Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Monroe Family Organics CSA Newsletter for November 2022: Late Fall at the Farm

Farm Update


Hi everyone!  The weather outside is frightful, and the holiday season is upon us!  It's just the type of weather that makes you want to start a nice fire in the fireplace and work indoors, which is exactly what I'm doing.  The farm is officially in the off-season, which has a much different rhythm than the main growing season.  My farm related work takes place mostly indoors these days, and can be compressed into a few hours a week.  It's mainly administrative work like doing payroll, invoicing our few remaining stores who are still getting deliveries, and keeping the books up to date.  Fred still spends a few hours at the farm each day, preparing orders, harvesting the remaining leafy greens we still have in the field (pictured at left), and doing general maintenance stuff, but it's a lot less intense than it was for so many months.  Once the snow starts flying, it's finally time to take a break.


Farm work looks a lot different late November and December than it does during the active farm months.  Fred has been checking the mailbox every day like a kid anticipating birthday cards, hoping that his favorite seed catalog will arrive soon.  Each year when the Johnny's catalog makes its appearance, you can find Fred sitting by the fire with a cup of coffee, poring over all of the new seed varieties, deciding what to try, and preparing our massive seed order that we usually put in in early December. We used to do that in January, but the last few years have taught us that we have to get our order in before anyone else is even thinking about seeds, or we run the risk of not being able to get the quantities or the particular varieties we need.  Choosing our seed varieties and ordering the right amount of everything to keep our 20 acres producing all of the veggies we love, in the right quantities, at the right times, is a big process.  It is a mental feat of strength that results, after a few days, in a massive spreadsheet that represents the growing plan for the following season, a large order of thousands of dollars worth of seeds, and then a few more smaller orders throughout the season.


And once the seeds are chosen and the order has been placed, we've got another big project on the docket for December!  We purchased a pretty large used greenhouse at an auction from a flower nursery in Muskegon that is going out of business.  Fortunately, it was very inexpensive, but the tricky part is that it requires deconstructing it at its current location, loading all the parts up, hauling them to Alma, and reconstructing everything at the farm.  Fred anticipates that it will take him, Callie, Taran, and whatever other friends are crazy enough to help, anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks to take it down, and probably a lot longer to put it back together after the new year.  Obviously, December in Michigan is not the time of year you want to be spending outside deconstructing a greenhouse all day, but it is the time of year we have available, so it kind of is what it is.  In the interest of not having to drive back and forth from Muskegon constantly for a week or more, Fred is considering renting an Airbnb near the deconstruction site for a few days where everyone involved can stay, and just working all-out for a few days to get it done.  We're not exactly sure yet what this project is going to look like, but I'll keep you all posted in the next newsletter and let you know how it went.  I guarantee there will be blood and sweat, but hopefully no tears. Or frostbite.


Once we get the greenhouse torn down, brought to the farm, and reconstructed, the plan is to have all of our tomato production in the greenhouse next year!  This year was a great year for cherry tomatoes, which were all in the hoophouses (unheated greenhouses), and a very underwhelming year for our slicing tomatoes, which were primarily outside in the field.  In order to have our slicing tomatoes earlier, have more of them, and have them all be the quality we expect in order to bring them to you, they really need to be in a hoophouse.  Hence, the new greenhouse, which is about twice as large as any of our current hoophouses.  We're not intending to use any supplemental heat this year, but the greenhouse does come with all the materials and equipment to set it up for heating if we want to in the future.  Because if there's anything we've learned about the farm over the last 12 seasons, it's that we have to be ready to pivot on very short notice!


But for right now, it's time to settle in and enjoy the indoor part of the year.  The busy part of the season, where I can count the number of waking hours spent indoors each week on one hand, will be back before we know it.  As I write this, I'm looking out my window at a harsh winter landscape, all stark white and naked branches.  But in my mind's eye, I can see those same bare trees in all their leafy glory, and our neighbor's horses grazing in the field across the road.  It will all return in its season, and with the summer will come next year's CSA!  If you haven't signed up for next year yet, here is the link to the 2023 Sign-up Form!  As a reminder, the prices will be going up next year (from $330 to $340 for a half share, and from $610 to $630 for a full share at the regular drop-offs).  But if you sign up and put down at least a partial payment before the new year, you'll get your 2023 share at the 2022 price!  And if you're interested in home delivery, just indicate that on the sign-up form, and I'll check your address to make sure it's within our delivery radius.  Just let me know if you have any questions about next year or anything else, and thank you so much for another great farm year!  See you in June! :-)


Recipes

Thanksgiving is coming up, and there is nothing that says "fall harvest abundance" like a table surrounded by loved ones and loaded down with turkey, potatoes, sweet potatoes, cranberries, and all the rest!  You probably already have your favorite recipes for all of these delicious foods that you or someone you love will be preparing later this week, but just in case you don't, here is what Fred and I will be bringing to family Thanksgiving at my parents' house on Thursday!  Feel free to steal our ideas, especially if you still have some of these long-lasting storage veggies from the CSA!


Spicy-Sweet Roasted Sweet Potatoes.  When I was a kid, I thought I didn't like sweet potatoes because the only time I had them was on Thanksgiving, and they were always mashed and covered with marshmallows.  So now, since we have a farm with a ton of sweet potatoes, I always sign up to bring them to Thanksgiving dinner.  These are savory with a little kick, and no marshmallows in sight!




Apple, Bacon, Kale, and Goat Cheese Salad.  This is the closest recipe I could find on the internet to the recipe Fred created a few years ago, and that we always bring to family Thanksgiving.  I probably won't be adding the pomegranate seeds (because I'm too impatient to get them all out of the pomegranate) or the pepitas (because we already ate all of the ones we had left over from our various pumpkin adventures), but other than that, this is extremely similar to the kale salad that will grace our Thanksgiving table.  The trick is to rub your hands with olive oil and massage the kale in your hands first, so it can break down the toughness and slight bitterness.  If you're not a fan of raw kale, this might be what you've been missing all along! Give it a try!


Saturday, October 22, 2022

Monroe Family Organics Newsletter for Week 19

 Farm Update



Hi everyone!  Hope you're doing well!  
 This is it, the final week of the CSA!  Every year the CSA season is a journey with all sorts of twists and turns and things to work through, but we are about to pull the proverbial train into the station.  And I am so excited about the variety of produce in the shares this week!  We have a lot of the same things we've had for the last few weeks, but we also have fall spinach and leeks, just in time for the final drop-offs of the year!  We were really hoping that our fall planting of spinach would be ready in time, so I am thrilled to be able to bring you some this week!  Also new this week are our honeynut squashes, which were a little on the green side before, but they're ready to eat now.  We had the first one of the year for lunch yesterday, and it was so delicious and sweet!  If you are a squash fan, you are going to love these little honeynut squashes!  

After the upcoming week, the CSA will come to an end, but we'll still have some odds and ends coming out of the fields and hoophouses for a while.  If you are interested in continuing to get our produce after the CSA is over, there are a few stores that carry our veggies!  You can find them at Greentree Co-Op Market in Mt. Pleasant and the Argus Farm Stop stores in Ann Arbor until about Thanksgiving, and maybe even until mid-December, depending on what the weather does.

And if you're interested in joining the CSA again next year, here's the link to the sign-up form!  The cost for a half share at the regular drop-offs will be $330 until January 1st, when it will go up to $340.  And a full share will be $610 until the new year, and then it will go up to $630.  So if you sign up now and put down at least a partial payment before December 31, you'll lock in next year's share at this year's price.  And if you're interested in home or workplace delivery, just check that box on the sign-up form, and I'll make sure your address is within our delivery zone and email you a quote for the delivery fee.  Just let me know if you have any questions about any of that!

Thank you all for a great season!  It has been so fun to get to talk to you all at the drop-offs, hear what you are cooking with your veggies, and get to know everyone!  And while I haven't gotten to meet and chat with all of the Lansing-area CSA folks or people with home delivery each week, I have really enjoyed meeting those of you who I have gotten to see!  Thank you all for joining us for another crazy chapter in the adventure that is the farm, and we hope to see you again next year!  And in the meantime, I'll see you next week for the final drop-offs! :-)


What to Expect in the Shares this Week

 

If you pick up at our Alma, Mt. Pleasant, or Midland drop-off, here are the options for your shares!  If you have a half share, you’ll choose one item from each choice category, and if you have a full share, you’ll choose two.  And if there is something you don’t like or can’t eat, you can bring it to the trading station at the end and trade it for something you like better. 

  • Carrots or Brussels sprouts
  • Potatoes, arugula, or a bag of onions
  • Butternut squash
  • Sweet potatoes, spinach, or leeks
  • Cabbage, radishes, or kale
  • Honeynut squash, other small squash, or microgreens
  • Onion or kohlrabi

If you pick up at our Lansing, Okemos, St. Johns, Midland hospital, or Alma hospital drop-off, or if you have home or workplace delivery, here are your options!  We have three different prepacked shares, and you can let me know which one you want by filling out this quick form by lunchtime the day before your drop-off.  If you have a half share, you can choose one of these options, and if you have a full share, you’ll choose two.

Share A:

  • Carrots
  • Arugula
  • Butternut squash
  • Leeks
  • Radish
  • Honeynut squash
  • Kohlrabi


Share B:

  • Carrots
  • Potatoes
  • Butternut squash
  • Spinach
  • Cabbage
  • Honeynut squash
  • Onion

 

Share C:

  • Brussels sprouts
  • Potatoes
  • Butternut squash
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Kale
  • Delicata squash
  • Onion

 

Recipes




One of the big surprises this year was how well the squash did!  We have had way more squash this year than pretty much any other year, and our butternuts were especially prolific.  We have butternut squash in the shares again this week, so I wanted to share with you all something I learned this year, and it has been a game changer for us!  Did you know that you can puree your butternut squash and use it as a substitution in any recipe that calls for pumpkin puree?  So if you have a recipe for pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin pie, or pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, you can substitute pureed butternut squash!  And in my opinion, that is even easier than making pumpkin puree!  So here's a tutorial for how to do make your own butternut squash puree, and you can make all of your all-pumpkin-everything dreams come true, but with our prolific old friend, the butternut squash!


Saturday, October 15, 2022

Monroe Family Organics CSA Newsletter for Week 18

  Farm Update



Hi everyone!  Hope you're doing well!  We are headed into week 18 of the CSA season, and things are really starting to wind down around the farm.  At the beginning of the CSA season, there is so much to be done, and we spend two adrenaline-fueled months trying to keep our heads above water.  Then in late July, we hit the tipping point where things settle down a little bit.  There is still a lot of work to be done, but the tempo isn't quite so intense.  And then once we get into October, it's a slow slide into late fall and winter.  Right now, we're no longer planting, barely weeding, and not really battling pests.  At this point it's mostly about harvesting, washing, packing, and delivering the vegetables, and making sure we have enough variety to finish out the season strong.  So basically, even though the days are still really full, it feels like a rest.  

It also helps that the sun doesn't come up until much later, and it goes down a lot earlier than it did in the height of summer, which naturally limits how much we can work.  And as the weather gets colder, more and more of our crops reach the end of their lives in the field.  Nature is getting ready to go to sleep for the year, and we're starting to slow down too.  Now is the time to dig into the wonderful fall comfort foods, put extra blankets on the beds, and bring in lots of firewood, because we're right on the edge of what I think of as "cozy season".   And to help you celebrate cozy season, we have two more weeks of great fall veggies for you! 

And if you're interested in signing up for next year, we've started sign-ups for the 2023 CSA season!  It's going to be pretty much the same as this year (all the same drop-offs at the same times), but the prices are going to be going up a little bit next season to $340 for a half share and $630 for a full share at the regular drop-offs.  Anyone who signs up and puts down at least a partial payment by December 31 locks in next year's share at this year's price though, so that's a good way to save a few bucks if that makes sense for you!  Either way, we would love to have you all in the CSA again next year, so just let me know if you have any questions, and here's the link to the sign-up form!

Thanks so much, and we'll see you at the drop-offs! :-)

What to Expect in the Shares this Week

 

If you pick up at our Alma, Mt. Pleasant, or Midland drop-off, here are the options for your shares!  If you have a half share, you’ll choose one item from each choice category, and if you have a full share, you’ll choose two.  And if there is something you don’t like or can’t eat, you can bring it to the trading station at the end and trade it for something you like better. 

  • Sweet potatoes or a bag of small onions
  • Brussels sprouts, carrots, or baby mustard greens
  • Butternut squash, pie pumpkin, or other large squash
  • Potatoes or arugula
  • Cabbage, kale, or parsley
  • Delicata squash, acorn squash, or radishes
  • Onion or kohlrabi

If you pick up at our Lansing, Okemos, St. Johns, Midland hospital, or Alma hospital drop-off, or if you have home or workplace delivery, here are your options!  We have three different prepacked shares, and you can let me know which one you want by filling out this quick form by lunchtime the day before your drop-off.  If you have a half share, you can choose one of these options, and if you have a full share, you’ll choose two.

Share A:

  • Sweet potatoes
  • Baby mustard greens
  • Pie pumpkin
  • Potatoes
  • Cabbage
  • Acorn squash
  • Kohlrabi


Share B:

  • Sweet potatoes
  • Carrots
  • Acorn squash
  • Arugula
  • Parsley
  • Radish
  • Onion

 

Share C:

  • Bag of small onions
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Butternut squash
  • Potatoes
  • Kale
  • Delicata squash
  • Onion

 

Recipes



Sweet potatoes are one of my favorite parts of fall.  They are such a perfect fall comfort food, and there are so many ways to prepare them!  You can make everything from sweet potato fries, to sweet potato pie, to these Sweet and Spicy Sweet Potatoes!  So if you're looking to add a little kick to this naturally sweet and wonderful food, definitely give this recipe a try! :-)


Saturday, October 8, 2022

Monroe Family Organics CSA Newsletter for Week 17

 Farm Update



Hi everyone!  The season has definitely turned fully into fall, and the farm reflects that everywhere I look.  We've harvested completely through most of our summer plantings, so a lot of the beds that used to have vibrant, growing plants, now just contain what's left of the plant after we've harvested the parts we eat.  Later this week, Fred will be tilling most of those stalks and other plant remains into the ground, where they will break down and add nutrients to the soil for next season.  After a little while, we'll also plant what's called cover crop.  Cover crop is basically a crop of plants we never intend to harvest, and whose sole purpose is to grow big and then be tilled under to add more organic matter to the soil.  The more organic matter is in the soil, the more nutrients there are for future crops to absorb as they grow, and the roots of the cover crop actually prevent nutrients from leaching out of the soil in between plantings.  Planting cover crop also promotes healthy biodiversity in the soil because it provides something for all those little bugs, worms, and helpful bacteria to eat.  And the more bugs, worms, and helpful bacteria we have, the more balanced our soil ecosystem is, and that makes it much harder for pests and plant diseases to take hold.  Not to mention, bugs and worms aerate the soil, which prevents soil compaction and allows the plant roots to grow strong and healthy.  This is important especially for root vegetables, because if the soil is too compacted, then you end up with weird shaped carrots, beets, onions, and potatoes, or a really decreased yield because they didn't have the freedom to grow the way they needed to.  But it's also important for the vegetables whose parts we eat are above the soil, because if a plant doesn't have healthy roots, then the rest of the plant can't thrive.  So basically, it all starts with healthy soil, and the best way to get healthy soil is by making sure you have lots of good organic matter.  

The other big thing going on at the farm right now is a bunch of harvesting!  We're pretty much done planting for the year, with the exception of a few plantings of overwintered greens we'll be putting in the hoophouses.  Everything that will be in the CSA shares for the rest of the year is already in the ground, which makes it feel like the massive, multi-part project that is each farm season, is almost a wrap.  There's still plenty to do to prepare the farm for winter, but for the next few weeks, the majority of the work at the farm will be harvesting for the next few weeks of the CSA, as well as the stores and restaurants for whom we provide veggies.  We still have three weeks of great produce coming your way, including all of our fall favorites! 

And if you're interested in signing up for next year, we've started sign-ups for the 2023 CSA season!  It's going to be pretty much the same as this year (all the same drop-offs at the same times), but the prices are going to be going up a little bit next season to $340 for a half share and $630 for a full share at the regular drop-offs.  Anyone who signs up and puts down at least a partial payment by December 31 locks in next year's share at this year's price though, so that's a good way to save a few bucks if that makes sense for you!  Either way, we would love to have you all in the CSA again next year, so just let me know if you have any questions, and here's the link to the sign-up form!

Thanks so much, and we'll see you at the drop-offs! :-)

What to Expect in the Shares this Week

 

If you pick up at our Alma, Mt. Pleasant, or Midland drop-off, here are the options for your shares!  If you have a half share, you’ll choose one item from each choice category, and if you have a full share, you’ll choose two.  And if there is something you don’t like or can’t eat, you can bring it to the trading station at the end and trade it for something you like better. 

  • Butternut squash
  • Sweet potatoes or potatoes
  • Brussels sprouts, arugula, or lettuce
  • Green beans or carrots
  • Kale, microgreens, radishes, or cilantro
  • Cabbage or Delicata squash
  • Kohlrabi, onion, or pepper (could be bell peppers or Poblano peppers)

 

If you pick up at our Lansing, Okemos, St. Johns, Midland hospital, or Alma hospital drop-off, or if you have home or workplace delivery, here are your options!  We have three different prepacked shares, and you can let me know which one you want by filling out this quick form by lunchtime the day before your drop-off.  If you have a half share, you can choose one of these options, and if you have a full share, you’ll choose two.


Share A:

  • Butternut squash
  • Potatoes
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Carrots
  • Radishes
  • Cabbage
  • Kohlrabi

 

Share B:

  • Butternut squash
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Green beans
  • Kale
  • Delicata squash
  • Onion

 

Share C:

  • Butternut 
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Arugula
  • Green beans
  • Microgreens
  • Delicata squash
  • Onion

 

Recipes



It's definitely squash season!  You may remember the picture from last week's newsletter of Fred standing in front of a huge trailer of butternut squash?  Well, that was not quite half of the squash we brought in from the fields that week, so we have literally tons of it, which is enough to give everyone butternut squash for the next few weeks!  If you're thinking, "What am I going to do with all that squash?", never fear!  I have you covered with 37 Butternut Squash Recipes from Bon Appetit!  Also, kohlrabi is back!  If you don't remember from the beginning of the CSA season, kohlrabi is our little round green friend that's kind of like a mix between a cabbage and a broccoli stem.  And here again is the link for 20 Easy Kohlrabi Recipes that I shared way back in week 2, in case you're stuck for ideas.  Enjoy!


Saturday, October 1, 2022

Monroe Family Organics CSA Newsletter for Week 16

  Farm Update


Here's Fred in front of one of the large loads of butternut squash he brought in this week!



Hi everyone!  Hope you're all doing well!  Here we are in October, which means that we are nearing the end of CSA season.  The CSA will go until the last full week of October, so the final drop-offs will be Monday October 24th through Thursday October 27th.  Although the end of the season is approaching, we still have four weeks of great veggies ahead to look forward to!

This is the time of year where nature starts slowly sliding into its winter rest.  We had our first light frost last week, which fortunately was light enough not to do much damage to most of our crops, except that it pretty much put an end to our basil.  As the weeks go on, the lower and lower temperatures will start killing our summer veggies one by one, until only the most coldhardy crops survive.  That's the point when it's time to finish up the CSA for the year, because we won't have enough variety to keep 300-ish families in high-quality veggies indefinitely.  My guess is that you guys don't want a bunch of shares of just potatoes, kale, squash, and onions, so the end of October is a natural stopping point for the CSA.  That's also the time of year when Fred and I are ready to come in out of the rain and rest our bodies and minds.  On a beautiful sunny fall day like today, its easy to imagine keeping going for longer, but once those cold rains start to fall (which is pretty much every day for the second half of October), we start thinking about sitting in front of the fire with warm cups of coffee instead of harvesting in the mud.

That said, today the sun is shining, and we still have plenty of great things coming out the fields and hoophouses!  We brought in two huge wagonloads of butternut squash this week, which are now safe and sound in one of our empty hoophouses (unheated greenhouses).  This time of year, we've usually cleared out our summer plantings from some of our seven hoophouses, but we haven't planted the kale, lettuce, and spinach we intend to overwinter in those spaces, so they're the perfect place to store large amounts of onions and squash.  When I see trailers full of squash in the hoophouses that were full of zucchini plants just a few short months ago, and were full of little baby spinach plants nestled under protective layers of plastic a few months before that, I am reminded of the cyclical nature of the farm.  Each season comes back around in its turn, and although we're starting to wind down now, it will be late spring again before we know it. 

And with that in mind, it's time to start thinking about the 2023 CSA season!  If you already know you want to sign up for next year's CSA, you can start doing so now!  Here is the sign-up form for the 2023 CSA season!  Like this year, it will be 19 weeks of delicious organic veggies at all the same drop-off locations!  The only change is that the price will be going up a little bit.  As we've all noticed, everything costs more these days, including all of our supplies and fuel we need to grow and distribute our crops.  So we're going to need to increase the share costs just a little to offset the increase in expenses.  Half shares will be going up from $330 to $340 next year, and full shares will be going up from $610 to $630.  So a half share will set you back around 53 cents extra per week, and a full share will cost an extra $1.05 each week.  Not so bad, now that I think of it.  And anyone who signs up and puts down at least a partial payment before December 31st will lock in their 2023 share at the 2022 price.  So if you know you want to sign up, you can do so any time!  And if you still want to think about it, you have until the end of December to decide if you want to get the early bird discount, and then price goes up on January 1st.  Just let me know if you have any questions about any of that!  Thanks so much, and I'll see you all at the drop-off! 

What to Expect in the Shares this Week

 

If you pick up at our Alma, Mt. Pleasant, or Midland drop-off, here are the options for your shares!  If you have a half share, you’ll choose one item from each choice category, and if you have a full share, you’ll choose two.  And if there is something you don’t like or can’t eat, you can bring it to the trading station at the end and trade it for something you like better. 

  • Butternut squash
  • Sweet potatoes or potatoes
  • Brussels sprouts or lettuce
  • Carrots or arugula
  • Delicata squash or bag of onions
  • Radishes, kale, cilantro, or microgreens
  • Onion, bell pepper, or garlic

 

If you pick up at our Lansing, Okemos, St. Johns, Midland hospital, or Alma hospital drop-off, or if you have home or workplace delivery, here are your options!  We have three different prepacked shares, and you can let me know which one you want by filling out this quick form by lunchtime the day before your drop-off.  If you have a half share, you can choose one of these options, and if you have a full share, you’ll choose two.


Share A:

  • Butternut squash
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Lettuce
  • Carrots
  • Bag of onions
  • Kale
  • 2 garlic

 

Share B:

  • Butternut squash
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Carrots
  • Delicata squash
  • Radishes
  • Onion

 

Share C:

  • Butternut squash
  • Potatoes
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Arugula
  • Delicata squash
  • Microgreens
  • Bell pepper

 

Recipes



One of my favorite things about the CSA drop-offs is that I get to hear what you all are making with your veggies!  A number of people told me last week that they had made butternut squash soup, and that sounded so delicious that naturally I decided to make some of my own this weekend!  I haven't done it yet, but this Butternut Squash Soup recipe is the one I'll be using when I do.  I like that so many of the ingredients are things we already have on hand or can easily substitute (like, I'm going to switch out the shallot in the recipe for an onion, because we have tons of those.)  And did you guys know you can make your own vegetable broth from the odds and ends that you don't eat from your veggies?  For instance, when you cut off your radish greens, potato skins, or the ends of your carrots, instead of throwing them out, you can put them in a bag in your freezer.  Then when the bag is full, just dump the whole lot into a large pot, boil for an hour, and strain out the solid stuff.  Ta-da!  It's vegetable broth!  Here's a blog post all about How to Make Vegetable Broth from the Minimalist Baker if you want more details for a fancier broth, but it really is so simple!  And now that we're definitely in soup season, might as well start saving your veggie scraps to make your own delicious organic vegetable broth!



Friday, September 23, 2022

Monroe Family Organics CSA Newsletter for Week 15

 Farm Update

Arugula is here!  I actually had a picture in last week's newsletter if this same bed of arugula, and look how much it's grown!  These little guys will be at the CSA drop-off this week, so get ready for some yummy salads! 



Hi everyone!  Hope you're doing well!  This is actually going to be a shorter newsletter this week, because Fred and I are actually on the road to Detroit for a much-needed day away from the farm!  But I wanted to get this out to you early so you could have plenty of time to choose your shares and/or do your menu planning, and I'll catch you next week with are more involved look at what we're up to at the farm!  Have an awesome weekend, and I'll see you at the drop-off for week 15!

What to Expect in the Shares this Week

 

If you pick up at our Alma, Mt. Pleasant, or Midland drop-off, here are the options for your shares!  If you have a half share, you’ll choose one item from each choice category, and if you have a full share, you’ll choose two.  And if there is something you don’t like or can’t eat, you can bring it to the trading station at the end and trade it for something you like better. 

  • Spring mix, romaine lettuce, or arugula
  • Carrots or Brussels sprouts
  • Cherry tomatoes or potatoes
  • Butternut squash or green beans
  • Kale or delicata squash
  • Microgreens, radishes, or cilantro
  • Green pepper, slicing tomato, or onion

 

If you pick up at our Lansing, Okemos, St. Johns, Midland hospital, or Alma hospital drop-off, or if you have home or workplace delivery, here are your options!  We have three different prepacked shares, and you can let me know which one you want by filling out this quick form by lunchtime the day before your drop-off.  If you have a half share, you can choose one of these options, and if you have a full share, you’ll choose two.


Share A:

  • Spring mix
  • Green beans
  • Delicata
  • Radishes
  • Carrots
  • Potatoes
  • Slicing tomato

 

Share B:

  • Romaine lettuce
  • Green beans
  • Kale
  • Cilantro
  • Carrots
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Green pepper

 

Share C:

  • Romaine lettuce
  • Butternut squash
  • Delicata squash
  • Microgreens
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Potatoes
  • Onion

 

Recipes




I love all kinds of squash, but delicata squash is my particular favorite.  It has a delicious sweet flavor and a thin skin, which means that you don't have to peel it before you use it.  There are all sorts of great things you can do with it (like cutting it lengthwise, baking it, and covering it with butter and brown sugar), and it is also great for roasting!  Check out this great recipe for Roasted Delicata Squash for an easy and delicious side dish! 



Saturday, September 17, 2022

CSA Newsletter for Week 14

 Farm Update


This recent planting of radishes and arugula is coming along nicely!  Even though they're tiny now, they'll be the right size to harvest in a few weeks.

Hi everyone!  The CSA shares are looking distinctly autumnal this week!  I was looking over the list of what will be in the shares for the upcoming week, and the plethora of root veggies (carrots, potatoes, and beets), cold-hardy greens (kale and cooking greens mix) and winter squashes and pumpkins, are a sure sign that fall is here.  And indeed, the calendar will be in agreement soon with what we are already seeing outside, because the autumnal equinox is on Thursday of this week.  That is one of two days of the year that we have an equal number of dark and light hours in the day, and it is also the official first day of fall on the calendar!

So if you're one of the many people who go crazy over fall stuff, you'll be excited about our new item this week, pie pumpkins!  What better way to celebrate the official changing of the seasons than by making a pumpkin pie, or even a DIY pumpkin spice latte?  Another thing I always get excited about is our cooking greens mix, which is a fall staple around our house.  It's a mix of kale, swiss chard, and whatever hearty leafy greens are ready around the farm.  Sometimes we have the leaves of the Brussels sprouts plant in there, or sometimes there's broccoli leaf, but it's always great in a stir-fry or just as a quick sautéed side dish with garlic and onions.  And fortunately, we still have a bunch of summer favorites in the shares this week!  There are still lots of tomatoes and peppers, and there will be odds and ends of green beans and okra in the surprise veggie category.  Some items around the farm are on their way out for the season (just as the heat and intense sun of summer seem to be), but also like the summer weather, we'll be seeing smaller amounts of many of these veggies for a while to come.  

So here we go into week 14 of the CSA!  See you all at the drop-off! :-)

What to Expect in the Shares this Week

 

If you pick up at our Alma, Mt. Pleasant, or Midland drop-off, here are the options for your shares!  If you have a half share, you’ll choose one item from each choice category, and if you have a full share, you’ll choose two.  And if there is something you don’t like or can’t eat, you can bring it to the trading station at the end and trade it for something you like better. 

  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Potatoes or carrots
  • Surprise veggie
  • Tomatoes, pie pumpkin, or delicata squash
  • Fennel bulb, basil, cilantro, or microgreens
  • Kale, cooking greens, parsley, or bag of small onions
  • Green pepper, poblano pepper, onion, or garlic

 

If you pick up at our Lansing, Okemos, St. Johns, Midland hospital, or Alma hospital drop-off, or if you have home or workplace delivery, here are your options!  We have three different prepacked shares, and you can let me know which one you want by filling out this quick form by lunchtime the day before your drop-off.  If you have a half share, you can choose one of these options, and if you have a full share, you’ll choose two.


Share A:

  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Carrots
  • Surprise veggie
  • Tomato
  • Basil
  • Bag of small onions
  • Poblano pepper

 

Share B:

  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Potatoes
  • Surprise veggie
  • Pie Pumpkin
  • Cilantro
  • Kale
  • Onion

 

Share C:

  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Carrots
  • Surprise veggie
  • Delicata squash
  • Microgreens
  • Cooking greens mix
  • Green pepper

 

Recipes



It's pumpkin season!  If you're going to be getting a pie pumpkin this week, the first step is to make it into a pumpkin puree.  Here is a fantastic tutorial on how to do that from Inspired Taste, and it also has links to their recipes for Pumpkin Pancakes, Pumpkin Pie, and Pumpkin Spice Latte from Scratch!  They also show how you can make a puree from your winter squashes as well, so definitely check this out!

And if you're wanting to try out a hearty, filling, earthy cooking greens side dish this week, here is my favorite way to cook them!  Start with some olive oil in a pan, and thinly chop a clove or two of garlic, and some onion if that's your jam.  Cook the garlic and onion until they're starting to look a little brown around the edges, and while you're waiting for that to happen, chop up your cooking greens. I generally discard my kale stems, but you can just grab the leaves and strip them off the stems pretty easily with your hands.  You can use the stems of your chard (and they look so pretty in the finished product with their pretty colors, so I definitely recommend it).  Just chop all of your greens up so that they're a size that will fit easily in your mouth once they're cooked, and throw them in your pan with the garlic and onion.  Cook them in the pan for a few minutes until they're wilted but not mushy, add salt or soy sauce to taste, and serve them warm.  Or, if you'd rather cook them in bacon grease than olive oil, they are really good that way with just some salt and pepper at the end.  Play around with what works best for you, and enjoy! :-)