2012 CSA week 24November 14, 2012
2012 CSA week 24 November 14th
In The Box
1 lb Carrots
1 lb Parsnips
1 lb Fingerling Potatoes
2 Delicata Squash
1 bunch Baby Fennel
1 bunch Russian Kale
1 bunch Broccoli (Hawthorne only)
1 bunch Beets (Fremont and Sellwood only)
1 lb Cauliflower (Multnomah, York only)
1 head Savoy Cabbage (PAE, Green MicroGym, Catholic Charities only)
For us, the end of the CSA season is much like the beginning in a lot of ways. Cold, wet and hoping that the fields will yield enough crop to fill all the boxes. With a little juggling we made it work and the penultimate box of the season brings with it mixed emotions. It feels for the most part like it was a successful CSA season. I always feel that we can do better, more diversity, more volume, higher quality. It’s my nature, it’s what drives me as a farmer. To learn from and adapt to every season, every year and try to improve for the next. The challenges as varied as the successes. It is the inherent beauty of what I do that I will be constantly learning until I keel over in the field and they plow me under. I take the CSA more personally than the restaurant side of the business. Knowing that we are feeding families carries with it a weight unlike that of supplying chefs. Standing in the packing shed as the boxes whiz passed, I see each one with a critical eye, a piece of myself, my farm going out into the world to be appreciated, eaten (judged?? I can’t help it.)
The city of Portland has approximately 60 CSA farms but is still below the national average for per capita memberships. Learning that this passed weekend filled me with even more appreciation for you, our members for supporting us in our endeavors. With such a wealth of options, a farmers market in every neighborhood, health food stores on every other corner, the fact that you chose to join our CSA this season is both humbling and inspiring. We can only hope that you found it a worthwhile experience.
Now let’s talk aphids……..The mild fall, while pleasant for those of us working in the fields is also ideal conditions for the little grey bugs. We do our best to not pack anything obviously housing them, but we will always miss a few. If you happen to find them on or in any of your crops, don’t despair. (A muffled eek is sufficient) Simply soaking the crop in water with a little salt and vinegar should do the trick or if your like me, just cook ’em and enjoy the free protein (old farmhand humor.)
With Thanksgiving right around the corner, our house is already abuzz with talk of the menu for the big day. The most glorious of all the foodie holidays, we often go overboard and indulge until the buttons pop. With that in mind I thought I’d try to give you a heads up for next weeks box to try to help with your meal planning. Understand that this is relatively speculative.
Potatoes – 1 1/2 to 2 lbs of Yellow Finn, a good masher or roaster.
1 Brussels Sprouts on the stalk – should yield at least a pound of prepped sprouts
A good amount of Winter Squash
Carrots – 1lb
Some sort of braising green – Kale, Radicchio, Frisee or a mix of them all
Parsnips – 1lb
Celeriac 2 or 3 bulbs
For those of you with travel plans that will prevent you from picking up next weeks box, please let me know. If enough people are interested we will look at a delivery the following week to ensure you get your last box. Alternately, we will happily donate your box to the local food bank to help feed those who should get to enjoy quality food this Thanksgiving despite any hardship.
This is also the time of year when I try to quell my fragile ego and ask for your honest feedback about the season. Good or bad, we’d love to hear your thoughts. I’m going to try to find the time over the next few weeks to tally the contents of the boxes over the season and I’ll be sending out that data once I have it all together (Yay for Excel spreadsheets for they are a farmer’s friend.)
Thank You and Enjoy,
Dave, Lori and the crew
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