In your box:
–Potatoes, “Red Gold”
–Summer Squash or eggplant
This week as we flip the calendars over to September, we begin the slow transition out of summer crops and into the great tastes of fall. The cool weather the past couple weeks has hastened the demise of our heat-loving crops, but the fields are still full of some great new produce that doesn’t mind the onset of fall.
Summer squash are quickly on their way out, as the leaves have started changing color and they are no longer producing flowers for new fruits. Many of the fruits are also showing up with lumpy warts, which I’ve always taken as the squash’s way of proclaiming “Nunc dimitis.” You might find it odd that my squash speak Latin, but thankfully I’m well armed with a liberal arts degree and two years of studying Latin. After a fruitful year of overcoming all kinds of weather and repeatedly having their young taken from them and eaten, “Now you may dismiss me” the plants call. I’ll be granting their wish with my tractor’s tiller this weekend or next.
The reason for these lumps is actually that the plants have contracted mosaic virus, a slowly progressing infection that kills the plant from within and makes their squash babies ugly, to boot. This is NOT any danger to humans. Warty squash are still just fine to eat, but there are so few fruits in the field now that this week will be our last squash and cucumbers for the year.
This week we’re offering Grapes for the first time ever. Most of these grapes have seeds! All of these grapes taste incredible! We grow four different varieties of table grapes, and they are unlike anything you can find in a grocery store. I will admit the seeds are annoying if you’re accustomed to watery grapes from the produce aisle that have had their seeds (and flavor) bred out of them. These grapes take some time to savor, with different levels of texture and taste as you eat them. The seeds are edible and contain the bulk of the fruits’ nutrients, if you can trust the internet. The skins are also fine to eat as well.
At the end of the year we’ll have a survey and I’d love to get your thoughts on some of the fruits that we’re finally ready to offer this year. I’m hoping to add gooseberries, red currants, grapes, and aronia berries within the next couple years, pending general acceptance of them. Within a couple more years our young beach plum, plum, honeyberry, and apple trees should be producing enough to join our CSA offerings as well.
We finally had a dry weekend to allow me to resume digging potatoes, so we have the start of our spud season this week. I’m planning to dig up the rest of our potatoes this weekend and we’ll have more coming your way shortly. This week’s variety is Red Gold, which has a red skin over flesh just like Yukon Gold’s. These potatoes are no longer “new”, so their skins are set and they should be kept in a cool, dark location.
Mark your calendars—our year end fall harvest party will be on Sunday, September 29th starting at 3pm. Hope to see you there!
Expected next week: Potatoes, head lettuce, arugula, red onion, sweet pepper, beans, tomatoes, basil, ground cherries.