Tuesday, September 19, 2017

2017 CSA Week 20

Good morning fellow CSA members!

We have come to our final share of the season. It always seems so far away when we kick off the season with berries and the best of intentions for healthy eating. The summer ticks by and week twenty comes, unyielding.

The grand finale includes a good mix of fall and winter squash that are similar to what you'll continue to receive if you have signed up for the monthly fall share (my personal favorite of all the SHF options). Here's what's in store:

in fridge
one week
room temperature
enjoy as soon as possible
butternut squash
room temperature
acorn squash
room temperature
delicata squash
room temperature
bell pepper
washed or unwashed in fridge
up to a week

Ford asked that I pass along his apologies for the quality of the tomatoes you've been receiving in your share these last few weeks. He understands that you might have had to cut a quarter or more off of each tomato, which can be pretty frustrating, both for us as CSA members and Ford as a farmer. The rain-heavy August increased the tomato crops susceptibility to certain disease. While there are a number of chemicals that have been formulated to help treat and prevent these diseases, they do not pass the rigorous standards for certified organic farming. While it is tempting to fall back on a short-term fix to help this year's harvest, the long-term quality of the soil and the produce -- and the environment as a whole -- pay the cost. So, as you cut off the bad spots in your tomatoes this week, rest assured that the portion you are sacrificing is helping your food supply in the future, and that the remaining fruit is top quality, healthy, certified organic. I am sure you all join me in the appreciation for the hard work Ford and his family and crew put in each week to bring us such delicious food. I'm happy to cut a black spot off my tomato to have the confidence that what remains is completely healthy for my little boy to gobble down.

A Sustainable Harvest Farm pork roast
baked in a cast iron skillet with potatoes,
sweet potatoes and delicata squash and
seasonings. This was an unforgettable meal.
So, I have to tell you about the new squash this week: Delicata. I didn't know this squash existed until Ford introduced me to it. This might be my favorite squash. It is more tender than the other winter squash. You can eat the peeling. It also has a sweeter flavor than the others. I cut it up and roast it with potatoes (and meat) and it is delicious! If you need some inspiration, here is a link to several delicata squash recipes.
A friend reminded me that we can use our squash
in our fall decorations until we eat them. I have
learned this year, though, that toddlers have no
patience for fake, decorative apples.

I hope you all have enjoyed your shares and your CSA experience this summer. If it didn't go quite like you had expected, give yourself some grace. I have had many CSA recipe (and storage) disasters in my kitchen over the years. Most recently, I was most disappointed to discover the horrible smell in our basement was a package of wonderful SHF beef that had been left out of the freezer accidentally. What a stinking (literally!) waste!

But with each season my skill and my recipe repertoire expand. I gain more confidence in the kitchen and my family eats healthier meals at the dinner table. For me, there are setbacks each season, but I also grow and learn. My appreciation and respect for the farming community -- especially those interested in sustainable farming -- flourishes with each share.

I have enjoyed your recipes and ideas this year and I hope you've benefited from my posts as well. May you all have a glorious fall and holiday season, and I look forward to starting a new CSA adventure together soon.

If you haven't already registered for the Harvest Celebration at the farm on October 7th, please do so. I anticipate this year might be the best yet! I'm also looking forward to the Farm to Fork to Film event at The Lavender Farm at Woodstock on September 29th. I hope to see you there!

As always, happy eating!

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