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Week 13 Newsletter

September 16, 2011

In your box:

  • Beans or eggplant or zucchini
  • Beets
  • Celery
  • Cucumbers
  • Dill
  • Green tomatoes
  • Head lettuce
  • Hot pepper
  • Onion
  • Sweet Pepper

It’s always bittersweet to have the first fall’s frost of the season, ending the growing season for so many crops and ushering in my favorite season.  We’ve put so much work into the crops, and you’ve put so much creativity into eating beans and cucumbers every week, and one morning it’s all over.  We farmers love to have a frost around October 1.  This allows us to stop picking the many crops that can’t handle the cold and focus on the bounty of fall and starting turning the fields under for next year. Having a frost this early in the year, however, is like waking up on Thanksgiving and deciding you’ll be celebrating Christmas, instead.  At least, I think that’s a good analogy.

Regardless of the imagery, our frost on the morning of September 15th has come two weeks earlier than our first frosts of the past two years, and ties our personal experience for earliest frost with 2007, when we were interns in Wisconsin.  We got as cold as 29 degrees here at the farm that morning, and as a result all of our basil, beans, cucumbers, eggplant, melons, peppers, tomatoes, and zucchini have traveled up to that great garden in the sky.  Thankfully, we knew the freeze was coming. I tried to cover the basil to help keep the frost off, but it got so cold that it froze anyway. We cleared the field of eggplant, peppers, cucumbers, zucchini, and tomatoes.  Many of these are below the standard size at which we would harvest them, but we decided a small eggplant is better than a dead one, frozen and shriveled on the carcass of what was once a living plant.  We also took in enough sweet and hot peppers, which keep well, to supply one more round next week.  For the rest, however, we’ll have to wait for next year.

For this farmer, at least, 2011 will be known as the year of which you do not speak its name.  After a miserably cold and wet spring and a hot and humid summer, we were hoping that at least the frost would hold off and give us a few weeks extra to savor the fruits of this strange season.  We hope you’ll bear with us if the next few weeks are a little light.  We do still have many crops that have survived the cold and will continue to produce for the next few weeks.  We look forward to the return of salad mix, spinach, arugula, and mizuna in the next couple weeks, along with our fall planting of broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower, among others.

We’re still not certain on our end date.  Unfortunately, I don’t see any way of completing my goal of 18 weeks for this year.  I think 17 boxes is still a reasonable goal, which would take us to October 14th (Fridays) or 18th (Tuesdays). 

This week we’re offering Green Tomatoes in honor of Jeremy’s favorite movie, Fried Green Tomatoes.  Actually, tomatoes are no good at all once they freeze, so we opted to pick them pre-ripe rather than let them all die.  Green tomatoes can either be ripened by keeping them in the dark at room temperature until they change color, or cooked as they are.  Try grilling them or use the recipe included below.

Don’t forget: our fall Harvest Festival will be Saturday the 24th, from 4pm-dark.  Join us for games, fellowship, and a great day in the country.  We will be having a potluck around 6pm, so bring tableware and a dish to pass.  Also, by popular demand, we will have our third annual veggie sculpture contest!  One fun challenge is to try to make a sculpture that represents what you think Jeremy, our intern, looks like.  Or, you can just stick a bunch of veggies together and see what you get.  It should be noted that, following the “Stench-ue of Liberty” statue created last year, we are instituting a rule that you must either take your creation home or walk it over to the compost pile yourself!  Also, we will be making a craft of some kind.  Our gathering has been a highlight of past years, and we hope you and your family can make it out!

17250 County Road 122 / New Germany  /  952-353-1762

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Will Healy permalink
    September 16, 2011 11:52 pm

    Thanks, Red. A well pronounced benediction on a year with much to teach (and, alas, lament). Grateful for the privilege of partnering with F&FF in both the joy and the challenges of healthy food production. Looking forward to the Fall Festival!

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