Every year we approach the first winter CSA pack and harvest with a mixture of trepidation and excitement. Running the winter CSA is our favorite thing to do on the farm. As our niche, we can really customize the program and be creative in putting together a box of food that is delicious and nourishing. While we can plan, predict, estimate and map the CSA program every year, nature is unpredictable and often times, circumstances beyond our control arise—freezing temperatures, broken equipment, crop failures. If you look at the history of our winter CSA on the blog, you’ll find that we have faced various challenges over the years. As we go into our fourth year of providing food to families during the winter, I think we are getting better at it, and becoming better equipped with tools and experience to surmount any challenges we face.
Anyway, today we deliver over 2,000 lbs – that’s 1 ton – of fresh produce to 94 families in the Rogue Valley. We think that is quite an accomplishment. The delivery truck is packed from top to bottom and as Josh makes the rounds today and drops off all this food, I know he is driving around with a big smile on his face and a feeling of fulfillment, satisfaction and joy knowing that all of the families who subscribe to the CSA will be eating delicious and nourishing, organic vegetables for the next two weeks. It makes him happy. Plus, he’s got our two-year-old daughter with him today and that makes him even more happy – to share this experience with his children!
This week is a big week for us — a new hoophouse will be delivered by OBC today, the cost of which is covered by an NRCS program out of the Farm Bill, cooler expansion is underway AND best of all, we drive to Antelope, Oregon tomorrow to pick up our new farm dog! We are bringing home an 8-week old English Shepherd pup. We are so excited to have a new dog after losing our dog in September of this year. And the English Shepherd breed has been bred to be a part of a small, diversified farm as a helper and working dog. Since our farm dog passed in September, the animals have been creeping in on the farm – turkeys, squirrels, deer. And while we love wild animals, they also break into the greenhouses and hoophouses and threaten our tender greens, so we need a dog who can let them know the farm boundaries. So, expansion, building and puppy training are all in the plans for the next two weeks. Lots to do!
Enjoy the produce this week and please let us know if you have any questions, concerns or happy stories around food you want to share. We love that kind of stuff!
In Your Boxes:
- 4# Carrots
- 3# Yellow Storage Onions
- 1/2# Salad Mix – A note on the lettuces: We are trialing a whole bunch of new lettuce varieties this winter as we are searching for those hardy varieties that can make it through the cold temperatures. Some of the lettuces have a speckling – this is okay! It is part of the variety and not a rotten leaf!
- 4# Yellow Potatoes – We had an amazing potato yield and harvest this year. The potatoes are big and beautiful. Enjoy! (This has to do with the fact that we grew the potatoes in new soil – potatoes love that!). Saturday is the first day of Hanukkah – I’ve included a recipe for Potato Latkes! See below.
- 1# Braising Mix – Yum! We’ve been eating this all week. A mixture of kales and collards. I have it on top of everything!
- 1 Napa Cabbage
- 1 Bag of Tom Thumb’s Popcorn — Okay, this is so easy to deal with! I promise. Just take it off the cob with your fingers (a good job for kids!) and pop it up in a pan. I’ve been experimenting a lot with how to get the best pop out of this popcorn. I highly recommend generous amounts of coconut oil as your fat to pop in. I sometimes add a little olive oil with the coconut oil, but because coconut oil is a stable fat/oil and because it is so good for you, I pop our corn in that. Make sure you let the corn start to pop before you shake the pan. The kernels are smaller than what you are used to, but the flavor is outrageous! You can also try it in an air popper. This is an heirloom variety of popcorn and you should be able to get a few batches out of what we’ve given you today.
- 1 Kabocha Winter Squash
- 1 Bu Rainbow Chard
- 3 heads garlic
- 1# Beets
RECIPES for your first CSA Box: RECIPES.DEC6.2012
Have a great two weeks,
Melissa, Josh, Everett & Ava