Our shift to production for restaurant and CSA has had me writing for other audiences and neglecting this blog. CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) customers get a weekly foodbox and newsletter. Misty Bell, in the photo above, and Lynne Sabourin, are my co-conspirators. Misty manages the marketing and logistics of delivery and the transactions. Lynne makes things grow and manages our wwoofers (and me). My contribution to this week's newsletter went like this:
What's growing on?
This delightful early fall weather, with clear skies and highs near 80 and lows near 50, is perfect growing weather, so we're still enjoying a good harvest of the summer "stuff" along with a growing volume of cool weather produce. Your box this week reflects that abundance, with corn, squash, tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, spinach, other greens, beets, carrots, and green beans. (Yes, more green beans! The vines are incredibly prolific and we're harvesting close to 100 pounds per week, much of which is going to the food bank.)
The summer production will begin waning soon. This week's corn is from our second-to-last planting, around July 1. The ears on our last planting, on July 15, are still maturing. Ears mature more slowly with less heat and shorter days, giving our two pests, the corn fungus called huitlacoche in Mexico (and a much sought-after delicacy there) and the corn borer worm, more time to do their work. Almost every ear has a worm, which starts at the tip of the ear and works slowly down. That's why we cut off the last inch or two. If we miss a worm and you get one, our apologies.
The beans will slow and be over soon, and the squash not far behind. To fill the gap we've been planting cool weather crops since July. These include turnips, broccoli, rutabaga, lettuce, and kale and other cabbage family greens. We're planting a bunch more of everything this week, including the onions that will form bulbs over winter and be ready for distribution next May. And we're still using the greenhouse as aggressively as we can.
Where will this put us in the winter months? We don't know, and that's one of the questions that this trial year of CSA is designed to answer. We also don't know how many of you will want to stick with us as the mix in the box shifts from the sweet and colorful things of summer and fall to the less sexy (but highly nutritious!) greens and whites of winter and spring. Stay tuned! And, in the meantime, we always seek your feedback.