Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Week 15 Newsletter

Welcome to Week 15!  Happy Fall!

There was a chill to the air this morning, really feeling like fall is here.  It seems I have been talking about fall for weeks now.  And looking at this week's weather forecast, I am thinking next week I may be talking about a return to summer.  The temperatures this weekend are to be near 80 again!  A perfect day for market!

The cooler night time temperatures are good for our greens.  Cooler temperatures not only sweeten the flavor of the greens, but also reduce some of our insect pressure.  The Bok Choy is really beautiful right now.  We are also currently harvesting some huge green mustard.  Both bok choy and mustard are versatile greens, as you can enjoy them cooked or raw in salads.  Mustard greens have a distinctive spicy bite which does mellow a bit with cooking.  Recently I have been looking for recipes using mustard greens and came across a recipe for mustard greens pesto (http://nourishedkitchen.com/spicy-mustard-green-pesto/)  and another recipe for massaged mustard green salad (http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/mustard_greens_salad.html).  I see the pesto as a great addition to pasta or grilled cheese sandwiches.  I may try making some and freezing it this weekend.  We love massaged kale salad, but it never occurred to massage other greens!  Another one I will need to try.

I think I can finally say our tomatoes are coming to an end.  We pulled up about half of our field grown tomatoes last week and are in the process of re-planting those fields with late fall and winter greens.  We will do our best to get what tomatoes we still have out to our members, but I am thinking there are not many more weeks of tomatoes to be harvested.  Much to my surprise, I think our tomato harvest wasn't a complete loss this year.  The late blight disease had us very worried, but we were still able to harvest quite a few tomatoes.  Thanks to you, our members, for your patience and understanding concerning our tomatoes this season. 

This week we will add some different winter squash to the choice list.  Get your recipes ready for Spaghetti squash and butternut squash!  These squash have spent the last few weeks curing in our greenhouse and are now ready to go into your boxes. 

In the kitchen, these cooler temperatures also mean time for soup.  We use our stewing hens to make delicious bone broth and in turn use this broth to make delicious, nutritious soups.  Farmer Don recently made his specialty, Italian Wedding Soup.  He had his eye on a large head of escarole for several weeks and finally harvested it and used it in soup.  I can honestly say, I think this was his best batch yet!  I think I even took a picture?  If I did, I will post it on facebook and our blog. 

We tasted Farmer Don's latest kimchii this week.  I have to admit it is probably his best batch yet.  It will still need a bit more time for fermenting, but we are both really excited about the results.  I am predicting another 3 to 5 pounds will be made this weekend!  If you like kimchii and attend the Back Mountain Market, be sure to ask Farmer Don about his kimchii.  He will gladly give you all the details and maybe even a sample.

If anyone is looking for sustainably raised pastured pork, please contact us.  We will have a limited amount of freezer pork available this fall.  This meat is from hogs raised on our pasture and fed lots of our organic vegetables.  Pork is sold by the half or whole and comes  vacuum packed and frozen.  Ham, bacon, and sausage are standard with all orders, unless you specify otherwise.  Scrapple and lard are also available upon request.  Halves will yield approximately 80 to 100 pounds of meat and wholes will yield 170 to 200 pounds of meat. 

Speaking of meat, we also have chicken available.  These meat birds are raised on our pasture and fed certified non-gmo organic grain.  Half and whole roasters and stew hens are available through the buying club, at the Back Mountain Market or on farm.  Chickens also come vacuum packed and frozen.  For more information on our chicken, please contact the farm.

I want pass a huge thank you on to a group of Bloomsburg University students who volunteered on farm Sunday afternoon and evening.  The students were from the university organization H.O.P.E  (Helping our Planet Earth).  They spent several hours learning about our farm and helped farmer Don set up some irrigation in fall planting plots.  It was great to have their energy and enthusiasm on farm!!!

Time for another gentle box reminder.  Please remember to treat your share boxes gently and return them for re-use. 

The weather looks absolutely beautiful for market this weekend.  We will be at Forks Farm and Back Mountain markets on Saturday and the Bloomsburg University market on Friday.  Please, if you come to market, stop by our table and say hello. 

Yep, you guessed it, this week's newsletter has come to an end!  So, "be safe, be well and enjoy those veggies".

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