This week and next are the two most stressful of the entire season for Titia farmer. I find myself in that ‘perfect storm’ type of position. First there’s the famous ‘three goose day’ last Sunday that correctly foretold of another brush with frost–we escaped again with minimal damage, but the time of bringing in tomatoes and squash is definitely here–a very big job, and I have no idea how to squish it in to an already hectic schedule. Second there are the pigs–half left on Monday and I have been pressed into service by an overworked butcher to help wrap the meat. The second half goes out on the day after Thanksgiving and by then I have to have all orders organized, probably the first batch will have to be delivered sometime in the craziness of the Thanksgiving week—that being the week that everybody’s thoughts turn to food and lots of it. Add in the usual Thanksgiving feast en famille and all I can hope for is to get to the other side of this in one piece!
In the meantime the garden is doing just fine. With the rain they received, plants are doing what they can. But keep in mind that Sept. 21 has about as much daylight as March 21(which is to say not very much sun time). Warmth is also critical because plants don’t really photosynthesize much below 10 degrees C. But so far, so good.The low temperatures have been no worse than about 3-4 degrees C. and we can withstand that nicely.
So on to your boxes: the delicata squash is the first winter squash that ripens. I will be picking buttercup squash for your Thanksgiving boxes, but neither the delicata nor buttercup has been “cured”, which means sitting, post-harvest, in a cozy warm place. This sweetens the flesh; the longer they stay cozy (within reason) the more deliciously ripe they become; so squash saved actually gets better for a number of months, as long as it isn’t starting to rot. In light of three goose day, I figured I better give you zucchini once more while we still could. The small boxes actually have one scallopini suitable for stuffing and BBQing or baking plus one zucchini. Large boxes get another allotment of beans. All get kale, the firmer curly winter type. This makes great kale chips: cut into large chip size pieces, drizzle with olive oil, lemon juice and salt to taste and rub in slightly. Then dry in oven at low temperature till they are dry and crispy, or else try the speed method of roasting for about 8 minutes at 400 and watch they don’t burn. Carrots are also in boxes, these are the fresh eating kind–best used raw–and onions for next week’s stuffing or whatever: these keep if left at room temp. indefinitely. Top it all off with fall salad greens (check out that red cabbage!) and you’re all set to enjoy great food all week.
That’s it for now,