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Week 10 Newsletter

August 29, 2013

In your box:

  • Beans or ground cherries
  • Beets
  • Cucumber
  • Head lettuce
  • Summer Squash
  • Sweet corn
  • Sweet onion
  • Sweet pepper
  • Tomatoes

Most people have thermometers and weather forecasts to help them gauge the weather.  We have a lazy cat and a sticky door.  Our dear cat Nelson is eternally cold, spending the whole of the winter sleeping on our radiators and most of the summer sleeping deep under the covers of our bed.  But when he finally makes the transition to sleeping on top of the sheets, we know it’s going to be hot.  Needless to say, he’s been spending a lot of time on top of our bed this past week. 

Our squeaky porch door is the best hygrometer around.  If it opens freely, the humidity is at a comfortable level.  When it sticks and takes a little convincing to open, it’s humid outside (I’m guessing the frame swells, clamping on to the door).  This week, it’s been more of a wall than a door.

I want to make it clear that when I asked for a little bit of heat a few weeks ago, I was not in any way requesting this ten-day stretch of misery that has left this poor farmer little more than a puddle in the field.  I’ve been able to do most of the harvest work in the morning and evening, allowing for a welcome siesta in the afternoon. But, when the thermometer doesn’t dip below 80 degrees at night, there’s not much relief at any time of the day.

Our 5th Annual Fall Festival is fast upon us, even if the weather in no way resembles fall.  We hope you can join us on Saturday, September 28th for an evening at the farm.  This is always a highlight of the year for us, and we hope you can make it out.  It’s a chance to see your farm and the produce hard at work, meet us and other CSA members, and enjoy what is always a perfect day in the country.  We will kick things off at 4pm with yard games and farm tours.  At 5:30 or so we will have a potluck dinner, and we’ll end the night with a campfire and S’Mores consisting of absolutely no farm produce at all.  Friends and family are welcome.  We are located 30 minutes west of Chaska and Excelsior, 45-60 minutes from the Twin Cities: 17250 County Road 122 / New Germany, MN 55367.

The CSA will continue after the Fall Festival, and we are still hoping for seven more weeks after this box.  The end date will depend on our first frost and the weather in September and October, but for now expect boxes for several more weeks.

While the heat wave has been a great blessing to our summer squash and tomatoes, it has been decidedly cruel to our fall raspberry harvest. Between the heat and drought, we have been picking only handfuls of crusty berries.  Fall raspberries are larger and juicier than their July cousins, and it’s frustrating to see the heat taking a toll on them.  Also, the beans have been lousy and the plants look like they’d love to be put out of their misery.  I’ll see if they bounce back after some irrigating, but it looks like there’s no chance of repeating the bountiful bean harvest we had last year.  We do have a great looking stand of edamame, or green soy beans.  I hope to start picking them next week.

This week, we finally welcome some good-sized Beets.  These poor roots have limped along this year, with the first planting washed out by rain and the second planting set back by flooding.  I know there are a few of you out there who might be wishing the whole crop had flooded away, but give beets a chance! (I realize after writing that last exclamation that it might sound like a horrible pun.  Truly, no pun was intended).  To store them, cut off the tops an inch or so above the root (the tops can still be used as a cooking green) and keep for a week or two in a bag or hydrator drawer in the fridge.  To prepare beets, scrub them clean but do not peel.  Try them boiled, baked, grated, or thrown into a soup.  If you want to use them up without any beet haters knowing it, we also have a recipe for “Secret” Chocolate Muffins or Cake, below.

Thanks to everyone for your great job of returning boxes this year! The box costs add up when we don’t receive them back, so we really appreciate your remembering to return them.  And if you’re one of the rare members that hasn’t been returning them, we’ll take back all that you have sitting around. Also, we do reuse the green pint containers as long as they are still clean and in good shape.  You can return these to your delivery site at any time.  Thanks!

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