colored salad.
Green Beans – If you are looking for canning quantities, we have plenty. Did you know that green beans are more nutritious for you eaten raw?
Purple Vienna Kohlrabi – Try these ideas from Martha Stewart.
Detroit Dark Red Beets – Some of our shareholders enjoy eating them raw in their salads.
Green Bell Peppers – Learn how to make stuffed peppers here.
Banana Pepper – I have been cutting up and freezing the peppers with the intent to use them for recipes throughout the season.
Cherry Stuffer Hybrid sweet peppers – These are the small, round red peppers.
Onion – Wondering what to do with all of your onions? I cut mine up using my Pampered Chef chopper, place in Ziploc bags and place in the freezer. That way, my onions are always handy for recipes throughout the year.
Tomatoes – This is the end of the tomatoes this season. We hope you were able to take advantage of the bounty.
Cilantro – Learn how to preserve your herbs for use later in the year from Martha Stewart.
Cucumbers – Enjoy the end of the season cucumber. We will have more next week.
Radishes – It is a cool season crop which is just starting to produce. Look for more next week.
Rutabaga – A shareholder requested we try these. Check out these different ways to prepare them from Martha Stewart.
Carrots – See how carrots are grown in Georgia on America’s Heartland.
Spaghetti Squash – The first bush spaghetti squash. Fruits may be stored for early winter use. This video shows how to cook this squash.
Red Kuri Squash – This squash commands your attention with the fruits’ color and succulent flesh. Red Kuri’s bright scarlet tear-drop-shaped fruits are packed with dense flesh that’s good roasted or in soups.
Carnival Squash – Carnival squash is a hybrid of the sweet dumpling squash and the acorn squash. The color variance in the rind of the Carnival squash is the result of seasonal temperature variations. Warmer temperatures produce Carnival squash with slightly more pronounced green stripes. The squash’s flavor is nutty and sweet.
Peter Pan, Scallop Squash – This squash is a circular scalloped summer squash. Distinctive, delicious, and sweet flavor. It is not necessary to peel this squash before eating it. Cut it up like you would zucchini to grill it. Or use the larger ones as decoration for the fall season.
Summer Squash, Golden Egg Hybrid – Wash it cut up, no need to peel, use on the grill or eat raw. This squash has truly had staying power this growing season.
Zucchini – This crop is coming to an end.
Purple potatoes – The skin and flesh of this potato is purple. Great fun for french fries, potato salads and mixed vegetable dishes. Anthocyanin is a pigment that creates the purple color in the potatoes and also acts as an antioxidant.
Kennebec potatoes – Excellent for baked potatoes.
Sweet Potatoes – Dusky red-skinned Beauregard is the most widely grown commercial cultivar. I know that my friends in North Carolina are far more experienced than I in preparing sweet potatoes. So check out this resource.
Flower of the Week – Corn shocks, ornamental corn and gourds
Recipe of the Week
State Fair Pumpkin Bread
1 2/3 cup flour
1 ½ cup sugar
1/3 cup butter softened
1 teaspoon soda
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon cloves
Pinch of salt
1/3 cup cold water
1 cup canned pumpkin (I use my prepared squash which has been mixed with butter and brown sugar.)
Combine flour, sugar, butter, soda, spices and salt in bowl. Add 1/3 cup cold water, eggs and pumpkin; mix well. Pour into greased loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 1 hour. Cool on wire rack.
Source: Minnesota 4-H Blue Ribbon Favorites Cookbook – Pat Kuznik recipe