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September 2, 2018

This Week's Share

Mid week last week someone hit the switch on the tomatoes and they really started to slow. We will continue to see them slow to a trickle by the frost. The good news is we are now in peek colored pepper! Loads of beautiful colors at every pick. Peppers along with tomatoes are one of the few things I put up for the winter. Its so easy, just slice them up and put them in a freezer bag and you can use them all winter long in your cooking. If you would like to buy extras this week, we will have them at our wholesale price of $3/lb. If you want a quantity, please let me know the poundage and color (yellow, red or a mix) by Monday night. Again, Terra Firma shareholders, I can send an extra box for you.

Also check out the awesome siracha recipe of the week! If you would like to give it a try, we have tons of hots too. To order, let me know if you would like a medium heat mix (serranos, anaheim, hot wax and jalapeno), a medium hot mix (medium mix with some super hots thrown in), or a super hot mix (some mediums with many super hots (habanero and ghosts). Hot peppers are $4/lb. Just a reminder when cooking with hot peppers, you may want to wear gloves especially with those super hots and don't touch your face, nose, or any other sensitive areas after handling. Keep those super hots away from children too!

The melons will make way for the first of the winter squash, spaghetti squash! We have a bountiful harvest of these guys this year. These squash do not require any curing time and can be eaten right away out of the field. When baked, their flesh can be scraped out of the skin in strands reminiscent of spaghetti. They can be served savory (with sauce or a vegetable saute on top) or sweet with butter and maple syrup. And hopefully by the end of the week, it'll be cool enough we won't mind turning on the oven to bake it.

We will soon enter a bit of a lettuce gap but the great news is arugula is on its way back in the share some time soon. Also, there are tiny little broccoli heads starting to form in the field, so it won't be long now!

Recipe of the Week: 

Fermented hot sauce in the style of Siracha

Ingredients: 

1 lb hot peppers, any variety, stems removed, roughly chopped. For less heat,
remove seeds and ribs.
2 to 5 cloves garlic, according to taste, peeled, scant tablespoon sea salt (or about 2% of the weight of the combined peppers and garlic)
a splash of sauerkraut brine or other brine from a naturally lacto-fermented product will speed up the fermentation process but is not strictly necessary

Directions: 

Place all the ingredients in a mason jar and blend with an immersion blender, being extremely careful to avoid fumes and splatter. (If you don’t have an immersion blender you can do it in a blender or food processor, then transfer to a mason jar.) Cover the jar with a clean cloth or an air lock cap (not an airtight cap – the fermentation will release gasses that need to escape) and leave out of direct sun at room temperature until it has fermented to your liking, which, for me, was 4 days. After the first day, stir it once or twice a day. Transfer to a clean lidded glass jar, and store in the refrigerator. It should keep several months. The longer it is stored, the less heat it will pack.

Credit: 
from Kristen Kimball at Essex Farm

The beginning of the end

Overflowing truckloads of spaghetti squash coming your way!
Overflowing truckloads of spaghetti squash coming your way!

Dear Friends,

 

Things were starting to cool down, we felt that familiar fall feeling, and than BAM. Heat wave. Despite the hot and humid weather things are turning here on the farm. There are school buses on the road in the morning. The melons have wound down and the tomatoes are slowing fast. In some ways you could say Labor Day is the beginning of the end for us. But it’s a really long and drawn out ending. While the summer might be ending, the CSA still has miles to go. We’re still around 10 weeks out from the end of the share. Really just over half way though the season.

 

While we’re sad to see the melons go, I think we can all agree it’s time to move on. The melons this year were pretty great, abundant and sweet. We were a bit worried with all the rain but they really pulled through. The melons might be done but the bulk bins and fork lift won’t sit idle for long though, the winter squash is ready to come out of the field. We pulled the Spaghetti Squash out this past week and will be moving into the rest of the crop this coming week. Unlike the melons, which we harvest twice a week, the winter squash is one and done. One (hopefully) huge harvest and that’s it. It makes for a big, hot day but we get to enjoy the rewards for the rest of the winter.

 

This is a really an exciting time of year for us. We are finishing up with fields and are starting to seed cover crops. We also switch from grasshopper mode focusing on our daily and immediate needs and switch to ant mode, packing away food for the upcoming winter. The bulk harvests are one of my favorite parts of the farm season. I love storage crops. The sheer abundance of some of the harvests, thousands of pounds of a crop. Putting the work in that will allow us to eat potatoes, carrots and squash all winter long. There isn’t as much to plant, there isn’t as much to weed. We will spend an entire week digging sweet potatoes and probably just as long if not longer in the potatoes. There is something that seems so quintessentially New England about putting crops up before the winter.  We’re just at the start of the season and we hope to stay ahead of the frosts and the frenzied race against time.

 

Your farmers,

 

Anthony, Chris, Erica, Hannah, Holly, Kerry, Larry and Max

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