Or ‘Thoughts on Autumn, Fall CSA, End of Season Potluck, with Cabbage & Eggplant Recipes’
Bryan’s last day
Somehow I find the changing of seasons simultaneously invigorating and relaxing. How can it be both? It seems like the tasks turn a little more inward this time of year. There’s less planting and casting the net forward and more gathering, harvesting and reaping the rewards of all the work earlier in the season. Not that it’s less work, it’s just different work – less hopefulness and more satisfaction.
One of the interns, Bryan, has left to start school – he’s going to be learning about heritage masonry. Next week Martha’s nephew Jesse will be starting to work with us for a few months.
There’s a lot of harvesting and preserving going on – we’re making sure that we’re stocked for winter, as well as starting to stock pile and prepare vegetables for the Fall CSA (see below there’s still room!). Here’s a little snapshot of what our basement looks like right now – keeping in mind that there are a lot of hands at work here! We have done 80 quarts of tomatoes and sauce, 20 or so canned peaches and pears, numerous chutneys and salsas, as well as sweet pickles and rhubarb, blueberry, and black currant juices. It’s such a treat to pull out a little taste of August in the middle of the winter.
Onion harvest! Heidi, Ellen & Kelsey
We brought in all of the onions a few weeks ago and now we are starting to bring in all the potatoes. We use the horses and the potato digger to dig the potatoes and then gather them by hand into bags to bring up to the house before washing them in the root washer. This year we have a row of potatoes that we are testing as part of the Bauta Seed Initiative. They help to save and develop varieties of vegetables specifically geared toward organic production. There are a few plants that have done really well and been resistant to leaf hoppers, which is great. They will use the information from our farm and others to narrow down and find the best varieties of potatoes for organic growers.
There are still a lot of raspberries out there to pick!
You have probably noticed the big blue tarp on the bunkhouse the past few months – now that the field and garden work is starting to ease up, the renovation project is going to begin! The plaster cracked and moisture got into the straw bales, so we’re doing a wall removal and will replace the walls with studs and insulation. Ken and Martha will also be getting their own kitchen. They’re going to retire in style :). You should see some progress in the next few months!
Fall CSA – $240 – only 25 spots left – don’t miss out!
The Fall garden is a short and sweet one – there are only 4 pickups (every other Saturday 11am-3pm, October 15, October 29, November 12 and November 26), but there’s a ton of action! Fall is a bountiful time – expect plenty of salad greens, leafy cooking greens, root crops such as onions, carrots, beets, turnips, celery root, winter radish, parsnips, potatoes and sweet potatoes, as well as popcorn, winter squash, cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli and herbs.
Many of the crops in the fall keep well in your cupboard, covered porch, or fridge – what you will receive may last you into the middle of December!
End of the Season Potluck – Saturday, September 24th 2-6pm. There will be wagon rides, apple cider, a shared meal (bring a dish to share as well as utensils and cups!), obstacle course and a musical guest! Come celebrate fall with us.
Thai Crunch Salad
From Suzanne Steed (of Steed & Company Lavender)
¼ C peanut butter
2 Tbsp rice vinegar
2 Tbsp lime juice
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp honey
2 ½ Tbsp sugar
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 inch knob ginger, peeled
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
2 Tbsp chopped cilantro
Throw everything but the cilantro in the blender and give a good blitz for 30 seconds or so. Add the cilantro and give it another pulse or two. Set aside.
4 C napa cabbage (or savoy, or a mix of red and green)
1 C grated carrot
1 sweet pepper, thinly sliced
1 C edamame – optional – blanch them quickly from frozen and cool
2 med green onions or thinly sliced sweet onion
½ C chopped cilantro
1 C cucumber, seeds removed and thinly sliced
Toss the vegetables together, then add half the dressing and toss again.
Add more dressing to taste. Serve immediately.
Brinjal Pickle Relish
This is what I’m doing with eggplant this year – putting it into jars to bring out in February and eat with cheese! Or rice. Or steamed veg. I made one batch and now I’m itching to make another because it’s so delicious.
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 eggplant, ¼ inch cubes
3 hot banana peppers, seeded and finely chopped (or hotter peppers if you’re fiery)
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
¾ C white or cider vinegar
1 Tbsp whole fenugreek
1 tsp ground coriander
½ tsp dry mustard
¼ tsp each turmeric and salt
½ C brown sugar
Heat oil over medium heat in large skillet. Add eggplant, sprinkle with a large pinch of salt and saute gently about 10 minutes. Don’t worry if the eggplant sucks up all the oil – it will release it again in a few minutes. Stir in the chile peppers and garlic, cook for 3 minutes more.
Stir in everything else except the brown sugar. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and boil gently for about 10 minutes. Add sugar and cook for 2 minutes.
If you’re into canning, then go ahead and spoon the mixture into hot, sterilized jars and give it a water bath – 15 minutes for 1 cup (1/2 pints) and 20 minutes for 2 cup (pint) jars.
If you’re not into canning, then throw it into squeaky clean jar and put it in the fridge. It’ll keep for a couple of weeks and you’ll find yourself putting it in grilled cheese, on top your quinoa bowl and in burritos. Or with your eggs in the morning. It’s so good!
Take care and see you soon.