Week 16

A solid stand of oats and peas in our western field.
Every Monday morning Melissa and I do a field walk to scout out what we will harvest for the coming week and to make a to-do list. This time of year, our to-do list becomes a lot more straight-forward. In the spring and summer, it often feels like we're pulled in a thousand different directions as we worry about getting everything in the ground on time, weeding and cultivating at the critical moments, minimizing pest and disease pressure, making sure our plants have adequate access to water and nutrients, and harvesting the bounty that comes when you take care of all those previous challenges. By late September, many of those concerns are no longer important for the current season. Everything (except garlic for next year) has been planted. Weed pressure is dramatically reduced (shorter days and cooler nights mean a significant slow-down in plant growth for vegetables and, thankfully, also for weeds). Most of the crops that remain in the ground are well-established enough to withstand normal pest and drought pressure. We still have the harvest and CSA and store set-up to think about, but the rest of our energy is devoted to tasks that will ensure future successful seasons. Turning under summer crops, seeding cover crop, planning equipment and infrastructure upgrades, designing efficient irrigation and cultivation set-ups for next season and recruiting new members are just a few of the types of things we're working on right now. It's an exciting time of year when we still get to enjoy a diverse harvest while also planning for an even more successful season next year!

In the CSA:
  • Pie Pumpkins - These sugar pumpkins are meant to be eaten, not carved for Halloween! They are incredibly tasty and can be used for pies, soup, or any dish that calls for other types of winter squash like butternut.
  • Cauliflower - We're growing 2 types of cauliflower this year. This week we'll be harvesting the traditional white cauliflower. Some of the heads have slight purple coloration from cold stress, but they taste just as delicious!
  • Radishes - Right now we're harvesting red cherriette radishes.
  • Carrots
  • Red Ace Beets
  • Potatoes - Keuka Gold and Purple Viking
  • Delicata Squash
  • Red Kuri Squash
  • Broccoli
  • Scallions
  • Leeks
  • Cabbage
  • Tat Soi
  • Spinach
  • Red Russian Kale
  • Salanova
  • Lettuce
  • Escarole
  • Kale

CSA Pick-Your-Own:
With 2 frosts in the past week, most of our PYO crops are past their peak. There may be a small amount to scavenge from green beans, husk cherries, hot peppers or tomatillos this week, but this will likely be the last of these crops. Herbs (cilantro, parsley, dill, thyme and oregano) should still be available until we have a hard frost.

In the store:
In addition to everything available in the CSA, we will also have arugula, Happy Rich Broccoli and the last of the Spaghetti squash.

Winter Squash Curry
adapted from How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman

You can use any type of winter squash or pie pumpkin for this recipe. I particularly like to use Red Kuri! You can add other veggies to the curry. My favorites are potatoes, cauliflower, green beans and/or spinach.

2 tablespoons neutral oil (grapeseed, corn or canola)
1 onion, chopped (or you can use leeks!)
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 1/2 lb winter squash, peel and roughly chopped
1 cup coconut milk
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Chopped fresh cilantro leaves for garnish

Put the oil in a pot or deep skillet with a lid over medium-high heat. When hot, add the onion (or leek) and cook for a few minutes until softened. Add the curry and ginger and cook for another 2 minutes.

Add the squash (and potatoes and cauliflower) and coconut milk and sprinkle with salt and pepper. If you're adding potatoes and cauliflower, you'll probably need another half cup of coconut milk or stock to make sure there is an adequate amount of liquid. Bring to a boil, cover, and turn the heat down to low. Cook, stirring once or twice, until the squash is tender (about 20 minutes). If you're adding spinach, add this toward the end of cooking. If the squash is done and there is still a lot of liquid, remove the lid and turn the heat up to medium high until it's thicker than stew. Garnish with cilantro and serve with rice or quinoa.