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Week 16, 2010

October 1, 2010

  • Beets
  • Broccoli
  • Kohlrabi
  • Leeks
  • Lettuce
  • Parsley
  • Potatoes, Kennebec
  • Tat Soi
  • Sweet pepper
  • Rutabaga

Thanks so much to everyone that made it out to the farm last Saturday for our fall festival! We had a great turnout, incredible weather, and (unlike last year) no snow. It was great to see so many members and guests and to share our farm with everyone. The winner this year’s Golden Cucumber Award for Excellence in Volunteerism was Liz Healy. Liz has been a great help around the farm all season, exhibiting all of the agility and bizarre enthusiasm that she demonstrated in her victory lap after winning the award. If you couldn’t make it and still want to see the farm (or if you can’t get enough and want to come back), we will be closing the season by planting garlic, tentatively scheduled for Saturday October 16th. Please let me know if you are interested, as this is very weather-dependent.

Thanks also to our entries for our veggie sculpture contest. Thanks to everyone but Mary Verbick, that is, who entered a fennel creature and somehow “accidentally” forgot her fennel (my bitter enemy) here at the farm. Our prizes were our largest potatoes of the season, including “Big Chief,” a Red Pontiac Potato that tipped the scales at 1 lb,1 ½ oz. The next day, however, I unearthed a Purple Viking that took the prize for 2010’s largest potato: 1 lb. 2 oz. I sent that one on to Simon & Soren Prescott last Tuesday as a thank you for removing their stinky, unearthly creation from our porch.

The Lettuce this week is quite small, but I have hundreds of heads in the field that are stubbornly refusing to grow. They will die off this winter, so I wanted to send them on and add a little green to the box this week. Other farmers have had trouble with non-growing greens this fall, and the culprit seems to be the cloudy weather we’ve had for much of September. Without sufficient sun, the seedlings have germinated well but never reached their usual size.

This week we welcome Leeks, which are a close relative of garlic and onions (if you’ve ever had “Elephant Garlic,” it’s actually a leek—not garlic). These are a favorite of mine, standing in for the ubiquitous onion and adding a little more character to many dishes. The most desirable part of the leek is the whitish stem, although the greener stem higher up should also be used. The leaves tend to be a little rubbery and are not often used. Leeks catch a lot of mud and dirt, so they should be washed well before using.

Pity the poor Rutabaga. Millions of children are raised to hate and fear this humble root veggie without having ever tried it. We have come to love it around here, with its distinct flavor a welcome complement to soups, potato dishes, and veggie bakes. The greens are also edible and extremely healthy. Use them (and the Kohlrabi greens) as with any cooking greens. Rutabaga scan be kept on the kitchen counter for a week (remove and refrigerate the greens first) or refrigerated for up to one month.

All of a sudden, we are at the end of the season. Next week will be our last delivery, and we will include a survey for your feedback both in your box and via e-mail.

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