The end of this week marks the beginning of fall, and the crop selection this week reflects that: carrots, cabbage, spinach and potatoes are making a return, while summer crops like tomatoes and zucchini are on their way out. (Tuesday’s predicted rains will likely finish off the plants, which were already on the decline after the 3 inches of rain we received last week!) One of the bonuses of fall is that each week’s to-do list steadily gets smaller. Unfortunately, the crew size also gets smaller, so for the first several weeks in September it still feels like we are moving at the same frenetic pace of summer! We are lucky that our full-season crew members happen to be so great - they even came in Monday afternoon (normally their day off) to help us bring in a few more crates of squash before Tuesday’s rain! Our fabulous field crew has also been helping out with coverage in the store this fall. It’s always really fun for us to be able to catch up with all the members and customers we have missed all summer, but of course the flip side is that we then have fewer people in the field to weed those last beds of beets and carrots, harvest the last bins of squash, or clean out plastic mulch and landscape fabric so that we can seed cover crops!
Still, in spite of the challenges to get everything done, fall is our favorite time of year. This week, there are a couple of great ways to celebrate the season. On Sunday, September 23rd, the annual Stone Soup Dinner is being held at Verrill Farm. You can sample the season’s bounty from Concord’s farms, all prepared by Concord’s chefs. Proceeds from the event go toward supporting Concord’s farmers through grants, publicity and a farmland acquisition fund. We were very lucky to receive a grant from Stone Soup at a really crucial time for the business several years ago, which we used toward our first cultivation equipment purchase - our beloved basket weeder! Tickets for the event are $40 and are available at our farm stand, as well as Marshall Farm, Hutchins Farm and Verrill Farm.
Also available this week at our farm stand are Concord farm passports! If you get your passport stamped at six or more of Concord’s farm stands by this Sunday’s Stone Soup Dinner, you can get a chance to win $50 worth of Concord Farm Bucks.
This week in the CSA:
Carrots - our first 2 carrot planting struggled to germinate in the summer heat, and were then washed out by several downpours. The later plantings are finally ready and they look great!
Cabbage - Tendersweet, which is a green cabbage that has - you guessed it - both tender texture and sweet (for a cabbage) flavor!
Spinach - spinach is back this week!
Buttercup squash - similar texture to Red Kuri, and like Red Kuri, the skin is also edible. Any easy way to prepare it is to cut in half, scoop out the seeds, and slice into 1/2” thick wedges to roast on a baking sheet with olive oil. Transitional.
Potatoes - We are now harvesting King Harry, which is a white potato with some amazing insect repelling qualities. It is cross-bred with a wild potato to produce leaves with sticky hairs that deter potato beetles and leafhoppers! It’s our first year growing this variety and I think we will be growing more of it next year! Transitional.
Onions - Transitional.
Tomatoes - probably the last week in the CSA.
Red Kuri squash - Transitional.
Spaghetti squash - Transitional.
Reminder: in the event of lightning storms, we close PYO fields for the safety of members. If we need to close PYO fields on Tuesday due to the weather, we will likely offer alternative picking hours on Wednesday.
Herbs - cilantro, basil, thyme, oregano.
As of now cherry tomatoes are still alive, but we’ll see whether they last through the week, especially after Tuesday’s storm.
In the farm store:
We will have most of the veggies listed in the CSA available, as well as corn from Verrill, honey from Double B honey (produced by bees right here on the property!), and eggs from Pete and Jen's Backyard Birds. We are hoping to have raspberries again from Silferleaf Farm, but with the heavy rain forecast, it doesn’t look promising. We will still have their delicious raspberry jam and raspberry infused vinegar, which is fantastic on salads! Also, don’t forget to grab a farm passport and get it stamped while you are here!
Flowers in bloom right now include zinnias, amaranth, orlaya, Sweet Annie, bachelors button, celosia, statice, verbena, cosmos, gomphrena, ammi, torch, and more.
Kale, Cabbage & Carrot Salad With Creamy Caper Dressing
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
¼ cup grapeseed oil
¼ cup olive oil
2 tablespoons capers, rinsed and chopped
1 tablespoon caper pickling liquid
1 large clove garlic, smashed to a paste
½ tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Salt, to taste
2 tablespoons snipped chives (optional)
¼ head of cabbage, cored and thinly sliced
1½ large carrots, peeled and thinly sliced into bite-size pieces
1 bunch kale, stems removed, leaves thinly sliced or torn into bite-size pieces
½ yellow onion, peeled and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons chopped mixed herbs, such as parsley, basil, chives or dill (optional)
In medium bowl, whisk egg yolk with mustard. While whisking constantly, slowly dribble in oils. Continue whisking until oil is fully incorporated and mixture is thick and pale in color. Whisk in capers, pickling liquid, garlic and lemon juice. Season with salt to taste and snipped chives, if using. In a large bowl, combine all vegetables and herbs, if using. Add dressing and toss, using both hands to mix until dressing coats all ingredients. Allow salad to marinate until vegetables soften, at least 10 minutes.