The snow showers on Monday were dramatic.  Steve waves good bye and looks forward to his winter rest.

This is the final week of our regular CSA season.  We would like to thank each of you for joining our farm this year.  We appreciate your support and encouragement.  We hope you enjoyed the produce and the experience.  It was a good year, from our perspective.  The late spring was frustrating but we found ourselves racing to keep up with the crops by summer.  Moisture was erratic; we got seven inches in June, then almost no rain for two months.  It was a good year for almost everything in the Brassica (cabbage) family, with loads of broccoli and surprisingly early harvests of cauliflower and Romanesco broccoli.  The cabbage are dauntingly big.  Pepper harvests were below average.  We sent most of the peppers in the CSA boxes (instead of to our store customers) so maybe it wasn’t noticeable.  Tomatoes and melons did great!  This was our longest strawberry season ever.  We have no complaints about that.

We were fortunate to gather an enthusiastic work crew this year.  Steve struggled through midseason without an assistant farmer until Larry stepped in with his ability to fix anything.  Our workers have begun moving on to their winter jobs.  Many work at farms with winter greenhouse or hoophouse production.  Others will travel, waitress, or nanny.  One will drive a taxi cab.  A few will work with us through the winter preparing our stored carrots and other crops for sale to the Willy Street and Outpost coops.  Steve and I look forward to some quiet time to play with our kids and plan next season.  Have a great winter!  Beth

2013 Survey.
Tell us your thoughts on our CSA season.  Use the link in this week’s email.  We are particularly interested in members’ vegetable preferences, and whether the Local Thyme menus were useful.  Here is your chance to tell us how to improve your CSA deliveries.  We will carefully read through your comments this winter, and will incorporate your feedback as we plan next season.

2014 Registration.
We are preparing to open 2014 CSA registrations.  Watch for an email from us soon.  There will be an opportunity to register early at our 2013 rates.  We will open registration for new members after December 1.

Final Details.
– Please make sure that everyone who participates in your CSA share knows the CSA has finished.
– Please return all empty CSA boxes this week. It’s best to unpack your box this week, and leave it behind.  It’s OK to leave empty boxes at your site during the next two weeks.
– Our Local Thyme subscription is good for an entire year, so you have access to their website and recipes until spring. Use it this winter!

Food Safety Modernization Act Comments are due November 15.
See last week’s post for more info.  Thanks to those of you who already submitted your comments,

Veggie List and Veggie Notes (week #26, green EOW)

The crew gathered Brussels sprout stalks during the snow on Monday.  Alex clips stalks while Carla, Clint, Michael, Bri and Steve load them on the wagon.  We brought them back to the buildings so everyone could work inside the warm barn while snapping individual sprouts from the stalks.

Green cabbage, 1 large
Sweet potatoes (unwashed), about 2 lb
Brussels sprouts, 1 lb
Butternut squash
Beets, 2 lb
Celeriac, 1 root
Carrots, 2 lb
Onions, about 2

Sweet potatoes – As I explained last week, we dry-brushed the soil off the sweet potatoes.  It is too risky to wash them this time of year without a warm place to dry them.  Store your sweet potatoes at room temperature.
Butternut squash – Similarly, we dry-brushed the butternuts, but they will need more thorough washing.
Brussels sprouts – If you are a new CSA member, please approach Brussels sprouts with an open mind.  Many of us grew up eating awful, overcooked Brussels sprouts.  These Brussels sprouts are completely different.  Here is how we cook Brussels sprouts: Wash the sprouts and trim the cut ends. Cut an X in the stem end of large sprouts.  Cut a single slit in small or medium sprouts.  This does two things. It helps the Brussels sprouts cook evenly, plus it allows them to soak up any marinade or dressing.  Place in a pot with one inch of water in the bottom and steam until tender, 7 to 10 minutes.  If the sprouts are uneven in size, then set aside the smallest ones and add to the pot after the larger ones have cooked for a few minutes.  Don’t overcook them!  You can also oven-roast Brussels sprouts.  Here are a few dressing ideas for cooked sprouts:
– Sherry vinegar/olive oil/Dijon mustard/garlic/white wine/salt and pepper
– Balsamic vinegar/olive oil/garlic/salt and pepper
– Lemon juice and zest/melted brown butter/poppy seeds/white wine/garlic/salt


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