Week 17 – the second to last CSA News of the Year!

This is the week where this song is constantly in our heads as we scurry about trying to save food from the formidable forces of nature and get it safely delivered to you all:

The Fall has proven to be as unforgiving as the Spring was for us – we had a frost last Friday night, and a freeze this Friday night, which killed off all the hot weather crops in the field.

We ordered a giant 11′ wide roll of row cover and saved the salad row from the icy grip of death, which was great … but now there are deer that have learned that they are quite capable of leaping over our electric fence, and they are huge fans of the salad buffet we salvaged, as well as the fall carrot and beet’s tops, the kohlrabi, etc. Once in a while they graze on the weeds too, which is polite of them at least.

deer print and munched beet tops
deer print and munched beet tops

And they’re not the only hungry mammals making munchmeat out of our crops – an invasion of pocket gophers has pushed into the carrot and salad rows, as well as the greenhouses.  They aren’t even bothering to fill their holes in, so that they can run back and forth and gorge to their fat little hearts’ content.

gopher mayhem in the carrot row
gopher mayhem in the carrot row

Hell, even the chickens have decided to start invading the field, and only grudgingly scatter back when threatened with stern admonitions.

So, we have plenty of battles to choose from whenever the spirit to fight takes hold. My fighting spirit is on the rebound now, thanks to the wonders of strong antibiotics and the highest recommended dosage schedule of ibuprofen. My advice is to not simply ignore a cracked wisdom tooth filling until it starts hurting. Do you want pain? Because that’s how you get pain. As well as an inability to either open or close your jaw. Fortunately, it’s a necessary and legitimate farm task to hang out with Otis and keep him happy, which was quite both doable and therapeutic even with a swollen throbbing half of a head.

All the above kinda sounds grim maybe, but life on the farm doesn’t feel that way at all. We have good company, beautiful surroundings, a fascinating tiny human, and the days are never boring. I wouldn’t want anything else.

Inside Box 17

Buttercup winter squash – These are the preferred squash for us and the field rodents.
Red mizuna – In the spirit of CSA overabundance we provide you a large helping red mizuna!  It has aggressively reseeded and is now drowning out some of our other plants, so we must devour it for any chance, no matter how small, of beets. Fresh, it is quite peppery, but cooking will mellow it out. Also consider using it like an herb, like parsley in tabouli, or creating a unique Asian inspired pesto, or tossing it with potatoes.
Choy – a good accompaniment to the mizuna.
Brussels sprouts – Frost is great for the cole crops. It makes them sweeter. Most people love these roasted up with garlic and bacon but there is plenty of inspiration out there including eating them raw!
Carrots
Green onions
Radishes
Sweet Peppers
Cilantro

 

Habanero Gold pepper jelly, setting up
Habanero Gold pepper jelly, setting up

 

squash being snuggled in away from the freezing night
squash being snuggled in away from the freezing night

 

this mushroom growing in the ground cherries looks just like a husked one from above
this mushroom growing in the ground cherries looks just like a husked one from above

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